As soon as the state of "delusion", the first of the
four instrumental causes of mundane existence is removed or controlled,
the right attitude (samyaktva) of thought towards the truth comes
out; we are convinced then that it is wrong to kill or injure living
beings, and there is a relish of this conviction; also, instead of
disliking and denying the truth, we like and relish it.
Our whole progress depends upon acquiring or rather
manifesting this right attitude. And it is present actually in all
remaining stages of development above the third.
Until this attitude is attained all philosophy,
concentration, etc., will be false.
As this attitude is important, we want to know how it
can be attained. There are some thirty-five rules the practice of which
will bring us to this stage; and three processes which have to be gone
through, after which we shall have the right attitude. There are certain
internal signs by which we may know whether or not it has been reached by
us; we believe in the truth without any vacillation; we do not have the
degree of anger towards any person to the extent that we feel we could
never forgive him or be friendly the whole of our lifetime. That intensity
of anger towards any person does not rise up; it is controlled by the
mind. Not only anger but also pride, deceit, and greed.
The following are five inward signs or characteristics
of the right attitude of thought towards the universe in which we find
Not feeling the degree of anger, etc., just
A desire to reach the state of everlasting life, or
liberation from mundane existence.
The recognition that this continual going on from
incarnation to incarnation is not the right state of life; looking upon
any embodied state of existence as a misery and one to be got away from.
Compassion towards those who are suffering from any
kind of misery. If the misery is due to the ignorance and foolishness of
the individual, then there is still pity for him that he should be thus
ignorant. (It is the duty of society to lessen the extent of suffering
which exists in it.)
The conviction that that only is a true code of rules
of life which has been taught by the omniscient, or persons in whom the
eighteen failings are absent. These eighteen failings are given later
DEITY, TEACHER, RULES OF CONDUCT
When we are in this state of right attitude then we
have certain very definite convictions regarding three principles, viz.,
the deity, the spiritual teacher and rules of life.
Deity, in the Jain doctrine, is the highest ideal, that
we keep before the mind with the object that ultimately shall become like
him. If the person does not reach this ideal with all its grandeur in the
bodily state as did the Master (Tirthankara), still the person will
reach the state of Deity in liberation where all are equal. The Master is
a person, not an abstract idea, having attained an ideal manhood, and
living, while on earth in the body, among his brothers and sisters; his
relationship to other human beings is not that they are his children.
When the right attitude is attained then the person
will have a strong conviction that only those are Masters in whom the
following eighteen failings are absent.
None of the eight class of energies (antaraya karmas)
must be found in him, there are five in this class, and so we have the
first five absent failings. There must be no weakness or inability to do
any right action he might wish to do.
Laughing and joking must have disappeared. Laughing
as a rule is on the occasion of some unfamiliar idea or connection of
ideas, and when such is the case it shows imperfect knowledge; and there
must not be anything with which the ideal man is unfamiliar.
He has no liking (rati) for this, that, or the
other thing, that is, material objects. He is always in a state of
internal bliss whether the object is there or not. Also, liking an
object, a cushion seat, for instance, would be a source of displeasure
at its loss. It is attachment to sensation that is the point here as a
He has no positive dislike for any object. Dislike is
a source of misery, and there must be no misery in the ideal.
Fear has disappeared. There is fear in us for the
loss of our body, our reputation, our property, because we identify
ourselves with them, considering them the factors of our being, and we
have not realized that the real self is different from our goods, etc.,
and that our real self cannot be injured by any force, shows lack of
knowledge, and weakness.
He has no feeling of disgust or sense of repulsion.
The sense of disgust produces a kind of misery; also if all the aspects
of a thing are known then there is no sense of disgust.
Sorrow is absent; it is a kind of misery. (He may
have pity and compassion.)
Lust or sexual passion has disappeared entirely.
His attitude of belief and conviction is correct. All
signs of anger, greed, killing, have gone.
Ignorance has gone, and therefore he is omniscient.
He never goes into the state of sleep. If there is
any hitch in the continuity of his omniscience then he is not the
He has perfect control over desires; over any desire
to please or indulge the eye, the ear, taste, touch or smell.
He has no attachments to things or persons. He makes
no effort, nor has he any desire to keep or to get material things or
worldly pleasure (raga).
He has no hatred of persons or things.
It is said that the last Master, Mahavira, whom history
describes, possessed these eighteen qualifications.
When the right attitude of thought is attained, any
being or person that is held up as a deity in whom any one of the above
eighteen faults is discovered, will not be regarded as deity. And the
deity should be critically examined to see if all these failings are
The deity is not one who issues laws that must be
obeyed; nor is he a creator of the universe.
THE SPIRITUAL TEACHER
What sort of a person is able to teach us spiritual
truth in the absence of an omniscient Master? When we have attained the
right attitude we shall feel convinced that the only kind of person who
can teach us the truth about spiritual matters in the absence of the
omniscient Master is one who has the five characteristics mentioned below.
Such a teacher may be a man or a woman.
He does not destroy any form of life, animal,
vegetable, or mineral (water for instance), through carelessness of
body, speech, or mind. It is, therefore, impossible for him to be a
His speech is actually truth in fact, and is spoken
in a pleasant way, and is spoken only when the teacher thinks that it is
beneficial to the person to whom it is spoken.
He does not take anything which is not given to him
by its owner, and he takes only those things which are necessary for the
maintenance of his body.
Things which can be given are of two kinds : (1)
animate, (2) inanimate.
Of animate objects he does not accept any, even if
offered by its owner; because although the owner of a parrot, for
instance, may be willing to hand the bird over to a teacher, there is
the question as to whether the bird is willing to be handed over; and as
all things should claim their freedom, the teacher would not take the
bird even if it were willing.
Of inanimate objects he will not take anything that
has been made specially for him, food, etc., because by doing so he
would share in the consequences (karma) of producing the article.
If the teacher has a superior teacher, or the Master,
and is told by him not to take certain things, then these things must
not be taken. The obedience here required is not like that of a soldier
to his superior officer; the teacher would not kill if told to.
He has entirely given up the sex passion.
He does not own any property in the sense of
ownership as understood in law. His clothing is given to him, but he
does not have them as "owing" them.
It is said that there are at present living in India
monks who possess there five qualifications, and who could be found by
RULES OF CONDUCT
This is the third subject upon which very defiant
convictions are held when we attain the right attitude the signs of which
are now being added to. A body of rules of conduct does two things: it
keeps a man from falling, and it helps him to advance.
These rules are rules relating to social life; because
all living beings are social. It is by means of our relations with other
living beings that our development progresses, and not in solitude. The
ultimate outcome of these rules is the doing of good towards other living
When a person has reached the right attitude he is
convinced that any body of rules of conduct must be based on sympathy,
love, pity, compassion, etc., (daya); he is convinced that any body
of rules of conduct which is based on injury or killing of living beings
cannot be the truth. And this conviction is very strong. He cannot,
therefore, follow any religion which requires the sacrificing of animals;
there must be a feeling for others.