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)

Analytical Study of Different Religions



When asked, they say- "The Shravakas observing the vows of Pratimas are not possible in this era". Behold! Shravakas religion is difficult and the monk's religion is easy "-such contradictory statements are given by them. And they advocate less belongings and possessions to a Shravaka of eleventh Pratima and more belongings and possessions to a monk, so this is impossible. Further, they say - "Shravakas give up this Pratima after observing it for a short period." But, if this pious practice is excellent, then, why will a devout person leave the higher grade of conduct an if it is a low grade practice, then why will he accept it ? All this is not at all possible.


                 Further, they support that householder's religion is possible by offering salutation, etc, to the false deities and preceptors, etc. They argue that they do not salute them with some religious attitude; it is merely a worldly formality. But in the doctrines even the act of praising and invocating them is stated as the transgression of the right belief and here for pleasing the householders, they do not oppose such practice of salutation.


                 Further, if you will say- "We salute them because of fear, shamefulness, sport, etc"., then on the ground of these very reasons, you should not regard sin even in their indulgences in the acts of unchastity, etc.; only know them to be sin internally. Thus, contradiction will arise in all religious practices.


                 In this way, no prominence is given to forsaking of indulgence in the great sin like Mithyatva (false belief) and prominence is given to the sin of injury to air beings by denying the practice of speaking with uncovered mouth, so this is clearly a non-sequential discourse. Moreover, the aspects of religion are many; out of them, they emphasise only compassion towards other beings, but in this also they do not have any prudentiality. The prominence is not given to the practice of filtering of water, cleaning of food grains, etc., non-eating of impure things, non-indulgence in trading activities involving injury, etc.


Negation of Mukha-Patti (A Clothpiece for Covering Mouth)


                 And they give importance to the acts of tieing of a clothpiece over the mouth, using less amount of water in ablution but the organisms are created due to the contact of the spittle with the dirty clothpiece tied over the mouth; they are unmindful of these acts and lay stress on avoiding the injury to air beings, a lot of air is exhaled through the nose but they do not bother about it. And according to their scripture, if care is to be taken while speaking only, then why do they always keep it over the mouth ? While speaking they should take care of it. If they say- "We forget, then the question is that when even this much is not remembered how will then other aspects of religion  (rituals) be followed?  And they advocate use of less amount of water in ablution, etc. but the necessary is done by the monks also; hence, the householders should also do the ablution as per their status.  Observing the act of Samayiaka (meditation) etc. without doing ablution after sexual intercourse, etc., sin is caused due to disrespect, madness, etc. Thus, the practices they stress, too, are not strictly followed. And they observe many of the aspects of compassion correctly, forsake eating of vegetables, etc., consume less amount of water; so we do not negate them.


Refutation of the Negation of Idolatry


And they (a group of Shwetamberas) refute Pratima (installation of omniscient's idol), Chaityalaya (temple of Arhantadeva, Jina) and rituals of worshipping, etc.  by holding one-sided view of Ahimsa (non-injury). But in their own shastras (scriptures) description of Pratima (Jina's idol's worshipping) etc. is found; that aspect they hide with bigotry feeling. In their Bhagwati-Sutra Shastra there is found the description of a monk possessing supernatural powers; therein it is written that he went to Merugiri (mount Meru) and offered salutation to Jina 's idols.  The meaning of this is that there he makes obeisance to the Chaityas and the word Chaitya is popular in the sense of Pratima (Jina's idol). And they obstinately hold that the word Chaitya is used to denote knowledge, etc., so, it has a different meaning, its meaning is not the Pratima.  Our question is - "By repeatedly going to the land of Merugiri and continent Nandishwara he offered obeisance to the Chaitya, but how is the meaning of offering obeisance to knowledge, etc. possible there? The obeisance to knowledge, etc. is possible everywhere. The offering of obeisance to the particular adorable Chaitya is possible there only where it is found and nowhere else found. So, such possible meaning could be Pratima (Jina's idol) only, because main meaning of the word Chitya is Pratima only which is famous. By this meaning only, the name as Chaityalaya (Jina's temple) is possible, why to hide it by showing obstinacy?


Moreover, adoration by heavenly gods by going to Nandishwara continent, etc. has been described in their scripture at several places.  And the description of naturally existing Pratimas (Idols of Jina) in the universe are found in the scripture, so, such uncreated existence is found from beginningless time. That uncreated (self-existing) formation is not for the purpose of sensuous pleasures, etc. and there in the abodes of heavenly gods, Indras, etc. the purposeless formation is not possible. What do Indras, etc. do to see it? To see the purposeless formation in their temples, either they might be becoming apathetic with it and feeling unhappy but this is not possible; or by seeing suck attractive formation they might be fostering the objects of senses but it is not possible that by seeing the Arhanta's idol the true believers would foster their objects of senses.  Therefore, the only possibility is that they do their adoration, etc. only there.


In their scripture there is a story of Suryaabha Deva; there the ritual of worshipping Pratimaji (Jina's Idol) is specifically described.


For concealing it they say- "Devas ' duty is of such type only". So, this is true but there is always found some fruit of the duty or activity (that one does). So, what is its result - religion or sin i.e., virtue or vice. If religion is its result then it would mean that elsewhere there used to be sin and here the result is religion; so, how could this be treated similar to others? This is befitting act. If sin is its result, but he recited the hymn of Namotthunam. Why did he then recite the hymn of salutation which is the place of sin?


And one thought arose here is this that in the recitation of the hymn Namotthunam there is invocation of Arhantadeva; so they recited this hymn before the Jina's idol; hence the act of Arhantas' adoration done before the Jina's Idol is logical.


They further say- "Such act is possible for Devas (celestial beings) only and not for human beings because in making idol, etc., injury is caused by human beings." But in their own shastras there is such description that Queen Draupadi started worshipping the Jina's idol as was done by Suryaabhadeva; hence, such act is also the duty of human beings.


Another idea arose here that if the tradition of making Chaityalayas (Jina's temples) and Pratimas (Jina's idols) was not prevalent, then, how did Draupadi queen worship the Jina's idol?  And if the tradition was prevalent then were the makers of the temples, etc. religious persons or sinners? If they were religious persons then such act of worshipping, etc. is commendable for householders and if they were sinners, why did then they make these things when there was no purpose of enjoying the sensual pleasures?  And Draupadi recited the hymn of Namotthunam there and per-formed the worship, etc.; was this done for mere fun or religion? If this was done for mere fun, then she was a great sinner. How could there be sportive act in the religion? And if she did this as a religious practice, then others also ought to worship and adore Jina's idol.


Further, they put up such false logic- "As by installation of Indra's idol, our purpose from Indra is not served, similarly by installation of Arhanta Jina's idol, our purpose is not served. If the Arhanta God does good of some person by considering him as his devotee then what you say can be accepted, but He is totally passionless. The devotee himself obtains the auspicious fruit by his thoughts and dispositions of devotion. For example, if someone, by seeing the idol of woman made from wood or stone, develops affection by becoming lustful then he will have the bondage of inauspicious karmas; similarly, if someone, by seeing the idol of Jina made from metal or stone, develops the feeling of devotion by religious attitude, then, why will he not have the bondage of auspicious karmas? There they say- "We will develop auspicious thoughts by devotional feelings towards Arhanta God even without His idol." Our logic is- "The type of thoughts which arise by seeing the form (idol) do not arise by remembering indirectly (the Arhanta God). This is why the lovers of woman make the portrait of woman in this world also; therefore, by taking the recourse to Jina's idol, special types of auspicious thoughts and dispositions are generated due to specific devotional feelings.


Further, someone argues- "One may see the idol but what is the purpose in worshipping it?"


Answer: For example, if someone after making the effigy of some Jiva destroys it, then he commits the type of sin similar to that of killing that Jiva and if someone after making the effigy of some Jiva spoils it with the feeling of aversion, then he gets the fruit of the type similar to that of actually harming that Jiva. In the same way, if someone by making the idol of Arhanta God worships it with religious devotion and regard, then in him rises the auspicious thought as similar to that of worshipping the real Arhanta God and he gets the same type of fruit; under the feelings of intense devotion and regard one worships the idol of Arhata God due to non-availability of Darshan (seeing) of actual omniscient Lord Arhanta Deva. This devotional regard results in the bondage of auspicious karmas of very high order.


Further, they put up such illogical argument- "It is a mockery of a person to offer him those articles which he has relinquished, therefore, worshipping Arhanta Deva by offering sandal, etc. before His idol is inappropriate.


Answer: While accepting the monkhood (homeless ascetic life) all kinds of possessions and occupations were renounced (by the Shravaka), and after attainment of omniscience Lord Indra created Samavasarana (omniscient's preaching arena), Chhatra (umbrella) and Chamvar (flapper) etc. for adoring Tirthankara Deva. Was this a mockery or adoration? If this was a mockery, then the Indra committed great sin. But this is not possible. If by all this he adored Lord Arhanta Deva then in the worshipping of the idol of Arhanta Deva the devotee does the adoration only. And mockery lies in offering to a non- omniscient person the things which he has already forsaken because it may result in upsetting him; but no fault lies in putting before the omniscient or His idol the best faultless articles with devotional feeling. Upsetting is not caused to them. Rather due to religious devotion the devotee is benefitted.


They further say- "The injury (Hinsa) is caused in making the idol, in constructing the temple (chaityalaya) etc., in doing the worship, etc. where as the religion is Ahinsa (non- injury); therefore, great sin is caused in believing religion by committing Hinsa (injury); we, therefore, forbid, these rituals."


Answer: There is a statement found in their own shastras:-


Succha janreyi kallanram, succha janreyi pavgan

Ubhyam pi janryai succha jan saiye tam smayir


Here it is said that an aspirant should know these three things i) the benediction or virtue, ii) the vice and iii) the mixed or both virtue and vice. So, the mixed disposition is possible by mixing (togetherness) of both virtue and vice, hence occurrence of such kind of act (mixed-disposition) is also established there. Here we ask- "the mixed-disposition is definitely worse than the virtue or benediction alone but is the mixed disposition worse or better than the vice alone? If it is worse, then in this (mixed-disposition) some part of the virtue (religion) is also mixed, how can it be stated worse than the vice (sin) alone? If it is better, then indulging in such mixed acts by leaving only vicious and sinful acts is advisable. Logically also this seems to be correct. No recluse (votary) gets the temple, etc.

constructed, rather practices Samayika (vow of equanimity) etc.  injuriless activities, then by leaving these activities it is not desirable for him to install the idol, etc. and perform worship, etc. But as someone builds house for his own residence, then in comparison to this constructing temple (chaityalaya) etc. is not inferior act. Injury is caused there but in the case of building of house there is increase in greed-passion, which is inauspicious attachment, whereas in the case of building of the temple auspicious attachment is evolved in place of greed-passion. And the activities of worship etc. are in no way inferior to the activities of trading, etc. In trading etc., a lot of injury, etc. is involved, greed, etc. increases, all activities are full of sin only, whereas in worshipping etc. some injury is involved, greed, etc. decreases and the religious devotion increases.