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During the 8 sacred days of Paryushan, the leading Jain festival, we should drink boiled water. One should avoid unboiled or tap water, as it contains many living micro-organisms which multiply and we should avoid being responsible for committing the sin of hurting or killing them during these days. We can use boiled water or add ash or clove to water to make it achet i.e insentient.
Similarly, we should avoid eating green or leafy vegetables and those consumables that are considered sachet, i.e. sentient. When we soak pulses overnight, we may notice that they sprout the next morning, and such sprouts are also categorized under infinite one-sensed living beings. We can consume pulses, but we should be alert that they don’t sprout or are freshly soaked the same morning.
It is certain that we should not consume root vegetables like potatoes, onions, garlic, etc throughout the year, and if that is not possible due to any reason, we must atleast try not to consume them during these 8 days of Paryushan Mahaparva. By doing so, we are able to reduce our intense attachments towards food and taste as well as dilute the violent traits and instincts within us.
The true spiritual goal that one must aspire to attain during the sacred Paryushan days is to purify our values, instincts, and habits.
Paryushan Parv – the 8-day Jain Festival of Forgiveness is an occasion to eliminate the impurities that pollute the soul – such as anger, ego, greed, jealousy, deceit, attachment, hatred and much more. It is a period of emotional cleansing and becoming light and relaxed from within.
From a karmic perspective, it is said that during these 8 days, the magnetic frequencies in the entire universe are the highest. As a result, the soul vibrates the most and may even bind the karmas that determine his next birth. And therefore, Jains observe maximum sadhanas, spiritual practices, penance and fasting during these days to make the most of this auspicious period.
Param Gurudev Shree Namramuni Maharaj Saheb profoundly enlists a detailed list of Do’s and Don’ts of what should be done and what we should refrain from doing during these divine days of Paryushan. During these Paryushan days, Jains make an effort to realize, repent and seek forgiveness for mistakes made during the entire year by performing Pratikraman, Alochana fasting, taking small Pachkhan vows, etc. The last day of Paryushan, known as Samvatsari, is the day when everyone performs the annual practice of Samvatsari Pratikraman and says sorry or ‘Michhami Dukadam’ to every living of the universe for having hurt them knowingly or unknowingly through their mind, body and speech.
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