People following Jain Community around the world celebrate the Diwali day with great enthusiasm as the day marks the Nirvan Diwas of Jain Teerthankar Mahavir and the last day of the Hindu and Jain calendar year.
It is said that when Lord Mahavir attained his nirwan, 16 gana-kings, 9 Malla and 9 Lichchhavi, of Kasi and Kosal, illuminted their doors. They said: “The light of knowledge is gone, we will make light of ordinary matter”.
On the dawn of amavasya of the Ashwin month (October – November) of Hindu calendar Lord Mahavir attained his nirwan in 527 B.C. Lord Mahavira discarded the body and the bondage of all Karmas on that night of Diwali, at Pavapuri and attained Muksha or deliverance.
Since that time the people of Bharat celebrate the famous festival of “Dipalika” to worship the Jinendra on the occasion of his nirvana.
However today, certain sect of Jain community illuminated their houses and Jain temples with diyas and candles to mark the nirwan divas of Jain Teerthankar Mahavir, while some sects of Jain community just worship Lord Mahavira on this day. People fast or/and other religious activities to celebrate the day.
According to the legends, after Lord Mahavir attained his nirwan, after he was cremated, the demand for Lord Mahavir’s ashes was so great that soil from around the funeral pyre was also removed.
The gap was filled by creating a large tank, Kamal Sarobar, and it remains covered by beautiful lotus blooms till today. Later an intricately carved marble temple was constructed by the Swetambara Jains, in the middle of the Kamal Sarobar, known as Jalamandir.
In 2017, Mahavir Nirvan Diwas will be celebrated on Thursday, 19th October 2017.