is an eternal festival relating neither to people nor to any historical
event. It is a time to celebrate the natural qualities of the Soul.
Just as the Soul does not have a beginning or an end, Paryushan does
not have a beginning or an end. It falls three times a year but is only
celebrated once, around August/September because at this time, business
is slow (in India), businessmen can take time off for spiritual
pursuit. Also, it is the time of the monsoon retreat for monks and nuns
in India. During this time when insects flourish, the monks and nuns
reside in one city or community to avoid long distance travel so as to
minimize trampling or harming living beings.
Parv/Das Lakshan are festivals for celebrating the qualities and
essence of the Soul. These auspicious 8 or 10 days offer us an
opportunity to focus on our spirituality with the hope that we will
live a Jain Way of Life for the rest of the year.
oneself for these practices is a difficult task. The following activity
recommendations are for people of all ages along with point incentives.
A family can print this page and give one copy to each member of the
family to fill out and add up the points at the end of the festival. A
gift can be offered for achieving a certain point target. Each family
member should encourage and help others to achieve their best.
is a practice of confession and repentance and can be done in many
different ways. It can be performed at any time but is specifically
done on the last day of Paryushan Parv celebration. It includes the
following six essentials:
WHY IS PARYUSHAN
MAHAPARVE CELEBRATED FOR EIGHT DAYS BY SHWETAMBAR SECT? -
Festival of self friendship and realization of soul. Festival of sacrifice,
penance & endurance. Festival of soul purification & self search, time to
keep aside the post, wealth & prestige & be with the God. The time to
forget & forgiveness make the enemy a friend & increase the love and
Day of Paryusan: The day of making the mind & soul pure and concentrate in
2nd Day of Paryushan: On this day with the help of our sweet & kind speech
spread the fragrance of inspiring virtues & constructive activities. Donate
with free hand & become a king.
Day of Paryushan: To make the Mind (soul) & Body Pure and pious with the
self of sacrifice & penance. Self control & self-friendship is also
practice. Meditation for enlightment.
Day of Paryushan: Rare occasion of gaining AatmaLaxmi.
Day of Paryushan: The day of "KALPASUTRA" sacred document of Jainism. On
this day Bhagwan Mahavira's birth is celebrated with special celebrations,
a part of which is the auction of 14 items, dreams of by the Lords mother
Trishala Devi, while she was carrying him.
Day of Paryushan: 'SWAN' floating in the MANSAROVAR of Jain Empire
Day of Paryushan: Day of Divine message of Tolerance & power of endurance.
Day of Paryushan: 'SAVANTSARI': The Day of the grand 'GATE WAY' of
Paryushana is a time of reflection on actions and meditation on the past
year. Paryushana is marked by strict observance of the ten cardinal
virtues: Forgiveness, Charity, Simplicity, Contentment, Truthfulness,
Self-restraint, Fasting, Detachment, Humility and Continence. During the
eight-day Paryushana festival, the Swetambaras recite the religious text,
the Kalpa Sutra (including a section on the birth of Lord Mahavira), on the
fifth day. During this festival, Jains of all ages visit the divine
Temples/Derasar or Upashrayas to listen to the discourses and readings of
Kalpa Sutra. In the evenings, Jains perform a kriya called Pratikraman, a
form of meditation to reflect on spiritual journey.
Jains fast in some form or the other in these days. It is not and uncommon
sight to see 8 day fasters, who do not consume anything in these eight
days. Even water must be boiled and can be drunk only between 9-10 a.m. to
5- 6 p.m. (approx.) Every now and then one does come across a faster who
has not eat for a whole month too!!! Penance and fasting are the key words
in these days. Many Jains abstain from onions, garlic, potatoes, fermented
food, root vegetables and green vegetables.
the Swetambar sect, an 8-day festival is celebrated that ends either on
Bhadrapada Shukla 4 or Bhadrapada Shukla 5. The last day is called
Samvatsari, short for Samvatsari Pratikramana. Seven days are days of
attainment and the eighth day is one of fulfillment or achievement. It is
at this time that Jains embark on their respective annual pratikramana - a
reflection on their spiritual journey for the past year.
this day they also observe a unique custom, where they ask every individual
they may have offended during the year for forgiveness. Old quarrels are
forgotten and friendships and relationships renewed, as they fold their
hands and ask for "Micchamidukadam" or forgiveness. Michchhami means to be
fruitless (forgiven) and Dukkadam (Dushkrut) means bad deeds. Therefore the
meaning of Michchhami Dukkadam is my bad deeds (with you) be fruitless. So
concept behind saying or writing someone "Michchhami Dukkadam" is that if I
have done any harm to you then those bad deeds to be forgiven (be
The soul, in its pure form, has infinite perception, infinite
knowledge, infinite vigor, and is non-attached. These attributes are not
seen in a worldly soul because it is soiled with karmas. By following
religious principles principals and activities, we overcome our karmas and
uplift our souls to liberation. There are various kinds of religious
activities, sometimes called rituals, and among them Pratikraman is the
most important ritual. During pratikraman we repent for our non-meritorious
activities on a daily basis. We realize our mistakes and ask for
forgiveness which helps us to minimize the intensity of the karma's
bondage. Pratikraman is a combination of six avshyakas (essential rituals).
The six Avshyakas are:
1) Samayik - a state of total equanimity
2) Chauvisantho - worshipping the twenty-four Tirthankars
3) Vandana - offering salutations to sadhus (monks) and sadhvis (nuns)
4) Pratikraman - realizing what we have done wrong and annotating on it
5) Kayotsagga - meditation of the soul
6) Pratyakhyan - renunciation
Samayik : In samayik, we stay in equanimity for forty-eight minutes. During
samayik not only do we give up all worldly affairs, but we also stay away
from attachment and aversion. This activity helps us to purify our passions
and desires. To perform samayik, we put on simple, white clothes, and
occupy a quiet place. While in samayik, we recite the Navkar Mantra, read
scriptures, perform meditation, etc. Our samayik gives us a glimpse at the
life of sadhus who live in samayik all of their life. It directly
encourages us to lead the life of a sadhu or sadhvi.
Chauvisantho :Chauvisantho means adoration of the twenty-four Tirthankaras.
By reciting it, we show our respect for the twenty-four Tirthankaras. While
reciting this, we are reminded of how victorious these Jinas, who overcome
inner enemies like anger, ego, greed, deceit, etc., were and such activity
also and encourages us to be like them. It is also called
Vandana: During vandana, we bow down to monks and nuns and express our
reverence to them. They are our current religious guides, and preceptors.
While bowing down, we become humble, and thus, help ourselves to overcome
ego and anger. It also inspires us to become like them. (If there is no
monk or nun then we bow down in the North-East direction to Arihantas who
are currently living far away from here.)
Pratikraman: Pratikraman is the combination of two words, Pra meaning
return and atikraman meaning violation. Literally, it means returning from
violations. As Jain householders, we are supposed to observe twelve minor
vows. During Pratikraman we review our activities for any violations that
may have occurred among these vows. In this way, we ask for forgiveness for
our actions, purify our souls, and improve our future activities. If we
have not taken these vows then we should wish that there will come a day
when we can take those vows. Pratikraman is usually done twice a day; once
in the morning, Raisi (morning) Pratikraman and once in the late evening
Devasi (evening) Pratikraman. Those who are unable to perform daily
pratikraman should do a Pakshik (fortnightly) Pratikraman. There are some
who somehow can not find even that much time, they should do a Choumasi
(quarterly) Pratikraman, every four months. However, if someone can not
even do that, then they should do Samvatsari (yearly) Pratikraman,
considered a must for every Jain. By repenting during the pratikraman, you
lessen the bondage of karma to your soul and avoid committing the same sins
in the future. If we do not repent for our deeds at least once a year, then
the bondage of karmas to the soul becomes severe and even harder to shed
off. In all truth, one should perform pratikraman as soon as one realizes
she has committed a sin.
Kayotsagga :The word kayotsargga is made up of two words Kaya meaning body
and utsarga meaning to give up. Kayotsagga means to give up ones
physical comfort and body movements, thus staying steady, either in a
standing or other posture, and concentrating upon the true nature of the
soul as being separate from the body. This is a form of meditation and by
practicing pure kayotsargga we slowly gain control over our mental, verbal,
and physical activities.
Pratyakhyan: This is a formal renunciation of certain activities, which
reduces to stops the inflow of karmas. This activity helps us to learn to
control our desires and prepares us for a much bigger renunciation.
(Source: Ahimsa Times - Aug. 08 newsletter)