What is a festival day (Parva - a Jain Festival) according to Jainism?
The daily worship is always fruitful and useful for the upliftment of the soul, but the day of festival or parva is a special day of worshipping, a special kind of worshipping and there is always an ancient event joined with the day. The Parva has some special kind of rites that can increase merits for future. More Penance, more worship, more religious activities are done on the day of Parva. A Soul can create or bind the 'Aayushya Karma' of the next births in future.
Every Parva is celebrated with some special rules and principles. The rites of worship and activities have some special kind of importance in Jain festivals.
On this auspicious occasion of Kshamavani (क्षमावाणी), we beg forgiveness for our intentional and unintentional wrongs, excesses, sins, that we might have done onto you. May we forgive every one.
खम्मामि सव्व जीवेषु सव्वे जीवा खमन्तु में,
मित्ति में सव्व भूएसू वैरम् मज्झणम् केणवि |
KHAMEMI SAVVE JIVESHU: I forgive all the living beings
SAVVE JIVA KHAMANTU ME: All the living beings forgive Me
MITTI ME SAVVA BHUTESU: I am friendly towards all the living beings
VERAM MAJJHAM NA KENVI: And no one is my enemy
MICHHAMI DUKKADDAM!: And I ask for forgiveness from all!
KSHAMAVANI PARVA is the function of forgiveness. Forgiveness is supposed to be the first and foremost virtue of ascetics and scholars. Forgiveness helps not only in pacifying anger and making us religious minded by removing all sins, but is also capable in keeping us hale and hearty. Forgiveness is a virtue of humility and an ornament of social courtesy.
On this auspicious day of KSHAMAVANI PARVA every member of Jain community approaches his relatives, friends, colleague and begs pardon of them for all faults or mistakes committed knowingly or unknowingly. He or she confesses his/her wrongs and apologizes for these to every follower of his own religion or other religions. Thus he/she feels relieved of the heavy burden hanging on his/her head of the sins of previous years. By this act the person starts social life afresh living together in love and peace with all, following the noble principle of peaceful co-existence. On this auspicious day, every Jains dedicate themselves heart and soul to submit to their popular slogan 'Live and Let Live', for peace and happiness.
Baghwan Mahaveera said we should forgive our own soul first. To forgive others is a practical application of this supreme forgiveness. It is the path of spiritual purification. Mahaveera said: "The one whom you hurt or kill is you. All souls are equal and similar and have the same nature and qualities". Ahimsa Paramo Dharma. Anger begets more anger and forgiveness and love beget more forgiveness and love. Forgiveness benefits both the forgiver and the forgiven.
Mahatma Gandhi forgave his assassin even as he was dying. Jesus Christ, when being crucified prayed to God to forgive his tormentors as they "know not what they do". In Buddhism, forgiveness is seen as a practice to prevent harmful emotions from causing havoc on one's mental well-being. In Islam, Allah is described as "the most forgiving". In Hindu religion forgiveness is described as supreme vertue.
Jains classify forgiveness as: gifted by the one who forgives, earned by the one seeking it, and natural as a part of our divine nature. Forgiveness can be earned by request or prayer, pratikramana or confession and penitence, and prayas-citta or willingness to suffer consequences. Forgiveness is part of ahimsa; it helps us overcome anger and hatred and makes us more happier and healthier.