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What is a festival day (Parva - a Jain Festival) according to Jainism?

The daily worship is always fruitful and useful for the upliftment of the soul, but the day of festival or parva is a special day of worshipping, a special kind of worshipping and there is always an ancient event joined with the day. The Parva has some special kind of rites that can increase merits for future. More Penance, more worship, more religious activities are done on the day of Parva. A Soul can create or bind the 'Aayushya Karma' of the next births in future.

Every Parva is celebrated with some special rules and principles. The rites of worship and activities have some special kind of importance in Jain festivals.

Diwali Festival

The night may be dark,
The path may be difficult,
Light lamps of love and affection
Then it will be Diwali of heart.

Diwali lights the temple of heart; it opens the sky of inner heart. It is Diwali which soaks every living beings with love. This festival has been celebrated for quite a long time. But why do we celebrate it? It is the day of Nirvana Kalyanaka of Lord Mahavir. Gautam Swami, the chief Ganadhar, had done the true worship of Lord Mahavir. He got the Omniscience- the ultimate knowledge after the Nirvana of Lord Mahavir. In the absence of Mahavir Swami, he lamented so much that his soul became free from all the bondages of Karmas. This day is the 'New Year Day' in worldly sense. It can also be called the 'New Year of Your Life'.

This festival is celebrated on the last day of the month of Ashwin.

The New Year day
The first day of the month of Kartik, i.e. the next day after Diwali is known as the New Year Day.

The Ritual of Diwali festival
On the day of the Niravana Kalyanaka of Lord Mahavir, the Jap of 'Shri Mahavir Swami Sarvgnaya Namh' is done at night and at midnight the Jap of 'Shri Mahavir Swami Parangataya Namh' is done. On the early morning of the New Year Day (Kartik Sud-1), the Jap of 20 Navakarvalis (string with beads) is done. The Pad is 'Shri Gautam Swami Sarvgnaya Namh'.

The rituals and meditation should be done with total concentration. So the problems of life are removed. And ultimately, it helps the soul to reach at the Moksha.

Maun Ekadashi

This is a festival of celebrating Kalyanakas of Tirthankar Parmatmas and destroying the knowledge covering Karmas. Jain Saints have said:

'The Tirthankar's preaching is necessary to remove'

One poet has also said that-
Speech is siver but to keep silence is golden. The work done by silence is not done by speaking.

The Rituals of Maun Ekadashi
It is celebrated on the 11th day of the month of Magshar (Magshar Sud.11). It is a very important day because 150 Kalyanakas of the Tirthankars of past, present and future have happened on this day. In past a gentlemen named Suvrat Sheth had worshipped. On this day the following rites are done :
- A fast is observed in Paushadha with keeping silence
- Kayotsarga of 12 Logassa
- 12 Khamasanas
- 12 Swastiks and 20 Navakarvalis of the Jap Pad

'Aum Rhim Shrim Mallinath Sarvagnaya Namh'. The Birth, Diksha and Omniscience Kalyanakas of Shri Mallinath, the Diksha Kalyanaka of Shri Aranath and the Omniscience Kalyanaka of Shri Naminath had happened, So total five Kalyanakas are celebrated on this day.

According to Jainism, any person, who does all the rites shown in the Jain Philosophy, can get the ultimate happiness of Moksha as Suvrat Sheth.

Meru Trayodashi

In the same way we can make our life sweet with smell by celebrating religious festivals. This is celebrated as under :

On this day, the first Tirthankar of the present era, Rushabha Dev got Nirvana on the Ashtapad mountain. So it is the day of his Nirvan Kalyanaka.

- This ceremony is celebrated in the rememberance of Pingal Kumar.
- The observer has to do a fast with Paushadh for 13 years and 13 months each year on this day.
- He has to make 5 Merus, and do Jap with the Pad of 'Aum Rhim Shrim Adinath Parangataya Namh-20 Navakarvalis.

The observer of this ceremony can get happiness of Meru and his soul gets true wealth of religious performance.

Kartaki Purnima

- The Kayotsarga of 21 Logassa
- 21 Khamasanas
- 21 Swastiks and
- 20 Navakarvalis with the Jap Pad of

'Shri Shatrunjaya Tirthadhirajaya Namh'

Every Parva is celebrated with some special rules and principles. The rites of worship and activities have some special kind of importance.

Shamb and Prdyumna had got the Moksha Pad with 8.5 crores monks. So the circumambulation of 6 Gaus (1 Gau means 3.2 Kms.) is done on this day.

Pundarik Swami had got the Moksha Pad here with 5 crores monks. So it is also named as Pundarikgiri. Who does the Pilgrimage with pure heart, can get the happiness of Moksha later on.

Akshaya Trutiya

This festival is celebrated on Vaishakha Sud 3. ( The third day of the month of Vaishakha) The first Tirthankar-Rushabha Dev got Charitra i.e. left the worldly pleasures after 83 Lakha Purva years of home-life. It is said that Karma has no effect of any brave people or even of Indra, Narendra, Munindra or Jitendra- All Mighty. Rushabha Dev Parmatma went to many houses to get the proper food (Gochari) for him, but no one could understand his desire of food. The people were ready to give elephants, horses, jwellery or even brides to him. But they could not offer any food.

In the previous birth, Rushabha Dev had tied a net on the face of a cow and he did the sin of starving the cow, so the previous Karma was the cause of this incident.

At the end, Shreyans Kumar had got a special knowledge of knowing previous births. He knew that Rushabha Dev wanted food to eat. So he gave him the juice of Sugarcane and Rushabha Dev broke his fasts. This day is known as Akshaya Trutiya from that time.

Gyan Panchami

The world of today is influenced, wrongly by the false knowledge, So the Samyak Gyan is necessary.

Gyan is the light of the inner soul. It is a natural light. It is also a bright flame of life. We can't see anything without its light. We can't know even the difference between true and false Gyan is called the second sun and third Eye. So the worship of Gyan Panchami should be done.

The following shloka is sung on this day.

'Samkit Shrddhavantane Upanue Gyan Prakash,
Pranamu Pad ha; Tehana, Bhav Dhari Ullas?

This festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the month of Kartik. It is also known as 'Saubhagya Pachami' and as the 'Labha Panchami'.

The Kayatsarga of 51 Logassa, 51 Swastikas, 51 Khamasanas and the Jap Pad of 'Namo Nanassa' - 20 Navakarvalis are performed on the day.

As a result of this, the knowledge covering Karmas are destroyed. The foolish or ignorant can become wise. In past, Vardatt and Gunamanjari had done something against it. So they had to face the results of their sins. This is a famous story.

The fast is observed without speaking any words, i.e. with keeping totally silence. So that the observer can get happiness, good luck and omniscience later on.

Posh Dashami

It is said that-

A child is safe in mother's hand,

Death with meditation is safe when the life style is framed according to the preachings of the Tirthankars or Jineshwaras. In the same way the follower is safe in the hands of Parmatma (God). The soul is always circulates in 4 Gatis because of various Karmas. But the true worship of this festival makes the soul free and quiet from the pain of circulation of 4 Gatis. Meditation is necessary for peaceful condition of the soul. Even the souls in the Narkis can feel quiet peaceful condition for a moment at the time of Kalyanakas. Then, human beings can certainly get and feel meditative condition if they do the rites of this festival with their inner feelings. So, this festival is important to gain peace and the feelings of meditation in life.

The Rituals of Posh Dashami

The following rites are done on this ceremony.

- Worship of Shri Parshva Nath is done for three days in the month of Magshar Vadi 9,10 and 11.
- This Vrata is observed for 10 years and 10 months.
- It is the Birth-Kalyanaka of Parshvanath.
- The observer has to do Ekasanas ( taking lunch once in respectively a day) of Sugered Water, Khir and full lunch for three days on 9, 10 and 11 of the month of Magshar. It can be done with three days' fasts or Aayambils if it is possible.

Besides 12 Swastiks, 12 Khamasanas, Kayotsarga of 12 Logassa and 20 Navakarvalis of 'Aum Rhim Shrim Shankheshwara Parshvanathaya Namh' Pad are done on this day.

This type of rites were done by Surdatt in past. The person who performs this Penance(Tap) can get happiness and various types of Wealth which help them to gain the ultimate happiness of Moksha.

Chaumasi Parva


It is the 15th day of the first month- Kartik in the Gujarati calander. After the four months of rainy season (Chaturmas), the pilgrimage of Shatrunjaya reapons. It is said that the meaning of the Shatrunjaya is winning over enemies. The pilgrimage of Shatrunjaya is performed to win over the Karma-enemy. So it is said that-

Each step on the pious place Shatrunjaya can remove or
Destroy Karmas of previous births.

The person who puts one step towards Shatrunjaya with pure heart, can be free from all the sins of the present and previous life. The sinful souls had become pious by worshipping it properly. The Satans become Saints. The murderers become munks. Even those who had got Omniscience knowledge can't describe the importance of Shatrunjaya. The pilgrims who do the pilgrimage of Shatrunjaya with true feelings, they can get salvation in the 3rd or 5th Bhava.(third or fifth birth)

Dravid and Varikhilla had got salvation with 10 crores Sadhus-Monks. So many other souls also got the salvation from the difficulties of Sansar. This is the birth day of Hemchandracharya also.


With the passage of time, the flow of a river passes away;
The wind of time flows away.
The high buildings also collapse, but the sweet
rememberance of great people remains forever.

When we remember great men, we surely remember Shripal and Mayana. Their worship is famous. The worship of Nav Pad gives nine types of wealth and meditative peace to the soul. The Panch Parmesh - this are on the topmost position. Their worship removes worries and gives mental peace. The Nav Padji Oli is known as Shashvati Oli. They are celebrated twice in a year- in the months of Chaitra and Ashwin. So the importance of this festival is shown in the following couplet :

'The virtues of the Siddha Chakra are so many,
We can't describe them.
They fulfil the desires of the worshipper.
We pray them thousand times'.

Each Pad in the Nav Pad gives eternal happiness to the soul if it is worshipped with inner heart. The soul becomes Arihant by worshipping the Arihant. The soul gets Siddhi Gati by worshipping the Siddha Pad.

The Ritual of the Navpad Oli:
It is done in the following way

Aum Rhim Namo Arihantanam
Aum Rhim Namo Siddhanam
Aum Rhim Namo Aayariyanam
Aum Rhim Namo Uvajzayanam
Aum Rhim Namo Loe Savva Sahunam
Aum Rhim Namo Dansanassa
Aum Rhim Namo Nanassa
Aum Rhim Namo Charittassa
Aum Rhim Namo Tavvasa

Paryushana Parva

'Welcome the king of festivals to our places
We will worship you with our all fingers.'

The king of all the festivals, Parvadhiraj Paryushana has come now. This festival has the highest power of doing auspicious to the worshippers. This festival takes the soul to the upper condition. It lights the lamps of life i.e. pious life. This festival also shows the path of salvation. It is compared with water works through which one can clean one's soul from the dirt of Karmas. This also makes the sinful persons pious and virtues. The souls which are already aware about the merits and sins, can do their duties, but those people who are still passionate towards worldly pleasures become aware of new motivation. So this festival is celebrated.

Why should we welcome the festival?

This festival makes the life clean by washing away all the blackness of sins and Karmas. The soul shines with brightness. It also becomes sweet with pious smell of friendly feelings.

The festivals are of two types-(1) Worldly and (2) Beyond world. In the worldly festivals, the feelings of worldly pleasures are important. This is the cause of Karma-bondage. So they are not the real festivals. While, the festivals which are beyond this world-Divine festivals, are the steps to take the soul to the upper position. Here, the worldly pleasures are not important. There are five signals to increase the feelings giving up.

(1) Monthly Dhar
(2) Dhar of fifteen days
(3) Dhar of Eight days
(4) Kalpa Dhar and
(5) Tela Dhar

According to these five important days, we do rites and can get Divine pleasure. In this festival, forgiveness becomes important. It is the soul of this festival.

'Namo' and 'Khamo' are the two slogans. When a person puts these two elements in life, it gives a new light in life.


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