India is a secular country, and every religion celebrates its own set of festivals every year. Every festival gives us an insight into the culture and the uniqueness of the religion.
What is Paryushan?
Paryushan is the most significant festival celebrated by the Jains. It means uniting and coming together. It lasts for ten days, during which the Jains observe fast and spend the time in devotion and meditation. It is followed by the Jains belonging to the Digambar Sect for ten days and eight days, by the Jains belonging to the Svetambara sect. The festival does not have any particular rules and regulations, and the followers celebrate it as per their convenience and capabilities. The Digambar Sect also call it Das Lakshana.
History of Paryushan
According to Jain mythology, Paryushan is being celebrated since two thousand years. The origins of the festival are basically agriculture-related. People used to live in villages, and the roads would get blocked or waterlogged, during which travel and transportation would become difficult. Also, the transportation would result in the killing of small organisms or insects, which is very much against the principles of religion. This is why the people used to stay in the village until the monsoon ended, in order to avoid transportation. During this time, people would spend their time in prayers and devotion and have time to focus on Dharma. This is also known as Chaturmasa because the rainy season lasts for four months. It is believed that Lord Mahavira observed this festival during Shukla Panchami.
Significance of Paryushan
Paryushan, also called Parv Dhiraj (because it is the king of all festivals for the Jains), is based on three principles: right knowledge, right conduct and right faith. Following these principles would help one to obtain Nirvana. It is a time when people analyze themselves, rectify their sins, and ask God for forgiveness. It acts as a reminder that one should focus on attaining Moksha and not on materialistic things. People also observe fasting, which enables them to practice self-control and get rid of worldly temptations. It encourages some of the most important things in life, like:
- Ahimsa or non-violence
- Practising self-discipline or Sanyam
- Observing fasting and practising meditation and penance or Tapah
- Knowledge and studying scriptures or Swadhyaya
- Deep Analyzation or Pratikraman
- Remorse or Prayaschitya
This festival allows us to worship and dedicate ourselves to devotion and follow the principles laid down by the Tirthankaras.
Paryushan 2022 Date
When is Paryushan 2022?
Paryushan for the year 2022 will be held from 24/08/2022 to 31/08/2022.
Paryushan dates for the years 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, and 2026
|2022||24/08/2022 to 31/08/2022||Paryushan|
|2023||12/09/2023 to 19/09/2023||Paryushan|
|2024||31/08/2024 to 07/09/2024||Paryushan|
|2025||20/08/2025 to 27/08/2025||Paryushan|
|2026||07/09/2026 to 14/09/2026||Paryushan|
How Is Paryushan Celebrated?
During Paryushan, Jains observe fast and focus on Ahimsa, honesty and purity of the mind and soul. People fast and eat only once or twice a day, and drinking boiled water. Food devoid of onions and garlic is consumed by those who do not observe the fasting. People observe intense spiritualism, avoid every materialistic pleasure of life, and lead a life similar to monastricism.
On the first of Paryushan Mahaparva, people try to denounce or clear their minds of worldly pleasures and materialistic things. On the second day, people worship and donate their resources. The third day includes meditation and penance. On the fourth day, people worship Goddess Laxmi and ask for her blessings. The fifth day is celebrated to mark the birthday of Lord Mahavira, and on the sixth and seventh days, they practice tolerance. The eighth day is spent on asking for forgiveness from all the sins and greed.
It is compulsory for the Svetambara Sect to scripture from The Kalpa Sutra, which tells the story of the fourteen dreams that Lord Mahavira’s mother had before his birth. It also states the rules and principles of Paryushan and also the story of the lives of the other Tirthankaras.
The book containing all the scriptures is taken out on a procession, water is sprinkled on its path, which purifies everything coming in contact with it. The Jains take the day off from work and celebrate this festival with devotion and dedication.
On this day, people repent all their sins from the bottom of their hearts and ask for forgiveness. Penance is also observed, which was originally started by Lord Rishabh. It is said that during meditation, every negativity and toxicity is washed away from the body. Rest is an important part of this festival because a lot of energy is required to detoxify and cleanse the body. Resting helps in getting rid of diseases and other ailments and helps in increasing the strength of the body. It also helps in rejuvenation from the daily stress and hard work and balances the hormones in the body.
People stress on the following during Paryushan:
- The well-being of the fellow Jains or Sadharmik Vatsalya- This means treating other Jains and every other living creature with kindness and affection. One should try their best to help the poor and needy and care for the sick. One should make sure to remove every cause of unhappiness from others’ life.
- Ahimsa or Amari Pravartan- This means that one should not practice violence in any form, whether in words or in actions.
- Observing fast for three days or Atthama Tapa- This means to observe fasting for three days which also depicts the three principles of Jainism- right knowledge, right conduct and right faith.
- Visiting Temples or Chaitya Paripati- This means a pilgrimage to places of devotion, like temples. People go to temples and light up incense sticks, offer prayers and seek blessings.
- Asking for forgiveness or Kshamapana- This means asking for forgiveness from all the greed, sins and suffering of other people because of us. One should also pray for others’ forgiveness who might have hurt others.
Jains all over India, as well as globally, in foreign countries observe this festival.
When Is Paryushan Celebrated?
Paryushan is generally celebrated during the Shukla Paksha in Bhadrapada Month. ( August and September). It will be celebrated from August 23rd to August 31st in 2022.
Interesting Facts About Paryushan
- Paryushan is the most important festival for the Jains.
- Paryushan means gathering or uniting, or coming together.
- It is also known as Parv Dhiraj because it is the king of festivals for the Jains.
- It is celebrated by both the Digambar and the Svetambara sect of Jainism.
- It is referred to as the Great Festival or the Maha Parv Paryushan.
- It is celebrated for ten days by the Digambar sect, and for eight days by the Svetambara Sect.
- According to Jainism, Paryushan should be started at the beginning of the rainy season.
- Paryushan stresses on controlling greed, anger, temptations and every negative energy in the body.
- It is celebrated by a large number of people who gather together under the guidance of the Jain Gurus.
- Some devotees read out scriptures and text by the saints and even organize a procession in the streets.
- Paryushan gives the time to the devotees to think and analyze themselves, ask for forgiveness and take measures to lead a happy life, free of sins.
Paryushan is a unique festival that allows us to reflect on ourselves and rectify our sins or mistakes. We should take this opportunity to promise to discard every negativity in our lives and lead a happy and contented life.