It is impossible to believe but the truth is that a number of Jains have fasted for 100 days in a row and even more surviving purely on water that too during daytime. The question that arises is what is the need of fasting in such a tough manner? Ask any of the Jains and they will explain you the reason behind this.
According to the Jain literature, the more you survive in tough conditions, the more free you are from the sins that you have committed in this life and also in your past lives. During the last day of the Paryushan Parva, the Jains ask for forgiveness from all their family members and all their friends for any mistake they have committed during the last year, knowingly and unknowingly. As a matter of fact, they even forgive everyone from their very hearts for any of the sins committed by them.
What is amazing is that the Jains don’t only ask for forgiveness from human beings but also from all the living beings on Earth whom they have hurt knowingly or unknowingly. People do not take this fact seriously; they argue that what is the use of asking forgiveness from all the living beings that exist on earth. Herein lay the greatness of Jainism.
Apart from strongly believing in Vegetarianism, Jainism strongly supports the idea of not even hurting an ant while conducting our day to day activities. Paryushan Parva comes once every year for a period of 8 days and the Jains consider these days as being extremely pious. These days give them an opportunity to free their souls from all the sins that they have committed during the whole year.
Jainism is in fact one of the greatest religions that exist on Earth. An individual who understands the depth of Jainism can only understand how great the religion is.