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Jain Kshamavani Parva: Forgiveness as way to life of love and liberation
Ganesh Chaturthi of the Hindus and Kshamavani Parva or "Forgiveness Day" of Shwetambar Jains fall on the same day called Samvatsari or 4th day of Shukla Paksha in the holy month of Bhadra. This year the two festivals fall on August 25.

On this day, the Jains can be seen saying "Micchami Dukkadam" to one another, which is a common phrase to ask for forgiveness. It is a Prakrit phrase means "May all the evil that has been done be fruitless". The phrase also means "I beg for forgiveness for all my faults or mistakes, committed either knowingly or unknowingly."

According to Lord Mahavira, humans should forgive their own soul first and then forgive others unconditionally to practice Uttam Kshma or supreme forgiveness. He had told his followers that unconditional forgiveness was the path to spiritual purification. Hence, the festival is deemed to be reminder of following the path of self-purification for the followers of Jainism.

The scriptures quote Lord Mahavira saying: "The one whom you hurt or kill is you. All souls are equal and similar and have the same nature and qualities" and "forgiveness benefits both the forgiver and the forgiven."

Jaipur resident Kulesh Jain says that when we forgive, we stop feeling resentful and remain equipoise even when someone tries to offend us and this leads to no retaliation and we learn to live our Dharma of non-violence.

Not only in Jainism, but in many other religions and cultures, there is a day or festival dedicated to forgiveness as an opportunity to introspect and forgive one another and start afresh to set things right.

Moreover, there is also a Forgiveness Day in August that was founded by the Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance. Another Forgiveness Day is observed on July 7 by the members of the Christian Embassy of Christ's Ambassadors. However, the message is the same that of loving, forgiving, forgetting and moving forward.

Here are my few 'Forgiveness Haiku' for you to think over.

Admit your mistakes

Reflect, ask for forgiveness

Start fresh and wiser

~*~

Forgive self, others -

Just Unconditionally -

To move on in life.

~*~

Harbour no grudges.

Grudges drain and consume you.

Forgive, get stronger.

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