Paryushana is the most important annual holy events for Jains and is
usually celebrated in August or September in Hindi calender Bhadrapad
Month's Shukla Paksha. It lasts 8 Days for swetambara and 10
days for digambara sect of Jains . Jains increase their level of
spiritual intensity often using fasting and prayer/meditation to
help. The five main vows are emphasized during this time.
There are no set rules, and followers are encouraged to practice
according to their ability and desires.
Normally, Digambaras refer it as Das Lakshana Dharma while
Śvētāmbaras refer to it as
Paryushana ("abiding" or "coming
together"). The duration of
Paryushana is for eight days for
Śvētāmbara Jains and ten days for Jains belonging to the Digambara
sect. The festival ends with the celebration of
Kshamavani (forgiveness day).
2.2 Requesting forgiveness
3 Dashlakshana Dharma
Forgiveness (Uttam Kshama) : उत्तम क्षमा
3.2 Modesty/Humility (Uttam Maardav) : उत्तम
3.3 Straightforwardness (Uttam Aarjav) : उत्तम
3.4 Contentment/Purity (Uttam Shauch) : उत्तम
3.5 Truth (Uttam Satya) : उत्तम सत्य
3.6 Self-Restraint (Uttam Sanyam) : उत्तम संयम
3.7 Penance (Uttam Tap) : उत्तम तप
3.8 Renunciation (Uttam Tyaag) : उत्तम त्याग
3.9 Non-attachment (Uttam Aakinchan) : उत्तम
Celibacy (Uttam Brahmacharya) : उत्तम
6 See also
8 External links
Paryusana means "abiding and coming together". It is a time when the
Jains take on vows of study and fasting.
Das Lakshana (Paryusana) celebrations,
Jain Center of America, New
Digambara Jains recite the ten chapters of the sacred
Tattvartha Sutra on ten days of fasting. Digambaras celebrate Ananta
Chaturdashi on which a special worship is done. Many towns have a
procession leading to the main
Ananta Chaturdashi marks
the day when Lord
Vasupujya attained Moksha (nirvana).[citation
At the conclusion of the festival, followers request forgiveness from
others for any offenses committed during the last year.
asked by saying
Micchami Dukkadam to others, which means, "If I have
offended you in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word or
action, then I seek your forgiveness."
During the eight-day festival, the
Śvētāmbara Murtipujakas recite
the Kalpa Sūtra, which includes a recitation of the section on birth
Mahavira on the fifth day. Some
recite the Antagada Sutra, which details the life of great men and
women who attained moksha during the eras of
Main article: Fasting in Jainism
During Paryushana, Jains observe a fast. The span of the fast can last
from a day to 30 days or even more. In
Digambara Jainism, śrāvakas
(laypersons) do not take food and/or water (boiled) more than once in
a day when observing fasts, while Śvētāmbaras observing a fast
survive on boiled water which is consumed only between sunrise and
Micchami Dukkadam and Kshamavani
At the conclusion of the festival, śrāvakas request each other for
forgiveness for all offenses committed during the last year.
This occurs on the Paryusha day for Śvētāmbaras and on the Prathama
(first day) of the month of
Ashvin Krashna for Digambaras. Forgiveness
is asked by saying
Micchami Dukkadam or Uttam Kshama to each other. It
means "If I have caused you offence in any way, knowingly or
unknowingly, in thought word or deed, then I seek your
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Main article: Dharma (Jainism)
Das Lakshana (Paryusana) celebrations,
Jain Center of America, New
Das-Dharma (ten righteous virtues) are mentioned in the
Tattvartha Sutra. These are:
Uttam Kshama (forbearance) - उत्तम क्षमा
Uttam Mardava (supreme modesty) - उत्तम मार्दव
Uttam Aarjava (straightforwardness) - उत्तम आर्जव
Uttam Satya (truth) - उत्तम सत्य
Uttam Shauch (purity) - उत्तम शौच
Uttam Sanyam (supreme restraint) - उत्तम संयम
Uttam Tap (austerity) - उत्तम तप
Uttam Tyaga (renunciation) - उत्तम त्याग
Uttam Aakinchanya (non-attachment) and - उत्तम
Uttam Brahmcharya (supreme celibacy) - उत्तम
In the full form, it is a 10-day vrata that comes every year. It may
be undertaken during Shukla
Panchami to Chaturdashi of Bhadrapada,
Magh or Chaitra months. However it is common to do it during
The Das-dharmas are all prefixed by the word ‘Uttam’ (Supreme) to
signify that they are practiced at the highest level by the Jain
monks. The householder practises them to a lesser extent. It lasts
over a period of ten days, each day being dedicated to one of the ten
Dharmas. In the sections below a) stands for the temporary point of
view of modes and modification (vyavahar nay) b) stands for the
permanent point of view of underlying substance (nīshyānay).
Forgiveness (Uttam Kshama) : उत्तम
Forgiveness § Jainism
a) We forgive those who have wronged us and seek forgiveness from
those we have wronged.
Forgiveness is sought not just from human
colleagues, but from all living beings ranging from one sensed to five
sensed. If we do not forgive or seek forgiveness but instead harbor
resentment, we bring misery and unhappiness on ourselves and in the
process shatter our peace of mind and make enemies. Forgiving and
seeking forgiveness oils the wheel of life allowing us to live in
harmony with our fellow beings. It also attracts meritorious karma.
Forgiveness here is directed to oneself. The soul, in a state of
mistaken identity or false belief, assumes that it consists of the
body, the karmas and the emotions – likes, dislikes, anger, pride
etc. As a result of this incorrect belief, it inflicts pain upon
itself and is thus the cause of its own misery. Nischay Kshama Dharma
teaches the soul to correctly identify itself by encouraging it to
contemplate in its true nature and hence achieve the state of right
Belief (Samyak Darshan). It is only by achieving Samyak Darshan that
the soul ceases to inflict pain on itself and attains supreme
Modesty/Humility (Uttam Maardav) : उत्तम
See also: Mardava § Uttam Maardav
a) Wealth, good looks, reputable family or intelligence often lead to
pride. Pride means to believe one to be superior to others and to look
down on others. By being proud you are measuring your worth by
temporary material objects. These objects will either leave you or you
will be forced to leave them when you die. These eventualities will
cause you unhappiness as a result of the ‘dent’ caused to your
self-worth. Being humble will prevent this. Pride also leads to the
influx of the bad karmas.
b) All the souls are equal, none being superior or inferior to
another. The Nischay view encourages one to understand his true
nature. All souls have the potential to be liberated souls. The only
difference between the liberated souls and those in bondage is that
the former have attained liberation as a result of their ‘effort’.
With effort, even the latter can achieve liberation.
Straightforwardness (Uttam Aarjav) : उत्तम
a) The action of a deceitful person is to think one thing, speak
something else and do something entirely different. There is no
harmony in his thought, speech and actions. Such a person loses
credibility very quickly and lives in constant anxiety and fear of his
deception being exposed. Being straightforward or honest, oils the
wheel of life. You will be seen to be reliable and trustworthy.
Deceitful actions lead to the influx of karmas.
b) Delusion about one’s identity is the root cause of unhappiness.
The soul is made up of countless qualities like knowledge, happiness,
effort, faith, and conduct. It has the potential to achieve
omniscience (Kevala Gyana केवल ज्ञान) and reach a
state of supreme bliss. Again, the body, the karmas, the thoughts and
all the emotions are separate from the true nature of the soul. Only
by practicing Nischay Arjav Dharma will one taste the true happiness
that comes from within.
Contentment/Purity (Uttam Shauch) : उत्तम
Contentment or happiness, derived from material objects, is only
perceived to be so by a soul in a state of false belief. The fact is
that material objects do not have a quality of happiness and therefore
happiness cannot be obtained from them. The perception of
‘enjoying’ material objects is only a perception. This perception
rewards the soul with only misery and nothing else. Real happiness
comes from within, as it is the soul that possesses the quality of
Truth (Uttam Satya) : उत्तम सत्य
a) If talking is not required, then do not talk. If it is required
then only use the minimum of words, and all must all be absolutely
true. Talking disturbs the stillness of the mind. Consider the person
who lies and lives in fear of being exposed. To support one lie he has
to utter a hundred more. He becomes caught up in a tangled web of lies
and is seen as untrustworthy and unreliable. Lying leads to an influx
b) Satya comes from the word Sat, whose one of the meaning is
"existence". Existence is a quality of the soul. Recognising the
soul’s true nature as it really exists and taking shelter in the
soul is practising Nischay Satya Dharma.
Self-Restraint (Uttam Sanyam) : उत्तम
a) Temporary (Vyavahara nay) 1. Restraining from injury to life –
Jains go to great lengths, compared to other world religions, to
protect life. This encompasses all living beings, from one-sensed
onwards. The purpose of not eating root vegetables is that they
contain countless one-sensed beings termed ‘nigod’. During
Paryushan the Jains also do not eat green vegetables to reduce harm to
the lower sensed beings. 2. Self-restraint from desires or passions
– These lead to pain and are therefore to be avoided.
b) Permanent (nīshyānay) 1. Restraining injury to the self – This
has been elaborated upon in Nischay Kshma Dharma. 2. Self restraint
from desires or passions – Emotions, e.g. likes, dislikes or anger
lead to misery and need to be eradicated. They are not part of the
true nature of the soul and only arise when the soul is in a state of
false belief. The only method to free oneself from these is to
contemplate on the true nature of the soul and in the process commence
the journey to liberation or moksha.
Penance (Uttam Tap) : उत्तम तप
a) This does not only mean fasting but also includes a reduced diet,
restriction of certain types of foods, avoiding tasty foods, etc. The
purpose of penance is to keep desires and passions in control.
Over-indulgence inevitably leads to misery. Penance leads to an influx
of meritorious karmas.
b) Meditation prevents the rise of desires and passions in the soul.
In a deep state of meditation the desire to intake food does not
arise. The first Tirthankara,
Rishabha is said to have meditative in
such a state for six months, during which he observed Nischay Uttam
Renunciation (Uttam Tyaag) : उत्तम
a) Renouncing worldly possessions leads to a life of contentment and
assists in keeping desires in check. Controlling desires not only
leads to an influx of meritorious karma, but also absolving oneself
from bad karma. Renunciation is done at the highest level by Jain
ascetics who renounce not only the household but also their clothes. A
person’s strength is measured not by the amount of wealth he
accumulates but by the amount of wealth he renounces.
b) Renouncing the emotions, the root cause of misery, is supreme
renunciation, which is only possible by contemplating on the true
nature of the soul.
Non-attachment (Uttam Aakinchan) : उत्तम
a) This assists the person in detaching from external possessions.
Historically ten possessions are listed in
Jain scriptures: ‘land,
house, silver, gold, wealth, grain, female servants, male servants,
garments and utensils’. Being unattached from these, helps control
our desires and leads to an influx of meritorious karmas.
b) This assists us in being unattached from our internal attachments:
false belief, anger, pride, deceit, greed, laughter, liking,
disliking, lamentation, fear, disgust, sexual desires. Ridding the
soul of these leads to its purification.
Celibacy (Uttam Brahmacharya) : उत्तम
a) This means refraining from all pleasures associated with the sense
of touch, e.g. a cool breeze on a hot summer day or using a cushion
for a hard surface. The monks practice this to the highest degree with
all their body, speech and mind.
Brahmacharya is derived from the word Brahma – Soul and Charya
– to dwell. Nischay
Brahmacharya means to dwell in your soul. Only
by residing in the soul are you the master of the Universe. Residing
outside your soul makes you a slave to desires.
The date for the
Paryushana festival is
Bhadra shukla chaturthi. For
this minimum duration,
Paryushana must be initiated by panchami (the
fifth day) of the shukla paksha phase of Bhadra. The last day is
called Samvatsari, short for
Samvatsari Pratikramana. Because of
computational and other differences, there can be some minor
differences among various sects. It comes at the time when the
wandering monks take up temporary residence for the monsoon period or
"cāturmāsa" "four-month". Because at this time the monks have
settled in the town for a longer duration, it is time for the
householders to have an annual renewal of the faith by listening to
the statement of the Dharma and by meditation and vratas
Digambara Jains starting a 10-day period from Bhadra
shukla panchami, during which the dashalakshana vrata is undertaken.
Śvētāmbara celebrate an eight-day festival that ends with
Bhadrapada shukla chaturthi.
It is believed that the devas (heavenly beings) do an eight-part puja
(worship) of the tirthankaras, which takes eight days. Śvētāmbara
Jains celebrate this period as Paryushana.
In some Indian States, slaughter houses are kept close for 1–8 days
Paryushana festival. It is done in states like Rajasthan,
Gujarat, Maharashtra, that have large population of the Jain
community. On 14 March 2008,
The Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India held that
the ban on slaughter houses in Ahmedabad during Paryushan festival is
legal. The court noted:
In a multi cultural country like ours with such diversity, one should
not be over sensitive and over touchy about a short restriction when
it is being done out of respect for the sentiments of a particular
section of society. It has been stated above that the great Emperor
Akbar himself used to remain a vegetarian for a few days every week
out of respect for the vegetarian section of the Indian society and
out of respect for his Hindu wife. We too should have similar respect
for the sentiments for others, even if they are a minority sect. (para
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Paryushana.
God in Jainism
^ Dalal 2010, p. 164.
^ a b Katju, Justice Markandey (14 March 2008), Supreme Court
Judgement regarding Closure of Slaughter houses during Paryushan, The
Supreme Court of India
^ Roy, Christian (2005), Traditional festivals: a multicultural
encyclopedia, Volume 1, ABC-CLIO, p. 356,
^ a b Dhanpal
Jain (4 September 2008), "Paryushan Parva, festival of
forgiveness", The Times of India
^ Melton 2011, p. 673.
^ Cort 1995, p. 160.
Jain festival of Paryushan finds many admirers", The Times of
India, 1 September 2016
^ a b "Jains pray for peace, brotherhood", The Hindu, 13 September
^ a b Doniger 1999, p. 555.
^ Preeti Srivastav (31 August 2008). "Request for Forgiveness". The
Indian Express. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012.
Jain 2011, p. 128.
^ POKHAREL, KRISHNA (11 September 2015). "Why Mumbai Is Banning Meat
This Weekend". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
Doniger, Wendy, ed. (1999), Encyclopedia of World Religions,
Merriam-Webster, ISBN 0-87779-044-2
Jain, Vijay K. (2011), Acharya Umasvami's Tattvārthsūtra, Vikalp
Printers, ISBN 978-81-903639-2-1, Non-Copyright
Jain, Champat Rai (1917), Ratnakaranda Sravakachar of Acharya
Jaina (1992), Pratikraman
Nirvana Sagar (1986), Pratikramana-sutra
Vrata Tithi Nirnaya, Jata-Simha-Nandi
Paryushan Parva, 2016
Paryuṣaṇ on JAINpedia
Daśa-lakṣaṇa-parvan on JAINpedia
John E. Cort
Champat Rai Jain
Jeffery D. Long
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