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In a place called Kundalagrama (Modern Hajipur Vaishali district) situated close to Besadha Patti, 27 miles from Patna in modern day Bihar, India, Mahavira was born in a royal family to King Siddartha and Queen Trishala on the 13th day under the rising moon of Chaitra (12 April according to the Gregorian calendar). While still in his mother’s womb it is believed he brought wealth and prosperity to the entire kingdom, which is why he was named Vardhaman. An increase of all good things, like the abundant bloom of beautiful flowers, was noticed in the kingdom after his conception. Trishala had a number of auspicious dreams before giving birth to Vardhaman (14 according to the Svetambaras and 16 according to the Digambaras), signs foretelling the advent of a great soul. Vardhaman’s birthday is celebrated as Mahavir Janma kalyanak, the most important religious holiday of Jains around the world.

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