Book Title: World of Conquerors
Author(s): Natubhai Shah
Publisher: Natubhai Shah
Catalog link: https://jainqq.org/explore/007722/1

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Page #1 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ SUBJECT: THE WORLD OF CONQUERORS The history, literature, religion and culture of the Jains A thesis submitted to The Intercultural Open University Opeinde, The Netherlands By Dr Natubhai Shah For the doctoral degree In Jain Religion Page #2 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ DEDICATION AS A MARK OF RESPECT AND DEVOTION TO AACAARYA VIJAY VALLABHSURISVARJI WHOSE VISION FOR THE JAIN COMMUNITY FOR EMPIRICAL AND SPIRITUAL EDUCATION HAS TRANSFORMED THOUSANDS OF YOUNG JAINS AS SUCCESSFUL CITIZENS OF THE WORLD 2 Page #3 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ABSTRACT ainism is the oldest extant religion in Eurasia but it is the least known in the West. Although its teachings are as relevant in our own day as they were in the days of Mahavira who revived it more than two and half millennia ago, why this should be is almost certainly due to its small number of adherents in India: four millions plus (Jain leaders estimate twelve million and claim that it was much larger in earlier centuries of Common Era) out of a total population of nearly a billion. Jainism possesses a unique all-embracing precept from which all else flows: ahimsaa. Ahimsaa means 'non-violence and reverence for all life' a precept that forms the core of Jain theology; for Jains, both ascetic and lay, and it is the fundamental belief that governs their behaviour. This is supplemented by aparigraha (non-attachment to worldly possessions) and anenkaantavaada (multiplicity of views) This dissertation aims to analyse the role of Jain beliefs from their evolution in the mists of antiquity, through their reformulation by Mahavira, the last of the twenty four luminaries of Jainism in the sixth century BCE, and their historical influence on Jains and beyond up to our own times. It begins with an introduction on the Jain meaning of life, and the antiquity of Jainism. It follows with Jain history, its literature, its philosophy and teachings, the Jain community, its rituals, festivals and popular Jainism, and its culture. The thesis also discusses Jainism in the modern world covering topics such as animal welfare, environmental concerns and vegetarianism, the Jain view of the universe, Jain logic, science and Jainism, Jain art and architecture, Jain temples and places of worship, Jain institutions, and Jainism and the other major world faiths. The exemplary luminary for Jains is Mahavira, an older contemporary of the Buddha, who is often described by non-Jains as the 'founder' of Jainism. However, Mahavira is for Jains the last of the twenty-four tirthankaras Page #4 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ('fordmakers' who cross the ocean of suffering to the other side of existence) or jinas (conquerors) of our era, and the inheritor of the religious teaching of Parsvanatha, the twenty-third jina. Mahavira's major systematic innovation was the introduction of the fourfold sangha: the fourfold division of the community into saadhus (male ascetics), saadhvis (female ascetics), sraavakas (laymen) and sraavikas (laywomen), and this fundamental division reflects the degree of observance of the Jain teachings. It also allows the symbiosis and interdependence of the two groups upon one another; the laity look after the material needs of the ascetics and in return the ascetics guide the lay people on the spiritual path. The essence of Jainism is of course the teaching of Mahavira. Jains revere a human being whose exemplary asceticism offers an idealised model for humanity to follow. This 'path of purification' is unique, not in its regime of austerities, yoga and meditation, which were common to the Sramanic tradition, but in its overwhelming ethical rigour, scientific approach, logical conduct and spirituality lead to the ultimate goal for the humanity of liberation (moksa) by self-conquest. The central preoccupation of Jain teachings is to realise this objective, to provide a definitive method, the ratnatraya or 'three jewels': samyak-darsana ('right faith'), samyak-jnana ('right knowledge') and samyak-caritra (right conduct') together constitute the path to liberation. Jainism has vast amount of sacred literature, but there is hardly a comprehensive text, which discusses all aspects of Jainism. This dissertation is an attempt to provide much needed research to fill this gap, which can be useful to both the modern Jain community and the non-Jains. Page #5 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ THE WORLD OF THE CONQUERORS: The history, literature, religion, and culture of the Jains THE WORLD OF THE CONQUERORS History has witnessed many conquerors. There have been conquerors of regions, lands, kingdoms and great empires. In contrast to the military conquerors like Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar or Clive of India, the modern world has presented opportunities for some to carve out great empires in business and in property. Others metaphorically 'conquer' areas of scientific research, of sport, of entertainment and other such worldly affairs. These are, in a sense, external conquests. Often they prove to be fleeting and transitory. Great empires like those of the Romans or the British arise only to decline. Business achievements and sporting prowess are overtaken by events. In our personal lives too, happiness and fulfilment often seem to elude us. It is in this realm of the personal that the Jain religion holds out both a challenge and a way forward: Jain' means conqueror, a conqueror of the self. In this work, we shall explore the world of those who have striven to achieve victory over the self and to gain the rewards that flow from it. These rewards are not of the fleeting, contingent, material kind and the happiness achieved is independent of material circumstances and events. Page #6 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ THE WORLD OF THE CONQUERORS THE HISTORY, LITERATURE, RELIGION AND CULTURE OF JAINSM Contents Declaration Dedication Abstract The world of the conquerors Contents Preface and Acknowledgements List of Tables and Diagrams List of Plates Transliteration and Pronounciation Introduction Chapter 1.1 Chapter 1.2 History Chapter 2.1 Chapter 2.2 Chapter 2.3 Chapter 2.4 Chapter 2.5 Chapter 2.6 Chapter 2.7 Chapter 2.8 Chapter 2.9 Chapter 2.10 Chapter 2.11 Literature Chapter 3.1 Chapter 3.2 Chapter 3.3 Religion Chapter 4.1 Chapter 4.2 Chapter 4.3 (a) Chapter 4.3 (b) Chapter 4.3 (c) The Meaning of Life The Antiquity of Jainism Spread of Jainism and Royal Patronage Popular Support Decline and Revival The Schisms Jain Migration Abroad Jainism in the Twentieth Century The Jain Canon Ancient Non-Canonical Literature Modern and Translated Literature The Philosophy The Path of Purification Nine Real Entities (Jiva) Ajiva Punya, Paapa, Aasrava, Bandha, Samvar, Nirjara and Moksa page 2 6 3 4 Traditional History of The Origin of Jainism and The First Tirthankara 22 The Later Tirthankars 29 Vardhamana Mahavira 35 The Jain Sangha and Early Ascetics 44 Prominent Aacaaryas 51 62 71 76 78 86 91 6 7 9 10 11 12 13 19 94 106 111 115 119 127 132 144 Page #7 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 4.4 Chapter 4.5 Chapter 4.6 Chapter 4.7 Chapter 4.8 Chapter 4.9 Chapter 4.10 Chapter 4.11 Chapter 4.12 Chapter 4.13 Chapter 4.14 Chapter 4.15 Chapter 5.1 Chapter 5.2 Chapter 5.3 Chapter 5.4 Chapter 5.5 Chapter 5.6 Chapter 5.7 Chapter 5.8 The Culture Chapter 6.1 Chapter 6.2 Chapter 6.3 Chapter 6.4 Chapter 6.5 Chapter 6.6 Chapter 6.7 Chapter 6.8 Chapter 6.9 Karma Jain Logic, Psychology and The Theory of Knowledge Jain Concept of Knowledge The Concept of The Soul Jain Yoga and Meditation The Scientificity of Jainism Jain Community and Religious Practices Appendices Glossary Bibligraphy Relativism Spiritual Development The Cosmos Jain Ethics Ahimsaa, Aparigraha, Anekaantavaada Austerities The Jain Community The Daily Duties of Ascetics and Laypersons Popular Jainism and Rituals Svetambara Rituals Penitential Retreat Digambara Rituals and Rituals of other Sects Sacred Days and Festivals Social Rituals Jain Values and The Modern World Animal Welfare Environmental Concerns Vegetarianism Jain Diet Jain Art and Architecture Temples and Places of Pilgrimage Jain Institutions The World's Spiritual Quest 7 148 161 167 180 183 179 194 203 212 218 224 235 239 246 256 261 270 277 282 288 296 300 306 314 320 326 343 352 358 380 403 419 Page #8 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ainism is regarded by its followers as the world's oldest religion, which was revived the Mahavira more than 2,500 years ago, in Bihar, India. He addressed himself to the mass of the people, delivering his teachings in Ardha Magadhi, then the language of the people in Magadha (Bihar). It is Mahavira who is credited with founding one of the distinctive features of contemporary Jain society and religion: the fourfold organisation of male and female ascetics and male and female laypeople. Throughout its long history, Jainism has seen periods when it has flourished and others when it has declined, but for thousands of years it has remained a living religion and a way of life in India. The three most important expressions of Jain teaching are the 'Three Jewels': Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. For followers of Jainism, the most important outward practices are ahimsaa, 'non-violence and reverence for all life", aparigraha, non-attachment to worldly possessions, power or position, and anekaantavaada, "relative pluralism' or the multiplicity of views. Jainism can be seen as a microcosm of Indian society, yet its concepts have a direct relevance to many issues faced by the modern world. In the vibrant societies in which Jainism flourished, philosophical debates ranged widely, touching upon the entire range of human experience and understanding. Although all Jains shared a common fundamental outlook, differences of interpretation were bound to arise and these were responsible for a variety of rituals and worship, which led to the emergence of the four major sects of Jainism: Svetambar, Digambar, Sthanakvasi and Terapanthi. These sectarian differences seem less relevant outside India and the experience of Jain migration in East Africa and to the West has created new opportunities for seeing Jain identity in a fresh light. In the work I undertook in creating the Jain Centre in Leicester, I had contact with and received the blessing and support of both the lay leaders and the ascetics from all the major sects of Jainism, to whom I am grateful for imparting the knowledge directly or indirectly about many aspects of Jainism that are not easily found in the text books. I am also indebted to my supervisor Dr. S. L. Gandhi for encouraging me to further my studies for a doctorate degree at the Intercultural Open University, The Netherlands, and for guiding me to write this dissertation. I acknowledge my gratitude to those who have helped me, directly or indirectly in the completion of this work. I must thank the many authors, mentioned in the bibliography, whose work has been a source of inspiration. My special thanks are due to my wife Mrs Bhanumati Shah for her inspiration, sacrifice and her untiring work in entertaining all who helped me to complete the dissertation. I am grateful to my daughter Leena and my son Samir and their families for the constant inspiration to finish the work. It is my sincere hope that this work will serve both as an accessible introduction to Jainism for the general reader and as a spur to the scholars to undertake further study and research into this ancient faith. April 1998 8 Dr Natubhai Shah London Page #9 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ LIST OF TABLES AND DIAGRAMS Page No. Description 1.1 2.1 2.2 16 29 92 120 129 130 140 141A 150 152 166 187 190 195 196 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 4.11 4.12 197 4.13 227 227 229 240 4.14 4.15 4.16 5.1 5.2 5.3 Types of jiva. The twenty-four tirthankaras and their iconographic symbols. Statistics of North American Jains in various professions, 1992. 'Ladder' of spiritual progress showing the fourteen steps. Types of nuclei for birth of a worldly soul. The number of vital completions and life forces in living beings. Time measurement as described in Jain literature. The Jain cosmic time cycle. The eight types of karma. The four main groups of body producing karma. The five types of knowledge. The seven-fold expressions for a description of an entity or an event. The fourteen stages of spiritual development The traditional Jain view of the occupied universe. Sectional diagram of the traditional Middle World, showing the two-and-a-half continents inhabited by humans. "Map' showing the relative positions of Jambudvipa and Nandisvar Dvipa which has the four groups of fifty-two eternal Jain temples. The relationship between the subtle and the physical body. The Jain view of the relationship of the body to behaviour. Meditation and its effects. Svetambar 'monk Svetambar 'nun'. Number of Jain saadhus and saadhvis resident for the four-months of the rainy season in 1995 The origin of Jain groups. Some of the postures adopted during the ritual caitya vandan. Some of the postures adopted during the ritual pratikraman. The Jain symbol adopted in 1969 CE at the 2500th anniversary of the moksa of Mahavira. The Jain Calendar. Calories and proteins from different foodstuffs. Classification of the types, sources and methods of food intake. Prohibited food items for Jains. Time limits for foodstuffs in the Indian winter. The dharma cakra, 'wheel of religion'. Side elevation of a typical Jain temple. Sectional drawing of a typical Jain temple Impotant places of pilgrimage and their significance. 240 240 242 266 276 281 5.4 5.5 5.6 57 283 318 320 322 324 331 345 345 351 5.8 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Page #10 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Page plate 30 2.1 88 2.2 89 2.3 89 251 2.4 252 5.3-4 264 5.5 266 268 Dr L.M. Singhvi, High Commissioner of India in the U.K., inaugurates the Jain Academy Education and Research Centre at Bombay University, in December 1995. With him are vice-chancellor of Bombay University and the Chairman of the Jain Academy. 5.1-2 Svetambara 'nun' filtering drinking water and showing compassion to the living beings in the filtrate. 5.6 5 357 5.7 293 5.8 330 6.1 332 6.2 339 6.3 340 6.4 347 6.5 348 6.6 349 6.7 356 6.8 LIST OF PLATES 6.9 Description Image of Shantinatha at Jain Centre Leicester, England. Jain Centre Leicester. Pro Vice-Chancellor of De Montfort University receives Jain Texts for University library from the officials of Jain Academy. Svetambara 'nun' paying respects to the senior nun and self-study. A devotee making swastika with rice grains in a temple at Boradi, Gujarat. Devotees performing the ritual of caitya vandan at Boradi, Gujarat, India. Devotees bathe a Jina statue in the siddha cakra pujan ritual at Leicester in 1985. Jain wedding in a traditional mandap. Brass Jina stautes with Siddha cakra yantra at Jain Centre Leicester Kirti Stambha, Ahmedabad, erected for the 2500th nirvana anniversary of Mahavira A wooden book cover and two pages of Jain scriptures Dr L.M. Singhvi, High Commissioner of India in the U.K and the author, pay their respects to Aacaarya Yashovijay at Bombay, December 1995. Aerial view of the temple complex at Satrunjay, Gujarat. Interior of the Delwara temple, Rajasthan. Jain Centre Leicester, first place of worship for all major sects of Jainism showing the View of Svetambar Temple, Digambar Temple Sthanakvasi Paat, Guru Gautam and Srimad Rajcandra mandeer. Archbishop of York Dr Habgood, High Commissioner of India Dr L. M. Singhvi, the Bishop of Leicester and the author at the seminar organised by Jain- Christian Association at Jain Centre, Leicester in 1992. Jain Jewish dignitaries at the launch of Jain-Jewish Association at the Stenberg Centre for Judaism, London in 1995 10 Page #11 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Transliteration and Pronunciation he languages of the Jain communities which produced the scriptures and the languages spoken in modern times by most Jains are very different from English. There are difficulties in conveying to readers through print alone how words sound in other languages. I have transcribed words from ancient and modern Indian languages in a way, which seemed most likely to give modern English speaking readers an approximation to the original sounds. In the case of personal and place names and of well-known words, such as brahmin, I have retained the spellings widely used in English, but which do not necessarily express the pronunciation accurately. Some examples are given in appendix Readers may assume that transliterated words sound approximately as they do in English except for: the double a indicates a long vowel sound this aspirated combination of letters sounds like th in the in most instances, the consonant c sounds like ch as in chair most instances the consonants sounds like sh as in 'share' Letters such as t, th, d, 1 and n are not pronounced as in 'standard' version of English, but may, some time, require a prolonged or emphasised sound; interested students require expert help for the correct pronunciation. ks and jn indicate two sounds which are unknown in English and an attempt to convey these accurately through transliteration would be unhelpful. Page #12 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ INTRODUCTION Chapter 1.1 THE MEANING OF LIFE Le et me introduce you to Jainism by greeting you in a Jain way, Jai Jinendra. This greeting literally means: 'honour to those who have conquered themselves". By this, Jains mean honour to those who have conquered their inner impulses, whether good or evil, and who exemplify the path of self-conquest and happiness to all other living beings. Life is dear to us all -- human beings and other living beings, happy individuals as well as unhappy ones. Many questions about life arise in our minds. Who has given us life? Who takes it away when we die? Why are there injustices in life? Why are some born into poor families and others born into wealthy ones? Why are some born as humans and others born as animals? Why one is male and another is female? Why do some live a long life and others a short one? Why are some born with great intellectual gifts, while others are less well endowed? Can we explain why some are born with physical attributes, which are prized, such as beauty, while others lack these? Why is one person healthy and another full of suffering? Why do some achieve popularity and fame yet others are unpopular or even notorious? Why do some people have great wealth, while others cannot make ends meet? The more we think, the more questions come into our inquisitive minds. Do our lives have meaning? Do they have purpose? Can we achieve permanent happiness and bliss? Who are we? Where have we come from? And what are we here for? For endless centuries these questions have puzzled all thinking people, philosophers, theologians and the scientists. They have sought answers, postulated theories and have attempted to find the truth about these great mysteries and the nature of the universe. Some believe it is the will of the Almighty 'Supreme God', the creator, the sustainer and the dispenser of justice. Others maintain that the universe is eternal and the mysterious phenomena of nature, justice and injustice, are the results of karmic bondage of the soul. Our own actions in the past, whether good or bad, cause this karmic bondage, which we will discuss in detail later. Jain tradition Indian civilisation has produced many philosophies and religions. Among them is Jainism, one of the oldest religions in the world. Jainism is a religion, a philosophy, and a way of life taught and preached in the past by countless Jinas (and which will be taught in the future by further Jinas). Though historians have made various speculations about its origins, the origin of Jainism remains untraceable. Jains believe it to be an eternal religion. The name Jainism comes from Jina, meaning 'victor' in the classical Indian language Sanskrit. Jinas are the victors over the self, have achieved liberation from karmic bondage and they have attained the true characteristics of the soul such as infinite faith, infinite knowledge, perfect conduct, infinite bliss and eternity by their own efforts. They are called tirthankaras, those who lead us towards the path of the eternal life of perfection. Tirtha means pilgrimage, (spiritual) path, or the order, which follows this path. Each tirthankara establishes four orders of society (caturvidha sangha) consisting 12 Page #13 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ of monks (saadhus), nuns (saadhvis), male lay followers (sraavakas) and female lay followers (sraavikaas). The tirthankara leads the above four orders of society towards the path of spiritual perfection by teaching the truth about the universe and its nature, the meaning of life and the ethical path to be pursued. When Jains say that Jainism is a religion preached by the Jinas, they mean Jainism expresses the eternal truths of life and spirituality taught by pure souls, who are victors of themselves, with perfect knowledge and understanding. Jainism believes the universe to be eternal, its constituents such as living and nonlivings things may change form, but they are basically eternal. Time rotates in a cycle, like a wheel moving clockwise, descending and ascending. In each half of the time cycle (aeon), descending and ascending, twenty-four tirthankaras establish the fourfold order and teach the path of happiness and perfection to all the living beings of the world. The first tirthankara in this aeon was Risabhdeva and the twenty-fourth (and last) was Vardhamana Mahavira who lived, according to generally accepted dates, from 599 to 527 BCE. (Jain K C 1991: pp 84-88) Revival of Jainism The last tirthankara Mahavira is not the founder of Jainism, but he revived and expounded the religious, philosophical and ethical teachings of previous tirthankaras. Jains believe that Jainism belongs to the non-Vedic, sramana tradition of Indian culture and is reputed to be pre-Vedic, antedating the coming of the Aryan peoples to India. Over a period of nearly a century after Mahavira's liberation, Jainism produced a series of omniscients. These were followed in succession, for more than two centuries, by scriptural omniscients and later by prominent ascetic scholars. These knowledgeable ascetics evolved Jainism into a complete religious system, with its own philosophy, ethics, rituals and mythology. They produced a vast sacred literature covering all aspects of human life and the situation of other living beings in the universe. Mahavira was very practical in his approach. He divided society into male ascetics and female ascetics, who can follow his teachings rigorously, and laymen and laywomen who can pursue the path of his teachings to the best of their abilities in the light of their worldly duties. Jainism does not demand unquestioning faith from its followers, but encourages understanding before acceptance. The fourfold order developed into a highly organised society of monastic orders and laypeople. Jains have created beautiful temples, upashrayas (places of meditation), and preserved most of their sacred literature. They have established institutions of education, social welfare and animal welfare. 'Live and help to live' is their motto and their way of life is based on the teachings of Mahavira. Mahavira was a contemporary of the Buddha. Both of them preached religions that stemmed from the sramana tradition. Buddha founded Buddhism in the sixth century BCE, while Jainism has existed in India for much longer. They believed sacrifices and other religious practices conducted by brahmanical priests not only unnecessary, but a hindrance to the goal of moksa or nirvana (liberation). The way to liberation, they claimed, was through self-discipline, meditation and ascetic practices. The similarities between the Jain and Buddhist religions, and especially the fact that Mahavira and the Buddha lived at the same time in the same region, caused confusion among Western 13 Page #14 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ scholars for a long time, but there are basic differences in the beliefs of Jainism and Buddhism. Jainism believes in the equality of all souls and reverence for life in its totality. It accords significance to the minutest living organisms. Animal welfare, vegetarianism and care of the environment are very much at the heart of Jain beliefs. Relative pluralism has made Jains tolerant towards other faiths and has kept Jainism as an 'open' religion. Whereas Buddhism has missionaries and seeks converts, Jainism has not followed the path of active conversion. Buddhism believes in the impermanence of the world and that everything is also transitory, which is totally counter to Jain belief that the universe and everything in it are real and permanent; the modes of the 'real entity' change, but the 'real entity' or the substance are permanent. Buddhism believes the soul to be a series of continuous unbroken instants of consciousness: it is an illusion. Jainism believes the soul as an eternal 'real entity', which has consciousness as one of its attributes; the soul keeps its individuality even after liberation. Karma is very fine particles of matter according to Jain belief, while it is merely a force according to Buddhism. Jainism prescribes a programme of spiritual training far more rigorous than the middle path of Buddhism and the fourfold order of Jainism does not exist in Buddhism. Jain daily practices of ascetics, the temples, the rituals and the duties of laity differ from those of Buddhism. The life of Jain ascetics is much more austere than that of Buddhist monks. Jains have remained strict vegetarians. Buddhists are also vegetarians, but in other Buddhist traditions meat eating has become permissible, though Buddhists would not undertake the slaughter of animals themselves, nor accept meat slaughtered or cooked specially for them. Both religions have given importance to asceticism. Buddhism accepts temporary asceticism, whereas in Jainism it is permanent. Jainism is a highly original system of thought containing ancient material. The two religions, though similar in origin and approach, evolved along different lines and each gathered a vast number of followers. But Jainism, unlike Buddhism, spread little beyond the frontiers of India. Its hold over its adherents in India, however, continued to be strong throughout the ages and it was able, therefore, to counter the strong forces of the Hindu revivalists. Buddhism, on the other hand, could not withstand these pressures and consequently virtually disappeared from the land of its origin. Jainism, though restricted to a minority, continues to be a living tradition in India today. Owing to recent migrations, Jain followers are now to be found in most countries of the world. The Jain way of life is not at odds with normal everyday life. It is an ethical doctrine with self-discipline as its core. It does not recognise an almighty god or a Supreme Being. It believes in godhood that can be attained by most of us, provided we follow the teachings of the Jina and liberate our souls. Jains do not depend on 'divine grace' to attain liberation, but attempt to achieve it through individual initiative and effort. They worship tirthankaras as examples and do not ask for any favours. Jainism is an open religion. Persons born in the Jain community have to be Jains by following the teachings of the Jinas. They have a better environment to be true Jains. Jainism believes, irrespective of labels attached to us by birth or otherwise, any person who follows the path of the Jinas is a Jain. 14 Page #15 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Jain teachings Jainism teaches that the universe consists of living and non-living things. It is the attachment of non-living substances to living things, the soul, which causes suffering, an unending process of birth, death and rebirth. The Jain way of life consists of the coordinated path of the "Three Jewels': Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. Right Faith is belief in the teachings of the Jinas, Right Knowledge is a proper grasp of the nine real entities making the universe, as found in the teachings of omniscient Jinas, and Right Conduct is the ethical code, behaviour and actions laid down by the teachings of the Jinas. The universe consists of six substances: the soul, matter, the medium of motion, the medium of rest, space and time. The soul is the living being (jiva) and the others are non-living substances (ajiva). Both jiva and ajiva are interdependent and everlasting. Living beings can be categorised into two types: those who are liberated, that is who have successfully freed themselves from the cycle of birth, death and rebirth, and those who are still enmeshed in that cycle (worldly). Whenever the worldly (sansaari) soul appears on earth it is born as either a mobile or an immobile being. The immobile being has only one sense, that of touch. The simplest example is a plant. Mobile beings have the sense of touch and, in addition, one or more of the remaining four senses, taste, sight, smell and hearing. The five-sense living beings are further subdivided into those that have a mind, such as human beings, and those that do not have a mind, such as most animals. This produces a classification like that in Table 1.1 (It should be remembered that the traditional divisions may not accord exactly with those accepted by modern biology). Table 11 Types of Jiva Liberated (siddha) Immobile with one sense, e.g. plants 2 senses e.g. worms 3 senses e.g. lice Jiva 4 senses e.g. bees Worldly (samsaari) 15 Mobile 5 senses (with or without mind) e.g. animals, birds, fish, humans, celestials, infernals Causes of The Mysteries of Worldly Life: In the worldly life, living beings have been attached to non-living karma since eternity and this bondage is responsible for birth, death, sufferings, pain and illusory pleasures of a temporary nature. Karmic bondage is the result of our own actions, physical, verbal or mental. The moment the karma is totally shed, the soul becomes liberated and is able to live with its full potentials of infinite bliss, knowledge, faith and spiritual energy, and perfect conduct eternally along with other Page #16 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ liberated souls. When one dies, the soul leaves the body, which is made of matter, but takes the karma attached to it. The type of karma forces the soul to create another body according to the characteristics of its particular karma. Jainism describes karma as subtle matter of sub-atomic particles, not perceptible to the senses, found everywhere in the cosmos and having the property of penetrating the soul and clouding its characteristics. The activities of mind, body and speech create vibrations in these particles and attract them to the soul. Intense activities cause severe vibrations, causing these particles to penetrate the soul and stick to it tightly. The influx of karmic matter occurs all the time. Benevolent acts cause good karma (merit), while sinful acts cause bad karma (demerit). The result of merit is good body, good destiny and family, and material happiness; the reverse is the case with demerit. Both merit and demerit keep the soul in the worldly cycle, they do not cancel each other out. Karmic particles penetrate the soul and form karmic body around the regions of the soul. For liberation from the cycle of birth and death, all karmic particles, whether of merit or demerit, have to be shed. The quantity, the size, the type and the density of karmic particles determine the form that the soul will assume in forthcoming births, it is the karmic body, which causes the living being to have inherent passions such as greed, anger, deceit and pride. Of course, external environments affect these passions, increasing their severity in a complementary way, but the Right Conduct including ethics, austerities and meditation can prevent this complementary effect. After the results of the deeds, good and bad, have been worked out in the soul; the karma matter is shed. If this were to continue uninterruptedly then the soul eventually would shed all the karma matter. Unfortunately, this is impossible because while a being is shedding old karmic matter, it is simultaneously attracting new, through different actions of mind, body and speech. Thus the soul remains in bondage to the karmic body and transmigrates through the worldly cycle. Liberation of the soul from karmic bondage can be achieved only through an active shedding of all existing karma. Jainism describes this as a two-stage process. The first stage is the blocking of all channels through which karma flows into the soul. This requires rigorous self-control and freedom from worldly attachments by cutting oneself off from worldly ties and occupying oneself in meditation. Once the ingress of karma has been blocked, then begins the second stage of shedding the particles of karmic body by austerities begins until the karma is destroyed. When this finally occurs, after countless lives and long spiritual development, the soul, released from its bondage, reverts to its true natural state of pure perfection and attains liberation. It ascends to the apex of the universe where it dwells in siddha silaa, a liberated soul without material body, enjoying infinite bliss, infinite knowledge, detachment and equanimity. The theory of karma explains almost all the questions raised at the beginning of this chapter, such as the injustice in this world, the type of body one occupies, the misery and unhappiness, and the cycle of rebirth. The answer to the question, 'What am I? becomes a little clearer. I am a soul, which occupies different types of bodies, which may be celestial, human, subhuman or infernal depending upon the karma attached to it. It is because of karmic bondage that an individual cannot enjoy the true characteristics of the perfect soul: infinite bliss, knowledge and peace, and the goal of life is to achieve it. 16 Page #17 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Like dirt mixed with gold particles, karmic bondage is attached to the living being from the time immemorial. It is the objective of human life to remove this bondage, achieve self-realisation and restore the soul to its natural state of eternal bliss and unending calm. Jains argue that most individuals have not understood the true meaning of life. They are on the wrong quest, seeking the so-called ways to happiness through wealth, property, position, power and external objects. The pleasures brought by these material things are temporary, dependent on outside influences and substances that produce more and more desires, greed, pride, egoism, attachment and ultimately unhappiness. Ignorance, uncontrolled desires and activities of mind, body and speech are the causes of the bondage of the soul. The path towards self-conquest is gained if one controls the mind, develops detachment towards external objects, concern for the welfare of living beings, and contemplation on the soul. The happiness, which comes from within by selfconquest is not dependent on any external objects but is self-generated and permanent. To utilise the body for self-realisation and self-conquest is the true meaning of life. 17 Page #18 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 1.2 THE ANTIQUITY OF JAINISM Ind ndia is a land of religious people. In the West people see religion as a mental and spiritual activity but in the East people think of it as activity concerned with all aspects of mind, body and speech, so that every person, irrespective of his or her outlook, is a religious person. In India, the word usually translated by the English word 'religion' is dharma, but dharma has a wider connotation, it involves the individual's duties and functions, physical and spiritual, throughout life. It is a way of life, thought and action, unlimited in scope. However, traditionally, the dharma is defined as those activities, which lead one to total happiness and self-realisation. It is this meaning of dharma that we shall use throughout this dissertation. In the Jain view, the ideal religion would be capable of being a universal religion having the widest possible appeal. However, we know from history and our own experience that the world's major religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism have so far been of limited or qualified appeal. Some of these religions are named after a historical figure, Christ or Buddha, some after a nation or its lands, Hind or Judah, and others after particular qualities, Islam (submission to God). Jainism falls into the latter category, taking its name from Jina (self-conqueror). Jainism sees self-conquest as a goal to which all human beings should aspire. It is in this that modern Jains see its potential for universality. The Indian sub-continent has long been a land of many religions: today Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism are all - important living religions. Though the 1981 census shows a fairly small number of Jains, around three millions, the number of people who follow the Jain way of life, whether consciously or not, is many times more, not only in India but also throughout the world. Jain organisations in India estimate that the number of de facto Jains may be as high as twelve million. The discrepancy in the figures of Jain organisations and official figures may be due to the fact that in the 19th century British rule gave the name Hinduism to the coalition of religions that existed in India (Bowker 1997: p.18). There has long been confusion, among scholars as well as ordinary people, regarding the history, origin and status of Jainism. It is only in the last hundred years that Eastern and Western scholars have studied this religion and the results of their researches have done something to clear the clouds of confusion which long veiled Jainism. Dr S. Radhakrishnan, the great philosopher, scholar, who was the President of India (19621967), wrote 'Jainism is a Pre-Aryan religion, which prevailed in India long before Mahavira and Parsva, the last two tirthankaras' (Radhakrishnan 1929-31: vol 1, pp.287). In 1947 Pandey has stated that the anti-ritualistic tendency, within the Vedic fold is the impact of an asceticism (predominant in Jainism) which antedates the Vedas. (Pandey, quoted in Roy 1984: p.12). The scholars such as Hiralal Jain, Zimmer, Jacobi, Vincent Smith, and Furlong have studied Jainism and the results of their researches have cleared the clouds of confusion surrounding Jainism. These scholars have confirmed that it is without doubt one of the oldest religions of India, distinct in its own right from Buddhism (with which it was long confused in Western eyes) as well as from other Indian faiths. In the Majjhima Nikaya (Mahasimhanada Sutta: 1,1,2), it has been noted that the Buddha was from the sramana 18 Page #19 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ tradition and undertook rigorous ascetic practices such as pulling one's hair and fasting; these practices are similar to those of the disciples of Parsvanatha, the twenty-third tirthankara of the Jains. Both Dhamananda Kosambi and Pandit Sukhlal claim that the Buddha did adopt the practices of Parsva tradition, the fourfold practices of conduct, before he developed his system. According to the historian Radhakumuda Mukharjee, the Buddha developed his way of life after attempting the Jain and Vedic practices; this has been confirmed by Mrs. Rhys Davids in her book 'Gautam, the Man' (1928: pp. 22-25). Much scholarly work has been devoted to tracing the early history of Jainism, though the origins of the religion lie far back in prehistory and the beyond scholarly reconstruction. Jain writings have preserved an extensive and consistent legendary history. In contrast to this traditional account, modern scholarship has reached widely varying conclusions, though confirming in some parts the traditional view. The study of history never had the importance in India, which it has had in the West or in China and much of the early history of India, and not only of Jainism, is still obscure. Research in the last century or so has increased our knowledge of India before the time of Alexander the Great. It is possible to look at the early history of Jainism through sources of four kinds: (i) Literary, (ii) Archaeological, (iii) Scientific-Geological and (iv) Philosophical. These have been studied by, among others, J.P. Jain in Jainism, the Oldest Living Religion (1988). The main characteristics of Jainism do exhibit a primitive and prehistoric substrata, though dynamic in its development. (i) Literary Sources: It must be emphasised that many of the conclusions regarding early Jainism drawn from early literary sources are highly speculative, depending often on the individual interpretations of particular scholars regarding chance references in the sources studied, the Vedas, Puraanas, and other historical records. Thus it is said that Jainism was in existence in the period of the Mahabharata, the great Indian epic. A copper plate inscription discovered in Kathiawar (Gujarat) in 1935 recording a grant to a king of the Sumera tribe who built a temple to Neminatha, the twenty-second Jain tirthankara, at Rasvataka (Girnar), is adduced as confirmation. The Rigveda, said to be the earliest book still extant and reputed to date in part from as early as 4,500 BCE, though reaching its final form around 1,500 BCE, includes hymns referring to the first tirthankara Risabhdeva. It describes him as a great man from the sramana (that is, Jain) tradition and refers also to the twenty-second tirthankara Neminatha (Jain J.P.1951 pp. 20-24). The ancient writings known as Puranas follow the Rigveda and even gave Risabhdeva the status of one of the incarnations (avataaras) of the god Vishnu (Chatterjee A.1978: p.7). Later Indian literature contains references to the same effect. It is said that the traditional name for India, Bharat, has been derived from that of Risabhdeva's son, Bharat (Kalghatgi 1988: p.28). The historicity of the twenty-fourth tirthankara, Mahavira, and his predecessor Parsvanatha, some 250 years earlier, has been proved beyond doubt. (ii) Archaeological: The epoch making discovery of the prehistoric Indus Valley Civilisation (c.4,500 to 1,500 BCE) at Mohenjodaro and Harappa (now in Pakistan) has provided material on the basis of which some have concluded that Jainism existed already during this ancient civilisation (Moh. Ind, plate xii, Fig. 13, 14, 15, 19, 22). The evidence is capable of many interpretations: here, for what they are worth, are the main 19 Page #20 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ pointers. Nude figures in standing posture have been interpreted as Jain yogis in the relaxed standing meditational (kaayotsarga) position widely found in Jain iconography. Similar figures appear on some of the seals excavated at these sites. Seals have been found bearing the image of a bull, the emblem of Risabhdeva. Hooded figures may represent the seventh tirthankara Suparsvanatha, whose main iconographic characteristic is a hood formed by seven snakes. Attempts to interpret the Indus Valley script have been largely unsuccessful, though the historian Pran Nath Vidyalankar has read the inscription of seal No. 449 as jineshvar or jinesha, possibly representing the Jina or self-conqueror, a term used for the tirthankara. He also seems to have deciphered the incantation srim hrim klimek, used (but not exclusively) by the Jains (Shah D.T.1965: pp.559-560). If one accepts the interpretation of this, admittedly problematic, evidence, the existence of Jainism can be traced back to pre-Aryan, pre-Vedic times, and to the original Dravidian inhabitants of northern India, perhaps as far back as the seventh millenium BCE. (iii) Scientific--Geologica: It appears that the last ice age ended about 8,000 to 10,000 years BCE. In the succeeding post glacial age it is thought that Aryan peoples began moving south towards India. They found a good level of civilisation at the borderline between the neolithic, or new stone age, and the chalcolithic age when copper and stone implements were in use side by side (Jain K.C. 1991: p.4). This is the period when the civilising work of the first tirthankara, reputed in Jain tradition to have introduced humanity to the new useful arts, could have taken place. (iv) Philosophical Evidence: Certain Jain philosophical or cosmological principles suggest great antiquity. Three examples may make this clear: * The concept that life exists in all things, except limited range of pure matter, is characteristic of Jain thought and seems to be of ancient origin; The concept of cyclical time is found in Buddhism and in other ancient religions; Buhler has referred to the third concept supporting the antiquity of Jain thought (Buhler 1908, Tr. By Burgess 1963: p.7). It is the identity or non-difference between a substance and its attributes. This has been modified by the later concept of 'relative pluralism' (anekaantavaada), a characteristic of Jainism seeing all facts from multiple viewpoints. Undoubtedly, the Jain religion is of great antiquity. The simple fact is, however, that given the present state of our knowledge, any attempts to trace or date its early history are speculative. . 20 Page #21 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ HISTORY Chapter 2.1 TRADITIONAL HISTORY OF THE ORIGINS OF JAINISM AND THE FIRST TIRTHANKARA ainism, like every religious and cultural system, has a traditional account of its origins. an were in a language, which were rendered by the chief disciples into scriptures and preserved over many centuries, at first as memorised by the ascetics and only later as texts. This vast sacred literature, of the primary canon and subsidiary texts, contains accounts of the origins of Jainism, lives and teachings of the tirthankaras, cosmology and the cycles of time. The Jains believe that their religion is eternal and non-revealed, that knowledge is realised through the awareness of the true self, typified by the experiences of the tirthankaras and their chief disciples, known as the heads of ascetic lineage (ganadharas). They existed in a cosmic cycle of time, which is described using the image of the single rotation of a wheel (see figure 4 4). We are living in the fifth phase of the descending cycle, which is 21,000 years long, so far, more than 2,500 years have passed in this phase. According to Jain tradition, Risabhdeva was destined to be the first tirthankara in the present descending cosmic cycle. Due to the lack of generally available English translations of many traditional Jain texts, we outline here some of the mythological material relating to the cosmic cycle. The first phase of the current cosmic cycle (susamaa-susamaa) was a period of great pleasure, of the utmost happiness for people; their lives were without strife or want; all their needs and desires were abundantly satisfied by ten miraculous wish-fulfilling trees. In this period men and women exhibited great love towards each other and spent all their time together in a faithful relationship akin to marriage; both were destined to die simultaneously and, at the very moment of death, to give birth to twins, a boy and a girl. These twins, in turn, lived as husband and wife until it was time for them to die when they gave birth to another set of twins. The second cosmic phase (susamaa), was also one of pleasure, of happiness, although not of utter bliss. In the third phase (susamaa-dusamaa) happiness became tinged with unhappiness and, as this phase drew to close, the power of the wish-fulfilling trees diminished. The Age of Fourteen Patriarchs (Kulakaras) The texts go on to tell how at suitable intervals in the descending era fourteen Patriarchs were born, who played a significant role in assisting people to cope with the declining condition of the world and explained the many changes that would follow as the cosmic cycle continued on its downward course. The first startling change was that the sun and the moon became visible in the sky, until that time the brilliance of the radiant wish-fulfilling trees had obscured the light of all celestial bodies, but now, as the intensity of the former dimmed, the latter shone forth. The appearance of the sun and the moon aroused fear and suspicion in the minds of the people and it became the task of the first Patriarch to calm their apprehension by 21 Page #22 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ describing how these celestial bodies had become visible. As the light from the radiant wish-fulfilling trees faded further, twinkling stars manifested themselves in the skies. The second Patriarch described the nature of this phenomenon, discussing the different stars, the constellations, and the movements of the planets, and the causes of solar and lunar eclipses. He also prepared men and women for forthcoming changes such as the rising and setting of the sun, which would lead to a separation between day and night on earth. In the time of the third Patriarch, the texts recount that people were astounded to see animals such as lions and tigers, which had hitherto been harmless, turn into fierce predatory beasts. The third Patriarch told them not to expect the animals to be docile any longer, and he warned them to avoid all animals, which possessed fangs, claws or long horns, with the exception of domesticated cows and buffaloes. For the protection of the people, the fourth Patriarch instructed them in the use of weapons and other means of legitimate self-protection. As the descending era advanced, the power of the wish-fulfilling trees declined still further until even basic necessities, such as food, became scarce, which caused serious dissent among the people. The fifth Patriarch therefore assigned the wishfulfilling trees to specified territories and encouraged everyone to share whatever resources were available, but some individuals made sly incursions into the areas of others, which resulted in bitter and violent quarrels. The sixth Patriarch was compelled by this situation to demarcate territorial boundaries by means of hedges. The seventh Patriarch taught people how to ride upon animals such as horses and elephants. As described earlier, the traditional texts inform us how in the initial phases of the cosmic cycle, parents had no occasion to see their offspring, because they died the instant their children were born. This began to change during the rule of the eighth Patriarch, as at that time parents began to catch fleeting glimpses of their children. Thereafter, the advent of each further Patriarch coincided with a lengthening of the time which parents and children could spend together. At first this was only for a few minutes, then a few hours, then a few days until, finally, the term of family life extended over many years. The texts continue with stories from Patriarchal times: an account of how familiar geographical features, such as hills and streams, were formed, and how the twelfth Patriarch taught people the skills necessary to deal with these changes, such as building boats and cutting steps into the slopes of hills. The thirteenth Patriarch introduced a major social change: exogamy (out-marriage), henceforth individuals could choose marriage partners from other social groups or clan; formerly, brothers and sisters had cohabited, a practice well documented among ancient Egyptian pharaohs. The Rigveda acknowledges this form of cohabitation, and has a reference to Yama's rejecting the amorous advances of his sister Yami (quoted in Kalghatgi 1988: p.14). The fourteenth and final Patriarch was Nabhiraja, who is also known as Manu, and this text links Jain tradition to other Hindu mythology. In Hindu mythology, there are fourteen manus who correspond in some ways to the fourteen Patriarchs of the Jains; for example, in the Shrimad Bhagavata, the most celebrated of the eighteen Hindu texts known as the puraanas, Nabhiraja is claimed as the great-grandson of the first manu, Svayambhuva (Kalghatgi 1988: p.14). By the time of the fourteenth Patriarch, people had learned to work, the world had deteriorated and became a place where it was necessary to work in order to survive, and new challenges arose for the Patriarch to resolve. Page #23 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Risabhdeva--the first tirthankara The Kalpa Sutra (ascribed to Bhadrabahu: 3 century BCE), describes the biographies of the first, twenty-second, twenty-third and twenty-fourth tirthankaras, and mentions in brief second to twenty-first tirthankaras. According to Jain traditional accounts, Risabhdeva lived at the end of the third cosmic phase. He is also known as Adinatha (the 'First Lord'). He was said to be the son of the fourteenth Patriarch Nabhiraja and his wife Marudevi; his family took the name Ikswaku, because, according to the ninth century CE Jain scholar Jinasena, Risabhdeva was the first to teach people how to extract the juice of sugar cane (in Sanskrit, ikshu) (Kalghatgi 1988: p.18). The age in which Risabhdeva lived is described in the texts as a transitional period when old traditions were fading and new values were yet to assert themselves. People lived, as it were, in mid-stride with one foot still in the past and the other ready to step into the new social environment yet to be consolidated. The earlier nomadic way of life had ended, but family and social stability were yet to become established. The population was slowly increasing, yet natural resources and social structures appeared to be inadequate, As a consequence, human greed arose, and with it a tendency for criminality. It was therefore necessary to draw up codes of conduct for the betterment of society and in order to facilitate the establishment of a stable social order, the fourteenth Patriarch, Nabhiraja, organised people into a social polity. His son Risabhdeva became the first king and exercised political authority, establishing the capital of his kingdom at Vinitanagara (modern Ayodhya) and producing the first laws for the governance of his people. Although historians are not surprisingly, sceptical about the traditional accounts of the lives of the twenty-four tirthankaras, it may well be that Risabhdeva was an actual prehistoric figure around whose real life much legend has gathered over time. Other civilisations look back to their founding ancestors, often embellishing their biographies with legend: the early Emperors of China or the Patriarchs of the Bible are but two examples of this, and historians will perhaps never completely succeed in separating myth from historical fact. Jain tradition says that the most important task facing Risabhdeva was to provide food, shelter and protection for his subjects; he taught his people agriculture, further military skills, as well as introducing the skill of making earthenware pottery and fire for cooking. Education was not neglected and he taught the seventy-two traditional arts for men and the sixty-four for women. Jinasena also notes the six main arts and sciences of Risabhdeva's time: (i) the use of weapons (asi), (ii) writing (masi), (iii) agriculture (krusi), (iv) education (vidya), (v) trade and commerce (vanijya), and (vi) art and architecture (silpa) (Kalghatgi 1988: p.19). Risabhdeva's sons and daughters received instruction in economics, social science, dancing, singing, painting and mathematics. During his reign animals were first domesticated: cows, horses and elephants. His daughter Brahmi was taught the alphabet and literature, and so the early script, the precursor of the devanaagari system (in today's Hindi and other north Indian languages) called braahmi. Risabhdeva is therefore seen as the pioneer of education and the arts of civilisation, and he taught that the status of women was equal to that of men. Risabhdeva was the first to divide the people into three classes (varna): warrior (ksatriya), merchant (vaisya) and manual worker (sudra), based purely on the division of labour, not on birth, which contrasts with the situation in the later Indian caste system. The aim of caste divisions was to utilise the capabilities of different people in an efficient 23 Page #24 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ manner in order to bring about economic prosperity, and Risabhdeva himself taught the use of weapons and the art of warfare and may thus be considered a ksatriya. He travelled far and wide in his kingdom and encouraged the vaisyas build up trading links, he argued that all people should do their duty wholeheartedly and serve the people in the capacities best suited to them. The triple division of society did not in any way suggest the superiority or otherwise of one class in relation to the others, all were equal in the eyes of law and society. In the time of Risabhdeva's son, Bharat, a fourth class was introduced, that of intellectuals (Brahman), and this additional distinction was introduced not because the Brahmans were superior by birth but because it was found necessary that some of Bharat's subjects who had intellectual ability should specialise in learning and teaching. Thus the teachers, and those engaged in meditation and the search for knowledge, were to be considered brahmans, and the three varnas of Risabhdeva's time became four under Bharat, but the system remained, however, purely functional and unrelated to an individual's birth. Thus King Risabhdeva brought social and economic benefits to his people and to their welfare. He is credited with being the first king of ancient times, and is depicted as an inspired guide to his subjects, ruling with justice and charity, with malice to none and showing compassion to all. By the standards of the ancient world, his was seen as an enlightened age. Risabhdeva ruled for a long period with justice and equanimity, but his heart was not content only with worldly matters. His efforts for the betterment of society reflected a hunger and thirst after spiritual rather than temporal matters. While he desired good for his people and strove to develop his kingdom for the prosperity of all, he yearned within himself to look beyond and seek, with a detached mind, the goal of spiritual perfection. One story tells how on a spring day his court was filled with courtiers and subjects, watching the dance of an ethereal dancer named Nilanjana (Kalghatgi 1988 pp 21). The dance was exquisite and the audience was entranced, Risabhdeva was engrossed, however in the middle of the dance Nilanjana collapsed and, according to the story, her body disappeared. But Indra, lord of the celestials, instantly introduced a 'replica' of Nilanjana and the dance continued apparently without interruption. The audience knew nothing of the collapse of Nilanjana and the introduction of the substitute. However, with his clairvoyant knowledge, Risabhdeva saw through the substitution and, in doing so, became intensely aware of the transience of the world. His mind turned to contemplation of the meaninglessness of this world and its activities. He began to long for the realisation of the spirit, which is more permanent than involvement in worldly affairs. He decided to renounce the world. He handed over most of his kingdom to his eldest son Bharat and distributed the remaining parts to his other sons. He gave to his son Bahubali the kingdom of Poudanapura. Risabhdeva left Ayodhya and, in a garden called SiddhartaUdyana on the outskirts of the city, sitting beneath an asoka tree, he discarded his clothes and ornaments, plucked out his hair, and became a ascetic on the eighth day of the dark half (when the moon was waning) of the month of Caitra. The incident of Nilanjana may have a mythological content but it has great psychological significance, as such occasions express the inner yearning for renunciation provoking the non-attached to action. With sufficient intuitive insight a person distinguishes the real from the appearance. For thousands of years people have seen objects fall to the ground, but it was Newton who saw in that simple fact the law of 24 Page #25 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ gravity. It was the everyday occurrence of seeing an old man, a sick man and a dead body that led the Buddha to embark upon his quest for the meaning of life. Similarly, Risabhdeva's enlightenment arose from his own reflection upon a mundane enough scene, a dance. Risabhdeva spent one year in the practice of asceticism and meditation. People offered him gifts appropriate for a king, but he declined them. He did not seek food from others and he fasted for almost thirteen months. (Jain ascetics accept appropriate food only when it is offered). During this time some four thousand people had joined him as disciples, but they eventually found it too much of a strain to live such a severely ascetic life. Gradually they departed to set up their own 'schools' with an emphasis on the middle way between indulgence and austerity. After thirteen months, on an auspicious morning on the third day of the bright half (when the moon is waxing) of the month of Vaisak, Risabhdeva entered the city of Gajapura (modern Hastinapura). The ruler of the city, King Sreyansa approached the ascetic with great respect and offered him some sugar-cane juice and on this occasion, as the food was appropriate for an ascetic, Risabhdeva accepted the gift offered. According to tradition, this was the first sustenance he had taken since becoming an ascetic. To-day, many Jains follow Risabhdeva's example and fast (on alternate days) for a year, they break their fast at Hastinapura on the auspicious day known as the 'Immortal Third' (aksaya tritiya). This austerity is called the yearlong penance (varsi tapa). For a long period after this Risabhdeva practised penance and meditation, and during his wanderings he visited many places. One day, it is said, he was sitting under a banyan tree, lost in meditation, it was the eleventh day of the dark half of the month of Phalguna. In the early hours of the morning he reached the highest state of transcendental meditation and was absorbed in the realisation of the self; he became free of all obscuring karma and reached the state of perfect knowledge, omniscience. He was one who had conquered all passions and became a Jina, an arihant, an enlightened one and a tirthankara. In a sermon he is recorded to have said: "The aim of life is not indulgence in pleasure but self-restraint and sacrifice for the sake of others. Life is not for attachment but is for detachment for the sake of self-realisation. Do not fall prey to instincts and impulses but make efforts towards the realisation of the self (Kalghatgi 1988: p.23).' Tirthankara Risabhdeva preached the five major vows to the ascetics and the twelve minor vows to the laity. Having listened to his sermons, Bharat, with his brothers and his sister Sundari, accepted the rules of conduct for the laity expounded by Risabhdeva. He is reputed to have established the fourfold structure of Jain society, which is recognised to day, a society of monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen. Risabhdeva travelled widely, preaching the message of non-violence and non-attachment to possessions, which have remained basic principles of the Jain religion; he explained Jain philosophy, cosmology, karma theory and other basic tenets. His sermons emphasised the practical path for self-realisation and permanent happiness. In its efforts to reach spiritual heights, Jainism does not ignore the secular life, as the cardinal view of the Jain is to give due weight to the spiritual without ignoring secular values. Jainism is quite aware that, to borrow an analogy from Christian scriptures, we must render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. A story told about Risabhdeva's son Bharat that might serve to illustrate this point. 25 Page #26 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Bharat ruled his kingdom with justice and an exemplary regard for the highest values in life, his people were happy, his capital city, Ayodhya, was prosperous. An interesting aside to the story is the fact that the country, which Bharat ruled, modern India, stretching from the Himalayas to the southern seas is today called Bharat by its inhabitants after its erstwhile ruler. One day King Bharat received three pieces of news: the first was the news of Risabhdeva's enlightenment, the second was the news that his son was born, and the third was of an amazing event in the royal armoury. A miraculous weapon, a sharp edged discus (a weapon known as a cakra, widely used in ancient India) had suddenly appeared in the armoury. Bharat interpreted the significance of these events quite differently: Risabhdeva's enlightenment he saw as belonging to the world of religion (dharma): the birth of his son he saw as a worldly matter, belonging to the realm of desire (kama); and the event in the armoury was a matter belonging to the realm of political authority (artha). Accordingly, Bharat paid his respects to Risabhdeva, left his newborn son and went out on a military campaign of conquest armed with the miraculous cakra. Bharat interpreted the appearance of the cakra to mean that he should set out to conquer the (known) world, to become the first World Emperor (cakravarti). He campaigned successfully to the east and the rulers there accepted his authority, likewise he conquered the south, west and north. On his triumphant return to Ayodhya, the miraculous cakra would not enter the city. The wisest of his advisers said to the king: 'O king, this sign means that you have yet further conquests to make. Your brothers have not yet paid homage to you. Your brother Bahubali should come to pay homage.' The king sent messengers to summon his brothers to pay homage, but his brothers were upset at this summons and with the exception of Bahubali, they went to Risabhdeva and offered to renounce the world and become ascetics. Bahubali is said to have been strong, handsome and upright of character. He said to Bharat's emissary: 'O noble one, you have brought a message from the king, Bharat. If your cakravarti had sent for me as brother to brother I would gladly have gone to meet him. But your cakravarti is an ambitious man and ambition knows no bounds. He wants me to surrender to him. Go and tell your master that I would rather meet him on the battlefield; ask him to be prepared for the fight. The two armies met outside Poudanapura. To avoid the huge loss of life, which would inevitably, result from a pitched battle, advisers on both sides suggested a single combat between the two kings. The duel began and during a bout of unarmed wrestling, Bahubali lifted his brother clear off his feet and was about to throw him, when it dawned on him how disrespectful it was to treat an elder brother in such a way, just to become an emperor into the bargain. He therefore let him down gently to the ground. The traditional account says that Bharat found this act humiliating and, contrary to the rules of a fair duel flung the cakra at his brother, but instead of striking Bahubali, which would have been fatal, the cakra circled around him harmlessly (the cakra never harms a family member) and then returned to Bharat. This had a profound effect upon both men. Bharat felt ashamed of his cowardly act of anger. Bahubali realised the futility and emptiness of all that had happened. He announced to his brother that he was giving up his former life to become an ascetic. Accordingly, he left his kingdom and went into the forest to perform penance, to live an ascetic life and to meditate. He meditated in a standing position. A massive statue at Sravanbelgola in southern India, one of the most famous places of Jain pilgrimage, Page #27 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ depicts Bahubali deep in meditation, heedless of the creepers growing over his limbs. For a year he practised austerities, but failed to gain enlightenment. His pride in his spiritual practices and envy of his brothers who had earlier achieved enlightenment were an impediment to his own progress. Eventually, with the help of his sisters Brahmi and Sundari, he was able to attain self-realisation and enlightenment (trisasthi salaakaa purusa 1989: 1:184). For the Jains, the story of the struggle between Bharat and Bahubali is significant. For example, the story exemplifies the Jain attitude of relative pluralism (anekaantavaada), the principle of seeing things from all possible points of view. Bahubali won the duel in one sense, but when he considered what had taken place he was overcome by a sense of the futility of his actions. As for Risabhdeva, he lived for many more years, moving from place to place preaching the tenets of Jainism. There are many legendary accounts of his life. When the third phase of the descending cycle of time was three years and eight months from its conclusion, Risabhdeva and ten thousand disciples went to the Astapada Mountain where on the thirteenth day (or fourteenth, according to some of the dark half of the month of Maagha, he attained final liberation. Page #28 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 2.2 THE LATER TIRTHANKARAS In Jain tradition the twenty-four tirthankaras are born in each half of the cycle of time. I We are currently in the regressive half-cycle (avasarpini), when it is steadily becoming more and more degenerative. Risabhdeva, the first tirthankara of the present halfcycle, lived during the latter part of the third phase of this half-cycle, when life was on balance rather happier than unhappy. His successors, the other twenty-three tirthankaras, lived during the fourth phase when unhappiness prevailed but did not completely exclude happiness. The twenty-four tirthankaras and their iconographic symbols are set out in table 2.1. Table 2.1 The twenty-four tirthankaras and their iconographic symbols tirthankara Symbol Tirthankara Symbol 1. Risabhdeva Bull 13. Vimala Boar 2. Ajita Elephant 14. Ananta Hawk 3. Sambhava Horse 15. Dharma Thunderbolt 4. Abhinandana Ape 16. Shanti Deer 5. Sumati Partridge 17. Kunthu Goat 6. Padmaprabha Lotus 18. Ara Nandyavarta 7. Suparsva Swastika 19. Malli Water jar 8. Candraprabha Moon 20. Munisuvrata Tortoise 9. Suvidhi Crocodile 21. Nami Blue lotus 10. Sitala Srivatsa 22. Nemi Conch shell 11.Sreyansa Rhinoceros 23. Parsva Cobra 12. Vasapujya Buffalo 24. Mahavira Lion [Note: the suffix nath(a) or swami meaning lord or protector is commonly added to many of these names.] The succession was not continuous: there were long periods between one tirthankara's leaving the world and another's appearance to teach the faith to the people. The Jain scriptures relate the extraordinary attributes, dimensions and longevity of these teachers. We are on the verge of history, albeit still shadowy, with the twentieth tirthankara Munisuvrata, said to have been a contemporary of Rama, the hero of the great epic, the Ramayana, but who is also prominent in the Jain biographical literature, the Padmapuraana. Neminatha, the twenty-second, is described as a cousin of Lord Krishna who figures so prominently in the Mahabharata, and if Krishna is accepted as an historical figure, then we can probably argue that Neminatha was also historical. With Parsvanatha there is little doubt as to his historicity: according to the traditional dating he lived and preached in the eighth century BCE, 250 years before Mahavira and, of course, there can be no serious challenge to the historical existence of Mahavira. In this chapter we shall look briefly at the lives and teachings of the last two tirthankaras before Mahavira, Neminatha and Parsvanatha. The life of Mahavira, who was certainly not the founder of Jainism, though he can have some claim to be considered as the founder of the modern Jain faith, as we know it today, will be considered in the next chapter. Page #29 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Plate 2.1 Image of Shantinatha at Jain Centre, Leicester, England. (Note the iconographic symbol of a deer) 2000 90 29 Page #30 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ It is well to be aware that scholars in comparison with the Brahmanical orthodoxy' have relatively neglected the non-Vedic (sramana) schools of thought. This is hardly surprising, given the numerical preponderance of adherents to Hinduism in the Indian sub-continent and the multiplicity of philosophical and religious traditions embraced within that indefinable term. The sramanic schools, represented particularly by Jainism and Buddhism, have tended to be regarded as a revolt against the orthodox Vedic tradition with its sacrifices and rituals, rather than as independent traditions. There has been little study of the lesser sramana currents of thought. Buddhism has certainly had its full share of attention but a great deal of its history has lain outside the geographical bounds of India, Jainism has produced over the centuries many distinguished scholars but until fairly recently the Jain tradition was introspective and little known outside a limited circle. Neminatha Neminatha (or Aristanemi) is referred to on four occasions in the Rigveda (vol 1: 1,14,89,6) as well as in the Samaveda. In the Yajurveda (Radhkrishnan 1929-31: vol. 1 pp 287) three tirthankaras are noted: Risabhdeva, Ajitanatha and Neminatha. Dharmananda Kosambi maintains that Angirasa Ghora who appears in the Candogya Upanishad was Neminatha (Bhagvati Sutra: 1, 1 quoted by Kalghatgi 1988: pp 55). Indeed the path to self-realisation, which Angirasa Ghora taught to Krishna, bears a striking resemblance to the five great vows, which Mahavira was later to expound. Angirasa Ghora spoke of honesty, asceticism, charity, non-violence and truthfulness. In the Mahabharata Neminatha is described as teaching the way to liberation (moksa) to King Sagara (Mahabharata: Santi Parva 288, 5, 6). The dating of the different parts of the Mahabharata is very uncertain in spite of modern scholarship, and since moksa was a relatively late concept in orthodox Brahminical thought, this must represent an early example of sramanic teaching. The identification of Neminatha with a Scandinavian or Chinese deity, propounded by some, may be regarded as fanciful (Annuals, Bhandarkar Institute date n.a: Vol. 23 p. 122). Leaving aside Jain tradition, the evidence for the historical existence of Neminatha may be regarded unproven, though there is no reason to reject him as an historical figure, but the traditional accounts of his life are both interesting and inspiring. Neminatha's birthplace is given as Shauripur (Uttaradhyayana Sutra: 22.3-4), near the modern city of Agra in Uttar Pradesh and at that time the capital of a small state where two princes ruled, Vasudeva and Samudravijaya; Krishna was the son of Vasudeva, and Neminatha was the son of Samudravijaya. Neminatha grew up as a handsome, dark complexioned, strong youth, endowed with unprecedented knowledge. Krishna loved and respected him. There are tales of his great strength even as a boy, his spinning of the great cakra, the discus, on the tip of his finger, or, also from the armoury, swinging with ease a mighty club. He could also blow the conch-shell bugle so loudly that it frightened the people of the whole town. The story of Neminatha, as given in numerous Jain works, is seen as one of the most inspiring examples of non-violence (ahimsaa). When he was old enough Neminatha was betrothed to a beautiful princess, Rajamati, the daughter of King Ugrasena of Bhojakula. A great wedding feast was arranged and the sheep that were to be slaughtered and cooked for the meal were brought in and penned up ready for the butchers. Page #31 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Neminatha set off in great style for the wedding, splendidly clothed and bejewelled, mounted on a magnificent elephant and surrounded by a huge escort and many musicians. On the way he saw the animals in their pens, frightened and miserable, bleating piteously. He asked what was the meaning of this and was told that these were to form the wedding meal for all those present. (Uttarapurana: 71.163, and Kalpa Sutra, 1971: p.251). Neminatha was touched with sadness at this news that the feast would be provided for the guests at the cost of the lives of all those innocent creatures, and that he himself, as the person for whom the celebration was to take place, must take responsibility for the slaughter. He ordered the sheep to be released and, profoundly affected by the incident, he decided to renounce the world and seek salvation as a homeless mendicant ascetic. Not surprisingly, his bride-to-be was very upset but after a period of grieving she realised the value of Neminatha's renunciation and she too followed his example and renounced the world. After taking this decision, Neminatha discarded his jewels, gave them to a servant and left his possessions to be distributed to the poor. He left his hometown and, once more in a great procession, though different from his marriage, went to a park or garden called Revatika. There he gave up his princely clothes, plucked out his hair, and took the vow of renunciation. His cousin Krishna was full of admiration. (Uttaradhyana Sutra 25, 26, 27). It was after a period of fifty-four days and nights, indifferent to worldly things and deeply meditating, that he attained supreme knowledge, omniscience (kevala jnaana), on the day of the new moon, the first day of the bright half of the month of Asvin. Then he preached the way of salvation to a great assembly of people, and thousands of devotees including royalty, joined him and took the vow of renunciation. Krishna especially celebrated Neminatha's achievement of omniscience with great dignity and splendour. Later on, Krishna's chief queen, Padmavati, also took the vow of renunciation and his other wives took lesser vows of self-restraint. Krishna went to Neminatha and asked him why he himself could not make up his mind to take the path of renunciation. 'O Krishna,' he replied, you are in the world and your services are needed by society so you cannot become a ascetic'. Nevertheless, he predicted from his omniscient knowledge that in a future age, Krishna's soul would be reborn as the eleventh tirthankara, in a city called Shatadvara, and his name will be Amama (Shah J 1990: 3.407. Jaini P. 1979: p.305). It is believed that at the time of the destruction of Krishna's capital city Dwaraka Neminatha was in southern India and after the death of Krishna, his kinsmen the Pandavas, who played a prominent role in the famous epic Mahabharata, realised the impermanent nature of things of the world and took the vows of renunciation. In their ascetic lives, they pactised severe austerities and ultimately achieved liberation on the Satrunjay hill (Shah J 1990: 3.418-420). Their statues have been erected on Satrunjay Hill. After his enlightenment, Neminatha travelled in Saurastra, central, sothern and northern India preaching the principles of non-violence (ahimsaa) and non-attachment to material things (aparigraha). In the course of time (after a phenomenally long life, according to the old traditions) Neminatha finally, on the eighth day of the bright half of the month of Asadha, passed away. As the Kalpa Sutra records, he passed beyond the bounds of karma, was uplifted after having left the world, cut asunder the ties of birth, old age and death, and became perfected and liberated; this occurred on Mount Girnar in Saurastra (Gujarat), a place of pilgrimage to this present day. 31 Page #32 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Parsvanatha If the life of Neminatha lies on an uncertain boundary between legend and history, there is no reason to doubt the historical existence of Parsvanatha, the twenty-third tirthankara of the present age. As he is said to have lived some 250 years before Mahavira, taking the traditional dates of Mahavira's life would place Parsvanatha in the ninth to eighth centuries BCE. He preached a fourfold code of conduct involving non-violence, truthfulness, and abstinence from taking what is not given and, fourthly, non-attachment to material possessions. It is said that this fourfold code was enjoined by all the twentytwo tirthankaras after Risabhdeva, with only Risabhdeva and Mahavira including the fifth vow, chastity, among the great vows. Other sources, however, attribute the fivefold code to Mahavira alone. (It has been argued that chastity was simply implicit in the other four vows and did not need separate mention). The last sermon delivered by Mahavira (Uttaraadhyayana Sutra), has an interesting discussion between Kesi, a follower of the way of Parsvanatha, and Indrabhuti Gautam, the chief disciple of Mahavira, in which Gautam dispels the doubts of Kesi on the articles of faith, including the fivefold vows, which mark the way preached by the twenty-fourth tirthankara. There is a reference to the 'fourfold rule' in the Tripitaka, the Buddhist collection of scriptures. The Buddhist scholar, Dharmananda Kosambi states in 'Parsvanathaka Caturyama Dharma' that the Buddha accepted the practices of Parsvanatha tradition for sometime (Kosambi date n.a: pp.28-31). Mrs Rys Davids in Gautama the Man (1928: pp.22-25) confirms that the Buddha adopted Jain practices of austerity in the early days of his search for the truth. The Jain tradition of non-violence, exemplified in the first rule of Parsvanatha's code of conduct, may have been the basis for the revulsion at the practice of sacrifices, which appears in the Upanishads. Parsvanatha, the twenty-third tirthankara, was born in Varanasi (Benares) traditionally in 877 BCE and died at the age of 100. His father, Asvasena, was the ruler of the Kashi kingdom, of which Varanasi was the capital, and his mother was called Vamadevi. Needless to say, the sources describe Parsvanatha as handsome and strong, but much is made, however, of an incident showing his compassion. When he was out with his friends in the forest he saw an ascetic named Kamath who was enduring selfinflicted pain by exposing himself both to the blazing sun and to blazing fires. In one of the logs of wood, which the man was putting on the fire young Parsvanatha noticed two snakes and he implored the ascetic not to burn those living creatures. The ascetic had not seen the snakes and Parsvanatha had to get someone to split open the log to reveal them and set them free. The two snakes were severely burnt and in their dying moment Parsvanatha recited the Namokara Mantra to them, and because of this, the two snakes were reborn in their next lives as Dharanendra, King of the Nagas, the serpent deity, and Queen Padmavati. Kamath was reborn as a demon called Meghamali. The lives of these remained intertwined for, later, when Parsvanatha was an ascetic, the demon Meghamali assaulted him in various ways, and when the assault took the form of a fearful storm, Dharanendra protected him with a cobra hood above his head. This is why Parsvanatha's recognised symbol is a cobra and his images are depicted with a cobra hood. It was seeing a picture of Neminatha, which is said to have directed the mind of Parsvanatha as a young man to renouncing the worldly life. Accounts differ as to whether he was married before he became an ascetic, the Digambar tradition makes no mention of Page #33 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ it whilst according to the Svetambar he was married to the daughter of King Prasanjit, Prabhavati. At any rate, at the age of thirty he distributed his wealth and, to the rejoicing of crowds customary on these occasions, took his mendicant vows on the eleventh day of the bright half of the month of Maagha, on the outskirts of Varanasi. After some four months of severe austerities he attained omniscience (kevala jnaana), becoming an arhat, a kevali. Thereafter for seventy years he travelled preaching and gathering converts to the faith. He was well respected and many people of all classes came to greet him and to pay their regards. His followers were great in number and he organised them in the same way as Neminatha, before him, into the fourfold order. He had eight, or ten, principal disciples, and the first of these was Svayambhu. The leader of the female ascetics was Sulocana. Parsvanatha revived the teachings of the earlier tirthankaras and taught the shape and eternity of the world in the way, which was later to be shown by his successor Mahavira. He had great influence, not only in his own time but long after his teachings were still followed two and a half centuries later when Mahavira was born. His emphasis on non-violence may well have been a cause of the discontinuance of the cruel Vedic sacrifices. After seventy years as a wandering mendicant Parsvanatha's life on earth ended. Realising that final liberation (moksa) was at hand, he went with thirty-three ascetics to the mountain Sammeta Sikhara, in modern Bihar, and there, after a month of austerities, the last remaining karma destroyed, he achieved liberation from birth and death. The mountain where Parsvanatha attained moksa is still a place of pilgrimage. Page #34 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 2.3 VARDHAMANA MAHAVIRA It is often observed that the period from the eighth to the sixth centuries BCE was I particularly rich in charismatic religious personalities. In Israel during this period there were the prophets Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah and Jeremiah, to name the more outstanding; in Persia there was Zarathustra, and in India the Buddha and Mahavira. This was an age of intellectual ferment across the world: In Greece, we see such figures as Thales, said to be the father of geometry, and, towards the end of the century, the Sophists, itinerant teachers rather than philosophers. While the great age of Greek learning was still a century in the future, with Socrates and Plato still to arise, the sixth century was a time when the great minds were already studying the world and the meaning of life. On the other side of the world, in China, Confucius (traditional dates, 561 to 479 BCE) laid the foundations to a world outlook and social system that survived for two thousand years. India too, one of the pioneers of civilisation, witnessed during this period enormous ferment and movements in the intellectual and social fields, economic prosperity and despair of material life for some. It was an age of frequent wars and considerable social distress due to the arrogance of the rich and powerful and the rigid caste system, and the respect for the religious teachers and the philosophers. Many philosophers, seeking to disseminate their ideas, roamed across northeastern India, the area that may be regarded as the cradle of Indian culture. The schools of thoughts of this age were divided into many types and the main among them were Sramana and the Brahmanical. The Brahman believed in the authority of the Vedas which emphasised rituals, while the Sramana observed a set of ethical principles and did not believe or accept the authority of Vedas. The Brahman emphasised renunciation after the proper fulfilment of social duties, but the Sramana practised a detached life with a view to liberation from the worldly cycle, and accepted renunciation at any time after ceasing to be a minor. The Sutra Krutaanga gives descriptions of the philosophical theories then prevailing, with a view to refuting them: the Kriyaavaadis claimed that the individual is responsible for his actions, good or bad; the path of the Akriyaavaadis lay in inaction, indifference to good or bad actions; the Agnostics or Ajnaanavaadis held that the nature of truth was unknowable, and the Vinayavaadis claimed that truth couldn't be easily analysed. The Buddhist scripture the Suttanipata described no fewer than sixty-three Sramana (non-Vedic schools of thought, which existed in the sixth century BCE. The multiplicity of schools of philosophy created intellectual confusion among the intellingentia, but all these views were inadequate in explaining the truth when compared with the many-sided Jain view of truth. In the social sphere there was uncertainty: Vedic ritualism was attempting to reassert itself; sacrificial rites, the offering of animal victims to the gods, had reappeared. People were passive spectators exploited by a sophisticated priestly class who professed to be a link between the gods and humanity, leading the worshippers to heaven through ritualised sacrifices. The priestly class saw itself as the custodian of spiritual and secular good and felt superior to all others, and claimed a monopoly on the preservation of culture. The lowest of the classes was the Sudra. Women were regarded as inferior to men. As the caste system became consolidated, it legitimised inequality. There is a story Page #35 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ in a Buddhist text Majjhimanikaya (p. 281) of an incident in which a sudra was beaten and tortured because he stepped in front of a high caste girl while on the way to his home, as it was considered to be inauspicious to a person of high caste. In the Jain scriptures, a disciple of Parsvanatha the twenty-third tirthankara, Kesi Kumara, is depicted as saddened by the ignorance of the people and their exploitation by the higher classes. It was in this situation that two contemporaries, Siddhartha Gautam, known as the Buddha, and Vardhamana Mahavira, the twenty-fourth and last tirthankara, set out to remove suffering and show the path which would lead to perfection. The Jain scholar Kalghatgi, expresses the contribution of Mahavira beautifully: 'out of dust Mahavira made us into men and he lifted us to be angels' (Kalghatgi 1988:63). At that time, northern India was divided into many independent states, but for the first time in ancient Indian history these were organised into sixteen great countries (Bhagavati Sutra 1921: chapter XV), which included monarchies and republics. Amongst the republics, a large confederation of clans, the Vajjis, whose capital was at Vaisali (near Patna in Bihar), were ruled by king Cetaka. His sister Trisala, and her husband Siddhartha, ruler of Kundalpura, were followers of the religious tradition preached by Parsvanatha, the twenty-third tirthankara, some two and a half centuries earlier. To them a son was born on the thirteenth day of the bright half (when the moon was waxing) of the month of Caitra, and according to tradition, this was the year corresponding to 599 BCE. He was named Vardhamana, meaning 'increasing prosperity' as the prosperity of his father's realm steadily increased after his conception, but he is known to history as Mahavira, the Great Hero. There are many stories about his bravery as a youth: once some children were playing in a mango grove when they encountered a huge snake. They ran for their lives hut Vardhamana coolly took the serpent in his hand and carried it away to safety. Another popular story tells of the children playing a game in which the forfeit for the loser was to carry the winner on his back for some distance, but a heavenly being joined in the game, assuming the form of young boy, and purposely lost the race. When Vardhamana sat on the back of this 'boy', he started running and grew in size until he had taken the form of a giant. But Vardhamana, far from being frightened, punched the giant so hard that he was taken aback at the youngster's enormous strength. This is the popular account of how he came to acquire the name 'Mahavira'. A story is told which demonstrates Vardhamana's sharpness of intellect at an early age: someone asked Vardhamana's parents where the boy was, his father said he was downstairs while his mother said he was upstairs when, in fact, he was on the middle floor. Afterwards he explained that both his parents were right: from the standpoint of the upper floor he was downstairs, but from the bottom floor he was upstairs (Kalghatgi 1988: 65). This is an early example of a key concept of Jain philosophy, 'relative pluralism' (anekaantavaada), the notion that contradictory statements may both be right when looked at from different viewpoints. These anecdotes were intended to portray the physical and mental superiority of Vardhamana in a manner that is familiar in the biographies of heroic figures of the past. Whatever the facts, they portray the youth as history was to remember him. Jain scriptures claim that Vardhamana Mahavira possessed the extra-sensory perceptual capacity of clairvoyance (avadhi jnaana), in addition to the normal sensory experiences of sense perception (mati jnaana) and reasoning (sruta jnaana). All tirthankaras are 35 Page #36 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ credited with these capacities from birth. We need not be sceptical about clairvoyant powers: modern psychical research has not ruled out extra-sensory perception. At the age of eight, when it would have been time for a child such as Vardhamana to begin a formal education with a teacher, his intellectual capabilities were so far in advance of other children that it was realised that such a conventional education would hamper his development. Regarding his marriage, the two major sects of Jainism, Svetambar and Digambar disagree. Svetambar texts claim his having a wife, Yasoda, and a daughter Priyadarsana, while Digambar texts state that Mahavira took his ascetic vows while still a bachelor (Kalghatgi 1988:66). In any event, Mahavira sought the spiritual life and wanted to renounce the world to seek the way of happiness for all living beings; however, he was prepared to wait while his parents were alive, as it would hurt their feelings. When he was twenty-eight years old his parents died and two years later, with the permission of his elder brother, Nandivardhana, he entered upon the life of an ascetic. In contrast to the story of the Buddha, who abandoned his family, Mahavira, and subsequently all Jain ascetics, seek the consent of their families before their renunciation. The news of a prince giving up his wealth and position to become a recluse was a remarkable event. Throngs of people gathered to bid him farewell. An old man, Harikesi, ran towards him to touch his feet and pay his respects. The crowd shouted 'do not let Harikesi go near Mahavira, he is an outcaste.' Mahavira said, 'Please do not stop him, let him come, and he embraced Harikesi and bade him goodbye. Harikesi was overwhelmed with gratitude and reverence for Mahavira, and with tearful eyes he paid his respects (Kalghagti 1988: 67). This incident is significant in the context of the different social revolutions which Mahavira and the Buddha unleashed; both emphasised equality between men and women. In a garden called Khandavana on the outskirts of his hometown, sitting beneath an Asoka tree, Mahavira took the vow of renunciation: he shed his princely title to become a simple sramana, a homeless mendicant ascetic. His Ascetic Life Many Jain scriptures recount the story of Mahavira's ascetic life, including the Kalpa Sutra, one of the most widely read and popular of these texts; however, there are very few books in English (such as Lord Mahavira and His Times by K.C.Jain), which give some account of his life as an ascetic. The scriptures tell how he had to make superhuman efforts to attain total knowledge, omniscience, which is the highest spiritual achievement. His ascetic life began with a two-and-a-half day fast, after this he put on the simple clothing of a mendicant and, plucking out his hair, he left his home forever. To begin with he had clothing but he gave half his robe to a poor Brahmin, and when the other half became entangled in a thorn bush he abandoned it and remained thereafter without possessions. When people gave him food he simply took it in the hollow of his hand. For more than twelve years he accepted all hardships, without regard for his body, suffering without concern for pleasure or pain, totally chaste, circumspect in speech and movement, overcoming pride, deceit and greed, he cut all earthly ties. In the eight months of summer and winter, outside the rainy season, Mahavira never spent more than a single night in any village and five nights in any town. He regarded everything with complete detachment: the scent of sandalwood or the stench of decay were alike to him. Free from all passions, he meditated for twelve years on the path to liberation, which is the reward of truthfulness, self-control, penance and good conduct. There are many Jain writings that 36 Page #37 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ give a chronological account of the years of Mahavira's mendicant life and the incidents therein. He would stay a night in a workshop, a village square, a shop or in a straw-roofed shed, sometimes in a cemetery, an empty house or just at the foot of a tree. He did not seek sleep for the sake of pleasure, he would sleep occasionally, or lie down in meditation or perhaps he would walk about for an hour in the night. Often he encountered hardships and calamities, attacks and assaults, but always in control of himself and free from resentment as he endured these hardships, speaking little and deep in meditation, he progressed on the path to liberation. In the rainy season, when plant and insect life burgeoned and the likelihood of endangering tiny creatures increased, Mahavira ceased his wandering life and stayed in one place, and this practice is still followed by Jain ascetics to-day. The Kalpa Sutra gives the names of the places where he stayed after he first became an ascetic. The authority of the Kalpa Sutra's itinerary is ancient and probably reliable, as it gives us a fair idea of the area over which he wandered propagating his faith. When the places can be correctly identified we know that this area roughly covered the modern state of Bihar and parts of Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, but there is a much later tradition that Mahavira disseminated his message in other parts of India, even as far afield as Rajasthan. Tradition says that Mahavira was born with three types of knowledge: mind-based knowledge, the reasoning faculty and clairvoyance, and at the moment of renunciation he also gained a fourth kind of knowledge, the ability to know the thoughts of all creatures in the world. The period of twelve years spent in penance and meditation was not fruitless, for in the thirteenth year Mahavira at last attained the supreme knowledge and final deliverance from the bonds of pleasure and pain, and Jain scriptures describe this as the most important moment of his life. It was the tenth day of the bright half of the month of Vaisak when Mahavira, having fasted completely without food or drink for two and a half days, sat in a squatting position with his heels together. He was on the northern bank of the river Rujupalika outside the town of Jrimhikagrama in the field of a householder called Samaga, just north-east of an old temple and near a sal tree, with the heat of the sun beating down upon him; and here, with his head bowed, in deepest meditation he attained the complete and full, unimpeded, infinite and supreme form of knowledge and intuition. This total knowledge, omniscience, is kevala jnaana and the person who attains it is a kevali, an arhat, the one who has attained enlightenment. He is also to be described as a Jina, one who has conquered himself. Now, as we are told in the Kalpa Sutra, the venerable Mahavira was omniscient and comprehending all objects, knowing all the conditions of the world, of celestials, humans and demons, whence they came, where they go, whether they are born as humans or animals, or in the heavens or the hells, their food and drink, their actions and desires, their public and secret deeds, their talk and their thoughts. To him nothing was inaccessible and he knew and saw the conditions of all living beings in the world. At the time of his achieving omniscience, Mahavira was forty-two years old, and he now entered a new stage of his life, that of a religious teacher. His followers became known as nirgranthas, meaning freed from all bonds, and this was the ancient name for the Jains. He went from place to place to propagate his teachings, and his first declaration aroused confidence among his followers that urged them to follow his example in their own lives. According to Buddhist sources, this went as follows: 'I am all-knowing and 37 Page #38 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ all-seeing and possessed of infinite knowledge. Whether I am walking or standing still, whether I sleep or remain awake, supreme knowledge and intuition are with me, constantly and continuously. There are, O Nirgranthas, sinful acts that you have done in the past, which you must now undo by this acute form of austerity. Now that you will be living a restrained life as regards your acts, speech and thought, this will negate the effects of karma for the future. Thus, by the exhaustion of the force of past deeds through penance, and the non-accumulation of the effects of new acts, [you are assured] of the end of the future course [of the effects of karma] and the resultant rebirths, of the destruction of the effects of karma, and from that the destruction of pain, and from that of the destruction of mental feelings, and from that the complete absence of all kinds of pain (Majjhima Nikaya: pp.92-93, quoted in Jain K.C. 1991: p.57) Soon after Mahavira attained enlightenment, he travelled seventy-two miles to the garden of Mahasena at Majjkima Pava. Here a religious gathering took place, at which, after long discussion, Mahavira converted eleven learned Brahmins who had gone there to attend a great sacrifice. Srenika the King of Magadha and his family, including his queen, Celana asked many questions which Mahavira answered to the king's satisfaction. The Four Orders of the Jain Community Initially, Mahavira, by his preaching, converted the eleven learned Brahmins who became his chief disciples or ganadharas: the first was Indrabhuti Gautam, the others were Gautam's two brothers, Agnibhuti and Vayubhuti, as well as Vyakta, Sudharma, Mandikata, Mauryaputra, Akampita, Acalabharata, Metarya and Prabhasa. One significant fact is that all of them were Brahmins, showing that even among the Brahmins an ideological revolution was taking place, driving them to give up their traditional beliefs and ritualism. Moreover, it was subsequently the intelligentsia, predominantly Brahmins, who helped to spread his teachings. Mahavira showed a remarkable power of organisation which, with his impressive personality, attracted a large number of people, both men and women, to be his followers. Some could follow his teachings completely and took what came to be known as the five great vows. These were: Ahimsaa (non-violence and reverence for all life) Satya (truthfulness) Asteya (not taking anything without the owner's permission) Brahmacarya (control over the senses, chastity) Aparigraha (non-attachment to worldly things). Those who could accept these vows and renounce the world became the ascetics, the remainder became the laity, obeying the same vows but with less stringency. Thus there arose the interdependent fourfold community of male ascetics, female ascetics, laymen and laywomen which survives to this day. Within thirty years Mahavira had attracted a large following, chief among these were some fourteen thousand male ascetics, who were placed under the charge of Indrabhuti Gautam. For organisational efficiency, he divided the 14,000 ascetics into nine divisions called ganas, placing each under the headship of one of the chief disciples or ganadharas who were to lead and guide their groups. Even more women than men renounced the world: 36,000 became female ascetics and at their head was the senior nun, Candana. 38 Page #39 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Mahavira's third order consisted of laymen, sraavakas, numbering, it is said, about 159,000, with Sankha Sataka as their leader; and these laymen were householders who could not actually renounce the world but who at least could observe the five lesser vows (called anuvrata). The similarity of their religious duties, differing from those of ascetics not in kind but in degree, brought about the close union of laymen and ascetics. Most of the regulations meant to govern the conduct of laymen were apparently intended to make them participate, to a degree and for some time, in the merits and benefits of ascetic life without obliging them to renounce the world altogether. "The genius for organisation, which Mahavira possessed, is shown in nothing more clearly than in the formation of this and the order of laywomen' (Stevenson S. 1970: p. 67), . These two organisations gave the Jains a root in India that the Buddhists never obtained, and that root firmly planted amongst the laity enabled Jainism to withstand the storm that drove Buddhism out of India.' The fourth and last order consisted of devout laywomen or sraavikas, numbering, it is said, about 358,000, with Sulasa and Revati as the heads. The numbers of members in the four orders of Mahavira's day may be exaggerated, but there is little doubt that Mahavira converted a large number of people to the Jain faith. The Kalpa Sutra gives the names of the places where Mahavira spent the rainy seasons as an ascetic and as an omniscient teacher. The exhaustive and chronological itinerary of Mahvira described in Kalpa Sutra is fairly reliable (Yasovijay, Tirthankar Bhagwan Mahavira 1993: pp.100-103). Influence on lay followers Mahavira seems to have tried to attract a congregation, who were to form a large body of lay followers, by prescribing certain rules of conduct: he made no distinction between people of one caste or class and another, nor between men and women; and he did not lay down one set of rules for monks and another for nuns, nor one for male lay followers and another for females. When he travelled around the country female as well as male ascetics accompanied him. Mahavira not only taught his followers to observe penance and live a life of restraint in all possible ways, but also kept watch over their spiritual progress, encouraging them in the study of his teachings and developing their powers of reasoning and argument. The Buddhist records attest that there were some able and powerful disputants among the nirgrantha recluses and disciples (Majjhhima Nikaya, 1, p 227). The lay followers and supporters of Mahavira and his fourfold order are all mentioned as people of wealth and influence. At the same time they were noted for their piety and devotion. Royal patronage Not only rich financiers and merchants, but also even the kings and queens, princes and the ministers, became followers of Mahavira. His family connections with the various rulers were through his mother Trisala and his maternal uncle, Cetaka, the King of Vaisali; and many royal names are found in the Jain tradition. Those who joined the fourfold order established by Mahavira and the royal patronage must have encouraged the spread of the faith. Both Jains and Buddhists claim most of the contemporary rulers as followers of their respective religions, as it seems that it was the general policy of the 39 Page #40 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ rulers of these, and indeed later, times to show respect to teachers of different traditions. The Parsvanatha sect had its stronghold in Rajagriha and King Srenika's father was a follower, so it was natural that his son should be attracted to Jainism, and Srenika's son Kunika, in his turn, is represented in Jain texts as a Jain. According to Jain scriptures, Srenika's soul, in a subsequent rebirth, is to become an arhat and the first tirthankara of the next half-cycle of cosmic time (Chandrasekhar 1979: 124). In Buddhist texts, however, Srenika and Kunika are known by the names of Bimbisara and Ajatasatru, and are both described as accepting Buddhism (Chatterjee 1978: p.26). Mahavira is said to have visited southern India and Rajasthan and propagated his message, but the evidence requires further research. There are stray references in the Jain texts to conclude that in the course of time Jainism spread to different part of India and received royal patronage. In the times of Mahavira, its influence seems to be mainly to the modern states of Bihar, and some parts of Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa. Another of Mahavira's converts was a prince Ardraka, who became an ascetic (Sutra krutaanga, II.6). He was very much influenced by the teachings of Mahavira and supported Jainism in disputations with the teachers of other religions. This Ardraka is identified with a prince of the Persian Emperor Surusha (588-530 BCE). Both the emperor and the prince are said to have sent gifts to King Srenika of Magadha and his son Abhayakumara, who sent presents in return. It is also said that Abhayakumara convinced Ardraka of the truth of Mahavira's teachings so that he became a follower of Mahavira. Mahavira and the Buddha The evidence from Buddhist literature (Anguttha-Nikaya: 8-2, 1, 7 and Majjhima Nakaya) proves that Mahavira and the Buddha were contemporaries, and although they did not meet, there were occasions when they felt interested in knowing and discussing each other's views through intermediaries. These included in particular the Jain ascetics Dirghatapasvi and Satyaka, and, among the Jain laity, the prince Abhaya, the banker Upali and the general Sinha. Even though they are said to have been present at the same times in certain places, Nalanda, Vaisali and Rajagriha, they are not known to have met. Mahavira was older than the Buddha and predeceased him by several years. It is said that the Buddha had great respect for Mahavira and did not openly preach while the latter lived. Moksa Mahavira attained moksa (liberation) in 527 BCE according to the traditional dating. It is said in the Kalpa Sutra that when Mahavira died the eighteen confederate kings of the neighbouring regions instituted illuminations, saying 'since the light of intelligence is gone, let us make an illumination as a symbol of knowledge' (Kalpa Sutra 1984: 127) As we have seen, Mahavira was not the founder of a new religion. What he did was to reform and elaborate the previous creed handed down through a succession of previous tirthankaras. He addressed the various problems of the day, such as slavery, the inferior status of women in the family, society and religion, the Brahmanical caste system and untouchability, the exploitation of the weak by the strong, the ills of economic inequality, indulgence in carnal desires and passions of the flesh, killing or harming life for the sake of religion or pleasure of the senses; evils which are no less in evidence in 40 Page #41 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ the present-day world. He supplied a very firm philosophical basis to the simple creed of non-violence (ahimsaa), and reorganised the fourfold order of monks and nuns, laymen and laywomen. This began in the time of Mahavira's predecessors, the twentieth or twenty-first tirthankaras, was consolidated during the time of the twenty-second, Neminatha, and the twenty-third, Parsvanatha. It was an accomplished fact by the time Mahavira's terrestrial career came to a close. So, the Master of Thought, the great apostle of ahimsaa, the benefactor of mankind and the friend of all living beings, ended his bodily existence, attaining moksa, on the banks of a lotus lake outside the town now known as Pavapuri, in Bihar, a little before dawn on the fifteenth day of the dark half (when the moon is waning) of the month of Aso. In the Indian chronology the year was 470 years before the beginning of the Vikrama era (which commenced in 57 BCE) and 605 years before the Saka era, that is in the year 527 BCE. This is celebrated today as Dipavali, the festival of lamps, or Divali, symbolising the light of knowledge revealing the truth and illuminating the soul when the master was no longer physically present. Mahavira was one of the great religious teachers of mankind. He recognised the need for the perfection of the self and prescribed certain practical rules of conduct for its attainment. He did not preach to others what he did not practise himself. He believed that the entire being can achieve blissfulness, but this cannot be bought by the wealth, pomp and power of the world but can certainly be realised through patience, forbearance, selfdenial, forgiveness, humanity, compassion, suffering and sacrifice. For this reason he inculcated the doctrine of non-violence ahimsaa) in thought, word and action. Those who came under the influence of his personality renounced the eating of fish and meat and accepted a vegetarian diet. This principle was at the basis of the many humanitarian deeds and institutions which he encouraged. For Mahavira, distinctions of caste, creed or gender were irrelevant; for him, liberation is the birthright of everyone, and it is assured if one follows the prescribed rules of conduct. The doctrine of karma, which has the root meaning of 'action and hence the effects of action, as expounded by Mahavira, made the individual conscious of his responsibility for all his actions. It also awakened the realisation that salvation was not a gift or favour but an attainment within the reach of human beings. Mahavira was tolerant in religious matters, there were different conflicting religious views in his time, and in response to this, he formulated the doctrine of syaadavaada. This doctrine teaches that assertions are not made absolutely but always remain subject to qualification. It allowed room for the consideration of all views and produced an atmosphere of mutual harmony among the followers of different sects, who began to appreciate the views of their opponents as well as their own. Mahavira is regarded by Indian traditions, not only by Jains, as the greatest sage the world has known, possessed of infinite knowledge and faith. He explored the condition of all beings, mobile or immobile, high or low, eternal or transient. He saw things in their true light, knew this world and the world beyond, and his perception was infinite. He was a great reformer. Since many abuses had crept into Jainism he did his utmost to remove them. For this he had to initiate changes even in the traditional religion of Parsvanatha. He added the vow of chastity and emphasised the importance of nonattachment and control over sensual pleasures. Although his teachings were based on the 41 Page #42 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ older religion, he created a more systematic arrangement of its philosophical tenets, which point to his great reforming zeal. Mahavira possessed a great organising capacity and he made the laity participate in the Jain community along with the ascetics. He encouraged a close union between laymen and laywomen, and monks and nuns by advocating similar religious duties for both, duties that differed not in kind but in degree. The Teachings of Mahavira Mahavira's teachings are based partly on the religion taught by his predecessor, Parsvanatha, and partly on his own innovations. Mahavira was able to perceive correctly the root causes of the disorder of those times and of the numerous divisions in society. He understood the factors which led to the aimlessness of the loosely grouped ascetic communities and which had heralded the rise of ritualistic Brahmin practices. He also recognised that the brahmanical ideas of superiority through birth and the privileged position of the priestly class were unacceptable. He felt impelled to introduce changes to the religion of the people in order to meet the needs of the time. He systematised the beliefs and the code of conduct for each constituent of the Jain order. In his early sermons he declared that: 'Birth or external appearances do not make one a Brahmin or an ascetic. It is mental purity and right conduct which make a person a real Brahmin or ascetic. Such persons practice equanimity, penance, celibacy, and nonattachment to worldly matters and right behaviour' (Jain K.C. 1991: 130). He denounced the caste system, which embodied the idea that a person is born into a fixed, unchangeable social status, rather he taught that the social status of a person can be changed, and that the determining factor in a persons life is one's own conduct. Surprisingly, his truthfulness and reforms attracted the very Brahmin intellectuals whom he denounced. He did not try to find fault in the teachings of others, but instead sought to clarify the thought of the great personages who had preceded him. He expanded the fourfold religion (cajjuama dharma), as preached by Parsvanatha, into a fivefold religion (pancajama dharma) by adding celibacy as a separate vow, though some see celibacy implied in Parsvanatha's teaching on non-attachment (aparigraha). The Uttraadhyayana Sutra explains the reason for this additional vow that is to promote 'mental purity' and to strengthen the vow of non-attachment. He reformed the ascetic order while keeping doors open to all deserving individuals irrespective of class or caste, and thus became a pioneer in the field of spiritual democracy. Mahavira had a unique method for conveying his 'system' to the people: he always preached to the masses in their vernacular language, ardhamaghadhi, rather than using the classical Sanskrit, which was not understood by most ordinary people. He encouraged his disciples not to be afraid to seek guidance from him and to ask questions concerning their doubts. The entire Bhagavati Sutra is a record of the answers given by Mahavira to his inquisitive disciple Gautam and their relationship as teacher and disciple. The Uttraadhyayana Sutra is a continuous sermon given during the last thirty-six hours of Mahavira's earthly life that recounts the fundamentals of his teachings. 42 Page #43 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 2.4 THE JAIN SANGHA AND EARLY ASCETICS s described earlier, Mahavira was a superb organiser and the organisation which he A developed continues even to-day. He developed the four orders of his community: male ascetics (saadhu), female ascetics (saadhvi), laymen (sraavaka) and laywomen (sraavika), and the community is collectively known as the sangha, which has supreme authority in all matters. Mahavira gave overall responsibility for guidance and instruction of the sangha to eleven chief disciples of which Indrabhuti Gautam was the most senior. They were overall normally in charge of groups (ganas) of 250 to 500 ascetics. To facilitate a smooth administration, the sangha conferred leadership responsibility upon the ablest male ascetics who were given the title of aacaarya. Other members of the community were given formal titles and responsibilities including: upaadhyaaya (responsible for organising education and teaching scriptures to ascetics as preceptor), sthavira (responsible as a senior to motivate self-discipline), pravartaka (responsible for the promotion and dissemination of the religion), and gani (responsible as a group leader for the administration of smaller groups of ascetics). Ascetics, who are proficient in aagamas (Jain canon) and are able to teach, are given the title of panyaasa. Deserving female ascetics were given the titles of mahattaraa (the great), and pravartini (promoter). All these titles are in use to day. For precise explanation of each term, see the glossary. Laypersons have a special reverence for the ascetics and are guided by them in matters pertaining to their spiritual welfare. Other social and religious activities are governed by a group of the laity and trustees (mahaajana). The organisation of the Jain community into the Jain sangha has enabled it to make a valuable contribution in terms of personal devotion, for e.g. self-discipline, and collectively in education, literary activities, the establishment of places of Worship, and the promotion of the teachings of Mahavira. Immediately following the liberation (moksa) of Mahavira, Gautam became omniscient, but the Digambar and Svetambar traditions preserve different accounts of his life after achieving omniscience. Sudharma was Gautam's successor as leader of the sangha until, after 12 years, he became omniscient. He went on to achieve liberation at the age of 100. The other nine chief disciples obtained liberation in Mahavira's lifetime. Jambu succeeded Sudharma and headed the sangha for forty-four years, until he became omniscient. He achieved liberation at the age of eighty. Then came, in succession, five 'scriptural omniscients', who possessed full and complete scriptural knowledge but could not attain the higher spiritual status of the omniscients. Their leadership of the sangha lasted 100 (or 116) years (Jain J. P.1964: p.102), but after the last, Bhadrabahu, the leadership succession diverged into two sects, the 'white-clad' (Svetambar) and the 'sky-clad' (Digambar). The early Jain ascetics were very conservative in so far as the writing down of the scriptures was concerned, as they feared that the act of creating writing materials involved transgression of their vow of non-violence (ahimsaa). Their vow of avoiding possessions and the rigid rules of asceticism forbade them to reside in any one place for very long or to associate unduly with householders and urban life, and this made it almost impossible for them to pursue literary activities. Moreover, they considered the religious Page #44 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ order to be so well organised that it would vouchsafe the integrity of the original teaching of Mahavira, which continued to be preserved orally. Yet, soon after the time of Bhadrabahu, a gradual deterioration in the original canonical knowledge began which was made more pronounced by the break-up of the unified order and the emergence of schism, and the growth of minor differences of dogma, doctrine, traditions, practice and usage. Attempts were made to rehabilitate the canon and a number of councils were called, including one at Pataliputra (modern Patna in Bihar), to attempt to organise the sacred teachings. This was necessary following famines in Bihar, which had led to the emigration to the south of Aacaarya Bhadrabahu and his followers. About the middle of the second century BCE, a council was held at the Kumari Parvata (UdayagiriKhandagiri hills) in Kalinga (Orissa) at the invitation of the Emperor Kharavela. It appears to have been attended largely by leaders from the south and from Mathura, and members of the council were given responsibility for the redaction of the surviving canon and the production of written literature. In the following two hundred years or so, the efforts begun at the councils led to the compilation of a large number of treatises based on the original teaching of Mahavira. These took on a quasi-canonical status, and preeminent among these early writers were Gunadhara, Dharasena-Pushpadanta, Kundakunda and Umasvati. Svetambars resisted attempts at redaction for many centuries. However, they eventually bowed to the inevitable and about the beginning of the fourth century CE, Svetambar leaders convened two councils simultaneously, one at Mathura and the other at Valabhi (in Saurastra). Yet it was only about the middle of the fifth century CE that they, under the leadership of Devarddhigani, in a council at Valabhi, finally redacted an acceptable canon. These pioneering activities, involving both Digambar and Svetambar scholars and stretching over many centuries, encouraged an exegetical literature and numerous independent works on diverse subjects, religious as well as secular, written in a number of languages, which has continued for the last two thousand years. With the passage of time, both Digambar and Svetambar communities have continued to develop, almost independently of each other, into a number of sects, subsects, divisions and subdivisions, evolving their respective rituals and practices. Yet, there are no fundamental ideological differences between these two principal sects. Most of the places of pilgrimage, festivals and fairs, and several important religious texts, are still held in common, and until roughly the beginning of the medieval period of Indian history about the 10th century CE) temples and images were almost similar. The ascetic orders have no doubt differed in some of their outward practices, but so far as the laity is concerned there has hardly been any noticeable distinctions. Modern historians, who accept the historicity of Parsvanatha, also believe that Jainism may have existed before his time, although they usually date the beginning of Jain history to the time of Mahavira. Even if the missionary activities of Mahavira were limited to Bihar and the surrounding area, adherents of the religion following the earlier tirthankaras existed in other parts of India. When circumstances such as natural calamities or persecutions caused mass emigrations of Jain ascetics from Magadha or Ujjain to Gujarat, Kalinga, the Deccan, Karnataka and other parts of southern India, they found a welcome among their co-religionists. There is evidence indicating that as early as the beginning of the fourth century BCE, flourishing Jain communities existed in Sri 44 Page #45 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Lanka (Chaterjee 1978: p.118), but in time Jainism spread throughout India as the Jain philosophy and its ascetic discipline attracted many people. The strength of the fourfold order enabled Jainism to survive and keep its integrity to this day. For some centuries after the liberation of Mahavira, the internal history of Jainism is characterised by schismatic tendencies, growing complexity in the sangha organisation, gradual decline in the effectiveness of the collective memory of the ascetics, and the development of religious dogmas. In those centuries, Jainism spread slowly from Magadha to the west and south. A number of Jain Pattaavalis (succession lists), canonical texts such as the Kalpa Sutra Jambudvipa Prajnapti, Painnas (miscellanea), Dhavalaa, Jaydhavalaa and their commentaries and early literary works such the Tiloyapannati, Puraanas, Kathaakosas (story literature) and Prabandhas (biograhical accounts) help us to reconstruct the early history of the Jain Sangha. The saadhus and saadhvis are not 'monks' and 'nuns' in true sense, as they, unlike the monks or nuns, wander from place to place and do not live in monasteries. Male ascetics (Saadhus) In early centuries, the leadership of the sangha was in the hands of a succession of ascetics who had 'perfect knowledge', described below. According to both older and current texts, the first eight omniscients and 'scriptural omniscients' after Mahavira are, other than Indrabhuti Gautam: Sudharma (c.607 to 506 BCE): Sudharma entered the order of ascetics at the age of fifty, was the chief disciple of Mahavira for thirty years, and succeeded Mahavira, attaining omniscience at the age of 92 and liberation at the age of 100. Jambu (c.543 to 449 BCE): Jambu was Sudharma's successor and the last ascetic to achieve omniscience and liberation in this descending era. Prabhava (c.443 to 338 BCE): Prabhava succeeded Jambu 64 years after Mahavira's liberation; remarkably, he was a leading bandit before his conversion by Jambu. He had come to burgle Jambu's palace on Jambu's wedding night, but his experience of meeting Jambu changed his life. Shayyambhava (c.377 to 315 BCE): Prior to becoming the head of the sangha, Shayyambhava was a respected Vedic scholar, but after initiation as a Jain ascetic, he mastered the fourteen pre-canonical texts (purvas) through Prabhava. He is remembered for composing the Dasavaikalika Sutra in 340 BCE. Although Shayyambhava was married person and his wife was pregnant, he decided to renounce and became an ascetic. After he was initiated into the order, his wife gave birth to a son, who was named Manaka. When Manaka was eight years old, on learning that his father was Shayyambhava, he desired to be his father's disciple. Shayyambhava initiated the boy, but by means of his prognostic knowledge Shayyambhava perceived that Manaka would die within six months. For the sake of his son, Shayyambhava condensed the essence of the sacred scriptures into ten lectures, which Manaka learned and then died as predicted. Yasobhadra (c.351 to 235 BCE): After Shayyambhava's death, Yasobhadra became his successor and the head of the sangha. Sambhutavijaya (c.347 to 257 BCE) and Bhadrabahu (c.322 to 243 BCE): After a most exemplary life of an ascetic and as a teacher, Yashobhadra died leaving the management of the sangha to his two principal disciples Sambhutavijaya and 45 Page #46 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Bhadrabahu. This saw the beginning of the two lineages with two heads in the sangha. There seems to be some confusion about Bhadrabahu; Svetambar tradition maintains that he went to Nepal to observe the difficult mahapraana meditation, while Digambars believe because of the predicted twelve-year famine, Bhadrabahu migrated to the South with twelve thousand ascetics and the Mauryan King Candragupta. Scholars are doubtful about Candrgupta becoming Jain ascetic, as according to some the dates of Candragupta Maurya do not coincide with the dates of Bhadrabahu (Sanghmitra 1979: p. 74), while other scholar Smith in Oxford History of India, pp.75-76, writes 'I am disposed to believe that Candragupta really abdicated and became a Jain ascetic'. It was a period when royal patronage became significant in the development of Jainism. Kunika became the King of Magadha in Mahavira's time. Because of the sad associations of his deceased father's capital at Rajagriha, Kunika moved the capital to Champa. When he died, out of a similar sadness, his son Udayin who was a devout Jain, established yet another new capital at Pataliputra. He built a fine Jain temple in the centre of this city. In c.467 BCE, the agent of a rival king murdered the childless Udayin. Following this incident, Udayin's ministers proclaimed Nanda as the King. Nanda's chief minister was Kalpaka, a devout Jain, who became famous for his practice of nonviolence, and he is said to have sacrificed his life for peace. The Nanda dynasty and its successor Mauryan dynasty were very sympathetic to Jainism. After the Mauryas the Sungas came in power. They were said to be antagonistic to Jainism and Buddhism and are credited with the revival of Brahmanism. After Bhadrabahu, the succession of the leadership of the Sangha diverged; the precursors of Svetambar and Digambar ran independent of each other. Because of royal antagonism, some migrated to Ujjayin in the West and Valabhi in Gujarat, while others went to the South and spread all over the Deccan, Karnataka, Andhra, Trikalinga, Tuluva and Tamil regions. Mathura, however, remained a sort of meeting place for divergent sects. Sthulabhadra (c.297 to 198 BCE): Nanda's dynasty lasted another seven generations, Kalpaka's descendants were appointed successive chief ministers. Sakadala became the Chief Minister of the last Nanda. Sakadala had two sons: Sthulabhadra and Sriyaka. Sriyaka became the personal bodyguard of the king, whose confidence and love he had gained. Sthulbhadra fell in love with a royal dancer Rupkosa, and lived with her for twelve years. He was so much in love with her that he ignored the feelings of his family and requests to return home. His father, Sakadala, was a popular, well-respected and faithful chief minister. However, on one occasion, through the scheming of Varichi, a political opponent of Sakadala, the King believed that Sakadala was manufacturing weapons in order to take over the kingdom. In fact, the weapons were intended as a gift to the King on the joyous occasion of forthcoming royal wedding. To spare the whole family from the king's anger, Sakadala told his son, Sriyaka, to chop off his (Sakadala's) head, when he was bowing down before the King. Sriyaka reluctantly did as his father ordered. To save Sriyaka from the sin of killing his own father, Sakadala had already taken a poisonous pill, ensuring his death. The King was shocked when he eventually learned the truth about the weapons. He offered Sriyaka the seal of the Chief Minister. but he refused it in favour of his elder brother Sthulabhadra. So the same offer was made to Sthulabhadra, who said that he would consider the matter. The king pressed him to make up his mind without delay. Then Sthulabhadra's reflections took an unexpected 46 Page #47 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ turn; he recognised the vanity of the world and resolved to give up its empty pleasures. He plucked out his hair and told the king of his resolution to become an ascetic, and became a disciple of Sambhutavijaya. After twelve years of resolute ascetic life, Sthulabhadra mastered his passions and became detached from worldly surroundings. He considered encouraging Rupkosa to adopt the spiritual life and sought the permission of his guru to spend four months of the rainy season at Rupkosa's home. While he was there, Rupkosa used all her dancing skills and allurements to try to attract him back to his former life, but she could not break his determination. Seeing his resolve, she overcame her pride and took the vows of a laywoman from him. When Sthulabhadra returned to Sambhutavijaya, the guru applauded him by saying 'Duskar, Duskar' (most difficult task done). It is said that the following year another ascetic, thinking that staying with a royal dancer was an easy undertaking, persuaded Sambhutavijaya to permit him to spend the rainy season at Rupkosa's home. But within a few days he could not control himself. It was Rupkosa who swiftly brought this ascetic to his senses. Jain seers appreciate the remarkable control of Sthulabhadra over himself. Along with Mahavira and Gautam, (Svetambar Jains venerate Sthulabhadra in their daily prayers The Jain scriptures state that Sthulabhadra will be remembered for 84 half-cycles of time (tirthankaras like Risabhdeva and Mahavira will be forgotten in a few cycles). At the insistence and order of the sangha, Bhadrabahu, who was in Nepal, became the teacher of Sthulabhadra. After mastering ten pre-canonical texts, Sthulabhadra tried to demonstrate his knowledge to his sisters (this is regarded as vain and misuse of knowledge). Following this incident, Bhadrabahu refused to teach him further. When Sthulabhadra prayed for forgiveness and, under pressure from the sangha, he consented to teach the last four pre-canonical texts to Sthulabhadra on condition that Sthulabhadra would not teach these to anyone else. On Bhadrabahu's death, Sthulabhadra became the head of the sangha. He was the last scriptural omniscient. His disciples Mahagiri and Suhasti succeeded Sthulabhadra; they have been described in the next chapter where the history of prominent aacaaryas continues. The account of the aacaaryas is based on the work of Sanghamitra (1986), Chatterjee (Vol.1 1978, vol.2 1984), Jain J (1964), Roy (1984) and the Kalpa Sutra. Female Ascetics (Saadhvis) In the fourfold order created by Mahavira, women make a significant contribution to the maintenance of Jain traditions, playing leading roles as ascetics and as lay followers. Female ascetics have always outnumbered males by at least two to one ever since the time of Mahavira. Among Indian religions, the institution of female ascetics is unique to Jainism, demonstrating the equal status of women. Women have realised all the positions that men can attain, for example, Candana was the leader of the female ascetics in Mahavira's time and an important figure in the sangha, and Svetambar texts note some female ascetics attaining omniscience. We have little in the way of historical record about female ascetics. Among the Svetambars there were three types of female ascetics: group leader (mahattaraa), promoter' (pravartani), and ordinary female ascetic (saadhvi). Sthanakvasis, a nonimage-worshipping sect, call their female ascetics 'great sacrificers' (mahaasatis), the word used for a female ascetic among the Terapanthis is saadhvi, while the principal Page #48 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ female ascetic is called the saadhvi pramukha. Digambars recognise two levels of female ascetic. The lower level, which is still generally a householder, though celibate, is known as brahmacaarini. The senior level female ascetic is a group leader called the aryika ganini. In the present day, there are more than six thousand Svetambar female ascetics, while Digambar aryikas probably number only a few hundred. The reasons why female ascetics outnumber male ascetics are complex: it may be that the traditional female role in the household, with responsibility for care of the family, in some ways inclines women to be more 'religious'. Women have more daily contacts with the ascetics and they have also played a traditional role in promoting spiritual teachings among the family. Whatever the reasons behind the choice of the ascetic life by women in the past, in modern times female ascetics have widened their sphere of activity. Some of them are involved in modern education and contribute to Jainological research and literature. Many female ascetics have published books and have earned high academic qualifications. They play an important role in motivating laymen and laywomen to carry out temple rituals, to perform incantational recitations and to observe the minor vows. Their example and encouragement lead many to be initiated as ascetics. In recent years some female ascetics are active in promotion of Jainism, for example, Mahattaraa Mrugavati in creating the Vallabh Smarak (a magnificent temple dedicated to her guru Vallabh), Ganini Jnana Matiji, the author of more than 150 books, in motivating the construction of the Jambudvipa model at Hastinapur, Mahaasati Shardabai as an outstanding orator and the reader of sermons. and Saadhvi Sanghmitra, the author of many books as a foremost Terapanthi group leader. Yatis and Bhattarakas There have been a number of periods in history in which the Jain community has been inordinately wealthy; sometimes wealth brings power and arrogance. One such period occurred in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. At that time, unsurprisingly, a substantial part of the wealth of the community found its way into temples and associated institutions such as schools and libraries. Jain ascetics became increasingly involved in the administration of these resources and became, their critics argue, corrupted by the wealth with which they came into contact. As this scenario developed, the power of these selfappointed 'administrators' increased and they asserted control over temple rituals and, through this, over the lives and conduct of laypeople. Both the main Jain groups, the Svetambars and the Digambars, experienced this unwelcome development in the role of such semi-ascetics, Svetambars called them yatis, while the Digambars respected them as bhattarakas. The institution of bhattarakas survives today, but the modern bhattarakas are highly respected figures, celibate but not the ascetics in the strictest sense. The institution of bhattarakas was first established at Delhi in the middle ages, and later at other places such as Sravanbelgola and Mudabidre in Karnataka; Punugonda and Kanchi in south India; Nandani, Kolhapur, Nagpur, Karanja and Latur in Maharastra; Idar and Sojitra in Gujarat; and Gwalior, Jaipur and Dungarpur in Rajasthan. The yatis and bhattarakas filled a role midway between ascetics and laypeople, a kind of semi-ascetic. Their social and religious roles made them respected, but also powerful in their locality. Today, bhattarakas administer a wide range of the needs of the community, temporal and spiritual, acting as spiritual guides and religious functionaries for rituals in temples and homes. They officiate at consecration ceremonies of temples 48 Page #49 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ and images and deliver religious discourses. Among Svetambars, ascetics officiate in consecration ceremonies and deliver sermons in place of the yatis. The social and pastoral functions are discharged by laypeople. The corruption of the ascetic order contributed to the weakening of the entire sangha and, eventually, Jainism suffered. Fortunately, over the course of several centuries, reformers succeeded in restoring the original ascetic ethos of the orders, which had always been one of the great moral strengths underpinning the sangha. The Jain laity play a not inconsiderable part in holding ascetics to their vows, for a backsliding male or female ascetic loses all respect in the community. 49 Page #50 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 2.5 PROMINENT AACAARYAS The and the dissemination of Jain teachings and practices. Aacaaryaship is conferred by the sangha to suitable ascetics who are highly proficient in the scriptures, and who display qualities of leadership, skills in public speaking, maturity and wisdom. There are very few texts available in English, which give detailed accounts of their lives as recounted in the Jain tradition. While it is impossible to give details of all the great aacaaryas in this book, we will mention some those have played a major part in the spread of Jainism either through their literary work or by their leadership. Historically. they have played a major role in the success of Jainism and its diffusion throughout India. The pattaavali (Sanghamitra 1979: pp.30-31) gives a Svetambar list of thirtyeight prominent successors of Mahavira up to the eleventh century CE. The pattavali of Nandi Sangha provides the Digambar list of prominent successors up to the second century CE (Jain J, 1964: pp 262-263). The literary activity, which Jains call the Sarasvati movement, began sometime in the first half of century BCE and produced a large amount of literature. Jains revere Sarasvati as the presiding deity of learning and literature. Her statue holding in the left hand a book of loose leaves, the cover marked with a gomutrika design, and holding out her right hand probably in varada or abhaya mudraa (yogic display), and with an inscription in old Brahmi characters, dated in the year 54 (just before the CE) has been discovered at the Kankali Tilaa site (near Mathura), and has been preserved in the State Museum, Lucknow (Jain J. 1964: 100). This image symbolises the great Jain renaissance, which began to bear fruit by the beginning of the Christian era, when it seems that the Jain ascetics broke the tradition and began to put their scriptures in writing. Both the Svetambar and Digambar traditions agree on the history of the succession until Bhadrabahu. After Bhadrabahu, the succession diverges. In the Svetambar tradition, Sthulabhadra assumed the leadership of the Magadhan sangha. His chronological successors up to the Valabhi conference in c. 460 CE, were Mahagiri, Suhasti, Gunasundara, Syama, Skandila, Revatimitra, Dharmasuri, Bhadraguptasuri, Guptasuri, Vajrasvami, Aryaraksit, Pusyamitra, Vajrasen, Nagahasti, Revatimitra, Sinhasuri, Nagarjun, Bhutadinna, Kalakasuri (fourth), Satyamitra, Harilla, and Devardhigani Ksamasramana (Sanghamitra 1979: pp. 30). According to the Digambar tradition, Bhadrabahu's successors up to the second century CE, were Visakha, Prosthilla, Ksatriya, Jaya, Naaga, Siddhartha, Dhrutisena, Vaijaya, Buddhila, Gangadeva, Sudharma, Naksatra, Jaypala, Paandu, Druvasena, Kansaarya, Subhadra, Yasobhadra, Bhadrabahu II, Lohaacaarya, Arhadbali, Maaghanandi, Dharasena, Puspadanta, and Bhutabali (Jain J, 1964:pp. 262-263) We have given an account of the lives of early ascetics up to the time of Sthulabhadra in the fourth century BCE; the account now continues with the prominent ascetics; again, it must be remembered that traditional dates in the early years of Jain history are uncertain. Mahagiri (c.268 to 168 BCE) and Suhasti (c.222 to 122 BCE): Mahagiri and Suhasti were disciples of Sthulabhadra, from whom they learned ten pre-canonical texts. 50 Page #51 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Eventually, Mahagiri handed over the charge of his own disciples to Suhasti and lived as an ascetic, modelling his conduct on the example of the Jina, Mahavira. The Emperor Samprati, grandson of the famous Emperor Ashoka, had great faith in Suhasti and as a consequence of his influence the king became a devout Jain, and showed his zeal by commissioning Jain temples, which were built throughout India, some of whose images survive. The example of Samprati induced subordinate rulers to patronise the Jain faith, so that not only in his own domains but also in adjacent countries, Jain ascetics could practise their religion. He was instrumental in arranging for missionaries to be sent out to spread the message of Jainism. Suhasti was followed by an unbroken succession of aacaaryas. Shyamaacaarya (c.247 to 151 BCE): He is also known as Kalakacharya I and was the composer of the famous work the Prajnaapana Sutra, which is an encyclopaedia of Jain tenets. He is also acknowledged as the first person to expound the doctrine of the existence of a micro-organic world of 'one sense beings'. Vajraswami (c.31 BCE to 47 CE): He was known for his leadership and capability as an organiser of the sangha as well as for his scholarship and personal austerity; and he is also remembered for his attainment of extraordinary powers (labdhi), which he used solely for the benefit of the sangha. The texts tell the story of his childhood: before his birth, his father had become a ascetic; as a baby, he was always crying; and his mother frequently ran out of patience and, out of desperation, when he was three years old, she handed him over to his ascetic father. Vajraswami was happy in the company of ascetics. When he was eight years old, his mother came with a request to have him back, but he refused to go with her. His mother went to the king demanding his intervention, but the king decided to allow Vajraswami to stay wherever he chose. His mother tried to lure him with toys and other desirable things, but he ignored her and stayed with his father. He was initiated as an ascetic at the age of eight, became proficient in scriptures, and taught other ascetics for a long period. He became an aacaarya at the age of 52 and led the sangha for another 36 years. Kalakaacaarya II (c. first Century CE): Kalakaacaarya II came from the state of Ujjain. He was initiated at a young age, and his sister was initiated as a female ascetic soon afterwards. Kalakaacaarya became proficient in prognostics, astrology and other sciences. Because of his leadership qualities, he became an aacaarya at a very young age. A number of incidents from his life are recorded in the traditions: when King Gardabhilla of Ujjain kidnapped Kalakaacaarya's sister (who was a female ascetic), Kalakaacaarya was able to persuade a neighbouring ruler to attack Ujjain. When this happened Gardabhilla relented and released Kalakaacaarya's captive sister. This use of violence in the interest of justice and the sangha was regarded by many as pardonable. The annual confession day (samvatsari) is the most important day of austerities in the Jain calendar, but the king requested that it be brought forward by one day and, as this was not inconsistent with the scriptures, Kalakaacaarya advised the sangha to give its approval; as a result the sangha received royal patronage. Kalakaacaarya was also known as a strict disciplinarian, and when a number of ascetics were becoming lax in their daily life and duties, he persuaded them to return to their regime of Right Conduct. It is said that he was the first aacaarya to have travelled abroad in the promotion of Jainism, visiting Iran, Java, Borneo and other countries. For an ascetic to travel overseas was something of a minor revolution, but he was always Page #52 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ vigilant about his own conduct and would make the appropriate atonement for any transgression, and his example is commended as a model even today. Like his namesake Kalakaacaarya I, he too was an expert on the micro-organic world. He advised ascetics to adapt their conduct according to the prevailing conditions of time and place, and to use robes and bowls, and was the first aacaarya to sanction the writing of sacred literature by ascetics. Arya Raksit (c.5 BCE to 70 CE): This aacaarya was a systemiser of both sacred and secular Jain literature. He divided the literature into four groups depending upon the predominant nature of each composition. His own works included the Anuyogadvar Sutra, a treatise containing a theory of knowledge and a wide range of teachings on religious topics. His work also drew upon non-Jain sacred literature, which showed his liberal attitude and respect for other faiths. Kundakunda (c.first century CE): This is the first south Indian ascetic scholar to contribute towards the literary glory of Jainism. He was a native of Kundkund in presentday Andhra. He was a prolific writer, but only a few of his books are available today. His important works include: the 'Essence of Doctrines' (Samaya Saara), the 'Essence of Ascetic Rules' (Niyama Saara), the 'Essence of Five Reals' (Pancastikaaya Saara) and the Essence of Sermons' (Pravacana Saara). A book titled 'Eight Chapters on the Path of Salvation" (Astapaahuda) is also credited to him. He is famous for expounding the *absolute stand point' (niscaya naya), and is regarded as having been a deeply spiritual teacher. In the Digambar Jain moming liturgy, he is also mentioned in the auspicious recitations along with Mahavira and Gautam. Umaswati (c.late first or early second century CE): He is one of the scholarly aacaaryas revered by both Svetambars and Digambars for his masterly work, the 'Manual for Understanding the Reals' (Tattvartha Sutra). This is the first authentic Sanskrit text on Jain tenets giving a complete survey of Jain beliefs in terse and pithy aphorisms. This text is so popular that more than twenty-five commentaries and translations have appeared in different languages, including English and German, and a notable new English translation was published in 1993 (see Bibliography). Another great work credited to him is Prasamarati, a guide for the aspirant on the path of peace and liberation from karmic bondage. Lohaacaarya (c. 14 BCE - 38 CE) is reputed to have disseminated Jainism in the Punjab. He was the last ascetic who had the knowledge of the ten pre-canonical texts (Jain, J. 1964: 106). Dharasena (c. first century CE), Puspadanta, Bhutabali, and Gunadhara (1-2 centutry CE): Dharasena had partial knowledge of pre-canonical literature; he was the master of clairvoyant knowledge and he resided in the cave (Candraguphaa at Girinagara). Fearing the surviving traditional canon might be lost with him, he sent a message to the aacaaryas of the South who had assembled at Venaakatipura. The assembly thereupon sent Puspadanta and Bhutabali, who were tested by Dharasena for their appropriateness. After being satisfied with their ability, he imparted the knowledge to them and sanctioned it to be written down. The subject treated was Mahaa-karmaprakruti-praabhurta. Puspadanta composed 20 cardinal Sutras, incorporating a part of the canonical knowledge received from Dharasena and sent the manuscript to Bhutabali. Bhutabali completed the remaining work and organised it into six parts and hence this work is called the Sata-khanda--aagama-siddhanta. The work was completed on the fifth 52 Page #53 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ day of the bright half of Jyaistha, and since then this day is being celebrated by the Digambar tradition as the sacred day of Sruta-Pancami by the worship of the scriptures and the goddess Sarasvati. At that period another saint, Gunadhara, also had partial knowledge of the original canon, with mastery of the Kasaaya-Praabhruta. Inspired by a similar motive, he committed to writing the 180 original sutras and added 53 supplementary sutras. Later, Yativrusabha wrote 6,000 Curni-sutras on them. Thus the two sets of the Digambar canon were finally redacted, and subsequently a number of commentaries were written on them. The last and most important commentaries are the Dhavala and the Jayadhavala written by Virasena in the eighth century CE. Devardhigani Ksamasramana (c.400 CE to 480 CE): He hailed from Saurastra (Gujarat) and was a ksatriya by birth, initiated as a Jain ascetic by Aacaarya Dusyagani and is known in Jain texts as one of the most respected aacaaryas under whose auspices the last council was held, where the oral canon was redacted, in 460 CE at Valabhi (Gujarat). Following the work of two earlier councils at Pataliputra and Mathura, the canon was organised and put into written form. Over 500 ascetics attended this council, which lasted nearly fifteen years. Each ascetic was given an opportunity to recite the oral canon and the final product is the possible correct scripture in the written form, and this was a great tribute to Devardhigani. Samantabhadra (c.450 CE to 550 CE): This southern ascetic scholar lived during the Chola dynasty. He was a poet, logician, eulogist and accomplished linguist. His works include: the 'Critique of the Enlightened' (Aptamimansa), the 'Discipline of Logic" (Yuktyaanusasana), the "Eulogy of the Tirthankaras' (Svayambuhstotra) and the 'Jewels of Conduct for the Laity' (Ratnaakaranda Sraavakaacaara). It is said that he also composed a commentary on Umaswati's Tattvartha Sutra. He is credited with performing many superworldly feats for the promotion in Jainism. During his time Jainism became widespread in southern India. Siddhasen Divakar (c.500 CE to 610 CE): Aacaarya Vruddhavadi initiated This Brahmin scholar as a Jain ascetic. He founded the Jain system of logic and was instrumental for the popularity of Jainism in more than eighteen kingdoms of central, southern and western India. His works cover a range of literature: eulogical, logical, and religious; his 'Descent of Logic' (Nyaayavtaar), the 'Logic of Right Wisdom' (Sanmati Sutra), the 'Eulogy on Welfare' (Kalyaana Mandir Stotra) and many hymns, each of 32 verses (dvatrisikas), played a crucial part in the development of the later literature. His brilliance and accomplishments brought to Jainism royal patronage from many rulers. Pujyapada (c.510 CE to 600 CE) This Karnataka-born Brahmin scholar became a Jain ascetic out of conviction. He was a poet, philosopher, grammarian and expert on indigenous medicines. He has been credited with many accomplishments, which assisted in the promotion of Jainism in the south. He is also noted for his 'Manual of all Reals' (Sarvartha Siddhi), and a commentary on the Tattvartha Sutra, popular among Digambars. His other books include a work on grammar (Jainendra Vyaakaran), the "System of Meditation' (Samaadhi Tantra), the 'Eulogy on Accomplishments' (Siddhapriya Stotra), the 'Tenfold Devotions' (Dasa Bhakti), and the 'Sermons on Desirable Practices' (Istopadesa). Jinabhadra (c.500 CE to 593 CE): This aacaarya is noted for composing commentaries on at least fifteen sacred books including the Jain tenets (Aavasyaka 53 Page #54 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Sutra), ascetic conduct (Jitakalpa) and the 'Commentary on Jain Essentials' (Vishesa Vashyak Bhasya); and he was a major scholar, expositor and logician. Mantunga (c. 600 CE to 660 CE): This revered aacaarya was born in Varanasi during the reign of King Harshadeva (7th century CE), who had a court of noted scholars, including a Jain minister. When challenged to produce a miracle to prove the worth of Jainism, the minister sought the help of the aacaarya, who reluctantly agreed to help for the sake of the faith. The king had the aacaarya placed in a room, sealed with 48 chains, each of which was individually locked. The aacaarya meditated on the Tirthankara Risabhdeva and composed devotional verses in praise of the attributes of Risabhdeva, and as each verse was completed, one of the locks opened until, eventually, all the 48 locks were unlocked. These verses have come down to us as the famous 'Eulogy of the Immortalisation of the Devotee' (Bhaktamara Stotra), and are recited by many Jains during their morning prayers. Akalanka (c. 620 CE to 680 CE): This one of the most important Jain logicians and philosophers lived in Karnataka during the Rastrakuta dynasty. He studied Buddhism (clandestinely) and proved himself an able debater with Buddhist scholars. In addition to his reputation as a debater, he is credited with having significantly shaped Jain logic and among his original contributions to Jain literature are works on cognition, the theory of omniscience and the theory of 'Relative Pluralism' (Anenkaantavaada). He composed the outstanding "Royal Commentary' (Raju Vartik) on the Tattvartha Sutra and the "Eight Thousand Verses on Logic' (Aptamimansa Astasahasri). Haribhadra (c.705 CE to 775 CE): He was a shining star among the Jain ascetic scholars of the eighth century. He was a Rajasthani Brahmin scholar of considerable repute and was proud of his scholarship. He had taken a personal vow to be the disciple of any person whose work proved beyond his understanding. One day while passing a Jain upashraya, he heard a verse recited by the Jain female ascetic, Mahattaraa Yakini, and could not understand its meaning, so he overcame his pride and went to the female ascetic to ask its meaning, but rather than explain it herself she directed him to her guru Jinabhadra. As a result of his encounter with Jinabhadra, Haribhadra was initiated as a Jain ascetic. He mastered the Jain scriptures and was awarded the honorific title of Suri, which means something like 'sun'. Such was his devotion to Jainism that he mastered Buddhist literature in order to debate with Buddhists and promote Jainism. Of his reputed output of 1,444 books, 88 are extant today. He wrote in Sanskrit and Prakrit on ethics, asceticism, yoga, logic and rituals. He also composed works on satire and astrology as well as novels and canonical commentaries. With his 'Compendium of Six Philosophies' (Sad Darsana Sammucayas), he created a novel style of logic in an era noted for the quality of its philosophical debates. The Essence of Religion' (Dharmabindu) is a major contribution to the religious life of the laity. Even at a time when Jains were numerically in decline, Haribhadra demonstrated the enduring strength of the faith. Bappa-Bhatti (c.743 CE to 838 CE): He was a 'great soul', who became an aacaarya at the age of eleven. He established a reputation as one of the greatest ascetic scholars and debaters of his time. He was a teacher of his royal patron Prince Amaraj who became King of Kanoj (Uttar Pradesh). Amaraj tested the ascetism of the aacaarya by tempting him with royal dancers but Bappa-Bhatti remained unmoved. He was a great 54 Page #55 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ orator and author, winning public esteem across India for composing eulogies on the goddess of learning and the twenty-four tirthankaras, which remain popular today. Virasena (c. 9th Century C. E.) This ascetic scholar had many talents: proficient in astrology, grammar, logic, mathematics and prosody. He is noted for his commentary named the Dhavala on the Digambar canonical Satkhandaagama (six chaptered canon). He also started the detailed commentary on Satkhandaagama called the Jayadhavala, which was completed by his disciples. He was one of the outstanding minds in the kingdom of Amoghvarsa under the Rastrakuta dynasty, regarded as a golden age of Jain literature and culture. The above account and the account that follows are also based on the work of Sanghamitra (1986), Chatterjee (Vol.1 1978, vol.2 1984), Jain J (1964), Roy (1984) and the Kalpa Sutra. We are now coming to the aacaaryas of the modern age, the time during which the 'devotional path' (bhakti marga) of Vaisnavism was prevasive, and the Jain aacaaryas had to adopt a more ritualistic worship in order to compete with the popularity of the new cult. Somadeva (c. tenth century CE): He was a prolific writer of prose and poetry from northern India. Of his three major works, one is on political science, the first by any Jain author, written at the request of the King of Kanoj. The second is a prose entitled Yashastilaka, said to be stylistically comparable to the best Sanskrit poetry, remarkable for its deep knowledge of Sanskrit grammar, metre and idiom. It deals in part with the conduct expected of the laity, noting that the adoption of local cultures can maintain and preserve the faith. The third work deals with spiritual aspects of Jainism. When the religion faced decline due to the popularity of ritual movements of other faiths, he adapted rituals to serve the needs of the Jain community. Abhayadeva (c.1057 CE to 1135 CE): Born in Ujjain, and initiated by Jineshvara Suri, he became a scholar of exceptional ability. It is said that a guardian deity would appear to him in dreams and inspire him to write commentaries on scriptures in Sanskrit. In spite of recurrent health problems he wrote many books, including commentaries on nine scriptural texts, said to total 57,769 verses, which proved so popular that large numbers of the laity volunteered to copy and distribute them throughout India. Tradition attributes that his blessings brought miraculous results, on one occasion when some merchant's ships were in danger of sinking, his blessings saved them. Hemcandra (c.1089 CE to 1172 CE): Aacaarya Hemcandra is one of the most esteemed Jain scholars and aacaaryas. In his biography by Prabhachandra and Merutung, his key role in enhancing the standing of Jainism through his political, religious, social and academic activities is described in detail. He is considered to be the father of the Gujarati language' and, in 1989, the 900th anniversary of his birth was celebrated in many parts of the world. Hemcandra was the son of a merchant in Dhandhuka (Gujarat); his father was a Vaisnava Hindu and his mother was a Jain, and he was originally called Changadeva. He was an exceptionally intelligent child. Once, when Aacaarya Devcandra was passing through his town, he saw the boy and was struck by his facial aura; he sought permission from his mother to initiate the boy as a Jain ascetic, to which she reluctantly agreed. The 55 Page #56 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ aacaarya entrusted him into the custody of Governor Udayan of Cambay (Gujarat) for scriptural study. At the age of nine, he became proficient in all subjects and he was ordained as an aacaarya at the age of twenty-one and given the new name of Hemcandra. At this time, Siddharaja Jaisinha was the King of Gujarat (1092-1141 CE). He was a sophisticated monarch who appointed the aacaarya as his court scholar and historian. Impressed by his scholarship, Siddharaja commissioned him to write a poetic history of his dynasty, the Calukyas, and a Sanskrit grammar. This he did. The king had no son, and his nephew Kumarpala was next in succession; but as he did not want his nephew to succeed him, he sent soldiers to kill him. Out of compassion, Aacaarya Hemcandra helped Kumarpala by hiding him from the soldiers under piles of his manuscripts. Eventually, Kumarpala succeeded to the throne of Gujarat. Kumarpala was so impressed by the Jain teachings and by Hemcandra that he became active in promoting Jainism. At the instigation of Hemcandra, Kumarpala issued a proclamation prohibiting the killing of 'mobile' living beings (amaari pravartan) in his kingdom, which extended to modern Gujarat and became a vegetarian observing the vows of the Jain laity. Many temples were built during his reign and inscriptions from that period survive in large numbers. Hemcandra is noted for his literary works, which embrace all the major branches of learning and, because of this great range of knowledge, he is known as the 'omniscient of the contemporary age' (kali kaala sarvajna). On the completion of his Sanskrit grammar, known as the Siddha Hema Vyaakarana, elaborate celebrations, commissioned by Siddharaja and attended by more than 300 scholars from all parts of India, were held. This classic work also included a Prakrit grammar. Hemcandra also composed the first Gujarati grammar. He produced a biography of the sixty-three "torch bearers' of Jainism and a history of the Jain sangha. He also wrote lexicons, poetry and works on logic, the Yoga Sastra and prosody. Jinadattasuri (c.1075 CE to 1154 CE): He is the most celebrated aacaarya of the Svetambar sub-sect known as the Kharataragaccha. He was initiated as an ascetic at the age of nine years and became an aacaarya at the age of thirty-seven. His social, religious and literary activities earned him the title of 'aacaarya of the era' (yuga pradhaana). He made tremendous efforts to expand the Jain community, both through preaching and through open, welcoming attitude, and reputedly more than 100,000 joined the Jain community through his influence. So great was his personal influence that the Muslims of Sindh gave land for the use of the Jain community. Like many prominent figures in Jain literature and history, Jinadatta Suri was regarded as possessing supernormal attributes and powers. His main work was centred on Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharastra and Sindh. He was a great scholar of Sanskrit, Prakrit and Apabhramsha, an ancient language used in Gujarat and Rajasthan. His services to the community earned him great reverence and when he passed away at Ajmer, the place of his death was named the 'Garden of Dada' (Dadawadi), dada means grandfather and is a term of endearment and respect. As a tribute to his work, his followers have established dadawadis or dadabaris throughout India, and leading ascetics of this sub-sect are known as dada gurus. Hiravijaya (c.1526 CE to 1595 CE): This prominent aacaarya was born in Palanpur (Gujarat). He was initiated at the age of thirteen and he became aacaarya at the age of twenty-seven. He was highly studious and intelligent and his work earned him the 56 Page #57 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ honorific titles of the scholar' (pandit), 'teacher of scripture' (upadhyaaya) and the orator' (vaacak). According to the book Ain-i-Akbari by Abdulfazal, he was one of twenty-one most learned people in the Mogul Empire. The great Mogul Emperor Akbar invited him to Delhi. He declined the offer of royal elephants for the journey and travelled on foot from Gujarat to Delhi to meet Akbar. He was given a magnificent reception. Akbar was highly impressed by his simplicity, austerity and the learning displayed in his sermons. The aacaarya's teachings on nonviolence and reverence for life prompted the emperor to release many prisoners and caged animals; Akbar prohibited the killing of animals on Jain sacred days especially during the sacred period of paryushana. Akbar gave up hunting, fishing and even eating meat on many days. Hiravijaya's influence with the great Emperor Akbar earned him the title of 'World Teacher (Jagat Guru). He left Delhi, leaving his disciples Bhanu Chandra and Vijay Sen Suri as counsellors at the court of Akbar and travelled widely in India. Yashovijay (c. 1620 CE to 1686 CE): There are some ascetics who will not accept the responsibility of being an aacaarya as they feel it would not allow them to pursue their literary and spiritual activities to the full. The contribution of such ascetics is unparalleled in Jain history. We have included Upadhyaaya Yashovijay in this chapter, as his contribution in literary activity and scholarship is of great significance. He was born in Kanoda, Gujarat, and showed intelligence as a child. Having listened to the sermons of Muni Nayvijayji, he expressed a wish to become an ascetic, to which his parents reluctantly agreed. In view of his excellent memory and powers of concentration it was thought appropriate to send him to Varanasi to study Indian philosophy, where he became proficient in the subject and defeated a well-known Hindu ascetic (sanyaasi) in public debate. This brought him great honour and he became known as an expert in logic' (nyaaya visaarada), the first Jain ascetic to be honoured in this way in the traditional seat of Hindu scholarship at Varanasi. In his own religious life, the Jain mystic poet Anandaghana influenced Yashovijay, which resulted in his writings having a concern with inner spiritual values. His guru, Aacaarya Vijaydev advised him to put his scholarship to better use in his writing. His prolific literary output includes more than 100 books in four languages, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Gujarati and Rajasthani, ranging from epics, stories and biographies, to ontology, logic, philosophy, yoga, spirituality, and ascetic and lay life. Among his works, his Essence of Knowledge' (Jnaana Saara) is widely read both by laypeople and by ascetics, also popular is his 'Essentials of Spirituality' (Adhyaatma Saara), and four books on yoga practices. The main thrust of his teaching was that liberation is an inner achievement, dependent upon detachment, not upon external material achievement; he also sought to reinforce ritual with deep spiritual significance. Bhikshu or Bhikhanji (c.1726 CE to 1803 CE): He was the founder of the Terapanthi, an offshoot of the Sthanakvasi sect (non-image-worshippers) within the Svetambar tradition. He became a ascetic at the age of twenty-five, but disturbed by what he saw as the laxity in the conduct of Sthanakvasi ascetics and their erroneous teachings, he established a new threefold tradition for the efficient running of the order. This included having a single head of the order authorised to select his successor, uniform observance, and an ethos of uniformity. During his aacaaryaship he initiated 104 persons as ascetics. He composed many books in the Rajasthani language. Bhikshu had a 'holy death' (sallekhanaa, the voluntary abandonment of all bodily needs), at the age of Page #58 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ seventy-seven. Amulakh Rushi (1877 CE to 1936 CE): This Sthanakvasi saint translated the 32 main books of Jain sacred literature into Hindi. He also composed 70 books on many other subjects, which have been translated into Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada and Urdu. In view of his lifelong efforts to spread the holy teachings of Jainism through his translations and writings, his admirers called him the destroyer of darkness and ignorance'. Born in Bhopal, initiated at the age of eleven, he became head of the sangha at the age of fifty-five. He travelled to many parts of India and had a 'holy death' in 1936. Vallabh Vijay (1870 CE to 1954 CE): Aacaarya Vallabh Vijay Suri was an influential ascetic of the Svetambar tradition, very much a man of the people and he encouraged many to become active in the welfare both of the Jain and other communities. He promoted Jain unity and tried to enlist other aacaaryas to this end. He was an impressive speaker who emphasised self-sufficiency, strong organisation, education, accessible literature, a caring community, women's welfare and patriotism. He was instrumental in the establishment of the famous Mahavira Jain Vidhyalaya and a chain of other institutions for modern education in the Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere. Following his guru Aacaarya Vijaynand Suri's instructions, his main work remained in the Punjab. He promoted the path of Jain values to wider communities. As a result of his work in Punjab, Vallabh Vijaya became known to followers as the 'Lion of the Punjab' (Panjab kesari). For his general work in promoting Jain values and the welfare of the Jain community he was considered the 'aacaarya of the era' (yuga pradhan) During the early period of the British Raj, the Svetambars held the office of an aacaarya in abeyance, and when conditions were favourable, Vallabh Vijay's guru, Vijaynand Suri was conferred by the sangha as the first aacaarya after more than a century. Vijaynand Suri was invited to attend the World Parliament of Religions at Chicago in 1893; as Jain ascetics travel on foot, he could not participate, but he motivated a brilliant layman Virchand Raghavji Gandhi to attend. Along with his guru, Vallabh Vijay assisted the preparations of Virchand Gandhi in the task of promoting Jainism and Jain values in the Western World. A number of miracles are associated with Vallabh Vijay. On one occasion he blessed an installation ceremony of a temple images in a Punjab village, at which more than 15,000 devotees were served full dinner, though the organisers had prepared food for only 5,000 devotees. What should have been insufficient amounts of prepared food became more than adequate in amount due to the blessings of Vallabh Vijay. He defied weather forecasts during religious ceremonies and it is said that rain stopped on many occasions, apparently through his blessings to the sangha. He supported the non-violent freedom struggle of India. His interventions saved the lives of many Jains during the violent time of the partition of India in 1947. All national leaders of India paid their respects to him for his patriotic and humanitarian sermons. He died in Bombay in 1954. More than 200,000 mourners attended his funeral procession. Shantisagar (c.1872 CE to 1955 CE): Aacaarya Shantisagar became the first Digambar Jain ascetic after an interval of many centuries. During the Muslim period and most of the period of British Raj, Digambar ascetics were harassed. As a result people did not dare to be Digambar ascetics. In the Digambar tradition a layperson who has taken minor vows becomes a 'celebrated laity' (brahmacaari). Spiritual development then Page #59 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ leads to the stage of a two-garmented laity' (ksullaka), followed by a 'one-garmented laity' (ailaka). Lastly one becomes a 'sky-clad' ascetic. Born in Karnataka into a family of farmers, he became detached from the affairs of the household and progressed along the spiritual path. He was initiated at the age of forty-eight and given the name 'ocean of peace' (Shanti Sagar). He travelled throughout India, and promoted Jain teachings both to Jains and non-Jains. He observed the 'Jinamodelled' austerities in his personal life, for which his followers honoured him with the epithet of 'king among ascetics' (muniraj) and 'ocean of observances' (silasindhu). During one of his times of meditation in a cave, a cobra was seen with its hood raised for many minutes, as if paying respect to this great saint. During the time of the British Raj, 'sky-clad' Digambar ascetics were prohibited from entering major cities. As this restriction, enforced in the name of so-called 'decency', struck at an important element of Digambar belief, Shantisagar undertook a fast at a square near the Red Fort, Delhi until permission was granted for all 'sky-clad' ascetics to roam freely. The British Raj lifted the restrictions and people began to appreciate the austerities of the Digambar ascetic. He had a "holy death' at Komthali (Maharastra). Tulsi (1914CE-1997CE): Aacaarya Tulsi was the ninth in the line of Terapanthi aacaaryas. In 1995 he became the first person to be granted the title ganaadhipati, superior of all the ascetics. He is known as the 'aacaarya of the era' (yuga pradhaana) and promoter of minor vows' (anuvrata-anushasta). Born in Ladnun (Rajasthan), initiated at the age of eleven, and ordained to aacaaryaship at the age of twenty-three, he was awarded the Indira Gandhi National Award in 1993, for promoting national wellbeing through the minor vows' (anuvrata) movement. He believed in strong personal discipline, a through scriptural education, and the global dissemination of Jain values, Jain communal unity and interfaith harmony. He was the initiator of many activities of contemporary importance; his literary work includes the preparation and publication of critical editions of Jain scriptures in Hindi and English, canonical lexicons, Jain instructional literature, biographical literature and scientific interpretations of Jain tenets. He encouraged the establishment of educational centres for the newly initiated and the creation of intermediate cadres of 'semi-monk' (Samna) and 'semi-nun' (Samna), allowing them relaxation in the vow of non-violence so that they could travel and promote Jainism to wider area, especially outside India. Vidyasagar (1946): This Digambar Jain aacaarya from Karnataka was initiated at the age of twenty-two and became an aacaarya at the age of twenty-six. He is an original thinker and a fine orator, proficient in many languages and motivates his followers to pursue high standards of scholarship. He has written many books of poetry and prose exhibiting a concern with raising moral standards, has made poetic translations of Kundkunda's books and other literature. He wrote a religious novel in Hindi entitled 'Silent Soil' (Mook-maati) which is highly regarded for its style and its content and has been translated into many languages. He heads a group of about 100 monks and nuns, most of them highly educated. He is a reformer and he has motivated activities, appropriate to modern times, including research institutes, educational centres for new initiates, administrative training centres, annual Jain seminars and discussion groups, and the renovation of many places of pilgrimage. 59 Page #60 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ This section has covered only a selection of the prominent aacaaryas of the past and present. Today many aacaaryas are continuing to work to preserve and adapt the Jain heritage in the modern world: work is being undertaken to collect, preserve, catalogue and publish Jain literature, to build Jain temples and other centres and to serve the sangha worldwide. Page #61 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 2.6 SPREAD OF JAINISM AND ROYAL PATRONAGE s spiritual progress was the goal of life for the Jains, history did not seem to them to be of much importance. However, records of royal patronage, existing inscriptions, art and architecture, literary and legendary sources have helped scholars to construct the history of Jainism. As India is a sub-continent with a history of many kingdoms, royal support was very important for disseminating the religion. Though extremely variable, royal patronage aided the Jain cause, and the fortunes of Jainism in India fluctuated over time dependent on the rise or decline of royal patronage. Parsvanatha, the twenty-third tirthankara, was successful in popularising Jainism (the Nirgrantha religion) in different parts of the northern India. Literary records suggest that he visited Kausambi, Saketa, Kampilyapura, Malakappa, Mathura and Rajagraha (Chatterjee 1978: p.35). After his liberation at Sammetsikhar, his disciples continued the task of disseminating his teachings of the fourfold restraints, and before the birth of Mahavira the Nirgrantha religion was well established in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The parents of Mahavira and most probably the parents of Buddha were adherents of this religion. Mahavira travelled to Bihar, some parts of Uttar Pradesh, eastern India and Vitibhaya, the capital of Sindhu-Sauvira in western India (Bhagvati 1921: p.2234). Literary records suggest that King Udayana of Sindhu-Sauvira became a Nirgrantha monk and the religion reached the western coast of India during Mahavira's time, and that Bengal accepted Jainism before Buddhism. (Chatterjee 1978: pp.36-37). After Mahavira's liberation his successors spread the religion throughout India and obtained a considerable royal support. It is not easy to trace the history of the spread of Jainism, but careful study of the Kalpa Sutra Theravali will give us some pointers towards the gradual spread of Jainism to different parts of India in the early period starting from the 4th century BCE. Among the four branches that originated with Godasa, a disciple of Bhadrabahu, and the three significant names: Tamraliptika, Kotvarsiya and Pundravardhamaniya were connected with the three well-known geographical units of Bengal (Chatterjee 1978: pp.37-38). Among the many branches that originated with Balisaha, a disciple of Mahagiri, Kausambika was prominent in the famous city of Kausambi, the capital of Udayana whose aunt Jayanti had become a Jain ascetic (Bhagavati 1921: p. 1987). Suhasti's disciple Rohana was responsible for the Udumbarika branch, whose members included the Audambara tribe of Punjab, suggesting that Jainism was firmly established in the Punjab in c. 250 BCE (Chatterjee 1978: p.38). The branches derived from the other disciples of Suhasti such as Bhadriyika (Bhadrika City), Kakandika (Kakandi Town). Sravastika (Sravasti City), Saurastrika (Saurastra region) and Madyamika (middle region) suggest that Jainism was well established in northern India, Gujarat and Rajasthan from the very early period. It is difficult to say when the Jainism reached the southern peninsula. Anuradhapura, the capital of King Pandugahhaya in Sri Lanka, had a temple and a monastery built for Nirgrantha devotees in the fourth century BCE (Ayyangar 1922: p.33). This evidence and Bhadrabahu's travel to the south suggest that Jainism reached southern India in its early period. Page #62 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Eastern India The eastern part of India includes provinces such as Bengal, Orissa and Bihar. When it came to gaining royal support, Mahavira's birth into a ruling family gave him many important connections. It is, therefore, not surprising that Jainism won royal support in the eastern part of the sub-continent. Even before Mahavira, Parsvanatha had travelled widely in the east spreading Jain teachings and creating many followers. Jain ascetics established a solid rapport with local rulers and the community with the result that, according to the Kalpa Sutra, Mahavira had over half a million followers in his lifetime. The monarchs in Bihar such as Srenika (or Bimbisara), Kunika (or Ajatsatru), Udayan, the rulers of the Nanda, the Mauryan, and the Maitra dynasties were patrons of Jainism before the Common Era. However, periodic persecution caused the Jains to move out of Bihar to the south and west in two directions; the first route was through Kalinga (Orissa) and the other via Ayodhya, Mathura, Ujjain and Gujarat. In all these locations, early communities of followers and sympathisers of Jainism were strengthened by the influx of new arrivals. Candragupta conquered the throne of Nanda. His political mentor Canakya, who was famous for his intellect, shrewdness and political acumen, guided him to conquer the Nanda dynasty, 155 years after Mahavira's liberation. At Canakya's instance he chose Jain teachers as his spiritual guides. Canakya served Candragupta as his minister and organised the coronation of his son, Bindusara, following Candragupta's initiation as an ascetic by Bhadrabahu. Candragupta left his kingdom and went to the south with his new mentor and ended his life by holy death (sallekhanaa). Historians are not agreed about whether it was Chandragupta Maurya or Chandragupta, the king of Avanti in the time of Bhadrabahu II, that became an ascetic and moved to the South along with the large number of ascetics in the 1st century BCE. Bhadrabahu (I), who was scriptural omniscient, died about 40 years before the beginning of the Mauryan dynasty. The Svetambar tradition believes that he went to Nepal. Bhadrabahu II, who was a prognostician (nimitta jnani) predicted the famine would last for 12 years, however, went to the south (Sangamitra 1979: p.74). Ashoka ascended the throne after Bindusara and though he was symapathtic to Jainism, he was a staunch Buddhist in the later part of his life. Ashoka sent his son Kunala to Ujjayini to study the political arts. When Kunala was eight years old, his stepmother forged a letter from his father, the blessing for studies (adhiya) to (andhiya) the order to become blind. The innocent Kunal, not knowing the wicked trick of his stepmother, obeyed this extreme order of the king and made himself blind with a hot iron bar. His grandson Samprati succeeded Ashoka. Samprati was a staunch Jain and a powerful monarch. Inscriptions dating from the reign of Ashoka indicate that Jainism spread as far as Kashmir. The records of Ashoka's grandson, Samprati, indicate that he sent Jain missionaries to the south of India and even to foreign lands. His support for the building of many temples and monasteries, and for the distribution of images of the tirthankaras, suggests that Samprati was a zealous Jain. Samprati was the follower of Aacaarya Suhasti and his promotion of Jainism is remembered by Jains even today. Many district names in Bihar, such as Sinhbhumi, Veerbhumi, and the Parsvanatha hills, have Jain connections and remind us of its former influence in Bihar. The patronage of the ruling class was sustained until the 5th century CE, after which it declined. 62 Page #63 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ As an ascetic, Mahavira travelled to Bengal. The Kalpa Sutra notes that he visited Lada and Vajrabhumi. The fact that one district bears the name of Vardhamana demonstrates the influence of Jainism in that area. Aacaarya Bhadrabahu hailed from Bengal. Many early administrators of Bengal favoured Jainism, but it declined there under the Pala and Sen kingdoms. However, the records of the Chinese traveller Yuan Chwang Tste Sung suggest that there was a strong influence of Jainism in Bengal up to the seventh century CE (Chatterjee 1978: p.112, note 8). The Palas patronised Buddhism, leading to a gradual decline in the fortunes of Jainism, but it maintained its existence until the 10th century CE. Kalinga (Orissa) was a stronghold of Jainism, even before the days of Parsvanatha. It is said that the eighteenth tirthankara Aranatha received his first alms in Rajapur, the capital of Kalinga. Kalinga's most famous king Kharvel of the Meghavahana dynasty and his queen commissioned Jain inscriptions foe the Hathigumpha cave temple. The inscriptions make reference to a council of ascetics, the return of a Kalinga Jain image from Magadha and the construction of the monasteries. During the rule of the Meghavahana dynasty, Jainism was the principal religion of Orissa (Chatterjee 1978: p.88). Other kingdoms lent patronage to Jains in Kalinga, but this did not last, although we find that Udyot Kesari was a staunch supporter of Jainism in a later period. The present day Saraaka caste (estimated to be more than a million people) of Orissa and Bihar worship Parsvanatha and follow Jain practices. Many Jina images more than a 1,000 years old are found in Orissa. It is interesting to note that even the later Saiva kings patronised Jainism in Orissa. However, the spread of Vaisnavism and Jagannatha worship in Orissa forced Jainism into decline. It was in this period that Jainism became syncretistic and adopted many customs and practices of Hinduism, for example in iconography, to maintain its popular appeal. In later times, Orissa became a province ruled by the Rastrakuta dynasty and the influence of Jainism revived. The integration of numerous followers of the ajivikaa sects into Jainism helped to strengthen the position of Jainism in eastern India. (Ajivikaa sects first appeared around the sixth century BCE and survived until the fourteenth century CE). Historical records after this period are nonexistent but gradually the majority of Jains merged with the local population. Of course, still small groups of Jains and many beautiful temples still exist in the Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Northern India The northern areas of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir and Rajasthan have been associated with Jainism since the days of the first tirthankara Risabhdeva, who was born in Ayodhya. Many tirthankaras were born in northern India, the last being Parsvanatha, born in Varanasi. Historically, the north has been divided into many kingdoms, large and small, ruled by various clans and dynasties, some of which patronised Jainism. It is difficult to give a full account of Jainism in different parts of Northern India after the Maureen period. Epigraphic evidences are very few and hence the history is dependent on literary sources, archaeological evidence and discovery of early Jain images. The Jain literary sources suggest the existence of Jain temples in almost all the principle cities of India, but practically none of them have survived. Archaeological and some epigraphic sources 63 Page #64 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ denote the state of Jainism in Mathura, Kausambi, Sravasti, Rajgraha, Ahichhatra, Taksasila and Simhapura. The earliest Jain inscription found in Mathura is from the period of 150 BCE. It developed as a centre of Jainism under the varied patronage of many rulers stretching over centuries. It receded after the Nanda dynasty, but later revived by Jain ascetics with the support mainly from common people, some Ksatriyas, a few women from the aristocratic families and the business community. Although Mathura was a stronghold of the Bhagvata cult, both Buddhism and Jainism flourished there. The evidence from epigraphic inscriptions and the literary sources suggest a strong Jain presence up to the 14th century CE (Chatterjee 1978: pp. 46-72). Varanasi, the birth place of Parsvanatha, the twenty-third tirthankara, Kausambi, the birth-place of Padmaprabha, the sixth tirthankara, and Sravasti the birth-place of Sambhavanatha, the third tirthankara, were great Jain centres from earliest times and had royal patronage. Ahicchatra (Ramanagar UP), the ancient capital of Pancala had Jain temples dedicated to Parsvanatha and Neminatha. The inscriptions from Ahicchatra disclose the names of Jain lay devotees suggesting the popularity of Jainism in earlier times. A number of Jain inscriptions of the Kusana and Gupta period and several nude images of Jinas show the names of the gana (group), kula (lineage) and sakha (branch) mentioned in the Svetambar Theravali. Kampilya was another great centre of Jainism which is mentioned in the Bhagavati (1921: p. 2348) and the Uttaraadhyayana Sutra (Law 1940: 140) referring to King Sanjaya who was a Jain devotee. Sankasya, mentioned in the Ramayana, the capital of Kusadhavaja Janaka, where Sita's parental uncle had a Sankasiya branch of the Carana gana established in the third century BCE, shows its connection with Jainism (Chatterjee 1978: p.95). Jainism penetrated into northwest India quite early. The ancient city of Kapisi, visited by Yuan Chwang in the seventh century CE and been identified as Opian in Afghanistan by Cunningham, had a sizeable Jain population (Chatterjee 1978: p.97). The Jain literary tradition associates Taksasila with Bahubali, a son of Risabha. Sir John Marshal has observed a large number of Jain edifices in Taksasila suggesting that it was a great Jain centre (Archaeological survey of India 1914-15: p.2). Sinhapura, identified by Stein (1890, vol. 4, p. 80) and Cunningham with the modern Ketas in the Salt Range (Punjab, Pakistan), was visited by Yuan Chwang, where he saw Svetambar Jains (Chwang's Diary.1, date n.a:.p.248). Although the Digambars claim a great antiquity for their sect, it is a fact that no Digambar record before 300 CE has so far been discovered (Chatterjee 1978: p. 99). Parsvanatha allowed the monks a lower and upper garment, while Mahavira did not bother whether the monks wore the garments or discarded the clothes following his example. From the earliest times, Jain monks indulged in both kinds of practices, wearing clothes (sthavira kalpa) and going naked (Jina kalpa). It is interesting to note that Parsvanatha never went naked, while Mahavira went naked, but he practised this 13 months after he became an ascetic. Vimala's Paumcariyam written 530 years after Mahvira's liberation shows no acquaintance with the Digambars, suggesting that there was no separation of Jainism at that time. The epigraphic evidence and dates of the original Digambar canon suggest that the Jains separated as Svetambar and Digambar around 150 CE. 64 Page #65 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Unlike Rajasthan and Gujarat where Svetambars predominated, Digambars had their strongholds in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharastra and southern India. Madhya Pradesh had several influential Jain centres from earliest times. The ruling dynasties of this region favoured the brahmanical religion, however, Jainism was held in esteem by individual kings of different dynasties. Epigraphic evidence of the seventh century, discovered in the Sonagiri temples, proves their antiquity. Chandella kings patronised Jainism and the epigraphic inscriptions during the period of kings Dhanga, Kirtivarman and Madanavarman suggest that many temples including the famous Khajuraho and Deogarh temples were built during their reign. The literary sources provide extensive information regarding the state of Jainism in Madhya Pradesh, which include a temple dedicated to Parsvanatha at Dhara, which was later destroyed by the Muslims along with the Hindu temples. The Parmar kings Harsa Siyaka, Vakpati Munja, and Bhoja supported literary activities and were patrons of Jainism. Gwalior was connected with Jainism from earliest times and the fifteenth century was the golden age of Jainism, and it was largely due to the under the Tomara kings. (Chatterjee 1984: p.177) Jainism was very popular in Rajasthan from the very early period: literary evidence from the Kuvalayamala shows that Bhinamala was a place of Jain pilgrimage in the 6th century CE. The Jain ascetics of Mathura, who used to visit Gujarat in the early centuries, had to pass through Rajasthan and they preached the Nirgrantha religion during their travels. The kings of the Capa dynasty were patrons of Jainism. That Jainism flourished in Rajasthan during the days of king Vatsaraja is further shown by an inscription (Bhandarkar, list no. 72) discovered from Osia and dated 956 CE. Several epigraphic inscriptions suggest that during the Rastrakuta dynasty and other kings Jainism was very popular in most centres of Rajasthan and had royal patronage (Chatterjee 1978: pp. 154-157). During the period of the various families of the Cauhan, Parmar and Gohil dynasties Jainism prospered and many temples were built between the 11th and 14th century CE (Chatterjee 1984: pp 39-54). From the 15th century onwards Rajasthan has remained one of the main centres of Jainism due to the patronage of the kings such as those of Jesalmir, Bikaner, Dungarpur and Mewar and the Marwari business community. It has famous centres of pilgrimage such as the Delwara temples at Mount Abu, Ranakpur and Jesalmir. Thus all the available evidence indicate that Jainism was a pan-Indian religion, by the beginning of the 4th century CE. In northern India the Svetambars and in southern India Digambars were prominent. The Gupta dynasty, though inclined towards Brahmanism, patronised Jain scholars. Although Jainism never received the large-scale royal patronage of its early career, it appealed directly to the masses and gradually became popular throughout India. It has had a convoluted history, occasional persecution and severe competition from Brahmanism and Buddhism, but it never declined completely, as northern rulers were generally sympathetic to it. Even in the Muslim period, many rulers were influenced by Jain ascetics and were sympathetic to the cause of Jains. Western India Royal patronage of Jainism has a long history in Gujarat. By the third century BCE Jainism had become a popular religion, which once formed part of the fabric of the kingdom of Samprati. In the Gupta period Gujarat was the chief centre of Jainism in Page #66 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ India. This is indirectly shown by the fact that the Svetambar canon was finally redacted at Valabhi 980 (or 993) years after Mahavira's liberation. An earlier council of ascetics under Nagarjuna also met at Valabhi in the 4th century CE, which coincided with the Mathura council. Literary evidences also suggest that Valabhi was the main centre of Jainism in Gujarat until its destruction by the Muslims in 787 CE (Chatterjee 1978: pp. 108-109). It was a Jain ascetic, Silagunsuri, who was instrumental in the establishment of the Patan kingdom in the 9th century CE. Almost all subsequent kings patronised Jainism, regardless of their personal allegiance. The golden age of royal patronage in Gujarat was during the kingdom of Siddharaj and Kumarpal, when not only were temples and upashrayas were built, but Jainism permeated the whole culture of Gujarat, an influence that continues to the present day. Gujarat has always been associated with the Tirthankara Neminatha and other leading figures of Jain history such as the Digambar ascetic scholar Dharasena, and the Svetambar ascetic scholar Hemcandra. The great places of pilgrimage, Satrunjay (Palitana) and Girnar and Valabhi, where two councils of ascetics were held, are in Gujarat. Even Muslim rulers and their representatives sought the co-operation and support of Jains. The long history of royal patronage owes much to the honesty and integrity of a large number of Jain officials, who occupied senior posts in the royal administrations. Many such officials, Jain merchants and bankers used their own resources to promote Jainism, and contributed generously to keep the heritage of Jain art and culture alive. This culture flourished under the British Raj because of religious freedom and generous help from Jain merchants and the wider sangha. Although Maharastra has no history of royal patronage to compare to that of Gujarat, Jainism flourished there at an early date because of the missionaries sent by Samprati. The language of many Jain writings is today known as Jain Maharastri Prakrit. Maharastra was, for a time, under the domination of the Calukya and Rastrakuta dynasties and this allowed Jainism to flourish for a long period. Some places, such as Kolhapur, still have large Jain population. The early popularity of Jainism in Maharastra is shown by the fact that beautiful Jain caves at Ellora were excavated in 800 CE. The epigraphic evidence suggests that Jainism was very popular in the Kolhapur district and had royal patronage (Chatterjee 1984: p. 60-64). Southern India The Buddhist text Mahavansa (4th century CE) states that King Pandukabhaya constructed houses and temples for the Nirgrantha ascetics at Anuradhapura. Pandukabhaya lived in the fourth century BCE, and the evidence of this Pali text proves the presence of Jain ascetics in Sri Lanka in the 4th century BCE. Another Pali text Dipavamsa, which was composed a century earlier quotes the same Nirgrantha Giri. Thus the combined evidence of the above prove the presence of Jainism in Sri Lanka in pre-Mauryan times and it may have spread to the south in the time of Parsvanatha or the early period of the Mahaviran era. These Jains may have migrated from the Tamilspeaking areas of South India, and once we accept this, we have to believe that Jainism was firmly established in the southernmost corners of India by the 4th century BCE (Chatterjee 1978: p.118). The early Tamil literature (Sangam texts: Tolkappivam, Kural and Silappadikaram) indicates that Jainism was popular in quite early times in the 66 Page #67 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ regions south of the Kaveri. The Jain ascetics of Bengal and Orissa were responsible for the early propagation of Jainism in Tamil Nadu, but not of Karnataka, as it is usually believed. The Silappadikaram gives an account of Jainism in the three Dravidian states of Chola, Pandya and Chera and describes the Jain temples in the capitals of these three kingdoms, and that a Jain chariot-festival (ratha-yatra) was associated with the observance of the elaborate Astahnika festival thrice a year (Asadha, Kartika and Phalguna). It further describes how Jain ascetics, Carnars, used to visit the beautiful temple at Kaveripattam, the Chola capital and that it was constructed at a great expense by the lay disciples of Nirgrantha. It delineates the Carnars as monks who possessed the highest knowledge, who had put aside attachment and anger and were responsible for the popularity of Jain religion in the south because of their religious activities and saintly life. The Silappadikaram also describes Jain temples at Madurai and Vanji (near Cochin), suggesting the popularity of Jainism not only in the Chola and Pandya kingdoms but also in Kerala. It further throws welcome light on the Jain nuns of south India. The present Madurai district was the stronghold of Jainism in Tamil Nadu and this can be shown by literary evidence from many Jain shrines in Madurai city, a large number of caves (particularly in the hills) where Jain monks lived, and epigraphic inscription of early Brahmi script of the 3rd century BCE. From practically all over Tamil Nadu, celebrated Jain sites suggest the popularity of Jainism in this region from earliest times. A number of sites in Kerala connected with Jainism have also been discovered: a Jain monastery near the Chera capital Vanji; a famous Jain centre of pilgrimage in ancient times, now known as the shrine of Bhagwati in Tirucanttumalai (the icons prove that it was a Jain site); Jain sculptures and inscriptions in Nagarkoyji. The Pallavas were brahmanical kings, but during their reign Jainism was one of the dominant religions and more than one royal member of the dynasty favoured Jain monks. Thus the Dravida Sangha was established by Vajranandin at Daksina-Mathura (Madurai) in 464 CE, and the Digambar Lokavibhaga was composed by Sarvanandin in 458 CE during the reign of Simhavarman, the king of Kanchi (Patalipura). The western Gangas, the rulers of southern Karnataka from the 4th century CE, were great patrons of Jainism from the beginning of their history; Aacaarya Simhanandi had guided the first king Sivarama Konngunivarma, who came from the north, to establish the Ganga dynasty in southern Karnataka (Jindal 1988: p.1). Simhanandi gave spiritual guidance and the explanation of ahimsaa to the rulers, and this aided the establishment of the Ganga dynasty The Ganga dynasty supported to Jainism for some 500 years. Epigraphic evidence suggests that the Ganga King Marasimha had decisive victories over the Cheras, the Cholas, the Pandyas, and the Pallavas. Camundaraya, who was his and his successor's valiant minister, erected the world famous monolithic statue of Bahubali at Sravanbelgola in 978 CE. In almost every part of the kingdom there were Jain shrines (Chatterjee 1978: p.191), and this was also due to the fact that the Western Calukyas and the Kadamba dynasty who ruled parts of Karnataka were also patrons of Jainism. Hoysala rulers, encouraged by a Jain ascetic Sudatta, supported Jainism. The Pallava and the Rastrakuta dynasty also patronised Jainism. The Eastern Calyukas who ruled the eastern districts of Andhra Pradesh also supported Jainism. But political 67 Page #68 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ conditions changed after the 10th century CE and Jainism went into decline due to the hostility of Saiva and Vaisnava fanatics. Sixth century CE is characterised by the revival of Brahmanism, which shook the foundation of Jainism as well as Buddhism. Buddhism had already lost its hold in south India, but Jainism was at its zenith. The Jain teachings had become very rigorous and exacting in their application to daily life. The exclusiveness of the Jains and their lack of adaptability to circumstances soon rendered them objects of contempt and ridicule, and it was only the state patronage that rendered them influential. However, the hostile propaganda made Jainism unpopular and in time it ended in violence and religious persecution through force by the over-zealous state officials who were ready to execute the commands of the bigoted kings. With the rise of Saivism, an abundance of religious literature on Shiva, his miracles and powers, was written, and was edited in the twelfth century by Sekkizhar as Tirutondar Puranam or Periapuranam (Ayyangar 1922: p. 61). Among the 63 Saiva Nayanars or saints whose accounts fill this text. Appar, Siruttondar and Sambandar furnish some information on the Jains. Of these three, Sambandar, who was a popular activist, shrewd orator and singer saint, rendered Jainism a mortal blow in the Pandya kingdom, from the effects of which it never recovered. Appar did the same for the Pallava kingdom, and his account states that the fiery preaching of Saint Samandar and the Vaisnava saints, Tirumazhisaipiran and Tirumangai Alvar, led to the decline of Jainism in Tamil Nadu in the eighth century CE. The Chola kings who followed Siva did not patronise Jainism during this period. From the Periapuranam it is evident that 8,000 Jain leaders were impaled at the suggestion of Samandar and that there was violent religious persecution in the Pallava and Pandya kingdoms. As a result, not only were many Jains driven out of these kingdoms, but also many were forced to embrace Saivism. The evolution of Hinduism owes a debt to the Saiva Nayanars, Vaisnava Alvars, and Sankaracharya (8th century CE) who turned his attention to the north after witnessing the ruin of Jainism in the south. Jain saints, especially Ajjanandi, travelled through Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala to counteract the hostile propaganda of the Saivites and Vaisnavites, but it was a losing battle. The Jains due to their persecution, and the fear of persecution, migrated to Sravanbelgola in the Ganga Kingdom, a few remained in Tamil Nadu, but without any influence. Nevertheless they continued their literary activities and produced classic works such as Kural Sillappadikaram, Chintamani, Nannul and many books on grammar, lexicography and astronomy. The contribution of the Jain heritage to the Tamil culture is unique and considerable, and can be seen in the observance of ahimsaa in the Vedic rites and ceremonies, surviving temples and their institutions, and the literature. By the end of the thirteenth century CE, with the exception of Karnataka and few pockets in Tamil Nadu, where Jains had to face very stiff opposition, Jainism had practically disappeared from south India. Thus for more than 1,500 years after the age of Mahavira, parts of southern India proved to be strongholds of Jainism, mainly in its Digambar variant. Jain literature claims that Neminatha was in the south when Krishna's city of Dwaraka was burnt. Legend says that a saintly ascetic, who had been repeatedly harassed by some drunken members of the royal household, had put a curse on the city and it may be that the drunken behaviour of those inhabitants of Dwaraka precipitated the fire. Page #69 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Many south Indian dynasties such as Calukyas, Gangas, Rastrakutas, Kadambas, Pandyas, Cholas, Kalcuri, Amoghvarsha, Vijaynagar and other dynasties patronised Jainism. The Rastrakuta period is looked upon as a 'golden era' of Jain literary activity, technical and religious literature, and of Jain art and architecture in the south. By the 14th century CE, Jainism declined both numerically and culturally when royal patronage was withdrawn, due to new rulers who followed Saivism and Lingayatism. But despite these setbacks and persecution, some pockets of Jainism survived. Under the Raj, British rule did not actively help to promote Jainism, though indirectly it did through an increasing liberal education and freedom of religion, but the struggle for independence from Britain, in which Mahatma Gandhi so publicly embraced non-violence (ahimsaa), led to a new dissemination of Jain values. In independent secular India, Jainism has revived and Jain values have been given an important place in the life of the nation, and Jainism has been accepted as one of the major religions of India. Under the patronage of the Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, India celebrated the 2,500th anniversary of Mahavira in 1975. People from all walks of life participated in the head-anointing ceremony of the colossal statue of Bahubali at Sravanabelgola, and many tourists visit Jain temples such as Delwara, Ranakpur and Satrunjay. Some places of pilgrimage have been restored to their former glory and many new temples are being built throughout India. Jain literature is being made accessible to all through translations into English and the Indian languages. In November 1996, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, John Major, visited the Jain Centre in Leicester. These and establishment of Jain Centres in North America are leading to a greater awareness of Jainism outside India. Thus, Jainism is beginning to establish an international dimension, but without the active patronage of rulers in this modern and secular age. 69 Page #70 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 2.7 POPULAR SUPPORT arlier, we described the contribution of ascetics in the promotion of Jainism. Now we and is historical and biographical material on the lay orders. What follows has been compiled from material scattered throughout the Jain literature in the Gujarati language, but is neither definitive nor exhaustive, and in some instances, the status of individuals mentioned in this section, i.e. whether they were ascetics or laypeople, was not uniformly agreed by the sangha. In the time of Mahavira, Sankha Sataka was head of the laymen's order and Sulasa and Revati heads of the laywomen. These and many other laypeople strictly adhered to the minor vows and because of their contribution to the promotion of Jainism, some, as below, are remembered daily by Jains in the recital of the morning liturgy: Laymen: Karkandu, Sudarsan Sheth, Vankacul, Salibhadra, Dhanyakumar, Abhaykumar, Ilaciputra and Nandisena. Laywomen: Sulasa, Revati Manorama, Damyanti, Sita, Nanda, Bhadra, Risidatta, Padmavati, Anjana, Sridevi, Jyestha, Prabhavati, Celana, Rukhmini, Kunti, Devaki, Dropadi, Dharani and Kalavati. The laity have played an important role in building and maintaining temples, upashrayas, libraries, welfare institutions and other activities of the sangha. They attend to the needs of ascetics and their contribution has kept Jainism vigorous. The earliest important layperson whom we know by name is Javadshah, who, according to the literary record, undertook the 13th renovation of the Satrunjay temples in 51 CE. The record is silent for many centuries until we encounter two brothers who were ministers of Gujarat, Vastupal and Tejpal. In the twelfth century they built the world famous temples of Delwara (Mount Abu), which extended the earlier temple built by Vimalshah. These brothers were said to be responsible for building 1,300 temples, 984 upashrayas, 700 schools, 3,000 Hindu temples, 700 Hindu monasteries, 64 mosques, 700 dharmasalas (boarding houses) for pilgrims and 700 other spiritual centres. They also renovated 2,000 existing temples and provided daily alms to more than 1,500 ascetics. Vastupal's wife Lalita and Tejpal's wife Anupama were instrumental in motivating the brothers to undertake these works, which demonstrated Jains' care for humanity by the provision of places of worship for all, irrespective of their faith. Their liberalism resulted in a deep friendship with the Muslim ruler of Delhi, Lil-Tutamish. Vastupal wrote many books and 24 honorific titles were bestowed on him. In 1230 CE the brothers undertook a pilgrimage to Satrunjay with 700 Svetambar aacaaryas, 100 Digambar aacaaryas, 2,100 ascetics and thousands of laypeople. In the thirteenth century, under Muslim influence, iconoclastic movements spread through both Jain and Hindu communities. This disruption brought misery to many people, which was made worse by a great famine in Gujarat in the reign of king Visaldeva. Jagdushah, a wealthy Jain grains merchant, provided food for the entire population during the famine in Gujarat. His generosity also extended to the renovation of many Jain and Hindu temples and the building of a mosque. Probable contemporaries of Jagdushah, a father and son, Pethadshah and Zanzankumar, were noted for their devotion to the community, building 84 temples and 70 Page #71 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ 74 upashrayas. Pethadshah revered the scripture known as the Bhagavati Sutra and had it copied and distributed to libraries throughout India. The Bhagavati Sutra is a record of thousands of questions put to Mahavira by his chief disciple, Gautam. When this scripture was read publicly Pethadshah gave a gold coin for each question to the sangha. A thirteenth century minister of king Siladitya of Gujarat, named Bahadshah, undertook the fourteenth renovation of the Satrunjay temple with the approval of the king and, after he was wounded in battle, his son Ambadshah completed the work. At this time, Kutubbudin Shah was the Muslim ruler of Delhi. His forces regularly attacked Gujarat, destroying non-Muslim places of worship and encouraging iconoclasm. Samarsinh, a Jain, minister in Gujarat successfully co-ordinated the defence of the territory, saving many temples from destruction. In 1314 CE Samarashah carried out the fifteenth renovation of the Satrunjay temple, which had been destroyed by Allauddin Khilji. He undertook five vows, (celibacy, eating only once a day, sleeping without a mattress, giving up dairy products and sweet foods, and not shaving). He practised them faithfully until the renovation was completed. Dharanashah, minister of Rana Kumbha, whose kingdom lay in modern Rajasthan, built the magnificent temple at Ranakpur in 1439 CE. Dharanashah was influenced by the Aacaaryas Hiravijay and Somasundar. The temple at Ranakpur is one of the wonders of Jain architecture. It has 1,444 hand-carved sandstone pillars and is one of the best examples of a Jain temple building and a major centre of pilgrimage. Extensive renovation has been carried out in the second half of the twentieth century by the Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi (a trust established to care for the temples and to promote the Jain way of life), under the supervision of Kasturbhai Lalbhai, a leading Jain philanthropist and expert on the Jain heritage. Great care has been exercised to recreate the quality of the original construction. In 1523 Karmashah undertook the sixteenth renovation of the Satrunjay temple, with the consent of the Muslim ruler Bahadurkhan of Delhi and with the help of his local ruler Rana Sangha, whom he served as a minister and who was a Jain sympathiser. Karmashah also obtained an exemption from the toll tax for the Satrunjay temple pilgrims. This temple and its main image (murti) of Risabhdeva are in use as a place of worship today. The Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi is currently carrying out restoration work on this edifice. Shrenik Kasturbhai Lalbhai, an acknowledged expert on the Jain heritage is involved in this work and has donated generously to the cost of this and many other projects. Velaka was the finance minister for Rana Kumbha of Cittoda, Rajasthan. He constructed the famous temple of Cittodagadh in 1448 CE and secured exemption for the Mount Abu temples' pilgrims from the toll. Khema Hadalia is remembered for his generosity in feeding the whole of Gujarat, from his own resources, during an acute famine in 1493 CE. This is in keeping with the Jain teaching that wealth should not be accumulated for reasons of personal aggrandisement, but to help all living beings. The Muslim ruler of Gujarat was surprised at the generosity of this Jain merchant. He honoured him by coining the phrase: 'Ek Bania Shah, Bijo Badshah', meaning 'Bania (merchant) first and the king second' by which he meant that the merchant's generosity had raised him to a status higher than that of the king. 71 Page #72 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Around the 1590 CE, Bhamashah, the Jain minister of Rana Pratap, donated all his wealth to support the struggle of Mewar (Udaipur), which was seeking to maintain its independence in the face of Akbar the Great's imperial expansion. This philanthropy allowed Rana Pratap to keep an army in the field for twelve years, during which time he was able to recover most of Mewar from the Muslim invaders. In 1631 CE, Dharmadas Shah built a temple on the Satrunjay hills which houses a fourteen foot high marble image of Adabadji (Risabhdeva). Many noted aacaaryas, upaadhyaayas and laypeople maintained Jainism's popular appeal through the composition of devotional literature, (pujaa hymns, rituals etc.) superficially modelled on Vaisnava lines. Among those who wrote devotional compositions are: Anandghana, Vinaya Vijay, Yasho Vijay, Jnan Vimal Suri, Udayratna and Devcandra; these works helped the Jain community to sustain a feeling of close-knit fellowship and to withstand pressures from the revivalist devotional (bhakti) Hindu cults. In the nineteenth century, the British consolidated their rule in India. Bombay became the trading and commercial centre of the country. Many Jain merchants from Gujarat, among them Amicand, Motishah, Narsi Natha and Keshavji Nayak moved to Bombay. They used their new wealth to build temples, animal sanctuaries and other welfare institutions. In Ahmedabad, the families and descendants of wealthy Jains such as Shantidas Sheth, Hemabhai and Premabhai used their resources to promote general education for everyone. Their philanthropic work earned a proud reputation for the Jain community. Jain merchants flourished as textile 'kings' and, in due course made Ahmedabad 'the Manchester of India, and it attracted many creative ascetics and laypeople, among whom are numbered prominent hymn writers. Many Jain laypeople became well known in the latter half of the nineteenth century, creating international interest in Jains and Jainism. Rajendrasuri (1827 to 1906 CE): At the age of twenty, he was the first person in the nineteenth century to be initiated as a yati, and at the age of forty years he became Shri Pujya Yati. One of his outstanding achievements was to call together an assembly of the Jain community for a public reading of the forty-five-part canon for the first time in many centuries. Among his own literary works is an encyclopaedic seven-volume dictionary of Prakrit of 9,200 pages and defining 60,000 terms. He organised the mass recitation of the great Jain prayer, the Namokara Mantra, at which the mantra was chanted over twelve million times. In his lifetime he officiated at the consecration of 1,023 images of tirthankaras, established many social welfare institutions, including Jain libraries, and reformed the institution of the yatis. Virchand Raghavii Gandhi (1864 to 1901 CE): Every Jain feels proud of Virchand Raghavji Gandhi. Gandhi is a common family name in Gujarat, but the various distinguished figures bearing that name are unrelated. Born in 1864 into a prestigious Gujarati family, he became a highly respected lawyer. He was active in the promotion of religious values and used his legal skills to gain exemption from tolls for pilgrims to the Satrunjay Hill temples, pursuing the case through the courts. He took on the Government in a case involving a proposal to build a factory near the pilgrimage site of Sammeta Sikhar in Bihar. This factory would have processed pig fat, contrary to Jain teachings not to commit acts of violence on living beings. As a result of his action, the factory project was shelved. He was politically active, participating in the National Freedom Movement Page #73 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ against the British Raj; he represented Bombay at the Indian National Congress in Poona, and also represented Asia at an international commerce convention. At the insistence of Aacaarya Vijayanand Suri, he represented Jainism at the Parliament of World Religions in 1893, undertaking extensive scholarly preparation for this event. He made such an impression on the international gathering that he was asked to deliver further lectures, which resulted in his staying for two more years in America, and then a year in the United Kingdom. He travelled abroad to speak on Jainism on two other occasions; reputedly he gave some 535 foreign lectures on Jainism and Indian philosophy. He gave courses on Jainism and attracted many followers outside India, and as a result Jain societies to promote interest in Jainism and Jain culture were founded by non-Jains in the United Kingdom and United States. He was awarded silver and gold medals for his lectures, all of which have been published and which, even today, are recognised for their substance and quality. Mahatma Gandhi held Virchand Raghavji Gandhi in great regard and regularly corresponded with him. It was a cause of great sadness that such an illustrious man died at the young age of 37, and Jains will long remember him with affection and admiration. A century after he attended the first Parliament of World Religions, he was remembered at the second Parliament in Chicago in 1993 again with great respect and regard. He exemplified the best in the religious, national, political and literary life of India and Jains will always regard him with pride. Srimad Rajchandra (1867 to 1901 CE): In a short life of a mere 34 years, Srimad Rajchandra achieved greatness and left behind him the memory of a very great soul and an example which many have been inspired to follow. Srimad Rajchandra was born in Vavania (Gujarat) in 1867 CE, educated in local schools and married at the age of 20 to Zabakbai, a jeweller's daughter. He was extraordinarily intelligent and early in life he had mastered at least 5 languages. As his father's family was devotees of the Vaisnava Hindu tradition, it was from his mother that he learned about Jainism. It was his mother's practice of traditional Jain rituals such as the twice-daily penitence (pratikramana) which attracted him to the Jain view of life and spirituality. He found Jain practice to be the best means of happiness; he became a Jain in thought and action, and he remained such to the end of his life. As a result of his obvious inner spiritual knowledge and his excellent oratorical skills, people flocked to him for guidance in their spiritual quest. Such was his spiritual strength that he could overcome normal human physical desires, such as hunger for many days at a time, and although his physical body became emaciated, people remarked that his spirituality shone in his face. In addition to his skills as an orator, he was a poet, writer, translator, scriptural commentator and an impressive letter writer. Of the more than two dozen books that he wrote, Atmasiddhi, Pravacanmala, Moksamala, Puspamala, and Bhavanabodh have achieved considerable popularity. These books and about 800 of his letters have been published and some have been translated into foreign languages, including English. He had immense powers of concentration and memory (avadhaan). People would gather to witness his skill. An example of this was his ability to accept a hundred unconnected, random questions and then to answer them correctly in any order, merely by being given the number of the question, which is why he was known as the person with the 'hundredfold memory' (sataavadhaani). His spiritual teachings won him a wide following, including many ascetics who call him the 'true teacher' (krupaludeva or 73 Page #74 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ sadguru). They have since organised a chain of institutions called 'temples of knowledge' (jnaan mandir) throughout the world for the promotion of his Jain teachings. He has become best known as the spiritual mentor of Mahatma Gandhi, whom he met in 1891 after Gandhi had been in England studying law. The timing of this encounter was significant, for Gandhi was facing a personal spiritual crisis, was uncertain of his faith, and considering conversion to Christianity. Srimad Rajchandra gave Gandhi an anchor in the values of Indian religious traditions, and it was Rajchandra's example which led Gandhi to follow the way of 'non-violence' (ahimsaa), utilising it as the main weapon with which to win independence for India. Throughout his life, Rajchandra expressed the truths that arose from his spiritual life and those who were close to him knew that they were in the presence of a great soul. He died in 1901 at Rajkot (Gujarat). Kanji Swami (1889 to 1980 CE): Born in Gujarat in 1889, Kanji Swami was initiated as a Sthanakvasi ascetic at the age of 24. His depth of knowledge and speaking skills were such that he was honoured with the title of the 'mountain of light' (koh-inoor) of Kathiawar. During his scriptural studies he was highly impressed by the 'Essence of Doctrines' (Samaya Saara) of Kundakunda, which led him to study the books of Banarasidass, Todarmal and Rajchandra. He felt the 'soul-oriented' Digambar path was the true path and, in 1934, he proclaimed himself a Digambar layperson and began preaching Kundakunda's teaching. Gradually, the number of his followers, both Svetambars and Digambars, grew to many thousands. His sermons encouraged his followers to adopt a habit of regular personal study and the distribution of Jain literature, and they impressed upon his followers the view that rituals and attire have no meaning without a proper understanding and the right frame of mind. Many remarkable incidents have been associated with him, which illustrate his charismatic personality. His followers have popularised the devotional doctrine of the "Living Tirthankara of Mahaavideha' (Simandhar Swami). Jain geography describes Mahaavideha as a continent of the Jambudvipa region, where people live and where there is always at least one living tirthankara, and Simandhar Swami is one of the present living tirthankaras on this continent. The main centres for the propagation of Kanji Swami's teachings today are Songadh in Gujarat and Jaipur in Rajasthan, though there are outposts in Nairobi, London and the United States. Kanji Swami died in 1980, in Bombay. Jains have remained a respected community in India and have been prominent in the economic life of India. They have contributed significantly to Indian culture and heritage, and are well known for their philanthropic and welfare activities, for animals as well as people. Jain values are highly regarded and attract support from Jains as well as from the wider community. The above account of popular support is based on vernacular literature such as Atmanandji (1988), Devluck ed. (1985), Doshi (1979), Duggadh (1979), Khusalchandramuni (1990), Modi (1988), Shah R. (1992), Vaid (1980) and articles from the Jain (1982-1989). 74 Page #75 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 2.8 DECLINE AND REVIVAL ainism is one of the oldest religions in the world, but like other living faiths, it has undergone many phases of growth and decline during its long history. In this chapter we will briefly describe the pattern of growth and decline in India, and summarise the main factors influencing the changing fortunes of the Jain community. Bihar was formerly the heartland of Jainism, but one does not find large numbers of indigenous Jains there today, although in recent times, some Jains have migrated to the area for commercial reasons. There is, however, in part of Bihar a sizeable number of Saraaka Jains, followers of Parsvanatha, who have remained outside the Jain mainstream, but who have recently experienced a revival. The lack of an indigenous Jain community in Bihar can be attributed to a combination of declining royal support, persecutions, and hardship caused by famines, which led to the migration of ascetics and laypeople to other parts of India. Once an area is without ascetics, it becomes very difficult to sustain a viable Jain community in the long term and, as expected, conversion to Hinduism became commonplace. Although, from time to time, the political situation improved, Bihar remained an area with a small Jain population, despite the presence of a number of significant holy places. The Jains of neighbouring Bengal and Orissa faced a similar situation to that of their co-religionists in Bihar: political turmoil, resulting in a decline in the Jain population after the eighth century CE. South India also was a stronghold of Jainism until about the eighth century CE when political suppression was inflicted upon the Jain populations in Tamil Nadu, Andhra and Kerala. Karnataka remained an important Jain centre until the twelfth century CE, although here, Jain political influence went into decline. By contrast, although the situation was never entirely stable, areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan have maintained their position as considerable centres of Jainism. It is worth reminding ourselves that despite the situation described above, the superb organisation of the Jain community into the fourfold order founded by Mahavira, has kept Jainism as a living religion in practically all parts of India. The orders of ascetics and laypeople established the Jains securely in Indian society and culture, unlike the Buddhists who failed to develop such a structure and eventually disappeared from their land of origin. With its fourfold order firmly anchored amongst the people, and with ascetics serving the spiritual needs of the lay orders, Jainism withstood the storm that drove Buddhism out of India. Although the numbers of the Jain community have declined over later centuries, many non-Jains sympathise with Jain values and follow Jain practices. The teachings of Mahavira still have a relevance to the world today, indeed, some would even argue that they are more necessary today than in the past. The celebrations for the 2.500th anniversary of Mahavira's liberation benefited Jainism. Its values are more widely and better understood now, and there are signs that the decline in numbers of active Jains has ended. There is a growing participation in academia, publishing, the creation of new Jain institutions, developing inter-faith relations, and a growing sense of unity and purpose throughout the community. Page #76 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ It would be instructive to look at a schematic representation of Jain history, the factors that have affected the fortunes of the community, its strength, its decline, and its current revival The Main Factors in the Growth of Jainism Ascetics were able to exert a significant influence on merchants, the key groups of Indian society and royal dynasties. There is a uniformity of practice for ascetics and laity, only differing by degree. Jainism is inherently tolerant, as it believes in 'relative pluralism'. Jainism teaches equality for all irrespective of caste, creed, colour or gender. Jainism has exhibited the capacity to adapt to different times and environments. Jainism has always had respect for other faiths. Jainism uses vernacular languages for scripture and sermons. Jainism applies 'non-violence' (ahimsaa) to all realms of personal and social life. Jains have earned a reputation for honesty, truthfulness, and loyalty; they have demonstrated their philanthropy by the provision of food, shelter, education and medical care to all in need. Jainism has benefited from effective and dedicated religious and secular leadership throughout its history. Jainism developed a coherent interdependent fourfold order (sangha). Jain ascetics retained a close contact with the laity during their wanderings, and encouraged them to lead a Jain way of life. The Main Factors in the Decline of Jainism Persecution, and fear of persecution resulting from changes in political circumstances in the medieval period, including conversion to Hinduism among the ruling elites. Periodic dominance of other religions and their proselytising in India. Growth in the popularity of rituals at the expense of the practice of Jain values in daily life. Laxity in the practice of Right Conduct among ascetics and laity. Lack of worthy and inspiring scholars, ascetics and leaders in the medieval period. Lack of central infrastructure and central leadership. Fragmentation of Jainism into sects and sub-groups, leading to a lack of common purpose and understanding among different groups of Jains. Lack of infrastructure for training ascetics, scholars and community leaders to the needs of the sangha in modern times. Lack of academic education and use of the media and modern technology for the promotion of Jain values. Lack of opportunity for jobs or careers for the Jain scholars. Page #77 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 2.9 THE SCHISMS t is a commonplace that living religions only survive and progress by being adaptable Land which religions schisms, and the Jain sangha is no exception. Egoism is a characteristic of human society: it may be at the personal, family, social, regional, or religious strata, at the individual or the level of the community. The egoism of the community strata, if it is for a region or a country, we term as 'patriotism'; if it is for a religion, it is 'fundamentalism'. The egocentric propensity created at a community level is the begetter of schism. From what we know of the history of the Jain religion up to the time of Mahavira, it seems that no sects or sub-sects had emerged; yet later, they did emerge and, as a result, Jainism became irreconcilably divided into many sects. Why did this happen? During the lifetime of Mahavira Jainism's compass was limited, and it seems to have been mainly confined to the kingdoms of Anga and Magadha, which comprise modern Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal. After the death of Mahavira, his successors and followers succeeded in extending Jain influence throughout the whole of India, among the ruling classes as well as the people. Once this occurred, Jainism encountered a wide range of customs, languages, manners and ways of life that prevailed in different parts of the sub-continent. Over time, these encounters gave rise to changes in religious practices and, more importantly, in beliefs. Ultimately, this resulted in variations in the form of Jainism which inevitably was to become a source of conflict and, with the successful spread of Jainism throughout India, religious leaders found it increasingly difficult to foster and organise their widely-dispersed community. The situation in which variations of practice and belief were appearing was aggravated by the lack of agreed authoritative scriptures. As the doctrines, principles and tenets of Jainism were not committed to writing during the lifetime of Mahavira, his religious teachings were memorised by his immediate successors and handed down from one generation to next, and were not finally canonised until the council of Valabhi in 453 or 466 CE. Even then, the decisions of the Valabhi council were not acceptable to all, as the Digambars maintained that the canon did not contain the actual teachings of Mahavira and designated them as the Svetambar canon. The Digambars produced their own canon in the 6th century CE, although their earlier writers do not hesitate to quote from the Svetambar canon (Chatterjee 1978: p.395). Long before Valabhi, differences of opinion had arisen regarding the interpretation of many tenets, and these disagreements led to the establishment of separate schools of thought, which eventually crystallised into sects and sub-sects. From Mahavira to Shayyambhava the sangha was led by only one aacaarya, but Yasobhadra introduced the system of two aacaaryas in 205 BCE. This separation of the leadership may have been felt necessary due to the geographical spread of Jainism; however, it would not be unreasonable to conclude that it exacerbated to the development of schismatic tendencies in the community. Early Jain literature (Avasyaka Niryukti) notes seven minor schismatic 'schools', although these failed to generate substantive divisions, and no trace of them is found in the Jain community (Roy 1984: pp. 86-87), but it was the eighth schism which came to predominate in the first century CE and eventually led to an irreconcilable division of the 77 Page #78 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Jain community. The two groups, the result of this schism, are known as Svetambars and Digambars, a division well documented in the historical sources, but the schism, which originated during the fourth century BCE, was an accomplished fact by the first century of the Common Era. According to the Digambar version (Harsena 931: Brihatkathakosha), in the fourth century BCE, Aacaarya Bhadrabahu realised that a long and severe famine was imminent in the kingdom of Magadha. In order to avoid its terrible effects, he and thousands of ascetics migrated from Pataliputra, the capital of Magadha, to Sravanbelgola in southern India. Candragupta Maurya abdicated his throne in favour of his son, joined Bhadrabahu's entourage as disciple, and resided with him at Sravanbelgola. Candragupta lived for twelve years after the death of his teacher, and died according to the strict Jain ritual of sallekhanaa on the hill at Sravanbelgola - a 'holy death'. This traditional account is not supported by earliest Digambar epigraph found in Sravanbelgola which says that Bhadrabahu had predicted the famine in Ujjayini, hence some believe this incident occurred later in the time of Bhadrabahu II and the king concerned was Candragupta, the emperor of Avanti and not Candragupta Maurya. When some ascetics of the Bhadrabahu sangha eventually returned after a twelveyear absence, they found two significant changes that had taken place among the ascetics of Magadha under the leadership of Aacaarya Sthulabhadra. First, the rule requiring ascetics to wear no garments had been relaxed, instead, ascetics wore a simple piece of white cloth; second, a council had been convened at Pataliputra with the intention of editing the canon of the Jain literature. This council was the first of five councils, which were to undertake the work of editing the Jain canon over subsequent centuries, a process that was to be the focus of much disagreement. The group of returned ascetics would neither accept the change concerning garments, nor were they agreed upon the proposals of the Pataliputra council regarding the canon, rather they proclaimed themselves as the 'true' followers of Mahavira. Eventually, the Jain sangha split into two distinct sects: the Digambar and the Svetambar. According to other accounts of the first century CE, Sivabhuti founded the Bodiya sect, which argued nudity for the monks on the example of Jinakalpi ascetics; later, the Bodiyas were designated as Digambars. Svetambars believe the eighth schism occurred in 83 CE (Roy 1984: p.41). It is worth reminding readers that the monks who followed Parsvanatha wore garments while some ascetic followers of Mahavira kept total nudity. The modern German scholar Hermann Jacobi believes, the separation of the sangha took place gradually and, he maintains, there was and is little difference in their articles of faith. With the passage of time, the attitudes and approaches of the two sects began to harden and distinctive sectarian outlooks arose. The iconographic evidence supports the theory that the two sects actually parted company shortly after the Valabhi council. By the Kusana period (3rd to 4th century CE), images found at Kankali-tila in Mathura depict the tirthankaras either in standing position and nude or in sitting position in such a way that neither genitals nor garments are visible, and were worshipped by both sects, and this can be proved by the epigraphic inscription of the donors who belonged to sakhas and ganas of the Svetambar sect. The earliest image of a tirthankara with lower garment is a standing Risabhdeva discovered at Akota in Gujarat from the later part of the 5th century CE of the period shortly after the Valabhi Council (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, vol. 10: p.8). 78 Page #79 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The Digambar and Svetambar Sects From the earliest times, the majority of Jains living in South India, Uttar Pradesh and surrounding areas were Digambars, while those living in Gujarat and Rajasthan were Svetambars. The geographical separation made both the sects to discord. There are no fundamental doctrinal differences between these two main Jain sects and both accept as canonical the major sacred text of Umasvati known as the Tattvartha Sutra. The differences in certain beliefs, are of historical importance and are described thus: The Digambars insist upon their ascetics going unclothed (sky-clad) as an absolute pre-requisite of the mendicant's path and the attainment of salvation, but the Svetambars assert that the practice of complete nudity is not essential to attain liberation. The dispute centres upon the question of whether the possession of an item of clothing signifies attachment to that garment. The Digambars assert that attachment is implied and therefore reject clothing, but the Svetambars refer to the example of Parsvanatha's disciples, who wore clothing, to defend their view. Digambars believe that women lack both the physical and mental strength necessary to attain liberation; hence women must be reborn as men before such an attainment is possible, but the Svetambars hold the view that men and women are equally capable of attaining liberation; in the Svetambar tradition, the nineteenth tirthankara, Malli(natha), was a woman, and Marudevi, Risabhdeva's mother, was the first person to attain liberation in this aeon. Digambars, believe once someone becomes omniscient, he (not she) has no need of food; Svetambars believe that, as even an omniscient still has a body, it is necessary to sustain it. Svetambars believe that Mahavira was born of a ksatriya woman, Trisala, although conception took place in the womb of a Brahmin, Devananda. The 'migration' of the embryo from one woman's body to another is believed to have been effected on the order of the deity Indra, on the eighty-third day after conception, but Digambars, dismiss the whole episode as unreliable and absurd. Svetambars believe that Mahavira married Princess Yasoda at a young age, and that they had a daughter named Priyadarsana, Digambars do not even accept that he was married. The Svetambar tradition depicts images of tirthankaras wearing loincloths and jewels, the images have eyes inserted made of a variety of materials, Digambars represent images of tirthankaras as unclad, unadorned and with eyes downcast in contemplative mood. Svetambars believe in the validity and sacredness of the collection of forty-five canonical texts, and they have been accepted over many centuries; Digambars dispute the validity of the Svetambar canon, holding that many original and genuine texts were lost over the centuries. Svetambars regard the records of the great Jain personages of the past as 'biographies'; Digambars prefer the term 'legends' for these accounts. Svetambars perform their daily meditation practices in the presence of a representation of Sudharma and venerate Sthulibhadra in the benedictory prayers, while in their prayers Digambars venerate Kundakunda, who is believed to be the disciple of 79 Page #80 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Bhadrabahu II and who has composed 84 Digambara sacred books including texts such as the Samayasaara, Pravacanasaara and Pancastikaayasaara. The Digambars made Bahubali one of their most important luminaries building colossal statues to him, while Svetambars revere the images of the tirthankaras and Bahubali is hardly worshipped at all in their temples. Svetambar ascetics live on food given freely to them by householders in the community. As they go from house to house and collect their food, they use bowls and similar vessels to contain food and may eat more than one meal in a day; ascetics, as well as observant Jain laypeople, eat only in daylight hours. By contrast, Digambar ascetics eat a single dish from just one household each day, and receive food in their cupped, upturned hands. In principle, ascetics renounce possessions. However, the practicalities of life and religious ritual do allow some concessions: the Svetambar ascetics are allowed up to fourteen possessions including articles such as a loincloth and shoulder-cloth; Digambar ascetics are allowed only two possessions: a whiskbroom made from peacock feathers and a wooden water-pot. Both sects allow ascetics to carry scriptures. Differences between the sects over rituals, customs and manners are trivial and do not play a spiritually significant role. Until the middle of the fifteenth century CE all members of both sects were image worshippers, after which iconoclastic and other influences led to the emergence of offshoots which ceased to worship images. Most scholars agree that Digambars embrace a more severe ascetic life-style and are conservative with regard to doctrine. Svetambars are more liberal', pragmatic and concerned with maximising the influence of Jainism within society. It is this attitude which has led Svetambars to play an important role in shaping large areas of the culture, history, politics and economic development of India. During the medieval period, subdivisions arose among both sects: differences in the interpretation of religious texts, the observance of rituals, and discontent over authoritarian trends in religious leadership, were among the contributory factors. While Jains were characterised by a strong spiritual discipline, political pressures and religious fervour led many towards forms of ritualism as a means of counteracting Hindu devotional (bhakti) movements. In the course of time, some in the community became disillusioned with ritualism and turned away from the established temples and its rituals. They saw the conduct of the temple "authorities' as without merit. Increasing Muslim influence brought with it iconoclastic trends and encouraged the growth of non-image worship in both Jain sects, leading to yet further internal subdivisions. Digambar Sects From earliest times the Digambars called their main body, the Mula Sangha, which was further, divided in the four major sanghas such as the Sinha, Nandi, Sena and Devas; none of these exist today. The main sub-sects that are found today are: Bisapantha: The followers of Bisapantha (Twenty-fold Path) support the institutions of bhattarakas, worship the images of the tirthankaras, and celestials (ksetrapala, Padmavati) and other guardian deities. They worship these images with offerings such as saffron, flowers, fruit, sweets and incense sticks, and while performing these acts of ritual, the Bisapanthis sit on the ground. They offer the flame to the images 80 Page #81 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ (aarati), and distribute to other worshippers the gifts offered to the luminaries (prasaada). The Bisapantha, according to some, is the original form of the Digambar sect and today practically all Digambar Jains from Maharastra, Karnataka and South India, together with a large number of Digambar Jains from Rajasthan and Gujarat, are Bisapantha. Terapantha: The Terapantha (Thirteen-fold or Your Path) movement arose in northern India in the year 1626 CE as a result of dissatisfaction with the domination and conduct of the bhattarakas, and are most numerous in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh (There is also an unrelated major Svetambar sect of the same name, discussed below). In their temples, the Terapanthas install only the images of tirthankaras, worship images with dried materials, for example: sacred white rice and rice coloured with sweet-smelling sandalwood paste, cloves, sandalwood, almonds, dry coconuts and dates. They avoid using flowers and fruits, which are regarded as living, whereas the dried products are not; and as a rule, they do not perform aarati nor distribute prasaada in their temples. The Terapanthas are reformers, opposed to some ritual practices, which they do not accept as authentic. Taranapantha: The Taranapantha takes its name from its founder Tarana Svami or Tarana-tarana Svami (1448 to 1515 CE) and this sub-sect is also known as the Samaiya-Pantha as its followers worship sacred texts (Samaya Saara) and not images. Tarana Svami died at Malharagarth, Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh, which is the central place of pilgrimage for the Taranapanthis. Taranapanthis have scripture-halls in which they keep their sacred texts for worship, but besides the scriptures common to all Digambars, they regard as sacred the fourteen books written by their founder Tarana Svami. They attach great importance to inward spiritual practices, such as meditation and the study of sacred literature, and as a result of this emphasis, they practise little outward religious ritual. Tarana Svami was religiously 'liberal', even by Jain standards, and welcomed all, including Muslims and low-castes into the sect. The Taranapanthis are few in numbers and they are mainly found in Madhya Pradesh and Maharastra. Gumanapantha: The Gumanapantha is a numerically small sub-sect about which very little is known, and it was founded by Pandit Gumani Rama or Gumani Rai, a son of the Jain scholar Pandit Todaramal. According to this pantha, the lighting of lamps in the Jain temples is a violation of ahimsaa, and hence they do not perform aarati. Gumanapanthas revere the images in their temples but do not make offerings to them. Totapantha: The Totapantha came into existence as a result of differences between the Bisapantha and Terapantha sub-sects. Many sincere efforts were made to strike a compromise between the Bisa (i.e. twenty) pantha and the Tera (i.e. thirteen) pantha. The surprisingly (or not surprisingly) arithmetical outcome gave the Jain world the sadhe solaha (i.e. sixteen and a half) pantha or 'Totapantha', whose followers believe in some doctrines of the Bisapantha and some of the Terapantha. This sub-sect is small in numbers and is found only in Madhya Pradesh. Kanjipantha: In recent years, a new Digambar sub-sect known as the Kanjipantha, followers of Kanji Svami, has been formed and is growing in popularity, especially among the educated. Kanji Svami, a Svetambar Sthanakvasi ascetic, left the Svetambars to become a Digambar layman. He succeeded in popularising the ancient sacred texts of Aacaarya Kundakunda, which stressed an idealistic position, rather than the practical 81 Page #82 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ observances of daily religious life. The influence of the Kanjipantha is steadily increasing, and Sonagadh in Gujarat and Jaipur in Rajasthan have become the sub-sect's centres of religious activity; both Digambars and Svetambars have been attracted to the Kanjipantha. There are Kanjipantha temples in Nairobi and in London. Svetambar Sects From the tenth century, literary evidence suggests that Svetambars were divided into various groups, known as gacchas a group of monks), formed by important ascetics, although there was no recognisable doctrinal difference between them. By the thirteenth century it is said that there were 84 such gacchas in existence. However, as time passed, most gacchas either did not survive or merged with one another. At the present time, the Svetambars sects are: Murtipujaka: While it is not clear when the worship of images of the tirthankaras first began, it is the case that from earliest times all Svetambars were image-worshippers; the majority of Jains are Svetambar Murtipujaka (image worshippers). The followers of this tradition are also known by terms such as Deraavaasi, Caityavaasi (both mean 'temple residents'), Mandirmargi ("temple goers') or Pujera ('worshippers'). They make ritual offerings including flowers and saffron paste to their images and they adorn them with rich clothes and jewelled ornaments. Rice, fruit, incense and sweets are also offered during prayers. Both in India and outside, such edible items are not used by the Jains, but are given to the temple employees (pujaaris) or distributed to the needy. Murtipujak worshippers cover their mouths when washing, anointing or touching the images and perform aarati. Their ascetics also cover their mouths with a muhupatti (mouth kerchief) while speaking; this is otherwise kept in the hand. The purpose of this practice is to avoid harm to airborne microscopic life. Svetambars reside in all parts of India, especially in large urban centres where they are engaged in modern businesses, although the largest populations are found in Gujarat, Maharastra and Rajasthan. Many have migrated abroad and settled successfully in countries as diverse as the United Kingdom, Belgium, the United States, East Africa, the Far East, and even Israel. Sthanakvasi: Although now generally counted among the Svetambars, the Sthanakvasis (hall dwellers) arose originally as reformers among the Lonka sect of Jainism. Lonkasaha, a well-read merchant of Ahmedabad, founded the Lonka sect in 1460 CE. The main reform instituted by this sect was a total rejection of image worship. Later, members of the Lonka sect, led by Lavaji Rishi, disapproving of the lax way of life of Lonka ascetics, insisted upon reform based more closely upon the teachings and example of Mahavira. A Lonka layman, Viraji of Surat, received initiation as a yati and won great admiration for the assiduity of his asceticism, and many devotees of the Lonka sect followed Viraji's example. They took the name Sthanakvasis, meaning those, whose religious activities are not in temples but in places known as sthanaks or prayer halls. They are also known as 'searchers' (dhundhiya) and 'followers of ascetics' (saadhumaargis). Except on the crucial point of image worship, Sthanakvasis do not greatly differ from other Svetambar Murtipujaka Jains. What differences occur between the Sthanakvasi and the Murtipujaka Svetambars in the observance of religious practices, are minor; for example, the ascetics of the 82 Page #83 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Sthanakvasi always keep their mouths covered with a muhupatti. The Sthanakvasi admit the authenticity of only thirty-two of the forty-five scriptures of the Svetambars; they reject the practice of pilgrimage, and do not participate in the religious rituals or festivals of Murtipujaka Svetambars. In practice, today, many Sthanakvasi do partake in these religious activities. The Sthanakvasis are found in the major business centres in India but most live in Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Maharastra and some have settled outside India. Terapanthi: This sub-sect arose among the Sthanakvasi. It was founded by Muni Bhikhanji (later on known as Aacaarya Bhiksu), formerly a Sthanakvasi holy man, who was initiated by his guru, Aacaarya Raghunatha. He had differences of opinion with his guru on several aspects of Sthanakvasi ascetic practices and when these differences took a serious turn, he founded the Terapantha in 1760 SE. As Bhikhanaji stressed thirteen religious principles: five major vows, five carefulness and three guards, his sub-sect was named as the Tera (thirteen) pantha. The Terapanthis are non-image worshippers and are well organised under the direction of a single aacaarya. In its history of little more than 200 years, the sect has had only ten aacaaryas, from the first (founder) Aacaarya Bhiksu to Aacaarya Mahaprajna, who took office, in 1994. The ninth Aacaarya Tulsi was given the special title of 'head of the group of ascetics' (ganaadhipati), in appreciation of his services to the sub-sect. This practice of having a single aacaarya is a characteristic feature of this subsect. Ascetics and female ascetics of the Terapantha follow the instructions of their aacaarya scrupulously. They observe a remarkable annual festival, the Maryaadaa Mahotsava (festival of restrainment where all ascetics and lay disciples, male and female, meet together in one place to discuss the events of the past year and plans for the future. The Terapanthis are considered as reformists who believe in simplicity; for example, they do not construct monasteries for their ascetics, who inhabit part of the home of ordinary householders, instead their efforts are directed towards two activities: meditation and the literary work of translating and interpreting the scriptures. Like Sthanakvasi ascetics they also wear a muhupatti. Aacaarya Tulsi promoted the anuvrata movement ("minor vow), that attempts to utilise the Jain spiritual teachings for the moral improvement of the whole population. Terapanthis have established a worldwide peace and non-violent action organisation and a university, the Jain Vishva Bharati, which has achieved provisional recognition by the Indian government. The Terapanthis are growing in number, and though they are present in many cities of India, they are mainly concentrated in Rajasthan. They are progressive in thought and action: recently they have developed a semi-ascetic group (samana and samani) among their followers, who are permitted to use modern transport, travel overseas, and cook in emergencies. The (male) samanas and (female) samanis visit the West regularly and undertake the propagation of Jainism and the message of their founder, Aacaarya Tulsi. Minor Divisions of Murtipujakas From about a century prior to Hemcandra, we find evidence for the Svetambar divisions: these groups, called gacchas, comprised the followers of the leading ascetics. The 83 Page #84 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ gacchas evolved from the eleventh to the thirteenth century, and reputedly eighty-four gacchas were formed, however, most gacchas did not survive their founders and others would have amalgamated. Today, most Svetambars of Gujarat and Rajasthan belong to the following three gacchas: the Kharataragaccha, Tapaagaccha and Ancalagaccha. Each gaccha has its own temples, ascetics and aacaaryas. Kharataragaccha: There is no reliable history of the formation of this group, though epigraphic evidence suggests that it was formed before 1090 CE, the evidence is taken from the special residences for ascetics, a feature of many towns in that period. One legend claims that Aacaarya Jinesvara Suri defeated the temple-dwelling ascetics (caityavaasis) in a religious debate at the court of King Durlabharaja of Anahilavada in 1022 CE, winning thereby the title of 'person of bold character' (kharatara). Another legend says that Jinadatta Suri in 1147 CE started this group. A third variant of the story holds that Jinavallabha Suri started it. This gaccha is very popular in Gujarat and Rajasthan. It is known for establishing socio-religious institutions, called dadawadis or dadabaris in the major cities of India. Tapaagaccha: The legend about the origin of this group is that aacaarya Jagacchandra Suri, had earned the epithet 'austere' (tapa) in 1228 CE, from King Jaitrasinha of Mewar, for his severe austerities. Thereafter his disciples and followers have been called Tapaagaccha. The members of this, the largest gaccha, are found all over India but largely in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharastra, Punjab and Haryana. Ancalagaccha: The ascetics of this group use a small strip of cloth (ancala) in place of a full muhupatti to cover their mouth at the time of daily penitential ritual, thus they take the name Ancalagaccha. Also known as the 'upholders of sacred rituals' (vidhipaksha), it is said to have been formed in 1156 CE in Northern India. There are very few members of this group. In addition to Digambars and Svetambars, there was, in the past, another sect of Jainism, which flourished in Karnataka at least from the 5th to the 14th century CE with some royal patronage. It was known as Yapaniya, which was begun by a Svetambara monk in the 2nd century CE (Roy 1984: p.128). Yapaniyas accepted practices of both Svetambars and Digambars, followed Svetambar sacred texts and tried to bring about reconciliation between Svetambars and Digambars. It is believed that Umasvami, the author of the Tattvarthagima Sutra, was a Yapaniya and Sakatayana, a Yapaniya monk, composed the Sabdaanusasana (a grammar), Stri-mukti-prakaran and the Kevali-bhuktiprakaran. At the end of the 14th century Yapaniyas are presumed to have merged with the Digambars, but there is no evidence for this amalgamation. The above account is based on Roy (1984: pp.99-149), Sangave (1990: pp. 74-87) Jain J (1964: scattered references), Chatterjee (1978 and 1984 scattered references), and Modi (1977 scattered references). In spite of these divisions, all Jains believe in the same basic principles and philosophy, and for many years they have sought to celebrate major functions together and to promote the teachings of Mahavira. Some differences, however, remain between Svetambar and Digambar Murtipujaka groups, largely concerned with the ownership of certain temples and places of pilgrimage. 84 Page #85 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 2.10 JAIN MIGRATION ABROAD Indi ndian sacred geography specifies two regions of the human world: the aarya and the Lanaarya. The aarya lands are the places where the higher spiritual way of life is practised, while in the anaarya regions, more materialistic forms of society prevail. These traditional texts regard a large part of India as aarya and the rest of the world as anaarya, but for the purpose of our discussion here, we call India as 'home' to the Jains and other countries as 'abroad'. Jain history records how, in the past, prominent personages travelled abroad, often as missionaries to disseminate Jain teachings: Aacaaryas Bhadrabahu and Sthulabhadra both travelled to Nepal; Kalyan Muni left India with Alexander the Great and journeyed throughout the Greek Empire; Kalakaacaarya II travelled to South East Asia, while Vajraswami visited other parts of Asia, and King Samprati sent missionaries to promote Jainism. For many centuries, Jain traders have ventured abroad and acted as 'ambassadors' for Jainism through their distinctive lifestyle. The trading communities were the first emigrants, but little is known about these settlers, although some remnants of Jain culture are found in Asian lands, and in Greece, Russia and elsewhere. A later wave of Jain migration began in the second half of the nineteenth century. With economic opportunities becoming more available in British colonial territories, many Jain families moved abroad, mainly to East Africa, seeking to improve their standard of living. They settled in large numbers in Zanzibar, Tanganyika, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Fiji. Zanzibar saw the establishment of the earliest Jain community in Africa, and two beautiful temples were constructed, but fear of persecution forced many Jains to leave Zanzibar and migrate to other parts of East Africa. In time, they established substantial and characteristically elaborate temples in places such as Mombasa, Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam, and created other institutions such as upashrayas (meeting halls for religious observance) and paathasaalaas (daily religious schools for children). The temples at Mombasa and Nairobi have become major places of pilgrimage as well as tourist attractions. The Jain community is widely regarded as enterprising and hard working, their ideals of a simple life and philanthropy have led them to contribute to the education and welfare services for Jains and non-Jains alike. They have become active in trade and in practically all the important professions in the countries where they have settled. The twentieth century has seen increasing migration of Jains to 'the West', including Jain preachers and teachers, but migration from India to Africa and Asia also continued. From about the turn of the century onward, important preachers who travelled to the West included persons such as Virchand Raghavji Gandhi, Campatray Jain and J.L. Jaini. As we have already noted, Virchand Gandhi established two Jain societies in the United States and a Jain literature society in the United Kingdom (which closed for lack of resources). Campatray Jain and J.L.. Jaini contributed to this society in its early days, and also provided Jain literature for the public library at Bad Godesberg in Germany, support which still continues through the World Jain Mission in Aliganj, India. There has been Jain migrants to the United Kingdom from India and East Africa, almost all in the second half of the century, and eventually, communities became organised in major urban centres, including London, Leicester, Manchester and 85 Page #86 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Birmingham. It is estimated that there are about 30,000 Jains in the United Kingdom, approximately 25,000 in London, 1,000 in Leicester and 500 in each of the cities of Manchester and Birmingham. By the mid 1990s, the community could muster 28 organisations, three of which are of particular importance: the Jain Samaj Europe, the Oshwal Association of the United Kingdom and the Navnat Vanik Association (UK). The Young Jains have also organised themselves and are working to promote Jain values, including vegetarianism. Typical of Jain activity in the United Kingdom since the 1980s, is the establishment of places of worship and community activities. The Oshwal Association has established an Oshwal Centre comprising a temple and two modern purpose built halls with dining facilities, in an attractive setting at Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, just north of London. The Navnat Vanik Association has acquired a communal property in Harrow, close to areas where large numbers of Jains reside. The Jain Samaj Europe has established a Jain Centre in the city of Leicester. This centre is a major symbol of Jain unity, the first centre of its kind to embody co-operation among Jain groups by including in one building a Svetambar temple, a Digambar temple, a Guru Gautam mandir, a Sthanakvasi upashraya and a Shrimad Rajchandra jnaan mandir and an educational beautiful museum. Its fine Jain architecture, including elaborate interior and exterior carvings, has made it a major tourist attraction and place of pilgrimage for Jains. The Jain Samaj Europe has published books and a journal on Jainism. Jains are seeking to widen their activities through the creation of inter-faith' links such as the Jain-Christian Association, the Jain-Jewish Association and the Leicestershire Ahimsaa Society for the Care of Nature. Jains are increasing their involvement with academic institutions through the Jain Academy, founded in 1991. The 1994 academic year saw the launch of the first undergraduate courses offered as part of an U.K. University degree programme. Based at the De Montfort University in Leicester, students are able to pursue studies in Jain history, literature, languages, society, philosophy and religion. The Jain Academy has also taken its first steps in forging international links and a 'Jain Academy Educational and Research Centre' has been established in the Department of Philosophy at Bombay University. Page #87 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Plate 2.2 Jain Centre Leicester 22 BETON BE Page #88 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Plate 2.3 Pro Vice-Chancellor of De Montfort University receives Jain Texts for University library from the officials of Jain Academy. Plate 2.4 Dr L.M. Singhvi, High Commissioner of India in the U.K., inaugurates the Jain Academy Education and Research Centre at Bombay University, in December 1995. With him are vice-chancellor of Bombay University and the Chairman of the Jain Academy Page #89 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Jains have been involved in the production and trade of gemstones and jewellery for centuries. It has led Jains taking an active role in the modern international gem and diamond trading community, with Jain diamond dealers in London, New York, Antwerp, Tel Aviv, South Africa and India. Jain diamond traders have won major export awards both in India and Israel. Jain scholars are made welcome in these places, and these unique 'niche' business communities are actively involved in philanthropic work. Jain Associations exist in Germany, and many Jain scholars have visited and given lectures in its universities. A number of Germans have adopted the Jain way of life. Jains have also migrated to Australia, and a Jain Society has been formed in Sidney. Japan has a Jain community in Kobe, with its own Jain organisation and a magnificent temple. There are Jains in Hongkong, Bangkok, Singapore, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other places in Asia. Jains are found in the Middle East in countries such as Aden, Dubai, Egypt and Israel, but at the time of writing, restrictions in many Islamic countries prevent Jains, and members of other non-Muslim religions, openly practising their religion. After the Second World War a large number of Jain professionals, academics, business people and students travelled to the United States of America and Canada, where many eventually settled. By the mid-1990s, it was estimated that there were more than 50,000 Jains in North America. Jains have established 55 Jain societies and Jain Centres, some include temples, for social, religious, youth and women's activities, involving worship, lectures and discussions, festivals and rituals, performing arts, such as dance and drama on religious themes. To co-ordinate the activities of the various Jain centres in North America, Jains established in 1981, the Federation of Jain Associations in North America, which had more than 6,000 participants in their ninth bi-annual convention in 1997. North America has also seen academic, literary, Internet and youth activities to promote Jain way of life. The Jain migration abroad has brought Jainism to the attention of the world outside India; Jains have settled extremely well in many places, but are anxious to retain and promote their culture and way of life. There are, however, only two of the four orders of the sangha outside India: laymen and laywomen, because the vows of the ascetics would not permit them to use a vehicle to travel. A project a few years ago for a leading Jain ascetic to travel on foot overland to Europe had to be abandoned owing to unforeseen circumstances. Thus, the guiding force of the orders of ascetics is absent outside India and this has provided both a challenge and an opportunity for Jains to consider the implications for the modern Jain 'diaspora' and the future forms of the sangha. 89 Page #90 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 2.11 JAINS IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY The Kalpa Sutra, an important Jain scripture, composed several centuries before I the common era, contains a prediction that Jainism would decline, only to undergo a revival 2,500 years after the time of Mahavira. Interestingly, we find that the twentieth century is proving to be a period of growth for Jainism around the world. This century has also seen considerable research and publication, by Indian and foreign scholars, on Jain history, religion, culture and philosophy as well as the translation of Jain scriptures into many languages. It was also in this century, that the 'father of the Indian nation', Mahatma Gandhi, brought to international attention the principle of 'non-violence' (ahimsaa) during the struggle for India's independence. It is well known that he learned this basic principle from Jains. The twentieth century has seen the translation of Jain scriptures into languages such as Hindi, Gujarati and English, enabling lay Jains to have direct access to the texts for the first time. The major Jain migration to the West is also a feature of the latter half of this century and this has been an important factor in spreading the Jain message throughout the world. Both male ascetics and female ascetics have played an important role in encouraging laypeople to observe the Jain way of life, and to build temples, upashrayas and educational institutions. It is under their guidance that the practices of meditation and religious rituals, and individual austerities such as fasting and penance have become widespread. Jain leaders have done much to bring the issues of animal welfare and environmental protection into the arena of public debate. Some ascetics have preached the message of Mahavira among marginal communities, whose people are largely rural, poor and with little education, and the results of such encounters can be seen in the change of lifestyle in such communities. Some of them have adopted a non-violent way of life, including vegetarianism, avoiding alcohol, and other Jain dietary habits. The twentieth century has seen many prominent aacaaryas, such as Buddhisagar, Vijay Vallabh Suri, Dharma Suri, Prem Suri, Ramchandra Suri, Sagaranand Suri and Anand Rushi. Their work included promotion of the Jain way of life, empirical education, health, community welfare, social reforms, renovation of temples, libraries and the establishment of other community welfare institutions such as cottage industries for women and the promotion of Jainism. These activities have benefited the sangha, as many recruits to asceticism are highly educated. Panyaasa Chandrasekhar has a large following among young educated Jains, who attend his lectures in large numbers. He has also founded a residential school for pupils from five years of age upwards, where the teaching is conducted in a traditional Indian manner as practised in the ashrams of the past, teaching both traditional Jain studies and modern subjects. The establishment of spiritual centres such as the Srimad Adhyatmic Kendra at Koba, Ahmedabad, has provided aspirants training for spiritual practices. Among the newly built twentieth century temples and upashrayas, some are the most exquisite and aesthetically gratifying buildings, and these have been built both in India and abroad. Some temples have become tourist attractions. Of the modern temples, those at Satrunjay, Vallabh-Smarak in Delhi, the Velgachia temple in Calcutta, the Valkeshwar and Sarvoday temples in Bombay, the Hathising and 90 Page #91 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Ajitnath temples in Ahmedabad, the Gomatagiri temple in Indore and the new temple at Pavapuri are highly regarded as masterpieces of the Indian architectural heritage. The temples built outside India include: Mombasa and Nairobi, the Shantinatha temple at the Jain Centre in Leicester, and in the United States, temples such as those at Chicago and Los Angeles. Literary activity has burgeoned in the twentieth century: Many scholars, ascetics and laypeople have produced literature on a wide range of subjects. The scholarly work has helped dispel the misconceptions of Jain history among both Indian and foreign scholars. The Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad, and the Kailas Sagar Jnaana Mandir at Koba, are the main repositories of manuscripts and collections of artefacts, established in this century, where the indexing of thousands of Jain manuscripts is near completion. A large number of institutions, including major universities throughout India, conduct teaching and research programmes on Jainism in Prakrit and other subjects of Jain interest. Although the facilities for learning are available, the number of students taking advantage of Jain studies and research are very low, because of the lack of job opportunities after such a training. In modern India, Jains are not only prominent in businesses but also are found in the Civil Service, the military, judiciary, police and other executive services, and Jains have also achieved high positions in politics and public life. In the sciences, Jains have outshone, both in India as well as abroad, and contributed to many areas such as nuclear energy, chemistry and physics, engineering and medicine, and academic and research fields Precise statistics about Jains' in various professions are difficult to ascertain. However, in 1992, the Jain Centre of Greater Boston published statistics for North American Jains: Table 2.2 Statistics of North American Jains in various professions, 1992. Medicine Engineering Management Education 14.4 % 32.1 % 4.4 % 17% Business Finance Computers Others 16.0 % 7.5 % 3.5 % 20.4 % These findings suggest that migrant Jains have high levels of educational and professional qualifications, and employed in highly skilled jobs. Some monks and nuns have broken their vows and have travelled to the West for the promotion of Jainism by using vehicular transport, and the major figures who have helped in disseminating Jain values are the Revered Chitrabhanu and the late Aacaarya Sushilkumarji. They and many other saints and scholars have been very useful to the Jains abroad' in preserving their culture and traditions. A monk who remained in India, but who also broke with traditional restrictions on travelling by vehicle was the late Upaadhyaaya Amarmuni, who founded an institution in Bihar, the Veerayatan. This foundation provides facilities for the promotion of Jain values and medical and educational services to the community, and has also established a museum of Jain and other cultures, which has become a tourist attraction. He was rather revolutionary in his decision to initiate a woman as an Page #92 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ aacaaryaa. Aacaaryaa Chandana is a serious scholar and a dynamic personality, is an accomplished public speaker and has travelled abroad, and has given her support to the creation of a museum at the Leicester Jain Centre. Her disciple Saadhvi Shilapi, who is in London for her doctoral studies, has been very helpful to the children and young people undertaking a Jain education. This century has seen advances in the status and education of Jain women in many fields. There are almost two and a half times as many Jain nuns as monks, many are excellent scholars, speakers and leaders. In temples and upashrayas, women's attendance outnumbers that of men. Women now receive a higher education and professional training, and are found practically in all the professions, and in spite of the complexities of modern life, they have retained traditional Jain values within the family and the community. Despite the above encouraging trends, all is not as Jains would wish: Jain culture is hardly taught in Indian schools, children learn their faith through paathasaalas and in the family, and once they go to secondary school, they are lost to the wider culture and complexities of life. If Jains wish to preserve their culture through future generations, they will have to provide an infrastructure for modern standards of education and recreation for children and young people. Jain institutions flourished in the past and rarely faced financial problems as, like many religions, they devised schemes to ensure financial support for key institutions by asking members to donate a proportion of their income. Jain scriptures require the laity to offer a certain percentage, between 6 and 33 percent, of their income for community welfare and other charitable purposes, and there are moves in some quarters to revive this tradition. Of the two Jain sects the Svetambars are mainly found in Gujarat, Eastern Rajasthan, Punjab, Delhi and Bombay, and the Digambars are scattered across Western Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and South India. The indigenous Jains of South India are farmers and artisans; their religious and social life is controlled by bhattarakas and they do not have any interaction with north Indian Digambars. The indigenous Saraaka Jains of Bihar and Orissa are poor; they follow Parsvanatha's teachings, and have no social relations with the affluent Svetambar or Digambar Jains. Jains have an ill-founded fear of losing their identity in the vast ocean of the Hindu community. Their relations with Hindus are good; Mahatma Gandhi promoted ahimsaa and wove it into the fabric of the modern Indian society. They can promote their values in close co-operation with Hindus and other major faiths making use of modern technology. Jains in the twentieth century will have to keep abreast of the changing situation of society. They are a wealthy community; they can provide necessary infrastructure and adapt to the modern methods for promotion of the Jain values to make their future rosy. 92 Page #93 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ LITERATURE Chapter 3.1 THE JAIN CANON Tain scriptures contain the teachings of Mahavira and the other tirthankaras. Originally the scriptures were transmitted orally and were not written down until many centuries after their composition. In the early days the scriptures were not written because it was felt that writing them down would detract from their sanctity. Additionally, the script was still developing during Mahavira's time. Ascetics would not write, because writing, i.e. having writing materials would transgress their vow of non-possession. The earliest script found in India is that of Indus valley civilisation, which remains largely undeciphered. There is always a danger of losing information committed to memory, such as orally transmitted scriptures. Aacaarya Arya Rakshit in the 1st century CE, composer of the Anuyogdvaar Sutra, permitted ascetics to write in order to preserve the scriptures. Even so, no scriptures were written between the 1st century and the 5th century CE, probably due to the reluctance of ascetics to break with tradition. Jain Scriptures Ascetics tried to preserve the scriptures by organising councils and collecting the memorised scriptures. There were five councils between the 4th century BCE and the 5th century CE; the final one, where more than 500 ascetics participated, took place in 460 CE at Valabhi in Gujarat under the leadership of Devardhigani Ksamaasramana. The scriptures, we have today, are those finally redacted at the Valabhi council (whom Digambars identify as the Svetambar canon) and the Digambar canon, which were finally compiled in the 6th century CE. The language of Jain scriptures is a mixture of the languages of Magadha and Koshal, known as Ardha Magadhi or Prakrit. The redaction of the canon in the fifth century CE marked the end of the use of Ardha Magadhi as the sole language of literary composition. Jain writers thereafter also wrote in Sanskrit or in the vernacular languages of the time. Jain scriptures are neither divine nor revealed: they are the teachings of human beings, who have attained omniscience. The scriptures contain the basic Jain tenets, commentaries, analysis of false view-points, codes of practice, and the narrative literature to inspire the laity. The scriptures, called aagamas by Jains, are classified into three groups: the precanon (purvas), the primary canon (angas) and the secondary canon (upaangas). The fourteen texts of the pre-canon traditionally originated with the first tirthankara, Risabhdeva, though the basic tenets are said to be eternal. These texts have been lost. Their contents were said to be summarised in the twelfth text (Drastivaad) of the primary canon, which is extinct except for a few references here and there. Scholars have pointed out that during the redaction scriptures might have been corrupted due to human error, i.e. not accurately copied or transmitted, but it can confidently be said that the major portion of the Jain scriptures remain intact with respect to content and language. Page #94 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The Pre-canon: The old texts' (purvas) seem to have included a description and explanation of subjects such as the cosmos, philosophy, bondage of the soul and matter, conduct to be followed, polemics against other philosophical systems, astrology, astronomy and methods of attaining yogic and occult powers. The Primary Canon The sacred texts of the primary canon are called 'limbs' (angas). The number of scriptural texts accepted by different Svetambar groups of Jains varies from 32 to 84. The Sthanakvasis accept 32 scriptures, which consist: 11 Primary Canon, 12 Secondary Canon, 4 texts of discipline, 4 texts of basic law and 1 appendice However, there is a wide consensus on the authenticity of 45 of the scriptural texts, classified into six categories: 11 (+1 lost) Primary Canon Secondary Canon Texts of Discipline Basic Law Appendices Miscellany TOTAL The eleven texts of the primary canon can be placed into five categories: rules for ascetics, doctrine, examination of false views, narratives and miscellaneous The first canon, the 'text of conduct' (Aacaaranga), is the oldest and most authoritative Jain canon. The language and the spirit of this sacred text prove that the major part of it was composed within 50 years of the liberation of Mahavira (Chaterjee 1978: p.228). Some sections such as those dealing with the birth of Mahavira were most probably added a couple of centuries later. This work, described as the Srutaskandha, is divided into two parts: The first part, which was composed long before the second, is the work of a scriptural omniscient (srutakevali), as is evidenced by its commentary (niryukti), as compared to the second part whose style is different, suggesting the work of later period, has nine chapters: 1. Sastraparijna (sutras 1 to 62), which describes the existence of living beings, the conduct for a seeker to liberation with a distinct emphasis on ahimsaa towards all the living beings. From sutras 52 to 62 it says: "Some kill living beings (animals) for the sake of sacrifice to gods; some kill for beautifying products, some kill for their skin, flesh, blood, heart, liver, bile, fat, wings, feathers, hair, horns, teeth, tusks, muscles, bones and joints; the violence could be for a purpose or without any purpose or may be as a revenge or may be as a prevention to stop violence to one's family (Chatterjee 1978: p.229). Those who injure others do not comprehend the results of their violence (to others as well as to themselves); those who refrain from violence to others remain free from its results. Knowing these wise persons should not injure others, nor cause others to act on their behalf, nor motivate others for the violence. He who knows the purpose, the actions and the results of harm to others, can only be the renouncer of the violence and is a muni (monk) The knowledge of the results of violence, psychic or physical, comes from the scriptures, by contemplation and by treating others like 94 Page #95 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ourselves. It further says for the sake of spiritual progress, for the sake of peace, for the sake of compassion and for the sake of self-control, one should avoid harm to the living beings whether they are mobile or immobile such as earth-bodied, air-bodied, fire-bodied, water-bodied or vegetable-bodied (Madhukar Muni 1989: pp.36-37)." 2. Lokavijay (sutras 63-to 105) states that psychic attachement to sensual pleasures and displeasures, is the cause of the worldy cycle and describes the passions such as anger, deceit, infatuation and egoism, that lead to violence. It further discusses the method of controlling the passions. 3. Sitosniya (sutras 106 to 131) preaches the results of alertness and carelessness; defines the person who renunciates the sensory pleasures, a spiritualist, a spiritual teacher, a scriptural scholar; the renunciation of sensory pleasures; and the essence of selfcontrol, and the importance of the mastery over oneself to progress on the spiritual path. 4. Samyaktva (sutras 132 to 146) describes attainment of the true path for spiritual progress, which consists of Right Faith, Right Knowledge, Right Conduct and Right Austerity. It discusses them in detail, the views of other faiths, and the conduct, which attracts the inflow of new karma. 5. Lokasaara (sutras 147 to 176) describes the results of sensory pleasures, and the Right Conduct of a spiritualist. 6. Dhuta (sutras 177 to 198) means a pure soul without karmic attachment or a spiritualist who renounces worldly pleasures (anagar). This chapter discusses the renunciation of materialism as well as psychic substances. 7. Mahaparijna means special knowledge. This chapter is extinct at the moment, but the commentaries on some portions of it suggest that it contained afflictions due to substances of spiritual pleasures, and the tantric knowledge and mantras for self control. 8. Vimoksa (sutras 199 to 253) means renunciation or detachment from the material possessions and the body. This chapter discusses various types and methods of detachment, and says that complete detachment leads to liberation. 9. Upadhaana (sutras 254 to 323) describes the spiritual life of Mahavira, his selfcontrol, austerities and life of detachment in adverse as well as pleasing circumstances. The second part of Aacaaranga contains five sections. The fifth section, Nisitha Sutra, which deals with the penance for the infractions in conduct, has been separated as an independent canonical text. The second part contains sutras 324 to 804 and describes the protocol and the conduct of an ascetic for spiritual progress and emphasises the needs of the body and its maintenance by all-possible non-violent means. The first two sections deal with the conduct of an ascetic such as when obtaining food, clothing, lodging, remedies and other materials necessary for spiritual advancement. They further discuss the conduct while going to bed, moving, journey, speaking, use of sensory organs, and the observance of the physiological processes such as passing water and defecation, and emphasises the avoidance of psychic and physical violence to living beings and attachment to sensory acts. The last chapter in the second section places emphasis on being self-sufficient (help from others such as for spiritual progress and for study is allowed), discusses the results of accepting respect from others and accepting help from others for one's physical needs. These sections emphasise that ascetics should be vigilant over their actions; should avoid all-possible psychic and physical violence to all living 95 Page #96 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ beings; and should lead a life of detachment and self-sufficiency. Observance of vigilance over psychic actions has been discussed in all the chapters proving the fact that the Jainism gives great importance to psychic actions. The third section is a biographical account of Mahavira and his sermon after attaining omniscience, where he preaches the five great vows of ahimsaa, truth, non-stealing, celibacy and non-attachment, and emphasises, both their psychic and physical, observance. The fourth section discusses the spiritual conduct necessary for liberation. The second canon, the 'text concerning heretical views' (Sutra Krutaanga) is a very old Jain aagamic text, believed to be compiled by Sudharma. It has two Srutaskandhas, the first has 16 chapters (sutras 1 to 637) and second has 7 chapters (sutras 638 to 873). In the first part, the first chapter examines the non-Jain philosophical systems prevalent and compares them with Jainism. It criticises one-sided views and materialism, and contains the core of the theory of 'polyviewism' or 'multifold aspects' (the realisation that things can be seen differently when looked at from multiple viewpoints). The second chapter discusses the teachings for ascetics; the third describes various types of afflictions; the fourth discusses the characteristics of women and preaches the monks to be vigilant to prevent being lured or trapped. The fifth chapter narrates the hells and their tortures; the sixth praises the character of Mahavira and his attainments; the seventh discusses the results of losing one's moral character and the eighth preaches the activities for the spiritualist desiring to attain liberation. The ninth and the tenth chapters preach various aspects of the religion for the ascetics; the eleventh discusses the protocols for the path of liberation, and the twelfth compares the Jain path with other non-Jain philosophies. The thirteenth discusses the fallabilities of the human mind; the fourteenth describes the path for attaining spiritual knowledge; the fifteenth discusses the essence of the teachings of Mahavira, and the sixteenth describes the characteristic of an ascetic. In the second part, the first chapter motivates an ascetic on the path of liberation by telling a story of paundarika (a lotus of 1000 petals in the middle of a lake) and how different spiritualists tried to attain it, but failed, and an how a nirgrantha ascetic, having the Right Conduct succeeds. The second chapter discusses the virtues of an ascetic and their application to all contexts, sinful actions and their results; the third mentions the eating habits of living beings, describes the germination and birth of a life, some aspects of botany and zoology, and discusses non-violently obtained food for an ascetic; and the fourth describes the prevention of the inflow of karma by renunciation of sinful activities and notes the practical aspects for an ascetic in avoiding sinful actions. The fifth chapter discusses wrong conduct and its results, and discusses the beliefs of various other philosophies; the sixth narrates the ascetic life of Ardraka Muni and his discussions with Goshalak, a Buddha monk, a Vedic scholar, a Sankhya and Hasti Tapasa; and the seventh describes the preaching of Indrabhuti Gautam at Nalanda, and the conversion of Udaka to Mahavira's religion of the five great vows (mahaavratas). The Sutrakrutaanga contains a variety of thought-provoking and beautiful materials, which can be well compared with Buddhist texts. It is an important text as it compares various philosophies, and describes an ideal Nirgrantha way of life in detail. The third canon, the Sthaananga is an encyclopaedic compilation of information on various doctrinal subjects, which can be grouped up to ten categories (for the ease of memorising), such as the soul, matter, history, arithmetic, biology, food science, Page #97 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ sociology, geography, astrology, mythology cosmology, faith, knowledge, conduct, philosophy, practices and psychology. It has ten chapters and 783 sutras and most of it is believed to have been compiled by Sudharma, though it contains some material of a later period. It provides information on Jain views on a variety of subjects such as in category of one - the soul; category of two - saamayika (equanimity): material and spiritual: category of three - bodies: vaikriya (transformable) or audaarika (gross body), tejasa (luminous) and karmic; category of four - harmful food: honey, meat, alcohol and butter, category of five - five minor vows, and so on up to category of ten types of sound. The Buddhist text Anguttara Nikaaya has a slight resemblance with the Sthananga Sutra, on which Abhayadevasuri has written a commentary. The fourth canon, Samavaayanga, is a compendium of the contents of all the primary texts. Its arrangement differs from the ten-part categories of the third canon, in that it does not limit the number of parts of each category. This compendium represents probably the earliest extant record of the twelve angas. It is therefore a key text in determining questions of authenticity of the Jain canon. This text can be compared with the Buddhist texts Mahaavastu or Lalitavistara and Abhayadevasuri has written a commentary on it The fifth canon, the Vyaakhyaaprajnaapti or Bhagavati Sutra is the most voluminous. It gives a survey of the teaching of Mahavira's wide-range of subjects, largely in the form of answers given by Mahavira to 36,000 questions (approximately) put largely by his chief disciple, Indrabhuti Gautam (who must, of course, not be confused with the Buddha, whose name was also Gautam), and others such as Makandiputra, Roha, Agnibhuti, Vayubhuti, Skandha, Jayanti and some non-Jain scholars. The chapters of this text are in the form of a hundred sutras (sataka), and though there were 101 such sataka in the original text, only 41 are extant. The subjects are largely categorised into conduct (aacaar), the six reals (sad dravya), philosophy (siddhaanta), other world (paraloka), geography, astrology, mathematics, obstetrics (garbha sastra), character (caritra), and miscellaneous. There is a great deal of incidental information on society and the political history of the time. This canon further carries the principle of polyviewism', as can be seen in the technique of Mahavira's answers. Each question was given an answer 'subject to qualification' (syaadvaada). This forms the base for the further development of this principle. The canon contains many references to Mahavira's predictions for rebirths, even those of his staunchest opponents like Gosalaka, leader of the sect known as the Ajivikas, whose life is described. Mahavira predicted that Gosalaka would be reborn as a celestial being, as he would repent at the end of his life. This voluminous work, on which many commentaries have been written, opens with an adoration of the Jina, gives reference to several groups of ascetics (including taapasas), the conversion of Parsvanatha's followers and Brahmin scholars, and shrines dedicated to the Jina (Jinagraha) confirming that temples existed in the 6th century BCE. Celestials such as the four Lokapala, Shulpani, Indra, etc., arts such as drama, musical instruments, spirits, stupas, brahmanical shrines (devakulas), political history, aajivika religion, various professions, and false weights and measures are also noted. There are references to Devananda, Candana, Jamali, festivals connected with Indra, Skanda, Mukunda, Naaga etc., peecchaghara (preksaagraha) and rangasthaana (auditorium), Udayan, Celana, Jayanti, Mahavira's travel from Campa to Sindu-Sauvihara, Gosala, the Brahmaputta shrine of Vaisali (also mentioned in the Buddhist text Digha Nikaaya), and 97 Page #98 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ gold and silver coins. The above analysis makes Bhagavati an important source book of contemporary history, culture and the philosophy of India in the 6th Century BCE. The sixth canon, 'stories of knowledge and righteousness' the Jnaatadharmakathaa (Naayaadhammakahaao), contains a series of stories and narratives which make it the most readable text, and they teach moral values. The work is divided into two Srutaskandhas of which the first is divided into nineteen chapters and second one into ten. The first contains 19 stories as examples; the second contains 206 moral stories. The story of Meghakumara is given in the first chapter, the story of Devadatta, the famous female courtesan of Campa in third chapter, the story of the nineteenth tirthankara, Mallinatha, a woman, in the eighth, and the story of Draupadi is given in the 16th chapter. The ascetics quote these stories in their sermons to make them more interesting to their audience. The seventh canon, 'accounts of lay devotees', the Upaasakadasaa, relates the stories of the pious deeds of ten lay devotees and their courage in resisting attacks from evil forces. The ten chapters tell us the stories of Anand, Kamdeva, Chulanipita, Suradeva, Chullasataka, Kundakaulika, Sakadalaputra, Mahasataka, Nandinipita and Salihipita. The eighth canon, 'stories of liberated ones', the Antakritddasaa (Antagadadasao), gives accounts of the lives of those who achieved moksa. It contains ten chapters comprising of stories from the time of Neminatha, the twenty-second tirthankara, and a number on his cousin, Krisna, and his exploits. The canon contains the accounts of Gajsukumar (younger brother of Krisna), Arjunmali, Atimukta, Kali, Sukali, Mahakali, Krusna, Sukrusna, Mahakrusna, Virkrusna, Ramkrusna, Pitrusenkrusna and Mahasenkrusna. The text also gives short biographical accounts of Indrabhuti Gautam, Krisna, Kunika, Celana, Jambu, Jamali, Jitsatru, Dharini, Mahabalakumar, Meghakumar, Skandaka, Sudharma and Srenika. It describes the geography of Kakandi, Gunasil, Campa, Jambudvipa, Dwarka, Dutipalas Caitya, Purnabhadra Caitya, Bhaddilpur, Bharat Ksetra and Rajgriha. The ninth canon, the Anuttaraupapaatikadasaa (stories of those who rise to the uppermost heavens), contains the legends of those who were reborn in the uppermost heavens. The tenth canon, 'questions and explanations', the Prasnavyaakarana has two srutaskandhas: aasrava and samvara, each has five chapters. The first describes the five great sins of violence, untruth, stealing, unchaste and hoarding, and their consequences by giving examples. The second srutaskandha deals with the five major vows and their results, and has stories with examples .The text contains information on the social life of crime and punishment of those times. It is a very useful text that motivates a person on the spiritual path. The eleventh canon, the Vipaakasutra has two srutaskandhas: Dukhavipaaka and Sukhavipaaka, each has ten chapters. The text discusses karma and describes, in narrative form, the results of good and evil deeds. Each chapter contains one moral story. The twelfth canon, Drastivaada, is lost. The Secondary Canon The twelve texts of the secondary canon, called upaangas, are the teachings of tirthankaras compiled by senior ascetics and their disciples from a later period. The 98 Page #99 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ subject matter of this secondary, supplementary, canon contains similar topics to the primary canon: cosmology, astrology, geography, biology and history, plus seven important texts, which discuss postulates of Jainism. The first secondary canon, the Aupapaatika Sutra (text of those who arise spontaneously' has a description of the celebrated Purnabhdra, a yaksa temple complex in the city of Campa, which Mahavira visited and gave a sermon, where Kunika Ajatasatru, the emperor of Anga-Magadha, attended. Both Buddhists and Jains claim that Ajatasatru followed their religion, but the Jain claim appears to be well-founded (Smith 1923: P.51 and Mukharjee in Hindu Sabhyata, date n.a: pp. 190-191). The text has 189 sutras and describes the city of Campa, its people and different types of austerities (tapa) such as ratnaavali, kanakaavali, ekaavali, laghusinha niskridit, mahasinha niskridit, bhadra pratima, mahabhadra pratima, sarvato bhadra pratima, laghusarvato bhadra pratima, mahasarvato bhadra pratima, vardhaman ayambil, biksu pratima, ahoraatri biksu pratima, ekaraatri biksu pratima, laghumoka pratima, yavamadhya candra pratima and the internal austerities. Sutras 56 and 57 summarise Mahavira's sermon to the audience (samosaran), which included the emperor. The text also refers to several types of Brahman and Ksatriya Parivraajakas (mendicants). The second part of the text once more employs the device of replies by Mahavira to questions put by his disciple Gautam, dealing with subjects such as rebirth in different destinies, spontaneous existence in heavens and hells, non-Jain mendicants, schisms, and the residence for liberated souls. Sutra 107 enumerates the 72 arts. The second secondary canon, 'questions of king Prasanjit', the Raajaprasniya, consists largely of a dialogue between a monk, Kesi, a follower of the twenty-third tirthankara Parsvanatha, and a king, Paesi. The text, which has 283 sutras, is divided into two parts: the first contains descriptions of the arts such as of drama, music and architecture; the second part includes wide-ranging discussions between Kesi and King Paesi on the nature of the soul and the body. This text is of great historical importance as the story of the king refers to the time of Parsvanatha, and its language suggests it to be an ancient text. The most important aspect of this text lies in the scientific attitude shown by the king in asking questions about the soul on the basis of physical experiments and observations. The answers given by the monk, Kesi, suggests his powers of observation, and the dialogue between them convinces King Paesi of the existence of the soul in the body. This text also contains references to 72 distinct branches of learning, and festivals for popular gods. The third secondary canon, the Jivaabhigamasutra contains 259 sutras. It comprehends animate and inanimate things, and is very important for an understanding of Jain descriptions of botany and zoology. It classifies worldly beings in various ways such as mobile and immobile; male, female and neuter; human, tiryanca (animals and plants), celestial and hellish; one sensed, two sensed; three sensed, four sensed and five sensed; earth bodied, water bodied, fire bodied, air bodied, vegetable bodied and mobile bodied. The six forms of bodies (sadkaay) have been discussed in detail. The vegetable bodied is further classified into individual bodied and common bodied and detailed list of such plants and vegetables is given. The mobile-bodied beings are described as those having between two to five senses. The text describes the places in addition to the earth), where human beings are found, and the life of the hellish and celestial beings. The knowledge of Page #100 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ the living and non-living (jiva and ajiva) is very important in observing the vow of ahimsaa. The fourth secondary canon, the Prajnaapanaasutra, is the largest upaanga, composed by Arya Shyama (Kalakacharya) in the 2nd century BCE, and contains 2176 sutras and thirty-six chapters in question and answer form. It can be well compared with the Digambar canon, Satkhandaagama (1st century CE); it has kept jiva at its centre and described karma as it affects jiva, while in the Satkhandaagama the description revolves around karma. The third and fourth secondary sacred texts are complimentary to one another, as both describe different aspects of jiva and ajiva. It describes Jain philosophy and some of the other subjects found in the Bhagavati Sutra, and by some commentators is described as the encyclopaedia of Jain philosophy. The fifth and the seventh secondary canon, the Suryaprajnapati and the Candrapragnapti, describe the thoughts of Jain thinkers on the ancient knowledge of astronomy, and solar and lunar motion. The sixth secondary canon, the Jambudvipapragnapti, describes geography and astronomy, and contains a great deal of material on the Jain view of time cycles, and discusses the beginnings of civilisation in the days of Risabhdeva, the first tirthankara. Some work done in Patiala (Punjab) on astronomy suggests that the mathematical calculations given in these texts compare favourably with the modern science (Jain N.1996: pp.89-97). The eighth to twelfth secondary canons are respectively: Nirayaavalikaa, Kalpaavatamsikaa, Puspikaa, Puspaculikaa, and Vrisnidasaa. They contain narratives of those engaged in good or bad actions and their consequences. Some stories are of historical importance and describe the social life prevalent in those times. In the last text, the term vrisni indicates that it contains legends of the vrisni clan, whose members included Neminatha, Krisna and Balarama. Texts of Discipline (chedasutra) Cheda is a Jain technical term used to refer to a reduction in the status of an ascetic, hence the chedasutras deal with the disciplinary concerns of ascetic life, including penalties and expiation for breaches of the ascetic code. This group of sutras originally had seven texts, but one, the sixth, has been lost. The first of the extant texts is called Dasaasrutaskandha or Acaaradasaa, which contains ten chapters and 278 sutras. The first three chapters discuss in detail various forms of monastic transgressions by accident, by negligence and by will, and the penance according to the degree and quality of transgression. The fourth chapter notes the required qualities of a monastic leader, his duties and other matters concerning monastic life. The fifth chapter lists the ten occasions such as spiritual progress, devadarsan (viewing of the tirthankara), attainment of avadhijnan (clairvoyance), etc., when an ascetic acquires bliss and peace of mind. The sixth chapter describes the eleven ideal stages of spiritual progress for the layperson. The seventh chapter lists the qualifications and rules for an ascetic for solitary wandering (ekalvihaari). The eighth chapter (Paryusana-kalpa or Saamaacaari) deals with rules for monastic life during India's rainy season. This chapter has been 'hived off as a separate text, the Kalpa Sutra, and is published as a book in its own right, laying down strictures for ascetics and containing appendices giving biographies of the tirthankaras (Jinacarita) and the line of succession (sthaviraavali) down from the chief disciples (ganadharas). The ninth chapter discusses 100 Page #101 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ the thirty causes for the attachment of mohaniya karma considered to be a danger to spiritual progress. The tenth chapter describes self-control and its advantages in progressing towards the goal of liberation. The second text is Brihatkalpa, which contains six chapters and 217 sutras, is another work detailing monastic rules for the temporary and the rainy season retreat, contacts with nuns, garments, transgression of the five great vows, and the rules for intake of food, defecation and urination. It also discusses the rare exceptions to the rules. The third text Vyavahara, has ten chapters and 267 sutras, containing the practical aspects of monastic transgressions and their penances. The first chapter deals with the confession in the presence of an aacaarya or upaadhyaya and if neither available, in the presence of an ascetic with the relevant knowledge. The second chapter discusses the treatment of an ascetic undertaking the penance. The third chapter deals with the qualifications for the appointment of an aacaarya, upaadhyaya, sthavira, gani or any other responsible position, and the penance for transgression in the rules of conduct, including wandering without due permission. The fourth to the seventh chapters discuss the respect and care of the senior ascetics, nursing of an infirm ascetic, rules for the number of ascetics required for wandering, and the rules for visiting places. The eighth and ninth chapters deal with the rules regarding carrying the possessions while wandering and the acceptance of food, including the quantity to be accepted. The tenth chapter discusses the austerity of detachment from the body: taking food in reducing and increasing quantities similar to the waxing and waning of the moon, the conduct as per the scriptures and the instructions of seniors, the penances, service to the sangha to the best of one's ability, the rules for initiation, the four types of aacaaryas, disciples and the sthaviras, the rules for the study of the scriptures, and the rules of service to the seniors aged and infirm ascetics. The fourth text, Nisitha, is the longest text of the chedasutras and was originally the fifth section of the second srutaskandha of the Aacaaranga. It contains twenty chapters and more than 1401 sutras. It was composed ganadharas, while the rest chedasutras were composed by Bhadrabahu. It deals with all aspects of transgressions to monastic conduct, their penances and the punishment for major misdeeds, including expulsion. It contains much incidental information on the social, religious and the cultural life of early India. The fifth text, Mahaanisitha, contains some interesting narratives dealing with daily life of the Jain ascetics and the concerns raised in Nisitha, the narrative form making it more readable. The sixth text, Pancakalpa, is lost, but its contents may be deduced from references in other works. The seventh text, Jita Kalpa Sutra, compiled by Jinabhadra, deals with ten kinds of punishments for transgressions by ascetics. Texts on Basic Law (mulasutras) Of the four mulasutras, Uttaraadhyayana, Dasavaikaalika Sutra and Aavasyaka Sutra survive today; Pindaniryukti is extinct. Some consider Oghaniryukti, which contains rules for ascetics, as a mulasutra. Uttaraadhyayana is believed to be the last sermon of Mahavira and on which Bhadrabahu wrote the first commentary, 101 Page #102 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Uttaraadyananiryukti. The work is divided into 36 chapters and can well be compared with the Dhammapada or Gita. The chapters contain topics of: * religious stories: 7,8,9,12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23,25 and 27 * preaching: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10 * right conduct: 2, 11 15, 16, 17, 24, 26, 32 and 35 * philosophy: 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34 and 36 The first twelve chapters are on discipline; on afflictions; on the preciousness of human birth; on the value of life; on involuntary death; on the temporary nature of sensory pleasures; on greed, on the spiritual life and initiation of the king Nami; on the momentary nature of the life; on veneration of the spiritual scholar; and on Harikesha muni who was born as an untouchable (for the point being made that Jainism is against the caste system). The next twelve chapters are on the story of Citra and Sambhuta, on Isukara (both chapters on the law of karma); on the true monk; on celibacy; on a sinful monk; the story of king Sanjaya; the son of king Mruga (both renunciate worldly pleasures); on the duties of a Nirgrantha; on the story of a merchant Samudrapala and his liberation, on the story of Rajul and Rathnemi, on the dialogue between Kesi (follower of Parsvanatha) and Gautam, and on the teachings of the scriptures (similar to a mother's guidance). The last twelve chapters are on the true sacrifice; on the Right Conduct, on undisciplined disciple, on the path of liberation, on Right Vision, on austerity; on the meaning of life; on spiritual negligence; on the nature of karma; on lesyas (auras); on ascetic dharma; and on jiva and ajiva. This sacred text throws light on social, cultural and political history of the earlier period, and condemns the caste system and the practices of brahmanical sacrifice, and teaches the true meaning of life. The Dasavaikaalika Sutra contains 575 sutras, divided into ten lectures and two appendices (culikaas). Aacaarya Sayyambhava, who had become an ascetic after raising a family, compiled this work for his son, Manak (who himself became a monk) when the aacaarya discovered that Manak had only six months to live. It contains lectures that summarise the essence of the Jain canon. The first chapter discusses the religion of ahimsaa, self-restraint and austerity. The second chapter deals with asceticism, which is the first step on the path to liberation. The third chapter discusses the ideal conduct of an ascetic. The fourth chapter deals with the philosophy, five great vows and avoidance of taking food at night. The fifth chapter discusses the selection of the right food, search, mode of acceptance, method of bringing it to the retreat and sharing with fellow monks. The sixth chapter is a brilliant exposition of the Nirgrantha dharma and discusses the practical aspects of the conduct of a monk. The seventh chapter is on 'Purifying Speech' and deals with the practical aspects of the subject. The eighth chapter on 'Code of Conduct' discusses further the restraints required by a monk. The ninth chapter deals with humility, which helps the monk to progress on the spiritual path and is very important in his conduct towards others. The tenth chapter discusses the goal of a monk and spiritual ecstasy: humility, the study of scriptures, austerities and Right Conduct. The two appendices discuss the sensory pleasures and the conduct of a worldly soul. The Aavasyaka Sutra is another very important work composed for the six essential daily duties. It has a lengthy introduction, which appears to have been intended to introduce a larger work (of which the present text is an earlier part). The six essential duties described in the texts are equanimity, hymns in praise of the twenty-four 102 Page #103 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ tirthankaras, veneration of ascetics or elders, penitential retreat, meditation with bodily detachment and renunciation of food, drink and comfort. Appendices There are two important appendices to the Culikasutra: the Anuyogadwaar Sutra, written by Araya Raxit in the 1st century CE and the Nandi Sutra, written by Dev Vaachak in the 5th century CE. The Anuyogadwaar Sutra is a text of expositional literature, which contains 295 sutras. The author has made a compilation of the postulates, which are scattered throughout the canon, and then classified them into four categories to simplify the study of differing subjects: * Biographical and historical material (prathamaanuyoga) containing texts such as Adipuraana, Uttarapuraana and Trisastisalaakaa Purusa Caritra. Scientific and cosmological material (karanaanuyoga) containing texts such as Trilokaprajnapti, Trilokasaara and Jambudvipaprajnaapti. Ethics, conduct and religious practices (caranaanuyoga) including texts such as Niyamasaara, Pravacanasaara, Sraavakaacaara, Dharmabindu and Yogasastra. Metaphysics, ontology and philosophy (dravyaanuyoga) including texts such as Tattvarthasutra and Sarvarthasiddhi. The Nandisutra is a very important work describing the Jain theory of knowledge, contains 115 sutras and summarises the canonical writing regarding cognition, sources and organs of knowledge. Miscellany (prakirnakas) The name given to these ten short texts signifies 'scattered pieces' or 'miscellany'. In addition to ritual hymns, much of this collection is devoted to the preparation for holy death, and to aspects of monastic life and discipline. The Catuhsarana means 'fourfold refuge' and is concerned with the devotee's surrender to the enlightened ones, the liberated souls, the ascetics, and the religious teachings of the omniscient. The Aaturapratyaakhyana means 'renunciation by the frail and sick and is concerned with renunciation in preparation for holy death. The Bhaktaparijnaa means 'food renunciation and is concerned with rituals relating to abstinence from food. The Samthaara means 'holy deathbed and is concerned with the rituals and preparation for holy death. The Tandulavaicaarika literally means "contemplation on rice'. It is a collection of various materials in prose and verse. Much of it is what we would nowadays call human biology. It discusses the growth of the human foetus during pregnancy and the stages of life after birth, assuming (unrealistically, perhaps) a normal lifespan of 100 years divided into 10 equal stages, with physiological and anatomical discussions about each stage. A calculation of how many grains of rice a human can eat during a lifetime is included! Part of the text focuses particularly on the subject of women. The Candravedhyaka means 'hitting the mark' and concerns monastic discipline and retaining consciousness until the last moment of life. 103 Page #104 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The Devendrastava means 'hymns of the Jinas' and concerns praise of the Jinas by the king of the celestial beings. The Ganitavidya means 'prognostics' and deals with auspicious dates and omens in monastic life. The Mahaapratyaakhyaana means 'great renunciation and deals with renunciation at the time of death. The Virastava means 'hymns to Mahavira' and deals with the virtues of Mahavira, and praises him. Many brief and extended commentaries on the canon are available; most of them were composed between the 6th and 13th centuries in both Sanskrit and Prakrit. Digambar Scriptures Digambars believe that the canon was largely lost through lapses of memory. However, after their separation from the original sangha, in the in early part of the second century CE, Dharasena, who had some knowledge of the ancient texts, passed them onto Puspadanta and Bhutabali (Jain, H. 1939-58: vol.1 pp.67-72). Puspadanta composed the first 20 cardinal sutras, and Bhutabali completed the rest of the work running to 6000 sutras and organising it into six parts. This work is known as Satkhandaagama, on which in the ninth century CE Virasena wrote a commentary known as Dhavalaa. Aacaarya Gunadhara, a contemporary of Bhutabali, wrote the second canonical text known as Kasaaya-praabhruta (paahuda), on which Virasena began a detailed commentary named as Jayadhavalaa, which was completed by his disciple Jinasena. Digambars accept these two texts, Satkhandaagama and Kasaayapaahuda as their canon, which were discovered in Mudabidre in early part of the twentieth century. The Satkhandaagama has six sections and its contents are based on what was remembered of the primary canon. It contains a theory of karma and the basic Jain principles; describes the fourteen forms of the spiritual path (marganas) and the fourteen spiritual stages; and contains several sections dealing with karma from the third book of Drastivada, called Purvagata. The Kasaayapaahuda is a Prakrit text of 233 verses, discussing the nature, intensity and effects of passions, the root cause of worldly existence and karmic bondage. Digambars consider Satkhandaagama and its commentary, the Dhavalaa by Virasena in 16 volumes, and Kasaayapaahuda and its commentary, the Jayadhavalaa by Jinasena in 15 volumes, and a 7-volume commentary called Mahaadhavalaa, as their sacred texts. Commentaries: The Jain scholar monks such as Bhadrabahu, Jinabhadra, Sanghadaas, Haribhadra, Silanka, Santisuri, Abhayadeva and Malyagiri, have written extensive commentaries, in the forms of prose, poetry, descriptions and analysis, on most of their sacred texts. These commentaries, though many of them are in Prakrit or Sanskrit, guide the reader in understanding the Jain scriptures and give useful historical, social and cultural information on India from those times. Both Svetambar and Digambar scriptures are preserved in manuscript libraries in India. The Svetambar literature is mainly found in libraries at Jesalmir (Rajasthan), Patan, Khambat and Bharuch (all in Gujarat). Digambara scriptures are mainly found at Mudabidre and Sravanbelgola (both in Karnataka). 104 Page #105 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 3.2 ANCIENT NON-CANONICAL LITERATURE The Angavijja, a text dealing with the science of prognostics is one of the remarkable Jain sacred texts. It contains sixty chapters and is considered the treasure house for cultural history of India of the early Christian era (Chatterjee 1978: p.256). It provides material on the cultural, social and political life of India, and contains lists of deities, professions, adornments, textiles, food-grains, food, coins, conveyances, boats, and many other important elements. It also provides interesting references to women belonging to the different regions of India, to architectural terms, to clans, to male and female deities (including Greek, Avestan, Persian, and Roman, and the moon-goddess) and sexual love. Jains also have a vast amount of non-canonical literature stored in the sastrabhandars (libraries) at various locations in India. Some of the Svetambar literature is listed below: Tarangavati written by Paadilptasuri in the c. first century BCE: a story of Udaya and his heroine Vaasavdatta. Paumacariyan written in first century CE by Vimala: the Jain Ramayana. Vasudevahindi written in the c. third century CE by Sanghadaasa and Darmasena: contains the story of Vasudeva, Krisna's father, story of Krisna, materials from the Vaisnava Purana, direct reference to the Bhagavat Gita, and places of Western India. It has references to the well-known temple of Vasupujya at Campa and the Naga temple, passages from the Arthasastra of Kautilya, coins, and trade with China and Suvarnabhumi (Burma), the society and its festivals, the story of Rama, and the lives of the tirthankaras such as Kunthunatha, Aranatha and Risabhdeva. Haribhadra's phenomenal work (believed to be a total of 1440 texts, a list of 88 texts is available at present) in the eighth century CE: such as the Samaraiccakaha (a religious story of Samaraditya discussing his nine re-births and lives); Yogabindu and Yogadrastisammucchaya (texts on Yoga); Dhrmabindu (a manual on duties of both laypeople and ascetics); and Saddarsanasammuccaya (a summary of six philosophical systems). His other work includes Lokatattvanirnaya (edited in Bhavnagar in 1901 CE, and an Italian translation by Suali in 1905 CE); Lalitavistara; Upadesapada; Pancaasaka; Dhurtakhyana (stories from the Hindu epics and Puraanas); texts on logic, and a commentary on Dinnaga's Buddhist text, Nyaayapravesa. Kuvalayamaalaa by Udyotsuri in the eighth century CE: contains a description of everyday religious life, affluent and corrupt city life, romantic episodes, student life in various parts of India, and the characteristics of the people from the different regions of India. Ajitasantistava by Nandisena in the eighth century CE is a popular prayer glorifying the tirthankaras Ajitanatha and Shantinatha. Chaupan mahapurisacariyam by Silanka in the ninth century CE: contains lives of 54 great personages, references from the aagamic texts, and commentaries and Jain noncanonical texts such as Paumacariyam. Dharmopadesamaalaa by Jayasimha in the tenth century CE: describes Jain philosophy, places and social conditions of historical importance. 105 Page #106 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Upamiti bhava prapancaakathaa by Siddharsi in the tenth century CE is the first extensive allegory in Indian literature to illustrate Jainism as a moral religion. It describes the mundane career of a worldly soul from the lowest stage to final liberation, its various re-births, the influence of the cardinal passions and the five senses. The narrative stories make it readable and give a clear moral message. Tilakmanjari by Dhanapala in the tenth century CE gives valuable information on the early Parmar dynasty and the morality of the Jain way of life. Kathaakosa by Jinesvara in the eleventh century CE contains several popular stories: such as of Salibhadra, Sinhakumar and Dhavala; some stories describing rivalries between Svetambars and Digambars, between Jains and Buddhists, and between Jains and orthodox Brahmins; and some stories aimed at the teaching of morality. Jnaanapancamikathaa by Mahesvara in the early twelfth century CE describes the popular Jain festival for the veneration of knowledge on the fifth day of bright half of the Kartika month of the Indian calendar, and gives many references showing his knowledge of geography. Surasundaricariya by Dhanesvara in the eleventh century CE is a love story, which gives references to the social conditions and overseas trade. Samvegarangosala, Parsvanathacarita, Mahaviracarita and Kathaaratnakosha by Gunacandra in the eleventh century CE: the first is lost, the second and the third describe the biographies of Parsvanatha and Mahavira respectively. The fourth contains fifty stories throwing light on the contemporary conditions, with references to non-Jain literature, tantric rituals, and life-styles of female courtesans. Aakhyaanamanikosa, Ratnacundaraajcarita and Mahaviracarita by Nemicandra in the twelfth century CE: the first is considered as the treasure house for its stories, and contains tales of historical persons such as of Candragupta, Bindusara, Asoka, Kunala, Samprati, geography including a description of Ujjayini, Indian and overseas ports, festivals, art, architecture, sculpture, painting, music and other related subjects. The second is a love story and the third describes Mahavira's life and his teachings. Kalkaacaaryakathaa by Devacandrasuri in the twelfth century CE describes the story of Kalkaacaarya, who invited the Sakas to punish Gardabhila who had kidnapped a Jain nun, his sister. Nammayaasundarikahaa by Mahendrasuri in the twelfth century CE describes the trials and tribulations of Narmadasundari, the wife of the Jain merchant Mahesvaradatta, who took her overseas on a business trip and who deserted her on suspicion of adultery. Although she stayed with a prostitute, she kept herself chaste, and the story ends with a marital reunion and describes the economic and commercial life of India. Trisasthi salakaa purusacarita, Siddha-Hema vyaakarana, Yogasastra, Abhidhancintaamani, Lingaanusaasana, Chandonusaasana, Kavyanusaasana and Kumarpalacarita were written by Hemcandrasuri, one of the greatest Indian saints and literary artists of the twelfth century, who was given the epithet of kalikalasarvagna (omniscient of the Kali era) and who is known as the father of Gujarati language. The first is a voluminous work of 11 volumes, which contains the biographies of sixty-three important figures (vol. 7 includes the characters from the Ramayana, and vol. 8 includes those from the Mahabharata). The second is an exegesis on grammar, but also contains a history of Gujarat. The third is on the spiritual life and meditation. The fourth is of the greatest works in Sanskrit lexicography, and contains the botanical names of great 106 Page #107 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ importance to students of botany and Ayurvedic Medicine. The fifth, sixth and seventh volumes are popular works of poetry and Prakrit and apabhransa metres. The eighth is of great historical importance as it is the biography of Kumarpala. Naatyadarpana, Kumaara vihaara sataka and Dravyaalankara were written by Hemcandra's disciple Ramacandra. The first contains dramatic poetry and plays, the second, a description of a temple built by Kumarpala at Patan, and the third, a text on philosophy. Several plays, of two to five acts, were written in the twelfth century. Kirtikaumadi by Somesvara, and many other works in praise of Vastupala and Tejapala, and Kumarpala were written by various authors. Balabharata (summary of Mahabharata) and Jinendracarita (short verses on the twentyfour tirthankaras) were written by Amaracandra Prabhaavakacarita is the historical account of 22 great Jains from Vajrasvami to Hemcandra, written by Prabhacandra. It describes the destruction of Taksasila by the Muslims, and provides other history of the period. Prabandhacintaamani by Merutunga is a history up to the fourteenth century. Vividhatirthakalpa by Jinaprabha gives a systematic account of the Jain tirthas (places of pilgrimages). Kharataragaccha brahadgurvavali by Jinapala gives an account of the activities of gurus of Khartara gaccha, the relationship between their well-known monks and contemporary rulers of North India and the tirthas Vijnaptilekhasangraha is a collection of letters between Svetambar monks of differing locations, describes various tirthas and social and religious customs Drvyapariksaa by Thakkura Pheru in the fourteenth century discusses contemporary coins of Ala-Ud-din and various other coins from India. Hiravijay composed many useful works, and other monks also composed hundreds of works. From other texts, we find Svetambar monks wrote on every aspect of Indian life, and their literary activities are heritage for India. The Digambars have produced a very important philosophical and technical literature, which is useful to students of metaphysics and philosophy. The Mulaacaaras of Vattakera is the earliest Digambara non-canonical work. It describes various practices of the monks, has 1252 verses and is divided into 12 parts (adhikaara). The language of this work assigns it to the fifth century CE. The Bhagavati Aaraadhanaa was composed by Panitalabhoji Sivaarya (Sivakoti) in the fifth century CE. It contains 2100 verses, deals with the conduct of ascetics and has references to Kalpa, Vyavahara, Aacaaranga and Jitakalpa Sutras. The Tiloyapannati by Yativrasabha is a famous work of the fifth century CE on Jain cosmography. It has 8000 verses and is divided into nine sections. The Svaamikaarttikeya anupreksa is a popular work from the early centuries CE by Svaami Kumaara, which explains 12 anupreksas (reflections). Gommatasaara by Namicandra is an important work of the tenth century CE, consisting of Jivakaanda (733 verses) and Karmakaanda (972 verses). It describes Jain philosophy, and is considered the essence of the discourses of Mahavira (Jindal 1988: p.94). Jivakaanda describes the natural characteristics of jiva and the means and the stages of their development. Karmakaanda discusses the obstacles producing karma, which must be shed to attain 107 Page #108 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ liberation. Namicandra is also the author of Dravya-sangraha, Labdhisaara, Ksapanasaara and Trilokasaara. Dravya-sangraha discusses six dravyas (substances), seven tattvas ("reals') and the path to attain liberation, including meditation. It has 54 verses. Labdhisaara is a treatise on attainment (labdhi) of those things, which will lead to perfection. Ksapanasaara deals with the control and destruction of the passions. Trilokasaara describes the Jain cosmography and the universe. Pancaadhyaayi (Jainendra grammar) was written by Pujyapada in the fifth century; it is in five parts and it has some commentaries. Padma Puraana by Ravisena (678 CE) is a popular Jain Ramayana among Digambars and a translation of Vimal's Paumcariyain. Varaangacarita by Simhanandi (7" century), is a popular religious story, which runs to 31 chapters and contains references to history, geography and the temples with images of precious stones, royal gifts and walls decorated with the scenes from the Puraanas. Raagahava-Paandaviya by Dhananjaya (8" century) contains 18 chapters and the story is based on the Ramayana and Mahabharat. Dhnanjaya's other important works are Naamamaala, Visaapahaara-stotra and Anekaarthanaamaala Harivansapuraana by Jinasen (783 CE) is a poem on moral themes, which contains the social, religious and cultural conditions of India. Aadipuraana by Jinasena (and his disciple Gunabhadra (8th century CE) is one of the finest poems that deals with the life of Risabhdeva (Aadinaatha). It has 47 chapters and contains material of sociological importance such as town planning, the duties of warriors and the art of government, the six Indian seasons, moonrise and sunrise, a description of female beauty and various popular hymns. Gunabhadra later wrote Uttarapuraana, which contains the life of all the tirthankaras accept Risabha, important personages from Jain mythology and versions of Ramayana and Mahabharata. The two texts together are known as Mahaapuraana. Paumacariyu by Svayambhu (9th century CE) is the story of Rama, which contains lists of commercial products, parts of the body and material of historical and sociological importance. With his son he composed Rathanemicariyu or Harivansapuraana. Kalyanakaaraka by Ugraditya (9th century) is a medical treatise, which discusses differing aspects of medicine and non-violent remedies, and the value of a meatless diet. Ganitasaara sangraha by Mahaviraacaarya (9th century) is a popular text on mathematics, which had a Telugu translation in the 11" century. Prasnottara Ratnamaalaa by Amoghavarsa ((9th century) on Jain philosophy also had a Tibetan translation (Chatterjee 1978: p.310). Brahatkathaakosa by Harisena (10" century) contains stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata, earlier Digambar literature and informative material, such as that on the famous Sun-temple at Multan (destroyed by Muslims), Mathura, Ujjayini, stories for children and some material on religious conflicts of the period. Trisasthi mahaapurusa gunacariyu, Naagakumarcariyu and Yasodharacarita by Puspadanta are important works of the tenth century CE. The first work, also known as Mahaapuraana, has 142 chapters and contains the life of 63 important personages; the 108 Page #109 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ second work is of historical importance and the third one is on the popular Jain theme of karma and its consequences. Nitivaakyamruta, Yasastilakacampu, and Adyaatmatarangini by Somadeva (10th century) are important works on business ethics, society and the spiritual life respectively. Among other prominent works of the 10th century are; Neminirvana mahaakaavya (a poem on the life of Neminatha) by Vaagbhatta; Candraprabhacarita mahaakaavya (on the life of Candraprabha) by Viranandi; Vardhamancarita (on Mahavira's life) by Asaga; Subhaasita ratnasansodha (benedictory hymns) by Amitgati; Aadipuraana (life of Risabha) by Pampa, Santipuraana (life of Shantinatha) and Ajitapuraana (life of Ajitanatha) Between the twelfth and the sixteenth century a mass of literature mainly in Prakrit Sanskrit and some in local languages, such as in Tamil and Kannada was produced, but it was mainly for the consumption of the lay readers. Prominent among this literature is Kathaakosa by Prabhacandra in the 11th century, the Vaddaaraadhane (a collection of devotional stories). Nyaayaviniscayavivarana (encyclopaedia of Indian logic) by Vadiraja, Sarasvati-mantra Kalpa and Mahaapuraana by Mallisena, Jnaanarva (on Jain philosophy) by Subhacandra, Dharmamruta by Asaadhara (on philosophy and conduct) and Tattvarthadipikaa (a commentary on Tattvarthasutra) by Srutasagara. 109 Page #110 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 3.3 MODERN AND TRANSLATED LITERATURE The previous chapter described the Jain canonical and expositional literature largely I written in ancient times, but with some as late as the 17th century CE. This chapter describes the literature of the modern period. In the early literature the range of topics covered was relatively small, and it was either in Prakrit or Sanskrit, reflecting the fact that it was mainly intended for ascetics, and was understood by few lay people. To make it more accessible, it had to be translated into other languages, regional and foreign. Thus there was a period of intense translation work, which still continues: Gujarati, Hindi, Southern Indian languages, particularly Tamil and Kannada, and English were the major languages for modern translations. The need for translations from Prakrit and Sanskrit resulted in the creation of a secondary literature devoted to linguistics and grammar, and the production of dictionaries and other scholarly aids. Jain ascetics took an active part in this modern literary enterprise, writing explanatory, historical and ethical literature, as well as compilations of hymns, to promote and popularise Jainism. Some of this has been translated into foreign languages, including English, though in the Indian version rather than the Western idiom. Jain research in universities is a modern phenomenon, still developing. Many, probably hundreds, of doctorates have been awarded for research in Jain subjects, mainly in India, some also abroad. But because of the lack of employment opportunities, it has remained difficult to attract bright students for a scholarly career. Non-Jain scholars, including Indologists in Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States have produced much of the recent academic literature on Jainism. Their work has included translations of the canon and the biographical and philosophical literature, and scientific scrutinisation of Jain concepts. For many centuries the great Jain libraries were restricted to monks, but a more liberal attitude on the part of Jains has resulted in Jain literature being more widely known and informative articles on Jainism now feature in books on world religions and in encyclopaedias. The growing interest in Jainism has resulted in the participation of Jain scholars in national and international seminars and conferences. Modern Biographical and Historical Literature This literature is mainly translations of Prakrit, Sanskrit and Apabhramsa (a forerunner of Gujarati) epics and poetry. The Kalpa Sutra, mentioned earlier, is one such popular translation. A four-volume biography of Mahavira by Muni Ratnaprabha Vijay is one major example of a Jain publication. Many institutions conduct research leading to publications in the field of Jain literary history. Among the most notable are: Parsvanatha Vidyaashram and Varni Shodh Sanshthan, both in Varanasi; Vidvat Parishad, Satna, in Madhya Pradesh; Bhartiya Jnanpith, in Delhi; Jain Visva Bharati Ladhnun in Rajasthan; Vishva Kalyan Prakashan Trust, Mehsana, and Satsrut Sadhana Kendra, Koba, and Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. 110 Page #111 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Literature on Jain art and architecture through the ages has been published in many languages, including English and other non-Indian languages. The literature on Jain philosophy and history, and a number of biographical novels such as Anuttaryogi Mahavira (published in Hindi in four volumes between 1975 and 1980) and Mook Mati (Hindi in 1990), have been popular in India. The literature published is mainly in Gujarati and Hindi, and contains some children's literature based upon Jain myths, legends, biographies and values. Ethics and Morality The majority of the Jain canonical literature is ethical and spiritual in nature and during this century important scriptures have been translated and published in Hindi, Gujarati, and some in English and other Indian languages. The publications of the Jain Vishwa Bharati at Ladhnun are scholarly and modern in approach, as are those of the Agam Prakashan Samiti, Biyavar, the Visva Kalyan Prakasan Trust, Mehsana, the Mahavir Jain Vidyalaya, Mumbai, and the Bharatiya Jnanapitha, Delhi. Unsurprisingly, given the earlier Jain reluctance to translate their scriptures, it first fell to a foreigner to undertake the task. At the end of the ninteenth century, the German scholar Hermann Jacobi began publishing translations and studies in English. In the last quarter of this century, many English translations of the scriptures have been published such as those by Lalvani on the Uttaraadhyayan Sutra, Kalpa Sutra, Dasaavaikaalika Sutra and Bhagvati Sutra, by the Bharatiya Jnanapitha on the Samyasaara and Pancaastikaayasaara and by many others on Tattvartha Sutra. Most books concerning the conduct of ascetics and lay people are now available in modern Indian languages and in some in English. An example of note is Jain Yoga' by Williams on the conduct of the laity. The spiritual writings of the modern saint Shrimad Rajchandra (Raychandbhai Mehta, 1868-1901) have been published in most Indian languages and some in English. It is heartening to note that many publications on Jain themes are appearing every year for the last quarter of the century. Devotional Literature A large amount of devotional literature on hymns, on pujaa rituals and on consecration rituals has been produced over the last two centuries. Original and translated literature on penitential retreat (pratikramana), the popular ritual, has been published by many sources. Almost all the Sanskrit and Prakrit eulogies of the Jinas and others (stotras and similar) have been collected, translated and published; some newly composed hymns and eulogies on modern songs have also been published. Many texts on the performing arts: music, dance and drama, based on religious themes, have also appeared. Jain migrants abroad, especially in the United Kingdom and United States, have produced dramatic scripts based on the lives of Mahavira and Neminatha, and have been performed on the stage, and these have been very popular in the Jain community. Scientific, Technical and Mathematical Literature The Jain scriptures contain a great deal of scientific material. Some scholars have researched Jain thinking and compared them with the modern sciences such as physics, chemistry, biology mathematics and astronomy. Mahaviracarya's book on Jain 111 Page #112 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ mathematics, written in the 12th century CE, has been translated into Hindi and English. Chapter five of the Tattvartha Sutra, which was translated into English in 1942, has had a scientific evaluation by G. R. Jain. Some subjects from the sacred books of scientific interest have been explored by the contemporary scholars on wide range of subjects, such as on mathematics (L.C. Jain), on the scientific contents in the canon (N. L. Jain), on astronomy (Lisk), on botany (Lodha) and on biology (Sikdar). Muni Mahendra and J. Zaveri have written on physics, neuroscience and meditation; Kamalaprabha Jain and D.C. Jain have written on economics; Chaudhary and Sharma have written on political science; and Mardia has published a book 'the scientific foundation of Jainism'. Nowadays, meditation and yoga, two important practices of spiritual development, have also become the subjects of scientific investigation. Many scholars and Jain saints have published books in Hindi, Gujarati and English, discussing the science of Jain meditation and related religious practices. Philosophy and Existence Jain literature contains much material of human interest on philosophy including epistemology, ontology, logic and perception. Many modern scholars have researched the sacred texts and published the literature in English. Some of the works are: on philosophy by Tatia, M. Mehta and Devendra Muni (separately); on omniscience by Ramjisingh; on karma, separately by Arun Vijay, Mahaprajna and Von Glasenapp; on the theory of knowledge by Shastri and Bothra (separately); on the philosophy and the theory of holy death by C. Caillat, and on logic by Mahaprajna. Other Literature Other modern literature includes bibliographies, catalogues, encyclopaedias, dictionaries and glossaries. The bibliographies of Jain literature from Vir Sevamandir, Delhi, are important tools for Jain scholars. Encyclopaedias such as the Jainendra Siddhant Kosha have proved to be very useful. Jains have started to use modern technology and computers for the systematic study of Jain literature and research material, and one can find a sizeable amount of material on the Internet. Panyaasa Punya Vijay and other scholars have done the work of cataloguing the Sanskrit and Prakrit manuscripts. The Sevamandir, Jodhpur has published the catalogues of manuscripts and other books stored in the Jesalmir manuscript library, established in the 14th century. Jain scholars have also published Prakrit dictionaries and the glossaries of Jain terminology, which have been useful to academics. Recent articles in Encyclopaedia Britannica (1974: 22.247-253). The World's Religions (Reader's Digest 1993: pp.144-147) and World Religions (Bowker 1997: pp.42-53) have been very useful. General books introducing Jainism to a wide audience, such as Jaini's 'The Jaina Path of Purification', Sanghave's 'Aspects of Jain Religion', Paul Dundas's 'The Jains' and Paul Marett's 'Jainism Explained' have proved popular among lay readers. Some Jain publications address issues of widespread contemporary concern, which include nonviolence and reverence for life, vegetarianism, animal welfare and environmental issues. The modern period has seen the publication of Festschrift volumes in honour of ascetics, scholars and philanthropists. The author has been informed that more than 200 such volumes exist, varying in size from 200 pages to 3,600 pages. On major religious ceremonies, it is customary to publish souvenirs, which contain, material on the 112 Page #113 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ institution, the ceremony and articles on Jainism of general interest. The Mahavira Jain Vidhyalaya golden Jubilee volume, the Jain Centre, Leicester, temple consecration publication, and the Atma Vallabha Smaraka, Delhi, temple consecration souvenir are representative of such literature. A large amount of literature on Mahavira was published during the 2.500th anniversary celebrations in 1969, and a volume appeared to commemorate the ceremony of anointing the colossal statue of Bahubali at Sravanbelgola in the 1980s. Research literature on Jainism is published in certain academic journals; ten such journals exist in India. Conference proceedings have been a useful source of literature, they include 'The Assembly of Listeners' (Cambridge), 'Karmavada' (Calgary, Canada) and the World Jain Congress' (Leicester). 113 Page #114 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ THE RELIGION Chapter 4.1 JAIN PHILOSOPHY ainism is a practical philosophy, embracing both the worldly and the spiritual. The first I fundamental principle of Jainism is that the human personality is dual: both spiritual and material. Jain philosophy holds that every worldly being has a soul, the characteristics of which is clouded by the attachment of material bodies, such as the karmic and the physical body, which are external to the soul and are created as a consequence of actions performed by an individual. External environments such as relations, friends, wealth, poverty, hunger and psychic factors, which can cause pleasure or pain, affect these bodies. The second principle is that human beings are imperfect. Imperfection is caused by karmic particles attached to the soul. The human soul can obtain perfection, and in that free and eternal state it is endowed with four characteristics: infinite faith, knowledge, spiritual energy and bliss. The third principle is that human beings are capable of controlling their material nature through their own spiritual efforts. It is only after the complete shedding of karmic matter that the soul attains perfection, freedom and happiness. The fourth fundamental principle is that human beings are solely responsible for their future; practically all can liberate their own souls from the karmic matter attached to them. Liberation cannot be effected by others or external agencies, but only through the efforts and actions of the individual. No one is absolved of responsibility for the consequences of their actions. This principle distinguishes Jainism from most other religions, including Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. Jainism believes that the universe exists and continues without any external agency having created or having any control over it; and that no god, no prophet or no other agent can influence the destiny of any being. In view of this attitude towards gods, Jainism is seen as atheistic. This is an exaggeration. Jainism does not deny that the divine exists, it simply does not attribute the creation of the universe to any god or other agency. Jainism believes in the existence of many divine beings: tirthankaras and liberated souls (siddhas) are gods. Jainism cannot be considered as atheistic, even though its concept of the divine differs from that of other religions. Jain philosophy claims to offer a clear and logical explanation of the nature of the universe, life's events and their significance, and a way to remove misery and achieve permanent happiness and bliss. As we said in chapter 1.1, the meaning of life is to 'conquer' oneself, purify the soul and experience its true characteristics of infinite faith, knowledge, energy and bliss. Jain philosophy offers solutions to all the major philosophical problems arising in the human mind, through its teachings on the 'nine real entities' (nava tattva) and the 'Three Jewels': Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. A study of these is indispensable to those who seek truth and salvation. Some Jain texts, such as the Tattvartha Sutra, combine certain of the nine entities and count them as seven in total, the majority however, recognise nine (Sinha 1990: p.49): 114 Page #115 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The soul or living entity (jiva) Matter or non-living entity (ajiva) Merit (punya) Demerit or sin (paapa) Influx of karma (aasrava) Karmic bondage (bandha) Prevention of karmic influx (samvara) Shedding of karma (nirjaraa) Liberation (moksa) It is the soul that performs all the activities of worldly life and achieves liberation. It alone knows and comprehends all the real entities. It is the attachment of non-living material entities to the soul, which facilitates worldly existence and action. Non-living entities do not act without the soul. Karma causes the happiness or misery of the soul, and it alone causes merit and demerit. Attachment of the karmic body makes the soul form a physical body and these three together make a living being or jiva. Jiva is the first fundamental category, and liberation the last. This means that all the real entities between jiva and liberation exist in order that jiva may ultimately attain liberation. Special Characteristics of the Nine Real Entities: Some entities are 'knowable' (neya), some are to be abandoned' (heya) and some are to be attained' (upadeya). Jain philosophy says that both knowledge and action are necessary for liberation. This is characterised, and expressed in the first aphoristic rule of the Tattvartha Sutra: 'Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct together constitute the path to liberation.' Soul and matter are 'knowable', and through which knowledge of the entire universe can be obtained. Demerit, influx and bondage are 'to be abandoned'. These give one the knowledge of what not to do. Stoppage, shedding and liberation are to be attained', heralding a knowledge of one's action. Merit resembles golden fetters, attaching good karma to the soul, and is to be attained' as it facilitates the tools for liberation. The Six 'Substances '; Jainism emphasises the knowledge of six substances (sad dravyas) or 'real entities' necessary for liberation. The soul and matter are the two principal 'real entities'; matter is further subdivided in into five 'substances' (which with the soul makes six). The subdivisions of matter are the medium of motion, the medium of rest, space, time and the material particles. Substances change their forms (paryaayas), states or modifications, but basically they are permanent and unchangeable. They can combine together without losing their separate identities or natures. Substances are endowed with coming into existence' (utpaada), when they change their form, decay or 'cease to exist' (vyaya), and permanence or "continuous existence' (dhrauvya). They can exist together in the universe, just as the light of many lamps can remain together in one room. The characteristic nature or property of a substance is called its 'attribute' (guna), while changes in a particular substance are called 'forms' (paryaayas). For example, knowledge and happiness are the qualities or attributes of a worldly being, while humanity and divinity are its forms. Functions of the Substances: All six substances are continuously active. To be active, the substance has to undergo modifications at every moment. It has to have a new mode, simultaneous disappearance of the old mode and at the same time permanency. These phenomena happen at every moment by the inherent, momentary, imperceptible 115 Page #116 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ and continuous wave motion found in the constituents of the substance itself, similar to the waves of the ocean. There are two forms of stationary wave motion: common stationary wave motion found in all the substances; and special stationary wave motion found only in the soul and in the matter. Common attributes of substances Existing: the rising and decaying rhythmic wave crescents in the substance repeated moment by moment, produce the appearance of a new shape with the simultaneous disappearance of the old, but the substance persists, flowing through a continuous modal change, like ocean waves. Functions: substances have a stationary wave motion. Knowability: this is due to the stationary wave motion of substances. The stationary wave motion imparts information about the substance to the energy waves of other substances, when the energy waves pass through or come in contact with it. The soul that is attuned to such energy waves converts information into perception and knowledge about the respective substances. * Individuality: this is due to unceasing wave activity. * Spatiality: is the pervading capacity of a substance to occupy a space equal to the extension caused by this stationary wave motion and is backed by the perceptual energy of the substance. Special attributes: The pure soul and pure matter have special attribute. Special attributes of the soul are infinite faith, knowledge, bliss and energy, perfect conduct, eternity, non-materiality and the equality to other souls. The special stationary wave motion of the soul provides it with consciousness, which is invisible. Special attributes of matter are touch, taste, colour and smell. The special stationary wave motion of matter provides it exclusively with a sensibility that makes it visible. Both these wave motions are special to the soul and matter. Other substances do not have such special stationary sensory waves of either consciousness or sensibility; hence they have no consciousness and are invisible. (Gajapathi 1977 in Upadhye and others Eds. 'How it works' pp.168 and Sinha 'Concept of substance in Jainism pp.244-245) Stationary wave motion cycles occur in the substance countless times per moment; they establish vibrations in the parts (pradesas or paramaanus) of the substance (dravya), cause disturbance, and produce differing modes; the modes are termed dravya vyanjana paryaaya. The disturbance-carrying energy waves precipitate the attribute (guna) of the substance; the attributes are termed guna vyanjana paryaaya. For the sake of convenience, we will term dravya vyanjana paryaaya as 'special stationary wave motions' and guna vyanjana paryaaya as 'super energy wave motions' in further descriptions of these terms. In all omniscient souls (embodied or disembodied) these two types of dravya and guna vyanjana paryaaya function normally, as such pure souls are free from obscuring karma. They function abnormally in all worldly souls because of karmic bondage. Likewise they function normally in elementary particles of matter and abnormally in all elementary particles within the molecules. Bondage between the soul and matter, and bondage between elementary particles of matter, produce abnormal functioning of the special stationary wave motion and the super energy wave motion. Bondage does not transform the substance. 116 Page #117 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ From the onset the relationship between the soul and matter is responsible for worldly existence. Apart from the gross organic body there is a subtle body which serves as a link between the soul and the material body, and which is only discarded at liberation. The disintegrating matter particles of this subtle body are replenished in a continuous succession, and thus the subtle body remains intact. It is the subtle body, which includes the karmic body that holds the soul in worldly cycles. There are eight main types and 158 sub-types of karma. They are subtle matter particles of peculiar potency, more mysterious than molecular DNA. The main forms of karma are faith obscuring, knowledge obscuring, deluding, energy obstructive, feeling producing, lifespan determining, body producing and status determining. The first four are obscuring in nature and the last four are non-obscuring in nature. Shedding of the four obscuring karma endows the soul with infinite faith, infinite knowledge, infinite energy and perfect conduct as found in omniscience, and shedding of all eight types of karma makes the soul liberated. We will discuss further aspects of Jain philosophy: the path of purification, the substances, the cosmos as described in the Jain canon, karma, the teachings, Right Conduct and the stages of liberation, in the chapters that follow. 117 Page #118 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 4.2 THE PATH OF PURIFICATION The teachings of Mahavira are characteristically simple, practical and ethical, but they I have gradually developed into a detailed, intricate system, relating not only to the nature of the true and the ideal, but also to the practical path for their realisation. The ultimate object of the teaching of Mahavira is liberation or salvation, which can be attained through annihilating karma attached to the soul. It can be achieved by the practice of austerities and preventing the influx of additional karma through self-restraint of the body, speech and mind. Liberation of the soul is a state of perfection, of infinite bliss in an eternal abode, where there is no ageing, no disease, no cycle of birth and death and no suffering. Mahavira was very practical, possessing universal vision. His explanation of the six 'real entities' displays his deep insight into the nature of the universe. A number of his teachings, for example, argue that spoken words can be heard throughout the universe (modern radio broadcasts); that microscopic germs are engendered in excreta, sputum, and urine; and that plants have life, are now widely accepted by science. His teaching of the five vows of 'non-violence', truthfulness, 'non-stealing', sexual restraint (and restraint of the activities of the sensory organs), non-attachment, and his theories of relative pluralism', guide ethical thinkers today. His descriptions of the range of mental states and psychic colours' are supported today by some psychic researchers and theosophists, and what we would today term science and psychology were as important to him as spiritual knowledge. Elements of his teachings are now seen to have been centuries ahead of their time, as having a recognisable 'scientific' basis, and are relevant even to present-day concerns. His teaching consists of the threefold path of Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct, which together lead to liberation, the status he himself achieved. The Threefold Path The ultimate object of human life is liberation or salvation, the purification of the soul (moksa). Jainism describes how the path of purification is to be achieved through one's own efforts. The Tattvartha Sutra, one of the most sacred texts of Jainism, emphatically states in its first aphorism that Right Faith (samyag darsana), Right Knowledge (samyag inaana), and Right Conduct (samyag caritra) together constitute the path to the state of liberation. These are called the three jewels of Jainism. These three are not to be considered as separate but collectively forming a single path, which must be present together to constitute the path. In the view of this firm conviction, the Jain seers over emphasise that these three must be pursued simultaneously. By way of illustration, one could use a medical analogy: In order to bring about the cure of a disease, three things are essential, faith in the efficacy of the medicine, knowledge of its use, and its ingestion by the patient. Likewise, to achieve liberation, faith in the efficacy of the path, knowledge of it and the practising of it - these three together are indispensable. Similarly, the path to liberation is compared in Jain works to a ladder: The two sides of the ladder represent right faith and right knowledge, and the rungs of the ladder represent the (fourteen) stages of right conduct. It is obvious that it is possible to ascend the ladder only when all the three elements, the two 118 Page #119 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ sides and the rungs, are intact. As the absence of sides or rungs would make a ladder ineffective, so the absence of one element makes the spiritual ascent impossible. Figure 4.1 "Ladder' of spiritual progress showing the fourteen steps. LIBERATED SOUL RIGHT FAITH RIGHT KNOWLEDGE RIGHT CONDUCT WORLDLY SOUL 119 Page #120 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Right Faith The term Right Faith (or the right attitude, right vision or right belief), samyag darsana, has been defined in the Tattvartha Sutra as the true and firm conviction in the existence of the 'real entities' of the universe. Right Faith. The Uttaraadhyayan (28: 14,15) defines Right Faith as the belief in nine 'real entities' (nava tattvas). The Niyamsaara (1931: 5) explains the Right Faith as the belief in the liberated souls, Jain scriptures and the "real entities'. Samantabhadra defines samyag darsana as the belief in true deities, true scriptures and true teachers (Ratnakaranda sraavakaacaara 1955: 4) and mentions eight essential characteristics of Right Faith and the necessity of renunciation from eight types of pride. The Jain scriptures emphasise that Right Faith should be characterised by eight essential requisites or components. These are: * One should be free of doubt about the truth or validity of the Jain tenets. * One should be detached from worldly, materialistic things. * One should have an appropriate regard for the body, as the body is the means by which one achieves liberation, but one should feel no 'attachment' to it. * One should take care not to follow a faith or path which will not lead to liberation; one should avoid harbouring credulous or superstitious beliefs. One should foster spiritual excellence, and protect the prestige of the faith from belittlement, by praising the pious and not deriding others. * * One should be steadfast in one's convictions and help others towards the path of Right Faith and Right Conduct, whenever they falter. * One should have affectionate regard and respect for the virtuous and one's coreligionists, and show due reverence towards the pious. * In one's own conduct one should demonstrate Jain values and teachings: one should attempt to demonstrate the Jain concept of true religion both through religious observances and in the performance of charitable deeds, such as the provision of food, medicine, education and shelter to all those in need. The first five are for the self and the last three are the duties of the community. A true aspirant should always be ready to help others. Right Faith should be free from erroneous beliefs such as: Pseudo-holiness: Some people falsely believe that practices such as bathing in certain rivers or fire walking are a means of acquiring merit for themselves or for their family. Pseudo-gods: Some people have faith in gods and goddesses who are credited with divine and destructive powers, but praying to such deities in order to gain worldly favours is false faith, leading to karmic bondage. * Pseudo-ascetics: Some self-styled ascetics consider their teaching to be the only truth, but such ascetics should be recognised for what they are and should not be sustained in the hope of gaining favours through their magical or mysterious powers. Jainism teaches that the mind must be freed from eight forms of pride: learning; worship; family, status by birth (or contacts and family connections); power (including physical strength); wealth or achievements; penance or religious austerities; bodily beauty or personality. 120 Page #121 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Any form of pride disturbs the equilibrium of the mind, creating likes and dislikes, and in such case discretion, judgement and the 'vision' may be clouded and can lead to error. The Jain texts describe at length the importance of Right Faith and they enumerate the benefits that can be accrued by a person possessing it, and note that asceticism without Right Faith is inferior to faith without asceticism; even a humble believer with Right Faith can attain spiritual progress. The Uttaraadhyayan (28: 16-27) classifies aspirants of the Right Faith into ten categories according to the methods of attainment: 1. Intuition: those who have inborn inclination towards righteousness. 2. Tuition: those who learn by instructions from others. 3. Command: those who obey the command of the enlightened people. 4. Sutra: those who obtain righteousness by learning the sutras. 5. Seed: those who have an inner attitude that grows like a seed. 6. Study: those who study the sacred texts. 7. Comprehension: those who learn truth by logic and comparison. 8. Conduct: those who observe Right Conduct and the rituals as prescribed. 9. Exposition: some aspirants understand truth though a brief exposition. 10 Dharma: those who believe in the Jina and follow his teachings. The Aacaaranga Sutra (1.3: 2.1) argues, 'He who has Right Faith commits no sin'. The texts imply that a person with Right Faith should possess the moral qualities such as fearlessness, detachment, freedom from negativism or scepticism, alertness, selflessness, sincerity of purpose, single minded devotion, calmness, kindness and the desire for selfrealisation. Such individuals should have friendship towards all, appreciation of the virtuous, compassion for the underprivileged, indifference to those, who do not listen to them or other enlightened individuals, and should be free from egoism or pride in any form. Right Knowledge Any knowledge which facilitates spiritual progress is by definition Right Knowledge. Right Faith and Right Knowledge are closely related as are cause and effect, an analogy of which might be similar to a lamp and light: One may have a lamp without light, but not light without a lamp, similarly, one may have Right Faith without knowledge, but not knowledge without Right Faith. The scriptures describe Right Knowledge as 'that knowledge which reveals the nature of things neither insufficiently, nor with exaggeration, nor falsely, but exactly as it is and with certainty. It has also been stated that Right Knowledge consists in having full comprehension of the real nature of living beings and non-living things, and that such knowledge should be beyond doubt, misunderstanding, vagueness or uncertainty (Sanghave 1990:p.40). Jain seers assert that knowledge is perfect when it does not suffer from the above three defects of insufficiency, exaggeration and falsehood, as these pervert both one's understanding and one's mental and behavioural attitudes. The Jains have developed a systemic theory of knowledge, which is discussed in chapter 4.5, and five forms of knowledge: 121 Page #122 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ * Scriptural knowledge (sruta jnaana): is derived from the reading or listening to the scriptures, and mastery of such knowledge may make one a 'scriptural omniscient". Clairvoyant knowledge (avadhi jnaana): is a form of direct cognition of objects without the mediation of the sensory organs. This knowledge apprehends physical objects and events, which are beyond the normal grasp of the sensory organs, and is acquired in two ways: (1) Inherent in both celestial and infernals and acquired in the case of humans and animals. Celestial beings possess a higher quality of knowledge than their hellish counterparts. (2) One can acquire clairvoyant knowledge by progressing on the spiritual path, but its degree differs according to one's spiritual progress. The soul of the tirthankara is born with an extensive type of clairvoyant knowledge. Sensory knowledge (mati jnaana): is knowledge of the world acquired by means of any or all of the five senses and the mind. * 'Telepathic' knowledge (manahparyaaya jnaana): is direct cognition of the mental activity of others, and can be acquired by those who are spiritually far advanced; some call it 'mind-reading' knowledge, although the terms 'telepathic" and "mindreading' are inadequate translations. Right Knowledge has eight requirements: The reading, writing and pronouncing of every letter and word of the religious texts should be undertaken correctly with care and faith. * Perfect knowledge or 'omniscience' (kevala jnaana): is full or complete knowledge of all material and non-material objects without limitations of time or space. It is the knowledge possessed by all souls in their pristine state and its acquisition is the goal for a human life. * Reading should be directed towards understanding the meaning and full significance of the words and phrases of the texts. Mere mechanical study without understanding the meaning serves no purpose. * Study should be undertaken in quiet places regularly and at times when one is free from worries and anxieties. For Right Knowledge, both reading and understanding the meaning are essential, as they together complete the process and the purpose of knowledge. Humility and respect towards the scriptures and the teachers should be cultivated. If one encounters difficult expressions and ideas while studying, one should not jump to hasty conclusions that may lead to an improper understanding. Enthusiasm for mastering of a subject is essential to sustain an interest so that one continues to study. * One must keep an open mind and attitude so that prejudice will not hinder a proper understanding and the completeness of knowledge. Thus, Right Knowledge is acquired by studying the scriptures through understanding their full meaning and significance at appropriate regular times, imbued with zeal, with a correct attitude and an open mind. The Uttaraadhyayan (28: 30) states that without Right Faith there is no Right knowledge; without Right knowledge there is no Right Conduct and without Right Conduct there is no liberation. For liberation, perfection in Right Faith is the necessity, whereas it is unnecessary to know more than the bare fundamental truths of spirituality. All knowledge of a wrong believer is wrong knowledge. Jainism gives more importance 122 Page #123 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ to conduct and faith than knowledge, and believes that knowledge is a power that can be utilised only by a person having the right attitude. Right Conduct After Right Faith and Right Knowledge, the third, but the most important path to the goal of liberation, is Right Conduct, and Jainism attaches utmost importance to it. Right Faith and Right Knowledge equip the individual with freedom from delusion and with the true knowledge of the real entities'. Right Knowledge leads to Right Conduct, which is why conduct that is inconsistent with Right Knowledge, is considered to be wrong conduct. The conduct is perfected only when it is harmonised with Right Faith and Right Knowledge. Right Conduct presupposes the presence of Right Knowledge, which, in turn, presupposes the existence of Right Faith. The Jain seers have enjoined upon those who have secured Right Faith and Right Knowledge to observe the rules of Right Conduct. Right Conduct includes rules of discipline which: * restrain all unethical actions of mind, speech and body; * weaken and destroy all passionate activity; * lead to non-attachment and purity. Right Conduct is of two types, which depends upon the degree of practice or the rules of behaviour: * Complete or perfect or unqualified conduct. * Partial or imperfect or qualified conduct. Of these two forms of Right Conduct, the former involves the practice of all the rules with zeal and a high degree of spiritual sensitivity; the latter involves the practice of the same rules with as much diligence, severity and purity as possible. Unqualified and perfect conduct is aimed at, and is observed by ascetics who have renounced worldly ties. Qualified and partial conduct is aimed at, and observed by, the laity still engaged in the world. The various rules of conduct prescribed for both laymen and ascetics constitute the ethics of Jainism. One of the most striking characteristics of Jainism is its concern with ethics, which has led some to describe Jainism as 'ethical realism', while others have called it a religion of Right Conduct. Jain ethics see no conflict between the individuals' duty to themselves and their duty to society. The aim of the Jain path is to facilitate the evolution of the soul to its 'highest capacity and the means to achieve this is through ethical conduct towards others. The ultimate ideal of the Jain way of life is perfection in this life and beyond, yet Jainism does not deny mundane values but asserts the superiority of spiritual values. Worldly values are a means to the realisation of spiritual values, and the activities of everyday life should be geared to the realisation of spiritual values (dharma), leading to liberation (moksa). Liberation is attainable through a gradual process of acquiring moral excellence, and Right Conduct is a very important element of the threefold path of purification. Ethics for the Jains is the weaving of righteousness into the very fabric of one's life. One may achieve different levels of Right Conduct in one's life: complete and partial. The complete commitment to Right Conduct entails the vigorous practice of Mahavira's teachings through the renunciation of the world and adoption of the ascetic life. For the majority who has not renounced the world, it is still possible to seek the truth 123 Page #124 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ and pursue the path of righteousness, although to a lesser degree. This is the path for laypeople, often referred to in Jain and other Indian texts as 'householders'. This path represents a more attainable form of social ethics. The two level commitments, of the ascetic and of the householder, are a characteristic feature of the Jain social structure. Laypeople have the appropriate and moral) obligation to cherish their family and society; the ascetics sever all such ties. The ethical code of the Jains is based on five main vows for both the ascetic and the householder. These vows are unconditional and absolute for ascetics and are called major vows (mahaavratas), but they have been modified as minor vows (anuvratas) in consideration of the social obligations of householders. The vows are 'non-violence' (ahimsaa), truthfulness (satya), non-stealing (acaurya), celibacy (brahmacarya) and nonattachment (aparigraha). Though these vows, taken at face value, appear to be merely abstentions from certain acts, their positive implications are extensive and they permeate the entire social life of the community. Five Main Vows "Non-violence' (Ahimsaa): Ahimsaa is the opposite of himsaa, which may be translated as 'injury' and defined as any acts, including thoughts and speech, which harm the 'vitalities' of living beings. The nature of these 'vitalities' is described later in this section. Harm, whether intended or not, is caused through a lack of proper care and the failure to act with due caution, but the meaning of himsaa is not exhausted by this definition and a more detailed examination of the concept is found in the next section. Truthfulness (Satya): The opposite of truthfulness is falsehood (asatya). In simple terms, asatya is words that result in harm to any living being, even unintentionally. This is why Jainism teaches that the utmost care must be taken in speaking. The implication of this vow is extended to prohibit spreading rumours and false doctrines; betraying confidences, gossip and backbiting; falsifying documents, and breach of trust. Other examples of falsehood would be the denial of the existence of things, which do exist, and the assertion of the existence of non-existent things; or giving false information about the position, time and nature of things. One's speech should be pleasant, beneficial, true and unhurtful to others. It should aim at moderation rather than exaggeration, esteem rather than denigration, at distinction rather than vulgarity of expression, and should be thoughtful and expressive of sacred truths. All untruths necessarily involve violence. One should protect the vow of truthfulness by avoiding thoughtless speech, anger, and greed, making others the butt of jokes or putting them in fear. Even if a person suffers through telling the truth, Jain teaching holds that truthfulness is ultimately always beneficial. Interestingly, the motto of the Republic of India: 'truth always wins' (satyam ev jayate), accords with Jain teaching. Non-stealing (acaurya): Theft (caurya) is the taking anything which does not belong to oneself or which is not freely given. To encourage or to teach others to commit theft, to receive stolen property, to falsify weights and measures, to adulterate foods, medicine, fuels and so on, and to exploit others are all considered forms of theft. To evade the law, for example, by tax evasion or selling goods at inflated prices and to act against the public interest for personal benefit or greed are also theft, and one should guard oneself against it. The vow of non-stealing is comprehensive, covering the 124 Page #125 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ avoidance of dishonesty in all areas of life. As material goods are external 'vitalities' for people, whoever harms them, e.g. by stealing, commits violence. Celibacy (brahmacarya): The vow of celibacy (brahmacarya) literally means 'treading into the soul', but conventionally it is taken to mean abstinence from sexual activities. The vow prohibits sexual relations other than with one's spouse and the consumption of anything likely to stimulate sexual desires. Ascetics, of course, abstain totally from sexual activity. Jain teachings also discourage excessive sensual pleasures. Lack of chastity (abrahma) is considered to take several forms. The search for marriage partners should be limited to one's immediate family. Matchmaking by those outside the family is contrary to Jain teaching. Unnatural sexual practices, using sexually explicit or coarse language, visiting married or unmarried adults of the opposite sex when they are alone, and relations with prostitutes (of both sexes) are all forms of lack of chastity. Misusing one's senses, such as reading pornography or seeing explicit films, should be avoided. Non-attachment (aparigraha): Attachment to worldly things or possession (parigraha) means desiring more than is needed. Even the accumulation of genuine necessities can be parigraha, if the amount exceeds one's reasonable needs. Other examples of parigraha would be greediness or envy of another's prosperity. In a similar way, if one were in a position of influence or power, such as in a voluntary or political organisation, but did not make way for another person when one should have done so, that would be a form of 'possessional' attachment. The five vows described above, together with relative pluralism' and austerities form the basis of Right Conduct. Relative pluralism is the fundamental mental attitude, which sees or comprehends 'reality' from different viewpoints, each viewpoint being a partial expression of reality. Austerities, as discussed in the Satkhandaagama, are the extirpation of desire in order to strengthen the three jewels of Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. The ethical code and austerities are discussed later in this section. The soul, which is the central theme in Jain philosophy, has traversed an infinite number of cycles in the universe and occupied differing types of bodies. The knowledge of the 'real entities' of the universe (discussed in the next chapter) and their usefulness to the soul is necessary for its spiritual advancement. The soul guides itself and other souls towards spiritual progress. Matter serves the soul by providing the body, necessary for spiritual advancement, through which a soul expresses itself, provides nutrition, and objects of comfort and material pleasure. 125 Page #126 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 4.3 (a) (Jiva) NINE REAL ENTITIES ain philosophy conceives of nine 'real entities' (nava tattvas): living beings (jiva), J non-living things (ajiva), merit (punya), demerit (paapa), influx of karma (aasrava), karmic bondage(bandha), prevention of karmic influx (samvara), shedding of karma (nirjaraa) and the liberation (moksa). The Tattvartha Sutra (1.4) considers merit and demerit as influx of karma and hence mentions seven 'real entities'. These entities are substances and are located in the cosmic space (The Tattvartha Sutra: 5.3, 5.12). JIVA Jiva means soul or aatmaa. The term jiva is used to describe the embodied souls, which are eternal substances. Each soul is an aggregation innumerable soul units that occupy infinite space-points, has power to expand or contract to the size of the body as the soul units adjust themselves in space points, is eternal and its characteristic is consciousness. (Jain S. tr. Pujyapada's Sarvarthasiddhi 1960: 5.8, 5.16). The embodied soul transmigrates in the worldly cycle because of its karmic bondage, forgets its own characteristics, and mostly identifies itself with its body, made of matter, which causes its difficulties and degradation. Souls are of two kinds: liberated and worldly. Liberated souls are disembodied souls who have shed all karmic matter and have no more births or deaths. Worldly souls are embodied souls and are subject to the cycle of birth and death, and karmic bondage and its effects. Liberated souls dwell in a state of bliss at the apex of the occupied universe (siddha silaa) and possess eight attributes: infinite faith (ananta-darsana), infinite knowledge (ananta-jnaana), perfect conduct (ananta-caritra), infinite energy (anantavirya), infinite bliss (ananta-sukha), eternity (aksaya), non-materiality (amurta), and equality to other souls (aguru-alaghu). Worldly souls are living beings, of any destiny, the classification of which is a subject not only of theoretical but also of great practical interest. As the primary duty of the souls is to live in harmony with each other and not to harm any living being, and their function is to help one another (Parasparopagraho jivanam), it becomes incumbent upon worldly souls such as humans to comprehend the various forms of worldly life (Jain S. 1990: p.147). Jain scriptures have described jiva in great detail, the classifications of which broadly accords with modern science, but the detail refers to earlier phases of natural science. Worldly souls may have a mind or may not have a mind. The word 'mind' has specific and deep connotations in Jain scriptures, differing from its usual meaning (Jain S. 1990: 5.19); all souls have a psychic mind, the functioning of which depends upon the presence of specific knowledge-obscuring karma. Those with 'mind' have both physical and psychic mind and have the power of thought and intelligence (Tattvartha Sutra; 2.25); those with only psychic mind are considered to be without 'mind'. Worldly souls are divided into two forms: immobile (sthaavara) and mobile (trasa); these characteristics depend upon the consequences of specific karma. 126 Page #127 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Immobile souls are of five types and are characterised as having only one physical sense and that is of touch. They are: earth-bodied' (prithvi-kaaya) such as gems, salt, soil, mercury; 'water-bodied' (ap-kaaya) such as snow, dew, water, fog, rain; 'fire-bodied' (tejas-kaaya) such as fire, light from a flame, lightning; (Some air bodied and fire-bodied souls are mobile); air-bodied' (vayu-kaaya) such as wind; vegetable-bodied' (vanaspati-kaaya) which are of two kinds: 'common-bodied' (saadhaarana) and individual-bodied' (pratyeka). Examples of commonbodied worldly souls are root vegetables, sprouting pulses and freshly sprouting leaves. Individual-bodied worldly souls include fruit, grains, leaves and flowers. Commonbodied souls are also known as nigodas. Jains believe that each of earth, water, fire and air has four types, for example, earth: generalised earth, earth body, embodied earth and earth embodied in transit. When souls are born with bodies made of material clusters of earth (soil, salt, etc), they are called 'earth-bodied'; similarly, 'water-bodied', 'fire bodied' and so on. Because of the Jain belief that nearly everything is possessed of a soul, Jainism has been characterised as animistic by some scholars, but a careful study of the Jain scriptures shows this to be an inadequate assessment. Jainism makes a clear distinction between soul and non-soul. These five forms of immobile souls are further divided into 'fine' (suksama) and gross' (sthula); the vegetable-bodied souls are gross, the rest are fine. Fine jivas pervade the whole universe and are invisible. The gross jivas can be experienced by the sense organs and are present only in part of the universe. Jain scriptures have classified immobile souls further into twenty-two types. Mobile Souls: Mobile beings are those who have more than one physical sense. Their senses vary between two and five and they are classified according to the number of senses they possess. Mobile living beings having up to four senses are known as deficient-sensed' (vikalendriya), while the others are known as 'efficient-sensed' (sakalendriya). The deficient-sensed' are of six types: souls with two senses of touch and taste; examples are worms and marine molluscs; souls with three senses of touch, taste and smell; examples are ants, lice and snails; souls with four senses of touch, taste, smell and sight; examples are bees, butterflies, spiders, scorpions and other insects. * souls with five senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing; examples are human beings, reptiles; birds, fish, amphibians and all mammals, infernals and celestials. The five sensed living beings could further be classified into souls with mind and without mind. Those with mind may be humans, celestials, infernals, and some animals. From the point of view of birth, both infernals and celestials are classified as 'spontaneous' (upapaat). Humans and animals are classified as 'in utero' (garbhaja). They are also classified into groups depending upon how they are incubated: 'nourished and reared in eggs' (andaja) e.g. birds and reptiles; 'nourished and reared by placenta and the umbilical cord' (jaraayuja) e.g. humans and most mammals; offspring born without an umbilical cord (potaja) e.g. elephants, spontaneous birth in spoiled products (rasaja) e.g. milk, curd, ghee; spontaneous birth due to perspiration (sansvedaja) or from the 127 Page #128 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ secretions of animals and humans' (sammurchim), and from the earth (udbhijja) e.g. moth (Dasaavaikalika Sutra: 4.39). A worldly soul, accompanied with its subtle karmic and luminous bodies, transmigrates to another existence in a fraction of a second. Its motion may be in straight lines to the place of rebirth or with maximum of three turns; the impetus of the motion in a straight line is provided by its previous body, while the karmic body provides the impetus of the turns. The karmic body determines the destination and physical form of the living being, while the luminous body provides the preliminary energy for formation of the vital organs. The liberated soul always moves in a straight line to its destination in Siddhasilaa, the apex of the occupied universe. (Tattvartha Sutra: 2.26-2.31). The different species have varied places of conception (yoni), which may be a womb, other physical centres or nuclei, and can be hot or cold, covered or open, living or non-living. Jain scriptures refer to 8.4 million types of nuclei that can give birth to the soul (table 6.3), to whom Jains ask for forgiveness in their daily ritual of penitential retreat for the harm done, knowingly or unknowingly (Doshi 1979:120-121) Table 4.2 Types of nuclei for birth of the soul. Senses One-sense Types of living beings earth-bodied water-bodied fire-bodied air-bodied individual-bodied plant Number 700,000 700,000 700,000 700,000 1,000,000 life Two-senses Three-senses Four-senses Five-senses common-bodied plant life e.g. worms e.g. ants e.g. butterflies birds, fish, animals infernals celestials human beings 1,400,000 200,000 200,000 200,000 400,000 400,000 400,000 1,400,000 8,400,000 TOTAL Jiva possesses 'life forces' (praanas) essential for the soul to live, hence it is known as praani. The life forces are of two kinds: external or physical, and internal or psychic. Worldly souls possess both physical and psychic life forces, while liberated souls possess only psychic life forces. Praanas are essential to the jiva for its existence and for proper functioning of its sense organs. When a living being dies, the life forces cease to function. Physical life forces are of ten types: the sense of touch, the sense of taste, the sense of smell, the sense of sight, the sense of hearing, mental energy, vocal energy, physical energy, respiration, and the span of life. Psychic life forces are of four types: faith, knowledge, conduct, and spiritual energy, 128 Page #129 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Different living beings have a differing number of physical life forces, but all species have the above four psychic life forces; the degree depends upon karmic bondage. In addition to the life forces, living beings are also characterised by six 'vital completions" (paryaaptis). The vital completions represent the gradual development of all the essential functioning organs of worldly beings. These are completed within fortyeight minutes. Jivas, which died after the development of the appropriate vital completions, are called completioned (paryaaptaa) and those who died before are noncompletioned (aparyaaptaa). The scriptures define 'vital completion' (paryaapti) as the attainment of the vital organs, by the living being: the body, speech, mind, senses, food digestion and respiration. These vital organs create life forces (praanas). Jiva Kanda (chapters 3 and 4) describes paryaapti and praana in detail, noting that newly conceived souls have the capacity to develop food digestion, body, sensory organs, respiration, speech and mind, depending upon their destiny. The capacity for completion of the vital organs (paryaapti) to evolve life forces is the living fabric of all plants, animals and humans; the result is a specific body with its components developing from ingestion. The initiation of the formation of body components is a function of body-producing karma (of body, major and minor limbs), but its completion requires the energy supplied by the life forces developed in metabolic reactions to ingestion. The concept of vital completion represents the organisation of material intake into a specific pattern of chyle, blood, tissue, fat, bone, marrow and semen, as nutritional molecules form the bodies of human, animals, plants and other lower beings. The solid portions of food develop into hardened substances, such as bones; the liquid into fluids such as blood; and food material is further assimilated to develop the sensory organs. The movement of the body develops respiration, and vital completion capacity develops speech and the mind. The vital completions are six in number: Table 4.3 The number of vital completions and life forces in living beings. Type of Living Being Life Forces One-sense 4 6 7 8 9 10 Two-senses Three-senses Four-senses Five-senses without mind Five-senses with mind Vital Completions 4 5 5556 1. Food-intake vital completion (aahaara paryaapti), by which beings ingest, digest, absorb and transform molecules of food particles into waste products (khala) and molecules of nutrients or energy (chyle). 2. Body vital completion (sarira paryaapti), by which molecules of nutrients are utilised for the release of energy, creating blood, tissue, fat, bone, marrow, semen etc. 3. Sense-organ vital completion (indriya paryaapti), by which full development of appropriate sensory organs occurs. 129 Page #130 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ 4. Respiratory vital completion (svaccosvaasa paryaapti) is responsible for the development and functioning of respiration. 5. Speech vital completion (bhaasaa paryaapti) is responsible for the development and functioning of the voice-organs. 6. Mind vital completion (mana paryaapti) is responsible for the development and functioning of the mind (thoughts, mental processes). Jain scriptures such as the Tattvartha Sutra, Jivaajivaabhigam Sutra and Jivakand contain details of worldly beings. They describe 303 forms of human beings. 15 are born in the 'land of action' (karmabhumi), 30 are born in the 'land of pleasures' (bhogabhumi) and 56 are born on 'islands' (antardvipa). Of these, 101 types they may be 'completioned', or 'non-completioned' in utero, thus making 202 types. They describe another 101 types, which are invisible to the human eye, 'spontaneously generated from secretions', similar to the creatures whose secretions produce them. These texts describe 20 types of animals, which are divided into five groups: fourfooted land animals; climbing land animals; slithering animals; aquatic creatures; flying creatures. Each group has four types. They classify celestials into 198 types: 5 anuttars, 9 greivayakas, 12 vaimaanikas, 9 lokaantikas, 3 kilbisikas, 10 jyotiskas (including caraacara), 8 vaana vyantaras, 8 vyantaras, 10 bhavanpatis, 10 tiryagjhrunbhakas, and 15 paramaadhaamis. Each of these 99 types of heavenly being could be completioned' or 'non-completioned', making 198 types in all. Infernals are of 14 types, 7 'completioned' and 7 'non-completioned'. One of each type is spontaneously born in each of the seven hellish regions: ratnaprabhaa, sarkaraaprabhaa, vaalukaaprabhaa, pankaprabhaa, dhumaprabhaa, tamahprabhaa and tamastamah prabhaa. There are 535 types of five-sensed worldly beings, 22 types of one-sensed beings and 6 types of two-to four-sensed beings. Thus, Jain scriptures describe, in total, 563 types of worldly living beings, and advocate Jains to acquire the knowledge of jivas for the observance of ahimsaa and the other teachings of Jainism. Let us end this chapter by some thoughts of Kundakunda on the soul: 'I am alone, pure, having the nature of perception and the knowledge, always formless, nothing whatsoever (living or non-living) related to me, even an atom is mine' (Samayasaara: 1.38). 'In the soul, there is no colour, no smell, no taste, no touch, no visible form, no body, no bodily shape and no skeleton' (Samayasaara: 2.50). "The self, ignorant of its true nature, treads on the wrong path and attains karmic bondage; the self aware of its true nature, always treads on the right path and does not attract any karma' (Samayasaara: 3.127). 130 Page #131 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 4.3 (b) AJIVA jiva is non-living substance. It neither experiences pleasure nor pain, nor has any A conscious activity. It may or may not be perceptible to the senses. Ajivas are of two kinds: with form and without form. They are classified into five entities: with form matter (pudgala) without form medium of motion (dharma) medium of rest (adharma) space (aakaasa) time (kaala) Matter Matter particles are called pudgala, meaning the entity that manifests itself in various forms by the process of combination and disintegration' (Sinha 1990: 52). The chief characteristic of matter is that it is subject to sense perception and that it has a form. Matter is divided into six sub-classes: solids, liquids, gases, energy, fine karmic matter and extra-fine matter (ultimate particles). Matter may be found as 'aggregate' (skandha), 'aggregate occupying a space' (skandha desa), 'aggregate occupying a limited space (skandha pradesa), or 'ultimate particles' (paramaanu). Ultimate particles are in constant motion, but the medium of rest maintains their unity. Matter is an aggregation of infinite pudgalas, hence it is called pudgalaastikaaya. Skandha: Two (or more) pudgalas of matter aggregate together to form a skandha. The concept is similar to the molecule of modern science. Skandha desa is the constituent part of an 'aggregate' or whole. If the part separated from the larger aggregate, is sizeable, it too becomes 'aggregate'. A constituent of an aggregate that is incapable of being divided further is called skandha pradesa. Skandha formation depends upon the process of bonding, and separation depends upon the attribute of roughness. Paramaanu: The smallest and indivisible unit of matter is called an ultimate particle or paramaanu. When combined with other ultimate particles, it becomes part of pradesa, but when separated and remains separate it becomes paramaanu. Paramaanu is indivisible, indestructible and ungraspable. It is eternal, has one form and occupies a point of space, but not a definite space, has one colour, one smell, one taste and one touch. It creates sound, but has no sound. 'Words' (sabda) are expressions of aggregates in the form of sound. Jain texts (such as Dravyasangraha, Sarvarthasiddhi, Tattvartha Sutra and Pancaastikaayasaara) have elaborate discussions about the nature of ultimate particles and 'atomic theory'. Characteristics of Matter: Matter has four primary characteristics: touch, taste, smell and colour. These characteristics express themselves in twenty qualities, which may be 'measurable,' or 'immeasurable'. They are: Touch: cold, hot, rough, smooth, light, heavy, soft and hard; Taste: acid, sweet, sour, bitter and astringent; Smell: fragrant, foul smelling; Colour: black, blue, red, yellow and white. Jain seers have described the modes or forms of ultimate particles as globular, circular, triangular, square and rectangular. They are so fine that they can only be 131 Page #132 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ perceived through intuition or superior apprehension, and cannot be grasped by sensory organs or measuring instruments. From the point of view of substance, paramaanu is indivisible, but modally, it is not so. Modally, the four characteristics of colour, taste, smell and touch have their infinite modifications. Paramaanu can have a single characteristic or can express itself in many modes, and it can transform itself from one characteristic to another such as colour to taste, taste to smell, smell to touch. Matter with one quality or transformed qualities can remain in that form from the smallest unit to innumerable units of time. Jains describe empirical entities or events in their relation to substance (dravya), area (ksetra), time (kaala), and attribute (bhaava), so that they can have a better understanding of an event or substance and its forms and characteristics. Types of Matter: The two categories of matter are the paramaanu and the skandha; they are classified by size: very gross, containing gross objects such as earth, stones and wood; gross, which takes forms such as milk, yoghurt, butter, water, oil and other fluid material; gross-fine, which takes forms such as light and electricity; fine-gross, which takes forms such as wind and vapour; fine, the objects which belong to this category cannot be experienced by the senses, an example is the constituent of mind (manovargana); fine-fine, the ultimate particles of karma, sense imperceptible; The scriptural classification of living (jiva) and non-living (ajiva) is based on the absence or presence of soul with the pudgalas. Jiva utilises necessary pudgalas for the formation of the body: sense organs, blood, muscles, etc. They are combined and discharged by the jiva: nail cuttings, hair and excretions. Paramaanus can amalgamate among themselves without the help of jiva, e.g. rainbows and clouds. Origin, state and condition in matter can be both permanent and impermanent. Matter is permanent as substance, but when modified it seems to be impermanent. The objects that are formed through the combination or integration of paramaanus change their nature and structure. These objects could be gross or fine and may occupy one point of space to innumerable points of space. They may pervade the entire occupied universe, which, itself, is the aggregation of innumerable ultimate particles. Motion of Paramaanu: The ultimate particle (paramaanu) is characterised by motion. Its motion is sometimes due to causation and sometimes without. The ultimate particle, as in a karmic body, can be immobile because of jiva, as it is neither transformed nor combined into molecules by jiva. In fact, an ultimate particle may not always be in motion. In the smallest unit of time, one samaya, it can travel from one point of space in the universe to the farthest point of space. The medium of motion aids the mobility of paramaanu and the medium of rest aids its immobility. The motion of ultimate particles has certain limits. Natural motion is always in straight lines. If there are some crosscurrents of other ultimate and material particles, the motion is curved. Jiva is not directly responsible for the motion of an ultimate particle, but jiva's own volitions can influence its motion. The motion of ultimate particles may be due to further inherent causes or due to some other external factors present in matter. The special stationary wave motion is the norm in a free elementary particle of matter, and maintains the natural hexagonal shape of the free particle and its attributes, as 132 Page #133 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ it does not encounter any obstacle. When the normal special stationary wave motion of matter meets with obstruction in a molecule due to adjoining particles, it becomes abnormal and is charged with different attributes (gunas), and creates variation in the shape of the particle and changes its attributes. For the sake of convenience, such transformed motion is termed as abnormal super energy wave motion. Ultimate particles are inobstructible because of its motion and can penetrate any object. When other matter hinders the movement, the ultimate particles will affect the other matter it contacts. The Fine Nature of Ultimate Particles: The special characteristic of the ultimate particle is that it can occupy a point of space without any resistance. Similarly, the fine form of a molecule consisting of infinite ultimate particles can occupy the same point without any resistance (Jain S. 1960: 5.14), because they have no visible extension, they are fine in nature and they have powers of contraction and expansion. For instance, the lights of several lamps in a room intermingle. Ultimate particles have eternally positive (snigdha) and negative charges (ruksa) which give them the natural binding force of stickiness. The binding force of a free particle is short-lived. When it comes into contact with other particle(s), the normal special stationary motion is obstructed with and becomes abnormal, which increases the stickiness of the particles so that they form aggregates. Eight Types of Combinations of Ultimate Particles: Appropriate ultimate particles can combine to form five types of 'body' for living beings, as well as the breathing organs, the speech organs, and mind. These combinations occur on the basis of phenomena extension and are dependent upon attached karmic particles. They are called 'variforms (varganaas) of ultimate particles, as they change their mode. They are: Gross (audaarika): This consists of the combination of ultimate particles to form gross bodies for humans, animals, vegetables, earth, water, fire and air. * Transformational (vaikriya): This consists of aggregates of pudgalas which have the capacity to express qualities such as small and large, light and heavy, visible and invisible, for example to form the body of heavenly or infernal beings. Projectile (aahaaraka): This body can be made by yogis and is the aggregate of auspicious pudgalas. Luminous (taijasa): This body is the aggregate of pudgalas formed of the ultimate particles with luminous energy. Karmic: This subtle body is the aggregate of pudgalas formed of the fine particles of matter found in the universe. Respiratory (svacchosvaasa): This is the aggregate of pudgalas, which enables the function of breathing. Speech (vacana): This is the collection of pudgalas necessary for speech. * Mind (mana): The collection of fine particles of pudgalas forms the mind. Characteristics of Pudgalas: Jain philosophers have made a study of pudgala and its various characteristics, the like of which we do not find in other systems of philosophy. In modern science, we find recognition, to a large extent, of the Jain viewpoint. According to Jainism, the pudgala has ten characteristics: sound (sabda), heat (taapa), light (udyota), combination (bandha), fineness (suksama), grossness (sthula), formation of body (sansthaana), distinctions (bheda), darkness (tama), and shade (chaaya). The eight forms of energy and the variations of heat, light and sound are the modes of matter. Prajnaapanaa mentions electrical light, which is a form of natural electricity produced 133 Page #134 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ by positive and negative charges. Many texts also refer to iron bar magnets with the power of attraction, however, there is little description for it as is the case with other forms of energy Sound is a specific mode of fine particles of speech variforms. It is material, produced by striking or a collision, such as the ringing of bells, or disjunction of material particles, such as tearing paper. Sound forms the fourth category of Kundakunda's classification of material energy, and it cannot travel in a vacuum or without a medium. The sound has two varieties: natural and produced. Natural sounds are generally nonverbal, such as thunder, rippling water, volcanic eruptions and so on. Produced sounds may be generated by living beings, non-living entities and by a combination of living and non-living. Sound has six distinct forms, which are classified according to the factors, which produce it: manifest and latent speech produced by the voice; beating of stretched membranes (e.g. tablaa or drum); playing stringed instruments (e.g. sitaar or violin); playing reed instruments (e.g. clarinet, harmonium); blowing wind instruments (e.g. pipes, conch-shell or trumpet); striking of solid objects (e.g. ringing of bells). Sound is of two types: artificial or natural. Artificial can be produced by our own efforts, which could result in either the production and non-production of speech. An individual recognises a sound and communicates it through language to other individuals. The sound so produced spreads through space in the form of sound waves. If the intensity of the sound produced is low, the sound waves travel like the waves of water over time for several yojanas, and then fade away. If the intensity is high, the sound waves travel farther distances to the end of the universe (Jain N. 1996: p.348). The sound that we hear spoken by a particular person is not the original sound of the person speaking, but the sound waves that travel through space are decoded and heard by us in form of speech. The sound waves so produced are dispersed in all six directions, east, west, north, south, high and low. If the waves of the sound radiate in combination then we hear a mixed sound. The Jambudvipa Prajnapti argues that the ringing of a bell in a particular region will be echoed in a sound of a bell in a distant place (Madhukar Muni ed. Jambudvipa Prajnapti 1994: p.289). This phenomenon may be similar to the radio waves. Sound pervades the entire world in what seems a fraction of a second, which was explained to his audience by Mahavira more than 2,500 years ago, when he said that whatever one says at any moment can be heard throughout the universe. If the high-energy particles of sound are utilised in meditation or concentration. they are beneficial to the self as well as to others. The effectiveness of mental or vocal recitals of incantations such as the Namokara Mantra or other chants can be explained by the flow of its invisible energy towards the recipients, and the sound such as that of sermon or music improves the psychological states of the living beings. Heat: Haribhadra states in Sad-Darsana-Sammuccaya (1976: p.243) that heat is a characteristic of life and that all entities which produce heat are alive. This has practical implications for the Jain ascetics, who do not use artificial heat, light or electricity because of their vow of ahimsaa, as they believe production of heat involves violence to 134 Page #135 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ minute living creatures. Vapours arising from water, fermentation and similar processes involve heat production and therefore imply that there is violence in such processes. All material energy has dual (hot and cold) thermal effects. Heat energy has three functions: baking; digesting food and providing energy for life; and facilitating physical and chemical changes. The measurement of heat has been shown to be relative to our body temperatures. Electricity is material energy; it is produced by contact between opposite charges such as that of lightning or meteorite showers. Physicists claim that it is an electron-flow having chemical, thermal and magnetic effects. Light produces vision in the eye and is material in nature consisting of streams of photon particles. There are three varieties of light mentioned in scriptures: sunlight (35% light, 65% heat); moonlight/lamp light (99% light, 1% heat); gemological light (reflected light). There are three effects of light mentioned in the Jain texts: colour, darkness and shadow. The shadow, darkness and lustre are variations of light The sensation of colour is the first effect of light. G.R. Jain classifies colours into spectral, pigmentary and fundamental and suggesting that the Jain texts deal with only primary colours (Jain G.1975: p.128). There are five colours: black, blue, yellow, red and white, mentioned in earlier literature although later Jain seers have amended into seven colours. Of these, the first and the last are composite, indicating the absence or presence of all colours, the three other colours represent the spectrum range (blue to red) of an earlier period. All other colours of the spectrum are subsumed under these three primary colours with each possessing many varieties reflecting the different frequencies. The three primary colours described in Jain literature are identical to the basic colours of the quark, a recently discovered unit of fundamental particles. Aura colours: The Jain texts mention that the omniscients and the spiritually advanced persons had a colourful shining aura around their head. Six types of auratic colorations (black, blue, grey, yellow, red and white) were recognised, representing degrees of purity. Kirlian photography has proved the existence of auras. It has been observed that the aura of an angry and a pious individual are different; the aura of a pious individual is pleasant, while that of an angry individual is repulsive. Meditation and other self-control practices improve the aura, suggesting the purity of thoughts. Darkness is another effect of light, however, it is not directly the antithesis of light. Light has two ranges: light of the visible spectrum and light of the invisible spectrum; darkness forms the invisible range for human beings. There are, however, many animals, which see well in the dark. Shadow is the third effect of light. It has two forms: the formation of dark shadows, and the formation of images, virtual or inverted. The dark shade or shadow is produced when an opaque obstacle in their path obstructs the fine particles of light. By contrast with opaque bodies plain, concave or convex mirrors, and lenses and gemstones, there are many entities, which do allow the light to pass through them, but repulse it after the encounter, which is known as reflection. When light is reflected from plain mirrors (which were known in earliest times), we see our own image but virtual image laterally inverted (right becomes left and vice-versa). There is one further phenomenon of light, showing the natural process of refraction, the rainbow. 135 Page #136 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The Jain texts refer to the velocity of light, and G.R. Jain has calculated the velocity of light utilising Jain and Hindu data, giving it a value close to the scientific figure of 3x10 cm/sec (Jain N. 1996: p.312). Magnetism is referred to in the Jain texts in terms of iron bar magnets invisibly attracting other metals. Functions of Pudgala (Matter) in Relation to Jiva: Pudgalas are necessary for the six functions of a living being: to take food, to produce body, to form sense organs, respiration, speech and mind from the respective variforms. The function of matter is also to contribute to pleasure, suffering, life and death of living beings (Jain S. 1960: 5.20). Of five types of bodies: gross, transformable, projectile, luminous and karmic, only the gross body can be experienced through the sense organs. Luminous and karmic bodies do not interact with other bodies; they can move in the occupied space towards the destination of the rebirth of a worldly soul. The jiva can have at the most four bodies at any one time, because the transformable and projectile bodies cannot co-exist. Usually a worldly being has three bodies: gross (or transformable), luminous and karmic. Only Yogis can produce a projectile body. The mental functions are also material in nature. When we think, thoughts emanate from the mind through the molecules of mind variforms. Thought forms obtain their configuration from mind variforms and these flit across the mind leaving behind their traces in the form of thought processes. These thought processes have different durations. Some leave mnemonic traces on the cerebrum, through which they have a psychosomatic effect on the body. The texts describe various types of unions as conjunctions or conjoining and as disjunction, division or separation. The conjoining may be natural or effected by the body, speech or the mind, or may be a physical or chemical union between two similar or dissimilar substances. Certain conjugations are important to us for our worldly and superworldly life, and there are three varieties: between living (soul) and non-living karma (and quasikarma and other various forms such as the completions of the mind, speech and respiration); non-living entities, and conjugations across categories. The conjugations between non-living entities may be defined in terms of physical or chemical bonds. They are of five varieties: fastening (like a chain to a vehicle); painting (like paint or colour to a canvas, walls or furniture); joining (joining pieces of timber together with glue); body-joint (bone or ligament joints); embodied joining (this could be defined in terms of volitional bonds through attachment/psychological processes in living beings). Jain texts describe two general types of bonding between the living and nonliving. Karma is bound to the soul of worldly living beings as karmic particles are charged particles capable of bonding with worldly living beings, and are of varying intensities and qualities. To break the karmic bond requires a highly charged internal energy that must be generated by living beings through austerities and meditation. The scriptures also describe how energy flows from the adept to others through the fingers via touch, through the eyes and through speech. This energy may have good or ill effects: for example, the 136 Page #137 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ practice of healing by touch, and the influence on others of the eyes or the voice of the preceptor. Every entity is associated with internal or external forces, which order stability. Besides the above two mediums or neutral forces, if the entity is sentient, it has some additional forces working in or upon it. They are mental, inner or spiritual, sonic, and physical, especially karmic forces. Sonic energy represents the motor force of sound, and its incantational power is well known. The karmic force is very important for action, volition and rebirth, but this force requires deeper scientific study. In short, worldly beings are very closely associated with various forms of pudgala: gross bodies, fine bodies and their functioning and they experience various quasi-karmic forms of pleasure and pain through the senses. The processes of life and death are also said to be material, as they involve the gain or loss of material forces such as gross or fine bodies. In this sense, we can say that matter has a tremendous influence on the functions of the jiva and the formation of the universe. Dharmaastikaaya As we have seen earlier out of the six substances constituting the universe, jiva and pudgala have the capacity for movement. They are considered to have the capacity for both movement (gatisila) and rest (sthitisila), which is helped by the medium of motion (dharmaastikaaya) and the medium of rest (adharmaastikaaya). Jain texts use the suffix 'astikaaya' (literally meaning having a body) after all the substances except time, to express that they have innumerable space-points, as an analogy similar to that of a body, which has innumerable parmaanus. The words dharma and adharma have also been used in the ethical sense of auspicious (subha) and inauspicious (asubha) by Jainism and other Indian religions, but dharmaastikaaya has a connotation of movement, while adharmaastikaaya has a connotation of rest. Jainism is the only philosophy, which possesses these principles. Dharmaastikaaya pervades the entire universe, is eternal, formless, and has no colour, smell, touch nor taste. It is the medium of motion by which both the soul and matter move. All the activities and movements of jiva, in both the physiological and psychological senses, are due to the medium of motion. It has an infinite number of space points (pradesas). It, itself, does not move, it facilitates movement. It is indestructible. It is the medium by which movement is possible, although it does not contribute directly either in material substance or as the energy that makes objects move. Dharmaastikaaya is one and whole and does not appear as divisible. Dharmastikaaya assists movement but does not initiate it. Just as the motion of a fish is possible in water although the water does not or may not make it move, similarly, dharmastikaaya is the medium in which movement is possible. Without this principle, motion is impossible, just as the fish cannot function out of water. Motion and rest are the two states which are characteristic of pudgala and jiva. They do not have mere motion or mere rest, sometimes they move and sometimes they rest. The principles assisting their mobility are dharmaastikaaya and adharmaastikaaya. The principles of motion and rest are illustrated in the following dialogue, from the Bhagvati Sutra, between Mahavira and his disciple Gautama Gautama Ganadhara asked Bhagavan Mahavira 'What is the use of Dharmastikaaya for the jivas?' 137 Page #138 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Mahavira said: 'O Gautama, if the principle of motion were not to operate, where would be the motion? Who would come and who would go? How could the waves of the sound travel? How could eyelids open? Who would talk and who could move about? The whole world would have remained stationary. Dharmastikaaya is the means to all the moving things." Gautama asked, 'Bhagavan! What is the use of the Adharmastikaaya for the Jivas?' Mahavira said, 'O Gautama, if the Adharmastikaaya were not to operate as the principle of rest who would stand and who would sit? Who would sleep? Who could concentrate? Who could remain silent? Who can remain inactive? Who could keep their eyelids steady? The world would have constant movement without end. All that is steady and at rest is due to the principle of rest, Adharma' (Devendra Muni 1983: pp. 129-30). Adharmastikaaya As dharmaastikaaya is necessary for movement in the world, so adharmaastikaaya is necessary for the static state of objects. It is the medium of rest. Like dharma, adharma also pervades the entire universe. It is whole and non-discrete, and has infinite number of space-points. It enables jiva and pudgala to experience a state of rest, steadiness and a static existence. It is formless, and co-exists with dharmaastikaaya though the functions of both are contrary to each other. Aakaastikaaya The substance that accommodates living substance, matter, the media of motion and rest, and time, is called space (aakaasa). It is the location of all substances, which is illustrated, in the following dialogue, also from the Bhagvati Sutra, between Gautama and Mahavira: Gautama asked Mahavira: 'Bhagavan! What is the use of the substance of space for living and non-living things?" Mahavira said: 'O Gautama, if space were not there, where would living beings be? Where would the media of motion and rest pervade? Where would time extend? Where would the movement of matter be possible? The whole world would be without foundation' (Devendra Muni 1983: p.132).' It is empty space, which accommodates both in jiva and ajiva. It is all pervading, infinite, formless and inactive and has infinite space-points. It is divided into two parts: occupied space and unoccupied space. It is only an optical illusion, dust or water in the atmosphere, which allows us see the ostensible phenomena of coloured sky and the rainbow. Occupied space has the media of motion and rest; these are absent in unoccupied space, hence no jiva or ajiva can move into unoccupied space. Space is singular and continuous substance without division. The Jain scriptures have explained how heavy substances like the Earth exist in space: the Earth rests on solidified water which rests on heavy air; heavy air rests on thin air and that again rests in space. The medium of rest helps the macroscopic matter of the Earth to remain in place. 138 Page #139 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Kaala Jain seers have described time (kaala) as an independent substance, unidimensional in nature, and as the mode of living and non-living substances, change, effect and their activity. Some Jain seers exclude time as a constituent substance of the universe as it is unidimensional, while the bulk of Jain literature includes it as a constituent of the six substances of the universe. Uttaraadhyayana and Dharmasangrahani, two classic texts, state that time has relevance for the world of humans, and also for astronomical and astrological calculations. The rotations and evolutions of planetary bodies are utilised to measure time. Although time is a substance, which consists of infinite instants (Jain S. 1960: 5.39, 5.40), it is not like the other five substances having extendable dimensions, but, it is serial: always in a 'forward' direction and linear. Every point of time is discrete, and at a particular moment of time the present alone exists, the past is irrecoverable and the future has yet to come. Therefore, there is only one samaya (moment) at a time and no possibility of an aggregate of time, and as it is unidimensional it cannot reverse. Forms of Time: The Sthaanaanga mentions four types of time: measurable time, the life span of a living being, the moment of death, and time relative to the movements of the sun and the moon. The conventional measurement of time is impossible; it is possible only through changes in objects. Life and death are two relative spans of time. The duration of life is considered as life span time, and the cessation of life as death. Expressions like 'ancient' and 'recent', 'late' and 'early' are relative to time. If there is no time to intercede, no action can be performed, then no result can be obtained. Moving, eating and drinking, bathing, washing, and business activity can only be achieved through time. Similarly the growth of a tree from a seed, or that of a child through maturity to old age can only be measured through time. The measurement of time based on the movement and revolutions of the sun and the moon is called the aaddhaakaala. It is the primary measurement of time, other measurements are modifications of it. It determines the span of time for the practical purposes of human activities. The conventional measurements of time for the purpose of human activities, from samaya, the smallest unit, to the largest unit of anantakaalacakra, are described in the Jain scriptures. Jains still use ghadi (or ghati) and muhurta in their daily rituals as measurements of time. Table 4.4 Time measurement as described in Jain literature. The indivisible unit of time Infinite number of samayas 256 avalikas (shortest lifespan) 17 ksullaka bhava 2 breaths 7 pranas 7 stokas 38.5 lavas 72 lavas -- or 3773 breaths or 943 pranas 30 muhurtas 15 days and nights one samaya one avalika one ksullaka bhava one breath 1 prana one stoka one lava one ghadi (24 minutes) one muhurta (48 minutes) one day and a night one paksa 139 Page #140 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ 2 paksas 2 masas 3 rutus 2 ayanas 5 years 20 yugas 8.4 million years 8.4 million purvanga 1 palyopama 10 crore crore palyopama 20 crore crore sagara Innumerable kaalacakra one masa (month) one rutu (season) one ayana one year one yuga one century one purvanga one purva (c. 70,560 billion years) innumerable years one saagaropama one kaalacakra one pudgala paraavartana The Jain Concept of Time Cycle The time has been imagined as a wheel moving in a clockwise direction and divided into cycles each of two equal parts: the descending cycle (avasarpini) and the ascending (utsarpini). Each of these two half cycles is further divided into six epochs. During the descending cycle there is a gradual spiritual decline (leading ultimately to the deterioration of material things) in the world, and during the ascending cycle there is gradual spiritual progress. These cycles of time follow one after another in unbroken and unending succession and indefinitely (Jaysundarmuni, Tattvajnaan Citravali-Prakash date n.a.: pp.15-18). Each epoch of the cycle lasts for vast, though varying, lengths of time and its characteristics are expressed in terms of 'misery' (dusamaa) or "joy" (susamaa): Ascending half-cycle (utsarpini) First epoch (dusamaa dusamaa), an epoch of great misery Second epoch (dusamaa), an epoch of misery Third epoch (dusamaa susamaa), an epoch largely of misery Fourth epoch (susamaa dusamaa), an epoch which is mostly joyful Fifth epoch (susamaa), an epoch of joy Sixth epoch (susamaa-susamaa), an epoch of extreme joy 140 Descending half-cycle (avasarpini) First epoch (susamaa-susamaa), an epoch of extreme joy Second epoch (susamaa), an epoch of joy Third epoch (susamaa dusamaa), an epoch which is largely joyful Fourth epoch (dusamaa-susamaa), an epoch largely of misery Fifth epoch (dusamaa), an epoch of misery Sixth epoch (dusamaa-dusamaa), an epoch of extreme misery. Page #141 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ FIGURE 4.5 The Jain cosmic time cycle. HHH HHH ALF CYCLE AVARSARPIN REGRESS ESSIVE HALF HH HH S SIVE HALF PROGRESS ALF CYCLE HHM UTSARPINI HHM MHM MMH 5 MM MM 6 16 MMM MMM 6 Birth of Mahavira Key: 2000 CE H = Happiness M = Misery 1. Extremely happy HHH - very large period 2. Happy - HH - very large period 3. More happy than unhappy - HHM - large period 4. More unhappt then happy - MMH - large period 5. Unhappy - MM - 21,000 years 6. Extremely unhappy - MMM - 21,000 years 141 Page #142 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ We are now living in the fifth epoch of a descending half-cycle. The conditions, which pertain to the first two epochs of the descending half-cycle, were generally very favourable. During the first epoch people are healthy, large in stature, live long lives, need to eat only every fourth day and have all their desires satisfied by the 'wish-fulfilling trees (kalpavruksa). In the last six months of their lives, each couple gives birth to twins, a boy and a girl, and after forty-nine days of nurturing them, the parents quietly and contentedly die and are reborn as heavenly beings, because they had very few passions. The offspring grow up living together and continue the cycle. During the second epoch conditions deteriorate slightly. People need to eat every third day, are smaller in stature than in the first epoch and live shorter lives. When a couple's offspring are born they are cared for sixty-four days before the parents die and achieve rebirth as heavenly beings. In the third epoch, people eat every other day and decline yet further in stature and lifespan. Couples continue to give birth to a single pair of twins, whom they nurture for seventy-nine days before they die to be reborn as heavenly beings. The 'wish-fulfilling' trees have, by the end of the third epoch, lost much of their power. In the third epoch conditions in the world deteriorate and many problems appear which demand solutions. At this juncture, 'guides' or 'law givers' (kulakaras) emerge to teach the people the necessary skills, arts and professions to establish social order. The first tirthankara, Risabhdeva, lived at the end of this epoch in the current time cycle. During the fourth epoch humans had to work in order to live. With the dawning of this epoch, social structures, states and the ruling classes were formed and people begin to perform religious rituals, and to marry. New methods of trade, industry, agriculture, architecture, and learning were devised. There was material progress, but spiritually humans deteriorated. It was during this epoch that the other twenty-three tirthankaras lived. Attainment of liberation is possible only for those born in the fourth epoch of any descending cycle. At the end of this epoch in the current half-cycle some great landmasses were submerged under water. This was the 'partial end of the world' (khanda pralaya). The fifth epoch, in which we are now living, will last 21,000 years. About 2,500 years of the epoch have elapsed. In this epoch the stature, life span and the physical strength of humans are very much reduced. The maximum span of life is 120 years. Religious observances will decline, so that by the end of the epoch, few people will be religious at all. Passions (anger, pride, deceit and greed) will increase. People will be self-centred, violent, discourteous and unhelpful to others. There will be destructive weather patterns and worldwide climatic conditions will become unbearable. There will be famines, increases in diseases and reductions in the fertility of land. Many spurious schisms and harmful beliefs will prevail. Heavenly beings will not come to bless even their most ardent devotees. Education and learning will have no beneficial spiritual impact on people. Good people will suffer and the bad will prosper. Pseudo-cults and their leaders will be respected and religious and upright people will be few in numbers. In general, people will be increasingly unhappy and there will be deterioration in moral values. 142 Page #143 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ During the sixth epoch of 21,000 years things worsen still further. There will be unbearable heat during the day and cold during the night. People will live in burrows along the banks of rivers. Jain scriptures forecast that there will be a total destruction of civilisation. During the last forty-nine days of this epoch there will be dust clouds for the first seven days, violent storms for the next seven days, heavy rains during the third week and rains of fire during the fourth week. During the final three weeks there will be hailstorms, sandstorms and trees uprooted. The result will be the almost complete destruction of all living beings. The Jain seers have called this period a pralaya (demanifestation). The few surviving beings will be removed to places of safety by divine forces, where they will multiply again after the storm has subsided. Thus the cycle of decline will end. After this, the cycle is repeated in the reverse order, going through six epochs of a half-cycle. Jains do not conceive of an end to the existence of the universe, which is eternal. During the process of transmigration the souls might have had an infinite number of re-births in the universe and occupied different types of bodies. Hence the knowledge of the real entities and their usefulness to the soul are necessary for its spiritual advancement. The soul guides itself and other souls towards spiritual progress. Matter serves the soul by providing the body through which a soul expresses itself, provides nutrition, and objects of comfort and material pleasure. Space accommodates all substances. Time expresses modification and continuity of substances over time. The medium of motion facilitates the soul and matter in motion. The medium of rest facilitates the soul and matter in rest. The other 'real entities' suggest the mechanism of karmic bondage and the liberation of the soul to enjoy its inherent qualities of perfect knowledge and perception, total bliss and energy. 143 Page #144 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 4.3 (c) PUNYA, PAAPA, AASRAVA. BANDHA, SAMVAR, NIRJARA AND MOKSA Il moral systems teach ethics: 'good' or meritorious behaviour and the avoidance of 'wrong' actions, though judgement of what constitutes 'good" and "bad" depend upon arbitrary rules. From the Jain spiritual point of view, these rules, found in scripture, define merit as punya and demerit as paapa. Our own experience tells us that good activities create feelings of happiness, satisfaction and joy, and their opposite breed feelings of misery, dissatisfaction and sorrow. Good activities are meritorious and bad activities are not, and a worldly being experiences feelings of pleasure and pain, depending upon these activities. Let us make it clear at this point that merit and demerit are both independent categories, and their results are experienced separately. There can be no appropriation, no addition or subtraction between them. One cannot obliterate demerit (or 'sin') through meritorious behaviour. Whatever sins or demerit one incurs, one will have to experience its consequences, and the same with merit. Merit results in auspicious karma, and demerit results in inauspicious karma. Both forms of karma are fine particles of matter, according to Jain belief, and their operation is described below. Nine causes of merit: Merit can be acquired by auspicious deeds: sympathy. kindness and service towards the poor and distressed, philanthropic deeds and appreciation of the nobility in individuals. Worldly beings can acquire merit by: 1. food: giving food to the hungry, to ascetics and the deserving; giving drinking water to those who are thirsty; 2. water: 3. shelter: 4. bed: giving shelter and dwelling to the homeless and needy; 5. clothes: giving clothes to the needy; 6. thoughts: wishing for happiness for all and misery to no one; 7. speech: 8. body: providing a bed or a place to sleep to those in need; speaking the truth; saying kind words beneficial to others; serving others with physical ailments; 9. respect: ascetics, the saintly, preceptors and tirthankaras. respectful for elders and the virtuous, the meritorious, teachers, Religious observances and ethical and moral behaviour are meritorious, while indulgence in excessive sensual pleasure and unethical behaviour is demeritorious. Jain scriptures describe two kinds of merit: 'Merit-causing merit' (punyaanubandhi): this type of merit is virtuous in both realisation and result. It also paves the way to liberation. 'Merit-causing demerit' (paapaanubandhi): this type of merit gives physical happiness at the time, but leads to immorality and, as a consequence, demerit For example, individuals may acquire worldly luxuries in this life through their previously acquired merit. Then, in addition, by acting virtuously in this life, performing philanthropic deeds, and by observing the spiritual path leading to liberation, they may acquire further merit, while enjoying the consequences of their previously acquired merit. This is 'merit-causing merit'. Conversely, individuals may acquire the utmost physical happiness in this world as a result of previously acquired merit, but if they then lead sinful lives and 144 Page #145 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ earn demerit as the result of their bad activities, it is called 'merit-causing demerit'. The consequences of this are transmigration and misery in future rebirths. In Jain literature, 'merit-causing merit' is described as a guide, who leads the worldly being to its ultimate goal of liberation. "Merit-causing demerit" is likened to that of a thief, who steals everything and turns the victims into beggars; robbing them of all previously earned merit and precipitating their downfall. Hence, 'merit-causing merit' is regarded as desirable and 'merit-causing demerit' as undesirable. Right Conduct, together with Right Faith and Right Knowledge, earns 'merit-causing merit" (punyaanubandhi punya), while austerities and moral conduct without Right Faith or Right Knowledge earn 'merit-causing demerit' (paapaanubhandi punya). Demerit Demeritorious activities are sins. Jain scriptures describe eighteen categories of sin: violence, physical, mental and spoken; speaking an untruth; theft; indulging in carnal and sensual pleasures; hoarding material possessions with attachment; anger; egoism and pride; deceit; greed; infatuation; jealousy; making disputes or quarrels; making false accusations and malicious gossiping; rejoicing in happy circumstances and being miserable in unhappy circumstances; back-biting and speaking ill of others; deceitful lies; delusion and the desire to follow erroneous gods, gurus and religions. Similar to merit, demerit is also of two types: 1. 'Demerit-causing demerit', this is demeritorious in both realisation and consequence. It allows individuals to indulge in sinful activities and earn demerit for the future. 2. 'Demerit-causing merit', this is demeritorious in realisation but is meritorious as a consequence. It allows individuals to suffer the consequences with equanimity and to perform meritorious activities acquiring merit for the future. The first kind of demerit is problematic both for the present and the future. As a result of this type of demerit worldly beings experience miseries in this life and also undertake sinful activities, acquiring sinful karma for the future. Examples of this would be those engaged in sinful trades, such as butchers or fishermen. From the spiritual point of view, merits and demerits are both forms of bondage. To achieve liberation, both must be abandoned. From a pragmatic point of view, however, Jainism considers merit as advance on sin as it leads to improving rebirths and better facilitates the path of purification. Influx of Karma The influx of karma is known as aasrava. Karmic matter permeates the soul and obscures its capacities for knowledge, intuition and activity. There are two forms of karmic influx: psychic influx affects the character of the soul and an individual's mental states; and physical influx attracts the particles of karmic matter towards the soul through the activities of an individual. There are five sources through which karmic matter infiltrates: Perversity of outlook, which may be inherent or acquired. Perversity of attitude is the root cause of all evil. 145 Page #146 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Absence of self-control, lack of control over the senses, indulging in sensual pleasures, losing the path and goal of self-realisation, and performing unacceptable and demeritorious acts. Negligence or indifference, indulging in sensual pleasures leads to spiritual neglect, which in turn leads to the objects of sensual pleasures and worldly attachments. Passions such as anger, egoism, infatuation and greed, create mental states that lead individuals to perform sinful activities and attract a greater influx of karma. Yoga The word yoga has various meanings. In our present context it is the physical, mental and spoken activities of the individual. All activities cause the influx of karma, merit or demerit as appropriate. * Bondage of Karma Bondage of the soul by karma is known as bandha. It keeps worldly beings embedded in the cycle of transmigration. Bondage may be considered as either: physical, due to the influx of karmic particles into the soul, and psychic, referring to the psychic states that enmesh one in the cycle of transmigration. These two forms of karmic bondage are complementary and intimately connected to one another. Just as dust particles settle securely on a piece of cloth soaked in oil, karmic particles attach themselves to the soul as a result of passions and actions. Jain scriptures describe the bondage of karma in terms of the quantity of particles, its intensity, its duration and its consequences. The technical terms are: pradesa, the extent of karmic particles attached to the soul; prakriti, the nature and intensity of karmic bondage; sthiti, the duration of karmic particles; and anubhava, the consequences of karmic particles associated with the soul. The scriptures also describe further technical terms for karmic bondage such as: sattaa, the dormant stage of karmic bondage; udaya, (`rise' resulting in realisation is called phalodaya, while the rise exhausted without expressing realisation is called pradesodaya); upasama, suppression of karma; nidhatti, neither the rise nor the transformation of karma; nikaacita, inescapable realisation of karma; and abaadha kaala, a state in which karmic particles are dormant. Stoppage of Karma Samvara is the stoppage of the influx of karma. If one wishes to empty a water tank one first stops the inflow of water and then drains the tank. So with the soul, one first stops the influx of karma and then sheds the attached karma. For spiritual advancement, the stoppage of the influx of karma is the first step. Stoppage is of two forms: physical, referring to the stoppage of the influx of particles of karmic matter; and psychic, referring to the attachment of karmic particles to the soul. The process of stoppage is possible in various ways, primarily consisting of ethical and moral discipline as described in chapter 4.10 Prevention of the influx of karma can be achieved in five ways: undertaking vows, diligence, right attitude of mind and right knowledge, avoiding the passions, and restraining activity. 146 Page #147 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Shedding of Karma The shedding of karma is known as nirjaraa. It is the removal of karma attached to the soul. The process of shedding is a gradual purification of the soul. It is of two types: volitional shedding, referring to removal through the observance of austerities and penance; and natural shedding, referring to gradual removal due to realisation and exhaustion. As karma produces its effects or reaches its zenith, it is exhausted and shed from the soul. The shedding of karma leads to liberation. Both samvara and nirjaraa are attained by Right Conduct. Liberation When karmic particles are shed, the soul becomes free from karmic bondage and attains liberation (moksa). The pure soul has the perfect characteristics of infinite knowledge, faith, spiritual energy and bliss. As there is no 'gravitational force' on the karmic body to retain it within the worldly cycle, it moves upward to the apex of occupied space and remains in its pure form on the siddha silaa. It cannot progress further because there is no medium of motion in unoccupied space. The attainment of moksa is possible only for human beings in the 'land of action' (karmabhumi). Even celestials have to be reborn as human beings if they are to attain liberation. The Jain concept of moksa does not obliterate the individuality of the soul. It is neither merged nor is identical with anything higher than itself. There is a permanent personality of the soul even in the state of perfection. 147 Page #148 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 4.4 KARMA ttempts have been made by different philosophies to find an explanation for Alapparent inequalities and injustices in this world. Indian philosophies, such as Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, have presented the theory of karma as a possible explanation. Of these the Jain theory of karma is the most systematic, rational, realistic and scientific. The Jains have made a substantial contribution to the literature of karma. We find many specialised texts on karma theory, besides abundant material scattered through the canonical and non-canonical literature. Jain literature on karma is vast and thought provoking. It dates from more than two thousand years ago up to the present and is written in Prakrit, Sanskrit and regional Indian languages, such as Kannada, Tamil, Hindi, Gujarati, and a number in English and other foreign languages. It is difficult to say when and where the concept of karma originated in India. It looks to be a pre-Aryan doctrine prevalent in the sramana culture and later assimilated and developed by other later schools of thought. It was perceived as a form of natural law. Karma has been accepted by practically all systems of Indian philosophy. The Nature of Karma The Jains consider karma as material in nature consisting of fine particles of subtle matter, which are found throughout the universe and which cannot be perceived by the senses or by measurement. Mardia, in his book The Scientific Foundation of Jainism, has interpreted this in terms of modern physics, suggesting that the particles are made of 'karmons', dynamic high energy particles which permeate the universe (Mardia 1990: p.10). Their most important property is their ability to permeate the soul. The karmic particles that affect the soul are known as 'karmic-variforms'. Jains perceive the worldly soul as always associated with and 'stained with karma. The karma is the consequence of the activities of body, speech and mind that may be benevolent or malevolent. Through the vibrations caused by the activity, the soul attracts the karmic particles, which modify as karmic 'variforms' at a certain stage of aggregation and permeate the soul. Karmic particles envelop the soul and its space-points but do not destroy the essential nature of the soul; they merely obscure it and affect its different modes. Influx of karma precipitates the bondage of the soul. The effect is both very subtle and powerful. The soul is non-material and is characterised by consciousness while karma is material and is characterised by non-consciousness. As a rule, it is the material that binds the material, ence it is but natural to be inquisitive as to how a non-material soul can be bound with material karma. The worldly soul has always some attached karmic material and this material facilitates the binding of further 'karmic variforms' which are material in nature. Of course the soul provides space for this karmic influx. Modes of Karma Jain texts classify karma on the basis of its structure, existence and consequences. Structural types are physical and psychic: Physical karma comprises material particles, which attach themselves to the soul and pollute it. The psychic karma consists 148 Page #149 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ primarily of mental states (e.g. passions and perversions) arising from the activity of mind, body and speech. The psychic karma is in immediate proximity to the soul in comparison with the physical karma. The physical karma obscures the soul, while psychic karma causes imperfection. They mutually reinforce each other as cause and effect. They are psychologically distinguishable and mutually interactive with one another in a cyclical mode, like the tree and its seed. The physical karma generates psychic karma and vice-versa. Perfect souls such as the liberated are free from physical karma, and hence they have no psychic imperfection. 'Existence': Karma may be in existence with the worldly soul, having been earned in the past, even in previous lives, is called karma-in-existence (sattaa). Others are being earned in the present, and will be realised in future, are called karma-inbonding (bandha). Karma which was earned earlier, and of which the duration bond has been loosened, has begun to give results, is called karma-in-realisation (udaya). Thus, in this classification, we have in existence, bonding and realisation karma. The consequential classification of karma is the most important and best known. It is specific to the Jains. It is based upon the deep knowledge of the inner (knowledge, faith, emotions) and outer (lifespan, status, body) nature of the living represented by its physical and psychological character. Each of these characteristics is clouded by karma. There are eight basic types of karma. They are subdivided into 158 types affecting the quality of the living (Arunvijay 1991: p.300). Jain texts describe the probable duration of each karma: The shortest duration may be less than forty-eight minutes, and the maximum may be many years. The basic types of karma are: 1. Knowledge-obscuring karma (inaanaavaraniya): 5 subdivisions 2. Faith-obscuring karma (darsanaavaraniya): 9 subdivisions 3. Deluding karma (mohaniya): 28 subdivisions 4. Will-obstructing karma (antaraaya): 5 subdivisions 5. Lifespan determining karma (aayu): 4 subdivisions 6. Body-producing karma (naama): 103 subdivisions 7. Status-determining karma (gotra): 2 subdivisions 8. Feeling-producing karma (vedaniya): 2 subdivisions Of the above eight the first four are the destructive or harmful to the soul (ghaati-karma), as they obscure the soul's characteristics of knowledge and faith, lead the self astray and obstruct its inherent energy. Some of them are totally obscuring and others are only partially obscuring. The other four are called non-destructive (aghaati) karma, as they do not obscure the essential nature of the self. Destructive karma can only be shed with great effort, whereas non-destructive karma can be easily shed. After the four destructive karma are completely shed, one attains omniscience. One cannot attain final liberation unless the other four non-destructive karma are shed. The self does not lose its essential characteristics of consciousness totally even if it is obscured by karma. 149 Page #150 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Figure 4.6 The eight types of karma. BASIC EIGHT KARMA IGNORANCE Knowledge Obscuring HIGHER DESTINY LOWER DESTINY IDLENESS, SLEEPY SPRITUAL BLINDNESS INFINITE KNOWLEDGE Status Determining NOT Obscurity Faith SUPERIOR NOT INFERIOR FAITH INFINITE DESTINY, SENSES, FAME, DEFAME, LUCKY, LUCKLESS Body Producing NON MATERIALITY CONDUCT PERFECT Deluding AND GREED ANGER, EGOISM, DECEIT ATTRACTION, AVERSION, PERVERTED CONDUCT ETERNAL EXISTENCE INFINITE BLISS INFINITE ENERGY BIRTH, LIFE SPAN DEATH Determining Life span Will Obscuring Feeling Producing MISER, POOR, DEPENDENCE, LETHARGIC PLEASURE - PAIN There are infinite permutations for the attachment of karma to the soul. However, they are classified into 8 basic types, which are described below. Knowledge-obscuring karma obscures Right Knowledge and has five subdivisions: sensory knowledge-obscuring karma; vocal, verbal or scriptural knowledge 150 Page #151 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ obscuring karma; clairvoyant knowledge-obscuring karma; mind-reading knowledgeobscuring karma; and omniscience-obscuring karma. Faith-obscuring karma obscures Right Faith and has nine sub-divisions: four types of obscurities such as perception through sight, through the other senses and mind, through clairvoyance and through omniscience; and five types of sleep. Deluding karma is the major karma responsible for obscuring the inherent nature of the soul. It overpowers Right Faith and Right Conduct, obscures the power of discrimination, produces delusions and makes the soul to become confused and desirous. Once it is shed, it is easy to shed other forms of karma. It is of two types: Faith-deluding (darsana mohaniya) prevents a soul's insight into its own nature and engenders false views (mithyaatva). It makes one see things other than as they really are and makes a worldly being develop erroneous views such as extremism (ekaanta), contradictory to the thing's nature (viparita), doubt (sansaya), indiscriminate belief that other religious paths have the same goal (vainayika) and ignorance (ajnaan). Darsana mohaniya is of three types: false views regarding the teachings of the Jinas, ambivalent views of right belief and false belief, and right belief clouded with slight false belief. conduct-deluding (caritra-mohaniya) obstructs Right Conduct through the four passions of anger, pride, deceit and greed, and is of twenty-five types. The four main are: 1. 'pursuers through endless time' (anantaanubandhi), which produce severe passions and last through a series of lives; 2. 'obstructers of partial renunciation' (apratyaakhyaanaavarana), which produce nonpreventable emotions of any of the passions and which may last up to one month; 3. obstructers of complete renunciation' (pratyaakhyaanaavarana), which produce preventable or controllable passions and may last up to four months; 4. 'producers of apathy and attachment' (sanjvalana), which induce passionate emotions and may last up to fifteen days. Other conduct deluding are subsidiary passions or sentiment-deluding karma including laughter, pleasure, displeasure, sorrow, fear, disgust, sexual craving for males, females and hermaphrodites. They lead to spurious faith and hinder spiritual development. Conduct-deluding karma is also of collective type and can produce results in various permutations and combinations. Will-obstructing karma (antaraaya) restricts the individual's enjoyment of physical things and hinders spiritual advancement in five ways: hinders giving donations (daana-antaraaya); hinders obtaining gains (laabha-antaray); hinders the enjoyment of wealth (bhoga-antaraaya); hinders the enjoyment of consumables used only once such as food and (upbhoga-antaraaya) drink, and used repeatedly such as furniture and clothing hinders utilising willpower and energy (virya-antaraaya). Body-producing karma (naama) is responsible for the diversity of worldly beings for differing size, shape, status, etc. It determines the nature of the individual in a future rebirth. It has four varieties: celestial life-determining karma; human life-determining karma; animal and plant life-determining karma; and infernal life-determining karma. Body-producing karma has four main groups and ninety-three sub-groups 151 Page #152 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Table 4.7 The four main groups of body-producing karma Type Number of sub-groups collective types individual types mobile types immobile types Collective forms have: Four states of existence: heavenly, human, animal and plant, and hellish; Five types of being: depending upon the number of physical senses; Five types of body: gross, transformable, translocational, luminous, and karmic; Five types of bindings (stickiness) according to the five kinds of bodies; Five types of unification according to the five types of bodies; Six types of configurations of bodies: symmetrical, upper parts symmetrical; lower parts symmetrical, totally asymmetrical, hunchback, and dwarf; Six types of bone joints: very strong, like stones, unbreakable, semi-breakable, riveted, fragile (present humans have mostly fragile joints); Five main colours (skin, plumage): black, green, yellow, red and white; Two odours: pleasant, unpleasant; Five tastes: pungent, bitter, salty, sour and sweet; Eight characteristics: light, heavy, soft, hard, rough, smooth, cold and hot; Three types of bodies with limbs: gross, transformable and translocational; Four destinies of transmigration: heavenly, human, animal or plant, infernal; Two types of mobility of living beings: elegant, and awkward/clumsy. Individual types have bodies: neither heavy nor light, self-destructive; destructive towards others, heat emanating, illuminating, respiratory, fully formed and complete, and potential tirthankaras. Mobile types have ten kinds of bodies: with more than one sense, completioned' body, individual body; beautiful body; firm body; fine voice; sweet and impressive speech; respectful body; lustrous body and a body which can evoke fame. Immobile-types of bodies are: one-sensed; subtle body; undeveloped body; common body; flexible body; ugly body; illuminating body; ill-sounding voice; unimpressive speech; and evoking dislike. Status-determining karma (gotra) bestows upon individuals a family lineage, an environment of high or low status, conducive or detrimental to leading a spiritual life. Lifespan determining karma (aayu) determines the longevity or the precise duration of the coming existence. Aayu karma determines the framework of the next existence, whether human, celestial, animal (plants) or infernal or sets the limitations within which naama, gotra and vedaniya can operate. It is bound to the soul only once in a lifetime and that too usually on every third day only at any moment during the last third of the lifetime up to the moment of death, and the individual is unaware of its occurrence (Jinendra Siddhanta Kosa, vol. 1: pp.270-274). Nobody knows one's lifespan, hence this belief has practical implications in the Jain community. Jains observe every third day Right Conduct, taking special care in their dietary needs and other consumption so as not 152 Page #153 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ to harm any living being including plant life, and utilising their time in spiritual activities, in the belief that if aayu karma is bound during such observance, it would be of auspicious type. Feeling-producing karma (vedaniya) affects the psychic condition and is of two types: pleasant feeling-producing (saataa-vedaniya), and pain or unpleasant feelingproducing (asaataa-vedaniya). The feeling of delight or anguish is due to the realisation of the above karma; an external object or event acts as a prop and creates the conditions to reinforce the feelings of 'happiness' or 'unhappiness' produced by the realisation of the specific karma at that moment. For example when one is in the process of realisation of saataa-vedaniya karma, there are favourable conditions for gaining objects such as wealth, friends, relations or the occurrence of events such as success or winning which reinforce the feelings. The reverse is the case when one realises the asaataa-vedaniya karma. Causes of Karmic Bondage Karmic bondage is due to activities of mind, speech and body; passions; spurious faith; indulgence; and negligence. The rise of deluding karma produces attachment and aversion, resulting in the influx of inauspicious karma. Activities that promote spiritual advancement lead to the influx of auspicious karma. Conscious and sub-conscious desires attract karmic particles and further karmic bondage. Fresh karmic bondage is not dependent on earlier karma, but is dependent on our own psychic and physical activities. Restraint prevents fresh influx and can transform the effects of previous karma. Karmic bondage is characterised by four factors: the amount (pradesa) of karmic particles engulfing the soul, which depends upon the degree of will with which the activity is performed; the nature (prakriti) of the karmic particles which depends upon the type of activity; the duration (sthiti) of karmic attachment which depends upon the degree of passions attached to the activity; the result (anubhava) which depends upon the passion with which the activities are carried out. Each passion - anger, pride, deceit and greed has four degrees: intense, great, moderate and mild. This makes sixteen types of passion. Some texts enunciate a further nine 'quasi-passions' which are: laughter, pleasure, pain, grief, fear, hatred, and three forms of sexual relations; thus making a total of twenty-five passions. The root cause of passions is delusion, bringing attraction (raaga) and aversion (dvesa). The intensity of passions clouds discrimination and understanding, bringing perversity of outlook, lack of self-control, and the negligence. Spurious faith (mithyaatva) means not believing in the true precepts and practices of the faith, and acting wrongly due to perversity of outlook or ignorance. It may be inherent or acquired. It has five varieties: absolutism, doubt, ignorance, indifferent belief and opposing belief, which are instrumental for karmic bondage. Restraint and the observance of Right Conduct reduce karmic bondage. Negligence and observance of the wrong conduct leads to sinful activities. Negligence (pramaada) has fifteen varieties resulting in increased karmic bondage: four types of idle talk relating to women (or men), food, politics and unnecessary activities; four passions; misuse of the five sensory organs; sleep; and attachment. 153 Page #154 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Limits of Karma Karma is intimately associated with the body, the mind and the psyche of the individual, and operates within limits dependent upon the nature of the karmic particles. Knowledge-obscuring, faith-obscuring, deluding and will-obstructing karma are considered as destructive, because they affect the essential characteristics of the soul: knowledge, contentment, bliss and spiritual energy. The feeling-producing, life span determining, body-producing and status-determining karma produce differing states of the body and they are called non-destructive or harmless karma. Karma is the result of the individual's actions alone. One person's karma cannot be transferred to another, either by direct transmission or by any divine agency. The possession of wealth, possessions, family and such like, or the loss of these through crime, accident or natural calamities, are not, in the strictest sense, directly due to karma, but they are the circumstances of pleasure and pain created by both auspicious and inauspicious deluding and feeling-producing karma. External objects, such as wealth, human relations or animal contacts may precipitate experiences of pleasure and pain, but they are not the karma. The realisation of karma engenders experiences for the soul. Attachment to 'externals' creates mental states, good or bad, leading to pleasure or pain. The activities of the body, mind and speech of an individual self-determine the operation of karma, the rise, subsiding and shedding of karma. Realisation of Karma Karmic particles bound to the soul 'mature' and express themselves. When this happens, it is referred to as the rise' (udaya) of karma. It is possible for karma to express itself before it matures. If an immature karma expresses itself it is called 'untimely, a mature expression is termed 'timely'. Premature death, through accident, suicide or the effect of a 'self-inflicted'action such as heavy smoking or drug abuse, are regarded as 'untimely' experiences of karma. An individual may 'force the pace' of karmic maturity, for example through austerities. By practising austerities it is possible to transform the effects of past (bound) karma that is yet to mature, causing its 'untimely rise'. Karma has what is termed its 'time span', avasthaana kaala. This period can be divided into two durations: the period during which karma is attached to the soul, but is dormant' or yet to mature, abaadha kaala, and the period during which it expresses itelf in experience, called anubhava kaala or niseka kaala. The realisation of karma may happen 'naturally or it may be willed. For example, one may get angry without apparent reason. This is caused by the rise of the feeling-producing karma, and is regarded as 'natural' maturity. The anger itself then causes a further influx of karma. By contrast, a 'willed' maturity would be when one practises equanimity. By doing this and, for example, refusing to be provoked into anger by external event, the karma attached to the soul is transformed and shed. Experiences of laughter, fear and other forms of emotional upset may give rise to an influx of karmic particles. Some karmic particles may develop in the soul without effort e.g. pain-producing karma and perversity of outlook in infernals, at the moment of intense realisation of deluding karma, and negligence in human beings and animals. 154 Page #155 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Premature karmic realisation may also be due to external causes (e.g. accident or injury, anger, heavy eating, intoxicating liquor etc.), causing pain or ill effect. Additional processes of karmic attachment, depending upon the degree of passions, may effect the mechanism for the realisation of karma: 'incapacitation' (nikaacita), in which bondage is caused by the srongest passions, the maturation of the karmic process takes its pre-determined course. There is no alternative except to experience the realisation of nikaacita karma, but the soul possessed with the Right Faith, because of living in equanimity, can reduce the results of psychic suffering. 'capacitated' (anikaacita), in which maturation of the karmic process may be modified by individual efforts and may be realised in different ways. If the bondage (sithila) is due to mild passions, repentance can shed such karma. If it is due to strong passions (gaadha), confession and penance are required to shed such karma. If the karmic bondage is due to stronger passions, severe austerities are required. How karma works Karmic particles replenish and disintegrate, leading to the continuous existence of the subtle body from beginningless time. On maturity, karmic particles attached to the soul, in a way similar to the process of radioactivity, undergo disintegration of their own accord and discharge continuously until they exhaust themselves. But the worldly soul does not become free of bondage, as replenishments of karma are an ongoing process due to its activities. The process of karmic separation and replenishment carries on, the worldly soul remains enmeshed. Each type of karmic particles produces a specific abnormal special wave motion that lead to a disturbance in the soul's special stationary wave motion, which affect the activities of the soul. The rise in the activity of deluding karma makes the soul's special stationary wave motion abnormal and thwarts the natural knowledge and perception (upayoga) of the soul. The activity of energy-obscuring karma impairs the soul's infinite energy. As a result, the special stationary wave motion of the soul is unable to overcome the deluding karma. The rise of knowledge-obscuring karma and the perception-obscuring karma obstruct the information-bringing energy waves and hinder the soul's tuning faculty. These disturbances make the soul seek the help of the sense organs and material energy waves. They may provide the worldly soul with limited knowledge and perception for a short period, but soon they lead to delusion and imperfect knowledge, and ignorance about the self and its true nature. The individual identifies itself with its organic body. Worldly souls, for the sake of comfort, safety and the survival of their organic bodies, hold onto their possessions through time, and desire to keep them. Because of greed and the fear of losing them, they desire to acquire more and more possessions. Other worldly souls have a similar ambition to possess such artefacts, and hence they are envious and competitive. Whenever worldly beings fail to obtain a desired artefact, they become envious, which precipitates violence, either by thought, speech or physical gesture, towards the people who they feel opposed to. Delusion, desire and aversion produce abnormal vibrations or quivering in worldly souls. Quivering does more harm to the stationary wave motion of the soul than that done by all the obscuring karma collectively. This engenders violence to one's own self. The quivering creates an artificial binding force or stickiness in the soul, similar to 155 Page #156 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ that of matter and enables the worldly soul to attract fresh karmic molecules. The natural adhesion of karmic matter and the acquired stickiness, due to delusion, desire, aversion and attraction promote bondage and this process carries on to form the karmic body. With austerities and meditation, the passions subside and there is no acquired stickiness, and the influx of fresh karma is prevented. The worldly soul experiences unprecedented calmness and glimpses of the truth, but normally this experience does not last longer than forty-eight minutes. This fleeting experience makes the aspirant toil harder towards the spiritual path, and results in Right Faith or Right Belief leading to the path of liberation. The activities connected with samvara and nirjaraa eliminate delusion and desire and produce Right Conduct. Steady posture, meditation on the soul's true attributes, and silence lead to stoppage and the gradual shedding of karma. These austerities release latent energy, which was obscured, and which was under the influence of passionate activity of the body, mind and speech. This released energy encourages the special stationary wave motion of the soul to obtain momentum and overcome the disturbance being created by the faith-deluding karma. The individual acquires equanimity and calm. The soul's quivering and artificial stickiness vanish, no new influx of karma occurs, and the shedding of karma accelerates. On the complete shedding of the fourfold obscuring karma, the worldly being becomes omniscient. After the expiry of the lifespandetermining karma, the omniscient syncronises the other three non-obscuring karma, sheds them and attains liberation. Modification of karma An individual's own efforts play an important part in the intensity and experience of karmic bondage, and can affect its outcome. If present efforts are less than the effects of past actions, then present exertions will have less impact on the experience of karma. If present efforts are greater than in the past, it may modify the intensity and experience of past karmic bondage. The modifications of karmic realisation and experiences are classified in Jain scriptures as: 'attenuation' (apvartanaa), the karmic intensity and duration may be decreased in experience; 'augmentation' (udvartanaa), the intensity and duration of the karmic experience may be increased; 'prematuration' (udiranaa), the karmic states which are to be realised later more intensely, may be realised and experienced prematurely and less intensely. 'transition' (sankramana), is the transformation of karma in its different intensities of experiences. All these processes refer to the 'rise' and experience of karma. The karmic matter that is yet to be realised, can be positively transformed by austerities and penance. This prospect makes Jain karma theory dynamic and optimistic rather than fatalistic. The individual soul is responsible for creating its own future either by increasing its karmic bondage or by shedding its own karma through self-effort. We know that auspicious karma brings auspicious results and inauspicious karma yields inauspicious results. The individual soul is free in the sense that it can act and bind karma according to its actions. However, individuals are not free in experiencing the realisation of bonded karma that has to be experienced, whether willed or not. They are 156 Page #157 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ free to transform the intensity of the karmic effect by their own efforts (such as through self-control, austerities and penance). Some common themes and Karma Theory The influx of karma is due to the activities of the body, speech and mind. The virtuous activity creates merit and the sin demerit. The persons with passions extend the process of transmigration and those free from passions shorten or prevent it (Jain S. tr. Pujypada's Sarvarthasiddhi 1960: 6.1-3). The living and the non-living are the substrata of karma. The substratum of the living is of 108 (3x3x3x4) kinds: planning for action (samrambha), preparation (samaarambha), and commencement (aarambha); by activities of body, speech and mind; actions, motivating others to act or approval of it, and by four passions of anger, pride, deceit and greed. The substratum of the non-living is production, placement, mixing and urging and their subdivisions (Jain S. tr. Pujypada's Sarvarthasiddhi 1960: 6.8-9). Spite against knowledge, concealment of knowledge, non-imparting the knowledge out of envy, creating impediments to the acquisition of knowledge, disregard of knowledge and its sources, and disparagement of Right Knowledge lead to the influx of karma which obscure knowledge and perception (Jain S. tr. Pujypada's Sarvarthasiddhi 1960: 6.10). Attributing faults to the omniscients, the scriptures, the congregation of ascetics, the true religion and the celestials, leads to the influx of faith- deluding karma. Intense feelings induced by the rise of the passions lead to the influx of the conduct-deluding karma (Sarvarthasiddhi 1960: 6.13-14). Creating obstacles for good activities such as charity, spirtual acitivities and welfare of others cause the attraction of obstructive karma. (Sarvarthasiddhi 1960: 6.27). Criminal and unethical activities, and the deception lead to the influx of inauspicious physique-making karma. Straighforwardness, honesty and frankness create an influx of auspicious physique-making karma (Sarvarthasiddhi 1960: 6.22-23). Censuring others and praising oneself, concealing others' virtues and proclaiming absent virtues in oneself lead to influx of karma that creates low status. Appreciation of others, and obsevation of humility and modesty attract karma that determines high status (Sarvarthasiddhi 1960: 6.25-26). Suffering, sorrow, agony, moaning, injury and lamentation, in oneself or others or in both, lead to the influx of karma that creates unpleasantness. Compassion towards all in general and the devout in particular, charity, self-restraint, austerities, devotional worship, contemplation, equanimity and control over the passions attract karma that leads to pleasantness. (Sarvarthasiddhi 1960: 6.11-12). Observance of the Right Faith, reverence of the five vows including supplementary vows without transgression, the six essential duties, and love and friendship to co-religionists, promotion of the teachings of the Jina, pursuit for knowledge, desire for liberation from the worldly cycle, charity, austerities according to one's capacity, service to the ascetics and the meritorious and facilitating their spiritual activities, devotion to the Jinas, the spiritual leaders, preceptors and the scriptures are the determinates for the influx of the tirthankara-nama-karma (Sarvathasiddhi 1960: 6.24). 157 Page #158 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Feeling or Experience: Feelings of pleasure and pain rise eventually out of the accrued karmic bondage. The karmic particles attracted to the soul do not produce immediate experiences or feelings. Duration and Intensity of Karma: The duration of each type of karma differs according to its nature and gravity. The Jain texts distinguish three periods of duration: minimum, maximum and intermediate. The period after which the results of karma may be attained could be less than forty-eight minutes or could be thousands of years. The duration and intensity of karma are correlated, determined by the severity of the passions and feelings. The stronger passions and actions of demerit engender a greater intensity and the longer duration of bad karma; the weaker passions and actions of demerit mean less intensity and duration. The meritorious actions associated with strong internal feeling lead to a greater degree of intensity and duration of auspicious karma. Without internal feelings of virtue and compassion, obviously looking meritorious actions are not beneficial. The Quantity of Karmic Particles: The universe is filled with karmic particles. Through the vibrations caused by activities and passions, the soul attracts karmic matter pertinent to its behaviour. The quantity of karmic particles varies according to the passionate activity of the soul, and generates eight types of basic karma. If the vibrations are strong, more karmic matter will be attracted, and low vibrations will attract less. Different karma requires the attraction of differing quantities of karmic particles. Life span determining karma attracts the smallest quantity of karmic particles, while bodyproducing karma will attract more. Other forms of karma attract more karmic particles than either of these two. The deluding karma receives more particles than the abovementioned karma. The largest numbers of particles are attracted to feeling-producing and status-determining karma. The Fruits of Karma: Worldly beings experience the fruits of karma as auspicious and good, or inauspicious and evil. Karma conducive to spiritual realisation gives rise to auspicious results. Karma conducive to material realisation gives rise to inauspicious results. One has to experience the effects of both forms. The karmic bondage already acquired has to be experienced and exhausted in this life or future lives. There is no escape. One has the choice of acting or refraining from acting, but no choice on bearing the consequences. Even the Buddha and Mahavira had to bear the consequences of their previous karma: The Buddha once had his foot pricked by a thorn. He said to his disciples, 'I am suffering the fruits of karmic bondage created by me earlier in my past ninety-first life, when I injured a person with my sharp weapon' (Devendra Muni 1983: p.456). Mahavira had to suffer great physical and mental torture during his last life of perfect spiritual progress (saadhanaa), the effects of karma acquired in his previous lives. God and Karma: The Jain theory of karma does not accept the possibility of the dispensation of karma by any divine agency such as Isvara (God), a personal god or Supreme Being. The individual soul is free. It is only by its own activity that it earns karmic bondage. This individual soul is the begetter of its own karma and the beneficiary of the fruits of karma. The realisation of karma is automatic and runs its own course. The effects of passions and inauspicious deeds such as violence, lies and theft may appear pleasant in the beginning, but on its maturity karma is always unpleasant. The reverse is true for auspicious behaviour. There is no Supreme Being dispensing justice in respect of our deeds. The outcome is due to natural karmic consequences. 158 Page #159 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Transmigration and Rebirth: The theory of karma is inseparably connected with that of transmigration, rebirth and liberation. Jains believe in rebirth untill the soul is liberated. The soul in bondage is reborn and its course in the world is determined by the past karmic particles adhering to it. The soul has been in the world from beginningless time. Each stage in the process of transmigration begins with death. The Jain view asserts that at death the soul leaves the physical body behind, takes luminous and karmic bodies with it and transmigrates to a new physical body. This usually takes a minimum of one moment (samaya) and a maximum of five moments, and according to its karma, the soul acquires a new embodiment in one of the four possible destinies: celestial (deva); human (manusya); animal or plant (tiryanca); infernal (naraka). Jain scriptures state that celestials may be reborn into two destinies, as humans or as animals, plants etc. Humans may be reborn in any one of the four destinies or achieve liberation. Animals and plants are also reborn in any one of the four destinies. Infernals can be reborn in two destinies as animals, plants etc. or as human beings. Rebirth as a heavenly being or a human being is known as sadgati, while rebirth as an animal or plant or hellish being is known as durgati. The soul may be born in durgati as a result of demerit, but if the sufferings are observed with equanimity, and when the realisation of bad karma is exhausted, the rebirth could be into a better destiny. Rebirth as a heavenly being: Restraint with desires, restraint-cum-non-restraint, the involuntary dissociation of karma and the austerities accompanied by a perverted faith or childish austerities' (baala tapa), lead to the influx of karma that leads to a celestial life. Right Faith leads to rebirth in a higher celestial life (Sarvathasiddhi 1960: 6.20-21). Rebirth as a human being: An individual with a humble character, compassionate, partially restrained, detached attitude towards possessions and relationship, honest, straightforward, free from evil activities, and sorrowful meditation, and natural mildness attracts karma that leads to human rebirth (Sarvathasiddhi 1960: 6.17-18). Rebirth as animal, bird, fish, insect, plant, bacteria or virus: Unethical behaviour, sorrowful meditation on health, diseases, possessions and relationship, engrossment in sensory pleasures and activities are the causes of the influx of karma that leads to rebirth as an animal or plant (tiryanca). Individuals in this group have little restraint and are engrossed in behaviour concerned with attraction, aversion and infatuation. Deception, passions, falsehood, fraud and non-restraint lead to rebirth in this destiny. One is free to alter this destiny through personal effort for a better rebirth. Mahavira was a lion in an earlier birth, but by self-effort he became a tirthankara. Rebirth as an infernal being: Behaviour and thoughts about sin, violence, falsehood, theft, preservation of artefacts of enjoyment and possessions at any cost, excessive infliction of pain and attachment cause the karma that leads to rebirth in the infernal regions. Volitional states and karma: Jain texts describe five types of volitional states or the true nature of living beings, which affect the shedding of karma. They are dependent upon austerities and resultant lesyaas (aura). They are: 'suppressed' (aupasamika): the karmic matter is not extirpated but is still present. This is due to austerities undertaken without knowledge or understanding. 159 Page #160 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ 'destructive' (ksayika): the effects of karma are destroyed. This will involve the most auspicious volitions. suppressed and destructive' (ksayopasamika): in this state some karma is destroyed, some is neutralised and some is still retained. Most living beings, which live moral lives, fall into this category. 'realisation (audayijya): in the usual course of events, karmic particles attached to the self produce their intrinsic effects, and resultant volitions gradually become more pure. inherent (paarinlaamika) is the essential nature of the self representing consciousness, with the potential to be liberated or otherwise. Karma is a positive theory, taught by omniscient and enlightened individuals, which promotes independence, righteousness, optimism, and a sense of dignity, equality, and the will to achieve the highest spiritual goal, and has helped Jains to develop the acts of compassion, philanthropy, friendship to all, universal forgiveness, austerity and penance. The enlightened ones and their teachings do not require logical or rational proof. Where some scientists offer explanations for human behaviour and worldly situations in terms of genetics, Jains explain the same phenomena in terms of karma. 160 Page #161 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 4.5 JAIN LOGIC, PSYCHOLOGY AND THE THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE The art of reasoning, commonly known as logic, may be defined as the methodology I of intellectual (including empirical) examination of objective or intuitive reality. It is also the study of necessity, possibility and a method of deduction predicated upon syllogisms. Logic makes philosophy reasonable and rational. All physical and metaphysical objects and concepts such as the soul, the universe, karma, God, or Reality, whether objective or subjective, need to be comprehended by logic. There are branches, or sub-disciplines, of logic: epistemology (dealing with 'organs' of knowledge or pramaanas) and ontology (dealing with objective and subjective existence). As a result of its basis in logic, Jainism is regarded as highly scientific, subjecting all its concepts to critical evaluation. In the past, Jain teachers were required to be good logicians in order to win followers among a religious population of considerable sophistication. Logic makes the complex phenomenon of human existence understandable through reason, evidence, and inference. Critical and unbiased examination of all viewpoints is the only objective assurance of truth. Jain logic is based on this consideration which justifies a wide scope of thinking, reflection, attitude and cognition. Anekaantavaada or 'relative pluralism', and syaadavaada or 'relativism' are the bases of Jain logic. Jain logic has passed through various phases of development, of which the last three historical phases are: * The period of creative logic' (fifth to eighth century CE) * The period of 'real logic' (eighth to twelfth century CE) * The period of 'new logic' (twelfth to eighteenth century CE) Logic, or reason, began to be very important in Jain philosophy from the earliest period. Knowledge contained in the canon was always accepted as 'true'. Reason (hetu) is mentioned in the Jain scriptures in the sense of reasoned scriptural knowledge. Logic and reason were present in other philosophical schools in ancient India, and the Jain philosophers were compelled, in an age of sophisticated intellectual argument, to be masters of logic in order to win religious disputes. In Jain canonical literature, faith dominates over reason: spiritual development over knowledge of the 'real entities'. In the period of creative knowledge, both Samantabhadra and Siddhasen (independently) defined knowledge as a means to ascertain 'real entities and a method for establishing their validity. The creative logicians depended solely on reason rather than scriptural authority. Although Siddhasen's philosophical teachings indicate a few objects beyond logic, the starting point for his discourse was the theory of relativism' (syaadavaada) and 'viewpointism' (nayavaada), which was also developed by Samantabhadra. During this period of creative logic', Akalanka (often called the father of Jain logic') in the seventh century, and Haribhadra in the eighth, wrote extensively on logic. They gave a sound logical footing to the theory of knowledge and its sources, 'relative pluralism', and 'relativism and its seven-fold predications'. During the period of 'real logic', modifications to these concepts were made in the light of contemporary thinking. The understanding of 'logical validity' (pramaana) 161 Page #162 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ was modified, and the concept of direct cognition' was divided into two categories: sensory and non-sensory cognition. This period saw a flowering of Jain logicians, who produced not only important commentaries on earlier texts but also much original work. In this vein, we can mention Vidyananda, Prabhacandra and Hemcandra. The seventeenth century ascetic scholar, Yashovijay, stands as the sole representative of the period of 'new logic', which expressed its concepts in the most terse language. However, no substantial contribution was made in the field of Jain logic after Hemcandra in the twelfth century (Jain B. 1992: p.22). Thus, Jain logic remains today largely as it was at the end of the medieval period. Jain logicians have made a substantial contribution, not only to their own philosophy, but also to the wider development of Indian logic. The following points summarise the contribution of these logicians. Jain logicians applied the concept of relativity to understanding the 'real entities'; in contrast to the 'absolutists' who did not take account of the partial nature of their own understanding. Jain logic understands (and describes) phenomenon from two points of view: the ideal viewpoint (niscaya-naya) and the practical (or real) viewpoint (vyavahaara-naya). Jain logicians encouraged the practice of putting syat (literally: 'in some way') before a statement to indicate that the truth perceived by us is not the whole picture, and that our language is often inadequate to express the 'real entities' fully. The concept of 'non-absolutism' proposed by Jain logicians removed any apparent discrepancies, contradictions and other discontinuities in thought and speech and fostered religious and social harmony. Jain logicians divided the sources of knowledge into two categories: 'direct (pratyaksa) and indirect' (paroksa). Objects are known either directly or indirectly through other means. Jain logicians proposed that anyone can attain liberation and become omniscient, the highest purified stage of the soul, in contrast to early Buddhist logicians who rejected the concept of omniscience. However, the concept of omniscience did gradually develop in Buddhism as a result of Jain influence. Current Jain logic is mainly concerned with the theory and types of knowledge, and the sources of knowledge for acquiring genuine cognition. It is also used to explain and defend basic Jain concepts, such as omniscience and the concept of the soul. Jain psychology Jain scriptures describe a philosophy of mind and a science of nature that can well be compared to modern psychology. Epistemology was the basis of the psychological analysis of mental states and events. Knowledge of metaphysics was necessary for the understanding of Jain psychology. This psychology relied upon introspection and the insights of the seers and, to some extent, the behaviour of other ascetics and laypeople that helped them to develop the study of mental phenomena. Experimental investigation had little interest to them. It was the insight and vision of the sages that led to the development of Jain psychology. Jain teachers had only one goal: the liberation of the soul from karmic bondage. The soul is a fundamental principle in Jain psychology. Its existence is a presupposition of Jain philosophy. It is described as both a noumenal and a phenomenal 162 Page #163 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ entity. As a noumenal entity it is pure consciousness, as a phenomenal entity it is that which allows a worldly being to exist. Upayoga, conscious activity, is a basic characteristic of the soul. It is found in all living beings, however underdeveloped they may be. It is a purposive force, which is the source of all experience: cognitive, connotative and affective. It expresses itself as jnaana (knowledge) and darsana (perception) in the light of cetanaa (consciousness). Knowledge-obscuring karma obscures upayoga, but however much of this karmic matter there may be, it cannot obliterate upayoga totally and render it inoperative. Consciousness is manifested in the empirical processes of life. Empirical experience arises out of the contact of the sense organs with objects. Empirical processes make a distinction in consciousness between knowing, feeling and experiencing the results of karma. Jains have developed a systemic theory of mind. It is a quasi-sensory organ and it has two components: the material (dravya mana), and the psychic (bhaava mana). Dravya mana consists of infinite, fine, coherent particles of matter (manovarganaas), necessary for mental functioning. Bhaava mana is expressed in mental processes such as thought and recollection. Jains are aware of the interaction between the mind and the body. The empirical approach shows that there is a mutual influence between mind and body. Jain seers recognised two types of experiences: sensory and extra-sensory. Sensory experience is indirect, it is conditioned by the sense organs and the mind, while extra-sensory experience is direct, apprehended by the self without the help of the sense organs or the mind. The sensory organs are the 'windows' through which the self apprehends the external world. The mind performs the function of organising impressions received through the sensory organs in order to arrive at coherent experience. Jains describe five sensory organs (indriyas) with their physical structure (dravyendriya) and psychic function (bhaavendriya). The physical structure is the organ itself. Bhaavendriya is divided into two, labdhi (capacity or dormant consciousness) and upayoga (applied consciousness) (Jain S. 1960: 2.18). Labdhi is attainment, the manifestation of specific sense experience and upayoga is the psychic force of knowledge and perception, which determines the specific experience. The phenomena of the contact of the sensory organs with the external world and the analysis of sensory material arising from these organs are psychologically important. The soul is the experiencing agent. It has two types of experience: the sensory experience and the extra-sensory experience. The sensory experience is empirical, delivered by the sensory organs and the mind. The extra-sensory experience is supernormal, gained directly without the mediation of the sensory organs or the mind. The Jain analysis of sensory perception is significant and complex. The description of the stages of sensory perception of a particular object is an important contribution to the psychology of perception, although it gives a predominantly epistemological rationale. The sensory perception of a particular object involves psychic factors. The removal of psychic impediments through the subduing and shedding of knowledge-obscuring karma is necessary for the correct sense perception of an object. In addition to the knowledge obtained by the sensory organs and the mind, the psychology of which is described in the next chapter, Jains have described supernormal experience coming from within the self. These supernormal perceptions are 163 Page #164 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ "clairvoyance', 'telepathy' and omniscience. Clairvoyance may be paranormal but the others are supernormal. It is difficult to establish the possibility of omniscience on the basis of the empirical sciences, however, its logical possibility cannot be denied. Jains believe that the soul has an inherent capacity for self-realisation. It has a tendency to liberate itself from the veil of karma and achieve the status of transcendental self. The attainment of the right attitude (samyaktava) is necessary for self-realisation. Control over mind and desires prevent the influx of karma. Problems presented by psychology are pertinent to understanding Jain philosophy, its synoptic view of nature and of the path of purification. Jain teachers employed psychology in the development of the four-fold order, ethics, philosophy and daily practices. But their major concern has been more with the quest for values than with the quest for 'facts'. They took cognisance of areas of human psychology in formulating their values. The principle of anekaantavaada (relative pluralism') gave them a sound grounding for understanding psychology and the views of others. It allowed them to arrive at a synthetic view that was realistic and which embraced all branches of knowledge. Theory of knowledge The Jain theory of knowledge aims at the liberation of the soul from karmic bondage. Right Knowledge is one of the essential constituents of the path of liberation. It is postulated that the knowledge of a person with wrong faith is not useful for the spiritual path. We do not find a precise definition of knowledge in the canon. This is neither an oversight nor a deliberate omission. The methodology of the period dealt directly with the phenomena and the systematic development of logic, and syllogisms in Indian philosophical systems led the Jains to elaborate their theory of knowledge. The scriptures describe three aspects of knowledge: metaphysical, ethical and epistemological. The first of these is concerned with the subjective area of knowledge, (i.e. knowledge about the self, the soul or the 'Reality'). The ethical aspect concerns the question of values, valuation of knowledge, and deals with its objectivity. The epistemological aspect analyses the relation between subject and object and their relationship to the theories and organs of knowledge, and their utilisation in acquiring and ascertaining the validity of cognition. The metaphysical aspect enumerates and describes the soul through its eight different states: substantive, conscious, knowing, cognition, conduct, energy, passion and activity. The first six represent the natural state while the last two represent the karmic or active states. Substantive knowledge of the soul describes its true nature. It is also concerned with the 'real entities' of the universe. The ethical aspect of knowledge is concerned with the application of acquired knowledge for spiritual progress. The epistemological aspect of knowledge is concerned with illuminating existent objects involving the self and the external world. Definition of Knowledge: Every living being is characterised by consciousness. Consciousness is expressed in three forms: cognitive, connotative and volitional or psychic. Knowledge is the innate cognitive quality, an instrument to comprehend the 164 Page #165 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ nature of the world. The attributes and the modes of Reality are cognised through it. Knowledge is a subjective phenomenon concerned with objective existence. Knowledge illuminates the self as well as others. The Jains point out that it may be identical with the self as well as different from it: the self is said to serve as cogniser as well as being an instrument of cognition. The senses, sensory objects, contacts and the instruments of knowledge only help proper cognition, but do not cause Objects and function of knowledge: The object of knowledge is to illuminate the self and the external world accurately. All entities in the world have an objective existence independent of the cogniser. Accurate knowledge of any entity consists in cognising its substantiality, along with its many qualities and modes, both natural and acquired. It is obvious that the cogniser is confined to the body while knowledge can extend to the whole universe. The degree and quality of illumination depends on the extent of the shedding of knowledge-obscuring karma. Quality of knowledge: It is a common experience that knowledge may be true (accurate) or false (spurious). False knowledge (mithyaatva) is that which represents the world in ways in which it does not exist. False knowledge may involve doubt and indecision. It may be the result of wrong instructions and past impressions. The knowledge of a worldly being, except that of an omniscient, is always tainted with passion and other karmic consequences that distort or colour the vision as if through tinted glass. Subsequent correspondences and contradictions ascertain the truth or falsehood of the context. The criterion of falsehood is not the primary subjective apprehension but its contradiction. If a judgement is contradicted by another judgement of unquestionable faith, the former is rejected as false. Subjective experience as illustrated by a dream is rejected as illusionary and contradicted by waking experience. Falsehood is, thus, ultimately a question of experience. Similarly, truth is also a matter of experience and a prior logic is incompetent to manage it. Pujyapada indicates that sensory, scriptural and clairvoyant knowledge may be false or spurious, according to the attitude of the subject who is dependent on the distortions of karma (Jain S. 1960: 1.31). False knowledge is caused by deluding and knowledgeobscuring karma and past impressions resulting in non-appearance, indirect appearance, and imposition of foreign elements obstructing proper illumination of the self and other objects. The proper shedding of the corresponding karma may lead to Right Knowledge. Right Knowledge allows one to distinguish between the beneficial and the harmful, the absolute and the relative, and between the rational and the irrational. It allows one to accept what is beneficial and discard what is harmful for spiritual advancement. The Jains do not draw any line between true and false cognition as far as their objectivity is concerned. It is relative. It is a question of degree rather than quality. True cognition provides accurate knowledge of an object, while false cognition allows knowledge to be distorted. The Jains insist on the test of validity before deciding on truth or falsity. The truth or falsity of knowledge also pertains to personal feelings and common sense objectives. The relativity of our objective knowledge is based upon differing viewpoints and personal attitudes. Relationship of Knowledge to Self and Other Objects: It has already been pointed out that the cognisant self can have knowledge of the self and the external world. But 165 Page #166 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ how are they related? From the practical point of view, the cognisant intellect and the self are distinguishable by the fact that the self has knowledge. However, from the noumenal point of view, there is no distinction between the two. They are so intimately connected that they seem to be identical, because knowledge is a quality without which no entity could be identified. Classification of Varieties of Knowledge: Knowledge can be classified by two criteria: the nature of knowledge and its source. Knowledge has two varieties, intrinsically or formally: undifferentiated, indeterminate or elementary knowledge, and determinate or detailed knowledge. The undifferentiated knowledge occurs, at the point of the first sensory contact with an object when there is only a general awareness of it. The determinate knowledge follows the first encounter giving detailed or perceptual deliberation of the object. Traditionally, the term knowledge refers to perceptual comprehension. Indeterminate knowledge goes through four stages before it becomes determinate knowledge. The four stages are sensory organ-object contact, perceptual intuition of the object, speculation (it may be this), and perceptual judgement (it is that). There are five types of determinate knowledge. In addition to the sensory organs and mental faculties, intuition is also a source of knowledge. On the basis of sources and objects of knowledge, Jains have classified knowledge into five types (table 4.7). Table 4.8 The five types of knowledge Name Sensory knowledge Source Senses and mind Objects Material objects Scriptural knowledge Senses and mind All objects at all times through authentic words or scriptures Clairvoyant knowledge Material objects in the universe Inner self with proper karmic shedding or suppression Inner self with higher karmic shedding or suppression Telepathic knowledge Finer mind reading and thought reading. Can be achieved only by humans. Omniscience All objects at all times Inner self with shedding of all four destructive karma 166 Page #167 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 4.6 JAIN CONCEPT OF KNOWLEDGE S ensory, scriptural, clairvoyance, telepathy and omniscience are the five forms of knowledge (Jain S. 1960: 1.9). The first two are indirect, dependent upon as the senses, mind or scriptures; the other three are direct perceived straight through the soul. The knowledge, which leads to liberation, is the Right Knowledge, but the knowledge that continues the process of transmigration on the worldly cycle is wrong or erroneous knowledge (mithyaajnaana) and the sensory, the scriptural and the clairvoyance may be erroneous (Jain S. 1960: 1.31). Sensory knowledge (mati jnaana) is the knowledge derived from sensory experience and found in most worldly beings, and is arrived at through the sensory organs and the mind. It covers all types of empirical knowledge. It is the cognition of an object through the operation of the senses alone, the mind alone, or the senses and the mind combined. However, Jain scriptures state that without the aid of the mind, it may not be possible to have knowledge of the external world. Cognition is the innate property of the soul. There is no cognition without a cognisant self. Thus, we can say that sensory knowledge is a four-stage process: Object->Senses->Mind->Soul->Knowledge Sensory knowledge covers all stages of the acquisition (sensation, perception), conservation (memory, imagination) and the elaboration (judgement, reasoning) of knowledge. The sensory organs receive stimulation, which the mind organises as the physiological and psychic conditions of knowledge. The Psychology of Sensory Knowledge The soul is by nature conscious and can know everything without external assistance. But karmic matter may obscure its power. The only requirement for cognition is, therefore, the removal of this obscuring matter. The senses and the mind perform this function. The senses are instruments in a negative aspect only: they partially remove karmic matter just as windows in a room partially remove the obstruction of walls, allowing one to see outside. The mind then organises the information received through the senses, completing cognition. The information may be correct information or spurious information depending upon the status of the mind and the knowledge-obscuring karma attached to the soul. The Senses: Nature and Function. The senses are instruments of cognition. Living beings are classified into five groups on the basis of the number of senses they possess. The function of the senses is to establish contact between objects and the mind through their physical and psychic structures so that sensation and cognition may be produced. Senses apprehend objects and their qualities. Worldly beings are classified as: 'immobile' (sthaavara) beings, which possess only the sense of touch, such as the beings of earth, water, fire, air and plant. * 'mobile' (trasa) beings which possess between two and five senses. 167 Page #168 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Five-sensed organisms such as human beings and some animals have a mind and are called samjni jivas; others do not have mind. Every living being has at least one sense, the sense of touch, and has the potential to have five senses. The attainment of additional senses depends upon the merit of bodyproducing karma. The scriptures mention the size, shape and spatial functional capacity of the senses. Their functioning depends upon direct or indirect contact with external objects and their natural capacity is subject to body-producing karma. Senses are of two types: physical and psychic. The physical senses have a material structure. The psychic senses represent the power or function of the self. Thus, the sensory organs (indriya) have two forms: a physical portion (dravyendriya), created by body-producing karma, and a psychic portion (bhaavendriya), created by the shedding of knowledge-obscuring karma. The physical part is further divided into the organ itself (nirvrutti) and its protective covering (upkarana), such as the eye-lid. The psychic part is also divided into two: labdhi and upayoga. Labdhi is the manifestation of the specific sensory experience obtained through the removal of knowledge-obscuring karma (psychic impediment). Upayoga is the psychic force determining the specific sensory experience arising from the contact of the particular sense organ with an object of stimulation. It also depends upon the degree of shedding of knowledge-obscuring karma. The newly embodied transmigrated soul carries the karmic body, in the form of particles, from its previous existences. The karmic particles, which are collected and attached through the actions of previous existences, have an 'unconscious' presence in the newly formed body. They are dormant but have the potentiality to manifest themselves and can be realised under certain circumstances in the conscious mind, when they exhibit sinfulness or virtue. Jain texts term the possession of karmic particles from previous existences as bhava mala (dirt of existences'), and the potentiality of the soul to act through the psychic mind as labdhi. It is the bhava mala that inhibits the individual from knowing one's true identity and characteristics as a soul, but enhances one's identity as a material body and the activities concerning it. Jains divide the mind into the psychic and the physical: the psychic is the equivalent to software and physical equivalent to hardware; the psychic mind transfers the potentiality of the soul through the karmic body to the physical mind. The consequence of this transference may result in action taken by the physical mind, and Jain seers emphasise the paramount importance of restricting this transfer of karmic influence into the physical mind, thus, attenuating any potential action. Jain ethics and their essential duties are intended to reduce karmic influence. The practice of treating other souls as equal to our own, virtuous thinking and meditation, all help to nullify the potentiality of the karmic body in harming others as well as ourselves. By virtue of transmigration, and deep insight into its understanding and knowledge of the soul, Jain seers can perceive the status of the mind in all its ramifications. Thus, this 'long view' explains the psychology of unexpected behaviour, and Jain psychology allows us to understand, in a logical way, the pattern of life through karmic influences from the past. T.G. Kalghatgi (Some Problems in Jaina Psychology) describes the Jain view of the structure of the differing sensory organs, noting that they are not uniform. The internal area of the ear is like the kadamba flower or like a ball of flesh. The internal eye is the size of a grain of corn. The sense organ of smell is like a flower. The organ of taste is like the edge of a knife. The sense of touch is more varied. The protective covers of 168 Page #169 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ organs have also been described. For instance, the external part of the organ of taste consists of a collection of transparent particles of matter. The eye is the smallest sensory organ, the ear is slightly larger. The organ of smell is larger still, the organ of taste covers the greater area of the tongue, while the sensory organ of touch is the greatest, covering the whole body (Kalghatgi 1961:56). The psychic senses are not material but represent the psychic power or function of the self. The application of psychic power to a particular object results in the cognition of that object. The psychic power is the capacity, which is attained at the very moment when the worldly soul enters into a new life. Sensory knowledge is attained through the sensory organs. Each sensory organ has different functions. The organ of touch is capable of apprehending the eight qualities of touch, (hot, cold, soft, hard, smooth, rough, heavy and light). The gustatory sense reveals five types of taste, (astringent, bitter, pungent, sour and sweet). The olfactory sense apprehends two varieties of smells, (fragrant and foul). The sense organs of vision reveal five varieties of colours, (black, blue, red, yellow, white and also mixed). The sense of hearing apprehends three varieties of sounds (produced by living beings, material things and mixed). The Mind The mind (mana) is an internal or quasi-sensory organ, subtler than the senses and capable of apprehending the present, recollecting the past and imagining the future. The mind is not only an instrument of knowledge and thought, but also an instrument capable of many psychic activities, such as feeling and desires (which are not cognitive). It is an instrument of sensory cognition, and intelligence of doubt, judgement, reversal, etc., which are independent of the senses. It may or may not be dependent on other senses for apprehending objects, which may be purely sensory or purely psychic. The mind has two forms: physical and psychic. The physical mind is material, constituted of mind-variforms (manovarganas) composed of fine subatomic particles. There is no unanimity as to its location. The psychic mind is the power or the activity of the self, resulting in the various functions and states of the physical mind. The Functions of the Mind: The mind develops the instincts (sanjnaas). The word 'instinct' may be defined as the capacity to think of the desirable and avoid the undesirable. Instincts can be classified in many ways, but the most accepted classification consists of their three varieties: knowing, thinking, and feeling. Knowing and thinking are cognitive functions while feeling is a non-cognitive phenomenon. Knowing relates to indirect and direct knowledge. Though it is known that the mind is not an essential condition for knowledge, it is said to function actively in sensory and mental cognition. Of course, sensory cognition is empirically direct cognition while mental cognition is indirect. In the case of extra-sensory or paranormal cognition 'clairvoyance' or 'telepathy', the function of the mind is limited only to the desire to know a particular object. In the case of omniscience, it is absolved even from this function. The thinking functions of the mind are manifest in the following ways: Analysis of the meaning of speculations Determination or inferential judgement Arrangement, analysis, discrimination and classification of sense data 169 Page #170 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Distinctive search for data Logical thinking about the 'how and why' of the data Deeper analysis, appreciation and evaluation of results Mental determination of the manifestations such as recollection recognition, validation, implication, inference, retention, mental recording, and scriptural learning Cognition of subjective qualities such as doubt, dreams and connotative activities These functions represent largely mental and subjective functions. Functioning of the mind begins with the second stage of speculation by acquiring sensory knowledge. Feeling and volition are generally taken as non-cognitive functions. They are instinctive. These include the major four below: Food instinct effected by feeling-producing karma Fear instinct effected by deluding karma Sex instinct effected by deluding karma Possessive instinct effected by deluding karma Jain texts describe a further twelve instincts. Four passions due to deluding-karma Pleasure, pain, due to feeling-producing-karma Delusion, disgust and mourning due to deluding-karma Religiosity effected by different types of karma Habitual and tradition-based feelings effected by deluding-karma. The above instincts are found in manifest or non-manifest forms in all mundane beings, including one-sensed beings and higher-sensed creatures such as animals. Jain texts describe humans and some five-sensed animals, which have a physical mind, as fully instinctive; all other animals are partially instinctive (asanjni). This division is based on the criteria of the physical mind, which is not developed in the lower grade animals. Their activity is merely habitually instinctive and irrational, but, as far as psychic mind is concerned, it is not completely absent. Some, for e.g. plants, also possess the power of feeling and thinking to a certain degree as one-sensed creatures clearly exhibit feelings, reacting to adverse or favourable conditions. Jain scriptures claim that animals are also capable of receiving spiritual instruction. Different Forms of Sensory Knowledge Sensory knowledge is macrocosmic in nature and is dependent upon specific karmic removal. It incorporates: Knowledge that covers the present only Recollection that concerns memories of past impressions Recognition connects the past with contemporary knowledge Inductive reasoning that is a mental process of rational observation Deductive reasoning or inference that is a mental process of rational concomitance The quality and the degree of sensory knowledge vary from person to person. For example, Srimad Rajchandra (Raychandbhai Mehta), the spiritual mentor of Mahatma Gandhi, had a 'supermind'. Such capacities reflect the infinite range of sensory knowledge. Of course, the development of these capacities is due to the shedding of 170 Page #171 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ specific knowledge-obscuring karma, meditation, and the efficient functioning of the right part of the brain. The memory of an individual's past lives is a form of sensory knowledge, a manifestation of exceptional mental capacity. It can be explained on the basis of the extraordinary shedding of sensory knowledge-obscuring karma at an early age and some discursive factors to catalyse the awakening of memory. This does not happen to everyone because everyone does not shed the specific sensory knowledge-obscuring karma (Arun vijay 1991: p.219). Hypnotism also involves past memories under special circumstances and is a form of sensory knowledge. The process in the acquisition of sensory knowledge has four stages: Cognition ->Apprehension ->Speculation ->Inference ->Retention. Apprehension (avagraha): This is the immediate sensory experience arising out of initial sense-object contact. It is the stage of something' as an object; it is indeterminate perception, mere awareness and mere cognition without any knowledge of the specific nature of the object. It may be indistinct or distinct: indistinct apprehension is a physiological stimulus of sensation that results in the second phase of distinct apprehension, an awareness of an experience. Speculation (ihaa): This stage is the formation of perceptual knowledge and specific cognition and introduces an integrative process involving mental activity, which creates coherence and integration of the sense data. It occurs not only before the inferential stage but also subsequently, if the cogniser continues thinking and is desirous to explore the subject further. It is mental contemplation, analyses data supplied by the senses and it is not universal. Certain apprehensions disappear completely after the first sensation, without leaving any impression, while others impress upon the mind - either favourably or unfavourably for inference. Inference (avaya): From the associative integration, we arrive at the stage of interpretation where the sensations are explained and meaning is assigned to them, the result is perception. It is a stage of determinate knowledge specifying the object in full details after due verification. Despite arriving at a decision, this stage is non-verbal. Retention (dharana): This stage consists of the record of perceptual judgement already arrived at or acquired over a longer period. It makes a subconscious impression that can be recovered by the memory and may be: Non-deviation (avicyavana) is concentration on the same point over a long period of time without any diversion; Impression (vaasanaa) is the concentration on a subject over a long period, which becomes memorised, it is the psychic condition of post-retention; Recollection (smriti) is the mental recovery of past impressions and arises generally through sensation of the recurring object. The cognitive process can be realised through all the senses, depending upon the nature of the object being perceived. In dreaming, where the external senses are inactive, the process is identical. The sensory knowledge of a person with spurious faith is distorted sensory experience and is known as false sensory knowledge. All living beings do not have identical quality of sensory knowledge, as it depends upon the way of experience and the shedding of sensory-knowledge-obscuring karma. Classification of Sensory Knowledge: The five senses and the mind acquire sensory knowledge through apprehension, speculation, inference and retention. Each of the four types of sensory knowledge is obtained through the five senses and the mind 171 Page #172 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ (4x6-24). The four sense organs other than the eye and the mind have also an indistinct awareness of touch, taste, smell and hearing (vyanjanaavagraha), making 24+4=28 forms of cognitions. Each cognition may be single or multiple (2); may have one or more qualities (2); may be fast or slow (2); may be inferential or non-inferential (2); may be decisive or non-decisive (2) and may be certain or uncertain (2); thus a total of 12 further varieties. If the above twelve varieties are multiplied by the 28 earlier categories, the result is 336 possible cognition or varieties of sensory knowledge (Devendra Muni 1983: pp. 359-60). SCRIPTURAL KNOWLEDGE Every worldly being has a degree of sensory knowledge (mati jnaana) and scriptural knowledge (sruta jnaana). Scriptural knowledge is knowledge accompanied by expressions in words (through language), which have significant meaning. Sensory knowledge usually precedes scriptural knowledge, but may not accompany it. The scriptural knowledge could be due to two factors: external due to comprehension of sensory knowledge and internal due to the shedding of karmic particles obscuring sruta jnaana In early aagamic literature scriptural knowledge has been defined as the knowledge obtained through primary canon (angapravista). Later on it has been accepted as knowledge acquired through the words, oral or written, of the omniscients, preceptors, or scholars and experts in such knowledge (angabaahya). The technical term sruta used for this form of knowledge means etymologically an object of audibility (i.e. oral sound, words and sentences), however, mere physical sound cannot be taken as a source of knowledge; it must have meaning and be capable of expression through words. The presence of a psychic sense, representing the potentiality of the above functions, also qualifies as a source for scriptural knowledge even in the absence of any physical sensation. That is why the Jains postulate the existence of some scriptural knowledge even in sensory deficient and one-sensed beings (such as plants), as they do possess psychic senses which serve as instruments and media for acquiring knowledge. How, otherwise, could they possess the instincts of food, fear, sleep and other desires such as attachment and aversion. The noted botanists Haldane and Wilkins (The Times, 10 September 1994) have experimentally observed faster and better plant growth in the presence of melodious sounds. They also detected reactions to hostility in plants, for example when a person approached a plant with the intention of cutting it; the plant's trembling was detected by sensitive monitoring instruments. It is a fundamental Jain belief that knowledge exists for the sake of liberation. Our empirical knowledge might be quantitatively large, but it cannot be true knowledge, as it does not lead to liberation. Scriptural knowledge is the only true knowledge. The Jains have preserved their scriptures, which are highly valued as sources of acquiring Right Knowledge. They believe that in the absence of the omniscients, the scriptures are the only sources of reliable knowledge. A person having the total mastery over the scriptural knowledge can know all the objects of the world, past, present and future. An earlier definition of scriptural knowledge reflected only to spiritual or superworldly knowledge; however, later it incorporated worldly knowledge. People who have attained scriptural knowledge are known as enlightened, scriptural omniscient (srutakevali) or 'attained' (aaptapurusa). 172 Page #173 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Characteristics of Scriptural Knowledge Scriptural knowledge is always expressible and communicable through words and symbols. Scriptural knowledge generally aims at expounding physical, psychic or metaphysical 'realities' such as the soul, transmigration, karmic bondage and its shedding. The knowledge can be divided into worldly and spiritual. Every worldly being has or acquires the necessary knowledge to manage worldly affairs and earn a livelihood. This knowledge has not been accorded the same status as scriptural knowledge and has been termed 'perverse', as it preserves the cycle of birth and death. Modern scholarship cannot be equated with scriptural knowledge, as it is worldlier. One may be a noted academician but will not regarded as having Right Knowledge, as such learning does not lead to liberation. Acquisition of Scriptural Knowledge Scriptural knowledge is acquired through reading or listening to the teachings of the scriptures, texts and scholars. Sermons from spiritual individuals, and the ascetics are also a popular source of spiritual knowledge. Practical experience from the home and from society; and studying in schools, colleges or religious schools for children (paathasaalaas) are the sources of spiritual education. The modern media and the information technology can also be a means to acquiring scriptural knowledge. Jain seers emphasise the need for regular self-study as the important means for acquiring scriptural knowledge. However, all the above methods of acquiring scriptural knowledge are dependent on effective removal of specific knowledge-obscuring karma. The attained scriptural knowledge can have three consequences: motivation to acquire further spiritual knowledge, leading to omniscience; transmission of the knowledge in a future rebirth; or the loss of knowledge. SUPERNORMAL FORMS OF KNOWLEDGE Cognition which arises from the soul without any external help from the senses or the mind is direct and supernormal. It is of three types, 'clairvoyance' (avadhi), "telepathy" (manahparyaaya) and omniscience (kevala), classified on the basis of their gradation. Direct cognition is a natural quality of the soul, lying dormant due to karmic obscurity. It is manifested, partially or totally, according to the degree of shedding of karma. The supernormal knowledge of an omniscient is eternal and constant, while that of 'clairvoyance' and 'telepathy' which are variable, may disappear or may progress to omniscience, are not constant and function only when attention is applied. Clairvoyance Clairvoyance (avadhi jnaana) is the direct supernormal knowledge of material objects beyond the reach of the sense organs and the mind. It is designated as "limiting' (avadhi) as its sphere of apprehension covers only those objects that have form and shape. It cannot apprehend non-material objects or Realities such as the media of motion and rest, or space and time. It has been designated as deficient direct knowledge (vikala pratyaksa). It apprehends objects beyond the capacities of the senses with reference to substance, location, time and mode. The concept of aural-clairvoyance (hearing, rather than seeing) is one of its forms. This is not a constant knowledge and depends upon karmic removal or suppression. 173 Page #174 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Clairvoyance is of two types according its nature of origin: congenital and meritacquired; the first one is birth based and second one depends upon shedding or subsidence of the specific karma. Congenital (bhava-pratyaya): Clairvoyance based on birth is possessed by celestial and infernal beings (Jain S. 1960: 1.21), because of their existence. It is possessed by all in these existences, but the degree differs. It is presumed that in these beings destruction or subsidence of relevant karma might have taken place before their birth, otherwise possession of this extra-sensory knowledge is not possible (Devendra Muni 1983: p.367). The capacity for congenital clairvoyance is fixed according to the region of birth in celestial and infernal regions. Infernals, for example, cannot perceive beyond 6-13 kilometres. The potential for apprehension by celestials varies from a minimum of 332 kilometres to the whole of the universe. Scriptures differentiate the clairvoyance in case of the beings with Right Faith and wrong faith; in wrong believers it is erroneous, as it is vitiated with their mischief (Jain, S. 1960: p.32) Merit-acquired clairvoyance (guna-pratyaya): This form of clairvoyance is due to the differing degrees of shedding cum subsidence of clairvoyance-obscuring karma and is attained by both human beings and animals. Such individuals have usually advanced to the fourth stage of spiritual development and aspire to reach the higher stages. The Jains postulate that the five sensed animals with mind have the potential to rise to the fifth spiritual stage and acquire clairvoyance. There is no other system that gives so much spiritual importance to animal life. Jain narrative literature has many legendary stories relating spirituality in animals, some of which involve the biographies of previous lives of the tirthankaras. Clairvoyance varies according to the spiritual capacity of an aspirant. Jain texts describe six types of clairvoyance: Clairvoyance may accompany the living being wherever that individual goes (anugaami), or it may cease to function when the being travels to another place; that is, it functions only where the individual has acquired knowledge ananugaami). In both these instances, the clairvoyance may be of a unidirectional or a multidirectional nature. The clairvoyance of heavenly and infernals, and of the tirthankaras, is multidirectional; it is unidirectional in the case of animals. In the case of human beings the directional limit of clairvoyance may vary and is dependent upon the degree of karmic removal. Clairvoyance may increase in intensity to cover a larger area of operation rather than the place of origin (vardhamaana) or its area of operation may decrease (hiyamaana), which is dependent upon decrease of Right Faith. The clairvoyance may last for the lifetime or until one attains omniscience (apratipaati) or alternatively, it may be transitory and short-lived (pratipaati). The clairvoyance of celestial and infernal beings lasts for lifetime, and that of the tirthankaras until the attainment of omniscience. Spatial Extension of Clairvoyance: Jain texts have classified clairvoyance further into three based on its area of spatial extension: partial (desaavadhi), supreme (paramavadhi) and complete (sarvavadhi) clairvoyance. Partial clairvoyance may have differing degrees of spatial extension (minimum, maximum and intermediate) of clairvoyant knowledge, varying from the smallest part of a finger (angula) to the whole universe. It may last from a fraction of a second to countless years. It may apprehend the minimum psychic mode or an entire cluster of modes. Any living being in any of the four destines can possess partial clairvoyance. It may be congenital and merit-acquired. 174 Page #175 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Supreme clairvoyance may have three varieties similar to partial clairvoyance and may be an extension of it. Complete clairvoyance has no sub-classifications, and it covers the entire universe. Both supreme and complete clairvoyance are merit-acquired, possibly only by human beings. Telepathic knowledge Telepathic knowledge (manahparyaaya jnaana) is the lucid and definite knowledge of the minds, and the mental states or thoughts of others spread over the past, present and future. It depends on the degree of specific karmic removal. It is a supernormal knowledge where interaction takes place with the fine particles of matter (manovargana) in the minds of others. The subject matter of telepathic knowledge may be both the mental states and the objects conceived by the mind (Jain S: 1.23 and Dixit K. 1974: 1.24-25) though some believe that it apprehends only mental thoughts or states only. The objects of thought, being secondary and either have form or are formless, are cognisant made by inference (Jinabhadra, Visesaavasyakabhaasya date n.a.: p. 814) However, telepathic knowledge cognises the substantive, location, time and modal aspects of the mental states of others. Telepathic knowledge is acquired only by human beings born in 'the land of action' (karmabhumi); usually ascetics at the higher stages of spiritual development. Such ascetics have Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. They practise deep meditation and are well advanced on their spiritual journey of purification of the soul. The quality of telepathic knowledge varies. It depends upon the spiritual capacity developed in the aspirants in their present life, and also on their merits from past lives. Types of Telepathic Knowledge There are two forms of telepathic knowledge: simple (rujumati) and complex (vipulmati). The difference between them is of degree and infallibility (Jain S. 1960: 1.24). Complex telepathic knowledge apprehends mental states and objects in greater detail than does its simpler counterpart. The complex is purer, superior and infallible (apratipaata), as its possessor belongs to the ascending stage of spirituality. The simple type may be imperfect, can disappear (pratipaata) and its possessor may descend the spiritual stage because of the rise of passions. The complex form is attained by an aspirant who progresses along the spiritual path by shedding karma; the simple form is attained by aspirants who may only have suppressed, or partially shed, karma. Differences between Clairvoyance and Telepathy: Both clairvoyance and telepathic knowledge are supernormal, direct cognition; telepathy is purer and its range is subtle matter much finer than that of clairvoyance. They can be distinguished from each other in five ways: object, ownership, purity, location, and nature. Clairvoyant knowledge cognises all material entities which have forms and their certain modes, while telepathic knowledge is cognition of the mind and its activities. Any living being, including celestials and infernal beings, regardless of their spiritual virtues, can possess clairvoyant knowledge. It is possible for human beings to attain clairvoyance when they have progressed between the fourth and seventh stages of their spiritual journey. Only human ascetics or saintly persons, who have attained spiritual perfection from the seventh to the twelfth stage, can attain telepathic knowledge; but it is impossible for other living beings. Telepathic knowledge perceives different modes of mind clearly, 175 Page #176 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ deeply and precisely and is limited to the area of human habitation: the two and a half continents of Jain geography. Whereas clairvoyance may be congenital or acquired, telepathy is always acquired through spiritual advance. Omniscience Omniscience (kevala jnaana) is perfect knowledge. It is attained when the fourfold destructive or obscuring (ghaati) karma is totally shed. The omniscient knows all entities in their entirety with all their qualities and modes: past, present and future. Omniscience is direct and completely supernormal cognition without the aid of the senses or the mind. It represents the fullest realisation of the capacity of the self. Meaning of the term Omniscience: The concept of omniscience is the central feature of Jainism and its philosophy; and liberation cannot be attained without its acquisition. The ultimate goal of worldly life is to acquire omniscience. Jains designate an omniscient person kevali or sarvajna (sarva = all, jna = knowing). The following terms all denote forms of omniscient: kevali ('perfect adept'); sruta kevali (*scriptural adept'); arhat ('enlightened'); siddha ('liberated"). It is necessary to understand not only the true meaning of the concept of omniscience but also the logical underpinning given to it during the periods of "creative logic' and 'real logic" (c.500-1200 CE.). There are a number of meanings for the term omniscience: knowledge of self, knowledge of religion, knowledge of the path of liberation, total knowledge, knowledge about the Realities and religion, perfect knowledge of the Realities and religion in all times and places. Different Indian scholars have described omniscience in a variety of ways, present day Jain seers take 'omniscience' to be true, valid, immediate and direct knowledge of Reality and religion in the universe holding good for all times and places. Human omniscience is absent in Western thought, only God is Omniscient. However, from the very beginning Indian philosophies have associated omniscience with enlightened yogis and saints who have progressed along the spiritual path through the practices of deep meditation. Omniscience is a value-based concept, realizable only by those who have capacity to undertake it. It has been included in the sources or 'organs' of knowledge by the Jains. Attainment of Omniscience: Omniscience is directly related to the Jain theory of karma. The relationship between omniscience and karma is inverse with respect to karmic density, and direct with respect to karmic shedding or dissolution. The lesser the karmic density or the greater the shedding of karmic particles, the greater the tendency for attaining the omniscience. The Jain scriptures indicate that omniscience appears with the total shedding of all fourfold obscuring karma: delusion-obscuring, knowledgeobscuring, faith-obscuring and will-obscuring, on the completion of the twelfth spiritual stage. Omniscience appears in the thirteenth spiritual stage, where the omniscients are embodied (sayogi kevali), as they have shed only ghaati karma but still possess aghaati karma which allows them to be embodied and active in the world. Some of these omniscients could be tirthankaras who establish the fourfold order and preach the message of happiness and bliss for all worldly beings. They become disembodied (ayogi kevali) at the fourteenth stage, and totally shed the remaining aghaati karma. Shortly 176 Page #177 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ afterwards, these souls become "liberated ones' (siddhas). Thus, omniscience is present in enlightened worldly souls who may be sayogi or ayogi, and liberated siddhas. In omniscience the mind plays no part. The mind is an organ of discrimination and limitation. Limited knowledge requires the mind to focus on a particular point. In omniscience, focus on a particular point is unnecessary. The gaze of omniscience is so powerful that it receives the reflection of all objects simultaneously, just as the sun's rays simultaneously illuminate all objects. It must be noted that in the case of omniscience, the operative instrument is the soul itself. It has unlimited capacity; consequently the entire cosmos is covered simultaneously. The physical and psychic minds are nothing but partial manifestations of the soul; they are fully manifested in the process of omniscience, hence they are absolved of their functions. An omniscient that is active in preaching (dynamic) is designated or enlightened (kevali). Such a soul is worthy of veneration (arhat), and may be a tirthankara. The dynamic omniscient clarifies the doubts of sages or celestials of the highest region, preaches to worldly beings and answers their questions. The mind is not required for intuition or perfect knowledge, but the other functions of the omniscient are not free from mental operation. Omniscients and feelings: Omniscients at the thirteenth spiritual stage possess fourfold aghaati karma; one of them being feeling-producing karma. Hence, they feel pleasure and pain as a result of physical or external factors, but the feelings are hardly noticeable, as they are not accompanied by delusion, and do not result in karmic bondage. Omniscients and activity: Omniscients possess certain external and internal characteristics, one being complete and perfect knowledge. The Buddhists attribute omniscience only to Buddha or a Bodhisattva, due to his exceptional merit, while Jains claim it is possible for all those who are spiritually able. Svetambars hold that the activities of an enlightened one (arhat) or tirthankara, such as eating, walking and speaking, resemble those of spiritually advanced human beings, as they are embodied. But Digambars believe that omniscient, whether embodied or disembodied does not require eating and functioning of other activities, they are realised through their supernatural powers. Omniscients possess infinite knowledge, infinite faith, perfect conduct and infinite energy. Ayogi kevalis have no activities, they progress further on the spiritual path to their ultimate destination of liberation. The difference between the ayogi kevali and the liberated soul (siddha) is that the liberated one is without physical existence, while the omniscient even without activity (ayogi kevali) still has a physical existence. Siddhas possess eight qualities: infinite faith, infinite knowledge, perfect conduct, infinite energy, infinite bliss, eternal existence, nonmateriality, and 'not-weighty, not-light'. The other four types of knowledge-sensory, scriptural, clairvoyance and telepathy, also co-exist with omniscience; but they are overpowered by perfect knowledge. The knowledge of human beings, who have not reached the stage of omniscience, is partial, mixed with some falsity, even in master scholars (inaanis). The concept of omniscience is accepted by most Indian philosophies whether its form is divine, yogic or human. Devotees recite texts or prayers extolling the exceptional qualities of the deity such as omnipotence, omnicognisance and omniscience in physical imagery during worship. 177 Page #178 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ From earliest times, omniscience has been a question of faith or dogma rather than reason. Since the development of logic or the intellectual method of analysis, many dogmas have been made credible. The Jains have examined their faith logically. Jain logicians have advocated that arguments be classified into four categories: arguments concerning the nature of omniscience, arguments concerning the teachings of the tirthankaras, arguments concerning the organs of knowledge; and others. Omniscience is the highest perceptual potentiality of living beings. The concept of the inherent limitation of physical or mental perception is based on the imperfect understanding and observation of the Realities. This limitation is overridden, in many cases, through the triple path of Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. Every soul possesses a natural state of pure knowledge or omniscience. It is not manifested in ordinary worldly beings, as it is obscured by knowledge-obscuring karma. The knowledge of individuals can increase from partial to the whole, depending upon their efforts to shed this karma. Samantabhadra describes the qualities of the tirthankaras in terms of five attributes: they must be devoid of physical and psychic defects; they must be omniscient; they must be able to impart scriptural teachings; they must be supreme souls - supremely detached, pure and beneficent to all; and they must be able to guide living beings towards the threefold path of Right Faith, Right knowledge and Right Conduct. The valid sources of knowledge such as inference, perception and clairvoyance do not give us knowledge of objects in all modes; omniscience does give. Omniscience can be validated through almost all the valid sources of knowledge. Many facts that have been established by modern science are already written in Jain scriptures, which are believed to be the teachings of the omniscients. Examples include knowledge of the nature of atoms and their power, the presence of sound waves, life in plants and vegetables. Mechanism of Omniscience: We have described earlier the function and attributes of substances such as existence, functionality, changeability, knowability, individuality, spatiality, and the common and their special stationary wave motions. Let us now discuss the mechanism of the omniscience. The soul and matter have special stationary wave motions, which give consciousness and invisibility to the soul and sensuality and visibility to matter. These special stationary wave motions adapt to modifications such as expansion, contraction and variation in shape, in a similar way to those of light waves. The special stationary wave motion spreads out from a central point to all parts of the substance similar to expanding light waves. The omniscient soul is free from the obscuring karma of faith, knowledge, conduct and delusion. Hence its special stationary wave motion spreads evenly throughout all its space points. As a result of freedom from obscuring karma, the soul's surface becomes a mirror-like medium perfect for the reflection of images. The normal special stationary wave motion has full support of the soul's infinite energy. Its functions are to maintain the soul's perfect reflecting medium, and to generate normal disturbancefree energy waves (super energy wave motion) to help and to energise the soul's conscious activity. The omniscient soul's super energy wave motion, assisted by the medium of motion, spreads in all directions throughout the universe, then recoils and returns 178 Page #179 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ instantaneously to its source. The powerful vibration of these waves emitted by the soul is reciprocated by the medium of motion. Being an indivisible, pervasive and homogeneous substance, the medium of motion responds to these super energy vibrations in all its space points throughout the worldly universe simultaneously, and allows the waves to pass through all substances and objects. In this to and fro journey, because of the functioning knowability of the substance, the normal super energy waves are imbued with all the information on substances and objects. These super energy waves impose an exact replica or image of all subjects and their state afresh every moment on the mirrorlike surface of the omniscient soul. The soul simultaneously decodes all images and symbols into perception and knowledge concerning all the substances and objects throughout the universe. The special stationary wave motion is supported by the infinite energy functions of the soul, which continuously generates rhythmic vibrations in its space points. Just as the rhythmic sound vibrations of the music produce pleasure, these continuous rhythmic vibrations of the soul result in infinite bliss. In the worldly soul, the presence of obscuring karma obstructs the functioning of the special stationary wave motion of the soul. The special stationary wave motion 'wobbles' and becomes abnormal and arrhythmic. Obscuring karma render the soul unable to reflect the images, and to generate the super energy waves powerful enough to cross the karmic body. There is an almost absence of bliss, because the waves are arrhythmic. The sensory organs of the worldly soul to a very small extent, bring apparent happiness, and temporarily compensate for these shortcomings. The perception and knowledge are of a sensual type and are confined to gross material objects to the limits of sensory organs. Abnormal stationary wave motions are occasionally disrupted by the amplified positive waves or pulsations generated by the sensory organs, making the vibrations that are established slightly rhythmic. This phenomenon allows the soul to experience pleasure, while some negative interference makes the vibrations that are established arrhythmic, producing displeasure or pain in the worldly soul. 179 Page #180 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 4.7 THE CONCEPT OF THE SOUL The soul, self, spirit or life force forms a central core of a religion. It is an active, I energetic and conscious entity. Two types of souls have been postulated by Jain philosophy: the ideal, pure, disembodied or liberated; and the real, impure, embodied and bonded by karma. There are other classifications based on gradations of spiritual progress. Jain scholars give the analogy of gold dust and say that just as gold is found in the mines, mixed with dust, similarly, the souls have always existed in a world permeated by karma, as worldly souls. They further refer to pure gold being obtained from the mixed dust by the purifacatory processes; similarly, the worldly soul is purified into a pure soul by the spiritual practices, preventing the influx of new karma and the shedding of the attached karma. Jains believe that worldly souls have existed eternally due to karmic bondage and that there is no creator such as the Supreme Being for this world and its inhabitants. Hence the explanation as to how the pure (ideal) soul turned into a worldly (real) soul is irrelevant and not found in Jain scriptures. The goal of human life is to turn the real soul into an ideal or pure soul by shedding karma. The nature of the soul Many philosophies have discussed the nature of the soul as either material or ideal. The materialistic view identifies the soul either with the body or with the sensory organs. Some commentators have suggested that the mind is the soul; some have even suggested that the soul is identical with the psyche (prajnaa). The mind and sensory organs cannot function in the absence of the psyche. The psyche or the soul has been identified as the agent of cognition. Cognition by the mind or the senses is only possible if there is cognisance. Meditation on the soul leads to the concept that the soul is a non-material and spiritual substance. The soul cannot be grasped by the senses, but it is possible to know the soul, if we transcend sense-experience and progress to direct experience. The Buddha described the self as an aggregate of physical and mental states. Physical and mental states are constituted through cognition, affective states and psychic energy. The momentary character of the world as seen by the Buddha denies the existence of an enduring soul. The Buddha did not, however, accept the materialistic conception of the soul, but recognised the soul itself as consciousness and gave it an important place in his teachings. The Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita indicate that the soul is to be differentiated from the body, the psyche or the mind. The soul pervades the entire universe, but it is indescribable. The Hindu philosopher saint Sankarcharya believed Brahma, the creator and supreme god, and the soul to be identical. Another Hindu thinker, Madhavacarya believed Brahma and the soul to be not mere appearances, but both to be equally real. The Sankhya and Nyaya-Vaisesika schools also affirm the independent reality of the soul quite distinct from matter (Devendra Muni 1983: 98-102). The Jain theory of the soul is rational, and is said to have been crystallised during the period of Parsvanatha (eighth century BCE), since then the theory has remained unchanged. The Jain tradition describes the nature of the soul in ideal and empirical terms. From the point of view of its essential substance it is eternal; from the point of 180 Page #181 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ view of modification, the soul is contingent. The ideal soul is formless, indestructible, beyond measure and cannot be known by the senses. It is all-pervasive with respect to the fourfold infinities: faith, knowledge, bliss and energy. The soul can become independent of the body, although due to its characteristics of expansion and contraction the soul pervades the body that it occupies whether large or small. Its fundamental nature and its number of space-points are not affected by such bondage. The formless soul acquires a body because of its karmic bondage and through this body it takes apparent form. Through its activity in the empirical world it accumulates further karma, unless it progresses on the spiritual path of liberation. When the soul relinquishes one body, it takes with it the subtle luminous and karmic body and forms another body in the next life. Practically all worldly souls have the same capacity for spiritual development. Yet each one develops in different ways due to the attachment of differing types and quantities of karmic particles, but it has potential of being liberated by self-effort through the process of arresting further karmic attraction, and shedding attached karma. The soul and modern science Some scientists do not distinguish between mind and soul. They consider mind as an expression of the workings of the brain. Other scientists believe that everything can be explained, including mind and thought, through the operation of physical bodily processes. Jains believe that the mind is both material and non-material, the physiological basis is material and the psychic functions are non-material. Mental states are not physical. The body influences mental states, but mental states are not physical states, and some scientists have emphasised this qualitative distinction between mental and bodily states. Modern scientists are not clear about the nature and relationship between mind and body; they have not been able to explain psychic states and their relationship to cerebral functioning. The phenomenal progress of science in the modern age has only been possible because of the functioning of psyche (soul or spirit), which is distinct from the brain, the bodily organ, although the body is a necessary instrument. Science is not clear about how the body, i.e. the brain, generates past impressions or memories. According to one scientific view, life cannot be produced from inert objects. The life force is real, independent and without a beginning. According to another view, life can be generated from inanimate objects. Marxist theory maintains that the psyche is the qualitative transformation of physical objects, as water is transformed into vapour or ice, so the psyche is produced from changes in physical objects. Marxists have not been able to answer the question: at what stage does consciousness arise and what is its original nature? Concept of god among Jains The Jain concept of the ideal soul is associated with goodhood, and Jainism believes in the potential of all to realise it. It does not support the monopoly of godhood by a single Supreme Being or god; hence some Western theologians regard the Jains wrongly as atheists. Religions have developed concepts of monotheistic or pantheistic gods (with different names in different languages and religions) out of earlier notions of polytheism. 181 Page #182 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The majority of the world's population follows a number of monotheistic religions, because of their psychological acceptance. The early literature of most Indian philosophies indicates that their atheistic character was later modified into monotheism. Polytheistic Hinduism has gained worldwide importance through its monotheistic variant Vedanta. Some Western philosophies believe that the concept of a god as the creator, destroyer and maintainer of the world, and all-powerful judge associated with qualities such as omniscience, omnipotence and transcendence, does not stand logical scrutiny. Jainism does not accept a god as creator or ruler, but it does accept that other qualities attributed to god are attainable by all human beings, through their own efforts through shedding karma. The liberated state of the soul is called the 'supreme soul' (paramaatmaa, arhat or siddha), having the highest qualities of the four-fold infinities. Jains accept that practically every human being can attain the attributes of a god, and they venerate tirthankaras, omniscients and liberated souls as supreme souls or gods. For the Jains, the godhood represents a qualitative character and they believe that all liberated or ideal souls are gods, in contrast to the belief in a single creator god. Jainism encourages all human beings to strive for godhood through following the path of Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. However the godhood is never attainable by divine grace, but only attained through an individual's own efforts. 182 Page #183 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 4.8 RELATIVISM Tains have made 'relative pluralism' (anekaantavaada), supported by 'viewpointism? J (nayavaada) and 'statements in some respects' (syaadavaada), the foundation of its philosophy. Relative pluralism promotes a many-sided approach to the problem of the knowledge of the 'real entity. It is anti-dogmatic and presents a comprehensive and synoptic picture of the 'real entity' from multiple points of view. It affirms that there are different facets of the 'real entity' and that they have to be understood from various points of view by the predications of affirmation, negation and indescribability. Thinkers having a singular view in mind can see only one facet of the 'real entity', and cannot realise 'real entity' in full. According to the German scholar Hermann Jacobi, relative pluralism opens the floodgates to the comprehension of 'real entity' not only in toto but also in its differing aspects. Different systems of philosophy have offered a variety of interpretations of the 'real entity'. There is ambiguity, and there are metaphysical contradictions and confusions. We are at a loss to know which theory of the 'real entity should be accepted. This creates intellectual chaos. For instance, we see varying interpretations of the soul in different philosophies. Some argue it is all-pervasive like space, some maintain that it is atomic in nature, some say that it is the size of a thumb, and some say that it is the product of the elements. Some maintain that consciousness is not a characteristic of the soul but is produced by the metabolic changes of the body, others say that consciousness is inherent in the soul. These differences arise from a basic outlook on the 'real entity'. Some take the point of view of synthesis and present the picture of 'real entity' in a synthetic sense. They seek unity in diversity, and posit the 'real entity' to be One. Others view the 'real entity' from an empirical point of view and emphasise diversity in the universe. Some schools of thought consider the 'real entity' to be incomprehensible. Thus, there is intellectual incoherence in the study of metaphysical problems. The Jain theory of relative pluralism seeks to find a solution to this intellectual incoherence. It seeks to find meaning in the diversity of opinions and tries to establish that these diverse views are neither completely false nor completely true. They present partial truths from differing points of view. Absolutism, dogmatism or a singular approach are not inherent in the real entity', but are due to the workings of the intellect. They are the products of intellectual discrimination. If the intellect is pure in essence then absolutism disappears. The great Jain thinkers Haribhadra's (eighth century CE) and Yashovijay's (seventeenth century CE) support to the relative pluralism has been quoted by Devendra Muni in his work 'A Source Book on Jain Philosophy. Haribhadra says that the one who develops a synoptic outlook based on the pluralistic attitude is always guided by objective and rational considerations in evaluating the theories of others. Yashovijay says that one who has developed the 'pluralistic' outlook does not dislike other viewpoints, but regards them with understanding and sympathy. One who believes in this outlook looks at the conflicting and diverse theories of 'real entity' with equal respect (Devendra Muni 1983: p.243). 183 Page #184 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Relative pluralism states that the nature of the 'real entity' should be studied purely from the rational point of view without prejudice or bias. The absolutist attitude is compelling, but it discourages us from accepting the point of view of others. Truth can be understood in a true and comprehensive way through viewing the differing views of the 'real entity' in their proper perspective, and analysing the primary and the secondary points of view and giving them due consideration. The intellectual confusion created by absolutists is removed by relative pluralism. The current political practice of democracy is an application of relativism, for ideally it recognises the validity of different viewpoints. Due to intrinsic value the spirit of relative pluralism cannot be ignored by any school of thought. The theory of relativism or relative pluralism was developed through a realistic approach to many fundamental philosophical problems. It has been successfully applied to such questions as the definition of 'real entity' in terms of permanence through change, and the relationship between the body and the soul. By adopting a pluralistic approach that substance is permanent but that its modes are changeable, the Jains have evolved realistic answers to the problems of permanence and change. Substance, jiva or soul is permanent, but its mode, the body of a living being, is changeable. Aspects of Objects Jain texts indicate that the infinite facets and nature of an object can be expressed under eight different predications, each of which forms a separate set of relativistic perspectives. These are: substance (dravya), location (ksetra), relation (sambandha), function (upakara), mode (paryaaya), time (kaala), association (sansarga), expression in words (sabda), meaning (artha and bhaava). They should be considered with respect to the self and other entities. We may get a comprehensive picture of an object through a synoptic presentation of these aspects, through a relative perspective. Only when something is examined in all its aspects do we have what is termed a total and comprehensive presentation. Otherwise, the presentation will be partial and will be regarded as a particular viewpoint. Relative pluralism is the fundamental attitude of mind that looks at the 'real entity' from multiple viewpoints. These points of view, called viewpoints (nayas), are its partial psychological expression. Relativism is the expression of relative pluralism through logic and predication. Relativism is the theory of manifold predication encompassing all points of view, in different contexts and from differing viewpoints. It is the expression of the total 'real entity'. The object of knowledge is of huge complexity. Every object has varying facets. They have to be studied facet by facet. Each aspect of the study forms a viewpoint; the summation of all aspects of study is relativism. The aim of relativism is to co-ordinate, unify, harmonise and synthesise the viewpoints from all aspects into a serviceable whole, which has a bearing upon the psychological and the spiritual life. According to this perspective, a judgement is only valid if it encompasses the 'real entity' or object as a whole. It is the Jain prescription for the view of an object as a whole. It is holistic in nature. Modern scholars have described it as a devastating weapon to counter absolutist philosophies in a rational and non-violent manner. It argues that judgements about an object must vary according to the observer's perspective. It shows 184 Page #185 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ the limitations of language and attempts to provide a rationale for describing the representation. It, therefore, develops the capacity for adjustment, accommodation and progress. Nayavaada An object has many facets. To have a thorough knowledge and to be able to describe it as a whole, relative pluralism is necessary. One cannot know the whole truth about an object without a relative perspective. But in practice, when we have to describe an object, we speak only about particular aspects of that object. This is not to deny the existence of the other attributes of the object. This particular viewpoint is naya. The truth of the 'real entity' or the total knowledge of an object may have multiple viewpoints; naya describes one of the several characteristics from a particular point of view. As an example, when we want identify a car, we say 'white Rover' or 'blue BMW' etc., there is no mention of engine size, number of cylinders, speed or accessories, but our statement does not mean that the car is devoid of other attributes. Jain seers have classified nayavaada from two viewpoints: substantive (dravya) and modal (paryaaya). The first refers to descriptions of an object with reference to its substantiality, the other with modes or verbal terms used for an object. It is just like gold as a substance and gold as an ornament. There are seven viewpoints. The first four of them belong normally to the first and the remainder to the second category. Universal Viewpoint (naigama naya): refers to the intention or objective rather than actuality. For example, a woman lighting a stove may say 'I am cooking food', when asked what is she doing. While her expression refers to her intended objective, she may not actually be cooking food. Synthetic Viewpoint (sangraha naya): This refers to the apprehension of either the generality or the particularity of an object. When importance is given to generality, particularity becomes secondary and vice versa. For example, words like 'food', 'tree', "real entity" refer to generalising categories involving all foods, trees or 'real entities'. This generality will involve all substances and modes. The particularised viewpoint gives importance to the specific character of a classification or quality. In the above example, words like 'protein, 'fruit tree' and 'living being refer to a particular category as they exclude other kinds of foods, trees and 'real entities'. Thus, this viewpoint refers to the identity of or classification of an object. This viewpoint concentrates on the aspect of unity, and disregards diversity. Thus, this synthetic unity is not absolute. It represents only the relative or a particular aspect of the truth. It is agreed that there are similarities within a classification and among individuals, but their distinctiveness in many respects cannot be excluded. Conventional Viewpoint (vyavahaara naya): This refers to the practical, empirical or particular point of view. It places emphasis on the systematic differentiation of the synthesised object. It takes conventional or popular characteristics of an object into consideration. It gives prominence to particularity over generality, without overlooking that their co-existence is concomitant. It classifies the 'real entities' in differing specific categories. It asks: how can there be transparent knowledge of anything without particularity? For example, if one asks someone to bring vegetables from the market, what shall he or she bring? However, if specific vegetables like tomatoes or cucumber are requested, he or she will bring only those items. Thus, particularity has a specific 185 Page #186 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ importance in interpreting the world. Thus, this viewpoint is more specific than the synthetic. Pinpointed' Viewpoint (rjusutra naya): This refers only to the present state or mode of an object without concern to the past or the future. The present is the only aspect of an entity with which this viewpoint is concerned. For example, if someone has been a rich man in the past, but now is a beggar, the 'pinpointed' viewpoint will recognise him only as a beggar and not as a rich man. This viewpoint is purely particularistic in approach and refers to actual conditions at a particular moment in time. Verbal Viewpoint (sabda naya): This verbal viewpoint refers to the synonymous nature of words, and propounds that these are different meanings of words in respect of their grammatical reference to sense, gender, number, person, case-endings and prefixes/suffixes. It is realised that synonyms have different etymological origins, but they may refer to the same object. There are specific meanings for synonymous words. For example, an earthenware pot or earthenware utensil (kumbha or kalasa in Sanskrit) refers to the same object. However, they may not be completely identical, and such an identity will be fallacious. Thus every word has an intimate correlation with its meaning, which has implications for that particular object. If words change with respect to gender, number, case etc., this may also involve changes in meaning. Many popular examples may be cited for each case. This viewpoint is more specific than that "pinpointed as the verbal designation of an object has definite connotations, despite the fact that the meaning may differ without changing the identity of the implied object. Different synonyms signify different attributes of the same entity. Etymological Viewpoint (samabhirudha naya): This is also a form of the verbal viewpoint. It refers to differences even within the meanings of synonyms based on their etymological origin. There are many synonyms for the paramount god of the heavens (Indra), but they all have different connotations due to their differing etymological roots, even though they imply the same entity. This viewpoint further specifies the connotations of the words and indicates that there may be no correct synonym. Thus this is still more specific when compared with the verbalistic viewpoint. Such-likes' Viewpoint (evambhuta naya): This refers to the fact that an entity can be designated by a word only when the entity is exercising the activity connoted by the word. For example, the word enlightened' (arhat) is an appropriate designation for the tirthankaras when human and celestials are worshipping them as such. Similarly when using the term jina (victor over passions) for the arhats. This naya is the mode of actuality, it indicates that one cannot use any word for an entity until it qualifies for that activity. The earlier viewpoint does not take the active connotation into account when designating a word. Hence this is still more specific than the earlier viewpoint. These seven nayas are distinguishable from one another by the specificity of their scope, and each succeeding one is dependent on the preceding category. From the view of infinite characteristics of the "real entity', the viewpoints have numerous divisions. They are inter-dependent, and their harmonious combination paves the way to finding the truth of an object. Thus, nayavaada shows the way to reconciling differing viewpoints and their harmonisation. Nayas reveal only a part of the totality and nayavada is the analytical method that investigates a particular standpoint of the totality (Kalghatgi 1988: p.109). Synthesis of every viewpoint is a practical necessity. Syaadavaada makes this synthesis possible by retaining the relative importance of each viewpoint. 186 Page #187 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Syaadavaada The term syaadavaada is derived from two roots: syat, meaning 'in some respect', and vada, meaning 'statement'; thus, 'statements in some respect'. It will be denoted by the term 'relativism'. The Jain philosophers point out that the comprehension of the 'real entity' cannot be achieved by merely formulating certain simple, categorical propositions. The 'real entity' is complex; any one simple proposition cannot express the nature of the 'real entity' in its totality. That is why the term syat ('in some respect") is appended by Jain philosophers to the seven propositions concerning the 'real entity', indicating that affirmation is only relative, from some point of view and with some reservations, and is not in any sense absolute. It is not enough that problems about the "real entity" are merely understood from differing points of view, but such understanding must be expressed truly and correctly. This is met by the doctrine of relativism. Relativism comprehends the object of knowledge, despite its being complex embracing an infinity of modes; that the human mind is of limited understanding; that human speech has its imperfections when expressing the whole range of experience; and that all our statements are conditionally or relatively true. Hence, every statement must be qualified with the term syat, 'in some respect', to emphasise its conditional or relative character. Seven Predications of Syaadavaada: Jainism states that an infinite faceted object can be described by seven possible statements or predications, seemingly contradictory but perfectly true. Because of its seven-foldness, the theory is known as the 'theory of seven-fold predications (sapta-bhangi). The seven predications are formulated on the basis of three fundamental postulates: affirmation, negation, and indescribability, and their permutations and combinations. Jain philosophers believe that these seven modes of predication together give us an adequate description of the 'real entity'. They are shown in the table 4.8 below. Table 4.9 The seven-fold expressions for a description of an entity or an event. affirmation in some respects, it is in some respects, it is not in some respects, it is negation affirmation and it is not in some respects, it is indescribable (i) syad-asti (ii) syad-nasti (iii) syad-asti-nasti (iv) syad-avaktavya (v) syad-asti, avaktavya in some respects, it is describable and is not (vi) syad-nasti, avaktavya in some respects, it is not and is indescribable in some respects, it is and is not and is indescribable (vii) syad-asti-nasti avaktavya cum-negation indescribable 187 combination of (i) & (iv) combination of (ii) & (iv) combination of (i), (ii), (iv) Significance of Relativism: Relativism and 'viewpointism' are complementary. Whereas 'viewpointism' emphasises an analytical approach to the 'real entity', pointing out that different viewpoints are possible, relativism stresses the synthetic approach to the 'real entity', reiterating that the different viewpoints together help us in comprehending Page #188 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ the "real entity'. The relativism guides us in matters of physical experience, where it is impossible to formulate the whole and complete truth and in matters of transcendental experience where language is inadequate in describing everything. It provides a comprehensiveness of approach to these problems, inculcating rational, tolerant and sympathetic considerations towards other viewpoints. The twenty-first century may be an age of pluralism of religious teachings, and for social living in the world, and it is possible that the practical applicability of Jain relativism and its scientific and philosophic wisdom may be of value to the wider communities throughout the world. 188 Page #189 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 4.9 SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT ery few persons are on the path of spiritual progress. The general population lacks both Right Knowledge and Right Conduct and is busy satisfying temporary pleasures of the senses. Their life is governed by drives and passions such as anger, pride, deceit and greed. They have fears, such as the fear of losing possessions, status, family, society and health. This phenomenon is due to the karmic bondage of the soul, which obscures its true characteristics. Liberation from karmic bondage, to uncover the true nature of the self, is the goal of spiritual development. The journey from the embodied soul to the liberated soul is traversed through the medium of moral and intellectual preparation. Jain scriptures have described the graduated stages on this virtuous path. Stages of spiritual development There are fourteen stages of spiritual development, known as gunasthanas. 1 The Dark Period of Self: The first is called the stage of false faith or delusion' (mithyaatva). At this stage the worldly soul remains in a perpetual state of spiritual ignorance due to deluding karma, which engenders a complex state of perverted beliefs and conduct. The dominance of a spurious faith precludes the self from any inclination towards the path of liberation. Delusion vitiates Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. People may possess both extensive knowledge and moral conduct, but a spurious faith does not allow them to destroy the hostile elements of the soul and to proceed towards spiritual development. Thus the darkest period for the self is when it is overwhelmed by a spurious faith that obstructs all spiritual endeavour. It is a state of spiritual slumber, when one does not recognise one's delusion. The soul tied to this stage identifies itself with bodily colour, physical frame, race, sex, caste, creed, family, friends and wealth. It is constantly obsessed with the fears of losing possessions, family, friends and health, and is tormented by the thought of death. A bogus faith makes one accept a miss-construed religion as the right religion, a false path as the right path, the materialistic body as the soul, the non-saintly person as the saint, the unemancipated as the emancipated, and so on. Jain seers have described this deluded spiritual stage as the 'state of external self". In this stage there will be some souls who never triumph over this darkness, never achieve liberation, and are known as 'ones who are incapable of liberation' (abhavya). They have a bogus faith and misconstrue the nature of things (Tattvartha Sutra 1974: 2.7). Others who also occupy this stage have inclinations towards spiritual development, as they are learning towards the path of Right Faith and do not commit intentional sinful acts. They do not attach undue value to the worldly life and maintain vigilance over whatever they do. The spiritual darkness of those with an inclination towards spiritual development is not as intense as that of the welcomers of transmigratory existence. From the first stage, if individuals are successful in removing the effects of faith-deluding karma and develop Right Faith, they can rise to the fourth stage. They can fall from the fourth to the third, second or first stage if the effects of faith-deluding karma reappear, as is described below. 189 Page #190 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Figure 4.10 The fourteen stages of spiritual development. Infinite Bliss Infinite Energy Non-Materiality Not-Superior, Not-Inferior Stage of Static Omniscience Stage of Dynamic Omniscience Stage of Total Annihilation of Deluding Karma Stage of Subsided Delusion Stage of Control of Subtle Passions Stage of Desireless Mind Stage of Unprecedented Volition Stage of Total Restraint with Carelessness Stage of Total Restraint with Occasional Carelessness Stage of Partial Restraint Awakening of Self (Stage of non-restrained Right Faith) Stage of Mixed Faith Fall from Awakening (Stage of Residual Faith) LIBERATED BEING 14 13 (12 (11 (10 9 8 7 6 5 3 2 Perverted Knowledge Perverted Conduct Temporary Pleasures 190 Infinite Knowledge Infinite Faith Perfect Conduct Eternal Existence Human Beings Beings with Two to Five Senses 1E (1D) State of False Faith or Delusion (1C) WORLDLY BEING Beings with One Sense 1B (1A) Dark Period of Self Anger, Pride Deceit, Greed Miseries, Fear Page #191 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ 2 (sasvaadan samyagdristi). If spiritual conversion is due to the total annihilation of faith-deluding karma, the self progresses to higher stages. But if spiritual conversion is consequent upon the subsidence of faith-deluding karma, within forty-eight minutes the self falls to the lower stages or remains at the same stage, emerging with certain defects ordinarily not recognisable. In 'subsidential right faith', the four passions and faith-deluding karma (false faith, righteous, and righteous-cum-false-faith) subside. When the bogus faith reemerges, the self again descends to the first spiritual stage and darkness overwhelms it. 3 The Stage of Mixed Faith: The third stage is called the stage of mixed faith (misra). This is a mixed stage of awakening and residual faith. If the righteous-cumspurious faith re-emerges, the self falls to the third spiritual stage wherein total scepticism as regards spirituality prevails, and there is a mixture of right and wrong attitudes without firm belief. If there is a rise of the passions, the soul sinks to the second stage. When awakening arises again, in either the second and third stages, the soul may advance to the fourth stage. 4 Awakening of the Self: The fourth stage is called stage of non-restrained Right Faith' (avirata samyagdristi). Spiritual awakening is consequent upon the teaching of those who have realised the Right Faith or are on the path of self-realisation. The aspirant acquires the right attitudes and attains firm conviction in the true self and 'real entity'. At an opportune time, delusion is destroyed and one feels spiritual joy and bliss. The spiritual conversion is to be distinguished from a moral and intellectual conversion. Even if individuals in the first spiritual stage are endowed with the capacity for intellectual and moral achievements, they cannot be said to have dispelled the spiritual darkness. Some of those incapable of liberation, which have attained substantial intellectual knowledge and moral uplift, exemplify this sort of life without spiritual conversion. Thus the flower of spiritual development does not blossom by mere morality and intellect, but requires spiritual sustenance as well. They practise universal compassion, do not hanker after worldly wealth and pleasures, show no feeling of disgust at bodily conditions caused by disease and are free from all fears. They have deep affection for spiritual matters, strengthen the conviction of those who are faltering, and disseminate spiritual teachings through the means best suited to the time and place. 5 Spiritual Cleaning: The fifth stage is called the stage of partial restraint (desavirati). In this stage the aspirant takes the twelve vows of a householder. After dispelling the dense and intense darkness caused by faith-deluding karma, the awakened self purges the conduct-deluding karma. In the fifth spiritual stage, householder aspirants are unable to avoid hurting one-sensed beings. They adopt the five minor vows along with the seven supplementary vows of ethical behaviour, in order to sustain the central virtue of ahimsaa as far as possible. This stage of the journey of the self has been called the spiritual stage of 'partial restraint since here aspirants avoid intentional violence to two to five-sensed beings. They cannot avoid violence in their worldly duties and as part of the duty of self-defence, but this violence is unintentional and they feel sorry for it. Thus a householder's life is a mixture of virtue and vice. It does not have the same purificatory quality as pursued by ascetics. 6 Total Restraint with Occasional Carelessness: The sixth stage is called the "stage of total restraint with occasional carelessness' (pramatta samyati). From the fifth stage, aspirants are motivated to gradually renounce the householders' life and to become 191 Page #192 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ascetics. They observe five major vows, five types of carefulness and the three guards. They practise internal and external austerities with special attention to self-study, devotion, and meditation; and avoid violence to all living beings, as far as is humanly possible. As ascetics, they accept food by begging, eat only a little, require little sleep, endure hardship, practise universal friendship, adhere to spiritual progress, and avoid acquisitions, associations, and activities that may harm any living being. They observe the vows of total restraint (sarvavirati), but show occasional lapses in their restraint. Illumination 7 Total Restraint with Carefulness: The seventh stage is called the 'stage of total restraint with carefulness' (apramatta samyati). Aspirants keep themselves away from obstacles in observing their vows. 8 Unprecedented Volition: The eighth stage is called the 'stage of unprecedented volition' (apurva karana nivritti). Aspirants prepare themselves for the destruction or subsidence of the remaining part of the deluding karma. They continue to be attentive and exercise total restraint on their spiritual journey. 9 Desireless Mind: The ninth stage is called 'stage of desireless mind' (anivritti karana). Aspirants destroy or subdue the karma resulting from six types of quasipassions and passions such as laughter, attachment, hatred, fear, grief and aversion. They progress towards controlling the mind but still have subtle passions. 10 Control of Subtle Passions: The tenth stage is called 'stage of control of subtle passions' (suksama samparay). Aspirants at this stage are freed from the remaining passions by subduing or annihilating them. 11 Subsided Delusion: The eleventh stage is called the 'stage of subsided delusion' (upasaant moha). Owing to the subsided passions gaining strength, the illuminated consciousness of the dangerous eleventh stage falls to the lowest stage of bogus faith or to the fourth stage of non-restrained Right Faith. As a result, the ecstatic awareness of the transcendental self is negated and a sense of darkness envelops the aspirant. In this stage aspirants subdue delusion completely, but when dormant passions become operative, aspirants may regress. If they annihilate the dormant passions, they can rise to the twelfth stage. 12 Total Annihilation of Deluding Karma: The twelfth stage is called the 'stage of total annihilation of deluding karma' (ksina moha). In this stage, aspirants ascend higher and higher by destroying all delusion. These spiritual stages from the seventh to the twelfth are stages of meditation or the stages of illumination. It is to be noted here that the self oscillates between the sixth and the seventh spiritual stage many thousands of times, and when it attains equanimity, it strenuously prepares itself for either subsiding or annihilating the conduct-deluding karma. This oscillation is the result of the struggle between carelessness and carefulness. By the time aspirants reach the stage of careful restraint, they have developed a power for spiritual progress and meditation on the soul. It is through the aid of deep meditation, where external environments cannot affect them that the soul sheds its karma speedily. The aspirants now pursue the higher path. In consequence, they arrive at the eighth and the ninth stages where the state of profound purity exists. In the tenth stage only a subtle greed can disturb the soul. The 192 Page #193 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ soul subdues even this subtle greed at the eleventh stage and thus absolves itself from the rise of all types of passions. If the self follows the process of annihilation instead of subsidence, it rises directly from the tenth to the twelfth stage. Here the conduct-deluding karma is destroyed instead of being merely subdued. It is said that meditation produces supreme ecstasy in a spiritual aspirant, who is firmly established in the self. Such an ecstatic consciousness is vigorous enough to nullify the residual karma, and the aspirant remains unaffected by the external environment. Transcendental life 13 Dynamic Omniscience: The thirteenth stage is called the stage of dynamic omniscience' (sayogi kevali). This process consists of two stages: The first stage of dynamic omniscience' is where the obscuring karma is shed, but bodily activity continues. The 'static omniscient stage is where all bodily activities cease. The worldly soul, after passing through the stages of spiritual conversion, now arrives at the sublime destination of liberation by ascending the rungs of the spiritual ladder. In the thirteenth stage the soul possesses dispassionate activity and omniscience. This is a supernormal state of existence and an example of exemplary life upon earth. 14 Static Omniscience: The fourteenth stage is called the stage of static omniscience' (ayogi kevali). In the fourteenth stage the soul annuls all activities, but preserves omniscience and other characteristics of the pure soul. The soul stays in this stage for a very short time, sheds the remaining non-obscuring karma and becomes liberated. After the fourteenth spiritual stage the soul leaves the body and shoots upwards like an arrow, reaching the apex of the universe (siddha silaa) in a fraction of a second, and resides there with the other liberated souls. It possesses infinite knowledge, faith, bliss, spiritual energy, and perfect conduct. It is free from its association with any form of matter; is neither heavy nor light, and is eternal. The fourteen spiritual stages present a definitive road with well spaced marker, leading to the ultimate goal of spiritual perfection (Mardia 1990: pp. 54-64; Sogani 1977:pp. 119-132). 193 Page #194 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 4.10 THE COSMOS Thinkers throughout the ages have explored the nature of the universe, Jain thinkers no less than any others. Over the centuries a specifically Jain picture of the cosmos was developed and elaborated in great detail, and it figures extensively in traditional Jain art and forms a symbolic background to the Jain explanation of the meaning of life. There are a large number of texts about the cosmological concepts of the Jains. The earliest canon contains cosmological references. There are specialised texts composed between the third and thirteenth centuries CE in which the Jain universe is described in detail. These include: the 'Treatise on three worlds' (Triloka Prajnaapti); the 'Treatise on the Sun' (Surya Prajnaapti); the 'Treatise on the Moon' (Candra Pragnaapti); the 'Summary of three worlds' (Trilokya Saara); the 'Illumination of three worlds' (Trilokya Dipikaa); the 'Treatise on Jambudvipa' (Jambudvipa Pragnaapti); the "Treatise on Realities' (Tattvartha Sutra), the 'Summary of Jain geography' (Ksetra Samasa); and the 'Treatise on Jain cosmology and geography' (Bruhat Sangrahani). The universe as conceived by the Jain tradition has two parts: one occupied by entities and the other unoccupied space, the whole being infinite in extension and time. The infinite unoccupied universe of empty space surrounds the occupied universe. The occupied universe is imagined as being of human shape with three distinct parts: upper, middle and lower - each supporting specific worlds. (The traditional image of the occupied universe is shown in figure 4.10). There is an area, referred to as a channel' (trasa nali), which extends in a narrow band throughout the length of the occupied universe. It has the height of fourteen 'ropes' and a width of one 'rope' (rajju), a measurement of immense width. This measurement is defined as the distance covered flying non-stop for six months at a speed of 2,057,152 yojanas per second. (A yojana is equal to about 6 miles). For astronomical calculations Jains use the unit of a pramaana yojana (1,000 yojanas). This is the yojana used throughout this chapter. Mobile beings live in the trasa nali, while immobile beings may live both inside and outside it. Three layers: dense water, dense air and thin air surround the wholeoccupied universe respectively. Beyond these lie empty space. The trasa nali extends the entire length of the occupied space, fourteen rajjus. Occupied space is widest at its base, seven rajjus, and then tapers to a constricted centre with a width of one rajju. From the centre upwards it increases in width to a maximum of five rajjus and then tapers again to the apex which is one rajju wide. The upper part of the occupied universe, the upper world', is occupied by celestial beings. Humans, animals and plants, astral bodies and lower kinds of celestials (vyantars and bhavanvaasi) occupy the 'middle world'. The 'infernals' reside in the 'lower world'. 194 Page #195 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Figure 4.11 The traditional Jain view of the occupied universe Siddha sila (Abode of siddhas) ---------- Sarvartha siddha ----- 5 Annuttars ------9 Graivayaks UPPER WORLD . - Kilbisika -..-.- Lokantika I wi>! Zo i -:- Kilbisika Vyantars Bhavanvaasi Kilbisika Astrals (Sun, Moon, Stars) Islands and Oceans Ist Hell MIDDLE WORLD 2nd Hell 3rd Hell UPPERWORLD 4th Hell 5th Hell 6th Hell 7th Hell Trasanali 195 Page #196 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Figure 4.12 Sectional diagram of the traditional Middle World, showing the two-and-a-half continents inhabited by humans. West Key: A: Jambudvipa B: Dhataki C: Puskara Dvipa Sun North Moon Airavat Region Vaitadhya Mountains Shikhari Mountains Hiranyavant Region A Rukami Mountains Ramyak Region Nilavant Mountains N. Kva Mahavideha Region Meru Mtns Two and ontinents S. Kuva Nisadh Mountains Harivrsa Region Maha Himvant Mountains South Himvant Region Lagu Himvat Region Vaitadhya Mountains Bharat Region 196 Mahavideha Region Moon Dhataki Continent, 2 Bharat, 2 Airavat, 2 Maha Videha puskardvipa Half, 2 Bharat, 2 Airavat, 2 Maha Vid- ------ Lavana Ocean S Kalodadhi Ocean --- Manavotta Oceans without Human Population Infinite Regions and Last Svayambhuraman Ocean East Page #197 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Figure 4.13 'Map' showing the relative positions of Jambudvipa and Nandisvar Dvipa which has the four groups of fifty-two eternal Jain temples. Nandisvar Ocean 52 eternal temples Iksurasa Ocean .. Csiravar Ocean Jarunivar Oce ar Ocean Puskarai dade aloda cean "linen 52 eternal temples 3. Pus 52 eternal temples Dvipa 5. Ksira Siravar Dvip vipa 6. Drutavar Dy ar Dvipa ndis var 7. Iksurasa Dvip Dvipa 52 eternal temples v The inner element, marked 1., is Jambudvipa. The Lower World and Infernal Beings The largest area of the occupied universe is the lower world. Certain types of celestial beings, opposed to good, live here with infernal beings. The lower world is seven rajjus high (or long). It consists of a stack of seven infernal regions, one above the other, and each one smaller than the one below. 197 Page #198 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Each level of the lower world is one rajju high and is surrounded and supported by layers of dense water, dense air and thin air. The top and bottom of each of the seven hells, two zones, a few thousand miles high, are uninhabited. The scriptures give names to each of the hells. They are, from top to bottom: First hell: 'illuminated like jewels' (ratnaprabhaa) Second hell: 'illuminated like gravel' (sarkaraaprabhaa) Third hell: 'illuminated like sand" (vaalukaaprabhaa) Fourth hell: 'illuminated like mud' (pankaprabhaa) Fifth hell: 'illuminated like smoke' (dhumaprabhaa) Sixth hell: 'illuminated like darkness' (tamahprabhaa) Seventh hell: 'illuminated like deepest darkness' (tamastamah prabhaa). The misery of the beings inhabiting the hells is the result of their karma. Only those creatures, human or animal, which have earned demerit because of evil actions, go to the lower world, from where they obtain rebirth as plants, animals or humans. After the realisation of their hellish-body producing karma, they are reborn in one of the above destinies, which depends upon the new bodyproducing karma acquired in the hellish life. The seven regions of the lower world become gloomier and more unpleasant as one travels down. These regions are filled with pain and suffering - extremes of cold and heat, and interminable hunger and thirst. The lower world begins 900 pramaana yojanas below the base of Mount Meru (the central point of the continent on which humans live). Infernals are not born from the womb, but they come into being spontaneously in a narrow-necked vessel. They are removed from the birth vessel by evil celestial beings (parama dhaamis). Their bodies are broken when removed from the vessel, but they reconstitute themselves, just as drops of mercury flow back together. Their bodies are made of inauspicious particles of matter and are capable of adapting to any shape or size, and they possess a perverted form of clairvoyant knowledge. Most of them spend their time in conflict with one another. Infernals are not reborn as infernals, because of the realisation that their karma and resultant suffering burns away much of their bad karma. Some are reborn as lower forms of life such as plants, birds or animals, and others who suffer the results of their karma with equanimity are reborn as humans. The Lower World and Celestial Beings The uppermost hell of the lower world is the residence of the lowest category of celestials called the 'residentials' (bhavanvaasis), brilliant, charming, gracious and playful, each with gems, weapons and distinctive insignia. There are ten classes of 'residential' celestials, each further divided into two groups, northern and southern, both ruled over by a celestial sovereign (Indra). The asuras belong to this category. Celestial beings are not born from the womb but come into existence spontaneously on a bed of flowers. Their bodies are made from auspicious particles of matter, and they can change their size and shape of their bodies at will. Their 'real' form is that of young people, both male and female, and they retain this youthfulness. They have a long lifespan, but six months before the end 198 Page #199 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ of their lives, the garland of flowers which they wear withers signifying the end of their celestial life. They feel miserable because of the thoughts of their future rebirth in utero, as an animal or human. They resemble the rich who enjoy wealth, but cannot control themselves. Those few who live an ethical life are born as human beings that can progress towards liberation. Celestial beings can be jealous of other celestial beings that are superior to them. Celestial beings have varied forms of clairvoyant knowledge and tremendous power over the material universe. The Middle World and Celestial Beings Peripatetics' (vyantaras and vaana vyantaras), a second group of celestial beings, live in the middle world, 100 yojanas above the first hell and 100 vojanas below the earth. They lodge in hollows in rocks or in forests in the three worlds, and come of their own accord to help or bless humans. The peripatetics are divided into eight groups and each has sub-groups. They are recognisable by their different emblems, and two Indras, with their retinues of princes, ministers, courtesans, bodyguards, police, troops, citizens, servants and country people, command each group. The minimum lifespan of celestials is ten thousand years. Humans can control them through the meditative recital of certain mantras and, if controlled, they serve those people. The names of the different groups of the peripatetics described in the Jain scriptures are pisach, bhuta, yaksa, raaksasa, kinnara, kimpurusa, mahoraga, gaandharva and others. Astral Celestials Astrals are the third group of celestial beings found in the middle world, very high above the earth. These celestial beings: suns, moons, planets, constellations and stars, are known as 'astrals' Gjyotiskas) as they shine brightly and light the world. It is said that these astral beings have celestial cars and chariots to transport them in and outside the palaces in which they live. We perceive these celestial vehicles and palaces by their luminescence and the radiation of heat. These celestials reside in the area 790-900 pramaana yojanas above Mount Meru. Their movement causes days, nights, eclipses, solstices and other astronomical phenomena with which the human world is familiar. Their movement is said to affect the destiny of individuals in the human world. Jain geography describes a large 'continent' known as Jambudvipa or Jambu in the middle world. Our earth lies in the southern part of the Jambu continent. Jain texts claim that this continent has two suns and two moons. Many oceans and other continents, which are larger, surround the Jambu continent. These have an even greater number of suns and moons. The Upper World and Celestial Beings The fourth and highest groups of celestial beings inhabit the upper world, which is seven rajjus high. They live in the palaces of paradise. They are called the 'celestial-charioteerones' (vaimaanikas). They normally live in the heavens (kalpas) of the upper world. These celestial beings can be either 'born in paradises' (kalpopapanna) or 'beyond the kalpas' (kalpaatita). Jain texts describe fourteen heavens. Kalpopapannas live in the first twelve heavens, where they 199 Page #200 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ have a social structure of princes, ministers, courtesans, bodyguards, police, troops, citizens, servants and country people. Kalpaatitas are themselves like 'heavenly kings' and do not have need of any social structure. Their needs are fulfilled simply by their wishes. The first twelve kalpas are symbolised by animals: deer, buffalo, boar, lion, goat, leopard, horse, elephant, cobra, rhinoceros, bull and antelope. Occasionally, celestials pass from one part of the world to another. Sometimes they pay visits to those who were their friends in earlier existences, either to guide them or to help them in the consecration ceremony of a recently born humans designated to be tirthankaras. Sometimes they are pleased with the sincere devotion to them and may help their devotees with material wealth. They possess miraculous chariots in which they travel, hence their description in Jain texts is as 'celestial-charioteer'. The serenity of the inhabitants of the paradises increases gradually as one goes upward through the levels of the upper world. Their lifespan, power, radiance, morality and the sphere of their sensory and supersensory knowledge, differentiate celestial beings from each other, which increase proportionally as one moves up the ladder of the heavens. Female celestials are born only in the two lowest heavens. Their movements are restricted as far as the eighth paradise. The sexual enjoyment of the two lowest celestial beings is similar to that of humans. The higher the level of the celestial beings, the more subtle is their sexual life. It is sufficient for them to touch, or to see or simply to hear goddesses, to satisfy their sexual urge. The celestials of the tenth and eleventh paradises can satisfy their urges by imagining the object of their desires. Finally, beyond the twelfth paradise they are rid of their passions. They are pure, satisfied and serene. The first four and the last four paradises are usually grouped in pairs. The celestial world also contains matter and darkness, since water and vegetable particles arising from one of the large seas of the middle world spread right up to the fifth heaven, Brahmaloka. In this level of the fifth heaven, eight dark masses (krisnaraajis), or conglomerations are found. In these masses are the lower forms of life, every living being is born several times on the cycle of transmigration. In it asura and naaga celestials produce rain or thunder. The nine 'gods of the limits of the world' (lokaantikas), the guardians of the four cardinal directions, and the four intermediate directions and the zenith. reside in the fifth heaven. There are sixty-two layers of 'celestial chariots' in the heavens and beyond, arranged to prevent collisions. Jain texts describe thirteen layers in Saudharma and Isaana, twelve in Sanatkumara and Mahendra, six in Brahmaloka, five in Lokaantika, four in Mahusukra, four in Sahasrara, and then four in Anata and Pranata, and four more in the Aarana and Acyuta regions of the heaven. There are nine layers in graiveyakas and a single layer in anuttara. The nine graiveyakas and the five 'unsurpassables' (annuttaras) reside in the thirteenth and fourteenth heavens. Annuttaras are very close to that final perfection which they will attain after two human births. Under the crescent of siddha silaa, the 'all-accomplished' celestials (sarvarthasiddha) reside and they 200 Page #201 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ will be reborn just once as humans, since human existence is the only one through which one may attain liberation. Jains believe that rebirth is dependent on the merit and demerit acquired in previous lives, and on the maturing of attached karma to the soul. Humans and five-sensed animals have the possibility of attaining heavenly life in the upper world. The celestials and the infernals are not reborn as celestials. Ascetics, whether Jains or not, who venerate spiritual teachers and their doctrine, wear the insignia of their religion, repeat and teach the scriptures to the laity, and who observe Right Conduct (but do not have Right Faith) can be reborn up to the ninth heaven. The Middle World The middle world is the region from where the soul can attain liberation. Jain cosmology pictures the middle world as a flat, elliptical disk, one rajju wide and 100,000 yojanas high. It is made up of concentric rings of 'continents' and 'oceans' as diagrammatically shown in figure 3.2. In the centre of the middle world is the Jambu continent with a diameter of a hundred thousand yojanas. A salty ocean (lavana-samudra) of twice the area of the Jambu continent surrounds it. Lavana-samudra contains four vast recepticles (paataala), at the four cardinal points, which function to produce tides along with velamdhara mountains (found in the salty ocean) to regulate the sea. Paataalas are the abode of the kaala and mahaakaala groups of divinities. This ocean is itself surrounded by the dhaataki continent, around which lies the ocean of kaalodadhi samudra and the pushkarvar continent. A range of mountains called manusottar divides this continent. Human beings and animals inhabit jambudvipa, dhaataki and half of the pushkarvar continent. These two and a half continents mentioned in Jain geography are 4.5 million yojanas in diameter. There are more continents and ocean surrounding one another, represented in Jain cosmology as concentric circles, the last one being an ocean of immense size called svayambhuraman. The eighth concentric ring is the continent of nandisvaradvipa, where, fifty-two eternal Jina temples are situated as shown in figure 4.11, celestials go to worship the jinas at the time of the kalyanakas of the jinas, auspicious events in the lives of the jinas, and atthai mahotsava, an eight-day celebration of rituals and pujaas. The nandhyavarta diagram, an elaborate swastika design, formed from rice grains by most Jains during temple worship, reflects veneration of those holy places. Rare accomplished humans may travel as far as nandisvaradvipa. Occasionally, humans can be found beyond the two and a half continents if celestials take them there, but no human being can experience birth or death beyond these continents. The Jambu continent is the region we inhabitat. In its centre is Mount Meru, 100,000 yojanas high (1,000 yojanas below the earth and 99,000 yojanas above the earth). Its base-diameter is 100,000 yojanas, which reduces to 1,000 yojanas at its peak. The surface is divided into four terraces at different heights, each terrace having a lush and environmentally pleasing forest, parks full of flowers, trees, forests, palaces and temples and are named after the forest of prosperous trees' (bhadrasal van): 'pleasing' (nandan van), 'flowery' (somanas 201 Page #202 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ van) and 'pink-flowery' (padnuka van). There is a pinnacle on the fourth terrace with jina temples at its four corners, and there are four crescent-shaped rocks on which newborn tirthankaras are bathed. The Jambu continent has many rivers. It has six mountain ranges of different colours crossing the Jambu continent from east to west. They divide it into seven regions or countries. The seven regions are: Bharat, Airavat, Hemvat, Hairanyavat, Hari, Pamyak and (Mahaa)videha. Each region is presided over by a deity named after the region itself. Bharat is in the south and Airavat is in the north, both of similar size and constituents. The two and a half continents are called the 'land of action' (karmabhumi), where the law of retribution for actions operates. Only there human beings can attain liberation. Jain cosmology describes thirty-five karmabhumis, but from only fifteen can one attain liberation. These are: Bharat, Airavat and Mahaavideha on Jambudvipa; two Bharats, two Airavats and two Mahaavidehas on Dhataki continent; and two Bharats, two Airavats and two Mahaavidehas on the Puskara continent. There are also 'lands of pleasure' (bhogabhumi) whose inhabitants are born as 'couples' and whose needs and desires are satisfied by 'wish-fulfilling trees' (kalpavruksas). They are fifty-six in number and are known as antardvipas. In addition to karmabhumis, tirthankaras may be born in these antardvipas. In the 'land of action' people have to learn and earn a living through activities such as government, defence, agriculture, education, business, arts and handicrafts. Living beings in the 'land of action' are differentiated from those in the 'lands of pleasure' by the fact that they are capable of attaining liberation. Hence, birth in the land of action is considered superior. Jain scriptures mention that human beings living in (Mahaa)videha are simple and can easily attain liberation, as the environment of the (Mahaa)videha region is conducive to spiritual advancement. Twenty tithankaras live and preach in (Mahaa)videha at any time. Some other continents also have tirthankaras. Jains venerate the tirthankaras of the (Mahaa)videha region. Many temples have images of Simandhara Svami, the senior tirthankara of (Mahaa) videha. During the morning penitential retreat, eulogies to venerate Simandhara Svami are recited. The (Mahaa)videha region is sub-divided into thirty-two smaller regions or empires (vijayas) and consists of the same elements as our earth. Jain cosmological texts describe Jambudvipa in detail. The description given and the artistically presented diagrams are fascinating (Caillat and Ravi Kumar 1981: pp. 31, 119, 143; Jausundar Muni date n.a: 3, 8, 12 ;Doshi S. 1985: 67-86) Jain texts abound in precise details on this cosmology and geography. Modern science is sceptical about it. Whether one accepts or does not accept the traditional cosmology has no bearing upon the contribution of Jainism to spiritual matters. 202 Page #203 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 4.11 JAIN ETHICS T iberation from the karmic bondage is the ultimate goal of life in Jain teachings. It is attained only by self-effort through Right Faith, Right knowledge and Right Conduct together, which prevent the influx of new karma to the soul and shed the attached karma from it. Mahavira emphasised Right Conduct to his followers in two ways: for those who can follow his teachings rigorously, the ascetics, and for those who can follow the same teachings, but to a lesser degree in view of their social commitments, the laity. Jainism stresses great importance to asceticism and hence major portion of Jain Canon contains the rules for ascetic practice. Jain seers later on taught the code of ethics for the laity, which included rules for lawful devotees (maargaanusaari), twelve vows and eleven pratimaas for the spiritually advanced laity (sraavakas). We will discuss in this chapter the ethical codes for both the ascetics and the laity. The Ethical Code for Ascetics Ascetics devote themselves wholly to the spiritual life. Even though they are dependent on society for such bare necessities of life such as food, they have no social obligations. They seek liberation through strict observance of the five great vows and austerities, and avoid the slightest defect in their conduct, even though this may make their living unusual and inconvenient. They rigorously practise reverence towards all forms of life and teach the laypeople the practical aspects of the Jina's teachings. The possessions of Jain ascetics: Ascetics are allowed very few possessions, necessary both for their daily rituals and for their spiritual practices. Svetambar monks are permitted fourteen articles: a rosary, a loin cloth, an upper cloth, a shoulder cloth, a woollen shawl, a woollen mat, a covering cloth (rather like a sheet), a mouth-kerchief (muhupatti) to cover the mouth while speaking, a soft brush of woollen threads (caravalaa or ogha), a staff (wooden stick) for walking, a wooden platter, a wooden or clay pot (for water) and a string with which to tie the pots together, and, finally, scriptural texts. The nuns are permitted the same fourteen articles, with one difference. The items of clothing permitted to monks are each of a single piece of cloth, but the clothing of nuns may be stitched. The soft brush, more like a short-handled mop, is a characteristic distinguishing symbol of the Jain ascetic. Its function is to enable the ascetic very gently to move aside any tiny living creature before it gets trodden on. As for Digambar monks, only three items are permitted: a wooden pot for water, a 'brush' made of peacock feathers and scriptural texts. Strictly speaking, there are no Digambar nuns. The ascetic state signifies absolute renunciation of the world and the sole objective is to concentrate one's activities towards the attainment of liberation. Asceticism is a complete commitment to the spiritual path and it is in this state that significant efforts are made to stop the influx of karma and to shed previously accumulated karma. Only by the strict observance of ascetic precepts, austerities, bodily detachment, study and meditation, one can rid oneself of karma and prevent fresh karma becoming attached to the soul. Hence the ascetic life, with its detailed rules of conduct, is the most appropriate path to liberation. 203 Page #204 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Prevention of karmic influx (samvara) into the soul is effected by the observance of three kinds of guards' (gupti), five kinds of 'carefulness' (samiti), ten kinds of virtues (dharma), twelve kinds of 'reflections' (anupreksaa), twenty-two kinds of 'affliction victories' (parisaha jaya), and five kinds of conduct (caritra). The 'Guards': The flow of karma into the soul is the result of the activities of the mind, of the body and of speech. Ascetics must keep these channels of influx of karma strictly controlled by three 'guards' (Uttaraadhyayana Sutra 1991: 24.20-25) * The mind's 'guard' regulates the mind so as to achieve pure thoughts, thus avoiding mental harm to one's own soul and to other living beings. The body's 'guard' regulates one's bodily activities with the aim of achieving spiritual ends, for example by avoiding causing physical harm to living beings. The speech guard' controls speech by observing silences and limiting speaking to the absolute minimum necessary so as to avoid harm to other living beings. 'Carefulness': It is possible that an ascetic may transgress the vows inadvertently, hence as a precaution the five kinds of carefulness' are prescribed (Uttaraadhyayana Sutra 1991: 24.4-18). They are: 'Carefulness-in-walking' (iryaa samiti) regulates walking to avoid injury to living beings. * Carefulness-in-speech' (bhaasaa samiti) regulates speech to avoid hurting the feelings of others. 'Carefulness-in-eating' (esanaa samiti) regulates eating (and drinking) to avoid the forty-two faults as described in the Acaaranga (see chapter 4). 'Carefulness-in-picking-and-placing' (adaana niksepa samiti): regulates the placing of one's own possessions and other objects, for example, by picking up and setting down, to avoid harm to living beings. 'Carefulness-in-natural calls' (utsarga samiti): regulates behaviour connected with defecation and urination to prevent harm to living beings. Although only ascetics strictly observe these five kinds of carefulness, their observance is desirable to some degree in the daily life of laypeople; for example, it is expected that a devoted layperson should avoid treading on growing plants or grass as this harms plant life. One should never leave uncovered any vessel filled with liquid in case an insect falls in and drowns. One should never use a naked flame, like a candle or oil lamp, in case insects are attracted to it and are incinerated. The Ten Virtues (dharma): The soul assimilates karma due to the passions of anger, pride, deception and greed. Cultivating the ten cardinal virtues, essential for the spiritual progress, will control them. They are forgiveness, humility, naturalness, contentment, truthfulness, self-restraint, austerity, renunciation, chastity and nonpossession (Tattvartha Sutra 1994: 9.6). The 'Reflections' (anupreksaas): To cultivate the correct religious attitude, ascetics should reflect constantly on twelve spiritual themes known as 'reflections; ideally, these should be meditated upon repeatedly and regularly. The reflections are also termed 'contemplation' (bhaavanaas). They are: Transitoriness (anitya): Everything is subject to change or is transitory. Non-surrender (asarana): The soul has its own destiny determined by karma, and there is no external agency, human or divine, which can intervene to alter the effect of karma, and only by one's own efforts one can change one's destiny. 204 Page #205 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The Cycle of Worldly Existence (samsaara): Souls move in a cycle of birth, death and rebirth, and cannot attain a pure state until all karma is shed. * Solitariness (ekatva): All souls are alone, in the sense that each undertakes its own actions and each alone must accept the consequences, good or bad, of those actions. Separateness (anyatva): The external, physical world, other people, even one's own body, are not part of one's real 'self". Impurity (asuci): The body is material, subject to change and is transitory. The bones, flesh and blood will all perish and the physical body is inferior to the true 'self. We should not give unnecessary attention to the 'impure' body, beyond maintaining its health so that it can fulfil its proper role in facilitating spiritual progress. Influx (aasrava): The influx of karma is the cause of worldly existence and is a product of the passions. Stoppage (samvara): The influx of karma should be stopped by the cultivation of the ten virtues. Shedding (nirjaraa): Karmic matter should be shed or shaken off the soul by austerities and penance. The Universe (loka): The universe is vast and humanity is insignificant and as nothing in time and space. The Rarity of Spirituality' (bodhi durlabha): It is recognised that it is difficult to attain Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. Religion (dharma): One should reflect upon the true nature of religion, and especially on the three-fold path of liberation as preached by the tirthankaras. Victory over Affliction (Parisaha Jaya): The path of liberation requires ascetics to bear cheerfully all the physical discomforts with detachment and forbearance that might distract them or cause pain (Tattvartha Sutra 1994: 9.19). These hardships through which the ascetics have to pass are called the 'afflictions'. There are twenty-two afflictions which ascetics are expected to bear unflinchingly (Uttaraadhyayana Sutra 1994: 2.1). They are: hunger, thirst, cold, heat, insect bites, nakedness (for Digambar ascetics), absence of pleasure, disagreeable surroundings, sexual urges or demands by others, tiredness caused by physical activity such as walking, discomfort from sitting in one posture for a long period, discomfort from sleeping or resting on hard ground, censure or insult, injury, seeking food, failure to obtain food, disease, cuts and scratches from blades of grass or thorns, dirt and impurities of the body, being shown disrespect, lack of appreciation of their learning, the persistence of their own ignorance, their own lack of faith or weak belief, for example if they fail to obtain 'supernatural powers' even after great piety and austerities. The ascetics who desire to conquer all causes of pain should endure these afflictions, without any feeling of vexation. Conduct: Ascetics are expected to observe the ascetic code of conduct: they should practice austerities and equanimity (by which is meant evenness of mind or temper), strive for spiritual purity, control their passions and hold to the scriptural ideal of the Jina. If they lapse from this expected ideal, they should perform penance aimed at returning them to the proper path of ascetic conduct. Shedding Karma (Nirjaraa): The main means of shedding karma is through the observance of austerities; they are of two kinds: external austerities, which relate to food and physical activities, and internal austerities, relating to spiritual discipline. Each of these is of six kinds, discussed in detail later in this chapter. 205 Page #206 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ These external and internal austerities demonstrate how rigorous is the life of selfdenial which ascetics lead. They must sustain the body with only the minimum requirements of food and yet expect great strength from it in pursuit of the goal of liberation. The Dasavaikalika Sutra gives descriptions of the essential qualities required of an ascetic: self-control, freedom from passions and non-attachment. True ascetics should live as models of righteousness, without profession or occupation as homeless mendicants (Law 1949: pp.151-156). The daily routine of an ascetic is regulated and regimented: solemnity and a strictly reserved and unobtrusive manner are the norm; singing, dancing, laughing or any form of merry-making are forbidden, and most waking time is devoted to meditation and study. The ascetic must observe the daily essential duties (Uttaraadhyayana Sutra 1991: 26.1-52) and the rules expected as a member of the Sangha in dealing with both the fellow ascetics and the laypeople (Sthaanaanga Sutra 1992: 5.1.399, 7.3.544 and 7.3.570). The Ethical Code for Householders Not everyone can renounce the world, and it is neither possible nor desirable that all should follow the path of renunciation. People have social responsibilities and it is impossible for most of them to practise the vows with the same rigour and discipline as an ascetic. In the Jain conception of moral life we find a harmonious blending of the secular and the spiritual. One cannot become a 'saint' overnight. One has to prepare oneself to be a good person first before entering into the life of an ascetic. The sole exceptions are the rare cases of exemplary souls, such as those of tirthankaras or great aacaaryas. Lay Jains are expected to develop the right attitude and appropriate conduct (maargaanusaari jivan) in their daily life before they accept the twelve vows of a sraavaka or the eleven pratimaas of the laity. General Principles of Appropriate Conduct for Householders On the basis of the rules of Right Conduct laid down in the Jain scriptures, the prominent Jain seers have enunciated a number of general principles of appropriate conduct. The Svetambar text, the Yoga Sastra, composed by Aacaarya Hemcandra, presents a list of thirty-five general principles of conduct appropriate to the ideal householder. Among Digambar texts, the work entitled the 'Rules of Conduct for Householders' (Sraavakaacaara) composed by Aacaarya Amitagati gives a list of the eleven attributes of the ideal householder. These rules guide householders in their responsibility both for leading a proper religious life and being useful members of society, thus the householder leads a life according to Jain ideals. This ideal can be identified from the lists of qualities found in the literature. From the Yoga Sastra, we learn that one should: 1. Be honest in earning wealth. 2. Be appreciative of the conduct of the virtuous. 3. Be apprehensive of sin. 4. Fulfil the three-fold aim of life. 5. To make spiritual progress (dharma). 206 Page #207 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ 6. To achieve proper material ends (artha). 7. To enjoy life in a proper manner (kaama). 8. Follow the customs of the country in which one lives. 9. Not to denigrate other people, particularly governments. 10. Live in an appropriate place with good neighbours. 11. Aim for high moral standards. 12. Respect one's parents. 13. Marry a spouse of the same caste and traditions, avoiding excluded relationships. 14. Avoid places where disaster or troubles frequently occur. 15. Not to engage in a reprehensible occupation. 16. Live within one's means; treat wealth as a trust to be managed according to the Jain tenets. 17. Dress according to one's income. 18. Develop the eight kinds of 'intelligence." 19. Listen daily to the sacred doctrines. 20. Not to eat on a full stomach; eat at the right time observing Jain regulations. 21. Be diligent in supporting ascetics, the righteous and the needy. 22. Always strive to be free of evil motives and be favourably inclined to virtue. 23. Avoid actions, which are inappropriate to the time and place; be aware of one's own strengths and weaknesses. 24. Venerate persons of high morality and discernment. 25. Support one's dependants. 26. Be far-sighted, visionary, and aim to succeed in whatever one does. 27. Be discriminating in all matters. 28. Be grateful when gratitude is called for. 29. Try to be well liked. 30. Be motivated by a sense of shame. 31. Be compassionate. 32. Be gentle in disposition. 33. Be ready to render service to others. dietary 34. Be intent on avoiding the six adversaries of the soul. 35. Be in control of the sensory organs. From the Sraavakaacaara we learn that one should: 1. Be devoid of lust, envy, deception, anger, backbiting, meanness and pride. 2. Be steadfast. 3. Be contented. 4. Not speak harshly. 5. Be compassionate. 6. Aim to be competent in all one's undertakings. 7. Be skilled in discerning what is acceptable and what is to be avoided. 8. Be respectful to ascetics and be prepared to submit to their teachings. 9. Be penitent for one's faults by accepting the teachings of a jina. 10 Be apprehensive of those things that keep one attached to the world. 11 Seek to diminish one's lust for sensual things. 207 Page #208 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Twelve Vows of a Sraavaka The Upaasakadassanga (1.11) and Ratnakaranda Sraavakaacaara lay down the twelvefold ethical code for laypersons: five of the vows are common to the ascetic and the householder, but in the case of the householder, they are the minor vows (anuvratas), described earlier: 'non-violence'; truthfulness; non-stealing; sexual restraint; and nonattachment. In addition to the five minor vows practised by householders, there are three 'multiplicative' vows (guna vratas): 'limitation of directional movements' (diga vrata); 'limitation of spatial movements' (desavakasika vrata); and avoidable activities' (anarthadanda vrata). The householder also practises four educative vows (siksaa vratas): equanimity (saamayika vrata); specific fasting (prosadhopavaasa vrata); limiting consumables and non-consumables' (bhogopa-bhogaparimaana vrata) and 'hospitality', not eating before food has been offered to others (atithi samvibhaaga vrata). Three Gunavratas: The directional' vow restricts unnecessary movement. The purpose is to reduce the possibility of committing violence, and this is achieved by circumscribing the area of potential injury to living beings. One may adopt the vow for a specified limited period or as a lifelong vow. The vow of limitation of spatial movement' is a modified version of the vow of limitation of directional movement'. It restricts the movement of an individual to a house or a village or a part thereof for a period as short as forty-eight minutes or as long as several months. The rationale underlying the practice is that it creates the mental preparedness for adopting the life of an ascetic in the future. The vow of 'avoidable activities' prohibits an individual from certain professions and trades, which would lead to harmful activities or from activities, which serve no useful purpose. The five types of avoidable activities are certain mental states such as sorrowful or hateful thoughts (apadhyaana), negligent actions or addictions such as alcoholism and gambling. Avoidable activities also include watching dancing, sex displays and animal combat such as cock fighting, and others which incite the passions. Encouraging any activity leading to the destruction of life, or the giving of sinful advice, such as instruction in an immoral trade is regarded as avoidable activity. Spending time and effort reading, listening to or watching pornographic material, tabloid journalism, gossip and other such trivia should be avoided. Four Siksaavratas: The vow of equanimity (saamayika) is an important meditation practice for laypersons, as ascetics are lifelong practitioners of equanimity. Practical exercises aimed at achieving equanimity may be performed in one's own home or in a temple, in the presence of an ascetic or in an upashraya. The procedure for practising equanimity is described in the next section. During the period of saamayika, the househoders are considered as though they were ascetics. The vow of specific fasting (prosadhopavaasa) requires fasting and observing equanimity for twelve hours or more at regular intervals in a month; it is a temporary asceticism, and a preparation for entering an ascetic order. During this fasting one avoids any unnecessary enhancements of the body, such as the use of perfumes, cosmetics and the like, and abstains from mundane duties. 208 Page #209 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The vow of limiting consumables and non-consumables' (bhogopabhogaparimaana) forbids or limits one's use of consumable' goods such as food and 'non-consumable' goods such as furniture. The vow of 'hospitality' (atithi samvibhaaga) means the giving of food and similar necessities to ascetics and the needy before taking care of one's own requirements. The Six Daily Duties The six daily duties of householders are: equanimity (saamayika), recitation of the eulogy of the twenty-four tirthankaras (caturvisanti stava), reverence towards ascetics (guru vandana), penitential retreat (pratikramana), meditation in a relaxed posture (kaayotsarga), and the renunciation of food, drink and comfort (pratyaakhyaana). The study of the scriptures (svaadhyaaya) and the giving of donations (daana) to the needy are also considered to be the duties of laypersons. The next section provides further information on these duties, except for charity (daana), which is described below. Charity (Daana): The act of giving is an important element in the practice of Jainism, for without alms-giving and support by the laity, neither ascetics nor the order can survive. Of course, this situation applies only in India. For the rest of the world, a different situation may evolve. There are specific injunctions regarding giving alms, in which ascetics take precedence as recipients. In giving alms one should consider the following five factors: * Recipients of alms should always be treated respectfully. * Donors should give willingly and wholeheartedly, not grudgingly. The alms given should be appropriate to the recipients and to their circumstances. The manner of giving should avoid embarrassing recipients in any way, and should not make donors feel superior by their giving. Giving alms should not be done from the motive of personal gain for oneself or others. There are different ways of giving' (daana) in the Jain tradition, and among these the main ways are: * 'Giving to deserving persons' (supaatra daana). An example of this would be the giving of alms, books etc. to ascetics, who are regarded as morally and spiritually superior; this giving is done with humility and devotion. Compassionate' donations (anukampaa) are gifts of charity to people in need of shelter, food, medical care or education, including the welfare of animals (jiva dayaa), and care of the environment. 'No-fear giving (abhaya daana). Jains regard one of the greatest forms of giving to be the avoidance of causing anxiety or fear to any living beings, through thought, speech or action. Anybody can practise abhaya daana as the only resources required are 'inner' strength. Those who aspire to abhaya daana are encouraged to practise the utmost vigilance over their conduct in order to achieve the desired situation in which all living beings feel safe and secure in their presence. Giving (spiritual) knowledge (inaana daana). There are many ways in which one can impart knowledge to others, which will lead to their spiritual uplift and help them on the path of purification. Dissemination of Jain teachings, giving sermons, lectures, the writing of books and articles, financing publications of a spiritual nature, are all valid ways of achieving this goal. 209 Page #210 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Giving helps to nullify greed and acquisitiveness; acquisitiveness is a manifestation of violence. Paradoxically, laypersons have more restrictions placed upon them than ascetics, owing to the greater diversity of their personal circumstances and the complexity of life. Jain tradition puts a duty upon laypersons to set aside a part of their income for charitable use. Holy Death (Sallekhanaa) Jains are expected not only to live a disciplined life but also to die a detached death, which is peaceful, holy and faced willingly. This voluntary death is to be distinguished from suicide, which is considered by Jainism a sin. Tradition says that when faced by calamity, such as famine, disease for which there is no remedy, or very old age, pious householders should peacefully relinquish their bodies, inspired by the highest religious ideal. Both laypersons and ascetics observe the 'holy death' ritual and all should face death and leave the worldly body with a quiet detachment in peaceful meditation on religious themes. Sallekhanaa is described in the next section. The Eleven Stages of Spiritual Progress (pratimaas) The word pratimaa is used to designate the ideal stages of spiritual progress in a householder's life. By treading the ethical path, a layperson acquires spiritual progress. The eleven stages form a series of duties and practices, the standard and duration of which increase, culminating in a state resembling asceticism, towards the final goal of initiation as a Digambar ascetic (Ratnakaranda Sraavakacaara 1925: pp.137-147). The eleven stages are as follows: * Stage of Right Faith (darsana pratimaa): The householder must develop a perfect, intelligent and well-reasoned faith in Jainism, that is, a sound knowledge of its doctrines and their application to life. * Stage of Vows (vrata pratimaa): The householder must observe the twelve vows, without transgressing them, and must observe the vow of 'holy death'; such a householder is called 'avowed' (vrati). Stage of Equanimity (saamayika pratimaa): The householder should practise equanimity, consisting of a three times daily, period of regular religious observance, each lasting forty-eight minutes. This observance takes the form of selfcontemplation and the purification of one's ideas and emotions, accompanied by the recital of the sutras. Stage of Specific Fasting (prosadhopavaasa pratimaa): This involves regular fasting. as a rule, twice a fortnight in each lunar month. The entire period of fasting has to be spent in prayer, the study of scriptures, meditation and listening to religious discourses at upashraya or at home. Stage of Renouncing Food Containing Life (sacitta tyaaga pratimaa): The householder should abstain from eating those green vegetables and foodstuffs in which the Jain tradition considers there to be life, and should also refrain from serving such food to others. One should not trample upon grass or any growing plant, nor pluck fruit or flower from trees or bushes. * Stage of Renunciation of Eating at Night (raatri bhojana tyaaga pratimaa): In this stage the householder abstains from taking any kind of food or drink after sunset; the 210 Page #211 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Jain tradition encourages this practice to avoid harm to minute creatures which are nocturnal and cannot be seen with the naked eye. Stage of Celibacy (brahmacarya pratimaa): The householder in this stage observes complete celibacy, maintains sexual purity, and avoids the use of all personal decoration, which could arouse sexual desire. Stage of Occupational Renunciation (aarambha-samaarambha tyaaga pratimaa): The householder must refrain from all occupational and celebratory activities to avoid injury to living beings. Householders divide their property among their children retaining a small part for their own maintenance and giving some to charity. Stage of Renunciation of Possessions (parigraha tyaaga pratimaa): This stage sees the abandonment of all attachments. The householder gives up all kinds of worldly possessions such as: land, home, silver, gold, cattle, clothes, utensils, male and female servants, keeping just enough for the minimal requirements of food, shelter and clothing. This stage is one for the preparation of asceticism and training for its hardships. Stage of Withdrawal (anumati tyaaga pratimaa): The householder makes increased efforts towards complete asceticism, a life of detachment: one becomes indifferent to personal matters such as food and drink, and to the social concerns of the family and the community. Stage of Renouncing Food Intended for the Householder (uddista tyaaga pratimaa): In this eleventh stage, the householder renounces any food or lodging that has been prepared for him, leaves the family home, goes to a forest or remote place for shelter, and adopts the rules laid down for ascetics. This is the highest stage for householders, and has two parts: 'two-clothed' and 'loin-clothed'; the latter stage leads to initiation as a Digambar ascetic. Thus the conduct of a householder is a stepping stone for becoming an ascetic. The Jain literature covers almost every aspect of worldly life, details of the ethical code, their transgression and penance. It should, however, be pointed out that the descriptions of the conduct for householders by the various aacaaryas differ, but the spirit and essence remain the same. 211 Page #212 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 4.12 AHIMSAA, APARIGRAHA, ANEKAANTAVAADA The Jain way of life is based upon the five vows of ahimsaa, satya, acaurya, I brahmacarya and aparigraha, together with anekaantavaada and austerities. We have discussed these vows in the chapter 4.1, but as ahimsaa, aparigraha and anekaantavaada are the distinctive principles of the Jains, they require further elaboration. Ahimsaa (Non-Violence) It is difficult to translate ahimsaa into English, the closest gloss would be 'non-violence and reverence for life' or avoidance of injury. Jain ethics have placed the greatest emphasis for ahimsaa, but non-violence' does not fully explain its meaning. It means kindness to living beings, and includes avoidance of mental, verbal and physical injury; it is reverence for life in totality. Though this principle has been recognised by practically all religions, Jainism alone has expounded its full significance and application, to the extent, that Jainism and non-violence have become virtually synonymous. Jains always maintain that this principle represents the highest religion (ahimsaa paramo dharamah), which is why among the five main vows, 'non-violence' is pre-eminent, and in the Jain scriptures it is regarded as the principal vow while the other four vows are considered as extensions of this fundamental principle. Violence is defined in Jainism as any action, attitude, thought or word, which results in harm to the 'vitalities', that is, all those elements necessary to sustain life. The ten vitalities are the five senses, the three strengths of body, of speech and of mind, lifespan and respiration. Violence thus includes not only killing or physical injury but also curtailing the freedom of thought and speech of others. None should be forced to do anything against their wishes. As noted earlier, material possessions can be considered to be 'external vitalities' for a human being, hence theft is a form of violence. We commit violence in thought before we commit it in action. Violence in thought or psychic violence (bhaava himsaa) is the true violence. The Dasavaikalika Sutra states that no sin accrues to one who walks, stands, sits, sleeps, eats and speaks with vigilance. It is said that a negligent ascetic is violent with regard to all living beings, but if the ascetic behaves vigilantly, and remains unattached, just as a lotus in water, then the ascetic is not considered to be violent, even though some violence may occur unwittingly (Bhargava 1968: p.107). Other scriptures indicate that a negligent soul afflicts its own 'self and this remains true whether others are harmed as a result of the negligence or not. Under the influence of the passions one's judgement is impaired, one defiles the soul's pure nature by likes and dislikes. This lack of detached indifference is the real sin. Violence in thought translates into violence in action (dravya himsaa), physical violence, which we see all around us. Amitgati (11th century CE) has classified violence into 108 varieties. One can commit violence oneself (kritaa), or have others commit violence (karitaa) or approve of violence (anumodanaa). This threefold violence becomes nine-fold, as one or more of the three agencies of mind, speech and body can commit it. This ninefold violence becomes twenty-sevenfold, as it has three stages: thinking of violent action; preparing for violence 212 Page #213 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ and committing violence. This twenty seven-fold violence becomes one hundred and eightfold, as one or more of the four passions (anger, pride, deceit and greed) can inspire it. These classifications show that the Jains take a comprehensive view of physical and psychic violence and can take two forms: unintentional and intentional. Unintentional Violence is defined as violence committed accidentally or as part of an individual's social duty and is unavoidable. It has three forms: domestic', professional', and 'defensive'. Domestic Violence: Unintentional violence is involved in the daily domestic routine of householders, such as cooking, washing, bathing, travelling, worshipping, and in their social or religious obligations. This unavoidable violence is called 'domestic violence. Professional Violence: Certain professions, such as doctors and farmers, have to commit violence in their daily duties (e.g. doctors giving antibiotics or operating on someone). However, they should minimise violence and remain vigilant against unnecessary harm to living beings, and should regret violence. Because of their obligations, they may commit some violence, but their motive in doing so is to help other living beings. Defensive Violence: Jainism abhors violence but recognises the concept of legitimate defence, of oneself, or one's family, village, country and the like. This is a part of the duty of householders. Like those whose professions involve unavoidable violence, householders should minimise and remain vigilant and regret violence. Ascetics, however, would never knowingly commit violence under any circumstances. Intentional Violence: Violence committed of one's own free will is called intentional violence and is avoidable. Often such violence is accompanied by intense passion and it causes greater harm to the soul of the person committing violence than to the victim. Intentional violence can be committed in thought, speech or action. Some examples are: Animal sacrifice, which is still common in certain traditions such as the Muslim and some sects of the Hindu religions. Some people maintain, mistakenly, that the demands of health require the eating of animal flesh. * In some countries, such as India, where a vegetarian diet is the norm, some people are persuaded to eat meat because it is seen as 'fashionable' or because hosts offer them meat. Sound mind and physical fitness are necessary for spiritual progress, but even for nourishment one has to be vigilant in causing minimal violence to other beings. The killing of two-to five-sense creatures for food is totally prohibited, and one should minimise the killing of one-sense creatures. Jains are forbidden to eat meat, eggs (fertilised or unfertilised), honey, alcohol, butter, root vegetables, and vegetables with multiple seeds. The production of honey and alcohol is believed to cause harm to minute creatures. Butter and root vegetables can contain myriads of tiny living beings. Multiple-seeded vegetables and fruit contain more living beings with onesense life forms. Eggs are potential precursors of five-sense life. (In the West, Jains avoid meat, eggs and alcohol, but they are somewhat relaxed about others foodstuffs). Jains disapprove of the following violence: A NCSI. 213 Page #214 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ * Some industries involve violence to animals, for example, cosmetics are often tested on animals and the silk, fur and leather industries kill living creatures. Violence in vivisection, medical research and scientific investigations is unnecessary and avoidable. * Many sports such as hunting, shooting and fishing, the so-called 'blood sports involve a high level of violence. * Open violence and conflict arise in societies through religious fanaticism, 'racial' hatred, political rivalries, and greed for property or land or as a result of sexual passion. 'Civil' violence, crime such as robbery or burglary, and the methods used to maintain law and order can all generate violence which is avoidable. * Exploitation, overwork or the overloading of workers and animals are forms of violence and should be avoided. Life starts at conception and hence abortion is normally prohibited in Jainism. In a case in which a mother's life is in danger, one should use one's judgement to choose a course of action, which will minimise violence. The use of contraception is not prohibited per se, but Jainism prescribes sexual restraint and that sexual activity should be reserved for procreation as over-indulgence is a form of attachment and passion, causing injury to the "self", and hence a form of violence. Regarding organ and tissue transplants, which are a common feature of modern medicine, Jainism permits a willing or voluntary donation to help others. The giving of one of two kidneys, for example, is permitted, if no harm results through the donation. The sale of blood or organs often involves compulsion or exploitation, for example of the poorest, and in such cases is forbidden to the donor or recipient. Observant Jains are exhorted not to follow professions that involve violence. Among these are: the production of wood charcoal, forestry, transport by animals, transport of animals, mining, anything involving meat products or furs, skins and the like, non-food plant products such as paper, intoxicants, trading in persons and animals, weapons and poisons, milling, work involving fire, work involving water, and prostitution. The vow of non-violence for ascetics is absolute. They avoid all violence to living beings; they do not travel by vehicles, cook, bathe, or use modern technology; nor do they defend themselves. They have renounced everything and therefore have no country to defend, to them there are no friends or enemies, all are equal. The vow of non-violence for the householder takes account of the need for earnings, family, social and national obligations, but householders should choose a profession which involves the least violence either to human beings or to the natural world. Mahatma Gandhi utilised the principle of non-violence successfully to win freedom for India. He declared that non-violence is the policy of the strong. It requires self-control. Self-controlled people are free from fear; they fear only causing injury or injustice. Ahimsaa is not cowardice. It allows the right of legitimate self-defence in the case of householders. One who stands courageous and undisturbed in the face of violence is a true follower of non-violence, regarding the enemy as a friend. Non-violence is not mere non-injury in the negative sense. It has also a positive aspect. It implies the presence of cultivated and noble sentiments such as kindness and 214 Page #215 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ compassion for all living creatures, and it also implies self-sacrifice. The Buddha renounced the pleasures of the world out of compassion for all living creatures, and Jesus was filled with compassion when he said 'whoever shall strike thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also', he demanded self-sacrifice. Aacaarya Amitagati enumerates qualities that should be cultivated to realise the ideal of non-violence: a disposition not to cause any suffering to any living being in mind, body or speech; affection coupled with respect for those renowned for their virtues and religious austerities; the will to help the poor, and an equitable attitude (Bhargava 1968: p.109). Ahimsaa is thus a positive virtue and it resolves itself as jiva-daya, compassion for living creatures. Jains maintain animal and bird sanctuaries (panjaraa polas) throughout India. In India, where most water comes from wells and streams, Jains filter the water through a thick cloth and return the strained out small living creatures to the water's source, so that they can live in their own environment and unnecessary violence is avoided. Some wider issues of non-violence: Some hold that there is no violence involved in taking the flesh of those animals who have met a natural death, but Jains believe that this is not the case, because the flesh of a corpse harbours micro-organisms, which are generated constantly and killed when the flesh is touched. Honey, which drops naturally from the honeycomb also, contains micro-organisms and is prohibited to Jains. The principle of non-violence requires that violent animals should not be killed, either to save the possible destruction of lives by them or to save them from committing the great sin of violence. 'Mercy killing', euthanasia is a form of violence and is prohibited. Under no pretext can violence be justified. The Jain belief in non-violence is against all cruelty towards animals and the natural world. It is against wars, however, it allows Jain laypersons the right of self-defence. It guarantees freedom of thought, speech and action to all and guides us to shun violence committed in the name of religion. Forms of non-violence: Like violence, non-violence can also be expressed in different forms: psychic, verbal and physical, the last two deriving from the first. Nonattachment, truthfulness, honesty and chastity are the physically realisable forms of nonviolence, and the world could be transformed if these forms of non-violence were to be widely observed. Aparigraha (Non-attachment) Aparigraha is the mental attitude of non-attachment to possessions, objects and attitudes. as attachment is the cause of bondage and should be avoided. It involves both nonattachment and non-possession. For ascetics, the aparigraha is a vow of non-possession, for householders it is a vow of limited possession. Amitgati says that every violence is caused for possessions, therefore, a householder should be vigilant to limit possessions (Amitgati Sraavakaacaara 1912: 6.75). Both the Digambars and Svetambars agree on the definition, but the sects vary in the number of objects allowed to ascetics. Jain ethics for laypersons do not prohibit wealth and position, provided that these are realised honestly. Regarding the vow of aparigraha, a limit to possessions is advised, and wealth in excess of one's vowed limit is given up and set aside for charitable purposes. Attachment to and the desire to procure possessions is a form of illusion, the result of a specific type of karma (mohaniya karma) which is an obstacle to selfrealisation. 215 Page #216 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The vow of aparigraha also means limiting the holding of positions of responsibility of any type whether voluntary, commercial, govemmental or academic. Attachment is of two types: material and psychic. Material possessions are of various kinds, including wealth, property, livestock, servants, gold and jewels, clothes, furniture and utensils. In the modern world we would perhaps add cars, videos, dishwashers, home computers and much more. Material possessions themselves create a craving for even more. The more we get of them, the more we want, as material desires are notoriously insatiable. Happiness is not achieved through the pursuit of possessions. Psychic 'possessions' include likes and dislikes, hatred, anger, pride, deceit, greed, sexual infatuation, grief, fear and disgust. These are the affective states corrupting the development of the personality and should be sublimated. Property earned by wrong and unrighteous means, even if it is within a selfimposed limit, is to be considered as sinful. The vow of non-attachment helps to control the desires and makes an individual contented. It has great social significance to modern society: it is not uncommon for people to be blind to the values of life while pursuing social and political ends, as for many, power and self-interest are their ultimate ends. The vow of non-attachment can lead to greater economic justice in society and improved social welfare. Anekaantavaada (Relative Pluralism) One of the important philosophical principles of Jainism is 'relative pluralism'. Literally, the term anekaantavaada refers to the Jain view of the many-sided nature of reality. Jain seers taught that reality could only be fully understood in a state of omniscience, and worldly beings possess only limited or partial knowledge. This view is neatly expressed in the famous story of the seven blind persons who each sought to describe an elephant. Being blind, each had to rely on the sense of touch for knowledge of the elephant. One who touched the elephant's leg thought that it was like a log; another who touched its tail thought it was like a rope; and yet another, who had touched its trunk, thought it was like a snake. All arrived at different descriptions: wall (the body), fan (the ear) and so on, but could not describe the totality. To comprehend many different points of view, all must be taken into account in order to arrive at a complete picture. Attempting to synthesise opposing viewpoints in philosophy frequently presents problems. Jain philosophers were well aware of such problems. In order to resolve them, they developed the idea of 'relative pluralism', synthesis of two doctrines: the doctrines of 'standpoints' (nayavaada) and 'relativity' (syaadavaada), which have been discussed in detail in chapter 4.7. Relative pluralism is the fundamental mental attitude which sees or comprehends 'reality' differently from different viewpoints, each viewpoint (or standpoint) being a partial expression of reality. If we remember the story told of Mahavira, when he was on the middle floor of his home he was 'downstairs' according to his father who was on a floor above, and 'upstairs' from the point of view of his mother on a lower floor, but both parents were right from their differing points of view. The relativity of viewpoints (Syaadavaada) brings together such differing viewpoints into a single logical expression. According to Jain philosophy, 'reality', concrete and abstract, is complex: it is constituted of substances and their qualities which change constantly; it extends over 216 Page #217 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ S. past, present and future; it extends over the entire universe, and it is generated simultaneously, is destroyed and yet is permanent. It has been pointed out that an object or reality cannot be fully comprehended by worldly beings, as ordinary humans cannot rise above the limitations of their senses, their apprehension of reality is partial and is valid only from a particular point of view. That is why Jainism points to the fact that reality may be comprehended from different 'angles', and the standpoints are important for understanding the theory of relative pluralism, which brings out the relativity of descriptions or accounts of the world, both concrete and abstract. In fact there can be infinite number of standpoints. The Significance of Relative Pluralism: The awareness of the existence of many standpoints makes relative pluralism necessary; the standpoints are partial expressions of truth, while relative pluralism aims at the complete truth. Relative pluralism aims to unify, co-ordinate, harmonise and synthesise individual, and even conflicting, viewpoints into a comprehensible whole. It is like music, which blends different notes to make perfect harmony. Relative pluralism teaches tolerance, co-existence and respect for others, necessary in creating a harmonious society. Some philosophical, religious and political systems claim to interpret reality in its entirety, while containing only partial versions of the truth, but they cannot do full justice to the manifold nature of the world in which we live, as judgements about the world must necessarily vary according to the observer's perspective. Relative pluralism seeks to provide a solution to the intellectual chaos and confusion stemming from the ambiguous and metaphysical contradictions of differing philosophical systems. The doctrine of relative pluralism frees one from spurious thinking such as the belief that any one faith is nearer to the truth than others. It is an understanding, which urges us to study different religions, opinions and schools of thought and is a basis for sound thinking. Anekaantavaada respects the thoughts of others and as a result one's own opinions will be accorded their worth. 217 Page #218 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 4.13 AUSTERITIES karmic bondage, practises Right Conduct. By leading a moral and ethical life one becomes disciplined and avoids the influx of karma. But a disciplined life alone is not sufficient to liberate the soul as previously accumulated karma must also be shed. Even the self-disciplined accumulate new karma as a result of the activities of mind, body, and speech, and the mild passions. To free the soul from karmic bondage one has to shed old karma at a faster rate than the new accumulates. Those who aspire to liberation willingly challenge their natural instincts, controlling the demands of the senses and passions. To the casual observer, the austerities (tapas) appear to involve great hardship and pain, but to the spiritual aspirant the practice of these austerities is a source of great inspiration towards the goal of self-conquest. It is through the practice of austerities that willpower is strengthened to resist the allure of worldly pleasures. Aspirants differentiate between the essentials for selfrealisation and non-essentials, which keep the self in the worldly cycle; they make full use of the body as a means to progress on the path of purification. Umasvati taught that austerities are required both to stop the accumulation of new karma and the shedding of old karma (Tattvartha Sutra 1974: 9.3). The Jain path of purification encourages the aspirants to make themselves free from attachments and aversions, that is, from all the impure activities of thought, word and deed. The Place of Austerities in Jainism Jain scriptures define austerities as the control and extirpation of desires in order to strengthen the three jewels of Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct (Satkhandaagama 1939-59: 5.4.26). The Uttaradhyayana praises austerities in these words: 'In the same way that a large tank, when its supply of water has been stopped, dries up because its water is consumed or evaporates, so the karma of an ascetic, who has gone through countless births, is annihilated by austerities, if there is no influx of new karma' It goes on to remark: 'Tapas are my fire, karma is my fuel. It is tapas, which bring a person honour and respect' (Uttaradhyayana Sutra 1991: 30.5-6). The austerities should be devoid of worldly desires, of this world or another, and the practice of austerities devoid of spirituality is referred to as baala tapa (literally: child(ish)-austerities). The Pravacanasaara says that those who are spiritually endowed shed their karma much sooner than those who are not, even though the latter may perform rigorous external austerities (Pravacansaara 1934: 3.38). Jain texts describe a number of austerities, external and internal: An external austerity involves some physical act of renunciation; an internal austerity involves controlling and directing the mind towards spiritual pursuits. As external austerities are physical acts, such as fasting, they can be undertaken even by those who do not have a spiritual disposition, yet despite this, external austerities can lead one to develop the proper detached attitude and control over one's desires. 218 Page #219 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ External Austerities There are six types of external austerities: fasting (anasana); eating less than one's need (under); choosing, for ascetics when begging, to limit which food(s) to take (vruttisanksepa); abstention from one or more of the six stimulating or delicious (rasaparityaaga): ghee (refined butter), milk, yoghurt (curds in India), sugar, salt and oil; avoidance of all that can lead to temptation (samlinataa); and mortification of the body (kaayakalesa) (Uttaradhyayana Sutra 1991: 30.7, Tattvartha Sutra 1974: 19.19). Fasting: food may be renounced for a limited period or until death. Emaciation of the body should be distinguished from fasting, which has a spiritual purpose; merely ceasing to eat per se is not considered an austerity, as to fast properly the correct spiritual attitude of detachment from food is essential. Unodari: The Jain scriptures prescribe a daily limit of food for an ascetic as thirtytwo morsels for a monk and twenty-eight for a nun, any reduction in this quantity constitutes unodari. Mulaacaara claims that this austerity helps control the senses and sleep and aids one on the path of purification (Mulaacaara 1919: 5.153) Restriction of choice of food when begging: the ascetic decides, before setting out to beg, how many homes to visit, how to receive food, the type of food to be taken and from whom to receive food. If the ascetic finds that his conditions are fulfilled, then food is accepted; otherwise, the ascetic will go without. Sometimes the conditions are too onerous to be easily fulfilled and the ascetic has to go without food for a very long period. An illustrative example of this austerity comes from accounts of the life of Mahavira. He set a number of conditions that he would accept food only from someone, who was a princess, who was a slave; who was in chains; who had fasted for three days; who was standing astride a doorway, one leg on the inside, the other on the outside; and who had tears in her eyes. This remarkable list of restrictions meant that Mahavira had to wait five and a half months before being able to accept food from Princess Candanbala. The example of this well-known laywoman, and much-respected story, encourages many to overcome the desire for food and to emulate Candanbala (Kalpa Sutra 1971: pp. 196-198). Abstention from taste-enhancing foods: One should eat to live and not live to eat, which means controlling one's tastes. Thus, one should therefore renounce one or more of the six foods, which enhance flavour or taste such as milk, yoghurt, gee, oil, sugar and salt. Additionally one should avoid one or more of the acrid, bitter, astringent, sour and sweet tastes. The purpose is to curb the sense of taste, subduing sleep, and the unobstructed pursuit of self-study. Avoidance of temptations through seclusion: The ascetic should choose a secluded place to reside, sit in solitude, and peacefully become immersed in meditation and recitation of the holy hymns, as this facilitates celibacy, self-study and meditation. Mortification of the body: This tapa involves inflicting pain on the body by adopting certain postures or by exposing the body to the weather, for example, by remaining in the sun during the summer. The purpose of this austerity is the endurance of physical hardship and to develop detachment from the body. The Mulaacaara makes it clear that external austerities should not endanger one's mental attitude, nor counter the zeal for the performance of disciplinary practices of an ethical and spiritual nature, but should rather enhance spiritual conviction as means to internal austerities (Mulaacaara 1919: 5.161). 219 Page #220 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Internal Austerities There is a sixfold classification of internal austerities: Penance (praayascitta); Reverence (vinaya); Service (vaiyaavritya), Self-study (svaadhyaaya), Detachment (vyutsarga) and Meditation (dhyaana) (Tattvartha Sutra 1974: 19.20). Penance. The Praayascitta Samuccaya states that without penance there cannot be any right conduct, without right conduct there can be no piety, without piety no detachment, and without detachment all vows are futile. It is said that individuals should not attempt to conceal their faults and deficiencies when seeking advice, help or justice from benevolent rulers, judges, doctors, teachers, or gurus. When advice or decisions are offered, any penance suggested should be accepted. While prescribing a spiritual penance, a guru takes into account the time, place, availability of food, and an individual's capacities. There are as many forms of penance as there are degrees of transgression and therefore no one can compile an exhaustive list of penances. When prescribing a penance, a guru should keep in mind whether the sinner has transgressed under duress or wilfully, once or repeatedly, has followed the truth or not, and whether the individual attempted to resist the temptation to sin or not. Penance includes: confession (aalocanaa), penitence (pratikramana), both confession and penitence (tadubhaya), conscientious discrimination (viveka), meditation with relaxed body (kaayotsarga), austerities (tapas), demotion in the ascetic order (cheda), expulsion (parihara), re-initiation into the ascetic order (mula), strengthening of the faith (sraddhaa); Reverence. Vinaya means humility towards those deserving reverence with the control over the passions and the senses. All knowledge is futile without reverence. Humbleness is shown to others for five reasons: to imitate them, because of their wealth, through sexual desire, out of fear or to achieve worldly freedom, and spiritual liberation. The first four are worldly activities, the last one is spiritual in nature with which an aspirant is concerned. There is a fivefold classification of reverence in order to realise spiritual liberation: faith, knowledge, conduct, austerity, and respect. Reverence as an austerity is dispelling darkness through devotion to penance and to those who are devoted to penance, while respecting those who possess knowledge, but are unable to undertake penance (e.g. cannot fast). Respectful reverence means paying proper respect in deeds, words and thoughts to those who merit respect. Service. Vaiyaavritya means rendering service to those to whom it is due. These could be elders, ascetics or holy persons, either in person or through the agency of another. Service can be rendered when others are ill or in some other form of need, even if brought about through their own negligence. Service to the weak and sick is highly regarded as it is said to be akin to rendering service to the tirthankaras. Self-study. Svaadhyaaya is the study of scriptures to acquire knowledge, to learn good conduct and detachment, the practice of austerities, and penance for transgression. Self-study has five aspects: learning the scriptures and their meaning (vaacanaa), asking questions of others to remove doubt or to ascertain meaning (pruchanaa), deep contemplation of scriptures which have been studied (manana), repeated revision of scriptures learned (punaraavartana), and dissemination through sermons (upadesa). 220 Page #221 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Detachment. Vyutsarga means renunciation of external and internal 'possessions: property, wealth and the like are external possessions, whereas pride, anger, deceit and greed are internal possessions. Meditation. Dhyaana aids in the realisation of the 'self and purification of the soul. It is described in detail in next chapter. The external and internal austerities help an individual to progress towards the chosen goal of controlling desires and freeing oneself from attraction and aversion. Laypersons are encouraged to observe them according to their ability. Austerities in daily practice We shall now describe Jain fasting practices in daily use and some important ones undertaken on occasions. Fasting helps self-control, to create positive health and sound mind, but it should be practised according to one's ability. Fasting can make the body weak, infirm and withered, but it helps the mind to be spiritually active. During fasting one should practise meditation, and keep oneself engrossed in devotional activities, reading scriptures, holy recitations, and similar spiritually uplifting activities. In fasting, except the optional taking of boiled water during daylight hours, nothing is imbibed including brushing the teeth or gargling. Ascetics drink only boiled water throughout their lives and observe strict dietary rules. While fasting, Jains drink only boiled water and, when permitted, take the appropriate Jain diet (see chapter 6.4). Water should be filtered, boiled and cooled. In addition for reasons of health, the water is boiled, to minimise violence to water-borne micro-organisms. In unboiled water, micro-organisms multiply in geometric progression. When the water is boiled, although some micro-organisms are killed, the water becomes sterile and the organisms cease to multiply. As a result, a lesser number of microorganisms are harmed when boiled water is drunk as compared to unboiled water, and also less harm is inflicted on the organisms, which would have suffered due to the contact with enzymes and acid in one's stomach. Navakaarsi: The vow of 'forty-eight minutes fast' means that after one has fasted overnight, one waits for forty-eight minutes after sunrise before taking any food or water or brushing one's teeth or rinsing the mouth. (Forty-eight minutes or one-thirtieth day is a traditional Indian unit of time). One recites the Navakara mantra, three times before breaking the fast. There are a number of similar fasts, which differ only in time. They are: Porasi: The vow of the three hour fast'. Saadha porasi: The vow of the 'four-and-half hours fast'. Parimuddha: The vow of the six hour fast'. Avaddha: The vow of the 'eight hour fast'. Cauvihaar: This vow involves abstinence from any kind of food, drink or medicine between sunset and sunrise. Tivihaar: This vow involves taking only water at night. Duvihaar: This vow permits taking only liquids and medicines at night. Biyaasan: This vow permits taking food twice a day. Ekaasan: This vow permits taking food once a day. Ayambil: This vow permits taking food once a day, but it requires food to be bland, boiled or cooked, and devoid of enhanced taste, milk, curds, ghee, oil, and green or 221 Page #222 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ raw vegetables. Some aspirants undertake the ayambil fast by only eating one item of food. Upavaas: This vow involves not taking any food for a period of twenty-four hours; there are two versions: if no water is drunk, it is cauvihaar upavaas, but if some boiled water is drunk only during daylight hours, it is tivihaar upavaas. Chatha: It is vow of continuous two-day fast, similar to upavaas. Attham: It is continuous three-day fast, similar to upavaas. Atthai: This is a continuous eight-day fast, similar to upavaas. Many aspirants undertake this austerity during the sacred days of paryusana, described in chapter 5.6. Maasaksamana: It is a continuous thirty-day fast, similar to upavaas. It is a very rigorous austerity and is considered a sign of great piety. In some cases, aspirants fast for differing periods, ranging from four days to as much as three months. In exceptional cases continuous fast have lasted longer. One such case was the fast by Sahaja Muni in Bombay in 1995, which lasted 201 days. Vardhammana tapa: It is a vow of progressive fast, where an aspirant will observe one ayambil and one upavaas, followed by two ayambils and one upavaas, then three ayambils and one upavaas, building up to one hundred ayambils and one upavaas. Navapada oli: It is the vow of nine continuous ayambils, observed twice yearly with a specific form of worship, holy recitation, meditation and other rituals in honour of the 'nine objects of veneration' (navapad). Some worshippers observe nine such olis, over a period of four and a half years, a total of eighty-one ayambils. Varsitapa: This is a year-long austerity, observed from the eighth day of the dark half of the month of Caitra to the third day of the bright half of the month of Vaisakh (aksaya tritiya) of the following year. The aspirant undertakes upavaas one day and biyaasan the next day, again upavaas on the third day, and so on. Sometimes, during the period of this austerity, the aspirant undertakes continuously two-day upavaas, because of a Jain holy day coming on the following day of the upavaas and it is followed by one biyaasan. Varsitapa continues for more than a year, and is broken on the day called akshay tritiya by accepting sugar-cane juice, which commemorates Risabhdeva, the first tirthankara, who fasted completely for a similar period and broke his fast by accepting sugar-cane juice from his grandson, Shreyansakumar. Upadhaan tapa: This is a special collective group austerity, under the guidance of a senior ascetic, which lasts twenty-eight, thirty-five or forty-seven days, whereby a celebration takes place on its conclusion. The participants observe alternate upavaas and ayambil, or a special ekaasan, known as nivi, and perform rituals unique to this occasion, together with scriptural study. Visasthanaka tapa: It is the austerity of fasting and special worhip of the twenty objects of veneration, where aspirants, observing continuous upavaas, worship each object for twenty days. The fifteenth object of veneration is worshipped for forty days, observing upavaas. Fasting may be complete or partial. The twenty objects of veneration are: the tirthankara, the siddha, the fourfold order, the aacaarya, senior ascetics, the preceptor, the sage, knowledge, faith, reverence, conduct, celibacy, rituals, austerity, Gautama (the chief disciple of Mahavira), service, restraint, empirical knowledge, scriptural knowledge, and the holy places. The scriptures affirm that all tirthankaras 222 Page #223 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ performed this austerity in their earlier lives. Guidance from spiritual superiors is helpful in observing this austerity. Siddhi tapa: This austerity lasts for forty-four days, beginning with upavaas for one day, followed by one biyasan; then two days' upavaas, followed by one biyaasan; culminating in eight days' upavaas, completed by the last biyaasan (Bhadrbahu Muni 1986: pp.52-64). Apart from the fasting and austerities detailed above, Jain seers prescribe many other minor and major austerities. The austerities should be observed with the proper objective of purifying the soul by freeing oneself from attachment and aversion. External austerities are the means to aid internal ones, which explains their importance in Jainism. 223 Page #224 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 4.14 JAIN YOGA AND MEDITATION odern science and technology have brought high standards of material comfort and IV I welfare to people, particularly in the developed countries. However, these material gains have not brought satisfaction or contentment. On the contrary, they seem to have created more greed, conflict, insecurity, unhappiness, anxiety, stress and illness. In the face of the failure of wealth and material comforts to deliver contentment, many are turning to yoga and meditation, an age-old tradition, to regain their physical and mental health. Yoga was a way of life in ancient India. The word yoga is from the ancient Sanskrit, from yuj meaning join'. By extension, it carries the figurative sense of 'concentration', religious or abstract contemplation. Yoga is a spiritual activity of mind, body, or speech aimed at achieving liberation or self-realisation. In theistic philosophies, its aim is to merge with the Supreme Being. The concentration of the mind onto a particular object is generally termed 'meditation'. Through the continual practice of yoga and meditation, the spiritual aspirant can achieve the goals of mental peace, inner happiness, and the annihilation of karmic bondage, leading to self-realisation and enlightenment. Mahavira's life is a superb example of the yogic path. The foundation of Mahavira's spiritual practice was meditation combined with yogic postures, leading to bodily detachment. This combined activity is known as kaayotsarga. Austerities, such as fasting and yogic postures, inspired and complemented his spiritual practices, which were not a special ritual, but an essential part of his life. For example, he always observed silence and carefully followed his chosen path, living totally in the present. Whatever he did, he was totally engrossed in it without either any impression of the past or imagination of the future. He was so much absorbed in meditation (kaayotsarga), that he did not experience hunger, thirst, heat or cold. His mind, intellect, senses, all his concerns, moved in one direction: towards the 'self and self-realisation, and emancipation. The aim of all spiritual practices is to achieve control over one's activities (yogas): mind, body and speech. All ethics and external austerities are means to achieve concentrated deep meditation. Meditation was very commonplace in both Jain ascetics and laypersons up to the first century BCE. The practice of meditation gradually became secondary, leaving few Jain exponents of the meditation techniques of Mahavira. Later, other ethical and ritual practices, and external austerities displaced it. The Buddhist scripture Tripitakas asserts that the Buddha practised meditation through being initiated in niggantha dhamma, that is Jainism (Jain B 1975: p.163). The small image of Parsvanatha on the head of the great statue of Buddha in the Ajanta caves (seventh century CE) suggests that Buddha was meditating on a symbol of Parsvanatha, and the later Chinese and Japanese forms of Buddhist meditation such as Zen Buddhism may have their roots in the spirit of Jain meditation. In the Dhammapada the Buddha has stated that those in whom wisdom and meditation meet are close to salvation (Bhargava 1968: p.193). Patanjali (second century BCE) argues in the Yoga Sutra, that meditation is the vehicle that gradually liberates the soul and leads to salvation (Bhargava 1968: 224 Page #225 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ p.193). The practice of meditation differs from one system to another, but all agree regarding the importance of meditation for spiritual progress. Williams (1963) describes Jain Yoga as spiritual practices, such as vows, model stages', rituals and the worship of householders and ascetics. It is to the credit of the Jain seers that they integrated yoga, meditation and other spiritual practices into the daily routine of both laity and ascetics. When the duties of equanimity (saamayika), penitence (pratikramana) and the regular veneration of images (pujaa, caitya vandana) are practised as part of daily life, attending special yoga and meditation classes, so popular in the modern age, becomes unnecessary. In recent centuries, yoga and meditation have become widespread as part of the daily practices of both Jain ascetics and laypersons. This has happened through the efforts of great 'yogis' (mahaayogi) such as Anandaghana (seventeenth century), Buddhi Sagara and Srimad Rajchandra (late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries) Bhadrankarvijay, Sahajananda and Mahaprajna (twentieth century). Yoga The religious and spiritual path, which leads towards liberation, is known as yoga and all Jain ascetics and lay aspirants practise this noble path. The Aacaaranga, Tattvartha Sutra and other scriptures have described this path both for ascetics and for laypersons, but it was Haribhadra (eighth century CE), Subhacandra (tenth century CE) and Hemcandra (eleventh century CE) who gave detailed expositions on yoga. In his book, Yogavinshika, Haribhadra describes five types of yoga: The yoga of postures: such as padmaasana, siddhaasana, veeraasana, and kaayotsarga The yoga of spoken words in the religious activities and rituals The yoga of the meaning of these utterances The yoga of meditation on objects such as images of tirthankaras, siddhas, ascetics The yoga of deep meditation on the soul (Sukhlal 1991: p.65) Of these five, the first two are physical activities (karma yoga or kriyas) and the last three are 'knowledge activity' (naana yoga). Postures such as the posture of 'five limb bowing' (khamaasana), the posture of 'two palms together touching the forehead' (muktaa sukti mudraa), the posture of the Jina-modelled sitting or standing (jina mudraa), the posture of detached body' (kaayotsarga mudraa), and yogic postures such as padmaasana and veeraasana are important in Jain rituals. Jain rituals are required to be carried out with the correct postures and precise pronunciation of the utterances if one is to achieve maximum benefit. Jnaana yoga requires that one understand the meaning of what one reads or says. To enable the mind to concentrate, Jain experience has found the aid of the images or their symbolic representation to be useful. Love, devotion, sentiments and the sounds which one utters, all play a role in yoga. Continuous practice is necessary for progress on the path of liberation, and all spiritual activities and rituals should be performed conscientiously. Haribhadra wrote extensively on yoga in his Dharmabindu and Yogabindu. In another important work, Dhyanasataka, he describes meditation in considerable detail. Hemcandra's Yoga Sastra is the most significant work on religious practices based upon the principles of Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct; it describes the corpus of rules, which regulate the daily life of laypersons and ascetic life. Similarly, 225 Page #226 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Somadeva's Yashastilaka describes the ritual activities marking the stages of progress in both lay and ascetic life. Many ascetics have written on yoga and meditation: important later works include Jnaanarnava by Subhacandra, Dhyanadipika by Sakalacandra, and Preksaa Dhyaana by Mahaprajna. Jain meditation The Tattvartha Sutra defines meditation (dhyaana) as concentration on a particular object. Such intense concentration is sustainable only for a limited period, the Tattvartha Sutra (1974: 9.27) states that the limit is forty-eight minutes (antar muhurta). After this, perhaps after a momentary pause, one may resume meditation, focussing on the same or a different object, but to an outside observer, the meditation may appear to be unbroken. Before we go on to discuss the types of meditation, their requirements and their role in spiritual development, it is essential to understand the Jain view of the structure of a living organism and the effect of yoga and meditation on its functioning. A living organism is a unity comprising of two elements - a non-material conscious element, which we might term the 'psyche' or 'soul', and a material element, which we can call the body. The constituents of the living organism are the body; the sensory organs and the brain; a subtle luminous body; a more subtle karmic body; the sub-conscious mind (citra); the primal drive (adhyavasaaya); and finally, the psyche or the soul. The soul itself, a conscious entity, forms the nucleus of the organism. A contaminating field producing malevolence (the passions), derived from the karmic body, envelops it; this field not only circumscribes but also governs psychic activity. Transcendentally, the soul is the supreme 'ruler' but, in actuality, the influence of the passions is so powerful that the ruler is unable to act independently. The soul radiates psychic energy, but the radiations have to pass through the domain of the passions. During their passage, they interact with the passions and form a new field; in Jain scriptures this is the 'domain of the primal drive' i.e. the primal psychic expression. Further, the radiation intermingles with the other subtle bodies, luminous and karmic, and the consequences are biochemical and bioelectrical. While the mental states due to cerebral activity are not found in all living organisms, but only in vertebrates, the primal drive is present in every living organism, including plants. These animate expressions of the subtle body are the progenitors of mental, vocal and physical activity, manifested in the physical body. Proceeding towards the physical body, these expressions pass through the domain of the psychic aura, intermingle with it, and are converted into urges and impulses. These are the forerunners of emotions, passions and feelings, manifested in the physical body. The aura is produced by the transcendental force of the effects of past actions, which are fully recorded in the karmic body. Empirically, the aura may be conceived of as a liaison between the past and the present careers of the soul as well as between the subtle and the physical or gross body. The radiations of urges and impulses move between the subtle body and the gross body. These compelling drives, derived from the subtle body, activate the endocrine system when they reach the physical body, stimulating the latter to secrete and distribute chemical messengers (hormones) corresponding to the nature and intensity of the 226 Page #227 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ impulse. Thus the hormones become the agents for executing the primal drives in the physical body. Figure 4.14 The relationship between the subtle and the physical body MENTAL ACTION PHYSICAL BODY - + MENTAL SYSTEM ENSORY ACTION PHYSICAL ACTION MUSCULAR SYSTEM NERVOUS SYSTEM ENDOCRINE SYSTEM URGES AND IMPULSES FIELD OF LIAISON PRIMAL OF AND INGS/EMOTION FIELD - KARMIC VOCAL ACTION CONCEIVING AND PERCEIVING SOUL LUMINOUS DRIVES - BODY MOTOR ACTION MOTOR ACTION SUBTLE BODY Figure 4.15 The Jain view of the relationship of the body to behaviour 227 SUBTLE BODY PHYSICAL BODY Soul (psyche) + karmic body + luminous body Psychic radiation THE LIVING BEING knowledge (primal drives) (conscious mind) (passions) aura (lesya) 4 urges & impulses emotional flow endocrine system nervous system field of action 4 thoughts, speech & bodily activities AURA Worldly and Environmental Pressures The chemical messengers secreted by the endocrine glands are carried by the bloodstream and interact with the brain and the nervous system; together they constitute an integral co-ordinating system, which modern medicine calls the neuro-endocrine system. This system not only controls and regulates every bodily function but also profoundly influences mental states, emotions, thought, speech and behavioural patterns. Thus, the endocrine glands act as transformers between the most subtle spiritual 'self' and the gross body. They are gross when compared with the domain of the primal drive, but subtle when compared with the gross constituents: muscles, blood and other bodily organs. This, then, is the inter-communicating mechanism within the body, which Page #228 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ translates the intangible and imperceptible code of the primal drive into forms crude enough to function through flesh and bones. The pure soul radiates its characteristic infinite bliss, knowledge, perception and energy. The impure soul's radiation becomes distorted, as it must pass through the cloud of karmic body and the malevolent field of passions, it produces primal drives. The primal drives depend upon the karmic components and create the psychic mind (conscious mind) with a distorted knowledge and perception, and the psychic mind radiates distorted images across the field of liaison between the subtle and the gross bodies. The physical mind acts as a vehicle for the flow of emotions, which stimulates the endocrine and nervous systems, creating thought, speech and bodily activities. Aura and lesyaas The aura of a living organism is an amalgam of two energies: the vital energy of consciousness and the electro-magnetic energy of the material body. Mental states constitute the compelling force produced by the radiation of vital energy. Jain scriptures describe how this vital energy is responsible in effecting the physical brain and releasing the electo-magnetic material particles to produce an aura of the person. If the mental state is pure, the aura is gratifying and if the mental state is impure and full of the passions, the aura is repulsive. The aura of the saints is gratifying and is often shown as a halo around their heads. Although mental states are conscious and aura is material, there is an intimate relationship between the two. Aura is the image of mental states of an individual. Lesyaas: Jain scriptures have described lesyaas, which are inadequately translated as psychic 'colours', and their functions. They act as a liaison between the spiritual 'self" and the physical body of a living organism. They are the built-in mechanism within the organism through which the spiritual self can exercise its power, and control the functioning of the bodily organs. Psychic coloration' functions in both directions, centripetal, from periphery to the centre, and centrifugal, from centre to periphery. Karmic material is continually attracted from the external environment by the threefold activities of the physical body: thought, speech and action, and this material is transferred into the sphere of the passions in a subtle form. Similarly, whatever is radiated outwards from the subtle karmic body at the centre, is transferred to the gross body by the psychic colours. 'Colorations': The 'malevolent' (asubha) colorations are black, blue and grey and are the origin of evil. Cruelty, the desire to kill, the desire to lie, fraud, deceit, cheating. lust, dereliction of duties, laziness and other vices, are produced by these colorations. The endocrine glands, the adrenal gland and the gonads, work in close alliance with these colorations to produce impulses, which in turn, stimulate the body through endocrine action, expressing themselves in the form of emotion and passion. The 'benevolent' (subha) colorations are yellow, red and white and are the origin of good. Perception of these bright colours curbs evil drives and transmutes the emotional state of an individual. Evil thoughts are replaced by good; thus internal purification of the mental state radiates beneficial waves to influence the external environment. 228 Page #229 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ How meditation works Relaxation and bodily detachment are the prerequisites of meditation. Meditation is the process by which one searches for the cause of misery and suffering; the gross body is the medium for the perception of suffering and its manifestation, but it is not itself the root cause. The root cause is the subtle karmic body that deludes, so that the spiritual 'self remains unaware of its own existence. The karmic body produces vibrations, shock waves in the form of primal drives, urges and impulses, and influences the activities of the gross body, mind and speech. When all bodily activities are halted through bodily detachment, mental equilibrium is arrived at through meditation, and the vibrations, primal drives, urges and impulses become ineffective, thus meditation calms the waves produced by primal drives. The karmic body continues transmitting vibrations and sheds karmic particles, and the true characteristics of the soul, bliss, energy, faith and knowledge appear. Thus meditation aids the soul in shedding the karmic body and achieving self-conquest. This is shown in figure 4.16 Diagram 4.16... Meditation and its effects THE LIVING BEING Soul (psyche) + karmic body + luminous body Psychic radiation (passions) SUBTLE BODY (primal drives) (conscious mind) knowledge aura (lesya) urges & impulses emotional flow endocrine system PHYSICAL BODY nervous system field of action thoughts, speech & bodily activities AURA Worldly and Environmental Pressures Page #230 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Meditation is the acquisition of maximal mental steadiness. Unless the body is stable, the mind cannot be still. The muscular system is the basis of bodily activity; relaxation and bodily detachment help achieve this stillness of mind. The first step in a meditation exercise is to adopt an appropriate posture, and then remain motionless for some time. Control of one's breathing, concentration on psychic and energy centres and the psychic colours, together with contemplation and autosuggestion aid meditation. Types of Meditation Jain scriptures describe four forms of meditation: 'sorrowful' (aarta) 'cruel' (raudra), 'virtuous' (dharma), and 'pure' (sukla); the first two are inauspicious and the last are auspicious. Sorrowful meditation (aarta dhyaana): Sorrowful meditation has been further classified under four sub-types: (i) contact with undesirable and unpleasant things and people; (ii) separation from desired things and loved ones; (iii) anxiety about health and illness; (iv) hankering for sensual pleasures. Sorrowful meditation, though agreeable in the beginning, yields unfortunate results in the end. From the point of view of colorations it is the result of the three inauspicious psychic colours. It requires no effort but proceeds spontaneously from the previous karmic impressions. Its signs are: doubt, sorrow, fear, negligence, argumentativeness, confusion, intoxication, eagerness for mundane pleasures, sleep, fatigue, hysterical behaviour, complaints, using gestures or words to attract sympathy, and fainting. Sorrowful meditation is due to attraction, aversion and infatuation and intensifies the transmigration of the soul. It is associated with 'malevolent' psychic colours. Usually people who engage in this form of meditation are reborn as animals, and it lasts up to the sixth spiritual stage. Cruel Meditation (raudra dhyaana): This meditation is more detrimental than sorrowful meditation and is classified into four sub-types (i) harbouring thoughts of violence, (ii) falsehood, (iii) theft, (iv) psychopathic' guarding of material possessions and people. The first sub-type called 'pleasurable violence' means taking delight in killing or destroying living beings oneself or through others. It includes taking pleasure in violent skills, encouraging sinful activities, and association with evil people. This cruel meditation includes the desire to kill; taking delight in hearing, seeing or recalling the miseries of sentient beings and being envious of other people's prosperity. The second sub-type is 'pleasurable falsehood'. It means taking pleasure in using deception, deceiving the simple-minded through lies, spoken or written, and amassing wealth by deceit. The third is 'pleasurable theft'. This form of meditation includes not only stealing but also encouraging others to steal. The fourth is 'pleasurable guarding of wealth and property. It includes the desire to take possession of all the benefits of the world and thoughts of violence in attaining the 230 Page #231 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ objects of enjoyment. It also includes fear of losing and violent desires to protect possessions. It is obvious that only someone who is fully disciplined can avoid cruel meditation. Pujyapada has pointed out that the cruel meditation of a righteous person is less intense and cannot lead to infernal existence (Sarvarthasiddhi 1960: 9.35). Cruel meditation lasts up to the fifth spiritual stage. Sometimes this meditation occurs even to ascetics on account of the force of previously accumulated karma. It is characterised by cruelty, harshness, deceit, hardheartedness and mercilessness. The external signs of this meditation are red eyes, curved eyebrows, fearful appearance, shivering of the body and sweating. Those involved in such a meditation are full of desires, hatred and infatuation, and are usually reborn as infernal beings. This meditation is associated with three intense 'malevolent' psychic colours. Virtuous Meditation (dharma dhyaana): Inauspicious meditation happens spontaneously, without effort. Auspicious meditation, virtuous and pure meditation, which leads to liberation, requires effort. Jain scriptures advise keeping the mind occupied with simple mantras such as namo arham, meaning honour to the worthy, so that one does not succumb to inauspicious meditation. Auspicious meditation helps to control desires, hatred and infatuation. The object of this meditation is to purify the soul. Requirements for virtuous meditation: Whether accompanied or alone, anywhere to an appropriate place fit for meditation, if the mind is resolute. But surroundings influence the mind and places where disturbances occur should be avoided. Places that are sanctified by its association with great personages are peaceful, such as certain temples, the seashore, a forest, a mountain, or an island should be chosen. Preferably a place for meditation should be free from the disturbance due to noise or the weather. The householder can also choose a quiet corner of the home for regular meditation. Any meditation posture is suitable for the detached, steadfast and pure person, yet postures are important. Subhacandra mentions seven postures: padmaasana, ardhapadmaasana, vajraasana, viraasana, sukhaasana, kamalaasana, and kaayotsarga. The first two, the lotus and half-lotus positions, and the last of these seven, standing or sitting meditation are particularly suitable for our times. As Patanjala yoga, a famous Indian system, gives great importance to 'spiritual breathing' (pranaayama), Jainism also attaches importance to the control of breathing as an aid to control the mind. If performed correctly, it helps to develop certain energies and the practitioner may even develop supernatural powers, but pranaayama performed without the objective of controlling the mind may lead to sorrowful meditation. Conscious control over the senses is essential in controlling the mind, as when the sensory organs become attenuated, they interact with the mind in a harmonious way. One can concentrate on such areas as the eyes, the ears, the tip of the nose, the mouth, the navel, the head, the heart and the point between the eyebrows. The object of virtuous meditation: Amongst the objects upon which one can meditate are: the sentient and the insentient; their triple nature of existence, birth and destruction; a worthy personage (arhat) and the liberated one (siddha). One should learn to distinguish between the 'self' and the body. The self has neither friend nor foe; it is itself the object of worship and meditation and possesses infinite energy, knowledge, faith and bliss. The body, which may have physical beauty, strength, attractions, 231 Page #232 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ aversions, material happiness, misery and longevity, is temporary in nature due to the effects of the karmic body. Types of virtuous meditation: Jain scriptures describe four types of virtuous meditation: reflection on the teachings of the Jinas (aajnaa vicaya); reflection on dissolution of the passions (apaaya vicaya); reflection on karmic consequences (vipaaka vicaya); and reflection on the universe (sansthaana vicaya) (Tattvartha Sutra 1974: 9.36) * Reflection on teachings of the jinas: This meditation involves having complete faith in the nature of things as taught by the omniscients and recorded in the scriptures. When the mind is fully occupied in the study of the scriptures, it constitutes this meditation. Reflections on dissolution of the passions: This meditation involves deep thinking on the effects of the passions (anger, pride, deceit, greed) and attractions and aversions, and their adverse effects that harm the soul and counter the spiritual path. A thoroughgoing consideration of the means of overcoming wrong belief, wrong knowledge and wrong conduct constitutes this meditation. Reflection on karmic consequences means thinking of the effects of karma on living beings. All pleasure and pain is the consequence of one's own actions, which should be regulated and controlled. This meditation is aimed at understanding the causes and consequences of karma. "Reflection on the universe' is meditating on the nature and form of the universe with a view to attaining detachment. It includes reflection on the shape of the universe: the lower region with its seven infernal regions and their miseries, the middle region which contains human beings, and from which one can achieve liberation, and the upper region of the heavens with their many pleasures but from which liberation is not possible, and at the very apex the abode of the liberated. The meditation of 'reflection on the universe' is of four sub-types: Reflection on the Body (pindastha): This is meditation on the nature of the living organism and the destruction of the main eight types of karma, the purified self and the attributes of the liberated. Reflection on Words (padastha): This is meditation on the syllables of certain incantations such as the Namokara and other mantras made up of differing syllables, and their recitations; the repetition of these mantras may lead to the attainment of supernatural powers. Reflection on 'Forms' (rupastha): This meditation concentrates on the different 'forms' which worthy personages may take in their worldly life (e.g. such individuals may be rulers, ascetics, omniscients, preachers). It may also focus on any material object or on the image of a tirthankara and the spiritual qualities of the enlightened, and it leads to the realisation of the ideal on which one meditates. Reflection on the 'Formless' (rupaatita): Meditation on form implies reflection on embodied liberated souls, i.e. the enlightened ones, whereas meditation on the 'formless' implies reflection on disembodied liberated souls, ultimately this is a meditation upon one's own pure soul and it leads to self-realisation. Supervision from a qualified teacher, constant practice and perseverance are needed to master virtuous meditation. The benefits of virtuous meditation: The first signs that one is benefiting from this form of meditation are control over the senses, fine health, kindness, an auspicious aura, 232 Page #233 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ bliss and clarity of voice. It leads directly to heavenly pleasures and indirectly to liberation through merit, stopping the influx of karma and the shedding of previously acquired karma. This meditation is associated with three auspicious psychic colours. Individuals engaging in this type of meditation are reborn either as heavenly or as human beings. This virtuous meditation lasts up to the thirteenth spiritual stage. Pure meditation (sukla dhyaana): In virtuous meditation consciousness of the distinction between the subject and the object of knowledge persists; whereas in pure meditation all conceptual thinking gradually ceases, and pure meditation emerges when the passions have been destroyed. Only someone with an ideal type of constitution and full knowledge of the scriptures can engage in pure meditation, but it is believed that in the modern age such people no longer exist on this earth. Hence the notion of pure meditation is only of academic interest. Pure meditation is the final stage before liberation and is associated with the auspicious white psychic colour. As meditation is prominent in the teachings of eastern philosophies, we describe below the meditation in Hinduism and Buddhism. Meditation in Hinduism and Buddhism Yoga and meditation form an essential part of the spiritual life of Hindus. The Bhagavad Gita claims activity that frees the soul from attachment and aversion is yoga (Bhagavad Gita 1978: 6.4). Patanjali defines yoga as the path of self-realisation through control of one's desires and control of one's mind, by physical or psychic means. He emphasises the importance of the eightfold path in realising perfect meditation resulting in the soul's union with the supreme being; this includes mortification, the singing of certain hymns, and a devoted reliance on the 'Supreme Soul', God. The following eight paths are prescribed by Patanjali for a true yogi: self control (yama), observance (niyama), posture (aasana), spiritual breathing (pranaayama), withdrawal from sensory stimuli (pratyaahara), meditation (dhyaana), contemplation (dharana), and profound meditation or trance (samaadhi) (Dwivedi 1979: p.49). The study of the eightfold path makes it clear that Patanjali's yoga is passive, and in this it is different from the karma yoga of the Gita. The passivity of Patanjali's method implies the suspension of all movement, physical as well as mental, on the part of the yogi in communion with the supreme, thus it is comparable to some aspects of the virtuous meditation of Jainism. Buddhism also has meditation as a central practice of its spirituality. Buddhists meditate to comprehend the true nature of reality and to develop in harmony with it. Gautama, the Buddha, learned the art of meditation from Jain teachers before his enlightenment. The chanting of a mantra or sacred verses encourages mental calmness; the rhythmic ebb and flow of breath is used as a focal point to which the attention is brought back whenever it wanders, this type of meditation is called 'peaceful abiding' (samataa). Those engaged in meditation can progress to the technique called 'introspection' (vipassanaa), by which they hope to gain insight into reality. This is achieved by looking inward beneath the surface of consciousness. They are aware of deep underlying emotions and thoughts, but refrain from interacting with them to dampen their activity. Meditation means being totally aware of the present moment and once this is 233 Page #234 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ well established, meditation can be practised when standing, sitting, walking or lying down. The Buddha is portrayed as being mindful in all these states. Zen Buddhism particularly emphasises that meditation can be performed while carrying out the most basic activities of life. In the Theravada tradition of South East Asia, meditation has traditionally been viewed as largely the work of ascetics, particularly those who choose to live isolated and solitary lives in the forest, but nowadays, laypersons meditate either with ascetics or in lay meditation centres. Buddhist meditation compares favourably with some aspects of Jain virtuous meditation. Meditation practices and their beneficial effects have been well known in India for thousands of years, but Indian meditation practices have only recently become widely appreciated in the West. Meditation helps to promote both physical and spiritual health, and in India many institutions employ meditation practices to assist the cure of illnesses and to establish the scientific basis of meditation. Jain meditation has been interwoven into the daily activities of the Jain community. It is believed that this has contributed to the lessening of certain illnesses in the Jain population. It is outside the scope of this work to describe fully the techniques of meditation. The reader is referred to the many works published on the subject. 234 Page #235 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 4.15 SCIENTIFICITY OF JAINISM The universe of living beings has a twofold identity--physical and spiritual. Religion I is normally concerned with the fundamentals of human existence: the meaning of life, mysteries of the universe, survival beyond death, ethical systems and relationships between the body and the soul and so on. Religion has never been solely a spiritual affair with abstract ideals; it also deals with the phenomena of the material world and the living beings in the universe. Jain scriptures detail many aspects concerning the physical world, including physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and astronomy, architecture, geology, medical sciences, food science and the like, necessary for the welfare and comfort of human beings. In the East, science became part of religion and the two became so intertwined that it was impossible to separate one from the other. But in the West, religion and science functioned in different ways, remained in hostile camps and polarised. Modern science in the West was born in the seventeenth century CE as part of the quest for 'truth' and the knowledge of nature, previously the domain of the church. The Copernican revolution was to overturn the most basic theological precepts of the day; it accelerated the quest for scientific knowledge based on experiment and observation and whereby scientists developed skilful techniques and apparatus in pursuit of their goal. Compared with science, religion is concerned not only with physical phenomena but also with the supersensory world, and this suggests that religion is not only a science but also a super-science and has a wider scope than the scientific disciplines per se. Scientists make observations, carry out experiments and formulate the concepts behind them after rigorous analysis, and produce theories; these, in turn, are continuously tested and corroborated and, if necessary, modified or even rejected. The search for new data and principles is known as 'pure' science. The application of scientific knowledge to the real world is known as 'applied science. Pure science covers disciplines such as physics, chemistry, and biology, applied science covers areas of professional and technical expertise such as medicine and engineering. Science can deal only with those phenomena, which are directly sense-perceptible or measurable by instruments. There are many aspects of existence, which do not come under the rubric of science, such as material karma or the non-material soul. The birth, death and behaviour of human beings still remain unexplained. Science has, however, given many comforts and amenities for the pleasure and happiness of humanity. These have created many problems, making life more complex and, as a result, we can see stress and diseases increasing and happiness becomes more problematic. Science, which was supposed to help humanity, seems to be doing the opposite. Religion deals with both sensory and supersensory knowledge and contains a set of sacred laws for the ultimate happiness of living beings, both at the level of individuals and society. The sacred laws have a three-fold character of Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. One can have neither faith nor conduct without proper and rational knowledge; thus knowledge is the basis of religion. In India, the sages of Jainism and other religions engaged themselves in the pursuit of knowing the mysteries of the universe, of human life and its goal, through their spiritual insights. Many facts recorded by them and found in the Jain scriptures are 235 Page #236 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ similar to those later proved by science, though there was no scientific apparatus or modern methods of research in those days. Instead, severe austerities in meditation enabled the sages to acquire transcendental and extrasensory powers and observation. The practice of meditation was accorded the very highest priority in their daily routine and, as a result, deep concentration became an effortless and easily realisable state for them. Meditation deactivates the thinking mind and shifts the awareness from the rational to the intuitive mode of consciousness, and develops supernormal knowledge. Concentrated perception on a single object silences the conceptual activity of the mind. The constant practice of deep meditation results in the ability to elicit direct answers to enquiries into the nature of the universe. Such experiences are also known to science: many new discoveries have their genesis in sudden non-verbal flashes of intuition, when a problem or its solution is experienced in a direct way without the hindrance of perceptual thought. In meditation, the distraction of awareness is eliminated; it surpasses the efficiency and complexity of the technical apparatus of scientists. Scientists have sensory knowledge, while spiritually advanced sages have sensory as well as supersensory knowledge. Jain seers desired the happiness of all living beings, but we all know that we cannot be happy without caring for our environment and the community. As a result, Jain seers attached great importance to both human life as well as to the welfare of plant and animal life, and emphasised the sacred laws for the care of the natural world. By postulating the animated character of plants and animals, Jain teachings were both ahead of their times and the predecessors of today's environmental concern with ecological balance. The Jain scriptures advise against the indiscriminate use of water, plants and trees, thus to maintain the purity of the environment. They argue for the presence of microorganic entities throughout the occupied universe, and environmental pollution, resulting from industrial and other human activity, has been responsible for ozone layer depletion, harming micro-organisms and higher living beings. But such harm could be avoided by not engaging in businesses or activities proscribed by the Jain scriptures. The Jain scriptures have also formulated an atomic theory regarding the basic constituents of the material universe, and scholars have indicated that this theory is exemplary not only in its historical perspective but also in a modern context. The Jains also have a credible theory of conjoining matter together, and matter to the soul. In addition, they have made great contributions in the field of the biological sciences by defining life in terms of consciousness along with its many physical properties, classifying living beings on the basis of the cognitive organs of the senses and their status. This classification is of more than forty-eight examples, technically known as 'disquisition access' (anuyoga-dvara) involving their physical, psychological and spiritual qualities. Now let us examine the scientific content of some of the Jain scriptures. As Jain seers were mostly concerned with spirituality, they were limited in discussing the physical (scientific) constituents directly, however, as they knew that the knowledge of these constituents was important for the path of spirituality, they included sermons by giving illustrations from the life of a layperson. As a result, most of the scriptures have 236 Page #237 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ about a quarter of their contents dealing with them either in separate chapters or in stray or the casual mention of them in different chapters (Jain, N. 1996: p.62). N. Jain further adds that the Dasavaikaalika Sutra has more than a-third of its material on the physical elements: physics, chemistry and biology of six types of living beings (chapter 4); some scientific facts about food and its purity (chapter 5) and the science of speech (chapter 7). The Jain canonical texts such as the Sutrakrutaanga, Rajaprasniya, Samvaayanga, Antakritddasaa, Aupapaatika Sutra, Annuttaropapaatikka Sutra, Jambudvipa Prajnaapti, Jnaatadharmakathaa and Kalpa Sutra contain facts on many subjects of the art and science. The subjects include agriculture, archaeology. architecture, the arts, astrology, astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, botany, zoology, medical sciences, veterinary science, mathematics, food science, palmistry, dreams, demonology (psychiatry), music, drama, pharmacology, town planning, military science, wrestling, textiles, water purification, ceramics/pottery and cosmetics. The Jains have developed two forms of mathematics and mathematical symbols. Worldly mathematics consists of eight types of processes involving fractions, logarithms, algebra, geometry and numerical calculations; they also have detailed treatments for infinity, permutations and combinations, and have described normal and comparable length, distance and the time units of the canonical period (their geography is based on similar measurements). Superworldly mathematics deals with heights, distances, duration and other phenomena concerned with infernal and celestial bodies, and mythological areas such as mount Meru or the cosmic Jain temples. Jain geography describes the universe in terms of a specific shape divided into three parts, including the abodes of the liberated souls, celestial beings, humans, plants and animals, and infernal beings. The pre-canonical medical sciences had eight major divisions of medicine, surgery, gynaecology and midwifery, paediatrics, toxicology, demonology (psychiatry), gerontology, rejuvenation, and the ear, nose and throat. A medical unit contained at least four constituents: patient, doctor, trained nurse and well-prepared medicines, and there was also a community medical service. The number of diseases and their treatment methods were handled knowledgeably; Ugraditya, a ninth century scholar ascetic and author of the Kalyaana Kaaraka, laid great emphasis on medications prepared nonviolently from vegetable or mineral sources only, thus promoting ahimsaa in the medical field. The Jains have also shown proficiency in sculptural engineering and iconography. N. Jain (1996: pp.78-115) has discussed 72 arts for men and 64 for women, by analysing the contents of the Sthanaanga Sutra (9.27), Sutrakrutaanga Sutra (2.2.18), Samavaaya Sutra (29.13), and Uttaradhyayana. Anuyogadvaara and Nandisutra. By describing the six 'real entities' that constitute the universe, the Jains analysed the functioning of the world in a logical way. The Jain theory of karma explains many worldly problems, which are beyond the logical explanation of science, such as the processes of death, rebirth, apparent injustices and inequalities, longevity, morbidity. behavioural problems, and the process of karmic bondage and its relation to the soul. The soul has infinite space points, can contract and expand, but it is imperceptible to the senses. The Tattvartha Sutra (1974:5.25-38) describes atoms (parmaanu), molecules or aggregations (skandha) and their characteristics such as the fission, fusion, existence, and 237 Page #238 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ the processes of fusion and fission. The atomic theory, theory of aggregations and the theory of bonding and disintegration described by Jain seers, show their power of observation and insight and these can be well compared with modern science (Jain, N. 1996: pp.224-241). The Jain texts describe matter (pudgala) as aggregates of atoms, its physical properties and functions, and classify it into six types (Jain, N. 1996: p.198): gross-gross (e.g. earth, mountains, houses), gross (Water, oil, milk), gross-fine (shadow, light), fine-gross (gases, taste, smell, sound), fine (karmic aggregates) and fine-fine (real atoms, karmons). The first three are perceptible to the eye, the fourth to the other senses and the last two are imperceptible to the senses. The atoms aggregate with each other by the process of bonding (positive and negative), and are held together by the medium of rest. The atoms are continuously in motion, but they are held in check by the medium of rest. The atoms can further be split into ultimate atoms (parvenus), whose property of motion has been utilised by scientists for various nuclear uses. It is beyond the scope of this work to discuss the atomic theory, physics, including the energies of heat, light, sound and electricity, chemistry and the other biological subjects; the reader is advised to look into other comprehensive works some of which are mentioned in the bibliography. The above brief survey of scientific concepts in the Jain scriptures indicates the keen observation of Jain sages and their analytical powers. The seers followed the fourstep methodology of (1) observation, (2) classification and postulations, (3) inference and judgement, and (4) recording and theorisation. Jains believe that Mahavira and some of his disciples, who were omniscients, produced the canon, and the scholar ascetics with good memories edited the scriptures. They followed the scientific method of direct (experience or intuition) and indirect (sensory or supersensory) observations, and analytical methods for the acquisition of knowledge. Jainism has all the ingredients of rational and scientific knowledge. Hence many facts found in Jain scriptures are comparable to those proved by science. Its scientificity is evident from the following: 1. Not only are the theoretical concepts presented in the Jain scriptures historically important but also most of them are verifiable today. 2. Historically, the scriptural contents represented the age of observation and analysis of natural facts and phenomena, but these facts were representative of the canonical age. 3. There is sufficient addition to and modification of knowledge in the scriptures of differing periods to indicate the gradual growth of knowledge, as is presumed by scientists. 4. The Jains are noted for classification-based descriptions, which has led them to superior analytical inferences. 5. Jain seers seem to be very good scientists as they have encouraged a scientific attitude throughout the scriptures. 238 Page #239 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ JAIN COMMUNITY AND RELIGIOUS PRACTICES Chapter 5.1 THE JAIN COMMUNITY The Jain community consists of the fourfold order established by Mahavira and is commonly known as the Jain Sangha. The term Sangha embraces the four orders of monks (saadhus), nuns (saadhvis), laymen (sraavakas) and laywomen (sraavikaas), in fact the whole Jain community. The Jain Sangha is involved in all major decisions affecting the community and has supreme authority over the individual orders. The ascetic order plays a very important part in Jainism; it observes the teachings of Mahavira rigorously. It is impossible for laymen and women to follow the teachings to the same extent, as they are involved in worldly activities and in earning their livelihood, however, they follow the teachings of Mahavira to the best of their ability. Throughout the centuries monks have been the scholars and teachers of the Jain faith. Nuns have been much less involved in scholarship but have taken a prominent part in expounding the faith to the laity. The monks have not only produced work of a religious nature but have also created scholarship of importance in science, medicine, mathematics, logic, languages and other fields of study. This tradition continues today. Lay scholarship has also developed considerably in recent times. One has to admire the genius of Mahavira and his followers for the fact that after more than 2,500 years this fourfold organisation of Jains is still very much in evidence. Mahavira respected the Sangha as if it was a Tirthankara and the faithful do likewise. There is both respect and indirect control of one order over the other. The laity respect and learn Jain teachings from the ascetic order, and the monks and nuns respect and listen to the laymen and women. The career of Jain monks and nuns begins with the ceremony of initiation into asceticism (diksaa) by acceptance of the obligations of the five great vows, and continues unbroken to the end of their lives. The ascetic state is a permanent commitment; the discipline is strict, yet, those who leave ascetic order are few. The monks and nuns inspire the laity to establish temples, upashrayas, libraries and other welfare institutions for the community. Although the mendicant order is seen as unitary, it has for very many centuries been divided into many stems or groups (gaccha, gana). These groups may take their names from their place of origin, from association with a particular caste, from their founders or from particular points of doctrine or ritual. The gaccha may be subdivided, most commonly into groups studying under particular teachers. References to these divisions of the mendicant orders are found around the eighth and ninth centuries CE and some of these exist today: the Tapaagaccha, Kharataragaccha and some other gacchas can trace the line of succession of their leaders back through a long history. The practice of solitary religious retreat is known in Jainism, but usually the Jain monks and nuns are to be seen as a member of a group, attached to their spiritual leader or guru. Although study, scholarship and preaching are important activities of the mendicant order, the primary aim of the monk or nun is the purification of his or her own soul, and it is to this end that all the austerities and disciplines are directed. The rigours of the mendicant life mean that relatively few people enter it, which is particularly true of the Digambars. 239 Page #240 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Figure 5.1 Svetambar 'monk' Figure 5.2 Svetambar 'nun The total number of Digambar monks in the mid 1990s were 295 and aaryikaas (saadhvis) 250, while Svetambar monks and nuns were estimated to number over ten thousand (see table 5.3) Table 5.3 Number of Jain saadhus and saadhvis resident for the four-months of the rainy season in 1995 Aacaaryas 123 Saadhus 1,374 Saadhvis 4,961 Total 6,335 Sect Svetambar Murtipujaka Sthanakvasi Terapanthi Digambar Total 512 146 295 2,327 2,492 545 250 8,248 3,004 691 545 10,575 33 165 240 Page #241 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Among the Digambars, semi-ascetics' (bhattarakas) undertake some of the religious functions, which in the Svetambar sect are carried out by monks and nuns. In the past, Svetambars had the institution of 'semi-ascetics' (yatis), who performed socioreligious functions such as disseminating Jain teachings, the installation ceremony of the images in the temples, a community pastoral role, but today there are very few yatis and this institution has practically disappeared. In the 1980s, Aacaarya Tulsi of the Terapanthi sect developed a community of samanas and samanis, who take partial vows, can use a vehicle for travel, cook and use modern toilets; otherwise their lifestyle is similar to monks and nuns. They have travelled to the West and play an important part in propagating Jain values. The present Jain population in India is difficult to estimate, but is no more than one percent of the total population; it was much larger in the past. It has succeeded in maintaining its separate identity. Jains have a distinctive outlook on life embracing ethical rules of conduct based on non-violence and reverence for all forms of life. Jain ethics, places of Worship, scriptures, holy days, rituals, ascetics, history, philosophy and culture are recognisably different from their Hindu counterparts, and these differences are seen, for example, in the observance of certain widespread customs and the underlying aims of those customs. For Hindus, marriage is a religious sacrament, while Jains consider it a civil contract. Hindu culture observes a number of days of mourning for the dead, Jain teachings run counter to this. Unlike Hindu practice, in the Jain tradition a widow inherits the property of her deceased husband. Hindus consider adoption a religious matter, Jains do not. However, one can often see the influence of Hindu customs on the social life of some in the Jain community. In the case of Jains who were formerly members of Hindu castes, the persistence of these non-Jain customs may be attributed in part to their previous social, cultural and religious lives. There is no doubt of the impact of certain cultural influences on Jains from the wider Hindu community. The Jain community in India has been historically influential and has been able to play a significant role in the economic and national life of India. Even though numerically a minority, Jains has always had considerable prestige and produced a large number of eminent personalities. Their religious beliefs, particularly their commitment to 'non-violence' has circumscribed the types of profession or business in which they will engage. This has led to Jains having a disproportionate representation in banking and finance, accountancy and management, medicine and law, and some trading and commerce. The consequence of this economic specialisation has been that the Jain community has become very wealthy. This wealth has enabled Jains to undertake extensive philanthropic projects, both in India and beyond, and for the benefit of nonJains as well as for Jains. Despite the many successes of the Jain community, there remain problems: the common religious bond is not strong enough to prevent divisions, which have sometimes led to schisms; these divisions undermine the community. What is true of religious divisions, is equally true of social divisions: traditionally, Jain social organisation is viewed as having originated in the distinctions of work and function, but later, under Hindu influence, a large number of castes and sub-castes emerged among Jains. 241 Page #242 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Jain Social Structure Since the time of Mahavira, people of different castes (varnas) and sub-castes (jaatis) from various areas have accepted the Jain religion, making the Jain society heterogeneous. Thus, the Jains are a community, or rather a grouping of communities, as well as followers of a religion, and as they originated from different backgrounds, they organised themselves into differing groups known as jnati or naat to facilitate the smooth functioning of society. In the West, where individual mobility between religions and social groups is commonplace, the nature of Indian society, with the individual bound by group ties to his or her own community and following the same customs and worshipping the same gods, is not always understood. Jain society is organised into more than 200 jnati groups, more than 100 major groups among Svetambars and about 80 major groups among the Digambars. The names of different groups are based upon places of origin (sometimes of ancestors many centuries before), rivers, natural surroundings, and professions. Many social sub-groups were formed based on profession, such as Shah (moneylender), Bhandari (treasurer), Mehta (accountant), Gandhi (grocer), Kapadia (cloth merchant) and Jhaveri or Zaveri (diamond merchant). One also finds 'sub-names' like Sanghavi (pilgrimage organiser) based other than on professions. The second quarter of the twentieth century saw a move towards changing the family name to 'Jain', a surname for a distinct Jain identity in the official census data. This has not been universally adopted, but in some areas of northern India it is now an established practice. The most prominent of these groups are found among Hindus (H) as well as in both major sects of Jains Svetambars (S) and Digambars (D), as shown in the table below. Table 5.4 The origin of Jain groups Sub-Groups Name Origin Shrimali Srimala (Bhinmala, Rajasthan) Agrawal Agroha (Haryana) Oswal Ossiya (Rajasthan) Porwad/Porwal Eastern side of town Khandelwal Khandela (Rajasthan) Parwara Eastern side of town Setvala farmers, Ksetrapalas Upadhye Priest H/S/D H/S/D H/S/D H/S/D H/S/D H/D H/D/S HD H/D 144 44 Among Srimalis one finds three sub-groups: Dasa, Visa and Ladava, while among Oswals one finds mainly Dasa and Visa. Another aspect of Jain social organisation is the gotra, whereby, membership of a particular gotra identifies one's blood relationship, the word originally meaning an enclosure for cows, but eventually it was extended to mean the family lineage. The gotra embodies the limit on endogamous relations, and no two people may marry if they belong to the same gotra. The functions of the different social groups have always been fivefold: to make rules for the smooth organisation of the group; to (s)elect trustees known as mahaajana, for enforcement of the rules; to maintain religious and social liaison with the wider Jain community; 242 Page #243 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ to aid group cohesiveness, marital and social relations, amity and the prosperity of its members; to settle disputes between members, and to discipline any offenders who breach the rules of the group. The groups provide facilities such as rest houses, boarding houses, educational institutions and other philanthropic services mainly for their members, although nonmembers are not excluded. In modern times, because of migration and social change in India, these groups are losing the importance and their function is diminishing. Because of their background, Jains have different socio-religious customs; rules regarding marriage and rituals such as the sacred-thread, tonsuring and worship of family deities; hence outsiders often find little difference between Hindus and Jains. Moreover, many still follow the social customs modelled on Hindus, making the identity of Jains problematic. * Marriage Marriage is perhaps the most important social custom in any society. Jain philosophy places more emphasis on renunciation and asceticism, but it would be a mistake to suppose Jainism is anti-marriage, on the contrary, marriage is considered as a social duty for a Jain layperson. Jain marriage is usually within the community, among members with similar backgrounds, where the couple has a free choice to agree to the proposal. The community not only witnesses the union but also helps in overcoming future misunderstanding. In Jain society, the marriage is usually permanent, but it can be nullified by a mahaajana, if either of the couple finds a major defect in the partner within a prescribed time such as unchastity, impotence, or intolerable behaviour; if the spouse absconds or disappears; or becomes an ascetic, or dies. Though they are permitted, most women do not remarry, instead they involve themselves in the religious and spiritual life, but many men remarry. Divorce in Jain society is very rare. Intercaste marriages within different Jain communities or with other religious communities are not penalised, sometimes they are accepted and blessed by the community leaders. Widow marriages are permitted in some caste groups (servalas). Pre-marital relationships bring discredit to families and are discouraged. Jains in the Contemporary World The heterogeneous character of the Jain community has helped Jains adjust and accommodate to the other groups among whom they live, at home or abroad, without their losing their cultural and religious identity. In spite of their being a minor community, Jains have an influence out of all proportion to their numbers in the societies in which they reside. The migration and the complexities of life have added strains to the functioning of Jain society. In the West, it is a norm for both the parents to work and Jains are no exception to this; they spend less time with their children and, as a result, one finds a diminishing interest in the traditional culture among the young. Western educational institutions prepare a pupil to be independent; media and peer pressure the younger generation; Jains have failed to provide an infrastructure for traditional learning and leisure and, as a consequence Jain society is under severe strain. Jains find it difficult to locate acceptable schools, canteens, restaurants and other public places. Some, because 243 Page #244 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ of non-availability or because of their companions, have begun to accept food contrary to their acceptable norms. This has become a worrying sign for the Jain community. Very few people in the West know the word 'Jain' or have heard of Jainism. Jains are mistaken for Hindus, although Jains work hard to establish their own identity, but due to lack of infrastructure the results are not as encouraging as one would have wished, and Jains still face adjustment problems: socio-cultural, religious, educational and care of the elderly. Socio-cultural: Economic gains have created strains to Indian family life: The greater economic freedom of women has raised their expectations of a better life, and many men are unable to adjust to this novel situation, which has brought tensions to families, and affects their children. Jains spend most of their spare moments in socialising, leaving hardly any time for the welfare of their community. This is a worrying phenomenon when attempting to maintain the values of a traditional Jain society. The modern environment has created situations, which are not discussed in the scriptures, but these new inevitable problems can be resolved on the basis of the principles of non-violence, non-attachment and Jain ethics. Take family planning for example: scriptures advocate sexual restraint and celibacy, which aided family planning, but as it is difficult to observe in a modern complex environment, contraception may be necessary. If contraception has to be used, it should be accepted with regret as a lack of self-control. Abortion is another problem with physical, psychic and demographic factors. Jainism believes life starts on the day of conception and does not sanction abortion, as it involves the murder of a human being. However, the texts describe the methods of abortion in rare physical or mental circumstances where mother's life is likely to be in danger (Jain N 1996: p.549). Alcohol, tobacco, and drugs such as cannabis, heroin or cocaine affect one's health, wealth and society, and produces violence. The scriptures sanction only a vegetarian diet involving minimum harm even to plant life and practically all the members of the Jain community subscribe to it. Religious problems: Coming to the West has deprived Jains of two orders of the sangha, i.e. monks and nuns, regular places of worship and religious activity. Many Jain centres have been established in the West, but they lack a cohesive infrastructure and the presence of spiritual leaders. Jains have now seriously begun to discuss this problem of providing an infrastructure and spiritual leadership seriously. Educational problems: Most of the Jains coming to the West had their primary religious training in the local Jain schools in India, attached to temples or upashrayas. Children born in the West have no such opportunity, as there is lack of teachers, traditional schools and the literature. Jains need an appropriate literature especially written for the children in a Western language, style and content, and facilities to learn their mother tongues', especially Gujarati and Hindi, where most of the Jain literature is available, and the knowledge of what is needed for cultural contacts within families, the community, and their place of origin. Problems of the elderly: In the West, people are generally independent, family values are under pressure, and the elderly are cared for far less by family members. This is contrary to Indian cultural values and as a consequence earlier migrants, now grown 244 Page #245 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ older, have started to experience isolation. Despite the fact that their physical needs may be cared for by the state, which means the elderly people are not dependent on their family, they are suffering emotionally. Fortunately, this problem is not acute among Jains, as young Jains still respect their elderly, and the elderly have adjusted to the situation, but sooner or later they will require an infrastructure to aid pass their leisure time and provide for their socio-religious needs. 245 Page #246 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 5.2 THE DAILY DUTIES OF THE ASCETICS AND LAYPERSONS sceticism and, in particular, the radical renunciation practised in Jainism, symbolises A the principles of spiritual striving and dependence upon the self alone to achieve the ultimate objective of liberation. Jain asceticism has a multi-dimensional character: it is personal, religious and social in nature. Despite the fact that it is primarily concerned with personal spiritual progress, one cannot deny its social role in religious teaching, sermons, motivating the laity, and protecting the integrity of the fourfold order. Before discussing the orders of ascetics in Jainism, let us briefly consider comparable orders in other religions. Hindus, Buddhists and Christians have monks and nuns, either based in 'religious houses' or 'wandering', from early in their histories. But in general there have been two ways in which Jain ascetics differed from those of other religions. The first is in the degree of renunciation by Jain ascetics, which has always been radical. The second difference is that Jain ascetics do not separate themselves from the community as happens in some Christian 'closed orders, for example, the Carthusians. Some religions, for e.g. Islam, Judaism and Sikhism, do not possess monastic orders. In Hinduism men (generally women would not do this) pass through the four stages of life: 'studentship' (brahmacaaryaasram), 'householdership' (grahasthaasram), 'forest-dwelling (vanaprasthaasram) and 'renunciation' (sanyaasaasram). When family responsibilities are completed, usually about the age of fifty, one retires to the forest to lead a life of detachment in pursuit of spiritual progress, and when the aspiring ascetic is ready for renunciation, he becomes a sanyaasi. However, some aspirants become ascetics (sanyaasis) in adulthood without completing their 'household duties'. Hindu ascetics have many orders and hierarchies; they wear reddish-yellow or saffron robes and live in monasteries run by individuals or public institutions. In contrast to Jain ascetics, they may use transport; wandering and begging alms are not their norms and most of them will accept donations of money. Rough estimates put the figure of Hindu sanyaasis and related ritualists at several millions (5.2 millions according hearsay), but forest dwelling sanyaasis are a rarity today. The Buddhists have about a million ascetics, called bhiksus. There are a number of Buddhist nuns, but their numbers and importance have always been marginal. Ascetics wear yellow robes and live for the most part in monasteries, although they may wander and may beg alms, usually they are vegetarian, but they may eat non-vegetarian food if it is not especially cooked for them but perchance given to them as a donation. After an initiation ceremony, they are trained to follow strict rules of conduct. One can be a Buddhist ascetic for a short period, in contrast to the Jain vow of renunciation, which is of a permanent nature. Though there are seniors and juniors among Buddhist ascetics, the authority is collective. A monk may leave the order, and expulsion is possible for transgressions of the rules of conduct, but the Buddhist monastic order is not as disciplined as the Jain ascetic order. There are many orders of Christian monks and nuns, and the following is a general impression: Initiation involves undertaking the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and by adopting the way of life of Christian orders, monks and nuns are supposedly imitating the life of Jesus Christ. Members of orders are celibate and may live 246 Page #247 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ among the community or separated in monasteries and nunneries. The majority of Christian clergy, who today include women as well as men, are not monks and nuns. Many monks and nuns serve the community in charitable work, in caring for the sick and in teaching. The process of becoming a member of a religious order involves passing through stages, usually spending a period as a novice, before full acceptance. Monasteries and nunneries are organised under the authority of a monk or nun. While in the Middle Ages, in Europe, the religious orders wielded great influence as centres of literacy, culture, and economic and political power; the modern age has seen their influence decline sharply. Jainism believes that over a time the physical and psychic strengths of human beings have been gradually decreasing and, as a result, one of two possible forms of asceticism, the "Jina-model' (jinakalpi), is a rarity, and the other form, the "order-model", is the norm today. There is a hierarchy of Jain ascetics, regulated by the sangha, where the head of an order is an aacaarya. Where there are many aacaaryas, a supreme head (gacchaadhipati or ganaadhipati) may be chosen, but this is a modern development. Below the level of the aacaarya there are those who act as teachers to the other ascetics, the 'preceptors' (gani, panyaasa, or upadhyaaya) and the lowest member in the hierarchy is the ordinary ascetic (muni or saadhu). Aacaarya: The aacaarya is the spiritual leader of the sangha, who pursues the path of liberation as expounded by the tirthankara. He acquires this position through his spiritual and intellectual attainment and his potential to maintain and strengthen the order. Seniority alone has never been the sole criterion for becoming an aacaarya. The aacaarya observes five principles relating to knowledge (jnaanaacaar), faith (darsanaacaar), conduct (caritraacaar), austerity (tapaacaar), and spiritual energy (viryaacaar). Ideally an aacaarya will fulfil thirty-six attributes: five controls over the senses; nine restraints for the observance of celibacy; four restraints of the passions; five great vows; five observances (detailed above); five carefulness in walking, speaking, eating, picking and placing, and 'bodily functions'; three guards of thought, speech and action (Doshi C. 1979: pp 8-11). Upaadhyaaya: The upaadhyaayas are experts on the scriptures. They study and teach them to other ascetics. They are required to possess 25 attributes made up of proficiency in the 11 texts of the primary canon, 12 secondary and have Right faith and Right conduct. Saadhus or munis: An ordinary ascetic strives to possess 27 (or 28) qualities, which are listed later in this chapter. Qualifications and Restrictions for Asceticism: Jainism believes that spirituality is a fundamental human characteristic, thus there are virtually no restrictions on initiation to the asceticism; those restrictions which are applied relate to the candidate's potential to fulfil the requirements of the vocation, for example, to travel, to learn, to teach. Many prominent aacaaryas came from non-Jain backgrounds. The only restrictions upon initiation are: candidates should not be below eight years of age; should not be infirm due to their age; should not be deaf, dumb, blind or crippled; should not be mentally disabled; 247 Page #248 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ should not be of a current criminal disposition (reformed candidates are acceptable); and may be disqualified through certain statuses e.g. debtors, slaves, eunuchs, kidnapped, etc. Women candidates who are pregnant or nursing young children are not accepted. Initiation as ascetics: When a candidate decides upon initiation, the spiritual head assesses their suitability and, if suitable, requires them to obtain permission from their parents or guardians. If permission is refused or cannot be obtained for practical reasons, the spiritual head re-examines the resolve of the candidates and if then satisfied, initiates them into the order. The initiation ceremony (diksaa) takes place in the presence of the sangha, where the spiritual head administers the vow of equanimity (saamayika) throughout life, and the vow to discard all sinful activities. Before entering the order, candidates are given a new name to signal the break with the past worldly life. After initiation, the novice ascetic begins training by undertaking austerities in respect of the ethical code of ascetics, and the protection of living beings, including one sense beings, and is taught to study the scriptures. Novice ascetics are also encouraged by seniors to observe fasts and other austerities for increasing spiritual energy. After due initiation and training, the spiritual head confirms the novice ascetic into the order in the presence of the sangha by administering the threefold vow: 'I will not commit sins with body, mind or speech; I will not see them committed and I will not encourage or appreciate such sins'. Ascetics occasionally breach the rules of conduct. Twenty-one such transgressions are mentioned in the scriptures, and the expiation or atonement texts (Cheda Sutras) prescribe minor and major penance for these transgressions. An ascetic must perform penance and in the event of severe breaches may lose a period of seniority, as he or she is regarded as having lapsed from membership of the order. In extreme cases they may be expelled and, if this happens, reinitiation is the only remedy. Basic Virtues of an Ascetic: Jain texts describe 27 basic virtues or attributes for ascetics to achieve physical control and spiritual advancement, with minor differences between the Svetambar and Digambar traditions, and it is expected that every ascetic will observe and practise these virtues. The virtues are as follows (numbers indicate how the figure of 27 is arrived at): Five: major vows of 'non-violence', truthfulness, 'non-stealing", celibacy, and 'nonattachment'. Six: 'protections' of living beings: five categories of 'one-sense' beings, and the sixth of mobile beings; Jains believe that there are minute living beings of earth, water, air, fire, and vegetable life. Five: controls over the five senses. Three: disciplines of mind, speech and body. One: forgiveness. One: control over greed. One: inner purity. One: observances of five types of carefulness, three types of safeguards, sleep. renunciation of non-religious anecdotes and control over indiscretion. One: prohibition of eating at night. One: carefulness in cleaning belongings to avoid harm to living beings. One: endurance of afflictions. One: forbearance, even in mortal disasters (Vijaydevasura Sangh 1981: p.70) 248 Page #249 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Svetambar ascetics wear white unstitched cloth, but have no attachment to them. Digambar ascetics discard all clothes and are 'sky-clad'. Svetambar ascetics sleep on the ground or on a wooden board, resembling a low table. Digambar ascetics sleep on dried grass. There are differences between the traditions in the way ascetics accept food from devotees: Digambar ascetics eat at devotees' homes once a day in the standing posture, following the example of Mahavira. Svetambar ascetics accept appropriate simple food that is not prepared for them from more than one home of a devotee, and share it in the upashraya with fellow ascetics. The acceptance of food is termed as gocari ("grazing') for which strict rules are laid down (aacaaranga: 1990: 2.9. 390-405). They remind themselves that food is only to sustain the body. They do not eat at night and drink only boiled water. Ascetics walk barefoot; do not use vehicles; do not accept, possess or hoard money, and stay in one place only for a short time, on average a maximum of five days, except during the four months of the monsoon, when they do not travel. They preach the teachings of Mahavira to the laity during their stay, do not remove their hair with razors or scissors, but pluck it with their fingers. The aim of all these practices is to strengthen observance of the ascetic virtues and detachment from the body. The worldly conduct of ascetics: There are two types of conduct as described for ascetics (Uttaraadhyayana Sutra): worldly conduct and spiritual or vow-related conduct. The ten rules of conduct are prescribed for inculcating humility and respect for others, especially senior ascetics. They are: 1. Seeking approval of actions. 2. Asking other ascetics if they require food or other necessities. 3. Showing food collected as alms to the senior ascetic or guru. 4. Inviting other ascetics to share food. 5. Asking the pardon of the senior ascetic or guru, using the phrase 'may my faults be forgiven. 6. Asking permission from the senior ascetic or guru for work, or to leave the upashraya or residency. 7. Saying that is so' (tahatti) to the teacher's sermons and instructions. 8. Seeking permission before acquiring 'religious riches' i.e. studying scriptures, performing austerities and other spiritual practices. 9. Saying the words 'may I go out' (avassahi) while going out of temples or upashrayas. 10. Saying the words 'may I come in (nissahi) while coming into temples or upashrayas (Uttaraadhyayana Sutra 1991: 1.1-44). Ascetics share belongings: bedding, food, scriptures, pupils, and provide services to seniors and to infirm ascetics. The spiritual ethics of the ascetics: The second type of conduct is represented by vow-related or ethical conduct. The whole life of an ascetic is directed towards conduct leading to the stoppage of karmic influx and the shedding of accumulated karma. This conduct is described in chapter 4.1. Ascetics scrupulously follow the rules relating to food. They will prefer to fast rather than take inappropriate food. These rules are meant to strengthen the morality of non-violence and detachment. When accepting food ascetics must be careful about a number of factors: (1) the type and preparation of food by the laity; (2) the attitude of the laity offering food; (3). the ascetics' own attitude towards the 249 Page #250 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ food. The Aacaaranga Sutra (1990: vol.2 chapter 1) and Dasavaikalika Sutra (1993: chapter 5) describe twenty-six 'defects' in the first factor, sixteen 'defects' in the second and four defects' in the third. The daily routine of ascetics: The Uttaradhyayana Sutra (1991: chapter 36) gives details of the daily routine of ascetics. The 24 hours are divided into eight segments, four each for day and night and for convenience, we describe the general daily routine observed by ascetics, which may vary according to circumstances. 04.00 04.00--05.30 05.30-06.00 06.00--07.00 07.00-08.00 08.00-09.00 09.00-10.00 10.00-12.00 rise in the holy morning (brahma muhurta); silent recital of the Namokar Mantra, self-introspection and meditation; service to the senior ascetics and aacaaryas, daily 'natural duties;' self-study and penitential retreat careful cleaning of pots, begging for water, food and alms (Svetambar); sermons and guidance; a) visiting temples to pray; b) careful cleaning of alms, pots, and clothes; c) begging food and alms (Digambar); d) eating meals; services to seniors, self-study, meditation and rest; self-study, sermonizing, guidance, and receiving visitors; careful cleaning of belongings; evening penitential retreat, meditation and teaching the laity; religious discourses, reflection, and recitation; sleep 12.00-14.00 14.00-17.00 17.00-18.00 18.00-20.00 20.00-22.00 22.00-04.00 Svetambar ascetics carefully clean their clothes and their wooden platters twice a day (pratilekhana or padilehan), and ensure that no harm is done to small beings when they use these possessions. For every breach of the observances they confess to their senior, and seek atonement. Twice a year the ascetics remove their hair by plucking. They avoid intimacy with others and do not discuss worldly matters, except in the narration of stories, while teaching. They maintain minimal external contacts and concentrate on internal contemplation. Jain nuns Nuns (saadhvis) are an important part of the fourfold order of the Jain sangha. Since earliest times, the ratio of female ascetics to male ascetics, i.e. of nuns to monks has been in the region of 3 to 1. This situation continues to the present day, though in absolute terms the number of ascetics, male and female, is smaller than in the past; data from Jain texts suggests that in Mahavira's time approximately 10 percent of the Jain population were ascetics, of whom more than two-thirds were nuns. Nuns observe the same rules as monks, including obedience to the senior nuns and gurus and to the (male) aacaaryas. Their daily routine virtually mirrors that of male 250 Page #251 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ascetics, except for those areas of life unique to women. During a nun's menstrual period, she will not attend the temple, nor engage in study or teaching, and restricts her contacts with others; rituals, which would normally be undertaken in the company of other nuns, such as penitential retreat, are conducted alone and in silence. Jains believe that during this period, a nun (or woman) will not be able to communicate spiritual energy' due to the physical processes she is experiencing. Thus the recitation of mantras, to take one example, will be adversely affected by the biological state of the individual. This distorted consequence affects others, which is why nuns (and laywomen) temporarily withdraw from most activities and contacts during this short period and, for the duration of their menstruation, they occupy themselves in the silent repetition of prayers, mantras and in meditation. Often female ascetics will use this time to repair clothing and to spin wool, and also embroider the eight auspicious signs on woollen cloth for oghas, the soft 'brushes', which are the symbol of Svetambar ascetics, and which are used to clear the ground of small living beings. Plate 5.1-2 Svetambar 'nun' filtering drinking water and showing compassion to the living beings in the filtrate 251 Page #252 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Plate 5.3-4 Svetambar 'nun' paying respects to the senior 'nun' and her self-study. Some present day female ascetics have high academic qualifications and are proficient in scriptures, giving sermons and lectures, have an excellent rapport with laywomen and with children, and are especially noted for their renderings of popular devotional songs. It must, however, be admitted that there is a disparity of status between monks and nuns among both Svetambars and Digambars. The Digambar nuns have a status equivalent to the eleventh stage of ethical progress (see chapter 4.10) and are, therefore, both technically and practically inferior to monks, but the Svetambars accord higher status to nuns and believe that women are capable of liberation. Candana, the head of the order of nuns in Mahavira's time, and Rajul, who was betrothed to the tirthankara Neminath, are among sixteen women included in the recitation for the morning penitential retreat on account of their exemplary spiritual qualities. Svetambars believe that the nineteenth tirthankara, Mallinath, was a woman in her last life before achieving liberation. The laity accord a similar respect to all ascetics, regardless of gender. However, in the hierarchy of ascetics, monks are accorded a higher status. The laity and their duties The Kalpa Sutra notes that the fourfold Jain community of Mahavira's time comprised of 14,000 monks, 36,000 nuns, 159,000 laymen and 318,000 laywomen. Monks and nuns rigorously followed Mahavira's teachings, while the laity followed within the confines of their everyday duties. While those born in a Jain community clearly have a better chance of learning the Jain path to spiritual progress, anyone who follows the teachings of Mahavira, consciously or otherwise, can be regarded as following the Jain path. Jainism believes that all souls, with the exception of a very few 'undeserving' souls, can achieve salvation provided they follow the path of the Three Jewels, i.e. Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. 252 Page #253 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The ascetics refer to the laity as sraavaka and sraavikaa, words which, in Indian scripts, consist of three syllables representing the entire Jain philosophy, and its goal of liberation through the Three Jewels: sra va ka listening (hearing and accepting teachings, i.e. Right Faith) knowledge (i.e. choosing Right Knowledge) action (i.e. performing Right Action) An older designation for a layperson was upaasaka, which means 'one who aspires to liberation'. The Jain texts describe two types of layperson: the actual and the ideal. The actual followers of the faith ('householders') should endeavour to turn themselves into the ideal, by observing the vows prescribed for them. Householders who do not observe any vows, even if born into Jain families, are not designed as Jain laypersons. Thus, we could construct a sequence beginning with 'ordinary people' who do not follow the Jain path, then progressing to the actual lay followers (householders), and culminating with the ideal lay followers who observe their vows. Beyond this stage are the ascetics, the enlightened ones and, finally, the liberated ones. The traditional Jain texts, being didactic in nature, normally describe only ideal laypersons, i.e. those who follow the appropriate vows. The only literary references to 'ordinary' people come from the narrative literature. Jain scriptures also distinguish between the 'sraavaka by name' (dravya sraavaka) and the 'sraavaka by heart' (bhaava sraavaka). The former, although identified as Jain by birth, may not be living a Jain life. On the other hand, the latter has Right Faith and follows Mahavira's teachings. Both the actual and the ideal laypersons are considered bhaava sraavakas. In chapter 4.10, we described a set of thirty-five rules of conduct and twelve vows for the householder. If a householder belonging to another faith follows these rules of conduct, he or she may be considered a Jain. One who observes the twelve vows is considered to have reached the utmost limit of the practice for a non-ascetic; this level of observance is termed as partially restrained religion (desavirati dharma). Some people progress to an ascetic life and observe the totally restrained religion (sarvavirati dharma). Digambar texts describe eleven 'model stages" leading to being an 'ideal' layperson, equivalent to desavirati dharma. Daily duties of Jain Laypersons Jain texts such as the Dharma Sangraha, Sraddhaa Vidhi, Upadesa Prasaada, Sraavaka Prajnapti, Rantna Kaanda, Pujaa Pancaasaka, and Sraavakaacaara describe the daily duties of the laity, and their duties for holy days, the rainy season, duties of the year and through life. They give guidance on choosing a residence, a profession, marriage and family issues. The layperson is expected to carry out certain religious obligations in a uniform round of daily duties. The daily duties may be modified, depending upon time and place, and available means of worship. Svetambar laypersons follow a daily routine of morning recitations upon awakening. These are three, six, nine or twelve silent recitations of the 253 Page #254 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Namokara Mantra, holding both hands out together, palms upwards, forming thereby the shape of the abode of the liberated (siddha silaa). Homage is paid to the liberated as examples of purification. Some may recall past pilgrimage to places such as Satrunjay, Sammeta Sikhara, Sankhesvara, Taranga, and Girnar as a form of meditation. At the same time laypersons decide upon any renunciations which might be undertaken that day. The householder, in India normally the women, sweep the floor to avoid harming any tiny creatures, filter the water and clean the utensils. Then after performing their daily ablutions, physical and psychical pujaa of the Jina image in the home shrine is undertaken, followed by the appropriate form of renunciation and atonement for the time of day. The householder, usually the woman of the house, also lights a lamp (of ghee) in front of the image. The minimum renunciation undertaken by most laypersons is navakaarsi, the vow to avoid eating and drinking for forty-eight hours after sunrise. Some then go to the temple for worship and then seek their religious teachers, pay respects to them and listen to their sermons, perform various personal services for them, including the provision of medicines for the sick. Laypersons are expected to perform six essential duties (aavasyakas): 'equanimity' (saamayika); veneration of the twenty-four tirthankaras (caturvisanti stava); veneration of ascetics (vandanaka); penitential retreat (pratikramana); renunciation (pratyaakhyaana); meditation with bodily detachment (kaayotsarga). They would then normally proceed to their day's work. At noon another pujaa is performed, then after providing food and other necessities for ascetics, householders take their midday meal. A reaffirmation of renunciation and a short meditation on the meaning of the scriptures may follow. Work then resumes until the evening meal, after which the family undertakes the evening pujaa, normally in the temple, which includes the lamp-waving ritual and evening penitential retreat. Some self-study follows and any necessary services for ascetics are carried out. Then the layperson will normally retire to sleep meditating on the Namokara Mantra. Jains do not normally eat after sunset, are lacto-vegetarians and avoid root vegetables. With regard to the professions of laypersons, these must avoid violence as far as possible and be done honestly. Bhuvanbhanusuri (aacaarya of the late twentieth century) indicates to the laity that earnings should be utilised as: family maintenance and welfare, 50 percent; savings (e.g. for retirement or contingency), 25 percent; and religious (or philanthropic) activities, 25 percent, but very few practise this today. Jain laypersons have daily duties, some for ordinary days, additional ones for regular holy days and special days. There are also annual and 'lifelong' obligations; these are described in chapter 5.2. Digambars have similar daily duties, with only minor variations. Sthanakvasis perform the above daily duties but do not attend temples for worship. However, in Leicester, owing to moves to greater unity among Jains, all sections of the community follow the same ritual pattern, and this tendency is seen in some other Jain centres in the West. Lay Women: Laywomen have always been the largest constituent of the fourfold order, but the patriarchal mentality has led to the expression of negative and degrading remarks about women in some of the later texts. However, most Jain seers have stated that women possess the highest spiritual capacity and pronounced them the equal of men. 254 Page #255 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ As mentioned earlier, Svetambar women can be initiated as nuns, but Digambar women can take vows to a degree short of the complete ascetic life. When they take the vow of celibacy and they are called brahmacaarini, and they become aaryikaa at the final stage of their spiritual progress. Laypersons today: The conduct of the laity described above is an ideal, but it is generally difficult to maintain ideals. Since medieval times, a large number of changes have taken place in India; life has become more and more complex; and many laypersons cannot observe the ideal conduct even if they wanted to. The problem is even more acute for those Jains who have settled outside India; in an increasingly materialistic world, busy life styles and the lack of support from the ascetic orders have created a serious disadvantage to following the Jain path. However, most have remained vegetarians, have some sort of place of worship in the home and perform individual rituals. Animals as Laity Jainism believes in the concept of spiritual advancement for animals (Aupapaatika Sutra: 1992: 118) and indicates that instinctive animals possessing five-sense such as elephants, frogs, snakes and lions can behave spiritually as lay Jains, as they have: the instinct for the desirable and avoidance of the undesirable a discriminating capacity for good and evil a capacity to remember their past lives the capacity to fast, perform penance and the will for self-control the capacity to hear religious sermons and receive instructions * the capacity to acquire sensory, scriptural and clairvoyant knowledge. It is claimed that the holy assembly of Mahavira consisted of living beings of all forms, and his sermons were in a language, which miraculously could be understood by all. Tamed animals follow instructions; police forces use dogs extensively for a wide range of tasks, and animals are often more reliable friends than human beings. Many birds and animals do not eat at night; many are vegetarians and do not harm others; and they do not compete for the food. They live in communities; their activities are limited to the natural instincts for obtaining food, sex for reproduction, sleep, and reactions to fear. If we think about their behaviour, they live a life similar to that of the laity. Jain scriptures contain stories of the elephant Meghaprabha, the cobra Candakaushika, a frog who worshipped, and a lion listening to the sermons in an earlier birth of Mahavira. Jains believe that animals can behave like the human laity, progress spiritually and improve their future rebirth, and the Jain scriptures claim that there are more animals, following the life of the Jain laity in the universe, than humans. Hence Jainism stresses the importance of animal welfare and shows compassion towards them; and one finds a respect for animals among practically all members of the Jain community. 255 Page #256 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 5.3 POPULAR JAINISM AND RITUALS This chapter on 'Popular Jainism' is dedicated to the daily and other regular practices I and rituals, which are popular and are actually performed or typically followed by large numbers of the Jain laity. The regular practices are known as 'rituals' (kriyaas or caryaas) that are intended to lead the devotees on a journey from the 'outer' to the 'inner' world of the self. Every religion has some rituals, but the purpose and meaning of ritual may be variously explained according to the religion in question. In Jainism, ritual is regarded as part of Right Conduct. Rituals should be performed with as much understanding of the meaning as possible, with the utmost devotion and in the prescribed order as laid down by the scriptures and enshrined in tradition. In this way, one may achieve the full benefits of these spiritual observances, but mere `empty' performance of rituals, or performance out of habit or for the sake of appearances, is of little benefit to the devotee. However, it must be admitted that the majority of people who attend ritual performances do so more for community motives than from a full understanding of the spiritual meaning of the rituals. This is not, however, to imply that their attendance is without value for the community, but merely recognises the situation as it is. The performance of rituals as a group or community is regarded as of greater merit than their performance by the individual alone, a practice not unknown to other religions. The performance of rituals may be unnecessary for a spiritually advanced individual, but in the earlier stages of spiritual development they aid one in devotion and worship. Group rituals help to keep the community together and provide a sense of common identity, and such gatherings for communal ritual provide a medium for popularisation of the religion. Over the centuries, Jains have developed a series of rituals of varying frequency, e.g. daily, fortnightly, four-monthly and annual. Some essential religious observances are performed once in a lifetime. As might be expected, there is no complete uniformity of ritual observances across all Jain sects, 'schools' and communities. The rituals among the image-worshiper (Deraavaasi or Murtipujaka) Jains are colourful and varied when compared with the devotions of non-image worshipping Jains (Sthanakvasi or Terapanthi). In addition to the sectarian differences between Svetambar and Digambar, the rituals may vary locally or a worshipper may introduce to their variations in private devotions. There are many rituals, which are observed by ascetics and laypeople alike, such as observance of the six essential duties, and some are performed either by ascetics or by laypeople. Religious leadership among Jains Jainism has no priesthood. The priests, rabbis, imams, and even the Brahmin caste of the Hindu religion, have no direct counterpart in Jainism. Although the ascetics have an important role as religious teachers for the laity, they form in no sense priesthood. They are respected and venerated in the rituals, and play an important part in guiding religious activities, however, they do not act as intercessors or mediators between the laity and any divinities; they have no part in the administration of temples, indeed their peripatetic life precludes this. With rare exceptions, their presence is not essential to the rituals of the laity; they perform their own daily and periodic rituals. 256 Page #257 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ There are certain ritual functions, which are infrequently delegated to trained or qualified specialists (vidhikaarak). A temple which holds a consecrated image of the Jina will need to make provision for the essential daily ritual veneration of the image, and the laity perform this service in the course of their devotions, bathing and anointing the image, and making the ritual offerings before it. Often, however, the temple will employ a temple servant (pujaari) whose particular function will be to carry out these duties to the sacred image, performing the full daily rituals. Pujaaris should, preferably, be Jains, but often are not; they may well be Brahmins but may be of another caste. Pujaaris may lead the prayers and invocations on ritual occasions. Despite the absence of a priesthood in general, it may be mentioned that there are many rituals, such as consecration ceremonies and purificatory rites, for which a supervisory category of advanced or scholarly laymen was developed during the middle ages, called yatis among Svetambars and bhattarakas among Digambars. Jain rituals provide a framework for individual personal devotions. The daily rituals envisage the solitary worshipper performing devotions whether in the temple or before the image of the tirthankara in the home; rituals are also performed communally. Community worship takes the form of the singing of hymns, interspersed by the chanting of prayers. The celebration of festivals may involve the whole community and may open with the Navakara Mantra, continue with hymns, devotional singing and dancing, celebrating events in the life of a tirthankara, and end with the lamp-waving ritual of lights (aarati). A celebration of this nature will incorporate ritual elements but it is supplementary to the formal rituals, which constitute the recommended daily or periodic religious exercises of the pious Jain. Women, as well as men, perform the rituals in the home or in the temple. The Jain rituals are meaningful and often very beautiful. They evoke devotional feelings in worshippers. The Prakrit (and occasionally Sanskrit) language adds melody and dignity to the ancient prayers and has the additional advantage of uniting all devotees, whatever their daily language. On the other hand, there is a danger of excessive 'ritualism', that is, of seeing the rituals as the religion, an end in themselves, without understanding the purpose behind them. Rituals, undertaken with proper understanding, help the faithful to develop the right attitude towards their spiritual progress. The Jain seers initiated certain pujaas and other rituals to enhance Jain worship as a counterbalance to the attractions of the colourful Hindu bhakti (devotional) worship, which became widespread in India from the seventh century CE. Rituals may take the form of austerities, visits to the temple, pujaa, aarati, and the six essential duties. The Six Essential Duties Jains should perform six daily essential duties, known as the aavasyakas (Mulaacaara 1919:7.15 and Uttaraadyayan 1991: 26.2-40). The Jain essential duties may seem to be complex and time consuming; as they take about three hours, mostly in the early morning and late evening. However, they are meant to enhance the quality of life, physically, mentally and spiritually, for the practitioner. Scholars point out that these practices date back around 2,500 years and their continuation attests to their value. Equanimity; The detached attitude and practice of equanimity (saamayika) produce mental tranquillity. As a ritual it is often performed three times a day, sometimes more, in the home, in a temple, upashraya, forest, or in the presence of an ascetic, by 257 Page #258 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ adopting specific yogic postures. The ritual consists of reciting a particular series of sacred sutras and taking a vow to sit in equanimity, self-study and meditation for fortyeight minutes. Forty-eight minutes, one-thirtieth of a day, is a traditional Indian division of time, but it is interesting to note that it is very close to the average attention span of the human mind according to modern psychologists. It ends with the recitation of a concluding series of sutras, an expression of desire to perform the ritual many more times, and a plea for forgiveness of any transgressions committed during the performance of saamayika. One may continue to perform this ritual a number of times by repeating the first series of sutras together with self-study and meditation, and it concludes with a single recitation of the concluding sutras. Veneration of the Twenty-Four: The 'veneration of the twenty-four' is called the caturvisanti-stava, a recital in veneration of the twenty-four tirthankaras of each time cycle, with the intention of developing their faith and virtues in one's own self. This recital may be performed in isolation or as part of more elaborate rituals (described later in this chapter) such as the caitya vandana, deva pujaa, pratikramana or other pujaas or pujans. Veneration of Ascetics: This ritual is called the guru vandana, by which respect for ascetics is expressed, egoism is reduced and humility cultivated. By the recitation of this ritual, ascetics are invited to accept offerings for their needs. This ritual is regarded as helpful in gaining Right Knowledge, through service to the guru and through hearing the guru's teaching Penitential Retreat: This ritual is called the pratikramana. It is a ritual of confession, making atonement for transgressions committed during the past day or night. Atonement is made by meditation with bodily detachment, the recitation of hymns and sutras in praise of the tirthankaras, and asking for forgiveness for the transgressions accompanied by an expression of intention not to repeat them. Prayers for the welfare of all living beings are also offered in this ritual. Renunciation: This ritual (described under austerities in chapter 4.13) is called the pratyaakhyaana. It involves taking a vow to abandon, that which is harmful to the soul and to accept that which is beneficial. The ritual of renunciation or austerity requires detachment from material things, especially those associated with sensual pleasures and helps to develop self-control and Right Conduct. Meditation with Bodily Detachment: This ritual is called the kaayotsarga or fabandonment of the body, as self-contemplation can only be achieved if one forgets the body and meditates on the true self. We spend too much time attending to the physical body, its needs and pleasures and forget our true self, the soul. The aim of the kaayotsarga is to channel concentration away from the corporeal and onto the noncorporeal self, the soul. It is performed by standing or sitting silently in a meditative posture for variable lengths of time (forty-eight minutes or more) initiated and terminated by recitation of the Navakara Mantra. Yoga, meditation and austerities necessary for spiritual progress are part of the essential duties, and donations (daana) are regarded by many as part and parcel of these essential duties. Digambars believe the essential duties are for the ascetics, who perform them. Somadeva, the tenth century ascetic scholar, advised the laity to perform deva pujaa, 258 Page #259 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ vandanaka, self-study, restraints, austerities and the fourfold donation of shelter, food, medicine and books. Rituals on special days: Jains perform special rituals, penance and austerity on the 2nd, 5th, 8th, 11th and 14th or15th day of each half of a lunar month, and on the five auspicious anniversaries of the tirthankaras. They perform elaborate penitential retreats on the 14th day (among Sthanakvasis, the 15th day) of each lunar month, and three times a year on the 14th day of the fourth month (caumaasi caudasa), and annually on samvatsari, the holiest day in the Jain calendar (late August or early September). Every year paryusana, an eight-day sacred period of forgiveness and austerities, is observed. Digambars celebrate this festival as dasa laxani parva, for ten days, concentrating on the ten virtues of the soul. Annual and Lifetime Obligations The Sraaddhavidhi prescribes the laity to perform at least once a year the following eleven duties, and once in a lifetime some special duties (Vajrasen ed. 1996: 317, 336). It advises if it is impossible to perform these duties individually, one should perform them collectively with others. Service to the Order (sangha pujaa): One should venerate the fourfold order by respectfully providing for the needs of ascetics, e.g. clothing and books, and offering gifts to laypeople of the sangha. Reverence to Co-religionists (saadharmika bhakti): One should show reverence to co-religionists by inviting them into one's home for meals, and help them by providing both material needs and spiritual guidance. Triple Pilgrimage (yaatratnika): This ritual of triple pilgrimage consists of participation in pujans and festivals for the veneration of the tirthankaras; participation in the chariot processions and religious festivities of the temples; and participation in the Jain pilgrimage to important sites such as Satrunjay, Sammet Sikhara, Girnar and Pavapuri. Veneration by Anointing an Image (snaatra pujaa): A Jain is expected to perform snaatra pujaa at least once a year. Jain tradition believes that this pujaa of veneration to the Jina is the re-enactment of the ritual performed by celestial beings at the birth of a tirthankara. Fund raising for Temples (deva dravya): Laypeople are expected to contribute, or motivate others to contribute, funds for the maintenance, renovation and construction of temples Elaborate Pujans (mahaapujaas): These elaborate pujans involve the decoration of images of the tirthankaras, the decoration of temples and their surroundings and the recitation of elaborate sacred sutras. The pujans are planned to encourage the devotees to participate in temple worship, although many visitors are attracted by the spectacle. Devotion throughout the Night (raatri jaagaran): This devotion involves worshippers singing hymns and performing religious observances throughout the night on the designated holy day, and on the anniversary of the birth or death of prominent ascetics. Veneration of Scriptures: (sruta pujaa): This devotional ritual involves pujaa of the scriptures by making symbolic and monetary offerings to the goddess of the scriptures, and putting the scriptures on public display. 259 Page #260 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Concluding Ritual (udyapaan): The concluding ritual involves honouring the participants, and giving them a gift to mark the final day of an auspicious religious observance. The observance may be the worship of the nine auspicious ones (navapad), that is the five supreme beings' (parmesthis): arihant, siddha, aacaarya, upaadhyaaya and saadhu, the three jewels: Right knowledge, Right Faith, Right Conduct and the austerity (tapa) or the veneration of the 'twenty auspicious ones' (visa-sthaanaka): a four hundred day ritual venerating the attributes and pious activities of twenty auspicious ones; or the vow of forty-five days of alternate fasting and eating (upadhaan) with traditional daily religious activities. Glorification of the Order (tirtha prabhaavana): This ritual promotes Jainism and the Jain way of life through celebrations of the occasions such as the arrival of ascetics at a particular place, holy days or holy occasions, and consecration ceremonies. Atonement (suddhi): In this ritual, one confesses one's faults in front of an ascetic, usually every fortnight, every four months, or once a year, and performs penance. Lifetime Obligations: At least once in the lifetime, laypeople are expected to: Build a temple, or help to build one, which is considered a meritorious act that helps spiritual advancement. During the construction, one must take care in the choice of land, the use of materials and the utilisation of honestly acquired wealth. One should bear in mind the purity and purpose of a temple building and be honest in all dealings related to it, and encourage the artisans by being just to them. Donate a consecrated jina image to a temple. Participate in an image installation ceremony. Celebrate the renunciation of a son, daughter or another family member. Celebrate the birth, initiation or liberation of prominent ascetics. Commission the writing of religious works, and the publishing and the public reading of the scriptures. Build an upashraya, prayer hall or bhojansaalaa (dining hall). Take the vows or the pratimaas of a sraavaka (see chapter 4.10) (Bhuvanbhanu 1978: pp.188-193). 260 Page #261 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 5.4 SVETAMBAR RITUALS The majority of Jains are Svetambar Murtipujakas; among them the rituals vary due to historical and regional circumstances, but they follow a general pattern similar to that described in the last chapter. Some Svetambar rituals are very elaborate and colourful and it is believed that they were developed to counter the attraction of the rituals of the Hindu devotional movement' (bhakti marga). This chapter describes worship in the temples and other public arenas. The daily life of a pious Svetambar is interwoven with the ritual acts of the six essential duties. Every Jain learns the Navakara Mantra from childhood. The Navakara Mantra is a formula of veneration, meditation on the virtues and surrender, not a petition, to the five 'supreme beings' (panca parmesthis). The rolling sounds of the ancient Prakrit language used in this mantra echo at every Jain religious gathering, chanted in unison by the congregation. The meditative, silent recitation of this mantra may be performed at any time, in any place and by anyone. The mantra, transliterated into English, is as follows: Namo arihantaanam Namo siddhaanam Namo ayariyaanam Namo uvajjhayaanam Namo loe savva sahunam Eso panca namokkaro Savva paavapanaasano Mangalanam ca savvesim Padhamam havai mangalam I venerate the enlightened souls I venerate the liberated souls I venerate the spiritual leaders I venerate the spiritual preceptors I venerate all ascetics in the world These fivefold venerations Destroy all sins Of all auspicious things It is the most auspicious. Veneration of the Jina (deva pujaa) Svetambar murtipujakas believe that image worship is necessary for spiritual progress, which is a gradual process. If one reckons one's age from the time when one gains spiritual understanding, rather than from birth, then most of the laypeople are like children in spiritual terms. They have hardly begun their journey towards spiritual enlightenment. As pictures, figures and drawings are used to help children to acquire an understanding of concepts, in the same way, laypeople and ascetics alike require the help of images in the early stages of their spiritual journey'. The consecrated images used are of tirthankaras and they serve as a focus for devotion, and the lives of the tirthankaras represented by the images are the example which the worshipper seeks, through prayer, meditation and conduct, to emulate. Jain seers teach that worship focused upon images is necessary for the first seven of the fourteen stages of spiritual development. From the eighth stage onwards one's spirituality becomes sufficiently developed so that one can meditate on one's soul without any external aid. Deva pujaa involves worship of images by: the recitation of the names of tirthankaras; the singing of hymns; listening to the recitation and the hymns; respectfully 261 Page #262 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ bowing to images; meditation; 'surrender', that is, adopting a spirit of detachment from worldly affairs; and making offerings to the images. In preparation for pujaa, worshippers bathe themselves, put on clean clothes, 'purify' their minds by cultivating feelings of detachment, and select 'fitting' items for the worship of the images. If making monetary offerings or temple donations, they should take care that the money was honestly made. In the temple rituals, worshippers should observe the accepted customs, ceremonies or the rites for the worship, which are intended to create peace of mind, develop a sense of detachment, and aid in spiritual progress. Devout Jains perform deva pujaa daily. If unable to perform all the rituals of the pujaa for any reason, they should at least try to go to the temple and pay reverence to the jina each day. The devout will refrain from eating anything before going to the temple in the morning, in fact, will not even brush their teeth. They will not eat lunch before noon worship, and will not retire to bed before making their evening visit to the temple. Svetambars erform rituals for devotion, for purification, as an austerity or as a ceremony. Devotional Rituals The devotional rituals at the temple may be the 'veneration of temples and jinas' (caitya vandan), the 'eightfold worship' (asta-prakaari pujaa), or the sacred lamp-waving ritual (aarati). The full ritual of the deva pujaa is performed in three stages: worship by 'contact with an image' (anga pujaa); 'worship before an image' (agra pujaa); and the 'psychic' worship (bhaava pujaa). Bathing and the wearing of clean clothes are obligatory for worshippers before they perform anga pujaa. Male worshippers wear two unstitched garments, female worshippers wear three stitched garments. For the agra and bhaava pujaa bathing beforehand is not required. Normal clean clothing may be wom. If time is short, some worshippers perform only the 'worship before an image' and 'psychic' worship, or a shortened version of the prayers. The following account explains the basic sequence of the ritual. Whilst it remains the same in general outline, there can be considerable variation in practice. As this is usually a personal ritual, worshippers may give it their own particular order and character. There is a fairly wide choice of prayers and invocations. The worshipper enters the temple pronouncing 'nissahi, indicating that the worshipper has put aside all thought of outside activities on entering the temple. It is repeated when the worshipper leaves the main body of the temple to enter the inner shrine (garbha griha) where the principal images are situated, indicating that worshippers have ceased all thought of the mundane activities associated with the temple. It is said a third time at the conclusion of the astaprakaari pujaa, when the worshipper performs the bhaava pujaa (caitya vandana). On entering the temple, worshippers first stand before the main tirthankara image and with folded hands, recite the Navakara Mantra or say 'namo jinanam', ('I venerate the Jinas'), or recite hymns and then walk three times around the shrine. The circumambulation is clockwise so that the image is kept on the worshipper's right-hand side. During this a suitable invocation is recited. The three circuits around the image relate to the three Jewels - Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. Once more facing the image, a short verse of prayer is uttered. Then worshippers mark their foreheads with a 'dot' (tilak) of sandalwood paste, which is kept outside the main temple. The tilak signifies obedience to the teachings of the jina. 262 Page #263 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Anga Pujaa: Worshippers then tie on a 'mouth-kerchief" (mukhakosa) or use the end of the cloth worn on the upper part of the body, to cover the mouth. This is to prevent harm to tiny living beings in the air. Then, pronouncing 'nissahi, the worshipper goes into the shrine and cleans away the previous day's flowers and sandalwood paste from the image using a soft brush, usually made of peacock feathers, and a moistened cloth. Then follows the 'sacred water' or 'anointing' worship. A mixture of the 'five nectars' (pancaamrita), consisting of water, milk, curds, ghee and sugar, is poured over the image from a spouted vessel. The image is then washed with clean water. This anointing recalls the bathing of the newborn tirthankara with milky water by the celestial king Indra, on Mount Meru, and a recitation relating to this is spoken. The image is then wiped dry with three cloths, to ensure that all moisture is removed. The symbolic washing of the image is believed to have a parallel effect upon the worshippers, dissolving karmic accretions attached to their souls. In most temples cleaning and washing of the images is carried out by pujaaris. After the washing, the water containing the five nectars is collected in a bowl; this bathing liquid (nhaavana) is considered sacred by the laity and it is customary for them to apply it to their foreheads and eyebrows, and sprinkle to various locations as purificatory liquid. It is believed by devotees that nhaavana helps to cure physical ailments. In one of his sermons in1984 at Pali (Rajasthan) Aacaarya Padmasagar has given scientific reasons for the auspicious and curative properties of nhaavana, due to the fact that, it contains electronic waves of devotional thoughts of the worshippers who have bathed the images holding the jug of pancamrat with both hands, the electronic thoughts being passed via their finger tips. The next stage of the ritual is worship with sandalwood paste (candan pujaa). This involves anointing the image with sandalwood paste on the big toes, knees, wrists, shoulders, crown of the head, forehead, neck, chest and the navel. Appropriate verses accompany each of these actions. Flowers are placed before the jina image, usually at the feet, although occasionally the image is garlanded. In the rituals of the candana pujaa, each anointing of a different part of the image is a 'physical' prayer for a particular desired outcome. The toes of the image are anointed out of respect for the jina and as a prayer in humility, for detachment and jina-like contentment. It also expresses the desire for the welfare of all beings. Anointing the knees is for the strength to meditate, to achieve self-realisation. Anointing the wrists is linked to the charitable giving of the physical possessions and the passing of spiritual knowledge to others. Anointing the shoulder is to develop humility. Anointing the crown of the head shows veneration for the liberated soul of the jina. Anointing the forehead shows respect and submission to the teachings of jina. Anointing the neck expresses the desire always to speak in such a way as to promote the spiritual welfare of oneself and others. The chest is anointed from the desire to have the jina-like virtues of detachment, control over the passions, friendship, compassion and equanimity. Anointing the navel expresses the desire to experience the attributes of purified souls. Using flowers in worship is symbolic of the fragrance created by virtuous nature and good deeds. (Hemratnavijay 1990: pp.109-116) 263 Page #264 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Agra Pujaa: This ritual is performed outside the inner shrine of the temple, where the worshipper offers waving burning incense, and then waves a ghee lamp before the image. Incense is used in worship, for a prayer for destroying karma and the passions, in a similar way to the smoke of burning incense. The 'lamp-waving' worship symbolises the removal of ignorance and the achievement of complete understanding. Following the offering of incense and light, further offerings of rice, a sweet, and a fruit are performed. This completes the asta-prakaari-pujaa. To make these offerings, the worshipper sits at a low table and on it arranges grains of rice in the form of the traditional symbols of the Jain faith. First there is a swastika; the four arms symbolising the four states of embodiment (human, celestial, animal and plants, or infernal) in which a soul may be reborn. Above this, three dots are placed symbolising Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. At the top of this rice 'diagram', a crescent symbolises the abode of the liberated souls and a 'dot' above the crescent symbolises the liberated souls. The sweet is placed on the swastika and the fruit on the crescent. The rice grains symbolise freedom from rebirth; polished rice grains will not germinate. The sweet symbolises the wish to achieve a state in which one does not desire food. The fruit symbolises the desired outcome of the worship, liberation. Jains are not permitted to make use of anything offered to an image. Fruits, sweets, nuts, rice or other ingredients offered by worshippers may be utilised by the temple staff, if they are non-Jains. During worship some devotees wave a 'brush fan' (caamar) signifying their devotion, and gaze at the image of the tirthankara, reflected in a mirror; the symbolism of the reflected image signifies the purity of the soul. Plate 5.5 A devotee making swastika with rice grains in a temple at Boradi, Gujarat. 264 Page #265 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Bhaava Pujaa: 'Psychic' worship (bhaava pujaa) consists of a series of rituals, for temple veneration, which is called caitya vandana. In this worship hymns of praise, adoration and devotion are recited together with the performance of penance and meditation. Caitya vandana helps the devotee to develop spirituality and shed karma attached to the soul. Hence this worship should be undertaken with full concentration and understanding of the meaning of each ritual. There are a number of prayers and rituals in the caitya vandana. Veneration of the jina. Asking for forgiveness for harming any living being, knowingly or unknowingly, while coming to or going from the temple. Expression of a desire to shed karma acquired during those journeys. Performance of penance with bodily detachment and meditation in the form of a sutra on the adoration of and devotion to the twenty-four jinas, or the four silent recitations of the navakara mantra. Prayer of adoration and devotion to the twenty-four jinas of this time-cycle, and of the past and future. Prayer to Shantinatha, the sixteenth tirthankara, bestower of welfare to all, and a guide on the spiritual path towards salvation. A sutra of veneration to all the jina images throughout the universe. A sutra offering respect and veneration to all the jina temples throughout the universe. A sutra of veneration to the five 'supreme beings' (parmesthis). A sutra of veneration to all the saints throughout universe. Recitation of hymns of praise, attributes and adoration of the tirthankaras. A sutra containing prayers to the jinas, whose teachings are the most auspicious, for aid in shedding karma and worldly miseries; A sutra of penance for allowing one's mind to be distracted during the rituals; The mental recitation of navkar mantra in a standing posture with bodily detachment. The ritual concludes with a prayer and adoration of the tirthankaras. After this worship, the devotee rings the bell that is hung just outside the shrine as a sign of rejoicing. On many occasions the jina images are decorated with silver or gold foil, or with other rich decorative materials, to recall the tirthankaras' previous lives as monarchs. Normally, upon first seeing the image of the jina, the worshipper will engage in a contemplation of the different stages through which the jina passed in life, such as birth, reign as a monarch, renunciation, omniscience and liberation. Aarati: This popular waving lamp ritual involves the rotating of five gee lamps. It is performed in mid-morning and is the last ritual at night. The five lamps symbolise five forms of knowledge: sensory, scriptural, clairvoyant, 'telepathic' and omniscient. It is a mass ritual, accompanied by melodic singing and music. Aarati is performed as a symbol of veneration to the jinas and is believed to help to prevent malevolent thoughts. Mangala Divo: This ritual of rotating a single lamp follows aarati. Mangala divo symbolises everlasting knowledge passed on by the jina. This mass ritual includes a prayer for the welfare of all living beings. It is believed that Aacaarya Hemcandra initiated this ritual in the days of King Kumarpala in the twelfth century CE, adopting the 265 Page #266 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Hindu tradition of sharing the lamp-waving ritual with others (Hemratnavijay 1990: pp.64-94). Plate 5.6 Devotees performing the ritual of caitya vandan at Boradi, Gujarat, India. Figure 5.5 Some of the postures adopted during the ritual of caitya vandan. 266 Page #267 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Nava smarana: Some staunch devotees recite daily the nine eulogies in veneration of the tirthankaras, panca parmesthis, the goddesses of learning and the guardian deities. They are the Navakara Mantra, Uvasaggaharam Stotra, Santikarana Stotra, Tijyapahutta Stotra, Nami Una Stotra, Ajita Santi, Bhaktaamara Stotra, Kalyaana Mandir Stotra, and Bruhacchantih Stotra. A further description of the Uvasaggaharam, Santikarana, Ajita Santi and Bruhacchantih is given later in this chapter. The Tijya pahutta is a prayer to the 170 tirthankaras of the universe and the 16 goddesses of learning for the destruction of the devotee's karma, and the avoidance of calamities that may be caused by the planets, by ghosts or evil celestial beings. The Nami Una Stotra is a eulogy in praise of Parsvanatha and it is believed that devotees who recite this mantra will avoid calamity and dispel fear. The Bhaktaamara Stotra is a forty-four-verse eulogy in praise of Risabhdeva, composed by Mantunga Suri. The background behind the composition of this eulogy is interesting (see chapter 2.4). The Kalyaana Mandir Stotra is a eulogy in praise of Parsvanatha composed by Aacaarya Siddhasen Divakar Suri. Celebratory Rituals Svetambars celebrate a number of Jain sacred days by performing the special pujaas such as the snaatra pujaa, panca kalyanaka pujaa, santi snaatra pujaa, antaraaya karma pujaa, siddha cakra pujan, arihanta mahapujan, atthai mahotsava, adhaara abhiseka and anjana salaakaa are performed on celebratory occasions. They are very colourful and vibrant ceremonies, which clearly show the popularity of Jainism as a living tradition. Devotees often gather in the temple for bhaavanaa, to sing the hymns of praise to the tirthankaras prior to the nightly lamp waving ritual. Snaatra Pujaa (anointing worship); it is a daily ritual performed in most Jain temples, the re-enactment by laypeople of the birth celebration of a tirthankara, traditionally performed by celestial beings on Mount Meru. It is also performed on the pious days or for the celebration of family events. Panca Kalyaanaka Pujaa: This ritual entails the worship of the five auspicious occasions in the life of a jina: conception, birth, renunciation, omniscience and liberation. The Snaatra pujaa precedes this ritual. Shanti Snaatra Pujaa: This special pujaa for universal peace and the welfare of all living beings in the universe is regarded as the most auspicious and beneficial, and is performed on the last day of any major celebratory ceremony. In this pujaa, sacred offerings are made to the image of Shantinatha, either twenty-seven or one hundred and eight times, depending upon the time available, and to the nine planets, and to other guardian deities. The devotees chant the incantations and express the wish: 'May felicity, bliss, cheerfulness and holiness prevail everywhere Antaraaya Karma Pujaa: This ritual is performed to remove obstacles, which may be impeding the rightful outcome of meritorious actions. It is also enacted for the avoidance of unexplained disasters. Siddha Cakra Pujan: During the worship of the Siddha Cakra, a colourful and artistic mystical diagram known as siddhacakra yantra is created, in an appropriate place. It is made with wheat, green dal, black gram, Bengal gram and white and coloured rice as symbolic representations of the five 'supreme beings', the three jewels, and austerities (nave pad). Holy recitations, meditation, worship and prayer are performed to the above and to the sixteen goddesses of learning and other guardian celestial beings. Prayers for 267 Page #268 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ the welfare of all living beings and for universal peace are recited. Jains revere the siddha cakra as a mantra in their daily worship and meditation, as a representation of the essence of the scriptures: the five 'supreme beings' and four essentials of Right Faith, Right Knowledge, Right Conduct and Right Austerity. Arihanta Mahaapujan: This elaborate ritual lasts three days. It invokes all the attributes of the arihant (tirthankara). During this ritual, the prayers to guardian celestial beings are recited along with the prayers for the welfare of all living beings in the universe. Atthai Mahotsava: This is an eight-day religious celebration in which various pujans are performed daily. On this occasion, cleaning and decoration of the temples are undertaken. This celebration involves offering prayers to the jina, with music and dancing, the chanting of hymns of glorification, the recitation of devotional songs, decoration of the images (aangi), and the organisation of community gatherings and the community dinners. Plate 5.7 Devotees bathe a Jina statue in the of siddha cakra pujan ritual at Leicester in 1985 Adhaara Abhiseka: This ceremony is undertaken for the purification of an image, whether old or new, or any picture or engraved marble slab. It is performed by offering eighteen oblations containing various kinds of pure water, herbs and rich substances. It is a very auspicious ceremony and it is performed periodically in temples for purification. Anjana Salaakaa: This is the ceremony of consecration of an image to make it venerable for worship. It is performed at midnight by an aacaarya (or his deputy), who ceremoniously recites the mantras of conception, birth, renunciation, omniscience and salvation. He also applies to the eyes of the image a paste made of many rich substances, using a goldstick. It is customary for the aacaarya to fast for three days while performing this ceremony. 268 Page #269 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The Jain sacred literature, in languages such as Gujarati and Hindi, describe various pujaas composed by ascetic scholars, Virvijay, Sakalchandra, Padmavijay, Vimalsuri, Yashovijay, Buddhisagar and many others. The Vividha Pujaa Sangraha (a compendium of pujaas, 960 pages) and the Pujan Sangraha (296 pages), both in Gujarati, describe the mantras, sutras, methods and protocols of the pujaas; texts are also available in Hindi and some other Indian languages. Purificatory rituals Svetambars perform equanimity (saamayika), penitential retreat (pratikramana), sacred fasting, meditation and the temporary life like an ascetic (pausadha), and self-study (svaadhyaya) as purificatory rituals. The first and last of these have been described earlier. The penitential retreat will be discussed later in the next chapter and pausadha is described below. Pausadha: This is an austerity observed by laypeople during which they model their behaviour on that of the ascetics. It is intended to enhance spiritual endeavour and to provide inner strength. The ritual may last from twelve to twenty-four hours, although sometimes devotees continue for longer. This austerity is undertaken on holy days, in the home or in upashrayas. For some, this ritual may form part of a devotee's preparation for an ascetic life. Gurubhakti: After performing image worship, devotees visit the upashraya to pay their respects to the ascetics, enquire after their health and invite them home to provide them with food, water and other necessities. Devotees listen to the sermons of the ascetics and take from them the vows pertaining to their intended austerity. If there are no ascetics available, they perform this ceremony by reciting sutras and accept vows themselves. Religious Funds Svetambars are very particular about the management of religious funds and maintain separate funds for a range of purposes, which are raised by donations placed in clearly marked collection boxes and by 'bidding' (boli or uchavani) during rituals, in which devotees bid for the privilege of performing rituals. The funds are as follows: Temple fund (deva dravya) is raised through devotional rituals and the temple collection box. It may only be used for the renovation of the temples. Ascetics' fund (saadhu/saadhvi fund) is raised by veneration to the ascetics and donations to meet the needs of the ascetics. Scriptural fund (jnaana daana) is raised by donations and is used for the publishing of scriptures and their dissemination. Co-religionist fund (saadharmika fund) is raised by donations and is used to meet the needs of fellow members of the community. Compassion fund (jiva dayaa/anukampaa fund) is raised by donations and is used for animal and human welfare. General Fund (saadharana fund) is raised by donations and is used for the salaries of staff, maintenance of the buildings, administration and other expenses. Food funds (bhojansaala/ayambilsaala fund): These two funds are raised by donations and used to provide meals for pilgrims, guests and community members. The ayambil fund can only be used for devotees who perform ayambil austerity. 269 Page #270 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 5.5 PENITENTIAL RETREAT Denitential retreat (pratikramana) is the distinct feature of the Jain way of life, a most I popular ritual, prescribed for both ascetics and the laity. It is performed in five forms: daily in the morning (raai pratikramana) and evening (devasi pratikramana) - each one just over 48 minutes, and the elaborate rituals (can last 2 hours or more) - twice each month (pakkhi pratikramana); four monthly (caumaasi pratikramana) and annual (samvatsari pratikramana). Pratikramana means '(re)turning back', meaning a return to one's original state of purity. External environments and our daily activities, whether they are social, domestic, work related or recreational bring disturbance to the peaceful nature of the soul. As most of the worldly activities, whether performed knowingly or unknowingly, cause harm to other living beings and are sinful in nature; they harm us by the resulting karmic influx. They are usually associated with attraction and aversion, and the passions, which are against the nature of the peaceful soul. As people cannot avoid worldly activities, this daily ritual helps to shed the karma that is attracted due to the transgressions of Right Conduct, and return the soul to the state of purity before they began these activities (of mind, speech or the body). If pratikramana is not performed, the soul continues to be obscured by karmic particles and purification may become impossible. Jains believe that no other person or divinity can assist them, they have to help themselves, ask for forgiveness for their transgressions, perform penance, and see that such aberrations are not repeated. The religions of the world have evolved ethical codes of conduct, but imperfect human beings violate this code repeatedly, knowingly or unknowingly, by mind, speech or physical action, by their own actions or by motivating others to act wrongly, or by applauding immoral acts. Jain seers taught that the violation of morality can be caused by any type of ill will (mental transgression); preparing for immorality (preparatory' transgressions); breaking the moral code partially (partial violation); and acting completely immorally (total violation). If one confesses one's transgressions, realises one's wrongs, repents, performs penance and determines not to repeat such faults, one may return to one's original self. This act of turning back' is penitential retreat. As 'to err is human', transgressions of the Right Conduct do occur for a worldly being; these transgressions (aticaara) could be intentional or accidental, such as in playing sport, in occupations, in self-defence and other worldly activities. Jain seers have classified 124 forms of inadvertent transgressions (Vijaydevasura sangha 1981: p.162). A full account of these can be found in the Aacaaranga Sutra or in the Panca Pratikramana Sutra. (Hindi and Gujarati). These transgressions apply equally to ascetics and the laity. They may be committed by physical, physiological, psychological or verbal means. Transgressions may be against Right Faith, such as: doubt or scepticism; worshipping in anticipation of gain; condemnation of the faith; belief in false deities, teachers or traditions; criticism of the jina's faith; activities which undermine the faith; bringing the faith into disrepute; and false piety motivated by self-interest. 270 Page #271 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Transgressions may be against Right Knowledge such as: doubting the true knowledge of the omniscients, including seven ways of inappropriately reading the sacred texts. These are: reading at the wrong time (not at the best times, such as in the morning), reading without respect for the scriptures, reading without proper concentration, reading without proper pronunciation, reading without understanding the proper meaning, reading and reciting inaccurately, and reading without humility. Transgressions may be against Right Conduct and those, which apply mainly to ascetics, are carelessness in walking, speech, accepting alms, picking up and setting down objects, and bodily functions. The further transgressions of unguarded mind, speech and physical action likewise apply mainly to ascetics. Transgressions of Right Conduct against the twelvefold ethical code or vows, which apply to the laity, are: Violence (physical, vocal or mental) towards living beings; falsehood; stealing; not observing proper sexual restraint (physically or mentally) and showing attachment to worldly possessions. Transgressions against the three 'multiplicative' vows are breaking the directional' vow of limiting unnecessary movement, communication or activity. Transgressions against the four educative' vows involve failure to rightly observe the vows of equanimity, the temporary adoption of an ascetic lifestyle; 'limiting consumables and non-consumables'; these include transgressions as an element of certain occupations; and 'hospitality'. There are also transgressions against the six external and six internal austerities, and transgressions which obstruct the acquisition of spiritual energy. Lastly, there are transgressions against the vow of holy death'. The daily duty of pratikramana involves yoga, including pranaayama and physical postures, meditation, and the six essential duties, an all-encompassing spiritual path. This ritual also aims to promote the welfare of all living beings and world peace. If this sacred ritual is properly performed, with an understanding of its meaning and full concentration, the devotee can advance spiritually, and acquire mental peace and happiness. Ideally, pratikramana should be performed in the presence of an ascetic, but in their absence, a sacred text placed before the devotee may function as a consecrated substitute. This is particularly the case when this ritual is performed in the devotee's home. Requirements for this ritual are minimal: clean clothes, a rectangular woollen cloth upon which to sit, a woollen brush (caravalaa), a 'mouth-kerchief (muhupatti) and a text of the Pratikramana Sutras (for the devotees who do not know them by heart). All the sutras recited in pratikramana have particular meanings and purposes, as do the various yogic postures used. During pratikramana, the repeated ritual of the muhupatti is performed, where a mental recitation is performed, expressing a desire to pronounce the sutras correctly and to understand their meaning; to abandon passions, attractions and aversions; to follow the right faith, knowledge and conduct; to have pure thoughts; and to protect immobile and mobile living beings. Both ascetics and laypeople recite the majority of these sutras; a few are recited only by ascetics, fewer still exclusively by men or by women. There are sutras in Prakrit and Sanskrit and in at least four modern Indian languages, Gujarati, Hindi, Tamil and Kannada. 271 Page #272 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The sutras recited during pratikramana have a special meaning and the purpose. It is impossible to mention all the sutras in detail in this work, however, their substance is as follows (Nirvana Sagara 1986: pp.1-155): 1. Navakara (Maha)Mantra (also known as the Panca Parmesthi Sutra): This incantation is the most sacred sutra and the most commonly recited. It is the veneration mantra of obeisance to the five 'supreme beings'. 2. Pancindiya Sutra: This sutra describes the thirty-six virtues of ascetics. It is the consecration sutra of a sacred text, as a guru, prior to the performance of equanimity (saamayika). 3. Khamaasana Sutra: This sutra is recited during the performance of the 'five limbs' posture (obeisance with forehead, hands and knees on the ground) with which it shares its name; it offers veneration to the panca parmesthis. 4. Icchakaara Sutra: This sutra respectfully enquires after the spiritual and physical welfare of the ascetics and invites them to accept food, water and other necessities. 5. Iriyaavahiaa Sutra: This sutra asks forgiveness for harm to any living being through our actions such as walking and otherwise moving. 6. Tassauttari Sutra: This sutra asks for penance to annihilate the karmic effects of sins that remain even after asking forgiveness through the Iriyaavahiaa Sutra 7. Annattha Sutra: By this sutra, the vow of meditation with bodily detachment is taken, allowing for exceptions for the sixteen physiological events such as sneezing, passing wind or having an accident. 8. Logassa Sutra: In this sutra, the eulogies of the twenty-four tirthankaras of each of the past, present and future cycles are performed. A prayer is also made to seek their help through the Three Jewels. 9. Karemi Bhante Sutra: This is a sutra for taking a vow to practise equanimity (saamayika) or renunciation, and to resist harmful sins of mind, speech or body, by oneself or through motivating others to sin, and to condemn and censure sins until they cease. 10. Saamaiya vaya jutto Sutra: This sutra is recited on conclusion of saamayika. It considers the practitioner of equanimity to be equivalent to an ascetic and desires the performance of equanimity repeatedly. It seeks forgiveness for the thirty-two faults (ten of mind, ten of speech, and twelve of body) involved in practising saamayika. 11. Jaga cintamani Sutra: This sutra eulogises all the present, past and future tirthankaras, famous places of pilgrimage, temples and jina images, and offers veneration to ascetics and other omniscients. 12. Jankinci Sutra: This sutra venerates all the places of Jain pilgrimage and all the images existing in the Jain universe. 13. Namutthunam Sutra or Sakrastava Sutra: This sutra eulogises and offers veneration to all the present enlightened ones, and past and future liberated ones, and recites their attributes. The celestial King Sakrendra recites it whenever the soul of a jina is conceived in its final human life. 14. Jaavanti ceiaim Sutra: This sutra venerates all the jina temples existing in the Jain universe. 15. Jaavant kevi sahu Sutra: This sutra venerates all the ascetics present in the Bharata, Airavata and Mahaavideha regions of Jain geography. 16. Namorhata sutra: this sutra is a short form of the navakara mantra. 272 Page #273 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ 17. Uvasagga haram Stotra: This sutra is a eulogy composed by Bhadrabahu in praise of Parsvanatha, the remover of all calamities, and is a prayer to him asking for Right Faith. 18. Jayviyaraya Sutra: This sutra offers prayers before the jinas for the destruction of karma and worldly miseries, and reiterates that the teachings of the jina are the most auspicious among all faiths. 19. Arihanta ceiyanam Sutra or Caitya stava Sutra: This sutra offers prayers of adoration and devotion to jina images in temples. It is recited as a vow before meditation with bodily detachment for obtaining Right Faith and liberation. 20. Kallaana kandam stuti Sutra: This sutra is a eulogy in four parts offering veneration to the tirthankaras Risabhdeva, Santinatha, Neminatha, Parsvanatha and Mahavira in its first stanza; to all the jinas in its second, to scriptural knowledge in its third, and to the goddess of scriptures, Sarasvati, in its fourth stanza. 21. Sansaara daavaanala Sutra: This sutra, a eulogy to Mahavira, is a composition by Haribhadra. It offers veneration to Mahavira, all jinas, scriptures, and the goddesses of scripture. 22. Pukkhara varadivaddhe Sutra: This sutra venerates the tirthankaras as the source of the scriptural knowledge of the Three Jewels and is a prayer to them seeking Right Conduct. 23. Siddhaanam buddhaanam Sutra: This sutra venerates the liberated ones and omniscients, and all the twenty-four tirthankaras are eulogised and prayers are offered to them. 24. Veyavacca garaanam Sutra: This sutra venerates the heavenly guardian deities who care for people with Right Faith, and the followers of the jina's teaching. 25. Bhagvaanaham aadi vandana Sutra: This sutra venerates the panca parmesthis. 26. Devasia padikamana thaum Sutra: This sutra seeks steadfastness in penitential retreat. 27. Icchaami thaami Sutra: This sutra is a vow of meditation with bodily detachment for transgressions of Right Conduct, including the twelve vows of laypeople. 28. Naanam mi dansanam mi or Pancaacaara Sutra: This sutra describes transgressions of the Three Jewels, austerities, and the utilisation of spiritual energy. This recital is undertaken in meditation with bodily detachment. 29. Suguru vandana Sutra: This sutra venerates ascetics and seeks forgiveness for disrespectful conduct towards them, knowingly or unknowingly. 30. Devasiam aalou Sutra: This sutra expresses self-censure for transgressions of Right Conduct, during the day. 31. Saat laakh Sutra: By this sutra, one asks forgiveness from all living beings in the universe for any harm inflicted by oneself, or by someone whom one has motivated to do harm, or where one has appreciated violence done by others. 32. Adhaara paapa sthaanaka Sutra: By this sutra one seeks forgiveness for eighteen types of sins committed by oneself, or by someone whom one has motivated to commit sin, or where one has appreciated' sin committed by others. The sins reiterated are: taking life, untruth, stealing, improper sexual relations, hoarding and attachment to material things, anger, pride, deceit, greed, attraction, aversion, discord, accusation, slander, excessive feelings of pleasure and of pain, defamation, lying and deception, and misguided beliefs. 273 Page #274 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ 33. Savvassavi Sutra: This sutra briefly expresses censure and penitence for sins in general. 34. Icchami padikkamiu Sutra: This sutra expresses the desire for penitence and forgiveness for any transgressions. 35. Vandittu Sutra or Sraaddha pratikramana Sutra: This fifty-verse sutra is the essence of the penitential ritual. It expresses repentance for 124 forms of transgressions in observing the Three Jewels, the twelve vows, the three guards and the five carefulnesses during the day or night. The sutra eulogises the panca parmesthis and venerates the jinas, their temples and images, ascetics and scriptures. Finally, the devotee beseeches forgiveness from all and forgives all and expresses friendship to every living being and enmity to none. 36. Abbhutthiomi Sutra: This sutra asks forgiveness for any impoliteness shown, intentionally or otherwise, towards ascetics. 37. Aayariya uvaajzaae Sutra: This sutra asks forgiveness for offences committed against ascetics, religious leaders and teachers, the sangha, and all living beings. Devotees express their forgiveness to all. 38. Sua devaya Sutra: This eulogy is a meditational prayer with bodily detachment to the god(dess) of scripture for aid in shedding karma, which inhibit Right Knowledge, and is prescribed only for men. 39. Kamala dala Sutra: This prayer, recited by women, in meditation with bodily detachment, is a eulogy to the goddess of scripture, Sarasvati, who is depicted as seated upon a lotus. 40. Jise khitte Sutra: Men recite this eulogy, in meditation with bodily detachment, to the guardian deity of the region and pray for the removal of obstacles to spiritual observance. 41. Yasyah ksetram Sutra: Women recite this eulogy, in meditation with bodily detachment, to the guardian deity of the region, but men also recite it in elaborate fortnightly, four-monthly and yearly pratikramanas. 42. Jnaanadi guna Sutra: This eulogy to the guardian celestial beings of the world, is uttered in an elaborate penitential recitation with hymns asking for knowledge. 43. Namostu vardddhamanay Sutra: This eulogy, recited by men in the evening pratikramanas, venerates Mahavira, all the tirthankaras and the scriptures for their right teachings. 44. Visaala locana Stotra: This eulogy, recited by men during the morning pratikramanas, venerates Mahavira, all the tirthankaras and Jain scriptures. 45. Addhaijzesu Sutra: This sutra venerates all ascetics in the Jain universe. 46. Vara kanaka Sutra: By means of this eulogy, male devotees make obeisance to the one hundred and seventy tirthankaras of the Jain universe who are venerated with rich offerings from heavenly beings. 47. Laghu santi Sutra: This short recital venerates tirthankara Shantinatha and the goddess of peace, Vijaya, for bestowing peace on the entire world. The seventh century ascetic scholar Aacaarya Manadeva composed it and its recitation dispelled an epidemic, and it is believed that misery is dispelled and peace appears when this sutra is recited or read, or water consecrated by this hymn is sprinkled. 48. Caukkasaaya Sutra: This sutra is a prayer to Parsvanatha, conqueror of the four passions, to grant spiritual uplift. 274 Page #275 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ 49. Mannah jinaanam Sajzhaaya: This sutra consists of five verses reminding the laity of their daily duties. 50. Bharahesara Sajzaaya: By these thirteen verses, devotees remind themselves each morning of the fifty-three men and forty-seven women, ascetics and laypeople, who were celibate and pious, and whose conduct is a model for the sangha. Both ascetics and laypeople perform this recitation. 51. Sakala tirtha vandanaa Stotra: This fifteen-verse hymn was composed in Gujarati by the seventeeth century Aacaarya Jiva Vijay, and venerates all jina images in the universe, places of pilgrimage, present tirthankaras in the universe, liberated souls and ascetics on the path to liberation. 52. Sakalaarhata Stotra: This sutra, composed by Hemcandra, is a thirty-three verse sanctuary veneration in the form of an eulogy to the twenty-four tirthankaras, is recited in the elaborate pratikramanas, and offers veneration to all Jina images in holy places. 53. Snatasyaa Stuti: This eulogy to Mahavira, composed by Muni Balacandra, a disciple of Hemcandra in the thirteenth century, is recited in elaborate pratikramanas. 54. Paksika aticaara Sutra: This detailed recital seeks forgiveness for all the 124 possible transgressions in observing fivefold conduct in every fortnightly, four-monthly and yearly pratikramana. It is an elaboration of the Vandittu Sutra, but ascetics recite the Pakkhi Sutra, a detailed version relating to transgressions of their vows. 55. Ajita santi Stava: This is a eulogy of Ajitanatha and Shantinatha (second and sixteenth tirthankaras) composed by Aacaarya Nandisena to dispel diseases and fears, and is recited during elaborate pratikramanas. 56. Bruhacchanti Stotra: This long recitation, composed by Shanti Suri in the eleventh century, is used on all auspicious occasions such as image consecrations, anointing worship and other pujaas, to pray for the peace, happiness and spiritual upliftment of all living beings. In this recitation prayers are offered to Parsvanatha, Shantinatha and the other tirthankaras, the sixteen goddesses of learning, the nine heavenly beings of the planets, the four heavenly beings of the regions. It prays for the peace and welfare of the sangha, all non-Jains, rulers, leaders, spiritual preachers, and for the welfare of all living beings. It reiterates that the teachings of jina are beneficial to all. Water consecrated by this recital is sprinkled on places to purify the surroundings and on devotees as a blessing. 57. Santikarana Stotra: This thirteen verse recitation, composed by Munisundar Suri, is a prayer to Shantinatha, to the sixteen goddesses of learning, and to the male and female guardian deities of each of the twenty-four tirthankaras (saasan devas and devis). It is believed that by reciting this stotra at least three times, with full concentration, worldly calamities and miseries can be averted. (Vijaydevasura sangha: 1981, Doshi C. 1979) Jain seers have arranged the sequence of the sacred sutras of pratikramana in such a way that devotees obtain the full benefits of the performance of their daily essential duties, yoga and meditation. Daily Pratikramana In daily pratikramana (performed in the evening) devotees recite the sutras of equanimity: the Navakara Mantra, Pancadiya, Khamaasana, Iriyaavahiaa, Tassauttari, Annatha, Logassa, Karemi bhante, and sutras seeking permission from ascetics (or their substitutes) to be in a state of saamayika. Following this, devotees mentally recite the verses concerning the muhupatti, while checking it, then venerate ascetics and temples, 275 Page #276 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ recite once more the Karemi bhante, the sutra of saamayika, the first essential duty. For the second duty, the Logassa and other sutras are recited in veneration of the twenty-four tirthankaras. For the third duty, devotees check the muhupatti and recite the Suguru vandana Sutra. For the fourth duty of pratikramana, devotees recite sutras such as the Devasiam alou, Saat lakh, Adhaara papasthanaka, Vandittu, and perform meditation with bodily detachment and the sequence of the Suguru vandana. For the fifth duty of kaayotsarga, devotees recite a series of sutras, interspersed with meditation, on the Logassa or Navakara Mantra, with bodily detachment. At this point, in celebration of purification, devotees recite eulogies to the liberated ones and to the guardian deities, such as the Siddhanam buddhanam, Sua devaya, Kamala dala and Jise khitte. Accepting the vows to renounce that which is harmful to the soul performs the sixth duty of pratyaakhyaan. After completing these essential duties, one recites the eulogy of Mahavira and Parsvanatha followed by the short recital to peace and other sutras in conclusion of samaayika. The morning pratikramana comprises a similar recitation of sutras, with more emphasis on eulogies and hymns, but the fortnightly, four-monthly and yearly pratikramanas include more elaborate sutras concerning transgressions, elaborate kaayotsarga and eulogies followed by the long recital to peace. Although, theoretically, pratikramana forms the fourth of the six essential duties, the Jain seers made it customary to include all the six duties in its performance, to ensure that devotees would observe them (Vijaydevasura sangha 1981: pp.20-21). Figure 5.6 Some of the postures adopted during the ritual of pratikramana Sha Page #277 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 5.6 DIGAMBAR RITUALS AND RITUALS OTHER SECTS This chapter describes the rituals of Digambar Jains, the rituals of the Sthanakvasis, I Terapanthis, followers of Srimad Rajcandra, of Kanji Swami and of Dada Bhagwan, the rituals for the initiation ceremony of ascetics and the 'holy death' (sallekhanaa or santhaaraa). The majority of the Digambar rituals are variations on the essential duties. They may be classified as devotional, purificatory, expiatory, oblationary and ceremonial. Perhaps the most significant difference between Svetambar and Digambar rituals is the absence of the daily performance of pratikramana among the Digambar laity. Devotional rituals include worship, prayers, chanting, incantations and pujaas. The Digambars perform many forms of pujaas, but their sequence is similar in each case. The general sequence of pujaa is the first stage of physical cleanliness through bathing and putting on clean clothing. The second stage of mental purity consists in the recital of hymns and mantras, going to the temple and seeking the permission of the guardian deities to enter by uttering the word 'nissahi' three times; veneratation of the images, and the three rounds of circuits around the shrine. The third stage consists of making preparation for pujaa by wearing (i.e. changing into) clean 'temple clothes', followed by taking from the temple store-house the eight types of materials to be offered; cleaning the materials with water and arranging them on a pujaa tray, on which a ninth material is created by mixing together the original eight. Each of the eight ingredients has its spiritual symbolism: Pure water symbolises liberation of the self and other beings from birth, old age and death. Sandalwood paste symbolises equanimity (sandalwood has a calming influence). Rice grains symbolise freedom from rebirth (polished rice grains will not germinate). Yellow rice grains (coloured with sandalwood paste) symbolise purity and control over the passions. Coconut symbolises freedom from the feeling of hunger. Coloured coconut (coloured with sandalwood paste) symbolises the destruction of the darkness of delusion. (this ingredient replaces a lighted lamp). Incense symbolises the destruction (burning away) of karma attached to the soul. (this is 'purely' symbolic, as the incense is not incinerated). Almonds, betelnuts and cloves, used in place of fruit, symbolise the fruit of liberation. The mixture of the eight ingredients symbolises the desire to achieve liberation. In order to avoid harm to one-sensed beings, Digambars do not use flowers or lighted lamps or fruits in their pujaa. Digambar pujaa (Jain, H. 1988: pp.38-70) begins with the devotee's placing a pujaa tray on a wooden stool, while an empty pujaa tray stands on a second stool. The empty tray is marked with a swastika using sandalwood paste. A small jina image from the shrine is carried, to the accompaniment of traditional recitations, and placed on the empty pujaa tray. Clean filtered water is sprinkled over the head of the image. This sacred water, called gandhodhak, is then taken and applied by devotees to their head and eyebrows. This anointment of the image is called the stream of peace'; although generally water is used for this purpose, other liquids such as ghee, milk, curd, sugar-cane juice and a liquid mixture of herbal extracts can also be employed. If liquids other than water are employed, the final anointment should be made with a jet of water, so that the image 277 Page #278 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ remains clean. In elaborate pujaas, this anointing is performed with 108 pots, each pot representing an attribute of the panca parmesthis. After the anointing, veneration of the jina is performed, accompanied by the recitation of sacred verses. Then yellow rice grains are sprinkled in all directions to purify the surroundings. Pujaas are performed for the veneration of the vows, places of pilgrimage, jina temples and jina images, the sixteen attributes of the tirthankara and the ten-fold religious observances. Of the many types of pujaas performed, each comprises the above sequence. At each stage, there are five invocations: the main deity (or deities) of pujaa, the scriptures and preceptors, the liberated ones, the twenty present tirthankaras of Mahaavideha region as described in the sacred geography, the panca parmesthis, and the individually-named tirthankaras. Following the invocation of a deity, the devotee recites a sacred mantra, meditating on the deity invoked. The eightfold offering to the deities is made accompanied by the recitation of each offering in sequence. The last stage of the pujaa is the recitation of the verses of veneration of the conception, birth, renunciation, omniscience and liberation of the tirthankaras (panca kalyaanaka). It is followed by the recitation of the 'victorious garland' (jayamaala), consisting of the attributes of the jinas, followed by the ninth offering of the mixed materials. After these offerings, devotees perform aarati and pray for the happiness and peace of the world by reciting the shanti paatha. Devotees conclude by praying to the deities invoked for the forgiveness of any faults or omissions made during this ritual. The pujaa with material offerings is intended to lead to psychic (bhaava) pujaa. Incantations of mantras, such as the Navakara Mantra, and the recitation of hymns and eulogies, such as the Bhaktamara Stotra, Kalyaana mandir Stotra, and many others are psychic forms of pujaas. Incantations, eulogies and incantational repetitions lead one into the deeper stages of meditation and the observance of equanimity. Purificatory Rituals consist of the practices of equanimity and penitential retreat; the recitation of hymns and eulogies in praise of the tirthankaras and torch bearers, incantational repetitions, and self-study. Long purificatory rituals, lasting for three to ten days are known as vidhaanas. In recent decades they have increased in popularity. They are mass rituals and serve to increase the cohesion of the community and raise funds for temples. Nowadays, vidhaanas such as the 'pujaa of the nine planets', the pujaa for peace, and the pujaa for indra dhvaja are observed by some to alleviate individual, family and social calamities, mimicking Hindu ritual practices. Expiatory Rituals: These rituals, aalocanaas, consist of confession for the transgressions of Right Conduct before a preceptor or a consecrated substitute. Devotees seek penance as prescribed in the scriptures, and try not to repeat the transgressions. Oblationary Ritual: Digambar oblationary rituals show Hindu influence. They are intended to provide both social and individual benefits and are sometimes included in vidhaanas. Ceremonial Rituals: Ceremonial rituals consist of performances of one or more day's duration involving the celebration of mythological stories, image and shrine consecration ceremonies, head-anointing ceremonies and chariot processions. They are colourful and very popular mass rituals involving thousands of people. 278 Page #279 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ At the conclusion of most religious festivals, to raise the temple fund in a traditional way, a ceremonial ritual, known as flower garlanding (phula maala) is observed, where the devotees bid for the privilege of wearing garlands named after deities or attributes of the jinas. The devotional atmosphere on such occasions is enhanced by religious music, dances and chanting, which stimulates higher bidding (Jain H 1988: pp.74-78) Digambar non-image-worshippers generally follow the rituals of other Digambars, with the exception of rituals associated with temples and images, instead they worship the scriptures. Rituals of Other Sects Sthanakvasis and Terapanthis do not venerate images and have few rituals. Their daily life is otherwise similar to the Svetambar image worshippers. They perform pratikramana and saamayika and observe paryusana, ayambils, fasting and other austerities. They also observe paakhi, with an elaborate pratikramana and other religious observances, on the final day of each half of a month. Terapanthis celebrate paatotsava on the installation anniversary of their aacaarya, and maryaadaa mahotsava, where ascetics and community leaders gather for a festival of restraint, penance and renewal of their vows. Followers of Srimad Rajcandra: The spiritual mentor of Mahatma Gandhi, Srimad Rajcandra, stressed the importance of ethics and self-realisation over rituals. His followers perform many of the usual Jain rituals such as saamayika, incantational repetitions, eulogies, recitations of confessional worship, and self-study, and they celebrate the same festivals as other Jains. They designate themselves 'liberation desiring' (mumuksus). Rajcandra's followers celebrate guru purnima on the anniversary of his birth, spending the day in equanimity practices and self-study. It is customary to conclude the celebration with a community dinner. Followers of Kanji Swami have a philosophy that places emphasis on the attributes of the soul. They observe daily rituals similar to the majority of the Digambar laypeople, including the performance of vidhaanas, pujaas and self-study. They also call themselves mumuksus. Followers of Dada Bhagwan: Followers of Shri Ambalal Patel (1908-1988 CE), known to his devotees as Dada Bhagwan, observe similar rituals to those of the Svetambar murtipujaka. They emphasise the ethical aspects of Jain values in their daily life and attempt to identify themselves with pure soul. They worship Simandhar Swami, an existent tirthankara in the Mahaavideha a region of the Jain geography. Their rituals are largely devotional and include hymns, equanimity practices and meditation on the attributes of the pure soul. Many of them also follow the philosophical teachings of Srimad Rajcandra (Dundas 1992: pp. 218-232, and 1997: information collected from the followers). For last few decades some Jains, especially in Western countries, believe in promoting Jain values beyond the sectarian boundaries. Jains will attend and take part in the rituals of the other sects, if invited. Initiation of monks and nuns The process of becoming an ascetic, saadhu or saadhvi, is termed 'initiation' (diksaa). The whole process of preparation, blessings, rituals and ceremony may take several 279 Page #280 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ months. Aspiring ascetics are invited to different homes and there they are offered respect and good wishes in their pursuit of the path of the jina. The ritual of initiation begins with the public interrogation of aspirants by the aacaarya on their motives for adopting the ascetic life. The community celebrates by taking the aspirants in grand procession around the locality, during which, aspirants cast handfuls of mixed sacred ingredients, including gold and silver coins, to the crowds, symbolising their renunciation of material possessions. Devotees often keep these coins as sacred souvenirs. The procession ends with the presentation of the candidates before the aacaarya, who directs his disciples to pluck hair from candidates' scalps, and presents them with the garments and the necessary equipment of an ascetic. Then the aacaarya administers the oath of all the vows' (sarva virati), by reciting the Karemi bhante Sutra. New ascetics are given new names with which to start a new life. Some Svetambar aspirants are initiated temporarily, perhaps for one or two years, and only when the aacaarya is satisfied, the provisional ascetic is granted permanent ascetic status by means of a small ritual ceremony. Among Digambars, laypeople are initiated in stages through the eleven pratimaas and at the seventh stage, aspirants accept the vow of complete celibacy and practically renounce household activities. At the eleventh stage, they are initiated into the position of a minor ascetic (ksullaka) with upper and lower garments ('two-clothed'), and when he (there are no Digambar female ascetics in the strictest sense) advances spiritually further, he is initiated as a major ascetic (ailaka), with one garment (loin-clothed'). Both ksullaka and ailaka are wandering recluses. The ailaka's is the last stage of laity and first stage of regular ascetic. Finally when he feels confident to be initiated as muni, he requests an aacaarya to initiate him, the aacaarya obliges him and, then, he gives away all his clothes and becomes a sky-clad ascetic, a muni (Jain J. 1983: pp. 90-91) Ritual of Holy Death Birth and death are the initial and terminal miseries of the world. Jains believe in rebirth until liberation and celebrate both birth and death: with birth the human acquires a body which can be used to obtain liberation, and death is an opportunity to gain a new body. Jainism teaches that one should not be afraid of death; the moment of death is very significant and one should leave the body peacefully in auspicious meditation, avoiding a new influx of the evil karma of attraction and aversion. Jains advocate a concluding ceremony for a life, as the whole of life is viewed as a preparation for a sacred death. This 'sacred death' ritual (sallekhanaa) is specific to Jainism. When one feels one has made full use of the body for spiritual advancement, and that one's body is of no further use, the vow of 'holy death' has been suggested in the Jain scriptures. It has been misunderstood by many in the West, as well as a few in the East, as being a form of suicide, but Jains do not regard this practice as suicide, rather it is a ritualised leaving of the body, as the purpose of holy death is spiritual advancement, it requires determination and spirituality. Suicide is regarded by Jains as a major sin, involving violence to human life. Other than the completely voluntary act, there are five sets of circumstances in which the holy death ritual may be performed: conditions of extreme calamity (e.g. captivity and torture by an enemy); acute famine (where acceptable food is unobtainable); 280 Page #281 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ extreme old age (accompanied by physical and mental impairment; rendering religious observances impossible); terminal illness or fatal injury; * when imminent natural death is predicted by astrological and other prognostications. The first condition is that the ascetic or the surrogate supervising the ritual must be satisfied of the capacity of the aspirant to undertake the ritual. Secondly, the family must give their consent. The sacred-death ritual is generally, though not exclusively, undertaken by ascetics. The ritual must be observed without any of the transgressions mentioned in the scriptures. The story of the thirty days long holy death ritual of Ananda (a rich merchant in Mahavira's time) and of the Aacaarya Skandhaka, are well known in Jain literature. Two modern holy deaths are equally well known: the Digambar Aacaarya Shantisagara underwent a thirty-six-day ritual in 1955 and, a layman, Jethabhai Javeri underwent a forty-two-day ritual in 1993, are examples which indicate the unbroken continuity, popularity and strength of the ritual. This ritual may be observed in the home, a forest, a holy place or an upashraya. The ritual consists of the stages as given below: * The aspirant first seeks the required permissions and takes the vow. * The aspirant gradually renounces food, first solids, then liquids and finally water. Time is spent in engaging in penitential retreat, recitations of confession, condemnation and atonements, asking for forgiveness from all and forgiving all, devotional and auspicious recitations, repetitions of the rosary, scriptural studies, meditation with bodily detachment and reflections on auspicious activities. Besides food, one renounces physical attachments, the passions and sinful activities. Some accept the major vows of ascetics before the expected death. Silent recitations or listening to the Navakara Mantra are undertaken to venerate and take refuge in panca paramesthis (Jain J. 1983: pp.97-99). Jain Symbol: Figure 5.7 The Jain symbol was adopted in 1969 CE at the 2,500th anniversary of moksa of Mahavira. (It depicts the transmigratory cycle and the path to liberation) Abode of the Liberated Souls Right Faith - Right Conduct Right Knowledge Three dots show Triple Faith for Liberation Heaven Human Swastik shows Four Destinies of Worldly Soul Animal Hell Raised Hand is Symbol of Protection and Blessing Non Violence Mutual Interdependence of all lives Page #282 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 5.7 JAIN SACRED DAYS AND FESTIVALS ainism has developed a sacred calendar that relates to particular individuals or events from the religious past, and certain periods of the year designated for spiritual observance. Although Jainism does not deny physical pleasures, Jain sacred days and festivals are noteworthy for the muted and restrained demeanour of the participants, and there is little of the extreme exuberance, enjoyment and entertainment, which often characterise Hindu festivals. The Jain festivals or sacred days are 'celebrated' by renunciation, austerities, the study of the scriptures, the recitation of hymns, meditation and devotion to the tirthankaras. Even those who are busy with daily life, like to be free from worldly entanglements and spend time in worship and meditation during these sacred days. In addition to spiritual objectives, these sacred festivals serve to raise money for the temples and other Jain institutions, and for human, animal and environmental welfare. The regular festivals of the Jain year follow the traditional Indian calendar. Each Indian month is divided into the bright half (when the moon is waxing) and the dark half (when the moon is waning). The year is often numbered according to the Vikrama Samvat era (abbreviated V.S.) which commenced in 57 BCE or, in Jain circles, according to the Vira Samvat, commencing with Mahavira's moksa in 527 BCE. The table 5.8 shows the most important dates in the Jain calendar, including the five auspicious occasions (kalyanakas) in the life of each tirthankara (conception, birth, renunciation, omniscience, and liberation), which are observed by fasting, semi-fasting or other religious activities. Although more than one commemoration may fall on the same day, they are too numerous for all to be included here. In addition, pious Jains fast partially or totally on the 2nd, 5th, 8th, 11th and 14th day of each half-month, or engage in other religious activities, as they believe that the span of the next life is decided every third day, so they show particular piety on those days. Most Jains observe fifth day of bright half and eighth and fourteenth day both bright and dark half as sacred days and would avoid harming even plant life on those days. Jain festivals may be broadly divided into five classes: periodical, kalyanakas, historical, local and special. Periodic are the above sacred days, ayambil olis, the paryusana and three astanhikas; the kalyanakas are the auspicious occasions of the lives of tirthankaras; historic are the anniversaries and events of traditional significance; local are festivals of local in nature, such as the ceremonies of dwajaarohan, mastakaabhiseka, and ratha yaatra; and special are pratisthaa and pujaas such as the panca kalyaanaka and siddhacakra pujan. Many of these festivals are celebrated with festivities and zeal. Places of worship are cleaned, decorated and given a fresh look; processions take place; dancing, singing and music are organised, community dinner is arranged and rejoicing takes place to mark the occasion. But religious and pious aspects of the occasions are always kept in mind. The Jain festivals are usually of spiritual in nature. Observing fasts, worshipping Jina and other adorable ones, recitation of hymns and sacred texts, pujaas, religious discourses, alms giving, taking vows and other acts of piety form part of the celebration of Jain holy days. 282 Page #283 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Table 5.8 The Jain Calendar Jain Festivals and Holy Days Indian Gregorian Bright/Dark Calendar Calendar Half Day Festival Kaartika Oct/Nov 1 Bright Bright Bright Bright 8 to 15 14 Bright 15 Maargasirsa Nov/Dec Pausa Dec/Jan Dark Bright Dark 10 11 13 Both Maagha Phaalguna Jan/Feb Feb/Mar Bright 8 to 15 Bright 14 Caitra Mar/Apr 7 to 15 13 15 Vaisaakh Apr/May Bright Bright Bright Bright Bright Dark Dark Bright New Year, Gautama's omniscience Jnan Pancami Kaartika Atthai Four-monthly caturdasi: elaborate pratikramana End of ascetics' monsoon retreat; pilgrimage to Satrunjaya Mahavira's renunciation Maun Ekaadasi Risabha's moksa Fifteen days devoted to celebration of 19 kalyaanakas relating to 14 tirthankaras Phaalguni Atthai Four-monthly caturdasi: elaborate pratikramana Ayaambil Oli Mahavira Jayanti Caitri purnima: pilgrimage to Satrunjaya Aksaya Tritiyaa Mahavira's omniscience Anniversary of Shantinath's birth and moksa Anniversary of Shantinath's renunciation Sruta Panchami During this month seven kalyaanakas relating to six tirthankaras are celebrated Mahavira's conception Asaadhi Atthai Four-monthly caturdasi: elaborate I pratikramana Raksaa Bandhana Vir Sahan Jayanti Beginning of Svetambara Paryusana for eight days Samvatsari Digambara Paryusana: Dasa Laxani Parva Ayaambil Oli Divali: Mahavira's moksa 10 13 14 5 Jyaistha May/June Asaadha Jun/Jul Bright Bright 8 to 15 Bright 14 Sraavana Jul/Aug Bright Dark Dark 12 Bhadrapada Aug/Sep Bright Bright Bright Dark 4 5 to 14 7 to 15 15 Asvina Sep/Oct Page #284 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Jain Festivals and Holy Days Paryusana Parva, an eight-day festival that falls in the months of August or September, is the most important period in the Jain calendar. The word paryusana is derived from two words meaning 'a year" and "a coming back': it is a period of atonement and repentance for the acts of the previous year, and of austerities to help shed accumulated karma. During this period, some people fast for the whole eight days, some for shorter periods, the scriptures prescribe a minimum of three days, but it is considered obligatory to fast on the last day of paryusana. Fasting usually involves complete abstinence from any sort of food or drink, but some people do take boiled water during the daytime. There are regular ceremonies in the temple and meditation hall. Over the first three days, sermons are given concerning one's obligations during paryusana, and the yearly and lifelong duties. From the fourth day onwards, the Kalpa Sutra, which includes a detailed account of Mahavira's life, lives of other tirthankaras and of Mahavira's disciples, is read to the congregation. On that day, the Kalpa Sutra receives special reverence and may be carried in procession to the home of a member of the community, who has made a generous donation in recognition of that honour, where it is worshipped all night with religious songs. On the fifth day, at a special ceremony, the auspicious dreams of Mahavira's mother are enacted; the birth of Mahavira is read from the Kalpa Sutra, and on hearing of the birth the devotees rejoice by singing and dancing, break coconuts and distribute the pieces among the congregation. As a symbol of the baby Mahavira, a coconut shaped silver representation is put in a cradle; the donor rocks it and the community sings a traditional cradlesong for this joyous occasion. Then the cradle is taken in procession to the donor's house and the community members rejoice by singing devotional songs and hymns till late at night. Listening to the Kalpa Sutra, taking positive steps to ensure that living beings are not killed (perhaps by paying money to butchers to cease slaughtering), showing amity to fellow Jains, forgiveness to all living beings, austerity, and visiting neighbouring temples, these are the important activities undertaken during this festival. In some areas the Antakriddasaa Sutra is also read to motivate the laity to perform meritorious deeds. The final day of paryusana, known as samvatsari, is the holiest day of the Jain calendar. Jains seek forgiveness from all living creatures for any harm, which they have caused, knowingly or unknowingly, and forgive those who have harmed them saying micchami dukkadam. A yearly elaborate penitential retreat (samvatsari pratikramana) is performed on this day. It is regarded important for one's spiritual life, not to harbour any ill will beyond the space of one year. Shortly after paryusana it is the custom to organise a community dinner (svami vaastalya) at which all Jains are welcome and dine together, regardless of their social position. Digambars commence their paryusana, known as the 'sacred days of the ten spiritual qualities' (dasalaksana parva), immediately after the completion of the Svetambar paryusana. It lasts for ten days and revolves around the exposition of the ten chapters of the Tattvartha Sutra. Each of the ten days is observed in contemplation on one spiritual quality of the soul, namely: forgiveness, gentleness, straightforwardness, contentment, truth, restraint, austerity, renunciation, non-attachment and chastity. The congregation listens to the discourses and performs religious observances. The most auspicious day is ananta caturdashi, the last day, which is associated with the fourteenth tirthankara Anantanatha. On this day devotees fast and pujaa is performed 284 Page #285 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ with fourteen flowers. On the final day people seek and grant forgiveness. The festival concludes with a dinner. Divali is a most important Jain festival, common to most Indian (especially north Indian) communities that falls in October or November. It marks the anniversary of the liberation of Mahavira and the attainment of omniscience by his chief disciple, Gautama Indrabhuti. Jains celebrate the Divali as a festival for five days: dhan teras, kaali chaudas, Divali, New Year and bhai beej, both as holy days and as a community festival. Traditionally, the festival commences with the worship of the goddess Laxmi on dhan teras. The next day is kaali chaudas when the recitation of Mahavira's last sermon, the Uttaraadhyayana Sutra, takes place, for it was then that Mahavira commenced his last sermon which was to last until he attained liberation, late into the night of Divali. Some Jains meditate in secluded places on this day in order to acquire superhuman accomplishments. It is also popular to worship the wish-fulfilling deity Gantakarna Mahavira on this day. (He is not, of course, to be confused with tirthankara Mahavira). Then comes the day of Divali, when Mahavira ended his worldly life and attained moksa. Lights are lit as a symbolic representation of knowledge to be retained. Some devout Jains fast on the day preceding Divali and on Divali itself, as did Mahavira. Some perform ritualistic pujaas and worship the goddess of learning, Sarasvati. The next day is the first day of the New Year, the day of the enlightenment of Gautama when people listen to nine holy sutras (nava smaranas), and the epic poem Gautama Raasa. The fifth day of the festival is bhai beej. when sisters invite brothers to their homes, commemorating the invitation by Sudarshana to her brother Nandivardhana to comfort him for the loss of their brother Mahavira. Jains also celebrate Divali as a community festival, with the lighting of lights and festive meals. At this time, Jain businessmen close the old year's accounts and open new ones, with accompanying traditional rituals. They offer gifts to children, family members and employees. New Year cards are sent to friends and relatives. Jnaana Pancami is a sacred day observed on the fifth day after Divali for the worship of scriptural knowledge. On this day fasting, veneration of the tirthankaras (deva vandan), holy recitations and auspicious meditation are performed, and the sacred texts preserved in religious libraries are cleaned and worshipped. Kaartika Purnimaa: This day is observed on the fifteenth day after Divali. After this day, the Jain ascetics, who have retired for the monsoon retreat, begin their wanderings again. On Kaartika purnimaa, many Jains go on pilgrimage to Satrunjay. For the benefit of devotees who cannot make the journey, large paintings of Satrunjay are displayed for worship in local temples. This day is also celebrated as the birthday of Aacaarya Hemacandra, the great scholar ascetic of the twelfth century CE, and the birthday of Srimad Rajcandra, the nineteenth-century saint. Maun Ekaadasi: This important day of one hundred and fifty auspicious events relating to the tirthankaras falls in December, and is observed by the devotees in total silence, fast, meditation and listening to sermons. Mahavira Jayanti: The birthday of Mahavira is celebrated in April, with a grand chariot procession, public functions, and enactment of his life and message; it is a public holiday in India. A magnificent celebration takes place on this occasion at his birthplace at Ksatriya Kunda, Vaisali, in Bihar. 285 Page #286 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Ayambil Oli: The semi-fasting austerity of ayambil oli occurs twice a year, in April (Caitra) and October (Aaso), for nine days. Devotees listen to the epic story of Shripal and Mayanasundari, and worship the nava pada, i.e. the pancha parmesthis, the Three Jewels and the austerities. Akshaya Tritiya: Following the example of Risabhdeva, some perform the austerity of varsi tapa, described in chapter 2.0, and break the fast on the auspicious day of akshay tritiya (sometime in May), at Satrunjay or Hastinapur. Offering food and other necessities to the ascetics by the devotees on this special day is considered a pious act. Saanta Pancami: This Digambar festival is celebrated in May/June to commemorate the day when the first Digambar canonical scripture was put into writing by Aacaaryas Puspadant and Bhutabali in 150 CE. It is observed as a day of veneration of the scriptures, emphasising the history and the importance of preserving Jain texts and scriptures. Raksaa Bandhan: This festival is celebrated in July/August along with discourses on the legendary story of Vishnukumar Muni, reminding the people the duty of the strong to protect the weak. Vir Sasan Jayanti: This sacred day commemorates the first sermon of Mahavira after attaining omniscience, and the establishment of the fourfold order (sangha). Astaanhika Mahotsava is festival of eight days that occurs thrice a year in October/November, March/April and July/August. According to the traditional belief celestial beings celebrate this eternal festival at the nandyavarta temples, described in Jain geography. During these sacred eight days, fasting, narrative recitals concerning the Three Jewels and austerities take place, and ritualised worship is performed with mystical diagrams before the images. Atthai Mahotsava: This eight day festival of ritualistic pujaas, recitations and community gatherings can take place on any auspicious occasion such as an installation ceremony. Pratisthaa: This is the ceremony of installing images of the tirthankaras in a newly built or renovated temple. Among Svetambars, anjana salaakaa is performed as a consecration ritual before the installation of the image takes place, while Digambars perform the panca kalyanaka ritual for the consecration of an image. The installation ceremony lasts from three to sixteen days with elaborate rituals and pujaas, including reenactments of the lives of the tirthankaras. The piety of these occasions attracts devotees from far and wide, including ascetics who may travel (on foot) for months to attend. Installation ceremonies attract many donations from devotees. On each day of the ceremony there is a communal dinner. Fifteen thousand people attended the installation ceremony at the Jain Centre Leicester in the United Kingdom in 1988, Panca Kalyanaka Mahotsava: Digambar ritualists perform the consecration with the panca kalyanaka of the images by re-enacting the conception, birth, renunciation, omniscience and moksa of tirthankaras. The installation ceremony follows immediately. Dwajaarohana: On the anniversary of an installation ceremony the old flag is taken down and a specially decorated and venerated new flag is hoisted on to the spire of the temple. A special ritual consisting of seventeen forms of pujaa is undertaken on this day. The whole community celebrates this occasion and takes part in the community dinner. This long pennant-shaped flag, often red and white, which is changed every year, is a distinguishing emblem flying over many Jain temples in India 286 Page #287 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Ratha yaatra: This ceremony involves taking the image of the tirthankara in a 'chariot', in procession along the main roads of the city or town, accompanied by musicians and by thousands of devotees, including ascetics. Sangha Yaatra: This is a barefoot pilgrimage to the holy places by hundreds of devotees from the fourfold order. Along the way in towns and villages, fellow Jains welcome the pilgrims; ascetics who are among the pilgrims preach sermons; and the wealthy pilgrims donate to local temples. During this spiritual journey, six rules should be scrupulously observed: pilgrims should travel on foot and barefoot; they should desist from sensual and carnal pleasures; they must eat food only once a day; they should avoid consuming raw or green vegetables; they must sleep on a mat on the ground and should not sleep on a bed or a mattress; and pilgrims must observe a vow of righteousness. A family normally sponsors the Sangha yatra; the family members and relatives take care of each pilgrim personally. One, or more, member(s) of the family will fast in rotation on each day of the pilgrimage. Pujaa, sermons, recitations and rituals are the daily activities. At the end of the pilgrimage, the sponsor gives a gift to each pilgrim. It is the practice to award the title of Sanghavi to the pilgrimage sponsor, who is honoured by placing a garland around his neck (maalaaropana), and the honour of placing the garland goes to the highest bidder who offers a donation to the temple. Mastakaabhiseka: Every twelfth year, in Sravanbelgola, Karnataka, the colossal image of Bahubali standing upright, unclothed and meditating, fifty-seven feet high (over seventeen metres) and carved from solid rock, has its head anointed. The veneration of this thousand-year-old image is of particular importance to Digambars who revere Bahubali as the first Jain to attain moksa in our age. Thousands of Jains of all sects come to take part in the ceremony, which lasts several weeks. For the ceremony, scaffolding is erected around the huge statue, to facilitate the devotees to anoint it by pouring sacred liquids over the image. The last head anointing ceremony took place in 1993. Saadharmika Vaatsalya: At the conclusion of most sacred days and festivals in the Jain calendar and on many auspicious occasions, a community dinner (saadharmika vaatsalya) is organised. It is also called Navakarasi ('dinner for those who recite the Navakara') and is considered as a pious act for the family who sponsors it. (Kalpa Sutra 1972, Bhadrabahu Muni 1986: pp.89-101, Jain J. 1983: pp.119-124) 287 Page #288 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 5.8 SOCIAL RITUALS uman beings live in societies which construct social customs, norms and rituals to 1 bring people together and give groups a distinct outward identity and character. In this chapter we look at the social customs of the Jain communities, but in India there are regional variations in social rituals, many of which show the influence of the predominant Hindu community, and these variations in ritual have travelled with the Jains overseas. Jain literature describes many rituals, which are essentially social in nature, the major ones are described below: these include the blessings for a viable foetus (dhriti sanskaar or kholo bharavo), the birth celebration, the naming ceremony, the ceremony of giving solid food to a child for the first time, the commencement of learning, the 'sacred thread' ceremony, and the ceremonies for marriage and death. Jains also perform rituals on the commencement of building a house, entry into a new house or business venture, and initiating the New Year's accounts, but there are other ceremonies, largely of a social nature: the 'sacred thread' ceremony (yajnopavit), thread tying ceremony' (raksaa bandhan), the lighting of lamps (Divali), worship of the goddess of learning (Sarasvati) and offerings to heavenly beings (yaksis and yaksas). While some Jain social customs may show Hindu influence, there are distinctive Jain features to these rituals, such as the recital of the Navakara Mantra, worship using diagrams (yantras), snaatra pujaa and the recitation for peace. The ceremony of blessing for a viable foetus is normally observed at the seventh month of conception; recitations are performed for the welfare of mother and baby; an auspicious red powder (sindur) is put on the scalp of the mother; and fruit, sweets and flowers are placed in her lap, as a mark of blessing and good fortune; and other gifts are also offered to the mother. The celebration of a birth is performed with pujaa, offerings and sweets are distributed amongst the friends and relatives, and donations are made to institutions and individuals. The naming ceremony normally takes place between the tenth and thirtieth day after the birth, when a paternal aunt or an appropriate woman relative names the child. Presents are exchanged and the occasion is celebrated with pujaa and a dinner. The ceremony of giving the first solid food to a child involves the pronouncement of blessings, and is performed between the sixth and eighth month after birth. The ceremony of removal of hair from the scalp for the first time (baabari) is performed in public as an offering to the heavenly mother' (maataa), accompanied by hymns, pujaa and dinner. The ceremony of the commencement of schooling is performed when a child first goes to school; sweets are distributed, and books and pencils are given to other school children; prayers are offered to the goddess of learning and the child is given a pencil and paper accompanied by the recitation of blessings. The sacred thread ceremony (yajnopavit) consists of giving to a child a three stranded cotton thread, representing the three Jewels of Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct, and this sacred thread is worn over the shoulder like a sash for the 288 Page #289 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ rest of their life as a constant reminder to follow the sacred path. Only a very few Jains observe this ceremony. The ceremony of making offerings to the 'heavenly mother' (maataa) is performed to thank her for granting devotees' requests, such as the wish for a child or the resolution of a difficulty. Young virgin girls are invited to the ceremony, where their feet are washed and elaborate respect is paid to them, and they are treated as honoured guests because of the affection of maataa for young virgins. This custom is very much an influence from the wider Hindu culture. The ceremony to celebrate completion of studies is performed with community pujaa and dinner, and often donations are made to institutions and charities. The 'thread tying ceremony' (raksaa bandhan) is an expression of the wish for the welfare of a brother from a sister. Sisters tie a thread (raakhadi or mauli) around their brother's wrist; in return, brothers are responsible for the welfare of their sisters and present them with gifts. This ceremony is said to arise from a mythological story of Visnukumar muni, who protected the lives of Jain ascetics who were in danger from a jealous king and, in gratitude, the women of the region tied threads around his wrist and the wrists of other men who had helped the Jains. The social ceremonies of Divali are celebrated as a five-day festival with daily rituals. This festival and the worship of the goddess of learning, which takes place on the fifth day after Diwali, is described in the previous chapter. Marriage In Indian culture, marriage is a community event as not only two individuals, but two families are united. Until, and sometimes after, marriage, children generally live with their parents, and it is the parents' responsibility to introduce them (perhaps with the help of suitable intermediaries) to prospective marriage partners. It is quite misleading to refer to this as 'arranged marriage'-in practice, the couple has every opportunity over a long period to get to know each other, and the decision to marry belongs to them alone. When it is agreed that a couple are suited, an engagement ceremony is held, to which prominent members of the community are invited, there is a ritual exchange of symbolic items and gifts and the engagement is recorded in an engagement document. This ceremony takes place in the home of the groom or in a community hall, and the date of the marriage is usually discussed at this stage. The Jain marriage ceremony described below is based on the 'Text of Daily Duties' (Acaara Dinkar Grantha) compiled by Vardhamana Suri in 1411 CE, as the correct Jain rituals were lost for many centuries, and Jains appropriated a modified form of the Hindu marriage ceremony and still, in many cases, Jain weddings follow Hindu custom, but the principle of ahimsaa is not compromised by any aspect of the ceremony. As the prayers and mantras of a Jain ceremony are believed to guide the couple towards happiness, prosperity, longevity and spiritual advancement, there has been a revival of the Jain wedding ceremony. The marriage rituals are performed in Sanskrit and Ardha Magadhi and their translation is available in Gujarati. When the date of the wedding is agreed, after astrological consultations regarding the auspicious day and time, invitations are sent out or made in person. The number of guests invited can be very large: many relatives and many members of the community have to be included. About seven to ten days before the wedding day, the bride's family 289 Page #290 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ sends a delegation of close relatives to the home of the groom bearing a special invitation, written by a priest, requesting the groom's family to bring the wedding party to the marriage ceremony. The two families prepare dresses and jewellery for the bride, which she will take to her new home. The groom's family presents their gifts ritually a day or two before the ceremony, and the bride's family's gifts are presented on the wedding day. There is no dowry system in the Jain community, gifts from the bride's to the groom's family are also prescribed by the community, but in most cases the bride or the bridegroom accept gifts in cash or kind, and the parents accept theirs in cash (canlo) which traditionally was considered a help towards the wedding expenses. The Jain Marriage Ceremony The marriage ceremony is conducted by a Brahmin or by any well-respected Jain. There are sixteen stages in the marriage rituals. The first three of which take place before the wedding day. Maatruka sthaapan, the auspicious ritual at the bride's home, is an invocation of the heavenly goddesses: Brahmani, Maheshvari, Kaumari, Vaisnavi, Varahi, Indrani, Chamunda and Tripura, to take up temporary abode in the bride's home to ensure the happiness and fertility of the couple, and takes place between two and seven days before the wedding day. Kulakara sthaapan, the auspicious ritual at the groom's home, is an invocation of the heavenly gods: Vimalvahan, Chakhsusman, Yashasvan, Abhichandra, Prasanjit, Marudev and Nabhi, to take up temporary residence in the bridegroom's home to ensure the happiness, fertility and maintenance of the family tradition. Following these ceremonies, the skin of both bride and groom will be regularly massaged with beautifying substances such as perfumed oil, and turmeric. Pujaas will be performed in the temple for their well being and the ritual placing of gold chains by each family around the neck of the son or the daughter (maalaaropana) takes place. This immediate pre-marriage period is one of rejoicing and celebration for the families. After the day of the wedding, ideally seven days after it, but earlier if this is not possible, a further ceremony bids farewell to the deities who took up residence in the homes of the families. Mandapa pratisthaa, the auspicious ritual at the home or wedding hall, invokes the gods of all locations to establish the sacred place (mandapa) within which the wedding will take place. This ceremony of the 'sacred point' (maneka stambha) takes place either on the day of the wedding or a few days before, at the bride's home; the maneka stambha is a simple wooden symbol, which evokes the blessings of the deities from all four points of the compass. Sometimes the ceremony does takes place at the bridegroom's home. The maneka stambha is placed in the mandapa, a sacred place within the cori, an area made by creating four corner pillars with arches of leaves (toranas). The marriage ceremony takes place inside the cori. A small low platform (vedi) in the centre bears the sacred flame. Marriage procession. Bathed, dressed in his best clothes and jewellery, with a tilak on his forehead, the bridegroom worships the divinities and, with his relatives, begins the journey to the marriage venue. Traditionally, he would ride on a horse or elephant accompanied by musicians and singers, but nowadays, the ceremony is performed in a hall or hotel and the groom's party may travel by car. They walk 290 Page #291 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ ceremonially the last 100 yards or so towards the door of the hall, where the priest, who is to perform the ceremony, recites a mantra, praising Lord Adinatha, the first Tirthankara, emphasising the glory of the Jain path of purification, and praying for peace, contentment, health, happiness, friendship and prosperity for the couple. The bride's sister or an unmarried female relative circles ritually three times around the groom in a clockwise direction; this ritual is believed to ward off evil. The groom arrives at the entrance of the hall where he stands on a small stool and the bride's mother, with other female relatives, welcome him with symbolic gestures or the waving of a lamp (aarati) and places a red cloth or garland around his shoulder, but it is a custom nowadays for the bride to welcome the groom first with a garland. The groom enters the hall, stepping on- and breaking- two earthenware bowls placed in his path; this ritual guards the ceremony against any evil influence. He is then led into the cori and the groom sits on the left of the two seats. His bride, elaborately dressed and ornamented, is escorted by her maternal uncles and takes her seat facing the groom, sometimes screened from him by a small curtain. Mangalaastaka, Auspicious prayers, are recited to Lord Mahavira and his parents, Gautama, Sthulbhadra, Lord Adinatha and his parents, and Pundarik, Bharata and other cakravartis, all the Vasudevas and Prativasudevas. Prayers are also recited to Brahmi and Candanbala, guardian deities Cakreshwari and Sidhayika, and Karpadi and Matanga for protection. After a series of prayers, the priest places a cloth garland around the couple's necks, and then the bride's parents symbolically wash the groom's feet. Hasta melapa. The priest puts the palm of the bride's hand on the groom's palm symbolising the beginning of a lasting relationship of unity between the couple. As this ritual is the most important, it must take place at the precise time deemed most auspicious. The priest recites prayers hoping that the bride and groom may become partners with a similar spiritual aptitude, enjoy the same things and have a lasting union by way of the joining of hands. Torana pratisthaa, Vedi pratisthaa and Agni sthaapan Torana pratisthaa is an invocation to the goddess Laxmi to bless the couple. Vedi pratisthaa an invocation to the gods of the earth to protect the couple, and the ritual of placing the sacred fire (agni sthaapan) in a small basin (kunda) is accompanied by an invocation to the fire gods to bless the couple. The priest recites a series of mantras and prayers for happiness, honour, children, welfare and prosperity, and he makes offerings to Laxmi and the gods of the earth and of fire. Houm is a mantra accompanying a series of offerings of food and drink, sacrifice and material wealth, placed in the sacred fire, to the protectors of the eight directions: Yama, Nairuta, Varuna, Vayu, Kubera, Ishana, Naga, and Brahmaanan; the nine planets: the sun, moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu; all the 'sur' gods (muses): the bhavanpati gods, such as Asura, Naga, Supama, Vidyuta, Ocean, direction, wind, and Stanitkumars; to vyantars such as Pisaca, Bhuta, Yaksha, Raksasa, Kinnara, Kimpurusa, Mahoraga and Gaandharva; the star gods such as the moon, the sun, planets, constellations and all the stars; the vaimanika gods such as Saudharma, Isana, Sanatkumar, Mahendra, Brahma, Lanata, Shukra, Sahastrar, Anata, Pranata, Aruna, Achyut, Graiveyak and Anuttara; the caturnikaaya-devas, recognised by their consort or weapon or vehicle or their special strength, Indra, Samanika, Parsada, all the Lokpaalas, 291 Page #292 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Anika, Prakirna; lokaantika and the abhiyogika gods; all angels (dik-kumaris) on the island of Rucaka; and all seas, rivers, mountains, caves and forest-gods. The priest puts an offering into the sacred fire after each mantra of ghee, betelnut, grains of jav (a cereal) and tal (an oil seed) - and each begins with the words aum arham and ends with swaahaa. The priest performs the first abhiseka by anointing the couple's heads with holy water (nhaavana) brought from the temple, then gotraacaar by reciting mantras and the genealogies of both families, and then announces the declaration of the marriage. He then blesses the couple and presents them with rice, flowers, incense and sweets, which they offer in pujaa to the sacred fire. In the key caar pheraa ceremony, the couple circles the sacred fire four times in a clockwise direction; the bride leading the first three rounds. The bride's brother presents rice grains to the bride and groom who, in turn, after each round, offer them to the priest, who makes offerings to the sacred fire, after reciting the mantras for each circuit. In the mantras, various components of karmic matter attached to the soul, and their effects, are recited. The couple is reminded that physical relations are the result of deluding karma, which may be enjoyed, but that their goal should be liberation from this. In the part of the ceremony known as kanyaa daan, the priest offers grains of jav, tal, a small blade of grass and a drop of water to the bride's father or guardian and recites a mantra, which the bride's father repeats, handing over his beloved daughter. The groom accepts the bride by reciting a mantra. At this point the priest recites the seven vows: to share their married life with dignity; to respect and love their families; to respect both family homes; to foster love, equality and trust; to behave so as to maintain the respect of their families; to follow the ethical path in work, pleasure and spiritual advancement; and to be mutually supportive and supportive of society and the world, and the couple agrees to each of the vows. At this point the couple are invited to make their fourth circuit of the sacred fire, and led by the groom they offer grains to the fire. This seals the marriage bond The priest sprinkles a little holy powder on the heads of the bride and groom (vaasksepa). Then the bride's father offers water and tal to the groom, who passes them to the priest who, sprinkles them on the bride. With the second abhiseka, the priest blesses the couple saying: 'You two have been married. Now you are equal in love, experience, happiness and good conduct. You are true friends in happiness and misery, in virtues and faults. May you become equal in mind, speech and action, and in all the good virtues.' With the unclasping of hands (kar-mocan), the priest recites mantras and says: 'You have released your hands but your love is unbroken.' The bride's father gives a symbolic gift to the groom. The community then pronounces blessings of congratulation on the couple and the invoked or invited gods are reverently requested to return to their abodes. After this, the couple is given a send-off by their relatives, and return to the bridegroom's home, visiting the temple on the way. It is the customary to hold a reception and dinner for the guests before the bride and groom depart, when individual congratulations are offered to the couple. 292 Page #293 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Plate 5.8 Jain wedding in a traditional mandap (Demontfort Hall, Leicester: 1989) nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn CUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUS XOXOXO 293 Page #294 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Rituals of Death and Bereavement Birth and death are natural phenomena for human beings. The soul is the one unchanging element in the living being; until the soul is purified by shedding all the karma attached to it, the type of being into which it will be reborn depends upon its karma. The body is only a temporary abode for the soul and when someone is dying this belief offers some solace. When Jains visit someone who is dying, whether at home or in a hospital, they sing hymns and recite the Navakara Mantra. A dying person would like to receive, during this crucial period; forgiveness for any wrong committed to others during his or her lifetime, and to forgive all who have done wrong to him or her, and to have a peaceful death. If the dying person cannot chant, someone else will substitute so that the dying person is allowed some noble reflections, and the soul leaves this world in a peaceful state. Indeed, these simple rituals are performed not only for Jains, or even for fellow human beings, but also for all living beings: if Jains know that an animal is dying, they will visit to it and quietly recite the Navakara Mantra. The most famous example of this is the story of Parsvanatha, the twenty-third tirthankara, when he found two snakes dying in a burning log; Parsvanatha recited the Navakara mantra to the snakes, which were then able to die in peace, and according to the Jain scriptures, they were reborn as Dharanendra and Padmavati, the heavenly attendants of Parsvanatha. The first ritual after death is a recitation of the Navakara Mantra, hymns and incantation of the jinas and Shantinatha, until the body begins its journey towards the cremation ground, crematorium or undertaker's premises. In India, a dead body is normally cremated within a day of the death. The corpse is secured on a funeral bier and close relatives carry it to the crematorium in public procession. The body is placed on the funeral pyre of logs of wood or sandalwood and covered with more wood; it is then sprinkled with ghee, incense and flammable materials. A close relative makes three circuits of the pyre, chanting mantras before lighting it. It takes about two hours for a body to burn. After the body is consumed, the participants in the funeral ritual return home, bathe, and purify themselves by chanting mantras. It is customary that women do not take part in any of these rites. Jainism forbids the act of sati, when a widow will fling herself upon her husband's funeral pyre. Jains consider sati a sin, an act of violence. For two days after the cremation the family members of the deceased are consoled by the community with repeated recitations of hymns and narrative stories, emphasising the Jain belief in the temporary nature of the body and the continued life of the soul. On the third day, the ashes are taken and thrown into a nearby sacred river, but if there is no river nearby, they are put into a pit, thus the physical body composed of the five material elements, returns to its origin. It is believed that the aura of mourning around the deceased's home remains for three days, but it is alleviated with the benefit of special prayers, hymns and recitations for peace, resulting in a gradual normalisation of the bereaved family's life. The third day ends with a visit to the temple where donations to worthy causes are made, but some observe the period of mourning for the deceased for up to thirteen days, when temple worship or pujaa is performed in the presence of community members and relatives. In the albeit rare event of the death of an ascetic away from a populated area, for example in a forest, other ascetics or disciples take the body and expose it in a carefully selected spot, where there is a minimum of living beings. Animals or carrion birds may 294 Page #295 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ devour the body. In populated areas, the community will take responsibility for cremating the body of an ascetic on a sandalwood pyre. Recent emigration of the Jain community abroad has made it necessary for them to modify these rituals. After death, the body is cremated and the whole community congregates at the crematorium. For three to seven days before the cremation, community members visit the bereaved's home and offer the relatives all possible support, sing hymns explaining the temporary nature of the body, and pray for peace and the permanent bliss of the soul of the deceased. The community cares for the bereaved family for their daily needs, and if somebody requires help - financial or otherwise - the community attempts to provide for them. The undertaker brings the body to the home of the deceased about an hour before the cremation. The family members, relations and close friends offer their respects to the departed by chanting hymns, and the coffin is then taken to the crematorium and placed on a platform for the final rites amidst the intonations of Jai Jinendra'. The final rites constitute of recitals of the meaning of navakara and the four refuges of the arihant, siddha, saadhu and the Jain faith, and the details concerning the achievements of the deceased are retold. This is followed by a silent meditation of two minutes for the peace of the soul, a sermon on the temporary nature of the worldly life and advising those present not to feel sorry for the departure of the soul, who is going to be reborn in a new body, then more hymns and the asking for forgiveness, before the body is consumed by the fire. The funeral participants gather in another room or outside, and once again offer prayers, express sympathies and make donations to humanitarian or animal welfare causes. There are no restrictions on the participation of women in the funeral process and, in the home, rituals are identical to those practised in India. Some people do not visit the temple after a death in their household. This is due to the influence of Hindu religious customs and Hindu views on religious purity. The Digambar Jain texts, Mulaacaara and Trilokasaara, sanction this practice if it is the custom of the locality. Svetambar texts, such as Vyavahaara Bhaasya, Hira Prasna and Sen Prasna, permit the performance of pujaa immediately following a death in the household, but only after bathing. The texts advise to use one's judgement as to whether one's state of mind is appropriate for pujaa 295 Page #296 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ THE CULTURE Chapter 6.1 JAIN VALUES AND THE MODERN WORLD R ecent centuries have witnessed revolutionary changes in many areas of human life. Standards of living, life expectancies, communications, social, economic and political values, science and technology have all undergone rapid change. The only thing that can be said with any certainty today is that the pace of such change is likely to accelerate. The value systems of the past, whether ideological or religious, have been unable to retain the force they once had. In Western countries, identification with historic religious institutions, churches and synagogues has declined radically in the twentieth century. However, there is no evidence that the need of humankind for some form of spiritual expression has declined, but it is less clear where they can turn to find it. Since the eighteenth century, and the advent of what has been termed 'The Enlightenment', there have been those who saw in technical and scientific advances, and in more open political forms, an opportunity for humanity to enjoy greater happiness. In Western nations, this was interpreted in the nineteenth century as the fruits of 'progress', but one need only look to the history of Europe in the twentieth century to see how cruelly betrayed we have been by these ideas. The worst wars, the greatest suffering, famines, poverty, exploitation of people, animals and the environment have occurred in the lifetimes of people alive today - they still continue. Neither the political or economic systems, such as communism, socialism or capitalism, nor technological changes have stopped this exploitation, or the feelings of alienation, unhappiness and anxiety that accompany them. No one could argue that these human problems did not exist in the past, but the difference today is that we are now more aware that humanity is capable, should it fail to show restraint, of destroying the whole world. We possess the weapons, nuclear, chemical and biological, to wipe out all life on Earth, and the environmental damage we inflict is capable of disrupting the entire world biosphere, poisoning the air, water and food upon which we all depend. This danger is the price we seem to be paying for 'progress'. One common feeling expressed by people today is that of helplessness. The expression a small cog in a big machine' is often used to sum up how we feel about ourselves. Low self-esteem and a sense of being undervalued create stress, depression and psychosomatic illnesses, which are on the increase in modern societies. Whatever one feels, it remains true that all individuals have an effect, however slight, on others around them in the complex networks of modern society. If we act, we influence; if we do not act, we influence; if we speak, we influence; if we do not speak, we influence; if we interfere, we influence and if we ignore, show apathy or tolerance, we influence. The challenge presented to us is to try to identify the ideas and values, which will show us a way to deal effectively with the problems thrown up by modern living. To begin with, let us dispose of the myth that people today are in a situation of moral decline. The majority of people does recognise moral values and want to live by them. 296 Page #297 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ While some have thought that better education, a better standard of living and increasing democratisation would bring a more rational and moral society, the situation has turned out to be more complex than the naive view supposed. One of the central issues addressed by the world's major religious traditions is the ethical question of how one should live. What is a 'proper way to live, what is the purpose of our lives? Not all traditions have arrived at the same conclusions and, here, we will describe Jain values and relate them to modern life and attitudes. The message that we hope will emerge is that although Jainism is extremely ancient, its wisdom is not at all irrelevant to modern human life. Despite the accumulation of a mass of evidence to the contrary, there are still many people who believe that they can achieve happiness through material and sensual means, and attach great importance to external things: money, property, cars, food, drink, status, and sensual and sexual gratification. They behave selfishly, concentrating their attention and care upon themselves and a circle of family and friends. One cannot achieve permanent happiness through material things. It often seems that the more we have, the more we want. Happiness dependent on external materials or agencies is transitory and does not generate that deep inner contentment which people seek, but fail to find. Greed is the cause of much misery; Mahatma Gandhi was right when he said that there are resources enough on this earth to provide for everyone's need, but not a single person's greed. Human attitudes and behaviour in the modern world pose many challenges, and here we discuss some of the issues facing humanity, and how Jain values can contribute to understanding and resolving them. If we were to interview a hundred people and ask them what they thought was the purpose or meaning of their lives, what would they answer? Probably in many cases, if not all, they would say something about happiness, as it is a goal, which most people seek in their lives. But where or how is happiness to be found? Jainism is clear on this, to answer this question; one must understand how Jainism understands people. All humans have a soul, which is the 'true' person, the 'self, and the soul is always seeking to return to its pure or pristine form, in which it will be in a state of bliss. The material world of actions and attachments precipitate the accretion of karmic particles to the soul, preventing it from enjoying its true characteristics and happiness. It is clear, therefore, that to seek happiness in attachment to material, worldly things, including human relationships, is to be deluded. Jainism does not deny enjoyment of the good things in life, but they should be enjoyed and used in a spirit of detachment according to our needs, not to our cravings and boundless desires. While human beings are conscious of their individuality, they are also social beings, dependent upon others. Selfish activities, greed and lack of thought for others may give us pleasure, but ultimately they are the real causes of our miseries; they cause violence to others and in doing so, harm us. Only by loving and respecting others, and practising tolerance, kindness, compassion and generosity, self-restraint and non-violence can we be 'true' to ourselves. In the Jain view, we may be individual souls, but our actions, which determine our destiny, tie us so closely to others that we should behave with as much concern for the welfare of others as for ourselves. Although most people now live in democratic, 'free' societies, at times they have to act against their will. They have to do many things, which they dislike. The decisions 297 Page #298 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ of governments and authorities are imposed on them and often the people have no voice. This poses questions about the freedom. Faced with this dilemma, the Jain way is to judge how one should act in the light of the principle of ahimsaa; there are often ways to be found of complying with government decrees without compromising this principle. Education is a moral act; knowledge and the ways in which it is classified and imparted are not morally neutral. Jains view education as a moral project to promote physical and mental well being and to help to bring about a good society based upon sound moral and spiritual values. Parents have an important role and responsibility in the education of their children, they cannot abdicate this responsibility to schools or teachers. Without their active support and co-operation, children cannot learn to the best of their ability. Parents have to educate by example, practising self-restraint and moral values. Jainism makes no apology for being conservative and seeing the family as the proper building block of society. Human life depends upon other living beings: without plants and animals, humankind could not survive, and Jainism believes that all living beings have the capacity to feel and experience pain and pleasure in differing degrees. Science has confirmed the sensitive balances of the natural world, and practically all religions teach us to safeguard life on earth and to show compassion to living things, but clearly this is often lacking. Millions of animals, large and small, are killed daily for food, but this need not happen, as we can survive without such violence. Animals suffer and die in so-called sports and through hunting, for the satisfaction of human desires. Besides animals, the plant kingdom is also suffering from the behaviour of humankind, resulting in desertification, deforestation and similar detrimental effects on large areas of the earth, which is intensifying the environmental imbalance still further. Violence in any form is the main cause of unhappiness in the world. As a result of human dietary habits the world is becoming more and more violent everyday. Although the killing of animals and destruction of the natural world happen everyday, it is not essential for human existence and its progress. Jainism teaches that one should try to avoid harming nature in any way and live harmoniously with all life on this earth. More obvious forms of violence: crimes such as assaults, robbery, burglary, all types of dishonesty, and sexual offences are common in modern societies, causing fear and unhappiness. Jains believe that a society based upon their principles of non-violence and reverence for life', 'non-attachment' and 'relative pluralism' would lead to an improvement and fairness to all. Modern societies are much more open about sexual matters than societies were in the past. The changed economic position of women has created a genuinely new situation. To Jains, the prevalence of family problems: single parenthood, illegitimate children, termination of pregnancies, and the many economic, health and social problems arising from sexual behaviour are avoidable. Jainism teaches sexual restraint, and there is little doubt that many of our current problems would not occur if more responsibility was exercised and attitudes were less 'liberal'. Jainism regards marriage, as an institution worthy of support and hence, divorce is very uncommon in Jain communities. As a result of Jain views on the nature of karma, it is also uncommon for widowed women to remarry. These women frequently devote their lives to spiritual pursuit, some even become ascetics. 298 Page #299 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Violence and abuse in families and apathy towards and neglect of elders are rare in Jain communities. The family problems common in much of society are minimised through devotion to Jain principles, supported by the belief in the operation of karma. Jains seek to be self-sufficient and take responsibility for their own lives, avoiding overdependence on the state or other agencies, and remain committed to the fulfilment of the duty of care and concern towards one another within families and across generations. Jainism offers guidance on almost all the major questions of life, even in modern societies. Jains assert the positive value of life on the basis of the universal principles of non-violence and relative pluralism. Jain traditions stress the importance of individuals and of inner energy. Individual progress and the progress of society go hand in hand. Jain teachings could be summed up in the phrase 'live and help to live', and this is indicative of the high value Jainism places on each living being in the world as reverence for life should be maintained at all costs. Jain teachings are rooted in morality, ethics and spiritual progress; they encourage people to reinforce these teachings through the practices in daily life, motivating people to reduce desires and attachment to possessions. If Jain teachings were followed from ethical perspective, much of the discord in society would be reduced. It is this spirit which has developed, to take one example, into the practice of vegetarianism. Jainism may be an ancient religion, but its message is very relevant to the needs of the modern world. 299 Page #300 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 6.2 ANIMAL WELFARE ains respect all life in the universe and believe that their souls are equal in their pristine a human, animal, plant, celestial or depending upon their karmic bondage. In the world of transmigration, the soul creates its own body from the fine particles of matter, which might have been left when a living being dies or discards its body. The body whether cremated, buried or left alone, ultimately disintegrates into fine particles of matter such as earth, water, fire and air, and the space. Jainism believes that thus it is possible that individuals might have acquired the matter particles to build their bodies from one of the beings, human or animal, whom they know (Shah N. 1988: pp. 138-139). Conversely, other beings that they harm might have acquired particles from their previous bodies or the bodies of their relations or friends. Jains believe that there is hardly any particle of matter in this universe, which could not have utilised to form a body at some point in the cycle of transmigration, and Lord Krishna elaborates this fact in the Gita. Jainism teaches that all living beings want to live and avoid suffering and death, and the more senses that a living being has, the more it is able to feel and experience suffering or pleasure. At the pinnacle of the hierarchy is the human being that is able to experience a spiritual life and is capable of verbal communication. Some living beings, such as humans or animals or trees harbour many parasitic beings. Harming or killing these beings not only leads to their suffering, but also harms the parasitic beings living on them, which, in turn causes a still greater influx of karma to the soul of the one doing harm. The human beings can speak for themselves, but animals cannot; they require compassion, hence Jainism has made animal welfare as one of the major principles of the Jain way of life. Jains argue that it is important to realise that although humans are animals, they have a unique characteristic not found in other animals, that is humanity. Human beings have a unique nature, cultures and societies; they have free will and can exercise restraint from evil actions; and they can help other living beings to exist. Conversely, their inhuman actions can harm other beings, even kill them. According to the book of Genesis, humans are created in the image of God and given dominion over the natural world including the animals, and made them their stewards. This stewardship and the dominion mean taking care and ruling wisely with compassion, and not exploiting. misusing or destroying for personal benefit, therefore, harming animals is against the principle of stewardship advocated by the book of Genesis. Jain ascetics take the major vow of non-violence (ahimsaa) at the time of initiation; they will not harm any living being, including one-sensed beings, as far as it is humanly possible. The laity observe the minor vow of non-violence and reverence towards mobile beings, those with two to five senses; it is impossible for them to avoid harm to one-sensed beings, because of worldly commitments, but they are vigilant to minimise this harm. The daily duties of the ascetics include atonement and penance for transgression of the vow of ahimsaa. Ascetics will be vigilant even while walking or performing any movement in order to avoid harm to minute creatures, including life in the plant kingdom, thus they will not walk on grass. Laypeople are vigilant in avoiding violence, especially 300 Page #301 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ harm to mobile beings, for e.g. animals, birds, fish and insects; they also try to minimise harm to one-sensed creatures and many will avoid certain activities, such as walking on grass, using flowers, cutting trees, where there is likelihood of injury to one sensed creatures. For Jains the maltreatment of animals encourages the passions and cruelty; hence it is against all the norms of a civilised society. There are many motives for the maltreatment of animals: on the social level the reason is mainly economic such as factory farming, medical experiments and research; on the individual level, it is killing directly or indirectly for food, furs and cosmetics, and also the use of animals for riding, keeping them as pets, watching them perform tricks, and in sports, shooting or hunting, and putting them behind bars in zoos. For Jains, most of these practices are without justification and unnecessary for our survival. The pain and harm done to animals, their sufferings and the increase in our passions are unimaginable. Some people will argue that it is necessary to use animals for reasons of health or for earning a livelihood. But health grounds, vanity, economic reasons, or pleasure do not justify the violence to animals. Animals possess consciousness and are aware of their surroundings, of pain and emotions, but cannot speak for themselves. They do not have the potential to become language users, but they have perception, memory, desire, belief, self-consciousness, intention, and a sense of future. They also possess emotions such as fear and hatred, and the capacity to experience pleasure and pain, including a sense of time. Animals become frustrated if they are not allowed to satisfy their instincts and desires. Mammals of one or two years of age possess all the above attributes. Mammals have biological, social and psychological interests: they have family interests and, like humans, animals live well and get their satisfaction if they pursue and obtain what they prefer, or what is in their interests. Deprivation of biological, social or psychological interests (e.g. the desire for food) cause harm and suffering. Changes of environment are also harmful to their interests, whether these cause suffering or not. Death is the ultimate deprivation of life and is irreversible. It is an irretrievable loss, foreclosing every opportunity to find any satisfaction, and this is true whether the death is slow and agonising or quick and painless. Although similar to young children, animals lack any conception of their long term welfare, any formulation of categorical desires, or sense of their own mortality, yet the untimely death is harmful. Death is harmful independently of the pain involved in dying, whether in slaughterhouses or scientific experiments. Putting down animals, or euthanasia, in their own interest is also harmful, because it is as involuntary as it would be for humans. Most animals that suffer euthanasia are psychologically alive. Paternalistic acts bringing death to animals are not in their interest, whether they are painful or not. Hence, Jains allow only a natural death even for animals, and treat them as they would treat humankind. Jainism believes that animals have the same right as humans to live peacefully in this world and, in a civilised society, the interests of all are counted equally, irrespective of race, gender or species. It is immoral to raise animals intensively for the utilisation of human beings and treat these species differently, and hence, speciesism is to be condemned as are racism or sexism. 301 Page #302 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Since earliest times, human beings have exploited animals for many different reasons. They may be for meat and other animal products, sport, and hunting or animal experiments. There have been many occasions when even domesticated animals and pets have been the victims of cruelty. As they cannot speak for themselves it is the duty of human beings to encourage animal welfare. Animals too have a right to live on our planet peacefully, without any fear of exploitation. It is impossible in this work to examine all the ways in which human acts and institutions affect animals, but we will mention some where harm can be avoided. Food Many people consume animal flesh on the grounds that it is tasty, nutritious, or part of one's habits and culture, and that abstaining from it would be to forgo certain pleasures of the palate, convenience, and ruin one's health. All these reasons are misguided, Jainism argues, as balanced vegetarian diet has been proved to be as tasty and nutritious, it also decreases morbidity and mortality and increases morality and spiritual health. Of course, it is slightly inconvenient to obtain only vegetarian food in the West at present, but if more people would consume it, consumers will force the food industry and restaurants to make it more widely available. The Meat and Farm Animal Industry Farmers, butchers, meat packers and wholesalers have strong economic interests in raising animals, and the quality of their lives depends upon the market in farm animals. The nation also has an economic interest in the maintenance and growth of the farm animal industry. Farm animals are considered the legal property of the farmers, and farmers have the right to treat their livestock as they wish, even if it means harming them. Farmers argue that they will be ruined economically if consumers do not patronise them and become vegetarians, and that this would adversely affect the health of the nation. For Jains, animal agriculture is wrong on all counts, as the animal's lives are routinely brought to an untimely end due to human avarice, and those who support it have a moral obligation to stop buying meat. The meat and animal farming industry are immoral trades, and those affected by the demise of these trades could find alternative employment. There is nothing like 'humane' farming, when the goal of the food industry is to deprive these unfortunate creatures of their lives, and inflict pain and suffering in the name of profit. Animals, which are kept in barren cages and crates, are unable to continue their natural behaviour and suffer greatly from stress. Hens like to peck the earth for food, to perch, to lay eggs in their nests, live in flocks, take dust baths and preen themselves, but factory farming denies the behaviour patterns of hens, chickens and other birds, including naturally laying eggs. Due to profit-based production, the birds have to lay more eggs, but each time bird lays eggs it creates suffering and harm; hence the behaviour of the modern egg industry is unjustifiable. Domestic Animals and Pets Jains do not domesticate animals or keep them as pets as they believe such actions take away their liberty. However, Jains do encourage the belief that pets and domestic animals 302 Page #303 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ should be treated with care and kindness, and unnecessary suffering or their untimely death should be avoided. Hunting and Trapping Animals Jains claim that hunting or trapping animals for sport or commercial reasons are to be condemned. It is immoral to take pleasure in pursuing someone else to the death, and the pleasures derived from a sport can be secured without killing animals. The commercial exploitation of wildlife assumes these animals are commodities to be utilised for human pleasure. It should be condemned, as the avoidable interests of human beings deprive these unfortunate creatures of their lives and, due to senseless acts some wildlife has become extinct or is near extinction. Sportsman and commercial hunters do not do wild animals any favours, and their argument that they are the friends of wild animals is untenable as they kill for pleasure, not for maximising the sustainable optimum of wildlife. Wildlife should be protected by the abolition of legalised hunting and trapping, and prohibiting the commerce in wild animals and their products. The fur trade, the ivory trade, commercial whaling, seal hunting, the skin and feather trade are some of the commercial reasons why humans destroy life for their own avoidable interests. One can live without any difficulty if one does not utilise animal products and one can use herbal cosmetics without being cruel to living creatures. Jains avoid buying such articles where there is a likelihood of depriving unfortunate animals of their lives. Some nations have banned hunting of the endangered species but place less importance on the value of abundant animals. All animals are equal, both the rare and the abundant and, like humans, they have a desire to live hence, Jains believe, the rights of these animals should be protected. Animal Experiments Animals are used in research contexts, in testing new drugs, and in toxicity testing; they are also used as teaching aids in schools and colleges, where they are dissected to understand their anatomy or physiology, but many have condemned these uses of animals as unnecessary. These practices can be avoided, and the relevant knowledge can be acquired or taught by other methods, such as with computer simulation. Jains believe that to cause the untimely death of any creature is immoral. It is estimated that, in 1988, 3.5 million animals were killed in Britain in processes, such as, food testing, alcohol, cosmetics and other products. Some of these products being tested, especially cosmetics, are hardly necessary for human life and many of the tests are repetitions of earlier experiments. The tests cause suffering and death to species such as mice, rats, guinea-pigs, hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, cats, dogs, horses, pigs, goats, sheep, cattle, monkeys, birds, reptiles and fish used in laboratory trials. Jains believe these tests should be abandoned; recently more tests are being abandoned, as they cannot be justified on any rational grounds of need. Only in the case of certain types of medical research, e.g. to find a cure for cancer, there is public support for these practices. Even in genuine medical research, the results of animal experiments may not be applicable to humankind as animal experiments are unreliable as differing species react to drugs in different ways, hence animal tests cannot be applied to humans with any certainty. We have seen wonder drugs being withdrawn after successful testing on animals, as animal experiments not only fail to warn of the dangers of some drugs, but 303 Page #304 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ can prevent the development of useful remedies when tests produce side effects which would not have occurred in humans. With a careful and cautious approach, drugs can be tested on human volunteers, and their effects simulated by computers. Millions of animals have died in cancer research but very little progress has been made, and instead of harming animals, the scientists and governments should concentrate on reducing and eliminating the cause of cancer, which is mainly due to factors like smoking, some industrial chemicals and a harmful diet. Jains are not against medical and other research, which can be carried out by other methods without the routine use of laboratory animals, and modern technology may perhaps offer better information for testing new drugs on humankind than the traditional use of animals. Cruelty to animals and the deprivation of their life can be avoided if scientists abandon tests of unnecessary and doubtful value. The achievement of scientific research is laudable and has brought many benefits for both humans and animals, but it does not justify all the means to secure them, as animals have a value and their lives are of the same importance to them as ours are to us. The Jain Way of Animal Welfare Jains have compassion and care for all living creatures. Their concern can be seen in their daily practices, their eating habits and their compassionate and philanthropic activities. Ascetics do not take food, medication or any other product where violence is involved in obtaining and producing them. They will travel on foot, keeping their gaze to within a distance of four feet, to avoid harm to mobile beings, and if there is no alternative path, they will clear the path with their soft woollen brush and gently remove the tiny creatures to avoid harming them. They will methodically check their clothes and other possessions before use, to see that small creatures are not harmed inadvertently, and they will clear the ground with their soft brush before sitting or lying down. They will not walk or sit on a carpet, thus avoiding inadvertent harm to small living beings, instead they sit on a small woollen mat, and keep a piece of cloth in front of their mouths, so as to avoid harm to airborne creatures with their warm breath. They motivate laypeople to show compassion and be philanthropic, and help the cause of animal welfare. Lay Jains also have a non-violent way of life: They are vegetarians, are taught to minimise violence even to the one-sensed plants by avoiding root vegetables (which contain multiple souls in one body) and green vegetables between five and ten days every month. They do not eat eggs, fish or chicken, and some lay Jains will avoid even medicines where violence may be involved. They prefer non-violent professions and businesses and avoid all intentional violence, such as in sport. If as part of their duty, they are involved in unintentional violence, such as doctors giving antibiotics, or soldiers fighting in legitimate self-defence, they will express regret for the violence and ask for forgiveness from the unfortunate victims. They also will be very careful and vigilant not to even harm insects in their daily activities, such as in bathing, walking or cleaning. Normally, they will not keep any pets, as they feel it is taking away the animals' liberty, and they will not exploit domesticated animals. 304 Page #305 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Philanthropic Activities for Animal Welfare Every temple and practically all Jain institutions and organisations accept donations for animal welfare (jiva dayaa), and during each mass ritual, the devotees are reminded to donate to the animal welfare fund. These funds are maintained in separate accounts and are apportioned to deserving animal welfare institutions. Most villages in India, inhabited by Jains, have an animal sanctuary (panjaraa pola) where old, infirm and disabled animals are cared for and given all the opportunities to live a complete natural life, and they are not killed, but are allowed to die a natural death. In cases of drought or famine, Jains raise funds to feed the animals: in the Gujarat drought of the early 1990s, Jains donated millions of rupees and personally organised drought relief work. As a result, millions of animals were saved. In such severe conditions, the Government and the public look to Jains for help in saving animals. Jains are known to save animals by paying compensation to butchers and helping them to start alternative non-violent businesses. Jains have a tradition of feeding birds every morning and they donate generously to bird feeding sites (parabadis) and for animal drinking water facilities (havaadaas). Many veterinary hospitals and dispensaries have been established with Jain aid, and some Jains make arrangements to feed wild animals, insects or ants, which shows their compassion for all living creatures. Material filtered out of drinking water is returned to the well, river or waterway, to allow the minute creatures to continue living in their natural environment. Jains are very generous in helping animal welfare institutions through publications and training Thus animal welfare is part and parcel of the daily life of Jains. They have been successful in maintaining high standards in life, good health and above average longevity, without indulging in animal products or harming animals. 305 Page #306 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 6.3 ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS ains start the day with the morning prayers of friendship to all and malice towards J none. They also pray for the welfare of all living beings in the universe, which includes one-sense immobile living beings of the earth, air, fire, water and vegetation, and two-to five-sense mobile creatures. The Jain conviction of parasparopagraho jivanam teaches that all forms of life are bound together in mutuality and interdependence, but ahimsaa is the major theme of Jainism and is summarised in the scriptures thus: All the venerable ones (arhats) of the past, present and future discourse, counsel, proclaim, propound and prescribe thus in unison: do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture or kill any creature or living being' (quoted in Singhvi 1990: p.6). Jainism teaches restraint in the consumption of material things, the regulation of desires, and simplification of lifestyle; indulgent and profligate use of natural resources is seen as nothing other than a form of theft and violence. In their use of the earth's resources, Jains take their cue from the bee that sucks honey, in the blossoms of a tree without hurting the blossom, and strengthens itself (Singhvi 1990: p.13) More than 2,500 years ago, Mahavira revived Jainism and declared that all beings of the natural world have equal potential for progress in the cycle of transmigration, and all are dependent upon one another for their mutual survival, but ruination ensues when this interdependence is disturbed. The air, fire, water, earth and plants have comparatively unmanifest feelings, however, plants feel pain when harm is done to them or pleasure when they are properly watered and this has now been scientifically verified (Aacaaranga: 1991: 1.15). Michael Tobias, author of 'Life Force', has praised Jain culture in many ways, coining some attractive, charming and realistic terms for it: he has declared the Jain ethics of non-violence and animism to be 'spiritual ecology' and 'biological ethics'. In fact, these terms indicate that Jains have not only thought of human beings alone, but for all the species of the world. Thus, higher species like birds and animals, and lower species like plants and living creatures in the earth, all are postulated to have the potential equality for life. This is the result of the spiritualisation of the environment, which Jains call 'ecology'. By formalising a system of non-violent ethics Jains have made all moral and ethical rules applicable to all life of the biological realm, which is why many species have been sanctified. The different types of lotuses have been taken as identifying emblems of the two jinas. The importance and worship of trees may have been due to the fact that they served as purifiers, not only of the external surroundings but also facilitate inner purification. This fact can be confirmed from scientific data on the pipal tree: it absorbs in 2,252 kg of impure air (carbon dioxide), assimilates and purifies it to exhale 1,722 kg of pure air (oxygen mixed with nitrogen). Hence, it is presumed to be the seat of many deities, and those who meditate beneath it purify their inner self, as the atmosphere under the trees puts people in communion with nature. In the recitals for peace, during worship or daily penitential retreats, Jains pray for an amicable balance not only between nature and humanity but also for celestials, infernals, plants and animals, the seasonal rains, 306 Page #307 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ purity of atmosphere and the absence of undesirable activity and diseases in society. The Jains believe in a pure ecology as a source of inner and outer vitality, and they provide radiant proof that a non-violent life and behaviour can be a viable alternative for physical and psychic progress. The Jain Declaration on Nature presented to Prince Philip, the President of the WorldWide Fund for Nature in 1990 argues that the Jain tradition enthrones ecological harmony and non-violence. The welfare of the plant world, animal welfare and vegetarianism form a partial, or total, non-violent environmental system. Accordingly, it points out that every life should be viewed as a gift of togetherness, accommodation and mutual assistance. The Jain practice of compassion and reverence towards all living beings involves not only caring and protection for others but also sharing with and service to others, and it represents internal and external security, friendliness and forgiveness. There are many prescriptions from the Jain tradition with regard to caring for nature and the environment. The Jains have proclaimed that if one wishes to have pleasure and earn good karma, one must be compassionate and pacifist towards all living creatures. Jain seers have advocated that one should practise only those activities, which are purposeful for Right Conduct. They also stress the need to avoid those purposeless or negligent activities, which either serve no purpose or harm the surroundings or its environmental components. Jain ethics, both for laypeople and ascetics, suggest how meticulously careful were the Jain seers to maintain the benevolent and non-polluted character of the surroundings by advising people to refrain from all possible causes of pollution, external as well as internal. Jains have stressed the importance of the internal environment, the purity of soul and self-control, in their daily lives by practising ahimsaa and aparigraha. By emphasising the livingness in all the beings including one-sense creatures such as plants, water, air, fire and the earth, Jains have extended the non-violent way of life in their thinking and behaviour. The pain and harm to others may be due to the passions, the attachment and hatred (raaga and dvesa) within us, and such action harms our own soul by attracting karmic particles. Our thoughts and actions are responsible for causing pain and pleasure to ourselves as well as to others and we cannot have peace and tranquillity if we harm others. This enormous responsibility has led Jains to care for all life including that of natural world. Rampuria has described ahimsaa: "Ahimsaa is freedom from all miseries. To those who aspire to happiness for the soul, ahimsaa to them is like the sky to the birds, water to the thirsty, bread to the hungry, a boat to the drowning, medicine to the sick, and a guide to the lost ones in the woods' (Jain Svetambar Terapanthi Mahasabha, Calcutta, 1947, p.17). Ahimsaa is the basis of all Jain ethics. Jain ethics teach a 'give and take' balance for the benefit not only of humanity but also for all species. Nature does not have any concept of waste; most materials designated as waste, is infact, useful to nature. Scientists are gradually developing 'utilisation of waste' technology, but they have not yet proved to be as efficient as nature, and it is due to this inefficiency that nature is overburdened. Humanity should learn a lesson from nature in terms of its ability to recycle waste into useful products. A pure environment produces a better mind, less intensity of the passions, greater happiness and an increase in compassionate spirituality. As is well known, Jains declare it a gross offence to harm in any way any animate beings, purposely or purposelessly, as 307 Page #308 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ every living creature has the right to live and prosper. This concept of non-violence has positive aims and has great relevance to contemporary environmental concerns. The spiritual ecology of the Jains indicates their penetrating insight into the nature and psychology of human beings: the religious sanctions inspire people not to indulge in sinful or disturbing acts that harm the natural world, and teach compassion and reverence for all. Jainism is, thus, not fatalist but dynamic and optimistic, which is why Jainism respects all components of nature whether plant or animal; its illustrative principle of aural coloration in meditation, and its beneficial human and educational psychology, are the end products of this love and respect. Like Jainism, different religious systems have affirmed the duty of humanity to preserve the beauty of our surroundings by expressing nature as mother, water as father, and air as teacher. Men and nature hold a causal relationship of inter-dependence and inter-relatedness at the finest (micro-level) and grossest levels. Jews and Christians have been advised to be stewards of the earth; the Buddha encouraged improving the aesthetic beauty of the environment to earn merit; and Hindus have included service to nature as one of their five duties for the repayment of debts, which people receive directly or indirectly from birth. By contrast, the Jains not only declare the natural components as living but have made the care of them a part of their daily duties for spiritual progress and control over the mind. Their karma theory shows them that better action achieves better results, and it leads to the fact already stated, that a 'better environment brings better peace of mind'. The Jain system, therefore, not only lays theoretical emphasis on environmental protection, but it inevitably inculcates the habit of practising the implementation of this theory. All its concepts - non-violence, careful diet, limitation of possessions, refraining from purposeless activity and disrespectful behaviour - protect the environment and show care for the natural world. The last two hundred years have seen the state of the environment taking a perilous turn. Industrial society, in its aim of conquering nature for its material benefit, has disturbed the environment, but the pre-modern society lived in harmony with nature. The Industrial Revolution has revolutionised the human mentality towards seeking more comfort, resulting in more and more competitiveness and aggressiveness towards nature; and religious and ethical concepts of benevolent equilibrium are becoming lost. At first, the consumerist culture did not discern the future catastrophe, but now, universally, people are realising the danger even to the survival of the human race. This trend has resulted in the uneven distribution of natural resources and inequality among human beings, which are against humanity itself and its moral teachings. It seems probable that had industrialisation never materialised, nature might have maintained a balance. Population growth is another challenge facing the world over last two centuries. Rather than living in harmony with nature, commercial aspirations brought industrialisation to feed and clothe a growing population, and created an ecological imbalance. It is unfortunate that rather than blaming themselves as the root cause; people blame science and technology. For Jains, these problems could have been avoided if religious injunctions had been followed. Analysts have pointed to eight factors contributing to the current acute environmental predicament: population, industrialisation, excessive extraction and overuse or misuse of natural resources, increase in destruction of plants and animals due 308 Page #309 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ to industrialisation, dietary habits and modern living, soil erosion and desertification, and municipal waste disposal. Jains, however, point out that it is not only the external environment that is the problem but also the internal environment of the human being, the mind and the passions. If the passionate mind were to be restrained through education or religion, one could realise a better society and environment; hence, education towards minimising desires and greed, and achieving equanimity of mind is of the utmost necessity. Population Problems There has been a large population increase over the last two hundred years, and an explosion of different types of industries producing a variety of consumer goods, war materials, transport vehicles, thermal power, nuclear power, and information systems. There is a direct, if not geometrical, relationship between population and industries. Both not only consume natural resources but also pollute them. They exhaust nature, but as nature has the capacity to balance itself, the consumption of natural resources might not have been a serious problem if the world had been careful not to supplement them with additional industrial products, such as artificial fertilisers and harmful by-products for commercial benefits. The depletion on one side and the over-production of industrial goods on the other is creating problems of environmental imbalance. The consequence is polluted air, water and surface areas. The West is currently suffering more from industrial pollution, while the East is suffering from pollution due to both population and industry. The disposal of human, domestic and industrial waste has compounded the problem, and it is affecting the health of both humanity and the natural world, and is destroying a host of plants and animal species everyday. The forests are being destroyed to accommodate the needs of new populations. Consumerism, modern living, industries, chemical fertilisers, insecticides and sprays are converting the living earth, air and water into an inert system, harmful to all. This pollution may be: Air Pollution: Early human beings conceived of air as a deity, showing their respect for its life-giving property to all living creatures in the universe. Scientists, however, tell us it is a balanced mixture of some gases, mainly nitrogen, oxygen and some other gases such as carbon dioxide etc., without which we cannot live. The balanced composition of air is destroyed by: additional amounts of components such as carbon dioxide; its being mixed with foreign harmful components such as sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulphate; reduction in the amount of natural components. Life on Earth suffers through many forms of air pollution, caused by industrial gases, coal or liquid fuel, power station gases, gases formed from the burning of petrol or diesel in various forms, gases from the domestic burning of fossil or organic fuels, and gases from incineration of the municipal wastes (largely carbon dioxide, and sulphurous and nitrogenous gases). Secretory and excretory volatile ingredients from other sources also mix with air. Normally, there is a natural cycle to maintain the equilibrium of the composition of air, but as the rate of pollution is greater than the rate of equilibrium an imbalance occurs and the air is totally polluted. Air pollution creates the following effects: 309 Page #310 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ * * The 'greenhouse effect' and depletion of the ozone layer leads to the warming of the earth's atmosphere. * Deforestation due to acid rain and the felling of trees. Diseases in humans, such as respiratory illnesses, irritating coughs and skin cancers; in animals and in other life forms due to the inhalation of polluted air containing excess gases, such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and fine solid particles such as asbestos. Destruction of plant life and the natural world due to acid rain caused by the mixing of acidic gases in the air, and then falling as rain. Toxic effects (e.g. the Union Carbide tragedy in Bhopal) due to mixing of fluoride gases, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides in the air. Water Pollution: Like air, water was also seen as divine in earlier times due to its support of life on earth. However, modern scientists tell us, it is a compound, made by hydrogen and oxygen, which is responsible for maintaining temperature equilibrium and many other processes in our physical systems. It also maintains agriculture and forestry. It is estimated that about two thirds of the earth's surface is covered by water. One requires water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, industry and agriculture. The purity and quality of drinking water is the most important. All the sources of water are now becoming polluted through the disposal of different kinds of waste: industrial (including water, paper, fibres, metals etc.), washing water, toilet water, detergents, slurry liquids from livestock units, and soluble fertilisers and an overloaded sewage system. Water also becomes polluted from dam building, and from solid wastes, fertilisers, insecticides and other toxic substances. Polluted water affects living creatures in many ways, for example: Oxygen transmission capacity in blood decreases owing to increasing amounts of nitrates; Wildlife and natural beauty suffer because of toxic substances in water; Water-borne diseases due to bacteria, soluble salts etc. Surface Pollution: The earth's land surface has many properties for maintaining and preserving life. Generally, it consists of mixtures of salts and other compounds, but also it has some aqueous elements for assimilation, solution or purification. The land surface is becoming polluted from many sources such as: large scale excretions and secretions; large scale use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, insecticides and sprays; large amounts of solid/semi-solid waste from municipal works; large amounts of solid/semi-solid waste from industrial works; large amounts of what is called 'Junkosis': the incineration of waste materials. A large amount of the waste material on the surface is soluble. It permeates the soil, but had it been of an appropriate quality, it would serve to purify the land's environment. However, because of its harmful nature and contents, it may be doing the reverse, adversely affecting the plant and animal life of the land, and it reduces the fertility of the earth. Plants grown on such polluted land contain many assimilated toxic ingredients, which humans and animals consume. Pollutants -> Food Chain -> Body Chain Danger (?) 310 Page #311 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The various assimilated components are also toxic. They kill not only the plants but also the small creatures, which beneficially serve all life on the land. The waste or the polluting ingredients undergo many physical and chemical changes on and under the surface of the earth. They dissolve in water and pollute river waters. Their foul smell pollutes the air. Thus, surface pollution has the capacity to pollute all the environmental constituents. Noise Pollution: Everybody is familiar with the noise of machines, vehicles, crowds, loud music, loudspeakers at public or individual religious rituals, social and other events. These noises have an effect on our sensitivity of hearing. The loudest noises not only disturb our sleep but cause dysfunction to blood circulation. High-pitched or highdecibel noises over a long period may cause our auditory organs to become desensitised, and one can become deaf or even mentally disturbed. Nuclear Pollution: Pollution due to radioactive wastes is a recent phenomenon of the twentieth century. Disasters, nuclear explosions and tragedies in atomic institutions pollute the air and affect the health of living creatures. Prevention of Environmental Pollution: The effects of environmental nonequilibrium have alarmed politicians, governments, voluntary organisations, religious leaders and even the public. Prevention has two aspects: What should be the aims for improving the environment? Should it be only public/human welfare or the welfare of all? Many agencies aim at only human welfare, and this seems to be the western way of thinking. However, the welfare of all species is the Jain way of thinking, as it believes in 'live and help to live'. Caring people have been concerned with this problem over a long period, and have tried to awaken the public consciousness to the enormity of impending disaster and the threat to our survival. Central governments, local governments, voluntary organisations and the caring public have made certain rules and regulations to improve the environment and reduce pollution. Many national and international conferences have been and are being held (the last two: at Rio in 1992 and New York in 1997) to discern ways and means of safeguarding the future of the planet. Some concerned scientists have been instrumental in reducing the gravity of the situation: Scientists have tried, in many cases, to reduce the amount of waste material by developing recycling processes to regain useful materials, (paper, plastic, brick, metals etc.). Scientists have also tried to reduce the harmful effects of waste by pre-treating it in such ways that its capacity to pollute becomes negligible. Atmospheric gases are being filtered and pre-treated to remove solids and harmful contents by absorption, before being released, thus reducing the temperature and the pollution of air and water, so there is less harm to living creatures. Scientists are also trying to improve the quality of polluted air and water. All the above are useful in preserving species, however, the decision makers will not entertain a reduction in industrial growth, although they desire population control and some measures to reduce pollution. It is impossible to put the clock back, but there is no alternative to minimising the use of natural resources and reducing wastage. Many conscientious organisations are propagating principles and practices in tune with the Jain way of life. They advise using minimum quantities of water and other natural resources, proportional to natural production rates, avoiding destruction or harm to land and forests, 311 Page #312 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ and encourage waste recycling and the use of recycled products as far as possible. They also advise minimising the use of chemical fertilisers and insecticides for agriculture, and the application of organic manure on the soil. In other words, the five Jain principles of non-violence, limiting consumption, acceptable dietary habits, refraining from purposeless or harmful activities or professions, and carefulness in movement are all now being accepted. Environmental concerns and Jain principles Many scholars point out that the current problems of environmental pollution were nonexistent during an earlier age of rural society. It appears very difficult to find solutions to modern problems in the teachings of the religions of the pre-industrial age. The ideal society is that which promotes the welfare of living creatures at all times. In contrast to many other ethical systems, Jainism has offered specific and detailed guidance. Jains point out that environmental concerns require a specific non-violent lifestyle that has both an aesthetic dimension and a practical concept of spiritual concord. A new lifestyle of spiritual ecology and environmental concern will have to be formulated and inculcated. Changing our life-style is not very difficult if we bear the following in mind: cultivation of a beneficent attitude, detachment and universal friendship; cultivation of an attitude of restraint, and the minimal use of natural resources and consumables; cultivation of the habit of carefulness in diet, speaking, movement, picking up and setting down: daily penitential retreat and prayer for the welfare of all living beings, and for universal peace; cultivation of satisfaction and tolerance; cultivation of a non-violent life-style; cultivation of friendship towards all co-habitants on our planet. Governments and educational institutions can offer guidance on minimising needs and the cultivation of respect towards the natural world. We should not harm our friends and co-habitants; and if people were constantly reminded of this, they might be more vigilant in not maltreating the natural world. Governments and international organisations, such as the United Nations, should give assistance to those religious and voluntary organisations that are actively concerned in environmental affairs, but which have few resources. Jains all over the world have been involved in schemes to preserve and renew the local environment. It is worth quoting the ancient wisdom of the Matsya Puraana, which argues that the merit of digging ten wells equals that of making one pond; the merit of making ten ponds equals that of forming one lake; the merit of forming ten lakes equals that of producing one virtuous son, who is useful to society; but the merit of planting one tree equals that of producing ten such sons' (Bhanavat N. 1987: Bombay Paryusana lectures). As well as tree-planting, Jains have engaged in other local initiatives such as the purchase and safeguarding of unexploited swamp-land and mountain habitats, the creation of green areas within urban environments, and measures to preserve energy, reduce pollution, and create good personal and social environments locally 312 Page #313 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Ecology is the inter-relationship between living organisms and their environments and any abuse or rupture of this relationship is bound to react against humanity. Within this ecological system shared by all living creatures, Jains recognise the existence of equilibrium as being of primary importance. Jain scriptures claim that there are a constant number of souls or living beings present in the cosmos, ranging from the smallest microorganisms to complex life forms such as human beings or the higher animals, although the number may vary in different destinies and species. Given this closed ecological system, the necessity of maintaining and, where appropriate, restoring a proper balance between its component parts is obvious. Human beings of course have a pivotal role to play in this task of stewardship, since they are endowed with highly developed moral, analytic and creative faculties. Jainism propounds a way of life that facilitates both external and internal environments, of non-violence, reverence for life, restraint and the co-operation of all to revive the balance of our ecological system. Any lasting and worthwhile contributions in restoring ecological wholeness can only be made by a partnership of interests representing all that share our common home. This was summarised beautifully in 1990 by Dr. L. M. Singhvi. a practising Jain, who became Indian High Commissioner in the United Kingdom: We are all here to offer to the world today a time-tested anchor of moral imperatives and a viable route plan for humanity's common pilgrimage for holistic environmental protection, peace and harmony in the universe' (Singhvi L. 1990: p.14). 313 Page #314 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 6.4 VEGETARIANISM very living being has a body which requires nourishment and energy. Jain seers it impossible a living being to exist food, one should obtain it with minimal possible violence, even to one-sense beings of the plant world. The object of human life is happiness, bliss and liberation, and one cannot achieve this without a sound body and mind. One should nourish the body with food that produces minimum passions. Food from higher-sense beings produces the greater violence and passions. It has been observed that many organisms live in the bodies and secretions of animals, and hence when we use animal products, we do violence to both animals and their parasites. Jain seers have advised humans to survive on vegetarian food, with a minimum of violence to plants. The expression of non-violence in diet have made Jains the primary exponents of vegetarianism in India; they rejected the Buddhist notion that meat is acceptable if an animal has died of natural causes, contending that the dead flesh itself is a breeding ground for innumerable nigodas (micro-organisms) and hence is unacceptable (Jaini 1979: p.169). History of vegetarianism Since earliest times humans have existed on a meatless diet: Jains, many Hindus, most Buddhists and many other communities ate nuts, fruit, green vegetables and grains. Before the birth of modern organised vegetarian groups in the United Kingdom, some notable reformers including John Wesley, the co-founder of Methodism formed a group to promote vegetarianism. In 1809 a vegetarian coalition was established in Manchester. Many reformers promoted a meatless diet until vegetarianism became formally institutionalised. In 1847, the word 'vegetarian' was coined and a Vegetarian Society was established under the leadership of Joseph Brotherton. It flourished, and eminent among its many supporters were Dr. Anne Kingsford, a leading women's' rights activist in the late 19th century, Annie Besant, long-serving President of the Theosophical Society, and George Bernard Shaw. More recently the author and broadcaster Malcolm Muggeridge, the politician Sir Stafford Cripps, and the Speaker of the House of Commons, Bernard Weatheral, have supported the Vegetarian Society. In 1980, the Young Indian Vegetarian Society was formed to promote vegetarianism in the United Kingdom. Today vegetarian societies are functioning in practically all countries of the world. Britain is one of the countries whose population is most active in promoting animal rights, vegetarianism, veganism, anti-vivisectionism, "beauty without cruelty' and reform of factory farming methods. Since the immigration of Indian communities from India and East Africa over recent decades, vegetarian food has become yet more widely available throughout Britain. The British Medical Association, in 1995, published the results of fourteen years of research by two doctors on the effects of a vegetarian diet, and the findings, suggesting that vegetarianism increases longevity and decreases morbidity, have given a boost to the vegetarian movement. There have also been many notable promoters of vegetarianism, prominent among them were Richard Wagner, Albert Schweitzer, Leo Tolstoy, William Alcott, inventor of the 'corn flake' Dr. John Kellogg, novelist Up ton Sinclair and Greek philosophers such as Plato, Socrates and Pythagoras supported a meatless diet. 314 Page #315 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The Natural Diet of Humans Animals can be divided into three categories according to their natural diet and corresponding anatomical and physiological systems: Carnivores live largely on meat, their intestines are three times longer than their bodies, have a high concentration of hydrochloric acid in their gastric juice and small salivary glands: examples are felines and canines. Herbivores live on grass, leaves and plant food: examples are cows and elephants. Frugivores live on fruit, nuts and grain: examples include monkeys and the great apes. Omnivores live on a mixture of animal and plant food and are not considered as a separate category. . Human beings, herbivores and frugivores have intestinal tracts about 8-12 times longer than the body, with much diluted hydrochloric acid in their gastric juices and large salivary glands. Their teeth are small and dull, with flat molars, whereas meat-eating animals have large front teeth (for tearing meat) and no flat molars. The anatomy and physiology of humans facilitate the digestion of plant products. Their salivary glands assist pre-digestion, dilute hydrochloric acid aids digestion, and the large intestinal tracts churn and absorb. It was only through necessity that humans began eating meat, which later became habitual, but humans cannot eat raw meat, as do carnivores, as their digestive system is ideally suited to vegetarian food. Types of Vegetarians The word 'vegetarian' is derived from the Latin word 'vegetare', which means 'to enliven'. Vegetarians in general do not eat meat, fish, poultry or eggs. * Partial vegetarians may eat fish and chicken, but do not eat red meat such as beef, pork and lamb. * Lacto-ovo-vegetarians eat dairy products and eggs in addition to a vegetarian diet. Lacto-vegetarians take milk and milk products, but not eggs. Most Indian vegetarians belong to this group. Jains are lacto-vegetarians, but many devout Jains do not eat root vegetables. Vegans and Frutarians live on fruit, grains, vegetables, but no milk or other dairy products. Vegetarian Diet and Health Plants have the ability to use the energy from sunlight, carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, water and minerals from the soil to make complex compounds such as carbohydrates, proteins and fat. When a human or an animal dies, its body, whether buried or cremated, disintegrates into the earth. Plants use the disintegrated material to make the complex food compounds, which are, in turn, consumed by animals or humans, and are thus recycled. The dead plants also have similar cycle. Humans and animals derive their nourishment by consuming plants or other animals, but ultimately it is the plants that supply their nourishment. A balanced diet is required for both physical and mental health. It should contain sufficient ingredients, which produce energy for the necessary functions of the body, to maintain the body tissues and to cater for the demands of growth, and repair of tissues after an accident, illness or reproduction. Diet plays an important role in maintaining the 315 Page #316 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ mind in a sound condition, and in restraining the passions. Western medical scientists and nutritionists, when discussing diet, show concern mainly for physical health. They have hardly researched the effect of diet on mental health, which is necessary to achieve the objectives of human life. A diet containing meat, fish, chicken, eggs and alcohol, if chosen carefully, provides fine physical health, but it produces passions, which are damaging to mental health and hinder spiritual progress. Many studies have revealed that due to the myth that a large amount of proteins are required for energy and strength, the western diet contains excessive amounts of meat and eggs. The body cannot utilise these extra proteins and the excess is converted into nitrogen waste that burdens the kidneys. Meat has a high concentration of saturated fat. Eggs are rich in cholesterol. High levels of saturated fat and cholesterol are considered as major risk factors in heart disease and strokes. A meat diet may be low in dietary fibres, lack of which causes diseases to the gastro-intestinal tract. A large number of potentially harmful chemicals are found in meat. Factory-farmed animals are fed hormones, tranquillisers, antibiotics and many of the 2,700 drugs used in agriculture, some of which remain in the meat. Certain meat products may also contain harmful bacteria and poisons as in BSE, and may be diseased. Certain preservatives are also potentially harmful. Non-vegetarian food requires greater care in production and preservation compared to vegetarian food, but in spite of all possible precautions being taken, certain problems, such as the slaughtering and sale of diseased animals, are difficult to avoid. Chemical research has shown that animal uric and uraemic toxins have effects similar to caffein and nicotine, and stimulate the passions and create a craving for alcohol, tobacco and other stronger stimulants. The emotions produced by stress, fear and anger in animals poison their blood and tissues with toxins. Animals experience anger and fear of impending danger and death during their transport to slaughterhouses and in the slaughtering process. This fear poisons their flesh and ultimately affects the meat-eater. Nagarkatti, a surgeon at the Bombay Hospital notes research in Japan and other countries, into breast cancers, large intestine cancer, stomach cancer, prostatic cancer and cancers of other organs; he has shown a relationship with dietary factors which points mainly to animal components of the diet acting as cancer-producing agents (Nagarkatti 1992: pp.3.31-34). There is much misinformation on vegetarianism, for example, vegetarians lack physical strength and their diet lacks nutrients required for good health. The vegetarians argue that a vegetarian diet is based upon scientific principles: the balanced vegetarian diet provides sufficient nutrition; it is free from the poisons and bacteria and it is ideal for physical, mental and spiritual health of human beings, enhancing longevity and decreasing morbidity (Jussawalla 1992: p.3.41). Economics of Vegetarianism In spite of the efforts to control, the human population is growing at an exceptional rate; hence it has become imperative to produce more food to feed the growing population as efficiently as possible on the land available. About four-fifths of the world's agricultural land is used for feeding animals and only one-fifth for directly feeding humans. Most of the fertile land devoted to cattle, 316 Page #317 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ which eat cereals, root and green crops, and various grains; if substituted with for crops suitable for humans would yield far better economic results. Statistics from the Ministry of Food, Government of India in Indian Agriculture in brief (1966) showed that plant food, excluding vegetables, fruits and sugar, provides on average 15.8 times more calories and 11.5 times more proteins when compared with animal foods, per acre of land (Wynne-Tyson 1979: pp. 18-20). About sixteen pounds of grains and soya beans, required to produce one pound of meat contains 21 times more calories, eight times more proteins and three times more fat than one pound of meat. Statistics from the US Department of Agriculture show that 80-90% of all grain produced in the United States goes for feeding animals, and millions of acres of land are used for raising livestock. If the same amount of land was used for cereals, it would produce five times more protein per acre, 10 times more legumes, such as lentils, peas and beans, and 15 times more protein if leafy vegetables were grown (Jain P. 1992: p.3.29). There may be variations in the statistics in view of the fact that insufficient funds by various governments are allocated for this important research, but it is true to say that land provides more food if crops for people are grown rather than those for animal feed. A vegetarian diet is less expensive than a non-vegetarian one is, as plant food is easier and cheaper to grow and produce. Vegetarianism may even help to create employment through a switch to less intensive forms of agriculture, including organic farming. Nutritional values of a vegetarian diet A vegetarian diet is very healthy and has high nutritional value, provided it is balanced. Vegetarians in India (and now in the West) cook a variety of attractive, tasty dishes. A vegetarian diet is inadequate only if it is low in energy or contains too high a proportion of cereals and starchy foods. Vegans may require a weekly supplement of 0.5 mg vitamin B12. Calorie requirements depend upon factors such as weight, age, sex, and activity. The World Health Organisation recommends 2,800 calories for men and 2,400 calories for women per day for moderately active persons, although these figures may vary during pregnancy, lactation and child growth periods, when additional calories are required. Cereals, starches, sugars, fats and oils are major sources of energy. Fruit and vegetables also provide some energy. Proteins are supplied by cereals such as wheat, barley, maize, rice, rye, millet, fruit and leafy green vegetables, and also dairy products. The World Health Organisation recommends the protein requirement for an average male adult of 70 kg body weight to be 40g of good quality protein per day, although many people still believe the higher figure of 100g, set in the 19th century guidelines, is valid. The eight essential amino acids (tryptophane, methionine, theonine, leucine. lycine, phenylamine, voline and isoleucine) can be obtained from proteins in a balanced vegetarian diet. Two more, histidine and anginine, are important in childhood and are also available from a vegetarian diet. Years ago proteins were divided into 'first class' (animal proteins) and 'second class' (plant proteins), but this arbitrary classification has been discarded by modern nutritionists, as it is generally accepted that no one protein source is superior to a combination of protein sources. One-gram of.protein provides four calories of energy 317 Page #318 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ (Barkas J. 1975: p.168-170). Table 6.1 gives the calorific and protein content of the usual foodstuffs. Table 6.1 Calories and proteins from different foodstuffs. Foodstuff Cereals Pulses Oilseeds (Approx.) Grams for 100 calories Milk Leafy vegetables Starchy root vegetables Other vegetables Fruit Animal foods Eggs 30 30 20 125 200 100 250 100-200 70 60 Grams required for 10g proteins 100 40 40 300 250 500 500 1200 40 75 (Appendix 2 details the nutritional values of the major vegetarian foods, both western and Indian, and Appendix 3 shows the caloric values of most Indian vegetarian foods.) Carbohydrates are the main source of energy. One gram provides four calories of energy. The main sources are the wholegrain cereals, breads, cornmeal, root and leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, barley and rice. Excessive energy provided by carbohydrates is converted into fats. Fats produce heat and energy and the surplus is stored in the body. Vegetable fats consist mainly of polyunsaturated fats and contain no cholesterol. They are easily digestible. One gram of fat provides nine calories of energy. Minerals and vitamins are found in vegetables, fruit, milk products, some cereals and nuts. Minerals are necessary for the regulation of certain body processes and growth. Vitamins are necessary to maintain health and protection against specific disorders. The main sources of both are green vegetables such as cabbage, sprouts, green peas and watercress, carrots, cauliflowers, cheese, butter, margarine, oatmeal, yeast, lemons, oranges, blackcurrants and other fruit. 318 Vegetarian diet plans for reducing weight, lowering cholesterol and other diseases are helpful. They are very useful, but if one eats a well-balanced vegetarian diet and takes regular and moderate exercise, it is generally believed that one will keep in excellent health. Jains argue that meat eating should be avoided for spiritual reasons as the eastern faiths believe that demerit will be accumulated equally on whoever kills, prepares, sells and eats meat, and that there is no escape for anyone who aids and abets the animal slaughter industry. Jainism seems to be more or less a compaign for vegetarianism to many people in India. During their wanderings when Jain ascetics find influence on the people, first thing they seek to effect is vegetarianism. Jain organisations set up travelling exhibitions to persuade people to accept vegetarianism by displaying the nutritional benefits of the vegetarian diet and the karmic consequences of eating meat (Laidlaw, J. 1995: p.99). Page #319 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The Manusmruti states 'All supporters of meat eating are sinners'; and from the Bible, Genesis (1:29) 'Behold, I have given you every herb-bearing seed - and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat'; Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, claims 'my disciples do not take meat and wine'. Buddha says, 'meat is food for sub-human beings'. Mahatma Gandhi has said, 'spiritual progress demands: we should cease to kill our fellow creatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants' (Mehta N. 1992: p.3.24). Thus Jains advocate vegetarian food for spiritual, health, economic, animal welfare and environmental reasons. Jains are lacto-vegetarians; they have special food habits and their health compares well with that of members of other communities. We will discuss the Jain diet in the next chapter. 319 Page #320 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 6.5 JAIN DIET very living being requires air, water and food for its existence. Clean air and water L are more important than food, and they are still available without much effort on the individual's part and are provided by nature. Food, on the other hand, has to be gathered, prepared and consumed for sustenance. Animals eat to live and generally accept what is available, but humans, although they require food for their physical and mental well being, consume socially acceptable food, many a times to satisfy their palates. Jainism believes the necessity of sound physical and mental health for spiritual progress and that the food influences the body, mind and all that is associated with our lives. Jain seers taught of the importance of food and wrote a vast amount of literature on the subject: its definition, procurement, preparation and purity, non-violent dietary habits and the effects of food on health. Most of this work concerns the dietary regulations of ascetics, but later such details as acceptable food, methods of preservation, and time limits after which food becomes unacceptable were made available to the laity. Generally, the word 'food' connotes the idea of morsels of food. Jains call it aahaara, a combination of two words (aa, meaning from all corners', and haara, meaning 'receiving' or 'taking in'), indicating substances injested by any method for the building the body, its vital functions and vitality, and anaahaara to the abstaining from food. Bhagvati Sutra and Prajnaapana Sutra use the following terms to describe the methods of food intake aahaara: Intake of appropriate food substances. oja aahaara: Intake of food by the karmic and luminous body of the soul, in the process of transmigration, before a new body is formed. roma aahaara: Intake of food by the skin. kaval aahaara: Intake of food by mouth (Jain, N. 1996: p.505). Table 6.2 Classification of types, sources and methods of food intake Types Morsel food Diffusable food Absorbable food Mental or volitional Karmic food Quasi-karmic food Source Foods, drinks Oil, cream, etc. Air, sunlight Mental activities Karmic particles Karmic particles Methods of Intake Mouth Skin (by massage) Breathing, skin Passions like anger and greed Activities of body, speech, mind Quasi-passions: laughter, disgust (Dhavalaa's classification by Virasena quoted in Jain N. 1996: p.506). Thus, according to Jains food includes commonplace food and drinks, oily substances diffused through skin, air, sunlight, and the karmic particles. Jainism and other Indian religions have laid great emphasis on the purity of food and classified it in three types: Taamasika food (emotional) induces vice and the spiritual decline of an individual, includes meat, alcohol, honey, and root vegetables. 320 Page #321 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Rajasika food (enjoyable food) includes tasty dishes, prepared for sensual pleasure, for e.g. sweets, savoury and fried food. Saatvika food (pure, nutritious food) is obtained without any overt violence, for e.g. grains, milk products, fruit, vegetables etc. Saatvika food is advocated for sound physical and mental health. Jain scriptures describe four types of morsel food useful for taking vows of austerities such as fasting and cauvihaara (renunciation of all four types of morsel food): Asan: solid, soft or liquid food by which one can satisfy hunger (grains, pulses, dairy products, vegetables, fruit, sweets, etc.) Paan: liquids (drinks, water, etc.) Khaadim: dry foods by which one can partially satisfy hunger (popcorn, papodam, nuts, etc.); Svaadim: foods that can enhance the taste (chutneys, pickles, and spices such as cloves, black pepper, ginger, etc.) (Jain N.1996: p.509). Jain diet Jains are strict vegetarians; their religious life prohibits them harming any form of life, which has more than one-sense. Even while procuring plant food, they are very careful in the selection, preservation and cooking, so as to minimise violence to plants and other one-sense life. They intend not to harm any form of life, but regret having to harm some one-sense forms as they have no alternative for their sustenance. Their diet is based on the principle of ahimsaa and their carefulness and concern for living beings can be seen in their daily rituals, when they ask for forgiveness for hurting any form of life intentionally or unintentionally. Moreover, there is no single set of rules for their diet, but it is moulded according to various religious considerations, customs and traditions. Some Jains will set a numerical limit to the types of food they will eat, some will renounce certain types of food temporarily or permanently, some will fast periodically, but almost all will avoid prohibited food stuffs. Foods which are procured by violent means and/or which harm the physical or mental health are prohibited. Cooked food kept overnight, even though it may be pure, nutritious and acceptable, is not Jain food, as it can harm one's health and can be a reproductive medium for micro-organisms. Jains are lacto-vegetarians, they take milk and milk products. In India, it is customary to take milk from a buffalo or cow. The first entitlement to this milk is that of the infant buffalo or calf. In rural India, Jains are very careful in taking milk from these animals, making sure that their offsprings are not deprived. Urbanisation has forced them to accept milk from modern dairies, and due to the violence involved to the cows in such dairies, some Jains have become vegans. The Jain diet is pure, nutritious and obtained without any overt violence and it sustains their physical and mental health: consisting of grains, pulses, milk, yoghurt (curd), ghee (clarified butter), buttermilk, vegetables and fruit. The Jain seers have advised excluding the items listed in table 6.3 from one's diet, as they are produced by overt violence, and are not conducive to physical and mental health. 321 Page #322 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Table 6.3 Prohibited food items for Jains. Reasons for Prohibition Prohibited Items Foods produced by gross violence Meat Alcohol Violence to animals and birds, such as eggs, fish, poultry and other animal products that are considered meat. Many one- or more sense creatures multiply on the flesh of a dead animal. Meat harms one's physical and mental health Violence to countless one-sense creatures and harm to one's physical and mental health Violence to mobile creatures such as flies and bees. Violence to countless one-sense creatures, as butter is made from groups of one-sense creatures. In the preparation of cheese, animal products are used. Honey Butter and cheese Other harmful foods Ice crystals ice cream) Poisons, hard drugs, tobacco Raw pickles (sandhaana bolaa) Pulses and raw dairy products Deteriorating foods and juices Ice is made from groups of one-sense creatures. To prevent harm to the self, one should avoid any kind of poison and refrain from smoking and taking unwarranted drugs. Raw pickles, preserved in brine, are a medium for the growth of countless mobile creatures. Jains advise drying pickles in sunlight for three days and then preserving them in oil. Mixtures of raw milk or milk products with pulses (dwidal) become a media for the growth of innumerable mobile creatures, hence milk or its products should be heated before mixing with pulses. Innumerable mobile and immobile creatures grow in deteriorating foods and in cooked food kept overnight. Time-expired foods, which change their taste, smell, shape or feel, harm one's physical and mental health. Eating fruit and vegetables in which the seeds nearly touch each other, such as figs, does violence to a greater number of one-sensed creatures. Contain many seeds and mobile creatures in their pods. They are also harmful to one's physical and mental health. Indian fruit such as jaambu, canibora, sitaafala contain less pulp than seeds. Eating causes violence to their seeds, which are one-sense creatures, and one derives hardly any nutrition from them. Can be poisonous and may harm one's health. Multi-seeed fruit & vegetables Brinjal Pulpless fruit Unknown fruit 322 Page #323 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Udumbar fruit Root vegetables (anantakaayas) Fruit such as umbaro, black umbaro, banyan, peepal and plaksha contain innumerable small seeds and mobile creatures. They are also harmful to one's health. Eating causes violence to innumerable one sense living creatures, as many souls live in the body of one root vegetable. Vegetables grown above ground have one creature in each seed, fruit or flower. Jain seers have identified thirty-two types of such root vegetables, such as potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots. Mushrooms and sprouting pulses are also prohibited as they have many souls in a single body. Scriptures include hailstones, clay, lime etc. After sunset, many invisible beings that grow at night are attracted to food. Moreover, eating at night affects one's physical and mental health. Other Prohibitions Eating at night The Jains distinguish different foods according to the violence involved in consuming them: * maximum violence involving harm to mobile creatures: meat, alcohol, honey and butter; extensive violence to one-sense and to some mobile creatures: the root vegetables and five udumbar fruit; major violence to one-sense beings and innumerable mobile creatures: beans or pulses with raw milk or milk products and raw pickles * lesser violence to one-sense creatures: grains, pulses, vegetables and fruit. It is impossible to get perfect non-violent food. Fasting is the only way to avoid violence completely, but this is impossible to sustain indefinitely. Vigilance in selecting the food inculcates Jains to accept foods that cause the least possible violence. Characteristics of the Jain Diet The characteristic of the Jain diet is to have simple, nutritious, freshly cooked vegetarian food that maintains one's good health and motivates the aspirer towards the spiritual path. Jain seers have observed duration and deterioration of various fresh foods, and suggested not eating it after its 'expiry' date. Food contains immobile and mobile bacteria (and viruses), some of which are beneficial and some harmful. Bacteria in curd and panir are beneficial; hence curd and panir are acceptable as long as they have a minimal bacterial growth. Bacteria in alcohol are harmful and have maximal growth; hence alcohol is prohibited. Unless the food is chilled or cooked, bacteria begin multiplying after about forty-five minutes, and they grow in geometric progression, reaching their peak in five to six hours; then their growth stops. The same is true in, or on, our bodies. Bacteria live for up to two days, and they can multiply again whenever sources of food are available. Some bacteria are eradicated by gentle to moderate heat, while others thrive in extreme heat. Surprisingly, the Jain seers took this into account and advised 323 Page #324 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ which foods to warm by slow heating or boiling, and then cooling immediately after heating. Bacteria require air, water, food and the right temperature for growth. Cooked foods containing water and vegetables are a good media for the growth of bacteria, but waterless foods like sugar, salt, oil, and ghee are poor. Hence, Jains do not keep watered, cooked food overnight. They evaporate the water by heating and drying the food, which is why raw pickles are dried in the sun for three days and then mixed with oil. Chapatis can be kept overnight or longer, if they are dried by heating. All food should be kept covered and long-lasting foods such as pickles are kept in airtight jars. Food deteriorates over time, and Jain literature prescribes time limits for different foods, taking account of the climate, but the duration may be altered to take account of modern equipment. Deteriorated food is prohibited. Vegetables such as mustard, cress, and watercress are prohibited during the monsoon season, and certain fruit such as mangoes are not eaten after mid-June (aadra constellation), due to the growth of mobile beings in them. Table 6.4 lists a few examples of the duration for foods commonly used during the Indian winter, in summer it could be less. Table 6.4 Time limits for food items in the Indian winter. Watered cooked food Fried food Curd Sweets Flour Sugar Dried chapatis Boiled water 6 to 12 hours 24 hours 2 days 1 month 1 month 1 month 1 month 4 to 7 hours When the taste, smell, shape and appearance of the stored food changes, it is rendered unacceptable. Occasionally the food becomes tastier, if kept overnight, due to bacterial growth, but it is unacceptable, as there is more violence in eating such food. Contamination of food Food can be contaminated by the atmosphere, storage, utensils, clothes and handling, hence, food should be kept covered; storage places, utensils, clothes and hands should be kept clean while cooking and handling food. When accepting food, ascetics ensure that the person who offers the food observes: purity of mind: giving food without any ill will towards the recipient; purity of speech: maintaining pleasant and honest speech; purity of body: having a clean body and clothes; and purity of food: food is fresh, serving utensils are clean, and the kitchen and serving are orderly. Jain seers advise on the methods for keeping food like grains, milk, curd, refined butter, oil, sugar, spices and vegetables pure, and suggest a protocol for handling food, cleanliness for the kitchens, utensils and the individual concerned. 324 Page #325 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Eating habits Jains avoid root and other prohibited vegetables, but there is some controversy among vegetarians about whether milk is an animal product. Jains believe that the bacteria in milk are similar to those found in vegetables and, if milk is obtained by non-violent means and is surplus to the needs of the calf, they see no harm in drinking it. They will not accept eggs (fertilised or unfertilised), as their bacteria are similar to those in meat. Jains eat two to three times a day, and their typical daily menu would be as follows: Breakfast: Milk, tea, one or two items from khakhara (dried chapatis), puri (fried small chapatis) or other savouries. Lunch (main meal): Chapati or puri, vegetables, pulses, rice, daal, popodam, pickles, fruit, curds or buttermilk, but there may be additional savouries, sweets and regional dishes. Dinner (light meal): Bhaakhari or dhebaraa (chapatis), vegetables or pulses, or khichadi (mixture of rice and daal), or kadhi (buttermilk sauce). Many types of dishes are served at parties, feasts or when entertaining guests. Jains prefer to eat home cooked meals, as they guarantee purity. Svetambar ascetics eat twice a day; they accept a small quantity of food from several homes, so that donor is not inconvenienced. They will not accept any food, which has been cooked especially for them, as they eat to live and not to satisfy their palate, and the food from different homes is mixed together in their bowls. They take the offered food to the upashraya and after showing it to their preceptor, share it with other ascetics. Digambar ascetics take meals only once a day, and accept the food in a standing posture, from a variety of donors congregated at one home and reverently offered to them. They accept the food with the palms of their upturned hands acting as a bowl. In order to minimise violence, most Jains do not eat green vegetables every third day, which the Jain calendar considers as auspicious. Some fast on average twice a month, and also take vows not to eat certain acceptable foods for a certain period, which aids their self-control. Jain food is very tasty, nutritious and has a very varied repertoire of dishes. The dietary habits of Jains - eating regularly and slightly less than the capacity of one's stomach, avoiding eating at night, taking only acceptable foods and periodic fasting - keeps morbidity to a minimum. Jains do eat manufactured or processed foods but take care that they do not contain animal products. The pressures of modern life and business activities have made many Jain laypersons somewhat relaxed about eating root vegetables and eating at night, though they see the value of not eating at night and avoiding prohibited foods. 325 Page #326 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Chapter 6.6 JAIN ART AND ARCHITECTURE ainism has been a living faith in India for thousands of years, and it has contributed a J long and significant heritage to Indian art and culture. Jains love both literature and art, and they believe them to be of a great aid in promoting the values of their faith. As a result of royal patronage and the patronage of wealthy Jains, in practically all parts of India, there are stone inscriptions; the remnants of stupas (sacred mounds), cave temples, freestanding temples and images. Jain sastra bhandaras (libraries) and temples have preserved the rich treasures of their art and culture. Some of these artefacts are very ancient: including, manuscripts on palm leaves and paper, covering a variety of subjects both unadorned and highly decorated with paintings; painted and embroidered wall hangings (patas) on cloth or paper, both for daily and tantric (using mystical formulas) worship. The artwork also includes diagrams and illustrations from Jain cosmology; scrolls with illustrations of artefacts, jyotisa (astrology, dreams and omens) and vijnapti patras (letters of invitation to ascetics) on painted or embroidered scrolls. Jains have also preserved fine pieces of artwork such as painted wooden boxes and book covers for manuscripts; the artwork of shrines, statues in stone, metal and semi-precious and precious stones; and sculptures and woodcarvings. Jain art has been essentially religious and, it would appear, the Jains carried their spirit of acute enquiry and even asceticism into the sphere of art and architecture, so much so that in conventional Jain art, ethical subjects seem to predominate. There are minute details in texts, such as the Maanasaara (circa sixth-century CE), showing a conventional system of sculpture and architecture to which artisans were expected to conform without deviation (Ghosh A. 1974:1.37) It should be noted that when we speak of 'Jain art' (or architecture) we mean art produced for Jains. Invariably, the artists themselves would not be Jains but specialists in the fields of painting, sculpture and so on, who could produce work conforming to the iconographic and other conventions demanded by the Jains commissioning their work. The most distinctive contribution of Jainism to art is in the realm of iconography, as Jain teachings oblige the laity to contribute towards temples and icons, according to their means, at least once during a lifetime, as the merit earned by this helps the devotee to cross the ocean of worldly life'. Jain images are serene and happy in expression and may be seated or standing in meditation. Some have their retinue (parikar) around them. Their gaze is focused on the tip of the nose and they wear a benign expression. The contribution of northern India to the development of Jain iconography is very significant. According to the Jain tradition, all twenty-four tirthankaras of the present era were born in this region, and it was in this region that most of the Jain deities first gained sculptural representation. Iconography The Jain 'virtuous meditation (dharma dhyaana) describes the meditator, the objects of meditation, the technique of meditation and the result of meditation (liberation). Of these, the objects of meditation are of particular importance to Jain iconography. These are: 326 Page #327 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ meditation on the nature of the living body (pindastha); material representation of the jina (rupastha); meditation on sacred mantras (padastha); formless meditation on the soul or aatma (rupaatita). The second form of meditation requires an image of the jina as its focus. Since the jina is attended by various classes of deities, Jain iconography has developed images of these celestial beings. The third type of meditation led to the development of sacred diagrams (yantras) and the printing of sacred formulas (mantras) (Jaini P. 1979: pp.254-256). The Indus Valley civilisation (c.4,500-1,500 BCE) is the earliest civilisation of India. The figures on some of the seals from Mohenjodaro and a male torso from Harappa resemble Jina images on account of their nudity and posture. The earliest known jina image, preserved in the Patna Museum, comes from Lohanipur (Patna, Bihar) and is dated to about the third century BCE. It is thought that the main image of the Svetambar temple near Nalanda may also date from the third century BCE, and similar claims are made for the image in the temple at Valabhi (Gujarat) (personal communication 1992). Another jina image from Lohanipur is dated to the Sunga period (second century CE) or slightly later. Two bronze images of Parsvanatha, dating from the second to first century BCE, are in the Prince of Wales Museum, Bombay, and in the Patna Museum. One figure has a five-hooded snake canopy, the other a seven-hooded snake canopy; both are naked (sky-clad'). They are in the standing meditation pose (kaayotsarga-mudraa). The cave inscriptions of Hathigumpha (Orissa), which are dated to c.125 BCE, make a specific reference to the Kalinga Jina' image, the removal of which by Nanda Raja almost led to war, and its restoration to its rightful place by Kharavela (Ghosh A. 1974: 1.74) Mathura, in Northern India, was a stronghold of Jainism from c. 100 BCE to 1177 CE. Early Jain sculptures from Mathura are of special iconographic significance, because they exhibit certain formative stages in the development of Jain iconography. The rendering of jinas in the seated cross-legged pose (dhyaana-mudraa), and the placing of a diamond-shaped emblem (srivatsa) in the centre of each jina's chest, appear for the first time in the Sunga - Kusana (second to fourth century CE) sculptures of Mathura. The Gupta period (fourth to seventh century CE) saw significant developments in Jain iconography; some distinct iconographic features were introduced such as the distinguishing symbols (lanchana) which are engraved on the front of the base of jina images, as was the veneration of images of guardian deities' (yaksas and yaksis) (Tiwari M. 1983: p.3). From the 9th century CE onwards, sculptural architecture made rapid strides under the Candella dynasty of Budelkhand, the Solankis in Gujarat, and the Pandyas, Gangas and Hosyalas in Karnataka. The finest examples of fine Candella art are still to be seen in three large and half a dozen smaller old temples at Khajuraho, which were built in the tenth to eleventh centuries CE. Of the three large temples, known as the Parsvanatha, the Ghantai and the Adinatha, the Parsvanatha is the best-preserved finest temple at Khajuraho built in tenth and eleventh century CE (Deva K 1975: p.257). The Jain literature and art thrived between the tenth and fifteenth centuries CE, which also saw the building of Jain temples with exquisite sculptural carvings. Gujarat and Rajasthan became the strongholds of the Svetambar sect, while in other regions the Digambar and the Yapaniya sects flourished. 327 Page #328 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The tradition of carving twenty-four 'guardian attendants' (devakulikas) with the figures of the twenty-four jinas became popular at Svetambar sites. Digambar jina images of this period show, in the retinue of the jinas, the figure of Neminath, accompanied by a pair of guardian deities; the figures of goddesses, such as Laksmi and Sarasvati; Bahubali, Balarama and Krishna; and representations of the nine planets (nava grahas). At Svetambar sites, the inscription of the names of the jinas on their pedestals was preferred to the use of distinguishing symbols, but later practice reverted to the use of symbols. From the eleventh century onwards, Svetambar temples in western India accorded the sixteen goddesses of learning (vidyadevis) a position second only to the jinas; an early example can be seen in the ceiling carvings of the temple at Kumbharia (Gujarat). The number of figures of male deities in non-jina sculptures is small when compared with representations of female deities, probably owing to the influence of Hindu worship of Sakti. The facade of the Parsvanatha Jain temple at Khajuraho (950-70 CE) shows divine figures embracing Sakti; these include the Hindu divinities Siva, Visnu, Brahma, Rama, Balarama, Agni and Kubera. It includes secular sculptures on domestic scenes, teacher and disciples, dancers and musicians, and erotic couples or groups. Such erotic figures are antithetical to the accepted norms of Jain tradition and show the influence of the brahminical temples nearby (Deva K. 1975: pp. 266-267). Jain Divinities: The Jain pantheon had evolved by the end of the fifth century CE, largely consisting of the twenty-four jinas, and the figures referred to above. The lives of the sixty-three 'torch bearers' (salaakaa purusas) became favourite themes in Jain biographical literature. These included 24 jinas; 12 'universal emperors' (cakravartis), such as Bharata and Sagara; nine baladevas, such as Rama and Balarama; nine vasudevas, such as Laksmana and Krisna; and nine prati-vasudevas, such as Bali, Ravana and Jarasangha. Detailed iconographic features of these deities developed between the eighth and thirteenth centuries CE (Tiwari M. 1989: p.6). Jinas: The jinas occupy the most exalted position in Jain worship. As a consequence, the jina images outnumber the images of all the Jain deities. The jina images denote psychic worship and not physical or image worship. It is regarded as worship, not of a deity, but of a human being who has attained perfection and freedom from bondage, as exemplary. The detached jinas neither favour nor disfavour anyone. Because of this, jinas were always represented only in the seated or standing attitude of meditation, while the Buddha, in the course of time, came to be represented in a range of different poses, such as offering his blessings. Unlike the Buddha, none of the jinas was ever credited with the performance of miracles. Lists of the twenty-four jinas were in existence some time before the beginning of the Christian era. The earliest list occurs in the Samavaayanga Sutra, Bhagavati Sutra, and Kalpa Sutra (third century BCE), and we know that concrete representations of the jinas began to appear in about the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. The Kalpa Sutra describes at length the lives of jinas Risabhdeva, Shantinatha, Neminatha, Parsvanatha and Mahavira. Of the other jinas, Ajitanatha, Sambhavanatha, Suparsvanatha, Candraprabha, and Munisuvrataswami were the most favoured. Figures of these remaining jinas are few in numbers. Of the jinas, the iconographic features of Parsvanatha were the earliest to be finalised. The seven-hooded cobra canopy was associated with him found about the first 328 Page #329 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ century BCE. Around two centuries later, Risabhdeva was represented with long flowing hair, as is evident from sculptures at Mathura and Chausa Balarama and Krishna became members of Neminatha's retinue, as can be seen in sculptures from Kankali Tila, Mathura. During the Kusana period (1st century CE) images of Sambhavanatha, Munisuvrata, Neminatha and Mahavira were carved; identification rested solely on the basis of pedestal inscriptions of names, no other iconographic devices were employed. By the end of the Kusana period, the following seven of the eight divine distinctions' (pratihaaryas) were found at Mathura: the chaitya tree the shower of flowers attendants with sacred fans the divine throne the divine parasol the halo divine sound (represented by drums and singers). The rendering of the distinguishing emblems of the pairs of guardian deities and all the eight divine distinctions of the jinas which marks a significant development in jina iconography, started as early as the Gupta period. The Neminatha image from the Vaibhara hills (Rajgir, Bihar) and the Mahavira image from Varanasi (now in the Bharat Kala Bhavan, Varanasi) are the earliest instances of images showing the eight divine distinctions. The Risabhdeva images from Akota, and the Mahavira images from Jain caves at Badami and Aihole (Bijapur, Karnataka) are the earliest jina images with figures of guardian deities in the retinue. The representation of tiny jina figures carved on images of divine thrones and in jina retinues is first appeared in the Gupta period. The list of the distinguishing emblems of the twenty-four jinas was finalised around the 8th or 9th centuries CE. The earliest literary references to them are found in the Tiloyapannatti, the Kahaavali and the Pravacanasaaroddhara. The fully developed jina images invariably contain distinguishing emblems, pairs of guardian deities, eight divine distinctions, the wheel of law with worshippers, diminutive jina figures and, at times, nine planets, the goddesses of learning and elephants washing the jinas. The carvings of narrative scenes from the lives of the jinas occur mainly at Jain sites in western India. Examples from the 11th to 13th centuries deal chiefly with the five 'auspicious events' (panca-kalyanakas), conception, birth, renunciation, omniscience and liberation of the jina. But they also deal with other important events in the lives of Risabhdeva, Shantinatha, Munisuvrata, Neminatha, Parsvanatha and Mahavira. Of these, the representation of the fight between Bharat and Bahubali; the story of the previous life of Shantinatha, in which he generously offered the flesh of his entire body to save the life of a pigeon; the trial of strength between Krishna and Neminatha; the marriage procession of Neminatha and his consequent renunciation; the story of Asvabodha and Sakunika-vihaara in the life of Munisuvrata; and the previous births of Parsvanatha and Mahavira along with their austerities and meditations, are of particular iconography interest. (Tiwari M. 1983: pp.5-7). Objects of worship Images: The material form of jina images is one of the most important objects of meditation and worship. Scriptures and texts relating to consecration contain numerous formulae regarding jina images-postures (seated or standing); measurements of the relative proportions of the limbs, head and fingers; the 'auspicious marks', e.g. the lotus 329 Page #330 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ shaped chest mark (srivatsa), the head protuberance (urnisa), the guardian deities and divine musicians. Jina images have varied forms: the single image, the double, triple, quadruple or quintuple images, and in some instances images of all twenty-four jinas on a single slab or within one frame. The quadruple image may be of the same jina or of different jinas on each of the four sides. The double, triple or quintuple are conventionally of different jinas. Iconography developed independently in three geographical areas: Gandhara in the northwest (now Pakistan), Mathura in northern India and Amaravati in southern India. The statue of Gommateswara Bahubali at Sravanbelgola (981 CE) is nineteen metres high and sculpted from a single rock and is the largest freestanding monolithic image in the world. It symbolises complete detachment from the world, an aspiration for all Jains (Doshi 1981: p.10) Among Jain sculptures, the jina images provide the artist with little scope for the display of individual talent, due to the prescribed conventions. But, in the representation of guardian deities, Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, the nine planets, the spatial deities (ksetrapalas), the worshippers, and in decorative motifs, the artist was not constrained by prescribed formulae and exercised greater freedom. Artistic genius produced art and sculpture of immense aesthetic beauty. Jain art has produced intricately decorated scriptures, votive tablets, stone balustrades, pillars, architraves, walls, balconies, ceilings and domes seen in the earlier cave temples, such as Ellora, through to the medieval temples, such as those at Khajuraho, Delwara and Ranakapura, and to the recently consecrated temple at Leicester in England. Yantras: The siddhacakra, the wheel of salvation, is one of the most popular mystical diagrams (yantras) of the Jains. Digambars often personify it as the 'nine adorable ones'. It depicts an enlightened one, a liberated one, an aacaarya, an upaadhyaya, an ascetic, Right Faith, Right Knowledge, Right Conduct and austerity. Some devotees use it for daily worship, while others use it for the elaborate ceremony of siddhacakra mahaapujana. In this elaborate ceremony, the siddhacakra is made from coloured rice grains and includes in its representations the sixteen goddesses of learning, guardian deities, the nine planets, Brahma, Indra, the Moon, and the four spatial deities. Plate 6.1 Brass Jina Statues with the Siddhachakra Yantra at Jain Centre, Leicester 330 Page #331 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Other yantras: Stotras are prayers describing and praising, in an ornate and metaphorical manner, the qualities of the jina. In the course of time, mystical diagrams of these stanzas or the sounds om and om arham or om hrim, representing the five supreme beings, became the key syllables for the preparation of mystical formulae and yantras. Jain literature lists numerous mantras, their meditation and their spiritual benefits. Some yantras have been developed on specific mantras. Most yantras are either circular or square with mystical formulae often inscribed in concentric circles. Sometimes, in the middle of the circle there is a lotus or a square made up of several segments in which the syllables are written. Some yantras are in the form of a swastika (a symbol of the four destinies) or of a crescent moon, a tree, a boat, a lotus or an open palm. These yantras are painted on paper, cloth, a wooden table', or are embossed on metal plaques. Jain yatis and bhattarakas have developed yantras for specific devotional purposes, for example, the shantikarana yantra has been created as an object for meditation for those devotees who are seeking peace. These yantras are worshipped at home through prescribed repetitive incantations, and are believed to be of benefit for both physical and psychic well being and prosperity. The dharmacakra (wheel of holy law) was once an important object of worship, but today there is no ritual connected with it. It appears in the form of a bronze or carved object at the top of a pillar, on a stand, or on a lintel and is held in position by two creatures such as deer. The wheel itself, in a decorative frame has sixteen spokes. On the pedestals of some early Jain images, a sixteen-spoked wheel is pictured surrounded by devotees. Later, the dharmacakra is depicted in profile, flanked by lions or deer. Emerging from the wheel is the noble representation of a human figure, a personification of the dharmacakra. Nowadays, the frieze also represents the fourfold order of the sangha, in the form of two groups of four standing male and female figures. It signifies peace, harmony, forgiveness, the interdependence of living beings and reverence for life. Figure 6.5 The dharmacakra, 'wheel of religion' NES The caitya and kalpa trees: The environmental concerns of Jains can be seen in the special importance given to trees as sacred objects of worship. Tree worship has been an important element in popular beliefs and practices since earliest times. Numerous stone images of the Jinas show them seated beneath trees; there are bronze images of Jinas in a meditating posture beneath trees, and there are images of the renunciation of Mahavira beneath an asoka tree and his enlightenment beneath a sala tree, and branches of an asoka tree are used in the pratistha, the consecration or installation ceremony (Ghosh A. 1975: 3.486-487). 331 Page #332 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ The mound (stupa) and the votive column: Jain literature refers to the building and worship of mounds. Such mounds and commemorative columns were mainly funerary monuments. The later traditions of installing 'vanity-subduing pillars' (maana stambha) or 'pillars of glory' (kirti stambha) may have developed from the commemorative column. o intact structure of any ancient Jain mound has survived, although the remnants of the mound built at the site of liberation of Mahavira still exist (at Pavapuri). Its circumference proves that it must once have been an immense structure (1992; personal observation). Plate 6.2 Kirti Stambha, Ahmedabad.; erected for the 2,500" nirvana anniversary of Mahavira. (Photo courtesy of Dr W. Johnson) 332 Page #333 -------------------------------------------------------------------------- ________________ Remains at Kanakali-tila in Mathura region show a ground plan in the shape of an eightspoked wheel over which a structure was built of brick. Somadeva (tenth century CE) refers to a 'mound created by heavenly beings' which existed in his day in Mathura (Ghosh A. 1975: p.53). In the Jambucarita, Rajanabha refers to more than 500 mounds in Mathura, during the time of Akbar. According to Jain mythology, mounds with jina images over them