Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Paryushan – The Maha Kumbh of Jain society

By Lalit Garg

Paryushan is one of the most celebrated festivals of the Jain society, celebrated every year in all the religions and traditions of Jainism for specific spiritual purposes like self-purification and mutual love. It is a celebration of the Universe not mere human beings. It is a great and excellent festival for the whole world, because in it, extensive efforts of self-purification and self-realization are done while worshiping the soul. Being selfish, a person becomes selfish and thinks about his mistakes and tries to rectify them, so that wherever we fall throughout the year, we should burn lightly and with new resolve, light the lamp of good faith. The origin of the soul is the union of soul with soul. This is the first festival in the world to be celebrated on the foundation of renunciation and tenacity, whose supernaturalism, spirituality and sharpness are not only effective but also miraculous. The usefulness and relevance of this festival is more in the Corona epidemic, because this festival not only makes the soul strong but also makes the body strong and disease free, it is a unique experiment to achieve disease resistance.

This is considered as the Maha Kumbh festival of the entire Jain society, it is a symbol of Jain unity. Jain people give it the utmost importance. The entire Jain society becomes awake and resourceful on the occasion of this festival. It is recognized in the Digambar tradition as “Daslakshan Parva”. Among them its initial day is Bhadrava Shukla Panchami and the day of prosperity is Chaturdashi. On the other hand, in the Shvetambara Jain tradition, the day of Bhadrava Shukla Panchami is the day of Samadhi. Which is celebrated in the form of Samvatsari with complete renunciation, fasting, plantation, self-study and self-control. Paryushan mahaparva is celebrated for 8 days in which one tries to calm down the anger and feeling of malice towards someone. It is a spiritual camp with the vision of upgrading life and moving on the path of virtue, in which the knots of the mind are opened, made holy, serene and hate-free. This festival is a unique example of the journey of spirituality, in which you find soul through another soul. As soon as this voice is revealed, the matter of seeing other than the soul ends. This announcement is indicative that there is a lot of essence in the soul, look at it and not through any medium, only through the soul. With this great objective, not only saints but also a large number of followers practice it.

In this materialistic environment, as the steps on this path of spiritual journey progress, the apprehensions and confusions tend to vanish. When we reach the last point you will find that no problem exists. Everything becomes clear. A unique environment is created and the significance of celebrating this festival comes out. Today, every man looks outside only when the inner journey starts from an instrument and a particle of the truth comes to the realization that the essence is all in, happiness is within, joy is within, ocean of joy is waving within, the vast sea of knowledge is leaping inside, the astral source of power is also within, immense bliss, immense power, immense happiness – all of it is within, then the soul becomes conscience. That is why this festival is a supernatural opportunity to interview oneself.

In the sacrificial culture of Jainism, Paryushan festival has its own unique spiritual significance. It is the solemn festival of self-immolation. Paryushan is an occasion for many types of rituals like chanting, penance, meditation, worship, redirection etc. In fact, Paryushan is a dawn which lifts the soul from sleep to its awakening state. From ignorant darkness it leads to enlightened light. So it is important to get rid of sleep and worship yourself in these eight days of special austerity, chanting, self-study and get absorbed in the inner soul, which will make our life meaningful and successful.

Paryushan festival literally means being in the soul. The word ‘Paryushan’ is formed by adding another prefix to the word ‘Paryushan’. One meaning of Paryushan is to destroy karma. Only the soul will be situated in its form when the enemies of karma will be destroyed, so this festival gives inspiration to the soul to reside in the soul. The central element of this spiritual festival is the “Atman”. Solitude and concentration are necessary to reveal the soul’s formless, astrological form, in which this festival plays an ego role. Spirituality means approximation of the soul. This festival is the festival of connecting human beings and modifying the human heart, it is a festival to open the windows of the mind, the skylights and doors. Concentration and solitude leads to a rich and supernatural experience by awakening spiritual curiosities. Far from this crowd, the first thing a person learns from the practice of this paryushan is �Unusual life.� This unique practice is a unique experiment of stress-relieving that gives the body a rest from itself and from its dreams. This is the surest way to know your aspirations and those priorities, which are buried in the routine of life. During this time, by giving some time for change, we can develop our personality and at the same time understand our inner nature, make it advanced and prosperous.

Lord Mahavira lived a life of forgiveness. No matter what the situation may be, he remained the same under all circumstances. Only great people can forgive and give. Paryushan is a festival of exchange of forgiveness. On this day, everyone settles the entangled glands of his mind, opens his inner knots and embraces each other. They forgive past mistakes through forgiveness and makes life pure. The conclusion of Paryushan Mahaparva is held as Friendship Day, which is also known as Apology Day. In this way, Paryushan Mahaparva and Apology Day – this is a festival to bring each other in close proximity. It is a festival to understand each other as yourself. Lord Mahavira said – “I am the friend of the earth, I am my friendship with all beings, there is no hatred with anyone.” Elements of human unity, peaceful co-existence, friendship, socialism without exploitation, establishment of moral values, non-violent life, support of soul worship style etc. are the main foundation of this festival. With the view that these elements can become a part of people’s life, efforts are expected to make this Maha Parva a people’s festival.

Paryushan is a festival of self-advancement, non-violence, peace and friendship. Peace can be attained only through non-violence and friendship. The burning problems like violence, terror, malice, Naxalism, corruption,even in times of Corona today remain a major cause of concern not only for the country but for the world and everyone wants a solution to these problems. For those people, the festival of Paryushan is an inspiration, a path, a guide, and the application of non-violent-healthy-peaceful lifestyle. Today, in the dilemma of materiality, it is more important to maintain the relevance of this festival in the blind race of life. For this, the Jain society, especially the younger generation is familiar with the value of the festival of Paryushan and they are benefited from these rare moments of awakening self-consciousness through time, silence, chanting, meditation, self-study, dietary restraint, sense grace, livelihood etc. and present a model of Spiritual awareness to the world. 

(Lalit Garg is a Journalist, columnist, writer and member of Rajbhasha samiti, Ministry of Home Affairs. He can be reached at [email protected])

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