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 Kshama Dharma)

The word Kshama is derived from the root by the addition of the suffix ang and tap.

The word Kshama means patience, forbearance and pardon.

�Kshama shatro ch mitre ch yatinamev bhushanam� - Hito

To pardon an enemy or a friend both, is the jewel of Yetis.

�Kshama virasey bhushanam� - Forbearance is the ornament of the brave.

     An eminent English poet writes:

     O Man! forgive thy mortal foe

     Do not give him blow for blow

     Forgive him seventy times and seven

     For all the souls in Heaven

     Were both forgivers and forgiven.

     Uttama Kshama is the first Dharma out of the ten Dharma of Jains. Ordinarily it means not to cause misery to any living being, or not to get angry on any unpleasant and unwanted happening. Forbearance (Kshama) is the inherent virtue of soul. When the soul degrades from its real attributes to ill nature, such a soul is called attached (raagi) or full of malice - ill-will (dwaish), etc., because soul is simple and forgiving by nature. Rightly has it been said: �To err is human; to forgive divine�.

Anger makes a man blind and maddens him, for �when eyes are blood shot, vision is limited�. Overpowered by anger, a man may commit anything right or wrong, and fails to make distinction between proper and improper, truth or untruth, and good or bad. In short, the Jain Acharyas have proclaimed anger as leading to degradation.

Discarding anger and getting stable in one�s real nature, is Kshama, Kshama is soul�s inherent wealth. Being endowed with this real wealth, this living being (jeeva) is called forbearing in disposition. Narendra, Devendra and Amrendra in this world (lok) and heaven (Parlok) worship a living being crowned with forgiveness after salvation. In Baras - Anupaikkha this very Kshama has been described as below:

     Kahupatis puno, bahurangam jadi havedi sakhadam, kundi kinchivi koham, tas      Kshama hodi thamoti.

     The conduct of a man, who does not get the least enraged even on finding obvious reasons for exciting anger, is in keeping with Uttama Kshama Dharma. To forgive one with evil perception (Mithya-Drasthi), or him who utters unpleasant words and makes efforts to cause anguish and torture without any reason, is the first category of Kshama. To pardon one who nourishes thoughts of oppressing and killing with no reason is the second category of Kshama. �Kshamti iti Kshama� one who practices forgiveness (Kshama) under all odds is entitled as possessor of the virtue of supreme forgiveness (Uttama Kshama).

      Krodhotpatinimita visimakroshadisambhave kalushyoparam Kshama.

     Not to develop malice or ill-will despite confronting with unbearable causes of anger like defiance, chiding and bodily torture is Uttama Kshama. It has been well said; �The easiest and cheapest way of avenging an offence is to slight it, ignore it, forbear it, �forgive it, or, if possible, to forget it.�

     While describing the true nature of Kshama in his book �Sarvarth Siddhi� Acharya Pujya Pad Swamy has stated

     Shrirsithitihetumargarth parkulanyugachhti bhikshordushtjnakroshprhstavgyatadn

     Shrir vyapadnadinan snnidhane kalushyanutpti kshma

Even when ill-natured persons heap abuses, ridicules, disgrace and beatings on the monks, who enter other regions to discover the cause of the real state of the body and indulge in twisting and torturing their body, the non-appearance of ill-will in these monks� minds is Kshama. This very thing has been said in this commenting remark of �Niam-Saar�:

Vadhe satmurtsya parambrahmrupni mamapkarhaniriti paramsamrasi vsthitirutmkshma

To remain stable in supreme equanimitous thoughts on getting threat of being killed by persons given to evil perception (Mithya-Drasthi) for no reason, considering oneself formless Parma Brahma is Uttama Kshama. The following example reveals this very thing.

There was a saint named Aek Nath. He had a vow of bathing in the Ganga daily. His ideology of forgiveness and renunciation was highly talked of in the city. One Pathan also used to live in that city. Once he thought to test the saint. His house was on that very road by which the saint used to go for bathing in the Ganga. The next day when Aek Nath was returning after having a bath in the Ganga, the Pathan chewing a betel leaf, spit down from above his rooftop. Its shower fell on the body of Aek Nath also; hence the saint went back to have a bath in the Ganga again. This process was repeated a hundred times on that one day. Ultimately when the saint was returning after his one hundred and one time bath, the Pathan came down from his house top and falling down at his feet, started weeping and begging pardon, for his mischief and ill-doing. The saint said, �I am grateful to you for your good deed, because daily I used to bathe in the Ganga only once, but today I am lucky to bathe a hundred and one times due to you.� Great men have great thoughts. They never give up their celestial virtues. Saint Aek Nath, who belonged to this noble category, took this ill deed of the Pathan as a virtuous deed and pardoned him. On this earth there is no other greater virtue than Kshama. One, who is crowned with all the virtues, Kshama has been stated the embodiment of ascetics (Tapasvi); such as -

Kokilanam swarorupam, narirupam pativrata

     Vidyarupam kuruparan, Kshama rupam tapasvinam

The emblem of a nightingale is her own melody; the emblem of a lady is her chastity, the emblem of the wretched is their ignorance and the emblem of ascetics is forgiveness. The following memorable words are worth noting: �Humanity is never more beautiful than when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another.�

Pt. Ashadharji has stated about Kshama:

     Ya kshamyati kshamopyasu pratikatum kritagasa

     Kritagasam tamichhanti kshantipyushsanjush

     The persons who observe Uttama Kshama towards those, who commit crimes against them, even on being capable of quick retaliation, are regarded by saints drinking the nectar of forbearance (Kshama-amrit) to be the destroyers of sins.

Noble persons think thus: �Though I have committed no crime against him, even then this man is showering his anger over me, abusing me; I am innocent. Considering this I must pardon him. He has accused me, yet no harm comes out of it to me. On the contrary I must take pity on him, in spite of his being angry; because this poor fellow is reaping sins by falsely accusing me. This sin will bring him innumerable sufferings. He has only abused me and not beaten. Even if he had beaten me, then it must be thought that he has not wounded me; on being wounded it must be thought that he has not parted body from life; even if he had parted body, then one must understand that he has not harmed my Kshama virtue. One who thinks in this or bears the miseries befallen on him with forbearance (Kshama), no troubles and misfortunes will visit him again. �Just as at the time of repaying debts one has to return the money of the money lender; similarly I had committed sins in my previous birth and now I am reaping their fruits in the form of sorrow, which is proper. If I suffer it with a spirit of forbearance, I shall become happy on getting rid of the debt of my sins.� Thinking this no anger should be displayed.

A being gifted with forbearance (Kshama) never feels the prick of sorrow. Abuse him, as much as you can, have ill will against him as much as you like, even then he does not give up his Kshama virtue. In this respect the following remark of a great scholar is noteworthy: �If you are wronged, be bravely revenged. Slight it, and the work is begun; forgive it and it is finished. He is below himself who is not above injury.�