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death with equanimity

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Introduction (cont.)

0.3 Outline Of The Study To Be Undertaken –

I propose to carry out this critical study of ‘The Concept Of Voluntary Peaceful Death In Prākṛta And Pāli Literature’ in eight chapters as follows –

CHAPTER – 1 : “JAINA CANONICAL LITERATURE AND SAMĀDHIMARAṇA” –

Section 1.1 – The first section of this chapter will be introductory in nature and I propose to devote it to the underlying philosophy that guides a Jaina spiritual practitioner.

Section 1.2 – In the second section I shall examine, in some detail, the entire Jaina canonical literature comprising the Arddhamāgadhī literature of the Śwetāmbara tradition and Śaurasenī literature of the Digambara sect of Jainas.

The first sub–section of this section will cover the extinct as well as existing Arddhamāgadhi Jaina canonical literature of the Śvetāmbara tradition. This sub–section will cover the descriptions of Aṅga and Aṅgabāhya Āgamas, the Dṛṣtivāda containing the fourteen Pūrvas, the Prakīrṇakas, their various classifications and five canonical recitations held at different times since the time of Canon–omniscient ĀcāryaBhadrabāhu and his venerable disciple Sthulibhadra, the last one being the ‘Vallabhi Recitation’, which helped restore it in its present form.

In the second sub–section it will be my endeavour to trace the development of Śaurasenī canonical and canon–equivalent works since its inception to its present glory. In the first two subsections of this section, I propose to examine the present form of Chakkhaṇḍāgama and Kaṣāyapāhuḍa while the third sub–section will be devoted to the study of canon–equivalent Śaurasenī works by Ācārya Kundakunda, Tiloyapaṇṇatti by Yativṛṣabha, Mūlācāra by Vaṭṭakera, Bhagavatī Ārādhanā by Śivārya, Kārtikeyānuprekṣā by Swāmi Kārtikeya, and Ācārya Nemicandra Siddhāntacakravrtī’s literature like Gommaṭsāra, etc.

Section 1.3 – The third section will be devoted to the identification of the Arddhamāgadhī and Śaurasenī Jaina canonical works related to the study of preparation and practice of Voluntary Peaceful Death “Sallekhanā and Samādhimaraṇa”.

Section 1.4 – The fourth section will present a critique on the contents of the entire chapter in a nutshell.

CHAPTER – 2. “THE CONCEPT OF VOLUNTARY PEACEFUL DEATH AS OBTAINED IN ARDHAMĀGADH— CANONICAL WORKS” –

Section 2.1 – The first section will be introductory in nature and deal with the subject and philosophy of death in general terms.

Section 2.2 – In the second section, it will be my endeavor tobriefly describe various kinds of voluntary and involuntary deaths as mentioned in the Arddhamāgadhī canonical and related works like Ācārāṅga, Sthānāṅga, Samavāyāṅga, Vyākhyā–prjñapti, Uttarādhyayanasūtra, etc.

Section 2.3 – The third section will be devoted to the study of the concept of and highlighting the distinction between Sallekhanā and Samādhimaraṇa.

Section 2.4 –In the fourth section I shall deal, in detail with the practice of short “Jhaghanya”, medium “Madhyama” and long “Utkṛṣṭa” preparatory penance “Sallekhanā” leading to Samādhimaraṇa.

Section 2.5 –The fifth section will be devoted to the study of the practice of the end–practice of ‘Voluntary Peaceful Death’ or Samādhimaraṇa, in all its details. In this section I shall study the indicators of death “Riṣṭa”, desirable psychic disposition for the practitioner of this critical practice, the practice of temporary conditional and permanent unconditional Santhārā, procedure for undertaking the practice of Santhārā or Samādhimaraṇa and the possible flaws of this practice that must be guarded against.

Section 2.6 –In the sixth section I shall bring out the essential distinguishing features of three kings of Santhārā–Samādhimaraṇa, namely Bhaktapratyākhyāna–maraṇa, Iṅginī–maraṇa and Pādapopagamana–maraṇa.

Section 2.7 –The seventh section will be devoted to the study of precept and practice of Sallekhanā–Santhārā–Samādhimaraṇa as contained in various Arddhamāgadhī canonical and related treatises including the Prakīrṇakas that deal with this subject most comprehensively and in all possible details.

Section 2.8 –The eighth section will survey the views mentioned in various canonical works regarding the result of undertaking the practice of Sallekhanā and the end–practice of Samādhimaraṇa.

Section 2.9 – The ninth section willpresnt a critique on the contemts of this chaper.

CHAPTER – 3. “VOLUNTARY PEACEFUL DEATH IN ŚAURASEN— CANONICAL WORKS” –

Section 3.1 – The first section of this chapter will be introductory in nature. After a brief introductory paragraph, it will be devoted to bringing out the general features connected with death followed by types of deaths mentioned in the Śaurasenī works like Bhagavatī A_rādhanā, Mūlācāra, Gommaṭasāra, etc as also in other supporting works like Samādhimaraṇotsāha–dīpaka, devoted to the subject of Sallekhanā–Samādhimaraṇa, by the later authors.

Section 3.2 – This section will be devoted to the study of the concept and form of Sallekhanā–Samādhimaraṇa, in general dwelling on the issue of period of Sallekhanā. The synonyms of Samādhimaraṇa mentioned in these works, and their meaningful descriptions will be given in a subsection of this section.

Section 3.3 – In this sectiona detailed treatment to the three kinds of Sallekhanā– Samādhi–maraṇa, namely Bhaktapratyākhyāna, Iṅginī and Pr-yopagamana is proposed to be given. All the aspects and considerations of the practice of Savicāra Bhaktapratyākhyāna–maraṇa; Niruddha, Niruddhatara and Paramaniruddha Avicāra Bhaktapratyākhyāna–maraṇa, Iṅginīmaraṇa as well as Nirhariṁ and Anirhāriṁ Prāyopagamanamaraṇa will be given in this section.

Section 3.4 – I propose to devote the fourth section of this chapter to the critical study of the procedure for the practice of Sallekhanā–Samādhimaraṇa, under the sub–sections – Occasions for undertaking this practice, the eligibility of the aspirant for its practice and the procedure to be adopted as such.

Section 3.5 – The fifth section will be devoted to the critical examination of the result to be gained by this practice as stated in various works on the subject.

Section 3.6 – This section will be devoted to the study of various flaws of this practice as mentioned in different treatises on the subject.

Section 3.7 – This section is proposed to be a survey of the treatment of this subject given by the following Śaurasenī and other works, of the Digambara tradition, on the subject of Samādhimaraṇa: –

  1. Mūlācāra,

  2. Tattvārthasūtra,

  3. Bahagavatī Ārādhanā,

  4. Gommaṭasāra,

  5. Samādhimaraṇotsāha–dīpaka,

  6. Sāgāra Dharmāmṛta,

  7. Ratnakaraṇḍa Śrāvakācāra, and

  8. Vasunandi Śrāvakācāra.

Section 3.8 – This eighth and the last section of this chapter will present a critique on the entire chapter.

CHAPTER – 4. “VOLUNTARY PEACEFUL DEATH IN PĀLI CANONICAL WORKS” –

Section 4.1 – The first section will be introductory in nature and deal with general Buddhist view on form of penance, which is guided by its philosophy of adherence to the ‘middle path’.

Section 4.2 – The second section will be devoted to tracing the development of Pāli as a language of Bhagvān Buddha’s teachings or otherwise.

Section 4.3 – In the third section I propose to trace the development of Buddhist canonical and explanatory literature such as the Piṭakas “Tripiṭaka comprising Vinayapiṭaka, Suttapiṭaka and Abhidhammapiṭaka and their respective sub divsions” and the Pāli works after the Piṭakas such as Milindapraśna, Nettiopakaraṇa, Peṭakopadesa, Aṭṭhakathā, Visuddhimaggo, etc and to identify those works that relate to death in general and voluntary death in particular.

Section 4.4 – The fourth section will deal with the issues and instances of voluntary death – peaceful or violent, practised by the members of Buddhist clergy and the laity and critically examine them as to how far they fit the definition of Samādhimaraṇa.

Section 4.5 – The fifth section will present a critique on the contents of the entire chapter.

CHAPTER – 5. “COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE CONCEPT OF VOLUNTARY PEACEFUL DEATH IN PRĀKṛTA, PĀLI AND OTHER SACRED TEXTS” –

Section 5.1 – After a brief introductory Para, in this first section I propose to introduce different types of deaths as described in various Prākṛta and Pāli sacred texts of the Jainas and the Buddhists.

Section 5.2 – In the second section of this chapter I will present a comparative study of the concept of voluntary death in the light of the canonical works of the Jaina, the Buddhist and other religious traditions.

Section 5.3 – In the third section of this chapter I propose to compare the procedures for embracing voluntary “peaceful” deaths by the members of various religious denominations.

Section 5.4 – In the fourth section of this chapter I propose to compare the contemplated results to be gained by the practice of Voluntary Peaceful Death as obtained in the Prākṛta – Ardhamāgadhī and Śaurasenī, Pāli and the sacred texts of other religious orders.

Section 5.5 – In the fifth section of this chapter I propose to compare the possible flaws of this practice as per the aforementioned texts.

Section 5.6 – In this section I shall present a critique on the contents of this chapter.

CHAPTER – 6. “INCIDENCE AND PRACTICE OF VOLUNTARY DEATH IN MODERN TIMES” –

Section 6.1 – In this introductory section I will detail the outline of the chapter.

Section 6.2 – In this section I will trace the Jaina tradition of ‘Voluntary Peaceful Death’ from the Prehistoric period through the ancient, medieval periods to the present age.

Section 6.3 – In this section I will estimate the incidence of the practice of Samādhi–maraṇa in the present age by collecting the sample data for the last ten years.

Section 6.4 – In this section I will study the practice of Samādhimaraṇa in the present age with the help of ten case–studies.

Section 6.5 – In this section I will present a critique on the contents of the chapter.

CAHPTER – 7 “DISTINCTION BETWEEN SAMĀDHIMARṇA, OTHER RELIGIOUS DEATHS, HONOUR DEATH, EUTHANASIA AND SUICIDE” –

Section 7.1 – This section will be introductory in nature and introduce the concepts of other religious deaths, honour deaths, euthanasia and suicide.

Section 7.2 – This section will draw a comparison between the practices of Sallekhanā–Samādhimaraṇa and ‘Other Religious Deaths’ and examine their comparative merits and demerits.

Section 7.3 – This section will draw a comparison between the practices of Sallekhanā–Samādhimaraṇa and Sati, Jauhar and Hara–kiri forms of ‘Honour Deaths’ and examine their comparative merits and demerits.

Section 7.4 – This section will draw a comparison between the practices of Sallekhanā–Samādhimaraṇa and Euthanasia and examine their comparative merits and demerits.

Section 7.5 – This section will draw a comparison between the practices of Sallekhanā–Samādhimaraṇa and Suicide and examine their comparative merits and demerits.

Section 7.6 – This section will present a critique on the contents of the entire chapter.

CHAPTER – 8 “THESIS CONCLUSION” –

This chapter will conclude the study and draw conclusions on the following points:–

  1. Sallekhana and Samādhimaraṇa as means of Voluntary Peaceful Death.

  2. Justification for undertaking such a practice.

  3. Sallekhanā and Samādhimaraṇa in the Śvetāmbara and the Digambara traditions.

  4. Incidence and practice of Voluntary Peaceful Death in the modern times.

  5. Voluntary deaths in the Buddhist tradition.

  6. Whether or not Samādhimaraṇa can be compared with suicide?

0.4 Research Methodology –

The following research–methodologies have been employed in carrying out this study: –

    1. For Literary Research –

Relevant information was collected from relevant canonical works, original texts and critical studies and collated and presented in relevant chapters.

    1. For Field Research –

Field research was conducted in following steps: –

  1. Collection of relevant information from various sources such as newspapers, periodicals, archive records, records of inscriptions and through personal interviews and questionnaires.

  2. Classification of the collected information under relevant heads.

  3. Statistical analyses of the classified data by employing various statistical tools such as ‘Mean’, ‘Mode’, ‘Median’, ‘Mean Deviation’, ‘Standard Deviation’.

  4. Presenting the findings in numerical and graphical forms.

0.43 Research Findings –

Research findings were deduced from the relevant chapters based on the aforementioned literary and field researches.

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