During the eight-day long Paryushan Parva of the Jains, today on Bhadrapada Shukla Tritiyais (August 27), the community is observing Roth Teej by cookng simple food and share with others. On this day, the Jains of Jaipur are cooking and eating only one type grain once a day, generally mid-noon. I too shared the food with a Jain family in which the Roth was cooked on wood charcoal and eaten with curd.
Paryushan Parva is celebrated to practice introspection, fasting, praying and frugal living. The festival reinforces the fact that materialism is fickle and one must live a simple life of austerities to be happy. The thick chapatti or roth is made of coarse wheat flour, ajwain or Bishop's weed, butter and Salt. The roth is cooked on slow fire till it turns slightly brown. Roth is eaten with raita made of curd and ridge gourd or turai.
"Jain festival of Paryushan is characterized by renunciation, austerities, study of the scriptures, repetition of holy hymns, meditation, and expressing devotion for spirituality," informed the Jain family that shared roth. The practice of meditation, renunciation and austerity are foundation of the Jainism, they added.
The practices during Paryushan are meant to purify one's mind by staying closer to soul. On the last day of the festival which will fall on August 29 this year, the Jains will introspect to look at their faults and ask for forgiveness. Jain scriptures say that Forgiveness is the virtue of the brave or "Kshama Viram Bhushanam, Kshamavani Michchha Mi Dukkadam". These phrases mean that to ask for forgiveness is a great quality of the brave ones and forgive me for any mistake committed knowingly or unknowingly.