Paryushan is an 8-day festival in Jainism observed around August and September, depending on the lunar calendar. The word Paryushan has several meanings; Pari means all kinds and Ushan means to burn, so one meaning is to burn all kinds of karma. Another meaning of Paryushan is to get closer to one’s soul, through introspection, meditation, and austerities. Paryushan is observed by Shwetamabar Jains (one sect of Jainism). Das Lakshan, meanwhile, is a 10-day festival that occurs directly after Paryushan. Its name references the ten virtues that are celebrated during each day of the holiday. Das Lakshan is observed by Digambar Jains (another sect of Jainism).
During Paryushan and Das Lakshan, Jains try to reduce their involvement with worldly affairs like shopping, socializing, entertainment, and eating out. Instead, a Jain is supposed to spend the time focusing inward on their own soul, reflecting on their habits and actions, and affirming their commitments to Jain principles. The end of each festival centers on forgiveness. Friends and family say the following phrases to each other:
Shwetambar Jains, celebrating Paryushan: Michhami Dukkadam!
Digambar Jains, celebrating Das Lakshan: Uttam Kshama!
Translation: If I have hurt you, knowingly or unknowingly, through my thoughts, words, or actions, I humbly ask for your forgiveness.
Paryushan and Das Lakshan 2021 (Sept 3rd to Sept 10th | Sept 10th to Sept 19th)
During these important days, YJA will be posting on social media accounts with information about these days and ideas for practicing Jainism on those days, especially for those of you who are not near temples or may be just starting college and have moved away from home.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email [email protected]. We hope this content is useful and informative, and helps you find meaning and value in this most important of Jain festivals!
Michhami Dukkadam & Uttam Kshama!
We are beyond excited to present the YJA Samvatsari Pratikramaṇ Booklet with English Explanations, a printable resource that can be used during the completion of Samvatsari Pratikramaṇ.
With a complete outline of the Sutras to be recited, accompanied with brief English meanings, this booklet directs one to reflect on specific concepts throughout the Samvatsari Pratikramaṇ. Reviewed by Ӓchӓrya Shrimad Vijay JaySundar Surishwarji Mӓhӓrӓj Sӓheb, this resource is sure to make Samvatsari Pratikramaṇ more meaningful for all!
YJA Nightly Prayers
YJA will be hosting a 15-minute Nightly Prayers Call via Zoom at 9:30 PM ET every night during Paryushan and Das Lakshan. We will recite prayers and reflect on our good and bad deeds from the day.
This Paryushan, the YJA Swadhyay Group is excited to announce an eight-day mini-lecture series featuring speaker and JSMW Pathshala teacher Megha Doshi. These mini-lectures are available on YouTube and are designed for college students and working professionals who may not have access to religious facilities or time for live sessions. They highlight important concepts and reflections to consider — we encourage you to follow along with them daily! Our Das Lakshan mini-lecture series, featuring speaker and JSNT Pathshala teacher Charu Khara, can also be found below.
The name “Das Lakshan" references the ten virtues of the soul –also known as the Yati Dharmas – that are celebrated during each day of the holiday. Read YJA’s latest article to see which Disney and Pixar characters demonstrate these qualities, as well as to draw inspiration to further develop the same qualities yourself from their stories!
Additionally, read about Ananya Jain’s experience fasting during Das Lakshan in I survived without eating anything for 10 days straight!
This Paryushan and Das Lakshan, YJA will be collecting funds for Jiv Daya efforts at Shri Radhanpur Khodadhor Panjarapole Sanstha. This shelter has worked tirelessly to rescue and support thousands of retired, hurt, or unwanted cattle who would otherwise be sold to slaughterhouses. If you can, we encourage you to make a donation this Paryushan and Das Lakshan!
Take a Vow!
Vows constitute anything that you decide to uphold (spending time reading religious material, limiting phone use, fasting, etc.) prior to the start of either Paryushan and/or Das Lakshan. They can be a great way to reinforce a positive habit or activity. Looking for ideas? Use our vow generator below.
If you’re planning on taking a vow this Paryushan or Das Lakshan, let us know by 11:59 PM PT on Saturday, September 20th. YJA would like to spotlight you for working towards spiritual progress by taking on this meaningful obligation! Vow-takers up to the age of 29 are eligible to be spotlighted.
Why take a vow?Restraint Brings Freedom: A Collection of Stories Demonstrating the Importance of Taking Vows
Taking vows and engaging in self-restraint are especially stressed during Paryushan and Das Lakshan. Read the article below to learn about the significance of taking daily vows, or Niyams, and discover their amazing impact, through some Jain stories. We’ve also attached a resource to help you take Niyams yourself! Links
- Restraint Brings Freedom: A Collection of Stories Demonstrating the Importance of Taking Vows
- Niyams Organizer (for all ages!)
Celebrating Paryushan or Das Lakshan away from home? YJA has you covered. Try these activities that allow you to reflect on Jain principles and don't require going to a temple, organized around the larger themes of the 3 As and the 5 Kartavyas (essential activities) for Paryushan, and the 10 Yati Dharmas (qualities) for Das Lakshan.
Aneka Episode #7: Paryushan + Das Lakshan
Join us as we ask people about these major festivals for Jains around the world: what do these events stand for? how do they choose to observe them? and how has their understanding evolved?
Check out the Paryushan and Das Lakshan episode from the YJA podcast, Aneka, below!