Jammu : Jains celebrate Michchhami Dukkadam in the city today. Michhami Dukkadam is an ancient Prakrit phrase literally meaning — may all the evil that has been done be fruitless.
It is used widely in the Jain religion on the last day (Samvatsari or Kshamavani) of Paryushana, one of the most important annual holy events of the Jain calendar.
They seek forgiveness from all the creatures of the world whom they may have harmed knowingly or unknowingly by uttering the phrase – Micchami Dukkadam on the day of Samvatsari.
Why do Jains say Michchhami Dukkadam and when do they say it?
Sometime between August and October followers of Jainism partake in Paryushana. A lot of the ‘younger’ folk don’t fully understand what we are supposed to do or why. Hopefully this should explain some of it.
Michchhami Dukkadam is usually said to ask for forgiveness. People do this as a normal thing after the Paryushana festival.
Traditionally, it is said on the day of Samvatsari which is the last day of Paryushana.
Michchhami comes from two words Michchha and Mi meaning futile/useless and my/mine
Dukkadam means bad deeds.
So the whole meaning is ‘May my bad deeds (faults) become futile. In other words ‘please forgive me.’
In the Swetambaras an 8-day festival is celebrated that ends Bhadrapada Shukla Panchami. The last day is called Samvatsari, short for Samvatsari Pratikramana.
Seven days are days of attainment and the eighth day is one of fulfilment or achievement. It is at this time that embarks respective annual pratikramana – a reflection on spiritual journey for the past year.
On this day they observe a unique custom, where they ask every individual they may have offended during the year for forgiveness. Old quarrels are forgotten and friendships and relationships renewed, as we fold our hands and ask for “Michhami Dukkadam” or forgiveness.
Michhami means to be fruitless (forgiven) and Dukkadam (Dushkrut) means bad deeds.
Therefore the meaning of Michhami Dukkadam is my bad deeds (with you) be fruitless. So concept behind saying or writing someone “Michhami Dukkadam” is that ‘if I have done any harm to you than those bad deeds to be forgiven (be fruitless)’.
Happy Michchami Dukkadam!