Samvatsari, is a highly auspicious day for the Jain community and holds great religious significance. It marks the conclusion of the Paryushan festival, which lasts for eight days among the Shwetambars and ten days among the Digambars. It is celebrated on the last day of the Paryushana festival, which is one of the most important annual events in Jainism. On this sacred day, Shwetambar Jains seek forgiveness for their past wrongdoings, bad karma, and any mistakes made during rituals or interactions with others. It is a day dedicated to seeking forgiveness from others and letting go of grudges and resentments. This practice of forgiveness is believed to lead to personal growth, making individuals more humble and compassionate in their interactions with others.?
Samvatsari is a day of reflection, atonement, and reconciliation within the Jain community. During Samvatsari, Jains commonly say 'Michami Dukkadam' to all their loved ones and genuinely seek forgiveness from them. The central theme of this festival is forgiveness, and it's the primary purpose for celebrating it. People take a vow to protect all living beings by treating them with kindness and compassion. This practice represents self-realisation, self-control, and discretion. With this, Jains foster a sense of inner peace and harmony.
Samvatsari is observed with prayers, rituals, and fasting, and it is a time for Jains to reaffirm their commitment to living a life of non-violence, truth, and righteousness.
Here's how it is celebrated:
Jains begin the day with prayers and meditation. They visit temples and perform rituals to seek the blessings of their revered Tirthankaras (spiritual teachers). Many observe a day-long fast on Samvatsari. Some may choose to fast completely, while others may consume a simple meal without any root vegetables or green vegetables. Fasting is seen as a way to cleanse the body and mind and to focus on spiritual pursuits.
Jains engage in a practice known as "Pratikramana" or "Pratikraman," which is a detailed confession of sins committed during the past year. During this ritual, Jains recite prayers and mantras, acknowledging their wrongdoings and seeking forgiveness from all living beings.
Giving to the needy and engaging in acts of charity are common on Samvatsari. Jains believe that such actions help accumulate good karma and purify the soul. Devotees visit Jain temples, where special prayers and ceremonies are conducted. These temples often display the image of Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara and the founder of Jainism, as the focal point of veneration.