(Chapter 5 continued)

Annexure to Chapter – 5

Attributes of Pancha Parmeshthi


There are in all 12 unique attributes. Of these the foremost 4 are Anant Chatushtaya comprising Ananta Gyan (infinite knowledge), Ananta Darshana (infinite perception), Ananta Virya (infinite energy), and Ananta Charitra (perfect conduct).

The 8 Pratiharyas celestially endowed on achieving Omnicience are : Simhasan, Bhamandal, Chamar, Chhatras, Ashoka tree, Pushpavrushti, Dev-Dundubhi and Divya Dhwani..

These 12 attributes, when elaborately explained are counted as 34 atishaya. The artishayas are birth related, celestially endowed as well as realized on achieving Keval Gyan (Omnicience).


There are in all 8 unique attributes, namely Ananta Gyan (infinite knowledge), Ananta Darshana (infinite perception), Avyabadha Sukha (eternal bliss), Ananta Charitra (Perfect conduct, Akshaya Stithi (immortality), Arupitva (formlessness), Aguru Laghutva (No status-either heavy or light), Ananta Virya (infinite energy).


Acharyas possess in all 36 attributes.Digambars and Shwetambars list them slightlty differently, but in essence they are similar. Digambars list them as follows:

6 external austerities comprising anashan (fasting), Unodari (eating less than needed), Vrutti-sankshep (eating only a certain number of items, eating only within limits of a certain area, eating only at a certain time, and eating food obtaine4d or cooked by certain means), Ras-tyag (eating non-tasty food-ayambil tapa, Kaya-klesha (penance, voluntarily tolerating physiucal pain) and Sanlinata (staying in a forlorn place and using minimum space).

6 internal austerities comprising prayashchitta (repentance or remorse), Vinay (humility), Veyavachcham (self-less service to monks, nuns and the needy), Swaddhyaya (study of religious scriptures), Dhyana (meditation), and Kayotsarga (giving up physical activities and staying absorbed in the soul).

10 virtues comprising Kshama (forgiveness), Mardava (humility), Arjava (straightforwardness), Saucha (purity), Satya (truth), Samyam (restraint), Tapa (austerities and penance), Tyag (renunciation, Akinchan (non-possessiveness) and Bramhacharya (celibacy).

5 Achar (codes of conduct) comprising Darshanachar (codes of perception), Gyanachar (codes of knowle4dge), Charritrachar (codes of conduct), Tapachar (codes of penance), and Viryachar (codes of energy).

6 Avashyaks (essential duties) comprising Devapuja, Gurupasti, Swaddhyaya, Samyam, Tapa, and Dana.

3 Guptis (controls) comprising mano gupti (control over mind), Vachan gupti (control over speech). Kaya gupti (control over body).


There are 25 attributes of Upadhyayas relating to their knowledge of scriptures and canonical texts. They are listed separately by Digambars and Swhetambars relating to the scriptures recognized by them respectively.


There are 27 attributes of ascetics. Listing differs, but again in essence the attributes are common to both Digambar and Shwetambar sects. The most salient attributes are the five major vows (MAHAVRATA). Illustrative listing is as follows :

5 Mahavrata, 5 Samitis covering carefulness while walking, talking, getting alms, putting on clothes or any other objects, and while disposing excreta), 5 control of senses , 6 Avashyaks 9same as for Acharyasd), and 6 other attributes viz., Kesha loch (picking one’s own hair), Asnana (no bathing), bhumi shayana (sleeping on floor), Adantadhovan (no brushing of teeth), Uttisthan Ahar sewan (eating food in standing posture only) and eka bhukti ( eating once a day only).

Shwetambar texts mention following 27 attributes :

5 great vows (Mahavrata); control of 5 senses; shedding of the 4 kashayas of anger, ego, deceit and greed; 3 : control over mind, speech and body; 3 : Bhava (dharma and Shukla dhyana), yoga and Karan (following prescribed activities and regulations; 3 : darshan, gyan and charitra; 1 : forgiveness, 1 : Samvega (disinterest in worldly affairs); conquering of Parishaha (enduring hardships with equanimity); and Sanilekhana (endurance and fearlessness towards death and associated pains.

(end of Chapter 5)