Suresh Jain

It is matter of great rejoice that we are celebrating Kshma Vani Parva on 2nd Oct-2012 But I would like to add that strict Jains observe kshma Bhav every (morning) by Pratikraman and Devasi (evening) Pratikraman for the specific purpose of reviewing our activities (twice a day) for any violations, asking for the forgiveness for our actions, and improving our future activities. There are less frequent varieties of Pratikraman, but the yearly Samvatsari Pratikraman (during Paryushan Parva) is considered a must for every Jain.

The soul, in its pure form, has infinite perception, infinite knowledge, infinite vigor, and is non-attached. These attributes are not seen in a Worldly soul because it is soiled with karmas. By following religious principles principals and activities, we overcome our karmas and uplift our souls to liberation. There are various kinds of religious activities, sometimes called rituals, and among them Pratikraman is the most important ritual. During pratikraman we repent for our non-meritorious activities on a daily basis. We realize our mistakes and ask for forgiveness which helps us to minimize the intensity of the karmas bondage.

Pratikraman is a combination of six avshyakas(essential rituals). The six Avshyakas are:

1) Samayik – a state of total equanimity
2) Chauvisantho – worshipping the twenty-four Tirthankars
3) Vandana – offering salutations to sadhus (monks) and sadhvis (nuns)
4) Pratikraman – realizing what we have done wrong and annotating on it
5) Kayotsagga – meditation of the soul
6) Pratyakhyan – renunciation

1) Samayik: In samayik, we stay in equanimity for forty-eight minutes. During samayik not only do we give up all worldly affairs, but we also stay away from attachment and aversion. This activity helps us to purify our passions and desires. To perform samayik, we put on simple, white clothes, and occupy a quiet place. While in samayik, we recite the Navkar Mantra, read scriptures, perform meditation, etc. Our samayik gives us a glimpse at the life of sadhus who live in samayik all of their life. It directly encourages us to lead the life of a sadhu or sadhvi.

2) Chauvisantho Chauvisantho means adoration of the twenty-four Tirthankaras. By reciting it, we show our respect for the twenty-four Tirthankaras. While reciting this, we are reminded of how victorious these Jinas, who overcome inner enemies like anger, ego, greed, deceit, etc., were and such activity also and encourages us to be like them. It is also called Chaturvinshatistava

3) Vandana:  During vandana, we bow down to monks and nuns and express our reverence to them. They are our current religious guides, and preceptors. While bowing down, we become humble, and thus, help ourselves to overcome ego and anger. It also inspires us to become like them. (If there is no monk or nun then we bow down in the North-East direction to Arihantas who are currently living far away from here.) 

4) Pratikraman : Pratikraman is the combination of two words, Pra meaning return and atikraman meaning violation. Literally, it means returning from violations. As Jain householders, we are supposed to observe twelve minor vows. Better known barh bhawana During Pratikraman we review our activities for any violations that may have occurred among these vows. In this way, we ask for forgiveness for our actions, purify our souls, and improve our future activities. If we have not taken these vows then we should wishthat there will come a day when we can take those vows. 

Pratikraman is usually done twice a day; once in the morning, Raisi (morning) Pratikraman and once in the late evening Devasi (evening) Pratikraman. Those who are unable to perform daily pratikraman should do a Pakshik (fortnightly) Pratikraman. There are some who somehow can not find even that much time, they should do a Choumasi (quarterly) Pratikraman, every four months. However, if someone can not even do that, then they should do Samvatsari (yearly) Pratikraman, considered a must for every Jain.

By repenting during the pratikraman, you lessen the bondage of karma to your soul and avoid committing the same sins in the future. If we do not repent for our deeds at least once a year, then the bondage of karmas to the soul becomes severe and even harder to shed off. In all truth, one should perform pratikraman as soon as one realizes he or she has committed a sin.

5) Kayotsagga: The word kayotsargga is made up of two words Kaya meaning body and utsarga meaning to give up. Kayotsagga means to give up ones physical comfort and body movements, thus staying steady, either in a standing or other posture, and concentrating upon the true nature of the soul as being separate from the body. This is a form of meditation and by practicing pure kayotsargga we slowly gain control over our mental, verbal, and physical activities.

6) Pratyakhya : This is a formal renunciation of certain activities, which reduces to stops the inflow of karmas. This activity helps us to learn to control our desires and prepares us for a much bigger renunciation, revenge is transient, Only Forgiveness is Complete.

We are born to die,Only thing that Lives through is Forgiveness.To Forgive is a great virtue,Greater than probably any other. Dont see things as we are; See as they are.Life will be far simpler. Forgiveness is the real form of Love.Forgiveness is understanding that change is inevitable; That it is irredeemable; Thus our Kshma Prava is only successful, if we understand the concept of daily partikarman and Samaiyaki every day. But I understand that the Partikarman concept is missing in most the cases . I Would seek that the originally concept be adhered in proper sense.