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




     The house, on the platform of which Panditji slept belonged to a prostitute. When the prostitute came downstairs in the morning, she saw the hale and hearty handsome young man sleeping on the platform. She was bewitched and dumbfounded. She woke him up and asked, "Who are you? Where do you hail from? What is your destination and what for are you going there?" Panditji replied, "I come from Samtapur and am on my way to Kashi." At this the prostitute spoke, "Sir, you told me everything but I got no reply as to why you are going to Kashi? Please tell me." Panditji said, "O Gentle lady! Don't ask this question to me. I am pained at heart by this." When the prostitute again insisted, Panditji said, "Now listen, I stayed and studied at Kashi for ten years. After completing my education, I came back home. As soon as I returned to the city, the people gave me a grand reception. Unfortunately that very day during a question-answer program the people put to me a question, "What is the root cause of sin?" I failed to answer this question. My heart was filled with remorse. This is why I am returning to Kashi for further study."

     The prostitute was very wise. She said, "Panditji, today I am lucky to entertain a learned guest like you at my house. Please go ahead only after taking mid-day meals at my house today. I shall prepare food for you with my own hands. Till then please take bath and say your morning prayers and perform worship." Hearing this Panditji was in a fix. After a short pause Panditji asked the prostitute, "Who are you and what is your profession?"

Prostitute - I am a human being. I earn my bread and butter through prostitution.

Panditji - Curse it. O God! What a great sinner I am! I have slept in the house of an unholy prostitute. I will have to repent for this sin.

Prostitute - O dignified Brahman! I am also a human being like you. You consider me mean and hateful only for being a prostitute. Once I was also a young damsel of a dignified family, but the oppressions of your human society have forced me to resort to this sinful life. Today you are my guest, I shall not let you go without taking meals. Panditji - O wretched lady! What do you say? I am a holy Brahman - a Pandit. How can I take meals at your house?

Prostitute - No, No, Panditji! Meals you must take at my house. See there is a well in the compound of my house. Draw the water and prepare food yourself and then take meals. You are a Brahman, so after meals I shall give you a present of five hundred rupees as well.

     As soon as Panditji came to know about a present of five hundred rupees, he was overpowered with greed. He at once got ready to prepare the food himself. When the prostitute saw that the food was ready, she came down and prayed to Panditji with folded hands - "O supreme Panditji! I have committed great sins in my life. I pray to you to purify me as well."

Panditji - How is that possible?

Prostitute - If you accept two morsels of food from my hands, I shall be purified.

Panditji - Curse it. Why do you say this? How can I, a Brahman, eat two morsels from the hands of a prostitute?

Prostitute - Panditji, Please be merciful and do so. I shall offer you five hundred rupees more. At least accept one morsel from my hands and make me chaste.

     Panditji agreed to take food from the hands of the prostitute out of greed for money. As soon as she brought her hand forward with a morsel to feed it to Panditji, the prostitute at once dropped the morsel on the ground and slapped the Brahman severely in the face saying, "O fool! You are going to Kashi to solve a quite simple problem. I

have answered your question. The greed with which you easily got ready to give up your religious faith and vows has overpowered you and is the root cause of all sins."

     Someone has rightly observed:

     "Faith is like a bird, that sings when the at dawn is still engulfed in darkness." On receiving a satisfactory solution for his problem from the prostitute, Panditji returned home.

     From the above example we learn that the more greedy a person is, the more disgrace he has to suffer. To be over- greedy is a sin; greed is regarded as the root cause of sin. Hence, in order to attain the virtue of supreme contentment every living soul should discard the vicious tendency of greed and tread the path of religion.

     The great poet Reidhu has described the virtue of supreme contentment or purity (Uttama Shaucha) thus:

     Sauch ji dhamangu tam ji amagaun bhinrganu uvaugmu

     Jarmarnr vinrasanru tijagpyasnru jhaijyi ah visi ji dhu


     Dham sauchu hoi manr sudhiyai, dham sauchu venr dhanr gidhien

     Dham sauchu kasaai ahavain, dham sauchu nr lippi pavain


     Dham sauchu lohu vajantau dham sauchu sutab pahi jantau

     Dham sauhuvanbh vay dharnri, dham sauchu meydath nrarnri


     Dham sauchu jinraim manrai, dham sauchu sagunr anrumanrai

     Dham sauchu sal key chae, dham sauchu ji nrimalbhae

1.      The virtue of contentment is a part and parcel of religion; it is enthusiastic; it excels materialism; it gives utility to life; it relieves one from old age and death; it enlightens all the three worlds and is eternal. Pay heed to it day in and day out.

2.      The virtue of contentment can be acquired through the purity of mind; it is acquired through purification by the treasure of truth speaking. This virtue is attained by subduing the evil passions and a man endowed with this virtue does not indulge in sinful deeds.

3.      The virtue of contentment lays stress on abstention from greed; it leads one on the path of supreme austerity; this virtue is attained by observing celibacy; and this virtue of contentment is attained by discarding the eight types of arrogance or vanity.

4.      The virtue of contentment is instilled in men by the study of holy scriptures; it is attained by getting rid of the three thorns i.e., ambitions, deception, and wrong belief; and finally this virtue is attained by maintaining purity in thoughts.

     Hence, O Mortal Man! Be contented, be contented and be contented throughout thy life from cradle to the grave; for according to a French saying:

     'Grande fortune, grande servitude' i.e., great wealth, great slavery.

     To sum up, 'The pleasure of possessing little is far more enjoyable than the prospect of getting much hereafter. The little you have, if properly used, will bring you more than you can expect or have the power to enjoy. Ambition ruins a man; contentment secures him the peace and happiness of heaven.'

     In fact, all our existence and happiness in life depends on our mental attitude. Human mind is the supreme power that governs all our actions. Only a calm and contented mind will lead us to a blissful life. The great English poet Oliver Goldsmith after his long tour of five European countries in search of peace and happiness came to the conclusion:

     Vain! Very Vain! My weary search to find

     That bliss, which centers in the mind.

                  From 'Traveler' by Oliver Goldsmith

Whatever is pure is refreshing. Purity imparts freshness of vigor to both the body and the mind.