The Jains aim to cause least harm to other creatures and also to the environment. This is due to their faith in ahimsa
(non- violence). Jain believe in "ahimsa", not only in policy but
follow in day to day living. Hence the practice of strict
vegetarianism, walking shoulder to should with all castes and creeds of
the world, and following it in entire everyday life.
Jains believe in "Live and Let Live".
Jains believe in "forgiveness". They have kept one day specifically to preach/pray forgiveness, known as kshama-yachana
day. This day is the last day of the 10 days of "Samvatsri" (or also
known as Duslakshni, pajushan/parvushan). On the previous day of
kshama-yachana day, Jains keep fast (nothing to eat for 24 hours) and
some even keeps maun vrat (complete silence, not to utter a single word for 24 hours). On
kshama-yachana day, a Jain will seek forgiveness for everybody
-youngers, elders, parents, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, all
relatives, friends and neighbours. They would fold their hands and say
something like this:
"Please forgive me if I have hurt your heart or feelings by my man (mind, thoughts), vachan (speech) and kaya (physical body),
knowingly or unknowingly, directly or indirectly. I am praying this
forgiveness from all the lives (not only humans, but also animals, all
creatures, plants) on this universe!"
Kshama-yachana and the policy of "live and let live" is very significant in today's world.
True Jains try to eat only Sattvic foods so that they always remain calm and peaceful. This food help them to follow Ahimsa.
Jains are not supposed to eat after sunset because it is believed that
it would cause the death of minute microorganisms that emerge in the
Forbidden Foods for Jains: The forbidden foods
for Jains are eggs, fish, honey, figs and meat. Many strict Jains do
not eat foods like onions, potatoes, garlic throughout their lives,
while others abstain from these foods during Chaturmash. The
onions and garlic increase sexual desires, while root vegetables like
potatoes may have millions of bacterias and also smaller insects are
killed during their harvest.
All hot drinks like wine, beer, etc.
Above are rules for true Jains. However, the degree to which it is followed depends on individuals, and their eating habits.
Chaturmash in Jainism
four monsoon months are known as Chaturmash in Jainism. Chaturmash is
considered to be months of abstinence, fasting and "purification".
During these months proliferation of life is very rampant in plants,
insects, microscopic bacteria and organisms. Hence, the Jains abstain
from consumption of foods derived from these.
During these months Jains abstain from onions, garlic, leafy vegetables (known as lilothri, potatoes , yam (ratalu)
and any other root vegetables. They mostly eat vegetable curries made
from dried ingredients like pulses, dehydrated vegetables; and the
foods are cooked in a sattvic way wisth very less spices and ghee or
Substitutes of Foods and Foods to eat during Chaturmash
Substitute of potato: raw banana - boil, chop, smash, grate. Dried potato chips or fingers can be used to cook vegetables.
Onions: chopped stir-fried cabbage in place of stir-fried onions.
Ginger root: dry ginger powder.
Garlic: ajwain, cinnamon.
Green leafy vegetables: dried green vegetables like dry leaves of methi.
Vegetables: dried vegetables like dried chopped lauki, tori, beans, bhindi, etc.
vegetables like rajma, lobia, moong, ker, saangri, kumtia, gunda,
ghaat, karba, ghatte ki sabzi, badi (badiya), pithod ki sabzi, papad ki
sabzi, chana dal, dal-dhokli, da-bati, dal-chawal, khichidi, imli ka
raita, chile ka raita, roti, khich/dalia, etc. Most of these foods are
popular in Rajasthan and Gujrat.