It was a humid September afternoon. September is the month of various religious festivals like Ramadan, Ganesh Chaturthy and Jain Paryushan parva etc. but in spite of this, an uneasy calm prevailed in the atmosphere. My car was passing through the busy street and my hands carefully moving on the wheels ,I was also listening to the radio news ,a news reader with concerned voice was giving a sad account of a hostage drama where terrorists took hostage of a mother and her three kids My heart went for poor mother and her innocent kids. . It saddened me more. Nowadays everybody talks about earth being a global village but are we getting devoid of sentiments of non-violence, compassion and peaceful co -existence?.They are totally forgotten in this global village. Where are we heading for?. Suddenly I heard the sound of temple bells and devotional songs .Amidst that sound and chanting of Namo kar mantra, I saw images of some serene looking jain monks slowly descending from temple steps followed by the stream of devotees. I got down from the car ,bowed before revered monks and whispered Namostu! I was told that Muni maharaj jee were going for pravachans( Sermons) Yes, this is the period of auspicious paryushan parv – A jain festival of self upliftment ,self purification and forgiveness I prayed to god- give those terrorists “sadbudhee” and free those poor souls from their clutches . And gradually pious aura of monks overshadowed those thoughts of sadness and despair ,with a ray of hope positive thinking took the front seat as if a message has been delivered from the protector almighty- Don’t worry- Be good and do good karmas and everything will be ofine Like all other religions of the world, Jainism very strongly propagates principles of non-violence, peace, love, compassion and peaceful coexistence it would be more appropriate to say that these tenets are the basis or the mool mantra of Jainism. It preaches that we should not harm not only humans but any living being by our thoughts and words let alone by our deeds.( Man – Wachan – Kaya )
The word Paryushan is derived from par-means- all kinds, and ushan-means-,to burn hence to burn or shed all types of karmas, Jains celebrate these holy days by practicing renunciation, austerities, donation, meditation and scripture reading. In nutshell it is a holy festival of self introspection self enlightenment with a ultimate desire for salvation or moksha.
The real purpose of the Paryushan is to purify our soul by staying closer to our own soul from all ten directions and to stay absorbed in our own-self (soul), to look at our own faults, to ask for forgiveness for the mistakes we have committed, and take vows to minimize our faults. At least for these ten days We try to minimize our worldly comforts,needs of our body (like food) and our business so that we can concentrate on our-self and try to move toward self upliftment
These ten days one by one is dedicated to ten best characteristics of the soul called Ten universal virtues ( 10 components of the dharma): Uttam Ksham (noble forgiveness), Uttam Mrdav (Humility or gentleness), Uttam arjav (straightforwardness or uprightness), Uttam Shauch (content – absence of greed or purity), Uttam Satya (truth), Uttam Sanyam (restraint of all senses), Uttam Tapa (austerities), Uttam Tyga (renunciation,charity), Uttam akinchan (non-possessiveness or lack of possession ) and Uttam Brahmacharya (celibacy or chastity) .From these ten virtues first three i.e uttam kshama ,uttam mardav and uttam arjav are calledemotions and sentiments. Next five i.e uttam satya,uttam shauch, uttam sanyam, uttam tap and uttam tyaag are called solutions and remedies for these emotions and last two virtues i.e uttam aakinchan and uttam brahmacharya are called essence of ten supreme virtues
The ten day celebration starts from uttam Ksham (noble forgiveness),by asking forgiveness from all living begins including human beings.animals,birds,insects even from plants for any mistake committed by own self , knowingly or unknowingly, with the unity of the mind, speech body (man, vachan ,kaya) It also include bestowing forgiveness to all living beings for their deeds.
Happy paryushan parva & may god be with you always
There is no god higher than truth. ~Mahatma Gandhi.
On the fourth day of paryushan parva Uttam Satya Day or the day of truthfulness we dedicate this day to the invincible force of truth .Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of satyagrah has once said I have nothing new to teach the world .Truth and Non -Violence are as old as the hills. All I have done is to try experiments in both on as vast scale as I could. And truly With the power of satyagrah, not only he overthrew the almighty British empire but he described his entire life as experiments with truth . Mahatma installed power of non violence and truthfulness i.e. the basic principles of Jain doctrine and this force made a frail, half clad man Father of our nation. The philosophy of Jainism specially, doctrine of non violence- Ahimsa and satyagrah – truthfullness had a significant influence on mahatma, as we all know that mahatma put these principles in practice in his fight for India’s freedom.
Satya literally means Sat, which means existence. Existence is a quality of the soul. Recognizing the soul’s true nature as it really exists and taking shelter in the soul is practicing Nischay Satya Dharma .As elderly has said- absence of truth or Lying leads to an influx of paap karma. If talking is not required, then one must not talk but If it is really required then only use the minimum of words, and all must be absolutely true. One should always observe restrained in speech or vaanee and always follow the path of truth, so said the learned persons.
In the Indian philosophy truth also means the concept of ever pure and ever free soul it flows naturally into the practice of non hurting any one’s sentiments Practice of truthfulness means truthfulness not only in words but also in thoughts and deeds and it purifies us. Truthfulness of heart begets of course, a state of the sensibility which we call the love of truth. It is a feeling of spontaneity, arises in the sensibilities of one whose heart is truthful in contemplating truth this feeling is not virtue. It is rather a part of the reward of truthfulness of heart. And practice of truthfulness in daily life definitely makes our life simple, tension free and contended.
HUMILITY IS SIGN OF STRENGTH, CONFIDENCE AND COURAGE
IT IS NOT ME BUT GOD ,JUST SAY THANK YOU TO GOD- although these words on telephone were uttered three years ago, but an expression filled with utmost humility ,still echoes in my mind. Theses words came from a person who was quite high on social ladder , I requested him to help a friend for a genuine task, that seemed quite impossible at that time but that gentleman’s words did the wonder and made that task possible. When I thanked that gentleman he absolutely ,was not willing to take the credit himself but owed it to God . The way he disowned the credit, it forced me to think about real hunmility. On the second day of Paryushan Parv i.e. Mardav divas or humility day that gentleman became synonymous for humility for me . When a humble person does something that is good or praiseworthy he does not want to take credit for goodness but owes it to god, he very truthfully acknowledge the fact that what he did came from god and that was possible only because god wanted it to be and the humble person that he is, he is willing to admit it or we can put in this way- Humility is nothing but truth, and pride is nothing but lying and as they say very truly God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble
Arrogance diminishes wisdom– Today we are celebrating Uttam Mardav divas. Mardav-means Tenderness or Humility (To observe the virtue of humility subduing vanity and passions.) It refers to the complete absence of self-conceit. Such self-conceit or pride may be due to one’s own superior caste, one’s family prestige, one’s own bodily beauty, learning, wealth, courage and bodily strength. Due to these various reasons, a person may entertain the feeling of self-importance and arrogance whenever a man with such arrogance is insulted by other persons, he may lose his temper and start abusing with disrespectful words or conduct. Even an ascetic may get offended and lose his control of mind in such circumstances. But he will become a victim of pride and self-conceit. Total avoidance of this feeling of pride is called Mardav or humility.