A ten-day ‘Paryushan Parva’ of Jain community is celebrated annually for self-purification, introspection and enlightenment which ultimately lead to salvation. The members of Jain community participate in the festival by fasting and performing pujas and other religious rituals. The festival starts from the second day of the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. Free Press spoke to some of the community members in the city to know significance of the festival in their lives, how they celebrate the 10-day long fest and how it has changed their daily routine.

The families said that the celebrations harbinger social harmony and amity. The 10-day festivities, for which they wait entire year, have changed their daily routine completely. It is a time when the community members increase their spiritual intensity by performing fasting and prayer/meditation. They don’t eat vegetables and outside food during these 10 days. Some of them said that they also don’t use make-up and watch movie.

Nitin Nandgaonkar, director, pension, Govt. MP

It is festival of Aatm-Shuddhi (self purification). We try to purify ourselves from ‘Mann,’ ‘Vachan,’ and ‘Shahrir’. In theses 10 days, we feel a different kind of experience. We wake up at 6.30am. After getting ready, we worship at home first and then go temple and listen sermons. We take one time meal in a day which is called ‘Ekasan’. It depends upon person to person. Some people don’t take any meal and only survive on water for 10 days. I am in job, so it is not possible for me to keep fast. My wife keeps fast on ‘Ashtami and Chaturdashi’. We don’t eat vegetables and outside food. I am 59, and have been following this till 25 years. Not only us but also our children follow this.

Pawan Jain, Additional Director General of Police

No doubt, in these 10 days, my daily routine has changed. During these days, we go to temples daily. I take food and fruits once in a day and skips breakfast and dinner, and also don’t eat outside meal. Since, I am in job it is not possible to for me to follow all rituals strictly but my mother and wife follow them diligently. My children are not bound to follow and if they wish, they can. Basically, it is festival of self-enlightenment and purification more than fasting. Basically, we have to have control on our senses.

Sangita Chaudhary, regional chairperson, All India Digambar Jain Mahila Parishad, Bhopal

It is biggest festival of Jain community and. Every day has 10 names that’s why it is called ‘Dash Lakshan Parva’. I wake up at 5.30 am and visit temple at 6.30am to participate in ‘Abhishek (coronation) of our god. In Jain community especially Digambar, women are not allowed to touch the idols of the god. We offer god ‘Ashtdrava,’ made of rice instead of flowers. I keep fast five days, while five days on ‘Ekasan (one time food).

We also listen sermons of scholars who come from outside. There is also one hour class in which we clear our doubts. We do ‘Aarti’ in the evening daily. We also organise cultural activities like play and quiz competition related to our religion in the evening and people of all age group take part in these activities. Everything has become systemic, and we live discipline life these days. We wait for the day.

Manoj Pradhan, builder

During these10 days, we try to do self-purification. We wake up 5.30am and go to temple with wife. After worship, we listen to sermon for an hour in the temple. Since I am diabetic, I can’t keep fast. So, I take meal one time at noon and take water before sunset. We don’t eat vegetables and outside food during these days. Even we don’t use readymade species. We don’t use Haldi (turmeric). Instead of green vegetables, we use Chhola, Rajma etc.

We eat home made sauce and ghee. We consume ‘chakki-aata’ but it should not be more than three-day old. My family members follow the rituals for all 10 days. My wife keeps fast on ‘Ashtami,’ ‘Dashmi,’ and ‘Chaturdashi’. Definitely, my routine gets changed during ‘Paryushan parva. Earlier my working time was from 11am to 9 pm but now because of the festival I start working from 1am.

Rolly Bharillya Badkur, director, Adfame Enterprises

It is like a get-together and celebration for us. And we wait for it for a year. In these 10 days, the atmosphere has become spiritual and we get positive vibes. We follow all rituals. We go temple twice in a day and attend sermon and aarti. We don’t eat stale and outside food. Even we don’t use make-ups and watch movies. We only listen to bhajans. We also organise cultural events like fancy dress competition for children.

Our schedule has become very hectic these days. There is fix time of getting up but not for sleeping. On ‘Dashmi’, we have to visit 62 Jain temples and offer ‘Dhoop’. We ask forgiveness from family members, friends and society for our any mistakes on 11th day called ‘Kshamavani’. So it is festival of patience and sacrifice too.

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