Lessons for juniors(5)


Samayik is one of the most important ritual practice of Jainism during which we try to come closer to our soul. During samayik, we sit down in one place for forty-eight minutes isolating ourselves from our daily household, social, business, or school activities. In this time, we read religious books, pray, worship, recite rosary, or do meditation. Before starting samayik, we remove our regular clothes and wear simple, but clean white cotton clothes which are kept for samayik only. We do not wear silk clothes or any leather articles which involves much violence to bugs or animals. White is the symbol of purity and calmness and that reminds us that we should stay pure and calm.

Some of the items we need during samayik are an asan, muhapati, rajoharan, ghadi, anupurvi, rosary and religious books that will help us to carry out some religious activities. After cleaning the ground with rajoharan, the asan is spread to sit. A muhapati is used to cover the mouth. Some people tie it to cover their mouth, while others hold it in their hand and use it to cover their mouth while speaking. A muhapati prevents small organisms from entering the mouth. It also becomes a buffer so that force of our voice and the hot air from our mouths would not kill many air beings. A muhapati also prevents spit falling on books. It also serves as a reminder to us that we should control what we say to others. A rajoharan is a kind of broom made of fine cotton or woolen threads used to clean the floor, and also to keep away the bugs coming towards us, so that they do not get hurt. If for some reason someone has to walk during a Samayik then the rajoharan is used to wipe the floor so that no bugs are crushed. A ghadi is a type of hourglass which helps us to know the time of 48 minutes. During the samayik some people read religious books, while others may recite Navkar mantra with the rosary or with the help of anupurvi or some may do mediation.

During samayik, we should not talk or think of anything that involves any level of violence. Therefore, before starting a samayik we should stop our business activities, family affairs, and other matters, so that we do not get disturbed. We should inform our friends and family members to leave us alone from these matters during this time. During the samayik we should not discuss, read or talk about sensual things, or things related to the worldly things. During the samayik, our movements also should be limited so that we can observe ahimsa (non-violence) more easily. We should select a quiet, isolated place so that we are not disturbed by events going on around us. Because of such a detached atmosphere, and since we do not get involved in any worldly things for 48 minutes of samayik, we are like sadhus who live a detached life all throughout the life. Thus, this practice gives us some glimpse of monkshood and leads us in that direction.

Just as we have to be careful about how we drive to avoid an accident, or get a speeding ticket, in the same way we have to be careful that we do not run into any trouble while performing our samayik. If we are careful then we can violate samayik by our mental, verbal and physical activities. There are ten mental violations: 1) to be disrespectful, 2) to be greedy for fame, 3) to be greedy for gains, 4) to be proud, 5) to be in fear, 6) to expect the rewards, 7) to doubt the rewards, 8) to be in anger, 9) to be rude, and 10) to despise. There are ten verbal violations: 1) to use an abusive words, 2) to use alarming words, 3) to say non-religious words, 4) to speak inadequate, 5) to use words to incite fight, 6) to gossip, 7) to make fun, 8) to pronounce improperly, 9) to use irrational words, and 10) to jargon. There are twelve physical violations: 1) to sit at an unsuitable place, 2) not to sit steady, 3) to walk every now and then, 4) doing home work, 5) to stretch the body, 6) to lean against a support, 7) being lazy, 8) cracking knuckles, 9) to clean body dirt, 10) to scratch body, 11) to make vulgar postures, and 12) to sleep. Though it may look difficult, it is not impossible to do samayik the right way.

This way samayik helps us in preventing the accumulation of new karmas and the penance we do during samayik helps us to remove some of our accumulated karmas.