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  1. After the sunset, the Jain sadhus/sadhvis do not take food or water. They wait 48 minutes after the sunrise before even taking boiled water. In any circumstance, they do not eat or take juice or water after the sunset till sunrise. Gochari (obtaining food, alm) The Jain sadhus/sadhvis do not cook their food nor do they get it prepared by others for them. But they go from house to house and they receive a bikshä (food) from the householders. This system or practice is called Gochari. Just as cows eat very little superficial grass moving from place to place, (taking a little at one place and a little at another). the Jain Munis do not take all the food from one house. They collect it from various houses. For food they go mostly to Jain householders but they may receive pure food from the houses of the people of any other community provided they are vegetarian. The reason Jain sadhus/sadhvis accept a little food and not all the food they require from one house because this way hose holder would not have to cook again for their needs. Cooking involves violence and sadhus/sadhvis donot want to be a part of any violence due to their needs. They do not receive food standing outside the house; but they go directly to the place where food is cooked or kept; personally observe the situation; and take food because they can understand the situation fully. What should be eaten? When should it be eaten? How should it be collected? How much should be taken? Regarding these matters, they have some definite and properly prescribed principles and codes of conduct. They should carefully observe 42 rules while collecting food; and five rules while eating it; and in all, they have to conform to 47 rules. They always receive food in a wooden bowls and eat out of the bowls which is called patra. To keep boiled water for drinking they use claypots. They always use and drink water that has been filtered and boiled. Some ascetics perform some austerities and penances and hence they fast for days or months. Apart from this, they also practice such rituals as ekashan taking food only once a day and in one sitting only or biyashan taking food twice a day. There are some sadhus and sadhvis even today who perform the Ayämbil tap one kind of austerity continuously for several months during which they eat food once a day which is not specially tasty; and does not contain spices, oil or ghee or any kind of vegetables. Vihar or Padyatra They always wander about on foot that is they go on bare foot when they travel from one place to another. Whatever may be the distance to be travelled, they always go only walking. They do not at any time use any vehicle like bullock cart, car, boat or ship or airplane for travelling. Whether it is cold weather or scorching sun; whether the road is stony or thorny; whether it is the burning sand of a desert or a burning road, they do not wear at any time any footwear. They move about on foot throughout their lives. While thus wandering, they preach the religion, Dharma, and provide proper spiritual guidance to the pious and devout. They do not stay more than a few days in one place except in rainy season. During four months of rainy season they stay in one place from the 14/15th day of the Shukla Paksh (the bright fortnight) of Ashad to the 14/15th day of the Shukla Paksh (the bright fortnight) of Kartik according to the Indian calendar. This is called Chaturmäs. During the other eight months, they wander from place to place according to their convenience; and according to the consent and convenience (availability of time) of people, to impel them to turn towards the path of spiritual welfare. The Jain Sädhus and Sadhvis after receiving the Deeksha (after their initiation) do not cut their hair and shave their heads; nor do they get these things done by a barber. But twice in a year or at least once a year, as a rule, at the time of Paryushan, they pluck off the hair on their heads, the hairs in the beard and the moustache or they get the hair plucked by others. This is called Keshlunchan or Loch. The Mode of their life They always wear unstitched white clothes. Some Jain sadus do not wear no clothes. Cholapattak a loin cloth which reaches upto the shins; Pangarani another cloth to cover the upper part of the body; Uttariya Vastra an upper garment; a cloth that passes over the left shoulder and covers the body upto a little above the ankles; Kämli a woollen shawl are the clothes they wear. These are known as the wearing garments. A Santhara, a woollen carpet for asan; a woollen mat to sit on and a covering cloth uttarpattak for the carpet are known as the spreading clothes. Those who wear clothes have a muhapati a square or rectagular piece of cloth of a prescribed measurement either in their hand or tied on their face covering a mouth. Oghä or Rajoharan a mop of woollen threads. When they go out and have to walk far; some carry a round, thick wooden stick, the head of which is shaped like Meru a peak and which is carved upon. Sadhus who donot wear any clothes have morpichhi and kamandal in thier hands. These are the articles by which they can be distinguished. The Sadhus and Sadhvis generally do not move out of their place of stay after the sunset, in the night. The place where they stay is called Upashray or Paushadh Shala. They may stay in places other than the Upashrayas if those places are conducive to the practice of the principles of their disciplined life and if they do not impede their austerities, They bestow their blessings on all, uttering the words Dharm Labh (may you attain spiritual prosperity), irrespective of their caste, creed. wealth, poverty, high or low social status. Some put on the heads of pious and devout people Vasakshep, or scented sandal dust that has been hallowed by holy incantations; and bestow blessings upon them in the form of good wishes saying, "May you be delivered from all the physical, psychic and inherited ailments of iife." They show the path of wholesome life and of a righteous and disciplined life to every one through the media of discussions, discourses, seminars and cultural training programmes. They show them the way to attain spiritual prosperity. The entire life of sadhus/sadhvies is directed towards the welfare of their souls. All the activities of their life have only one aim, namely, self-purification and self- realization. For the attainment of this objective, they, as a part of their daily routine-activities, perform some of the austerities described below. Pratikraman:The prayashchit or the atonement or self- purification for the cleansing of the sins committed knowingly or unknowingly. Pratilekan:Padilehan- They perform the austerity of examining minutely the clothes and all belongings that they use. Apart from these they do: kneeling (Panchang Pranipat), prayer, (glorification), rendering service to spiritual superiors, taking care of their fellow ascetics who are old, sick or young, study of scriptures, meditation, learning; teaching, reflection, writing etc.
  2. Total renunciation means to be completely detached from all sinful actions caused by all kinds of delusions. Such a person should not entertain sinful thoughts, utter sinful words; and commit any sinful action by means of his body. Not only should person completely refrain from all kinds of sin but also should not be an supporter of sin that might be committed by others. If any one commits a sinful action, such person should not encourage it nor should he agree in it. Even these actions, he should not commit by means of thought, word or action. When a person renounces worldly life and all worldly attachments and is initiated into Samyamadharma or the way of discipline and austerity, the man is called Sadhu, ascetic, Shraman, or Muni and the woman is called Sadhvi, Shramani, or Aryä. Those who get initiated into the life of discipline and austerity and become Sadhus and Sadhvis must take a vow to act strictly in accordance with the five great austerities. (There are five special kinds of vows). The five great vows The Pranatipätaviraman Mahavrat- Non-violence Mrishavadaviraman Mahävrat - Truthfulness Adattadänaviraman Mahavrat- Non-stealing Maithunaviraman Mahaivrat- Celibacy Parigrahaviraman Mahavrat- Non-attachment. Those who are initiated into the path of austerity must take this sacred vow," O Lord Arihant! I will not commit the sins of violence, uttering falsehood, stealing and carnal enjoyments, or be possesive, in word, thought or deed; nor will I assist any one in committing such sins. If anyone is committing such sins, I will not approve of and endorse them. Oh Lord! I hereby take a sacred and solemn vow that throughout my life, I will conform to these five austerities, the five gems of Jain conduct." The Jain Sadhus and Sadhvis never cause harm or violence to any living being. They live according to the pledge that they will not harm even the tiniest creatures. They do not speak untruth in whatever circumstances they might be entangled. They will not lie on account of fear, desire, anger, or on account of deceptive intentions. Without the permission of the owner, they will not take even a small thing like a straw. They have to observe the vow of celibacy with an absolute adherence to it. In this respect, the rules of conduct to be adhered to are absolutely strict and they should be observed with care. The Sadhus should not touch the members of the opposite sex, even to a child. In the same manner, the Sadhvis should not touch the members of the other sex, even to a child. The touching of the members of the opposite sex is strictly prohibited in the case of the Jain Sadhus and Sadhvis. In case, they touch the members of the opposite sex either by mistake or in ignorance, they have to undergo the ritual of Prayashchitta for selfpurification. There is a reason behind the rule that prohibits the touching of even the children of the opposite sex. The reason is that it is not possibie to draw a line of demarcation regarding the actual age of such youngsters. Not only it would be hard to do so but they can develop attachment which they have left. It is necessary to take some precautions to adhere to this rule of conduct strictly. There is a psychological bearing in respect of this rule of conduct. If we once allow the mind to go down, it will keep declining, step by step. The Jain Sadhus cannot keep money with them. They cannot own or have control on any wealth or houses or any such movable or immovable property. They should limit their necessities to the lowest limit and apart from those limits they should not own anything or should not have attachment for any thing.
  3. The path of achievement relating to the Jain dharma has been divided into two kinds on the basis of the ability and strength of the individuals. One is the acceptance of the life of an ascetic for the sake of one's spiritual prosperity and this is an arduous path of attainment. The other one is to remain as a Householder (Grihastha, a man with a family), and to endeavour according to one's ability, to attain self- purification. Sarvavirati - The way of ascetic life (total renunciation) Deshvirati - The way of the householder (partial renunciation)
  4. Shramana Bhagwan Mahavir was the last Tirthankar in the Avasarpini phase or the phase of decline. He was a contemporary of Gautam Buddha, Lao-Tse, Confucius, Socrates, etc. Bhagwan Mahavir was born on Monday the 13th day of the Shukla -the bright fortnight of Chaitra according to the Indian Calendar that is on the 30th of March 599 B. C. at Kshatriyakunda (in Bihar). He was born as Vardhman Kumar to King Siddhartha and Queen Trishala. When he was 30 years of age, he renounced his worldly life and assumed the life of Sädhanä or spiritual endeavour on Mondav the 10th day of Krishna Paksha the black fortnight of Kartik according to the Indian Calendar that is on 19th December 569 B.C. He performed a severe and austere penance for twelve and a half years and then on Sunday, the 10th day of Shukla of Vaishäkh that is 13th April 558 B.C., he attained Kevaljnan or absolute enlightenment. He preached his first message on the 11th day of Shukla Paksha of Vaishakh and showed the multidimensional path for the attainment of selfpurification and selfperfection. The same path shown by him is followed today. On Tuesday, the new Moon day in Kartik, i.e , on the 15th October 528 B.C. Lord Mahavir attained salvation, Moksha and his life ended with his attainment of absolute deliverance.
  5. The twenty four Tirthankars-Jineshwars in their respective periods preach the great dharma and show a clear and straight path for tha achievement of dharma. The essential form of Jain dharma has been the same from the time of Bhagwan Rishabhdev upto the time of Bhagwan Mahavir. The ultimate achievement of dharma has been Mukti or Moksha or absolute deliverance. The practice of the austerities like non-violence and truthfulness has become the real means for the attainment of Mukti or salvation. In the practice of these austerities, there may take place degrees of variations and at times such variations have taken place. But the essential form of the Jain dharma has not changed in the period of any Tirthankara and such a change will never take place. Shraman Bhagwan Mahavir restated the same eternal truth as was preached by Tirthankar Bhagwän Rishabhadev. The same message is today known as Jain dharma. Bhagwän Sri Rishabhdev-Adinath, the first Tirthankar was born and attained the salvation at the end of the third Susham Dusham Kal, time of much happiness and some sorrow. The rest of twenty three Tirthankars were born and attained the salvation in fouth Dusham Susham Kal, time of much sorrow and some happiness and in their respective periods they revitalised the same path as had been shown by Bhagwän Sri Rishabhdev.
  6. Twenty four Tirthankars are born in every Utsarpini phase and the Avasarpini phase. They, by means of their endeavor, become absolutely enlightened; they become devoid of attachments; they become Jinas; and for the spiritual welfare of all creatures in the Universe, they establish and expound the philosophy. Because they establish the philosophy, they are called Tirthankars. One definition of tirth is Sangha or society, Chauvanno Sangho tittham. This four-fold society of Sadhus, Sadhvis, Shravaks and Shravikas is together called tirtha.
  7. Time has mainly two phases, namely, Avasarpini the phase of decline and Utsarpini the phase of evolution. Avasarpini means that phase of time in which there takes place a gradual decline. During this phase, age, body, strength, happiness, etc., decline. On the contrary, during the phase called Ursarpini which means the time of progress and development, happiness, strength, body etc., attain progress. When the Utsarpini phase reaches its highest limit, the Avsarpini phase commences and when the Avasarpirni phase reaches its highest limit the Utsarpini commences. This cycle of time has to keep revolving thus. There is no end whatsoever to the revolution of this wheel. That is why, it has been named the wheel of time. Each of these phases has 6 aspects; and each aspect is known as Ara or an arc - wheel of time. Susham Susham Kal the phase of absolute happiness. Susham Kal the phase of happiness. Susham Dusham Kal the phase of much happiness and some sorrow. Dusham Susham Kal the phase of much sorrow and some happiness. Dusham Kal the phase of sorrow. Dusham Dusham Kal the phase of absolute sorrow. All of us are at present in the fifth phase called Dusham, the phase of sorrow.
  8. This dharma is absolutely independent, unique and systematised among the religions of the world. It has its own philosophy; it has a code of counduct tested by time. It has a unique outlook and wisdom. By means of this dharma, it is possible to see and examine the nature and real dimensions of every object in this universe. There is no definite day or date for commencing to live according to this dharma. Moreover, this dharma does not have any seer who first preached and expounded it. The Jain dharma has been in existence from times immemorial. In relation to time, that which undergoes changes according to the passage of time, naturally passes through the phases of gradual evolution and gradual decline. This process of development and decline continues in the endless and boundless flow of time.
  9. The devotee of vishnu is called a Vaishnav; the devotee of Shiva is called a Shaiva; the follower of the Buddha is called a Buddhist: the follower of Christ is called a Christain. In the same manner, the follower of Jineshwer is known as a Jain. Hence, this dharma has become current, established and reowned under the name of the Jain dharma. One who follows the path shown by Jineshwer is a Jain. Such a man is a Jain to whatever nation he may belong; to whatever sect or creed he may belong; in whatever philosophical context he might have been born or brought up. The Jain dharma is not a religious sect or creed. Anyone can adore and follow this dharma irrespective of his caste and creed. This living dharma is meant for all.
  10. A Jin is one who typifies the Jain dharma ! Jin means Victor! conqueror! The ultimate and absolute aim of life is salvation - Mukti! Deliverance! Two powerful impediments to the attainment of salvation are attachment and hatred. These two have been considered the inner enemies. They are the two enemies that entangle the Soul (Atma) in the cycle of birth and rebirth. Such passions as desire, anger, miserliness, arroggance and envy are but the offspring or the manifestations of the two passions, namely, attachment and hatred. One who attains an absolute victory over these enemies is known as Jin. He is also known by other names. Arihanta - ARI = enemy, HANT = destroyer. One who destroys the inner enemies. Arhan - One who is worthy of being worshipped. Vitrag - One who is devoid of attachment and hatred. Sarvajna - One who knows everything -The Omniscient. Parameshthi - One who has attained the Parampad or the highest state. Sarvadarshi - One who is all-seeing. These Jins have in their lives personally lived the dharma and showed to the world the path of attainment and that has become the dhama for Sadhakas, those who try to achieve it. The Jins give form to it; and hence it is named Jin dharma.
  11. Before we understand the meaning of the Jain dharma, it is absolutely necessary that we should have a thorough knowledge of the word, dharma or religion because for thousands of years, innumerable wrong notions about dharma hace been nourished and held by people. Dharma or religion is neither a cult nor a creed; nor it is a reserved ystem of any community. Dharma is not entirely related either to an individual or to a society; nor is it confined to any area. Dharma is the essential nature of an individual or an object. Shramana Bhagawan Mahavir has explained the meaning of dharma clearly thus:- "Vatthu Sahavo Dhammo" Dharma is nothing but the real nature of an object. Just as the nature of fire is to burn and the nature of water is to produce a cooling effect, in the same manner, the essential nature of the soul is to seek self-realization and spiritual elevation. If we examine the matter thus, we find that dharma acquires different definitions in different contexts but here is a simplpe and clear meaning of it; "Dharma is the name that can be given to all the elaborate codes of conduct and ideologies that enable life to attain nobility and spiritual exaltation". Dharma can be the only means to understand and realize the true meaning of life. Dharma in its real sense is that which leads the soul on the path of felicity, peace and spiritual bliss; and impels it to be active and progressive. The great Jieshwaras have defined dharma thus:- Arhat dharma - the dharma of Ariantas or the destroyers of the inner enemies namely Karmas. Anekanta darshan - the ideology that is comprehensive and is not limited to a single point of view. Vitaraga marg - the dharma that has been expounded by the Paramatma who is devoid of all attachments and hatred. Thus, Jainism is known by various names.
  12. The hymn of invocation Namo Arihantanam I bow in veneration to Arihantas (the destroyers of our inner enemies viz., Karmas). Namo Siddhanam I bow in veneration to Siddhas. (The souls that are perfect through the destruction of the Karmas.) Namo Ayariyanam I bow in veneration to Acharyas (The Head Sadhus of the four- fold Jain Sangh). Namo Uvajjhayanam I bow in veneration to Upadhyayas (The learned Sadhus who illustrate the Scriptures). Namo loye savva sahunam I bow in veneration to all Sadhus in the world. (Those who are pursuing the path of Moksha or salvation.) Eso pancha namukkaro Savva pävappanäsano Mangalänam cha savvesim Padhamam havai mangalam This five-fold salutation destroys all sins and is the most auspicious one amongst all auspicious things. This is the greatest hymn of invocation in Jainism. Every follower of Jainism repeats this hymn with devotion. This is the most efficacious hymn.
  13. ṆAMO ARIHANTĀṆAM,ṆAMO SIDDHĀṆAM,ṆAMO ĀVARIVĀṆAM,ṆAMO UVAJJHĀYĀṆAM,ṆAMO LOE SAVVA SĀHŪṆAM Daughter: Ma, we recite the Ṇamokāra-Mantra daily; what is Namokāra-Mantra? Please tell us. Mother: ṆAMOKĀRA-MANTRA is a prayer of virtues. We Jainas worship Arihanta, Siddha, Ācārya, Upādhyaya and Sadhu, by reciting Ṇamokāra-Mantra. They are known as " PAÑCA ­PARAMESTHI". Actually Ṇamokāra-Mantra is a reverence ­Mantra. Daughter: Ma, what do we gain by reverence to Pañca-Paramesthī? Mother: Jainas worship good qualities of a person and not only the person. So, this reverence (deep respect) is impersonal. It is focused on their virtues (good qualities). Indeed, it is a reverence of their virtues. It is reverence for their virtues. We wish to instill the virtues of the PAÑCA-PARMESTHĪ in our lives. Ṇamokāra-Mantra reminds us to achieve this goal. Daughter: Who are Arihantas? Mother: Arihantas are supreme human beings. They preach the absolute truth. They know every thing about the universe. At the end of their lives, they become pure-souls (Siddhas). Daughter: Who are Siddhas? Mother: Siddhas are pure souls without a physical body. They have freed themselves from all kinds of bondage. Daughter: Ma, why do we pay our reverence first to Arihantas in Ṇamokāra-Mantras? Mother: Although, Siddhas are spiritually higher than Arihantas, we pray Arihantas first because they preach us the path of Bliss. Daughter: Who is an Ācārya? Mother: An Ācāryais the leader of the monks (SADHŪS). He himself strictly practices the teachings of the religion and make other monks to follow such practices. He is a propagator of ethico-spiritual values. Daughter: Who is an Upādhyaya? Mother: An Upādhyaya is the reader of holy scriptures. He himself learns and teaches other monks. He is a teacher of ethico­spiritual values. Daughter: Who is a sādhu? Mother: A Sādhu is completely possessionless naked monk. He is indifferent to worldly pleasures and passions. He follows the path of spiritual progress. His daily routine consists of study of scriptures and meditation. He is a pious personality. Daughter: What is the difference amongst Ācāryas, Upādhyayas and Sādhūs? Mother: Ācāryas, Upādhyayas and Sādhūs are all monks. All of them study and practice the teachings of religion. The basic difference amongst them is that the Ācārya is the head monk of the group of monks. A monk who has highest degree of scriptural knowledge is appointed as an Upādhyaya. A Sadhu is a monk who practices the religion under the guidance of Ācārya. Dear child, Ṇamokāra Mantra is a unique prayer. Pañca-Parmesthī are the ideals for us to follow. By reciting Ṇamokāra Mantra (9 or 108 times), we gain peace, harmony and purity of thoughts. In Jainism, the Pañca-Parmesthī are represented by the symbol OM (ॐ) or AAAUM. It is an acronym formed from the Sanskrit words Arihanta, Asariri (Siddhas who do not have material bodies), Ācharya, Upādhyaya and Munī (Sādhu).
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