Mahavir Jayanti is one of the most prominent festivals in Jainism. Celebrating the birth of Mahaveer, the twenty-fourth and last Tirthankara.
Ṇamōkāra mantra is the most significant mantra in Jainism. This is the first prayer recited by the Jains while meditating. The mantra is also variously referred to as the Pancha Namaskāra Mantra, Navakāra Mantra or Namaskāra Mantra. While reciting this mantra, the devotee bows with respect to the Panch Parameshti (the Supreme Five):
Arihant— Those who have destroyed the four inimical karmas
Siddha — The liberated souls
Acharyas — The spiritual leaders or Preceptors
Upadhyaya — Preceptor of less advanced ascetics
Sādhu — The monks or sages in the world
There is no mention of any particular names of the gods or any specific person. Instead, the Namokar mantra focuses on the guṇa (the good qualities) of the gods, teachers and the saints. It can be noted that this mantra does not ask for any favors or material benefits from the Tirthankaras or monastics.
Namokar mantra simply serves as a gesture of deep respect towards beings whom they believe are spiritually evolved, as well as to remind the people of their ultimate goal i.e. moksha (liberation).
Navkar (Namokar) Mantra Translation in Hindi
Navkar (Namokar) Mantra Translation in English
णमो अरिहंताणं । णमो सिध्दाणं । णमो आयरियाणं ।
णमो उवज्झयाणं । णमो लोए सव्वसाहुणं ।
एसो पंच णम्मुकारो, सव्व पावप्पणासणो ।
मंगलाणं च सव्वेसिं, पढमं हवइ मंगलं ॥
ṇamo arihaṃtāṇaṃ । ṇamo sidhdāṇaṃ । ṇamo āyariyāṇaṃ ।
ṇamo uvajjhayāṇaṃ । ṇamo loe savvasāhuṇaṃ ।
eso paṃca ṇammukāro, savva pāvappaṇāsaṇo ।
maṃgalāṇaṃ ca savvesiṃ, paḍhamaṃ havai maṃgalaṃ ॥
I bow to the Arihantas (the perfect human beings), I bow to the Siddhhas (liberated souls), I bow to the Acharyas (masters and the heads of congregations), I bow to the Upadhyayas (spiritual teachers), I bow to all the Sadhus (spiritual practitioners) in the world. Worshiping all these five, destroys all sins and obstacles, among all that is auspicious, this mantra is the foremost.
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