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Annual Jain Paryushan Mahaparva begins in Jaipur
The Jain community of Jaipur are celebrating their annual festival of Paryushan Mahaparva from August 18 to September for self-purification.

The Shwetambar sect of Jainism is celebrating the festival from August 18 to 25, while the Digambar sect will celebrate the festival from August 26 to September.

"Paryushan is an 8 to 10 day Jain festival of reflection and seeking forgiveness for one's faults, flaws, mistakes and errors. Though every evening pratikraman is undertaken for repentance with frugal vegan eating and reading of scriptures, but it is on the last day of the festival, Kshmavani parva is celebrated to publicly asking for forgiveness from one another or by sending cards to one another," said Kulesh Jain who works as librarian in a local institution.

He added that the Digambara Jains celebrate the festival by reciting ten chapters of Tattvartha Sutra, a sacred Jain text and at the end of the festival, the followers request forgiveness for any offences committed during the year by saying 'Micchami Dukkadam' which means that "If I have hurt you or offended you knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word or deed, then I seek your forgiveness."

According to the teachings of Jainism, to forgive one another is an important step towards gaining salvation. Lord Mahavira had preached, "The one whom you hurt or kill is you. All souls are equal and similar and have the same nature and qualities".

Thus, Jainism lays stress on forgiveness as a human value for peace and harmony. It is believed that forgiveness ends negative feelings resentfulness, indignation and anger against one another to make one non-violent.

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