Every year in the months of August or September, (depending on the Jain Panchang; Calendar) the festival of Paryushan is celebrated by Jains all over the world. This year the festival s being celebrated from the 6th of September 2018 – 13th of September 2018. Belonging to quite a devout Jain family, this 8 day festival holds immense significance for everyone at home. From visiting the beautifully decorated Dearsar (Jain Temple) or Upashray to following a strict, saatvik diet, Paryushan is one of the holiest of festivals.

Teachings of Tirthankaras form the base of all activities during Paryushan. It is required to ardently persevere the teachings of Ahimsa – (Non-violence), Kshamapana – (Forgiveness) and (Vairagya) – (Detachment)

Jain Mandir - Parasnath Idol

108 Parasnath Mandir at Shikharji

A usual day of Paryushan comprises of the following activities –

1. Samayik – Everyone, I remember is expected to wake up early during these days and the first activity is Samayik – 48 minutes of meditation to detach from worldly bonds and to connect with ourselves.

2. PujaAfter Samayik, Upashaks (devotees) visit the Derasar or Upashray to conduct Puja of Tirthankara. In pure, unused attires, everyone in the family conducts the Puja with kesar and sandalwood.

IMG_20180907_095444_HDR.jpg

3. Pravachan – Daily sermons are organized in the morning hours. Jain saints (Maharajsaheb) address the devotees and guide them about the spiritual path.

4. Chovihar – As per a ritual, during Paryushan, everyone eats dinner before sunset and consumes nothing after that. As per Scientific research and Jainism, the air is filled with more micro-organisms in the evening as compared to the time before sunset. And what’s more this particualr ritual also ensures good digestive system!

5. Pratikraman – At the end of the day, Pratikramana is performed. It is a form of a prayer service wherein, the devotees seek for forgiveness from every organism and repents the wrong-doings of the day. It is a practice that lightens the mind and fosters peace and kindness.

6. Bhakti Bhavna – The day ends with a beautiful bhakti karyakram (devotional musical program) at the Derasar or Upashray. Everyone expresses their devotion by way of bhajans (religious songs) and then ends the evening with Aarti and Mangal Deevo.

Apart from the above, you may have often heard about Jains not consuming Potatoes, Onions, Garlic and other such root vegetables – let me try and shed some light on the reason behind this –

Jainism Beliefs & Philosophy

Jains believe in following Ahimsa to an extent where they refrain from hurting even the minutest of living beings and consider every organism; whether an ant or a human as equal. No organism, as per Jainism deserves to be the recipient of disrespect from one another.
There is yet another custom that quite of irks the curiosity of many of my Non-Jain friends and colleagues and I’ve often got this question – Why do Jain saints cover their mouths with a white cloth?

Jain Religion Trivia

There is more to this festival and I don’t think one post will be enough to talk about all the enlightening aspects. If you take a keen interest in knowing about mythological stories and about popular Jain devotional songs and rituals – do stay tuned for Part 2 🙂
Jai Jinendra

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Posted by Isha

I love to daydream, design, sing and read about perfect vacations! Writing is my way to escape into my make-belief world and re-think about life's various incidents. You can often find me lost in my own thoughts, absent-mindedly also staring at someone in the process! :p When not thinking too hard, I play board games with my mom and chat and hang out with my friends. Let's know each other better by the way of words. :)

46 Comments

  1. That’s a great primer on Jainism, Isha. The dates you mentioned varies. Digamber follows different dates usually a little later. Even among Shwetambers, various sects used to follow different dates. There have been talks of aligning it at least among Shwetambers.

    Reply

    1. Thank you! Yes, the dates depend on te various calendars that each sect follows. The dates mentioned here are only for this year. However, I really feel that all sects should celebrate together. It would be so nice.

      Reply

      1. Absolutely. The difference is in ideology only. The time has come that community should stand together, Isha. Right?

      2. Yes! We follow the same tirthankar, the same Aagams – then why Shwetambar Digambar and so on. We’re all Jains!

  2. Wonderful article and covers all details beautifully. However, the dates this year are 6th to 13th September and not fro 7th. Your article covers only 7 days and not 8.
    Eagerly waiting for the second part

    Reply

    1. Oh yes…Thanks for noticing and letting me know! Will edit. 🙂

      Reply

  3. wonderful article #Viddhreads #MyfriendAlexa

    Reply

    1. Thank you Vidhya 😊

      Reply

  4. Good you shared all this. Now I can understand more about my Jain friends.

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    1. I’m so happy to read this! 😊 Have you also been amazed by the strict principles that Jains often follow?

      Reply

  5. Interesting and informative 🙂

    Reply

    1. Thank you Agnivo! 😊

      Reply

  6. I grew up with a lot of Jain friends, so knew what Paryushan is. Glad you wrote this detailed and informative post though, it will help others understand it better.

    Reply

    1. Thank you Mayuri! 😊 I intend to journal this to spread awareness. 😊

      Reply

  7. A detailed post. Would like to know about last day too. It felt like a festival for spiritual detox and cleansing.

    Reply

  8. Really I didnt know this much, thanks for the info looking forward to more 🙂

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    1. Hi Pranoti, thanks for stopping by to read the blog! 😊 I’m hoping to post the 2nd part soon.

      Reply

  9. That’s a wonderful detailed post. Great to know about it. Jai Jinendra 🙂

    Reply

    1. Jai Jinendra Rashi. Glad you liked it. 😊

      Reply

  10. Paryushan represents an opportunity for seekers to accelerate their spiritual progress. It is a chance to ask for forgiveness for ones fault and thereby attain purity.

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    1. Indeed it is! 😊 It is an opportunity to connect with the inner self.

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  11. Beautiful architecture and some of great information to read

    #poseinstylereads #myfriendalexa

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    1. Thank you Pooja! 😊 I’m so glad that you liked it!

      Reply

  12. Hi. I am also a jain and follow paryushan parva to the core..loved to read your article which is close to my beliefs.

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  13. I seriously admire Jainism for its belief systems. It’s one of the very few religions that gives it’s followers the right to decide about the time they leave for the humble abode. That’s supreme form of freedom, in my opinion. Hinduism doesn’t give that kind of freedom or has a day/week/month dedicated to forgiveness. I quite like your choice of subject. #surreads #myfriendalexa #blogchatter

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  14. being terapanthi jain i can understand everything and glad that u wrote this on blog

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  15. I believe in the principles of ahimsa too but I think practicing is difficult. Thank you for introducing us to Jainisms principles and this festival’s. A good read

    Namratha from #firstgreenstep #MyFriendAlexa

    Reply

    1. Hi Namratha,

      That’s true…isn’t easy at all…but I quite like the beliefs. 😊 Glad you liked to read about the principles.

      Reply

  16. Dr. Surbhi Prapanna September 27, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Great post. I belong to a place ( Rajgarh) that has wide jain community, so I know all these principles since childhood. your post has made me nostalgic. these principles are so great. #surbhireads #Myfriendlaexa

    Reply

    1. Wow! I wasn’t expecting someone from Rajgiri to read this post! So glad to see this and you know what, the mention of Rajgiri brings back so many memories, the horse driven carts, the cave and more… Nostalgia is the common factor between us. 😊

      Reply

  17. Good information about Paryushan . I am Vegetarian by choice and still don’t expect others to be the same. #MyFriendAlexa #SujatawdeReads

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    1. Thank you Sujata! Means a lot. Secularism and tolerance are such noble virtues to have! 😊

      Reply

  18. What an introduction to Jainism. Thanks for enlightening us.

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    1. Hi, just a small attempt to bust some common myths that I’ve seen people beleving. I’m glad to know that you enjoyed reading this 😊

      Reply

  19. I am a Jain.. And I admire how u have showcased our religion substance through this blog.. People have a lot of myths about we not eating potatoes etc.. And you have shared the information with some lovely insights

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    1. Indeed…it’s quite often disheartening to witness the myths that people believe. I’m hoping this post will help to spread some awareness 😊 I’m going to check out your blog…have any Jain recipes to share? 😉

      Reply

  20. Thanks for throwing light on some of the Jain beliefs and practices. I admire the principle of ahimsa followed by the followers of Jainism.

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    1. Thank you Vandana. 😊 I had often thouhht how tough some of the principles were but only when I delved deeper into them did I realize how meaningful they are. Still have so much to learn.

      Reply

  21. OMG!! This is such a wonderful post. Thank you that you have written so beautifully and in detail. Jainism has its core strength as a religion.AWESOME!!!!!

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  22. I also have many Jain friends and quite familiar with Paryushan, it was a lovely read. Jai jinendra #DelhibloggerReads #MyFriendAlexa

    Reply

  23. I love these festivals and the logic behind them. Thank you for sharing this information

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    1. It’s my pleasure Anchal! 😊

      Reply

  24. I’m glad I learned about this. I didn’t know anything so far but will definitely keep up next year. The 48 minute meditation is my favorite.

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    1. Hi, it feels good to know that the blog helped you learn about this festival. Keep up as in? Didn’t understand that…are you a Jain?

      Reply

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