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The day of "Samvatsari"

April 17, 2012  by: Sarika  Points: 15   Category: Others    Views: 761

It is a small article about the Forgiveness day celebrated by the followers of Jain Religion


Samvatsari or Shamavani Parv

Jainism is a small but influential Indian religion with approximately 4.2 million followers in India. Jain Sangha (group) is mainly divided into two groups called Digambara and svetambars based on minor and relatively obscure differences in believes. The first and foremost teaching of Jainism is “Ahimsa” or Non-Violence. This religion condemns violence in all its forms, be it a violent thought, use of improper and disturbing words in speech or physical act.

Another virtue which is cultivated in the followers of Jainism is “Forgiveness”. Anger begets more anger while forgiveness begets love and respect. Forgiveness is another name for non-violence for who forgives automatically follows the path of Ahimsa. “Samvatsari” or “Shamavani Diwas” is one of the holiest days in jain calendar. On this day jains ask for forgiveness from every creature in this world-even the single celled organisms- for any intentional or unintentional violence or wrong doings towards them which might have harmed them. “Micchami Dukkadam” which literally means “May all the evil that has been done fruitless” -is the common phrase used on the Shamavani diwas to ask for forgiveness. Savatsari is the concluding day of an 8 or 10 day long festival called “Paryushana” (svetambars) or Daslakshna (Digambars). Paryushana comes in the time of “Chaturmas” (4 months) which is the monsoon time when the monks give up their wandering life and settle down for a period of 4 months among the “Grahstha” (house holders/family people).

This is the period of introspection termed as “Pratikramana/Samayika” where Jains meditate, reflect on their past deeds and renew their faith. Festival of Paryushana is celebrated of the chaturthi (4th day) of the Shukla paksha (phase) of Bhadrapada month. For these 8/10 days Jains immerse themselves completely in prayers, meditation and observe fasting. Most of the Jains observe Ekasan (one meal/day, mostly lunch) or some even observe “Nirjala” (without water). The festival is concluded by asking forgiveness from each other and from every living thing in this world for the wrong committed during the past year by saying “Micchami Dukkadam” or “Uttam Kshama”

Micchami Dukkadam Prayer:

Khamemi Savve Jiva: I forgive all living beings.
Savve Jiva Khamantu me: May all souls forgive me,
Mitti me Savva Bhooesu: I am friendly terms with all,
Veram Majjham Na Kenvi : I have no animosity toward any soul.
Michchhami Dukkadam: May all my faults be dissolved.


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