Thursday, April 2, 2015

Interfaith Days: Mahavir Jayanti, Maundy Thursday

Today is Mahavir Jayanti, the most important holiday in Jainism, celebrating the birthday of Mahavira,  who was the 24th and last Tirthankara (ford-maker). is the most important religious holiday for Jains. It celebrates the birth of Mahavira, twenty fourth and the last Tirthankara of present time cycle. He lived in the 500s BCE. After he attained enlightenment he spent many years teaching the basic principles of Jainism: ahimsa, satya, asteya, brahmacharya and aparigraha. Jains attend temple services today and collect alms for the poor.

Today is Maundy Thursday, the Christian observance of the first Lord's Supper, is the Thursday before Easter and the day before the Easter Triduum. Jesus met with his disciples in a selected upper room and established a new covenant in his body and blood as he shared bread and wine with his students. The name comes from the Latin mandatum, or commandment, referring to Jesus' command in John 13:34 that his followers love and serve one another. The word may also come from the old word "maund," meaning the baskets once used to collect alms for the poor on this day.

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