Paryushana is a festival that involves reflection in Jainism where the Jains seek to be forgiven for sins. This festival is known as Das Lakshana Dharma by the Digambar Jains, while the Svetambara call this festival Paryushana. The Jains celebrate the festival by observing a fast as well as partaking in a number of spiritually enlightening meditation sessions. Paryushana is observed in the way of reciting the 10 chapters of the Tattvartha Sutra for the Digambara Jains, along with organizing several processions. The Svetambaras celebrate this festival by reciting Kalpa Sutra which is in Jain text.
The Significance And Purpose Of Paryushan
The true significance and real purpose associated with this particular festival involves repenting and asking for forgiveness against all sins committed, according to New Jersey Employment Attorneys. As the participants observe fasting, they forget about the needs of the body and focus on enriching their souls and their minds. They atone for any sins and take vows to avoid doing wrongs in the future. The fasting is what helps to purify the body and the mind, while the actual festival offers opportunities for introspection and reflection.
The Jains believe that Ratna-Tray, which stands for the 3-jewels of Jainism which translates into right conduct, right faith, and right knowledge is essentially important facets of the religion. To achieve these goals, the Jains are encouraged to always be truthful, non-violent, non-stealing, renouncing all attachments and to be celibate. While many of the Jains find it hard to follow the tenets throughout the year, they focus on following these directives to the best of their abilities during Paryushan.
When Is Paryushana Festival Celebrated?
The festival occurs in the rainy seasons where it becomes difficult for the Jain monks and nuns to go outside barefoot. Chaturmas is the holy period which is held over a period of four months over the rainy seasons. The wandering monks will take up a temporary residence in one spot for these 4 months, while Paryushana is regarded as the most vital part of Chaturmas. It is during these periods where the monks are residing in a specific place, they become accessible, where they are made available to people who seek instructions or the guidance which is set in place by the 24 Tirthankars or the teachers of Jainism.
Rituals Practiced During Paryushan
Fasting forms an important part of this festival. Some of the Jains will fast over the entire celebration while others will fast on the 1st and the last day. On these days, the Jains will eat before the sun goes down and then only drink purified or boiled water. They will avoid eating any leafy and green vegetables. They will also read holy Jain scriptures and books, while meditating and praying to God. The Jains will also listen to lectures and speeches by the Jain monks, along with singing devotional songs.
The reason why fasting is so important over this period, is that it offers the opportunity to eliminate any bad karma. It also helps to develop self-control, patience and discipline. Repentance and forgiveness are some of the most important aspects about Paryuhsna. Every day of the festival will focus on the elimination of several impurities such as greed, deceit, pride and anger along with building up of good virtues.