Paryushan is an eight/ten days long festival celebrated by Jain community and the day it ends, the eighth or the tenth day is known as Samvatsari parva. The day is considered to be the most auspicious one.
Jains observe a whole day fast on this day without water. They spend their day in meditation and chanting hymns and prayers. People get collected at places, form groups and bow in front of everyone to seek forgiveness. They utter a phrase called Micchami Dukkadam and ask for apologies from each other and from all the creatures.
After performing the ritual, people visit each other’s friends and family. They make sure not to quarrel or argue with anyone. They show love and affection and gifts are also exchanged. Long distance calls are made to the outstation friends in order to say sorry. They try not to commit the same mistakes again. Thus the day is rightly called as the festival of forgiveness.
Jain community believes that no human is perfect. Knowingly or unknowingly everyone does mistakes. They may cause harm to each other or to other living beings through their actions or words. That is why, no one should hesitate before asking for forgiveness. It takes courage to sense one’s own mistakes and make amends to rectify them.
Similarly, the person who forgives is seen with respect as it is not easy to let go. It takes tolerance and patience to be friends again with someone who hurt you in past. Therefore forgive and forget is the philosophy that is followed on this day.
The Power of Forgiveness
Jains believe that forgiveness is a tool to eliminate negative forces and influences. Only with the act of forgiveness or kindness a desolate and lost soul can be brought back on the right track. A person who forgives is strong willed but one who judges and harbor the negativity is weak. The one who doesn’t pardons is himself unpardonable. With forgiveness, comes joy, peace and benevolence and one needs to find such emotions in his heart as being cruel and adamant should not be part of a human life.