Faith (Darshana)

Ashta Pahuda

Acharya Kund kund

Courtesy of  Jain Mission Information

I. FAITH (Darshana)

  1. 1. Making obeisance to the great Jinas, Vrisabha and Vardamana, I will speak of the path of Faith briefly step-by-step.Commentary: That author has named the first Vrisabha and the last, Vardhamana, of a line of twenty-four Tirthankaras, implying salutation to all the twenty-four.

    The word darshana means `vision’ or `spiritual experience’; hence deep abiding conviction arising therefrom, i.e. faith (see verse 20).

    2. The great Jinas preached to their disciples that faith is the root of religion. Having heard that with your own ears, do not bow to one without faith.

    3. They are lost whose faith is lost Nirvana is not for one devoid of faith. One having blemishes of  conduct may attain perfection, but not one with blemishes of faith.

    4. Those who are without the gem of right faith may know all sorts of scripture, but being without realisation, they keep wandering about, (see VIII, 11)

    Commentary: (Faith, knowledge, and conduct are “the three gems” which lead to emancipation. These three to-gather with austerities, all being inspired by realisation, are referred to as the four Aradhanas. The author has stressed the importance of right faith, given which right knowledge and conduct will follow sooner or later. Without faith, knowledge and conduct will be hollow. (see I.32).

    5. Those without faith cannot attain Enlightenment even if they perform severe austerities punctiliously for a thousand crores of years.

    6. All those who develop right faith, knowledge, strength and energy, freeing themselves from the taint of sin of the dark age, soon become omniscient.

    7. Those who keep the current of the water of faith always flowing through their hearts, destroy the layer of the sand of karma even if one is formed (at all).

    8. Those who are devoid of right faith as well as knowledge and conduct are degraded and will ruin other people also.

    9. Those who find fault with a person possessed of the virtues of piety, self-control, austerity, holiness (niyama) and communion are themselves ruined and will ruin others.

    Commentary: Niyama covers the entire code which should regulate a religious life viz. faith, pursuit of knowledge, observance of the vows of non-injury, truth, non-stealing, chastity, and limited possession, repentance, renunciation, confession expiation, equanimity, devotion, and independence, leading up to pure consciousness. Holiness conveys the sense best).

    10. As a tree whose roots have been destroyed cannot flourish, so one without the Jain faith lacks the root and cannot attain perfection.

    11. As from the root sprints the trunk with its branches and various useful out-growths, so, it has been said (by the Jinas) that from the root of the Jaina faith starts the path of emancipation. p73

    12. Those who are without faith and make other with faith fall at their feet become cripples or dumb (in the next birth). Enlightenment then becomes difficult for them.

    13. Those who venerate such people knowingly out of shame, vanity or fear, can also not attain Enlightenment as they countenance sin.

    14. Where there is renunciation of two kinds (external and internal) restraint of three kinds, (thought, word, and deed) purity of knowledge (i.e. its freedom from the vitiating effect of desire) and taking of food as alms in standing posture, there is a sight (adorable).

    15. From right faith comes right knowledge; right knowledge shows the padarthas or categories, (in their true light); having known the categories, (the soul) sees what is good for it and what is bad.

    Commentary: The categories in Jaina doctrine are:-

    LIsoul, non-soul, good deeds, bad deeds, inflow of Karmas, bondage, stoppage of karmas, shedding of karmas, and emancipation.

    16. One who knows good and evil avoids vice and also be comes virtuous. Reaping the fruit of virtue (in future birth), he eventually attains Nirvana.

    17. The word of the Jinas is an antidote to sense gratification, and like nectar conquers the evil of old age and death and curs all suffering.

    18. Three insignia are adorable and no fourth, that of (1) the Jina (holy recluse), (2) a pious srawaka (layman) and (3) a clothed female recluse.

    19. He should be known as a person with right faith who believes in the true nature of the six substances, (dravyas) nine categories, five dimensional entities (astikayas) and the seven principles (tattvas) described in the scripture.

    Commentary: The five astikayas to-gather with kala or time constitute the six dravyas. All these are classed as `non-soul’ one of the seven tattvas. the seven tattvas together with punya and papa or virtue and vice constitute the nine categories; but punya and papa being only varieties of karmas, are included in `non-soul’ or ajiva tattva. The seven tattvas thus cover every thing.

    20. It has been stated by the great Jinas and belief in soul and the tattvas is right faith from the conventional point of view; from the point of view of reality, (realisation of) the self alone is right faith.

    21. Therefore turn your thoughts to the gem of faith as laid down by the Jina; it is the best of the three gems (faith knowledge and conduct), and the first step of emancipation.

    22. Act as far as you can and believe where you cannot; the all knowing jina has said belief is faith.

    23. Those absorbed in faith, knowledge, conduct, austerity and reverence and those who eulogise the virtues of such saints are only to be worshipped.

    24. One who seeing the natural form (of the Jina) does not, out of jealousy, pay homage is perverse in faith even if possessed of self-control.

    25. Those who, seeing a form adorable by celestial and possessed of virtue entertain pride, are bereft of faith.

    26. Do not venerate one who is without restraint, internal and external, (asanyat), nor one who is without clothing (but doe snot possess restraint): both these are alike (necessary). One (qualification) alone does not make a person a saint.

    27. No one worships the body, family, or case. Who worships a person without virtue? He is neither a holy recluse (Sramana) nor a pious layman (Saravaka).

    28. I bow with faith and pure thoughts to the holy men possessed of austerity, virtue, chastity, and the attributes (of their order); who reach perfection;

    29. Who have sixty four whisks (waved over them by celestial) and thirty-four miraculous happenings (worked by the celestial); who always bring good to the many that live and the means of the destruction of Karmas.

    30. Knowledge, faith, austerity and conduct constitute self-control. The combination of these four leads to emancipation, so it is revealed in Jaina scripture.

    31.For man knowledge is supreme; higher still stands faith; faith leads to conduct and conduct of Nirvana.

    32.Knowledge, faith, austerity and conduct, the combination of these four when accompanied by self-realisation leads souls to perfection; there is no doubt about it.

    33. Souls attain the goal of salvation through pure faith; the gem of right faith is worshipped in the world by gods and demons.

    34. Having attained (through previous births) the status of man with high lineage, develop faith and achieve everlasting bliss and emancipation. (Cf. verse 27. High lineage is not essential, but it is the more incumbent on people of high lineage to lead a religious life).

    35. So long as the Jinendra walks (this earth possessed of 1008 attributes and thirty-four wonders, he is known as `fixed in form’ (Cf. verse 29.)

    36. With twelve kinds of austerities. He destroys Karmas by His own efforts, discards the body, and eventually Nirvana (so becoming formless).