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What is Paryushan and What is the importance of Paryushan?


Paryushan Parva is the king of all festivals for the whole Jain community living across the globe. Thus, it is also known as Parva Dhiraj. Every Jain tries to follow the basic principles of Jainism during this festival, which are:

  • Right knowledge
  • Right faith
  • Right conduct

These are the three most essentials for attaining liberation and Nirvana. We can easily understand the word Paryushan by breaking it into two parts: Pari means to recollect yourself and Vasan means at a place; Overall it means to know yourself or recollect yourself at a place in your spirit.

WHAT IS PARYUSHAN?

Paryushan is the time for making up and cleaning the dirt, which is in the form of karma collected on our soul. The festival stands for the celebration of spiritual awareness and is one of the most important annual festivals of Jain religion. The festival lasts eight days. Every year this festival of Paryushan starts on Shravan Vad 12th or 13th and ends on Bhadarva sud 4th or 5th (late August – September).

WHY IS PARYUSHAN CELEBRATED?

This festival gives everyone a chance for self-analysis and deep introspection. It also reminds us that life’s eventual and main aim is not the pursuit of materialism but to attain the state of Nirvana. Paryushan stands for some of the most important practices like:

  • Nonviolence (Ahimsa)
  • Engaging in self-discipline (Sanyam)
  • Partial or complete fasting Penance (Tapah)
  • Study of Scriptures (Swadhyaya)
  • Introspection (Pratikraman)
  • Repentance (Prayaschitta)

HOW IS PARYUSHAN CELEBRATED?

During Paryushan, Jains study religious books and scriptures which are based on principles of Jainism. Pratikraman is also performed by many Jains during the festival. The word Pratikraman is made from the combination of two words, Pra meaning return and atikraman meaning violation. Literally, it means returning from the violations.

During the Paryushan days, below mentioned are the five essential things Jains try and observe:-

  • SADHARMIK VATSALYA: It means the welfare of the other fellow Jainis.
  • AMARI PRAVARTAN: Following ahimsa or non-violence is also one of the major aspects of this festival.
  • ATTHAMA TAP: Fasting for days is also considered as one of the major aspects. People also practice ayambils which means one meal of tasteless food, during the whole day. 

Other forms of taps are:

  • Ekashana: Eating only once a day
  • Byasana: Eating twice a day.
  • CHAITYA PARIPATI: It involves daily visits to temples, pilgrimage to holy places, paying respect and devotion to the Lord Mahavira through worship, prayers, and meditation.
  • KSHAMAPANA: It is one of the most significant parts of celebrating this festival. Kshamapana means forgiveness. It involves asking for forgiveness from all the people whom we may have hurt in the past or present life. It also includes forgiving those who have hurt us and forgive them for their shortcomings and weaknesses.
  • SAMVATSARI: The last day of this 8-day long festival is Samvatsari, and it is the most important of all. Most Jains try to have a fast and get together to perform the Pratikraman. This is also the day where everyone asks to ‘Forgive and Forget’ – Tass Michami Dukkaram.

Paryushan is not just a festival to rejoice and celebrate; instead, it is a ‘parva’ in which all Jains try to discipline themselves. People try to live with the utmost simplicity and try to purify everything, from food to clothes and thoughts to deeds. Jainis don’t eat underground beets and roots. Meals are avoided after sunset. People also do Vaas and Upwasa to purify their souls and body.

Unfortunately, the bad news is this festival of purity is nowadays taken as a burden by new generations. They only take it as a burden when they have to follow many regulations. They do not understand the foundation behind observing this festival. Still, the gurus and marasas are trying to rebuild the faith in the religion like it was used to be in the older days.

At last, Team UdaipurBlog would like to wish Happiness and Prosperity on this occasion of Paryushan Parv.

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Nidhi Rathore

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