III. Some details about these
Jaina monastic life laid the utmost
emphasis on mental -purity, which rested on self-control and the courage
to admit one's mistake. This being the case, the first two of the ten,
i.e. aloyana and padikkamana formed the most important items
of daily routine of the monks of all ranks.
Whatever be the reasons for the mental,
vocal or physical transgressions committed by a monk, he had to confess
and condemn them before his senior. Whether a transgression was committed
deliberately or otherwise, out of Pride or carelessness or illness or fear
or hatred or bad company of heretics, every member of the order had to
report it to the guru.
Every precaution was taken that this
reporting and condemnation was not formal or superficial. For instance,
the Thanangassutta (484a) lays down that a monk should not so
report his transgression as to create pity or a feeling of sympathy in the
mind of the senior that would tend to lessen the harshness of the
prayascittas inflicted on him. So also monks were not to approach such
a senior as was well known for his leniency, instead of one's own
senior. Reporting only the major transgressions, or those seen by
somebody, or only the minor faults, or in such a way that the senior fails
to hear it properly, or doing so in a very noisy way, or confessing the
same fault before different acarya, or confessing before a person
who is not competent in monastic discipline and its rules, or doing so
before a guru who had done the same type of transgression�all these were
not allowed. Not only that, such methods were taken to be transgressions
by themselves. It will be clear from these details that in the formulation
of confession no scope was left for the transgressor either to avoid the
responsibility of his faults or the proper expression of these. Another
point worth notice is that the senior himself must be a person of ideal
integrity and good moral conduct who would not try to lessen the facts of
the actual transgression committed. At the most, he was allowed to permit
the transgressor to undergo punishment in suitable parts. Moreover, he did
not expose before others the nature of transgression committed by a monk
in order to save his becoming the target of criticism and humiliation by
the co-monks. Here is, therefore, the example of the foresight on the part
of the framers of monastic laws, in the working of human mind.
The next prayascittas, the
'pratikramana' or the condemnation of transgression also formed an
item of daily routine. The Bhagavati sutta and the Mulacara are
unanimous in stating that this condemnation of transgression became a
compulsory item of daily monastic routine during the tenure of the first
and the last Tirthankara whereas it was not so during the lifetime
of the rest of the Tirthankara. In the lifetime of the latter,
condemnation was done only when and if a transgression was committed.
Whatever it is, the condemnation forming a compulsory item of daily
routine must have led to mental purity. This is also emphasized by the
rule that alocana and pratikramana must be done with
childlike simplicity without keeping back anything in the mind. (Mill.,
2, 56-58) .
The pratikramana was either daily
(daivasika), nightly (ratrika), regarding movement (airyapathika),
fortnightly (paksika), four-monthly (caturmasika) or
yearly (samvatsarika). Thus the insistence on confession and
condemnation of transgression daily and on several occasions throughout
the year was intended to contribute to mental discipline so essential to
Along with mental control, control over
the body was also essential. For that, kayotsarga was practiced.
Along with alocana and pratikramana, this also formed part
of daily routine of a monk. Not only was this to be done daily and nightly
but even at the time of taking food or drink, after return from the
begging round, in tour, after easing nature, at study, so on and so forth.
A definite table of the duration of the practice of kayotsarga at
these various items was laid down based on the uccavasas. (Mul. 7,
150-86). The act consisted in concentrating in meditation of an auspicious
nature without any movement of the body.
A number of rules pertaining to the
performance of kayotsarga are found. Standing with movement of the
body or with a blank mind or with support of something or with movement of
eyes or eyebrows or with change in calm facial expression was not allowed.
Thus the practice of kayotsarga tended to lead to mental
concentration and control over physical movements.
Another important prayascittas
consisted of 'tapes'. Penance or bodily mortification was either
'external' or 'internal'. The external penance consisted chiefly of facing
or the restrictions on eating or begging etc., which led to indifference
to bodily needs. The internal penance gave stress mostly on mental purity.
All the ten prayascittas cited above are grouped under internal
penance, the other items of which comprised modesty, waiting upon others,
study, meditation and non-attachment to the body (Than p. 364b;
Titter. 28, 34; 30, 8).
The texts of the Anga do not
furnish us with the details about the other prayascittas and their
implementation. The only information we get pertains to anavasthapya
and parancika, the last two in the list. However, the
information so given is purely theoretical and fails to satisfy the reader
as to the actual process of bringing it into effect.
The Thanangasutta (p. 162b) tells
us that anavasthapya was prescribed on three occasions. If a monk
steals something from his own co-religionist, or if he does this in the
case of those who do not belong to his creed, or if he slaps somebody,
then, in these three cases he was to be punished with anavasthapya.
The last of the prayascittas was
divided into three categories. The duttha paranciya was said to
have been committed when a monk showed disrespect to the acarya or
the Ganadhara or the Agama; or developed intimacy with a nun
or a queen; or murdered a king. If a monk often violated the rules
regarding food and drink due to carelessness, then it was designated as
'pamatta paranciya'. A monk with Homo- sexual tendencies was charged
with the third type of paranciya. (Annamannam karemane).
It is only when we come to the
Chedasutras, that we get abundant information about these various
prayascittas and the mode of implementing them. However, these details
pertain mostly to the last four or major prayascittas. [Also,
Angd., VII, 54-57 and comm.].
As regards the 'cheda', the
Jiyakappa (80-82) tells us that the minimum cut enforced under this
punishment was five days. This is also corroborated by the commentary to
the Ovavaiyasutta, which explains it as dinpanchkadina
karmenr pryaychhedanam (P. 78). The Chedasutras often refer to
'santara elder' which pertains to the scale of the gradual increase
in the cut in paryaya if another transgression is committed while
undergoing punishment for a previous fault. Another and most remarkable
feature is that the period of cut in paryaya increased the more,
the higher the status of the person in the hierarchy. Thus whereas in the
case of a monk the minimum cut was five days, in the case of an
Upadhyaya it was ten and for an acarya it was fifteen days. It
was in the fitness of things that it was so resolved; for if those who
knew the laws and were supposed to be the custodians of it, broke the
rules of monastic conduct, then no ideal would have been left before the
Another term connected with monastic
jurisprudence is 'parihara'. This occurs for the first time in the
Thananga (p. 167b) and Bhagavati Suttas (348b, 893b, 909a,
A.), and has been amplified in the Cheyasuttas. The
parihara-visuddhi or the purification of the transgressor by means of
penance in isolation, cut off from other members of the group, lasted for
one, four or six months.
This parihara punishment is
qualified either as 'ugghaiya' or 'unugghaiya' and has often
been referred to in the texts of the Chedasutras. Schubring opines
that these expressions possibly denote the period in which the punishment
is softened in between the different periods of expiation or the period
between the declaring of the punishment and its execution (Vavahara and
Nisiha -Sutta: Leipzig, 1918, pp. 9-10).
The undergoing of 'parihara'
involved the practice of different kinds of fasting for a maximum period
of six months. The fasts were so arranged as to suit the different
seasons. For instance, in summer, fasting from the 4th to the 8th meal was
prescribed, whereas in the rainy season it varied between the 8th and the
12th meal and in winter it ranged between the sixth and the tenth meal.
(Than. pp. 168ab). In a group of monks, the fasting was undertaken
alternatively by smaller groups and the one left over acted as the head to
As regards the 'anavasthapya',
the Chedasutras lay down that when the complete 'paryaya' or
standing in monk-hood was wiped out, the person concerned was given
some time during which it was his duty to prove himself worthy of re-entry
to the order again. Only when he succeeded in qualifying himself for
monk-hood, he was re-consecrated.
A little digression is necessary here to
explain some terms connected with monastic jurisprudence besides the ten
prayascittas as detailed above. For instance, we have seen that
'paranciya' involved the expulsion of a monk from the order. This
expulsion has to be differentiated from 'sammukkasana' and '.
Nijjuhana�. Whereas 'parancika' involved the expulsion of the
transgressor due to some fault committed by him, 'sammukkasana'
meant the compulsory abdication of a person in office who no longer
enjoyed the confidence of his colleagues and followers. As against this,
the 'nijjuhana' meant the deliberate omission of a
particular monk from a Gana or group of monks.