Jain Sangh of Las Vegas Celebrates Paryushan Parva and Das Lakshan
Paryushan is one of the major Jain community festival celebrated during the month of August and September.
The word “Paryushan” has several different meanings, the important being shedding all types of karmas. To shed karmas, Jains do twelve different types of austerities including fasting. Another meaning is to stay closer – to stay closer to our own soul from all directions and to stay absorbed in our own-self (soul). Jains do Svadhyaya (self-study), meditation, austerities, etc. Upshamana means to suppress, to suppress our passions – anger, ego, deceit and greed.
The real purpose of the Paryushan is to purify our soul by staying closer to our own soul, to look at our own faults, to ask for forgiveness for the mistakes we have committed, and take vows to minimize our faults.
The Shwetambar Jains refer to it as Paryushan while the Digambars refer it as Das Lakshan. The real purpose of the Paryushan is to purify one’s soul by staying closer to your own soul, to look at our own faults, to ask for forgiveness for the mistakes we have committed, and take vows to minimize our faults.
The duration of Paryushan is for eight days for the Shwetambar Jains and ten days for the Jains belonging to the Digambar sect. The Digambars celebrate ten best characteristics of the soul: Kshama (forgiveness), Mardav (Humality), Arjav (straightforwardness), Shauch (content – absence of greed), Satya (Truth), Samyam (restrain of all senses), Tapa (austerities), Tyaga (charity), Akinchan (non-possessiveness) and Brahmacharya (celibacy).
During the Paryushan, the Jains observe a fast. The span of the fast can last from one day to 30 days or even more.
At the conclusion of the festival, the devotees ask each other for forgiveness for all offenses committed during the year. There are several great aphorisms (Sutras) to ask for forgiveness with the unity of the body, speech and mind.
The process of shedding our karmas really begins by asking for forgiveness with true feelings, and to take some vows not to repeat mistakes. The quality of the forgiveness requires humility and suppression of anger.