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Diwali And Jainism

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is a significant festival celebrated by millions of people in India and around the world. It is a Hindu festival that has cultural and religious significance. However, Diwali is not exclusive to Hinduism, and it is also observed by people of other religious traditions, including Jainism.

In Jainism, Diwali holds particular significance for several reasons:

Lord Mahavira's Nirvana: Diwali is celebrated in Jainism to commemorate the attainment of nirvana (spiritual liberation) by Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism. It is believed that Lord Mahavira achieved moksha (liberation from the cycle of birth and death) on the day of Diwali. Therefore, for Jains, Diwali is a time to reflect on the life and teachings of Lord Mahavira and seek inspiration for their own spiritual journey.

The Diwali Lamp Tradition: Jains, like Hindus, light lamps and diyas (oil lamps) during Diwali to symbolize the triumph of light over darkness and the victory of good over evil. The lighting of lamps is also associated with Lord Mahavira's spiritual enlightenment and the spread of knowledge and wisdom.

Offering Prayers: Jains often visit Jain temples or Digambar and Shwetambar temples during Diwali to offer prayers, meditate, and seek blessings. The focus is on seeking spiritual growth, purity, and inner peace.

Charity and Acts of Kindness: During Diwali, Jains emphasize acts of charity and kindness, such as donating to the less fortunate, helping those in need, and engaging in philanthropic activities. This aligns with the Jain principle of compassion and non-violence.

Rituals and Pujas: Jains also engage in various rituals and pujas (prayers) during Diwali, which may include reciting Jain scriptures and performing austerities.

It's important to note that Jain practices and beliefs can vary among different sects and communities, so the way Diwali is celebrated within Jainism may vary. Some Jains may also use this occasion to fast, engage in meditation, and conduct various religious ceremonies as a way to enhance their spiritual progress.

In summary, while Diwali is primarily a Hindu festival, it is also celebrated in Jainism to mark significant events in the life of Lord Mahavira and to promote values of enlightenment, compassion, and non-violence, which are central to Jain philosophy.