06 September 2010

Paryushan Parva

Paryushan Parva is an annual religious festival of the Jains. Considered auspicious and sacred, it is observed to deepen the awareness as a physical being in conjunction with spiritual observations. Generally,Paryushan Parva falls in the month of September.

In Jainisim, fasting is considered as a spiritual activity, that purify our souls, improve morality, spiritual power, increase knowledge and strengthen relationships. 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.

Paryashan Parva is an annual, sacred religious festivals of the Jains. It is celebrated with fasting, reading of scriptures, observing silence etc. preferably under the guidance of monks in temples. Strict fasting where one has to completely abstain from food and even water is observed for a week or more. Depending upon one's capability, complete fasting spans between 8-31 days. Religious and spiritual discourses are held where tales of Lord Mahavira are narrated. The Namokar Mantra is chanted everyday. Forgiveness in as important aspect of the celebration. At the end of Fasting, all will ask for forgiveness for any violence or wrongdoings they may have imposed previous year. The practice of forgiving transcends religious boundaries.

Digambara Jains observe it for a period of ten days during which Dashalakshana vrata is undertaken. Tatwartha Sutra of Umaswati is recited. They celebrate Ananta- Chaturdasi on the Chaturdasi. Svwetambara Jains celebrate it as an 8 day festival which ends with Bhadarpada Shukla Panchami. Kalpa Sutra is recited including the section of birth of birth of Lord Mahavira. The last day is called Samvatsari.