Jaipur gets ready for Shrut Panchami Mahaparva
Dr. Lalit kishore
Cutting across the religious lines, the Jain festival of Gyana or Shrut Panchami is going to be celebrated on the fifth day of Jeth which falls on May 20 this year.
It is viewed as a major Jain festival since it is observed as a 'knowledge day' to commemorate the writing of the first Digambar Jain scriptures around 160 A.D. at Ankleshwar in Gujarat. Various temples will display the Jain scriptures on this day and worship them along with Saraswati Pooja.
Shrut Panchami Mahotsava in Jaipur has been planned to be observed with gaiety and fervour with rituals like Shruta Skand Vidhan, Palki Yatra of Jinvani Maa, aarti and singing of devotional songs. The Jains hold the same reverence for the Shatkhandagam as the Hindus for the Gita. The holy texts are referred to as 'Agam' in Jain philosophy.
According to the Rajasthan Jain Sahitaya Prarishad, beginning from May 20, the festival will continue for three days under the guidance of Acharya Shashank Sagar and will be marked by a seminar on "Jain Religion, Philosophy and Culture in the Present Context" besides the usual events in various Jain temples in the city.
It is said that two monks first listened to the knowledge that was being passed on as an oral tradition and absorbed it. Then they sat down to write the first Jain scripture called the "Shatkhand Agam".
The legend is that when the scripture was completed, the divine souls or devas performed a special pooja to sanctify the first scripture on Jainism.