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Jain's celebrate Diwali with charity and respect for nature
Most Jains celebrate Diwali in an atmosphere of austerity, simplicity, serenity, equity and calmness. The day is marked with charity and philanthropy and respect for nature. Though various Jain temples, homes, business houses, offices, shops are decorated with lights and diyas, but they are advised not to let off crackers as a matter of respect for the environment. Jains also start their accounting year from Diwali day.

In Jain temples and homes, the followers sing and chant hymns and mantras from Jain religious texts in praise of the Tirthankar Mahavira. Many Jains organize congregations for collective prayers and recitation of verses from the Uttaradhyayan Sutra, which contain the last teachings of Mahavira. Many Jains pay visit to Pavapuri on Diwali to offer their prayers and pay homage to Lord Mahavira.

Most Jains believe that Lord Mahavira was the last of the Jain Tirthankar, who attained Nirvana in 3rd century BCE on the day of Diwali. Also, it is said that on this day, the chief disciple of Mahavira, Ganadhara Gautam Swami also attained enlightenment or Kevalgyana.

It is widely believed that Lord Mahavira attained his nirvana at the dawn of the amavasya (new moon) on Diwali, as it has been mentioned in many Jain scriptures. The legend has it that the gods illuminated Pavanagari by lamps to mark the occasion of Lord Mahavira's nirvana.

Furthermore, the Jain year starts with Pratipada on the day following Diwali. Jain calendar is known as Vira Nirvana Samvat and their year 2540 will start with Diwali of year 2013. The Jain business people traditionally start their accounting year from Diwali with special prayers.

In Jainism, the lighting of earthen lamps is symbolic of self-knowledge that removes darkness of ignorance. Around Diwali, Swetambar Jains observe three days of fasting in remembrance of the penance and sacrifice of Mahavira.

In temples and homes, devotees sing and chant hymns and mantras from Jain religious texts in praise of the Tirthankar and congregate for a prayer and recite verses from the Uttaradhyayan Sutra which contain the last teachings of Mahavira.

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