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What is Kalpa Sutra and Why Do Swetambara Jains Read it During Paryushan?

What is Kalpa Sutra and Why Do Swetambara Jains Read it During Paryushan?

Kalpa Sutra, which is usually housed in the monastery libraries, is taken out in a procession once a year during Paryushan Parv and is read by the monks before the laity.

As the Shwetambara Jains across the world are celebrating Paryushan 2019, they observe eight days of worship and higher levels of medication. Several Jains read and listen to Kalpa-Sutra during the Paryushan Parv, an auspicious event for the Jains. Considered as the most sacred books of Jains, Kalpa Sutra consists of the biography of Lord Mahavira, and the lives of the other prophets (Tirthankaras) of the religion.

The text in the Kalpra Sutra holds great honour by the Swetambara sect of Jainism. The text deals with the lives of the 24 Jaina Tīrthaṅkaras, the succession of pontiffs and the rules for monks during the Paryuṣaṇa festival. The text records the five auspicious events, including the descent from heaven, birth, initiation, obtaining of omniscience, and death.

Kalpa Sutra, which is usually housed in the monastery libraries, is taken out in a procession once a year during Paryushan Parv and is read by the monks before the laity. Listening to Kalpa Sutra holds great significance, especially during Paryushan Parv. This is usually read on Mahavir Janma Vanchan on the fifth day of the Paryushan festival.

It is said that the original text of Kalpa Sutra was written by Bhadrabahu Swami, who died in the year 357 BCE. The tradition of reading

Kalpa Sutra during Paryushan started in Gujarat after King of Vadanagar’s son died at an early age. The then Acharya Dhaneshvar Soori read Kalpa Sutra to the king.

first published:August 30, 2019, 12:33 IST