Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

Ten Universal Virtues

Munishri 108 Kam Kumar Nandi
Message, Foreword, Preface
Hymn To Five Divinties
  Paryushan Parva
  Supreme Forgiveness
  Supreme Tenderness or Humility
  Supreme Uprightness or Honesty
  Supreme Contentment or Purity
  Supreme Truthfulness
  Supreme Self-Restraint
  Supreme Austerities or Penance
  Supreme Renunciation
  Supreme Non-Attachment
  Supreme Chastity
  Kshamavani Parva




(Uttama Shaucha Dharma)

'Contentment is Happiness.'

     The word 'Shauch' is a compound word derived by adding the suffix 'anr' with the word 'shuchi' to mean 'shucherbhav shauchanam'. It means sacredness, cleanliness, to be pure, to be clean, to be spotless and to be non-greedy.

     The humanitarian approach to lessen the miseries of living beings is included in the abstention from greed of worldly possessions. Contentment aims at putting a limit on the worldly possessions by individuals according to their needs and desires.

     Stating the characteristics of the virtue of supreme contentment in 'Sarvartha Siddhi�, Acharya Pujya Pad Swamy writes: 'lobhprkaranramuparam shaucham'- To discard different types of greed is contentment.

     Kankhabhavnrivitim kicha veragbhavnrajuto

     Jo vatdi parammunri tas du dhamo havai saucham

     The Supreme saint who conducts himself suppressing all desires and possesses the thoughts of renunciation is endowed with the virtue of contentment. In 'Bhagwati Aradhana' the erudite Acharya Shivery expresses his invaluable thoughts:

'Dravayshu mamaidam bhavmulo vyasanopanipat sakal iti tat parityago laghvam'.

Such ambitious thoughts as 'objects like riches and wife belong to me' lead a man to numerous troubles. To do away with this feeling of attachment for worldly objects from heart is abstention or contentment. To be too greedy is disastrous. The soul becomes impure due to greed.

     Once a Seth (a wealthy man) had been pondering for long that he would feed a Brahman at his home, if he could find one who ate a little food. Although the Seth was master of great property and was very wealthy, yet due to being extremely greedy and a miser of the meanest nature he went on searching for such a Brahman. As the Seth was known for harnessing such narrow ideas, the villagers knew very well that the Seth was greedy to the core of his heart.

     One day the Seth chanced to come in contact with a village Brahman. During discourse the Seth asked him, "How much do you eat?" The Brahman replied about an oz. at a time." Hearing this the Seth instantly invited the Brahman to take meals at his home the next day. The Seth said to him, "O Brahman! Tomorrow I shall go out of station to make some bargains. Come to my house and take meals." The Brahman said, "Very well! May you be prosperous! We always eat your food." Going home the Seth gave this information to his wife the Sethani; and instructed her saying, "I have extended invitation for tomorrow's meals to a Brahman. As tomorrow I shall go out for business transactions, give the Brahman to eat whatever he demands." In fact, the Seth was fully convinced that the diet of the Brahman was only one oz., why will he ask for more then?

     The next day the Seth went away on his business tour. The Brahman came at his home in his absence and blessed the mistress of the house (Sethani). The lady was not greedy. She was a very generous, saintly, chaste and pious lady devoted to the Brahmans. She asked, "Well Panditji! Tell me, what are your requirements?" The Pandit said, "Five quintal wheat flour, one quintal butter, two quintal vegetables, one quintal sugar, five kg. Salt and two kg. Spices are my needs for home." The Sethani arranged everything according to the demands of holy Brahman. After all these food articles were dispatched to his home, the Brahman said to the Sethani, "Now hastily serve the food to me as my growing appetite is troubling me." The lady at once served the food and fed the Brahman to his fill. After taking food Panditji spoke, "O Gentle Lady! If I get one hundred guineas (gold coins) as my dinner gift, I shall bless you and return home." The lady willingly offered him one hundred guineas. Then the Brahman blessed her and left for home.

     On reaching home, the Brahman lay down in bed covering him with a sheet of cloth. He instructed his wife that if the Seth comes here, start weeping and tell him, "Panditji is laid up with serious illness ever since he has returned after taking meals at your home. The worst thing is that there is no hope of his survival. God knows, what you have fed him?" In the evening when the whole day starved Seth came home from his business tour, he asked his wife, "Did the holy Brahman come here and take his food?" The Sethani said, "Yes, he did come and asked for some food stuff for his home, which I supplied to him. Later on he ate down all the five kg. Purees prepared for him and then taking one hundred guineas as customary gift given to Brahmans after meals, he went away." Hearing this the Seth became unconscious.

     After sometime when the Seth recovered, he at once reached the Brahman's house. The wife of the Brahman sat at the door. The Seth inquired of her, "Where is the Brahman?" Hearing these words of the Seth, the Brahmini began to weep bitterly and spoke, "Ever since he has returned after taking meals at your home, that he is unwell. God knows what has happened to him. He is seriously ill. There is no hope of his survival even. None can say what harmful thing you fed him along with the food?" The Seth was terrified and began to apologize to the Brahmini saying, "Don't weep. Take these two hundred rupees and get the Brahman properly treated; but do not tell any body that the Brahman had taken meals at my house." Thus the greedy Seth returned home dumbfounded. The Seth had to part with a great amount of wealth for his petty greed and had to undergo mental torture as well. Indeed, there is no lack of such greedy persons in this world. They are known as great sinners as well. Due to a little greed, sometimes they lose their precious life too. It is well said:

     Makhi bethi shehd par, rahi phank phelae

     Hath male aur sir dhune, lalach buri balae

     I.e., A fly sat on honey, waves its wings, repents and tosses its head to and fro to come out of it, but in vain. In truth avarice is the root of all evils.

     The Crown person of mankind, Lord Ram had to lose his beloved wife Sita out of her greed for the golden deer. If a wise person is possessed even with the least of greed, he also is sure to dwindle from the right path. Ram was an extraordinary superman, yet as a result of greed his wisdom was spoiled. Very often adversity and allurement for others' shake even the right persons from their noble path. Hence, Sir Edwin Arnold says:

     'Give freely and receive, but take from none

     By greed or force or fraud what is his own.'

     It has been said:

     Asambhavam haimmrigsya jnm tathapi lulubhai mrigaye

     Paraye samapanvipatikale dhiopi punsan malina bhavanti