Bhadrabahu Vijay

The External austerities (six kinds)


It means fasting for a day, for some days or throughout one's life and renouncing food and water etc., completely. The austerity called upavas takes its place among those that constitute the beginning of Anasan. Anasan or Fasting completely is in custom in respect of one's last days or the last moments of one's life to render death auspicious.


Eating less than what one desires to eat at the time of eating food and drinking less water than one desires to drink: eating and drinking less (water) than the extent of one's hunger and thirst. This austerity is called Unodari. Un means empty; Udar means the stomach. We should keep the stomach empty to some extent. It is believed that when one is healthy, one needs food that can supply 2500 calories of heat to the body. This is considered enough. The Jain religion prescribes 32 handfuls of food per day.

Vritti Sankshep (Reducing desires)

One must manage to live with the minimum of necessaries. One must minimize one's desires and necessities. One must exercise control over them. While eating food one must renounce some dishes. One must leave some dishes in the plate without eating them; and must keep them aside.

Rasa Tyag

This is a very important and psychologically significant arrangement. It means renouncing those kinds of food and drink that provoke the passions and encourage the instinctive excitements and provocations. Of the six types of food (Rasas) one must renounce one or more kinds. One should not consume ghee some times; one should renounce oil, jaggery and milk some times. This can be done in two ways. One way is to renounce the vigai (variety) in its original form. If one renounces milk, he must not consume any of its forms or he must renounce all dishes made out of milk and all Its forms. The second way is to renounce the raw vigai and in that case, one should not consume only its raw form. He cannot drink milk for instance, if he has renounced its raw form, but he may consume any of Its modified forms. The same principle applies to the other varieties also. Just as the effect of heavy and rich food; and that of food containing sugar, falls on health; so also it falls on the activities of the mind and on conduct. The Jain Dharma prohibits the consuming of food that provokes passions and instincts because their effect is very deep on the mind. It is an indisputable fact that our food and drinks excercise an impact on our minds. If people cannot give them up completely, they can at least limit the consumption of such things. It is for this reason that such austerities as Ayambil-Neevi have been prescribed,

Kaya Klesh

The body should be strengthened so that it may withstand ailments and disorders. One should keep up the health of the mind even when one is physically ill.


One should check the mental propensities and physical potentialities from getting into inauspicious actions; and must turn them towards auspicious ways. Sitting in solitude, on a special seat firmly and peacefully one must become immersed in meditation and recitation of holy hymns. This is Samlinata.