Paryushan Parva, the monarch of all Jain festivals is celebrated annually in the auspicious month ‘Bhadrapad’ of the Hindu calendar.
The festival ordains the Jains to observe the ten universal supreme virtues (Daslakshana) in daily practical life.
Normally Svetambara Jains refer it as Paryushana, while Digambara Jains refer it as Daslakshana.
The start dates of the festival for both the sects are different.
In Digambaras, it is a 10-day period festival starting from Bhadrapada Shukla Panchami.
In the Swetambaras, it is a 8-day festival which ends on Bhadrapada Shukla panchami. The last day is called Samvatsari, short for Samvatsari Pratikramana
When is Paryushan Maha Parva & Samvatsari in 2013 :
For Digambaras – 10th – 20th September 2013.
For Swetambaras – 2nd to 9th September 2013.
Meaning of Word Paryushan:
The word “Paryushan” has different meanings:
- Word Paryushan is derived from two words, Pari + ushan which mean all kinds + to burn. Thus Paryushan means to burn (shed) our all types of karmas.
- Another meaning of “ushan” is to stay closer. To stay closer and absorbed in to our own soul.
- Another meaning of the word comes from Pari + upshamana, where upshamana means to suppress, to suppress our passions (kashayas – anger, ego, deceit and greed) from all directions.
Therefore, the ‘Paryushan Parva’ is celebrated annually to purify our soul by staying closer to our own soul, to look at our own faults, to ask for forgiveness for the mistakes that we have committed, and take vows to minimize our faults in future. We try to forget about the needs of our body (like food) and our business so that we can concentrate on our-self.
This festival also shows the path of salvation.
Fasting During Paryushan :
During this festival, most of the Jains observe fast and Ekasan (having meal once in a day). The span of the fast could be anything between a day and 30 days or even more. People who are fasting consume only boiled water and that too only between sunrise and sunset.
Pratikraman and Other Rituals :
There are number of religious activities sometimes called the rituals which are followed or carried out during Paryushan, among them the pratikraman is one of the most important ritual.
During pratikraman we repent for our non-meritorious activities on a daily basis. We realize our mistakes and ask for the forgiveness, which helps us to minimize the intensity of the karmas as well as it helps to get rid of the karmic bondage. Pratikraman is a combination of six avshyakas (essential rituals). They are:
- Samayik - a state of equanimity by withdrawing to the self.
- Chauvisantho - worshipping the twenty-four Tirthankars.
- Vandana - offering salutations to the sadhus (monks) and the sadhvis (nuns).
- Pratikraman - realizing what we have done wrong and annotating on it.
- Kayotsagga – meditation of the soul by detachment from the body by controlling it.
- Pratyakhyan - renunciation i.e., making resolutions or vows
On all the eight/ten days of this festival, most of the Jains begin their day with ‘pratikraman’ at 5.45 in the morning, followed by prayers for promoting universal peace and brotherhood.
Many people due to their busy lives or work cannot do the pratikraman daily. In such case it is important to do the pratikraman on last day of paryushan. This annual Pratikramana is Samvatsari Pratikramana, in short Samvatsari.
Detailed Pratikramana takes about 3 hours, however all essentials can be done in a much shorter time if needed.
Micchami Dukkadam and Kshamavani :
At the conclusion of the festival, the Sravakas request each other for forgiveness for all offenses committed during the last year. This occurs on the Paryusha day for the Swetambara and on Pratipada (first) of Ashwin Krashna for the Digambara.
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.
Forgiveness is asked by telling “Micchami Dukkadam” or “Uttam Kshama” to each other. It means “If I have caused you offence in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought word or deed, then I seek your forgiveness”.
Michchhami Dukkadam Prayer :
|Khamemi Savve Jiva||I forgive all living beings.|
|Savve Jiva Khamantu me||May all souls forgive me,|
|Mitti me Savva Bhooesu||I am friendly terms with all,|
|Veram Majjham Na Kenvi||I have no animosity toward any soul.|
|Michchhami Dukkadam||May all my faults be dissolved.|