Yesterday was day 2 of Paryushan.
We had a busy day ahead. Not with Paryushan activities, I am sad to say.
We woke up to making rava dhokla, I forgot to put salt in them, and they have yogurt, so definitely, not a Paryushan item due to dairy. Next, we made Coconut almond laddoos for my sister in law, made with condensed milk, again not a great choice in retrospect.
My first batch, I had to discard. I used old chocolate and it had a grain moth in it which I noticed after adding the chocolate to then roasted coconut almond mix. I did not want to be responsible for death of any eggs or larva in the coconut almond mix and feeding it to others.
I have been dealing with the grain moth problem for a long time, it all started during my period of prolonged illness and inability to do housekeeping. Now, it is more about, how much volume we buy and the pace at which we consume which is allowing the problem to persist. My health is better, I keep up on checking all the boxes of grain and flour frequently, and we are close to eliminating. I think it is gone, till I open something I do not expect will have grain moth, eg chocolate. I am learning, it is harder to eliminate when one is close to eliminating.
We were visiting them for lunch. Was this necessary? Could it have been postponed, No and Yes. Did I choose that? No. If I had taken a Pachkaan/vow of not having unnecessary travel during Paryushan, I would not have dabbled into the realm of eating outside food.
I decided we could meet my bro in law and sis in law and I could carry my own lunch so I do not eat outside food. At lunch, I could not figure out where my salad box went [ it was not in my bag!] I thought I left it at home so went ahead and ate the dahi vada, and salad with lettuce, sev, paneer [ dairy] and tamarind sauce [at least no onion and potato etc, I thought to myself] .
My daughter ate the pasta I brought with me [ leftovers with onion and garlic in it]. I am not working on getting her eating right during Paryushan so far. She loves dairy! But I have to say, I finally found a red sauce, Fody brand, that has no onions or garlic. It arrived yesterday. So the next pasta night will be guilt free.
We met my bro and sis in law, and her family: brother, his wife, their kids and parents. We spent a lovely time getting to know them. They are lovely people. Not Jains, though.
We came home just in time to attend the Pravachana with Dr Priyadarshana Shah. If you have some time, do check out the link.
My daughter sat through it with me. She enjoyed it and so did I.
For dinner, I had some leftover Rava dhokla, rice and gatta sabji [from frozen].
I could have planned my day better, left early from sister in law’s home to prepare dinner or prepared dinner and gone for lunch. So much room for improvement.
I ended the day with a Navkar mantra mala. I wanted to make sure, I did at least one thing right, today.
Could I have done more? Possibly. Tomorrow is another day, let me try again tomorrow.
I find that the many distractions of life, and the passions, ie kshayas, and delusions, ie maya, make it is hard to choose the right thing. It is the long weekend, my priority has been family. It is my daughter’s first long weekend since she re started going school after 18 months. My daughter, I am sending her to Pathshala so we can have discussions about Jain way of living. My husband, he is not religious though born into Brahmin family. and how best to incorporate it.
I am working on blending the Jain way of living as a house holder and to do that we need to make connections between the Anuvratas from Day 0 of Paryushan diaries into our daily life the best we can. Striving daily for improvement. Being kind and patient with our clouded selves!
Let’s look at them here:
- Protecting living creatures.
- Being honest.
- Taking only what is yours.
- Having one sexual partner.
- Limiting possessions: both, material and emotional.
- Performing only required movement: Not sure how this balances with walking with exercise!
- Eating only a few necessary items in a day.
- Refraining from unnecessary or violent activity.
- Being in a state of equanimity for 48 min as achieved by doing Samayika. During Samayik, our goal is to be without passion [Kshaya], experiencing supreme peace of our soul [Atma].
- Restricted movement over a small area.y
- Practicing to live like a monk: doing Samayik for 12 to 24 hours.
- Caring and sharing with unplanned guests including monks and nuns.
The last vow is of Sanlekhana or ending life instate of pure meditation.
Contemplation of the activities of the day, reflecting on what I did well and what I could do better, is a form of self evaluation to make changes for the next day.
The Pravachan, I am attending, emphasize seeking not just doing. Paryushan is not about meals, it is about self reflection, and spiritual growth not just rituals. I think you can’t have one without the other. I have to do to know I am doing right by my vows. And when I plan and do, I am doing it with the intention of decreasing harm and injury to other living creatures.
Nothing can be forced, it comes in its own time. I am doing my best given my circumstances.
I am curious about the rituals, having grown up in a home where my mom followed the teachings of Shrimad Rajchandra and knowing and performing none.
Here are the rituals with a brief description:
- Samayik: for 48 min each, twice a day
- Chaturvimsati: recitation of the Logassa which describes the Gunas of the 24 Tirthankars.
- Guru Vandana: we bow with our 2 hands, 2 legs and head, doing this presses certain points in our body which decrease our pride and increase our humility, experiencing respect for the teacher, and thus getting into a position to receive knowledge and confess wrong-doings.
- Pratikramana: can be done every morning, every evening, every 2 weeks, every 4 months or annually. One, initially does the self reflection of errors and asks for forgiveness for this day, this life and eventually past lives.
- Karyotsarga: It is the first step of meditation, brings complete relaxation with self awareness. Karyotsarga done with Bhaav, will connect your Atma consiousness to that of the Tirthankars, as you recite the Navkar Mantra, and this in turn activates Parmatma Shakti in one self.
- Pratyakhana: Vows are taken to prevent wrongful actions of the past and shutting the door on such activities occurring in the future.
In short, taking vows is an important part of developing control and setting limits. Becoming aware is the first step. Knowing that change takes time, I am just happy to document my journey here and share it with you. It is real, and raw.
Stay with me and keep exploring this with me as we make connections together.