i came across a verse in the uttaradhyayana that was remarkably similar to the catholic idea of penance. Specifically the confession of sins to the priest;
According to the 29th lecture one of the topics it touches is a concept known in sanskrit as alokana which translates into confession of sins before the gurus and garha repenting ones sin before the Guru. I tried to find more info on this term on yahoo and Google and was unsuccesfully. The only thing i came across was a book under the same name by a guy named Kannada Geleyara Balaga.