06 September 2010

Essence of Jainism - 5 - Karma & Cycle of Rebirth

We have seen that the reasons of our comfortable or uncomfortable situations lie in the activities undertaken by us during this or earlier lives. This automatically assumes the theory of rebirth. It is the law of nature that we reap as we sow. This reaping does not necessarily occur in the same life. The Law moreover is not restricted to the physical activities. It applies to our persisting tendencies and instincts as well, even though they may not be translated into action. Whatever thoughts we may relish, even in the midst of mountains or within a remote cave, would have their consequences. No one can escape them. Appropriate consequences of our physical activities and of mental attitude are invariably extended to us. It is not possible to deceive the nature. Consequences have to be borne sooner or later and no one is immune therefrom. This law of Karma in spiritual science is not different from the law of cause and effect or that of action and reaction in physical sciences. In spiritual field its scope is extended to the realm of emotions and feelings as well.

This law of Karma and theory of rebirth need not be brushed aside as a fancy of spiritual thinkers. Recent psychological research bears testimony to their validity. The modern psychologists have been increasingly veering to accept it. Dr. Alexander Cannon during his experiments of age regression observed that the causes of his patients’ phobias lay in earlier lives. Reasons for such ailments in many cases could be traced back even to the Roman period. After surveying the results of 1382 reincarnation sitt ings, as he calls them, he writes as under in his book entitled ‘The PowerWithin’.

For years the theory of reincarnation was a nightmare but there is such a thing as reincarnation. It is therefore only right and proper that we should include this study as a branch of psychology, as text bears witness to the great benefit many have received psychologically from discovering hidden complexes and fears which undoubtedly have been brought over from past lives.

This study explains the scales of justice in a very broad way showing how a person appears to suffer in this life as a result of something he has done in a past life through this law of action and reaction known in the East as Karma. * * * A person cannot see why he suffers one disaster after another in this life, yet reincarnation may reveal atrocities committed by him in lives gone by.

We can consider ourselves fortunate that we could obtain, as part of our heritage, what science has been revealing now. Most of us have, in background of mind, the consequences of what we have been doing now. That helps us in restraining our emotions and we can stay more or less tolerant in adversity. We do not tend to react very violently even when hurt physically or otherwise. It is therefore worthwhile to examine the impact of this theory of Karma for the broad spectrum of society. If every one knew that one day he is surely going to bear the consequences of whatever he does or thinks, no one would dare to indulge in any thing that would hurt others. All conflicts and wars, disputes and violence, enmity and vengeance, parochialism and selfishness would come to an end. If one ponders rightly, he can realize that hatred, jealousy etc. may or may not hurt the person against whom they are aimed at, but they surely hurt the user; since his sense of discretion and equanimity gets obscured by being overcome with defilements. No one in that case would harbor any evil and everyone would abide by the code of conduct that is beneficial to the society. Even if someone gets any way hurt by others, he would be inclined to consider it as a consequence of his own past evil Karma. Instead of adversely reacting, he would therefore bear it with a sense of equanimity. The world would in that case turn into a sort of paradise.

Unfortunately all people are never going to realize it and the living beings have to bear the brunt of evils generated from passions and different types of evil instincts. The seers have brought out the truth that every being is governed by the inviolable law of Karma. Realizing that meritorious deeds would be ultimately helpful in pursuit of happiness, one can try to ensure one’s own future well-being by making use of his ability and resources for the benefit of all. The nature has left to us whether to abide by that law and stay happy by extending happiness to others or to learn the lesson hard way by undergoing the miseries and pains arising from evil Karmas.

Source: Essence of Jainism by Manubhai Doshi

02 September 2010

Essence of Jainism - 3 - Samyaktva.. the Basis

Utmost importance is attached in Jain tradition to right approach which is known as Samyaktva. In a way, that is the principal objective for Jains and it comprises the trio of Samyag Darshan, the right perception; Samyag Jnana, the right knowledge and Sam yak Charitra, the right practice. The learned author of Tattvarthasutra,

The first step for achieving any objective is to have a keen desire for it. We have so many desires, many of them conflicting with one another. For instance, we may desire to remain very healthy. Simultaneously, however, we may also desire to eat some food of our choice or indulge in some addiction that may not be conducive to health. In that case our desire to remain healthy cannot materialize. So, our desire for gaining any objective must be acute enough to be pursued to the exclusion of other desires that would be detrimental to the attainment of our objective. This type of desire needs a strong will that could arise only if we are convinced of our objective being in our best interest. That would in turn generate firm faith in the objective and a sense of dedication for attaining it. That type of faith can be described as right perception.

Once we are clear and certain about our objective, we should gain adequate knowledge for the purpose. Suppose, we want to be a doctor. In that case, we have to acquire appropriate knowledge of medical science. Instead of that if we go in for proficiency in literary works of Kalidas or Shakespeare or for knowledge of engineering or of any other science or art, that would not be helpful in achieving our objective of becoming a doctor. Thus gaining right knowledge of the subject is another essential for realizing an objective. After gaining medical proficiency, if we do not set up practice as a doctor and stay idle or start some kind of trade or any other profession, our decision to become a doctor and the knowledge of medical science acquired for the purpose would not be helpful in realizing our objective. So the knowledge that has been gained has to be effectively used for realizing any objective. Knowledge without practical application remains sterile. Thus if we want to realize any objective, we must have right concept, appropriate knowledge and right type of activity. The objective of becoming a doctor is not a good analogy for the objective of attaining liberation that we are discussing here. It would however be helpful in getting a rough idea of these three aspects which in spiritual terminology are called Samyag Darshan, Samyag Jnana and Samyak Charitra. They together are known as Samyaktrayi or simply Samyaktva. It is therefore not at all surprising that most of our prayers are directed towards gaining Samyaktva. Many of our devotional songs express devotee’s longing for three jewels. Very few of the devotees are aware that these jewels mean Samyag Darshan, Samyag Jnana and Samyak Charitra. In fact, they are more precious than jewels, because they together can ultimately lead to salvation. We do talk of liberation as the abode of happiness and therefore pray for salvation. Our concept of happiness, however, mostly happens to be inaccurate, because it generally pertains to bodily happiness, sensuous pleasure etc.. We are prone to think that in the liberated state we may get all sorts of happiness that includes material happiness which we are accustomed to. Nothing can however be further from truth. In liberated state the soul stays unembodied. As such, the question of bodily happiness or sensuous pleasure does not arise. It is a state of perfect bliss, a state of unending bliss where the soul is no longer subjected to any kind of affliction.

For successfully pursuing any objective there are some common factors to be taken into account. For example, if we intend to be involved in manufacturing activity, we should thoroughly acquaint ourselves about the article to be manufactured. We should know its properties in the pure form, condition of the raw materials together with any impurities associated with them, the method of removing the impurities, circumstances under which our product may be contaminated, other materials that can compete with it , the ways to avert the contamination and competition, etc. Similarly if our objective be to attain liberation of soul, we have to understand true properties of soul(Jiva), other objects(Ajivas) that compete with it for attracting our attention, merits and sins(Punya and Paap, known as good and evil Karmas) that tend to pollute it, the ways the soul gets influx(Asrava) of Karmas, adulterated state of soul on account of the bondage(Bandha) of Karmas, ways to avert(Samvara) the influx, elimination(Nirjara) of adulteration arising out of bondage of Karma and attainment of perfect purity of soul which is called liberation (Moksha). These nine factors are known in Jain terminology as Nav Tattvas or nine fundamentals. Some people do not treat Punya and Papa as separate factors and therefore talk of only seven fundamentals. Punya and Papa are however covered by them under Asrava and Bandha. Therefore the difference is only numerical and there is no material difference between the two view points. If a person sincerely believes in these seven or nine fundamentals, he gets a real good concept of the soul, its present state, the objective to be aimed at and methods for the purpose. Sooner or later he would therefore activa te his energy towards liberation. As such, faith in these fundamentals is also termed as Samyag Darshan.

Of these nine Tattvas, only soul or Jiva is conscious and animate. All others are inanimate or lifeless. In that sense they all are Ajivas. Lifeless objects are however of two types. Some objects have form and shape and have properties of smell, color, odor and taste. Such objects are known as matter or Pudgal and constitute one of the six basic substances or Dravyas as we call them. While talking of Ajiva as one of the nine fundamentals, we really mean this Pudgal that has impact on soul. The rest of the seven fundamentals are not Dravyas. Jiva and Ajiva being the Dravyas, form part of six Dravyas. That is known as Shaddravya in Jain terminology.

30 August 2010

Essence of Jainism - 2 - Know thy Self

He who knows one (soul), also knows all; he who knows all, knows the one.

When one talks of religion, the question may arise, ‘Why do we bother about religion? Could we not be happy in this life without worrying about religion?’ One may be healthy, have a lovable spouse and children that they love, may have enough earning from job or profession and possess all the amenities that one needs. What more is religion going to offer? These are legitimate questions. Let us therefore examine them. The concept underlying these questions revolves round our body. Its health, its relations, its well being, comforts and luxuries it can indulge into, are supposed to bring forth happiness. Accordingly, when such situations are to our liking, we happen to consider ourselves happy. Unfortunately however the body with which we identify ourselves and also everything around it happen to be transitory. All the situations are ephemeral. The happiness that we might be experiencing from such situations, can disappear at any time. We do not know what is going to happen the next moment. As such our so called happiness happens to be unstable and short-lived.

Even if situations conducive to our interest were likely to continue indefinitely, peace and happiness may not result there from. As poet Shelley put it in one of his poems, we are prone to ‘look before and after and pine for what is nought.’ Hardly any one feels satisfied with what he has. We have the tendency to desire what we don’t have. Our desires are endless and as long as desires remain unsatisfied, no one can ever feel happy and experience real peace that can lead to blissful pleasure. We may strive hard for achieving that pleasure but hardly any one attains it any time during the life. This is because we hardly try to explore who we are and what is our true nature. Nothing against our nature is going to give us lasting happiness or real satisfaction.

Jain scriptures therefore define religion as ‘Vatthu Sahavo Dhammo’. It means that religion is the nature or property of matter. Without knowing ourselves and without realizing our own nature, we have been trying to gain happiness. No wonder that it eludes us, because we have been trying to gain it from extraneous circumstances. In a way, we have been dwelling, all the time, in a state of delusion about ourselves. We can as well say that we have been pursuing a mirage. Herein comes the role of religion.

A generally accepted definition of religion is ‘Dharayati Iti Dharmah’ It means that what holds (from falling) is religion. Our remaining in the deluded state constitutes a fall and religion tends to protect us therefrom. It teaches us that the physical body with which we identify ourselves is live on account of the soul that abides within it. That soul is our real self. We are the consciousness pervading the body and our association with body terminates at the end of life. The true nature of consciousness is to know whatever happens without any sense of craving or aversion. It is therefore futile to be pleased or displeased with different situations. Thus by revealing our true nature, the religion helps in extricating ourselves from the deluded state in which we have been entangled since the time without beginning. Religion teaches us to know ourselves. He who knows the soul, knows every thing else. This is so because knowledge of true Self as pure, enlightened, unaging, immortal and ever blissful soul can lead to the state of desirelessness. This, of course, does not mean that we should not try to change an undesirable situation; nor does it endorse inaction. As long as the soul is embodied, it would stay active. There are different types of activities that a monk or a layman should undertake . Religion however prescribes that every one should undertake activities destined for him, vigorously but without any degree of attachment. This would mean facing any situation dispassionately without reacting in terms of craving or aversion. In Jain term inology this is called Jnata-Drashta approach which is similar to Nishkam Karmayoga of Geeta. The common objective is to enable one to view every situation, comfortable or uncomfortable, with equanimity and without any way getting agitated. That would amount to knowing oneself and abiding in one’s own blissful nature.

Source: Essense of Jainism - By Manubhai Doshi

29 August 2010

Essence of Jainism - 1 - Search for Happiness


May the entire universe attain bliss, may all beings be oriented to the interest of others, let all faults be eliminated and may people be happy everywhere. May all persons be happy, may all be disease free, may all attain well being and let no one be overtaken by miseries. Every living being desires happiness and endeavours to avoid pain and suffering. The question arises how these objectives can materialize. Generally a person may feel happy if he gets whatever he desires and can avoid everything that he does not like. Situations however do occur which are not in his interest or do not conform to his likings. Even when situations occur according to one’s choice, it is not within his power to make sure that those very situations would continue to last as long as he likes. Every situation undergoes change and a person feels miserable when the changed one is not to his liking. Moreover desires and likes or dislikes of all beings are not identical. What one person loves may be of utter distaste to another. It is therefore impossible that everything can happen to every one’s taste. Viewed in this light it would seem that there cannot possibly be a way for making everyone happy. Fortunately however there is a way.

Two verses, one each from Jain and Hindu traditions quoted address to that way. It would be seen that they have the identical meaning. Both of them convey the same message of well-being for all, for the whole universe and of removal of all evils. Vaidic and Shraman(Jain and Buddhist) traditions have grown side by side; both have borrowed from and influenced each other. They happen to be two sisters having more or less identical and/or complementary approach. It is therefore not surprising that Jain scholars have time and again insisted on the study of not only Jainism but also on the six schools of thought prevalent in India and collectively known as Shaddarshan. Broadly classified, they are known as Vedic and Shraman traditions, both having origin from the same Indo Aryan culture. Both of them have addressed to the problem of universal happiness and have discovered that the way is to wish and act for happiness and well being of all. If every one acts accordingly , the world can turn into paradise and there would not be any misery; at least the man-made misery would come to an end.

Indian philosophies being spiritually oriented, they do not restrict themselves only to the happiness in this world. Almost all of them believe in existence of eternal soul and continually changing pattern of every thing else. Therefore they seek happines s that lasts beyond the present life. Their ultimate aim is to present path of salvation which is defined as termination of embodiment and end of birth and death. However, as long as embodiment continues, their approach is to seek continuing happiness. The two verses therefore exhort every one to look for the well being of all others, to stay meritorious in this life and to be sure of reaping fruits of their merits in subsequent life.

A wise man has rightly said that the place to be happy is ‘here’, the time to be happy is ‘present’ and the way to be happy is ‘to make others happy’.

Source: Essence of Jainism - (By Manubhai Doshi)

29 June 2010

Procedure to Complete the Samayik

Eighth lesson of Samayik

Ehava Navama Samayik Vritna – with regards to nineth vow of samayik

Panch Aiyara – there are five big faults

Janiyavva – which are to be known

Na Samayriyvva – but not to be acted upon

Tan Jaha Te Aloun – by begging forgiveness, I tell them as they are

Manaduppanihane – mistaken or faulty thoughts

Vayaduppanihane – faulty speech

Kayaduppanihane – faulty bodily activities

Samaiyassa Sai Akarnayae – lack of memory about samayik vow

Samaiyassa Anavatthiyassa Karanyae – Samayik done in improper way

Tassa Michhchhami Dukkadam (1) – that mine bad act or sin may be forgiven

Samaiyam – during the vow of samayik

Sammam – nicely with right faith

Kaenam – I have with my body

Fasiyam – touched

Paliyam – behaved or completed

Tiriyam – completed fully or swimmed over

Kittiyam – praised

Sohiyam – purified i.e. done with pure behaviour

Arahiyam – worshipped

Anae – and according to the Lord Arihantas commands or principles

Anupaliyam – the observance

Na – is not

Bhavai – done, then

Tassa Michhchhami Dukkadam (2) - that sin of mine be fruitless or forgiven

Samayik Man – during samayik

Das Manana – ten faults of mind

Das Vachanana – ten faults of speech

Bar Kaya Na – and twelve faults of body

E Batrisa – out of these thirty two

Doshmanthi – faults

Koi Dosha – whatever faults

Lagyo Hoi To – I may have commited

Tassa Michhchhami Dukkadam (3) - that sin of mine be fruitless or forgiven

Samayik Man – during the Samayik

Strikatha *– talks about women ( * Women should say here “Purush katha)

Bhattakatha – talks about food

Deshkatha – talks about country

Rajkatha – and talks about politics

E Char – out of these four

Vikatha – useless gossips

Manheli – from or out of

Koi Vikatha – whatever gossips

Kari Hoi To – I may have done

Tassa Michhchhami Dukkadam (4) - that sin of mine be fruitless or forgiven

Samayik Man – during samayik

Ahar Sangnya – the instinct of eating

Bhay Sangnya – the instinct of fear

Maithuna Sangnya – the instinct of sex

Parigrah Sangnya – the instinct of possessiveness

E char Sangnya – out of these four sangnya

Manheli Koi Sangnya – if any instinct

Kari Koi To – I may have done

Tassa Michhchhami Dukkadam (5) - that sin of mine be fruitless or forgiven

Samayik Man – during samayik

Atikram – the mental fault of transgressing

Vyatikram – becoming ready for transgression

Atichar – resorting to delibrate transgressing or faulty action

Anachar – the complete violation of the vow by acting faultily

Janatan Ajanatan – knowingly or unknowingly

Mane, Vachane, Kaya E Kari – mentally, verbally and/or bodily

Koi Dosh Lagyo Hoi To – I may have commited

Tassa Michhchhami Dukkadam (6) - that sin of mine be fruitless or forgiven

Samayik Vidhie Lidhun – samayik vow is taken in manner

Vidhie Paryun – is completed properly

Vidhie Kartan Avidhie Thayun Hoi To – and while doing it properly, if it is done in an
improper manner I may have commited

Tassa Michhchhami Dukkadam (7) - that sin of mine be fruitless or forgiven

Samayik Man Kano – during samayik respect of the sign of “A”

Matra, Mindi, Pad Akshar – sign of “AA”, sign of nasal, word or letter

Ochhun, Adhika, Viparita – less, more or otherwise

Bhanayun Hoi To – uttered or spoken, then

Ananta Siddha Kevali – in the presence of infinte Siddhas

Bhagavanta Guru Ni Sakhe – and Lords and Gurus

Tassa Michhchhami Dukkadam (8) - that sin of mine be fruitless or forgiven

27 June 2010

3rd Namoththunam sutra (3/3)

Third Namoththunam

Trijun namoththunam mara dharma-guru, dharma-Acharyaji Maharaj Rushi Shree Sat Pujya _____ Swami ne karun chhun –

by Third namoththunam, I pay respect to my religious Guru and religious Acharya, His Holiness Shree *________________ Swami. (* Recite the name of Present Acharya)

Te Swaminath Keva Chhe ? – how is the Swaminath like ?

Panch Mahavrita Na Palanhar Chhe – he is the obsever if five great vows

Panch Indriya Vash Kari Chhe – he has subdued the five senses

Char Kashay Ne Jjitya Chhe - he has conquered the four vices

Bhav Sacche – true in mental emotions

Karan Sacche – true in resorting to means of liberation

Jog Sacche – true mentally, verbally and bodily

Kshmavanta – full of forgiveness

Vairagavanta – dispassionate

Man Samadharna – who has mental balance

Vay Samadharna – verbal balance

Kay Samadharna – bodily balance

Nan Sampanna – who possesses right knowledge

Dansan Sampanna – possesses right faith

Charitra Sampanna – possesses pure character

Vedni Aiyase – who is tolerant to pain and pleasure

Maran Aiyase – tolerant to death

Kriyapatra – true vessel of religious activities

Dharma Jatra – keeps up his religious pilgrimage

Ratri Bhojan Na Tyagi – renunciator of food by night

Panch Sumati E Sumta – endowed with fice controls

Tran Guptie Gupta – protected by three gupties – mond, speech & body

Chha Kay Na Piyar – parents of six types of lives

Chha Kay Na Nath – protector of six types of lives

Sat Bhay Na Talanhar – keeps aside seven fears

Atha Mad Na Galanhar – melter of eight prides

Nav Vade Vishuddha Brahmacharya Na Palanhar – observer of celibacy with nine boundaries

Das Vish Yati Dharma Na Aradhanhar – who practices the ten types of sages’ religion

Bar Bhikhkhu Ni Padima Na Jan – well versed in twelve stages of sages’ practices

Bare Bhede Tapasya Na Karanhar – performer of austerities in twelve ways

Sattare Bhede Sanyam Na Palanhar – observer of restraints of seventeen types

Adhare Bhede Abrahmacharya Na Varjanhar – avoider of copulation of eighteen types

Vis Asamadhi Dosh Na Talanhar – gives up twenty vices causing restlessness

Ekvis Sabala Dosh Na Talanhar – conqueror of twenty one stong or forceful faults

Bavish Parishah Na Jitanhar - conqueror of twenty two discomforts

Pachis Bhavna Na Bhavanhar – mediator of twenty five ideals

Sattavis Sadhuji Na Gune Kari Sahit – endowed with twenty seven virtues of sages

Tris Mahamohini Sthanak Na Varjanhar – avoider of thirty activities causing strong bondages of love and hate

Tetris Ashatna Na Talanhar – avoider thirty three types of insults

Bavan Anachiran Dosh Na Talanhar – avoider of fifty two faults not acted upon by sages

Betalis Panch Sadtalisa – forty two five totally forty seven

Oganpachas Jumle Chhannu Dosh Tali – and forty nine i.e. totally ninety six faults are avoided

Shudhdha Ahar Pani Na Lenar – while accepting pure food and water

Sachitta Na Tyagi – abandoning live items

Achet Na Bhogi – the users of life-less items

Mahavairagi – greatly indifferent to pleasures and pains

Panditraj – supreme among scholars

Kaviraj – best among poets

Muniraj – great among sages

Dhirajvanta – the patient

Lajjavanta – the modest

Sutra Sidhdhant Na Pargami – well versed in scriptures and doctrines

Tedya Ave Nahi – does not come when invited

Notrya Jay Nahi – would not go even when invited

Talave Tarsya – remains thirsty at the lake

Velae Bhukhya – remains hungry at the time of meals

Kanchan Kamini Thi Dur – remains apart from wealth and women

Nirlobhi – free from greed

Nirlachu – free from covetousness

Safari Jahaj Saman – he is like a sailing ship

Nirgantha Purush – free from the knots of wealth and attachment

Taran Taran – the swimmer and helping others to swim

Tarani Nava Saman – like a boat

Sinh Ni Pare Shurvir – brave like a lion

Sagar Ni Pare Gambhir – deeply calm like an Ocean

Chandan Ni Pare Shitalkari – cool as a Sandalwood or Moon

Suraj Ni Pare Udyot Na Karnar – enlighter like Sun

Trividhe Trividhe Vrita Pachchakhan Na Palanhar – the observer of vows and restraints by three activities and three yogas

E Ade Daine Anek Gune Kari Sahit – with regards to above and other virtues of your holiness

Tam Sambandhi – with regards to you

Tamara Marg Sambandhi – with regards to your path

Tamara Jinan, Darshan, Charitra, Tap Sambandhi – with regards to your knowledge, vision or faith, character and austerity

Ajna Divas Sambandhi – with regards to today

Avinay – impertinence

Abhakti – lack of devotion

Ashantana – indignity

Aparadh – or fault

Kidho Hoy – which I may have done

To – then or for that

Hath Jodi – by folding my palms

Man Modi – by giving up my pride

Panch Anga Namavi – by fully bowing down my head and body – consisting of five senses

Tran Var Pradakshina Dai – by thrice the round movements of my hands

Tikhkhutto No Path Bhani – and by reciting the lesson of Tikhkhuto thrice

Bhujo Bhujo – again and again

Khamavun chhun – I beg forgiveness

Source : Internet

24 June 2010

2nd Namoththunam sutra (2/3)

2nd Namoththunam sutra (2/3)

Second Namoththunam

Beejun Namoththunam, je vartman kale panch-maha-videha kshetra man Tirthankar dev biraje tamne karun chhun – In this second namoththunam, I pay respect to Tirthankars staying at present in five great videha territories

Note – Now one has to repeat the first namoththunam from the words “namoththunam” upto “Thanam” then recite the following –

Sampaviukamanam – who are desirous of obtaining liberation

Namo Jinanam – I bow down, Oh ! Lord Jineshwar

Jiya Bhayanam – conqueror of seven fears

Vandaminam – I bow down to you

Bhagvantam – Oh ! Lord

Taththagayam – you are staying there

Ehagaye – I am here

Pasaome – please see me

Bhagvanta – Oh ! Lord

Taththagaye – you are staying there

Ehagayam – I bow down from here

Source: Internet

22 June 2010

Namoththunam sutra (expressing respect to the virtuous) - 1/3

Seventh Lesson of Samayik

Namoththunam sutra (expressing respect to the virtuous)

(Establishing the right knee on the ground and keeping upright the left knee, folding the two hands and keeping them joined near the head, we should recite the three Namoththunas)

First Namoththunam

Pahelun Namoththunam Shree Ananta Sidhdha Bhagvantji Ne Karun Chhun – firstly I recite namoththunam to infinte Lord Sidhdhas.

Namoththunam – let my respects be to

Arihantanam – Lord Arihantas

Bhagvantanam – Gods

Aigaranam – the first promoters of religion

Tiththayaranam – the founders of four tirthas – sadhu, sadhvi, shravak, shravika

Sayam-sambudhdhanam – the self enlightened ones

Purisuttamanam – supreme among all humans

Purisasihanam – like the lions among human-beings

Purisavar Pundariyanam – like the best Pundarik lotuses among the humans

Purisa-var-gandhahaththinam – like the best elephant among the humans

Loguttamanam – topmost in the Universe

Loga-Nahanam – the Masters of the Universe

Loga-Hianam – beneficent to all the lives in the Universe

Loga-Paivanam – like a lamp in the Universe

Loga-Pajjoagaranam – like sun enlightening the Universe

Abhayadayanam – donors of security or protection

Chakhkhudayanam – bestowers of vision in the form of knowledge

Maggadayanam – demonstrators of the right religious path

Saran Dayanam – givers of shelter

Jivdayanam – savers of souls

Bohidayanam – preachers of right faith

Dhammadayanam – the showers of religious path

Dhammadesayanam – the preachers of religion

Dhammanayaganam – the leaders of religion

Dhammasarhinam – charioteers of religion

Dhammavar – prime in the religion

Chauranta-Chakka-Vattinam – the great emperors (chakravati) for ending the souls transmigration from four birth cycles

DivoTanam – an island for the souls sinking in the life ocean who are protection incarnate (removers of grief)

Sarana Gai Paiththanam – saviours in four birth-cycle of the souls in the life ocean

Appadihayavara – who cannot be killed or obstructed the best

Nanadansana-Dharanam – bearers of absolute knowledge and vision

Viatta-Chhaumanam – gone is whose ignorance

Jinanam – victors of likes and dislikes

Javayanam – causing others to win their likes and dislikes

Tinnanam – who have swimmed over the life-ocean of transmigration

Tarayanam – life-bouys for others

Budhdhanam – the self enlightened ones

Bohayanam – inspirers of enlightened faith to others

Muttanam – self liberated from karmas

Moaganam – liberators of others from eight karmas

Savvannunam – the Omniscient Lords

Savvadarisinam – with all pervading vision

Siva – free from calamity

Mayala – firm like a mountain

Maruya – free from diseases

Mananta – endless

Makhkhaya – undestructable

Mavvabaha – conquerors of pain and sorrow

Mapunaravitti – where there is no return to sansar

Siddhi gai – the position to liberation

Namdheyam – by that immortal name

Thanam – and place

Sampattanam – who have achieved

Namo Jinanam – I bow down, Oh ! Lord Jineshwar

Jiya Bhayanam – conqueror of seven fears

20 June 2010

Karemi Bhante (The procedure to adopt the vow of Samayik)


(The procedure to adopt the vow of Samayik)

Dravya thaki – Materially

Savajja Joga – the sinful activities

Sevavana Pachchakhana – I abandon (forbid) to do

Kshetra thaki – the field or space duration

Akha Loka pramane – being the entire Universe

Kala thaki – the time duration

Be ghadi sudhi – being upto two ghadis (one hour)

Te upranta ne parun tyan sudhi – and above that till I do not complete it

Bhava thaki – by perceptive view point

Atha Kotie – by eight limitations

Upayoga Sahita – with effective vigilance

Pachchakhana – the vow of abandonment

Karemi Bhante ! – I perform, Oh Respected Lords,

Samaiyam – the Samayik

Savajjam Jogam – of all sinful activites

Pachchakhami – I restrain and give up, by vow

Java Niyamam – till my vow lasts

Pajjuvasami – I worship you, Oh ! Lords

Duviham Tivihenam * – with two fold activities & three fold yoga

Na Karemi – I will not do and

Na Karavemi – I will not make others do

Manasa, Vayasa, Kayasa – by mind, speech and body

Karantam nanu janami – and the doings (sins) by others will not be felt fit and proper by me

Vayasa, Kayasa – by speech and body

Tassa – from all this sins

Bhante ! – O Respected Lords !

Padikkamami – I restrain and remove my self

Nindami – I hate or censure the sins with the attestation of my Soul

Garihami – I reprove the Sins with the perception of my Dharma Guru

Appanam – my soul

Vosirami – I vow to free from sins.

Note : * Three Activities – To do, to get it done, to consider proper others doing it.
Three yoga – Mind, Speech and Body

The Meaning and Explanation of the Sixth Lesson
The procedure of accepting the vow of Samayik and its duration is explained in this lesson. One Samayik is of two ghadis i.e. one hour. In this way we should take the permission of Dharma Guru if present or the permission of Shree Simandhar Swami (staying in Panch Mahavideha Kshetra) in the absence of the Dharma Guru for the duration of Samayik. The behaviour during Samayik is also well explained.

During Samayik, we exclude ourselves mentally, verbally and physically from all the sins by not doing them ourself and by not asking others to do them. Also, we do not feel fit verbally and physically the others doing sins.

We should remain in the undisturbed peace of religious meditation and try to change the attitude of souls from sins.

17 June 2010

Logassa (A Jin Prayer)

Fifth Lesson of Samayik


Logassa – in the entire Universe

Ujjoyagare – causing pleasant light

Dhamma Tiththayare – Founders of the Four Tirthas (rescuers)

Jine – The conquerors of attachment and hatred

Arihante – Lord Arihantas, the destroyers of Karma Foes ( Karma : effective power of past activities)

Kittaissam – I gloriously praise

Chauvisam – the Twenty-Four

Pi – and all others

Kevali – Omniscent Lords

Usabha – (I bow to) Rushabhdev Swami (1)

Majiyam – Ajitnath Swami (2)

Cha – and

Vande – I bow down to

Sambhava – Sambhavnath Swami (3)

Mabhinandanam – Abhinandan Swami (4)

Cha – and

Sumaim – Sumatinath Swami (5)

Cha – and

Paumappaham – Padmaprabhu Swami (6)

Supasam – Suparshavanath Swami (7)

Jinam – the conquerors of attachment and hatred

Cha – and to

Chandppaham – Chandraprabhu Swami (8)

Vande – I bow down to

Suvihim – Suvidhinath Swami (9)

Cha – and whose second name is

Puphphadantam – Pushpadanta Swami

Siala – Shitalnath Swami (10)

Sijjamsa – Shreyansanath Swami (11)

Vasupujjam – Vasupujya Swami (12)

Cha – and

Vimala – Vimalnath Swami (13)

Mananatam – Ananthnath Swami (14)

Cha – and to

Jinam – Jinas who have conquered love and hatred

Dhamman – Dharmanath Swami (15)

Santim – Shantinath Swami (16)

Cha – and

Vandami – I bow down to

Kunthum – Kunthunath Swami (17)

Aram – Arnath Swami (18)

Cha – and

Mallim – Mallinath Swami (19)

Vande – I bow down to

Munisuvvayam – Munisuvrata Swami (20)

Nami – Naminath Swami (21)

Jinam – Jinas, the conquerors of Karmas

Cha – and

Vandami – I bow down to

Riththnemim – Aristanemi i.e. Neminath Swami (22)

Pasam – Parsavanath Swami (23)

Taha – and also to

Vadhdhamanam – Vardhman i.e. Mahavir Swami (24)

Cha – and

Evam – in this way

Mae – by me

Abhithua – are praised

Vihuya Raya mala – those who have removed the Karma dust and the Karma dirt

Pahina Jara Marana – who have subdued or destroyed the old age and death

Chauvisam – the Twenty Four

Pi – and all other

Jinavara – Omnisient Jinas

Tiththayara Me – Tirthankaras with me

Pasiyantu – be pleased (5)

Kittiya – (I have) praised you ( by speech)

Vandiya – bowed down (to you physically)

Mahiya – worshipped (you mentally)

Je E – who are in

Logassa – the Universe

Uttama – the Best

Siddha – Liberated Souls

Arugga – (may deliver my soul) health (i.e. may free my soul from diseases of Karma)

Bohi Iabham – (may bestow upon me) the benefits of clear and right faith

Samahi Var Muttamam – and deep meditation the Supreme position (of the liberated souls)

Dintu – may They give me

Chandesu Nimmalayara – more than Moon you are purer

Aichchesu Ahiyam Payasayara – than Sun more Enlightening Light Giver

Sagarvara Gambhira – like great ocean you are deeply calm

Sidhdha – Oh Lord Siddhas

Sidhdhim – Liberation (emancipation)

Mama Disantu – upon me may be bestowed

The Meaning and explanation of the fifth lesson
This lesson has seven verses. The names of the twenty four Tirthankars and their Virtues are praised. They have achieved Liberation (Moksha) by destroying their eight Karmas. We should follow their foot steps to gain those Virutes to achieve the position of eternal peace and happiness.

15 June 2010

Tassa Uttari Sutra (Elevation of my Soul)

Fourth Lesson of Samayik

TASSA UTTARI SUTRA (Elevation of my soul)

Tassa – For the

Uttari – elevation (of my soul)

Karanenam – for doing

Payachhchhitta – expiation (removal of sins)

Karanenam – for doing

Visohi – more purification (of my soul)

Karanenam – for doing

Visalli – the darts (in the form of hypocrisy, ardent desires and false faith)

Karanenam – for doing

Pavanam – sinful actions

Kammanam – effects

Nigghayanaththae – for destroying

Thami – I stay

Kaussaggam – in a motionless posture

Annaththa – with (twelve) exceptions as follows:

Usasienam – breathing in deeply (1)

Nisasienam – breathing out deeply (2)

Khasienam – due to coughing (3)

Chhienam – due to sneezing (4)

Jambhaienam – due to yawning (5)

Udduenam – due to eructation (6)

Vaya-Nisaggenam – due to eruptation of bodily gas (7)

Bhamalie – due to feeling of giddieness or dizzy (8)

Pitta Muchhchhae – due to vomiting sensation, or fainting (9)

Suhumehim – due to subtle

Anga Sanchalehim – bodily movements (10)

Suhumehim – due to subtle

Khel Sanchalehim - cough movements (11)

Suhumehim – due to subtle

Diththi Sanchalehim – eyes movements (12)

Eva Maiehim – these twelve types and other

Agarehim – exceptions

Abhaggo – let my steady posture be undisturbed

Avirahio – not violated (without violating the mode)

Hujja Me – let my

Kaussaggo – motionless posture be

Java Arihantanam – as long as to Arihantas

Bhagavantanam – to the Lords

Namokkarenam – by reciting the Namaskar pad mentally

Na Paremi – (I) do not complete (the motionless posture)

Tava Kayam – till then (I keep) my body

Thanenam – in motionless posture at one place

Monenam – in complete silence (without speaking but reciting mentally)

Jhanenam – in meditation

Appanam – (I give up) my soul

Vosirami – by remaining aloof

Note : The words from “Thanenam” to “Vosirami” should be recieted mentally without moving the lips. Then “Irriyavahi” and “Namokar Mantra” should be mentally recited (meditated) in the Kaussagga i.e. the motionless posture.

The meaning and explanation of the fourth lesson
In this lesson, the procedure of doing the Kaussagga (the motionless posture), the exceptions kept open, the reasons for doing it and the duration period are well explained.

13 June 2010

Iriyavahiyam Sutra (Expiation or Atonement)

3rd Lesson in Samayik

IRIYAVAHIYAM SUTRA (Expiation or Atonement)

Ichhchhami – I desire to

Padikkamium – Remove (Free) myself from Sin

Iriya Vahiyae – While walking on the road

Virahanae – I may have pained (distressed) the living beings

Gamanagamane – While coming and going

Panakkamane – I may have crushed the living beings

Biyakkamane – I may have crushed the live (animate) seeds

Hariyakkamane – I may have crushed the (live) plants

Osa – The dew

Uttinga – The anthills

Panaga – The moss of five colors

Daga – The live water

Matti – The live earth

Makkada – The webs of the spiders

Santana – The expansion of the spider’s webs

Sankkamane – I may have crushed

Je – Whoever

Me – By me

Jiva – Living beings

Virahiya – May have been caused pain or tormented

Egindiya – The souls having one sense i.e. the sense of touch (e.g. earth, water, fire, air and plants)

Beindiya – The souls with two senses namely, the sense of touch and taste (e.g. worms, water worms, the conch, shell, etc.)

Teindiya – The souls with three senses i.e. the sense of touch, taste and smell (e.g. ants, black ants, lice, bigger lice, etc.)

Chaurindiya – The souls with four senses namely the sense of touch, taste, smell and vision (e.g. flies, bees, wasps, etc.)

Panchindiya – The souls with all the five senses namely the sence of touch, taste, smell, vision and hearing, (e.g. beings of water – fishes, etc., beings of land – animals like horses, etc., beings flying in the sky – birds, etc., all animals, men , heaven dwellers and hell dwellers.

Abhihaya – May have beaten or struck while coming

Vattiya – May have covered or mixed with dust, etc.

Lesiya – May have rubbed

Sanghaiya – May have collided with one another

Sanghattiya – May have caused pain by touching or tilting

Pariyaviya – May have tormented (by entirely turning upside down)

Kilamiya – May have inflicted pain to them

Udaviya – May have frightened them

Thanao-Thanam – from one place to another

Sankamiya – May have shifted

Jeeviyao – from life

Vavaroviya – May have separated from life or made life-less

Tassa Michhchha Mi Dukkadam – that mine bad act or sin may be forgiven

The Meaning and Explanation of the Third Lesson

In this lesson we beg humbly for forgiveness for whatever sins which might have been committed by us knowingly or unknowingly. The details of possible sins are given and thus by begging for forgiveness, we become light from sins (i.e. free from the possible Karma-Dust).

03 June 2010

Jain Cosmic Time Cycle

If image is not visible then below is the illustration of the same
Starts at
Avsarpani - the half cycle of increasing sorrow
1st Ara - Susam Susam
2nd Ara - Susam
3rd Ara - Susam Dusham
4th Ara - Dusam Susam (The era of 24 Tirthankar's)
5th Ara - Dusam (The Current era of modern times)
6th Ara - Dusam-Dusam

now the cycle starts again in reverse beginning from 6th Ara to 1st Ara
Known as Utsarpani - The Half cycle of increasing Happiness.

Source: Internet

19 May 2010

Guru Vandana (Thikhkhutto)

GURU VANDAN SUTRA (Thrice Kneeling)

Thikhkhutto : Three Times

Ayahinam : From the right side back to the right side with folded hands

Payahinam : With round movements

Karemi : I do..

Vandami : bow down

Namamsami : kneel down

Sakkaremi : I honour

Sammanemi : I pay respect

Kallanam : You are Blesses

Mangalam : You are Auspicious

Devayam : You are Divine

Cheiyam : You are Knowledge Incarnate (giving peace to all the six kinds of souls)

Pajjuvasami : I worship (Your Holiness)

Mathaenaam Vandami

11 May 2010

48 mins of Samayik...

Samayik is one of the most important ritual practice of Jainism during which we try to come closer to our soul. During samayik, we sit down in one place for forty-eight minutes isolating ourselves from our daily household, social, business, or school activities. In this time, we read religious books, pray, worship, recite rosary, or do meditation. Before starting samayik, we remove our regular clothes and wear simple, but clean white cotton clothes which are kept for samayik only. We do not wear silk clothes or any leather articles which involves much violence to bugs or animals. White is the symbol of purity and calmness and that reminds us that we should stay pure and calm.

Some of the items we need during samayik are an asan, muhapati, rajoharan, ghadi, anupurvi, rosary and religious books that will help us to carry out some religious activities. After cleaning the ground with rajoharan, the asan is spread to sit. A muhapati is used to cover the mouth. Some people tie it to cover their mouth, while others hold it in their hand and use it to cover their mouth while speaking. A muhapati prevents small organisms from entering the mouth. It also becomes a buffer so that force of our voice and the hot air from our mouths would not kill any air beings. A muhapati also prevents spit falling on books. It also serves as a reminder to us that we should control what we say to others. A rajoharan is a kind of broom made of fine cotton or woolen threads used to clean the floor, and also to keep away the bugs coming towards us, so that they do not get hurt. If for some reason someone has to walk during a Samayik then the rajoharan is used to wipe the floor so that no bugs are crushed. A ghadi is a type of hourglass which helps us to know the time of 48 minutes. During the samayik some people read religious books, while others may recite Navkar mantra with the rosary or with the help of anupurvi or some may do mediation.

During samayik, we should not talk or think of anything that involves any level of violence. Therefore, before starting a samayik we should stop our business activities, family affairs, and other matters, so that we do not get disturbed. We should inform our friends and family members to leave us alone from these matters during this time. During the samayik we should not discuss, read or talk about sensual things, or things related to the worldly things. During the samayik, our movements also should be limited so that we can observe ahimsa (non-violence) more easily. We should select a quiet, isolated place so that we are not disturbed by events going on around us. Because of such a detached atmosphere, and since we do not get involved in any worldly things for 48 minutes of samayik, we are like sadhus who live a detached life all throughout the life. Thus, this practice gives us some glimpse of monkshood and leads us in that direction.

Just as we have to be careful about how we drive to avoid an accident, or get a speeding ticket, in the same way we have to be careful that we do not run into any trouble while performing our samayik. If we are careful then we can violate samayik by our mental, verbal and physical activities.

There are ten mental violations:
1) to be disrespectful,
2) to be greedy for fame,
3) to be greedy for gains,
4) to be proud,
5) to be in fear,
6) to expect the rewards,
7) to doubt the rewards,
8) to be in anger,
9) to be rude, and
10) to despise.

There are ten verbal violations:
1) to use an abusive words,
2) to use alarming words,
3) to say non-religious words,
4) to speak inadequate,
5) to use words to incite fight,
6) to gossip,
7) to make fun,
8) to pronounce improperly,
9) to use irrational words, and
10) to jargon.

There are twelve physical violations:
1) to sit at an unsuitable place,
2) not to sit steady,
3) to walk every now and then,
4) doing home work,
5) to stretch the body,
6) to lean against a support,
7) being lazy,
8) cracking knuckles,
9) to clean body dirt,
10) to scratch body,
11) to make vulgar postures, and
12) to sleep.

Though it may look difficult, it is not impossible to do samayik the right way.

This way samayik helps us in preventing the accumulation of new karmas and the penance we do during samayik helps us to remove some of our accumulated karmas.

Source : Internet

29 April 2010

Theory of Anekantavad

The Universe is a composite of groups consisting of adverse pairs like knowledge and ignorance, pleasure and sorrow, life and death and so on. Life depends on such adverse groups. All the groups have their own interests, which create clashes and conflicts in thinking among themselves. Religion is supposed to pacify these clashes through coexistence on socialistic pattern of society. The coexistence cannot be remained without relativity.

Jaina philosophy is based on the nature of reality, which is considered through non-absolutism (Anekantavada). According to this view, reality possesses infinite characteristics, which cannot be perceived or known at once by any ordinary man. Different people think about different aspects of the same reality and therefore their partial findings are contradictory to one another. Hence they indulge in debates claiming that each of them was completely true. The Jaina philosophers thought over this conflict and tried to reveal the whole truth. They established the theory of a Non-absolutist standpoint Anekantavada with its two wings, Nayavada and Syadvada. Proper understanding of the coexistence of mutually opposing groups through these principles rescues one from conflicts. Mutual co-operation is the Law of Nature.

Things are visible and invisible as well. We stand by visible objects and accept them as they surely are but do not recognise their invisible characteristics. Until and unless one does not recognise both these characters of an object, he cannot reach to the truth and justice. None is absolutely similar or dissimilar, friend or enemy, good or bad. As a matter of fact, every entity hides in itself the innumerable possibilities. Coal can be converted into the state of a diamond or coal is the first stage of diamond. This is the conception of Anekantavada. 

It should be remembered here that total impossibility of becoming is very rare. Rational cannot be irrational and irrational cannot be rational. On the contrary, it can be converted into some thing else. One becomes desperate, as he does not understand the theory of relativity. He forgets that the modes are not imperishable. They are to be changed. Sorrow can be converted into pleasure. Absoluteness has no meaning in any field. Substance cannot be fully explained without the assistance of Anekantavada. Life itself cannot be properly understood without this philosophical notion. Plurism, monotheism existence and non- existence, eternality and non-eternality and so on go together. These characters of an entity can be comprehended with the help of real standpoint (Niscayanaya) and Practical standpoint (Vyavaharanaya).

The Jaina believes that a substance is dynamic (Padnami) in character. It means a thing is eternal from real standpoint and momentary from practical standpoint. Causal efficiency is possible neither in a thing which is of the static nature (Kutasthanitya) nor in a thing, which is incongruous with the doctrine of momentariness (Ksanikavada), but it is possible only in a thing, which is permanent-in-change. (Parinamanastila).

According to Jainism, an entity has infinite characteristics, which are divided into two categories, viz. Universal and Particular. Just as different colours can exist in a lustrous gem without conflicting with each other, so the universal and particular elements could abide in a reality. Thus each and every reality is universalised-Cum-particularized along with substance with modes (Dravyaparyayatmaka). Here Dravya represents the Universal character and Paryaya represents the particular character of a thing. For example, a jar is made of gold, which can be changed into several modes, while preserving gold as a permanent substance. They are mutually inter-dependent, identical and separate from each other.

The nature of reality, according to this theory, is permanent-in- change. It possesses three common characteristics, such as Utpada (origination), Vyaya (destruction) and Dhrauvya (permanence through birth and decay). It also possesses the attributes (Gunas) called Anvayi, which coexist with substance (Dravya) and modifications (Paryaya) called Vyatireki, which succeed each other. Productivity and destructivity constitute the synarnic aspect of an entity and permanence is its enduring factor.

Nayavada (the theory of partial truth) is an integral part of the conception of Anekantavada, which is essential to conceive the sole nature of reality. It provides the scope for acceptance of different viewpoints on the basis that each reveals a partial truth about an object. It is, as a matter of fact, a way of approach and observation which is an imperative necessity to understand of one's different interests and inclinations in different lights on the basis that there could be a valid truth in each of them, and therefore requires their proper value and impartial estimation. Naya investigates analytically a particular standpoint of the problem in all respects in the context of the entire reality. But if anything is treated as the complete truth, it is not Naya, but Durnaya or Nayabhasa or Kunaya. For instance, "it is" is Naya, and "it is and is only" is Durnaya, while "it is relatively (Syat)" is an example of Syadvada.

Syadvada investigates them into a constant and comprehensive synthesis. The prefix "Syat" in the Syadvada represents the existence of these characteristics, which, though not perceived at the moment, are present in reality. The word "Syat" is an in- declinable and stands for multiplicity or multiple character (Anekanta). It reveals certainly regarding any problem and not merely the possibility or probability. It is unique contribution of Jainism to Indian philosophy. There is a word Kathancit in Sanskrit literature, which is used as a substitute for "Syat" by Jains as well as non-Jaina philosophers. In English it may be translated with the word "relatively".

Syadvada is connected with relative expression   about the nature of reality. It makes an effort to respect other doctrines by warning us against allowing the use of "eva" or "only" to proceed beyond its prescribed limits and penetrates the truth patiently and non-violently. It is a humble attitude of tolerance and justice and to pay respect for other's views. This view can be understood by Saptabhangi or the theory of seven-fold prediction, which is a method of cognition to comprehend the correct nature of reality through a sevenfold relative dialectic method. It is treated as complementary to the Syadvada doctrine. Akalanka thinks of it as a way, which considers reality in a positive (Vidhimukhena) and a negative (Nisedhamukhena) manner without incompatibility in a certain context.
Source: Internet

18 April 2010

Graphical Sections of Jain Sangh.

Jain Section Image : From United Jain Sangha To current state.

Source: Internet

15 April 2010

Section in Jain Order : Shwetambar Terapanth (Part 4/4)

Jain > Shwetambar > Terapanthi

  • Terapanthi: Terapantha got originated from the Sthanakvasi sect. Acharya Bhikshu (Formerly known as Muni Bhikanji) was formerly a Sthanakwasi saint and had initiation from his Guru, by name Acharya Raghunatha. Acharya Bhikshu had differences with his Guru on several aspects of religious practices of Sthanakwasi ascetics and when these took a serious turn, he founded Terapanth on the full-moon day in the month of Asadha in the year Vikram Samvat 1817, i.e., 1760 A.D.
    • Nomenclature of "Terapantha" One day, thirteen Shravakas (lay followers) were performing samayika 13 in a spacious shop in the middle of the market at Jodhpur. Fatechandji, the Divan (the chief minster of Jodhpur-state), passing by the market, saw this strange scene people performing religious rites in a shop! Greatly surprised, he asked the lay followers, "Why are you performing your samayika here in a shop, instead of in a sthanaka?" The Shravakas narrated the whole event of how Muni Bhikhanji had separated from Acharya Raghunathaji. Having heard the explanation and the cause of events, the Divana appreciated Bhikanji's stand. He asked, "How many followers of his new path are there? They replied "Sir! we are thirteen in number." The Divan further inquired about the number of monks supporting Bhikanji. The followers replied, "Monks are also thirteen in number!" The Divan said, "It is a wonderful coincidence that the number of both the monks and the lay followers is thirteen!" 
    • At that time, a poet, belonging to the sevaka caste, was standing nearby. He instantly composed a verse 
Sadha sadha ro gilo karai, te to apa aparo mania, Sunajyo re shahar ra loka, ai terapanthi tanta.
    • In this way, the new group became popular as 'Terapantha' literally meaning a sect of 13 (monks). When Acharya Bhikshu came to know about this couplet, he interpreted it in a different way. At once, he descended from his seat, sat down in the posture of obeisance, and paying his obeisance to Lord Mahavira, he proclaimed with joy. "O Lord! It is thy (tera) path (panth). I am only a follower of it. 
    • Thus Acharya Bhikshu interpreted the Terapantha to mean "the Lord's path" and also bestowed it with deeper religious significance. 
    • The Terapanthis are non-idolatrous and are very finely organized under the complete direction of one Acharya, that is, religious head. In its history of little more than 200 years, the Terapantha had a succession of only 9 Acharyas from the founder Acharya Bhikshu as the First Acharya to the present Acharya Tulsi as the 9th Acharya. 
    • This practice of regulating the entire Pantha by one Acharya only has become a characteristic feature of the Terapantha and an example for emulation by other Panthas. It is noteworthy that all monks and nuns of the Terapantha scrupulously follow the orders of their Acharya, preach under his guidance and carry out all religious activities in accordance with his instructions.
    • Further, the Terapantha regularly observes a remarkable festival known as Maryada Mahotasava. This distinctive festival is celebrated every year on the 7th day of the bright half of the month of Magha when all ascetics and lay disciples, male and female, meet together at one predetermined place and discuss the various problems of Terapanthis.
    • The penance of Terapanthis is considered to be very severe. The dress of Terapanthi monks and nuns is akin to that of Sthanakwasi monks and nuns. But there is a difference in the length of muhapatti, i.e., a piece of white cloth kept always on the mouth. The Terapanthis believe that idolatry does not provide deliverance and attach importance to the practice of meditation.
    • Further, it may be stressed that the Terapantha is known for its disciplined organization characterized by one Acharya (i.e., religious head), one code of conduct and one line of thought. The Terapanthis are considered reformists as they emphasize simplicity in religion.
    • Recently their religious head, Acharya Tulsi, had started the Anuvrata Andolana, that is, the small vow movement. which attempts to utilize the spiritual doctrines of the Jains for moral uplift of the masses in India.
    • The activities of learning and studying in Terapantha order are given utmost importance. In the early years, stress was laid on studying the original canonical literature, and many monks and nuns engaged themselves in this activity. 
    • Many books in Rajasthani language were written by Acharya Bhikshu and Jayacharya (the fourth Acharya) for the monks and nuns who were the students and that tradition continued for a long time. During the period of Jayacharya, the study of Sanskrit was phased in. 
    • Jayacharya himself studied and also made his successor, Maghava, to adopt studies in Sanskrit. Venerable Kalugani (the eighth Acharya) focused his attention on the study of both Prakrit and Sanskrit. 
    • Acharya Tulsi (the ninth Acharya) promoted the same tradition with the result that a great number of monks and nuns became proficient in Prakrit and Sanskrit. Later on, in addition to the ancient languages, the ascetics started studying such contemporary languages as Hindi, Gujarati and English. Some of them became experts in "Avadhana" vidya i. e. a technique of extra-ordinary memory. 
    • They also started studying Indian and Western Philosophies. In the beginning, the classical form of study for ascetics was in miscelleneous form study of which remained confined to that between the guru and the disciples. However under the leadership of Acharya Tulsi, systematic graded courses with syllabi of several subjects were initiated. The courses were respectively called Yogya (which is equal to Matric), Yogyatara (equivalent to B.A.), and Yogyatama (equivalent to M. A.). Completion of all the there degrees required a minimum of seven years. 
    • A Ph.D was awarded to those who wrote an original dissertation. 
    • At present, a number of monks and nuns have joined courses in university studies at the Jain Vishva Bharati Institute which is a Deemed University at Ladnun (Rajasthan). However the older courses are also in vogue. 
    • The Terapantha order has made important contribution to the field of not only religious literature but also to that of other kinds of books. Acharya Bhikshu himself composed literature about 38,000 verses in Rajasthani language and Jayacharya created a new record by composing three hundred thousand verses. 
    • Under the patronage of Acharya Shri Tulsi, the work of producing critical editions of the Jain Agamas was started and many monks and nuns actively engaged in this work.The Terapantha is well-known for its valuable contribution to the field of art and craft. 
    • Even foreigners are surprised by seeing the beautiful articles made by the ascetics. The Sangha has excelled in the spheres of drawing, painting, calligraphy, needlework, handicraft and the creation of miniature manuscripts which are considered unique.

The rise of Terapantha is the last big schism in the Swetambara sect and this Pantha is becoming popular. The Terapanthis are still limited in number and even though they are noticed in different cities in India, they are concentrated mainly in Bikaner, Jodhpur and Mewar areas of Rajasthan.

Source: Internet

14 April 2010

Section in Jain Order : Shwetambar Sthanakwasi (Part 3/4)

Jain > Shwetambar > Sthanakwasi

  • Sthanakwasi : The Sthanakwasi arose not directly from the Shwetambars but as reformers of an older reforming sect, viz., the Lonka sect of Jainism. This Lonka sect was founded in about 1474 A.D. by Lonkashah, a rich and well-read merchant of Ahmedabad. 
    • The main principle of this sect was not to practice idol-worship. Later on, some of the members of the Lonka sect disapproved of the ways of life of their ascetics, declaring that they lived less strictly than Mahavira would have wished. A Lonka sect layman, Viraji of Surat, received initiation as a Yati, i.e., an ascetic, and won great admiration on account of the strictness of his life. Many people of the Lonka sect joined this reformer and they took the name of Sthanakwasi, meaning those who do not have their religious activities in temples but carry on their religious duties in places known as Sthanakas which are like prayer-halls. 
    • The Sthanakwasi are also called by terms as 
      • (a) Dhundhiya (searchers) and 
      • (b)Sadhumargi (followers of Sadhus, i.e., ascetics).
    • Except on the crucial point of idol-worship, Sthanakwasi do not differ much from other Shwetambar Jains and hence now-a-days they invariably call themselves as Shwetambar Sthanakwasi. However, there are some differences between the Sthanakwasi; and the Murtipujak Shwetambars in the observance of some religious practices. The Sthanakwasi do not believe in idol-worship at all. As such they do not have temples but only sthanakas, that is, prayer halls, where they carry on their religious fasts, festivals, practices, prayers, discourses, etc. 
    • Further, the ascetics of Sthanakwasi cover their mouths with strips of cloth for all the time and they do not use the cloth of yellow or any other color (of course, except white). 
    • Moreover, the Sthanakwasi admit the authenticity of only 31 of the scriptures of Shwetambars. Furthermore, the Sthanakwasi do not have faith in the places of pilgrimage and do not participate in the religious festivals of Murtipujak Shwetambars.

  • Various unorganized sub-sects in Shwetambar Sthankawasi order 
    • Shraman sangh / Baaees sampraday led by Acharya Dr. Shiv Muni
    • Sadhu Margi Sampraday led by P.P. Hukmichandji Maharaj saheb
    • Gyan Gachchha Sampraday led by P.P.Gachchhadhipati Prakashmuniji M.S.
    • Ratna Vansh Sampraday founded by P.P. Acharya Shri Hastimalji M.S
    • Ajaramar Sampraday
    • Gondal Sampraday
    • Dariyapuri Sampraday
    • Khambhat Sampraday
    • Kachcha 8 Koti Sampraday
    • Kachchha 9 Koti Sampraday
    • Barvala Sampraday
    • Limbadi Gopal Sampraday
    • and few more.
  • The Shwetambar Sthanakwasi are also spread in different business centers in India but they are found mainly in Gujarat, Punjab, Harayana and Rajasthan.

It is interesting to note that the two non-idolatrous sub-sects, viz., Taranapanthis among the Digambars and Sthanakwasi among the Shwetambars, came very late in the history of the Jain. 

About 1474 A.D. the Lonka sect, the first of the non-idolatrous Jain sects, arose and was followed by the Dhundhiya or Sthanakwasi sect about 1653 A.D. dates which coincide strikingly with the Lutheran and Puritan movements in Europe.

Source: Internet