આજ નો દિવસ : વિક્રમ સંવત   ૨૦૭૪  ( નેમિસૂરિ સંવત  ૬૯ )  માગશર સુદ બીજ સોમવાર   Dt: 20-11-2017



તલવાર કી કિંમત મ્યાન સે નહિ ધાર સે હોતી હૈ, કપડો કી કિંમત રંગ સે નહિ તાર સે હોતી હૈ, કહી ભી દેખો મહત્વ મૂલકા હોતા હૈ છીલકે કા નહિ, આદમી કી કિંમત પૈસે સે નહિ સદાચાર સે હોતી હૈ…

The word Vrata (Vows) is derived from the verb word “Vru” meaning to select. Therefore, the Vrata means the type of the selection for renunciation. ‘Vrata’ is approximately translated by the English word ‘vow’. Literally, a Vrata means a kind of choice. However, in the technical or idiomatic sense in which the word is used in the connection now under consideration, there is also the meaning of choosing a right course, and then there is the implied effort of will in willing to so choose. Choice implies that the person has before him several ways of conduct, and that he picks out one from among them.

 

The choosing of a right course of conduct from among many ways necessitates the exercise of the judgment and discrimination. Exercising of the judgment in selecting a right course of conduct, as distinguished from living a life where no such choice is made, implies an effort of will.

Vrata depends on:

  • Selection of the type of conduct to be practiced,

     

  • Knowledge of what is the right conduct and what is the wrong conduct

     

  • How much energy one can use for the right conduct.

     

The hallmark of right conduct is right conviction in thought and action, freedom from infatuation or delusion and passions life anger, hatred etc. Therefore, Vrata is to retire from the wrong conduct like violence, non-truth, stealing, sensual pleasure and possessiveness and to get engaged in the true religious activities through body, mind and speech. We do not take Vrata to please any divine power or any one else. We take Vrata to purify ourselves to continue and enhance the process of liberating ourselves, and to achieve the liberation (Moksha).

Types of Vrata:

The complete renunciation of all worldly attachment is called Mahävrata [major vows], practiced by the Sädhus and Sädhvijis, and the partial renunciation of worldly attachments is called Anuvrata, [minor vows] practiced by Shrävaks and Shrävikäs. In Jainism, each Anuvrata has its negative as well as its positive aspect. Each vow has its negative aspect in the form of moral prohibitions and positive aspect in the form of a moral duty. Negative terms are effective restriction.

Each of these vows has a two-fold purpose. The first is spiritual in that the observance of each of these vows will prevent the influx of new Karmas. The thought of injury, theft, or falsehood is the cause of sin. The other purpose is social. The same thoughts expressed in action will be punished by the state. By observance of each of the vows, an individual will be discharging his social obligation. To desist from violence or theft is to preserve peace and safety in society. While the spiritual fruit of observance of the vows is self-control and stoppage of the evil propensities of the mind, the mundane fruit is mental peace and the good of the society at large.

Five Main Vows of Limited Nature (Anuvratas):


 

Name

Scriptural Name

Meaning

1. Ahinsä

Sthul- Pränätipät- Viraman-Vrata

Non violence

2. Satya

Sthul-Mrushäväd-Virman Vrata

Truthfulness

3. Achaurya

Sthul- Adattädäna-Virmanvrata

Non stealing

4. Brahmacharya

Sva-Därä-Santosh

Celibacy

5. Aparigraha

Ichchhä Parimäna or Parigraha-Parimänvrata

Non Posseiveness


 

Three Merit or Supporting Vows (Guna Vratas):


 

6. Dig Parimäna Vrata

Restraints of Geographical Limitations

7. Bhoga Upbhoga Vrata

Consumption Restraints

8. Anartha Danda-Vrata

Avoidance of purposeless activities

 

Four Disciplinary Vows (Shikshä Vratas):

 

09. Sämäyika Vrata

48 Minutes of Meditation and equanimity

10. Desävakäsika Vrata

Stricter Geographical Limitations

11. Paushadha Vrata

Practicing the life of a Monk

12. Atithi Samvibhäg Vrata

Discipline of Share and Care

 

Page 1


Five Anuvratas (Minor Vows)

01. Ahinsä Anuvrata - Nonviolence

 

Samayä Savvabhooesu Sattu-Mittesu Vä Jage

Pänäiväyaviraee Jävajjivae Dukkaram.

--- Uttarädhyayan Sutra

Equanimity towards all beings in the universe, to the friends as well as the foes, is Ahinsä (though) it is hard to refrain from hurting the living beings for the entire life.

The First Vrata, in Sanskrit, is called Sthul- Pränätipät Viraman Vrata. Sthul means gross, as distinguished from strict or subtle. Pränätipät means separating the Pränas (life forces). Viraman means giving up.

The following aphorism from Tattvärtha Sutra presents the definition of violence:

'Pramatta Yogät Präna Vyaparopanam Hinsä'

The destruction of life due to an act involving negligence is violence'.

The term 'Pramäda' yields two meanings:

  • Mental state of attachment and aversion

     

  • Negligence

     

Therefore, to destroy the life of a living being through passions of attachment and aversion is violence; and to destroy the life of a living being through negligence is also violence. The mental state of attachment and aversion, and of negligence, is internal violence (Bhäv- Hinsä). The actual act of destroying the life of a living being is external violence (Dravya- Hinsä).

Now the next thing is to know what killing is, and what particular kinds of killing must be refrained from.

Ahinsä means not hurting, he who abstains from hurt or harm to any - Jiv or a living being - either intentionally, or through others, or by consenting to another to do so, observes the vow of Ahinsä. Surely, the lack of attachment and passion is Ahinsä. When a person is overcome by passions, he causes Hinsä or injury to his own self, though there may or may not be injury to any living being. Everything depends upon the state of mind, and intention to abstain from or commit Hinsä, even where actual hurt or injury is not caused.

Different living beings have different numbers of Pränas (life forces) as follows:

Life Forces (Pränas)

Touch

  1. Respiration

     

  2. The ability to move the of body

     

  3. Duration of life (Äyu).

     

Beings, which have only these four forces of life, are vegetables, trees, earth-beings, water-beings, air-beings, and fire-beings.

Beings with two sense-organs have six Pränas, namely, the above four and also:

  1. Sense of taste

     

  2. Ability of speech

     

They have the means of power of communicating among themselves, which can be called speech. E.g. Shell beings and worms

Beings with three sense-organs have seven Pränas, namely, the above six and also:

  1. Sense of smell

     

Ants, lice and bed bugs are instances of such beings.

Beings with four senses have 8 Pränas, namely, the above seven and also:

  1. Sense of sight or vision

     

Wasps, bees, scorpions are instances of such living beings.

Beings with five senses are of two kinds, the first kind have no mind (mind as meant in the Jain philosophy), and these beings have nine Pränas, namely, the above eight and also:

  1. Sense of hearing and are known as Asanjni Panchendriya.

     

The second kind have mind as meant in the Jain philosophy and they possess ten Pränas, namely the above nine and also:

 

  1. Force of mind.

     

They are called Sanjni Panchendriya. The injuries caused by severance of any of the vitalities, to a mobile or immobile being, cause pain, suffering, or even loss of life. As far as possible, one should save the developed living beings (that is, those on the higher scale of evolution and hence those having more sense organs (Pränas). Again, one should live in such a manner that even the killing of the undeveloped living beings is minimized. This is the teaching promulgated by the saints. It is from this standpoint that meat eating, hunting, massacre, and killing is forbidden. We cannot but do harm and violence to living beings for the sustenance of our body. We cannot live without killing living beings. Even our breathing involves violence. However, we should do only as much harm or violence as is absolutely necessary for the sustenance of our body. We should make sincere efforts to find out how we can live with minimum violence, Abstaining from intentionally injuring mobile living beings, through mind, words, or body, in any one of two ways  directly or through somebody is called Sthul Pränätipät-Virman-vrata or Ahinsä Anu Vrata. Householders cannot eliminate Hinsä of immobile living beings. Jain scriptures have prescribed five rules of restraint for being firm in the observance of the vow of non-injury. Control of speech, control of thought, regulation of movement, care in lifting and placing things or objects, and examination of food and drink before taking in are the five observances. Self-control is of vital importance. Since the vow of Ahinsä requires one to refrain from hurting the feelings of others, control of speech and thought are quite essential. Everyone ought to be careful in his movements for fear of causing harm to a living being through carelessness. Similarly one ought to be careful while placing down objects let they should hurt some tiny being. Such precaution even ought to be taken while lifting up any object. Similarly, it is necessary to examine minutely one’s own food or drink before taking it in, making sure that there is no tiny being in it. Jainism makes a distinction between Bhäv- Hinsä (intention to hurt) and Dravya- Hinsä (actual causing of hurt). That is why five kinds of restraints have been expressly mentioned above as the cautions to be observed by one who wants to desist from causing hurt. Similarly, a distinction is made between Sukshma- Hinsä and Sthul-Hinsä. The former requires abstention from causing hurt to life in any form, while the latter requires abstention from hurting forms of life possessing two or more senses. It is not possible for a householder to refrain from causing hurt to forms of life with one sense, like plants, trees, crops, etc. He must, however, refrain from causing unnecessary harm to Ekendriya and Sthävar Jivs. However, it is still ordained that a monk should desist from causing Hinsä to any form of life. In order to steer clear of violence it is necessary to know the various ways in which violence is incurred. Hinsä is of two kinds:

 

  • Sankalpi (intentional)

     

  • Ärambhi (occupational).

     

Hunting, offering animal sacrifice, killing for amusement, decoration or sport are instances of intentional Hinsä. Abstinence from those is possible without any difficulty. All Jain householders should practice this. Ärambhi Hinsä is Hinsä committed by a householder in the ordinary course of his living. It is of three kinds:

 

01. Udyami, A householder commits Udyami Hinsä while he undertakes some occupation in order to maintain himself, and his family.