by Acharya Mahapragya
SUPPLEMENTS TO AHIMSA VRATA
Along with various restrictions
laid down as necessary elements in the observance of the vow of Ahimsa,
certain specific virtues, reflections and controls or sufferings are also
prescribed by sacred Jaina texts as supplements to the practice of Ahimsa-vrata.
These supplements are
Ten Kinds of Dharma,
Twelve kinds of Anupreksha
Twenty-two kinds of Parishaha
and these are considered
specifically useful in achieving Samvara, i.e., stoppage of influx of Karmic
matter into the soul, which is a necessary condition to the attainment of
Moksha or salvation. These supplements constitute a part of the rules of
conduct prescribed for the saints. But it has been particularly mentioned that
these should be followed by householders also to the best of their capacity.
The ten noble virtues, known as
'Dasalakshana Dharma', are expected to be assiduously cultivated and put into
actual practice during their normal life by the followers of Jainism. Since
the emphasis has been laid on the translation of the virtues into practice,
these ten virtues are known as ten observances also. The ten noble virtues
Uttama-Kshama, i.e., Supreme
Forgiveness or Forbearance,
Uttama-Mardava, i.e., Supreme
humility or tenderness,
Uttama-Arjava i.e., supreme
honesty or straight forwardness,
Uttama-Saucha, i.e., Supreme
contentment or purity of thought and freedom from greed,
Uttama-Satya, i.e. Supreme
Uttama-Samyama, i.e., Supreme
self-control or self-restraint,
Uttama-Tapa, i.e., Supreme
Uttama-tyaga, i.e., Supreme
Supreme non-attachment or not taking the non-self for one's own self, and
In addition to ten noble
virtues, every pious person is expected to contemplate on the following twelve
'Anuprekshas' i.e., the ideas which must be kept at the focus of thoughts
Anitya anupreksha, i.e.,
impermanence or in other words everything is subject to change or is
Asarana anupreksha, meaning
without refuge, unproductiveness or helplessness. The feeling that soul is
unprotected from fruition of Karmas, for example, death, etc.,
Samsara anupreksha, i.e.,
mundaneness or cycle of births and deaths. Soul moves in the cycle of
existences and cannot attain true happiness till it is cut off.
Ekatva anupreksha, i.e.,
loneliness. I am alone, the doer of my actions and the enjoyer of the fruits
Anyatva anupreksha, i.e.,
separateness or difference in nature. The world, my relations and friends,
my body and mind, they are all distinct and separate from my real self.
Asuchi anupreksha, i.e.,
impurity. The body is impure and dirty.
Asrava anupreksha, i.e.,
inflow. The inflow of Karmas is the cause of my mundane existence and is the
product of passions.
Samvara anupreksha, i.e.,
stoppage. The inflow of Karma must be stopped.
Nirjara anupreksha, i.e.,
shedding. The old Karmic matter must be shed from or shaken out of the soul.
Loka anupreksha, i.e., the
world or the universe. The nature of the universe and its constituent
elements in all their vast variety proving the insignificance and miserable
nothingness of man in time and space.
i.e., variety of religious knowledge. It is difficult to attain right
belief, right knowledge and right conduct.
Dharma anupreksha, i.e.,
reflection on the nature of religious path as preached by the conquerors,
namely the true nature of the three fold path of liberation.
These twelve Anuprekshas are
meditations or reflections and have to be meditated upon again and again.
Sometimes these Anuprekshas are termed as Bhavanas also.
Along with the inculcation of
the noble virtues and meditation of twelve reflections, every pious person
must attempt at Parishaha-Jaya, i.e.,. the conquering of various types of
Parishahas i.e., sufferings or inconveniences and pains. The Parishahas are
the hardships or sufferings which have to be undergone by a conscientious
person for the sake of non-falling off from the path of Moksha, i.e.,
liberation, and for the shedding of Karmic matter from the soul. Hence
Parishaha-Jaya means victory over the consciousness of pain or suffering. Such
sufferings are of following 22 kinds:
Kshut, i.e., Hunger,
Pipasa, i.e., Thirst,
Sita, i.e., Cold.
Ushna, i.e., Heat,
Nagnya, i.e., Nakedness,
Arati, i.e., Ennui or
Stri, i.e., Sex-passion,
Charya, i.e., Walking too
Nishadya, i.e., Continuous
sitting in one posture,
Sayya, i.e., Resting on hard
Akrosa, i.e., Abuse or
unpleasant and insulting language,
Vadha, i.e., Beating or
violence inflicted by cruel persons,
Yachana, i.e., Begging or
desire to beg for food, medicine, etc.,
Alabha, i.e., Disappointment
from not getting what one wants, e.g. food,
Roga, i.e., Diseases and
infirmities in the body,
Thorn-pricks or pricks from the sharp grass,
Mala, i.e., Dirt and impurity
all over the body,
Remaining uninfluenced by praise or reward,
Prajna, i.e., Pride of
Ajnana, i.e., feeling of
ignorance or non-possession of knowledge, and
Adarsana, i.e., slack-belief
or temporary lack of faith.
For example, on failure to
attain supernatural powers even after great piety and austerities, to begin to
doubt the faith of Jainism and its teachings.
It is laid down that these 22
sufferings should be ever endured without any feeling of vexation, by one who
desires to get rid of all causes for pain.
Apart from these three types of
supplements to Ahimsavrata which are considered useful
in achieving Samvara, i.e.,
stoppage of influx of Karmic matter into the soul, there is one more important
supplement to Ahimsa-vrata known as the "Practice of Tapa", i.e., observance
of austerities. These austerities are regarded as essential things for
achieving Nirjara, i.e., the shedding of Karmic matter from the soul, which is
a necessary condition to the attainment of Moksha, i. e., salvation. The Jaina
scriptures distinguish twelve kinds of austerities, as the expedients of
Nirjara, grouped together under the two headings of Bahya Tapa, i.e., external
austerities, and Abhyantara Tapa, i.e., internal austerities.
The six external austerities
Anasana, i.e., periodical
Avamodarya, i.e., eating less
than the capacity of the stomach,
putting restrictions in regard to food, for example, to accept food only if
a certain condition is fulfilled.
Rasa-parityaga, i.e., daily
renunciation of one or more of six kinds of delicacies, viz., ghee, milk,
curds, sugar, salt and oil,
Vivikta-sayyasana, i. e.,
sitting or sleeping in a lonely or isolated place, devoid of animate beings,
mortification of the body so long as the mind is not disturbed.
The six internal austerities
Vinaya, i.e., reverence,
Vaiyavrtya, i.e., service of
the saints or worthy people,
Svadhyaya, i.e., study.
Vyutsarga, i.e., giving up
attachment to the body, etc., and
Dhyana, i.e., concentration
All these external and internal
kinds of austerities are practiced with the object of burning or shedding out
all karmic impurities from the soul. These austerities are meant mainly for
the ascetics, but it has also been enjoined upon the householders to practice
them to the best of their abilities.
by DR. VILAS SANGAVE