Mumbai, April 5 - Thousands of devotees across Maharashtra Thursday celebrated Mahavir Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Mahavir, the last Tirthankar.
Members belonging to Jain community held special programmes at various shrines in Mumbai and other cities of the state. The temples and shrines wore a festive look as religious lectures and discourses to preach the path of virtue as defined by Jain doctrine were held to mark the special day.
Rallies and group singing also were the special features of the celebration of the birthday of Lord Mahavir, said to be the founder of Jainism.
Men, women and young children took part in the procession with an elegantly decorated chariot with the image of Lord Mahavir that passed through important thoroughfares in the metropolis.
Local statues of Mahavir were given a ceremonial bath called the Abhishek. On this auspicious day, many Jains engage in charitable acts, while others travel to temples to meditate and offer prayers.
The Governor of Maharashtra K. Sankaranarayanan also greeted the people on the occasion.
'Bhagwan Mahavir was an embodiment of love, compassion and ahimsa. Let us, on this occasion, reaffirm our commitment to practice his teachings in personal as well as public life,' he said in a message.
In Nashik city, many groups came together and made a gigantic plastic bag which is 108 feet tall and 53 feet wide with a picture of Lord Mahavir printed on it. They appealed to the masses to vow to shun plastic bags and save the environment.
However, scores of Mumbaikars also took advantage of the extended weekend to head out of the city and embrace the peace and calm of the countryside.
The four-day 'weekend' began with Thursday's Mahavir Jayanti followed by Good Friday and then Easter Sunday.