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Jain community in Jaipur celebrates Roth Teej as reminder of religious code of conduct
In Jaipur, a day before Ganesh Chaturthi, the Roth Teej festival was observed by the Jain Community on September 4 to remind the message of simple and modest living by shunning material comforts. The festival is celebrated on Bhadrapada Shukla Tritiya every year with gaiety and devotion in Jaipur with a flurry of activities in the Jain temples of the city early in the morning.
We were invited for a modest yet delicious food prepared and shared by our Jain friend. For the last few years, we had been visiting them on this festival and wishing them well. In fact, visit is new learning every time since it leads to understanding Jain culture and traditions.

"Our kitchen was washed well a day before and the floor painting with white chalk was done to represent some auspicious Jain symbols and all the ingredients were laid out. In the morning, the women of the family took bath and kneaded single grain dough and cooked a thick chappati or 'roth' on low flame of wood charcoal. The dough was mixed with ajwain and rock salt powder, Also, 'turai raita' was made. The first roth was taken to the nearby Jain temple to be offered to the deity to made a beginning of the festival," said Abhinav Jain, the host.

He told that after that roths, 2 to 5 centimetre thick, are prepared for the invited people and offered to them hot to be eaten with curd and raita. The food, though simple, is relished since the roth has a special taste for having been baked or cooked on low flame till it becomes a bit brown. Everyone has to keep aside a bit of food to be offered to the birds and cows. In the evening, kheer pudding is taken before the sunset as the culmination of the festival.

It was told that the Jain festival of Roth Teej is meant to remind the five vows or religious code of conduct such as non-violence in thought, word and deed; seeking and speaking the truth; behaving honestly and never taking anything by force; exercising restraint on mind, senses and body; and practising non-acquisitiveness.

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