An Introduction To Jainism ► [33] Festivals (Parvas)

Posted: 01.01.2009

In Indian culture, various festivals play a very significant role in the life of people. Indian people give great importance to these festivals, and celebrate them with great enthusiasm.

Festivals fall into three types:

  1. Social festivals: Holi, Diwali, Rākhī etc..
  2. National festivals: Republic Day, Independence Day, Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti etc.
  3. Spiritual festivals: Paryuṣaṇa, Dasa Lakṣaṇa etc..

The Paryuṣaṇa Parva in the Śvetāmbaras and the Dasalakṣaṇa Parva in the Digambaras are the most important Parvas of the Jain Samaj. They are the symbol of spiritual awakening. The Paryuṣaṇa Parva lasts for 8 days, while the Dasalakṣaṇa Parva for 10 days.

These festivals inspire a person to introspect the past, to purify the present & not to indulge in the transgression of the accepted vows in future.

Samvatsarī is the auspicious day of this festival. The main activity of this day is evening Pratikramaṇa. Every person apologizes for his shortcomings on this day by asking all beings to forgive him for his follies and by giving foregiveness to all beings with pure heart. It is a unique festival of Kṣamā (forgiveness).


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