Paryushan and Das Lakshan 2020
(Aug 15th to Aug 22nd | Aug 23rd to Sep 1st)

What are Paryushan and Das Lakshan?

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 2020 dates are updated above!

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!

Resources

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



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 latest episode from the YJA podcast, Aneka, below!


YJA Reflect Book Club: Jailer
Written by Acharya Vijay Abhayashekhara Suri, Jailer dives deep into Jain philosophy. In this book, karma is depicted as the judge. Anyone who causes you harm is called the “jailer”. And we, the readers, are depicted as the criminal. Jailer simplifies the complexities of karma into an easy and spirituality-enriching read. Take time to make your way through this life-changing text and jump into the discussion by joining the YJA Reflect Facebook Group!

Links


Maharaj Saheb Messages (MSM) Spotlights
Visit the MSM Instagram page, which will feature 18 individuals in the YJA community who have committed to take a vow during Paryushan and Das Lakshan. We honor their dedication, sacrifice, and commitment. What vows can you take? Check out the Niyams Organizer above!

Links

Events

Sunrise Camp Youth Lectures (Aug 14 - Aug 22, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM ET)
The Sunrise Camp of New Jersey, in partnership with Young Jains of America, is excited to bring you live Vyakhyans in English led by Smt. Tejalben Shah during this Paryushan Mahaparva.

The first lecture, which will be held on August 14th, (the day before Paryushan), will focus on preparations for the upcoming festival. From August 15 to August 17 (Days 1-3 of Paryushan), the lectures will be focused on the Ashtahika Vyakhyan, covering topics like 5 Paryushan Kartavyas, 11 yearly duties, and Paushadh. From August 18-21 (Days 4-7 of Paryushan), the lectures will focus on the Vaachan of Kalpasutra, describing various important stories in Jain history.

Over 200 people are already registered!

Nightly Prayers (Aug 15 - Sep 01, 9:30 PM ET)
Every night during Paryushan and Das Lakshan, we will be hosting a 15-20 minute Nightly Prayer Call over Zoom at 9:30pm ET, where we will recite prayers and reflect on our good and bad deeds during the day. You can also get a recording of some of the prayers by clicking below, or going to yja.org/prayers!

ideas and information

Additional Resources

Das Lakshan Activity Tracker

Celebrating 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 10 Yati Dharmas celebrated each day of Das Lakshan. These virtues are said to be the inherent qualities of every soul which are obscured due to our karma and personal limitations. Choose one goal per day or write in your own, and feel free to take notes on what resonates with you. If you are going offline for Das Lakshan, print this out beforehand!

Download Tracker

Paryushan Activity Tracker

Paryushan is an important time of year for Shvetambar Jains, yet many young Jains find it difficult to celebrate if they have moved away from home. Struggling to cook Jain food while adjusting to a college dorm? No temples in your state? YJA has you covered. We’ve come up with many ideas of ways you can reflect on and adhere to Jain principles that don’t require going to a temple, organized around the larger themes of the 3 A’s (first three days) and the 5 essential activities of Paryushan which are recommended for all Jains (last 5 days). Choose one goal per day to follow or write in your own, and feel free to take notes on what resonates with you at the bottom of the page. If you are going offline for Paryushan, make sure to print this out beforehand!

Download Tracker

Dial-a-Pachhkan & Dial-a-Manglik

Call (630) 213-5762 to hear the recording of a Manglik before taking a vow of any kind (Pachhkhan).

Jain E-Library and Jain Quantum

JaineLibrary and Jain Quantum have countless resources you can find introductory materials, spiritual readings, news articles and more to help broaden your understanding of this festival.