JVB Houston - Paryushan Mahaparva : A Festival of Non-Violence

Published: 20.08.2007
Updated: 15.02.2008
Akshay Pragya
Vinay Pragya

Paryushan Parva is a spiritual festival, which revolves around Non-Violence. As Lord Ma­havir said ‘life is dear to all’, Non-Violence is the key princi­ple of Jainism. Lord Mahavir gave a new meaning to Non-­Violence - it not only m e a n s to not kill but also to not hurt any being by thinking, speech or deed. Paryushan Mahaparva, which is celebrated for eight days, sends the message of Non-Violent life-style.

Paryushan is composed of pre­fix ‘pari’ and the word ‘vasan’; that means ‘to stay within’ or ‘to stay around the conscious­ness’. It is purely concerned with our consciousness and in­ner awareness. And this is the time to awaken and emanate our inner power, which is dormant, inactive and hidden within us.

The objectives to celebrate this festival are:

  • To calm down the passions like anger, ego etc.
  • To contract and control the sense organs.
  • To shift the consciousness from the unwanted acts and attitude.
  • To audit our past deeds
  • To make positive resolution
  • To enhance humanity by expanding amity.
  • To develop a Non-Violent personality.

This festival teaches us to de­velop ‘high thinking and simple living’. It is not materially ori­ented. It says to moderate the eating, outer trip, and consump­tion. We should try to under­stand the difference between our Needs and Wants.

A Need can be fulfilled, but Want can never be. This festival teaches us to control our Wants. To control the desires, inner purity and strength is required. One can increase the inner strength by chanting mantra, observing penance, practicing meditation, and spending time spiritually.

This festival increases awareness in our daily activity like minimizing the use of water, not hurting any living being e.g. bugs, to be friendly, and to respect others views etc.

How to Celebrate Paryushan?

  • Practice ‘Samayika’ i.e. equanimity.
  • Control food intake (vegetarian diet only; avoid spicy food and drinks)
  • Read spiritual books (minimum 15 min.)
  • Speak little and use loving words (observe one hour silence)
  • Meditate for minimum 20 minutes
  • Control your anger
  • Think positive
  • Observe celibacy
  • No food in night
  • No party
  • Respect others
  • Send everyday the vibration of friendliness to all living being

By following such life style one can have a peaceful and happy life. Paryushan purifies our emotions and thereby consciousness. It is an opportunity to fill the lacking qualities in our life. It is the time to see ourselves. It is the time to give a new shape to ourselves.

In a nutshell, we can say that Paryushan Parva is to welcome the forgiveness, compassion and appreciation, and to farewell the hostility, ego and rudeness.

In September Paryushan Parva is coming. Don’t get afraid of it, celebrate it with full enthusiasm and light the lamp of love.

JVB Houston

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