Samyakcaritra has been distinguished into two types:
i) Sakala (complete) and ii) vikala (partial). Sakala � caritra is the
rigorous practice of Dharma and is to be adopted by those who are
initiated as monks and who have renounced this world: It is Munidharma
(the way of an ascetic). But for those who have not renounced the world it
is still possible to seek the truth and pursue the path of righteousness
though in a convenient and lesser degree. That would be Vikala- caritra,
the way of the householder. There are, thus, we levels of moral life.
The polarity of house � holder and ascetic is indeed one of the most
characteristic features of the Jaina structure. The layman has the
obligation to cherish his family, the monk must sever all ties with them.
The monk is excessive since his life is a negation of compromise; while
moderation must be the key- note o existence for the house- holder whose
life is rooted on compromise.
II.Muni- dharma at seeking salvation through the practice of
strict moral and spiritual injunctions. Of these, the five vratas (vows)
are important. They are 1) ahimsa (nonviolence); 2) satya (truth); 3)
asteya (non-stealing); 4) Brahmacarya (celibacy); and 5) aparigrha (non-
possession). It is difficult to translate these words in proper from. The
Vratas have to be practised rigorously and without exception. In this
sense the vratas to be practised by the ascetics are called Mahavratas
(great vows). �The reverence towards life (Albert Schweitzer has put it)
by which the realm of life was so immeasurably extended, permeates the
discipline of Mahavira�s order in a way no other ethical prescription
does. We can observe it entering into the fields of other vows like
truthful speech as arising out of passion. The vow of non- possession is
equally important. A monk is not allowed to possess anything, in some
cases including a piece of cloth. The vow of chastity has a large
effective range. � The prescriptions cohering with it do not refer to
normal sexuality only, but they frequently also indicate events of sexual
pathology�. According to one tradition, the fifth was added by vardhamana
Mahavira, the twenty third Trithankara did not mention celibacy as a vow.
In a discussion between kesi, a disciple of parsva and Gautama, a disciple
of Mahavira, it was made clear that the addition of the fifth did not
imply any major deviation from the teachings of the Jinas, but was an
outcome of circumstance. It indicated a fall in the standards of monastic
moral life as there was sufficient interval of time between the last two
Trithankaras. Later it is sometimes suggested that the sixth vow raj-
bhoyanao veramanam (abstaining from taking food at night) was added with
the main intention of avoiding injury to life in the dark. This was
primarily meant as injunction for the householder as the ascetic takes
only one meal a day at midday. It is a special case of ahimsa. In fact
the entire ethical structure of the ahimsa. We find this expressed in the
other injunctions to be followed by the ascetics. The ascetics have to
practise: 1) the five Mahavratas, 2) five samiti, 3) the control in five
senses. 4) six avasyakas, other practices like I) loca (plucking the hair
on the head with hands), ii) acelakatva (abstaining from the use of
covering of any sort.
iii) asnana (abstaining from bath), iv) prthicisayana, v) adantadhavana
(abstaining from cleaning teeth), vi) sthitibhojana ( taking food offered
by the lay disciple, by using the palm only and by standing), viii)
ekabhukta ( taking one meal a day). The five samitis are I) irya- samiti
(restriction on movement), ii) bhasa- samiti (restriction on speech).
iii) esana- samiti (taking pure and permissible food), iv) adana- niksepa
( careful use movement of the necessary objects like kamandalu, a pot for
use of water etc..) and v) pratisthapana- samiti ( answering the nature
calls in solitary places). The practice of vows and other injuctions has
to be carefully done by the ascetic without exception. The life of a monk
is hard and rigorous in this sense. His object is to attain Moksa, and
for this purpose rigorous mortification of the body has to be practised.
The practice of vows is threefold: in body, mind and speech.
The infraction of the practice of vows and other injunctions has also to
be threefold: i) by oneself, ii) by getting others to commit violation,
and iii) by acquiescing in the act of violation.
A muni is not to cover himself with any type of clothes or decoration made
of cotton, wool, bark of a tree or even grass. He is forbidden to take
bath (asnana). He should sleep with care on one side where there is
little possibility of injury to living being including the tiniest
insects. He should not clean his teeth, nails and other parts of the body
nor should he decorate himself in any way ( adanta- dhavana). He should
eat taking the food on the palm standing on a clean and purified place,
and he should eat only once a day midday. These are included in the
twenty- eight basic mulagunas of a Muni. Rigorous restrictions are
imposed on an ascetic; which if imposed on the layman it would not be
possible for him to practise in conformity with his responsibility of
The Dasavaikalika- sutra gives description of the essential qualities
required of an ascetic. One who is self- controlled, who is free passion
and is non- attached is a real Muni. He saves his soul and hose of
others. Such self- controlled persons go to heaven (deva- loka), or are
freed from the bonds of life according to the degree of destruction of
Karma. One who gets to heaven is reborn and has to continue his struggle
for the destruction of the remaining karma ultimately to attain Moksa.