Micchami Dukkadam-Jains seeking forgiveness

Lata Jain

Forgiveness is the supreme act of courage! It is an act of faith and humility. It releases both the parties to move on and build a new tomorrow. However, it is very difficult to execute.

No one is perfect “and to err is human is a very old saying and applies to everyone on this earth. Every creature does commit mistakes but, there exists a superpower which forgives them, which gives them another chance to start their life moving on the right path.

Micchami Dukkadam is a Jain ritual practiced on Samvatsari – the last day of Paryushan. It is a day to ask for forgiveness and to forgive all in the Universe. The Jains celebrate a day for Universal Forgiveness on Panchami or fifth day of the shukla phase of the auspicious Bhadrapada month. According to Jain scriptures, Lord Mahavira used to start Paryushana on this day and it is known as ‘Kshamavani Day’.

Michchhami Dukkadam is usually said when we ask for forgiveness. People do this as a normal thing after the Paryushana festival. Traditionally, it is said on the day of Samvatsari which is the last day of Paryushana. There is some debate over whether it means more to say it before Samvatsari, rather than, waiting for the day itself.

Janis is the follower of lord Mahavir and believe to perform his directions to live a life in a ritual way. Paryusana is one of the most famous festivals of Jain religion. It is eight or ten day festival of this religion of Jain and Samvatsari is the last day of this festival of Paryusana. It is a most ritualistic festival of Jain community or Jain religion. This is the day which is famous for its purpose of celebration. It is the festival which is observed for the forgiveness to other people who harmed to one by knowing or unknowing ways.

During this occasion people observed a hard fast for the whole day and meet and greet to other people of their family members, neighbors, friends, or others who relates to an individual for giving and taking forgiveness for their acts in the past year. This process called as the name of Micchami Dukkadam in this religion of India.

It is often said that ‘to err is human and to forgive divine’. To commit mistakes may be human nature but to realize it is also a human quality. Jainism provides us a day to forget bitter experience and nasty offences of past with Uttam Kshama.

Often we hurt other’s feelings, but sometimes, we take years to feel and say sorry. However, in Jain traditions as a part of religious practice, a public level opportunity is provided to seek forgiveness from everyone whom we have hurt knowingly or unknowingly by our thoughts, words, deed or actions.

These days, it has also become a trend to exchange messages, send on-line cards asking for forgiveness. It is held that that Kshamavani should be observed with a pure and humble heart for an Uttam Kshama or supreme forgiveness.

So many people who have been abused, neglected, and or hurt in many other ways have great difficulty getting to true forgiveness. The way to get stuck and block yourself from forgiveness is to mistakenly believe that by holding on to your anger, rage, and hate that you are getting revenge upon the person you choose not to forgive. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Forgiveness is NOT about justifying anyone’s wrong behavior, ever. Forgiveness is not about forgetting.

Forgiveness does not mean that you have to reconnect or have the person you want forgive involved in your life. Forgiveness is remembering and making a choice to let go. The letting go is for you. Forgiveness is a gift that you can give to yourself. If you continue to hold the hurt, anger, and hate, you only hurt yourself. You are not hurting the person or persons that hurt you.

Michhami Dukkadam” is an ancient Prakrit phrase meaning “I beg your forgiveness”. People visit their friends and relatives to greet “Michhami Dukkadam” and pledge that no private dispute or quarrel may be taken beyond this day of “Samvatsari”.

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