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)

Refutation of False Deity-Preceptor-Religion



Characteristics of False Preceptor and Denial of Faith in them


Those Jivas who are found indulging in irreligious activities of satisfying sensual pleasures and believe themselves to be religious persons under the influence of pride passion, induce others to offer salutation, etc. to them by believing them religious persons or, by practising some part of religious ritual, wish to be called highly religious persons, force others to observe all the manners befitting to a big religious person; in this way, under the shelter of religion they persuade others to believe them as superior persons, all such persons are to be known as false preceptors, because in religious tradition after relinquishment of sensual pleasures and passions, one should adopt such status which is in conformity with the actual stage of religion.


Negation of Preceptorship from Caste or Family Point of View


There are many people who believe themselves to be preceptors by inheritance, caste and tradition. Among them are Brahmanas, etc. who maintain that because our caste is high, so we are preceptors of all. But the greatness of caste lies in practising religion (virtuous conduct) in life. If someone born in high caste indulges in disgraceful conduct then how can he be treated high? If birth in high caste be the criteria of high status then even people eating meat, etc. would have to be treated as high. But this is not maintainable. In the book Bharata also many (kinds of) Brahmanas are described. Therein it is said- "The one born in Brahmana caste if performs the acts of a Chaandal (sinful person) call him a Chaandal Brahmana". If greatness is decided by caste only then why is such low name given herein?


Further, in Vaishnavas scripture it is stated that Vedvyasa etc.  are born from fish, etc. How did there remain the sequence of caste or family? And original creation, they say, is from the Brahma; hence, everybody's caste is one, where lies the caste difference?  Moreover, the progeny is seen taking place on copulation to a woman of high caste with the man of low caste and to a woman of low caste with the man of high caste. How did there remain the authenticity of caste or family?


Perhaps you might say- "If it is so then why do you believe in the divisions of high and low castes?"


Answer: In the worldly affairs contrary practices too are possible but in religious affairs contrary practices are not acceptable; hence, in religious tradition greatness or preceptorship is not possible on the basis of caste. Preceptorship or greatness is attained only by following religious conduct. The greatness of the caste of Brahmanas etc. is due to religious practice (virtuous conduct); how would greatness or preceptorship remain there by giving up virtuous conduct and indulging in sinful acts like injury, etc.?


Further, some people say that- "Our ancestors have been great devotees, Siddhas (the possessors of extraordinary talents) and highly religious and since we are born in their progeny, therefore, we are the preceptors. But the elders of those (ancestors or forefathers) were not spiritually so great. Therefore, if in their lineage people are believed to be great by their noble deeds then in the lineage of those noble persons he who does not perform noble deeds, how should be treated as noble person? As per scriptures and in actual life it is well-known that the father may attain high status by doing pious deeds whereas the son gets low status by indulging in impious acts; the father may achieve low status due to impious acts but the son attains high status by pious deeds. It is, therefore, not correct to believe someone great only because of being born in the lineage of noble persons.


Thus, it should be known that it is a fallacy to believe someone to be a preceptor because

he belongs to high caste.


Further, some people believe preceptorship to be a matter of succession. Earlier, there might have been some great person and in his succession a tradition of disciples is found. In them if some disciple does not possess the qualities of a noble person even then he is treated as a preceptor. If this be logical then in that tradition some disciple might indulge in the great sinful act of sexual copulation with other's wife, etc. then he also will become the pious person and will attain the heavenly life; but this is not possible. Moreover, if he is a sinner then how can he be treated the rightful occupier of the seat? The one who performs the acts worthy of a preceptorship only can be a preceptor (Guru).


And many people earlier were the abductors of the woman (coition), etc., later on they became debauched and house- holders by getting married; their successors believe themselves to be preceptors (Guru); but after debauchery how is preceptorship possible? So, these too are similar to other householders. The only sepciality in them is that they became householders after debauchery; how can these be accepted as preceptor (Guru) by the persons who basically are found following householder's religion?


Further, many people are found indulging in all kinds of sinful acts but do not marry and because of this - so-called pious practice - believe themselves to be preceptor (Guru) . But the unchastity alone is not a sin; injury (Hinsa), attachment and hoarding (Parigraha), etc.  are also sins. How people indulging in such acts could be treated as religious preceptors? Moreover, he has not given up marriage, etc. with religious instincts but he does not marry either forgetting some means of livelihood or due to ignominy. Had he any religious instincts, then why would he indulge in increasingly injurious acts?  And one who does not have religious attitude cannot be firm in chastity and if he does not marry then he indulges in the great sin of sexual copulation with other's wife, etc. Hence, people who believe persons found involved in the aforesaid (sinful) acts as preceptors (Guru) are highly misguided and intellectually bankrupt.


And many people consider such persons as preceptors who put on a particular attire; but by assuming a particular dress what type of religion is evolved due to which he should be considered a religious preceptor? Someone wears cap, some keeps Gudari (patched quilt), some others put on a Chola (gown), a few keep their body covered by long cloth sheet, some wear red cloths, some white cloths, some wear Bhagwa saffron-coloured cloth, a few put on hessian cloths, some others put on deer-skin, while others rub their body with ash, etc. -in this way different disguises are adopted by them. But if cold, heat, etc. could not be endured and lacked confidence in remaining nude then why did he forsake the commonly worn cloths such as Pagadi (turban), Jama (shirt), etc.? Leaving the common attire, why did they indulge in aforesaid disguises and what aspect of religion is accomplished? All these disguises are assumed merely to cheat the householders. If they keep their robe like that of a (common) householder, how could then the householders be cheated? Their objective is to earn livelihood, acquire wealth and fulfill pride-passion, etc. by adopting such disguises, that is why they put on such disguises. The ignorant people get cheated by seeing such persons in different disguises and believe that he has followed religion, but this is a fallacy. The same is stated in Upadesha Siddhanta Ratnamala as under :-


Jeh kuvi vaisarttai, musijjmanro vimanryai harisan

The michhvaismusiya  gyan pi nr munrati dham nrihan


As some fellow fond of strumpet feels pleasure even on losing his money, similarly, some persons being cheated by false sanctimony do not realise that their religious wealth is being destroyed. The gist is - "By attending on and adoring such false disguised persons, one's religious wealth gets destroyed but alas ! the people instead of feeling distressed feel happy owing to false belief". Some people assume those disguises which are described in false scriptures; but with the perverse intention of establishing their tradition and increasing the number of their followers, the sinful writers of those scriptures have preached in them simple rituals for obtaining higher spiritual status.  The thoughtless Jivas, ignorant of their tradition, do not even ponder over the fact that there is some deception because they preach obtaining high spiritual status through simple rituals, rather move (follow) thoughtlessly in the path shown by them.


Further, they believe that the tough path suggested in some other Shastras (scriptures) will be difficult to follow and people cannot be convinced without keeping high name, with this intention they keep high names like Yati, Muni, Acharya, Upadhyaya, Sadhu, Bhattaraka, Sanyasi, Yogi, Tapasvi, Nagna, etc. but are not able to follow the rituals prescribed for these various spiritual ranks; therefore, they assume different disguises according to their free will. And many of them keep new names (aliases) and adopt various disguises according to their own will. In this way, they believe preceptorship by assuming different disguises; so this is false.


One may ask here- "Various types of disguises (Bheshas) are found, how would one be able to distinguish as to which is right and which is wrong?"


Answer :- Only those outward appearances in which there is not the slightest trace of attachment and passions, are the true ascetic garbs. Those true ascetic garbs are of three types, rest all are false (sanctimonies). The same is descibed by shri Kund-Kund Acharya in Shat-Pahuda*


(* Now known as Ashta Pahuda)


Aigan jinrssruran vidyan ukitth savyanran tu

Avardivyanr tyian chauthh punr ling dansanran nrith  (Darshanpahunrh -18)


Meaning: One ascetic garb is that of possessionless naked monk Nirgrantha-Digamber Muni similar to that of Jina (omni- scient conqueror), the second one is that of the householder of the highest status of Shravaka i.e., a votary belonging to the order of tenth and eleventh Pratima or vow, and the third one is that of a Jaina-nun (Aaryika) as per Digamber scripture; thus, these three ascetic garbs only are to be revered and no fourth ascetic garb is associated with right belief. The gist of above verse is that the one who believes adorable any other posture excepting these three postures or garbs is not a true but a false believer.  Moreover, among these disguisers many of the disguisers observe some religious rituals for the sake of inducing people to adore their postures. As for example, someone desirous of making current a counterfeit rupee-coin also mixes some silver in it, similarly, these disguisers proclaim themselves to be possessing high status by practising part of religious rituals.


Here someone says- "Some appropriate fruit will be reaped by whatever religions one has followed?"


Answer: As someone having accepted the vow of Upavasa (observing complete fast) eats even a particle of food then he is a sinner and if by taking the vow of Ekaashana (taking pure meal only once in a day) takes some quantity of food even then he is a religious person.  Similarly, if someone by assuming high spiritual status violates it even slightly, he is a great sinner and if by accepting the vow of lower spiritual status practices even some part of religion then he is a religious person. Hence, one should practice religion according to one's capacity, no fault lies in this; but if someone proclaiming one-self to be possessing high spiritual status indulges in mean practice then he is assuredly a great sinner. The same is described in Shat-Pahuda by shri Kund- Kund Acharya :-


Jehjayroovsrisee tiltusmaitan nre gihdi hatthaisu

Jeh laiei apbhuyan tato punr jah niggodma


i.e.,the bodily posture of a true saint (muni) is found to be always naked just like the naked state of a child at his birth. He does not accept the slightest material possession; but if a saint accepts even the slightest material possession he assuredly goes to Nigoda (the lowermost one-sensed state of downfall of Jivas existence where one dies and rebirths 18 times per respiration of time).