Pratikraman : The Path of Self-Analysis

Published: 18.09.2007
Updated: 02.07.2015
Akshay Pragya
Vinay Pragya

Pratikraman: The Path of Self-Analysis

Every human being has five sense organs, and each organ has its own significance. But out of these five, the pair of delicate eyes is dearer to all. Man loves looking at the exter­nal world, which is a function of biological eyes. There is an­other way of looking; that is to look inside, with our mental and conscious eyes. The question is what do we see with our inner eyes? We are supposed to see our words, our deeds and our thoughts. This is the process of self-analysis and in Jain Tradi­tion it is termed as ‘Pratikraman’.

The word ‘Pratikraman’ is com­posed of prefix ‘Prati’, root word ‘Kramu’ and suffix ‘an’. Here ‘Prati’ stands for ‘back’ and ‘kramu’ for ‘to go’.

The auspicious occasion of Paryushan and Das-Lakshan tells us to look inward and correct mistakes done inten­tionally or unintentionally, as our nature and behaviour are driven by our inner self. However our life is not a one-way street. We can always go back and refine ourselves. Pratikraman is the process to go back to our own nature of consciousness. It is the process of returning from the wrong path to the right path.

The aim of Pratikraman is to cut off the weaknesses from our life and make an effort not to repeat them in fu­ture. It is a cleaner that cleanses our heart. It is not a ritual but a practice, a life-value. In Jain tradition, there is an organized way of Pratikraman, which can be found in the scriptures (Avashyak Sutra). One may ask - when should one do Pratikraman? It should be done at least once a day, may be right before you go to sleep. In Jain tradition there are five Pratikramans based on time as follows,

Daivasika Pratikraman:

It is performed in early evening to analyze the mistakes done during the day.

Ratrika Pratikraman:

It is performed in early morning to analyze the mistakes done during the night.

Pakshika Pratikraman:

It is performed fortnightly for the mistakes done during the previous 15 days.

Chaturmasika Pratikraman:

It is performed once in four months to analyze the mistakes done during the last four months.

Samvatsarik Pratikraman:

It is performed once in a year to analyze the mistakes done during the last one year. It is done at the end of Paryushan, the day of ‘Samvatsari’.

If a person does not perform Pratikraman either everyday, or in fifteen days, or in four months, then he must do at least once a year during ‘Samvatsari’. Pratikraman is followed by forgiveness, i.e. asking forgiveness for our wrongdoings to all living beings and giving forgiveness to all. It generates the feeling of friendliness and love. It is the path to unlock the knot of hatred and to convert enmity into amity. In a nutshell, Pratikraman (self-analysis) can make our life happy and peaceful. It can build a harmonious and beautiful society.

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Avashyak
  2. Avashyak Sutra
  3. Consciousness
  4. Paryushan
  5. Pragya
  6. Pratikraman
  7. Samani
  8. Samani Akshay Pragya
  9. Samani Vinay Pragya
  10. Samvatsari
  11. Sutra
  12. Vinay
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