Jai Jinendra! Yesterday was day 1 of Svetambar Paryushan.
Jains all over were immersed in Paryushan activities of starting new helpful habits and letting go of old unhelpful ones.
For many, it may have been attending Swadhyay for the first time or even something as simple as saying Navkar Mantra 3 times on waking up. What did you do?
I had a busy day: went to get a CT scan done and then some blood tests. I had not eaten breakfast and not planned for it and so I had to eat outside. Many choose not to eat outside food for the period of 8 days.
I tried to avoid the basic avoided food of root vegetables and ended up eating bread. mozzarella and tomato sandwich. I could have just had the tomato! Both bread and cheese would fall in the realm of foods to eat.
I got home at noon and decided to take a nap before picking up my daughter from school at 12.30pm. My phone discharged of energy, just like me. The alarm did not go and neither did I. The school called me to pick her up and then called my husband.
We both ended up going to school to pick her up. I came out of my slumber at 1 pm and him out of his office in San Jose. He went back to work and I took my daughter to pick up our package from Michael’s. a trip best avoidable during Paryushan.
Was going to Michael’s necessary? Yes, we needed to give something to my sister in law’s niece and nephew who we were meeting for the first time today. One can ask, should we have postponed this meeting given it
I called my sister who lives close to the Michael’s to see if we could join her. She was unavailable. We could just have gone home but we ended up going to PnG Jewellers to look for earrings for my daughter.
We went to check out the earrings, and then she realized my daughter’s ears were not pierced. She became less than helpful, and was plain was rude, saying we will not need the earrings for 3-4 months till the ear piercing has healed and we should come back to buy them. who says that if someone is in the store to buy something! I wanted to check for diamond studs for my daughter and she said they were expensive at $2400 and did not show me any. Next, we asked to see bangles and she said they had none for her age, just baby bangles, that can slid and fit. We tried one pair, sliding out the ends to see if it would fit. She did not allow us to try any more saying the bangles would get misshapened. I wonder if the bangles are just for show n tell and just plain delicate. At this point, my daughter was souring on her shopping experience and wanted to leave. I told the lady” Is there a problem of her not waning to make a sale to us?” She changed her tune.
She suggested necklaces for my daughter. My daughter tried many and chose one. Next, we checked out pendants for the necklaces, my daughter did not like the ones she showed. The lady showed us sets with earrings in a different section of the shop and said “We would have to buy the earrings too since it came as a set”. Was that necessary to say?
Finally, my daughter liked the ruby and my daughter asked ” Is that real?” She replied, “It was not”. Now I am thinking, maybe it was made in a lab and she explained it was color treated. DD settled on a round ruby pendant. The necklace with this set is just $800. I wonder why.
I asked to see the diamond studs. She showed me some perfect ones for my daughter’s ears. This is what I come to check in the first place. They were just for $2000.
We left the store soon after without making a purchase. I wanted to make sure that the quality is good since it was not very expensive. She said, she will hold it for 24 hours. We thanked her and left.
Was it necessary to go to the Jewellery store on the first day of Paryushan? No.
We came home, had a snack, DD lolled around and did her some Gujarati letter writing practice and then went to her dance class.
I made dinner. We were going to have salad for dinner: cucumber, tomato, chickpeas, couscous, olives with lemon and oil and salt. I offered some hummus and pita chips on the side.
I did not think about the garlic in the hummus! Ding!!! We ate garlic on the first day of the Paryushan. Habits, what we do on a daily basis impacts what we do on the special holy days.
“What about the meal planning from the previous post?” my sister asked. “It is good if one checks it and follows it”, I said. “I will try again tomorrow”.
I, then decided, I will work on just one thing per day. For tonight, I will say Navkar mantra 108 times before going to sleep. I did that and went to sleep.
Things I could have done better: some are mentioned above. A big one missing, is having a dialogue with my daughter about Paryushan. I said to myself, tomorrow morning, I will speak to her about Paryushan and little things she can do.
To that end, I will use this document the Pathshala at Jain Center of Northern California sent me. I promised myself tomorrow will be better.