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 their 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 2023 (September 12th to September 19th | September 19th to September 28th)
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@example.com. 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!
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 start with a short Jainism Lightning Talk – make sure to check out our instagram stories to see what the day’s topic is! Then we will recite prayers and reflect on our good and bad deeds from the day. We hope you can join us!
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.
The YJA Samvatsari Pratikramaṇ Booklet with English Explanations is 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!
We are beyond excited to present the YJA Bhav Pratikraman, an audio and/or handout resource that can be used to reflect at the end of the day. This was designed for college students and working professionals who may have limited time.
Throughout the year we commit mistakes that malign our soul. Paryushan is an opportunity to get rid of those mistakes. Let’s confess and feel the lightness with Bhav Pratikraman. Reviewed and recorded by Rashtrasant Param Gurudev Shree Namramuni Mӓhӓrӓj Sӓheb, this resource allows us to get one step closer to purity with confession of oblivious as well as conscious mistakes!
YJA Virtual Event: Bhavanas Reflection Event
We invite you to join us in reflecting on day-to-day situations with the framework of Bhavanas, introspect on your personal habits, talk through your thought processes, and learn from other young Jains about their life experiences. We hope this time to reflect is something you can carry forward after Paryushan & Das Lakshan.
Join us on Sunday, September 17th @ 5 pm ET / 2 pm PT on Zoom with the link below.
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 30th. 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?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 Restraint Brings Freedom: A Collection of Stories Demonstrating the Importance of Taking Vows
- Niyams Organizer (for all ages!)
YJA Paryushan & Das Content Rewind
Over the last couple years, our YJA Education Committee has written some incredible articles! These are two that compare the 10 Yati Dharamas (virtues) with Disney Characters and Superheros. One of the main themes across both festivals is forgiveness so take a look at the Internalizing Michhami Dukkadam Article and this Atichars Explainer.
Fasting is also a common way to commemorate these festivals so check out this article on Why We Fast Article and I survived without eating anything for 10 days straight! to hear about one experience. Additionally check out this Paryushan Mini-lecture series to learn more about the 5 essential activities and Das Lakshan Mini-lecture series to learn more about the 10 virtues and how to observe them in our daily lives.