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 SELF-RESTRAINT

 

 

     He, who has the desire to possess delicate, soft implements to sweep away the small beings, practices the lower type of restricted self-restraint. The same fact has been stated in the holy books like 'Niyam Saar' and 'Pravachan Saar'. Only the superb type of beings practice the two types of self-restraint - 'upaiksha sanyam' (detached self- restraint) and aphrit sanyam (restricted self-restraint). These are known as Non-attached self-restraint (vitrag sanyam) - free from all passions; and attached self-restraint (sarag sanyam) as well. Furthermore 'aphrit sanyam' (restricted self-restraint) has been divided into two categories:

1.      Restraint on senses (Indriya sanyam)

2.      Restraint in conduct towards animates beings (pranri sanyam).

     Restraint on senses - To check the five senses (sense of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing.) and the mind from indulging in sensuous pleasures is restraint on senses.

     Restraint in conduct towards animate beings - To safeguard the sthavara - one sensed souls viz. earth, water, fire, wind and plants; and the trasa - many sensed souls i.e., having bodies with more than one sense organ, is known as restraint for animates.

     The sense organs are five in number. They are associated with five activities - sound, color, smell, taste and touch. From time immemorial this living being by getting indulged in these five-fold pleasant things, has forgotten the eternal bliss. He has taken the sensuous pleasures as the real happiness. Therefore, he has been undergoing the pangs of birth and death again and again since long. A sieve may be filled with water, but the thirst for sensuous pleasures can never be quenched. Even then the ignorant souls spoil their worldly existence by indulging in these sensuous pleasures, and ultimately meet their doom. It has been said:

     "One must always guard one's soul from all evils, by having all the sense organs properly controlled. In case the soul is not well guarded, it takes to the wrong path leading to birth and death; while if well-controlled, it becomes free from all worldly sorrows and misery."

     Kurangmatangpatdgbhringmina hata panchbhiraiv panch

     Aik pramadi sa kathamna haneytai yasaivate panchbhiraiv panch

     A deer, an elephant, a fire worm, a black bee and a fish - all these five types of living beings lose their lives by indulging in one sensed pleasure. Now the question arises - 'Will not then a man who remains indulged forever in five sensed pleasures lose his life likewise? He will certainly do so.'

     An elephant due to its lust for temporary pleasure of the sense of touch falls down into a deep pit allured by an artificial female elephant.

     A fish allured by bait is caught in the hook of a fisherman's catching rod being overpowered by the sense of taste and dies writhing and bearing untold agony.

     A black bee is imprisoned amidst the lotus petals at sunset on becoming a slave to the sense of smell and loses its life.

     A fire-worm (patanga) is drawn to the flame of a burning candle or an electric bulb being subservient to the sense of sight and meets its doom.

     A deer becomes fully charmed by the melody of the flute or rhythm of music inspired by the sense of hearing, and is a victim to the arrow of the hunter.

     Man is indulged in the sensuous pleasures provided to him by all the five senses day and night; therefore, he also cannot defend himself from the cruel clutches of death. The sensuous pleasures look extremely charming; but the life of a living being that is dependent on these transitory enjoyments is ultimately ruined. Those, who are drenched in lust, and engrossed in sensual pleasures blindly, will, for want of self-control be deluded. Therefore, the scriptures give us a wise counsel: "The five senses and the four passions - anger, pride, deception and greed, are all difficult to conquer; equally difficult it is to conquer one's own self. But one, who has conquered his self, has conquered everything else in the world."

     In fact, the creeper, which takes support of the poison tree, makes a man unconscious in spite of itself being sweet in taste.

     In 'Moolardhana' the two - restraint on senses, restraint in conduct towards animate beings have been described thus:

     Panchras panchvanr dogandhai athphas satsara

     Manrsa chaudasjiva indriyapanra ye sanjmo nraio

     In this infinite universe with unknown beginning a living being has suffered sorrow and misery times without number mainly due to his tongue and the spell of the five senses. Therefore, now it is high time to subdue all of them. Even if you fail to put a check on the other sense organs, at least put reins to your tongue; because an unbridled tongue causes great sorrow or when you give a long rope to your tongue, you suffer the most.

     Once a controversy arose between the tongue and the teeth. The tongue boasted saying, "O teeth! Accept my subordination; otherwise I shall vanquish you and bring all of you under my control by waging a war against you." Being highly enraged at the challenging words of the lone tongue all the thirty-two teeth spoke unitedly, "First, you are very tender; and secondly you are lone. Can you defeat us by fighting under these circumstances? It is quite impossible." The tongue at once retorted, "Nay! Today I shall give you a tough fight all alone." Ultimately a fight started between the tongue and teeth. The tongue uttered a reproachful word to a pedestrian passing by. At this the pedestrian struck such a blow of stick in the face of the ill-spoken tongued person that all his teeth cracked and fell to the ground. Therefore, if we put the tongue alone under restraint, all other senses will remain safe. During conversation we should speak with utmost restraint and care. It is good to be cautious while we speak. It is a well-known saying - 'Think before you speak'.

     The acharyas have compared mind with an unharnessed horse; because for want of proper training in self-restraint, an unbridled horse is killed in the battlefield along with its master. The main reason of its death is lack of self-restraint. Likewise, if we do not train the mind in self-restraint, it will lead us to the dark well of sensual pleasures and drop us there. Then it will be very difficult for us to come out of the well. Those who want to get rid of this situation should constantly reflect on the twelve religious topics (anuprakshain) to restrain their mind. They should remain engaged in self-study and invariably keep away from the sensuous pleasures. Only such persons will be capable of subduing the mind. To attain all these things; viz., a humanitarian outlook, a noble birth, a prolonged life and learning and listening to the Jain Tirthankara' divine voice preserved in the sacred scriptures which preach the principles of Jainism to all and sundry require diligence and self-restraint. Likewise, to become adept in Right belief, Right knowledge and Right conduct is more and more difficult for a living being of this universe. All these achievements are impossible without self-restraint. In the absence of self-restraint no living being can enter the kingdom of heaven or taste the matchless fruits of salvation. Hence a human being must observe self-restraint. Rightly has it been said: "A man may conquer thousands and thousands of invincible foes, but that is of no real consequence. His greatest victory is when he conquers only his own self."