SPECIAL RULES OF CONDUCT
Then we think, "This is the truth; there are so many reasons why I ought
to do it; why do I not do it?" Then find the obstacles, and resolve them,
or remove them.
Then, having the reasons or motive force, with the obstacles removed,
make the resolution just at that time to act in a particular way, towards
a particular person, at a particular time (and place).
Then carry out the resolution. The change in the social and moral life
is the practical object of concentration here. Afterwards, try to see new
aspects, and evolve new ideas, the relation of the thing to the world; and
the conclusions should be applicable to our own personality.
That is the end of concentration to improve our conduct. The process
can be carried over from one sitting to another; the whole process need
not be gone through on one occasion.
Concentration for developing or improving the sensing faculty, that is,
the sight, hearing, smelling, tasting, or feeling (touching), would not be
an activity of the mind, but a passive state; because, in order to get
sensation by the eye, skin, ear, etc., the mental activities much remain
passive: comparison, etc., must be stopped for the moment.
Concentration to improve and develop the spiritual nature can be upon
the five classes of holy men already mentioned. Their lives should be
imitated; we should think of their characteristic virtue and make special
(not general) application to ourselves.
Concentration can be used also for getting equanimity of mind, and
consequent spiritual illumination. The process of meditation here would
again be different, as follows:
Here, the position of the body should be such that the back of the
head, between the shoulders, and the small of the back are in a vertical
Movement of the limbs, head, and trunk should all be stopped, also
speech; in a place neither hot nor cold, where there are as few sounds as
possible; the eyes should be closed; and the sense of taste should be
inactive. Suppress mental images, including recollections of sounds,
tastes, smells, and contact. There will then be a consciousness of
blackness; try to lose it.
All this is the first step in the process. Then, now that we have
stopped bodily movement, speech, sense activity, and mental imagery, with
a feeling of reverence for those five classes of holy men, which will
remove all baseness (evil), with a feeling of forgiveness for all beings,
including neighbors and enemies, and with the conviction that the virtues
possessed by those holy men are potential and can be developed in us,
1. Blissfulness; the joy of being alive; the glossiness of a miseryless
world; that, as daylight is always present in the universe, as a permanent
reality, so is bliss. Forgetting this is misery; sunlight never need be
out of the mind; so with bliss, the feeling of glorious joy; revealing in
life; immortality; you will hurt none, you know their joy in living, their
love of life.
2. Contemplate truthfulness. the truth is there; you have but to know
it, not to manufacture. There is no effort, it is easy. Let it be
asserted, not covered up.
3. Contemplate honesty. It is the opposite of stealing. Do the obvious
thing, don't shirk.
4. Contemplate contentedness. Limit the burden of material possessions;
what will content us? Will one million pounds make us consent? Do we want
ten, like Mr. Morrison, of Reading, fifty like Mr. Harriman, of America, a
hundred million, like Mr. Rockerfeller, of America, to make us content?
How much, after all, do we really require, and will we trouble to use and
These five things are spiritual qualities, the inherent natures of the
soul. They are the first five special rules or vows which are taken in
part by the layman, and in a literal way by the monk, as already detailed.
The next step in the process may be to meditate upon purity of body, by
washing, and by feeding it with pure foods. Meat and alcohol should be
avoided, also vegetables that get no sun, like those growing underground.
All foods which irritate or dull should avoided.
Meditate on purity of mind, in four ways:
- Love; an attitude which is bigger than acquaintance, higher than
something done for a friend, you do something for the person who is a
friend, and perhaps if he never does anything for you in return, you
wonder why, and may be disappointed. But when love is the motive, you
love to do the thing for the person, and it is a pleasure, and you do
not expect any return, and so are not disappointed if there is none.
- Love towards the suffering will be in the form of compassion, pity,
and active relief, when possible.
- Love towards the happy will be in the form of rejoicing, or
gladness, an absence of envy or jealousy.
- Love towards the criminal or cruel person means an absence of
revengeful feeling; it may be a sort of indifference, neither hatred nor
approval. Or, in a higher form, love towards the cruel will take the
form of pity. If you see a lame dog, perhaps diseased, you are not angry
with the dog, you pity it; it is suffering. Thus you are pitying the
criminal in his reaping; and so, if you see a person beating a horse or
doing any cruel thing, you can pity him for the future suffering which
he is generating. You can pity the lame, diseased dog in his suffering,
which is his reaping of past criminal acts; why not pity the being in
his causing acts as a criminal? Also, a cruel person, or an immoral
person, or a drunkard, or a liar, is person with a diseased mind; and we
should pity mental disease equally with bodily disease.
The next step in the process may be to meditate on Adeptship, that is,
those in whom the eighteen faults, previously mentioned, are absent, and
on perfection, or those who have already accomplished their complete
development and are living a right life: "I shall be entirely satisfied
when I reach Masterhood."
The idea is that, by this process, practiced, if possible, daily for
some forty-five or fifty minutes without interruption, resulting in
equanimity, we get illumination or self-realization.
As a help to becoming what we ought to be, or, at any rate, to prevent
us from acquiring unnatural energies or characteristics, the layman may
use the following twelve reflections (anupreksa).
- There is nothing unchangeable in this world; everything is transient
or subject to alteration. We should not, therefore, attach too much
importance to it, and should regard it as transitory (anitya).
- In this world of misery, disease, old age, and death, there is no
other protection, refuge, or help than our own practice of the truth.
Others are powerless; as we sow, so we reap (asarana).
- This continual cycle of births and deaths as man, as animal, as
angel, as denizen of hell, although it has been going on for countless
ages, is not yet ended; and therefore we should now make some efforts to
free ourselves from them, with the suffering, old age etc., which they
- To think, I enter this world by myself, I go out of it by myself, I
have to do my own work of self-moral improvement, and myself to suffer
my own pains (ekatva).
- All the things of the world are separate from me, are not me, the
body included, which is only by delusion called oneself (anyatva).
- The body is full of dirty things, and the soul is thus in contact
with dirty things in embodied life (asucitva).
- That it is the continual attraction (inflow) of new foreign matters
due to delusion, want of self-control, carelessness, etc., which is the
origination of our pains and miseries (asrava).
- That this continual inflow should be stopped by adopting the
necessary means, such as controlling the senses and the mind, acquiring
knowledge, and practicing concentration (samvara).
- That means should be taken to remove or work out those unnatural
foreign characteristics (unkindness, weakness, ignorance, misery, etc.)
which are in us, that the observance of the rules of conduct becomes the
cause of the removal of foreign energies, only when it is actuated by
right conviction (nirjara).
- Thinking of the five real substances in the universe, that they were
not created, but are permanent; and what they are. Also reflecting on
the fundamental truths of the relation between soul and matter (loka).
- Thinking how difficult it is to get or acquire right knowledge,
right convictions and right conduct, so that these may remain permanent
- That these three qualities-right knowledge, belief, and conduct- are
the source of happiness (dharmasvakhyatanucintana).
The following is a list of twenty-one qualities, a majority of which
must, according to Jainism, be possessed before a person is ready to
undertake the higher religious life:
- He must be earnest, powerful enough to do good to others and to
himself, a careful observer, and one who puts mature consideration into
actions. One who is superficial, cannot lead the higher religious life (aksudra).
- He must be of sound body, his hearing, sight, and other senses must
be good, and he must be strong (rupavan).
- Pleasing by nature; by his very appearance trusted; not sinful by
habits that have become second nature; very easily served (prakrti
- Popular; charitable; well-behaved; of good moral character (lokapriya).
- Not cruel (akrura).
- Honest; does not practice religion for show, but from his heart (astha).
- Civil; he will help others in their meritorious work, even at the
sacrifice of less important business of his own (su-daksinya).
- He will not do even a small act that is bad, and will live up to his
principles, even to death (lajjalu).
- He will be compassionate and sympathetic (dayalu).
- Just, impartial. Being able to discriminate correctly between right
and wrong, he will not make mistakes of judgment as to conduct, and will
test religious beliefs on their merits only , asking the true qualities
of the soul and disarming what is extraneous to his permanent self (madhyastha
- He will see the good in others, will try to gain virtues, and avoid
sullying any he may actually have. By reiterating the vices or faults of
others, no good comes, and hatred is only increased (gunagrahi).
- Does not engage in bad talks, but only good ones, thinking first and
speaking after. Talk that excites the passions is bad (satkatha).
- Getting himself surrounded by virtuous, friendly and well behaved
relations, acquaintances, and attendants, who will encourage him in his
right life (supasayula).
- Having foresight. He only takes up work that tells, where the result
is great in proportion to the effort; and only work that is approved by
good men (dirghadarsi).
- Having impartiality and able to judge and differentiate minutely
right from wrong in all its details and ramifications (visesajna).
- Following in the footsteps of really great men (vrddhanuga);
that is, men of mature understanding, who do not act wrongly, and are
self-controlled; who have tested right principles and gained knowledge
by their practice; men who are strong-willed enough to resist the
sense-pleasures even of youth (vrddhanuga).
- Polite, civil (vinayi).
- Grateful, anxious to make use of opportunities to repay kindness;
and the opinion of Jainism is that there is not better way of repaying
obligations than by steadying a man and leading him into a right life
- Bent upon the good of other, without expecting any return, the best
good being to bring them to a right faith, as just mentioned above (parahita-nirata).
- Having a quick grasp, intelligent, able to learn without much
trouble to himself or his teacher (labdha-laksya).