Acara of the Sadhus (Monks)
Acara of the Sadhus (Monks)
The rules of spiritual discipline, prescribed for monks are extremely difficult, rigid and puritanic, while in the case of householders they are modified. The course of conduct prescribed for the ascetics in Prasamarati can be roughly grouped under the following heads :
- Five kinds of Right Conduct (Pancavidha Sadhvacara).
- Five kinds of Great Vows (Pancamahavratas).
- Five kinds of Cautions (Samitis).
- Three kinds of Restraints (Gupties).
- Endurance of Hardships (Parisahajaya).
- Talk of Religious stories (Dharmakathas).
- Five kinds of Caritra (Pancavidhacaritra).
- Ten kinds of religious virtues (Dasavidhadharma).
- Twelve kinds of reflections (Anupreksas or Bhavanas).
- Meditations (Dhyanas).
It is important to note that, Prasamarati gives exhaustive information about some of the abovementioned topics and some of them are mentioned in sutra form. The rules for monks which are not fully discussed in Tattvarthasutra and Bhasya are given prominence and explained in detail.
Right faith, Right knowledge, Right Conduct, Austerity and Vigour (=Power which is to be used in the directions of right effort) are prescribed as right conduct (Pr.113). These five kinds of code of conduct are general rules which should be strictly followed by all ascetics.
Non-injury (Ahimsa), Truthfulness (Satya), Non-theft (Asteya), Celibacy (Brahmacarya) and Non-acquisition (Aparigraha) are considered as fivefold fundamental spiritual disciplines, which are to be observed absolutely without any limitation by monks (Pr.117). Ahimsa is non-injury in thought, word and deed to any being and showing reverence to all without any limitation. It teaches the equality of all life. Truthfulness (Satya) consists in ever abandoning all forms of falsehood. In its wider sense truthfulness is not only a negation of life but a negation of all sorts of talk which is injurious. An ascetic should refrain himself from any type of stealing (Asteya). Non-stealing really means, that a monk should not acquire any object which is not necessary for his use. The monks should not accept anything without permission of the owner. Celibacy (Brahmacarya) consists in controlling sexual desires. A monk should dissociate himself from association of women. Aparigraha means non-attachment to ones own possession. Acquisition is the main cause of greed and attachment (Pr.178). Attachment is cause of bondage. Thus, monks should renounce all personal property. Monks can only possess those things which are necessary for performing religious duties and sustaining life. (Pr.138).
- Samitis means cautious behavior. Vigilance is considered as one of the important
virtues, because negligence is the root of all sins. Monks should be careful while walking, speaking, taking food, keeping and receiving things and evacuating bowels etc. (Pr.116-7). These five Smitis are prescribed to avoid all sorts of unpleasantness to the living beings without any exception, and to keep the monks away from committing sins.
- Gupti means control of psycho-physical activities of mind, speech and body, (Manogupti; vaggupti and Kayagupti) which are the root cause of the inflow of Karmic matter to the soul (Pr.241).
- Parisahajaya (Pr.114) is endurance of hardships which monks should face on the path of liberation. Monks must endure physical as well as mental hardships. The hardships that monks should overcome are roughly twenty-two in number.55 Victory over these hardships is part of austerity. The monks by facing these hardships, acquire a resolute will that no difficulty could bend them.
- Dharmakathas or religious stories:
Jainism, like any other religion, propagates certain ethical and religious doctrines through religious stories. These stories are didactic (Upadesatmaka) in nature. The didactic tone of these stories illustrates the consequences of good and bad deeds.
Every story conveys some lesson and is used to exhort the need of firm faith in religious principles. It is the duty of a monk to reflect on these stories and tell them to laymen to create interest and faith in religious duties. They are four in number (Pr. 182-3). Aksepani is the story which makes one to follow religious path. This kind of story inspires on to perform religious duties. Viksepani is a kid of story which reduces or annihilates sexual passion. Samvedani gives an idea about the painful nature of mundane life and generates intense desire to acquire correct knowledge of reality. Nirvedani is a kind of story which reduces or annihilates sexual passion. Samvedani gives an idea about the painful nature of mundane life and generates intense desire to acquire correct knowledge of reality. Nirvedani is a kind of story which generates a spirit of non-attachment to all worldly things.
In addition to these stories the monk should always avoid, talks about women, her beauty, form and so on (strikatha); about delicious foods (bhaktavikatha); about adventures of a thief (corakatha) and about different countries (Janapadakatha) which generate interest about worldly life and pleasure and hence indirectly cause attachment (Pr.183).
- Samayika, Chedopasthana, pariharavisuddhi, Suksmasamparaya and Yathakhyata are five types of Caritras (conduct) and they are special rules which should be followed by the monks (Pr.228). Samayika means equanimity and refraining from sin and developing friendliness towards all living beings. The monk should have equanimity of mind and avoid all sinful activities. Chedopasthana is observance of penalties for faults committed through negligence or inadvertence. If a monk commits a mistake in his religious duties, he should observe penalties, confess it in front of a teacher and again engage himself in the pursuit of righteousness. Chedopasthana really means cutting down the life span as a monk who commits a mistake. Pariharavisuddhi is refraining from all kinds of injury-physical, mental and vocal. This rule is prescribed to purify the individual soul. Austerity is prescribed for one who is having this Caritra. Suksmasamparaya is the control of the passions, especially greed and it is to be reduced to a bare unrecognizable trait and all other passions are to under the control of a monk. In this stage the monk possesses only very minute passions. Yathakhatycaritra implies the characteristics of those monks who have annihilated all of their passions, lusts and desires. When all passions are destroyed, a monk, reaches the ideal state, which is known as Kevali. This ideal state of a monk is called Yathakhyatacaritra. These five kinds of caritra are considered as the chief means of liberation (Pr.229).
- Dasavidhadharma or ten kinds of religious virtues are cardinal virtues that are to be cultivated by a monk, who is an aspirant for achieving the highest goal of life. These virtues are the bases of religion and are essential for a monk. Practice of these virtues roots out attachment, aversion deceit and greed within a short period and leads to the final deliverance of a monk (Pr.179). Umasvati gives a prominent place to these ten kinds of virtues and dedicates thirteen verses to elaborate them (Pr. 167-79). The ten kinds of virtues which are to be cultivated by a monk are : Supreme forgiveness (ksama), Modesty (mardava), Straightforwardness (arjava), Purity (sauca), Self-control (samyama), Renunciation (tyaga), Truthfulness (Satya), Austerity (tapas), Chastity or Celibacy (Brahmacarya) and non-acquisition (akincanya (Pr.167).
Compassion towards all beings is called supreme forgiveness. It is the root cause of religion (Pr. 168). Modeaty is the basis of humility. It is the main source of all good virtues. It controls and reduces egoistic tendencies of a monk (Pr. 169). Straightforwardness consists in eschewing crookedness in thoughts, words nd deeds and never concealing ones own faults. It is the main cause of self-purity which is very much essential for realization of Self (Pr. 170). Purity is of two kinds: internal and external. External purity consists in maintaining cleanliness and purity of food, clothes, drink etc. and internal or spiritual purity (bhavanasauca) consists of annihilation of passions. (Pr. 171). Self-control (samyama) is of seventeen kinds, viz., abstaining from five types of asrava, control over five senses; victory over four kinds of passions and control of mental, vocal and physical activities (Pr 172). Renunciation consits in renunciation of all worldly attachments, relations, wealth, pleasures and I-ness and Mineness. An ascetic who has abandon all worldly objects, is called Nirgrantha-freed from all sorts of worldly knots of attachment. (pr. 173). Truthfulness is speaking in conformity with the words of Jinas and avoiding lies even in worldly transactions. It consists in ever abandoning all forms of falsehood and even talk which hurts others. It is of four kinds, viz., speaking in confirmity with the Scriptures and straitforwardness in deeds, thoughts and words. (Pr.174). Austerity implies the renunciation and rejection of all kinds of desires, indifference to pleasures of this world and quietly enduring various physical troubles. Austerity is of two kinds: external and internal. The former emphasizes on the physical, outer aspect while the latter on inner aspect. External austerity is of six kinds, viz. anasana, unodarata, vrttisamksepana, rasaparityaga, kayaklesa and samllinata. (pr.175). Anasana consists in fasting either for a limited period of time or till the separation of the soul from the body. This austerity is prescribed to exterminate attachment towards body to perform meditation. Unodarata is taking limited, pure and suitable food without any greed. A monk should not take full or over meal. The observance of this austerity is to have control over the senses and sleep which hinder meditation. Vrttisamksepa means pre-determination of the monk regarding the number of houses to be visited for taking alms etc., and eating indifferently even tasteless food. This austerity uproots the attachment for food. Rasaparityaga is renouncing delicious and tasty food such as milk curd, ghee, oil, sugar and salt etc. It reduces, the sexual desires of the employing certain uneasy and stern postures and not to be disappointed by adverse climatic conditions. Samllinata is staying in a lonely place, not craving for house, of worldly comforts, engaging oneself in pure meditation. Internal austerity is also of six kinds (Pr. 176). viz., prayascitta, dhayana, vajyavrtya, vinaya, kayotsarga and svadhyaya. Prayascitta is confession before ones teacher or Acarya for the transgressions committed by sadhu, either by negligence or on adverse condition. Dhyana is concentration of a mind on Atman or on certain principles. It is divided in to auspicious and inauspicious. Arta and Rudra dhyanas are inauspicious. They are therefore, to be avoided. Dharma and sukladhyanas are considered auspicious. A monk must practice auspicious dhyanas which are conducive to moksa or final release. Vaiyavrtya is rendering uninterested service to the Acaryas, gurus and aged and suffering monks. It is to eradicate egoism in ones self. Vinaya means devoted attendance on those who are endowed with Right faith, Right knowledge and Right conduct. It also consists in control over senses by eradicating passions. Kayotsarga means indifference to body, its caressing and needs. Svadhyana is devoted study of Jaina Scriptures which sharpens the intellect, enriches the moral and spiritual efforts and eradicates passions.
Brahmacarya is restraining oneself from all sorts of sexual pleasures and desires. This consists in the abandonment of sexual relations in every way. This should be observed mentally, vocally and physically. It is of eighteen kinds: Refraining from sexual pleasures with divine beings, mentally, vocally and physically also causing or helping others to have sexual pleasures in three ways (mentally, vocally and physically) and consenting to others to enjoy mentally, vocally and physically. It also consists in restraining from nine types from nine types sexual satisfaction with human or lower beings. (Pr. 177).
Akincanya-non-acquisition signifies the attitude of indifference to worldly objects. Acquisition is defined as attachment which is the root cause of all ills of life (Pr. 178). Thus a monk should not own any property which will cause greediness in him. Thus non-possession is considered to be the greatest virtue.
The conception of Anupreksa is one of the most important religious topics which plays a very important role in Jainism. This principle is recognized right from the age of the Agamas to the present day literature as a potent agency for the stoppage of the karmic influx and shedding of Karmas. Anupreksas are twelve in number, and practically cover all the important principles and cardinal teachings of Jainism. These Anupreksas are also called pure Bhavanas. The term Bhavana, practically takes place of Anupreksa in Prasamarati (Pr. 150).
These are repeated reflections on the right principles, which serve as a ladder to reach the abode of liberation. The object of these Bhavanas or Anupreksas is to inculcate a spirit of detachment and renunciation. They serve as the starting point of meditation. Sthananga and Uttaradhayana sutras treat Anupreksa as either a kind of dhyana or Svadhyana.56 Tattvarthasutra mentions Anupreska as an agency of Samvara-stoppage of karmic influx.57 It is understood as repeated study of Scriptures. Pujyapada in his Sarvarthasiddhi58 defines it as pondering on the nature of body and other substances. Siddhasenagani defines it as repeated reflaction.59 According to Kartikeyanupreksa it means reflections on the right principles.60 Subhacandra commenting on Kartikeyanupreksa says that it is repeated reflection on important nature of worldly things.61
Thus, Bhavanas or Anupreksas are understood as repeated reflections on twelve principles which lead a monk to a state of Virati-renunciation of attachment to worldly pleasures. This conception of Bhavana is considered as a very important religious principle, and the author of Prasamarati devotes 14 verses to enumerate the principle of Bhavana. (Pr. 149-162).
They are as follows:
(1) The transient character of things (anityatva-bhavana),
(2) Helplessness (Asaranattva),
(3) Loneliness (ekatva),
(4) Separateness of the self and non-self (anyatva),
(5) Impurity of the body (asucitva),
(6) Transmigratios (samsara),
(7) Inflow of Karmas (karmasrava),
(8) Stoppage of the inflow of karmas (Samvara),
(9) Shedding of the stock of Karmas (nirjarana),
(10) Constitution of the universe (lokavistara),
(11) Nature of Law (Dharma) and
(12) Difficulty in attaining Right faith (bodhisuduraabhata).
These Bhavanas are explained in the following manner : The monk has to reflect on the impermanent nature of the world (anityatva). In this world, union with beloved people, prosperity, pleasures and accessories, wealth, health, physical gift, youth and even life itself are all transitory. The Jiva is pestred by birth, old age, death, pain and pleasure. Fro this tormenting samsaric Jiva there is no saviour except words of Jinas (asaranatva). Reflection on ekatvabhavana is that the individual Jiva is all alone while being born and alone when man dies. One has to reap fruits of ones own actions good or bad, one alone has to take birth in the lower or higher world, no one else accompanies one to the next world. Thus a monk should reflect on ones own welfare. Anyatvabhavana is that the monk has to think that pure self is separate from the body, senses, relatives, servants and worldly riches. This kind of reflection leads to a state of grieflessness.
Asucitvabhavana consists in reflecting on impurity of body. The body itself is made out of impure stuff and it is a dwelling place of impurity. Thus reflecting upon this principle, one should relinquish attachment for the body. The monk has to reflect on repeated births and deaths (samsara). The soul during the range of beginningless time has suffered many births and deaths. The same, single soul plays different roles in different births, becoming, mother, daughter, sister and wife and the same Jiva also takes the form of a son, father, brother and even ones own enemy. Thus realizing that the nature of the samsara is such, one should meditate on the true nature of the soul whereby there would be an end to transmigration.
Asravabhavana consists in reflecting on the root cause of karmic influx. Wrong belief, want to control, negligence four fundamental passions, and psycho-physical activities of mind, speech and body, lead to karmic influx and bondage of the soul. Reflection on these root causes of karmie inflow, the monk has to try to stop this inflow of karmic matter. Reflection on stoppage of influx of Karma is known as Samvarabhavana. The monk has to reflect on the process of stoppage of inflow of karmic matter through controlling the activities of mind, speech and body which are the main causes of karmic inflow through good and bad deeds, and cultivation of the habit of carefulness, observance of work. Reflection on the accumulated Karmas is known as nirjarabhavana. Rigorous penance is the main cause of eradication of stock of Karmas. Meditation on the form, material and nature of the world, one should reflect on the expansion (lokavistara) of the Universe which is constituted by the upper, middle and the lower regions. The monk has to contemplate on the fact that, he has been born repeatedly in different regions reaping the consequences of ones own actions. Repeated reflection on this principle, destroys the worldy attachment and eradicates the stock of Karma. Reflection upon the religious virtues, (which are the main cause of destroying Karma and means of liberation) is called Dharmasvakhyatabhavana. This path of Dharma is preached by Jinas for the benefit of mundane souls. The monk who meditates on these religious virtues crosses the ocean of Samsara. Reflection on the difficult task of attaining Right faith is called Durlabhabodhibhavana. It is very difficult to have birth among the human beings. Even after that, obtaining birth in a good family, favorable country, long life with physical perfection, good faith, teacher and Scriptural study, which are rarities among the rarities, still one may find it very difficult to attain perfect knowledge. So one should concentrate respectfully on the cultivation of faith, knowledge and conduct which lead to liberation.
It is very clear that these Bhavanas serve as potent factors leading to spiritual development. The monk reflecting on these principles, realizes the transitory nature of the worldly things. This idea automatically reduces monks attachment to worldly objects. Then he tries to obtain permanent happiness directing his attention to practice and observance of religious disciplines and vows, which alone is the sole means of liberation. Dhyana-meditation: Process of meditation, like other systems of Indian schools of thought occupies the most important position in the scheme of Jaina ethics. The conception of Meditation (Dhyana) differes from one system to another, but they all recognize the importance of meditation.
Meditation is considered one of the most important internal austerities to be performed by a Jaina monk. This is the supreme means of self-realization. Dhyana means concentration of mind on a particular object.62 Dhyana may be auspicious or inauspicious. On this basis it has been classified under the four heads; Arta, Rudra, Dharma and Sukla. First two are inauspicious, cause of human bondage and the latter are auspicious, chief means of self-realization.
Artadhyana is constantly thinking on the separation of beloved person (istaviyoga), loss of an object of desire, the association with an undesirable thing or person (anistasamyoga), bodily suffering (vedanajanita) and envy (nidanajanita). This kind of dhyana is the result of three inauspicious Lesyas (black, blue and grey). This dhyana, though agreeable in the beginning, yields bad result in the end. Rudradhyana is considered to be the worst kind of dhyana. It is the absorption of the mind in himsa and other forms of sin, and delighting in acts of cruelty, falsehood, theft ad the hoarding of wealth. These two kinds of dhyana are obstacles in the way of self-realization, thus known as inauspicious (aprasasta) dhyanas and so they are to be avoided.
Dharmadhyana is the instrument in developing knowledge of the pure self and of engendering the spirit of non-attachment (Pr. 245). It is contemplation on such an object which assists the attainment of liberation from bondage of Karmas. This is divided into four63 kinds: Ajnavicaya, Apayavicaya, Vipakavicaya and Samsthanavicaya. Meditation on the right meaning of Scriptures, taught by Jinas is known as Ajnavicaya (Pr. 247) and contemplation on the cause of asrava-inflow of Karmas, result of worldly pleasures, hardships, as obstacles in the way of liberation is Apayavicaya. It is repeated reflection over the adequate ways and means of liberating the soul from the clutches of worldly suffering caused by perverted belief, knowledge and conduct, and also contemplation on the means of ascending the ladder of spiritual advancement. Meditation on the effects of auspicious and inauspicious Karmas is known as Vipakavicaya(248). Samsthanavicaya means meditation on the nature of substances and form of the universe. This kind of dhyana helps the aspirant to realize his position in the universe and inspires the individual for meditation. These four kinds of dharmadhyanas prepare a suitable ground for sukladhyana a higher type of meditation.
Sukladhyana is advanced stage of meditation. It implies pure self-contemplation in the highest sense. It is called Sukla, because it emerges when the filth of passions has been destroyed or has subsided. It is also of four kinds: Prthaktva-vitraka-vicara, ekatva-vitarkavicara, suksmakriya-pratipati and vigatakriya-nivrtti64. In the prathaktva-vitarka-vicara state of meditation all the three types of activities of mind, speech and body continue and the aspirant shifts his meditation from one kind of activity to another, from one substance to another and from one modification to another. In the ekatva-vitarkavicara only one of the three yogas (activities) persists and there is no shifting from one object of thinking to another. In this state of meditation, oneness displaces manyness. In this state the monk meditates on one substance, or on atom, or modification of substance with the assistance of only one kind of yoga. These two types of sukladhyana are performed by spiritual well-advanced monks to obtain the state of Kevalajnana.
The yogi or a monk, conquering attachment and aversion, unaffected by wordly gain and loss, obtaines Yathakhyatacaritra. Then practicing these two kinds of sukladhyana he roots out the deludingkarmas (mohaniya) which are the root cause of karmic bondage and cycle of births and deaths (Pr.257-8). Umasvati beautifully describes the process of destruction of mohaniya Karmas, in the following manner : In the first stage (monk) reduces the four kinds of passions which are known as anantanubandhi kasaya (which were existing upto this time from beginningless time. When he reaches the first two kinds of Sukladhyana he can destroy) then in the second stage, he annihilates mithyatva mohaniyakarma Which is the root cause of complete wrong belief and in the third misramohaniya or samyaktva-mithyatva which is mixture of some degree of wrong belief and some of truth. In the fourth he destroys samyaktva, mohaniya, which covers the right faith and truth due to udaya (rise) of pure mohaniyakarma. In the fifth and sixth stages he annihilates apratyakhyaniya (which hinders partial self-discipline) and pratyakhyaniya (which obstructs complete renunciation) passions (8 kinds of), respectively. Again in the seventh stage, he destroys the neuter sex passions; and female sex passions in the eigntth. In the ninth stage joking, liking, disliking, sorrow, fear and disgust are annihilated, in the tenth, follows the destruction of the male sex-passions and of the sanjvalana passions-anger, pride and deceit and sanjvalana greed respectively. After this he reachas the highest stage (12th) in the series, I. e. the state of non-attachment (vitaragata). In this stage mohaniya Karmas are completely destroyed. This is known as chadmastha vitaraga stage. After remaining an antarmuhurta in this stage simultaneously, destroying two types of abscuring Karmas (jnanavarana and Darsanavarana) and power hindering Karmas (antaraya) and attains infinite, glorious, incomparable, excellent, un-obstructed (or undisturbed) state of perfect knowledge (Kevalajnana) and becomes omniscient without fail (Pr. 267-8). This stage is known as the stage of Sayogikevali characterized by the total destruction of the four kinds of Ghatiya Karmas (jnanavaraniya, darasanavaraniya, mohaniya and antaraya). He becomes knower of all things, past, present and future (Pr.269). This is known as Sayogikevali state since, it is accompanied by psychophysical activities (yoga and Kevalajnana (Omniscience). Due to the existence of aghati-karmas, viz., feeling, age-determining, name-determining, and family determining, the soul has association with body. But the Kevali is not affected by any type of actions and passions. He performs the dispassionate vocal, and physical activities which cannot affect him. The Kevali wonders for some time on earth, preaching right way for the benefit of common mass and then prepares for the final bodiless liberation (Fr. 271). In case, if feelingdetermining, name-determining and family-determining Karmas exceed age-determing Karma, they are brought in line with the age-determining Karma by means of Samudghata-the process known as Kevali-samudghata (Pr. 272). Samudghata is performed by a Kevali to equalize the duration of all the four aghatiya Karmas. Eight Samayas (=minutest part of time) are required to perform Samudghata. The process of Samudghata is like this : The Kevali, when he resorts to Samudghata in the first Samaya he emanates the pradesas of his soul, and turns them into a mace (danda) which touches both the upper and lower ends of the Universe (loka). In the second samaya, he converts this mace into a door (kapata) which is long eastwards and westwards. In the third samaya he constructs a churning stick (manthana) by extending the pradesas of the soul employed in the creation of this door into north and south directions. In the fourth samaya, he fills in the gaps therein and thereby prevades the entire universe (Lokavyapi). In this manner, In these four samayas the Kevali equalizes the four aghati Karmas. Then, in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth he restores the pradesas of the soul used for filling gaps, for creating churning stick, the door and the mace. Then his pradesas of the soul pervade his normal body (Pr. 273-4).
After retiring from Samudghata, the Kevali proceeds to annihilate activities of mind, speech ad body (Yoganirodha, Pr. 277). First, he annihilates gross and subtle activities of mind. Then stops, subtle as well as gross vocal activities. Then he engages himself in the third type of sukladhyana-Suksmakriyapratipati where only the subtle physical activities remain and al type of mental, vocal and gross physical activities ease. Then he stops subtle physical activities also. After that, the Kevali enters the vigatakriyanivrtti-state of dhyana in which all activities are stopped(Pr. 280). The soul is reduced to three fourth of its previous volume as a result of this process of yoganirodha (Pr. 281). The soul shines in its intrinsic luster, all Karmas exhaust and the Kevali reaches the state of sailesi (motionless state), in the time taken for pronouncing five small letters (Pr. 283). In this state he destroys even the smallest germs of karmic particles and simultaneously annihilates, ayu, vedaniya, nama and gotra Karmas, throws up his body, and goes stright above, reaching the top of the universe he obtains Siddhahood.
It is clear that the whole set of ethical disciplines is prescribed as the means of liberation. The aspirant who devotes himself in observing these vows, rules of conduct, penance and dhyana, slowly eradicates his passions, destroys the ghatikarmas and obtains liberation while yet alive. He enjoys the liberated state while in the embodied state. He is ideal saint, teacher and guide to the society. Here, Jainism shows the ideal way of life. And finally, when the force of age-determining Karma (ayuhkarma) which holds the body and soul together is exhausted, he throws up his body and immediately goes upwards, ascends to the Siddhasila, to reside there for ever free from the karmic bondage and beyond the suffering of transmigration. This is called final liberation or moksa.