Eating food that contains animate beings, etc.
EIGHTH VOW (Anarthadanda-Viramana Vrata)
The Sanskrit name of this vow consists of five words the first of which is
a negative; the second means profit, benefit, motive, aim, object,
necessary reason, purpose, concern, etc.; the third word in the name means
evils or bad effects; and the last two words mean undertaking to refrain
So this eighth vow is an undertaking not to incur
We bring unnecessary evils upon ourselves to no
purpose, by indulging in thoughts, words, and deeds in which there is no
benefit to society, to our friends, or to ourselves.
A layman cannot avoid the evils entailed by his
necessary pursuits; but he can undertake to avoid the evils entailed by
unnecessary pursuits and activities, such as thinking about, speaking
about, or otherwise busying himself with matters that do not concern him
or in which there is no benefit.
The following are some of the ways in which we do
things in which there is no benefit:
Constantly fearing the loss of any of the good things
we have, wealth, friends, health.
Constantly fearing that bad things which we are at
present without, may come upon us -pain, poverty, disease.
Undue anxiety to get rid of disease, poverty, etc.,
when once they are upon us.
Undue anxiety for the future to come; craving for the
enjoyment of happiness expected to come in the future.
Being glad at having killed something or somebody or
approving of those who have done so.
Speaking ill of or misrepresenting others, and boasting
Desiring the death of some one, in order to inherit his
or her property, or cheating people and boasting about it.
Distrusting or wishing the death of others, for the
sake of the safety of our own property.
Giving gratuitous advice about matters that are no
concern of ours.
Lending dangerous weapons gratuitously, like guns; or
implements which in their use destroy life; fishing tackle, garden tools.
Sheer carelessness of thought, word, and action, such
as drinking; excessive sensuous indulgence; things done, said, or thought
through extreme anger, pride, deceitfulness, or greed; excessive sleep;
and also talk about matters which do not concern us, such as wars between
other countries; talk about a woman's bodily charms; about good dinners;
and about kings.
By taking this eighth vow, we use a means of guarding
ourselves against many evils, which we might otherwise incur to no
Gestures that arouse the sex passion (Kandarpa).
Antics (joke), tomfoolery (wisecrack) (Kautkucya).
Obtaining and keeping things that are not necessary
for our worldly welfare (Bhogopabhoga Atireka).
Leaving a loaded gun, or any dangerous instrument,
about (Samyukta Adhikaranata).
NINTH VOW (Samayika)
This is the first of the disciplinary vows (siksavrata).
It is a vow, by observing which one gets equanimity. It consists in
thinking about the permanent self; or in reading true philosophy or
scriptures; or in lamenting the wrong one has done and strengthening the
resolution not to repeat the wrong in future. Also revering the Master by
recounting his merits. The time taken should be forty-eight consecutive
minutes, predetermined and the vow should be taken to practice it a
definite number of times a year, 12 times, 52 times, once a day, or some
The general idea of this vow is to sit in a certain
place and read or media meditate on holy subjects, and especially to
regret misdoings and resolve not to repeat them.
Misdirection of mind, speech, or body, during the time
of meditation. That is, the mind, the speech, or the body must not occupy
itself with other subjects than the one in hand.
Practicing the vow in a wrong place, that is, where
there are insects that you might kill, while sitting or standing.
Forgetting the rites, i.e., leaving off in, say, 40
minutes, when you have determined upon 48 minutes.
TENTH VOW (Desavakasika Vrata)
It is reducing to a minimum the space in which we will
move. It is undertaking to limit oneself to the space of one house, or one
room for a day, once a year at least. It is the sixth vow, but more
severe, in one form, it is to restrict daily our movements, according to
our needs. One should not do anything which is beyond the limit specified.
Ordering things beyond the limit. Sending someone on
some business beyond the limit. Making some sound to attract the attention
of some one beyond the limit.
Making some sign to some one, beyond the limit, to come
to you. Throwing something to a person beyond the limit, in order to
attract his attention.
ELEVENTH VOW (Pausadhopavasa Vrata)
The eleventh vow is the same as the ninth, but
continued for twelve or twenty-four hours, and accompanied by some
fasting. By fasting we remove impurities. If the vow is taken, it must be
practiced at least once a year. If food is taken at all on the day of
fasting, it should not be between sunset and the following sunrise. It is
usual to keep to one place, do no business, and drink nothing or eat
nothing for twelve, twenty-four, forty-eight or seventy-two consecutive
hours, once a week, once a month, or at least once a year.
The first of these refers more to India or any hot
country it is not being particular to avoid:
killing insects by one's clothes or one's bedding;
Not taking something to clear away whatever insects
there may be.
Not being particular to avoid killing anything, in
performing the offices of nature.
Despising the ceremony itself.
Forgetting any of the necessary things to be done in
TWELFTH VOW (Atithisamvibhaga Vrata)
"Atithisamvibhaga" vow. Atithi means a
guest, and samvibhaga means to distribute, share with. the vow is
an undertaking to invite some Jain monk (or, in the absence of a monk,
some respectable Jain layman, or, in the absence of both, to do so in
thought), on the day following the fast undertaken in the previous vow, or
whenever opportunity offers, to partake of some of the food about to be
eaten, without informing the guest of the vow to do this; and only the
things which are partaken of by the monk should be eaten at the time. It
is things which are necessary for life that are partaken of; and books;
clothing, medicines, etc., as well as food, may be offered to the person
This vow, if taken, must be practiced at least once a
Offering food with life in it to a monk; fruit for
instance, not cut. After fifty minutes of being cut, fruit becomes
Putting living things among food which is free from
life: for instance, putting fresh cold water, which has life, with water
that has been boiled. In the Jain belief, fresh cold water is a mass of
living substance, and not merely the home of minute life or animalcule.
Giving the food, etc., in a grudging spirit, saying
that something which the monk may have asked us for and which we do not
wish to give, belongs to a friend.
Inviting the monk at a time which we know to be after
he has taken his meal.
That is the end of twelve special rules for helping to
change ourselves from what we actually are - ignorant, mistaken, weak,
injurious beings-to what we potentially are, according to the teachings of
those Masters who have developed their spiritual qualities to perfection
and have attained omniscience in the flesh. The rules are based upon a
certain foundation of character already developed-kindness of heart,
self-control, desire for right knowledge, and relish for truth, the
internal attitude accompanying the external visible practice of the rules.
These rules bring out further knowledge, increased strength of character,
greater peace of mind, sympathy, and kindness, and lead to higher levels
on the way towards an everlasting, blissful, omniscience in a state of
life which is natural to the real pure self, and which is open to all who
wish to attain it.
It is the instrument or tool to be used in the
scientific development of the character, the process of separating soul
from matter. As already mentioned, it is only each individual person that
can scientifically separate his own soul and the matter combined with it.
The separation cannot be scientifically (or in any other way ) effected by
another person. Concentration, as here meant, is a steady activity of the
mind under the individual's own control. It is work. The scientific method
of developing the character is not an artificial one; and before
concentration can be used for this purpose, there must be the right
attitude already described. Concentration can be used for increasing our
knowledge, and for improving our conduct.
In concentrating to increase our knowledge, we do not
sit down and think what a thing might be or ought to be; and we cannot
concentrate our mind upon a thing if we have no knowledge of it. We must
get our knowledge, through the usual channels of observation and
communication; all knowledge is based on the senses. The process in
concentration for increasing our knowledge is analysis and then synthesis;
analysis of the thing or a subject into its parts and aspects, and then
putting them together mentally and thinking of the thing as one whole.
There is in the process, observation, comparison, classification,
generalization, inference, synthesis, and learning the relations of the
thing or subject to other things in the world.
Knowledge is only right, in so far as it improves the
social nature. And knowledge must not be gained at the expense of living
beings, as in vivisection, for example. We have no such right. Further,
knowledge is not only the perception of the object; there must be
perception of the object, then desire to act in relation to it; and,
finally, there must be the determination to act in relation to the object.
Knowledge is not new knowledge, unless it produces some change in the
life. Knowledge must be deep down in the person, perception is only on the
Any comfortable position of the body may be taken while
concentrating, so that there may be no consciousness of the position in
which we are, or so that we may not be uneasy or strained.
An object of concentration is to realize that our real
self is not our personality.
There should be preparation for concentration, the
choice of some particular subject; and we should induce enthusiasm, ardor,
and sincerity in the heart at the time of concentration.
In concentration, for the purpose of improving our
conduct, the process is different: the subject as a whole should be
brought before the mind, by remembering some particular person who had the
quality we wish to develop or improve in ourselves. Also we should hear or
read the works of reliable authors on the subject, and get the author's
meaning (not our own fancy) into our mind, and remember it.
That is the beginning of the process; next comes the
exercise of the understanding. Retaining the essence of the whole idea,
divide the subject into its parts, and, by comparison, etc., get to
understand the parts, what each part is, and what it is not; then draw
some conclusion as to how we can act at particular time, towards some
particular person, in some particular place; it must be a particular
person, and a particular act, and not general, or else it is like firing
The next faculty to be exercised is the will. We must
find our motives or reasons why we should act in the way concluded. We may
find ten or twenty reasons.