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Scale of living beings

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Thirty-five rules of conduct


Fourth stage of development-part-2


Fifth stage of development


Twelve special rules of conduct


Sixth to fourteenth stages of development

  Synthesis or Recapitulatiion


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The success of the control of nature's finer forces that are not generally known, depends upon chastity.

The success of "mantras" (i.e. spells) also depends entirely upon chastity. It is not the vibrations of the sound (pudgala vibrating) only that give effectiveness to "mantra"; one's mental activity, and one's life as a whole all go to produce a compound vibration, which can be sent to and felt by a being in the higher realms. The mental state is more important than the vibrations of the sound.

There are a number of worldly disadvantages: you lose and squander your money; you lose sight of your better desires; you lose respect for your spiritual superiors; ;you lose faith in the scriptures; you cannot perform good actions; you cannot go to the " Deva " state after death, etc., if there is excessive indulgence.

The science of breath teaches that in every activity you have to use the force of breath, which force is measured by the number of breaths spent; and it is the subtle breath, not the ordinary breath, that is now meant.

In the state of concentration, according to the Jain teaching, if you spend four breaths, then in good thoughts you spend six; in sitting in silence, you spend ten, in speaking, twelve; in sleeping sixteen; in walking, twenty-two; and in sexual intercourse, you spend thirty-six of the subtle breaths. That is the Jain view.

The next thing, therefore, to consider is avoiding giving up this passion, 1) entirely, and 2) partially. Entire control is adopted by the monks; but the layman, practicing the moderate degree of self-control previously mentioned, is not able to avoid it entirely, and so the question arises as to the means he can adopt to avoid the passion as much as possible. The fourth vow is the means. The fourth vow is in Sanskrit "sva-dara-santosa, paradara-viramana." There are two parts here: the first part means being satisfied with one's own wife, the second part means not going with the wife of another. The layman may take either of these parts, or both.

He may also undertake to try and avoid speaking or thinking it and to use care in the matter of dreams. Also he may undertake not to marry again; also to exercise absolute chastity in the day time, and to try and observe the following nine rules to help him to keep the vow. They form as it were a hedge to keep one away from injury in this direction:

  1. Living in such a way that he does not have physical contact all the time with a woman: it excites the passion. Also living in a building where there are no neuter human beings or female animals.

  2. Not indulging in lustful conversation or stories.

  3. Not sitting for some time where a woman sat.

  4. Not looking at women lustfully.

  5. Not remaining in a room with thin walls, next to one where a married couple are sleeping.

  6. He should not bring to mind the enjoyment of former days.

  7. Avoiding foods which excite.

  8. Not gorging himself with even non-stimulating food.

  9. He should not embellish (decorate) his body.


  1. Any artificial gratification.

  2. Giving away another person's daughter in marriage.

  3. Constantly looking with a lustful eye at women; also using medicine when weak.

  4. There are also other ways of partially transgressing the vow.

Although the wording here is applied to men, the same rules applied to women hold good; to be satisfied with one's own husband; avoiding other women's husbands, etc.

FIFTH VOW (Sthula-Parigraha-Parimana Vrata)

Undertaking to limit one's possessions.

It is the limitation of the desire to possess property and hence of actual possession. If this desire is uncontrolled, it is limitless. To limit the desire is to partially control it. A person may possess without desiring to possess. It is the desire for things that are not ourselves that is meant, and not desire for kind-heartedness, wisdom knowledge. The real self is different from the body, and from material things. The real self does not take on what belongs not to it, and does not give up what belongs to it by nature. The desire for possession is the false identification of the real self with material things; and as soon as this is realized, the person will begin to remove the desire by limiting the quantity of his material possessions. To satisfy the desire for possession, we have to engage in some kind of activity not natural to the pure soul, and this activity is such that foreign energies and unnatural impelling forces are generated. By limiting the desire to possess, we get contentment and steadiness.

Non-limitation is the same thing as unsteadiness; it is like the butterfly life.

These teachings have been handed down from ancient times, when property was classified in the following way; and in limiting the quantity we will possess as our own, we may use this old method of classification of things, and limit the things in each class:

  1. Things which can be sold by number, such as melons.

  2. Things which can be sold by weight, such as sugar, drugs.

  3. Things which can be sold by measure, such as oil, milk.

  4. By testing, such as gold.

  5. Different kinds of grades of property, land, buildings, metals, animals.


If we keep as our own more than the specified quantity of the things limited, we break the vow; and subterfuges, etc., would be partial transgressions; for instance, if we keep excess grain with some one else; or make a gold ring into a tie pin, because the number of gold rings is reached.

These first five vows are the minor vows in comparison with the vow of the monk; which are called great vows, and are these same five in a strict and literal sense, no killing whatever, lying, stealing, sex passion, or property; that is, full protection to all life; true speech only; perfect honesty; absolute chastity; and no property possessed as his own; he may have a few things without any desire to possess them, as has already been mentioned.

The next three vows (gunavrata) help and support the first five.

SIXTH VOW (Dig-:arimana Vrata)

The sixth vow is the limitation of the area in which you will live, including all directions of motion, up, down, sideways, etc. It is the limitation of the distance, up to which and not beyond which you will go, or send your men.

This vow helps the first five. You proclaim to all beings, living beyond the specified area, that you will not hurt them.

By developing the faculty of psychic knowledge, we can know what is going on abroad, without actually going there.


If we transgress the limits by forgetfulness, or by accident, or by subterfuge, it is partial transgression of the vow. If we otherwise go beyond the limits, it is breaking the vow.

SEVENTH VOW (Bhogopabhoga-Parimana Vrata)

It is the limitation of the quantity of things we will use, whether it be things that can be enjoyed many times, such as furniture, pictures, persons of the opposite sex, cloths, ornaments, houses, bedding, carriages, etc., or whether it be things that can only be used once, such as cake, foods, drinks, flowers, etc. This helps the first five vows.

This vow includes the limitation of the activities we will engage in to get the things we use. So there are two divisions in this vow.

  1. With regard to the things that we eat. If a layman can, he should use only things which are inanimate. If he cannot, then he will have to use things that are animate; but he should limit them in number, quantity, weight, etc. He should give up flesh foods; vegetables in which there are infinite lives in the one body, such as carrots, potatoes, turnips, things that grow underground; also unknown fruit, decomposed food, honey, spirits, and eating at night.

  2. With regard to the activities that a layman should engage in, in order to obtain the things he uses, they should be faultless, sinless, but not sinless in the Christian sense; sin here means sin against one's own soul, obstructing its virtues. If he is unable to avoid sinless businesses, then he should give up such trades as involve cruelty to animals.

Such businesses, as the following fifteen, should not be followed by those who have taken the seventh vow:

  1. Making and selling charcoal.

  2. Agriculture, horticulture, or gardening,

  3. Making and selling carts, etc., or driving vehicles, belong to oneself.

  4. Driving or plying other people's vehicles, either as a servant, or hired.

  5. Blasting rocks, digging mines, ploughing etc.

  6. Ivory business, necessitating the killing of elephants.

  7. Lac, or any similar substance. Insects get caught in it.

  8. Liquids, for the same reason.

  9. Poison.

  10. Fur, hair.

  11. Milling or water-pumping; fish get killed in large quantities.

  12. Castrating.

  13. Burning or cutting green forests, fields, etc.

  14. Drying lakes, ponds, or reservoirs; the fish are killed.

  15. Bringing up women for immoral purposes, or animals for nay cruel purpose, in order to make money.