Thursday September 9, 2021
Samvatsari, the Festival of Forgiveness, is celebrated with great faith on the last day of the Paryushan, in Jainism. The Samvantsari Pratikraman, done by almost every devotee of Lord Mahavir on this day, holds a special significance!
What miracle does Pratikraman create?
While doing pratikraman, people specifically ‘recall’ and ‘repent for’ every hurt that they may have caused to others, knowingly or unknowingly. During pratikraman, one confesses and apologises for the mistakes one has done and also resolves to never repeat this wrong deed which has caused hurt to others. People seek special forgiveness from every living being in this world by saying, “Micchami Dukkadam!”
What is the Significance of Michhami Dukkadam?
“Michhami Dukkadam” is an expression of repentance, which in itself is considered as Pratikraman. Micchami Dukkadam means ‘May my bad deeds (dushkrut) become fruitless (mithya).’
Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan specifies, “If, knowingly or unknowingly, we create wrong karma, there is a remedy for it. Once a wrong karma i.e. anything that hurts others through our thoughts, speech and body (actions) occurs, repentance should follow immediately. And repentance should be done, wholeheartedly and with sincerity.” Further, it should be done by keeping God as the witness; whichever God you believe in, whether Lord Mahavir or Lord Krishna, Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan or any other God.
Repenting wholeheartedly for our mistakes, committed intentionally or mistakenly, helps wash away all the bad karmas, that would have otherwise got bound, and thus we become free of them. When one repents for any wrong karma wholeheartedly, the bondage of karma is reduced to minimum. “Even after repentance, should the mistake occur again, there is no need to worry; just repent again”, says Param Pujya Dadashri.
Here, one needs to understand how repentance helps us get rid of our wrong deeds and if we do not repent, then what kind of consequences may occur.
Every action we do, bears an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore, when we do something that is evidently wrong or which hurts others, we will have to suffer as a result of this bad deed. To its rescue, Param Pujya Dadashri provides us with the remedy of repentance i.e. pratikraman.
While explaining the importance of pratikraman, Param Pujya Dadashri says, “Repentance will loosen the entangled knots of karma. If not, the result of the wrongful action you bind will be so horrendous that you may even forfeit human birth in your next life. And if you manage to attain human life again, it will be full of suffering and misery. You will be deprived of food and respect, and you will suffer constant insults. That is why repentance along with other rituals becomes necessary.”
So today, on this Samvatsari day, let’s celebrate the Festival of Forgiveness, by doing a whole-hearted and sincere pratikraman, for all the bad deeds that have happened so far through our thoughts, words or actions; and thus allow our repentance to wash away the inner dirt and make us a pure human being, whose goal of life is to progress towards salvation.