Joe Biden greets Jains on Paryushan, Das Lakshan festivals
US president Joe Biden (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
US PRESIDENT Joe Biden over the weekend greeted the Jain community on the concluding day of Paryushan and Das Lakshan festivals. In a Facebook post on Sunday (19), the Democratic leader said, “Jill and I send our best wishes to Jains in the US and around the world who’ve concluded the festivals of Paryushan and Das Lakshan.”
“In this time for self-reflection and forgiveness, may we all find peace and reconciliation in our lives. Michhami Dukkadam and Uttam Kshama!” he added.
More than 150,000 Jains live in the US, constituting the community’s largest population outside India.
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The Jain community welcomed Biden’s message. Ajay Bhutoria, a South Asian community leader, thanked the US president for his wishes and reminding the world of the three powerful resources, namely, love, prayer and forgiveness.
“Today, for the first time in American history, a sitting US President acknowledged the Jain festivals of Paryushan and Das Lakshan and issued a brief and meaningful message on their conclusion,” said Vaibhav Jain, who was senior advisor on the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) outreach team in the Biden Campaign.
“We would like to thank President Biden for his wonderful message on this auspicious occasion of the holy festival of Paryushan/Das Lakshan Maha Parvas for Jains around the world, seeking Michhami Dukkadam (Forgiveness),” Mahesh Wadher, president of JAINA, Jain association of North America, said.
The Jain day of Forgiveness is a very important day for the community after the celebration of Paryushan. On the last day, every member of the Jain community approaches each other, irrespective of religion, and requests their forgiveness for all their faults or mistakes, committed either knowingly or unknowingly.
According to the teachings of Jainism, this day is not merely a traditional ritual, but a first step on their path to ‘moksha‘ — the final goal of every human’s life.