|GUIDLINES OF JAINISM||
AVASHYAK (THE ESSENTIALS)
The name Avashyak- the essential is given to those austerities which ought to be carried out for the perfection and purification of the soul. They are six in numbers.
Samayik is the name given to the austerity in which after renouncing sinful words, actions and propensities, one turns sinlessly towards the attainment of spiritual perfection. In Samayik one can attain calmness, equanimity and a wholesome outlook.
Wearing clean, white dress, sitting on the Katasan (a seat of warm woollen cloth); holding in the hands Charvala (a small mop made of woollen threads stuck to a stick) and a muhpatti, a white cloth which is a square of 34 inches like a handkerchief folded in a specific manner (some hold in hand while others tie it to face to cover mouth), sitting at one place for 48 minutes in calmness and performing such activities as holy recitation, meditation, scriptural studies, spiritual reflection etc., is called samayik. The Samayik should be done at least once in a day as a rule.
Chaturvimshati Stav (The prayers for the twentyfour Tirthankars)
It is necessary to remember with devotion the names of the twenty four Tirthankars. Some people worship and glorify them in prayers while others go to trmple to pray and salute them.
(1) Every day, one must go to the Mandir, as a rule, and have darshan of the paramatma. In frnt of the image, prayer and glorification should be offered with devotion. It is also desirable to place on the feet of the Paramatma beautiful things.
(2) Always worship should be offered to the Lord's image, according to prescriptions. Eight kinds of Ashtaprakari worship should be performed. The Lord's image should be worshipped with water, sandal paste, flowers, lights, scented sticks, yellow-rice Akshat and by offering sweets and fruits, etc. Angarachana (Decoration of the idol) must be done. Worship should be offered to observe the Das-trik (Ten rules with three parts).
(3) Every evening one must go to the Mandir (temple) and must offer to the Lord Arti and Mangal deep burning camphor and llighting auspicious lamps. Arti and mangal deep enable our souls to become soft and amenable to meet the Lord. They dispel the inner apathy and gloom.
Vandana (Bowing in reverence)
Bowing in reverence to holy Sadhus and Sadhvis, showing respect and giving them hospitable treatment and greetings, thinking of their comforts and conveniences; becoming a helper to them; performing their service and rendering help to them; showing them devotion by giving them clothes, vessels, food, water, etc. It is necessary to listen to their discourses with politeness and concentration and to obtain from them the proper spiritual guidance for the attainments of the goal of our soul.
Pratikraman (Retreat from sins)
Making atonement, Prayaschitta, for the faults and derogations of our daily life and to repent our sinful actions is called Pratikraman. Endeavoring to bring back the soul that has lost its way in the meshes of outward actions and pursuits is called Pratikraman. The Pratikraman performed in the early morning is called Ratri (rai)Prathikraman and the pratikraman performed in the evening is called Devasi Pratikraman In addition to these. there are other pratikramans which can be performed. They are :-
1) The Pakshi Pratikraman is performed on the 14/15th day of every fortnight;
2) the Chaturmasik Pratikraman is performed once every four months; and
3)the Samvatsari Pratikraman is performed once in a year on the fourth/fifth day of the bright fortnight Bhadrapada month.
Meditating on the soul, in silence with perfect concentration and with absolute peace of mind to make the body still and motionless is called Kayotsarg. Giving up the attachment for the body and freeing oneself from all thoughts about the body is part of kayotsarg. To achieve this the Kayotsarg is essential. It is necessary to go deep into oneself and to concentrate our attention on the essential form of the soul, every day. In addition to these, some special kinds of Kayotsarg have been prescribed for the attainment of peace and equanimity, free from the influence of the internal and external anxieties.
Renouncing certain things by a vow is called Pratyakhyan. Bringing order and discipline into life by means of some daily vows both large and small is very important. The mind also can attain discipline if the body is kept under discipline and control. The vows can be taken in accordance with an individual's ability, desire and circumstances. This is called the austerity of performing Pachchakkan.
Every day, one should find some time to carry out Swadhyay or the study of the scriptures or religious materials. One should reflect on matters relating to Dharma. One should study those books which helps us to be virtuous and elevate our life. By means of studying the scriptures, essentially, one must study oneself and endeavor to attain self-realization.