Prayer for Forgiveness - Jain Paryushan Samvatsari Special

The adherents of Jainism religion celebrates the eight or ten day long festival of Paryushan during the month of August/September every year. Jainism, whose followers (Jains) are particularly known for their non-violence, strict vegetarianism, fasting, and substantial dominance in political and economic spheres of India, is a minority religion with less than a 5 million followers in the country, yet being the most literate religion of India (as per 2011 Census).

Founded by Bhagwan Rishabh in pre-historic period, the most-recent and last Tirthankar (one who establishes fourfold religious order of householders and monks, both male and female) of this era was Bhagwan Mahavira (599BC-527BC), whose contemporary was Lord Buddha. Jainism preaches five principles of non-violence, chastity, truth, non-stealing and non-possessiveness, which are to be achieved through the three jewels of right knowledge, right perception and right conduct.

As per Jain philosophy, the importance of forgiveness can never be overemphasized, and unsurprisingly Paryushan, the holiest period in Jainism, is a festival of repentance, soul-searching, atonement and most importantly, forgiveness. Other external rites during the festival includes undertaking fasting, quitting even root vegetables (stricter Jains follow these habits throughout the year and lifetime), reading and analyzing scriptures, and daily doing Pratikraman , an act of seeking forgiveness for the sins committed and reflecting upon one's actions for self-correction.

Jain canonical texts are usually written in Arghmaghadi Prakrit, a language prevalent in ancient Indian subcontinent. Herein, I have brought forth three basic sutras, with their translations in Hindi and English languages with word-to-word meaning. These sutras convey cardinal message of forgiveness and compassion, seeking peace and absolution through accepting our fault and vowing not to repeat them. And the best thing is these sutra are neither bound by any religion nor do they profess fundamentalism by praying to some exclusive deity. These sutras are universal in nature and can and should be read, recited and pondered upon by everyone advocating for non-violence and love.

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Khamaasaman Sutra (खमासमण सूत्र)

Khamaasaman sutra is one of the principal mantra in Jainism. Seeking forgiveness is a great thing to do. This sutra is the seeker's talking to compassionate preceptor, who can be anyone whom he considers to be his preceptor - teacher, monk, liberated one, Tirthankar, etc. This sutra seeks atonement directly, with no intermediaries, from your preceptor.

Original Sutra in Prakrit:
इच्छामि खमासमणो! वंदिउं जावणिज्जाए निसीहिआए मत्थएण वंदामि।

Original Sutra in English:
Icchaami khamaasamano! Vandiyum jaavnijjaaye nisihiyaahe matthayen vandami

इच्छामि - I want to
खमासमणो - Prakrit form of क्षमा-श्रमण - O Kshama-Shraman (Forgiving Preceptor)
वंदिउं - to pay obeisance; to offer salutation
जावणिज्जाए - as per all my strength
निसीहिआए - having averted from all activities; having surrendered all the sins
मत्थएण - with head
वंदामि - I pay obeisance; I bow down

Meaning in Hindi Translation:
हे क्षमाशील तपस्विन् श्रमण गुरु! अपनी शक्ति के अनुसार अन्य सब कार्यों का निषेध करके, सब पाप-कार्यों से निवृत्त होकर तथा अविनय अशातना की क्षमा मांगकर, वन्दन करना चाहता हूँ; और तदनुसार मस्तक झुका कर, मैं वन्दन करता हूँ।

Meaning in English Translation:
O Compassionate Preceptor! As per my commensurate strength, having surrendered all wrongful acts (having cast away my sins), I wish to bow down; and thus accordingly, I bow down to you with my head.

Icchakaren OR Iriyavahiyam OR Aalochna sutra (इच्छाकारेण / इरियावाहियं / आलोचना सूत्र)

This sutra is extremely practical and vital in day-to-day life of a person. It doesn't ask for any wordily gain or materialistic prosperity. It simply seeks to absolve the soul of the impurities attached to it by the sins committed knowingly or unknowingly throughout the day. Its grandeur lies in the fact that it seeks forgiveness from each and every living being, regardless of its size, shape, specie, color, race, gender or any discriminatory trait. It makes us realize how in the end, we all should respect each and every being and hurt no single living entity.

Original Sutra in Prakrit:
इच्छाकारेणं संदिसह भगवन्!
इरियावहियं पडिक्कमामि? इच्छं।
इच्छामि पडिक्कमिउं इरियावहियाए विराहणाए।
गमणागमणे पाणक्कमणे बीयक्कमणे हरियक्कमणे ओसा-उत्तिंग-पणग-दग-मट्टी-मकड़ा-संताणा-संकमणे।
जे मे जीवा विराहिया एगिंदिया, बेइंदिया, तेइंदिया, चउरिंदिया, पंचिंदिया, अभिहया, वत्तिया, लेसिया, संघाइया, संघट्टिया, परियाविया, किलामिया, उद्दविया, ठाणाओ ठाणं संकामिया, जीवियाओ ववरोविया, तस्स मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्।।

Original Sutra in English:
Ichhakaren sandisaha Bhagwan!
Iriyavahim padikkamami? Iccham!
Icchami padikkamium iriyavahiyae viraahnaaye.
Gamanagamane paanakkamane beeyakkamane hariyakkamane osaa utting panag gad matti makdaa santana-sankamane.
Je mai jeeva viraahiya egindiya, beyindiya, teyindiya, chaurindiya, panchindiya, abhihaya vattiya, lesiya, sanghaiya, sanghttiya, pariyaviya, kilaamiya, uddaviya, thanao thanam sankamiya, jeeviyao vavroviya, tassa michchhami dukkadam

इच्छाकारेणं - by my desire
संदिसह - give me the permission
भगवन् - O Lord!
इरियावहियं - Prakrit form of ईर्यापथिकी - act of Irya-pathiki (walking, traveling, moving, etc.)
पडिक्कमामि - Prakrit form of प्रतिक्रमण in first person singular - I am to do Pratikraman (act of repentance/forgiveness)
इच्छं - I want to!
इच्छामि - I wish
पडिक्कमिउं - to do Pratikraman
इरियावहियाए - caused by acts of moving on path/road
विराहणाए - Prakrit form of विराधना - for doing Viradhna (acting evil, causing suffering or distress, etc.)
गमणागमणे - in the act of coming and going
पाणक्कमणे - in the act of crushing living beings
बीयक्कमणे - in the act of crushing (animate) seeds
हरियक्कमणे - in the act of crushing plants
ओसा-उत्तिंग-पणग-दग-मट्टी-मकड़ा-संताणा-संकमणे - in the act of squashing dew, anthills, five-colored moss, water, mud, spiders and spiderwebs
जे मे जीवा - Whichever beings by me
विराहिया - have been anguished
एगिंदिया - beings with one sense
बेइंदिया - beings with two senses
तेइंदिया - beings with three senses
चउरिंदिया - beings with four senses
पंचिंदिया - beings with five senses
अभिहया - have been beaten or struck
वत्तिया - have been covered or mixed with dust
लेसिया - have been smashed
संघाइया - have been collided with one another
संघट्टिया - have been touched or tilted
परियाविया - have been caused suffering
किलामिया - have been fatigued or harassed
उद्दविया - have been intimidated or terrified
ठाणाओ ठाणं संकामिया - have been shifted from one place to another
जीवियाओ ववरोविया - have been separated from life; made lifeless; killed
तस्स - of that (all the aforementioned sins)
मिच्छामि दुक्कडम् - may my wrongful act be nullified or absolved; forgive me

Meaning in Hindi Translation:

हे भगवन्! अपनी इच्छा से ईर्यापथिकी क्रिया का प्रतिक्रमण करने की मुझे आज्ञा दें। (गुरु इसके प्रत्युत्तर में "पडिक्कमेह" [प्रतिक्रमण करो] ऐसा कहें, तब शिष्य कहें) मैं चाहता हूँ; आप की आज्ञा स्वीकृत करता हूँ।

अब मैं मार्ग में चलते समय हुई जीव विराधना का प्रतिक्रमण अन्तःकरण की भावनापूर्वक इच्छा करता हूँ।

आने-जाने में किसी प्राणी को दबाकर, बीज को दबाकर, वनस्पति को दबाकर, ओंस की बूँदों को, चींटियों के बिलों को, पाँच रंग की काई (नील-फूल) को, कच्चे पानी को, कीचड़ को, तथा मकड़ी व जाले आदि को खूँदकर या कुचलकर -
आते जाते मैंने जो कोई एकेन्द्रिय, दो इन्द्रिय, तीन इन्द्रिय, चार इन्द्रिय, अथवा पाँच इन्द्रिय वाले जीवों को पीड़ित किया हो, चोंट पहुँचाई हो, धुल आदि से ढाँका हो, आपस में अथवा ज़मीन पर मसला हो, इकट्ठे किये हो अथवा परस्पर शरीर द्वारा टकराये हों, छुआ हो, कष्ट पहुँचाया हो, थकाया हो, भयभीत किया हो, एक स्थान से दुसरे स्थान पर रखा हो, उनको प्राणों से रहित किया हो (जान से मारा हो), उन सभी अतिचारों का पाप, मेरे लिए निष्फल हो। अर्थात, जाने-अनजाने विराधना आदि से कषाय द्वारा मैंने जो पाप-कर्म बाँधा, उसके लिए मैं ह्रदय से पछताता हूँ, जिससे कि कोमल परिणाम द्वारा पाप-कर्म नीरस हो जावें और मुझे उसका फल भोगना न पड़ें।

Meaning in English Translation:
O Lord!
Give me the permission to repent or seek forgiveness with my desire for the sins committed while walking/moving on the road. (In response, a preceptor will say "May you repent or seek forgiveness", to which the person seeking forgiveness will say) that's what I want; I accept your permission.
Now I desire for repenting or seeking forgiveness for causing suffering or distress while walking/moving on the road.

While coming and going, crushing living beings, animate seeds, plants, or squashing dew, anthills, five-colored moss, water, mud, spiders and spiderwebs,
By me, whichever beings have been tormented - may they have one sense or two senses or three senses or four senses or five senses - beaten, covered in dust, smashed, collided with one another, touched, tilted, caused suffering, fatigued, harassed, intimidated, terrified, shifted from one place to another, killed,
My sin of all that be absolved off (I seek forgiveness for the sins committed)

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Micchami Dukkaddam Sutra (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम् सूत्र)

Every word of this sutra is what mankind needs today. It not only seeks forgiveness from all, but also asserts that first, I forgive you all. This is very important because only when one's own heart is not burdened with anger, hatred, avarice, jealousy and enmity, one can expect others to forgive him/her. This sutra is truly a universal one, and treats not only each human being as his friend, but each and every existent being in the universe, with no hostility towards any one. Let us cherish this sutra and imbibe it in the deepest corners of our hearts.

Original Sutra in Prakrit:
खामेमि सव्व जीवे, सव्वे जीवा खमन्तु मे ॥
मित्ति मे सव्व भूएसू, वेरं मज्झ न केणई ॥

Original Sutra in English:
Khamemi savve jeeva, savve jeeva khamantu me
Mitti me savva bhuyesu, veram majjh na kanei

तस्स - Of that (sin)
खामेमि - I forgive
सव्व - all
जीवे - living being
सव्वे - all
जीवा living beings
खमन्तु - may forgive
मे - me
मित्ति - friendship
मे - my
सव्व भूएसू - in all the living entities
वेरं - enmity or animosity
मज्झ - my
न केणई - with no one

Meaning in Hindi Translation:
मैं सभी जीवों को क्षमा करता हूँ। मैं सभी जीवो द्वारा माफ़ किया जाऊँ। मेरी सभी भूतों (जीवों) से मैत्री हैं। मेरी किसी से कोई दुश्मनी (वैर) नहीं हैं।

Meaning in English Translation:
I forgive all the living beings. May I be forgiven by all the living beings. I have friendship with all living entities. I have animosity with no one.

I hope after reading these magnificent lines, some people might have come crossed your mind. Let us promise ourselves to forgive them and also, seek forgiveness from them for keeping ill thoughts towards anyone. As Manas Madrecha quotes,
In a world replete with hatred, if you hope for love, you are a fool. And if you stop hoping, you are a bigger fool.
Bhala Ho (Stay Blessed)

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