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death with equanimity

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(Chapter II, cont.)

2.79 – 2.796

2.79 Prakīrṇakas –

Out of the thirty–two Prakīrṇakas listed by Muni Śrī Puṇyavijayajī in his preface to the Paiṇṇayasuttāiṁ and thirty–two Prakīrṇakas included in two parts of this compendium on Prakīrṇakasi, twenty–one deal with the subject of Samādhi–maraṇa. Some of these Prakīrṇakas are of minuscule dimensions and contain only a few verses. The following eight deal with this subject in fair detail and merit consideration: –

  1. Maraṇasamādhi,

  2. Āturpratyākhyāna,

  3. Mahāpratyākhyāna,

  4. Saṁstāraka,

  5. Ārādhanāsāra/ Paryantārādhanā,

  6. Bhaktaparijñā, and

  7. Ārādhanāpatākā by anunknown ancient Ācārya, and

  8. Ārādhanāpatākā by Śrī Vīrabhadrācārya.

2.791 Maraṇasamādhi Prakīrṇaka –

Also known as Maraṇavibhakti, this Prakīrṇaka is said to have been composed on the basis of almost all the available works on the subject of Samādhi–maraṇa and is, therefore the largest and most complete of the ten Prakīrṇakasii that are accepted as canonical works by the Idol–worshipping White–clad Jainas. It has 661 verses that deal with the following aspects of voluntary peaceful death: –

  1. Death–procedure “Maraṇavidhi”iii,

  2. Practice “Ārādhanā”iv,

  3. Enlightened death “Paṇḍita–maraṇa”v,

  4. Rankling death “Saśalya–maraṇa” and stingless death without rankling “Nih<śalya–maraṇa”vi,

  5. Miserable disposition “Saṅkliṣṭa Bhāvanā”vii,

  6. Disposition free from misery “Asaṅkliṣṭa Bhāvanā”viii,

  7. Purity of discretion “Śuddha Viveka”ix,

  8. Ignorant death “Bāla–maraṇa”x,

  9. Voluntary death “Abhyudyata–maraṇa”xi,

  10. Masterly teachings “Ācāryapadamūla”xii,

  11. External and internal Sallekhanā “Bāhyābhyantara Sallekhanā”xiii,

  12. Five great vows “Pañamahāvrata”xiv,

  13. Detachment “Vyutsarga”xv,

  14. Different practices and fruits thereof “Ārādhanābheda evaṁ phala”xvi,

  15. Enduring monastic hardships “Parīṣaha–sahana”xvii,

  16. Overcoming affection “Mamatva–tyāga”xviii,

  17. Twelve–way contemplation “Bāraha Bhāvanā”xix,

  18. Fallen tree posture of Samādhimaraṇa “Pādapopagamana”xx, and

  19. Stories of practitioners of Samādhimaraṇaxxi, etc.

The concept of Samādhimaraṇa has been analysed in the fourteen sections, known as Adhikārasūtras, such as Criticism, Preparatory penance, Forgiveness, time–period, renunciation, death–bed, detachment, freedom etc.xxii The incidents of some famous practitioners of Samādhimaraṇa such as Sanatkumāraxxiii, Gajasukumāla xxiv, disciples of Skandaka xxv, etc. have been described.

2.792 Āturpratyākhyāna Prakīrṇaka –

It is one of the unique features of the Prakīrṇakas that more than one works bear the same name. The case of Āturpratyākhyāna is one of the case in point. In all there are three Prakīrṇakas available by this name.xxviĀturpratyākhyāna –1 xxvii has thirty verses and prose paragraphs. The second one by this name “Āturpratyākhyāna–2” xxviii has 34 verses and Āturpratyākhyāna –3 xxix has seventy–one verses.

Being treatises on the end–practice of voluntary peaceful death they are also known as Antakāla Prakīrṇaka and Vṛhadāturpratyākhyāna as well. The third treatise is believed to have been composed by Vīrabhadra.xxx Though it has only seventy–one verses, it is a complete treatise on Samādhimaraṇa.xxxi The two forms of death – ignorant and enlightened – have been dealt with in detail in this work and it also deals with the death in the mixed disposition or Bālapaṇḍita–maraṇa.xxxii It includes sixty–three kinds of practices for achieving enlightened death.xxxiii The form and flaws of ignorant death have also been analysed in detail.xxxiv Emphasising the importance of Samādhimaraṇa, this work highlights it as a means to achieve spiritual liberation and lays down the procedure for its practice.xxxv The message of this work is very clear – those who die ignorant deaths beset with the flaws of falsehood, delusion, passions, material and emotional encumbrance and attachment and aversion are condemned to bad destinies while those who embrace voluntary enlightened deaths, free from these flaws, and die in a state of mental equanimity are destined to good – human or heavenly – rebirths or spiritual liberation itself.xxxvi

2.793 Mahāpratyākhyāna Prakīrṇaka xxxvii

About the definition of Mahāpratyākhyāna, the Pākṣikasūtra says that the scripture that contains the description of the voluntary peaceful death accepted by the ascetics staying in monastic groups, when they become incapable of carrying on their monastic routine, is called Mahāpratyākhyāna.xxxviii Literally, Mahāpratyākhyāna means the greatest vow and what could be a greater vow than embracing voluntary death by renouncing one’s own body?xxxix This treatise, in 142 verses, deals at length about various renunciations,xl forgiving and seeking forgiveness,xli confession, criticism and repentance,xlii overcoming affection and attachment, xliii pursuing basic and subsidiary monastic virtuesxliv, reflection on loneliness of the soul,xlv renouncing worldly relationships,xlvi condemning lack of restraint,xlvii atonement for misdeeds,xlviii giving up deceitful attitude,xlix the liberation of the repentant,l overcoming spiritual stings,li expiation through repentance,lii renunciation of violence,liii purity of observance,liv detachment,lv enlightened death,lvi protecting five great vows,lvii vigilance and restraint,lviii glory of penance,lix importance of spirituality,lx benefit of spiritual observances,lxi flaws of negligence,lxii importance of karmic stoppage,lxiii importance of right–knowledge,lxiv belief in Jina faith,lxv equanimity through renunciation, lxvi glory of peaceful deathlxvii and the result of renunciationlxviii.

This treatise puts great emphasis on the value of renunciation for spiritual benefit “Voluntary Peaceful Death is the greatest vow” and concludes on the note that both, the brave and the cowardly, die but those who die peacefully in a state of equanimity certainly die a nobler death and that those who observe this greatest vow, of Samādhi–maraṇa, are either reborn in Vaimānika heavens or become Siddhas.lxix

2.794 Saṁstāraka Prakīrṇaka lxx

In 122 verses, Saṁstāraka, as the name suggests, is a treatise on Samādhi–maraṇa. Saṁstāraka means a bed and in the present context it means the death–bed made of grass etc that is used to lie down by the practitioner of voluntary peaceful death “kṣapaka”. After the benediction in the name of Bhagvānṛṣabhadeva,lxxi it brings out the characteristics of the Saṁstāraka, in great detail, through various similes.lxxii The nobility of Saṁstāraka has been praised by comparing it with the best in everything such as the Jina amongst the persons, the Jina–mother amongst the ladies, Siddhśilā amongst the destinations, etc. The form of Saṁstāraka has been explained by emphasising the virtues of the spiritual aspirants who actually ascend the Saṁstāraka in word and spirit. It analyses the proper and improper psychic dispositions that make or mar this practice. It has been said that the one who does not wish to confess criticise and repent for his flaws in front of his guru, is of distorted faith and of lax conduct and has an improper psychic disposition while the one who so confesses, criticises and repents for his flaws, has firm belief in the right Jina faith and is of steadfast conduct and has the proper psychic disposition for ascending the Saṁstāraka.lxxiii Detailing the benefits that the spiritual aspirant may reap by ascending the Saṁstāraka in proper psychic state, the author says that he sheds the karmic accumulation of many a birth on the very first day of his accepting the vow of Samādhimaraṇa. The pleasure that the aspirant feels sitting or lying down on the grass bed of Saṁstāraka is rare for the kings and emperors also.lxxiv A major portion of this treatise has been devoted to the examples of those aspirant practitioners who had successfully completed their vows of Samādhimaraṇa. Some of the well–known names are – Arṇikāputra, five hundred disciples of monk SkandakaDaṇḍamuni, Simhasenamuni, Sukośalmuni, Avantisukumal, Kārtikācārya, Dharmasimha, Cāṇakya, Abhayaghoṣa, Lalitaghaṭa, Cilātiputra, Gajasukumāla, etc.lxxv

The treatise concludes with a mention of the forgiving disposition of those who ascend the Saṁstāraka. lxxvi

2.795 Ārādhanāsāra Alias Paryantārādhanālxxvii

Paryanta means ‘up to’ and in the present context it means up to the time that the death occurs. Thus, Paryantārādhanā means the end–practice “of Samādhi–maraṇa”. This Prakīrṇaka brings out various aspects of this end–practice in twenty–four sections, referred to as Dvāra, as mentioned in its initial verseslxxviii: –

  1. Saṁlekhanā Dvāralxxix – This section is devoted to the preparatory penance that is undertaken to weaken the body externally as well as the intensity of passions internally.

  2. Sthāna Dvāralxxx – It specifies that the aspirant practitioner must avoid undertaking the end–practice in a place that is infested with distracting elements such as singers, prostitutes, jugglers, etc.

  3. Vikaṭanā Dvāralxxxi the author directs that the aspirant practitioner must repent and atone for his flaws, in respect of his basic and subsidiary monastic virtues, in front of a learned guru.

  4. Samyak DvāralxxxiiIn this section the aspirant is urged to stabilise his right–vision by dispelling doubt, desire, etc.

  5. Aṇuvrat Dvāralxxxiii – Here, the aspirant lay practitioner resolves to flawlessly observe his five minor vows as long as he lives.

  6. Guṇavrat DvāralxxxivIn this section the lay practitioner resolves to flawlessly observe his five minor vows as long as he lives.

  7. Pāpasthāna Dvāralxxxv This section just mentions eighteen areas of sinful activities in order to alert the aspirant practitioner to avoid them.

  8. Āgāra DvāralxxxviHere the lay aspirant practitioner is instructed to avoid the eighteen types of sinful activities and to give up attachment towards his body.

  9. Catuh<śaraṇagamana DvāralxxxviiThe aspirant practitioner is urged to seek the shelter of the five paragons of spiritual virtues – Arihanta, Siddha, Ācārya, Upādhyāya and Sādhu.

  10. Duṣkṛt–garhā DvāralxxxviiiThe aspirant practitioner is urged to denounce and condemn his misdeeds.

  11. Sukṛtānumodanā DvāralxxxixHailing of spiritually beneficial good deeds is specified in this section.

  12. Viṣaya Dvāraxc– The aspirant practitioner is urged to give up sensory pleasures of his five senses.

  13. Saṅghādi Kṣamāpanā Dvāraxci The aspirant practitioner is urged to forgive and seek forgiveness from the members of the religious order.

  14. Caturgati Jīva Kṣamāpanā DvāraxciiThe aspirant practitioner is urged to forgive and seek forgiveness from the living beings of the four species.

  15. Caityanaman Anupasarga DvāraxciiiThe aspirant practitioner is urged to bow to the venerable Lords and adopt body–detached posture in order to make his practice disturbance–free.

  16. Anaśan DvāraxcivAfter bowing to the guru the aspirant practitioner is now instructed to undertake fast unto death.

  17. Anusa<sṭi DvāraxcvIn this section there is provision for providing solace to the suffering aspirant practitioner.

  18. Bhāvanā DvāraxcviIn this section the twelve types of spiritually beneficial contemplation are listed, which the aspirant practitioner is urged to undertake.

  19. Kavaca DvāraxcviiThis section is devoted to the techniques of stabilisation of the aspirant practitioner who wavers due to pangs of death.

  20. Namaskāra DvāraxcviiiIn this section the aspirant practitioner is urged to devote his time in offering obeisance to the five paragons of spiritual virtues.

  21. Śubhadhyāna DvāraxcixIn this section the aspirant practitioner is urged to undertake pious contemplation.

  22. Nidāna DvāracIn this section the aspirant practitioner is urged not to entertain any binding wish as a reward of this end–practice.

  23. Aticāra Dvāraci¤– This section lists the flaws that can flaw this practice.

  24. Phal DvāraciiThis section informs that any one who undertakes this end–practice with due inner purity is sure to gain the ultimate fruit of spiritual liberation.

The treatise concludes with the remark that the author has penned it so that the spiritual aspirants can study it and endeavour to gain the eternal bliss of liberation. ciii

2.796 Bhaktaparijñā Prakīrṇakaciv

This treatise, in 172 verses starts with benediction and obeisance to Bhagvān Mahāvīra and by assuring the faithful believers that the Jaina religious order is beneficial like a garden of wish fulfilling Kalpavṛkṣas in the sense that it helps the spiritual aspirant to fulfil his desire to liberate by putting an end to his worldly transmigration.cv In a few initial verses it brings out the importance of “right” knowledge and mentions that the transient pleasures are fruitless while the eternal pleasure can be gained by following the liberating path propounded by the Lords Jina.cvi The next four verses mention the three types of voluntary peaceful deaths, namely Bhaktaparijñā, Iṅgini and Pādapopagmana and two sub–types of Bhaktaparijñā–maraṇa1. Savicāra in which the practitioner accepts the vow wilfully, with due and deliberate consideration, with an intention to weaken his body and 2. Avicāra in which no such intention is contemplated as it is accepted in an emergent situation when the death faces him suddenly. cvii The procedure for this observance is laid down in the following verses. The important points are as follows –

  1. The aspirant practitioner prays for the permission to accept the vow of Bhaktaparijñā and the guru asks him to first confess, criticise and condemn his flaws, which he does.cviii

  2. The guru re–establishes him in five great vows.cix

  3. The lay follower aspirant resolves to observe the minor vows till the very end.cx

  4. After resolving like this both the types of aspirant practitioners pray to the guru for giving them the vows, then they atone for their flaws and accept the vow of giving up three types of food “except water” for life.cxi

  5. The practitioner then forgives all and seeks forgiveness from all.cxii

  6. Thereafter there is a description of detailed sermon by the guru wherein he says that false–faith must be shunned at all costs, as it is the most harmful of all the flaws; that he must be devoted to the Jina faith body and soul. cxiii That those of purity of belief only attain the eternal bliss of liberation; that devotion to the Jina, the preachers of the path is expected of every faithful devotee that desires spiritual wealth.cxiv

  7. The guru exhorts the aspirant practitioner to steady himself in his practice by giving various examples. He is exhorted to take his mind off from the sensory pleasures by citing the examples of those who suffered because of succumbing to sensuality. He is further exhorted to shun the passions such as anger etc, because they destroy the equanimity of the practitioners and make their practices fruitless.cxv

  8. The aspirant practitioner accepts guru’s exhortations and agrees to abide by them.cxvi

  9. Then there is a mention of stabilising the practice of the aspirant who may waver due to the pain and hardships of hunger thirst etc during the practice. He is so stabilised by telling him about the spiritual benefits he would reap as a result of the practice.cxvii

The treatise concludes on the note that anyone who devotedly and flawlessly practices the vow of Bhaktapraijñā is sure to attain the ultimate goal of spiritual emancipation and eternal bliss of liberation.cxviii

i Paiṇṇayasuttāiṁ Pt. I–II, Muni Śrī Puṇyavijayajī, Mahāvīra Jaina Vidyālaya, Mumbai, 1984.

ii Jaina Āgama Sāhitya Manana Aur Mīmāṁsā, ibid, p. 395.

iiiMaraṇavibhatti Paiṇṇayaṁ, ‘Paiṇṇayasuttāiṁ Pt. I ibid.’ verses 10–13.

iv Ibid. verses 14, 15.

v Ibid. verses 22–44.

vi Ibid. verses 51–52.

vii Ibid. verses 59–65.

viii Ibid. verses 66, 67.

ix Ibid. verses 70–77.

x Ibid. verses 78–80.

xi Ibid. verses 84–92.

xii Ibid. verses 177–188.

xiii Ibid. verses 189–209.

xiv Ibid. verses 258–269.

xv Ibid. verses 297–302.

xvi Ibid. verses 318–324.

xvii Ibid. verses 366–385.

xviii Ibid. verses 402–405.

xix Ibid. verses 570–640.

xx Ibid. verses 525–550.

xxi Ibid. verses 406–524.

xxii Ibid. verses 81, 82.

xxiii Ibid. verses 409–412.

xxiv Ibid. verses 432, 433.

xxv Ibid. verses 444.

xxvi Singh AK, Samādhimaraṇa Sambandhī Prakīrṇakon kī Viṣayavastu, ‘Prakīrṇaka Sāhitya : Manana Aur Mīmāṁsā, Āgam Śodh Saṁsthān, Udaipur, 1995’, p. 14.

xxviiĀurapaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ, ‘Paiṇṇayasuttāiṁ Pt. I, ibid.’ pp.160–163.

xxviii Ibid. pp. 305–308.

xxix Ibid. pp. 329–336.

xxx Paiṇṇayasuttāiṁ Pt. I, ibid. Introduction, p. 121.

xxxi Samādhimaraṇa, ibid. p. 52.

xxxiiĀurapaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ‘3’, ‘Paiṇṇayasuttāiṁ Pt. I ibid.’, verses 1–9, pp. 329, 330.

xxxiii Ibid. Maxim 11, verses 12–32. pp. 330, 331.

xxxiv Ibid. verses 37–47, pp. 333, 334.

xxxv Ibid. verses 48–71, pp. 334–336.

xxxvi “Cira usiya bambhayārī papphoḍeūṇa sesayaṁ kammaṁ |

AṇupuvvīI visuddho gacchai siddhiṁ dhuyakileso || 68 ||

Eyaṁ paccakkhāṇaṁ jo kāhī maraṇadesakālammi |

Dhīro amūḍhasanno so gacchai sāsayaṁ ṭhāṇaṁ || 70 || – Ibid. p. 336.

xxxvii Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ‘Paiṇṇayasuttāiṁ Pt. I ibid.’, pp. 164–178.

xxxviii Pākṣikasūtra, p. 78.

xxxix Mahāpratyākhyāna Prakīrṇaka, Āgam Ahiṁsā Evaṁ Samatā Śodha Saṁsthān, Udaipur, 1991–92, Preface, pp. 7–8.

xl Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verses 1–5 and 108–110.

xli Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ, Ibid. verse 8.

xlii Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ, Ibid. verses 9–11.

xliii Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ, Ibid. verse 12.

xliv Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ, Ibid. verses 13–16.

xlv Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ, Ibid. verse 17.

xlvi Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayam,] ibid. verses 18, 19.

xlvii Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ, ibid. verse 20.

xlviii Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verse 21.

xlix Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verses 22–23.

l Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verses 24–29.

li Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verses 31–32.

lii Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verses 33–34.

liii Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verse 35–36.

liv Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verses 37–40 and 51–67.

lv Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verses 41–50 and 90–92.

lvi Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verses 68–76.

lvii Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verse 77.

lviii Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verses 80–84.

lix Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verses 85–89.

lx Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verses 93–94.

lxi Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verses 97–98.

lxii Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verses 99–100.

lxiii Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verses 101–6.

lxiv Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verse 107.

lxv Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verses 111–12.

lxvi Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verses 135–36.

lxvii Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verse 141.

lxviii Mahāpaccakkhāṇa Paiṇṇayaṁ ibid. verse 142.

lxix Ibid. 141–142.

lxx Saṁstāraka Paiṇṇayaṁ ‘Paiṇṇayasuttāiṁ Pt. I ibid.’, pp. 280–91.

lxxi Ibid. verse 1.

lxxii Ibid. verses 2–30.

lxxiii Ibid. verses 31–43.

lxxiv Ibid. verses 44–55.

lxxv Ibid. verses 56–87.

lxxvi Ibid. verses 88–122.

lxxvii Ārādhanāsāra/ Paryantārādhanā ‘Paiṇṇayasuttāiṁ Pt. II ibid.’, pp. 169–192.

lxxviii Ibid, verses 2–4.

lxxix Ibid, verses 5–11.

lxxx Ibid, verses 12.

lxxxi Ibid, verses 13–15.

lxxxii Ibid, verses 16–18.

lxxxiii Ibid, verse 19.

lxxxiv Ibid, verses 20–21.

lxxxv Ibid, verses 22–23.

lxxxvi Ibid, verse 24.

lxxxvii Ibid, verses 25–29.

lxxxviii Ibid, verses 30–58.

lxxxix Ibid, verses 59–106.

xc Ibid, verse 107.

xci Ibid, verses 108–19.

xcii Ibid, verses 120–240.

xciii Ibid, verse 241.

xciv Ibid, verses 242–243.

xcv Ibid, verses 244–45.

xcvi Ibid, verses 246–47.

xcvii Ibid, verses 248–52.

xcviii Ibid, verses 253–57.

xcix Ibid, verse 258.

c Ibid, verse 259.

ci Ibid, verse 260.

cii Ibid, verses 261–62.

ciii Ibid, verse 263.

civ Bhattaparinnā Paiṇṇayaṁ ‘Paiṇṇayasuttāiṁ Pt. I ibid.’, pp. 312–328.

cv Ibid, verses 1–2.

cvi Ibid, verses 3–7.

cvii Ibid, verses 8–11.

cviii Ibid, verses 12–23.

cix Ibid, verses 24–28.

cx Ibid, verses 29–33.

cxi Ibid, verses 34–47.

cxii Ibid, verses 48–52.

cxiii Ibid, verses 53–64.

cxiv Ibid, verses 65–74.

cxv Ibid, verses 75–147.

cxvi Ibid, verses 148–55.

cxvii Ibid, verses 156–71.

cxviii Ibid, verses 172–73.

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