(Uttam Sanyam Dharma)

6 至上的自律

(Uttam Sanyam Dharma)

‘Self-restraint is the key to eternal happiness’


The word ‘Sanyam’ is derived from the root ‘yam’ with preposition ‘sam’ by the addition of suffix ‘ap’. The word ‘Sanyam’ has various meanings like check, restraint, control, prevention and mental concentration. Uttama Sanyam i.e., Supreme self-restraint is one of the ten virtues to be cultivated by a man to counteract the four passions (Kashayas) i.e., anger, pride, deceit and greed.

‘Sanyam’一词是由词根’yam’加上前缀’sam’和后缀’ap’构成,’Sanyam’具有多种含义,如检查、约束、控制、阻止以及精神集中。至上的自律是人们抑制了四种情感而培养出的一种美德,这四种情感是愤怒 、傲慢、欺骗以及贪婪。

Therefore, an aspirant for happiness is advised, “Fight with your (own) self: what is good in fighting the external foe? By conquering one’s ‘self’ by means of one’s own self, one obtains true happiness.”


It has been rightly said, “The sensual temptations of life do not attract a monk’s mind. He is firmly convinced that the pleasures secured by satisfying the senses are not only transitory but also futile. He, therefore, comes to the conclusion that man should aspire to attain the pleasure of eternal nature and for this purpose man should make strenuous efforts towards self-restraint or control of one’s senses.”


The self alone should be subdued, for it is very difficult to subdue it. It is far better that a man should subdue his self-control and austerities; rather than be subdued by others with fetters and suffer corporal punishment.


Self-restraint is the rudder of life. Just as for want of rudder a boat cannot sail across the river from one bank to the other safely and punctually. Likewise in the absence of self-restraint the boat of human life cannot sail across the ocean of the world from one seacoast to the other i.e., attain liberation or salvation. The following metaphoric statement also conveys similar ideas:

“The body is said to be the boat and the soul is said to be the sailor. The samsara i.e., the worldly existence, is said to be the ocean which is crossed only by great sages.”

A man without self-restraint has been compared to an animal:

Sanyamain bina pranri, pashuraiv na sanshay

Yogayogayam Na janati, bhaidastra kuto bhavait




Sanyamain bina pranri, pashuraiv na sanshay

Yogayogayam Na janati, bhaidastra kuto bhavait

Man devoid of self-restraint has been called an animal because without self-restraint a man cannot distinguish between right and wrong, just and unjust. So long as this living creature does not attend the school of self-restraint, he cannot develop a grand and lustrous personality. A great scholar says; ‘Good nature can fulfill the lack of beauty, but beauty cannot fulfill the lack of good nature.’


In the grand and illustrious book ‘Dhawal’ an absolute control or check on self has been termed sanyam (self-restraint) ‘samyak yamo sanyam’. The holy soul Shraman, who observes five kinds of samitis -five regulations of walking; the mode of speech; the manner of eating food; actions of taking or using and of putting away anything. He answering the call of nature -practices Samvara -stops the inflow of karmic matter into the soul by keeping the five senses under control or moving about in the world with all his senses properly controlled. He follows the three guptis -regulations of mind, speech and bodily activity for self-control with reference to controlling one’s inner nature. Finally he subdues the passions and is endowed Right Belief and Right Knowledge, is called self-restrained.

在高尚和荣耀的’Dhawal’一书中,对自我绝对的控制被称为sanyam或’samyak yamo sanyam’。高尚的灵魂Shraman,他遵守五种自律的规则—包括走路、说话、进食、取物以及弃物。他遵循本性的要求,奉行Samvara,通过自律来阻止因缘报应进入自己的灵魂 。他遵守三种戒律,即根据自己内心的本质来约束自己的思想、言语以及行为。最终,他征服了自己的情感,拥有了正确的信仰以及知识,并被称为“自律的人”。

To discard the external Parigrah -greed of worldly possessions, and internal Parigrah -freedom from evil actions in mind, speech and body; aversion for sensuous pleasures and destruction of passions have been proclaimed in general as the characteristics of a self-restrained person. Almost all scriptures define self-restraint as mentioned above.

为了去除外界的诱惑—对世间万物的贪婪,以及内心的诱惑—对自我思想 、言语以及身体的放纵,人们应当戒除对美色的喜爱并毁灭自己的情感,这就是一个自律的人所具有的普遍品质。几乎所有关于自律的书都会讲到上面这几点。

Two kinds of self-restraint viz. ‘sagar’ (with possessions) and niragar (without possession) have been stated in ‘Charit Pahud’:

Diviham sanjamcharanram sayaram teh havai nrirayaram

Sayaram saganthai parigaha rahiy khalu nrirayaram

A householder, who feels attachment towards his own possessions, is gifted with ‘sagar’ (self-restraint with possessions). A monk who is gifted with supreme non-attachment is endowed with ‘niragar’ (non-possession self-restraint). Acharya Samant Bhadra Swamy has also stated the same thing in ‘Ratankarand Shravakachar’:

Saklam vikalam chararam, tatsaklam sarvsangviratanam

Angaranram viklam, sagaranram sasanganam

‘Charit Pahud’一书中说到,自律分为两种,拥有财产的自律和无财产的自律。

Diviham sanjamcharanram sayaram teh havai nrirayaram

Sayaram saganthai parigaha rahiy khalu nrirayaram

一个信徒,如果拥有财富,那么他就是拥有财产的自律 。一个僧侣,他没有财产,他就拥有无财产的自律。Acharya Samant Bhadra Swamy在’Ratankarand Shravakachar’一书中也说了同样的事情:

Saklam vikalam chararam, tatsaklam sarvsangviratanam

Angaranram viklam, sagaranram sasanganam

Self-restraint is of two kinds based on ‘sakal charitra’ Absolute in character, and ‘vikal charitra’ Partial in character. The monks, who are free from all types of attachments practice absolute self-restraint; and the house-holders, who are attached to worldly possessions practice partial self-restraint.


In the sacred book entitled ‘Rajvartika’ Acharya Aklank Dev has put self-restraint in two categories with respect to aphrit (restricted) and upaiksha (detached). A monk who understands the logic of Time and Space; who is by nature averse towards the body; who observes the three Guptis -regulations for self-control; and who is free from the mental attitude of attachment or aversion, is holder of upeksha (detached self-restraint). ‘Aphrit’ (restricted self-restraint) is of three kinds -superb, medium and lower type.

在’Rajvartika’一书中,Acharya Aklank Dev把自律分为两类:有限制的和无限制的。僧侣能够理解时间与空间的逻辑,他们从本质上厌恶躯体,他们遵守自律的三大规则,他们已经脱离了精神上的爱恋与憎恨,他们遵循无限制的自律。有限制的自律分为三个级别:最高级的、中等的以及低级的。

The self-defense of a monk -that has independent external means viz. neat and clean shelter place, and carefully cooked restrained poor food; knowledge and character are whose main stay -from the outward beasts is superb ‘Apharat’ (restricted self-restraint). The scriptures describe the characteristics of a monk thus: ‘A monk is without any possessions, without egotism, without attachment, without vanity or conceit; he is impartial towards all living beings whether mobile or immobile.’


He, who has the desire to possess delicate, soft implements to sweep away the small beings, practices the lower type of restricted self-restraint. The same fact has been stated in the holy books like ‘Niyam Saar’ and ‘Pravachan Saar’. Only the superb type of beings practice the two types of self-restraint -‘upaiksha sanyam’ (detached self-restraint) and aphrit sanyam (restricted self-restraint). These are known as Non-attached self-restraint (vitrag sanyam) -free from all passions; and attached self-restraint (sarag sanyam) as well. Furthermore ‘aphrit sanyam’ (restricted self-restraint) has been divided into two categories:

1        Restraint on senses (Indriya sanyam)

2        Restraint in conduct towards animates beings (pranri sanyam).

一个希望拥有美丽的、柔软的床铺以去除小的寄生虫的人,奉行的是最低级别的自律。在’Niyam Saar’ 和’Pravachan Saar’俩本书中就描述了相同的事情。只有最高层次的生物才能奉行这两种自律—无限制的自律以及最高级的有限制自律。这两种自律已经脱离了所有的感情,同自律密切相关。有限制的自律还可以进一步分为两类:

1                控制自己的感官

2                控制自己对其他生物的行为

Restraint on senses -To check the five senses (sense of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing.) and the mind from indulging in sensuous pleasures is restraint on senses.

Restraint in conduct towards animate beings -To safeguard the sthavara -one sensed souls viz. earth, water, fire, wind and plants; and the trasa -many sensed souls i.e., having bodies with more than one sense organ, is known as restraint for animates.



The sense organs are five in number. They are associated with five activities -sound, color, smell, taste and touch. From time immemorial this living being by getting indulged in these five-fold pleasant things, has forgotten the eternal bliss. He has taken the sensuous pleasures as the real happiness. Therefore, he has been undergoing the pangs of birth and death again and again since long. A sieve may be filled with water, but the thirst for sensuous pleasures can never be quenched. Even then the ignorant souls spoil their worldly existence by indulging in these sensuous pleasures, and ultimately meet their doom. It has been said:

“One must always guard one’s soul from all evils, by having all the sense organs properly controlled. In case the soul is not well guarded, it takes to the wrong path leading to birth and death; while if well-controlled, it becomes free from all worldly sorrows and misery.”

Kurangmatangpatdgbhringmina hata panchbhiraiv panch

Aik pramadi sa kathamna haneytai yasaivate panchbhiraiv panch

感官有五个 ,他们同五种行为相联系—声、色、嗅、味、触。从上古时期,人们就沉溺于这五种感官的欢愉,却忘记了永恒的福祉,他们把色欲当作真正的欢乐。因此,人们从那时起就要经受生生死死的轮回。就像筛子永远装不了水一样,人们的色欲也永远不能够满足。因此,无知的灵魂沉溺于这些色欲,并最终走向了不幸。有文曾说:


Kurangmatangpatdgbhringmina hata panchbhiraiv panch

Aik pramadi sa kathamna haneytai yasaivate panchbhiraiv panch

A deer, an elephant, a fire worm, a black bee and a fish -all these five types of living beings lose their lives by indulging in one sensed pleasure. Now the question arises -‘Will not then a man who remains indulged forever in five sensed pleasures lose his life likewise? He will certainly do so.’


An elephant due to its lust for temporary pleasure of the sense of touch falls down into a deep pit allured by an artificial female elephant.

A fish allured by bait is caught in the hook of a fisherman’s catching rod being overpowered by the sense of taste and dies writhing and bearing untold agony.

A black bee is imprisoned amidst the lotus petals at sunset on becoming a slave to the sense of smell and loses its life.

A fire-worm (patanga) is drawn to the flame of a burning candle or an electric bulb being subservient to the sense of sight and meets its doom.

A deer becomes fully charmed by the melody of the flute or rhythm of music inspired by the sense of hearing, and is a victim to the arrow of the hunter.






Man is indulged in the sensuous pleasures provided to him by all the five senses day and night; therefore, he also cannot defend himself from the cruel clutches of death. The sensuous pleasures look extremely charming; but the life of a living being that is dependent on these transitory enjoyments is ultimately ruined. Those, who are drenched in lust, and engrossed in sensual pleasures blindly, will, for want of self-control be deluded. Therefore, the scriptures give us a wise counsel: “The five senses and the four passions -anger, pride, deception and greed, are all difficult to conquer; equally difficult it is to conquer one’s own self. But one, who has conquered his self, has conquered everything else in the world.”


In fact, the creeper, which takes support of the poison tree, makes a man unconscious in spite of itself being sweet in taste.

In ‘Moolardhana’ the two -restraint on senses, restraint in conduct towards animate beings have been described thus:

Panchras panchvanr dogandhai athphas satsara

Manrsa chaudasjiva indriyapanra ye sanjmo nraio



Panchras panchvanr dogandhai athphas satsara

Manrsa chaudasjiva indriyapanra ye sanjmo nraio

In this infinite universe with unknown beginning a living being has suffered sorrow and misery times without number mainly due to his tongue and the spell of the five senses. Therefore, now it is high time to subdue all of them. Even if you fail to put a check on the other sense organs, at least put reins to your tongue; because an unbridled tongue causes great sorrow or when you give a long rope to your tongue, you suffer the most.


Once a controversy arose between the tongue and the teeth. The tongue boasted saying, “O teeth! Accept my subordination; otherwise I shall vanquish you and bring all of you under my control by waging a war against you.” Being highly enraged at the challenging words of the lone tongue all the thirty-two teeth spoke unitedly, “First, you are very tender; and secondly you are lone. Can you defeat us by fighting under these circumstances? It is quite impossible.” The tongue at once retorted, “Nay! Today I shall give you a tough fight all alone.” Ultimately a fight started between the tongue and teeth. The tongue uttered a reproachful word to a pedestrian passing by. At this the pedestrian struck such a blow of stick in the face of the ill-spoken tongued person that all his teeth cracked and fell to the ground. Therefore, if we put the tongue alone under restraint, all other senses will remain safe. During conversation we should speak with utmost restraint and care. It is good to be cautious while we speak. It is a well-known saying -‘Think before you speak’.

一次,舌头和牙齿之间发生了争吵。舌头自夸到,牙齿啊,你就老老实实地待在我下面吧,不然的话我就会跟你发生一场战争并且征服你。听到这些挑衅的话之后,牙齿十分生气,三十二颗牙齿齐声说到,首先,我们是十分温和的,其次,你只有自己,在这种情况下你怎么能够打败我们呢?这绝对不可能。舌头马上反驳说,今天我就要独自同你们作战。最后,一场舌头与牙齿之间的战斗开始了。于是,舌头就对一个路人口出恶言,路人就一拳向舌头打过来,所有的牙齿都被打下,掉在了地上。因此,如果我们对自己的舌头严加控制的话,其他的感官也会安全。说话的时候要谨慎,有句谚语说到,说话之前要思考一下 。

The acharyas have compared mind with an unharnessed horse; because for want of proper training in self-restraint, an unbridled horse is killed in the battlefield along with its master. The main reason of its death is lack of self-restraint. Likewise, if we do not train the mind in self-restraint, it will lead us to the dark well of sensual pleasures and drop us there. Then it will be very difficult for us to come out of the well. Those who want to get rid of this situation should constantly reflect on the twelve religious topics (anuprakshain) to restrain their mind. They should remain engaged in self-study and invariably keep away from the sensuous pleasures. Only such per