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 Ary�.
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
The five great vows
1. The Pranatip�taviraman Mahavrat- Non-violence
2. Mrishavadaviraman Mah�vrat - Truthfulness
3. Adattad�naviraman Mahavrat- Non-stealing
4. Maithunaviraman Mahaivrat- Celibacy
5. 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
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.