The true essence of the soul is pure, but in its transitory state and in the absence of focusing within, it fails to attain a state of bliss. The inability to experience this purity is due to the external restlessness. It is for this reason that the learned beings espouse to separate (robustly) between the inner and the outer. The soul’s key characteristic is its infinite bliss. However, by focusing on the external, one becomes attached to materialistic desires. Breaking this attraction and introspecting is the only sustainable and proven path for liberation. Being born into a Jain family has provided an invaluable opportunity to free oneself. By recognising the independence of the self, and non-self and immersing in the self passionately, one can bring an end to misery and pain; one can attain the state of all knowledge. Prayers, rituals and fasting without meaningful introspection and focus result in good deeds only. However, simply accumulating these good deeds is itself a form of attachment. -there is a greater purpose to life. Pursuing the internal path to liberation is a true celebration of ‘Paryushan’. The aim of Paryushan is to further one’s spiritual journey to an ultimate state of Moksha; where the only effective method is to divert from the transitory to focusing on the pure, permanent state of the soul. This must be the key objective of this human form, where one has been blessed with the highest level of understanding. In order to be born into the Jain religion requires the expensing of several good deeds from previous lives and so one must capitalise on this. Use the festival of ‘Paryushan’ wisely to focus inwards, meditate and make progress on your journey of self-realisation and liberation. Free yourself from materialism and adopt a higher purpose.
Premchand Meghji Shah (Hounslow)