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




     As a result of good actions of previous births a man gets a bit of material prosperity and worldly wealth in life. If one or two cars stand in front of his door, the man becomes so vain and proud that he begins to think that others are no matches to him. Regarding other persons insignificant and worthless due to this feeling of vanity brings ruin in his life. As a result of this sin he is thrown into the deadly hell. An easy way of escape from it is not to be proud or vain. This virtue of compassion or humility, which annihilates vanity root and branch, is really commendable.

     What to speak of a man in the street, when bad luck dominates, even Kings are born as germs in the excrete, as a result of this pride and vanity. This egotism or vanity, which causes great hurt to the soul, is a deadly enemy of man. The saintly persons should always destroy vanity through this virtue of compassion or humility (Mardava); or if they have to be proud, they should take pride in their vows and holy pledges so that the enemies of religion may be annihilated. Even the mountain of vanity crumbles by compassion. Aark Kirti, the son of Emperor Bharat Chakarvarti, had to suffer so much disgrace, and the God Maya Mani Ketu burnt to ashes the sixty thousand sons of Emperor Sagar Chakarvarti in the twinkling of an eye due to this vanity. Therefore, just as king Bharat tried to uproot vanity of the royal prince, his brother Bahubali, likewise the saintly persons always try to flee the ghost of vanity from the heart of would-be enlightened souls.

     The holy teachers have great affection for the persons gifted with the virtue of compassion or tenderness (Mardav). These saintly persons take them also for saints. Such persons attain Right Knowledge (Samayak Gyan) by the blessings of their spiritual teachers and thereby they enjoy pleasures of paradise.

     To be vain or proud is extremely harmful for a person. When Ravan disgraced Vibhishan out of vanity, Vibhishan joined the camp of Ram accompanied with his four battalions of cavalry (char akshohany sena) and thus got his own brother Ravan killed. Hence, we should not nourish malice or ill will for any one to satisfy our feeling of vanity or egotism. Despite being an extremely mighty king, Ravan is condemned and defamed to this day only due to his egotism. In truth, true greatness is free from pride. Little carries pride to its extreme limits. It has been said:

     barhe barhaii na karen, barhe na bolain bole

     hira mukh se na kahe, barha hamara mole

     Two trees stood side by side in a forest. One was Banyan tree and the other Cane tree. Due to being big size, wide spread and strong the Banyan tree developed vanity and egotism at heart. So it became proud. It said to the Cane tree, �What use is your life? You can provide neither shadow nor fruits nor flowers to anybody. Look at me. I provide shadow to so many creatures and even if somebody cuts me down beautiful coaches can be manufactured with my wood for sitting.� In a short while the weather took such an ugly turn that the storm and rain both started together all of a sudden. In an instant the Cane tree bent down and lay straight on the ground. But the storm saw that the Banyan tree stood erect and adamant. The storm uprooted this egotist tree and cast it away turning turtle. As a result the vanity of the tree was shattered to pieces. Therefore, we should never be vain or proud about our safety. Just as sometimes our own weapon becomes the cause of self-destruction, likewise our vanity or egotism becomes the cause of our own ruin. Nobody likes to look with reverence at a person who is self-conceited and prides in his beauty, knowledge, strength and affluence. All persons love gold because it is more soft and full of luster than iron; they wear different types of ornaments molded from it and safeguard it. But no body likes to wear ornaments of iron for they being hard and without luster. Iron lies outside in the open bearing both the winter and cold and summer heat and ultimately destroyed by rust. Likewise, all people love those who are sweet tempered and they alone are safeguarded forever; but nobody likes the hard hearted and harsh nature persons for they are of no avail. That is why they are ridiculed and condemned everywhere. A man should always be tender by nature, sweet in speech and humble in conduct. Only then a man will be termed a man in right earnest.

     We should learn politeness in words and speech also. Sometimes there lies possibility of clash or bitterness due to words spoken abruptly without proper thinking.

     Once an Indian gentleman went to America. He had to address a conference there. When his turn came, he stood up and started delivering his speech. Meanwhile, seeing the Indian speaker, the American members of the conference started laughing. The Indian speaker felt insulted and got a bit enraged. In anger he spoke, �Fifty percent Americans are fools.� As soon as the American members heard these words, a commotion prevailed in the conference hall and the Americans got out of control. �No, No, Sorry gentlemen, pardon me. Fifty percent Americans are wise.� On hearing these changed words, also conveying the same sense, the American members became calm again. It clearly proves harsh words cause clash and tender words result in peace. Therefore, learn by heart these sane words of advice; �Treat everybody with politeness, even those who are rude to you. For, remember that you show courtesy to others not because they are gentlemen, but because you are one.� Hence every person should speak beneficial, friendly, affectionate and sweet words. The wise seers have said, �Sweet words cost nothing, but buy everything�. Given below are some wise definitions of the virtue of compassion or tenderness in the words of the great poet Reidhu:

     Madu bhav madnru manr nrikndnru, dya dhamhu bhool ji vimlu

     Savham hiyaru gunr gunrsaru, tishun vyun sanjam sehlu

     Madu manr kashay vihamhnru madu panchidiy manr danhnru

     Madu dhamay karunra valli pasrayi chitr mahihin nravalli

     Madu jinrvar bhati pyasi madu kumarh pasru nrinrasand

     Madvenr bahu vinray pavtii madvenr janr badru uhtayi

     Madvenr parinram vishudhi, madvenr thuliy ham siddhi

     madvenr do vihu tau sohi, madvenr nrru tijgu vimohi

     madav jinr sasnr janrijeyi, appa par saruv bhavijyi

     madau dos asais nrivaryi, madu jam uahin utaryi

     samdansnr angu sadu parinramu ji munrhu

     iya pariyanrivichitr madu dhamu amal dhunrhu

1.      This virtue of compassion or tenderness (Mardav Dharma) overcomes the world i.e., conquers everyone in the world. It subdues vanity. This compassion or humility is at the root of mercy. It is the cause of unblemished conduct and is beneficial to all. It is superb amongst all the virtues; and vows and self-control are fulfilled and exercised only with compassion or humility.


2.      Compassion destroys vanity and egotism; puts a check on all the five senses and mind. By the blessing of this virtue of humility, the creeper of mercy expands on the ground of mind.


3.      The virtue of compassion exhibits devotion to Lord Jinendra; compassion restraints the growth of evil thoughts. Compassion gives rise to the feeling of humility and puts an end to the feeling of bitterness.


4.      Compassion brings purity in outlook; it helps in the attainment of both the worlds - the earthly and the heavenly world (ubhay lok); it glorifies both types of penances and by it a man can charm the creatures of all the three worlds.


5.      The virtue of compassion makes one aware of the Jain discipline and it gives clear perception of the real shape of self and non-self (par). Humility removes all evils and it takes us across the ocean of the world.


6.      The feeling of compassion or tenderness is a part and parcel of Right Belief. Knowing this, pay homage to the wonderful and unblemished virtue of compassion (mardav Dharma).

     Look at a genuine nude Jain saint, who is a living image of extreme humility treading this earth. Indeed, humility is the strength of perfection; it will bring down all enemies.

     Hence, O Mortal Man! Be compassionate, be compassionate, and be compassionate to one and all - men, birds and beasts.

     Impartiality or equanimity towards all living beings in the world, whether friends or foes, and life long abstention from injury to living beings, is a vow difficult to observe.