• Sangeeta Maheshwari

Micchami Dukkadam- A Weightloss of the Innerself

Born and brought up in India, I grew up celebrating festivals and rituals. It is part of our culture and a way of life. There are various levels and dimensions to the reason of having festivals.

On a physical level we practice them by preparation of satvik (vegetarian) food, spring cleaning of the house, polishing of silverware and utensils, using beautiful fragrant incenses, decoration of flowers and the aesthetic beauty. People visit each other’s homes to wish each other. It extends to family reunions and sharing whatever each has or can offer.

On a mental level it is practice of discipline, especially when we fast and observe abstinence of certain kinds of food.

On an emotional level, family and friends visit each other and share laughter and joy together. It is an occasion that makes us realize how connected, loved and accepting we are of each other. If anyone has had any mishap, others would pull that person out of their shell and include in the joy and circle of love. Everyone has the right to be happy and together irrespective of financial, social or personal circumstances.

On a spiritual level, this is a time to be connected to that ‘Oneness’. To reflect and let go of anything that is holding us back from that Oneness and connection. The reason of meeting and celebrating the circle of love and joy is to forgive and rejoice.

For the past few years I have been seeing my friends practicing Jainism following ‘Paryushana’. It is a period in the lunar calendar dedicated for inner reflection and fasting from food. On the last day everyone in the community says “Micchami Dukkadam” to the Divine and then to each other with folded hands and gratitude. Many of my friends give up one thing they enjoy for a year to test their will power.

I was intrigued to find out more about it. It is a tradition to clean the inner self after all the refection and then seek for forgiveness. Micchami Dukkadam is commonly used to seek forgiveness and to mean,” If I have offended you in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word or deed, then I seek your forgiveness.

It shifts the ego to humility and helps dissolving our ‘Karma- May all the evil that has been done be fruitless’.

That way we give our soul satvik food by pure thoughts, deep clean our inner house by reflecting on dissolving any form of energy that is holding us back like anger, hurt, resentment etc into letting go and acceptance. We spread beautiful fragrance of love and equanimity and by forgiving others and seeking others for forgiveness we set ourselves free.

That to me is a great way to improve quality of Life. I like to practice this ritual every year and love all the dimensions of it, from exchanging hugs, to tears to love and liberation.

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