(Last Updated on : 10/05/2012)
Gyan Panchmi day is a popular festival of the Jains. It is celebrated all over the country by the followers of Jainism
. The fifth day after Diwali
is known as Gyan Panchami. It is celebrated on the fifth day of the fortnight of the waxing moon in the month of Kartik. Gyan Panchami is also known as "Laabh paacham" or "Jnan Panchami." Gyan Panchami is celebrated as a day of honouring knowledge and the holy books.
Celebration of Gyan Panchami
Gyan meaning knowledge is regarded as the light of the inner soul. Gyan helps in realising the difference between truth and false. It is the natural light and is thus called as the second sun and third Eye. Therefore the worship of Gyan Panchami is very necessary. It is a day of worship of pure knowledge.
Members of the Jain community celebrate this day with a great joy and happiness. On this auspicious day students and scholars celebrate Gyan, the divine or transcendent knowledge or wisdom. For the Jains Gyan Panchami is the festival celebrated to recognise the importance of their scriptures. On this day women cleans their home. They then prepare for special pooja and jap path in their respective houses. Rituals that involve books and writing instruments are performed with great reverence. Prayers are also recited during the festival for proper guidance to acquire the right knowledge. All the temples are decorated with lights on this day. During the festival all the holy books and scriptures are laid out on a table. Elaborate poojas are performed on the scriptures, and also on blank papers and unsharpened pencils. Blank papers and pencils are also distributed by many temples on this day.
The Kayatsarga of fifty one Logassa, fifty one Swastikas, fifty one Khamasanas and the Jap Pad of 'Namo Nanassa' and twenty Navakarvalis are performed on this day. It is believed that by celebrating this festival all the bad results of Karmas are destroyed.
The following shloka is sung on this day.
'Samkit Shrddhavantane Upanue Gyan Prakash,
Pranamu Pad ha; Tehana, Bhav Dhari Ullas?
On the day of Gyan Panchmi many people observe fast. The fast is observed without speaking any words, i.e. with keeping totally silence. It is done to achieve happiness, good luck, knowledge and omniscience later on. People also do devavandan i.e. offering veneration to the Gods. Holy recitation and meditation (Pratikraman) are also carried out. Many people also take a vow on this day to observe fast every month on the fifth day of the fortnight of the waxing moon for continuous period of five years and five months.
Gyan Panchmi is also celebrated as 'Jaya Panchami', 'Pandava Panchami and 'Sri Guru Govind Singh jayanti'.