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 Positive Non-Violence

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Appendix: Canonical quotes in support of positive non-violence (8)

1 Karmic reduction through vaiyāvṛtya (service)

2 Sermon for service (vaiyāvṛtya)

KARMIC REDUCTION THROUGH VAIYĀVṚTYA (SERVICE)

Sattīe bhattīe vijjāvaccujjadā sayā hoī |

Āṇāe ṇijjareti ya sabāla-uḍḍhāule gacche |

- Bhagavatī Ārādhanā, 304.

That is, – In a monastic group with young and old monks one who devotedly serves up to his utmost capacity and obeys the commands earns karmic reduction and destruction.

Gilāṇaṁ veyāvaccaṁ karemāṇe samaṇe nigganthe mahāṇijjare mahāpajjavasāṇe bhavati |

- Vyavahāra sūtrā.

That is, – The knotless monk that serves the sick members of the monastic group earns great karmic reduction and liberates.

Pañcehiṁ ṭhāṇehiṁ samaṇe ṇigganthe mahāṇijjare mahāpajjavasāṇe bhavati, taṁ jahā –

  1. Agilāe āyariya veyāvaccaṁ karemāṇe

  2. Agilāe uvajjhāya veyāvaccaṁ karemāṇe

  3. Agilāe there veyāvaccaṁ karemāṇe

  4. Agilāe tavassi veyāvaccaṁ karemāṇe

  5. Agilāe gilāṇa veyāvaccaṁ karemāṇe

- Sthānāṅga sūtra, Ch. 5, Uddeśaka 1.

That is, – From these five activities the knotless monk earns great karmic reduction and liberates –

  1. One who serves the spiritual master without any weariness,

  2. One who serves the spiritual teacher without any weariness,

  3. One who serves the senior monks without any weariness,

  4. One who serves the monks undertaking penance without any weariness,

  5. One who serves the sick ones without any weariness,

Comments – Service rendered without getting wearied results in great karmic reduction and liberation. What can be more motivating factor for undertaking acts of service? However one should not give in to lassitude while rendering service and should always be alert and attentive to the needs of those whom he serves. The attitude of the servant should always be devoid of pride.

Pañcehiṁ ṭhāṇehiṁ samaṇe ṇigganthe mahāṇijjare mahāpajjavasāṇe bhavati, taṁ jahā

  1. Agilāe sehe veyāvaccaṁ karemāṇe

  2. Agilāe kula-veyāvaccaṁ karemāṇe

  3. Agilāe gaṇa-veyāvaccaṁ karemāṇe

  4. Agilāe saṅgha-veyāvaccaṁ karemāṇe

  5. Agilāe sāhammiya-veyāvaccaṁ karemāṇe

- Sthānāṅga sūtra, Ch. 5, Uddeśaka 1.

That is, – From these five activities the knotless monk earns great karmic reduction and liberates –

  1. One who serves the young and learning monks without any weariness,

  2. One who serves the members of the monastic family without any weariness,

  3. One who serves the members of the monastic group without any weariness,

  4. One who serves the members of the religious order without any weariness,

  5. One who serves the coreligionists without any weariness,

Comments – Service rendered to the young monks that remain mostly busy with their studies, the members of the monastic family and the group and the religious order as well as the coreligionists also results in great karmic reduction and liberation. This shows the importance of rendering service

SERMON FOR SERVICE (VAIYĀVṚTYA)

Gacche vejjāvaccaṁ gilāṇa-guru-bāla-vuḍḍha-sehāṇaṁ |

Sahajogaṁ kādavvaṁ sagasattīe payatteṇa |

- Mūlācāra, 4.53.

That is, – In a monastic group, the service rendered to the sick, the master, the young monks, the old ones and the student monks is said to be noble service or vaiyāvṛtya.

Sehaṁ āyāragoyaraṁ gāhaṇattāe abbhuṭṭheyavvaṁ bhavati |

- Sthānāṅga sūtra, Sthāna 8.

That is, – Be ever ready to educate the uneducated in observance of monastic conduct.

Sāhammiyāṇadhikaraṇaṁsi uppaṇṇaṁsi tattha aṇissitovassito apakkhagāhī majjhatthabhāvabhūte kaha ṇu sāhammiyā appasaddā appajhañjhā appatumaṁtumā? Uvasāmaṇattāe abbhuṭṭheyavvaṁ bhavati |

- Sthānāṅga sūtra, Sthāna 8.

That is, – If, for some reason, there has arisen a difference of opinion, quarrel or fight or strife between the fellow followers of the faith, be ever ready to diffuse it and bring back the state of reconciliation and harmony.

Asaṅgihītaparijaṇassa saṅgiṇhaṇatāe abbhuṭṭhe-tavvaṁ bhavati |

- Sthānāṅga sūtra, Sthāna 8.

That is, – Be ever ready to help the helpless and shelter the unsheltered |

Gilāṇassa agilāe veyāvaccakaraṇatāe abbhuṭṭhe-tavvaṁ bhavati |

- Sthānāṅga sūtra, Sthāna 8.

That is, – Be ever ready to happily serve the weak, the ill and the diseased |

Soūṇa vā gilāṇaṁ, panthe gāme ya bhikkhavelāe |

Jati turiyaṁ ṇāgacchati, laggati gurue sa caumāse |

  • Niśītha sūtra Cūrṇi, 10;

  • Niśīthabhāṣya, 2970;

  • - Vṛhatkalpabhāṣya, 3769.

That is – On hearing that some monk or nun is sick, the monks and nuns must rush quickly to his aid. If some monks or nuns do not do so, they incur the penitence of a ‘guru cāturmāsa’, which means that their seniority may be reduced by a full four months.

Jahabhamara-mahuyaragaṇā ṇivatanti kusumitammi vaṇasaṇḍe |

Taha honti ṇivatiyavvaṁ gelaṇṇe katitavajaḍheṇa |

- Niśīthabhāṣya, 2971.

That is – As the bumblebees gather at the sight of a flowering garden for collecting honey, so must the servants gather at the sight of a sick fellow being for serving him.

Bhikhāgā ṇāmege evamāhaṁsu samāṇe vā vasamāṇe vā gāmāṇugāmaṁ duijjamāṇe vā maṇuṇṇaṁbhoyaṇajātaṁ labhittā –

Se ya bhikkhū gilāi, se handaha ṇaṁ tassāharaha, se ya

bhikkhūṇo bhunjejjā, āhārejjasi |”

- Ācārāṅga, 2nd Śrutaskandha, Ch.1, Uddeśaka 11.

That is – If some monk that stays in a place permanently for some reason or the one that stays there for a month or the ones that tour from place to place, if they get some good food and say to other monks, “that monk is sick so please get some good food for him and if that monk refuses to eat that good food so brought, that good food can be given to us because we also have a sick monk with us”.

Comments – This shows that even the monks care for getting proper food, etc., for the sick monks not only in their group but also in other groups as well. Therefore, the householders must do so, not only about for the members of their own family, but also for the others in the neighbourhood and in the society in general.

Imaṁ ca dharmamādāya, kāsaveṇaṁ paveditaṁ |

Kujjā bhikkhū gilāṇassa, agilāe samāhie |

- Sūtrakṛtāṅga sūtra, 1.3.3.

That is, – The members of the monastic order must accept this dharma preached by Kāśyapa (Bhagvān Mahāvīra) and happily look after and comfort the sick members of the order.

Comments – In this aphorism also, the faithful have been urged to look after and comfort the sick.

Bhikhāgā ṇāmege evamāhaṁsu samāṇe vā vasamāṇe vā gāmāṇugāmaṁ duijjamāṇe vā maṇuṇṇaṁbhoyaṇajātaṁ labhittā –

Se ya bhikkhū gilāi, se handaha ṇaṁ tassāharaha, se ya bhikkhūṇo bhunjejjā, tumaṁ ceva ṇaṁ bhuñjejjāsi |”

- Ācārāṅga, 2nd Śrutaskandha, Ch.1, Uddeśaka 11.

That is – If some monk that stays in a place permanently for some reason or the one that stays there for a month or the ones that tour from place to place, if they get some good food and say to other monks, “that monk is sick so please get some good food for him and if that monk refuses to eat that good food so brought, then you can have that good food.”

Comments – In this aphorism, too, emphasis has been put on looking after and comforting the sick monks by other monks even when they have many a restriction placed on their activities. The householders that are much more independent in their activities must draw some inspiration from this.

Veyāvaccaṁ niyayaṁ kareha, uttamaguṇadharantāṇaṁ |

Savvaṁ kira paḍivāī, veyāvaccaṁ apaḍivāī |

One must always serve the highly virtuous monks, because all other activities are fallible, the service is infallible.

Continued …

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