Tapascharya or austerity is the name given to those
spiritual activities that help us to gain spiritual ends; and to turn away
all sins by means of sacrificing bodily pleasures and comforts and by
means of disciplining our passions and pleasures.
The Jain religion gives prominence to renunciation. It
gives more importance to mental evelopment and spiritual development than
to the comforts of the body. Of course, if we carry out austerities the
body may become a little weak; it may become enfeebled and it may become
withered but the mind becomes fresh and alert. The beauty of the soul
becomes greater. Therefore, the Jain religion has prescribed many
austerities which every individual can practise them according to his
ability, health and desire.
One must take food or water only after reciting 3
Navakars, 40 minutes after the sun rise. Even thebrushing of teeth and
rinsing the mouth must be done afterwards.
Taking food or water only 3 hours after the sunrise
Taking food, water etc. only 4 hours and 30 minutes
after the sun rise.
Taking food and water six hours after the sunrise,
Taking food and water eight hours after the sunrise.
One must take food only twice a day while sitting in
One must take food only once a day at one sitting.
(In Biyasan and Ekasan one should not eat Sachitt that
is raw vegetables, raw grains etc,.)
Eating food which is devoid of any special taste and
spices; which is only boiled or cooked; and eating such food only once a
day at one sitting only. Milk, curds, ghee, oil and green and raw
vegetables should not be used in this austerity.
Upavas (Total fasting)
One should not take any food during the day and the
night. One only takes boiled water during daytime while sun is up is
called Tivihar Upavas; and when even water is not taken, is called