We all have done Pratikraman, at least once!
During Paryushan. We also have seen many doing it daily! What is the significance of it?
Why do it daily? What do we gain by doing pratikraman?
It means reviewing our daily activities, and concentrating on retreating from them. Pratikraman is the best of all six Ävashyaka (essential rites).
“Prati” means “back” and “kraman” means “to go”, i.e. to go back, review, confess, and repent the bad thoughts and deeds from our daily, nightly, biweekly, quarterly and yearly activities.
It also means going back to the path of nonviolence, truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy,
and non-attachment, and forgiving the faults of others, asking forgiveness for our faults without any reservation, and extending friendship. This will stop (Samvara) the influx (Äsrava) of karma that covers the true nature of our soul (self, jiva, or ätmä) which has the qualities of perfect knowledge, vision, bliss, and power. It means to disengage from non-soul-like activities and to engage in the soul-like activities.
Pratikraman is like a mirror.
We see our selves, externally, in the mirror the way it is. During Pratikraman, we see our selves, internally, the way it is. We see our faults and wrongdoings. We ask for forgiveness for all wrongful acts and take vows to minimize such acts.
The process of shedding karma (Nirjarä) consists of 12 penances, 6 external and 6 internal. External penances detach the aspirant from the external world like food, pleasures of five senses, mind and body; and prepare him/her for the internal journey.
One cannot begin his/her internal journey without examining his/her faults, the atonement of the faults by asking for forgiveness and self-correction of them.
These three constitute the first internal penance, called Präyaschit. Without doing the first internal penance correctly, one cannot do the next one because they are interrelated, and have “cause and effect” relationship.
Pratikraman provides the means of practicing first internal penance, Präyaschit. Therefore, our Tirthankars and great Ächäryas have greatly emphasized on performing Pratikraman twice a day for all householders.
Pratikraman is done after taking the vows for Sämäyik and the conclusion of the Sämäyik follows the completion of the Pratikraman. Sämäyik is the essence of Tirthankar’s teachings. Therefore, the aspirant should perform Sämäyik at least once a day.
In Pratikraman – First, we review the mistakes committed as regard to the five great characteristics of the soul: Perception (Darshan), Knowledge (Jnäna), Conduct (Chäritra), Austerities (Tapa) and Energy (Virya). Then we review the mistakes committed as regards to five supreme beings (Arihant, Siddha, Achärya, Upädhyäya and Sädhu/Sädhvis), then all Shrävaks & Shrävikäs, all living beings, then our close ones – family members, relatives, friends, and colleagues.
After recalling every mistake we have committed, we ask for forgiveness and then try to minimize our mistakes in future.
In the end, we try to take some vow that we can practice without any regret and per our capabilities.
It’s Amazing!, Jainism is not only the oldest religion but also the most efficient religion! The rules are laid down for own betterment!
Are you going to do Pratikraman daily?
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