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Paryushan Parva
Also calledParyushan Parva
Observed byJains
Observancesfasting, going to the Jain Temple
DateAugust or September
Related toSamvatsari (Shwtemabar)

Paryushana is an annual holy event for Jains and is usually celebrated in August or September in Hindi calendar (Indian calendar) Bhadrapad Month's Shukla Paksha.[1] Jains increase their level of spiritual intensity often using fasting and prayer/meditation to help.[2][3] The five main vows are emphasized during this time.[citation needed] There are no set rules, and followers are encouraged to practice according to their ability and desires. The event lasts for 8 days, and ends with the celebration of Samvatsari (forgiveness day).


Paryushana means "abiding and coming together". It is a time when the Jains take on vows of study and fasting.[4]


The Digambara Jains recite the ten chapters of the Jain text, Tattvartha Sutra on ten days of Das Lakshan Parva. The sixth day of the festival is celebrated as Sugandh Dashami by the Digambar Community. Digambaras celebrate Ananta Chaturdashi on which a special worship is done. Many towns have a procession leading to the main Jain temple. Ananta Chaturdashi marks the day when Lord Vasupujya, the 12th Jain Tirthankar, attained Moksha (nirvana).[citation needed]

At the conclusion of the festival, followers request forgiveness from others for any offenses committed during the last year. Forgiveness is asked by saying Micchami Dukkadam or Uttam Kshama to others, which means, "If I have offended you in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word or action, then I seek your forgiveness."

During the eight-day festival, the Śvētāmbara Murtipujakas recite the Kalpa Sūtra, which includes a recitation of the section on the birth of Mahavira on the fifth day. Some Śvētāmbara Sthānakavāsīs recite the Antagada Sutra, which details the life of 90 great men and women who attained moksha during the eras of the 22nd Tirthankar Neminatha and 24th Tirthankar Mahavira.[3]


During Paryushana, Jains observe a fast. The span of the fast can last from a day to 30 days or even more. In both Digambara and Śvētāmbara, śrāvakas (laypersons) do a fast by having only boiled water which can be consumed between sunrise and sunset. [5]

Requesting forgiveness[edit]

At the conclusion of the festival, śrāvakas request each other for forgiveness for all offenses committed during the last year.[6][5] This occurs on the Paryusha day for Śvētāmbaras and on the Prathama (first day) of the month of Ashvin Krashna for Digambaras. Forgiveness is asked by saying Micchami Dukkadam or Uttam Kshama to each other. It means "If I have caused you offence in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought word or deed, then I seek your forgiveness".[7]


The date for the Paryushana festival is Bhadra shukla panchami. For this duration, Paryushana must be initiated by panchami (the fifth day) of the shukla paksha phase of Bhadra. The last day is called Samvatsari, short for Samvatsari Pratikramana. Because of computational and other differences, there can be some minor differences among various sects. It comes at the time when the wandering monks take up temporary residence for the monsoon period or "cāturmāsa" "four-month". Because at this time the monks have settled in the town for a longer duration, it is time for the householders to have an annual renewal of the faith by listening to the statement of the Dharma and by meditation and vratas (self-control). Digambara Jains starting a 10-day period from Bhadra shukla panchami, during which the dashalakshana vrata is undertaken. Śvētāmbara celebrate an eight-day festival that ends with Bhadrapada shukla chaturthi.[6]

It is believed that the devas (heavenly beings) do an eight-part puja (worship) of the tirthankaras, which takes eight days. Śvētāmbara Jains celebrate this period as Paryushana.


Slaughter houses are kept closed for 1–8 days during the Paryushana festival in Indian states (e.g. Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra) that have a large Jain population.[8] On 14 March 2008, the Supreme Court held that the ban on slaughter houses in Ahmedabad during Paryushan festival was legal. The court noted:[1]

In a multi-cultural country like ours with such diversity, one should not be over sensitive and over touchy about a short restriction when it is being done out of respect for the sentiments of a particular section of society. It has been stated above that the great Emperor Akbar himself used to remain a vegetarian for a few days every week out of respect for the vegetarian section of the Indian society and out of respect for his Hindu wife. We too should have similar respect for the sentiments for others, even if they are a minority sect. (para 74)

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b Katju, Justice Markandey (14 March 2008), Supreme Court Judgement regarding Closure of Slaughter houses during Paryushan, The Supreme Court of India[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Roy, Christian (2005), Traditional festivals: a multicultural encyclopedia, Volume 1, ABC-CLIO, p. 356, ISBN 1-57607-089-1
  3. ^ a b Dhanpal Jain (4 September 2008), "Paryushan Parva, festival of forgiveness", The Times of India
  4. ^ "Jain festival of Paryushan finds many admirers", The Times of India, 1 September 2016
  5. ^ a b "Jains pray for peace, brotherhood", The Hindu, 13 September 2007, archived from the original on 7 November 2012
  6. ^ a b Doniger 1999, p. 555.
  7. ^ Preeti Srivastav (31 August 2008). "Request for Forgiveness". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012.
  8. ^ POKHAREL, KRISHNA (11 September 2015). "Why Mumbai Is Banning Meat This Weekend". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 September 2015.


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