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Duties of jaina House-holders
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
duties of a Jaina House-holder as reflected in Pali Litt.
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
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.
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
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.
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:
destruction of living beings (panatipati
taking what is not given (adinnadayi
enjoyment of evil (abrahmacari
speaking lies (musavadi hoti).
taking liquor and intoxicants (suramerayamajjappamadatthayi
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
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.
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.
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
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, Gahapati...na
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 Nigantho.....so 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 ti...so 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
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:
sato ragadyavesamantarena pi
hi bhavati jatu himsa pranavyaparopanadeva.
Jivo ma va dhavatyagre dhruvam himsa.
san hantyatma prathamamatmanatmanam
na va himsa pranyantaranam tu.11
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
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:
loke kva caran ko' pyamoksyat.
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
Devadatta asked the Buddha for the imposition of the following five
rules on all the members of the Sangha.16
that monks should dwell at their lives in the forest.
that they should accept no invitations to meals, but live entirely on
alms obtained by begging.
that they should wear only robes made of discarded rags and accept no
robes from the laity.
that they should dwell at the foot of a tree and not under a roof, and
that they should abstain completely from fish and flesh.
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
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
or Multiplicative Vows
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.
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
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.
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...
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
Desavrata and Anarthandandavrata
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.
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.
siksavratas or Disciplinary Vows
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.
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
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
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
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 :-
prosadhopavaso yaccatusparvyam, yathagamam.
saktya hi sreyase tapah34
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?
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.
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.
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.
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"
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.
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
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.
Stages of Ethical Evolution of a Jaina House-holder
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
in his Commentary on the Dhammapada
says that more assiduous niganthas cover their water-pots so that no
soul and sand should enter it.
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.
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.