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 CHASTITY

 

 

(Uttama Brahmacarya Dharma)

'The ills of life are cured, if you root out lust from your heart.'

Brahmacarya is a word with a very wide scope. It means maintaining sexual purity by assuming the strict aspect of celibacy. (Brahma) means soul, which is chaste, enlightened, eternal and blissful. To become fully engrossed in soul is Brahmacarya - celibacy.

     The opposite of (Brahma) is (Abraham) - sexuality. It is of several forms -match-making (bringing about marriages as a hobby), unnatural gratification, indulging in voluptuous speech, and visiting immoral married and unmarried women, are all different forms of Unchastity or sexuality.

     The vow of chastity is an ornament of a man and a woman both; it is a garland woven by auspicious virtues and is a gateway to heaven. Chastity is the most precious jewel of a lady. "The impenetrable fence which protects a woman is her virtue of celibacy; no other fence can safeguard her as well." Indeed, chastity thy name is woman.

     Observance of chastity keeps the body healthy and free from sickness; and it develops the mind i.e., sharpens the intelligence. All people honor a chaste man in this world and such a man become entitled to enter heaven or attain salvation. Non-observance of chastity makes one suffer many types of miseries in this world; also, he or she is destined to go to hell in the next births. An unchaste person always lives awe-stricken lest his/her immoral deeds should come to limelight, and on being caught red-handed he/she has to suffer great humiliation and undergo different types of punishments. In truth, 'Too much indulgence in sexual pleasures brings physical as well as spiritual ruin.'

     The root of self-restraint or abstention from sensual pleasures is good conduct; and both self-restraint and good conduct are dependent on chastity. The persons who realize the need and glory of celibacy in human life come to know the significance of self-restraint and good conduct very well. The capability of sustaining the life force in the body is celibacy. It alone generates vitality, radiance and luster in the body. The American saint Thoray has said, "Chastity is the flower of life tree; genius, purity and velour are its numerous fruits." Self-restraint is attained only through good conduct and chastity.

     A monk came to take meals at the house of a Seth. After taking meals the holy saint dwelt upon the significance of chastity in his sermon. On hearing the importance and glory of celibacy, Jin Datt, the son of the Seth, took the vow to observe celibacy during the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) of every month. On the other hand, Jin Datta, the daughter of the Seth of Ujjain City, had taken a vow to observe celibacy during the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha) of every month. Ignorant of each other's pledges, as the chance would have it, Jin Datt and Jin Datta were tied in wedlock. The wedding ceremonies were performed on the 13th day of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha). Thereafter, Jin Datt returned home with his newly wedded bride.

     On the first night when all wedding ceremonies were over Jin Datta fully adorned with proper make-up entered her bedroom in the grand palatial building. During sweet conversation Jin Datt disclosed to her, "My darling! I have taken a vow of observing celibacy during the bright fortnight of every month. Therefore, we shall be able to celebrate the honeymoon night only after four days, not before that. Don't get worried and restless. It's a matter of only three or four days." In reply to the loving words of her husband, Jin Datta said, "My lord! What a strange contradiction! I have also taken a pledge to observe celibacy during the dark fortnight. So you enter into another wedlock and marry any other damsel. I shall now get initiated as a female ascetic and try for my spiritual uplift."

     At this Jin Datt said to her, "My dear! When you are so eager for your spiritual uplift despite being a lady, why should I get indulged in the mud and mire of sensuous pleasures, being a man. We both shall observe the vow of life-long celibacy while living under one and the same roof in our home. But this decision should not leak out." Thus, taking a firm pledge of celibacy, which is as difficult to observe as walking on a sharp edged sword, they both began to live together happily and peacefully practicing rigorous celibacy.

     Once a princess suffered from leprosy. All treatments to cure her failed. One day the princess chanced to see a monk. After paying homage to the monk with full reverence, the princess asked the holy sage to tell her a remedy to get rid of her incurable malady. The compassionate sage spoke, "My daughter! A happy newly wedded couple named Jin Datt and Jin Datta, who have been practicing the rigorous vow of celibacy for long, lives in your city. If you shower over your body water purified by the touch of their hands, you can get rid of your disease."

     Soon after, in order to act on the advice of the saint, the princess went to Jin Datt's house. All the members of Jin Datt's family were taken aback on hearing the words of the princess. As soon as water touched with the hands of Jin Datt and Jin Datta was poured over the princess, her skin disease was cured in no time. Flowers rained from the sky at this miracle. Ultimately, the happy couple Jin Datt and his wife Jin Datta got initiated to Jain monkshood. This example shows without doubt that only practicing the vow of celibacy attains self-restraint and good conduct.

     Shuchi bhumigatam toyim, shuchirnari pativrta

     Shuchirdharmpro raja, brahmchari sada shuchi

     I.e., The underground water is pure. A wife loyal to her husband is chaste. A king dedicated to religion is always just and merciful; above all a celibate's life is sacred forever.

     Supreme chastity is the last of the ten universal virtues. Just as when a temple is built, a golden canopy is installed on the cupola at its peak; likewise the virtue of celibacy is at the pinnacle of the ten supreme virtues. Stating celibacy as the true nature of the soul, the Acharyas have said:

     "Brahmans atmni charti iti brahmcharya"

     I.e., One who always remains engrossed in his holy soul only; one who practices celibacy free from transgression; in truth, he alone is a celibate. A monk who avoids company, jokes and foul bodily play with mean persons, renounces ten kind of 'Abraham' -sexual indulgence.