This year, Jain festival of Dash Lakshan Parva was celebrated from Wednesday, September 19 to 28 at most places. This ten-day festival is going to be followed by Kshamapana Divas on Saturday, September 29. It is believed that observance of this festival with sincerity and devotion ultimately leads the soul to bliss and salvation or nirvana.
Jainism says that forgiveness is the first step towards spirituality leading to salvation. According to scripture, to ask for forgiveness is the toughest thing to do, as is often said that "Kshama Virashya Bhushanam” or 'Forgiveness is the ornament of the brave.' Among Jains, words of forgiveness or Kshamavani are the phrase “Michchha Mi Dukkadam". This phrase means that 'if I have committed any mistake, knowingly or unknowingly, I beg for your forgiveness'.
According to Jain Sadhvi Madhulata: “Forgiveness means to seek pardon for any damage done by ignorance, negligence or misbehaviour and commitment to not repeat the same in future. Anyone doing so can feel wonderful potential of ‘kshama’ or forgiveness. Forgiveness is a virtue and it is the first step towards eternal happiness. ‘Khamatkhamna’, the virtue of forgiving and being forgiven, manifests itself truly when there is tolerance. In the absence of toleration, it remains a mere verbal assertion and formality without much significance, at times even ironical. “
“One who practices forgiveness is always tolerant. As a result of forgiveness one’s mind, speech and body merge into one whole, a unity. The purity of thought, speech and action is its culmination. Once the knot has been resolved, not to provide another occasion for it to reform, is the consummation of ‘khamatkhamna’ or forgiveness," she adds.
Jains hold that the festival is meant to disperse the waves of amity, equanimity, forgiveness, joy, purity, unity and spirituality in the environment.