Navpad Oli - [Nine Elements] (also called Ayambil Oli)
Jain observes Festival of Navpad oli, that last for nine days, twice a year. The first one falls in the bright fortnight of Ashwina month (September/October) and the second during the bright fortnight of Chaitra month (March/April).
It is exactly between Shukla Saptami(Seventh lunar day) to Purnima (Full moon day) in both Ashwina and Chaitra months. Navapad Oli starts in the middle of Navratri, Hindu festival of India.
Both of Navapad Oli falls among five Shaswata Atthai of Jain. Rest of three Atthai are Chaturmasik Atthai (Thrice in a year).
Jain performs Ayambil Tapa for nine days to salute these nine supreme posts in the universe. Ayambil (Ayambila) is special type of fast in that one eats only boiled grains that too once in a day. It is not permitted to add anything including salt/sugar/oil to the boiled grains. Hence, it is very difficult for a layman to perform Ayambil Tap.
At the time of 20th Tirthankara Munisuvarat Swami, who lived approximately 1.1 million years ago. As the story goes King Shripal was suffereing from leprosy and married Mayanasundri who took him, together with 700 lepers, to a monk named Munichandra for the cure. He instructed them for the cure on how to perform the Siddhachakra Mahapuja (with a particular type of fasting “Oli” for a long period (9 days) which worked!
- To read full story of NavPad (in English) click here
- Full Story(Katha) in Hindi can be download by clicking here
- To List to Aymbil Oli Lecture (Gujarati) click here
Day 1, ARIHANT PAD - means the one who has conquered the inner enemies such as Anger, Gree, Ego, and Deceit.
Arihant is the supreme power of nature. He is the purest soul in the universe with a physical body. Ari means Enemy and Hant means destroyer. Here enemies are internal and these are Raga(Craving or attachment) and Dvesha(Hatred). Hence, Arihant is free from earthly attachments and hatred and referred as Veetraga. He lives in the world with a physical body in perfect equilibrium. He is also universal observer having complete wisdom that is Kevala Jnyana (Omniscience).
Jain worship Arihant Pada in Shukla Saptami, the first day of Navapad Oli. They perform Ayambil by eating boiled rice only. Color of Arihant is white, hence the grain chosen for Ayambil is white i.e. rice. They also pray, worship and meditate for Arihant during the day.
Day 2, SIDDHA PAD - liberated soul
This is the second post of Navpad and is posted in the top of SIDDHACHAKRA YANTRA. It is also considered as one of the Deva Tatva . Siddha is the supreme power of nature. He is the purest soul in the universe without a physical body. One becomes Siddha after attaining salvation. The Siddha is also a Veetraga and universal observer but does not preach because he does not have any physical body. He lives in perfect equilibrium, eternal peace and joy. He also remains in perfect motionless rest.
Day 3, ACHARYA PAD - spiritual master
Acharya is the third post in Navpad and placed in the right side of Arihant in Siddhachakra Yantra.
He is the first among Guru Tatva. Acharya is the successor of Arihant and leader of the four fold Sangh established by the Arihant. He is the Supremo and ultimate decision making authority in all the matters related to Sangha in absence of Arihant. He is also the ultimate authority in interpretation of the Jain Agam (Holy Scriptures).
He observes and motivates Monks and Nuns for five spiritual conducts Jnyanachara, Darshanachara, Charitrachara, Tapachara and Veeryachara. The first four are related to last four Padas of Siddhachakra. Veeryachara, the fifth is enthusiasm and power to observe these four. Acharya has thirty six attributes and symbolizes by Golden yellow color.
Day 4, UPADHYA PAD - spiritual teacher
Upadhyaya is the fourth post in Navpad and placed in the lower side of Arihant in Siddhachakra Yantra.
He is the second among Guru Tatva. He is supposed to know all Jain Agams, eleven Anga and fourteen Purva twenty five et al. These are his twenty five attributes. He is responsible for academic activities in The Sangha. He preaches and teaches Monks and Nuns. He is like a lieutenant and minister of Acharya. Some sacred Jain scriptures depict him as Prince in Kingdom of Acharya.
Listen In Hindi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2L3cEmaMYc
Day 5, SADHU PAD - monk
Sadhu: Sadhu is the fifth post in Navpad and placed in the left side of Arihant in Siddhachakra Yantra. He is the third among Guru Tatva. He has leaved house and renunciated. He has devoted himself to the holy path preached by Arihant and disciplined by Acharya. He devotes himself for the noble path that leads to salvation and practices four sacred virtues.
He or she have five supreme vows i.e. completely abstaining from 1. Violence 2. Lie 3. Stealing 4. Sexual conducts and 5. Possessions of earthly things. He practices to live in equilibrium in all conditions and states and knows that tranquility is the essence of asceticism. He walks bare foot and does not use any type of vehicles. He does not cook for himself or others and live on food provided by households. He does not also keep money in any form or holds any earthly assets. He practices austerity and penance to his optimum capacity and lives under discipline of Acharya and Upadhyaya.
He has twenty seven attributes and is symbolized with color black.
Jain followers worship Sadhu Pada in Shukla Ekadashi, the fifth day of Navapad Oli. They perform Ayambil by eating boiled Udad only. Color of Sadhu is black, hence the grain chosen for Ayambil is black i.e. Udad. They also pray, worship and meditate for Sadhu during the day.
You can listen in Hindi at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHsR-knOwq4
Day 6, Samyag Darshan - Right Faith
Samyag in Sanskrit means “Right” and Darshan means view. Thus Samyag Darshan means to have the Right View. It also refers to the faith in the preaching of the Arihant. Samyag Darshan is the root of all the Dharma. Only with the right perspective, Dharma can be practiced. This is the first of the Three Gems in Jainism to attain salvation. Samyag Darshan is symbolised by the colour white. Ayambil is observed on Shukla Dwadashi by eating boiled rice.
Day 7, Samyag Jnan - Right Knowledge
Samyag Jnan refers to the right knowledge or wisdom. According to the scriptures, all actions should be preceded by right knowledge. This is the second gem to attain salvation. It has five sub divisions and fifty one attributes and is symbolised by the colour white. Ayambil is observed on Shukla Triyodashi by eating boiled rice only.
Day 8, Samyag Charitra - Right Conduct
Charitra in Sanskrit means conduct. Thus Samyag Charitra means Right Conduct. This is the third of the three gems to attain salvation. This has seventy attributes and is symbolised by the colour white. Ayambil is observed on Shukla Chaturdashi by eating boiled rice only.
Day 9, Samyag Tapa - Right Austerities
Refers to austerity or penance. Hence Samyag Tap means austerity in the right perspective. Austerity in this context means to abstain from worldly desires. The objective of Samyag Tapa is to live in equilibrium. Equilibrium is further classified into two types: Internal and external. Fast, penance etc are some of the types of external equilibrium. Modesty, nursing and meditation are some of the types of internal equilibrium. Samyag Tapa is symbolised by the colour white. Ayambil is observed on the last day of Navapad Oli, Shukla Poornima by eating boiled rice only.
If you are unable to do aayambil, PLEASE try to do the following's:
- Do not eat roots in these 9 days.
- Do Chauvihar as many days as possible - at least do over the weekend
- Do Loggasa Khamasana and Navkarvalis as many days as possible - at least do over the weekend
The ritual of the Navpad Oli is done in the following way:
Science of NavPad:
The earth moves round the sun and duration of days and nights are constantly changing round the year. Duration of a day and a night are almost equal during March-April and September-October. These are the days of Navapad Oli. As the duration of days and nights are almost equal, the nature lives in equilibrium in these days. These neither are scorching heat nor chill cold. These are also moderate seasons, perfectly suitable for worshiping supreme powers of the universe.
Navapad oli in Chaitra comes in the beginning of summer and end of the winter. Similarly Navapad oli in Ashwina comes in the beginning of winter and end of the summer. Both seasons are crucial for our mental and physical health. Devotion and Navpad prayer keeps us mentally healthy whereas Ayambil (fast) and other penance energize us to fight with diseases and keeps us healthy physically.
Navapad is also called SIDDHA CHAKRA.
This is a Yantra in circular shape in that Siddha is placed on the top. Arihant is placed in the center and Acharya at theright side of Arihant. Upadhyaya is placed in the lower side and Sadhu in theleft side of Arihant. Samyag Darshan, Samyag Jnyan, Samyag Charitra and Samyag Tapa are placed in four corners starting from upper right corner and then moving clock wise.
MEANING: SIDDHACHAKRA IS THE WHEEL OF PERFECTION
The Siddhachakra Yantra is the most auspicious and most versatile mystical diagram in the Jain religion (see the diagram given here). ‘Siddha‘ means liberated soul and ‘chakra‘ means freedom from karmic bondages. ‘Yantra‘ means a mystical diagram. When one worships the Siddhachakra Yantra, one’s soul becomes liberated from karmic bondages.
This mandala of the Siddhachakra is the purest form of meditation.
There are nine points of energies, which are harmonized in one mandala.
1. In the centre is the Arihant
2. On the top of the Arihant is Siddha
3. On the right side of the Arihant is Acharya
4. Below Arihant is Upadhyaya
5. On the left of the Arihant is the Sadhu
6. Between the Siddha and Acharya represents faith (Darshan)
7. Between the Acharya and Upadhyaya represents knowledge (Gyan)
8. Between the Upadhyaya represents conduct (Charitra)
9. Between the Sadhu and Siddha represents penance and forbearance (Tap)
The Navpad Ayambil Oli, which last for nine days, is performed twice a year. The first Ayambil Oli comes in the bright fortnight of Chaitra month (March/April) and the second during the bright fortnight of Aaso month (October). During these nine days of Ayambil Oli, Puja, Holy Recitation, Mediation and other Rituals in honor of Navapad or Siddhachakra Aradhana takes place.
If Ayambil Oli is done every year twice - nine days each time means for four and half years (in total eighty one days), then it is said that one has completed Navapad Oli. Ayambil is done by having only one meal a day of plain food which is devout of any special taste and spices, which is boiled or cooked without oil/ghee, spices and also milk, curd, green and raw vegetables are not consumed. Ayambils may be restricted to one kind of grain per day. Navpadji Oli Tap are considered to be Shaswati, meaning permanent. It means Navpad Oli celebration exists in all time cycles (past, present and future).
During these days, everyday worship is to be offered to the Navpad or nine pads of Siddhachakra - which are Arihant, Siddha, Acharya, Upadhyaya, Sadhus (Panch Paramesthi), Darshan (Faith), Gyan (Knowledge), Charitra (conduct) and tap (Penance).
Each Pad in the Nav Pad gives eternal happiness to the soul if it is worshipped with inner heart. For many of us who are working during the day, it may not be practically possible to do Ayambil on every day. And if you are unable to do Ayambil everyday…….
THEN Please try to do at least the following:
• Do Ayambil for one day or as many days as you can……
• Do Chauvihar as many days as possible……
• And do maximum Aradhana that you can……
The Ayambil diet is like a detoxification. If nothing else the diet eaten during Ayambil is beneficial for our health and will also help reduce our own carbon footprint.
Ayambil give us an opportunity not only to practice Jain conduct to a greater degree than normal but also to revitalize and strengthen our faith in Jain Religion.
Generally the first five (Panch Parameshthi) are placed in shape of idols and the next four by name only.
The earlist known text relating the storyis in prakrit written by Ratnashekharsuri in 1372 AD. The version that most people know was written in Gujarati by monks Vinayvijy and Yashovijay in 1682 AD. The ‘Shripal Raja no Ras’ Rantnasekharsuri is also credited with being the author of the oldest current Siddhachakra Puja.