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Celebrate forgiveness: Kshamavani parv

16 Sep 2008, 0000 hrs IST, RAVINDRA KUMAR JAIN

Jainism is self-originated. No ‘Tirthankar’ founded it. It has however, produced ‘Tirthankars’.

Jinology does not perceive the existence of God. It acknowledges the self as atman . Jain philosophy is based on self-realisation, atmadarshan .

Rishabhdev and Mahavir are the first and last of 24 Tirthankars respectively of the present 6-cycle period of Jain chronology. Jina or the one who has overcome the mind and senses, attains omniscience and then salvation. Jina's Vani , wordless, is revealed to the Gandhar or pontiff in His samarsaran or congregation. Only the Gandhar can comprehend it, and he briefs those present there.

Veetraga or detachment is the key to moksha complete renunciation of all possessions including loin-cloth and absolute abandonment of attachments and aversions. Ahimsa or non-violence, aparigrah or non-possession, anekant or non-absolutism are the three primordial principles of Jainism. Ratna-traya or the three jewels are: right faith, right knowledge, and right conduct are paths to moksha .

Jinas have elucidated Daslakshan Dharma or the ten noble virtues of the soul, namely, forgiveness, humility, sincerity, purity, truthfulness, self-restraint, penance, charity, non-possession and celibacy. These intrinsic characteristics of the self are vigorously practised and reverently venerated during Daslakshan Maha Parv which falls thrice a year. But the month of Bhadrapad (September) coincides with chaturmas of Jain Munis in the rainy season affording rare opportunity of attending their discourses.

So this sacred and supreme parv of reflection, meditation, adoration, and self-purgation is celebrated from the fifth day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapad till Anant Chaturdashi for ten days with fervour and devotion.

It commences with Kshama Dharma and also concludes with Kshamavani Parv on the 1st day of the dark half of the month of Ashwin , because Kshama Dharma holds the paramount position in all the ten dharmas . Devotees change the course of their daily lives entirely absorbed in prayer, studying scriptures, eulogising, attending sermons of sadhus , fasting for days together, taking very restricted and light diet, contemplating and leading ascetic-like life, exercising severe austerity for spiritual enlightenment.

Kshamavani Day marks the conclusion of the Maha Parv of self-purification. Kshama is a Sanskrit word. Its first letter ksha embodies a knot. The second letter ma means a ban, meaning thereby that wielding a knot in your heart for any jiva is banned. Bear malice towards none.

Harbour feelings of goodwill and friendship for one and all. Abandon all passions like anger, egoism, hypocrisy and greed that hold the soul to bondage. Passions attract karmic particles which get fastened to the soul. Without eschewing passions lock, stock and barrel the attainment of liberation, the supreme goal of our life, cannot be accomplished.

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is beastly conduct, whereas forgiveness for an offence is divine. Subvert anger by forgiveness. Subdue pride by modesty and overcome animosity, hatred through love and compassion. Horrible killings are globally taking place in the name of religion. Jain tenets strongly forbid to observe any ideology that is biased or ignorant.

Sandalwood perfumes even the axe that hews it down. Burn it and its perfume wafts all around. Such is the enchanting beauty of forgiveness in life. Forgiveness is the attribute of the brave.

We need profound love to forgive but need more humility to ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness is the topmost virtue of self. It is the best tradition of Jain Darshan .

1 comment:

Dinesh said...

very nicely and concisely put.
dinesh ajmera