Jain Vidya (2): Asking Forgiveness

Published: 23.01.2018

Sohan- Father! Yesterday I was sitting in the benign presence of Acharya shri. As soon as an hour passed at night, I saw many groups of shravakas moving about. Many of them bowed their hands and begged forgiveness. What was it, father?
Father- Sohan! it was the 'khamat-khamana' day yesterday.
Sohan- Father! what is 'khamat-khamana'?
Father- In our day-to day interaction, if we happen to use harsh words, develop ill- will and enmity and behave rudely towards someone begging forgiveness with pure heart and forgiving others is called 'Khamat-khamana'.
Sohan- Did feelings of aversion develop simultaneously among all yesterday?
Father- No, it was the last day of the fortnight, which we call it 'pakkhi',
Sohan- Why is 'pakkhi' so important?
Father- Son! as a rule we must ask for forgiveness the moment we behave wrongly towards others. Ordinarily we make mistakes in our mutual behaviour. To purify ourselves, we beg forgiveness at the end of a fortnight. The day on which we beg forgiveness is called 'pakkhi'. It was chaitra shukla pumima yesterday. It was the last day of fortnight so all were seeking forgiveness. In this way when 'pakkhi' comes after four months, it is called 'chaumasi pakkhi'. Samvatsari is the biggest day of asking forgiveness and forgiving. On that day we review our acts of commission and omission committed during the preceding year.
Sohan- Father! if someone refuses to do 'khamat- khamana', what will happen?
Father- Sohan! refusing to do 'khamat-khamana' results in a great harm. Even on the eve of samvatsari, if someone refuses to do 'khamat-khamana', his 'samyaktva' (right inclination towards truth) is lost. What greater harm can be done to one's soul than this? My dear son! if one does not resort to 'khamat- khamana', knots of enmity and animosity are created in one's own self. The person remains tense and restless. Till these knots exist, they give rise to a feeling of enmity in one's heart.
Sohan- Father, tell me how 'khamat- khamana' should be done.
Father- If those against whom we nurse ill- will, are standing before us, we should ask for forgiveness with folded hands and if they are not present we should remember them in our hearts, remove our feelings of enmity and request for forgiveness.
Sohan- Father, it is a very good system. We can benefit from it immensely. Our mutual friendship increases and we come closer to one another.
Father- Dear son! I teach you two lines from the scripture. You should recite them aloud both in the morning and in the evening.
Sohan- Please let me know what those lines are.
Father- Listen! khamemi savva jive savve jiva khamantu me. mitti me savvabhuesu, veram majjha na kenai (I forgive all living beings and seek their forgiveness. I am a friend of every living being. I nurse no ill-will against any one.) Son! see what a wonderful system of 'Khamat-Khamana' is. He who requests forgiveness does so for his mistakes and the person who forgives a person does so to pardon his lapses. Both begging forgiveness and forgiving are acts of greatness.
Sohan- Yes, father! today I could apprehend that 'Khamat- Khamana' is a great tradition to wipe out feelings of animosity and antagonism and keep the heart pure.

Questions:

  1. Explain the meaning of'Khamat-Khamana'.
  2. How should one do 'Khamat-Khamana'?
  3. Explain the meaning of 'khamemi savva jive... '.
  4. What happens if one does not do 'Khamat-Khamana' on the occasion of samvatsari?
  5. What lesson do you learn from this chapter?
Sources
Title: Jain Vidya (2)
Editor: Muni Sumermal (Sudarshan)
Translation: Dr. Samani Shashi Pragya
Publisher: Samana Sanskriti Sankaya, Jain Vishwa Bharati, Ladnun
20th Edition: 2013
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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Jiva
  3. Samvatsari
  4. Shravakas
  5. Shukla
  6. Soul
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