Twelve special rules of conduct
The twelve special rules, which were referred to as one of the things done by a person practicing a moderate degree of self-control are the following:
It is the means of becoming what we are potentially, that is, the present subject in hand; these special rules are one of these means. We are injurious beings, we are to become non-injurious beings. These rules help to that end.
The Sanskrit word for these twelve rules is “vrata“. It is derived from “vr“, which means to select, or choose; so, literally, the word “vrata” means a kind of choice. In the technical or idiomatic sense in which the word is here used, however, there is also the meaning of 1) choosing a right course of conduct, 2) exercising the judgment to see what is the right course out of several possible courses, and 3) the effort of will implied (conation).
As it is persons of the fifth stage of development that are now in consideration, who are in the right attitude of mind towards life and truth, the selection which they will make will be a right and proper one – persons in a state of delusion and who dislike truth, will not choose the path of rectitude.
The choosing of a right course of conduct from among many ways, necessitates the exercise of judgment and discrimination.
And, as doing this, is not following the path of least resistance, or living a life where no such choice is made, there is an effort of will (“virya“) or conation.
So, there are the above three meanings to this word “vrata“, as technically used here.
The choice is a very strict matter, requiring the exercise of much care. And the idea is peculiarly Jain; there is no oath to a superior, or to a Deity. Neither is it a decree or command, issued by a Deity to his subjects or creatures. The vedic idea of a “vrata” is very different.
These twelve special rules or vows may be divided into three class; the first five vows are called “lesser” vows, as compared with the more strict vows of the monk. the next three vows (gunavrata) are of a kind which helps or supports the first five. And the last four vows are disciplinary (siksavrata); the practice of them forms a sort of preparation for the monk life.
FIRST VOW (Sthula-Prantipat-Viramana Vrata)
It is a vow to refrain from killing or destroying life but not in a literal or strict sense.
We need to know what killing is – seeing that the soul cannot be destroyed; and we need to know what particular kinds or forms of killing shall be refrained from.
WHAT IS KILLING?
It is separating the life forces through negligent activities.
Negligent activates are those which take place when we are in a state in which we cannot use care and caution. The term “negligent” is used here in a technical sense. When a person is in any of the following five states, he does not exercise care and caution, and his activities, when in these states, are here called negligent. Pride, through which a person kills; it implies arrogance, and is a state in which the person ignores the rights of others. The second is any sense-pleasure, which leads to killing (visaya). The third would be intense passion, in which state the reason is lost or put aside, as in wrath and anger; also intense greed, also deceit. The fourth is sleep; we cannot exercise care and caution when asleep. And the fifth kind of negligent activity, through which we may separate the life forces of a living being, is undesirable conversation which leads to passion, lust, or excitement of the mind, thence to killing, as in duels, and rows.
Destroying life means separating the life forces through these negligent activities. Now, with regard to what life forces are. The life forces are the power and means of being able to touch, i.e., the sense of touch, of taste, smell, seeing, and hearing; bodily force, force of speech, force of mind, capacity of respiration, and duration of life.
Different living beings have different numbers of these ten forces. Beings with only one organ of sense, the skin or surface, have only four out of these ten forces, viz., the sense of touch, force of body, respiration, and duration of life (ayuh). Vegetables, trees, plants, water, air, earth, and fire beings have these four life forces.
Beings, with only two of the senses, have six life forces, viz., touch, taste, force of body, force of speech, – they have a means of communicating among themselves,- capacity of respiration, and duration of life. Protozoa, and hell beings.
Beings, with only three senses, have the same six with the addition of smell, making seven life forces. Lice, bugs, ants.
Beings, with only four senses, have the same seven forces, with the addition of eyesight, making eight. Wasps, bees, scorpions.
Beings, with nine life forces, have the same eight, with the addition of the sense of hearing. These beings with five senses and no mind, are very minute.
Beings, with ten life forces, have the same nine, with the addition of the force of mind, making ten. Men, fish, birds, animals.
Thus we see the order in which the five senses are developed. A being, with only two senses, never has only hearing, with touch, for instance.
So, when we are in any state in which we do not exercise care and caution, and in that state we tear asunder (to pieces) any of these life forces, then we kill. This can be done also in the hell state, only the forces come together again after separation; the pain of the separation is felt.
The next thing to know is, which particular forms of killing can be refrained from by the persons in this fifth stage of development, because he cannot refrain from all forms. The various ways in which life is destroyed, can be learned by observation of people’s conduct; but a few may be mentioned here:
Hunting, shooting and fishing.
For dress: Skins, feathers, etc.
For food: fish, game, meat, etc.
For private revenge.
For so-called religious purposes: sacrifices, for instance.
Insects, flies, etc., because we think they trouble us.
It may be added here that, according to the Jain view, a king may fight in self-defense, as will be seen later on, under the first vow.
If we analyst the state of mind of a person who is hunting for sport, we find three factors,
an absence of thought of the pain and harm he is inflicting on the innocent creatures;
he is entirely taken up with his own pleasure;
he has no feeling for the pain and suffering of the animals. Thus we find thoughtlessness, selfishness, and heartlessness.
Vivisection is done to gain certain physiological knowledge. We have no right to gain knowledge at the expense of other living beings, and further, our lack of knowledge is due to some unnatural activities in us (karma), and if we remove it, we shall have the knowledge, without injuring the living beings; and injuring these in vivisection is not the way to remove the knowledge-obscuring “Karma“. In the Jain idea of morality, relations with all living beings are considered, and not merely relationships with man.
Now, from the point of view of the protection a layman can afford to life, living beings can be divided into:
Those that can move from place to place.
Stationary living beings, such as trees, vegetables, etc.
The layman cannot take a vow to remain from killing the latter. And to compare the protection to life afforded by a layman with that afforded by a monk, we may represent full protection by the number 16, so in this first division the layman’s protection covers, roughly speaking, only half the living beings, and can therefore be represented by the figure 8.
Now, taking moving living beings, how much protection can the layman give to these? There is destroying them with determined intention, where he thinks, “I want to kill them, and I am killing them.” There is killing them in household and personal matters, cooking, digging, foundations, etc. The layman cannot refrain from the later kind, and so, again, the protection he can afford to living being is reduced to 4.
How much can he avoid killing moving living beings with determined intention? These may be either innocent or guilty, so far as the layman’s interests are concerned. He cannot say he will not kill the guilty ones. A lion, if he attacks you, is guilty; so is a burglar. Again, the figure is reduced to 2.
Therefore, disregarding the guilty, we must consider only the innocent. Men, when they kill innocent living beings intentionally, do so either without a necessary cause, or else for a special necessary cause. The layman cannot undertake to refrain from the intentional killing of innocent beings, when there is a necessary cause for doing it. So, again, the figure is halved, and the protection which a layman can undertake to afford to life is, in comparison with that afforded by the monk, as 1 is to 16.
The layman, then, can undertake to refrain from intentionally killing innocent moving living beings, when he has no necessary cause for killing them. So the first vow of the layman would be : I shall not without a necessary purpose kill with determined intention a moving living being when it is innocent.
Virtues and vices are states of the individual, and can never be transmitted or transferred from one person to another. Each person develops his own state of virtue, just as he develops his own knowledge. We cannot impart virtue; we cannot impart knowledge. By talking to a person, we supply the means whereby he can develop knowledge.
PARTIAL TRANSGRESSIONS OF THE FIRST VOW
As was the case with the thirty-five rules of conduct, so with these twelve special rules, the practice of them is internal as well as external; and in the partial transgressions given below, it is the internal practice of the rules that is broken, while in the external way the rule or vow is not broken. In all these vows, the chief ideas are partial self-control, and love, and in the partial transgressions, now to be given, this self-control and kindliness are absent.
Angrily or carelessly tying up an animal or a human being. When tying up is absolutely necessary, it should be done so that in case of fire the animal can quickly be undone, and the human being can undo himself. As a matter of fact, the Jain philosophy teaches that a person who practices these vows, ought not to keep such animals as have to be tied up.
Unnecessarily striking or beating or whipping; or doing so on a delicate or tender part of the body.
Cutting or piercing, without a necessary cause. Docking horses’ tails would come under this heading.
Overloading an animal or person, through greed or any reason but extreme necessity.
Withholding food or drink, without a real necessary reason.
There are other ways in which this first vow may be partially transgressed, but the above five ways are given as illustrations.
It is the opinion of the Jain Philosophy that the result of the observance of this vow is good health, a strong body, and a strong constitution in the future life. No separation from friends, relatives, or parents. There would be happiness, the legitimate pleasures of life, comforts, long life; he will have a good name, handsome features, and an enjoyable youth.
The results of killing would be the opposite of these things, such as lameness, some incurable disease, separation from friends and relatives, sorrow, short life, and after that, an incarnation in a low state (animal or hell).
SECOND VOW (Sthula-Mrsavada-Viramana Vrata)
Refraining from telling gross falsehoods. Falsehoods are gross, when there is an evil intention and a knowledge that the statement is false.
There are various kinds of falsehoods, for instance, those told about persons, those told about animals, about goods, ground, etc. Another kind is, when we deny the receipts of anything left with us on deposit. Another kind is the giving of false evidence, either in or out of court. These are illustrations of gross falsehoods.
Then there are the following four classes of Falsehoods, namely, the denial of a fact; the affirmation of that which does not exist; calling a thing something other than what it is; statements that are injurious to other, for instance, “Well, Mr. Blindman, how are you?” or such injunctions as “Go and steal.”
Lies and falsehoods are spoken by reason of certain states of mind; certain states of mind are forces which impel us to the speaking of falsehoods. The following are such states:
Anger; when angry, we make false statements and may tell even intentional lies.
Pride; deceitfulness; greed; false attachment; hatred or false aversion; laughing or joking; fear; any form of slavery induces fear and people who are under the control of others tell lies through fear. False politeness is a cause of falsehoods; as is also sorrow, – we ignorantly blame others, when we are in grief or sorrow.
The above causes may impel to the telling of such lies as are not possible to be avoided by the layman; it is only gross falsehoods that he undertakes to avoid.
So the vow would be something like the following: “I shall refrain from telling falsehoods about any person, animal, or thing, knowingly, and with the intention of injury to some one.” Or, ” I shall not with predetermination tell a falsehood when I am conscious of the injury it will do.” Or, simply, “I shall refrain from telling gross lies.”
And further, the vow may be taken in several ways: for instance, to observe it only in speech, or only mentally, or only bodily, or in all these ways.
Also to observe the vow, only so far as doing it oneself is concerned; or, as far as causing others to tell gross falsehoods, or, as far as consenting to the telling of falsehoods by others is concerned, or all three of these, thus making nine ways of telling gross falsehoods (three times three).
The following are illustrations of some ways in which this vow is partially transgressed:
Rashly, as distinguished from intentionally, making a false accusation; if you rashly call a man a thief when he is not, for instance.
Giving an order that is harmful to others, rashly. If done intentionally, it is breaking the vow.
Seeing two persons talking in secret, to say that you know that secret, and that they are talking against the king or officers, even though as a matter of fact, you have not heard or known their talk – backbiting.
Making a false document, when done carelessly without inquiring into the matter, is a partial transgression for those who take this vow, only so far as speech is concerned. For those who undertake to refrain from telling gross lies, a false document made intentionally is a breach of the vow.
Divulging the secrets of wife (spouse), or friend, unintentionally.
These vows are undertakings to exercise self-control and kindness, so as to refrain from injuring others; and when, as in the above transgressions, there is both rashness or carelessness of speech, and the speech is harmful to some one, then there is partial transgression, even if the actual words used are true; the vow is not fully carried out in such cases.
The results of observing this vow are that people trust you; that you accomplish your best object (otherwise you try to do something and fail); you are liked; and then there are good results which come in the future life.
THIRD VOW (Sthula-Adattadana-Viramana Vrata)
Refraining from gross forms of taking what is not given; theft.
The idea in theft is taking other people’s property, without the consent of the owner. The gross form is when the thing taken is considered by its owner to have a value, and the mild form is when the thing taken is not considered by the owner or, generally, to have any value. The mild form is not a breach of the vow, but those who take the vow should try to avoid the mild form of theft also.
The result of the observance of this vow is that you are trusted, and in that way you prosper. Also the character is developed. If the choice not to steal is not made, or if it is soiled, then the result is untrustworthiness, also there is legal punishment, also you cannot carry out your ideas on account of not being trusted. And in the future life you are dependent upon others for your maintenance, and are in a miserable state.
The following are illustrations of partial transgressions of this vow.
Giving orders to thieves to go on with their work; or supplying or manufacturing burglars’ tools.
Buying or accepting stolen property; you have possession, without the consent of the real owner, although you did not actually steal it.
Smuggling; also supplying an enemy with goods in time of war.
Using false weights and measures.
Counterfeiting, adulterating, etc.
FOURTH VOW (Sva-Dara-Santosa, Para-Dara-Viramana Vrata)
The fourth special rule for laymen is with reference to the sex passion. It is sometimes spoken of as the act of procreation; but this is not accurate, because there is not that motive, as is shown by the facts that preventatives are adopted, that the act is done in secret, more than once a year, and is acknowledged with shame. In order to show the nature of the passion, the following ten points are given:
In Dr. Nicholson’s book on Zoology it is stated that the act of procreation is very wakening to the person, bodily and mentally, and is therefore injurious.
According to the Jain philosophy (and other philosophies also), the creative fluid can be changed into a higher substance which can be used for spiritual purposes, if it is known how to change it. It gives, in fact, a strong will.
There is a special Jain teaching, which is not the teaching of any other philosophical system, that in every act of sexual intercourse nine hundred thousand living beings, very minute, of the shape of the human being, and having the five senses, but no mind, are generated and killed. This must be taken on the faith of the teaching of the “Arhat” or Master; but then he has those eighteen characteristics which were mentioned.
It is an infatuating force which obscures right belief and right action; the virtues are all set aside at the time; also is reason.
It is the opinion of the Jain philosophy that the plans, ideas, intentions, and schemes of a person, who is full of excessive passion do not bear fruit; or if they do that, it is owing to the working of “karma” or foreign energy. The mind is all the time on beautiful women.
The success of the control of nature’s finer forces that are not generally known, depends upon chastity.
The success of “mantras” (i.e. spells) also depends entirely upon chastity. It is not the vibrations of the sound (pudgala vibrating) only that give effectiveness to “mantra“; one’s mental activity, and one’s life as a whole all go to produce a compound vibration, which can be sent to and felt by a being in the higher realms. The mental state is more important than the vibrations of the sound.
There are a number of worldly disadvantages: you lose and squander your money; you lose sight of your better desires; you lose respect for your spiritual superiors; ;you lose faith in the scriptures; you cannot perform good actions; you cannot go to the ” Deva ” state after death, etc., if there is excessive indulgence.
The science of breath teaches that in every activity you have to use the force of breath, which force is measured by the number of breaths spent; and it is the subtle breath, not the ordinary breath, that is now meant.
In the state of concentration, according to the Jain teaching, if you spend four breaths, then in good thoughts you spend six; in sitting in silence, you spend ten, in speaking, twelve; in sleeping sixteen; in walking, twenty-two; and in sexual intercourse, you spend thirty-six of the subtle breaths. That is the Jain view.
The next thing, therefore, to consider is avoiding giving up this passion, 1) entirely, and 2) partially. Entire control is adopted by the monks; but the layman, practicing the moderate degree of self-control previously mentioned, is not able to avoid it entirely, and so the question arises as to the means he can adopt to avoid the passion as much as possible. The fourth vow is the means. The fourth vow is in Sanskrit “sva-dara-santosa, paradara-viramana.” There are two parts here: the first part means being satisfied with one’s own wife, the second part means not going with the wife of another. The layman may take either of these parts, or both.
He may also undertake to try and avoid speaking or thinking it and to use care in the matter of dreams. Also he may undertake not to marry again; also to exercise absolute chastity in the day time, and to try and observe the following nine rules to help him to keep the vow. They form as it were a hedge to keep one away from injury in this direction:
Living in such a way that he does not have physical contact all the time with a woman: it excites the passion. Also living in a building where there are no neuter human beings or female animals.
Not indulging in lustful conversation or stories.
Not sitting for some time where a woman sat.
Not looking at women lustfully.
Not remaining in a room with thin walls, next to one where a married couple are sleeping.
He should not bring to mind the enjoyment of former days.
Avoiding foods which excite.
Not gorging himself with even non-stimulating food.
He should not embellish (decorate) his body.
Any artificial gratification.
Giving away another person’s daughter in marriage.
Constantly looking with a lustful eye at women; also using medicine when weak.
There are also other ways of partially transgressing the vow.
Although the wording here is applied to men, the same rules applied to women hold good; to be satisfied with one’s own husband; avoiding other women’s husbands, etc.
FIFTH VOW (Sthula-Parigraha-Parimana Vrata)
Undertaking to limit one’s possessions.
It is the limitation of the desire to possess property and hence of actual possession. If this desire is uncontrolled, it is limitless. To limit the desire is to partially control it. A person may possess without desiring to possess. It is the desire for things that are not ourselves that is meant, and not desire for kind-heartedness, wisdom knowledge. The real self is different from the body, and from material things. The real self does not take on what belongs not to it, and does not give up what belongs to it by nature. The desire for possession is the false identification of the real self with material things; and as soon as this is realized, the person will begin to remove the desire by limiting the quantity of his material possessions. To satisfy the desire for possession, we have to engage in some kind of activity not natural to the pure soul, and this activity is such that foreign energies and unnatural impelling forces are generated. By limiting the desire to possess, we get contentment and steadiness.
Non-limitation is the same thing as unsteadiness; it is like the butterfly life.
These teachings have been handed down from ancient times, when property was classified in the following way; and in limiting the quantity we will possess as our own, we may use this old method of classification of things, and limit the things in each class:
Things which can be sold by number, such as melons.
Things which can be sold by weight, such as sugar, drugs.
Things which can be sold by measure, such as oil, milk.
By testing, such as gold.
Different kinds of grades of property, land, buildings, metals, animals.
If we keep as our own more than the specified quantity of the things limited, we break the vow; and subterfuges, etc., would be partial transgressions; for instance, if we keep excess grain with some one else; or make a gold ring into a tie pin, because the number of gold rings is reached.
These first five vows are the minor vows in comparison with the vow of the monk; which are called great vows, and are these same five in a strict and literal sense, no killing whatever, lying, stealing, sex passion, or property; that is, full protection to all life; true speech only; perfect honesty; absolute chastity; and no property possessed as his own; he may have a few things without any desire to possess them, as has already been mentioned.
The next three vows (gunavrata) help and support the first five.
SIXTH VOW (Dig-:arimana Vrata)
The sixth vow is the limitation of the area in which you will live, including all directions of motion, up, down, sideways, etc. It is the limitation of the distance, up to which and not beyond which you will go, or send your men.
This vow helps the first five. You proclaim to all beings, living beyond the specified area, that you will not hurt them.
By developing the faculty of psychic knowledge, we can know what is going on abroad, without actually going there.
If we transgress the limits by forgetfulness, or by accident, or by subterfuge, it is partial transgression of the vow. If we otherwise go beyond the limits, it is breaking the vow.
SEVENTH VOW (Bhogopabhoga-Parimana Vrata)
It is the limitation of the quantity of things we will use, whether it be things that can be enjoyed many times, such as furniture, pictures, persons of the opposite sex, cloths, ornaments, houses, bedding, carriages, etc., or whether it be things that can only be used once, such as cake, foods, drinks, flowers, etc. This helps the first five vows.
This vow includes the limitation of the activities we will engage in to get the things we use. So there are two divisions in this vow.
With regard to the things that we eat. If a layman can, he should use only things which are inanimate. If he cannot, then he will have to use things that are animate; but he should limit them in number, quantity, weight, etc. He should give up flesh foods; vegetables in which there are infinite lives in the one body, such as carrots, potatoes, turnips, things that grow underground; also unknown fruit, decomposed food, honey, spirits, and eating at night.
With regard to the activities that a layman should engage in, in order to obtain the things he uses, they should be faultless, sinless, but not sinless in the Christian sense; sin here means sin against one’s own soul, obstructing its virtues. If he is unable to avoid sinless businesses, then he should give up such trades as involve cruelty to animals.
Such businesses, as the following fifteen, should not be followed by those who have taken the seventh vow:
Making and selling charcoal.
Agriculture, horticulture, or gardening,
Making and selling carts, etc., or driving vehicles, belong to oneself.
Driving or plying other people’s vehicles, either as a servant, or hired.
Blasting rocks, digging mines, ploughing etc.
Ivory business, necessitating the killing of elephants.
Lac, or any similar substance. Insects get caught in it.
Liquids, for the same reason.
Milling or water-pumping; fish get killed in large quantities.
Burning or cutting green forests, fields, etc.
Drying lakes, ponds, or reservoirs; the fish are killed.
Bringing up women for immoral purposes, or animals for nay cruel purpose, in order to make money.
Eating food that contains animate beings, etc.
EIGHTH VOW (Anarthadanda-Viramana Vrata)
The Sanskrit name of this vow consists of five words the first of which is a negative; the second means profit, benefit, motive, aim, object, necessary reason, purpose, concern, etc.; the third word in the name means evils or bad effects; and the last two words mean undertaking to refrain from.
So this eighth vow is an undertaking not to incur unnecessary evils.
We bring unnecessary evils upon ourselves to no purpose, by indulging in thoughts, words, and deeds in which there is no benefit to society, to our friends, or to ourselves.
A layman cannot avoid the evils entailed by his necessary pursuits; but he can undertake to avoid the evils entailed by unnecessary pursuits and activities, such as thinking about, speaking about, or otherwise busying himself with matters that do not concern him or in which there is no benefit.
The following are some of the ways in which we do things in which there is no benefit:
Constantly fearing the loss of any of the good things we have, wealth, friends, health.
Constantly fearing that bad things which we are at present without, may come upon us -pain, poverty, disease.
Undue anxiety to get rid of disease, poverty, etc., when once they are upon us.
Undue anxiety for the future to come; craving for the enjoyment of happiness expected to come in the future.
Being glad at having killed something or somebody or approving of those who have done so.
Speaking ill of or misrepresenting others, and boasting about it.
Desiring the death of some one, in order to inherit his or her property, or cheating people and boasting about it.
Distrusting or wishing the death of others, for the sake of the safety of our own property.
Giving gratuitous advice about matters that are no concern of ours.
Lending dangerous weapons gratuitously, like guns; or implements which in their use destroy life; fishing tackle, garden tools.
Sheer carelessness of thought, word, and action, such as drinking; excessive sensuous indulgence; things done, said, or thought through extreme anger, pride, deceitfulness, or greed; excessive sleep; and also talk about matters which do not concern us, such as wars between other countries; talk about a woman’s bodily charms; about good dinners; and about kings.
By taking this eighth vow, we use a means of guarding ourselves against many evils, which we might otherwise incur to no purpose.
Gestures that arouse the sex passion (Kandarpa).
Antics (joke), tomfoolery (wisecrack) (Kautkucya).
Obtaining and keeping things that are not necessary for our worldly welfare (Bhogopabhoga Atireka).
Leaving a loaded gun, or any dangerous instrument, about (Samyukta Adhikaranata).
NINTH VOW (Samayika)
This is the first of the disciplinary vows (siksavrata). It is a vow, by observing which one gets equanimity. It consists in thinking about the permanent self; or in reading true philosophy or scriptures; or in lamenting the wrong one has done and strengthening the resolution not to repeat the wrong in future. Also revering the Master by recounting his merits. The time taken should be forty-eight consecutive minutes, predetermined and the vow should be taken to practice it a definite number of times a year, 12 times, 52 times, once a day, or some definite time.
The general idea of this vow is to sit in a certain place and read or media meditate on holy subjects, and especially to regret misdoings and resolve not to repeat them.
Misdirection of mind, speech, or body, during the time of meditation. That is, the mind, the speech, or the body must not occupy itself with other subjects than the one in hand.
Practicing the vow in a wrong place, that is, where there are insects that you might kill, while sitting or standing.
Forgetting the rites, i.e., leaving off in, say, 40 minutes, when you have determined upon 48 minutes.
TENTH VOW (Desavakasika Vrata)
It is reducing to a minimum the space in which we will move. It is undertaking to limit oneself to the space of one house, or one room for a day, once a year at least. It is the sixth vow, but more severe, in one form, it is to restrict daily our movements, according to our needs. One should not do anything which is beyond the limit specified.
Ordering things beyond the limit. Sending someone on some business beyond the limit. Making some sound to attract the attention of some one beyond the limit.
Making some sign to some one, beyond the limit, to come to you. Throwing something to a person beyond the limit, in order to attract his attention.
ELEVENTH VOW (Pausadhopavasa Vrata)
The eleventh vow is the same as the ninth, but continued for twelve or twenty-four hours, and accompanied by some fasting. By fasting we remove impurities. If the vow is taken, it must be practiced at least once a year. If food is taken at all on the day of fasting, it should not be between sunset and the following sunrise. It is usual to keep to one place, do no business, and drink nothing or eat nothing for twelve, twenty-four, forty-eight or seventy-two consecutive hours, once a week, once a month, or at least once a year.
The first of these refers more to India or any hot country it is not being particular to avoid:
killing insects by one’s clothes or one’s bedding; and
Not taking something to clear away whatever insects there may be.
Not being particular to avoid killing anything, in performing the offices of nature.
Despising the ceremony itself.
Forgetting any of the necessary things to be done in this vow.
TWELFTH VOW (Atithisamvibhaga Vrata)
“Atithisamvibhaga” vow. Atithi means a guest, and samvibhaga means to distribute, share with. the vow is an undertaking to invite some Jain monk (or, in the absence of a monk, some respectable Jain layman, or, in the absence of both, to do so in thought), on the day following the fast undertaken in the previous vow, or whenever opportunity offers, to partake of some of the food about to be eaten, without informing the guest of the vow to do this; and only the things which are partaken of by the monk should be eaten at the time. It is things which are necessary for life that are partaken of; and books; clothing, medicines, etc., as well as food, may be offered to the person invited.
This vow, if taken, must be practiced at least once a year.
Offering food with life in it to a monk; fruit for instance, not cut. After fifty minutes of being cut, fruit becomes lifeless.
Putting living things among food which is free from life: for instance, putting fresh cold water, which has life, with water that has been boiled. In the Jain belief, fresh cold water is a mass of living substance, and not merely the home of minute life or animalcule.
Giving the food, etc., in a grudging spirit, saying that something which the monk may have asked us for and which we do not wish to give, belongs to a friend.
Inviting the monk at a time which we know to be after he has taken his meal.
That is the end of twelve special rules for helping to change ourselves from what we actually are – ignorant, mistaken, weak, injurious beings-to what we potentially are, according to the teachings of those Masters who have developed their spiritual qualities to perfection and have attained omniscience in the flesh. The rules are based upon a certain foundation of character already developed-kindness of heart, self-control, desire for right knowledge, and relish for truth, the internal attitude accompanying the external visible practice of the rules. These rules bring out further knowledge, increased strength of character, greater peace of mind, sympathy, and kindness, and lead to higher levels on the way towards an everlasting, blissful, omniscience in a state of life which is natural to the real pure self, and which is open to all who wish to attain it.
It is the instrument or tool to be used in the scientific development of the character, the process of separating soul from matter. As already mentioned, it is only each individual person that can scientifically separate his own soul and the matter combined with it. The separation cannot be scientifically (or in any other way ) effected by another person. Concentration, as here meant, is a steady activity of the mind under the individual’s own control. It is work. The scientific method of developing the character is not an artificial one; and before concentration can be used for this purpose, there must be the right attitude already described. Concentration can be used for increasing our knowledge, and for improving our conduct.
In concentrating to increase our knowledge, we do not sit down and think what a thing might be or ought to be; and we cannot concentrate our mind upon a thing if we have no knowledge of it. We must get our knowledge, through the usual channels of observation and communication; all knowledge is based on the senses. The process in concentration for increasing our knowledge is analysis and then synthesis; analysis of the thing or a subject into its parts and aspects, and then putting them together mentally and thinking of the thing as one whole. There is in the process, observation, comparison, classification, generalization, inference, synthesis, and learning the relations of the thing or subject to other things in the world.
Knowledge is only right, in so far as it improves the social nature. And knowledge must not be gained at the expense of living beings, as in vivisection, for example. We have no such right. Further, knowledge is not only the perception of the object; there must be perception of the object, then desire to act in relation to it; and, finally, there must be the determination to act in relation to the object. Knowledge is not new knowledge, unless it produces some change in the life. Knowledge must be deep down in the person, perception is only on the surface.
Any comfortable position of the body may be taken while concentrating, so that there may be no consciousness of the position in which we are, or so that we may not be uneasy or strained.
An object of concentration is to realize that our real self is not our personality.
There should be preparation for concentration, the choice of some particular subject; and we should induce enthusiasm, ardor, and sincerity in the heart at the time of concentration.
In concentration, for the purpose of improving our conduct, the process is different: the subject as a whole should be brought before the mind, by remembering some particular person who had the quality we wish to develop or improve in ourselves. Also we should hear or read the works of reliable authors on the subject, and get the author’s meaning (not our own fancy) into our mind, and remember it.
That is the beginning of the process; next comes the exercise of the understanding. Retaining the essence of the whole idea, divide the subject into its parts, and, by comparison, etc., get to understand the parts, what each part is, and what it is not; then draw some conclusion as to how we can act at particular time, towards some particular person, in some particular place; it must be a particular person, and a particular act, and not general, or else it is like firing without aim.
The next faculty to be exercised is the will. We must find our motives or reasons why we should act in the way concluded. We may find ten or twenty reasons.