Jain Questions


If you have any questions about Jainism – Share your questions as comments beow and We will try to add them after getting answers.

Why do Jains fast?
Fasts may be done as a penance, especially for Jain Monks (Maharaj Saheb). In Jainsim, a person’s life is a reflection of his karmas. Happiness or comforts usually we don’t notice but any distressful situation to extreme calamities, we always try to find out solutions. Shastras indicate either you suffer through with sambhav or adopt a way of austerity, to cut it short. It can be done before karmas start manifesting. More or less like prevention. The prevention is undertaken through penance. The other benefits are self-control and a healthier, joyful life. Fasting also purifies body and mind, and reminds the practitioner of Mahavira’s emphasis on renunciation and asceticism, because Mahavira spent a great deal of time fasting. It is not sufficient for a Jain simply to not eat when fasting. They must also stop wanting to eat. If they continue to desire food the fast is pointless.

What do you mean by Tivihar Upvas?
In Upvas, Don’t eat or drink anything except boiled water. Boiled water can be drunk from Porsi to sunset Only. By doing Upvas, a person can shed karmas equivalent to 1000 billion years of hell life – i.e. karma nirjara.

What do you mean by Chauvihar Upvas?
Chauvihar or Chouvihar Upvas means you do not drink or eat anything, not even boiled water.

What is Navkarsi ?
Don’t eat or drink anything untill 48 minutes after the sunrise, then sit at one place , fold your hand (Muththi vaalavi or handful), recite Navkar 3 times and then take food or water. By doing navkarsi one day, a person can shed karmas equivalent to 100 years of torture in hell – i.e. karma nirjara.

What is Pachkan?
Pachkan is basically an oath. It means you have committed to something be it fast or not eating after sunset.

What is Porsi?
Don’t eat or drink anything untill One Prahar time after the sunrise, then sit at one place , fold your hand(Muththi vaalavi or handful), recite Navkar 3 times and then take food or water. By doing Porsi one day, a person can shed karmas equivalent to 1,000 years of hell life – i.e. karma nirjara.

What is Prahar?
Take total daytime(i.e. If sunrise is at 6:45 am and sunset is at 7:15 pm then whole daytime is 12:30 hours), divide it by four then it will give one prahar time. One Prahar = Total daytime/4 i.e. if daytime is 12 hours and 30 minutes then One Prahar = (12:30)/4 = 3:07:30 (3 Hours 7 Minutes 30 Seconds)

What is Sadhporsi?
Don’t eat or drink anything untill 1.5 Prahar time after the sunrise, then sit at one place , fold your hand(Muththi vaalavi or handful), recite Navkar 3 times and then take food or water. By doing Porsi one day, a person can shed karmas equivalent to 10,000 years of hell life – i.e. karma nirjara.

What is Purimaddha?
Don’t eat or drink anything untill Two Prahars time after the sunrise, then sit at one place , fold your hand (Muththi vaalavi or handful), recite Navkar 3 times and then take food or water. By doing Porsi one day, a person can shed karmas equivalent to 100,000 years of hell life – i.e. karma nirjara.

What is Avadhha?
Don’t eat or drink anything untill Three Prahar time after the sunrise, then sit at one place , fold your hand (Muththi vaalavi or handful), recite Navkar 3 times and then take food or water.

What is Ayambil?
In Ayambil or Aaimbil you eat only once in a day, Don’t eat any Vigai-Fruits-Vegetables, sitting at one place within less than 48 minutes. Other than that dont eat or drink anything except boiled water. Boiled water cab be drunk up to sunset Only. By doing Ayambil, a person can shed karmas equivalent to 100 billion years (1000 crore years) of hell life – i.e. karma nirjara. Navpad Ni Oli means doing 9 Ayambils during Ashwin or Chaitri Month.

What is Nivi?
Don’t eat or drink anything untill One Prahar time after the sunrise, then sit at one place , fold your hand (Muththi vaalavi or handful), recite Navkar 3 times and then take food or water.

What is Ekasanu?
In Ekasan, Eat only once in a day, sitting at one place within less than 48 minutes. Other than that dont eat or drink anything except boiled water. Boiled water cab be drunk up to sunset Only. By doing Ekashan, a person can shed karmas equivalent to 1 million years (10 Lac) of hell life – i.e. karma nirjara.

What is Biyasanu?
Don’t eat or drink anything untill Two Prahars time after the sunrise, then sit at one place , fold your hand (Muththi vaalavi or handful), recite Navkar 3 times and then take food or water.

What is Chauvihar?
In Chauvihar, one does not take any food or any liquids after the sunset until the sunrise next day.

What is Tivihar?
In Tivihar one does not take food of any kind including liquids except water after the sunset until the sunrise of next day but can take water.

What is Duvihar?
In Duvihar one does not take food of any kind including liquids except water and medicine after the sunset until the sunrise of next day but can take water and medicine.

What is Panhar?
In Panhar, one does not take any food or any liquids after the sunset until the sunrise next day. This pachakhan is taken when one has done Tivihar Upvas, Ayambil, Nivi, Ekasanu or Biyasan

What is Dharana Abhigrah?
In Dharana Abhigrah is customised pachakhan. One can decide any kind of tyag based on God’s way and take pachakhan. i.e. One can decide that he/she will not eat Sweets for 5 days. Then they should decide it and take Dharana Abhigrah pachakhan.

What is Unodari / Unodri ?
Always eat little less than, what you desire and need to eat. We are limiting
ourselves partially. At times this may become more difficult, as once you start eating. Scientifically, we all understand this is a healthy practice.

What do you mean by Santhara?
Santhara or Sallenkhana is a procedure in which a Jain stops eating with the intention of preparing for death. This is different from suicide as it is not taken in passionate mood of anger, deceit or other emotions, but is undertaken only when the body is no longer capable of serving its owner as a instrument of sprituality and when inevitability of death is a matter of undisputed certainty. The intention is to purify the body, and remove all thought of the physical things from the mind. As well as giving up food and water, the ascetic abandons all desires and dislikes so that they can concentrate exclusively on the spiritual as they approach death.

What is Vigai?
There are Six types of Vigais, namely Milk, Yogurt, Jaggary, Ghee, Oil and Fried Food. Vigai Tyag could be Kacho (Partial) or Mul (Complete). This helps us to control temptation for eating food, which helps you to cut down passions.

What is Kayakiesh?
Kayakiesh means to place body under stressful environment or situation e.g. cold, heat, walking bare feet, hunger, kesh loach etc. This helps us to reduce attachment to body.

What is Varshitap?
The duration of this tap is from Fagan krushna aathum to vaishakh shukla trija in next year. This consists of one day of besana and one day of upwas on alternate days for the complete year. If the day falls on the tithi, an upwas must be observed causing two consecutive days of fasting. Parnas are done with cane sugar juice in palitana, hastinapur, or any tirth where Shri Adinath’s idol is installed

What is Vardhaman Tap Oli?
Start with one ambyil, then two, then three and gradually go up to 100 ambil.

What is Vish sthanak Tap?
All Tirthankars perform this austerity in 3rd last life. There are 20 different Pad and in each you do a minimum of 20 Akasnas to Authum (3 fasts in row) in six months along with other rituals and essentials

What is Siddhi Tap?
One fast and one besana, two fasts and one besana, three fasts and one besana and so on to include eight fasts and one besana are performed during the paryushana. Also some rituals are involved.

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30 Comments on “Jain Questions

    1. Hi Mahima, Just like we have updated the recipe of Jain Cheese, which can be made at home within few hours… I will soon update Butter recipe as well which can be used in any of our recipes.

  1. Thanks for the information! Wanted to ask if you can discuss chaitvandan, how to do it and what to recite. I would really appreciate it. Hope your paryushan is going great

    1. Hi Harendra, Each Fasts and Tapasyas have their specific reasons and are done to please or achieve various punyas. This is a very large topic and cant be explained here but yes alot of them have been laied down by what bhagawan or their direct disciples did during their days.

    1. Hi Pratik, Micro-organisms exists in Water as well – and while yogurt is allowed – we should also make sure it is heated before we consume it. The reason we heat is to avoid multiplying of bacterias. Jain Munis follow a simple rule of consuming food which is offered to them. They do not ask for special foods or can they ideally refuse any foods. It is upto us to make sure we give them food suitable for Jain Dharma.

    1. जैन धर्म के बारे में लाजवाब जानकारी जान के अच्छा लगा

  2. 1) Once you have recited 3 Navkars (in Muththi vaalavi or handful) & then you took water / food. Afterwards, you have to additionally recite 1 Navkar by joining hands before getting up.

    2) Why Ayambil is to be carried out during Bakrid ?

    1. Hello Rakesh, on bakriid lots of goats are been killed and eaten by muslim community. So its a sad day for us and just to pay condolences we do not eat items which are white in colour(rice, milk etc) People do ayambil on this day to reduce the sins caused by killing the goats.

  3. It is very useful and handy information for me. I am glad this is available to us, I do not have to find some to ask those small questions. This easy and silly to some one but so important for me.

    1. Thank you Geeta for your appreciation. The difference between ekasnu and beyasnu is in ekasnu you can sit and eat the meal once in a day and in beyasnu is twice a day. Hope this answers your question.