Jain Festival of Peace & Forgiveness held in NJ

web55NEW JERSEY: Paryushan is an occasion for inner transformation; a priceless opportunity to set aside one’s attachments and aversions, to behold the virtue of forgiveness in one’s heart and to make rapid advances on the path of liberation. The first-ever Paryushan Parva Celebration (Festival of Peace and Forgiveness) in America with the well known spiritual master Gurudev Shri Rakeshbhai Jhaveri took place in New Jersey between August 14 and 22. Over 800 aspirants celebrated the full 8-day Jain festival of peace and forgiveness with Gurudev Shri Rakeshbhai Jhaveri who had come specially from India for this Festival of Forgiveness.
To take eight days off work; to spend eight days away from home; to immerse oneself in eight days of spiritual pursuit – is unthinkable in the United States unless it was propelled by an intense yearning for liberation and divine inspiration. In an atmosphere conducive to spiritual upliftment, seekers from all across US & Canada gathered in New Jersey, revelled with fervour and participated enthusiastically in the celebration and festivities. Nearly half the participants were young men and women, under the age of forty. Many observed an 8-day fast while others restricting to eating only once or twice a day.
The festivities began every morning with a glorious Snatra Puja (a celebration of the birth of Tirthankar Bhagwan). Soul-stirring devotional singing brought tears in the eyes of the listeners, filled their hearts with emotion, enhanced their feeling of surrender and drew them closer to the Divine. Each day, aspirants gathered eagerly to listen to the inspirational, motivational, heart-touching and spiritually enriching discourses by Pujyashri Gurudev.
One evening, residents of US presented a poignant drama based on the life of ‘Dhanna Shalibhadra’ – an inspiring saga of renunciation and salvation. The 8-day celebration culminated in Samvatsari – an occasion of intense practice of atonement and forgiveness leading to immense internal purification. On this auspicious day, people seek forgiveness from everyone they may have hurt knowingly or unknowingly by thoughts, words or actions, by saying “Michhami Dukkadam”.
Based on Upadhyay Shri Vinayvijayji Maharaj’s splendid composition, ‘Shant Sudharas’, Pujyashri Gurudev expounded on the four virtues – Maitri (Amity), Pramod (Appreciation), Karuna (Compassion) and Madhyasthata (Equanimity) – and presented valuable lessons on how to apply them when interacting with others to create loving relationships.
‘Shant Sudharas’ offers unique teachings on the twelve contemplations including the impermanence of the material world and aims to instil the virtues of detachment and dispassion. Revealing the true nature of material world and exposing its worthlessness and hollowness, giving spiritual seekers valuable guidance to seek real and permanent soul bliss within themselves.

India Post News Service

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