Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions
Jaina Monastic Jurisprudence
The Background to Monastic Jurisprudence
The Custodians of Monastic Discipline
Laws of Jurisprudence and Their Working
Transgressions and Punishments
  Church Affairs
  Moral Discipline and Self Control
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Having noted the ten main prayascittas, we now pass on to another set of these so often mentioned in the Bhasas and CurNis. These are found elaborated in the Jiyakappa and its bhasya. This text makes a statement, which says that the last two of the ten prayascittas went out of vogue during the period after Bhadrabahu, who was well versed in the fourteen poorvas. This statement is corroborated by the contents of the other Chedasutras, which deal mostly with 'parihara'. The Bhasas seem to introduce a set of new prayascittas termed as caturlaghu, caturguru and some others based mainly on short or long-term fasts as punishment for transgressions.

     The Jiyakappa sets forth a very complicated system of such fasts of particular nature set in a peculiar structure of different duration. The whole of the 'vyavahara' is divided into three categories as 'guru' or the excellent mode, the 'lahu' or the medium mode and the lahusa or the minimum one. Each of these three categories is further divided into 'utkrsta', 'madhyama' and 'jaghanya'. These are further subdivided each into three kinds such as utkrsta - utkrsta, utkrsta,-madhyama and utkrsta-jaghanya; utkrsta-madhyama, madhyama-madhyama and jaghanya-madhyama; and lastly utkrsta jaghanya, madhyama jaghanya and jaghanya- jaghanya. This can further be grouped and re-grouped.

The 'guru', 'lahu' and 'lahusa' are further divided into guru, gurutara, ahaguru; lahu, lahutaru, ahalahu; and lakusa, lahusatara, ahalahusa. Now this division is fastened to a standard 'masa' of thirty days and also to the fasts of various duration�s. Thus ultimately we have the following variations:


1 month

Gurutara-masa 3 -4 months
Ahaguru-masa 5-6 months
Label mama 30 days
Lahutara-masa 25 days
Ahalahu-masa 20 days

15 days


10 days

Ahalahusa-masa 5 days

This duration is coupled with fasts.

Guruga atthamia fast upto 8th meal
Gurugatara dasamaa

fast up to 10th meal

ahaguru barasama

fast up to 12th meal

lahu cheetah fast up to 6th meal
lahutara cauttha fast up to 4th meal
ahalahu   ayambila taking only boiled rice mixed with any other thing
lahusa egasana taking only one meal a day
lahusatara purimaddha half day's fast
ahalahusa nivviya giving up dainties like ghee, etc. in food.

Thus ultimately the combination of the period and the nature of the fast, formed the punishment. For instance, 'guru-guru' was the practice of the fast up to the 8th meal (asthma) for a period of one month; 'gurulaghu', a fast up to the 6th meal for a duration of one month, and 'gurulakusa' would be the practice of 'egasana' for one month. Out of these flowered out a variety of combinations of short-term prayascittas. These were further adjusted in relation to the various seasons so as to suit the constitution of the person. Thus, out of these a number of permutations and combinations could be had. These, however, seem to have been brought into force during the period of the Bhasas and the curnis as none of these is referred to in texts of the canon proper.

With these details about the various types of prayascittas, we now pass on to the persons who were authorized to pronounce the punishment and the process and procedure of implementing it.


IV.  The Implementation of the Punishment

The Executors

Normally the monks lived in-groups under an acarya. Each individual monk had to confess and report the transgressions he had committed to his superior who was the judge in this matter.

However, certain categories were such that only the acarya was deemed fit to decide whether that particular fault was to be punished with a severer form of punishment. For instance, it was only the acarya who was authorized to decide whether a particular transgression was to be met with by 'cheda' or 'parihara'. Similar was the case with regard to 'parancika'. Here also only the Acarya could pronounce this punishment upon the transgressor.

     The acarya had full powers regarding this in the case of the order of nuns as well.