Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

Ten Universal Virtues

Munishri 108 Kam Kumar Nandi
Manglacharanam
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

SUPREME AUSTERITIES OR PENANCE

 

 

(Uttama Tapa Dharma)

    'Penance is a cataract that washes away all blemishes

           and purges the soul of all karmic matter'

     The word 'tap' (Penance or Austerity) is derived from the root 'tap' by the addition of the suffix 'ach'. The word austerity conveys the sense - to vanquish the enemies of soul; heating agent to purify the real self; that which burns and annihilates the karmic matter; penance; and rigorous religious meditation.

     Penance is an easy medium to lead a living being towards spiritual uplift. All the great men born in the world so far became great only by practicing austerity. Penance is an extremely significant function of life. Those who adopt austerity in life sail across the ocean of the world smoothly i.e. get rid of the cycle of birth and death. Austerity is the only path to attain liberation.

     Nothing can be gain in life without austerity. The sun goes through heat and fire; that is why it supplies light and warmth to one and all. Likewise, the moon and the stars undergo austerity in their own way. No work is fulfilled in the world without penance. If the sun had not been hot, the land would not have become fertile; for in the absence of sunrays, no existence of any vegetation would have been possible on the earth. Every vegetation prepares its food itself from the soil by absorbing the sunrays. In 'Kurul Kavya' Acharya Kundkund Swami has also said, "The more heat the land gets, the more fertile it becomes. The seeds sown at that place become capable of germinating very soon and bearing fruits quickly. The sun's own heating is essential for it."

     Tapa (penance) is of two folds;

(a) Bahya Tapa (external austerities), referring to food and physical activities. The 'Tattavartha Sutra' and 'Dash Bhakti' categorize the external penance thus;

     Anshnavamodryvritiparisa nkhyanrsprityagviviktshyasankayklaisha bahim tapa

     The Bahaya Tapa - six external austerities - are as follows;

     Aikantai shyanopvaishan kriti santapnam tanvam

     Sankyo vriti nibhandana manshanam vishvanr madhodarm

     Tyagam chaindrya dantino madyata svado rasyanisham

     Shodha bahya maham stuvay shiv gati praptyabhiyupayam tapa

                        - Charitra bhakti

i)      Vivikta-Shayyasana - sitting and sleeping in a secluded place devoid of animate beings;

ii)       Kayaklesha - mortification of the body so long as the mind is not disturbed;

iii) Vritti-Parisamkhyana - taking a mental vow to accept food from a house-holder only if certain conditions are fulfilled without letting anyone know about the vow;

iv) Anashana - fasting, to give up all the four types of food for the sake of meditation.

v)      Avamodarya - eating less than one's fill or less than one has appetite for; and,

vi) Rasa-Parityaga - daily renunciation of one or more of six kinds of delicacies namely, ghee (clarified butter), milk, curd, sugar, salt and oil.

(b) Abhyantara Tapa (internal austerities); referring to spiritual discipline. The internal penance has been categorized as below-

     "Prayshchitvinyaveyavrityasvadhyayavyutsargdhyanantutram"