(II) Rules of
Conduct for Ascetics.
When a layman
consistently observes the rules of conduct prescribed for the householders and
especially attains all pratimas, he is qualified to become an ascetic. In this
way there is a close link between the two social orders of laity and and
ascetics. The order of laymen (including laywomen) is preliminary and, in many
cases, preparatory to the order of monks (including nuns). Because of this
intimate relationship we find that the rules prescribed for laymen and ascetics
do not differ in kind but in degree. The same rules of conduct' observed by
laymen are to be followed by ascetics with the only difference that while laymen
have to practise them partially or less rigorously, ascetics have to observe
them fully and more rigorously. Thus the Anuvratas, i.e small vows, of the
householders become Mahavratas, i.e. great vows, when practised by ascetics.
This is obvious because the ascetic stage signifies absolute renunciation of the
world and the only objective in this stage is to concentrate energy on the
attainment of Moksha, i.e. liberation. Asceticism is a higher course in
spiritual training and it is in this stage real efforts are made for the
stoppage of influx of Karmas and the shedding of existing Karmas with a view to
attain liberation. Therefore very minute rules of conduct are prescribed for the
ascetics and the latter have to observe them without any fault or transgression.
The stoppage of
influx of fresh Karmic matter into the Atman or soul is known as Samvara and it
is effected by following, .
(a) three kinds of Gupti, i.e.
(b) (b) five kinds of Samiti, i.e.
(c) ten kinks of
Dharma, i.e. virtues,
(d) twelve kinds
of Anupreksha, i.e. meditations or reflections,
kinds of Parishaha-Jaya, i.e. subdual of sufferings, and
(f) five kinds of
Charitra, i.e. conduct.
(a)The Guptis :
The flow of Karmas into the Atman or soul is caused by the activities of body,
speech and mind; so it is quite necessary for the ascetics to keep these
channels of influx under strict control, i.e. to observe the Guptis. The three
guptis are regulations with reference to controlling one's inner nature, that
is, they are dictated by the principles of self-control, (i) The first of them
is Mano-Gupti, i.e. regulation of mind in such a way as to give room only to
pure thoughts. (ii) The second Vag-gupti, i.e. regulations of speech and it
consists in observing silence for a particular period or in speaking only as
much as is absolutely necessary. (iii) The third is Kaya-gupti, i.e. regulation
of one's bodily activity.
(b)Samitis : It is
just possible that even in performing the uties of an ascetic, the vows might be
transgressed out of inadvertence. Hence as a
measure the Samitis, i.e. acts of carefulness are prescribed. The Samitis are
designed with a view to cultivate the habit of carefulness in accordance with
the principle of Ahimsa, i.e. non-injury. The Samitis are prescriptions for the
regulation of the movements of the body and are as follows :
(i) The Irya
Samiti aims at regulation of walking, so as not to injure any living being.
(ii) The Bhasha
Samiti regulates the mode of speech with a view to avoid the hurting of other's
feelings by use of offensive words.
(iii) The Eshana
Samiti regulates seeking or eating food so , as not to cause any injury to any
Adana-Nikshepa Samiti regulates the actions of taking or using, and of putting
away, anything whatsoever.
(v) The Utsarga
Samiti regulates the movements connected with the answering of call of nature,
etc. Both the three Guptis and five Samitis are sometimes grouped
together under the
name of "Ashta-Pravachana-Mata", i.e. "The Eight mothers of the Creed", on
account of their fundamental character.
(c)The Dharmas :
It is mainly due to the Kashayas, i.e. passions, that the soul assimilates
Karmas, hence the four passions of Krodha, i.e. angar, Mana, i.e. pride, Maya,
i.e. de ceptions and Lobha,
i.e. greed, must
be counteracted by cultivating ten Uttama Dharmas, i.e. Supreme virtues, as
(i) Uttama-Kshama, i.e. supreme forgiveness,
(ii) Uttama-Mardava, i.e. Supreme tenderness or humility,
(iii) Uttama-Arjava,i.e.n Supremestraightforwar dnessor honesty,
(iv) Uttam-Shaucha, i.e. Supreme contentment or purity,
(v) Uttama-S'atya i.e. Supreme truthfulness.
(vi) Uttama-Samyama, i.e. Supreme Self-restraint,
(vii) Uttama-Tapa, i.e. Supreme austerities,
(viii)Uttama-Tyaga, i.e. Supreme renunciation,
(ix) Uttama-Akinchanya, i.e. Supreme non-attachment, and
(x)Uttama-Brahmacharya, i.e. Supreme chastity.
virtues together are termed as Dashalakshana Dharma, i.e. the ten
:With a view to cultivate the necessary religious attitude, it is enjoined on
the ascetics to constantly reflect on twelve religious topics know as
Anuprekshas, i.e. meditations. It is laid down that these Anuprekshas should be
meditated upon again and again.The tweleve Anuprekshas are as follows :
anuprekshas, i.e. everything is subject to change or is transitory.
anupreksha, i.e. unprotectiveness or help lessness. The feeling that soul is
unprotected from fruition of Karmas, for example, death etc.
anupreksha, i.e. mundaneness. Soul moves in the cycle of existences and cannot
attain true happiness till it is cut off.
anuprelcsha, i.e. loneliness. I am alone, the doer of my actions and the enjoyer
of the fruits of them.
anupreksha, i.e. separatness. The world, my relation and friends, my body and
mind, they are all distinct and separate from my real self.
anupreksha, i.e. impurity. The body is impure and dirty.
anupreksha, i.e. inflow. The inflow of Kar-mas is the cause of my mundane
existence and it is; the product of passions.
anupreksha, i.e. stoppage. The inflow of Karma must be stopped by cultivating
anuprelcsha, i.e. shedding. Karmic mattershould be destroyed or shaken out of
the soul by the practice of penances.
anupreksha, i.e. universe. The nature of the,
universe and its constituent elements in all their vast variety proving the
insignificance and miserable nothingness of man in time and space.
Bodhi-durlabha anupreksha i.e. rarity of religious, knowledge. It is difficult
to attain right faith, knowledge and conduct.
arzupreksha, i.e. reflection on the true nature of religion and especially on
the threefold path of liberation as preached by the conquerors.
Anuprekshas, are termed as Bhavanas, i.e.. contemplations.