“Samvatsari”, The Festival Of Forgiveness

29 Aug

“No one is perfect” is a very old saying and applies to everyone on this earth. Every creature does some mistakes but, there exists a superpower which forgives them, which gives them another chance to start their life moving on the right path.

We, human beings are more prone to committing mistakes. We hurt others with our thoughts, words and deeds. The sense of self is another reason which leads to disputes with our friends and loved ones. The sense of self is also the one which holds us from asking for forgiveness and forgiving others.

Samvatsari” is the festival of forgiveness, which is celebrated by Jains on the last day ofParyushan.  This day arrives after the religious period of ‘Samvatsar / Paryushan’. This period of ‘samvatsar’ comes 50 days after and 70 days before the close of the Chaturmas [four months]period. Sometimes the ‘samvatsar’ may vary between 49 days after and 71 days before the close of the ‘Chaturmas’.

Shwetamabar Jains celebrate Paryushan Parva over a period of eight days. Whereas inDigambar Jain sect, Paryushan is known as “Das Lakshan Parva” which is celebrated over a period of ten days and the last day is celebrated as “Samvatsari”.

Jains seek forgiveness on this auspicious day from all creatures of the world they may have hurt knowingly or unknowingly by thoughts, words or actions, by uttering the phrase “Michhami Dukkadam”.

“Michhami Dukkadam” is an ancient Prakrit phrase meaning “I beg your forgiveness”. People visit their friends and relatives to greet “Michhami Dukkadam” and pledge that no private dispute or quarrel may be taken beyond this day of “Samvatsari”.

On this pious day of Samvatsari, Jains keep fasting and next day they take breakfast which is known as Parna.