JAINISM – THE CREED FOR ALL TIMES
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(THE HOUSEHOLDERS’ CONDUCT)
The Two Tiered Dharma Based on Right–Conduct –
In keeping with great emphasis on right–conduct by its followers, which is echoed in the epithet ‘Viṇaya mūlao dhammo’ meaning ‘The religion is based on (right) conduct’, Jainism prescribes a two tiered code of conduct – one, the more rigorous one, for its clergy (Aṇagāra Viṇaya) and the other, with lesser rigour for the laity (Sāgāra Viṇaya). It stands to reason that the code for the clergy has to be more rigorous and stringent as compared to that for the laity. This chapter brings out the salient features of these codes in necessary but sufficient details.
Though we are dealing with the conduct part of the faith here, we must not lose sight of the three pillars that uphold it and constitute the path of spiritual emancipation and final deliverance. They are right–vision, right–knowledge and right–conduct. It has been brought out earlier that the right–conduct is based on right–knowledge and, which, in turn, is based on right–vision. Also, it can be appreciated that a person steeped in wrongdoing cannot be expected to be endowed with right–knowledge and right–vision. These three prongs of religion are, thus, interdependent and support each other. Out of these two the first two – right–vision and right–knowledge coexist. Every living being has a fund of information stored in its mind all the time. Itis the vision or perspective that converts such information into true or false knowledge. If the perspective is wrong the interpretation of the information is bound to be wrong and it becomes false–knowledge; if the perspective is right the interpretation is right and the information becomes right–knowledge. Thus, the knowledge and view–point stand together. The right–knowledge gives a person discretion to distinguish the wrong from the right and a frame of mind to accept the right and to reject the wrong. It is this frame of mind which gives rise to actions – wrong or right. If the chain of thoughts is based on right–knowledge the actions will be right and it is bound to be wrong if the opposite is the case.
In this chapter we are dealing with the right–conduct for the Jaina laity in accordance with the right–knowledge preached by the Lords Tīrthaṅkara, which, in turn, is based on the right–vision, right–faith, right–belief and right–inclination centred around the soul rather than the mundane. The monastic conduct or the right–conduct for Jaina clergy has been dealt with in the next chapter.
The Householders’ Conduct (Sāgāra Dharma) –
The householders’ right–conduct that must help him in leading a wholesome life and also keep him moving in the right direction as far as his spiritual progress is concerned has many parts. They range from simply being on the right track to the more rigorous observance of twelve householders’ wows and eleven advanced practices (Pratimā). These are being described in this section.
On The Right Track –
The least that can be expected of a person having a right–perspective on things is to lead his life in accordance with ethically accepted norms. These norms are not specific to any particular religion but are universally acceptable norms of leading a wholesome life by not treading on others’ toes. It is visible in the form of an unblemished life–style marked by thirty–five indicators, as follows, which are known as indicators of right–track or Mārgānusāritā: –
2. Courteous nature,
3. Maintaining similarity of status and life–style in making social relationships,
4. Fearing sinful activities,
5. Observance of well–known auspicious regional and traditional customs,
6. Refraining from undue criticism,
7. Ensuring safety of household,
8. Keeping good company,
9. Rendering service to the parents,
10. Maintaining trouble–free habitation,
11. Refraining from ignoble activities,
12. Spending according to income so as not to incur debt,
13. To dress according to the regional and seasonal customs,
14. Gaining wisdom by –
a. Developing a desire to listen to the scriptures,
b. Listening to them,
c. Understanding the scriptural meaning,
d. Logically accepting it,
e. Discarding the illogical,
f. Dispelling doubt by analysis,
g. Be certain about one’s knowledge.
15. Listen to religious discourse daily,
16. Fasting periodically. Especially when there is lack of appetite,
17. Observing regular meal–times,
18. Pursue the goals of religious customs, monetary gain and worldly enjoyments in such a way that the duty and justice are not compromised,
19. Giving charity to the ascetics, the poor and the destitute,
20. Avoiding stubbornness,
21. Siding with the virtuous,
22. Not travelling to the regions that are well–known for their wickedness,
23. Indulging in endeavours within one’s capabilities,
24. Venerating the learned and the virtuous,
25. Supporting the dependants,
26. Being farsighted,
27. Being a specialist in one’s field,
28. Being grateful,
29. Being popular by being humble, serving, helping, etc.
30. Having shame for undesirable activities,
31. Being kind and compassionate,
32. Being calm and quiet,
33. Being helpful,
34. Refraining from anger, pride, guile, greed, sensuality and giggle as far as possible, and
35. Exhibit sense–control.
The Faithful Householder –
The primary requirement of the faith that makes one a faithful householder is the right–vision gained by annihilation, subsidence or destruction cum subsidence of the deluding karma. The householder who achieves this stage is known as a faithful householder or Darśan Śrāvaka. According to Jaina precepts the indications of faith are –
1. Unwavering belief in the teachings of the Lords Tīrthaṅkaras,
2. To believe that such Jina–teachings are wholly true, the best, complete, just, pure, sting–mitigating, liberating, and giver of eternal bliss by ending all forms of miseries. That one who abides by these teachings ultimately becomes the supreme soul.
3. Freedom from doubt in the truth of the Jina–teachings.
4. Wholehearted acceptance of Lords Jineśvara as one’s saviours, the knotless śramaṇa (the monks who have cut the Gordian knot of attachment) as one’s guru and the path shown by the Lords as the only liberating path.
5. Acceptance of the shelter of the Arihanta, Siddha, knotless Sādhu and the faith preached by the Tīrthaṅkaras for one’s spiritual emancipation.
6. To have full faith in the six matters, seven substances, nine fundamental verities and the liberating path comprised of right–vision, right–knowledge and right–conduct.
Theism Of A Faithful Householder –
Unlike the definition of theism that considers only a belief in the almighty God that brings into being, supports and destroys the world is theism, its Jaina definition is much more broad–based. According to the Jaina view, one who believes in the existence of the soul, its eternal nature, its bondability with karma–matter, its destiny to enjoy or suffer the due retribution of the karmic bondage incurred due to its own actions performed through its bodily entity, belief in the existence of a state of liberation from karmic bondage and that of means to achieve such liberation is a theist.
The indicators of theism are as follows: –
1. He knows and describes the fundamental verities as they are,
2. He believes in the eternal blissful nature of the soul,
3. He believes in rebirth,
4. He believes in the existence of sentient (Jīva) and insentient (Ajīva) matter, karmic bondage (Karma–bandha), liberation (Mokṣa), sins (Pāpa), merits (Puṇya), karmic influx (Karma–āsrava), stoppage (Saṁvara), experiencing pleasure and pain owing to one’s pious andsinful karma, and karmic separation (Nirjarā).
5. He believes that sinful activities result in hellish miseries and the pious ones in heavenly pleasures,
6. He believes in the existence of the Lords Arhantas as well as that of other extra–ordinary personalities such as Cakravartī, Baldeva, Vāsudeva, etc and venerates them.
7. He believes in the existence of all that exists and in the absence of all that does not.
The Reverent Householder –
A faithful householder must show reverence towards the objects of veneration like the Lords Jina as well as the venerable ordained ascetics of the order. They can show this veneration in three ways –
1. Physically – by bowing to them with folded hands,
2. Verbally – by verbally acknowledging their sermons or teachings,
3. Mentally – by having a feeling of praise, deference, reverence and admiration and by holding them in great esteem.
The Householders’ Vows And Their Excesses –
The householders’ conduct is guided by certain prescribed vows and their supporting rules and regulations. These vows fall in three categories – Five basic minor vows (Aṇuvrata), three qualitative vows (Guṇavrata) and Four educational vows (Śikṣā–vrata). These are further supplemented by eleven advanced practices known as Śrāvaka Pratimā. Also, there are certain activities that go to compromise these vows. The vows can be compromised in four stages – thinking or intending to flaw the vow (Atikrama), preparing to flaw the vow (Vyatikrama), collecting material to translate the intent into action (Aticāra) and compromising the vow by acting as per intention (Anācāra). The excesses of the vows fall in the third category (Aticāra).
The householders’ twelve vows as under: –
I. Five Basic Minor Vows –
These are the householders’ five basic vows that are in the five fundamental areas of non–violence, truthfulness, non–stealing, sexual discipline and non–possession or attachment thereto – of Jaina tenets.
1. Giving up Gross Violence (Sthūla Prāṇātipāt Viramaṇa) – To refrain from intentional killing or hurting of any vitality of the movable two and more sensed living beings is to observe the minor vow of ‘Gross Non–violence’.
For obvious reasons the householders’ non–violence cannot be as stringent as that of the ascetics. The violence can be classified into following three categories and we can see that with due care and vigilance the householders can avoid unnecessary violence.
a. Necessary Violence (Āvaśyak Hiṁsā) – The violence that results from necessary day to day activities such as cooking, cleaning, constructing houses, etc and business establishments, digging wells and ploughing and irrigating or farming cannot be avoided by the householders. This necessary violence can also be further sub–divided into household violence in which case it is called Ārambhī Hiṁsā and the violence indulged in activities connected with earning a livelihood in which case it is called Udyogī Hiṁsā. One must, however, be careful to avoid any unnecessary violence on this account.
b. Intentional Violence (Saṅkalpī Hiṁsā) – Killing or hurting any living being intentionally is intentional violence. However, there are two types of intentional violence – 1. Criminal violence and 2. Retaliatory violence. While the householders are prohibited fromindulging in any type of criminal violence, they may have to resort to some kind of retaliatory violence when some criminals or aggressors threaten the safety, honour or welfare of their selves, dependants, country, property and possessions. These are some exceptions to this rule of avoiding Intentional violence or Saṅkalpī Hiṁsā.
c. Relative Violence (Sambandhī Hiṁsā)– The violence towards the innocent is, again, of two types – relative and unrelated. The relative violence is one that is essential to safeguard the lives of the self as well as that of the others who depend on him for its safety. The removing of tics from the coats of the domestic animals can be taken as an example of this kind of violence. Unrelated violence is the violence that has no purpose behind it and is an outcome of reckless behaviour.
It follows that the householders must never indulge in unrelated violence towards the innocent but might resort to duly punish the criminals and relative violence towards the innocent as well.
Excesses (Aticāra) Of The Vow Of Non–violence–
There are five excesses of this vow –
a. Bandha– To tie persons or animals in tight bondage and to encage birds and animals.
b. Vadha – To beat or punish a person or an animal unnecessarily and mercilessly.
c. Chaviccheda – To dismember a living being.
d. Atibhāraropaṇa – To unduly heavily burden the porters, labourers and beasts of burden beyond their capacities to carry.
e. Bhaktapānaviccheda– To deprive the servants and domestic animals of their food and drink.
2. Giving up Gross Untruth (Sthūla Mṛṣāvāda Viramaṇa)– To refrain from telling any intentional gross lies is to observe the minor vow of ‘Gross Truth’. The five types of gross lies are –
I. Telling lies about a girl with bad intentions to damage her matrimonial chances (Kanyālīka),
II. Telling lies about livestock with an intent to earn undue profit by selling bad stock as good or to damage someone else’s profits by spreading bad rumours about his good stock (Gavālīka),
III. Telling lies about immovable property with the similar intentions (Bhūmi–alīka),
IV. To embezzle the property placed in trust (Nyāsāpahāra) and
V. To give motivated false evidence (Kūṭasākṣya).
The excesses (Aticāra) of this vow are –
a. Sahasābhyākhyāna– To put blame on someone without due thought,
b. Rahasyābhyākhyāna – To reveal someone’s entrusted secrets ,
c. Svadāra–mantrabheda – To reveal the secrets shared by one’s own wife,
d. Mṛṣopadeśa– To preach false sermons, and
e. Kūṭlekhakaraṇa– To falsify documents.
3. Giving up Gross Stealing (Sthūla Adattādāna Viramaṇa) – To refrain from intentionally misappropriating any one’s material or animal property to own use is to observe the minor vow of ‘Gross Non–stealing’. Smaller thefts are taking of inconsequential things such as dust, ash, toothpick, etc that has no ill intent behind the theft and that does not cause a considerable loss to the owner. On the other hand gross theft is always with bad intent of causing loss to the owner. The five types of gross thefts are as follows ; –
1. Theft by breaking into the house,
2. Theft by pilfering from bundles and parcels,
3. Stealing by breaking the lock,
4. To misappropriate things left or unknowingly dropped by someone, and
5. Plundering by waylaying the people, travellers or wayfarers.
The excesses (Aticāra) of this vow are –
a. Stenāhṛta – To purchase stolen goods,
b. Stenaprayoga – To motivate someone to steal,
c. Viruddha Rājyātikrama– Smuggling, tax evasion etc.
d. Kūṭa–tulā Kūta–māna– To keep false weights and measures with a view to give less while selling and to take more while purchasing, and
e. Tatpratirūpaka Vyavahāra – To sell bad and spurious copies of good popular brands.
4. Giving up Gross Sexual Indiscipline (Sthūla Maithun Viramaṇa) – To refrain from intentional indiscriminate sexual indulgence with one’s own spouse or with other members of opposite sex or neuters or animals is to observe the minor vow of ‘Gross Sexual Continence. This vow prescribes abstinence from all sexual activities with any other human member of the opposite sex or a neuter or a heavenly god or an animal except one’s own married spouse. With one’s own spouse also its prescription is that of moderate rather than excessive sexual indulgence. For these reasons this vow is also known as the vow of limited sexual indulgence and remaining content with one’s own spouse or ’Maithun Parimāṇa Evaṁ Svapatnī (or Svapati)–santoṣa Vrat’.
The five excesses (Aticāra) of this vow are –
a. Intercourse with an immature wedded spouse or Itvarikā Parigṛhitāgamana,
b. Intercourse with a person other than the wedded spouse or Aparigṛhitāgamana,
c. Unnatural sexual or amorous act or Anaṅgakrīḍā,
d. Unnecessary matchmaking or Paravivāhakaraṇa,
e. To have intense sexual desire or Kāmabhoga Tīvrabhilaṣa.
5. Giving up Gross Possessions (Parigraha Parimāṇa) – To refrain from unlimited and unnecessary possessions or material adjunct with undue attachment towards them is to observe the minor vow of ‘Gross Non–possession’. This vow has two dimensions – physical possessions like money, grains, land, buildings, servants, maids and birds and quadruped livestock and pets and an attached disposition towards such possessions and consequent desire and greed for them. The first is external parigraha and the second is internal one. The intent and purpose of this vow is to instruct the faithful householder to suitably limit the external possessions and to control the internal desire and greed.
The five excesses (Aticāra)of this vow concern exceeding the laid–down or accepted limits in respect of physical or material possessions. They are as follows:–
a. Kṣetra–vāstu Pramāṇātikrama– Exceeding the limit for lands and buildings,
b. Hiraṇya–suvarṇa Pramāṇātikrama– Exceeding the limit for wealth in the form of precious metals like silver and gold,
c. Dhana–dhānya Pramāṇātikrama– Exceeding the limit for wealth in the form of money and grains,
d. Dvipad–Catuṣpad Pramāṇātikrama– Exceeding the limit for two legged and four legged personal and animal wealth,
e. Kupya Pramāṇātikrama– Exceeding the limit for wealth in the form of non–precious metal articles and other household goods.
II. Three Qualitative Vows –
The qualitative vows are meant to enhance the quality of observance of the five basic vows. They can be considered to be supplementary to the five basic vows. They are as under:–
6. Limiting Movement In All Directions (Diśā Parimāṇa Vrat) –
This vow, as the name suggests aims at limiting the movement of the subject householder in ten directions – four cardinal directions i.e. East, West, North and South; four angular directions – Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest as well as two vertical directions – vertically upwards and vertically downwards. This vow, as can be guessed, is supplementary to the vow of non–violence. The lesser the area of operation, the lesser the violence committed in doing so. The householder accepts suitable practical limits in these ten directions and abides by them throughout his life.
The five excesses (Aticāra)of this vow concern exceeding the laid–down or accepted limits in respect of areas of operation in these ten directions. They are –
a. U+rdhva–diśā Pramāṇātikrama– Exceeding the limit in the vertically upward direction,
b. Adho–diśā Pramāṇātikrama– Exceeding the limit in the vertically downward direction,
c. Tiryak–diśā Pramāṇātikrama– Exceeding the limit in the eight horizontal directions,
d. Kṣetra–vṛddhi – Increasing the area of operation in one or more directions,
e. Smṛti–bhraṁśa– Forgetting the laid down limits.
7.Limiting Items Of Utility (Upabhoga–Paribhoga Parimāṇa Vrata)–
The householders’ seventh vow and the second qualitative vow is about laying down a limit on the number of items of utility that one can use. It is not difficult to imagine that this vow is supplementary to the vow of limited possessions. Upabhoga means one–time use. Hence all those items that can be used only once come into its ambit. They are – food, water, etc. Paribhoga means repeated use and all those items that are used again and again such as – house, clothes, jewellery, seats, beds, etc. fall in this category. There are as many as twenty–six types of items of food and utility that have been mentioned in the seventh primary canonical work – Upāsakadaśāṅga and Śrāvaka Pratikramaṇa–sūtra. They cover almost all types of items that were prevalent in the households at that time and during that period
The excesses (Aticāra)of this vow concern two areas of a householder’s activities, namely concerning his food–habits and his vocation. The first part concerns infringement of the laid–down or accepted limits in respect of items of food and the second part about the vocational pursuits.
The Excesses included in the first Part are as follows: –
a. Sacittāhāra – To eat the raw food beyond the accepted limit,
b. Sacitta Pratibadhāhāra – To consume converted food attached to raw part,
c. Apakva–auṣadhi Bhakṣaṇa/– to consume uncooked food,
d. Duṣpakva–auṣadhi Bhakṣaṇa– to consume half–cooked food, and
e. Tuccha–auṣadhi Bhakṣaṇa– to consume such food inwhich eatable portion is lesser than the portion that has to be discarded.
The fifteen excesses, included in the second part, which are connected with the householders’ vocations that involve considerable violence (Karmadāna) and that must be avoidedare as follows: –
a. Aṅgāra Karma – To earn one’s livelihood through the vocations that run on fire. Vocations like making charcoal, running brick–kiln, smithy, pottery, etc. fall in this category,
b. Vana Karma – Dealing in forest produce such as timber, gum, etc that involves cutting of trees, logging, sawing etc,
c. Śakaṭa Karma – Cart making,
d. Bhāṭi Karma– Hiring beasts of burden as well as giving carts and vans on hire,
e. Sphoṭaka Karma – Blasting operations in digging wells and ponds and levelling and ploughing of ground, etc,
f. Danta Vaṇijya– Tooth–trade meaning trading in organic products of animal origin such as ivory, shells, hair, tiger–nails, hide, etc,
g. Lākṣā vāṇijya – Trading in shellac,
h. Rasa Vāṇijya – Trading in wines and distillates,
i. Viṣa Vāṇijya – Trading in poisonous substances such as opium, arsenic, etc,
j. Keśa Vaṇijya – Trading in hairy beings such as slaves and animals,
k. Yantrapīḍana Karma – The oil–mills, ginning mills, etc, where crushing and squeezing by machines is involved,
l. Nirlāñchana Karma– Castrating, neutering and spaying of people and animals,
m. Dāvāgni–dāpan Karma – Burning down farms and forests,
n. Sar–draha–tāla Śoṣaṇa Karma – Drying of reservoirs, and
o. Asatijana Poṣaṇa Karma – Sheltering ignoble creatures and plying the trades such as prostitution, and hunting with dogs and birds of prey.
8. Refraining From Meaningless Punishment (Anartha–daṇḍa viramaṇa) –This vow is about refraining from such activities as do not benefit a householder in any way but proves to be harmful in the ultimate karmic analysis. The incurring of karmic influx and bondage for the purpose of earning one’s livelihood and for protecting one’s interests is called meaningful punishment (Artha–daṇḍa), and has to be gone through. However, activities like impious contemplation (Apdhyānācaraṇa); Negligent conduct (Pramādācaraṇa) like drinking, indulging in passions, oversleeping, gossiping; Giving or lending tools of violence (Hiṁsā–pradāna) and rendering advice that might result in sinful activities (Pāpakarmopadeśa) etc are such that no good comes out of them. Indulgence in such activities is said to be meaningless punishment and must be avoided by a rational thinking householder.
Five excesses (Aticāra)of this vow are –
a. Kandarpa– To indulge in such gossip as to enhance amorous thoughts,
b. Kautkucya –To make suggestive gestures,
c. Maukharya– Volubility or to speak more than required,
d. Saṁyuktādhikaraṇa – Assembly of tools of violence so that they can be readily used,
e. Upabhoga–Paribhogātirikta– Accumulation of means of sensory enjoyment in quantities more than the accepted limit. This may result in infringement of the limits.
III. Four Educational Vows –
The aim of ‘Educational vows’ is to educate the householders in a manner that they may feel inclined to renounce more and more and to accept the monastic vows when the time is ripe. Actually, they can be called monasticism preparatory vows. The four ‘Educational vows’ are as follows: –
9. Observing Periods Of Equanimity (Sāmāyik Vrat) – In this practice the householders are required to set aside periods of a muhurta (48 minutes) each and to change into prayer rig and sit down on the specified mat or rug and devote the time to scriptural study or pious contemplation. This practice is called Sāmāyik and is practised at two levels – 1. Practical level (Vyavahāra Sāmāyik) in which all the external arrangements are as mentioned and one is physically sitting in the contemplative posture and 2. Volitional level (Niścaya Sāmāyik) in which one establishes oneself in a volitional state of equanimity and contemplates only about the self. No external paraphernalia are necessary for achieving this state and it depends purely on the volitional state of the practitioner.
According to Viśeṣāvaśyaka Bhāṣya, the practical Sāmāyik is of four types –
a. Śrut–Sāmāyik – Observing periods of equanimity devoted to scriptural studies,
b. Samyaktva–Sāmāyik – The state of equanimity gained through the attainment of right–vision by dispelling falsehood : the fourth stage of spiritual progress,
c. Deśavirat–Sāmāyik– The state of equanimity attained through partial renunciation : the fifth stage of spiritual progress, and
d. Sarvavirat–Sāmāyik – The state of equanimity attained by the renunciation of all worldly relations and material adjuncts in the sixth and higher stages of spiritual advancement
It is evident that the state of equanimity starts with the attainment of right perspective and becomes progressively more and more refined up to the final stage of incorporeal perfection of the soul.
In practice the periods of equanimity must be observed in as much purity as possible. Purity is expected in respect of –
1. Material means of this practice such as mat or rug used to sit on, woollen sweep, the mouth–wrap, study material, etc. (Dravya śuddhi),
2. The place for this practice should be peaceful and away from the hubbub of the worldly affairs (Sthāna–śuddhi),
3. The practice can be undertaken at any time of the day or night. However, it must be ensured that the practice–period is not less than a muhurta (Kāla–śuddhi), and
4. Utmost care must be exercised to maintain the purity of mood during the period of this practice and anger and despondence must not be allowed to pollute the pious mood (Bhāva–śuddhi).
From the above–mentioned description it becomes obvious that even a householder becomes like an ascetic during the period of this observance. Viśeṣā–vaśyaka Bhāṣya says, “While undertaking the practice of Sāmāyik the layman also becomes like a monk. Therefore, he must undertake this practice more and more”.
Five excesses of this vow are as follows: –
a. Manoduṣpraṇidhāna – To let the mind wander from the state of equanimity and piety and to think of worldly affairs. The flaws of indiscretion, desire for fame, desire for gain, pride, fear, binding wish (nidāna), doubt, anger, arrogance, and irreverence fall in this category.
b. Vacana–duṣpraṇidhāna – To allow oneself to utter inappropriate words during the practice of Sāmāyik. The flaws like bad language, thoughtless utterances, self–willed talk, unduly brief or verbose utterances, querulous talk, gossip, ridiculous utterances, incorrectpronunciations, talking out of context and mumbling fall in this category.
c. Kāyaduṣpraṇidhāna – Making undue body movements. The flaws that fall in this category are – Sitting badly, keep moving, wandering gaze, violent bodily actions, taking unnecessary support of the wall or pillar etc, unnecessary spreading and collecting of arms and legs, sloth, cracking of fingers, to remove body–mire, downcast posture, sleeping or drowsiness, and accepting service from others during the period of practice.
d. Sāmāyikasmṛtyakaraṇa – Forgetting that one is practising Sāmāyik, and
e. Anavasthitakaraṇa – Inappropriate conduct of the practice of Sāmāyik. To leave the practice before the expiry of specified period and undue hurry are the flaws that come in this category.
10. Area Limiting Vow (Deśāvakāsika Vrat) – This is the second educational vow. It further limits the areas of operation accepted for the whole life but only temporarily, for specified periods. This vow takes the householders’ practice very near that of the ascetics. In this vow the householder accepts stringent limits for movements in various directions as well as for the five basic vows on day–to–day basis. This vow is characterised by daily acceptance of the following fourteen limitations –
a. Limiting consumption of raw and live consumables (Sacitta–maryādā),
b. Limiting number of items to be taken as food and drink (Dravya–maryādā),
c. Limiting number of highly nutritious foods or drinks that hinder concentration (Vigaya–maryādā),
d. Limiting number of foot–wears (Pannī–maryādā),
e. Limiting use of mouth–freshners (Mukhavāsa– maryādā),
f. Limiting use of items of clothing (Vastra–maryādā),
g. Limiting use of fragrant items (Sugandha–maryādā),
h. Limiting use of vehicles (Vāhana–maryādā),
i. Limiting use of beds (Śayana–maryādā),
j. Limiting use of body applications and deodorants (Vilepana–maryādā),
k. Limiting sexual activities (Brahmacarya–maryādā),
l. Limiting movements in all directions (Diśā– maryādā),
m. Limiting number of baths and washes – (Snāna– maryādā),
n. Limiting the number of times to eat or drink (Bhakta–maryādā),
Five excesses of this vow are as follows: –
a. Ānayan Prayoga – To fetch something from outside the limited area,
b. Preṣya Prayoga – To send something outside the limited area,
c. Śabdānupāt – To call someone from outside the limited area by non–verbal vocal calls,
d. Rūpānupāt – To subvert the vow by attracting somebody’s attention by bodily gestures, and
e. Bahirpudgal–prakṣepa – To subvert the vow by attracting somebody’s attention by throwing something at him.
11. Fasting And Psychic Purity Vow (Pauṣadhopavāsa Vrat) – This is the third educational vow of the householder also known as Pratipūrṇa Pauṣadh. In this vow he is expected to spend a day and night in spiritual pursuits only. This special observance, of fasting while observing periods of equanimity, is of much spiritual benefit. However, in practice it is observed at one of the following four levels: –
a. Āhāratyāga Pauṣadh – Observance with the renunciation of the four types of foods,
b. Śarīra–Saṁskāratyāga Pauṣadh – Observance with the renunciation of all bodily cares such as bathing, massaging, brushing of teeth, etc.
c. Brahmacarya Pauṣadh – Observance with the renunciation of all sexual activities, and
d. Avyāpāra Pauṣadh – Observance with the renunciation of all household and business activities.
There is yet another type of observance that prescribes only part renunciations. It is known as Deśa Pauṣadh.
Five excesses of this vow are as follows: –
a. Using uninspected and badly inspected shelters and beds,
b. Using undusted and badly dusted shelters and beds,
c. Using uninspected and badly inspected disposal grounds,
d. Using undusted and badly dusted disposal grounds, and
e. Improper practice of the vow. All the flaws of the Sāmāyik Vrat also apply to this vow.
12. Sharing With The Uninvited Ascetics (Atithi Saṁvibhāga Vrat) – The fourth educational vow and the twelfth vow of the householders is to share his food and other necessities with the members of the ascetic order who come to him to beg for them uninvited. The vow of poverty taken by the monks and the nuns makes it incumbent on them to beg for everything that they need and consequently makes it equally incumbent on the lay followers of the faith to happily part with such of their food and other necessities that the members of the ascetic order might need. Here, it must be noted that the Jaina ascetics do not accept anything on invitation. It is their limitation and practice that they can accept their food, in small quantities, from out of that cooked by the householders for their own consumption. Also, they can accept any other item of necessity from out of that purchased by the householders for their own requirements. At the same time the ascetics can accept only those items that are free of various flaws, which might not be possible if they accepted invitations or fetched their requirements through someone else. It is because of these stringent conditions attached to the practice of mendicancy by the Jaina ascetics and consequent hardships faced by them that the lay followers consider it a privilege if they can provide them food and other monastic necessities when they call at their households for begging.
As the Jaina ascetics can accept only flawless items of food and other necessities, it is essential that the householders must also know about those flaws and offer only flawless items when the ascetics call at their households. Inclusion of this vow amongst the twelve duties of the householders ensures such knowledge and consequent purity of the practice of monastic mendicancy.
A householder who knows about these rules of offerings and willingly offers food and other monastic requirements to the monks and nuns is said to be a noble householder.
Excesses Of The Vow Of Sharing –
a. Sacitta–Nikṣepa– To put the cooked food etc with the uncooked one with an intention of not giving to the mendicants.
b. Sacitta Pidhāna– To cover the cooked food etc with the uncooked one with an intention of not giving to the mendicants.
c. Kālātikram– With an intention of not giving to the mendicants, to make oneself scarce at the usual time when the mendicants may call and then to perform the formality of showing readiness to give afterwards.
d. Paravyapadeśa – With an intention of not giving to the mendicants, to declare own items as those of the others.
e. Mātsarya – To envy the reputations of the other givers.
Advanced Spiritual Practices For The Lay Followers (Śrāvaka–Pratimā) –
Besides the twelve householders’ vows, mentioned in the last section, there are eleven advanced practices that they can undertake with a view to make spiritual progress. These are known as ‘Upāsaka Pratimā’.They are as under: –
1. Darśan Pratimā – While the practices connected with the right–faith of an ordinary layman may suffer due to various constraints put on him by the society or the state, the faithful householder who accepts this pratimā, does not let his right–faith be compromised on any account. This advanced practice is undertaken for one month before he becomes ready to accept the second pratimā.
2. Vrat Pratimā – At this stage the lay faithful observes his householders’ vows except the Sāmāyik,Deśāvakāsik and Pauṣadhopavāsa vows flawlessly. He has to practice this pratimā for two months before graduating to the next.
3. Sāmāyik Pratimā – In thispratimā, he flawlessly practices his Sāmāyik and Deśāvakāsik vrat for three months when he becomes ready to go over to the next advanced practice.
4. Pauṣdhopavāsa Pratimā – At this stage he undertakes the flawless practice of Pauṣadhopavāsa on every eighth and fourteenth of the two halves of the lunar months. He has to do this for four months to become eligible for practising the next pratimā.
5. Divā Brahmacārī Pratimā – In this observance he observes complete sexual continence during the days and limits his indulgences during the nights. The other restrictions are on taking bath, night–eating, loose loincloth, etc. Its observance is prescribed for a minimum period of one to three days and a maximum of five months.
6. Brahmacarya Pratimā– The lay faithful is now ready to give up sexual indulgence completely albeit for a limited duration. He undertakes this pratimā for a minimum period of one to three days and for a maximum of six months.
7. Sacitta–tyāga Pratimā – Having practised the six advanced practices, he is now in a position to give up the use of live uncooked and unprocessed foods and other items of necessity. He does this for a minimum period of one to three days and for a maximum of seven months.
8. Ārambha–tyāga Pratimā – In this observance he gives up doing anything involving even minute violence himself. The minimum period of this observance is also one to three days and the maximum is eight months.
9. Preśyārambha–tyāga Pratimā – Here, he also gives up getting tasks involving violence done by the others. The only concession he has is to accept the food cooked for him. He undertakes this pratimā for a minimum period of one to three days and for a maximum of nine months.
10. Uddiṣṭa–Bhakta–tyāga Pratimā – At this stage he also gives up the food cooked for him. This he does for a minimum period of one to three days and for a maximum of ten months.
11. Śramaṇabhūta Pratimā – In this final advanced spiritual practice, to be undertaken by the householders, a lay follower leads the life like an ascetic except that he still maintains his worldly relations and begs for food etc only from his relatives, friends and acquaintances. Like the monks he stays in the prayer–halls, plucks his hair or gets tonsured and accepts the rules of five–way vigilance and three–way restraints. The minimum period of this observance is also one to three days and the maximum is eleven months.
It must be understood that these observances are progressive in nature and going on to the next stage does not mean discontinuing the practices of the earlier stages. A practitioner who goes on to the second stage, observes the practices of the first stage as well and the one who goes on to the third stage also observes those of the first two stages and so on and so forth.
The Three Desires Of A Faithful Lay Follower –
A faithful householder always desires the following three accomplishments: –
a. Limiting of one’s possessions in order to reduce one’s sinful activities,
b. Acceptance of monastic ordination in order to become free from all sinful activities, and
c. To embrace death voluntarily and peacefully when his times comes.
Acceptance Of Voluntary Peaceful Death (Samādhimaraṇa)–
Birth, disease, decay and death have been described as greatest miseries and everyone is afraid of these events unless one methodically prepares oneself to face them boldly and with equanimity when these inevitable happenings happen. By overcoming fear of death and to accept the inevitable with grace reduces its misery. Therefore, this is the desire of every faithful householder to die in a state of peaceful psychic disposition.
For attaining this equanimity at the time of death the psychic preparation starts much earlier. The faithful contemplates the inevitability of death for all those that take birth. He knows from his scriptural studies and listening to religious discourses that one who lives a noble life of non–violence, truthfulness, propriety, and moral discipline has to get a better rebirth than the present one and consequently stops fearing death. On the contrary, he seems to welcome it to the extent that when his time comes he stops taking food and takes the vow of fast unto death. He spends his last days in pious contemplation and the peace and tranquillity that is a natural outcome of this psychic disposition. In other words he embraces death voluntarily and peacefully rather than with fear and trepidation.
The Flaws Of The Practice Of Samādhimaraṇa –
All such psychic dispositions that may disturb the state of equanimity of the practitioner of Samādhimaraṇa are considered as flaws of this practice. They are as follows:–
a. Ihalokāśaṁsā Prayoga – To desire power and pelf in the human worldly rebirth that is to desire rebirth as a king or a courtier or a wealthy merchant , etc. as a result of the merit earned by this practice.
b. Paralokāśaṁsā Prayoga – To desire power and pelf in the other worldly rebirth that is to desire rebirth as a heavenly god or celestial king, etc.
c. Jīvaitāśaṁsā Prayoga – To desire to live on longer for the respect, honour and adoration showered by the people after accepting this vow.
d. Maraṇaśaṁsā Prayoga – To desire to die quickly when tormented by hunger, disease and geriatric discomforts, and
e. Kāmabhogāśaṁsā Prayoga – To desire human or divine enjoyments as a result of the merit so earned.
We can sum up this chapter on the right–conduct for the lay followers of the Jaina faith by saying that their non–violent disposition makes them the protectors of all living beings. Also, that the provisions of this conduct are the prescriptions for noble, non–violent, truthful, proper, reliable, devoted, honourable, studious, and fearless citizenry that live honourably and harmoniously and die honourably and peacefully. What else could be a nobler way of life or of death?
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