Kshamavani Parva is an important day with a lot of significance in Jain culture. The term ‘’Kshama’’ refers to ‘’Forgiveness’’ and ‘’Parva’’ means ‘’day.’’ Thus, the Kshamavani Parva is a day observed by the Jains to seek forgiveness for any kind of mistake that they had committed knowingly or unknowingly. The day is the last day in the 10 days long observance of the Paryushan Parva, in which Jains observe fasts and refrain themselves from a lot of regular and daily lifestyle activities. Kshamavani Parva traditionally is observed one day after Anant Chaturdashi, since as per Jain mythology, this was the day when the 12th Tirthankara of the current cosmic cycle—Lord Vasupujya, had attained nirvana. This year, the Kshamavani Parva will coincide with the Anant Chaturdashi and will be observed on the 5th of September, 2017.
It is during this time that there’s a big emphasis on the five vows of Jainism, which are: Ahimsa, meaning non-violence, Satya, meaning truth, Asteya, meaning non-stealing, Brahmacharya, meaning chastity, and Aparigraha, meaning non-possession.
It is during this period that the Jains intensify their spirituality, often observing fasts. Jainism doesn’t impose any heavy rules on its followers for this period, and says people must observe fasts or this festival only to the best of their ability and affordability.
As the Paryushan Parva concludes and Kshamavani Parva arrives, followers of Jainism seek forgiveness from one and all for any kind of sins or offense caused by them. They do so by saying, ‘’Micchami Dukkadam.’’ It means ‘’If I have offended you in any way, intentionally or unintentionally, in thought, word, or action, then I seek your forgiveness.’’ The alternate words used for ‘’Micchami Dukkadam’’ are ‘’Uttam Kshama.’’ Though the Sitamabara and Digambara sections of Jains follow varied customs during this period, the bottom line of the day is to seek forgiveness for whatever one did wrong.
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