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 Akinchanya Dharma)

     He, who abandons the evil thought of attachment to worldly objects, can alone give up possessions.

     Assuredly, the non-appearance of attachment and other passions in Ahimsa, and their appearance is 'Himsa'.

     Na kinchan iti akinchana

     Not to have the least (Parigraha) attachment is known as Akinchanya (non-attachment). The word 'akinchan' is derived from the word 'akinchan' by the addition of the suffix anr/shaynj. The word means to put a limit to ambitions, to put a check on desires.

     Man is a social animal. Man makes many future plans while living amidst society and in the nation. These plans never come to an end; rather they go on multiplying one after the other. It has been said:

     Api sankalpita kama, sambhvanti yatha yatha

     Tatha mnushyanram, trishanr vishvam visarpati

     As soon as the hopes or ambitions of a man are fulfilled, instantly new ambitions take birth. His desires go on increasing; there is no full stop to them. Therefore, a man should observe the virtue of non-attachment by putting a limit to his ambitions. Acharya Kundkund Swamy has written in the holy book 'Samaysaar': 'Desires are limitless. Hopes live eternal in the heart of a man. There is no end to possessions (Parigraha). Still man is running a mad race after possessions and material objects day and night. Acharya Gun Bhadra Swamy has drawn a fine picture of the unending nature of ambitions of man in his sacred book 'Atmanushashan' in the following verse:

     Ashagart pratipranri, yasmin vishvmnrupamam

     Ksya kim kiydayiti, vritha vo vishayeshita

              - Atma A. Gunbhadra

     In the heart of every living being there exists a deep pit of hopes, in which the universe appears to be equivalent to an atom. Then for whom, what and how much scope there can be left inside this pit i.e., it can contain almost nothing else but hopes. Therefore, O noble souls! Futile is your ambition for those articles of enjoyments or pleasure giving objects. It means that thirst of desires of every living being has grown to the extent that even if he attains all the wealth of the whole world, his thirst of desires can never be quenched by any means. This ignorant creature has been wasting his precious lifetime in claiming such mortal and transitory objects, which are different from self as his own. The passions and sensuous pleasures, which are the outcome of object non-self, have made him blind. This blindness is more dreadful than blindness of eyes by birth. It has been said:

     Andhadyam mhanndho, vishyandhikritaikshnra

     Chkshuandho na janati, vishyandho na kainchit

                           - Atma A. Gunbhadr

     I.e., This human being, who has lost his sense of wisdom and power of discrimination due to his over indulgence in lustful desires, is blinder than a worldly blind man. For a blind fails to see with his eyes only, but a man blinded by sensuous pleasures cannot grasp the real nature of things; neither by the senses nor by the mind. Therefore he has misconceived the non-self as the real self. So long as this living being does not forsake this sense of attachment, he will not realize the virtue of non-attachment. Acharya Aklanka Swamy has also affirmed this fact in 'Rajvartika' thus:


     I.e., To give up the belief that this thing belongs to me is the virtue of non-attachment.

     There was a forest. Daily some cowherds led the cows to graze in that pastureland. While grazing the cows one-day, they chanced to see ripe mangoes hanging from a tree. Their mouths watered on seeing the mangoes. When one of the cowherds cast a pebble at the mangoes, two mangoes fell down. He ate them and enjoyed the delicious fruits. The mangoes were really very sweet. This made another cowherd think - "Why to miss such tasty fruits? I shall also pluck a mango just now." So saying he picked up a pebble and struck at the mangoes. Instead, the stone piece struck the head of a saint meditating under the tree. His head was injured and started bleeding. This horrible sight terrified all the cowherds. Seeing tears flowing from the eyes of the saint, the cowherds approached him and spoke humbly - "O saint! We are guilty. You are all merciful. Please pardon us. We have inflicted severe injury and pain to you." The saint replied calmly, "I have suffered no pain." The cowherds again questioned, "if you have felt no pain, why tears are bursting from your eyes?" At this the saint replied, "Boys! When you cast pebbles at the mango tree, it gave you sweet and tasty mangoes. But now when your stone piece struck me, I have nothing to give you in return. That is why tears are flowing from my eyes." The cowherds paid homage to the saint lying at his feet and returned home. The instant that the feeling of compassion grows in human heart, is the beginning of religion.

           Attachment is of two kinds:

1. Internal Attachment - The feeling of love, hatred, affection and ill will for living beings; and wrong belief are internal attachments.

2. External Attachment - Greed for wealth and property is external attachment. Greed for worldly possessions (bahay parigrah) consists in desiring more than what is needed by an individual.

Accumulation of even necessary articles in large numbers, expressing wonder at the prosperity of others, excessive greed and changing the proportions of existing possessions are all forms of Parigraha (worldly attachments). The virtue of non-attachment cannot be attained without discarding both types of Parigrahas (attachments). Only by discarding both, the soul can be made fully purified, clean and spotless. In Shraman culture merely discarding of the external attachments has got no value. Therefore, the living soul (a living being) will be called non-attached only when he gets rid of both internal and external attachments. The Jain scriptures say that attachment equivalent even to a 'Til' (Sesum seed) brings extreme sorrow and suffering in its wake.

     A man took resort in a forest renouncing all worldly attachments. At that time he owned no possessions except a cloth piece. In daytime he used to wrap it round his body to clothe it, and at night he would spread it on the ground to make a bed to sleep in. In the forest there lived many rats, which nibbled his cloth. The man thought of protecting his cloth from the rats anyhow. With this idea he tamed a cat. Milk was needed to feed the cat. So the man had to tame a cow as well. But grass (fodder) was required for the cow. Now to employ a cowherd became essential for this job. A house was then needed for the cowherd. As soon as the house was built, a maidservant was engaged to look after the house. The maidservant expressed her desire to keep her kith and kin along with her. The man built separate houses for every one of them.