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 when we 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. There is some debate over whether it means more to say it before Samvatsari, rather than, waiting for the day itself.

Also Samvatsari can be on different days for different communities. For example this year, it is today (Sunday 23rd August 2009) for the Oshwal community whereas it is tomorrow for the Navnat community. I think this is due to the two main sects in Jainism. These are Deravasi and Sthanakvasi. In India they start Paryushana on different days. There is a difference of one day. Thus it ends one day before or after the other.

So now getting back to the meaning of Michchhami Dukkadam

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 we embark on our respective annual pratikramana – a reflection on our spiritual journey for the past year. On this day we also observe a unique custom, where we 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 then those bad deeds to be forgiven (be fruitless)’.

Further info: –

Bhadrapada Shukla Panchami:-
Bhadrapada (or Bhadaravo in Gujarati) is the 11th (penultimate) month in Indian calendar and Shukla means white. Here it means first half of the month (Indian months have 1 to 15 dates twice. bright half and dark half. Not 1 to 30 dates).

Panchami is the fifth day (it is wrong. It should be Choth = fourth day)

So the whole meaning of Bhadrapada shukla Panchami is 5th day of the first (bright) half of the month Bhadravo. (As I said it should fourth day)

Pratikraman is a systematic ritual of repentance and begging forgiveness.

This information was given to my by Vinodbhai Kapashi and an unknown source

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BJB · July 18, 2010 at 11:06 am

May I know on which day is Michchhami Dukkadam falling in the year 2010

    Heena Modi · July 18, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    It is often on different dates depending on the Jain sect.
    This site shows one date. Perhaps you can contact them if you want to when the ‘other’ sects commence Paryushana 🙂

BJB · August 4, 2010 at 9:33 am

Thank you Heena… if I dont know te sect..I cannot get a specific date ???..if it fell on 23rd August 2009 …is it ok to assume that it will fall onthe same day this year ???

    Heena Modi · August 4, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Yeah sorry, the sect’s important in terms of dates but the location is also important. For example, in 2010 Leicester will start Paryushana on the date that 1 sect would have begun it. For 2011 they’d start it on the date that the ‘other’ sect would have began it.
    Does that make sense?
    I’m sorry I’m struggling to explain it.
    Also it’s usually different dates each year regardless of the sect because the date’s determined by the lunar calendar.

BJB · August 8, 2010 at 3:10 pm

LOL…its ok Heena…Thank you for all the info anyways…I guess I will just call up the person and ask her instead of trying to gauge it…I thought there was a standard equation or pattern that was followed akin to other religions….

    Heena Modi · August 18, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    No probs. I hope you find what you need 🙂

Khushbu Gangrade · September 2, 2011 at 7:52 am

That was really very useful. Thanks a lot

Khushbu Gangrade · September 2, 2011 at 7:53 am

That was really very useful. Thanks a lot

It was good to knw abt Jainism not being a JAINISM follower.

    Heena Modi · September 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I think understanding all faiths can help reduce a lot of tension/anxiety between various groups.

Nidhi · August 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm

when someone says Michchhami Dukkadam .. how does one respond back??

    Heena Modi · August 31, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    If you feel the same i.e. if you are sorry for anything you thought, said or did knowingly or unknowingly, which caused harm to that Soul; you can say the same back. If not, you could try just be silent.
    Does that sound OK?

Comments are closed.