The Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago’s (JSMC) temple will be celebrating Mahavir Jayanti this month. Mahavir Janma Kalyanak (Jayanti) is celebrated across the world as birth anniversary of Bhagwan Mahavir, the 24th Tirthankar (enlightened one) of Jain philosophy.
He was born in 599 BC and this year marks the 2,614 years since the birth of the apostle of peace. His message of ahimsha (non-violence), aparigraha (non-possessiveness) and anekantvad (non-absolutism) are universal in nature and has been the guiding force for generations of Jains and many cultures in the Indus Valley Civilization. He was the son of King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala. On the night of conception his mother, Trishala, had a dream depicting 14 different auspicious things. The astrologers interpreted the auspicious dreams and predicted that the child would be either an emperor or a Tirthankar.
This year JSMC is celebrating its 20th anniversary and it being the first major event of the year, the chairman of JSMC, Arvind Shah, and Board of Trustees, presented the state of the JSMC. They also presented important information on the current and future initiatives undertaken by the managing team and shared the financial health of the society.
The JSMC president, Tejas Shah, said that the entire Jain community throughout the Chicagoland area, Indiana, and Wisconsin celebrated Mahavir Jayanti at the Bartlett Jain Temple. The facility was beautifully decorated including the Pratimaji (Idol) of Mahavir Swami. Mahavir Swami is the main deity at the Jain Temple of JSMC.
This is also an auspicious time of Ayambil Oli. Ayambil is a penance where the observer eats only once a day where a completely boiled Jain vegan menu is served. The Ayambil Oli is observed over a period of nine days and this year it runs parallel to the Mahavir Jayanti celebrations. About 65 members observed penance for the entire nine days and many more did it for a day or two.
For more information and how to register for the JSMC event, visit their website, at: www.jsmconline.org