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Jai Jinendra and Happy Diwali! As you may know, Diwali is a festival celebrated by over 1.3 billion Jains, Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs across the world. However, Jains celebrate Diwali in commemoration of specific events that occurred on these auspicious days.

This year, October 19th is the day of Diwali, when Mahavir-swami attained Nirvana or salvation and went to Moksha in 527 B.C. His Nirvana occurred after he finished giving his final sermon, known as the Uttaradhyayan Sutra. In remembrance of this 48-hour sermon, some Jains perform a two day fast, or Chatth during Diwali. Many also take part in Ratri Jagran, when they stay up at night reciting the mantra “Om Hrim Shri Mahaavir Swaami Paarangataay Namah.”

On October 20th, we celebrate Gautam-swami’s attainment of Kevalgyan. Mahavir-swami had sent his chief disciple, Gautam-swami, away before his Nirvan because Mahavir knew how attached Gautam was to him. When Gautam-swami returned and learned of Mahavir’s Nirvana, he was overcome with sorrow.
  
However, this made him realize that no one can live forever and that no relationship is permanent. Giving up his attachment for Mahavir-swami, Gautam-swami achieved omniscience. To commemorate this day, many Jains listen to the Gautam-swami Raas/story and Navasmaran (nine sutras), and recite the mantra “Shree Gautam Swaami Kevalgyaanaaya Namah.”
  
The day after New Year’s Day is the Jain festival Bhai Beej, when sisters invite their brothers to their homes in a showing of mutual love and respect. When Mahavir-swami’s brother Nandivardhan was grieving over the passing of his brother, their sister Sudarshana called him to her house to console him. 

This year, October 25th marks the Jain holiday known as Jnan Panchmi, a day when Jains revere knowledge by worshipping scriptures and seeking blessings to continue learning. On this day, many Jains work to eradicate gyanavarnia karma, or sins related to disrespect of knowledge, by chanting “Om Hrim Namo Nanassa.” 

This Diwali, we encourage you to celebrate not only the New Year, but also these important events that occurred in Jain history.

Learn More!
Check out this newsletter's featured article. 

Diwali is a time of unity, where billions of people from across the world come together to partake in joyful festivities. However, many Jains do not know why we celebrate the holiday specifically. In “The Story of Light in Darkness”, Juhi Nahata shares the meaning behind the holiday and how it applies to all of our daily lives. 
Read Now!
Celebrate Diwali with your friends and family across the country! Visiting the temple, making rangoli designs, and eating wonderful food are just a few ways to celebrate this important festival. Click click on your nearest Sangh for event details - we'll see you there!

Local Representatives

This year, we're proud to have over 140 youth from communities across the country serving as YJA Local Representatives and Subcommittee Members! We can't wait for our LRs to bring social, service, and educational events to even more YJA members. Meet your LR at a National Dinner or email your Regional Coordinator to find the LR closest to you.
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