The removal, one by one, of the four
classes of instrumental causes which make us what we actually are, is the
means whereby we become what we are potentially; and the soul in this
process of becoming is developed through the stages now in course of being
In the fourth stage of development, the
first of the four causes is removed, or at any rate controlled. In this
fifth stage, the second cause, lack of self-control, is partially removed
or kept down. In this stage there is partial self-control, and there is
the right attitude. All persons in this stage, therefore, know the value
of self-control, they all make the effort to practice it, and they
practice it in part.
In the fourth stage, there is control of
the worst degree of anger, pride, deceitfulness, and greed, and the lack
of self-control in that stage means the less intense degrees. In the fifth
stage, there is control of the degree of anger, etc., next above the
worst, and therefore in this fifth stage vows to refrain from certain
activities of an injurious nature can be taken. There is partial
self-control in relation to living beings, having the power of locomotion,
but not in relation to stationary living things, like plants.
In this stage, we are liable to generate
any of the knowledge-obscuring energies, any of those forces which prevent
us from doing right actions which we see ought to be done and may wish to
do. Also we may generate the male sex passion, disgust, fear, grief,
laughing and joking, improper liking and disliking, also the milder
degrees of greed, deceitfulness, pride, and anger. We may generate both
pain and pleasure; life as an angel, but not as man, animal or devil.
As already mentioned, all persons in this
fifth stage of development practice self-control partially. When perfect
self-control over the sense pleasures, desires, emotions, passions, etc.,
is practiced, then there is no question of degrees; but here, in this
fifth stage of partial control, the question of degrees arises, and three
degrees may be considered, namely, a low, a moderate, and a high degree.
The person, practicing a low degree of
self-control in the right attitude of mind, would give up meat-eating and
alcoholic drink. He would resolve, and carry out the resolution not to
destroy intentionally and without any special necessary cause any innocent
living being or thing which has locomotion. And he would every now and
then try to meditate upon the five kinds of great personalities postulated
by the Jain philosophy.
The person practicing a moderate degree of
self-control with the right attitude of mind, would follow the path of
rectitude, his conduct would be good. He may observe the thirty-five rules
of conduct previously given. He observes twelve special rules, which may
be called vows, in the absence of a more adequate word to translate the
Sanskrit term "vrata"; and he performs six daily activities. These twelve
vows and six activities are given in the following pages.
A person practicing the highest degree of
partial self-control, would eat only once a day; he would give up all
kinds of food which is animate at the time of eating, such as raw fruit,
lettuce, etc. He would practice absolute chastity. He would have the
desire to adopt the vows of the monk; he may not be able to adopt them,
but still he has the desire to.
The five kinds of great personalities
referred to above are:
1. The Masters, or those
who reach omniscience in the flesh, and teach the road to everlasting life
in the liberated state (Arhat). They have 12 characteristics.
2. Those soul who have
reached that state already (Siddha). They have 8 characteristics.
3. Those spiritual
teachers who, though not omniscient, have realized or experienced the
self-realization of their own souls, and are illuminated. These are
spiritual heads (Acarya). They have 36 characteristics.
4. Those who understand
the true nature of the soul, and are teachers of spirituality under the
control of the spiritual heads. They have 25 characteristics.
5. Any holy man or woman
who strictly follows five great vows (sadhu). Such persons have 27
SIX DAILY ACTIVITIES
The practice of these activities is,
already mentioned, one of the things a person exercising the middle degree
of partial self-control would do:
1. He would worship the
master. Or, in the absence of the Master, he would worship the image of
the Master. What is the use of worshipping an image? The answer is as
The methods used in cognizing any insentient thing or any living being
area are of four kinds, viz., the name, a representation, the thing in its
previous condition, and the thing itself.
The first method is by giving the name. The mention of the name is
sufficient to bring to knowledge the idea of the object. The mention of
names has a great deal to do with the rise and improvement of the mind; it
is a great factor in those concrete activities which have to do with the
progress of man.
The second method by which we cognize things or beings, look down upon,
pay respect to, etc., is the picture, likeness, photograph, portrait,
diagram, symbol, image, model, statue, etc. Absent persons can be
worshipped by this means. The fact of the misuse of images does not
disprove the philosophical truth that the image is an important factor,
when its use is rightly understood. Photographs, etc., can be used as a
means of insult or contempt (Guy Fawkes, for example); and they can be
used for respecting and worshipping absent persons.
The third method is, when we wish to respect or worship a thing or person
not yet in existence; we worship the previous state of that thing, or
person. By paying respect to the present person or thing, we can pay
respect to the future being or thing. For instance, the Indian prince
Srenika is believed to have been the soul who is to be the first Master of
the next cycle; so the first Master of the next cycle of time could have
been worshipped by using Srenika in that way.