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 RENUNCIATION

 

 

(Uttama Tyaga Dharma)

'Renunciation of all possessions is Ahimsa; and appropriation

Of all possessions is Himsa'

     The word 'tyag' is derived from the root 'tyaj' by the addition of the suffix 'gham'. The word renunciation means to cast aside, to give up, to get rid of, to discard and to leave.

     Some wise men have said: 'In this world it is not what we take up but what we give up, that makes us rich.'

     Renunciation has been assigned a great significance in the path of salvation propounded by the omniscient Lord Jinendra. Therefore, for householders renunciation implies charities; and for the ascetics it signifies the vow of 'Pratigraha' i.e., abstention from greed of worldly possessions and the virtue of freedom from attachments. One who cherishes the feeling of renunciation without letting one's energies lie dormant, paves the way to attainment of 'Tirthankar Prakriti' i.e., the state of final liberation or salvation. "Vyutsarjanam vyutsrgstyaga" means renunciation. To acknowledge the non-self as different from self and then to become non-attached to all worldly objects or to discard the non-self is renunciation.

     Vrishtrbina kuto maigha, kav sasyam bijvartam

     Jivanam ch bina tyagat, sukhmupadyate kuta

     I.e., How can rainfall be possible without clouds? How can corn grow without sowing seeds? Likewise, how can the living beings attain bliss without renunciation?

     Every living creature is aspirant for happiness. This happiness is an outcome of renunciation. When a thing is fully and whole-heartedly given in charity to others, it is called renunciation. If someone desires a return in exchange for a thing donated or wants to get it back after once giving it to others as charity; or donates something to others after getting his name inscribed on it, it is not called renunciation. Only that can be called as giving, which is given to the poor. All other giving is of the nature of barter.

     Renunciation lends greatness to a man. Lord Bahubali followed the path of renunciation and attained his cherished goal. He conquered the kingdom of the sovereign king Bharat and returned it to him thereafter without a hitch. How great was the feeling of renunciation in his outlook on life! He was the noble soul, who laid down the foundation of this grand Indian tradition of returning a kingdom after once conquering it; which has become an immortal heritage of Indian culture to the coming generations. Lord Ram also won over Lanka after defeating Ravan, and then he renounced it by crowning Vibhishan the king of Lanka. In the modern age also we see that our worthy Prime Minister of India, Late Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri won the war against Pakistan but soon after returned the vast territory of Pakistan conquered by our jawans. Likewise, in Bangla-Pakistan war, Bangladesh triumphed as a result of the open support and huge military aid of India; but Shrimati Indira Gandhi handed over Bangladesh to her people. First, to conquer and then to return the conquered land to her people has been the noble tradition of this land; for we are the staunch followers of the religion of renunciation. Rightly has it been said; "A generous mind never enjoys its possessions so much as when others are made partakers of them."

     We can conquer the world through love, friendship and a spirit of renunciation. We cannot subdue the free spirit of nation merely by the force of arms. The military strength or power of weapons may give temporary defeat to an enemy nation but cannot vanquish her free spirit or win heart of people except with love and affection as the Holy Buddha did by preaching Buddhism in Shri Lanka, Burma and Japan. In the book 'Early History of Vaishali' an eminent historian of Europe has written that Lord Mahavira was born in a Kshatrya clan, whose people were always at war with one another fighting with swords. Lord Mahavira preached to them - 'Do not tease and torture even the smallest creature like an ant; rather give love and protection to it'. In the modern age one man is bent upon torturing and killing another man, instead of giving him fraternal love and affection. Should we call him humane? All of us have to develop the outlook of Lord Mahavira. Renunciation is a must to become great like Mahavira. In 'Baras Anupekha' Acharya Kundkund Swami has defined the supreme virtue of renunciation as below:

     Nrichaigatiam bhavi, moh cheunr sachdvaishu

     Jo tas havai chayago idi bhanridam jinrvarimdaihim

     Lord Jinendra has stated, "A living being. who discarding attachment to things, non-self maintains an indifferent outlook for physical body and worldly pleasures, is endowed with the virtue of renunciation." A man cannot obtain peace and happiness by accumulating material things like wealth and property, nor do these things enhance his prestige; rather their renunciation adds to his prestige and honor, and he achieves peace and happiness.

     There lived a very wealthy householder in a city; but he was greedy by nature. He neither took nice food nor put on nice clothes, nor gave money in charity for religious deeds and other noble causes. His chief aim in life was to accumulate money by saving every penny day and night. What to say of seeing his face, people disliked even to hear his name in the morning. The scriptures say, "namatikripanrsya cha", i.e., the name of a miser is not worth speaking. Such people are condemned and disdained wherever they go. After all who can show respect to such selfish men? In the modern times we daily come across so many affluent persons, who hesitate to donate even a penny for religious functions and for a good cause, but are forced to pay huge amount of money as taxes. They are aversive to give donation to every category of charity-seekers viz. superb, medium and lower type. On the contrary such people try to win false prestige and glory by arranging garden parties in honor of high government officers, and feeding the gentry on the eve of wedding receptions. But this greedy rich person was a perfect devil. What to speak of giving donation to social institutions, he did not give even a tip of twenty-five paisa to a peon. If sometimes a hungry beggar knocked at his door asking for food, he would shut the door in his face and make a pretext of sickness but never offered him food. The Tamil scholar Ka Naa Subramanyam rightly says:

     "The fullness of the life of the house-holder is achieved when he feeds those, who come hungry to him. Indeed he, that shares his food with the hungry, will never go hungry at any time. Those who fast in penance endure hunger; to do away with hunger in others is better than fasting in penance."

     Therefore, both the king and the masses showed no veneration to this greedy rich man. Still he was a God- fearing man and had high faith in prayer and worship. Turning the beads and chanting verses from the 'Ramayan', he would walk in heavy rainfall or pitch darkness even to a distant place to listen to the holy sermons of sages and priests. But the temple priest who delivered the holy sermons never extended him any welcome, and would not give him a seat of honor close by him. He used to get a back seat in a corner on the temple mat; because all knew that he would not offer even a single penny to the learned priest as gift.