Shri Navpad Ayambil Oli
Ayambil is a type of a Jaina external Tap, scientifically designed to give benefits to mind, body and soul. Ayambil is the penance of controlling taste. The fast of Ayambil is observed to attain spiritual upliftment through the achievement of victory over taste and to shed karmic bondage.
Shri Navpad Ayambil Oli is a festival of 9 days, that comes twice in the year, celebrating and paying homage to the Navpad (The Navpad are also found in the Navkar Mantra). It falls between the 7th day of the lunar month to the full moon day of the Chaitra (March/April)and Ashwina (October/November) months.
Nav means nine in Sanskrit and Prakrit languages and Pada means post. Hence the word Navpad means nine supreme posts of the universe. These nine are Arihant, Siddha, Acharya, Upadhyaya, Sadhu, Samyak Darshan, Samyak Gyan, Samyak Charitra and Samyak Tap.
Navapad is also called Siddha Chakra. This is a Yantra in circular shape in that Siddha is placed on the top. Arihant is placed in the center and Acharya at the right side of Arihant. Upadhyaya is placed in the lower side and Sadhu in the left side of Arihant. Samyag Darshan, Samyag Gyan, Samyag Charitra and Samyag Tapa are placed in four corners starting from upper right corner and then moving clock-wise. The Navpad and Siddha Chakra are worshipped during the festival.
During Shri Navpad Oli, Jains also perform a penance known as Ayambil Tap. Those undergoing Ayambil Tap eat once per day, drink boiled water, and avoid eating foods that are considered ‘tasty’ by cooking without milk, curd, ghee, oil, sugar/jaggery, and fried foods. The Ayambil diet is like a detoxification. Ayambil diet is beneficial for our health and also helps reduce our own carbon footprint!
For more information on Aymbil Food in Gujarati Click Here.
During these nine days of Ayambil Oli, Puja, Holy Recitation, Meditation and other Rituals in honour of Navapad or Siddhachakra Aradhana takes place.
Day 1 – ARIHANT PAD
The first Pad of Shri Navpad and Shri Navkar Mantra is Shri Arihant Pad. Arihant is the supreme power of nature. Arihant is placed in the centre of the Siddhachakra Yantra. He is the purest soul in the universe with a physical body. Ari means Enemy and Hant means destroyer. Here enemies are internal and these are Raga (Craving or attachment) and Dvesha (Hatred). Hence, Arihant is free from earthly attachments and hatred and referred as Veetraga. Siddha is considered as one of the Deva Tatva. He lives in the world with a physical body in perfect equilibrium. He is also universal observer having complete wisdom that is Keval Gyan (Omniscience). When Arihant Parmatma attains infinite knowledge, he establishes the Chatrurviddha Sangh which includes the Sadhus, Sadhvijis, Shravaks and Shravikas (lay persons). Therefore, the soul of Arihant Parmatma is the founder of the Shaasan. All Tirthankar Parmatmas are considered as Arihants. They possess 12 attributes. Colour of Arihant is white, hence the grain chosen for Ayambil is white i.e. rice.
Day 2 SIDDHA PAD Liberated Soul
The second Pad of Shri Navpad and Shri Navkar Mantra is Shri Siddha Pad. Siddha means those who have been relinquished of all karmas and who will never have to go through the cycle of birth and death. Those who have attained Siddha Pad and without a body are pure,
enlightened and free. Siddha is placed in the top of Siddhachakra Yantra. Siddha is also considered as one of the Deva Tatva. Siddha is the supreme power of nature. He is the purest soul in the universe without a physical body. One becomes Siddha after attaining salvation. He lives in perfect equilibrium, eternal peace and joy. He also remains in perfect motionless rest. Colour for Siddha is red. They possess 8 attributes
Day 3 ACHARYA PAD Spiritual Master
The third Pad of Shri Navpad and Shri Navkar Mantra is Shri Acharya Pad. Acharya is the third post in Navpad and placed in the right side of Arihant in Siddhachakra Yantra. He is the first among Guru Tatva. Acharya is the successor of Arihant and leader of the four fold Sangh established by the Arihant. He is the Supremo and ultimate decision making authority in all the matters related to Sangh in absence of Arihant. He is also the ultimate authority in interpretation of the Jain Agam (Holy Scriptures). He observes and motivates Monks and Nuns for five spiritual conducts Gyaananachar, Darshanachar, Charitrachar, Tapachar and Veeryachar. The first four are related to last four Pads of Siddhachakra. Veeryachar, the fifth is enthusiasm and power to observe these four. Acharya Bhagwan is the leader of the Chaturvidh Sangh and fully knowledgable of the Agamsutras and its meanings. He is the sea of infinite compassion. Acharya Bhagwan is the one who advances the Shaasan of Prabhuji and is therefore considered equivalent to a King. Acharya Bhagwan has thirty six attributes and are symbolised by golden yellow colour.
Day 4 UPADHYAYA PAD Spiritual Teacher
The fourth Pad of Shri Navpad and Shri Navkar Mantra is Shri Upadhyaya Pad and is placed in the lower side of Arihant in Siddhachakra Yantra. He is the second among Guru Tatva. Upadhyaya Maharaj, who has a lot of knowledge within himself has studied the scriptures and the Agams and teaches many others. Upadhyaya Bhagwan is the one who advances the Shaasan of Prabhuji. He is responsible for the academic activities in a Sangh. He preaches and teaches Monks and Nuns. He is like a lieutenant and minister of Acharya. Some sacred Jain scriptures depict him as Prince in Kingdom of Acharya. Acharya Bhagwan posess thirty six attributes and are symbolised by green colour, hence the grain chosen for Ayambil is green i.e Mung.
Day 5 SADHU PAD Monk
The fifth Pad of Shri Navpad and Shri Navkar Mantra is Shri Sadhu Pad and placed in the left side of Arihant in Siddhachakra Yantra. He is the third among Guru Tatva. He has left house and renunciated. He has devoted himself to the holy path preached by Arihant and disciplined by Acharya. He devotes himself for the noble path that leads to salvation and practices four sacred virtues. He or she has five supreme vows i.e. completely abstaining from 1) Violence; 2) Lie; 3) Stealing; 4) Sexual conducts and 5) Possessions of earthly things. He practices to live in equilibrium in all conditions and states and knows that tranquillity is the essence of asceticism. He walks bare foot and does not use any type of vehicles. He does not cook for himself or others and lives on food provided by households. He does not also keep money in any form or hold any earthly assets. He practices austerity and penance to his optimum capacity and lives under discipline of Acharya and Upadhyaya. Sadhu Bhagwans are adorned with 27 attributes. They have compassion and friendship for all living beings and have the presentiment to help everyone. They practice penance, renunciation, religious rituals and remain in an auspicious state of being. Sadhu Bhagwans renounce the worldly affairs and join the path of emancipation. Since then,they have an intimate connection with all living beings of the world. symbolized with colour black. Jain followers worship Sadhu Pada in Shukla Ekadashi, the fifth day of Navpad Oli. They Aymbil is performed by eating boiled Udad only. Colour of Sadhu is black, hence the grain chosen for Ayambil is black i.e. Udad.
Day 6 SAMYAG DARSHAN – Right Faith
The sixth Pad of Shri Navpad is Shri Samyag Darshan Pad. Samyag Darshan means to have faith on the path shown by Prabhuji, to have faith on Dev, Guru and Dharma. Samyag in Sanskrit means “Right” and Darshan means view. Thus Samyag Darshan means to have the Right View. It also refers to the faith in the preaching of the Arihant. Samyag Darshan is the root of all the Dharma. Only with the right perspective, Dharma can be practiced. This is the first of the Three Gems in Jainism to attain salvation. Samyag Darshan is symbolised by the colour white. Ayambil is observed on Shukla Dwadashi by eating boiled rice.
Day 7 SAMYAG GYAN – Right Knowledge
The seventh Pad of Shri Navpad is Shri Samyag Gyan Pad. What is truth and what is untruth? What is religion and what is non-religion? What is Punya and what is Paap? Samyag Gyan is in the root of such distinctions which arise in the soul. Gyan refers to the right knowledge or wisdom. According to the scriptures, all actions should be preceded by right knowledge. Samyag Gyan removes our ignorance/absence of knowledge. The commands shown by Prabhuji are the saviours of our lives and the soul is prevented from
performing wrongful deeds. As a result of Samyag Gyan, the soul becomes pure. Knowledge is like water. Just as water cleanses the body or clothes from sludge, mud or sweat, the water of knowedge purifies the soul tarnished with attachments, malice, vishay (inappropriate sensual activities) and kashaay (anger, pride, illusion and greed) etc.This is the second gem to attain salvation. Samyag Gyan culminates enlightenment. Samyag Gyan
enables lives to always have good feelings and advance in performing auspicious deeds. Samyag Gyan gives Param Pad (ultimate state).It has five sub divisions and fifty one attributes and is symbolised by the colour white. Ayambil is observed on Shukla Triyodashi by eating boiled rice only.
Day 8 SAMYAG CHARITRA – Right Conduct
The eighth Pad of Shri Navpad is Shri Samyag Charitra Pad. Samyag Charitra Pad means to completely follow the path that Prabhuji has shown and live a life accordingly. As a result of Samyag Charitra Pad, the soul becoming free from the activities relating to violence or kashaay (anger, pride, illusion and greed) remains in equilibrium, to perform auspicious deeds and therefore prevents and reduces the accumulation of inauspicious karmas. Even
today, Samyag Charitra Pad is practiced by the Sadhu-Sadhviji Bhagwants. That is the path we should have a liking for and only the auspicious feelings of that path should remain with us. in Sanskrit means conduct. Thus Samyag Charitra means Right Conduct. This is the third of the three gems to attain salvation. This has seventy attributes and is symbolised by the colour white. Ayambil is observed on Shukla Chaturdashi by eating boiled rice only.
Day 9 SAMYAG TAP – Right Austerities
The ninth Pad of Shri Navpad is Shri Samyag Tap Pad. Samyag Tap Pad means strengthening the sacrament of Tap by keeping control of whatever desires we have and by
fasting, taking Pachhakhan etc. attain prosperity in the path of penance. Tap means austerity in the right perspective. Austerity in this context means to abstain from worldly desires. The objective of Samyag Tap is to live in equilibrium. Equilibrium is further classified into two types: Internal and external. Fast, penance etc are some of the types of external equilibrium. Modesty, nursing and meditation are some of the types of internal equilibrium. By the power of Samyag Tap, the practices of false karmic bondage and false karma we are accumulating are depleted from our lives. Tap is a fire. Just as gold is
purified by burning it in fire, the waste of karma attached to the soul is burnt and the soul becomes becomes clean and pure by the power of Tap. Our passions are pacified by Tap Tap is symbolised by the colour white. Ayambil is observed on the last day of Navpad Oli, Shukla Poornima by eating boiled rice only.
Navpad is also called the Siddhachakra. This is a Yantra in circular shape in that Siddha is placed on the top. Arihant is placed in the center and Acharya at the right side of Arihant. Upadhyaya is placed in the lower side and Sadhu in the left side of Arihant. Samyag Darshan, Samyag Gyan, Samyag Charitra and Samyag Tapa are placed in four corners starting from upper right corner and then moving clock wise.
MEANING: SIDDHACHAKRA IS THE WHEEL OF PERFECTION
The Siddhachakra Yantra is the most auspicious and most versatile mystical diagram in the Jain religion (see the diagram given here). ‘Siddha‘ means liberated soul and ‘chakra‘ means freedom from karmic bondages. ‘Yantra‘ means a mystical diagram. When one worships the Siddhachakra Yantra, one’s soul becomes liberated from karmic bondages.
This mandala of the Siddhachakra is the purest form of meditation and here the nine points of energies are harmonized in one mandala.
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