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)



Traits of a Discourser


Now, the traits of a (true) discourser are being described:- (1)  He must be firm in Jaina-faith; for, if he himself is a misbeliever, how can he make others true believer? The listeners by themselves possess less intellect, how would he make them true believer through some logic? And the right belief only is the basis of all religion. (2) He should have developed the ability to deliver discourses on Shastras through the study of scriptures because without attaining such ability how can he be eligible for preaching? (3) Through right knowledge, he should be able to discriminate the gist of all sorts of empirical (Vyavahara) and real (Nishchaya) etc. forms of expositions; for, if this be not there then if there be some description with some different purpose, there he might draw some other meaning and become instrumental in wrong conduct. (4) He should be very fearful of going against the omniscient commandment because if this be not so then bearing some purpose in mind he may preach against the 'Sutras' (Scripture) and create misery for Jivas. So is stated below:-


Bahugunravijyanrilyo, asutbhasee thavi mutvo

Jah varmanri juto vi hu, vighyro visehro lohai

                                         (u. si. r. mala)


 The one who possesses many virtues like forbearance, modesty, etc, and has knowledge of grammar, etc, but is a perverse discourser (wrong-interpreter) he is worth discarding. For instance, a snake though possessing costliest jewel, yet it is only a source of trouble in the world. (5) He must not have any desire of accomplishing the temporal acts like earning livelihood etc., by means of giving discourses on Shastras; for, if he has expectation then he cannot preach (the truth) correctly; he simply makes it a source of accomplishing his objective by giving lectures according to the desire of some listeners. Moreover, the preacher's rank is higher than that of listeners; but, if the preacher be greedy, then the preacher will himself become inferior and the listeners will become superior. (6) He should not have intense anger and pride, because the highly- passionate (angry & haughty) person will be criticized, the listeners will be fearful of him, then how would they be benefitted by him? (7) He should himself raise different questions and provide answers or if other people raise questions many times in different ways, then through soft (sweet) words he should clarify in such a way that their doubt is removed. In case he himself does not have the capacity to answer rightly then he should say that he himself lacks knowledge of it; for, if this be not so, the doubt of the listeners will not be removed. How will then there be good of them? And the glorification of Jaina-faith will also not be possible. (8) He should not indulge in any immoral and publicly censurable activities, for he would become a place of laughter due to indulgence in publicly censurable deeds; who would then trust his words? He will bring bad name to Jaina faith. (9) He should not be of low caste, not be a crippled fellow, not have hoarse voice, be of sweet tongue, should be influential so that he may be acceptable to the people, for, if it be not so then the orator's greatness will not be reflected in him. The above qualities are essential in the discourser.  The same is stated in Atmanushasana:-


"Pragya praptsmastshasthridya prvyaktloksthiti

Prastash pratibhaper preshmvan pragaiv drishtoter


Praya prshanseh prabhu permanoharee pranindya

Booyaduthrmkatha ganree gunree gunrnidhi prspashtmishtaksher"


The one who is brilliant, has grasped the gist of all Shastras, is graceful in public life, desire-free, lustrous, dispassionate and one who knows the answer even before the question is raised, should have great forbearance for facing several questions, be influential, could win the hearts of others because of being free from the criticism of others as well as of his own by others, be store of virtues and whose words are clear and sweet - such a leader of the congregation should deliver the discourses.


Further, the special characteristic of a discourser is such that if he knows grammar, logic, etc, and possesses deep knowledge of voluminous Jaina Shastras then his oration  will be more glorious. Moreover, in spite of all these qualities, if he has not acquired self-realization through spiritual taste, then he is not likely to know the spirit (essence) of Jina Dharma (Omniscients' religion), he is a discourser merely traditionally. How can he explain the characteristic of the true Jina Dharma which is full of spiritual taste?  Therefore, if he be an enlightened self - Atma-Jnani then only he is a true preacher. In Pravachansara also it is stated that Agama-Jnana (knowledge of scripture), Tattvartha-Sharaddhana (faith in Jiva-AJiva, etc, essential principles), Sanyama Bhava (continence) - these three if are devoid of self-knowledge (Atma-Jnana), they are ineffective. Further in Doha-Pahuda it is stated that :-


"Pandiya pandiya pandiya kanr chorhi vi tus kandiya

Pya atham tutheesi parmath nr janryi moodhosi"


 "Oh Pandey! Oh Pandey! Oh Pandey! You are leaving the grain thrashing the husk only. You are satisfied in words and their literal meanings, but do not know the reality, therefore, you are assuredly a fool".


Moreover, in fourteen types of learning's, the metaphysics (spiritual science) is described as to be the supreme of all. Therefore, the discourser who is fond of the taste of spiritual science should be known as the discourser of the mystery of Jina-Dharma. Further, the discoursers who possess extra-ordinary intellectual power and are possessed of clairvoyance, telepathy, omniscience are to be known as the  great preachers. Such should be known the distinctive traits of the discoursers.


So, if one gets the association of a discourser possessing these distinctive traits, it is highly beneficial and if not obtained then one ought to listen the Shastras from the mouth of those discoursers only who possess qualities of right belief, etc. It is desirable to listen to the Shastras from the mouth of Munis (monks) and Shravakas (house-holders) possessing such characteristics and it is not worth listening the Shastras customarily or with the greed of listening the Shastras from the mouth of sinful persons, who are not possessed of the right-belief, etc. traits. Also it is said that:-


"Tn jinr anr prainr ya dhamo soyv suguru  pasmi

Ah uchiyo seddhao, tssuv aisas kehgao // 23  (a.si.r.)"


The one who is attentive in obeying the omniscients commandments, it is worth-while for him to listen to the sermons from (the mouth of) a Nirgrantha (naked without possessions) true preceptor monk or should listen to religious discourses from the proper true believer Shravaka (householder) who interprets the sermons of the true preceptor only.


Only such discourser, who preaches with religious attitude, can do good of the self and of other Jivas (capable souls) also, and one who preaches with passion attitude, harms himself as well as other Jivas.


Characteristics of Listeners


Now the characteristics of a listener are being described. He whose future seems to be bright, thinks "Who am I? What is my inherent nature? How is this all happening to me? What will be the fruit of the thoughts and feelings arising in me? Jiva (the self) is suffering from miseries, so what is the mean of ending the miseries?  I have to find out the solution of all these questions and should do that which is beneficial to me"- with such thoughts he has become active. Believing that this object can be achieved by listening to Shastras listens to Shastras enthusiastically, asks whatever is to be asked, ponders repeatedly in his inner self over the meaning explained by the preceptors and after determining the true meaning by his own thoughts makes efforts to achieve the desirable such is the differentia of a new listener.


Further, those who are the firm believers of Jina-Dharma and whose intellect has been sharpened by listening to different Shastras and having known thoroughly well the differentia of Vyavahar (conventional) and Nishchay (realistic) stand points, etc, whatever sermon they listen to grasp it correctly by knowing what it really means; and whenever a question arises they most humbly raise the question or by mutual discussion on different questions and answers take decision about the things, keep deeply engrossed in the study of scripture, have discarded censurable acts with religious attitude. - Such ought to be the listeners of Shastras.


Special Characteristics of the Listeners (of Jaina-Shastras)


If a listener possesses some knowledge of grammar, logic and of voluminous Jaina Shastras, then the listener is praiseworthy.  And even if there be such a listener but be devoid of Atma-Jnana (self-knowledge) he can not understand the gist of the sermons.  Therefore, the one who has tasted (the blissful nature of) the self-soul through self- realisation, he is the real listener of the mystery of Jina- Dharma. Further, the one who possesses extra ordinary intellectual power or the clairvoyance, telepathy knowledge, then he is to be known as an excellent listener. Such are the special qualities of the listeners. Such should be the listeners of the Jina-Shatras.


Moreover, those who listen to Shastras believing that listening to Shastras will be beneficial to them but due to weakness of knowledge do not understand much, to them Punya- Bandha (bondage of auspicious karmas) occurs, but the specific purpose can not be achieved. And those who listen to Shastras either by family tradition or customarily or incidentally or simply listen but do not retain any thing, so according to their thoughts and feelings, sometimes Punya- Bandha (inauspicious bondage) or sometimes Papa Bandha (inauspicious bondage) is caused to them. And those who listen to Shastras with pride or jealousy or whose intention is only of arguing and those who listen to Shastras simply for being called the great person or for the sake of fulfilling some greed, etc. or those who listen to Shastras but do not like it - to such listeners the Papa- Bandha alone is caused. Such are the various traits of listeners.  Similarly. it should be inferred about the persons indulging in learning, teaching activities, etc.


   Thus the characteristics of discoursers and listeners of the Shastras have-been described. Hence, the right Shastra, should be read and listened to by becoming a right discourser and a right listener.