The Lay Adherent (Sravaka)

111. The Householder (Sravaka or Sramanopasaka) is one who listens the Dharma with full faith from Acarayas and Paramesthis. He is one whose sins flow away from him (sravanti yasya papani ). He is also called Agari or Sagari because he stays in the house. He prepares himself gradually and steadily to renounce the world with right faith by observing the rules prescribed and then fulfils the responsibilities for the welfare of the family, ascetics, society, nation and mankind. The Upasakadasanga, Sravakaprajnapti, Ratnakarandasravakacara, Vasunandi Sravakacara, Sagaradharmamrita, and so many other Jain Texts explained much on the characteristics of laity. Some of the important attributes of the householder may be mentioned as follows: – observation of non-violence, compassion, legitimate earning, hospitality, refraining from unnecessary criticism of Government, keeping good accompany, paying respect to parents, service of people, observing religious preaching, firm in conduct, right character, gratefulness, generosity, being afraid of sin, meditation, celibacy, no food at night, refusal of food with life, giving up possessions, honesty, appreciating conduct, life and activities of spiritually advanced people, avoiding expenditures exceeding income and so on. Such rules make life pleasant. These attributes consider the ecology and indispensable part of spirituality and life as well. Possessed of such qualities the votary will reform not only himself but also his society. The spiritual status of the Householder is decided on his performance as Jaghanya, Madhyama, and Utkrasta or Paksika, Naisthika and Sadhaka. 1. Paksika Sravaka

112. Paksika Sravaka is he who has an inclination (Paksa) towards Ahimsa. This is the first spiritual status of the Jain laity in which he first takes the vow with right faith not to eat meat, not to drink alcohol or wine and not to relish honey or any of the five kinds of figs containing souls. These are called Mulagunas. Then he desists from injury, falsehood, stealing, unchastely, and attachment to wealth. The Paksika Sravaka also takes the vow not to indulge in seven types of obnoxious habits (Vyasanas), which make the life disastrous. They are gambling and betting, meat-eating, alcoholic drink, prostitution, hunting, stealing, and sexual intercourse with another’s wife or husband. These are the addictions, which make a hell of an addict’s life. Addiction is the deep muddy pit overgrows with enticing vegetation and verdure.

113. He should also not be indulged in violence-carrying professions. Asadhara enumerated fifteen types of such professions ( Karmadana) in the Sagaradharmamrta (v.21-23): I) livelihood from charcoal (Angarakarman), 2) livelihood from destroying plants (Vana- karman), 3) livelihood from carts (Sakata-karman), 4) livelihood from transport fees (Bhataka-karman), 5) lovely hood from hewing and digging (Sphota-karman), 6) trade in animal by-products (Danta- vanijya), 7) trade in lakh and similar substances (Laksa-vanijya), 8) trade in alcohol and forbidden foodstuffs (Rasa-vanijya), 9) trade in men land animals (Klesa-vanijya), 10) trade in destructive articles (Visa-vanijya), 11) work involving milling (Yantra-pidana), 12) work involving mutilation (Nirlanchana), 13) work involving the use of fire (Davagni-dana), 14) work involving the use of water (Sarah-sosana ), and 15) work involving breeding and rearing (Asati- posana).

114. The licit earning sources (Nyayoparjita), according to Jensen, are agriculture (Krsi), study, teaching and clerical occupation (Masi), art or craft profession (Silpa), trade (Vanijya), military occupation (Asi), practice of medicine (Vidya), of course, but the pursuit of the profession should be positively in the pure way. Along with these practices he should also practice some more activities called Avasyakas namely I) worship of the Tirthankaras, ii) Service to spiritual teacher iii) studying Spiritual texts every day (Svadhyaya), iv) practicing some form of self restraint every day, v) doing some form of penance daily, and vi) doing some kind of charitable act.39 This is an introduction to spiritual discipline of an ordinary householder. 40 These observations create communal harmony and peace in society and in the nation.