Conduct (Charitra)

Ashta Pahuda

Acharya Kund kund

Courtesy of Jain Mission Information

III. Conduct (Charitra)

  1. 1. Bowing to the Arhatas who are all-knowing, all- seeing, free from delusion and attachment, who rank highest, are adorable by the three worlds, and venerated by souls assured deliverance (bhavya).

    2. I speak of `Charitrapahuda’ which is the means of purifying knowledge, faith and conduct with the object of seeking emancipation.

    3. Jnana is that which knows and darsana is that which sees; a combination of Jnana and darsana is (expressed in) conduct.

    4. These three modes (bhava) always inhere in the soul indestructibly; to purify all the three the Jina has described conduct in two parts.

    5. The first part consists of righteous faith, pure as the Jina has known and seen. The second part is righteous living, also as inculcated by the Jina.

    6. Knowing it like this, get rid of the flaws and taints of faith, doubt etc. by a combination of three (thought, word and deed) as stated by the Jina.

    7. There are eight attributes of righteous faith, freedom from fear (or doubt), desirelessness, freedom from disgust or hatred (humility), vision free from superstition, covering up the defects (of others i.e. charity) steadying (one-self and others in right faith), self-less love and glorification (of right faith).

    8. The faith of the Jina, purified by these attributes and accompanied by knowledge constitutes righteous faith, the first part of right conduct, leading to emancipation.

    9. The wise ones free from superstition and purified by righteous faith, if they also achieve righteous living, soon attain Nirvana.

    10. Those men who are devoid of righteous faith but are righteous in conduct are ignorant and superstitious and do not, therefore, attain Nirvana.

    11 & 12. Love, reverence, tenderness discriminating if gift, eulogy of the path, charity of disposition (upguhana) readiness to protect, and straightforwardness,-these are the characteristics of a soul following the Jina’s faith without infatuation.

    13. Enthusiasm for, contemplation and praise of, service to and belief in a false faith put one on the path of ignorance and infatuation and one gives up the faith of the Jina.

    14. Enthusiasm for, contemplation and praise of, service to and belief in the right faith put one on the path of knowledge, and he does not give up the faith of the Jina.

    15. Conquer ignorance and superstition by pure faith, and infatuation with its paraphernalia by the religion of non-injury.

    16. Retire from the world, renouncing property, and apply yourself to the right kinds of austerity with virtuous thoughts. One free from infatuation and attachment has pure meditation.

    17. Fools overcome by perversion and darkness take to the path of wrong faith, tainted with ignorance and infatuation.

    18. Right faith sees and knowledge knows the substances and their modes (as they are); from right faith arises a conviction which corrects faults that may appear in conduct.

    19. The soul free from infatuation has these three modes (bhavas) and, realising its true nature, soon sheds karmas.

    20. The steadfast ones pursuing right faith overcome suffering to the highest limit possible for worldly ones, calculable or incalculable.

    21. Righteous living is of two kinds; one for householders and the other for homeless ones (ascetics) for householders it is with possessions; for ascetics, without possessions.

    22. Faith, (observance of) vows, equanimity, fasting, abstinence from green vegetables, (not) eating at night, chastity, limitation of possessions and paraphernalia, not giving advice in worldly matters, not taking food specially prepared for one-self, these constitute stages (of piety for a layman).

    23. Of vows there are 5 anubratas, 3 gunabratas, and 4 siksavratas which constitute right conduct for house-holders.

    24. (The anuvratas are) abstinence from the grosser form of killing of moving life, grosser form of false-hood and theft, chastity and limitation of possessions. (The intention is to exempt incidental loss of life in activities ordinarily recognised as harmless, and in the case of theft and falsehood, practices condoned by social convention; that is why the vows are considered anubratas or
    incomplete. In complete form they are called vratas or maha vratas.)

    25. There are three gunavratas, viz. (1) Limiting journeys in various directions, (2) Giving up wanton practices and (3) Limiting of objects of sense-gratification. (Called gunavratas because they strengthen the main vows.)

    26. (The four siksa vratas are): (1) Equanimity. (2) fasting (3) reverent attention to unexpected holy visitors and (4) control of mind and body when the end approaches. (Called siksa vratas because they are preparatory to final renunciation.)

    27. So having descried righteous living with phase according to the layman’s duty, I will speak of the same, pure and without phase, as laid down for the recluse.

    28. Control of the five senses, the five vows with their twenty five subsidiary vows, five cautions (samities) and three restraints constitute righteous living for the homeless recluse.

    29. Control of senses mean not entertaining feelings of attachment or aversion towards objects, pleasant or unpleasant, animate or inanimate.

    30. (The five vows are): (1) Non-injury (2) Refraining from falsehood, (3) not appropriating unoffered things (4) celibacy and (5) freedom from possessions.

    31. These are called great vows (mahavratas) because great men (of the present) cultivate them, great men of the past have observed them, and they are really great.

    32. Control of speech, control of mind, carefulness in walking, and in handling things, and inspecting food before eating, are the subsidiary vows (prabhavana) on non-injury. (Prabhavana) means keeping in thought present in one’s mind; hence activity helping the process.)

    33. Giving up anger, fear, laughter, greed and perverted thoughts, these are the five bhavanas of the second vow (truth).

    34. Living in a lonely and deserted house open to others, eating pure food, and refraining from quarrel with co-religionists (are the bhavanas of the vow of non-stealing.)

    35. Refraining from (1) looking at women (with desire.) (2) memories of past enjoyments, (3) living in habitations, (4) listening to wicked stories and (5) taking of invigorating foods are the five bhavanas of the fourth (vow chastity).

    36. Giving up attraction and aversion for objects appealing to the senses of hearing, touch, taste, sight, and smell are the bhavanas of the vow of freedom from possessions.

    37. The five cautions are (1) in walking (2) in talking (3) in eating and (4) in lifting and (5) dropping things; (they are) the means of purifying conduct.

    38. To instruct good people, the great Jina has described knowledge and its true character, which is the self; know that well accordingly.

    39. One who knows the difference between soul and non-soul has true knowledge; that, with freedom from the taints of attachment etc. constitutes the path of emancipation according to Jaina scripture.

    40. Faith, knowledge and conduct, learn these three with the greatest devotion. Knowing these, the yogis soon attain Nirvana.

    41. Those who, procuring the water of knowledge, cultivate clean and pure thoughts become Suddhas, dwellers in the abode of the perfect, the head ornament of the three worlds.

    42. Those devoid of the gift of knowledge do not achieve their own (real) good. Knowing thus, acquire right knowledge (to discriminate between) good and bad.

    43. The man of knowledge, established in (right conduct does not desire non-self (to be associated) with the self. He soon attains bliss beyond comparison; know this for certain.

    44. Thus has been briefly described right living in two parts corresponding to faith and conduct as reflected in the knowledge of Him, without attachment.

    45. Reflect with pure frame of mind on this Charan-Pahuda, composed by me in plain language (so that) getting rid quickly of the four states of existence you may soon be freed from future birth.