Jain Food Science | Chaturmas | Paryushan

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Do you ever wonder why Jain Food discipline is globally famous? What is Chaturmas & Paryushan Parva? What is their religious outlook?

Then this blog will surely help you dive into their Food Science & Spirituality!

Jainism is an ancient Indian religion that primarily believes in Ahimsa ‘Non-Violence’ to all living creatures. Their austerity & food discipline concentrates on elevating the soul through the abstinence of the material world & desires, integrating spiritual upliftment and self-purification.

Jain food methodology is more inclined towards food science. Our body is made up of various minerals, vitamins, proteins and elements such as iron, potassium, calcium & many more. Our ancestors made an amazing and elaborate food plan that involved the right amount of every nutrient required for our body’s well-being. Jain food emphasizes a lot on this food science and that is the reason why it specifies what to eat in our everyday diet.

Jainism doesn’t promote the consumption of Root vegetables (such as carrot, radish, beetroot etc.), potato, onion, and garlic. And similarly, during certain days of a month, (i.e. Panchami, Ashtami, Chaudas and so on) vegetables are forbidden for eating. During those days we can only eat lentil-based food. This has been done so as to balance the whole diet of a human.

I firmly believe that we must include this practice in our daily ‘modern’ life style. When we are restricted from eating green n fresh vegetables during those certain days of a month, we will automatically consume lentil-based food. Also, on those days when we have no restrictions on our diet, we ultimately incline ourselves towards eating vegetable-based food. This way we consume green and fresh vegetables and lentil-based diet equally.

Lentil-based diet provides us essential proteins and fruits and vegetables provide us essential nutrients. This way our body is nutrient balanced and healthy. If we tamper with this specified nutritious diet, then only our body starts to become a target of diseases.

And in between this practice comes ‘Chaturmas’ (i.e. four months), the spiritual period from July to October, where we observe austerities & repentance.

Herein, there’s a complete restriction over the consumption of green leafy vegetables and root vegetables. There are mainly two reasons for it:

Since the ancient time

As these months converge with the monsoon season, the earth gets greener, and maximum living creatures abide in the soil. While uprooting the crops, a lot of microorganisms are harmed in the process. ‘Ahimsa’ being the main principle of Jain religion. Therefore, in order to prevent injury & harm to microorganisms that maximally thrive in the ground/green leafy vegetables, Chaturmas is observed.

In the current scenario

Chaturmas has become more important to follow, not only because of the principle of Ahimsa, but also to prevent harm to our body. This is because maximum microorganisms thrive in the ground during this season and hence, in the modern age, to kill these organisms and to save the crops, a maximum amount of pesticide is used. Therefore, to avoid consumption of these chemicals, Chaturmas plays a very important role in one’s life. Jainism believes in non-violence, as by following such a practice we don’t harm the microorganisms and also keep our body safe from dangerous chemicals such as pesticides.

In these four months, Jains follow the sacred period of 8 days known as Paryushan Parva. In this period, there is a complete restriction on the consumption of any type of veggies, whether it is leafy or other than leafy, because according to Jain shastra, these 8 days have chances of heavy rainfall. So, in order to avoid any harm caused to microorganisms by our action or deeds, this practice is followed. Jains go out of their way so as not to hurt even microorganisms because they believe that harm caused by carelessness is as unpardonable as harm caused by deliberate action/deed. Jains live in a complete religious and spiritual environment during the Paryushan parva, where they seek forgiveness for their sins committed knowingly/unknowingly. During paryushan, Jains do complete fasting (Upvaas: Chauvihaar, Tivihaar) for the body’s self-healing process.

“The mind is what the body consumes.”

The medical science backs this phrase as it reassures that Anger, Irritation, Sleep, & temperament of the human mind are regulated by its food intake.

In Jainism, the intake of onion and garlic is restricted. The reason for it, as also mentioned in Ayurveda is Onion is considered tamasic in nature – a trigger to irritation, & Garlic as rajasic that is a trigger to disturbing sleep & energy. It is also believed & supported in Ayurvedic & Yogic literature that Sattvik diet helps you conquer your desires.

So, food plays a very important role in our mind and body’s well-being.

Here are some recipes for your help, that you can also make in Chaturmas:

NOTE: Here, in some of the recipes I have used coriander for garnishing purposes only, you may avoid it easily. 

NOTE: Avoid ginger in a recipe if used. You may use Dry Ginger Powder instead. 

1. Raw Banana Vegetable (Kachhe Kele Ki Sabji)

2. Jain Sambar (Sambaar)

3. Paneer Bhurji

4. Badam – E – Bahaar

5. Tinda Pasandidiaavoid using HONEY, use normal sugar instead for Chaturmas

6. Rajasthani Churi Ki Poori and Parantha

7. Bhutte in Makhni Gravy

8. Crunchy Chana

9. Kurkuri Bhindi

10. Panchmel Dhokla

11. Basil Dip

12. Oats Idli

13. Khandvi

Check out these recipes! We will keep updating the page with new recipes that you can make in Chaturmas so don’t forget to regularly come back and check for updates.

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