Thursday, September 23, 2010

Asking For Forgiveness...

I ask for your kind forgiveness, if knowingly or unknowingly I have hurt you (directly or inderctly) by any of my words, thoughts or actions in the past one year.
To forgive is divine.
"vigat varsh me mere dwara yadi man, vachan ya kay ke madhyam se aapko pratyaksh ya apratyaksh roop se koi bhi chot pahoonchi ho, to mein haath jodkar aapse uske liye kshma yachna akarta hoon."
Kshama Parmodharma, Uttam Kshama...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Uttam Brahmacharya (Supreme Celibacy)

It is the tenth and last day of Paryushan Parv or Dash Lakshan Dharm.

Brahmacharya means Celibacy; This means not only refraining from sexual intercourse but also includes all pleasures associated with the sense of touch, e.g. a cool breeze on a hot summers day or using a cushion for a hard surface. Again this dharma is practiced to keep our desires in check.

Brahmacharya is derived from the word Brahma - soul and charya to dwell. Brahmacharya means to dwell in your soul. Only by residing in the soul. Only by residing in the soul are you the master of the Universe. Residing outside your soul makes you a slave to desires.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Uttam Akinchan (Supreme Non-attachment)

It is the ninth day of Paryushan Parv or Dash Lakshan Dharm.

Akinchan means Non-attachment; This assists us in detaching from external possessions. Historically ten possession are listed in our scriptures: "land, house, silver, gold, wealth, grain, female servants, male servants, garments and utensils" Remaining unattached from these helps
control our desires and leads to an influx of punya karmas.

This assists us in being unattached from our internal attachments: false belief, anger pride, deceit, greed, laughter, liking, disliking, lamentation, fear, disgust, sexual desire. Ridding the soul of these leads to its purification.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Uttam Tyag (Supreme Renunciation)

It is the eigth day of Paryushan Parv or Dash Lakshan Dharm.

Tyag means Renunciation; Contrary to popular belief, renouncing worldly possessions leads to a life of contentment and assists in keeping desires in check. Controlling desires lead to an influx of punya karma. Renunciation is done at the highest level by our monks who renounce not only the household but also their clothes. A person's strength is measured not by the amount of wealth he accumulates but by the amount of wealth he renounces. By this measure our monks are the richest. Renouncing the emotions, the root cause of misery, is Uttam Tyag, which is only possible by contemplating on the true nature of the soul.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Uttam Tap (Supreme Penance)

It is the seventh day of Paryushan Parv or Dash Lakshan Dharm.

Tap means Penance; This does not only mean fasting but also includes a reduce diet, restriction of certain types of foods, avoiding tasty foods, etc. The purpose of penance is to keep desires and passions in control. Over-indulgence inevitable leads to misery. Penance leads to an influx of punya karmas. Meditation prevents the rise of desires and passions in the soul. In a deep state of meditation the desire to intake food does not arise. Our first Tirthankara, Adinath Bhagwan was in such a meditative state for six months. The only food he consumed during these six months was the happiness from within.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Uttam Sanyam (Supreme Self-Restraint)

It is the sixth day of Paryushan Parv or Dash Lakshan Dharm.

Sanyam means Self-Restraints;

i) Restraining from injury to life - Jains go to great lengths, compared to other world religions, to protect life. This encompasses all living beings, from one-sensed onwards. The purpose of not eating root vegetables is that they contain countless one-sensed being termed "nigod". During Paryushan the Jain also do not eat green vegetables to reduce harm to the lower sensed beings.

ii) Self restraint from desires or passions - These lead to pain and are therefore to be avoided. Emotions, e.g. likes, dislikes or anger leads to misery and need to be eradicated. They are not part of the true nature of the soul and only arise when the soul is in a state of false belief. The only method to free oneself from these is to contemplate on the true nature of the soul and in the process commence the journey to liberation.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Uttam Satya (Supreme Truth)

It is the Fifth day of Paryushan Parv or Dash Lakshan Dharm.

means Truth; If talking is not required, then do not talk. If it is required then only use the minimum of words, and all must be absolutely true. Talking disturbs the stillness of the mind. Consider the person who lies and lives in fear of being exposed. To support one lie he has to utter a hundred more. He becomes caught up in a tangled web of lies and is seen as untrustworthy and unreliable. Lying leads to an influx of paap karma.

Satya comes from the word sat, which means existence. Existence is a quality of the soul. Recognizing the soul's true nature as it really exists and taking shelter in the soul is practicing Satya Dharma.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Uttam Shauch (Supreme Contentment)

It is the Fourth day of Paryushan Parv or Dash Lakshan Dharm.

Shauch means Contentment; Be content with the material gains that you have accomplished thus far. Contrary to popular belief, striving for greater material wealth and pleasure will not lead to happiness. Desire for more is a sign that we do not have all that we want. Reducing this desire and being content with what we have leads to satisfaction. Accumulating material objects merely fuels the fire of desire.

Contentment or happiness, derived from material objects, is only perceived to be so by a soul in a state of false belief. The fact is that material objects do not have a quality of happiness and therefore happiness cannot be obtained from them! The perception of "enjoying" material object is indeed only that -a perception! This perception rewards the soul with only misery and nothing else. Real happiness comes from within, as it is the soul that possesses the quality of happiness.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Uttam Arjav (Supreme Straightforwardness)

It is the third day of Paryushan Parv or Dash Lakshan Dharm.

Arjav means Straightforwardness, The action of a deceitful person is to think one thing, speak something else and do something entirely different. There is no harmony in his thought, speech and actions. Such a person loses credibility very quickly and lives in constant anxiety and fear of his deception being exposed. Being straight-forward or honest oil the wheel of life. You will be seen to be reliable and trustworthy. Deceitful actions leads to the influx of paap karmas.

Delusion about one's identity is the root cause of unhappiness. Be straightforward to yourself and recognize your true nature. Only by practicing Arjav Dharma one will taste the true happiness that comes from within.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Uttam Mardav (Supreme Humility)

It is the second day of Paryushan Parv or Dash Lakshan Dharm.

Märdav means Modesty / Humility; Wealth, good looks, reputable family or intelligence often lead to pride. Pride means to believe one to be superior to others and to look down on others. By being proud you are measuring your worth by temporary material objects. These objects will either leave you or you will be forced to leave them when you die. These eventualities will cause you unhappiness as a result of the "dent" caused to your soft-worth. Being humble will prevent this. Pride also leads to the influx of the bad deed or paap karmas.

All souls are equal, none being superior or inferior to another. All souls have the potential to be liberated souls. The only difference between the liberated souls and those in bondage is that the former have attained liberation as a result of their effort. With effort, even the latter can achieve liberation.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Uttam Kshama (Supreme Forgiveness)

It is the first day of Paryushan Parv or Dash Lakshan Dharma (Ten virtues of religion). The Dharmas are well prefixed by the word "Uttam" (Supreme) to signify that they are practiced at the highest level by the Jain monks. The householder practices them to a lesser extent.

Kshama means Forgiveness, We forgive those who have wronged us and seek forgiveness from those we have wronged. Forgiveness is sought not just from human colleagues, but from all living beings ranging from one sensed to five sensed. If we do not forgive or seek forgiveness but instead harbor resentment, we bring misery and unhappiness on ourselves and in the process seeking forgiveness oils the wheel of life allowing us to live in harmony with our fellow beings. It also attracts punya karma.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Paryushan Parv... (Dash Lakshan Dharma)

The word “Parva” means auspicious day. "Paryushan Parv" are the most auspicious days for the Jain followers. There are different meaning of "Paryushan":

1. Pari + ushan = all directions + to stay closer i.e. To stay closer to our own soul from all directions. To stay absorbed in our own-self (soul), we do Svädhyäya (self-study), meditation, austerities, etc.,

2. Pari + ushan = all kinds + to burn i.e. to burn (shed) our all types of karmäs. To shed our karmäs, we do twelve different types of austerities including fasting.

3. Pari + upshamanä = upshamanä means to suppress, to suppress our passions (kashäyas - anger, ego, deceit and greed) from all directions.
Therefore, the real purpose of the Paryushan is to purify our soul by staying closer to our own soul, to look at our own faults, to ask for forgiveness for the mistakes we have committed, and take vows to minimize our faults. We try to forget about the needs of our body (like food) and our business so that we can concentrate on our-self.
Digambars celebrate Dash-Lakshanä Parva for ten days starting from Rishi Panchami to Anant Chaurdashi. They celebrate ten best characteristics of the soul: Kshamä (forgiveness), Märdav (Humility), Ärjav (straightforwardness), Shauch (content - absence of greed), Satya (truth), Sanyam (restraint of all senses), Tapa (austerities), Tyäga (charity), Äkinchan (non-possessiveness) and Brahmachärya (celibacy).

courtesy -