Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Generally, festivals are celebrations and jubilations characterized by excitement, enthusiasm, enjoyments and entertainments; but in the Jain Religion ( one of the oldest religion in the world, has its own significance and is widely known for its Non-Violence- Ahims Parmo Dharma-- live and let live) festivals are characterized by renunciation, austerities, study of the scriptures, repetition of holy hymns, meditation, and expressing devotion for the Paramatma.The Jain community like other communities throughout the world celebrates many social and religious functions annually. The superb Jain festival popularly known as ‘Paryushan Parva’ organized every year.
• festival of self friendship and realization of soul
• Festival of sacrifice, penance & endurance
• Festival of soul purification & self search
• The time to make the enemy a friend & increase the love and kindness
The Paryushan parva is the most important festival among the Jain festivals. Paryushan is a festival of self-discipline through fasting, reading of scriptures, observing silence and other ascetic practices. It is compared with water works through which one can clean one's soul from the dirt of Karmas. Men, women and children as well as monks and nuns undertake fasts with varying strictness. In Jainism, fasting is considered as a spiritual activity, that purify our souls, improve morality, spiritual power, increase knowledge and strengthen relationships. Jain festivals are not meant for eating, drinking and to make merry. Jain festivals are celebrated by penance, Jap (recitation of Mantra) prayer, worship and friendship. The most important part of Paryushan is daily meditation and prayer.The purpose is to purify our souls by staying closer to our own souls, looking at our faults and asking for forgiveness for the mistakes and taking vows to minimize our faults. Also a time when Jains will review their action towards their animals, environment and every kind of soul. Forgiveness in as important aspect of the celebration. All will ask for forgiveness for any violence or wrongdoings they may have imposed previous year. The practice of forgiving transcends religious boundaries.
Last day of paryushan maha parva, known as Samvatsari. Old quarrels are forgotten and friendships and relationships renewed as they fold their hands and say Michhami Dukkadam or Please forgive me. Samvatsari Parva “The festival which is celebrated annually to subdue all passions and lustful desires. To ask for forgiveness is the toughest thing to do. Therefore, our great Acharyas have said:
"Kshama Viram Bhushanam, Kshamavani Michchha Mi Dukkadam"
- To ask for forgiveness is a great quality of the brave ones and if I have committed any mistake, knowingly or unknowingly, I ask for your forgiveness.
The real purpose of the Paryushan is to purify our soul by staying closer to our own soul, to look at our own faults, to ask for forgiveness for the mistakes we have committed, and take vows to minimize our faults.
Posted by Anurag Jain at 1:46 PM