The practice of the following rules prevents us from
falling spiritually lower, and helps us to rise higher. It is the means
whereby we reach the right attitude or come to pass through the three
processes just mentioned. It is the means whereby we begin to stop the
inflow of the worst foreign energies, and to work out those that we have
already generated in the past and which are in us at present. It is the
means whereby we get ourselves from the first stage of development to the
fourth. The second and third stages are of but momentary duration.
These rules are based upon love, sympathy,
fellow-feeling, pity, etc., and the practice of them is to be accomplished
by these feelings, otherwise it is mere hypocrisy.
These rules are the ideas, convictions, and conduct of
those who practice them. These rules are not commands. The Jain Deity
issues no commands. These rules are an aspect of the man who practices
them; they are not something separate from the man; they are the man's
state of knowledge and mode of behavior.
And the man's practice of these rules has an internal
and external aspect. The inward state ought to correspond with the
external, visible conduct. The description which a man makes, either for
himself or to other people, of his rules or principles, would be the
external aspect of the rules; it is like a peg on which, on account of
weakness, the thoughts must be hung. The rules must be practiced in each
of these two aspects, otherwise the end to which they are the means will
not be reached. The external visible conduct must become the cause of the
internal state of love, pithy, etc. From the sincere practice of these
external principles or rules of conduct, comes out the purity of the soul;
the dirt or foreign matter in combination with the soul is removed.
These rules are the first step which a person desiring
to make some spiritual progress should adopt. They are rules for
beginners, and not for those who are spiritually advanced. If you wish to
paint a likeness of some one, and the canvas is soiled, you must first
clean it. These rules are as it were the cleaning process.
The person should follow some kind of business, trade,
or profession, which is not of an ignoble or degrading nature. He should
follow it in a just and honest way, and in proportion to his capital or,
in the case of service under the employment of other people, in proportion
to his strength, not undertaking more than he can perform.
By following some kind of business the person can
provide himself with means to support anyone who is dependent upon him as
well as to support himself. Also with means to help those who are in
distress - a layman cannot do much good in the way of spiritual teaching -
and by helping people in distress he removes bad character and generates
good. Also he can provide himself with means to perform his duties without
too much difficulty.
The reason why the business must not be an ignoble or
degrading nature is because all these rules are based on love and
fellow-feeling, doing good to and not injuring others, whether men,
animals, fish, birds, or insects. Therefore the business must not be that
of a butcher, brewer, wine merchant, gun-maker or anything which involves
wholesale destruction of life.
The reasons why he should do his business in a just and
honest way are because, as far as the present life is concerned, there is
all the time a kind of fear while enjoying or using money earned
dishonestly lest the dishonesty be discovered, and when the money is
earned honestly the mind remains in a peaceful state, the wealth is
enjoyed, and the religious functions are performed in a fearless way. And,
as far as the future life is concerned, we improve it by the association
of virtuous people, which we cannot get if we earn money dishonestly; they
will not come in contact with us. Also when earning money in a foul way,
the mind is in a foul state and we are generating bad energies for the
The layman should marry; and he should not marry a
person from the same ancestors or of the same family; but a person whose
character, tastes, culture, language, etc. are of the same kind.
The reasons are that the layman who is beginning to
make some effort to progress spiritually has not got control of his sex
passion, and therefore marriage is better than promiscuous indulgence. If
he can control his sex passion, he should not marry. And the reason for
having a marriage partner of like culture, etc. is to render
misunderstandings, discord, or disharmony less likely than otherwise might
be the case.
The person who wishes to make some spiritual progress,
should always be cautious of danger spots, visible and invisible. The
visible ones would be those pursuits or pastimes, the bad results of which
are seen all around us, gambling, lustfully eyeing other men's wives, or
any crimes which we know take us to prison, etc. The invisible danger
spots would be any pursuit which can be known by reflecting to lead to bad
results, such as drink, or meat-eating. The person should be wary and even
afraid of these dangerous pursuits.
The person who wishes to advance spiritually should
appreciate the conduct, life, and doings of truly spiritually experienced
persons. The layman may not be able to act as they do, but he can
appreciate the actions.
By experienced persons is meant those who are
experienced by reason of having come into contact with the wise. They
would always try to do good to people who need it. They would always be
grateful for kindness. They would even give up their own less important
business to do some more important thing for others. They would never
malign, slander, or libel. They do not get elated at prosperity or grieve
at losses. They do not use too many words. They do not make enemies
through recklessness. They would always fulfill their promises. Such
experienced persons are called in Sanskrit "sista".
Is with regard to the degree in which sense pleasures
should be enjoyed and controlled. The man, having been for all past time
enjoying the pleasures of the senses, cannot give them up at once, and,
therefore, only some need be given up at first. He may enjoy sense
pleasures to a degree commensurate with his business and household duties,
and should give up sense pleasures which conflict with those duties. Also
he should control those sense pleasures which would encourage or feed any
of the following six things, namely:
Sexual passion, the lustful eye towards any girl or
woman not the man's wife.
That emotion by which we in a rash way hurt or injure
others in our speech or actions. It may be called anger: there are those
two elements in it, rashness and injury.
Greed, whether it be in the form of not relieving a
genuine case of distress when we are appealed to or that comes to our
notice when we have the means or are able to relieve it. Or whether the
greed takes the form of persuasively getting property from a person in
an illegitimate way without any reason. Shop people do this sometimes by
inducing purchasers to buy that they don't want.
Pride, in the form of the non-acceptance, through
obstinacy, of the teaching of persons who are actively engaged in
attaining the state of liberation. We think, "I know just as well as he
does", and the teaching is rejected without examination.
Pride, in the form of boasting about one's family,
ancestors, about one's strength, greatness, -- a Lord might think
himself a great person -- about one's beauty, handsomeness, learning,
etc. This pride, if it makes us look down upon others and think that,
being a superior person, we have the right to tyrannize, is liable to
become the cause of hurting others.
Giving pleasure to our mind by causing unnecessary
pain to others. Also pleasure got by hunting, fishing, gambling, etc.
The layman who wishes to take the first steps towards
spiritual progress should avoid or abandon places of difficulties and
dangers. For instance, a place where famine, or plague is; a place of
battle; or where there is much ill-feeling towards him by the people
around him. If he stays in such places, he will not be able to accomplish
what he wishes to accomplish.
He should live in a country where he will have adequate
protection of his life and property by the Government. If he lives where
crimes go on unpunished, he is liable to be disturbed.
The layman should get the company of people who
appreciate good, whose conduct is of the right kind, and who are always
partial to virtue; people who are spiritually more advanced, and whom he
considers as examples to be followed.
If he wishes to establish a home or a house, the spot
where it is built should to be too much concealed (this refers to India,
more especially in the past). There should not be bones underneath. The
house should not be among quarrelsome people or undesirable neighbors.
He should dress according to his means should not spend
beyond his means; and if he has the means to dress extravagantly, still he
should not do so. The dress should not be too showy.
His expenses should be in proportion to his income.
When he lives in any country, if there is some
particular, well-known, well-established custom, which does not involve
the breaking of any high principle, such custom should be followed.
He should avoid any undesirable habits such as
meat-eating, or wine-drinking. There is a destruction of infinite minute
life in fermentation.
He should not libel or slander anybody, especially the
king; these are done not with a view to doing good, but with a view to, or
from the motive of, harming the person and are done without any proper
reason. Showing up fraudulent persons is doing good and is not libel or
RULES 15 AND 16
He should keep the company of only pure-hearted
persons, and persons of good conduct, and should not keep the company of
bad persons. The difference between this and rule 8 is that this rule
refers to equals, and rule 8 refers to spiritual superiors.
He should respect the parents. The idea is that they do
so much for us, while we are weak and incapable that we should return
None of the person's actions should be such as to cause
unnecessary ill-feeling to anybody; he should not speak words which would
unnecessarily cause ill-feeling in the mind of another.
He should maintain those who are dependent on him; that
obligation should be fulfilled. He should assign to them their proper work
and should see that they do it right, or else they become harmful to him.
If they get into vices, etc., then he should assume such an attitude
toward them that they may feel that he knows of their wrong-doing. He
should not ignore wrong-doing or let the dependent persons get so vicious
that their condition would lower his wisdom. Avoid a person if very bad;
do not bring up serpents in your house.
Respect and render service to the Master, i.e. the
right ideal; to the guest; and to poor, deserving people. When a person
has an ideal, he respects him; if he does not respect him, he is not that
person's ideal. If the ideal is a wrong one, then the whole life will be
With regard to eating and drinking; the person should
eat and drink at the proper time, in conformity with the nature of his
constitution. But under all circumstances give up excessive eating or
drinking simply because that particular fool or drink is liked.
When he feels that he is getting weak physically, he
should adopt the proper remedy.
He should not travel in countries which are full of
criminals, or where there are other dangers, such as earthquake, plague,
famine, wild animals, lions, tigers, etc. The idea is self-protection.
He should not act in such a way as to become
unnecessarily hostile to the people; he should live in peace with them.
(All these rules are for the beginner and not for those strong in
With reference to the attitude that he should have
towards people who are in a low state of development, his action should be
such that they would feel that there is a higher life than their own; he
should let them feel the influence of the purer life of honesty, for
He should render service to those who have taken
spiritual vows and who are experienced in wisdom and knowledge. He should
do some kind of service to them, and in that way he appreciates the wisdom
and vows, with the idea of, in time, becoming like those persons.
This rule is with regard to the objects of life. There
are four classes of objects of life, and the person who wishes to progress
spiritually should have all these four objects, but in such a way that a
higher one is not sacrificed for the sake of a lower one. If there are
difficulties, as far as the lowest object is concerned, then he should let
it go, and preserve the higher ones.
The four classes of objects of life are as follows:
Doing good; that is to say, the practice of these
The acquisition of the means of enjoyment; i.e.,
Desires. There are desires for a nice house, for
dress, for writing books, etc. This is the lowest of the four objects of
Liberation. This is the highest of the four classes
of objects of life, and some idea of it can be had by remembering what
particular quality of the soul comes out when any of the foreign
energies in any of the eight classes mentioned (in earlier chapters) is
The ordinary man of the world accepts only two of these
four objects, viz., the second and third; getting the means to satisfy
desires, and satisfying desires. When the other two objects are added, the
person's life becomes very different.
In doing anything, he should always consider his
strength and his weaknesses. He should not undertake more than his
strength will allow him to carry out.
He should always attempt to rise higher and higher, so
far as concerns the above mentioned objects of life.
He should do or abstain from doing things that should
be done or should not be done, respectively, at the time. He should stop
doing a thing, if it should not be done at that time.
The layman should hear or read every day the rules of
life, or scriptures. The idea is that the practice of these rules leads
the person to the state of right conviction, right belief, etc., so that,
if, after examining himself, he finds he has not attained the right
attitude to be known by the previously mentioned internal signs,, then he
will know how to reach it, viz., by practicing these rules.
The person who wishes to make spiritual progress should
give up obstinacy in all things. Obstinacy, as here meant, is the doing of
an immoral, wrong, or evil act, with the object of hurting, or defeating
another. He should be yielding and not stubborn.
He should be partial to virtues. He should have all his
energies directed towards the gaining of virtue.
He should be critical towards opinions, beliefs,
philosophies, religions, etc., he should reconcile all the questions and
solve all the doubts arise out of this critical attitude.
We have now seen that in all the 14 stages of
development above the 3rd, the right attitude of mind and a relish of the
truth are present. The signs of this attitude and the means of attaining
it have been given. The next subject is, therefore, the fourth stage of