Relevance of Sravakacara to the present times
JAINA CODE OF CONDUCT
Relevance of Sravakacara to the present times
The present Day ailing World, the LAY Doctrine and a Proposal for a New Approach
So far we have taken a fairly comprehensive critical view of the Householder’s Ethical Discipline or Code of Conduct (the Lay Doctrine), which was expounded by the Jina in the hoary past, which later got a tangible shape at the hands of the early Acaryas and which, having its full growth and glorious days in the mediaeval period, settled down in its present form and spirit. We have also brought out its significance. It has had down the ages considerable impact on Indian life and thought and drawn attention, sympathy, good will and appreciation of great thinkers from different parts of the world. Now it would be quite pertinent on our part to see how far its principles and practices could be relevant to the present times, to the present world.
The world today has become highly complex. Scientific and technological advancement has made it compact as well as complicated. Industrial revolution no doubt has given rise to enormous production of wealth, but has also brought in unceasing waves of unrest and misery. Overgrowth of population in some parts of it has created numerous problems that almost defy solution. Both, the industrial revolution and overgrowth of population, have led man to undue encroachment on nature’s certain zones and reserves and upset ecological equilibrium. Man’s values of life have changed and, more particularly, his ethical values have been deplorably damaged. Compassion, truth, honesty, charity, regard for anothers life and property, neighbourly brother-hood, selfless service, sense of mutuality etc., have been paralysed within the boundaries of one’s own country as well as at inter-state level By way of illustration, the following items can be said to form a digest-list of the various incidents, conditions and situations occurring or prevailing in the day to day life in different parts of the world, as known through the mass-media of communication like the press, the radio and the T. V.
Arms race between the great powers and also between some of the neighbouring countries and ethnic groups, arising from lust for power and supremacy, or from fear, hatred and defense measures, has kept our planet in perpetual anxiety; terrorism involving, killings of even innocent people including women and children, has struck at the very root of carefree and peaceful living; smuggling, robbery, hijacking, sabotage etc., take place almost with professional skills; ecological imbalance caused by man for selfish ends has led to permanent annihilation of some species of animals and birds, to creation of peculiar health-hazards and also to provocation of natures wrath in the form of drought, storm, earth-quake etc.; an undue permissiveness and strange life- styles among members of some sections of society have given rise to pernicious vices like drug-addiction and formidable diseases; there occur here and there deaths and deadly conditions owing to hunger, exploitation, oppression, adulteration, hoarding, scarcity etc.; if in some sections of the society individuals as well as groups can squander money and material at will, in others individuals and groups go on begging or linger on under acute poverty and suffering throughout life. Years ago, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan reflected299 “The shape of the future gives US much concern. With all the resources at our command, with all the gifts with which we have been endowed, with all the plans we have developed, we are unable to live in peace and safety. We have grown in knowledge and intelligence, but not in wisdom and value. For lack of the latter, things are interlocked in perpetual strife. No center holds the world together.
The social pathos of the age is exploited by countless individuals in different parts of the world, who pose as leaders and proclaim their foolishness as wisdom. We are sowing grain and weeds at random.” The shape of the future, the great philosopher-statesman was worried about years ago, has actually now turned out to be still grimmer causing much more concern for all. A deep and unbiased thinking over all this state of affairs of the acting world today, would rather illuminate us that all these maladies, and many other ones also, sprang up from the crisis of moral values, from the crisis of character in the present human society;300 and there seems to be no cure by any outside hand or a centrally organized agency. So a change, a change of heart, or a moral conversion, has to come from within and, hence, remedies have to be necessarily directed at building healthy human character or at developing in him healthy moral values.301′
This can be done by adopting some remedial of morals and assimilating it in our day to day life. The Jaina pattern of such code prescribed for the laity, upon which we have so far dwelt, which comprises the quintessence of profound human ideals of individual and social morality and which has for ages fruitfully stood for universal good (sarvodaya), could certainly be of considerable use in this regard and serve the cause of the welfare of mankind But a question arises here as to how far and to what degree of vigour this Code of Conduct could be adopted today for this purpose. We know that it could not, in later days, be practiced by the laity in the same manner as was done in the early and mediaeval period. We cannot afford to forget the poignant statement of the author of the Savaya-dhamma-doha (C. 1300 to 1400 A. D.):
majju mamsu mahu pariharai sampai savau hoi
nirukkhai eranda-vani kim na bhavai hoi 302
Nowadays he, who but abstains from wine meat and honey, himself becomes the householder (sravaka). Could there be no shadow in the castor-grove which is devoid of big trees? Nor can we set aside Pt. K. C Shastri s observations303 on the mode of the present day practice of the same by the laity and on the attitude of the teachers in guiding them in this respect. We cannot also ignore the representative thoughts of the duly enlightened householder on the practical aspects of the Lay Doctrine today. Dr. Nemicandra Jain, Editor of the Tirthankara, while deliberating on the possible phase of Jainism in e ensuing 21st century, implicitly states 304 We can roughly estimate as to what type of householder could there be by the beginning of the 21st century on the strength of the factual difference lying between the householder of 1901 and that of 1950, and also between the householder of 1951 and that of l986. It is uncontroversially clear that the house-holder of 2001 would again be a little different, who would be adjusting himself to the increased living facilities and also to the enhanced complexity of life itself caused by further more advancement in science and technology.
In the light of such observations and views that are based on reasonable grounds, one has to strike a balance between the prescribed rigour and extent of this code of conduct and its tangible practicability in the present times. But how ? I, for one, honestly think that this can be done by designing a new approach on the following line: We know that the anu-vratas form the main body of the layman’s conduct and the sila-vratas (viz., the guna-vratas and the siksa-vratas) play a secondary role of strengthening and protecting this main body, which comprises the gross observance of non-violence, truth, honesty (non-stealing), restrainingly regulated sex-life and limited attachment to worldly possessions. The present day complex life of man naturally would not make it possible for the practice of the secondary rules of conduct like the dik, the desavakasika and the samayika with that procedure and rigour. Hence their objectives can be grasped and their spirit he imbibed for the individual development of personality. On the other hand, the anartha-danda, the bhogopabhoga-parimana, the upavasa (prosadhopavasa) and the dana can be practiced fairly well according to one’s capacity and reasonable convenience. But the five anu-vratas,305 predominated by the great virtue of ahimsa a – non-violence, being the cardinal human virtues of great merit and catholic nature306 and being, capable of remaining valid for all peoples of all times and climes, are potent enough to offer cure to the aforesaid maladies of this ailing world to a great extent. Moreover we know that non- violence (ahimsa is the fundamental of all these virtues and the proper cultivation of it involves the cultivation of all other ones. The virtue of limited attachment to worldly possession (parigraha-parimana) is but a specialized application of non-violence to man’s socio-economic field of life. We also know that the anekanta drsti (non-absolutistic approach to an object, idea or phenomenon) is a wisely made extension of ahimsa to the sphere of human thought, deliberation and discussion, though it is not a direct constituent of this code of conduct. Therefore the practice of the virtues of non-violence (ahimsa, limited attachment to possessions (parigraha-parimana) and non-absolutistic attitude (anekanta-drsti) have to be marked with distinctive emphasis as relevant to the present times, as relevant to the alleviation and elimination of the manifold maladies of today’s world.
Our Proposed New Approach is not a Sentimental Utopianism, but the one Standing on Proven Facts
This approach or formula need not be taken as sentimental utopianism, for the significance and efficacy of these virtues have been proved all along time and again. The key virtue of non-violence, as explained and taught by the great tradition of Jain acaryas through their sermons and writings, and as practiced by the laity for centuries together, has imperceptibly percolated in Indian thought and permeated the Indian social order. R. Williams observes307 that Jainism has strived for centuries to permeate the Indian social order, without challenging it, with the spirit of compassion. The striking features of Indian culture, particularly with its humanity, higher level of kindliness and gentleness”,308 could be, to a considerable-extent, owing to the Jaina contribution through its professed virtues of ahimsa–non- violence and anekanta drsti (non-absolutistic attitude) etc. The annals of Indian History, particularly those of the History of Karnatak, Gujarat and Rajasthan, are eloquent about the mode and magnitude of such contribution.309 Vegetarianism, attitude of charity, sense of accomodation and tolerance, which are prominently found among the peoples of these regions even to this day, hold evidence to this fact Taking an inquisitive peep into the way of living of the present day Jaina laity, would very well encourage our approach or formula. Behind Dr. Annie Besant’s impression of the Jaina householder as “quiet, self-controlled, dignified, rather silent, rather reserved”310 etc., lies the effect of these virtues. What could be the reason behind the findings of Dr. V. A. Sangave31l that comparatively there is found a very small number of criminals among the Jainas and that the habitual criminals are not at all found among them ? Moreover drinking habits, I myself have observed, are found to the minimum degree among them. It is also interesting to note that recently in 1985, the Department of Social Anthropology at the university of Cambridge organized an International Seminar on the Jainas as a Community, on a major consideration that Jaina community is the only community in the world today that practiced non-violence, to which there was an excellent response from social scientists, social anthropologists and social historians from all over the world.3l2 When we look at the Jaina householder from the point of view of the virtue of limited attachment to worldly possessions, we meet with a criticism from some quarters that the Jainas, being merchants, are ever after earning money and money only Firstly such criticism is an exaggerated one. Secondly it is based on a wrong assumption that the Jainas mean only merchants. But all Jainas are not merchants, but most of them happen to be merchants Vaisya community by age – long tradition. There could, of course, be exceptions of cases, as found elsewhere too, of too much of money-mindedness or of acquisitive egotism. But some of the Jaina sterling qualities and business and trade ethics have no parallels in other business quarters in India. It is interesting to note that some of these qualities, like naya- sampanna-vibhava (possessed of honestly earned wealth), papa- bhiru (apprehensive of sin), sadacaraih krita sanga (attached to good moral standards), vyayam-alocitam kurvan (spending after properly thinking) etc., are laid down as the constituent qualities of an illustrious householder,313 which must have influenced these merchants all along centuries of years. More over the Lay Doctrine, besides through the virtue of parigraha-parimana– limited attachment to possessions, has also kept a fair amount of check on the layman’s acquisitive infatuation through the virtue of dana–gift or charity;314 and the virtue of charity, as obtaining even today among the members of the Jaina community, needs no further elucidation. I may point out that through centuries the Jainacaryas have been almost and often imperative3l5 on the practice of charity by the laity. This is reflected in the following gaha3l6 of the Savaya-dhamma-doha, it-self, which, as we have noted earlier, is rather critical of the contemporary descendent trend of the practice of the lay conduct in general:
jai gihattllu danena vinu jagi pabhanijjai koi
ta gihatthu pamkhi vi havai jem gharu tahavi hoi
In this world, if anybody without dana could be called a grhastha–householder, then even a bird can be called so, for it too has a house (a nest to live in).
This treatise also holds (p. 78) that among all the constituents of the four-fold morality of the house-holder, dana (charity or gift) is said to be the supreme one:
Savaya-dhammaham sayalaham mi danu pahanu suvuttu
The Three Great Virtues–Non violence, Limited Attach- ment to Possessions and Non-absolutistic Attitude, have already stood the test at the Hands of Gandhiji
Moreover our approach or formula gathers additional strength from the fact that the significance and efficacy of these three great virtues have stood a crucial test even in modern days at the hands of as great a thinker and personage as Gandhiji, who was considerably influenced in the early part of his life by the family religio-ethical atmosphere of his ancestors and elders that had a deep impact of the Jaina traditions in Gujarat, and who was equally impressed later by the great religious philosopher Leo Tolstoy’s exalted evaluation of profound morality and positive love. Gandhiji successfully experimented with these virtues in the form of non-violence and truth, towards the solution of important socio-political problems on the national level, which were bewilderingly conditioned by internal circumstances and exploited by external forces. It is through Gandhiji that for the first time the value of the virtue of non-violence came to be known all over the world on a large scale. According to Gandhiji, not physical injury alone is violence. Evil thoughts, sentiments of revenge and I brutality, verbal pugnacity and even accumulation Of unnecessary things represent examples of violence.317
Gandhiji’s practice of the virtue of non-violence in the social context had the following ground: “For me, non- violence is the life-breath of the community (samaj). It is a social conduct, which cannot end with the individual. This makes difference between the animal and the man. The animal has no thinking power and man has it. Therefore non-violence has great significance for him. This should be easy for the community too. The community has survived on its strength. In some communities it is in a developed form, in others it is dwarf. But without it, no community can survive even for a short time.3l8
Gandhiji successfully used the technique of non-violence, as built on strong moral values and infused in the minds of millions of people, for political ends, prominently for his Freedom Movement and elimination of the British regime. Moreover “as a spiritual and ethical idealist, he believed in the moralization of public administration to make it patterned, more and more, on the basis of non-violence. He wanted to reform the structure of modern political life. If Svaraj could be achieved by non-violence, then the Svaraj polity had to be increasingly based on the principle of ahimsa. Hence he emphasized the application of honesty, integrity and beneficent purpose in public administration.”319 Gandhiji also held that there should be spiritualization and moralization of the basis of politics as a counter-poise to power politics. He was also not happy with the view of some liberal thinkers in the West, who prescribed political and institutional solution of the malady of the world through some arrangement like a World Parliament or a World System of Republics, so that humanity would have an era of freedom, progress and happiness. He was not happy with a mere institutional formula. He felt that humanity was passing through the crisis of a whole civilization and it could be cured only by a restoration of the moral vows of truth and non-violence.”320
Gandhiji practiced the virtue of limited attachment to possessions (parimita-parigraha) without coining any special term for it, but under the benign strength and scope of the virtue of non-violence it-self. We have already noted that he called unnecessary accumulation of things violence. He himself lead an austere life and expected the same from his colleagues,321′ particularly during the Freedom Movement, to observe austerity at all levels keeping in view the poor conditions of the Indian farmers, who formed the bulk of the nation. For Gandhiji, the carakha symbolized freedom, self- dependence, distribution of employment to the needy millions instead of concentration of money at the hands of a few through the textile mills. His own austere and frugal dress– a short dhoti to wrap, and a piece of long cloth to cover, was symbolic of his morally and economically sharing a common life with the Indian farmers and other poor sections of the society. Further the financial aspect of his Freedom Movement was looked after by the curtailment of greed, through social charity, on the part of numerous patriotic wealthy merchants and landlords. The Sarvodaya scheme and the Bhudana Movement, started by his colleagues and followers, implied a veritable lesson in the practice of the virtue of limited attachment to possessions itself. Prof. Ramji Simha, Center of Gandhian Studies, Bhagalpur University, Bihar, holds that the Jaina concept of aparigraha was placed before the public by Gandhiji in the form of ‘trusteeship.’322
Gandhiji’s experiments with non-violence and truth, also comprised the application of non-absolutistic view (anekanta-drsti), for without it, it is hardly possible to reach truth, which is always non-absolute or many-sided. He did apply it at relevant contexts. He often accepted offers of dialogues and deliberations with the authorities of the British regime with the purpose of knowing their points of view and with that of giving them chances to reconsider his earlier assertions on particular issues. He had the same attitude towards his colleagues and leaders of other political organizations in India. On reasonable grounds he even did not hesitate to step back a little and strike a compromise with the opposite person or group on certain questions. We get such examples of his broad-sighted or non- absolutistic view having been displayed in some of his dealings with the British regime and the Moslem League on certain issues.
Lastly, I may point out that Gandhiji’s favorite and known multi-religious prayer is a unique symbol of his non- absolutistic view being put into practice, which has remained for us all as a source of eternal spirituality, fostering universal outlook and cherishing universal good.
The Relevance of These Great Virtues to the Solution of the Outstanding Problems of the Present Times:
Vindicating our present approach or formula and knowing the proven or tested importance and efficacy of these great virtues of abiding value, viz., non–violence, limited attachment to possessions and non-absolutistic view, let us now look into their exact relevance to the redress of the prominent maladies or to the solution of the outstanding problems of the present times.
The Problem of Violence and Unrest:
The problem of violence in the form of eating meat or food has been a typical one and is more so in the present day world. Those who are born in the families in which vegetarianism is not the traditional food habit, take to meat eating as a normal part of the course of their life. Several others begin to eat meat supposing that it has greater nutritive values. There are others who support meat eating on the ground that the vegetarian food produced in the world is not sufficient for all or for the continuously growing population and, hence, argue that non-vegetarian food is inevitable. But we know that from amongst habitual meat eaters numerous pious minded and rational thinkers, have stood up both from the eastern and western part of the globe, and have protested and condemned meat eating on moral, rational and health grounds; and it is gratifying to note that recently the movement for vegetarianism and prevention of cruelty to animals and birds is gradually taking deeper roots. The avowed cultivation of the virtue of non-violence, which fosters in man equality, sanctity and compassion for the life of other beings, we can hope, would give tremendous momentum to such movements and ultimately eliminate the injurious habit of meat eating from all over the world.
Meat eating is quite harmful to man on the moral ground. As we think, so we are. Similarly as we eat, so we become. Meat eating moulds the mental attitude of man so as to disturb the natural law of his own being–the law of the sameness of life, the law of “Live and let live”. It affects man’s social behaviour too. A glimpse of the extreme effects and implications of meat eating can be had from the words of Dr. Annie Besant addressed to the World Vegetarian Congress Years ago: “The constant use of meat in utter disregard of the sting of the conscience- hardens the heart and the man becomes bereft of the feeling of mercy. The butcher uses his knife upon the bewailing mute creatures, which are but images of fear and horror, without the least worry. For this reason, in the United States no butcher is permitted to sit on the jury in a murder trial. He is not permitted to take part in such a trial simply because his continuous contact with slaughter is held to somewhat blunt his susceptibilities in this connection, so that all through the States no man of this trade is permitted to take part as a juryman in a trial for murder.”323
Moreover for reasons of human physiology and health too, meat eating is not at all good. Nature has created man as a herbivorous being as against the carnivorous ones. Hence vegetarian food itself is relevant and conducive to his normal way of life and maintenance of health. Dr. Dhananjay Gunde, presenting an analytical study of this subject, observes: “Nature has prescribed a particular type of food for a particular animal considering its aim of life, the type of work it has to do etc. And, accordingly, nature has created its anatomical arrangement, the physiological function of its body and its mental set up So if one has to take a maximum benefit from one’s human machine i. e., from one’s body, one has to choose the right fuel (food) for one’s body Considering all (the above seven point) basic scientific facts, namely, anatomical and physiological features, one realizes that the human engine needs herbivorous fuel i. e., vegetarian food. Purer the fuel we use, the better will be the function of the engine. 324
Even the argument in support of meat eating, made on the ground of the ratio of population and supply of vegetarian food, does not stand on a firm footing. There has been, owing to new revolutionary methods of seed-processing, agricultural operations, manuring etc., an enormous growth in the production of foodgrains and vegetables and considerable advancement in its preservation have taken place. Shortage of them is but owing to mal-distribution caused by several other reasons of socio-economic and other nature. Dr. John R. A. Mayer, while dealing with non-violence and its implications to diet and animal husbandry, observes: 325 “lnsensitivity to animal rights is one dimension of a fading contact with the fundamental principle of non-injury. A further beneficial side-effect of the vegetarian approach to life is the fact that by not cycling edible grain through unnaturally kept animals, there will simply be more food to feed the many undernourished people in the world, for it takes approximately 5 kg. of edible grain to produce 1 kg. of meat. Thus the observance of Jaina precept on a larger scale will directly reduce hunger in the world.” Thus on all these grounds, moral, health and economic, meat eating is perniciously harmful to man leading to far reaching effects and consequences. Hence the cultivation of the virtue of non- violence, I believe, by every member of the society becomes imperative.
Conflicts between Ethnic Groups and Neighbouring countries, and War between Nations and Groups of Nations:
Solution of issues between ethnic groups, between neighbouring countries, between blocks of countries wedded to different ideologies through violent conflicts and war, has been one of the most aching maladies of mankind. Even the ‘cold war’, in anticipation of ‘hot war’, has often caused horror and misery not only among the people of the countries of conflict-mongers, but also among those of the peace-loving innocent ones to a considerable extent. Such conflicting or war–minded peoples, countries, or blocks of countries, being blind with their passions like power, pride of strength and wealth, hatred, revenge etc., do not have any regard for the sanctity, equality and dignity of human life, let alone be for that of other living beings at large. Hence thousands of fighting men lose their lives and more of the innocent people are killed.326 People in every country of the world, hearing about the nuclear arms-race between bigpowers and remembering the incalculable loss of life and inhuman atrocities caused by the bombing of Hiroshima in World War II, are found in constant dread of the nuclear holo-caust that may befall this planet any day.327
Nor have the conflicting parties the patience to consider calmly and regard the cause of the issue as thought by others on the opposite side,328 for both parties hold one-sided view and, hence, go on charging one another. Inculcation of virtues of non-violence (ahimsa) and non-absolutistic view (anekanta drsti), with the law of universal love and with regard for the other man’s view through dialogue and discussion, in the respective national life of all peoples, would cut at the very root of this malady of conflict and war. At this context we must remember what Gandhiji years ago said :329 “So long as big powers do not decide to set aside their arms, there can be no peace. I think that such powers should understand this fact after the present (World War Il) experiences. After fifty years of experiments and experiences there is a feeling in my heart that the welfare and progress of humanity is hinged on ahimsa alone.
Racial Discrimination, casteism and Exploitation of some by Others:
Though the days of imperial exploitation and colonization are counted, some of man’s ugly doings like racial discrimination and untouchability still linger on, denying equality of status and rights to some sections of the people of the modern world. Justice Tukol sketches330 the prevailing picture of these social evils in the following lines: “Every religion lays down that all human beings are born equal; but yet equality in social status and equality of rights have been denied to different sections of the population in different countries. Though Jafferson has stated in his Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights like Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness; yet the Negroes are denied these rights. The capitalistic system of society still maintains slavery, serfdom and racial discrimination. In our own country, Article 17 of the Constitution of India has abolished untouchability and declared that the enforcement of any disability arising out of untouchability shall be an offensive punishable in accordance with law. But the social evil still persists and the social disabilities imposed on that class of persons by reason of their birth still continue to be practiced. There is no religious or moral sanction in one making another a slave or treating him as a negro or an untouchable. “
Such discriminations made and prejudices displayed by some towards others on the basis of race, colour, nationality, caste, creed etc., have now and then given rise to social unrest marked by suffering, irritation, retaliation and even violent revenge. Gandhiji, we know, fought against such social evils in Africa and India with his potent remedy of non-violence and truth with a remarkable degree of success and showed to the world that moral strength is more powerful than constitutional provision or legal steps. Even today the virtue of non-violence, if assimilated properly, would infuse in man a sense of equality and universal brotherhood.
Economic Inequality, Poverty and Suffering:
Economic inequality has been the most intricate and deep rooted problem of the human society of the present day world Though every state tries to solve it in its own possible way, things everywhere are not found satisfactory. Moreover if the capitalist countries, with their free enterprising system of production and distribution of wealth, go to one extreme, the communist ones, with that of state ownership of the same, go to another extreme. But nowhere a self-evolving system, based on sound moral principles, to be observed by every member of the society and aimed at common welfare or universal good, is seen to have come into existence. Hence lies, beyond doubt, the relevance of the virtue of self-imposed limited attachment to one’s possessions to this queer situation First and foremost, for properly practicing this virtue, truthfulness and honesty have to be accomplished as prerequisites. Every member of the society has to earn an honest living. Then he has to see, by curtailing his acquisitive desire, that wealth does not accumulate in his hands so as to keep his fellowmen in want, in poverty.33l This would avoid class-conflicts, confrontation between the haves and the have-nots between the rich and the poor, giving no scope for irritant feelings, ill will and unrest and, thus, maintain the economic health of the society.
Social charity also plays an important role in the practice of this virtue. As we have already noted Gandhiji kept this aspect of the virtue before the public in the form of ‘trusteeship’. For the realisation of all this, every member of the society has to live a contented life with the rational amount of happiness. Referring to Gandhiji’s idea of ‘trusteeship’, Dr. Ramji Simha observes 332 “At this context, the Jaina concept of aparigraha seems to be the only remedy which can save us from the violence (himsa) born of accumulation of wealth (sampatti-sangraha). We may designate this (virtue) as selfrestraint or we may call it voluntary proverty (svaic chika-daridrata). The uncontrolled flow of greed (lobha) itself has been the root-cause of internal unrest and international conflicts; and such greed needs to be checked by parimita parigraha alone, by self-imposed limited attachment to one’s possessions.
Upadhyaya Amaramuniji presents a popular explanation of economic inequality and its redress through an interesting illustration :333Poverty by itself implies no problem. But the unlimited lofty heights of mountains have created on this earth numerous hollow grounds and pits of various sizes. If such mountains disintegrate, such hollow grounds and pits would automatically disappear. And now I would say, it requires little elucidation that such dis-integration can be caused by the integration of self-imposed limited attachment to one’s possessions in the conduct of every individual, in the attitude of every society and in the policy of every State.
Prayer for Preparedness for Cultivation of the Virtue of Ahimsa, the Summum Bonum of the whole Code:
Lastly, I may close this Series of Lectures on sravakacara, the Ethical Discipline or Code of Conduct for Householders, with the following lines of prayer, comprising ardent longing for great human values, which, I believe, can provide every one with the requisite mental foundation for the beginning of the cultivation of the Virtue of non-violence, the virtue of Universal Love (ahimsa), which is the Summum Bonum of the whole code, so much significant and so much relevant to the present times, to the present day world:
sattvesu maitrim gunisu pramodam
klistesu jivesu daya-paratvam
sada mamatma vidadhatu deva
I would translate this verse as follows:
O God, (the Victorious One),
Let my soul ever diffuse
Good-will for all living beings,
Delight for those that are virtuous,
Compassion for the afflicted ones,
And indifference towards the ill-behaved !
299. Recovery of Faith, Hind Pocket Books Ltd., Delhi, p. 22.
300. It is important to note at this context that we can develop in ourselves healthy moral values, or we can build our character “as surely as a mason can build wall” working with and through the law– through a moral system. For further details, vide Dr. Annie Besant, Ihe Riddle of Life, p. 21.
301. (i) Dr. D.S. Kothari, a distinguished scientist of our times observes: The advancement of science and technology and its use for human welfare will be in jeopardy unless there is a moral advancement of men i. e., strengthening of the human spirit with self-control and himsa For details, vide Some thoughts on Scienee and Religion, p. 35.
(ii) I should also recall here a few lines from the reflections of a present day Russian journalist: No problem of our time, internal or external, can be treated without regard to moral principles. Morality is an essential element of all human activities from family and intimate matters to global problems, such as the struggle for peace, social justice, the efforts to combat poverty.” Editorial Note, The Youth Review, Vol. XXIV-2, Feb. 1988.
302. Gaha No. 77. –
303. As presented in his Intro. to Upasakadhyayana p. 86, and as already noted by us earlier.
304. (i) In an article in Hindi entitled, Jaina Dharma: Ikkisavi sadi mem appearing in the Jita Abhi-nandana Grantha, Section II. (ii) He also points out some recent adjustments in the monastic mode of life, like traveling by air by some monks on utter need and for reasonable purpose. (iii) I too remember an information of a similar adjustment, that a young nun, a few years ago, doing her Ph. D. in Pune, was reasonably permitted to use havai chappals for covering a long distance on the tar-road during the hot season. (iv) Perhaps keeping such examples also in view, Dr. Dayanand Bhargav observes that Jaina ethical principles could be revised in their natural and easy course; but instead of putting them forth in the new garb, the change should be openly accepted. For details vide his Adhunika Sandarbha men Jaina Acara-mimansa.
305. (i) Let us hereafter call them virtues instead of vows. This would make them much more palatable for the modern man in the society at large. (ii) It is interesting to note in this context that Acarya Tulasi is the modern protagonist and leader of the Anu-vrata Movement for the welfare of the suffering humanity, which he set with the back-ground that samyag drsti– the right faith in its technical sense, is not absolutely necessary for accepting the anu- vratas. For details, vide his Anu-vrara ke aloka mem.
306 (i) That the Householder’s Code of Conduct itself is catholic in nature, has been often stressed by the Jainacaryas in relevant con-texts. The author of the Savaya-dhamma- doha says (in verse 76): whosoever practices this code of conduct, may he be a Brahmin, sudra or anybody, is sravaka. Or else could there be a jewel on the forehead of the sravaka? (ii) And it is mainly on this ground that Acarya Sri Vidyanandaji often argues, in his sermons and writings, that Jainism is duly qualified to be called Visva-dharma–World Religion.
307. Op. cit., Intro,, p. XIX.
308. As marked by Prof. A. L. Basham, The Wonder that was India, p. 9.
309. Vide The Jaina Sources of the History of India, Dr. J. P. Jain, Bharariya Samskriti me Jaina-dharma ka yogadana, by Dr. H. L. Jain; Jainism and Karnatak Culture, Prof. S. R. Sharma; Medieval Jainism, by Dr. B. A. SaIetore etc.; and Gujarat T Samskrti men Ahimsa Bhavana, Dr. Kumarpal Desai, Souvenir, Third International Jaina Conference, Delhi, 1985.
310. As expressed in her book Jainism, p. 29.
311. Jaina Community, pp. 340-341.
312. (i) As mentioned by Dr. V. A. Sangave in his Presidential Address, All lndia Conference of Prakrit and Jaina Studies, Varanasi, Jan. 1988. (ii) It may also be noted that in the whole world it is only Jainism that gives highest importance to vegetarianism, extending due protection to all living beings in nature and, thus, helping maintenance of ecology. This point, among a few others, has been very well stressed in the Memorandum recently submitted (on 23-10-90) by a twenty-one member representative body of the Jain Community as a whole to Prince Philip of England, the architect of the “World Wide Fund for Nature”, organized in 1961. For details in this regard, vide Sakal (Marathi Daily) dated 2-12-199o.
313. (i) Hemacandra gives a list of thirty-five such qualities (gravaka-gunas) in his Yoga- gastra, I .47-56. (ii) In other such treatises, though the number varies the enumeration covers these qualities mentioned in different terms, (iii) Pt. Kailas Chandra Shastri gives a nice Pen Picture of the Jaina Householder (Jaina grhastha ), generally called sravaka. as reflected in the Jaina scriptures and other works as,on the Householder’s Ethical Discipline (sravaka Dharma). He alone is a true Jaina Householder, who earns his living honestly, respects the virtuous, speaks in sweet words and enjoys artha and kama in such a way so as not to disturb others’ way of life. He is modest, whose food and routine of life are proper, who always moves in the company of the gentle, who is duly literate, of grateful nature, kind, afraid of sins and who has control over his senses. The Pandit further hopes that if all people adopt such a way of life our earth can be more than heaven itself. Vide his Jaina Dharma, Chaurasi Mathura, 1985, p. 192.
314. We must remember that the layman is enjoined to practice this virtue through the four-fold channel viz . food, medicine, knowledge and shelter.
315. Even today.
316. No. 87.
317. (i) As per a study based on the concerned contents of the Young India. the Harijan etc., presented by Dr. v. P. Varma in his Social and political Implications of Non-violence, Vaisali Institute Research Bulletin No. 3, p. 4. (ii) All these elements almost represent the five vices against which stand the five anu-vratas, the main body of the householder’s ethical discipline.
318. The Sarvodaya, July 1940.
319. Dr. V. P. Varma, loc. cit., pp. 12-13.
320. Ibid, pp. 29-30.
321. A visit to the Sabarmati Asrama at Ahmedabad would give some glimpses of this fact even to this day.
322. Vide his paper, Adhunika Yug men Jaina Darsana ki Prasangikata, appearing in the Souvenir of the Third International Jain Conference, Delhi, 1985.
323. For further details, vide Religion and Peace, Diwakar S. C., All India Digambara Jaina Sangha, Mathura, P. 199.
324. (i) For details vide his paper, Food, Health and Jainism appearing in the Souvenir of the Third International Jain Conference, Delhi, pp. 39-42. (ii) For some other interesting details in this regard, vide the article Why Vegetarianism? Dr. S. S. Jhaveri, Ahimsa- Voice, April-July number 1990.
325.(i) For details, vide his paper, The Role of Jaina Heritage in today’s World in the Souvenir of The Third International Jaina Conference, pp. 118-119. Dr. Mayer, it may be noted, is from Brock University, Ontario, Canada. (ii) Dr. S. S. Jhaveri states, loc. cit., that at pre-sent more than 70% of agricultural land in Western countries is used to grow feed for farm animals instead of humans.
326. It is a paradox of human psychology that man, the thinking man, does not hesitate to kill man, whereas in the case of all beings created by nature, no individual animal or bird kills another in its own species out of enmity, but just injures it to submission in occasional conflicts.
327.About two years ago I happened to read an interesting caricature on the news-item regarding a move by a big power to launch laser: Touched by this news all the inhabitants of mountains, woods, and see hels a conference and unanimously decided to save man by enlisting him in the Endangered Species Book. Youth Review, Aug. 1987
328.It is gratifying to note that the leaders of the two big power blocks, recently held summit-talks in their capitals, tried to understand each other’s side and brought out the Moscow treaty, which promises to eliminate the medium range nuclear weapons for the present.
329. The Harijnaa Sevaka, 14-1-1939
330. Op. cit, p. 325.
331. lt may be noted that this principle is further applicable to productive organizations, to distributing organs and to the country as a whole in relation to other Countries too.
332. Loc. Cit, p. 63.
333. Jaina Prakasa, April 8, 1989, p. 11, as quoted by Dr. Sagarmal Jain in his article, Jaina Darsana ki Samajika Sathakata, Vaishali lnstllute Research Bulletin No. 3, p. 34.