Daslakshan Festival is celebrated by Jain Community across the globe for self purification. As the name indicates, Jains adhere to ten universal virtues like forgiveness, contentment and self-restraint for ten consecutive days every year. The ten universal virtues are venerated and worshipped for self purification. The aim is to leads us on the right path, far from the strife for material prosperity, which ultimately leads us to our destination i.e. salvation. This is the festival through which an attempt is made to put an end to all vices, passions and lustful desires in thought, speech and action.
During these ten days of festivity from Bhadrapada Shukla Panchami (5th Day of the 6th lunar month of the Hindu calendar) to Anant Chaturdashi (14th Day of the 6th lunar month of the Hindu calendar), Jains observe fast in various forms and give alms (Daan). Jains renounce certain things – (Tyaag) and strictly observe the principles of the Festival. Each day of the Festival has its own importance.
Day 1 (23.08.2020) will be observed as Day of Supreme Forgiveness (Uttam Kshama Dharma): To observe tolerance whole-heartedly, shunning anger.
Day 2 (24.08.2020) will be observed as Day of Tenderness and Humility (Uttam Mardava Dharma): To observe the virtue of humility subduing vanity and passions.
Day 3 (25.08.2020) will be observed as Day of Straight-forwardness and Honesty (Uttam Aarjava Dharma): To practice a deceit-free conduct in life by vanquishing the passion of deception.
Day 4 (26.08.2020) will be observed as Day of Contentment and Purity (Uttam Shauch Dharma): To keep the body, mind and speech pure by discarding greed.
Day 5 (27.08.2020) will be observed as Day of Truthfulness (Uttam Satya Dharma): To speak affectionate and just words with a holy intention causing no injury to any living being.
Day 6 (28.08.2020) will be observed as Day of Self-restraint (Uttam Sanyam Dharma): To defend all living beings with utmost power in a cosmopolitan spirit abstaining from all the pleasures provided by the five senses - touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing; and the sixth - mind.
Day 7 (29.08.2020) will be observed as Day of Penance and Austerities (Uttam Tap Dharma): To practice austerities by putting a check on all worldly allurements.
Day 8 (30.08.2020) will be observed as Day of Renunciation (Uttam Tyag Dharma): To give fourfold charities - Ahara (food), Abhaya (fearlessness), Aushadha (medicine), and Shastra Dana (distribution of Holy Scriptures), and to patronize social and religious institutions for self and other’s upliftment.
Day 9 (31.08.2020) will be observed as Day of Non-attachment (Uttam Akinchan Dharma): To enhance faith in the real self as against non-self i.e., material objects; and to discard internal possession like anger and pride and external possessions like accumulation of gold, diamonds, royal treasures.
Day 10 (01.09.2020) will be observed as Day of Chastity or celibacy (Uttam Brahmachary Dharma): To observe the great vow of celibacy; to have devotion for the inner soul and the omniscient Lord; to discard the carnal desires, vulgar fashions, child and old-age marriages.
Kshamavani “Forgiveness Day” is a day of forgiving and seeking forgiveness for the Jains. Digambara Jains celebrate it on the first day of Ashvin Krishna Month of the lunar-based Hindu calendar (Two days after the last day of the Daslakshan Festival). “Uttam Kshama” is the common phrase used when asking for forgiveness. It is a Prakrit phrase meaning “May all the evil that has been done be fruitless”.