Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions
About This Book (Translator's Prelude)
Peculiarity of Jainism
Nature of Mundane Existence
  Miseries of Mundane Existence and Bliss of Liberation 
  Exposition of False Belief Knowledge and Conduct
  Analytical study of different religions
  Refutation of False Deity-Preceptor-Religion
  X-ray of Jaina-misbelievers
  Nature of Sermons
  Nature of Liberation Path
  Nature of Noble Peaceful Death
  Rahasyapoorna Chitthi (Spiritual Letter)

Nature of Sermons



Further, at some place, some quantity (magnitude) etc. are mentioned; so, there one should not take the literal meaning but should grasp its purpose.  In Jnanarnava * Shastra it is stated- "In this era only two-three sagacious persons (true believers) are found."  So, literally, only so many persons are not there, but the purpose is to say that very few persons (true believers) are there.  Similarly, one should know elsewhere.


(Dupragyaballupt vastunichya vigyanshoonyashya, vighantai pratimandiran nij-nij svarthodyta daihin. Anandamritasindhusheekarchyae nirvapya janmjvran, yai muktaivardnainduveekshan.prastai santi dvishra yadi  -- 24


On this pattern, there are many more words used with different meanings; so, the same should be known appropriately; contrary meaning should not be grasped.


And whatever be the sermons, by distinguishing it correctly that which is found suitable to the self, the same should be accepted.  For example, in the books on medical science several medicines are described; one should know them but he should take those medicines which might cure one's disease. If one is suffering from `cold', then he should take that medicine which produces cold; one should know that this medicine is useful for others (and not for himself).


Similarly, one should acquire the knowledge of various preachings found in Jain Shastra but should follow only such preachings which might remove his perversities.  He should accept that preaching which contradicts the perversity which one has and should not follow such preachings which support it.  He should know that such preaching is useful for others.


Some examples are cited here.  In the Shastras at some places preachings supporting Nishchaya (real standpoint) are found and at other places those supporting Vyavahara (conventional standpoint) are found.  There if one has the excessive leaning towards Vyavahara then he should follow correct practice by accepting the preachings fostering the Nishchaya (real standpoint) and if one has excessive leaning toward Nishchaya then he should follow correct practices by accepting the sermons fostering the Vyavahara (conventional standpoint).  Further, one may be already devoid of self- knowledge due to conventional faith; afterwards also he may not make effort for gaining. self-knowledge by giving prominence to conventional sermons only; or due to faith in Nishchaya (real standpoint), one had become unrestrained by falling from renunciation and afterwards also, by giving prominence to sermons based on real standpoint, he fosters the carnal pleasures.  In this way, by following contrary sermons, harm alone is caused.


Further, it is stated in Atmaanushasana (1) that- "Being meritorious why do you indulge in blemishes?

(1)    Hai chandrma kimit lanchhnvanbhoostvan.  Tadvan bhavai kimit tnmey aiv nabhu. Kin jyotsnya malmalan tav ghoshyantya. Svrbhavbhatoo tatha sati nasi lakshya - 140

 If you desired to become demeritorious then why did you not become fully demeritorious?"  So, if a person be meritorious but may be having some blemish, then he should accept such preaching for removing that blemish.  But if one is himself full of blemishes and by accepting such preachings wishes to defame meritorious persons, then he would harm himself only.  It is not worse to have some blemish in comparison to one who is full of blemishes; therefore, such a person is better that yourself (a person full of blemishes).  Further, here it is stated "Why did you not become full of blemishes?"  So, this is just a logical argument; this sermon is not meant for encouraging someone to become full of blemishes.  And if a meritorious person is criticized because of some blemish, it should be known that only the Siddhas (non-corporeal omniscients) are totally free from blemishes.  In the lower spiritual stages, some merit or some demerit is always to be found.


Someone may say here- "If this be so, then how is it stated in Shat-Pahuda (2) that after accepting monkhood, if one keeps the slightest possession, then he also goes to Nigoda (i.e., host souled one-sensed beings)?


(2)Jehjayroovsariso tiltushmaitan n.a gihdihatyaisu

Jehad laid appbhuyan tato pun.  Jayee  n.iggodam   -----(Sootr Pahung  18)


Answer: By accepting higher spiritual status, if one indulges in some such mean practice which is not possible in that status, then due to breach of vows, etc., he involves himself in great sin and one should know that in the lower spiritual status where some such merits and demerits are possible, it is not desirable to highlight his demerits.


Further, it is stated in Upadesha Siddhanta Ratna Mala (3)- "Even the anger of the preacher who gives sermons according to Jina's commandment, is a treasury of forbearance." 


(3)     Rosovi khamakoso sutan bhasant jssan.dhan.asya

AssutainKhamvid dos mhamoh avaso       ----- (Updaishsidhant Ratnmala    14)


But this sermon is not meant for the discourser.  If on the basis of this sermon, the discourser continues to indulge in anger, then he would harm himself only.  This sermon is meant for acceptance by listeners.  Sometimes even being angry, if the discourser gives a true sermon, then too the listeners will treat it to be beneficial only.  Likewise, one should know elsewhere.


Further, intense heat-producing medicines are prescribed for the persons suffering from extreme cold, (typhus).  If one is suffering from heat or from minor cold, takes such medicines then he would become miserable only.  For one who has excessive prominence of some activity, the discourse may be given with great emphasis for its contradiction, if a person who does not have the prominence of such act or has little prominence, follows such sermon, then he would harm himself only.


For example, someone has very great liking for study of Shastras and does not make effort for self-realization; for such person, too much study of Shastras has been negated. But a person who does not study the Shastras or studies Shastras rarely, if gives up study of the  Shastras by such preachings and does not engage his Upayoga in self- realization, then he would harm himself only.


Further, for a person who strongly believes to consist in committing injury through the act of oblation (religious sacrifice) and bathing, etc., the preaching is- "Even if the earth gets turned upside down no auspicious fruit can result by committing injury."  But if a Jiva who accumulates lot of Punya (auspicious karmas) by practicing acts of worship, etc.  in which some injury is also caused, gives up worshipping, etc. by following such preachings and does not adopt injuriless practices like Samayika (1) etc., then he would assuredly harm himself only.  In the same way, one should know elsewhere.


For example, some medicine might be potentially effective, but one should continue taking it so long as it is beneficial to oneself.  If even on mitigation of cold, one continues to take heat producing medicine, then it would rather cause the disease.  Similarly, there is some religious activity, but one should continue its practice only till such time it benefits the self.  If even on evolution of higher spiritual status, one continues observance of the religious practice pertaining to lower spiritual spiritual status, it would rather cause harm only.


 Further for example, religious practices like Pratikramana (1) etc. are advised for eradicating sin but if even after self-realization, one indulges in the thoughts of Pratikarmana, etc. then it would rather increase perversity. From this very point of view Pratikarmana etc. have been stated to be poison in Samayasara.  Further, the religious activities like the glorification, etc. are advised to be followed by a vowless person; if even on becoming a votary, one indulges in these activities, then he would assuredly get bondage of vicious karmas only.  How is it justifiable (for a votary) to become controller of the activities like managing temple, etc. after giving up activities like business, etc. Similarly, one should know elsewhere also.


Further the medicines like elixir, etc. are invigorating but if a person suffering from fever takes them, then great harm would be caused.  Similarly, practice of high religion is very beneficial but if without the removal of one's passional dispositions, one adopts such high religious practices, then it would cause great harm only.  For example, if one has not freed himself from inauspicious passions and adopts rambleless state of Upayoga then it would rather increase his passions.  Further, if a person who is engrossed in sensual pleasures like taking food, etc. adopts religious practices like renunciation of worldly occupations and possessions, etc., then it would rather cause harm only.  Further, if one has not renounced the perverse activities like indulgence in business, etc. and adopts religion in sanctimonious form of renunciation, then great harm would be caused to him. Similarly, one should know elsewhere also.


Likewise, after true deliberation and understanding the true sense of the preachings, one should adopt the same.  Enough details have been considered so far.  In fact, on evolution of right knowledge, one himself perceives the real sense of preachings.  The sermons (preachings) are in the form of words and through words several meanings cannot be explained simultaneously; therefore, the preachings are generally given with the prominence of one meaning only.


Further, where whatever particular meaning is described, there the prominence is of that particular meaning only.  If someone gives prominence to its second aspect (meaning) then both aspects (meanings) of the preachings will be grasped firmly one aspect (meaning) but the emblem of whole of the Jain scripture is Syadvada and the meaning of the word Syad is Kathanchit i.e., partially true from a particular point of view.  Therefore, whatever sermon is received, it should be taken to be the whole truth.  After knowing the sense of preaching, one should ponder over as to how is this sermon? What is its purpose? and to which Jiva it is useful/ with such deliberation, one should accept its true meaning. Afterwards, one should analyze his present state. In the manner in which the sermon seems to be useful to oneself, one should accept it in the same form and if sermon is worth knowing only, then he should know correctly.  In this way, one should get benefited from the preachings.


Question: What should a person with ordinary intelligence, who is not able to ponder so much, do?


Answer: For example, a businessman should engage himself in smaller or greater measure in that business which he understands according to his wisdom, but he must necessarily possess the knowledge of profit and loss.  Similarly, a judicious person should accept that sermon in smaller or greater measure which he understands according to his wisdom, but one must have such knowledge as to what is beneficial to him and what is not beneficial to him.  The real purpose is to mitigate attachment, etc. by attaining true belief and knowledge.  Therefore, one should accept the purpose of that preaching only which fulfills his such purpose.  Even if he does not possess detailed knowledge, he should at least not forget his purpose.  So, much caution is extremely necessary. It is not desirable to understand the meaning of the preachings in such a form which may hurt the self- benefaction.


In this way, studying the Jain Shastras with the outlook of Syadvada, the benefaction of the self takes place.


Question: Where different-different viewpoints be possible, there the use of Syadvada is justified but what should one do when from one viewpoint only mutual contraction is perceived in the Shastras? For example, in Prathamaanuyoga it is stated that thousands of monks have attained liberation along with one Tirthankara; and in Karanaanuyoga it is stated as a rule that six hundred and eight Jivas (monks) attain liberation in a duration of six months and eight Samayas (units of time). Further, it is described in Prathamaanuyoga that gods and goddess are born (in heaven) to gather and after death they are born together in human state of existence.  In Karanaanuyoga the age of a god is stated in Sagaras and that of goddess in Palyas; how are these statements reconciled?


Answer: The statements in Karananuyoga are subtle and correct degree whereas in other Anuyogas the statements are according to the relevant purpose.  Hence, the statement of Karanaanuyoga are true as they are, and in other Anuyogas, the statements are to be reconciled with the relevant purpose. Where it is stated that thousands of monks have attained liberation (Moksha) along with one Tirthankara, it should be known that so many have not attained liberation at one point of time but should be understood that the place where the Tirthankara (omniscient lord) stopped all activities of movement, etc. and became stationary, along with him many monks were present and afterwards they attained liberation at different times.  In this way, the apparent contradiction in Prathamaanuyoga and Karanaanuyoga is removed.  Further, the god and goddess took birth together; afterwards the goddess died and obtained several rebirths.  These being purposeless, are not described.  Afterwards they again took birth together in human embodied form.  By such reconciliation the apparent contradiction is removed. Similarly, one reconcile other statements.