Pujyashri Chitrabhanuji : Paryushana – 8 Days

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Festival of Forgiveness

September 2 to September 9, 2013

Each year, Jains throughout the world celebrate the special eight-day festival known as Paryushana. This is not a time for outward show – but a time for introspection; a time to scrutinize ourselves within.

First Day – Many start famichhamidukkadamsting to cleanse the body and to have time for introspection.

Second Day – We consider our own self, our moods. We work on overcoming projections, paranoia, and on having a feeling of amity.

 Third Day – Is for introspection on relations with others whom we have hurt in thought, word or deed; include animals, plants and the whole Universe.      Compassion and non-possessiveness are part of this contemplation.

Fourth Day – Is to check out our ego in order to have accurate inner perception.    We meditate on equanimity, the healer and peacemaker.

Fifth Day – Is to look at greed. Do we always want more? Do we share?   Do we appreciate the good in ourself and in others? Appreciation sweeps out jealousy and clears the ground for acceptance.

Sixth Day – People think of the prophets, the souls who once struggled, overcame their inner enemies and reached freedom, omniscience. This helps us to be inspired.   If they were able to do it, so can we.

Seventh Day – Especially, the people go to be with the Teacher and to absorb the teaching with openness. They aspire to put into practice the teaching, to transform a mental idea into one’s own inner experience.

Eighth Day – Is the special day for forgiveness. Whether in person, by letter or phone, in meditation or prayer, we forgive and ask for forgiveness. There is no need to worry; you have untied the knot from your end. But you must feel deep, sincere forgiveness and have a feeling of love for the other and yourself.

“Throwing off our burdens during these days of introspection, the mind becomes     clear and can commune with the soothing, natural happiness of the Soul.”

                                                                                    — Chitrabhanu

Excerpted from  JMIC Newsletter

Another resource is the Lighthouse Center. There is a booklet available to download (pdf) for your personal use.