Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

Ten Universal Virtues

Munishri 108 Kam Kumar Nandi
Manglacharanam
Message, Foreword, Preface
Hymn To Five Divinties
  Paryushan Parva
  Supreme Forgiveness
  Supreme Tenderness or Humility
  Supreme Uprightness or Honesty
  Supreme Contentment or Purity
  Supreme Truthfulness
  Supreme Self-Restraint
  Supreme Austerities or Penance
  Supreme Renunciation
  Supreme Non-Attachment
  Supreme Chastity
  Kshamavani Parva

SUPREME CONTENTMENT OR PURITY

 

 

     Just as color gives out its full luster only on a neat and clean sheet of canvas; likewise virtues like contentment enter only a clean, pure and upright mind. Only when the impurity of greed is washed away by way of holy living, purity may come to the forefront. From the above it becomes clear that 'Cleanliness is next to Godliness'. According to one view point cleanliness is of two types - external and internal; but according to another viewpoint it is of three types - bodily, mental and pertaining to speech. All these are supplementary and complementary to one another. Even in the absence of one of these, the work cannot be accomplished or perfect purity cannot be achieved.

     If someone says that external i.e., bodily cleanliness is the real cleanliness, the question arises as to why the water animals like frogs and fish that always live in ponds, rivers and seas cannot acquire the virtue of purity. Water path has been assigned the fifth place among baths. There are four other baths in addition to it. The water bath accompanied by those four baths is the real bath. This is the only means of self-purification i.e., soul purification. Internal cleanliness cannot be attained by mere making the body clean through water bath or by arraying the body with ornaments and wearing neat and clean or costly costumes. In the absence of internal cleanliness, all other sources of cleanliness are futile.

     One day all the five Pandav came to Narayan Lord Shri Krishna and requested him to accompany them on a pilgrimage. Shri Krishna declined to do so for some unknown reason. Then the Pandav urged him to send his some representative to keep company with them. The Lord refused for this as well. The Pandav again appealed, "At least give us something, which we may take on pilgrimage with us and bathing which we may again hand it over to you on our return." On the repeated requests of Pandav, Shri Krishna picked up a gourd lying near by and gave it to the Pandav. The Pandav placed the pieces of gourd into their mouths, they all started vomiting with signs of distress on their faces. One by one they began to complain "I am feeling stomach ache; I am feeling headache; I am feeling giddy" and so on. Seeing all this Lord Shri Krishna asked them, "Well brothers! Why this distress on your faces?" All replied, "The gourd pieces taste very bitter." Then Narayan Shri Krishna replied with a smile, "See, even after a thousand baths, the gourd has not shed its bitterness and acrid taste. Likewise, no good comes out of simply having an outward bath. Internal cleanliness is essential along with external cleanliness." It has been said in the 'Mahabharat':

     Atma nadi sanyamtoypurna, satyvha shiltata dyarmi

     Tatravagahm kuru Panduputra, Na varina shudhyati chantratma

     I.e., O Pandav! This soul is a stream full of water of self-restraint, truth is its current, chastity is its bank and mercy and compassion are its waves. The inner self becomes clean and pure only by bathing in this stream of soul, not by bathing in water.

     While laying stress on the significance of internal purity Maharishi Vyas has also said, "Be he a house-holder or a renounced soul; be he a scholar of the Vedas or the Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta, internal purity is essential for all." Thus not only external cleanliness but internal purity is also a must for perfect cleanliness. They both are complementary to each other.

     It has been clearly stated in the 'Niyam Saar' - 'If there exists even an atom of passions like greed, vanity and conceit in the internal soul, there can be no purity; such a

Man cannot be called endowed with Perfect Belief.' A precept is given in the 'Samaysaar':

"If there is a bit of poison equivalent even to a small mustard seed in a nectar like delicious ladoo, is the ladoo edible? No, the ladoo remains inedible, as eating it is an invitation to death. Even an atom of poison in the ladoo will also prove fatal. Likewise, even the smallest worldly possession is harmful for the virtue of purity and contentment. Therefore, it is necessary to give up both external and internal possessions to acquire the two types of purity - external and internal. Thus, perfect purity of soul is possible by discarding not only external possessions, but internal possessions also. If purity could be obtained merely by giving up external possessions, why then the birds and animals, which have no external possessions, do not obtain purity? It shows that besides renouncing external possessions, it is necessary to give up internal possessions viz. anger, vanity and greed as well. Only then the virtue of supreme purity 'Shaucha' can be obtained."

     Anything kept in a clean utensil or container can be preserved fully pure for long, if all the rules of food preservation are observed. But a thing kept in a dirty or impure pot gets contaminated very quickly despite following all rules of preservation. Milk should be kept in a clean utensil to maintain its sweetness and properties. Milk kept only in such clean pot, can be preserved well, otherwise it turns sour. Likewise, a worthy person devoid of wrong belief, worldly attachments, malice, ill-will and greed is sure to be crowned with the virtue of supreme purity, or only then the virtue of supreme purity can be obtained or possessed. It is also necessary to keep the mind neat and clean i.e., perfectly pure to attain this virtue. If the mind is pure, the spiritual qualities acquired by it will also be grand, sacred and lofty. It has been said:

     Untam Manama yasya, tasya bhagiam samuntam

     He, whose mind is noble, pure, sublime, neat and clean, is blessed with a grand, lofty, holy and pure destiny too. In the absence of the purity of mind, one cannot enjoy good luck. Without raising the destiny to lofty heights, the mind cannot be holy. Someone has rightly said:

     Man barhe, dhan barhe, dhane barhi man barhi jae

     Man barte sab barhat he barhat barhat barhi jae

 

     Man ghate dhan ghate dhan ghate man ghati jae

     Man grate sab ghatat hae, ghatat ghatat ghati jae

     Only when the mind is pure, a man can dedicate his mental energies to the acquisition of wealth and other worldly possessions. If the mind is impure, all our energies go on trifles. In the absence of mental purity, the holy sermons of Lord Jinendra cannot touch, appeal and influence our mind and stay there for long. Then we can neither meditate upon and cherish the memory of the omniscient Lord Jinendra cannot touch, appeal and influence our mind and stay there for long. Then we can neither meditate upon nor cherish the memory of the omniscient Lord Jinendra, nor sing hymns in praise of His celestial virtues.

     A king very often visited a saint to seek his blessings. He would always pray to him only to give him some holy sermon. The saint paid no attention to his frequent requests. One day the king made a forceful appeal to the saint. At length the saint was appeased and said to the king, "Tomorrow I shall visit your royal palace and deliver my sermon there." The king was overjoyed and again insisted that the saint should oblige him by taking his meals too in the royal palace. The saint readily consented to it. The saint readily consented to it. The next day the saint reached the royal palace at the appointed time taking his begging bowl. The king had devotedly got prepared various types of delicacies and dainty dishes for the saint. At first the king wished to serve to the saint kheer, a preparation of milk and rice. The saint brought forward his begging bowl to take it. The king peeped inside the bowl and drew back his hand without serving the kheer into the bowl. At this the saint stood up and got ready to go back. The king was terrified, as the saint had neither taken meals nor delivered sermon. The perturbed king said, "O holy saint! You neither took meals nor delivered a sermon as per your promise; still you are going back home leaving us in the lurch." The saint promptly replied, "I have delivered my sermon, which you have failed to grasp." The king stood dumbfounded. Then the king asked the perplexed king, "Why did you not serve the kheer into my bowl?" The king said, "Holy Sir! Dust particles and pebbles were lying in your bowl. I did not serve the kheer into the bowl, lest my nectar like sweet and tasty kheer should get spoiled." The saint said, "I had also to teach you this lesson that your mind is full of filth and dirt in the shape of evil passions like anger, vanity, arrogance and greed. Until and unless your mind on being relieved of these evil passions becomes purified, how should I deliver my sermon to you? In the present state of mind my sermon will also be futile and go waste."