A new year is a new opportunity to leave the past behind and move forward in life.
A new beginning means to start a fresh, which means to leave the past behind, to erase past impressions and create new ones, to clean the board and write a new story, to burn away past karmas and perform new pious karma.
A new year is a new opportunity to leave the past behind and move forward in life. Leaving the past behind is to leave hatred, enmity, jealousy, misery, painful memories, failures, etc, behind and making a new beginning in relationships with positivity, vigour, love and compassion without any trace of past painful impressions.
Forgiveness is the most effective tool to let go of the past, to erase past hatred, enmity and misery and to burn away past impressions. By forgiving and by seeking forgiveness one gets freed from the past and helps make a new beginning.
In Jain dharma it is believed that at the end of 6th “aara” (a period of 21,000 years) after all destructions, there was resurgence of life and vegetation all around. There were seven types of rains for seven days each, which lasted for 49 days and helped cleanse the past adharmas, sins and negativities from the environment. “Samvatsari” was celebrated on the 50th day as a mark of joy of resurgence and purity. Since the day was so auspicious, dharma gurus had decided to make it a spiritual festival and called it “Paryushan”.
Paryushan is a combination of two words “par” meaning all kinds and “ushan” meaning to burn. So Paryushan means to “burn away all kinds of karmas”. It is a celebration through which the karmic matter attached to the soul is totally burnt, vanquished and extinguished. The last day of Paryushan is called “Samvatsari” which means “once in a year”.
Paryushan is the time to focus inwardly and totally remain withdrawn from all external activities to invoke inner potential powers so as to overcome all negativities like anger, greed, pride, deceit, enmity, violence, jealousy, etc. It is the time to build virtues of humility, non-violence, austerity, honesty, sacrifice, forgiveness, etc.
Forgiveness is the essence of all virtues and this is done on every day of “Paryushan”. It is also a process of cleansing one’s conscience by soliciting pardon from all living beings. This act of asking forgiveness is done during “Pratikraman” everyday. It serves as an internal mirror. Pratikraman means reflection, introspection and repentance. It is a process to look at the events and actions of the past, seek forgiveness for their sins and wrong doings with a vow not to harbour ill will towards anybody in future and forgive those who have wronged them and resolve to forget them all.
This entire process of forgiveness makes one’s mind, body and soul completely pure and humble. This helps one to improve relationships, create harmony in the family and society and helps in spiritual upliftment and salvation.
No one can go back in time and change a bad beginning but anyone can start now and create a new beginning and end it successfully.
Wish everyone a Happy New Year with a fresh, new beginning.