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death with equanimity

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(Chapter II, cont.)

2.6 – 2.63

2.6 Bhaktapratyākhyāna, Iṅginī and Pādapopagamana Maraṇa –

As far as Ardhamāgadhī canonical works are concerned, three types of voluntary peaceful deaths have been variously mentioned in the Ācarāṅga, Sthānāṅga, Samavāyā–aṅga and the Uttarādhyayanasūtra. However, all of them do not mention all these types as such. The descriptions of these three types of voluntary deaths is as follows : –

2.61 Bhaktapratyākhyāna Maraṇa –

The mentions of Bhaktapratyākhyāna–maraṇa or voluntary death by renouncing food or life, are available in as ancient scriptures as Bhagavatīsūtra “Vyākhyā–prajñapti”,i Sthānāṅga,ii Samavāyāṅga iii etc. The Uttatarādhyayana–sūtraivand Bhaktaparijñā vclassify Bhaktapratyākhyāna maraṇa as Savicāra and Avicāra. The voluntary death of a person who is physically fit and mentally alert, who does not face imminent death and who undertakes the practice of fast unto death with due thought is called Savicāra Bhaktapratyākhyāna–maraṇa and that of a person who undertakes this practice under imminent threat to his life is said to be Avicāra Bhaktaprtyākhyāna–maraṇa. vi It is undertaken when the death presents itself suddenly without giving time for undertaking the practice of Savicāra Bhaktaprtyākhyāna–maraṇa with due thought and consideration, and it becomes incumbent on the spiritual aspirant desirous of embracing voluntary peaceful death to undertake this practice under emergent circumstances. The Ācārāṅga mentions the gradual reduction of the food intake by the aspirant practitioner during the preparatory stage “Sallekhanā” by taking gradually reducing amounts of food and that too without paying any attention to its taste, not even turning the food from the left of the mouth to the right and vice–versa and then, when the body becomes sufficiently weak, stopping the food–intake altogether. vii

In this practice, there is no restriction the movement of the aspirant as well as on his looking after his own needs or taking assistance from the others.

2.62 Inginīmraṇa –

The term Iṅginīmaraṇa means embracing voluntary peaceful death under the conditions of spiritual stability and accepting restrictions of activities, movements and service according to one’s capacity. In this practice the aspirant practitioner is free to take care of himself but he does not accept anyone else’s services. viiiArdhamāgadhī Kośa defines Inginīmaraṇa as the voluntary death in which an aspirant practitioner confines himself to predecided limited space and does not accept any service from anyone. ix

The mentions of Iṅginīmaraṇa are found in the Samavāyāṅga and Bhaktapaiṇṇa Prakīrṇaka. In his commentary on the Ācārāṅga, Ācārya Śīlaṅka describes Iṅginīmaraṇa thus x – ‘The aspirant practitioner renounces all four kinds of food with his guru’s witness and permission and undertakes this practice with limited activity confined to a limited space. He does not accept anyone else’s assistance and attends to his needs such as turning in his bed, going for attending the nature’s calls, etc himself. Practising Iṅginīmaraṇa thus, he becomes entitled to the supreme state.

2.63 Prāyopagamana–maraṇa –

This practice, also known as Pādapopagamana–maraṇa, is the most difficult practice of Voluntary Peaceful Death in which the aspirant practitioner gives up all activities and he neither takes care of himself nor does he allow anyone else to serve him “aparikarmatva”. He goes to the predecided place selected for this practice, renounces all four types of foods completely and lies there on the previously swept and inspected ground “without even a bed of grass”, motionless, like a fallen tree “niṣpratikrmatva”. By the time this practice is undertaken, the aspirant practitioners have already so weakened their bodies that they do not feel the need for evacuation “nirhāra or nature’s calls”. From the circumstance point of view, this practice can be either Vyāghātim in which it is undertaken on the occurrence of sudden calamities like attack by wild beasts or being trapped by forest–fire or the like.xi We can appreciate that this practice is undertaken, at the very culmination of the practice of Voluntary Peaceful Death, by those aspirant practitioners who have sufficiently weakened their bodies and passions by the practice of preparatory Sallekhanā and the other two preceding forms of end–practice – Bhakta–pratyākhyāna and Iṅginīmaraṇa.

iBhagavaī, ‘Ed.’ Ācārya Tulasi, 2/49, 13/ 143, 145, 14/82, 83, 17/48.

iiṭhāṇaṁ, ‘Ed.’ Ācārya Tulasi, 1, 2/414, 17/48.

iiiSamavāyāṅga, ‘Ed.’ Ācārya Tulasi, 17/9.

ivUttarādhyāayanasūtra, 30/12.

v Bhattapainnamaraṇaṁ duvihaṁ Saviyāra Aviyāraṁ ya. – Bhattapainnāpaiṇṇayaṁ, 10.

vi Ibid, 10, 11.

vii “Se bhikkhu vā bhikkhuṇī vā asaṇaṁ vā āhāremāṇe no vāmāo haṇuyāo dāhiṇaṁ haṇuyaṁ sañcārijjā āsāemāṇe dāhiṇāo vāmaṁ haṇuyaṁ no sañcārijjā āsāemāṇe, se aṇāsāemāṇe lāghaviyaṁ āgamamāṇe tave se abhisamnnāgae, bhavai jameyaṁ Bhagavayā paveiyaṁ tameva abhisamiccā savvao savvattāe sammatta meva samabhijāṇiyā ||”

Ācārāṅgasūtra, Comm. Ācārya Ātamārāmjī, Pt. I, 8/6/217.

viii Rajjankumar, Samādhimaraṇa, Parshvanath Vidyapeeth, Varanasi, 2001, p. 103.

ix “Śrutavihit kriyāviśeṣaḥ iṅgyate pratiniyat–deśa eva ceṣṭate`syāmanaśanakriyāmitīṅginī |

  • Ardhamāgadhī Kośa, Muni Ratancandjī, Amarpublications Varanasi, 1988, Pt. II, p. 127,

Q. Samādhimaraṇa, Ibid, p. 123.’

x “Uvvattai pariattai kāigamāī`vi appaṇā kuṇai |

Savvamiha appaṇacciaṇa annajogeṇa dhitibaliāo ||”

Ācāraṅgasūtra, Śīlāṅka Comm., folio 286.

xi Muni Shrichanda, Jaina Sadhana Paddhti meṅ Tapoyoga, Adarsha Sahitya Saṅgha, Churu, 1979, p.77.

Section – 2.7.

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