Shraddha here… Anoop has been telling me to be a guest blogger on his blog for a while now. He finally gave me the idea to write a post on Paryushan and so I happily used Wikipedia and copy-pasted along with few sentences in my Gujju English. I emailed him the post and today he got around to editing it, or rather, changing it and writing it all over! So here it is, the edited version, or lets say Anoop’s version.
Recently we celebrated Paryushan, the annual 8-day festival of Jains.
I was never an orthodox strict Jain. This year Paryushan rules were particularly difficult to follow, because I’m now staying by myself with my Tamilian husband away from my Jain brood. 🙂
During Paryushan, we gather every evening for Pratikraman, or daily prayers. After we moved to the US, my family, my uncles family and my two aunts’ families all gather together for Pratikraman. My parents didn’t want the kids to go to temples for Pratikraman since the scriptures would be read too fast; they wanted us to sit through and understand their true meaning. It was great to perform Pratikraman along with my extended family. We would have dinner before sunset as was prescribed. We would refrain from eating vegetables grown underground (potatoes, onions, garlic, etc.) and during this time, we would also not eat green vegetables. So the week’s diet consists of mostly grains and pulses. The intention is that even through our diet, we hurt as few living beings as possible. Even insects are not harmed; any insects found in the home are picked up and placed outdoors. We don’t even remove cobwebs during these eight days. We do our best to support all forms of life.
The last day is called Samvatsari, where we ask for forgiveness from and grant forgiveness to everyone we know and don’t know, for any misdeeds we may have done. Quarrels are forgotten and relationships are renewed as we fold our hands and say “micchami dukkadam” or “please forgive me”.
Michhami dukkadam! 🙂