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)



Characteristics of Acharya

Chief of Congregation of Monks)


Among them (in the group of above monks) he, who has become the leader of a congregation of monks by acquiring the chief rank by virtue of the excellence in right belief, right knowledge and right conduct and who chiefly remains engrossed in Niruikalpa Swaroopaacharan (unrambling state of pure, passionless conduct of the self), and when he has compassionate feeling due to rise of slight mild attachment, preaches sermons to only those Jivas who pray for and are curious for religion; he administers Deeksha (renunciation- vow) to those who want to accept asceticism, and purifies by the process of expiation those who admit their faults.


I bow to such an ascetic chief monk Acharya who admonishes such kind of spiritual conduct.


Characteristics of Upadhyaya (Preceptor Monk)


And (the Jaina-monk) who having obtained the knowledge of various Jain-Shastras (scriptures) has been installed as the authority of teaching and preaching in the congregation of the monks and who by knowing the purposeful meaning of all the Shastras (sacred books of Jains) meditates concentratedly upon the nature of the self (soul) and, if sometimes, due to rise of slight mild-passion, his upayoga (active-knowledge) does not remain fixed in the self, then he himself reads the Shastras and teaches other religious-minded people.


I bow to such an Upadhyaya monk' who teaches Bhavya Jivas (souls capable of attaining liberation).


Characteristics of Sadhu (Ascetic Monk)


Further, excepting the preceding above two types of rank- holders, the rest are all those who hold monk's rank and are engrossed in attaining the nature of the soul and do not ramble their Upayoga (active consciousness) in other substances by treating them agreeable or disagreeable, thus they try to tranquilize the Upayoga and externally observe religious penances, rituals, etc., as being instrumental cause and sometimes engage themselves in invocation, obeisance and such other activities.


Such are the true Jaina monks who incessantly make efforts for the realization of the self soul; I bow to all such ascetic monks.


Purpose of Adoration


 Thus is the nature of Arihantas, etc., it is full of passionlessness with perfect knowledge. By means of that only, the Arihantas, etc., are supreme and worthy of invocation and adoration.  Because from Jiva Tattva (sentient-being) point of view, all Jivas (souls) are alike but because of attachment, etc., psychic maladies and feeble knowledge, Jivas become censurable and due to lessening of attachment, etc., and increase of knowledge deserve adoration; so in Arhantas and Siddhas due to complete absence of attachment, etc., and perfectness of knowledge, the manifestation of absolute passionlessness with perfect knowledge (omniscience) is possible.  And in Acharyas, Upadhyayas and Sadhus i.e., in all real Digambar Jain monks, due to partial lessening of attachment, etc., and specialty of knowledge, the manifestation of partial passionlessness with discriminative right knowledge is possible. Hence Arihantas etc. are to be known as Supreme, worthy of invocation and adoration.


Further, it should be remembered that amongst these Arihantas etc., (five ranks) mainly Tirthankaras and generally all omniscients are termed Arhanta in Prakrit and Arhat in Sanskrit. And just after the last moment of fourteenth Gunasthana (stage of spiritual development) the Arhantas become Siddhas. Further, those monks who have been installed as Acharyas irrespective of whether they live in the congregation of monks or solitarily do self-mediation or live solivagantly or might have attained the rank of Ganadhara by getting principal-ship among the Acharyas also, all of them are called Acharyas. Further, reading & teaching work is done by other monks too but those on whom Upadhyaya rank of monk is conferred by Acharyas, they only, even besides doing the work of self-meditation etc., get the name of Upadhyaya. And all those monks who do not possess any rank are called Sadhus.


Here, there is no such rule that Acharya's rank is attained or termed by observing Panchaachara (five types of observances), Upadhyaya's rank by doing teaching-preaching and Sadhu's rank by practicing Moolgunas (basic-rites) because these observances, rites, etc., are common to all monks, but from the Shabda-Naya (verbal standpoint) their literal meaning is derived so. From Samabhirudha-Naya (conventional standpoint) the Acharya etc. names are to be known by the graduation of ranks only. As for example, by Shabda Naya, that which moves is called the 'cow', likewise the human beings, etc., also make the movement but from Samabhirudha Naya the names are so given from the Paryaya (embodied state) point of view. Similarly, one must understand here also.


Question: What is the reason of offering salutation to Arhantas prior to Siddhas?


Answer: Salutation is offered with the object of getting our purpose accomplished and because the purpose of sermons etc., chiefly gets accomplished from the Arhantas, therefore, the salutation is offered first to them.


Thus, the characteristics of Arhantas, etc., have been reflected on, because by reflecting on their characteristics the specific object gets accomplished. Further, these Arhantas, etc., are called Panch-Parmeshtis (the five utmost beneficial Supreme souls) because that which is utmost beneficial is named as Parameshta . The Panch (five) who are Parameshta are thus collectively named and called Panch Parmeshtis.


 Further, Rishabha, Ajita, Sambhava, Abhinandana, Sumati, Padmaprabha, Suparshva, Chandraprabha, Pushpadant, Sheetal, Shreyansa, Vasupujya, Vimal, Ananta, Dharma, Shanti, Kunthu, Ara, Malli, Munisuvrat, Nami, Nemi, Parshva, Wardhamana - so named 24 Tirthankaras - have been the pioneers of the presently existing Dharma Tirtha (spiritual voyage) in this Bharat-Kshetra; they are specifically adored by Indras (heavenly gods), etc., during their attaining auspicious occasions of conception, birth, asceticism, omniscience and salvation, and are now situated in Siddhalaya (the abode of liberated souls at the summit of the universe); I bow to them all.


Further, Seemandhara, Yugamandhara, Bahu, Subahu, Samjataka, Swayamprabh, Vrishabhanana, Ananta-virya, Surprabha, Vishalkirti, Vajradhara, Chandranana, Chandrabahu, Bhujangama, Ishwara, Nemiprabha, Veersena, Mahabhadra, Devayash, Ajttvirya - so named 20 Tirthankaras - who are at present situated with omniscience in Videhakshetras of Panch- merus (the five highest mounts), I bow to them all.


Although these are included in the Parameshtis rank, never the less, in the present time, knowing their significance and supremacy, salutation is offered separately.


Further, the naturally existing unartificial idols of Jinas (Arhantas) that are situated in Triloka (three worlds of the universe) and the artificial 'Jinas' idols that are installed with ritual-ceremony in the middle world, whose Darshan (sighting and invocation) etc., only, even without getting any (discernible) sermon from them, the accomplishment of our benediction takes place as is accomplished by the Darshan of Tirthankara-Kewali (embodied omniscients); I bow to all these 'Jinas' idols.


Further, the Anga-prakeernakas (the sacred scriptures containing omnicient's commandments) created by Ganadharas according to the sermons given in Divya-dhwani (omniscient's preachings) and according to those (Anga-Prakeernakas) the Granthas (sacred books) written by other Acharyas etc., all those are Jina-vachanas (omniscient's preachings) which are worth recognizing through the emblem of Syadvada (the theory of relative or conditional predication) and are non- contradictory to path of justice, therefore, are authentic and are the cause of Tattva-Jnana (true knowledge of substances) for Jivas, therefore, are beneficial; I bow to them.


 Further, the Chaityalaya (Jina's temple), Aaryika (Jaina- nun), Shravaka (the right-faith house-holder) of the highest vows and rank, etc., substances (Dravyas), the Tirthankshetras i.e., sacred pilgrim places, etc., lands (Kshetras), the Kalyanaka-Kalaas (benedictory periods) etc., periods (Kalas) and Ratnatraya (right faith-knowledge and conduct), etc., pure dispositions (Bhavas) which are worth saluting, I bow to all of them. And I pay due respect to them also who deserve some respect. Thus the invocation is done by giving due respect to our benefactors.


Now we discuss as to how these Arhantas, etc., are the benefactors. The purpose (objective) is the name of that act or deed due to which happiness is obtained and misery is ended, and that by means of which the accomplishment of the purpose takes place is our benefactor. Presently, obtaining the passionless discriminative-knowledge, is the purpose, because by means of that imperturbable real happiness is attained and all sorrows and miseries, which are full of perplexities are ended.


Accomplishment of Purpose from Arhantas, etc.


Further the accomplishment of this purpose takes place by the invocation, etc., of Arhantas, etc.; how does it take place? This is being discussed:-


The dispositions of the soul are of three types:- cruel (inauspicious), ingenuous (auspicious) and pure (passionless). The instincts in the form of intense passion are cruel, in the form of mild-passion are ingenuous and passionless are pure. The destroyer of our natural-character of the form of passionless discriminative-knowledge are the Jnanavarana, etc., Ghati Karmas (knowledge, etc., obscuring karmas); their intense bondage occurs by cruel instincts and feeble-bondage by ingenueous instincts and if the ingenuous instincts are strong then the intense-bondage that had occurred in the past also gets feebled. No bondage is caused by pure (passionless) dispositions; rather only dissociation (Nirjara of those karmas takes place. The dispositions of invocations to Arhantas, etc., are assuredly of the nature of feeble passions; those are, therefore, the ingenuous instincts.  Moreover, they are the means of destroying all sorts of passions, therefore, are the cause of pure (passionless) dispositions; so by such instincts the self- obscuring Ghati-Karmas become feeble and the passionless discriminative-knowledge gets naturally evolved. The extent to which it becomes feeble, to the same extent (degrees) this gets evolved. Thus our purpose is accomplished by Arhantas, etc.


 Or the acts like looking (sighting) at the image of Arhantas, or pondering over their nature, or listening to their preachings (revelation), or being closer to them, or following the path according to their preachings, instantly reduce the delusion, attachment, etc., by becoming instrumental causes and give rise to discriminative-knowledge of Jiva (soul), AJiva (non-soul), etc. Therefore, in this way also the purpose of passionless discriminative-knowledge gets accomplished by Arhantas, etc.