paryushan-parva

In News: The Paryushan festival for Jains was celebrated from August 26 - September 2 in 2019.

About the festival:

  • Paryushana is the most important annual holy event for Jains.
  • All Jains perform Atthai Tap – fasting for eight days at a time.
  • During these days, Jain monks read out the Kalpasutra, the most sacred scripture of the Jains.

Kalpasutra

  • Kalpasutra is a Jain ancient text containing the biographies of the last two Jain Tirthankaras, Parshvanath and Mahavira.
  • It contains detailed life histories with illustrations. Adinath (or RishabhDev) and Neminath are two other Tirthankaras briefly mentioned in the text, with Adinath depicted in some of the illustrations.
  • The book is considered to be written by Bhadrabahu I, and it is considered written about 150 years after Nirvana of Mahavira. 
  •  The five main vows are emphasized during this time which are
    • Ahimsa-non-violence;
    • Satya- truth;
    • Asteya- non-stealing;
    • Brahmacharya-chastity; and
    • Aparigraha- non-possession
  • The main aim of Paryushan is to purify the soul and achieve self-uplift.
  • Normally, Digambaras refer to it as Das Lakshana Dharma while Svetambaras refer to it as Paryushana (“abiding” or “coming together”).
  • The duration of Paryushana is for 8-10 days. 
  • The festival ends with the celebration of Kshamavani (forgiveness day). Forgiveness is asked by saying Micchami Dukkadam or Uttam Kshama to each other.
    • ‘Micchami’ means to be fruitless (forgiven) and ‘Dukkadam’ means bad deeds.

About Jainism

  • Jainism is non-theistic. It does not acknowledge the existence of a supreme god.
  • According to Jainism, there are nine truths (Nav-tattva). They are Soul (Jiva), matter (Ajiva), merit (Punya), demerit or sin (Papa), influx of karma (Asrava), Stoppage of Karmic matter (Samvara), Bondage (Bandha), shredding of karmic matter (nirjara) and Liberation (Moksha).
  • Jains trace their spiritual ideas and history through a succession of twenty-four teachers known as tirthankaras.
  • The first is Rishabhanatha,the twenty-third is Parshvanatha in 900 BCE, and twenty-fourth being the Mahavira around 500 BCE.
  • Jainism has two major ancient sub-traditions, Digambaras and Svetambaras.
  • Philosophy: Jains believe that good karma leads to better circumstances in the next life, and bad karma to worse. No karma can help a person achieve liberation from rebirth.

Division in Jainism:

  • Jain order has been divided into two major sects: Digambara and Svetambara. 
  • The division occurred particularly due to famine in Magadha which compelled a group led by Bhadrabahu to move South India.
  • During the 12 years famine, the group in South India stuck to the strict practices while the group in Magadha adopted a more lax attitude and started wearing white clothes.
  • When the Southern group came back to Magadha after the famine got over, the changed practices led to the division of Jainism into two sects.
 
 

Digambara

Svetambara

Clothing

Male monks do not wear clothes while female monks wear unstitched plain white sarees.

Monks wear white clothes.


 

Vows

They Follow all five vows (Satya, Ahimsa, Asteya, Aparigraha and Brahmacharya)

Follow only 4 vows (except brahmacharya).

Women Liberation

Believe women cannot achieve liberation.

Believe women can achieve liberation.

Main Exponent

Bhadrabahu

Sthulabhadra

Sub Sects

Mula Sangh

Bisapantha

Taranpantha or Samaiyapantha

Murtipujak

Sthanakvasi

Terapanthi