Resources - Bidding prayer for Mahavira Jayantii, 5th April

The following is part of a series which gives suggestions for bidding prayers at the major festivals of other religions, along with a short text of explanation for use in parish newsletters. In acknowledging these festivals, and praying for those who celebrate them, Catholics can express their connectedness to all people of faith, as well as the respect which the Church holds for their spiritual wealth.

For use on Sunday, 1st April

The Jain festival of  Mahavira Jayantii – the birthday of Lord Mahavir - is on 5th April. Below is a bidding prayer, and a short paragraph for inclusion in parish newsletters.

Bidding Prayer

We pray for the Jain community in our country on the festival of Mahavira Jayantii (pronounced Ma-ha-weir-ah  ya-yan-tea), the birthday of the most recent teacher of Jainism. As Jains celebrate his message of non-violence, we also pray for all who are working and yearning for peace.


There are about 25,000 Jains in Great Britain, all of whom follow the teaching of Lord Mahavir, the 24th and last Thirthankara of this era, who lived in the 6th century BC. The Thirtankaras are teachers of the Jain faith (or dharma, way of life) who are revered for having overcome earthly desires and attachments. Jains believe that every person has the potential to achieve such freedom, and aim to end the cycle of rebirth they believe every being undergoes. As Jains believe that every being has a soul, including animals and plants, Jainism’s central principle is non-violence, which includes strict vegetarianism. In addition to this principle, Jains follow the principles of truthfulness, of taking nothing that is not freely given, of chastity, and of not being dominated by material desires (non-attachment). More resources and information on Jainism are available on the following website: For further information and resources on interreligious dialogue, go to – the website is under development, so it is worth looking back at it occasionally – or have a look at the Bishops’ Conference blog at

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