(Uttama Akinchanya Dharma)
He, who abandons the evil thought
of attachment to worldly objects, can alone give up possessions.
Assuredly, the non-appearance of
attachment and other passions in Ahimsa, and their appearance is
Na kinchan iti akinchana
Not to have the least (Parigraha)
attachment is known as Akinchanya (non-attachment). The word 'akinchan'
is derived from the word 'akinchan' by the addition of the suffix
anr/shaynj. The word means to put a limit to ambitions, to put a
check on desires.
Man is a social animal. Man makes
many future plans while living amidst society and in the nation. These
plans never come to an end; rather they go on multiplying one after the
other. It has been said:
Api sankalpita kama, sambhvanti
Tatha mnushyanram, trishanr
As soon as the hopes or ambitions
of a man are fulfilled, instantly new ambitions take birth. His desires go
on increasing; there is no full stop to them. Therefore, a man should
observe the virtue of non-attachment by putting a limit to his ambitions.
Acharya Kundkund Swamy has written in the holy book 'Samaysaar':
'Desires are limitless. Hopes live eternal in the heart of a man. There is
no end to possessions (Parigraha). Still man is running a mad race
after possessions and material objects day and night. Acharya Gun
Bhadra Swamy has drawn a fine picture of the unending nature of ambitions
of man in his sacred book 'Atmanushashan' in the following verse:
Ashagart pratipranri, yasmin
Ksya kim kiydayiti, vritha vo
- Atma A. Gunbhadra
In the heart of every living being
there exists a deep pit of hopes, in which the universe appears to be
equivalent to an atom. Then for whom, what and how much scope there can be
left inside this pit i.e., it can contain almost nothing else but hopes.
Therefore, O noble souls! Futile is your ambition for those articles of
enjoyments or pleasure giving objects. It means that thirst of desires of
every living being has grown to the extent that even if he attains all the
wealth of the whole world, his thirst of desires can never be quenched by
any means. This ignorant creature has been wasting his precious lifetime
in claiming such mortal and transitory objects, which are different from
self as his own. The passions and sensuous pleasures, which are the
outcome of object non-self, have made him blind. This blindness is more
dreadful than blindness of eyes by birth. It has been said:
Chkshuandho na janati,
vishyandho na kainchit
- Atma A.
I.e., This human being, who has
lost his sense of wisdom and power of discrimination due to his over
indulgence in lustful desires, is blinder than a worldly blind man. For a
blind fails to see with his eyes only, but a man blinded by sensuous
pleasures cannot grasp the real nature of things; neither by the senses
nor by the mind. Therefore he has misconceived the non-self as the real
self. So long as this living being does not forsake this sense of
attachment, he will not realize the virtue of non-attachment. Acharya
Aklanka Swamy has also affirmed this fact in 'Rajvartika'
I.e., To give up the belief that
this thing belongs to me is the virtue of non-attachment.
There was a forest. Daily some
cowherds led the cows to graze in that pastureland. While grazing the cows
one-day, they chanced to see ripe mangoes hanging from a tree. Their
mouths watered on seeing the mangoes. When one of the cowherds cast a
pebble at the mangoes, two mangoes fell down. He ate them and enjoyed the
delicious fruits. The mangoes were really very sweet. This made another
cowherd think - "Why to miss such tasty fruits? I shall also pluck a mango
just now." So saying he picked up a pebble and struck at the mangoes.
Instead, the stone piece struck the head of a saint meditating under the
tree. His head was injured and started bleeding. This horrible sight
terrified all the cowherds. Seeing tears flowing from the eyes of the
saint, the cowherds approached him and spoke humbly - "O saint! We are
guilty. You are all merciful. Please pardon us. We have inflicted severe
injury and pain to you." The saint replied calmly, "I have suffered no
pain." The cowherds again questioned, "if you have felt no pain, why tears
are bursting from your eyes?" At this the saint replied, "Boys! When you
cast pebbles at the mango tree, it gave you sweet and tasty mangoes. But
now when your stone piece struck me, I have nothing to give you in return.
That is why tears are flowing from my eyes." The cowherds paid homage to
the saint lying at his feet and returned home. The instant that the
feeling of compassion grows in human heart, is the beginning of religion.
Attachment is of two
1. Internal Attachment - The feeling of
love, hatred, affection and ill will for living beings; and wrong belief
are internal attachments.
2. External Attachment - Greed for
wealth and property is external attachment. Greed for worldly possessions
consists in desiring more than what is needed by an
of even necessary articles in large numbers, expressing wonder at the
prosperity of others, excessive greed and changing the proportions of
existing possessions are all forms of Parigraha (worldly
attachments). The virtue of non-attachment cannot be attained without
discarding both types of Parigrahas (attachments). Only by
discarding both, the soul can be made fully purified, clean and spotless.
In Shraman culture merely discarding of the external attachments has got
no value. Therefore, the living soul (a living being) will be called
non-attached only when he gets rid of both internal and external
attachments. The Jain scriptures say that attachment equivalent even to a
'Til' (Sesum seed) brings extreme sorrow and suffering in
A man took resort in a forest
renouncing all worldly attachments. At that time he owned no possessions
except a cloth piece. In daytime he used to wrap it round his body to
clothe it, and at night he would spread it on the ground to make a bed to
sleep in. In the forest there lived many rats, which nibbled his cloth.
The man thought of protecting his cloth from the rats anyhow. With this
idea he tamed a cat. Milk was needed to feed the cat. So the man had to
tame a cow as well. But grass (fodder) was required for the cow. Now to
employ a cowherd became essential for this job. A house was then
needed for the cowherd. As soon as the house was built, a maidservant was
engaged to look after the house. The maidservant expressed her desire to
keep her kith and kin along with her. The man built separate houses for
every one of them.