I thought of writing a new article on our Jain Festival of Paryushan but then I came across that oh, I’ve already written a couple of them.
If you’ve missed out on that, it was four years ago when I first went 3 days without food.
This year again I kinda broke the record. 2 days without food & water, 3 days of continuous fast and a day of fast. Well, we don’t just fast for the sake of fasting. What we do in fast is something we do normally.
Paryushan is one such Indian festivals which is not a glamorous one.
The eight days teaches us so much more about ourselves.
If you’d like to know more about it, do read below! 🙂
“Many times, the decisions we make effect and hurt your closest friends and family the most. I have a lot of regrets in that regard. But God has forgiven me, which I am very thankful for. It has enabled me to forgive myself and move forward one day at a time.”
Few of my friends asked me what is Paryushan and I simply tell them it is a religious festival for us Jain. But it is more than that. By festival, in Paryushan, we don’t make glorious foods, buy expensive items and other sorts of thing which is usually done at any festival. Paryushan is a highly spiritual occasion when we observe the purification of the soul, repenting our actions. It is about realizing all the wrongs we have done this and last year. This makes us connect our body to our soul. By not eating certain vegetables what Paryushan signifies is that we are trying ourselves to limit out hurting the “bezubaan” insects which are sacrificed when plants are rooted. The Parv lasts for a period of 8 days for Swetambhar Jains and 10 days for the Digambhar. Though there are certainly differing opinions regarding the event, the bottom is Paryushan parv is about remembering our Trithankars for all the sacrifice they have done and attained enlightenment. It is about forgiving and moving on.
To forgive is the world’s most difficult task. We do deeds every minute and ask for polite forgiveness the other second. The word “sorry” is the most abused and irrationally used word in the dictionary, because when we say “sorry”, half of the times it is taken as involuntary, automatic action that a conscious work of rationality. It is nobody but the fault in our own character and upbringing. We are indoctrinated that everything will be okay with a “sorry”, and thus we use it more often than we really need to use it. We use it to save a relationship, we use it when we unintentionally hurt someone and many other similar occasion and thus it has been taken for granted.
The whole Paryushan Parv is about forgiving and moving on. We commit sins every day and prejudicing someone’s sin as “more sinful than ours” is surely not maturity. Surely, the human mind as complicated it is, we cannot “just forget” an event and hush it as a bad experience thus it becomes very difficult to do with life. Forgiving is not easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we have suffered to forgive the one that inflicted on us. And yet, we do have to forgive because hatred and grudge create more harm than bettering the situation. Jainism holds that let that forgiving attitude in you not come to you under pressure or because you are entitled to be social, let it be a conscious act of action.
During this period, we are expected to grow our connection with God. Regular (and voluntary) prayers are offered to God. This does not mean we bombard God with our troubles and ask God to miraculously solute them. It is more like an inner connection where going to temples is an act of respecting them. But there is no compulsion to do it. You are entitled to do or not do it. That’s the most significant thing of Jainism. Of course, there are plenty of don’ts and it becomes quite restricting to live freely if we follow them, but we are allowed to agree or disagree upon.
The reason fast is observed is not to lose weight, but to signify the inner strength. Human heart and tongue are the most unmanageable. They are governed by desires and allures of the world. We are easily flattered by the delicacies of the world as we are swayed away by human emotions. By observing fast, we try to build a wall of resistance and resolute not to be governed by the cravings.
I framed this article knowing I am not the best person to spread such gyaans about forgiveness because I am both a victim and a sinner of forgiveness but with a genuine hope I constructed it because I want to reach to all of those who have had miscommunication. We HAVE to understand that differing opinions needs to be respected and having a rational analysis of events are very important. At times, due to ego, anger, envy, back bitching and known deficiencies we become the perpetrator of bad karmas and ironically we are the sufferers.
Forgiveness is not an overnight synthesis of good works. It requires the utmost patience and perseverance. And the one who forgives is the strongest.
If my actions and words ever made you feel uncomfortable, with folded hands I ask for your forgiveness and consequently forgive you, my reader, for the same. The future can be made livable if we all agree to wholeheartedly forgive.
Meditation, fasting and forgiving forms the basis so that our Dashlakshanas are purified.
If practiced with unshakable enthusiasm, it produces an energy which is powerfully very positive.
Micchami Dukkadam _/\_