Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

Publisher's Note

Something About Late Shri V.R. Gandhi
I - The Sankhya Philosophy
  II - The Yoga Philosophy
  III - The Naya Philosophy
  IV - Mimamsa
  V - The Vedanta Philosophy
  VI - Buddhism
  VII - Jainism
  Sanskrit Terms

II - The Yoga Philosophy



Akritva pran.inan hinsan mansan notpadyatai kachit

Na cha pran,ivdhat svarg tsmanmansan vivrjyait


 [You cannot get meat unless an animal is killed, killing of animals can never lead to a higher state, therefore abstain from meat altogether.] The avoidance from animal food from another point of view is strongly recommended, as it always leads to the complete obscuration and even annihilation of intuition and spirituality. It is to secure this condition of being ever with nature and never against it or, in other words, being in love with nature that all other restrictions are prescribed. (ii) The next requirement is abstaining from falsehood, i.e. from telling what we do not know or believe to be the exact state of things. (iii) The third thing to be avoided includes, besides actual illegal appropriation, even the thought for any such gain. (iv) So also does incontinence, the fourth danger in the path of success, include, besides physical enjoyment, even talking to, looking at or thinking of the other sex, with lustful intention. And here we come to the very important point of view of celibacy. We know that even doctors of eminence talk about the dictates of nature‑as if animosity and brutality are natural parts of man. They may talk about sexual needs, imperious necessities, and uncontrollable passion. But when we come to the actual state of facts, we will realize the truth. We know that the trainer of a pugilist denies his man all sexual indulgence whatever, the trainer on a boat's crew would abandon all hope of victory if he knew that his men visited women even once a week. Indeed so jealous is he that he will not permit his wards even to talk much with the other sex, lest some erotic fancy should affect the condition of their nerves. An eminent doctor of the United States says: "All eminent physiologists who have written on this point agree that the most precious atoms of the blood enter into the composition of the semen. A healthy man may occasionally discharge his seed with impunity, but if he chooses‑ with reference as in the pedestrian, boat‑racer, prize‑fighter or explorer or with reference to great intellectual and moral work as in the apostle Paul, Sir Isaac Newton and a thousand other instances‑ to refrain from sexual pleasure, nature well knows what to do with those precious atoms. She finds use for them in building up a keener brain and more vital and enduring nerves and muscles." The chief monk of my community Muni Atmaramji was once asked by a Hindu gentleman, how it was that in running contrary to the course of nature‑ i.e. not obeying the urgent demands of natural instincts in such nature‑ he could build up his constitution which could well defy the attacks of an athlete or a stalwart. The monk in reply simply recited a verse:


Sinho balee dvirdashookrmansjeevee

Sanvtsrain. Ratimaiti kilaekvaram

Paravat kharshilakan.matrjeevee

Kamee bhavtynudinan vad kotr haitu


[The lion eats the flesh of elephants and hogs and is the strongest of all animals, still he enjoys sexual intercourse only once in a year, while doves and pigeons that live on dirt and sorts of refuse are lustful every day.] (v) The last of the five forbearances is greediness. It consists not only in coveting more that necessary but also in keeping in possession anything beyond the very necessaries of life. Some practitioners are known to carry this requirement to the extent of even not accepting anything whatever from others. We thus finish the list of five kinds of forbearances; that is the first stage through which a student of Yoga has to pass.


(b) The second stage is Niyam, i.e. observances. They are also five, purity, contentment, austerity, study and resignation to Eashwar, ‑ the Lord15. The five kinds of forbearances, which we mentioned before, were negative injunctions, the five kinds of observances, which we are now describing, are positive commands. (i) The first in purity, i.e. purity bodily and mental which latter consists in universal love and equanimity. (ii) The second is contentment‑ being satisfied with one's lot. (iii) The third is austerities, i.e. fasts, penances, observances etc. mentioned in the Hindu Dharma Shastras. (iv) Study‑the fourth‑ is the repetition of the sacred mystic word OM or any other holy incantation. (v) Resignation to Eashwar the fifth observance‑ means that the practitioner should so abandon himself to the will of the Supreme that he must move about only to fulfil his benign wish, not to accomplish this or that result. He must bear all good, bad or indifferent, simple as an act of his grace in carrying which he only pleases him. The five kinds of forbearances and the five kinds of observances make ten.


13.  (a) (i) The first forbearance was abstinence from killing. What is its result? When one has acquired that confirmed frame of mind‑ the positive feeling of universal love for all living creatures, even natural antipathy is held in abeyance in his presence;16 needless to add that no one harms or injures him. All beings, men, animals, birds approach him without reserve. In an extended description of the religious rites, monastic life and superstitions of the Siamese dela loubete cites among other things the wonderful power over wild beasts possessed by the Talapoin (the monks or the holy men of Buddha whose first injunction was protection of all living beings). "The Talapoin of Siam", he says, "will pass whole weeks in the dense woods under a small awning of branches and palm leaves and never make a fire in the night to scare away the wild beasts, as all other people do who travel through the woods of this country. The people consider it a miracle that no Talapoin is ever devoured. The tigers, elephants and rhinoceroses‑ with which the neighborhood abounds‑ respect him and travelers placed in secure ambuscade have often seen these wild beasts lick the hands and feet of the sleeping Talapoin." The Jaina history also testifies to the same fact. Mahavira‑ The twenty-fourth prophet of the Jainas who lived 600 years before Christ‑ is reported to have attracted, by the sweetness of his musical sermons in parks, wild beasts and animals who stood before him in perfect peace and harmony. Even in the present times no wild beast is known to have devoured a Jaina in India whose first principal is the protection of life ‑even of the tiniest insect. Strange to say that the Western powers and nations attempt to restore peace and harmony among people by the sharpest swords, huge man‑killing machines and animal‑food.


(ii) The second forbearance of the five we mentioned before is truthfulness. What is the result? When entire and unswerving truthfulness is fully established, all thoughts and words become immediately effective.17 What others get by act such as sacrifice to deities etc. He gets by mere thought or word. Emperor Marcus Aurelius says: "He who acts unjustly acts impiously, for since the universal nature has made rational animals for the sake of one another, to help one another according to their deserts, but in no way to injure one another, he who transgresses his will is clearly guilty of impiety towards the highest divinity. And he too that lies is guilty of impiety to the same divinity, from the universal nature of all things that are; and all things that are have a relation to all things that come into existence. And future this universal nature is named Truth and is the prime cause of all things that are true. He then who lies intentionally is guilty of impiety in as much as he acts impiously by deceiving and he also who lies unintentionally in as much as he is at variance with the universal nature, and in as much as he disturbs the order by fighting against the nature of the world; for he fights against it, who is moved of himself to that which is contrary to truth, for he has revived powers from nature, through the neglect of which he is not able now to distinguish falsehood from truth. And indeed he who pursues pleasure as good and avoids pain as evil is guilty of impiety."


What is true of individuals is true of nations. We know that Spain, Greece and Turkey are dishonored in the commercial world. His riches killed Spain. The gold which came pouring into Spain from her vanquished colonies in South America depraved the people, and rendered them indolent and lazy. Now a day, Spaniards would blush to work. He will not blush to beg. The same has been the case with Greece also. She has repudiated her debts for many years. Like Turkey she has nothing to pay. All the works of industry in those countries, are done by foreigners.


Much better things might have been hoped from Pennsylvania and other American states, which repudiated their debts many years ago. They were rich states and the money borrowed from abroad made them richer, by opening roads and constructing canals for the benefit and privation" it was he who was the congress at Washington which he afterwards published "The Americans", he said, "who boast to have improved the institutions of the old world have at least equaled its crimes. A great nation after trampling under foot all earthly tyranny has been guilty of a fraud as enormous as ever disgraced the worst king of the most degraded nation of Europe."


But the state of Illinois acted nobly though it was poor. It had borrowed money like Pennsylvania, for the purpose of carrying out internal improvements. When the inhabitants of rich Pennsylvania set the example of repudiating their footsteps. As every householder had a vote it was easy, if they were dishonest, to repudiate their debts.


A Convention met at Springfield and the repudiation ordinance was offered to the meeting. It was about to be adopted, when an honest man stopped it. Stephen A. Douglas was being sick at his hotel, when he desired to be taken to the Convention. He was carried on a mattress, for he was too ill to walk. Lying on his back he wrote the following resolution, which he offered as a substitute for the repudiation ordinance:


"Resolved that Illinois will be honest although she never pays a cent."


The resolution touched the honest sentiment of every member of the Convention. It was adopted with enthusiasm. It dealt a deathblow to the system of repudiation. The canal bonds immediately rose, capital and emigration flowed into the state and Illinois is now one of the most prosperous states. She has more miles of railway than any of other states. Her broad prairies are one great grain field and are dotted about with hundreds of thousands of peaceful happy homes. This is what truthfulness does. It this is true in the science of nations how much more is it true in the highest known science‑ the Yoga?


 (iii)     [The last time we left our subject with the result, which can be, worked out from the second kind of forbearance the truthfulness. We will proceed with the rest of them.] The third kind of forbearance is abstinence from self‑love and desire of misappropriation. To him who has given up this, all jewels and wealth stumble at his feet even without seeking them.18


(iv) The fourth kind of forbearance is continence. On this subject we dwelt at some length the last time. The point settled in this Yoga philosophy is that it is a physiological law that the creative essence in man is closely connected with the intellect and spirituality. Waste of this spiritual element means waste of bodily and mental powers. Preservation of this elements means the acquisition of (?) powers of the brain and body.19 No Yoga is ever reported successful without the observance of this rule as an essential preliminary.