Paryushana is the most important annual holy events for Jains and is usually celebrated in August or September in Hindi calendar Bhadrapad Month's Shukla Paksha. It lasts 8 days for Swetambara and 10 days for Digambara sect of Jains
Paryushan Parva is celebrated every year by members of the Jain community for spiritual upliftment and self-purification. This festival is the most sacred festival of their entire year
Purpose and Significance of Paryushan
The real purpose and true significance of this festival are to repent and seek forgiveness for any kind of sins committed. As they observe the fast, they forget the bodily needs and focus more on enriching the mind and soul. They atone for their sins and take vows to not do any kind of wrong in the future. Fasting helps in purifying the mind and body and the festival provides an opportunity to reflect and introspect.
When is Paryushan Celebrated?
Paryushan festival takes place in the rainy season when it is difficult for Jain nuns and monks to step outside barefoot. Chaturmas is a holy period of four months during the rainy season. Wandering monks take up temporary residence at one place for these four months and Paryushan is the most important part of Chaturmas.
Important aspects of Paryushan
Fasting might sound difficult and people might wonder how one can manage without food, but for Jains fasting during this period is a spiritual journey which connects oneself to the soul. Fasting during Paryushan is a chance to eliminate bad karma. It helps one develop discipline, self-control, and patience. Forgiveness and repentance are important aspects of Paryushan.
Celebration of Paryushan festival
Jains visit the mutts and participate in the festivities with zeal and enthusiasm. They attend religious and spiritual discourses where the greatness and glories of Lord Mahavir and other Tirthankars are narrated. They listen carefully when the spiritual preceptors read out from the Kalpasutra which is the most sacred scripture of the Jains. The teachings of Lord Mahavir and other Tirthankars are explained and the meaning of the scriptures is recited. They are overcome with emotion and devotion as they listen whole-heartedly to the scriptures being read out. They observe strict fasting completely avoiding food, with some of them not drinking water also.