Jain Paryushana Festival: Significance and Timing

Jain Paryushana Festival: Significance and Timing

Jainism is one of the main religions of the world and we have studied about Lord Mahavir in a previous article. Today we will learn about a festival associated with Jainism which is known as the Paryushana or Paryusan by the Jains and see what is the significance of the Jain Paryushana festival and when is it going to be celebrated in the year 2014.

Jain Paryushan Festival

Jain Paryushan Festival

The History

The Paryusan festival is known by different names in both sects of Jainism and is known as Paryushana/Paryusan and Das Lakshana by the Shwetamber and Digambar Jains respectively. Basically the word means “coming together” and it signifies the coming together of the monks and the general public and is a time period when the wandering monks stop their wanderings and the householders take knowledge and wisdom from them.

The exact dates, duration and timing of the Paryusan festival might vary slightly with the different sects and subsects of Jainism but mostly it is either an 8 day or 10 days festival where the Jains follow the below mentioned routine.

2014 Paryusana Dates

Mainly this festival signifies the birth anniversary of Lord Mahaveer and it starts on the Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturtha which is falling on 22 August 2014 till 29 August 2014. Please note that this is different from Mahavir Jayanti which was celebrated in April this year. Also see the calendar below for more details (Courtesy: JainWorld website)

Jain Calendar August 2014

Jain Calendar August 2014

What is Done during Paryushana Days?

Please note that the exact procedures followed by different subsects could vary widely and putting them all together in this article would make it more of an academic work rather than an article for the general public who can read it lightly and learn about Jain religion so the main practices followed during Paryusan are summed up in brief as follows.


This is obviously the first thing to cleanse oneself and detach as much as possible from the physical desires. The exact type of fast again varies with some sects only taking boiled water during specified times while others not even doing that.


After fasting comes meditation, which is the core of Jain religion and infact all other true religions of the world. The time and type of meditation can vary and the details are known to the ones initiated in this.


This is a unique feature which sets this festival apart and herein the disciples ask forgiveness from each other for any sins or bad deeds they might have done knowingly or unknowingly against each other.

This is certainly a great thing which creates humility and cleanses the mind of all pride and creates good will and peace amongst the followers. The exact words used for this are

“Micchami Dukkadam” or “Uttam Kshama”

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