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On the auspicious day of Kshamavani, Uttam Kshama to all - if we have wronged you or hurt you in any way this year, we humbly ask for your forgiveness!
This week marks the last days of Das Lakshan, which this year was celebrated over 11 days because of an extra Tithi on the lunar calendar. Throughout the 11 days of observance, YJA has explained the 10 virtues celebrated during this time.

We began with Kshama (Forbearance), which includes both calmness and forgiveness, recognizing that we have the ability to control our actions and can choose to forgive. The second day was Mardav (Humility) where it was important to think about how to put aside our own desires and passions. Arjav (Straightforwardness), the third virtue, is the opposite of deceit and encourages us to think about how to be candid in our lives. The fourth day celebrates Shaucha (Contentment), asking us to reflect on ways to be at peace and to work to reduce our greed. By becoming aware of our cravings and “wants” we can better control them and work to achieve contentment. Satya (Truthfulness), is the fifth virtue and encourages us to think about the many aspects where we can be truthful, such as in our thoughts, speech, and actions.

The sixth virtue is Sanyam (Self-Restraint) which refers to carefully controlling the mind, speech and body so as not to injure any living beings. The seventh day of Das Lakshan focuses on Tap (Austerity) which help us learn how to control ourselves using techniques like meditation, limiting food, or fasting. Going beyond Tap, the eighth virtue of Tyag asks us to renounce, both physical objects and internal attachments. True renunciation leads to the ninth virtue of Akinchanya, of non-attachment.

The last virtue is Brahmacharya (Celibacy), which includes but also goes beyond restraint of sexual desires. Brahmacharya is restraint and control of all of the senses.

Finally, after the end of Das Lakshan, the Digambar day of forgiveness is “Kshamavani,” on which day Digambars say “Uttam kshama” to each other, which is similar to Shvetambars saying “Micchami Dukkadam.”
Though Paryushan and Das Lakshan have come to an end, the virtues, principles, and practices we discussed are important for daily life as Jains and we should continue to reflect on them and implement them throughout the year. Over the next year, consider doing a Samayik or trying to implement truthfulness once a month, or pick a week to try one of the two Activity Trackers we posted! We hope our content has been helpful. If we have said any wrong or harmful thing, we sincerely ask for forgiveness.
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