F2 2.4.1 Giving up of Taste
There are four pillars of Jainism. (1) Darshan (2) Gyan (3) Vharitra (4) Tap (Penance).
There are 12 subdivisions of Penance of which 6 are internal and other 6 are external.
In Penance the body and the desires are put to hard test. So that there could be a permanent end to the circuit of life and death. The body and passions are brought back from their wrong path and are restricted by severe controls.
Our 6 External sub division of Penance, Ras Parityag, (Giving up of Taste) is one. The wise people have warned us that penance should be done in a way that there is no ill-feeling for it in one’s mind and the body should not become weaker by it. Such Penance, when done by external motivation is known as external penance. One who is healthy and normal takes his food within limits, takes only such food which is unharmful, takes food according to season and takes food which is conductive to his health.
To give up taste means a vow to respect all the qualities and rules regulations of body. One has to give up e.g. Milk, Curd, Ghee, Oil, Jagery, Sweets etc. Also give up Honey, Butter, Meat and wine (These four are great vigais and are not eatables) This is all Ras Parityag a giving up Taste
The 4 Maha Vigais; are to be given up tottaly, and to give up at leaset one of the other Vigais, as also to give up one of the tastes of sweet, butter, sault, sour, and Hira, is also giving up of taste. Besides there are four jaices one of which can also be given up. That is also giving up of taste.
The aim of the giving up this taste is to pacify the excitement of passions, to stop them becoming exited and to make the soul internalised. The consumption of which exides to passions (Sex) and which brings perversions to body should be given up this is a great contribution of Jainism
F2 2.4.2 To eat little less (Unodari Tap)
Penance is one which destroys the karmas or which becomes medium in it. Out of six external penances, the second one is Unodari
In this penance, one has to take little less food. Ayurveda also indicates in all health rules that eating less is always healthy. Usually a man takes 32 handful of food and a woman 28 jahdful. If one takes little less than this, this penance is done. There are 5 subdivisions in this penance, but all of then indicate only eating less. Desides in its spiritual aspect one has to control the passions like anger.
By Unodary Penance, one gets discipline in food-taking. It has better effect on health. The stomach is also active within its limits. The passions become controlled.
It is said that the sleep, the sex and the food can be reduced or could be increased according to one’s wishes. We may not be able to harder penances; but we can definitely do this one taking less food. It is in our own interest. It is a singal suggesting that extreme of anything is harmful.
F2 2.4.3 Giving up Food after Sunset.
All religious prescribe some norms for food. But in Jainism, we find conscious regular and scientific attitude towards food. There is an emphasis on measurement of food, balanced food and purity of food. Even the scientist and doctors consider the Jain principles and practice of food as digestive healthy and strength providing.
There are 2 kinds of food in Jainism eatable and non-eatable. The meat, wine, honey and butter are always unworthy of eating. There is no argument for it. Likewise, taking any kind of food after sunset is also in that category – never to be taken. After sunset, on any food items, there is always a process if production of subtle. Small jivā, one cannot see them with naked eyes but consumption of any such food after sunset can came great violence.
Not only in Jainism, in Hindu religion too, taking food at night is prohibited. Both in Shiv Puran and in Markandey scripture food taking at night is compared with that of taking meat. Even taking water at night is as bad as taking blood. There is a scientific base too for this. Some very small invisible molecules cannot grow in sunlight. They cannot survive in sunlight. But during night, after sunset, thousands of verities of such invisible livings prosper we usually find them around lamps. Such living beings any way enter the food-stuff and get destroyed there only. This is proved scientifically also. Unfortunately, one who knows science well is ignorant of knowledge about food. He connives at the fait and does not observe regulations.
Food after sunset is an act of great violence. Besides it is difficult to digest cowered late evening or at night. This course disturbance and diseases. Idleness, B. P. and Uneasiness are few of these which become a permanent guests. The body becomes a house of disease.
F2 2.4.4 Fast (No Food at all)
Penance is that act through which all seven kinds of essences of body (like water, blood, fat, meat, mussels, etc.) becomes purified or through which the karmas over soul becomes thinner. Penance is the best alternative for destruction of Nikachir (Very tightly bound) karma. Every body can do penance. All great people, including Tirthankaras, who are bound to be liberated, invariably perform this first among six external penances. (i.e. a fast giving up food) at the end of their life a fast is one where in four kinds of foods are to be given up for certain limited fixed time span
(1) the food grains bins, grams easily available etc.
(2) Water, fruit Juice, alter liquids
(3) The food stuff which has to be grinned in mouth such as dry fruits etc.
(4) The spices like black paper, longue, or other stuff used at the end of a dish(Mukhwas)
If one gives up all these four items there should one’s life (till desth) it is anshan (Fast until death) and if it is given up for a day or further, it is fast (Upvas). In a fast, all these items mention above are to be given up through out a day, from morning till evening. If one even gives up water, it is a ‘Chovihara’ fast (No food , no water). In Ayurveda such fast without food and water (Langhan) is a kind of medicine. In all kinds of naturopathy, a fast has a prominent importance in treatment.
Though a fast, an poisonous substances of the body are thrown out. The stomach gets rest. Body becomes light and feels easiness. Strength is preserved, new strength is generated. The digestion system gets properly arranged. All the parts of body gets rest.
In a fast, food is forbidden Like wise giving up of viewing of T.V., Video, etc. is also a kind of fast. Fast means to stay within, to know realize the self virtues and to taste the non-food status. It gives peace of mind and healthy body for good purpose also. One should observe fasting at least once a fortnight or in a month