The Great Festival of Ten Virtues

Jinesh -Vinod, will you come with me to the temple ?

Vinod  No, intend to go to the picture today.

Jinesh -Why ?

Vinod– Because I am somewhat disturbed today. There will be some merrymaking there.

Jinesh-Ah, you are out to find peace in the pictures? Cinema is conducive to attachments and aversions, leading to unhappiness. Daslakshan festival has also begun. These are days of religious engagements. During these days people engage themselves in spiritual reflections, prayers, fasting and other observances of religious nature, and spend the whole day in self-study and discussion of the nature of the fundamentals. Generally, the purpose of each religious festival is to develop feelings of detachment from worldly affairs, but this festival is particularly meant for meditation of the attributes of the soul.

Festival means an auspicious time, a holy occasion. In reality, rise of the feelings of detachment with faith in the nature of the soul is real observance of the festival, because that is instrumental to the complete liberation of the soul, which, in itself, is a holy occasion.

Being connected with the ten virtues of supreme forbearance etc., this is called the great festival of ten virtues (Dashlakshan Parva).

Vinod – What is this religion of ten virtues?

Jinesh-Having perfect faith in the self, to develop supreme conduct and thus engaging in its pursuit in ten ways is the religion of ten virtues. These ten virtues are supreme forbearance, supreme modesty, supreme straightforwardness, supreme contentment, supreme truth, supreme self-restraint, supreme austerity, supreme renunciation, supreme possessionlessness and supreme celibacy.

Vinod-Kindly explain these ten virtues more clearly.

Jinesh-Yes, please listen to me. In the absence of the intensest type of passion, which leads to infinite bondage and births, and obstructs self-realisation and the other two of some lesser intensity, the sentient monks develop a pure state of conduct. From the real perspective that purity means acquisition of ten virtues of supreme forbearance etc., and the feelings of merit for the observance of these ten virtues, that arise in the minds of the monks are conventional virtues, which lead to merit. The word ‘supreme’ indicates the presence of right faith.

Intrinsically, with the support of the eternal forbearance minded supreme soul, to abjure the intensest type of anger of the first three categories in the line of passions is supreme forbearance.

In the event of slander and injury to the body and other undesirable associations not to be overpowered by sinful anger, but to maintain supreme forbearance on all such occasions is conventional forbearance.

Likewise, intrinsically with the support of the eternally modesty minded pure soul, to abjure the intensest type of pride of the first three categories in the line of passions, is supreme modesty. The accompanying conventional modesty consists in not having eight types of pride, that develop due to high caste etc. and to have merit of modesty in our behaviour.

Vinod – And straight-forwardness ?

Jinesh – Intrinsically, with the support of the eternally straight-forwardness minded pure soul, to abjure the intensest type of deceitfulness of the first three categories in the line of passions, is supreme straight-forwardness. The accompanying conventional straightforwardness consists in having merits of sincere simplicity, abandoning demerits of deceit and dishonesty.

Likewise, real supreme contentment consists in abjuring the intensest type of greed of the first three categories in the line of passions by taking refuge in the supreme contentment minded self, and the accompanying conventional contentment consists in complete avoidance of avarice and developing the highest type of contentment in day-to-day behaviour.

Vinod-Does supreme truth mean speaking the truth?

Jinesh-Speech is the modification of matter which has no religion sense. The purity of our being that comes with the support of our eternal sentient soul, having abjured the three stages of the intensest type of passions, is real supreme truth and our accompanying leanings towards speaking the truth in our day-to-day behaviour is conventional truth.

In the same manner, supreme self-restraint consists in the absence of the three stages of the intensest type of passions and the consequent purity of our being, and the conventional self-restraint consists in complete abjurement of violence and other sins and control of the five senses in fitness with the state of monkhood.

Vinod-You have made things very clear. If you have time, please explain these more explicitly.

Jinesh-I have no time at present. I have to go to attend the discourse, we have lectures on ten virtues every evening. You can come there and understand these virtues in all their perspectives. I have to tell you briefly about austerity and renunciation etc.

The purity of the soul as a consequence of the absence of the three passions, with the support of the eternal sentient soul, is real supreme austerity and the accompanying observances of fast etc., being meritorious, are conventional austerity.

The purity of the soul that materialises with the complete absence of the three types of passions with the support of our eternal sentient being, is supreme renunciation, and the meritorious inclinations of charity etc.,which accompany such state of the soul are called conventional renunciation.

In the same manner, the purity of the soul consequent upon the abandoning of three passions with our adherence to the eternal supreme being, is supreme possessionlessness and the accompanying meritorious desire to renounce the worldly possessions is conventional possessionlessness.

Real celibacy consists in indulging, enjoying and merging our self with the eternally happiness incarnate soul, and the accompanying abandoning indulgence in women etc., is conventional celibacy.

Vinod-What is the difference between the real and the conventional virtues ?

Jinesh-The real religion consists of the ten virtues of supreme forbearance etc., which are instrumental to the obstruction of influx and partial and complete shedding of the bondage of the soul, and the meritorious following of forbearance etc., is conventional religion, that leads to merit bondage.

Vinod-The real and conventional ten virtues of supreme forbearance etc. discussed above, are for the monks. What about us?

Jinesh-Religion is one for everybody. It is a different matter that the monks abjure the three grades of intense passions by their supreme effort and acquire consequent purity of the soul, and the householders, in accordance with their background, abandon one or two such passions only and achieve partial purity of the self.

Dr. H.C. Bharill