The soul, in its pure form, has infinite perception, infinite knowledge,
infinite vigor, and is non-attached. These attributes are not seen in a
worldly soul because it is soiled with karmas. By following religious
principles principals and activities, we overcome our karmas and uplift
our souls to liberation. There are various kinds of religious
activities, sometimes called rituals, and among them Pratikraman is the
most important ritual.  During pratikraman we repent for our
non-meritorious activities on a daily basis.  We realize our mistakes
and ask for forgiveness which helps us to minimize the intensity of the
karma’s bondage. Pratikraman is a combination of six avshyakas
(essential rituals).  The six Avshyakas are:
1)   Samayik - a state of total equanimity
2)   Chauvisantho - worshipping the twenty-four Tirthankars
3)   Vandana - offering salutations to sadhus (monks) and sadhvis (nuns)

4)   Pratikraman - realizing what we have done wrong and annotating on
5)   Kayotsagga - meditation of the soul
6)   Pratyakhyan - renunciation

1)  Samayik
In samayik, we stay in equanimity for forty-eight minutes. During
samayik not only do we give up all worldly affairs, but we also stay
away from attachment and aversion. This activity helps us to purify our
passions and desires. To perform samayik, we put on simple, white
clothes, and occupy a quiet place. While in samayik, we recite the
Navkar Mantra, read scriptures, perform meditation, etc. Our samayik
gives us a glimpse at the life of sadhus who live in samayik all of
their life. It directly encourages us to lead the life of a sadhu or

2)  Chauvisantho
Chauvisantho means adoration of  the twenty-four Tirthankaras.  By
reciting it, we show our respect for the twenty-four Tirthankaras.
While reciting this, we are reminded of how victorious these Jinas, who
overcome inner enemies like anger, ego, greed, deceit, etc., were and
such activity also and encourages us to be like them. It is also called

3)  Vandana
During vandana, we bow down to monks and nuns and express our reverence
to them. They are our current religious guides, and preceptors. While
bowing down, we become humble, and thus, help ourselves to overcome ego
and anger. It also inspires us to become like them. (If there is no
monk or nun then we bow down in the North-East direction to Arihantas
who are currently living far away from here.)

4)  Pratikraman
Pratikraman is the combination of two words, Pra meaning return and
atikraman meaning violation. Literally, it means returning from
violations.  As Jain householders, we are supposed to observe twelve
minor vows.  During  Pratikraman we review our activities for any
violations that may have occurred among these vows.  In this way, we
ask for forgiveness for our actions, purify our souls, and improve our
future activities.  If we have not taken these vows then we should wish
that there will come a day when we can take those vows. Pratikraman is
usually done twice a day; once in the morning, Raisi (morning)
Pratikraman and once in the late evening Devasi (evening) Pratikraman.
Those who are unable to perform daily pratikraman should do a Pakshik
(fortnightly) Pratikraman. There are some who somehow can not find even
that much time, they should do a Choumasi (quarterly) Pratikraman,
every four months.  However, if someone can not even do that, then they
should do Samvatsari (yearly) Pratikraman, considered a must for every
Jain. By repenting during the pratikraman, you lessen the bondage of
karma to your soul and avoid committing the same sins in the future. If
we do not repent for our deeds at least once a year, then the bondage
of karmas to the soul becomes severe and even harder to shed off. In
all truth, one should perform pratikraman as soon as one realizes he or
she has committed a sin.

5)  Kayotsagga
The word kayotsargga is made up of two words Kaya meaning body and
utsarga meaning to give up. Kayotsagga means to give up one’s physical
comfort and body movements, thus staying steady, either in a standing
or other posture, and concentrating upon the true nature of the soul as
being separate from the body.  This is a form of meditation and by
practicing pure kayotsargga we slowly gain control over our mental,
verbal, and physical  activities.

6)  Pratyakhyan
This is a formal renunciation of certain activities, which reduces to
stops the inflow of karmas.  This activity helps us to learn to control
our desires and prepares us for a much bigger renunciation.

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