Paryushan and Das Lakshana Parva

Fast

Paryushan and Das Lakshana Parva

Method: One who performs this fast attains all sorts of pleasures and prosperity. His all wishes get fulfilled. Get up early in the morning in Bramh Muhoorat (before sun rise) and have your bath. Wear neat and clean clothes and start  worshipping the Lordin home as well as in temple with chanting mantra, aarti and by other worshiping ways. After that one should complete worshipping ceremony with faith and devotion donate some thing to needy, donate some foods to animals or insects. Below is the given way of fast: 

Upvas: To give up only food for the whole day.(starting from previous sunset to 2nd day sunrise - approximately 36 hours)

Chauvihar Upvas: Like Upvas, to give up food as well as water.

Digambar Upvas: One may drink water only once a day, before sunset.

Shvetamber Upvas: One may drink boiled and cooled water after Porsi, provided this is done before sunset.

Tivihar Upvas: One may drink boiled water between sunrise and sunset.

Ekasana: To eat one meal a day at one sitting and drink boiled water as desired between sunrise and sunset.

Beasana: To eat two meals a day in two sittings and drink boiled water anytime between sunrise and sunset.

 

Ayambil: Eating food once in one sitting. The food contains only cereals and pulses not sprouted and it is spice free and boiled or cooked, without milk, curds, ghee, oil, oil seeds, or green/raw vegetables, fruits and sugar and its products.

Paryushan is the most important festival in the Jain religion. It is

observed during the month of August and/or September. The

Shvetämbar sect observes it for 8 days while the Digambar sect

observes it for 10 days where it is known as Das Lakshana Parva.

During these eight or ten days, the entire Jain community

becomes engrossed in an atmosphere of spiritual enthusiasm and

religion.

Paryushan can be literally translated, as "coming together from all

directions" This symbolizes growth and transformation.

The word “Paryushan” has several meanings:

 

. Pari + Ushan = all kinds + to burn = to burn (shed) all

types of karmas. Our scriptures have prescribed twelve

different types of austerities including fasting (Tap), to

shed our karmas.

. Another meaning of “Ushan” is, to stay closer. To stay

closer to our own soul from all directions and to stay

absorbed in our own-self (soul), we do Swädhyäy (self-

study), meditation, and austerities.

. Pari + Upashamanä = Upashamanä means to suppress,

to suppress our passions (Kashäyas - anger, ego, deceit

and greed) from all sources.

 

The purpose of life according to Jain teaching is to realize oneself,

to experience wholeness, peace and reverence for all life.

Therefore, the real purpose of Paryushan is to purify our soul by

observing and correcting our own faults, asking for forgiveness for

the mistakes we have committed, and taking vows to minimize our

faults. During Paryushan we should strive to minimize our worldly

affairs so that we can concentrate on our true-selves.

Generally, festivals are celebrations characterized by excitement,

enthusiasm, and enjoyment; but Jain festivals are characterized by

renunciation, austerities, study of the scriptures, repetition of holy

hymns (sutras/Stavans), meditation, and expressing devotion for

the Tirthankars.

 

It is a period of repentance and confession for the undesirable acts

of the previous year and of austerities to help shed accumulated

karma. Austerity, the control of one's desire for material

pleasures, is a part of spiritual training. During this period, some

people fast for the entire period of eight or ten days, some for

lesser periods (a minimum fasting of the last three days is laid

down in the scriptures). However, it is considered obligatory to

fast on the last day of Paryushan. Fasting usually involves

complete abstinence from food or drink, but during the daytime,

drinking of water that has been boiled and cooled in the morning is

a common practice. If one cannot fast for the whole day, eating

only one meal also counts as limited fasting.

There are regular ceremonies in the temple and meditation halls

during this time. During the first three days of Paryushan the

Sädhus and Sädhvis deliver sermons related to the five activities

that laymen (Shrävaks and Shrävikäs) are required to do during

Paryushan.

The five essential activities of Paryushan are:

Amäri

Pravartan

Leading a non-violent life, working towards a

non-violent world, and supporting animal

welfare activities

Sädharmik

Vätsalya

 

Respecting fellow human beings and

supporting humanitarian activities

Attham Tapa

Observing fasts for the last three days of

Paryushan

Chaitya Paripäti

Visiting different Jain temples and supporting

other organizations

Kshamäpanä

Repenting our sins, forgiving others and

requesting forgiveness from others

In the Shvetämbar tradition, the Kalpa Sutra, a scripture that

includes a detailed account of Bhagawän Mahävir.s life and other

Tirthankars. lives, is read to the congregation from the fourth thru

the last day of Paryushan.

On the fourth day a special reverence is given to the Kalpa Sutra.

On the fifth day the auspicious dreams of Bhagawän Mahävir.s

mother Trishalä are celebrated at a special ceremony. The final

day of Paryushan, known as Samvatsari, and the day of

repentance of our past sins and forgiveness to others, is the most

important day of Paryushan.

Digambar sect calls this festival Das Lakshana Parva and

observes it for 10 days. Each day is dedicated to one religious

virtue. The 10 religious virtues are:

 

1. Kshamä

2. Forgiveness

Märdava

Humility

3. Ärjava

Straightforwardness

4. Shaucha

contentment - absence of greed

5. Satya

Truth

6. Samyam

restraint of all senses

7. Tapa

Austerities

8. Tyäg

Charity

9. Äkinchan

non-possessiveness

10. Brahmacharya

Celibacy

Tattvärtha Sutra, an ancient Jain scripture that covers the entire

Jain philosophy, is read to the congregation. The scripture has 10

chapters and one chapter is read every day.

The last day of Paryushan (Samvatsari) for the Shvetämbar sect

and the first day of the Das Lakshana Parva (Kshamä) for the

Digambar sect is the day of forgiveness and is the most important

day for all Jains.

This is the day when all Jains repent for their past sins, ask for

forgiveness from family, friends, enemies, and especially from

those with whom they have struggled, for hurting them in any way

either knowingly or un-knowingly during the past year. It is

essential to our spiritual advancement that we do not harbor ill will

or hold grudges beyond a year. Hence, the annual occasion for

repentance and forgiveness is the most important day in Jain

tradition.

By meditating and purifying ourselves during these eight days of

Paryushan or ten days of Das-lakshana, we come to realize

ourselves. We call the Festival of Paryushan, the Festival of the

Soul; for, when we forgive, we become one with the light of our

soul.

Listening to the Kalpa Sutra or Tattvärtha Sutra, taking positive

steps to ensure that living beings are not harmed or killed,

developing the feeling of brotherhood towards fellow human

beings and forgiveness for living beings, visiting neighboring

temples, are all important activities at this time.

On the last day those who have observed rigorous fasting are

honored, especially to encourage others to follow their example.

After performing Samvatsari Pratikraman (Pratikraman ritual on

the last day of Paryushan) or Das lakshana celebration, Jains

request forgiveness from all living beings in person, via telephone,

or via mail. One example of such a request in writing is shown

below:

On This Auspicious Occasion of

KSHAMAVANI

We Beg Forgiveness

For Our Intentional and Unintentional

Wrongdoing

Michchhä mi Dukkadam

 

Tirthankar or Guru Vandan Posture



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