Risabha's Nirvana and Mauni Amavasya

Risabha's Nirvana and Mauni Amavasya

January-February; 14th and 15th day of the waning half of the Hindu month of Magha
Jains, a religious minority who are most heavily concentrated in India, honor 24 spiritual guides named Tirthankaras. Foremost among these divine beings is the original Tirthankara, Risabha. According to Jain tradition, Risabha lived 600,000 years ago. He is credited with establishing the first Indian emperor and instituting fundamental social conventions for humans. Jains in India and other countries celebrate Risabha's Nirvana and Mauni Amavasya over two days in Magha, a Jain lunar month that falls between January and February.
Jains revere Tirthankaras for attaining nirvana, a state of total liberation from an endless cycle of birth and death. On the Nirvana day of Risabha, known in southern India as Jinaratri, believers remember their spiritual guide's liberation at Mount Kailash, a mythic site of the Himalayas range in Tibet known to Jains as Ashtapada. They typically observe the day with processions.
Mauni Amavasya takes place on the next day, and for Svetambara Jains, the religion's dominant sect, it is a time for silent reflection.
CONTACTS:
Ministry of External Affairs
Government of India
South Block
New Delhi 110011 India
www.mea.gov.in
SOURCES:
RelHolCal-2004, p. 195