Message, Foreword, PREFACE
It gives me genuine pleasure to learn that my talented and worthy submissive disciple Munishri Kam Kumar Nandi is marching ahead on the thorny path of nude Jain monkshood devotedly and undauntedly by the challenges of ‘Mithya Dristi’ i.e., mundane souls with evil perception. Although he has seen only twenty seven springs of his life so far and he is too young both in his physical age and spiritual age to fully grasp the deep Jain philosophy, which has come to perfection by and by, starting from the 1st Tirthankara Aadi Nath ji (Rishabh Deva) and culminating to lofty heights by the time of the last 24th Tirthankara, Lord Mahavir. Yet he is doing miracles in his spiritual attainments. I initiated him to the holy tradition of nude Jain monkshood in February 1989 at the holy Jain place of pilgrimage of Shri Sammed Shikherji also known as Parshwa Nath hills. He is only twenty-seven years old now and his spiritual age is only six years as yet; still he carries an old head on his young shoulder. His devotees are bringing out this first English edition of his Hindi sermons on Ten Universal Virtuous (Dash Lakshan Dharma) specially dear to the Jains. This noble soul delivers sermons, which are both instructive and inspiring.
I wish him every success in his sincere endeavor in conveying the superb message of Jainism to the entire humanity.
Gandhar Acharya Kunthu Sagar
Self is self, and Matter is matter,
The twain can never meet in one.
Ever since I renounced home in November, 1988 and took celibacy vow at Ankloose in Maharashtra state; and thereafter Gandhar Acharya Shri Kunthu Sagar ji Maharaj initiated me as a nude Jain monk in February, 1989 at the holy mount Sri Sammed Sikharji, I always aspired to kindle the flame of eternal truth in man by creating a stir in his thought-realm. It is my confirmed belief that by gradual change in ‘outlook’ on life i.e., the tendency of looking to the needs of external body alone, the blessed souls, who ‘in-look’ i.e., look to the inner soul ultimately attain salvation one day. Because so long as their inner soul slumbers and the body or the outer man awakes, they rejoice in material pursuits and sensuous pleasures. But when their inner soul awakens their bodily requirements go in deep slumber. In that state the soul alone exists but the physical body perishes. In the absence of the body they get rid of the cycle of births and deaths; for when they become ‘independent’ i.e., depend on the inner or their real self, they become truly independent from carnal desires and physical objects and their spiritual existence alone subsists.
This book describes in detail the Ten Universal Virtues enumerated differently by renowned scholars in Jain scriptures. The ten virtues are:
‘Dharma, Seva, Kshanti, Mridutvmrijuta, ch Shotmath, Satyam
Akinchanyam, Brahm, tyagshch, tapashch, sanyamshcheti’
(Acharya Amritchandra, Sloka 208)
1. Uttama Kshama - Supreme Forgiveness (To observe tolerance whole-heartedly, shunning anger.)
2. Mardava - Tenderness or Humility (To observe the virtue of humility subduing vanity and passions.)
3. Arjaya - Straight-forwardness or Honesty (To practice a deceit-free conduct in life by vanquishing the passion of deception.)
4. Shaucha - Contentment or Purity (To keep the body, mind and speech pure by discarding greed.
5. Satya - Truthfulness (To speak affectionate and just words with a holy intention causing no injury to any living being.)
6. Sanyam - Self-restraint (To defend all living beings with utmost power in a cosmopolitan spirit abstaining from all the pleasures provided by the five senses - touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing; and the sixth - mind.)
7. Tapa - Penance or Austerities (To practice austerities putting a check on all worldly allurements.)
8. Tyaga - Renunciation (To give four fold charities - Ahara (food), Abhaya (fearlessness), Aushadha (medicine), and Shastra Dana (distribution of Holy Scriptures), and to patronize social and religious institutions for self and other uplifts.)
9. Akinchanya - Non-attachment (To enhance faith in the real self as against non-self i.e., material objects; and to discard internal Parigraha viz. anger and pride; and external Parigraha viz. accumulation of gold, diamonds, and royal treasures.)
10. Brahmacarya - Chastity or celibacy (To observe the great vow of celibacy; to have devotion for the inner soul and the omniscient Lord; to discard the carnal desires, vulgar fashions, child and old-age marriages, dowry dominated marriages, polygamy, criminal assault on ladies, use of foul and vulgar language.)
These ten virtues have been divided in two parts on the basis of ‘Paryaya-Naya’ i.e., the model point of view, and ‘Dravya-Naya’ i.e., the substantial point of view; or in spiritual terminology ‘Vyavahara-Naya’ i.e., the practical point of view and ‘Nishchaya-Naya’ i.e., the realistic point of view. The householders are ordained for partial observation and the ascetics for absolute observation of these virtues. From the above view points these ten virtues have been further classified into forty categories. The adjective ‘Supreme’ has been used with these ten virtues with three viewpoints:
(i) Forgiveness given with perfect faith is called supreme forgiveness.
(ii) Forgiveness given by an ascetic who observes the great vows is known as supreme forgiveness.
(iii) Ordinarily the virtue of forgiveness has been assigned the first place among virtues and is regarded superb in the world; from this viewpoint also forgiveness is the supreme virtue.
Pertaining to the use of the adjective ‘Supreme’, the sermon of Acharya Uma Swamy is also worth remembering:
(Tattvartha Sutra: Section IX, Sutra 6)
There are other versions of ten virtues in Jain philosophy:
‘Athahimsa kasha Satyam, shuchi shradhendryasanyam,
Danmijaya tapodhyanam, dashakam dharmsadhnam’
It means religion has ten ways and means:
1. Ahimsa - Non-violence
2. Kshma - Forgiveness
3. Satya - Truthfulness
4. Shuchitva - Purity
5. Shradha - Faith
6. Indriya Sanyam - Restraint on senses
7. Dana - Charity
8. Puja - Devotion or worship
9. Tapa - Penance
10. Dhayana - Meditation
‘Sanyam sunritshoch, brahmakichanta Tapa,
Kshanti mardvmrijuta, muktishch dashdha sa tu’
It means, this religion which preaches universal well-being is of ten kinds:
1. Sanyam - Self-restraint
2. Satya - Truthfulness
3. Pavitrata - Purity
4. Brahmacarya - Chastity
5. Akinchanya - Non-attachment
6. Tapa - Penance
7. Shanty - Peace
8. Vineysheelta - Humility
9. Nishkapat Vyavhar - Deception-free conduct
10. Mukti - Liberation
‘Sevya kshantimrardvmarjvshoye ch sanyamtyago
Satyo tapo brahmakinchanyanilop dharmvidhi’
(Acharya Hemachandra: Yogashastra Prakash 4, Sloka 13)
It means religion consists of ten-fold currents:
1. Shanti - Peace
2. Narmarta - Humility
3. Arjava - Non-deceitfulness
4. Shaucha - Purity (in thought, speech and action)
5. Sanyam - Self-restraint
6. Tyaga - Renunciation
7. Satya - Truthfulness
8. Tapa - Penance
9. Brahmacarya - Chastity
10. Akinchanya - Non-attachment
I hope that by a sincere attempt to follow and practice in daily life the ten universal virtues vividly explained in this book, every aspirant for eternal bliss will undergo a vast change in his life and will realize the real meaning and purpose of man’s existence in this world.
Muni Kam Kumar Nandi
Veer Nagar, Jain Bagh
Chaturmas - 1994
In this modern scientific age of advanced electronic printing so many books are printed daily that even a sincere reader of literary taste cannot read all of them in his whole lifetime. This short treatise on Jain philosophy written purely in a missionary spirit throws ample light on the ten universal supreme virtues of Jainism. An honest and vigorous attempt to follow these supreme virtues in daily practical life of give and take even by a religious layman will usher in an era of peace and harmony both in individual life and social life. Consequently will relieve this war-torn world from its maddening strife for physical achievements and sensual pleasures at the cost of health, happiness, peace and morality.
In truth, Jain philosophy of non-violence, truth, renunciation, non-attachment and chastity is a panacea for this ailing humanity, which has been aspiring for eternal peace and happiness for long. This book dealing with ten universal supreme virtues of Jainism will provide mental and spiritual food to the seekers after truth and non-violence. The author, Munishri Kam Kumar Nandi, a great saint fully detached from all worldly allurements has tried to explain in a lucid style, the virtues of forgiveness, humility, honesty, contentment, truthfulness, self-restraint and chastity, through simple anecdotes from every day life and by giving illustrations from various Jain and non-Jain scriptures and quoting from great renowned scholars. In truth, like ‘see-through’ a character in Gallsworthy play ‘Strife’, the young saint always carries a lantern of right knowledge in his hand ‘to show, what is there; no more, no less’ in the sacred Jain scriptures, which store the message of the twenty four Jain Tirthankaras - the same as it had its spontaneous outburst from their mouths in the times immemorial.
The learned nude monk aims at imparting the true message of Jainism to one and all ‘to kindle the flame of good ideas and restraint bad feelings in man.’ He is hurried but not worried to hand over the cultural heritage of Jainism to the present and future generations of mankind, undeterred and unhindered by all challenges of the materialistic world; for this young soul has ‘miles to go and miles to go, before he sleeps.’
I am highly grateful to His Holiness Munishri Kam Kumar Nandi. He during his Chaturmas (four months rainy season stay) at Jain Bagh, Veer Nagar, Saharanpur, in the year 1994, when I first came in contact with him, entrusted me with the pious work of giving English rendering to and enlarging his Hindi sermons on the Ten Universal Virtues ‘Dash Lakshan Dharma’. He advised me to utilize the remaining years of my transitory life in self uplift and social service. I hope this spiritual torch of Jain precepts will show light of truth and peaceful coexistence to the benighted world treading the path of bitterness, intolerance and discord.
All suggestions for the improvement of the book both in language and subject matter are most welcome.
I cannot fail to acknowledge the valuable contribution of religious minded, charitable and benevolent persons for their financial assistance in publishing this book. All those, who have rendered their services in the publication work, deserve all praise.
N. C. Garg (Jain)
8/1121, Veer Nagar, Jain Bagh
November 10, 1994
Don’t merely talk of Faith, but talk with faith;
Don’t merely talk of Meditation, but talk with meditation;
Don’t merely talk of Knowledge, but talk with knowledge;
Don’t merely talk of Self-restraint, but talk with restraint.