Acharya Kundkund

 Translated by A.N. Upadhye

Book III

201-202. Having repeatedly saluted the Siddhas, the foremost great Jinas and the saints, may he adopt asceticism, if the desires for escape from misery, after taking leave of the family of relations, being let off by elders, wife and children, and being intent on the cultivation of knowledge, faith, conduct, austerities and strength.

  1. He prostrates himself before a (great) saint, the head of an ascetic band, rich in virtues, endowed with distinctive family, form the age, and honoured by ascetics, saying `Admit me’; and he is favoured (with admission to the ascetic community).
  2. I do not belong to others, nor do others belong to me; there is nothing that is mine here; thus determined and conquering his senses, he adopts a form similar to that in which he is born (yatha-jata-rupadharah).

205-206. The (external) emblem (of a Jaina saint) consists in possessing a form in which one is born, in pulling out hair and moustache, in being pure, in being free from harm unto beings etc., and in not attending to the body (apratikarma); the (internal) Jaina (ascetic) emblem, which is the cause of negation of births, consists in being free from infatuation and preliminary sins, in being endowed with purity of manifestation of consciousness and activities, and in having no desire for anything else.

  1. Adopting this (ascetic) emblem (both external and internal), at the hands of an excellent preceptor, bowing to him and  (then) hearing the course of duties consisting of vows, when one begins to practise it, he becomes a Sramana (i.e., an ascetic).
    208-209. (Five) vows, (fivefold) carefulness, control of (five) senses, pulling out the hair, (sixfold) avasyakas (or essentials), nakedness, not taking bath, sleeping on ground, not cleaning the teeth, taking meals in a standing posture and taking only one meal a day-these, in fact, have been prescribed, as the primary virtues of the ascetic, by the great Jinas; he, who is negligent about them, is a defaulter (who needs to be reestablished on the correct path).
  1. That preceptor, at whose hands they accept the (ascetic) emblem, is known as pravrajya-dayaka (i.e., the teacher who initiates them into the ascetic fold); the remaining ascetics, who help to re-establish them in the right course, when they have committed certain defaults, are called niryapaka.
    211-212. When the monk is carefully conducting (his) physical activities, if there is a default, to him is then prescribed a (lustral) course of conduct preceded with alocana (i.e., the report of sins committed); the defaulter monk should approach a monk (practically) expert in the Jaina doctrine, should confess before him and practise what is prescribed by him.
  1. Whether in the company of his preceptor or alone, without (any) breach with regard to his ascetic course, an ascetic should remain ever avoiding the attachments.
  2. That is perfect asceticism, when one practises his course ever intent on knowledge preceded by faith and exerting in the (practice of) primary virtues.
  3. A Sramana does not entertain attachment either for food or for fast, either for residence or for touring, or for paraphernalia, or for co-monks, or for unhealthy gossip.
  4. Careless activities of a monk when sleeping, sitting, standing and walking, are always known as continuous harm unto living beings.
  5. Let the being die or not, harm unto living beings is certain (to occur) in the case of him who is careless in conduct; there is no bondage for him, who is mindful of the items of carefulness, by mere (physical) harm.
    *1-2. If a subtle living organism is crushed or killed with the contact of the feet in movement of an ascetic who is careful in his walking towards his destiny, the scripture does not hold him liable even for a slight bondage as a consequence of that; (the case is similar to the statement:) it is infatuation alone that is called paraphernalia on the authority of the spiritual lore.
  1. A Sramana of careless conduct is called murderer of the six (classes of) embodied beings; if he carefully practises (his course of conduct), he is forever uncontaminated like the lotus on water.
  2. There is or there is no bondage, when a being dies in the course of physical activities; bondage is certain from attachment to paraphernalia, therefore ascetics give up everything.
  3. If there is no renunciation (absolutely) free from (any) expectation, the monk cannot have the purification of mind; how can he effect the destruction of Karmas, when he is impure in mind?
    *3-5. (If you were to say that) it is (found) stated in certain texts that a monk accepts a piece of clothing and possesses a pot; (we have to ask) how can he (with these) be independent and without activities involving preliminary sin? If he accepts a piece of clothing, gourdbowl and anything else, necessarily there is involved harm unto living beings, and there is disturbance in his mind: he accepts the pot and the piece of cloth, cleanses them, washes them, carefully dries them in the sun, protects them and is afraid of other (that they might take them away.)
  1. (If he accepts these things) how then is he not liable to infatuation, preliminary sin and lack of control?; similarly when a monk is attached to external things how will he realize his self?
  2. A monk would so conduct (his course of duties), understanding the (necessities of) time and place, that, when using the paraphernalia, there should not be any default (with respect to primary virtues) in accepting and abandoning it.
  3. Let the monk accept that little (quantity of) paraphernalia, which does not involve bondage (i.e., which is sanctioned by the scripture,) which si not desired for by men who are self-controlled (i.e., which is essential for maintaining self-control) and which does not give rise to (any) infatuation etc.
  4. Even the slightest thought about the body, on the part of him who aims at the negation of births, is considered as attachment; therefore the great Jinas have preached non-attention (towards the body).
    *6. The religion preached by great saints (i.e., the Tirthankaras) does not aim at (happiness etc. in) this or the next world (but only at liberation); then how is it that, in this religion, women are prescribed an alternative ascetic emblem consisting of clothing etc.)?

    *7. In fact, liberation is not said to be possible for women in that very birth; therefore an alternative (ascetic) emblem is prescribed for women befitting them.

    *8. The nature of these (viz., women) is naturally full of negligence (Pramada), and hence they are designated as pramada; therefore these women (pramada) are said to be plentifully negligent.

    *9. As a matter of fact, women are liable to infatuation, aversion, fear and disgust; in their mind (there is) crookedness of a varied type; therefore they cannot attain liberation (in that very birth).

    *10. There is not a single woman, in the whole world who is without even one of these above faults; their limbs are not  closed (?) (samudam), and hence they need clothing.

    *11. In their case there is always the mental mobility and fickleness and the periodical oozing of blood (at the time of monthly course) wherein grow subtle human organisms. *12 There is said to be the growth of subtle organisms in the female organ of generation, in between their breasts and in the parts of their naval and armpit; then how can self-control be possible for them?

    *13. Women cannot effect (complete) exhaustion of Karmas, even though they are pure in faith, are endowed with scriptural study and practise a severe course of conduct.

    *14. Therefore the Jinas have prescribed for them an emblem befitting their nature (i.e., consisting of clothing etc.); those, that are endowed with family, form and age and practise that course, are called nuns (sramani).

    *15. He is a fit one for accepting the ascetic emblem who hails from the three castes (varnas), whose limbs are healthy, whose age can stand the austerities, who is of winning appearance and whose character is free from any scandal.

    *16. The loss of three jewels is said to be the (greatest) loss by the Jinas, even by any other loss one does not remain fit for observing sallekhana, i.e., the voluntary submission of death.

  1. According to Jainism the (acceptable) ascetic paraphernalia is said to consist of the bodily form in which one is born, the words of the teacher, (disciplinary) modesty and the study of the sacred texts.
  2. He is Sramana who has no desires in this world and no attachment for the next, whose diet and touring are proper, and who is free from passions.

*17. The ascetic becomes negligent or careless, when he is affected by the four (passions), anger etc. and unhealthy gossip, by the objects of senses, and by affection and drowsiness.

  1. (Really speaking) the soul of the monk does not eat (any) food; that is the (internal) penance; and the ascetics are after  that. The ascetics are (as good as) without food, even if they accept faultless food.
  2. The Sramana possesses the body alone, and even towards the body he pays no attention of mineness; he yokes the same to austerities without concealing his ability.
  3. (The proper food consists of) one meal which is not stomachful, in the form in which it is obtained, which is obtained by begging and by day, wherein there is no consideration of juices and which does not contain honey and flesh.
    *18-19. There is an incessant growth of subtle organisms of the nigoda class (similar to the colour of the flesh etc.) in the pieces of flesh cooked or raw and in the course of being cooked; he, who eats or touches the pieces or raw or baked flesh, kills, in fact, a host of many crores of beings.

    *20. The unauthorised food (i.e., not sanctioned by the scriptures), which has fallen in the (cavity of) palms, should not be given to others; he is unfit to eat (again) after giving it (to others); if he eats, he must repent for that.

  1. A monk, young or old, exhausted or diseased, should practise a course of conduct fit for him in a manner that there is no violation of primary virtues.
  2. If a Sramana observes his course of conduct understanding the (nature of) food, touring, place, time, physical labour, his forbearance and his bodily condition, he incurs the least bondage.
  3. He, who is concentrated on one thing alone, is a Sramana; such a concentration is possible for him whose comprehension of the objectivity is certain; this certainty (of knowledge) is possible from the study of scriptures; therefore application to the (study of) scriptures is of the highest importance.
  4. The Sramana, who is lacking in the study of scriptures, does not know his self and the things other than his self; without knowing the objectivity how can the monk destroy the Karmas?
  5. The saints have scriptures as their eyes; all the living beings have sense-organs as their eyes; the gods have clairvoyance as their eyes; and the Siddhas have eyes in every way.
  6. All the objects, with their various qualities and modifications, are known from the scriptures: those, who know them learning from the scriptures, are the Sramanas.
  7. He, whose right faith is not preceded by the (study of) scripture, cannot possess self-control: so says the sacred text; and if he has no moral discipline, how can he be a Sramana?
  8. One does not attain liberation (merely) by the (study of) scripture, if he has no faith with regard to the nature of reality; or one who has faith cannot attain Nirvana if he is devoid of moral discipline.
  9. The man of knowledge, who is controlled in three ways, destroys within a breath the Karma which a man devoid of knowledge could destroy in hundred thousand crores of lives.
  10. Further, he, who has an atom of attachment towards body etc., cannot attain liberation, even if he knows all the scriptures.
    *21. Especially in ascetic life, moral discipline is said to consist in renunciation, in abstaining from activities (leading to sin), in refraining from sensual pleasures and in destroying the passions.
  1. That Sramana, who has five-fold carefulness, who is controlled in three ways, who has curbed his five senses, who has subdued his passions and who is completely endowed with faith and knowledge, is called self-disciplined.
  2. Enemies and the members of the family, happiness and misery, praise and censure, a clod of earth and (a lump of) gold, and even life and death are alike to the Sramana.
  3. He, who is simultaneously applied to (the cultivation of) the trio of right faith, knowledge and conduct, is said to have attained concentration; and he has perfect asceticism.
  4. If an ignorant ascetic, accepting an external object, falls a prey to delusion, attachment or aversion, he is bound by various Karmas.
  5. In an ascetic, develops neither infatuation nor attachment nor aversion, he necessarily destroys various Karmas.
  6. According to the (authority of the) scripture the ascetics are endowed with either pure or auspicious manifestation of  consciousness: amongst them, those endowed with the pure one have no Karmic influx and the rest have.
  7. The ascetic course of conduct, resulting from auspicious manifestation of consciousness, consists in devotion to Arahantas etc. and in showing affection towards those who are applied to the doctrine.
  8. Standing up (when the elderly monks arrive), following them (when they are going), showing respect (to them) and removal of fatigue: these, accompanied by salutation and adoration, are not forbidden for monks having auspicious resultant of consciousness.
  9. Preaching about right faith and knowledge, receiving and feeding the pupils, and giving instruction in the worship of great Jinas constitute the course of conduct of monks with auspicious resultant of consciousness.
  10. He, who renders assistance to the ascetic community consisting of four classes without causing harm to any living being, is the foremost monk (possessing subhopayoga).
  11. If an ascetic, in course of rendering assistance to his co-monks, causes pain to living beings, he is no more an ascetic but becomes a house-holder, because that forms the duty of a layman.
  12. One should confer benefits on all the Jainas whether practising the course of duty of a house-holder or of an ascetic through compassion and without expecting anything in return, even though this involves slight sin.
  13. A monk (of subhopayoga) should, to the best of his ability, help a co-ascetic seeing him suffering from disease, hunger, thirst or exhaustion.
  14. Talk with common people, if it results into auspicious consciousness, for rendering assistance to diseased, revered, young or old ascetics, is not forbidden.
  15. This course of conduct is good for monks; but it is the best for householders, whereby alone they (gradually) attain the highest bliss.
  16. The auspicious attachment fruits otherwise according to the object with which it is associated, like the seeds, at the sowing time, sown in different kinds of fields.
  17. One, who is devoted to vows, rules, study, meditation and charity and who is keeping in mind the aims prescribed by a  teacher who has not attained omniscience, will not attain liberation, but attains a pleasurable condition of existence (to be followed by births again).
  18. Reverence, service and gifts offered to persons, who do not know the nature of reality and in whom pleasures and passions predominate, result into wretched births among men and gods.
  19. Since objects of pleasures and passions are described as sin in the sacred texts, how can those, who are given to them, be able (to cross and) to help others to cross (the mundane existence)?
  20. That man, who has refrained from sin, who entertains an attitude of equality towards all religious people and who maintains a band of virtues, joins the excellent, path of liberation.
  21. Those, that are free from inauspicious manifestation of consciousness and are endowed with pure or auspicious one, can (cross and) help other to cross (the mundane existence); one who is devoted to them attains excellence.
  22. Seeing a natural object (in the form of a great saint), one should perform such duties, the foremost of which is standing up, one is to be honoured according to his merits: that is the advice (of Jinas).
  23. Meritorious ascetics in this worlds, it is said, should be welcomed with a stand-up, should be greeted with words, should be served fed and revered, should be saluted with folded hands and be bowed down to.
  24. Sramanas, skilled in the interpretation of sacred texts and rich in moral discipline, austerities and right knowledge, should be welcomed with a stand-up, should be served and be bowed down to by other ascetics.
  25. It is opined that one does not become a Sramana, though endowed with moral discipline, austerities and scriptural study, if he has no faith in the realities, the foremost of which is the soul, as preached by Jinas.
  26. Seeing an ascetic abiding by the injunctions of the scripture, he, who ridicules him through malice and is unwilling to do these reverential duties (unto him), ruins his conduct.
  27. If a monk of inferior merits, thinking (proudly) that he is a Sramana, expects reverence from one who is more merited, he wanders in worldly existence till infinity.
  28. If monks possessing more merits with regard to their asceticism, remain practising (their duties) with (or in the company of) those of inferior merits, they are victims of false faith and lose their conduct.
  29. He, who has properly grasped the interpretation of the sacred text, who has pacified the passions and who excels in austerities, cannot be self-controlled, if he does not abandon company with common people.

*22. He, who is pained in mind at the sight of and receives kindly the thirsty, hungry and miserable, is a man of compassion.

  1. If a monk after becoming a Nirgrantha ascetic, still dabbles in worldly professions (like palmistry etc.) , he is called a worldly man (or a commoner), even though he is endowed (externally) with self-control and austerities.
  2. Therefore, a Sramana, if he desires for release from misery, should always live with an ascetic of equal merits or possessing more merits.
  3. Those, who have wrongly grasped the nature of realities and are sure (in their mistaken way) that the reality, according to the creed, is such, wander long (till infinity) in mundane existence which is full with the fruits of misery.
  4. He, who has abstained from improper conduct, who is certain about the nature of reality exactly as it is, whose soul is peaceful and who maintains perfect asceticism here, will not live long without attaining the fruit (of liberation).
  5. Those, that have grasped all things properly, have renounced (attachment for) external and internal paraphernalia and are not steeped in pleasures of senses, are called the pure or suddha.
  6. He, who is pure, is said to be Sramana; to the pure one belong faith and knowledge; the pure one attains liberation; healone is a Siddha: my salutation to him.
  7. He, who practising the course of duties of a house-holder and of a monk, comprehends this doctrine, realizes, within ashort time, the essence of the doctrine (namely, the Self).