Navpad oli


Navpad Oli is one of the important Jain festivals. This festival is celebrated twice in a year, the first time from Ashwija Shukla Saptami to Poornima (Sep- Oct) and the second time from Chaitra Shukla Saptami to Poornima (March- April). During the period of festival, Jains observe a fast known as Ayambil Tap for nine days.

Ayambil Tap is a kind of fast during which boiled grains without salt is partaken only once during the day. Ayambil Tap is observed to offer salutations to the nine Supreme posts in the Universe. The nine Supreme posts are: Arihant, Siddha, Acharya, Upadhyaya, Sadhu, Samyag Darshan, Samyag Gyan, Samyag Charitra and Samyag Tapa. Nava means nine and Pad means posts. Thus a festival which is celebrated to salute the nine supreme posts is known as Navpad Oli.

Siddha Chakra


Navpad is also called as Siddha Chakra. Siddha Chakra is a Yantra which denotes the positioning of the nine Supreme posts. The nine supreme posts are classified into two categories: Panch Parameshthi and Dharma Tatva. The first five posts are called as Panch Parameshthi and the last four posts are known as the Dharma Tatva. “Panch” in Sanskrit means “five” and “Parama” is “Supreme” or the “Ultimate” and Esthi means to “Worship”. Arihant and Siddha are Deva Tatva, (God) Acharya, Upadhyaya and Sadhu is Guru Tatva. Dharma Tatva or the last four Posts are the great virtues which when followed will lead to the attainment of Salvation.

1)   Arihant Pada is placed in the centre of the Siddha Chakra. “Ari” means Enemy and “Hant” means destroyer of enemies. Arihant is the Supreme power of nature and is the purest soul in the Universe with a physical body. Arihant is one who has conquered internal enemies such as Raaga, Dwesha, Moha, Mada and Matsarya and thus is free from worldly attachments. Arihant is also known as Veetaraga. Arihant is one, though living in the world with a physical body lives in equilibrium. Arihant is depicted as a Kevala Jnani, the universal observer in a sitting position in Samavarshan. Arihant is one who establishes the Teertha or the Chaturvidha Sangha namely- Sadhu,(monks) Sadhwi,(nuns) Shravaka (householders, men) and Shravika (householders, women) thus is also called as the “Teerthankara”. Arihant is symbolised by the colour white. Ayambil is celebrated by eating boiled rice only, as Arihant’s colour is white. Arihant Pada is celebrated on the Shukla Saptami.

2)   Siddha Pada: Siddha Pada is also a Deva Tatva.  He does not have a physical body, so does not preach. He too is a Veetaraga and Universal Observer like Arihant. He also remains in perfect motionless rest. Siddha Pada is placed on the top of the Siddha Chakra as He is free from the bondage of life and has no reincarnation. Siddha Pada is symbolised by the colour Red. Ayambil is observed on Shukla Ashtami by eating only boiled wheat.

3)   Acharya Pada is a Guru Tatva and a descendent of Arihant. He is placed on the right side of Arihant. While Arihant establishes the Chaturvidha Sangha, it is the Acharya Pada who is instrumental in initiating and motivating the Chaturvidha Sangha in the practice of Jainism. Acharya Pada is the ultimate authority in matters relating to the Sangha in the absence of Arihant. Acharya Pada plays a vital role in the interpretation of Jain Agam, the Holy Scriptures of Jainism. Acharya Pada conducts Jnanchara, Darshanachara, Charitrachara, Tapachara and Veerachara for the Sangha. While the four are the related to the Dharma Tatva, Veerachara is about the enthusiasm and the power to observe these four padas. Acharya Pada is symbolised by Golden Yellow colour. Ayambil is observed on the Shukla Navami by eating boiled gram of yellow colour.

4)   Upadhaya Pada is placed on the lower side of the Arihant in the Siddha Chakra. He is second in the Guru Tatva and is instrumental in educating the Sangha. He has knowledge of all the Jain Agamas, eleven Anga and fourteen Purva. These are twenty five attributes. Some of the Jain scriptures depict him as a prince in the kingdom of Acharyas. Upadhaya Pada is symbolised by the colour green. Ayambil is observed on fourth day, Shukla Dashmi of Navapad Oli by eating boiled Moong.

5)   Sadhu Pada is placed on the left side of Arihant in the Siddha Chakra. He is characterised as one who is a follower of Arihant and is disciplined by the Acharya. His objective is salvation and thus practices four sacred virtues. He has five supreme vows to abide by: Non-Violence, Truth, Non Stealing, Celibacy and non possession of material objects. He practices to live in equilibrium in all conditions. He does not cook for himself and lives on the food given by the households. He walks barefoot, does not keep money for himself or any assets. He practices austerity and lives under the guidance of Acharya and Upadhaya. Sadhu Pada is symbolised by the colour black. Ayambil is observed on the Shukla Ekadashi by eating only boiled Udah.

Navpad Oli- Dharma Tatva:

6)   Samyag Darshan: 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.

7)   Samyag Jnan: 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.

8)   Samyag Charitra: 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.

9)   Samyag Tapa 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.