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Jainism in Buddhist Literature
                                                                By Dr. Hiralal Jain

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The Duties of jaina House-holders

Emanicipation through the removal of karmic matter from the soul is attainable only through righteous living according to ethical discipline. One should abstain from the five faults (pancapapa) viz, injury (himsa), falsehood (asatya), stealing (steya), unchastity (abrahma) and wordly attachment (parigraha)1. These vows are of two kinds: Partial vows (Anuvratas) or limited abstention from the five aforesaid faults and Full vows (Mahavratas) or total abstention from five faults. The former is prescribed for house-holders and the latter for ascetics. Five kinds or training (bhavana) have been prescribed for each of these vows for the sake of securing stability in them2.

The above-mentined five vratas have been unanimously accepted by the Acaryas, on the basis of Pratimas of Vratas or Paksa, Carya and Sadhana. The difference of opinion is only with regard to the Gunavratas, Siksavratas, Mulagunas and Pratimas. The great Acarya kundakunda described house-holder's duties on the basis of Pratimas. He simply presented the names of Gunavratas e. g. dik parimana, anarthadanadavarjana and Siksavratas e. g. samayika prosadha, atithipuja and sallehana. Svami Kartikeya followed his line but placed desavakasika in place of sallekhana-Vasunandi included sallekhana in Siksavratas. These Acaryas described neither Astamula gunas nor aticaras of vratas.

Acarya Umasvami and Samantabhandra are prominent figures among those who described the house-holders duties on the basis of twelve vratas. Umasvami divided Vrati into two e. g. Agari who follows anuvratas and Anagari who follows Mahavratas. He took pains to describe the aticaras of each vrata but did not refer to Astamulagunas and pratimas. He might have followed the tradition of Upasakdasasoutra. Umasvami could not recognize the names of vratas given given by Kunda-kunda. He changed them into Di gvrata, desavrata and anarthadandavrata in Gunavratas and samayika, prosadhopavasa, upabhogaparibhogaparimana and atithisamvibhaga in Siksavratas. Desavakasika has been included into gunavrtas and bhogopabhogaparimana into Siksavratas. Samanatabhadra borrowed his views from kundakunda, Kartikeya and Umasvami and put them in a reviewed ways. He regarded desavakasik as a part of siksavrtas and placed Vaiyavratya in place of sallekhana. He is perhaps the first Acarya who presented Mulagunas in the Ratnakarandakasravakacara.

Jinasena represents those Acaryas who described the house-holder's duties on the basis of paksa. carya and sadhana in the Adipurana. Later Acaryas followed either of these three traditions. The pali literature does not mention any of these controvertial names of vratas. We can therefore come to the conclusion that at the time of parsvanatha or Nigantha Nataputta no such tradition was in force.

The five faults are the causes of recurrent births and therefore they are personified as "Dukkha" (pain) itself. For the sake of removing such dukkha, one should meditate upon the benevolence (maitri) for all living beings, delight in looking at better qualified beings (promoda), compassion (karunya) for the afflicted, and indifference to both praise and blame (madhyastha avinayaesu).3 

The duties of a Jaina House-holder as reflected in Pali Litt.

Pali Literature contains only scanty and scrappy bits of information on the duties of a Jaina house-holder. But they are invaluable as the gradual development of the vows could be traced with the help of such information.

The Samannaphala Sutta of the Dighanikaya refers to the Catuyamasamvara as a ppart of the doctrine of Nigantha Nataputta. This is not an accurate record, for Catuyamasamvara is of Parasvanatha, and not in the doctrine of Nigantha Nataputta We shall discuss this matter later on. The four vows of Parasvanatha were revised by Nigantha Nataputta who found it necessary to specify Brahmacarya as a separate vow in view of the laxity he observed among the followers of Parsvanatha. Nigantha Nataputta, thus, established a discipline based on five vows as opposed to that a Parsvanatha4. The Buddhist circles were apparently unaware of this innovation by Nigantha nataputta.

Asibandhakaputta Gamini, a Jaina house-holder, goes to see the Buddha at Nalanda. In response to a question of the Buddha he says: Nigantha Nataputta teaches a doctrine to his laymen (Savaka) according to which a slayer of living creature (panam ati pateti), one who steals (adinnam adiyati), one who indulges in sensual pleasures wrongly (kamesu miccha carati, and one who tells a lie (musa bhanati), would go to the purgatory (so apayiko nerayiko). In short his destiny depends on the life he leads.5

The above reference deals with the vows of house-holders who are said to be followers of Nigantha Nataputta, but the vows recorded are four and not five in number. Another remarkable point is that "Kusila" which was separated from parigraha in the form of Kamesumicchacarati in Pali is referred to individually here. This shows that the Buddhists were aware of the reformation made by Nigantha nataputta in the Parsvanatha'a religion, but the fact that Kusila was not postulated in place of Parigraha but in addition to it was apparently not understood.

A reference to five vows of Jainism is found in the Anguttara Nikaya;6 this mentions the five ways of falling into sin as taught by Nigantha Nataputta. The five ways are:

(i) destruction of living beings (panatipati hoti).

(ii) taking what is not given (adinnadayi hoti).

(iii)passionate enjoyment of evil (abrahmacari hoti).

(iv) speaking lies (musavadi hoti).

(v) taking liquor and intoxicants (suramerayamajjappamadatthayi hoti).

This, again, in only partially accurate. The first four kinds of sins are referred to correctly, though not in the Jaina order. As to the fifth, it is "Parigraha" which should have been mentioned. According to Jaina ethics, "Suramerayamajjappamadatthana" is an aspect of Himsa and not vseparate category. This list omits Parigraha altogether.

These references lead us to two observations: (i) According to the Parsvanatha tradition, there were four vows, and (ii) Nigantha Nataputta formulated five vows dividing the last into two Akusila and Aparigraha. The defects in these references are: (i) they do not follow the traditional Jaina order of precedence, and (ii) the Parigraha, which is placed as the last way of falling into sin, is ignored in Pali Literature. The compilers of the Pali Tipitaka either were not well acquainted with the reformation of Nigantha Nataputta or they did not eonsider it very important.

The omission of Parigraha in all the references in the pali Canon is significant. Parigraha is the most important Jaina contribution to Indian Ethics. It was altogether a new concept when it was first included in Parsvanatha's doctrine. It embraced all aspects of indicipline and abstinence from it and was recognized as the removal of the very root of all immorality. It was founded on the role which desire and craving played in human affairs. But the moral significance of Parsvanatha tradition was not adequately understood by the Buddha or his followers, for, if they did, they would have observed how the vow relating to Parsvanatha agreed withe the Second Noble Truth of Buddhism as a diagnasis of suffering.

The Nikayas also recorded the Jaina notion with regard to Himsa, its causes, and their remedies. The Majjhima Nikaya says that Niganthas uphold three ways of committing Himsa viz, (i)by activity (krta). (ii) by commission (karita) and (iii) by approval of the deed (anumodana). To get a violence committed or to aprove a violence committed is about the same as to commit violence by one's self, for one is involved in the activity directly or indirectly and shares it. Therefore, one who refrains from Himsa will not c ommit any ct which may cause injury to another, will not harbour any thoughts prejudical to another, will not make anybody else utter words likely to cause pain to another, nor entertain feelings of ill will towards another, and will not encourage others to cause pain by word, deed, or thought to another.7

In another place, the Majjhima Nikaya8 states that in Nalanda, Dighatapassi informed the Buddha that the Nigantha Nataputta did not lay down Kamma Kamma, but his teaching was based on Danda danda9. Wrong doings, according to him, as we have already mentioned, are of three kinds, viz. Kayadanda (wrong of body), Vacidanda (wrong of speech), and Manodanda (wrong of mind). Further he says that Kayadanda is more heinous in the opinion of Nigantha Nataputta than eithr of the other two. This is supported by Nataputta himself. He appreciates the statement of Dighatapassi and says that he has answered Gotama in a very proper way (sadhu sadhu tapasii). For how can an insignificant wrong of mind overshadow an important wrong of body, since a wrong deed of body is the more blamble? (kim hi sobhati chabo manodando imassa evam olarikassa kayadandassa upanidhaya. atha kho kayadando va mahasavajjataro papassa......). Upali goes then to discuss the matter with the Buddha. The Buddha asked him "If Nigantha, who although suffers from sickness, refuses cold water and takes only hot water, passes away, what result does Nataputta lay down for him?" Upali answers that he will be born among the Manosatta Devas. He also says that according to Nataputta, the blame is less; Because before he passed away, he was devoted to mind. The Buddha says: "House-holder, take care of howyou explain. Your earlier statement does not tally with your latter, nor your latter with your earlier "(manasi karohi, kho te sandhiyati purimena va pacchiman. pacchimena va purimam), and then asks Upali : "While going out or returning, Four-foldrestrained Niganth Nataputta brings many small creatures to destruction. What result, house-holder, does Nataputta lay down for him? Nataputta lays down that being unintentional, there is no great blame. "But if he does intend it, it is of great blame. And this intention is included in that of wrong of mind," (tam kim mannasi, Gahapati, idhassa abhikkhamanto patikkamanto bahu khuddake pano sanghatam apadeti, imassa pana, Gahapati, Nigantho Nataputto kam Vipakam pannapeti `ti? "asancetanikam bhante, Nigantho Nataputto no mahasavajjam...manodandasmin, bhante." The Buddha urges then, "If a man comes here with a drawn sword and says that in a moment I will take alll the living creatures in this Nalanda into one heap of flesh, one mass of flesh, what do you think about this? Is that man able in one moment, one second, to make all the living creatures in this Nalanda into one heap of flesh? (aham yavatika imassa Nalandaya pana te ekena khanena ekena muhuttena ekam mamsakhalam ekam mamsapunjam karissami puriso katum ?...). Upali repalies: "Even ten men, revered Sir, even twenty, thirty, forty men, even fifty men are not able in one moment, thirty, forty men, even fifty men are not able in one moment, one second, to make all the living creatures in this Nalanda into one heap of flesh, one mass of flesh. How then can one insignificant man shine out at this stage?" The Buddha again points out the self-contradiction in the statement of Upali.10

In fact, attachment and intention are very important in Jainism. They are regarded as the main sources of Himsa. If one, who observes the rules of conduct conscientiously, walks along, carefully looking ahead, end intent on avoiding injury to the crawling creatures, were to injure an insect by trampling it under foot by chance, he would not be responsible for Himsa. And if one acts carelessly or intentionally, he would be responsible for that whether a living being is killed or not. For, under the influence of passions, the person first injures the self through the self whether there is subsequently an injury caused to another being or not:

Yuktacaranasya sato ragadyavesamantarena pi

Na hi bhavati jatu himsa pranavyaparopanadeva.

Vyutthanavasthayam ragadinam vasapravrttayam

Mryantam Jivo ma va dhavatyagre dhruvam himsa.

Yasmatsakasayah san hantyatma prathamamatmanatmanam

Pascajjayeta na va himsa pranyantaranam tu.11

Both, non-abstinence from Himsa, and indulgence in Himsa, constitute Himsa; and thus whenever there is careless activiy of mind, body or speech, there is always injury to living being. Mere possession of a sword would not make one guilty of Himsa. Even then such possession can be the cause of some injury to somebody. Therefore, to prevent all possibility of Himsa, one should not entertain even the desire for the possession of such objects as are likely to cause injury.12

Thus all these references indicate that intention is the main source of injury in Jainism and if injury is caused by body intentionally, it will be considered more blamable. If killing of living beings is made an offence even when it is without intention, no one on earth can be an Ahimsaka, for the entire world is full of vitalities of all types which a man may kill in large number without knowing them at all:

Visvagjivacito loke kva caran ko' pyamoksyat.

Bhavaikasadhanau bandhamoksau cennabhavisyatam.13

As regards the eating of flesh, the Vinaya Pitaka has a good record of the Jaina point of view. It is said there that Siha, a General of the Licchavis and a follower of Nigantha Nataputta, had served meat to the Buddha, Knowing this Niganthas, waving their arms, were murmuring from road to road in Vaisali: Today a fat beast killed by Siha Senapati has been served into a meal for the Buddha. The Buddha made use of this meat, knowing that it was killed on purpose for him."14 This incident took place immediately after Siha was converted to Buddhism. The Niganthas, therefore, might have tried to blame both, the Buddha and Siha. Whatever that may be, this reference indicates clearly that the Jainas were completely against the eating of flesh. The followers of the Buddha appear to have been influenced by this idea of the Jainas. Jivaka visits the Buddha and asks if it is true that animals are slain expressly for the Buddha's use. The Buddha replies that he forbids the eating of meat only when there is evidence of one's eyes or ears as grounds for suspicion that the animal has been slain for one's expressed use. Anyone who slays an animal for the use of a monk and gives it to him, commits a great evil. Jivaka is pleased with the reply and declares himself a follower of the Buddha.15

Likewise, Devadatta asked the Buddha for the imposition of the following five rules on all the members of the Sangha.16

(i) that monks should dwell at their lives in the forest.

(ii) that they should accept no invitations to meals, but live entirely on alms obtained by begging.

(iii) that they should wear only robes made of discarded rags and accept no robes from the laity.

(iv) that they should dwell at the foot of a tree and not under a roof, and

(v) that they should abstain completely from fish and flesh.

But the Buddha thought that ruch sules should not be laid down for the Sangha as a whole. He left them for monks to observe purely on a voluntary basis.

Amrtacandra, a Jaina Acarya argues against the eating of flesh that it cannot be procured without causing destruction of life. One who use flesh, therefore, commits Himsa, unavoidably. Even if the flesh be that of a buffalo, oxe, tec., which has died of itself, Himsa is caused by the crushing of creatures spontaneously born. He who eats or touches a raw or a cooked piece of flesh, certainly kills spontaneously-born creatures constantly gathering together.17 In conclusion he says that those who wish to avoid Himsa, should first of all take care to renounce wine, flesh, honey and the two udumbaras (gular and fig) and fruits of Pippala, Pakara and Banyan which are the birth place of small mobile beings.18

Gunavratas or Multiplicative Vows

The early Scriputres seem to have been familar with the Gunavratas. In the Anguttara Nikaya the Buddha is said to have discussed the Uposatha ceremony while he was near Savatthi at Visakha's house. Visakha, the Migara's mother, was perhaps not perfectly converted from Jainism to Buddhism at that time. One day she, having observed the Uposatha, came to meet the Buddha at noon. Then the Buddha described to her three types of Uposatha. It is to be noted here that the Uposatha is the tenth vow in Jainism.

(i) Digvrata

The Buddha says to Visakah: "There is a sect of naed ascetics (Nigantho nama Samanajatika), who exhort a disciple thus: "Now my good fellow, you must lay aside injury (Dandam nikkhipahi) to beings that exist in the East beyond the yojana from here, likewise to those in the West, North, and the South beyond a yojana from here. Thus they exhort them to kindness and compassion towards some creatures only19." This is a correct description of the Digvrata which is a life long vow to limit ones mundane activities in all directions from well-known objects,20 But in subsequent lines the Buddha is reported to have criticised the doctrine saying: In this way they enjoin cruelty by making them not spare other living beings (ekaccanam pananam nanuddayaya nanukampaya samadapenti). This criticism is made only for the sake of criticism. For, he who confines his activities within a limited sphere, follows a complete vow of Ahimsa as regards what is beyond those limits, because of total absence of non-restraint there21. He, therefore, tries to follow the vow of Mahavrata"22

Thus, this is undoubtedly an unfair attack on the Jainas. Jacobi says in this respect: "we cannot expect one sect to give a fair and honest exposition of the tenets of their opponents: it is but natural that they should put them in such a form as to make the objections they want to raise against them all the better applicable. In the Jaina Agamas23 also we find misrepresentation of Buddhist ideas"24.

Another reference to this vow is found in the Digha Nikaya. It is mentioned there that the Buddha met at Vesali a certain ascetic named Kandara-Masuka, who maintained seven life-long vows in order to gain fame and honour. The seven vows are: As long as I live I will be naked, and will not put on a garment (yavejjivam acelako assm na vattham parideheyyam), as long as I live, I will maintain myself by spirituous drink and flesh, eating no rice-broth or gruel (yavajjivam suramamseneva yapeyyam na odana-kummasam bhunjeyyem), I will never go beyond the Udena shrine in Vesali in the East (puratthimena Vesalim Udenam nama cetiyam tam natikkameyyam); I will never go beyong the Gotamaka shrine in Vesali in the South (dakkhinena Vesalim Gotamakam nama cetiyam tam natikkameyyam); I will never go beyond the Sattamba shrine in Vesali in the West (Pacchimena); and I will never go beyond the Bahuputta shrine in Vesali in the North (Uttarena... 25

Here all the vows, except the third (i.e. the one referring to spirits and meat), represent the Jaina vows. It is quite possible that this vow which is inconsistent with the spirit of the other six vows, is either a mistake or an interpolation. The first two are common vows of most ascetics of that time, while the last four are vows of a Jainistic type, and they represent the Digvrata. No other sect adhered to these last four vows. As regards the Ajivikas, I would prefer to quote the words of Basham, an accepted authority on Ajivikism. He says: "The ascetic Kandara-masuka is regularly referred to as acela, but nowhere as Ajivika, and we have no evidence that any of his vows, with the exception of the first, were taken by the organized Ajivika community.26" Now, we can say that kandaramasuka must be either an ascetic fallen from the Jaina asceticism, or his vows have been mixed up. For they cannot be accepted campletely, neither by Jainas, nor by Ajivikas, since both religions prohibited meat-eating completely.

(ii-iii) Desavrata and Anarthandandavrata

Desavrata means one should take a vow for a certain time not to proceed beyond a certain village, market place etc. No clear reference to this vow is yet found in Pali literature, as it is not much different from Digvrata.

In the Anarthadandavarata, one should never think of hunting, victory, defeat, battle, adultery, theft, etc, because they only lead to sin.27 With regard to this vow nothing is mentioned separately, but we can trace its nature from other references. Dighatapassi describes to the Buddha the three ways of falling into sin according to the Nigantha Nataputta, viz. the Kayadanda, vacidanda, and the manodanda28. This indicates that to resist they kaya, vacana, and mana from doing wrong deeds is the aim of Anarthadandavrata. 

The siksavratas or Disciplinary Vows

(i) Samayika:

There are several illuminating references to the Siksavratas in the Pali Canon. It is Samayika or Contemplation of the self that the Majjhima Nikaya29 refers to when the Buddha says to Mahanama that he had seen Niganthas on the Vulture peak, standing erect, refraining from sitting, experienceing pain...etc. This is an allusion to the Kayotsarga of the Jaina ascetics, but we can have an idea of the nature of Samayika prescribed for Jaina laymen since it is the pre-stage of Kayotsarga. As this reference indicates, Samayika should be performed by sitting or standing at a tranquil place.

(ii) Prosadhopavasa

The Anguttara Nikaya presents a picture of a Prosadha. While the Buddha was staying near Savatthi, he criticises the opponents' Uposathas and preaches the nature of Buddhist Uposatha to Visakha. He says: "There are three kinds of Uposaihas, the Gopalak Uposatha, Nigantha Uposatha, and the Aryana Uposatha.

In explaining what the Gopalak Uposatha is, the Buddha said, "Suppose, Visakha, the herdsman at evening restores the kin to their owners. Then he thus thinks: the kine grazed today at such and such a spot, and drank at such a spot. Tomorrow they will graze at such and such a spot. Likewise, the holder of Gopalaka Uposatha thinks thus: tomorrow I shall eat such and such food, both hard and soft. And he spends the day engrossed in that covetous desire. This sort of Uposatha, therefore, is not fruitful. It is not very brilliant. It is not very brilliant. It is not of great radiance.30

He then describes the Nigantha Uppsatha: "There is a sect of naked ascetics, the so called Niganthanama Samanajatika. Then again on the Sabbath day they exhort the disciple thus: "I have no part in anything, anything." The Buddha then makes a remark on this sort of Uposatha. He says: "Yet for all that, his parents know him for their son and he knows them for his children and wife. Yet for all that his slaves and workmen know him for their master and he in turn knows them for his slaves and workmen. Thus at a time when one and all should be exhorted to keep the sabbath, it is in falsehood that they exhort them. This, I declare, is as bad as telling lies. Further the Buddha criticises that as soon as that night has passed he resumes the use of his belongings, which had not been given back to him really. This I declare as bad as stealing. This Uposatha of the Niganthas, therefore, is not of great fruit or profit. It is not very brilliant. It is not great radiance." Thereafter, the Buddha points out his own attitude towards the Upsoatha. He says that both these sorts of Uposatha are not fruitful. The Uposatha, which he exhorts, is perfectly right, is named Arya Uposatha. It brings the purification of a soiled mind by a proper process. For this purpose the Arya disciple calls to mind the Tathagata thus: The Exalted One, the Arhanta, is a fully Enlightened One, perfect inknowledge, and in practice, a benevolent person, a world-knower, Unsurpassed, Charioteer of Beings to be tamed, Teacher of Devas and mankind, a Buddha is the Exalted One. As he thus bethinks him of the Tathagata, his mind is clam; delight arises, the soil of the mind is abandoned. It is just like cleaning the head when it is dirty. Thus this sort of Uposatha is more fruitful.32

Here, the second Uposatha belongs to the Nigantha Nataputta and the third to the Buddha. But what about Gopalka Upacsatha? Whom does it belong? I think that it should belong to either Brahmanas or Ajivikas, or it may be a part and parcel of the Niganthas' Uposatha. As regards the Brahmana tradition, Uposatha is observed with sacrifices and complete fasting33, and the Ajivikas are no where mentioned as observers of any sort of Uposatha. Now, if we go through Jaina literature, we will find that there was a tradition of having Uposatha both with and without meals. For, selfmortification is said to have been performed according to one's capability. The Uposatha is observed to carry oncontemplation in a better way: and that can be fulfilled by a lay devotee with or without meals, though without meals is preferred :-

Sa prosadhopavaso yaccatusparvyam, yathagamam.

Samyasamskaradardyaya caturbhuktyujhanam sada.

Upavasaksamaih karyo' nupavasastadaksamaih.

Acamlanirvikrtyadi saktya hi sreyase tapah34

Another point is that the Nigantha Uposatha is said to be performed by observing Digvrata, the sixth vow of a Jaina lay devotee, and abandoning all attachment during that period. Here the Buddha is reported to have blamed the Jainas, accusing them of violence, since they have compassion towards beings existing only within a certain limited sphere, not to others. But as already pointed out, according to Jainism, a layman is to observe the partial vows (anuvratas), according to which, he is not to go beyond a certain limit. How then is there any possibility of violence?

Another criticism of the Buddha compares Nigantha Uposatha to lyeing and stealing. He says that during the period of Uposatha a Jaina layman becomes unclothed and thinks that nobody is his and he is of nobody's, and gets rid of worldly attchment for a limited time. After performing his Uposatha he accepts his belongings and knows the parents as parents and so forth. We know, the vow was taken for a limited time, not on a permanent basis. It should be remembered here that this is the partial vow (anuvrata) prescribed for the lay men to practice a monk's life. Further a question of lyeing or stealing does not arise here.

Arguments, which were prevalent in those days are recorded in the Bhagavati Sataka.35 Ganadhara named Gautama (not the Buddha) asked Mahavira a question about some Ajivikas, the followers of Gosalaka, who had doubt about the Jaina Uposatha. They asked them : `Supose a Jaina layman observes Uposatha and proceeds to meditation abandoning all his properties including the wives and suppose someone during his absence appropriates his properties and his wives, does that layman become guilty of taking othe people's things on his return if he takes his properties and wives from the person who had appropriated them? Mahavira answered the above question saying that layman uses his own things, and not of others. For the belongings were abandoned for only of limited period, not for all time.

This reference makes it very clear that the impressions which the Buddha and the Ajivikas had of Niganth Uposatha were alike, If Gopalaka of the Anguttara Nikaya is the Gosalaka of the Bhagawati Sataka, we can say that the Gopalaka Uposatha might have belonged to the Ajivika sect. Because the founder of Ajivikism, Makkhali Gosala, was formerly a followr of Nigantha Nataputta. Several of its doctrines were, therefore, influenced by the doctrines of Jainas. Whatever that may be, one thing is certain, tht is, all sects and schools of Samana Cult had the Uposatha, though in varying forms, as a common religious institution.

With regard to removing all clothes during the Samayika or Uposatha, Jacobi says, "The description, however, does not quite agree with the posaha rules of the Jainas." He depends on the definition of Posaha according to the Tattvarthasaradipika as given by Bhandarakar. He says: "Posaha, i.e., to observe a fast or eat once only on the two holy days, one must give up bathing, unguents, ornaments, company of women, odours.incense, lights, etc. and assume renumciation as an ornament. Though the Posaha observances of the present Jains are apparently more severe than those of the Buddhists, still they fall short of the above description of the Nigantha rules: for a Jain layman does not, to my knowledge, take off his clothes during the posaha days, though he discards all ornaments and every kind of luxury; nor must he pronounce any formula of renunciation similar to that which the monks utter on entering the order. Therefore, unless the Buddhist account contains some mistake or is a gross mis-statement, it would appear that the Jainas have abated somewhat their rigidity with regard to the duties of a layman.36"

Jacobi's findings are based on the findings of Bhandarakar or on the Tattvarthasaradipika and are supported by his observation that the Jain laymen do not take off clothes during the Samayika, and therefore, he thinks that the Jainas have some-what relaxed the rigidity with regard to the duties of a layman. But, it appears, Jacobi had no opportunity to collect the references from Jaina literature, we have already pointed out from the Bhagawati Sataka that the Jaina laymen who wish to be initiated to the vows of monkhood take off their clothes at the time of Samayika. The Sagaradharmamrta37, which is only concerned with the duties of the Jaina laymen, also clearly refers to the fact that during the Uposatha days senior observers of Samayika removed their clothes during the Samayika Period. It is a personal observation of mine that even now the senior members who are on the verge of becoming muni (Digambara monk) renounce their clothes at night during the performance of Samayika. It should, therefore, be clear that the Jaina laymen still observe the rigid duties which are referred to in Pali literature.

The afore-mentioned reference to Nigantha-Uposatha in the Anguttara Nikaya points out the duties coming under Bhogopabhogaparimanavrata, the eleventh vow of lay devotees, which enjoins that one should limit the enjoyment of consumable and non-consumable things. When this vow is observed, there is no scope for Himsa or violence. Because of the Control of speech, mind and body, there is no room for telling a lie or stealing or for other kinds of himsa. Further because of abstinence from all sexual intercourse and attachment to worldly affairs, there is no Abrahmacarya and Parigraha.

The twelfth obligation of a Jaina layman is perhaps the most widely practised. It is due to the munificence of the laity which practised atithisamvibhagavrata that Jaina monks, could, despite the numerous vicissitudes of time, preserve the Jaina tradition. In the Pali records we have references to the generosity of such Jaina laymen as Upali who gave alms and requisites not only to Jaina monks but also to other religious persons of the time. It is also this vow which has made Jainism one of the best-endowed religions of India with a very impressive group of temples of exquisite artistic excellence. 

The Stages of Ethical Evolution of a Jaina House-holder

The stages of ethical evolution of a Jaina house-holder are called the Pratimas and are eleven in number. Ten of them (i.e. excepting Ratribhuktityaga) are referred to indirectly in the Pali Canon. Their main characteristics have been discussed in the course of our discussion on the Twelve Partial Vows (dvadasanuvratas). The Anguttara Nikaya38 gives us a list of ascetics who were prevalent at that time, and it refers to Nigantha, Mundasavaka, Jatilaka, Paribbajaka, Magandika, Tedandika, Aruddhaka, Gotamaka, and Devadhammika. The Niganthas are undoubtedly the followers of Nigantha Natputta who performed very severe penances. The same Nikaya39 enumerates six Abhijatis and in that account the Niganthas are said to have worn one yellow stained cloth (kasayavastra). This may be a reference to Elaka or Esullaka (i.e. the vow of wearing small loin, cloth with or without a cloth to cover the upper body40).

Buddhaghosa in his Commentary on the Dhammapada says that more assiduous niganthas cover their water-pots so that no soul and sand should enter it.

Commoner ascetic practices are also mentioned in the Nikayas41. Out of them, Nabhihatam (refusing to accept the food especially prepared for them), is related to the eleventh stage of Jaina House-holder called Uddistatyaga Pratima.

From these indirect references we come to the conclusion that at that time no such name was given to the vratis. However, it shows that there were some types of categories of vratis.