After Gosala’s withdrawal, Mahavira continued his wanderings and practice of asceticism alone. Gosala proclaimed himself a Jina and started collecting followers after acquiring supernormal powers, but Mahavira persisted in his search. From Siddharthagrama he went to Vaisali and thence to Vanijyagrama, where he was visited by Ananda, a wealthy merchant of the place and then traveled to Sravasti (which has been identified with Sahet-Mahet on the south bank of the river Tapti) for his tenth chaturmas.


On the expiry of the tenth chaturmas began the sad episode of Sangamaka, the tempter-god, who made his appearance and began his attack, which in its various forms lasted for about six months. The eleventh chaturmas was spent at Vaisali and the twelfth at Campa. The interval between the eleventh and twelfth was marked by the famous abhigrah at Kausambi, which took five months and twenty-five days to be fulfilled and meant a forced fast for Mahavira of this duration. During the thirteenth year, in the second month of summer, in the fourth fortnight, the light (fortnight) of Vaiskha, on its tenth day, called Suvrata, in the Muhurta called Vijaya, while the moon was in conjunction with the asterism Uttarapalguni, when the shadow had turned towards the east and the first wake was over, outside the town Jrmbhikagrama, on the northern bank of the river Rjupalika, in the field of the householder Samaga, under a Sala tree, in a squatting position with joint heels exposing himself to the heat of the Sun, with the knees high and the head low, in deep meditation, in the midst of abstract meditation, he reached the complete and full, the unobstructed, unimpeded, infinite and supreme, best knowledge and intuition, called Kevala.”




On the attainment of Kevala jnana, says the Kalpautra, the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira became omniscient. “He knew and saw all conditions of the worlds, of gods, men and demons; whence they came, whither they are born as men or animals or became gods or hellish, beings, the ideas, the thoughts of their mind, the food, doings, desires, the open and secret deeds of all the livings in the whole world; the Arhat, for whom there is no secret, knew and saw all conditions of all living beings in the world, what they thought, spoke, or did at any time.” It is notable that frequently in the course of audience and in his preaching after this great event he would refer to the earlier existence of a person or what one was going to be in the next birth; this extended vision of the past, resent and future became obviously an essential attribute of Mahavira’s personality. Even the Buddhist texts always refer to him as possessing such vision.


It would be helpful in this connection to understand the Jaina theory of knowledge. According to Jainism, consciousness is the very essence of the soul, not a mere characteristic of it. The soul (jeev) can know unaided everything direct and exactly as it is. Of consciousness, there are two manifestations, perception (darshan) and knowledge (gyan). The former is simple apprehension, the latter conceptual knowledge. In the former details are not perceived, in the latter they are; darshan is a perception of generalities (samanya) of things without particularities (vishaish). There can be no jeeva without consciousness or cognition, as there can be no consciousness without a jeeva. Incidentally, this is a point which illustrates the distinction of Jainism from Buddhism, where not the mind but only states of consciousness are admitted as real. The fact that the knowledge which a jeeva actually has is fragmentary in its character is due to the obstruction caused by Karma, which interferes with its power of cognition. The Karmas which obscure the different kind of jnana are called the knowledge- obscuring (jnanavaranr) those which obscure the different varieties of darsan are called the perception-obscuring (darshanavaranr) karmas. The different kinds of jnana recognized by Jainism are: (1) matigyan which is ordinary cognition obtained by normal means of sense perception. It includes remembrance (smriti), recognition (Prtyabhigya), induction based upon observation (tark), and deductive reasoning (anuman) and it is acquired by means of the senses and mind; (2) shrut or testimony, i.e., knowledge derived though signs, symbols, or word; (3) Avadhi which is direct knowledge of things even at a distance of time and space. It is knowledge by clairvoyance, limited by and coextensive with the material object of the knowledge; (4)Manprya direct knowledge of the thoughts of others, a telepathic knowledge of others’ minds; and (5) Kaival perfect knowledge comprehending all substances and their modifications. The last three categories of knowledge are direct in the sense that they are derived without the medium of senses and mind.


Darshan or Perception is of four kinds; perception through visual sensations (chakshudarshan), perception through non-visual sensations, perception through the faculty of Avadhi or clairvoyance (Avadhidarshan), and lastly Kevaldarshan perception through Kevala or infinite perception, which is unlimited and apprehends all general reality.


All accounts of Mahavira’s life are agreed that he possessed a highly active and clever mind from the very beginning. He is mentioned to have possessed from his very childhood the Mati, Sruta and Avadhhi jnana; the Svetambara books say that he was in possession of Abhogika-Jnana, which is inferior to the Avadhi knowledge but is essentially of the same class. Direct knowledge of the thoughts, he obtained while renouncing the world and adopting the career of an ascetic. The Kalpasutra refers to his having perceived with ‘his supreme unlimited knowledge and intuition’ that the time of his renunciation had come. Now he came to acquire Kevala-jnana, Kevala-darsana, and approximation to the perfect condition of the soul. Perfect knowledge is completely free from doubt (sanshey), perversity (viprya), and indefiniteness (andhyavaseya). It is absolute apprehension without media, ‘soul-knowledge,’ knowledge par excellence which is higher than all the other varieties of normal and supernormal knowledge. Such knowledge, of course, comprehends knowledge of the soul itself, for contrary to the Nyaya-Vaisesika theory which believes that knowledge reveals only external relations but not itself, the Jaina Siddhanta asserts that in knowing any object the soul knows itself simultaneously. After the attainment of Kevala-jnana a jeeva may lead an active life, but the activity would not taint him, would exert no fresh Karmic influence of the obstructive type upon the soul. During the period between Enlightenment and actual death the person is termed as ‘Arhat’; at actual liberation he becomes a ‘Siddha’. The Stage of Arhat-ship corresponds roughly to the Hindu ideal of jivan-mukti.


The concept of such absolute and perfect knowledge may not be unique to the Jainas but their ways of attainment of knowledge are certainly unique. The Upanisadic seers drew a distinction between lower knowledge and higher knowledge, the higher knowledge being conceived as the knowledge by which alone the imperishable being is reached. The Greek philosophers also drew a similar distinction between Doxa and Episteme, between opinion and truth (or knowledge). Plato, in his Republic, brought out the distinction by means of a parable. “Imagine human beings living in a sort of underground den, which has a mouth wide open towards the hight, and behind them a breastwork such as marionette players might use for a screen; and there is a way beyond the breastwork along which passengers are moving, holding in their hands various works of art, and among them images of men and animals, wood and stone, and some of the passers of talking and others silent. They see nothing but the shadows which the fire throws on the wall of the caves, to these they give names; and if we add an echo which returns from the wall, the voices of passengers will seem to proceed from the shadows. They are ourselves, and to us, brought up in the limited-atmosphere of such a den from our childhood, “truth is just nothing but the shadows of the images.” But the released from the prison of the den and compelled suddenly to go up, we can gradually have a clear view of the Truth, perceiving at first only shadows and reflections in the water, then recognizing the moon and the stars, and beholding finally the sun ‘in his own proper place.’ Thus, their knowledge will come to have clearness of certainty and rescue itself from the cloudiness of opinion.”


Incidentally, this parable of Plato also presents a theory of knowledge, which is wholly akin to the Jain theory. Knowledge is not something which has to be put into the soul and which was not there before. “The power is already in the soul; and as the eye cannot turn from darkness to light without the whole body, so too when the eye of the soul is turned round, the whole soul must be turned from the world of generation into that of being.”




The attainment of Kevala-Jnana was achieved by Mahavira after a prolonged practice of profound meditations and austerities for over twelve years, and this entitled him to be called the Jina (conqueror). It may be mentioned that Buddha also led a life of austerities of six years, but that he thought these years wasted and his penance’s useless for attaining his end; while Mahavira was not only convinced of the necessity of his penance’s and thought them essential for obtaining perfection, but persevered in some of them even after becoming a Tirthankara. In Mahavira’s view, “the full blaze of omniscience” in the jiva is impossible of accomplishment without the practice of a regulated course of self-discipline and the conquest of karmas. The Karma in Jaina Siddhanta is recognized as a substantive force, matter in a subtle form, which builds up a special body, called Karmana-sarira and which retards the inherent radiance of the soul. “As heat can unite with iron and water with milk, so karma unites with the soul”. The kind of matter fit to manifest karma fills all cosmic space, and it has the peculiar property of developing the effects of merit and demerit. Except in final release the soul is always in connection with matter, and the Karma forms the link between the two.


The Jaina Siddhanta recognizes eight kinds of karma. (1) Gyanavaranr which obscures right knowledge of detail and prevents our receiving mental illumination. It may not only impede us in gaining true knowledge, but may actually give rise to false and hurtful knowledge and misuse of intellectual powers. (2) Darshanavaranr which obscures right perception and prevents our having general comprehension of things. (3) vaidniye which obscures the bliss-nature of the soul and causes us to experience either the sweetness of worldly pleasures sukhvaidniye or the bitterness of misery (Dukhvaidniye). In the Jaina view, it is not only evil action but also good action that has to be worked off before one can obtain liberation. (4) mohneeya which obscures the right attitude of the soul towards faith and right conduct and prevents us from speaking and thinking clearly, which in short “bemuses all our faculties.” (5) Ayoo which determines the length of time a jiva must spend in the form with which is Karma has endowed him. (6) nam which determines the peculiar body of the soul with its general and special qualities and faculties. (7) Gotra which determines the nationality, caste, family, social standing etc., (8) antray which causes such energy in the soul as obstructs the performance of good action when there is a desire to do so. It causes hindrances in life and has the effect of “muddling away every opportunity that life offers.” These Karmas are classified into the Ghatii, which are particularly obstructive to the accomplishment of the natural perfections of the pure soul and which can only be destroyed by great labor and effort, and the Aghati, which are not very injurious and can be more easily destroyed. The Ghati-karmas are gyanvaran, darshanavaranr, mohniye and antrayeand once they are burnt up in the burning glow of austerities, the Aghati can be snapped as easily as a piece of burnt string.


This is clearly admitted in the analysis of the fourteen steps (ghunrsthan) by which a jiva is supposed to ascend to the state of liberation. The analysis of these stages through a developing soul passes is but one instance of “the amazing knowledge of human nature which Jaina ethics display.” Deliverance is impossible so long as the soul is bound by and does not fully annihilate the Ghati-karma, but once freed from the Ghati-karma the soul may retain its connection for sometime with the Aghati-kamras without being effectively bound by them. In the ladder of the fourteen steps, the first step (miyhyatv) is when the soul is completely under the influence of Karma and does not know its true good at all. From the first step, either through the influence of the past good karma or in response to some external stimulus, the soul obtains a glimpse of the true faith and thus immediately rises to the fourth stage (avirat) when although unable to take those vows which help in the fight against Karma, it can, if it likes, control the grossest form of anger, conceit, intrigue and greed, the four anantanubandhee kasayas. In the absence of active effort to control these passions, there may be a falling back of the soul to the second stage (sasvdan) which is characterized by a very faint sense of discrimination between what is false and what is true, and from here to either further descent to the first stage or gradual ascent to the third mishr which typifies a state of uncertainty, one moment knowing the truth and the next doubting it. The second and the third steps are thus merely transitional and transitory; it is the fourth step, which is really stable after the first stage.


The distinguishing mark of the fourth stages is that the soul has belief in the path of liberation but is unable to observe the rules of conduct for attaining liberation; the thought-activity characterizing this stage is that the soul has destroyed excessive anger, pride and greed but not entirely escaped from their influence. In this stage, the Jiva however develops the power of curbing anger (Prasam), the realization that the world is evil (sanvaig), the capacity for non-attachment (nirvaid), compassion (anucampa) and true faith (astikya). In the fifth stage (Daishvarti) the desire to realize the objective by the proper regulation of conduct first manifests itself, and the individual takes partial vows, e.g., the vow not to drink intoxicant or eat flesh (madyamanstyag) or to keep all twelve vows of a householder (Shremanropasek) or to maintain absolute chastity etc. The sixth stage (Premet) can be ascended by a professed ascetic, who renounces all worldly objects, and who controls even the slight passions. But as yet the jiva remains slack in concentration. By further effort the soul mounts to the seventh stage (Apremat) when renouncing all carelessness, it becomes fully absorbed in spiritual contemplation. From the seventh stage onwards the path of ascent follows two different routes, (1) the route in which the several right-conduct-deluding karmas become quiescent and controlled, and (2) the route in which they get actually destroyed. Thus the eighth stage (Apoorvkerenr) marked by an absolute control or conquest of pride and consequently by an unusual intensification of the power of meditation and concentration. That is the beginning of the first Sukla-dhyana pure concentration and gives a joy to the jiva the like of which he has never experienced before. The ninth stage is marked by an absolute control or conquest of deceit and consequently, by a special thought activity of still greater purity. The tenth stage (Sookshemsampraye) is marked by an absolute control or conquest of greed the last of the great passions. From the tenth stage the soul that has followed the route of actual destruction of the karmas directly mounts to the twelfth stage which is characterized by complete freedom from all the Ghati-karmas and which inevitably leads to the attainment of Kevala-jnana; but the ascetic who has followed the route of merely controlling the karmas instead of destroying them has to pass through the eleventh stage (Upshantmoh) which is a really critical experience. The subsided karma may at any time “like a flood burst its dam, and force of its current may carry the soul far down the slope he has been climbing, depositing him on either the sixth or the seventh step, or even on the lowest.”


There is no falling back from the twelfth stage, because the Ghati-karmas have already been destroyed; and although the Aghati-karmas still persist, they have little power to bind the soul and “can be snapped as easily as piece of burnt string.” So limited the fact is the power of the Aghati-karma that at death a soul passes at once through the two remaining stages and enters Moksa without delay. The thirteenth stage (Senyogikaiveli) is that of a vibrating perfect soul, that is to say, when the soul has after the destruction of the obstructive karmas, obtained the Kevala but continues to retain its human body; and the fourteenth and last stage (Ayogi kevali) is that of the vibration-less perfect soul, that is to say, when the perfect soul is leaving its human body in order to proceed to Moksa there to reside for ever in perpetual peace and bliss above the land called Siddhasila.




Mahavira was now in the Thirteenth stage of his spiritual career. He had purged away all his Ghati-karmas and had consequently attained Kevala-jnana and Kevala-darsana. Now he devoted himself to the noble task of the active propagation of the truth and for this purpose of organizing the community or Tirtha, he assumed the role of the Tirthankara.


The difference between a Tirthankara and any other Kevalin consists in just this, that the Tirthankara is master of a special Nama-Karma, which gives him a position of peculiar respect and eminence and makes him responsible for the organization and establishment of a Sangha. Most Kevalins in the Sayogikevali stage go about preaching truth; but it is-only a Tirthankara who forms the Tirthas (or fords) by means of which a jiva can cross this samsara over to the other side (i.e., Moksa). It was in the organization of the Jaina sangha that the Tirthankara Mahavira showed his real abilities. He welded together into the Sangha the ascetic as well as the layman, and men as well as women, prescribed for all their respective duties, and provided for a rigid discipline and rigorous form off control. In the Buddhist Sangha laymen were not originally connected with the clergy: Buddha’s church was a church of monks and nuns only and no attempt was ever made to organize a quasi-church of lay-brothers and lay-sisters, or to establish an organic relationship between the clergy and the laity. But Mahavira welded together the two sections of the Order, the clergy and the laity, and accorded to the latter a definite and honorable place in the ecclesiastical scheme and made it incumbent upon them, both as a duty and as an act of merit, to support the clergy by giving alms liberally. As there was a de jure relationship involved in the concept of the clergy, so was a de jure relationship involved in the concept of the laity; as there was definite procedure for the initiation of the monks and nuns, so a special procedure was prescribed for the initiation of lay disciples of the Sramanopasaka variety. Above all, the laity was enjoying to be exclusive in their loyalty and patronage. Intercourse with adherents of a rival creed was disapproved, as is clear from the following declaration made by Ananda, a newly converted disciple of Mahavira: “Truly, Reverend sir, it does not befit me from this day forward to praise and worship any man of a heretic community or any of the Devas or objects of reverence of heretic community or without being first addressed by them to address them or converse with them; or to give them or supply them with food and drink or delicacies or dainties except it be by the command of the King or the community or any powerful man or a deva or by the orders of one’s elders or by the exigencies of living.”


For initiation into the Sangha, a layman was required first to renounce five faults ((atichar), first, doubt, secondly, the desire to belong to another faith, thirdly, misgivings about the reality of the fruits of Karma (Vichikitsa), fourthly, praise of hypocrites (Parprshansa) and fifthly, all association with them (Sansatvan). That done, he was to take the twelve lay vows. (1) The vow never intentionally to destroy a jiva that has more than one sense. This vow would not prevent a king leading any army in defense of his kingdom; but it forbids the killing of weak creatures and of acting as agent provocateur. It forbids animal sacrifice. (2) The vow never to indulge in falsehood or exaggeration (sthooolmrishavadviremenrh). This vow enjoins commercial honesty and forbids rash speech, of secrets relating to one’s wife, giving false evidence, forgery etc. (3) The vow never to steal (Sthooladetadanviremanr), the vow including stealth from a house, highway-robbery, misappropriation of funds, etc., (4) the vow of chastity (Savdaranstosh) by which a man promises to be absolutely faithful to his own wife at all times and never to allow any evil thoughts in his own mind about other women. The vows may be infringed by such activity as evil talk, excessive sexual indulgence, match- making and match-brokerage, unfaithfulness before marriage, and consummating marriage with a girl before she has attained her puberty. (5) The vow of limitation of possessions (parigreh parimanr), by which a man promises that he will never allow himself to retain more than a certain fixed quantity of houses and fields, gold and silver, cash and corn, servants and cattle, furniture and plenishing. These five vows are called the five Anuvratas and they resemble in their subject matter the five great vows a monk takes. If layman keeps all these five vows and also abandons the use of intoxicants, animal food, and honey, he is entitled to be called a Sravaka.


The next three vows are called the Gunavratas, for they help the keeping of the first five vows. (6) (Digviriti) which sets bounds to one’s travels and thus helps to curtail sin by restricting the area in which one can sin. (7) (Bhogopbhogenriman) which imposes a limit on the number of things a man may use and is intended thus to help people to keep their vows against lying, covetousness and stealing. (8) (Anarthdandvirti) by which a man vows not to think evil of others, nor to persuade people to do evil, nor to be careless about keeping or using weapons. The keeping of these vows which need not to be taken by ascetics but only laymen, would help the curtailment of sin by limiting the motive for sinning.      


The remaining four vows are called Siksavratas, for they tend to encourage the laity in the performance if their religious duties. By the 9th vow samayik a man promises to perform Samayika, that is to say, to spend at least forty eight minutes every day in meditation, thinking no evil of anyone, but being at peace with all the world, to meditate on what heights one’s soul may reach. By the tenth vow (daishviramanr) he promises for one particular day to still further contract the limits he has undertaken not to transgress, possibly binding himself during that day not to go outside the village or the house, to have only one meal or to drink nothing but water. The eleventh vow (poshdopvas) is of special significance as connecting the laity closely with the ascetics; it compels the layman to spend at least twenty-four hours every month as a monk, observing celibacy, and committing no sort of sin, touching neither food, water, fruit, betelnut, ornaments, scents, nor any sort of weapon. The twelfth vow (Atithisanvibhag) encourages the laity to support the ascetic community by giving food, water, etc.


A definite procedure for initiation was also prescribed. The person who is desirous of being initiated tells a Guru of his wish. The guru reads out he vows and gives him an instruction on each one and its infringements. The layman assents to the instruction and fixes the limits under various vows for himself. Every year he must confess to the ascetic who happens to be available the infractions of the vows and accept the penance given. The vows may be taken for the whole life or for a limited period of time, on the expiry of which they may be taken afresh.


As in the case of a Sravaka, so for an ascetic there is a definitely prescribed procedure for initiation (prvrjya) An ascetic is usually initiated into the order with the permission of his guardians after a certain period of probation, during which he receives preliminary training at the hands if a guru, which may last from several days to one or two years. At the end of the probationary period, the novice is initiated into monkhood, the ceremony of initiation being fairly elaborate and highly solemn. After being led in a great procession, the candidate takes off his jewels and clothes, plucks his hair by the hand, and solemnly takes up the five great vows and the life of a homeless wanderer. The five great vows of the ascetic are. (1) Ahimsa, never to destroy any living thing. In order to keep this vow, the ascetic is expected to be careful in walking, watchful in speech so as to not give rise to quarrels or murders, and cautious in his whole daily conduct. He must be careful as to the alms he receives that they can contain no living insects etc. (2) Asatya -tyaga, never to indulge in untruthfulness. The five bhavanas, or strengthening clauses to this vow supply a remarkable psychological analysis of the causes which lead to untruthfulness. They condemn speech without deliberation, speech in anger, speech when moved by avarice, or by fear, and speech in fun. One should respect the vow of truthfulness by always avoiding jesting, greed, cowardice, and anger and by thinking before speaking. (3) Asteya vrata, never to steal. A monk must ask permission of owner before occupying any one’s house; he must repeat such a request from time to time. A junior monk must always show to his guru whatever he has received in alms and then eat it after receiving his permission. (4) Brahmacaryavrata, to remain chaste always. A monk is enjoined not to talk about a woman, or look at the form of a woman, or live in the same building as a woman lives in. He must not recall to mind, the former amusement and pleasure woman afforded him when he lived in the world; nor must he eat or drink to excess, or partake of too highly spiced dishes. (5) Aparigraha vrata, never to have attachment for anything or any person. “Renouncing liking for pleasant touch, taste, smell, from or word, and for all the objects of the five senses, renouncing hatred for unpleasant things, these are the ways to maintain the vow of Aparigraha.”


Apart from the maintenance of these five great vows the discipline of the ascetic’s daily life is very rigid. Getting up at about four o’clock, before sunrise, he performs the daily pratikrmanr which is a form of confession of the sins of the past night, then carries out pratilaikhan a daily search for any insect life that may be sheltering in his clothing etc., and after that attends to the list of his morning duties, which include, preaching, begging for alms, auricular confession to the Guru, study of the scriptures and mediation. There are innumerable rules that should be observed when begging, and they differ from sect to sect but all sects agree in only taking what may be reasonably considered to be left over after the needs of the household have been satisfied, and in refusing things specially prepared for the ascetic, In the afternoon pratilaikhan is performed again and so the evening pratikarmanr which now is a confession of sins for the day.


The individual ascetic formed an integral part of the Sangha, which was given by the Master a constitution and a code of laws. During his own lifetime Mahavira attracted a large number of disciples, both men and women. He collected an excellent community of fourteen thousand monks, thirty six thousand nuns, one hundred and fifty nine thousand laymen and three hundred and fifty-eight thousand lay women. At the head of these were eleven Gaadharas or chief disciples. This was an important item in the organization of the Sangha. Mahavira had seen in the case of Gosala what special temptations and dangers beset ascetics in their wandering life. He had made the life of his own ascetics fairly full. Unlike the Buddhist Sramanas, who had a lot of free time and were often guilty of indolence or indulged in dissension’s, disputes and strifes, Mahavira’s Nirgrantha ascetics had plenty of work to do by way of the practice of austerities, penance’s and fasts, besides meditation and the daily routine of duties, to keep them engaged. Anyhow, he insisted on his was the case with the Buddhist sramanas. But he also resolved to combat the degenerating tendencies inherent in all monastic orders by a strong organization and detailed set of regulations, and above all, as we have mentioned above, by organically connecting it with the lay element in society. This gave to the Jaina Sangha “a roof in India which the Buddhists never obtained, and that roof firmly planted amongst the laity enabled Jainism to withstand the storm that drove Buddhism out of India.”


The Sangha as well as the controlling Ganadharas and their succeeding Acarya were not law-makers in any sense of the term. The fundamental truths and the law were recognized to have been formally and finally enunciated by Lord Mahavira. The Sangha had only to apply and expound his regulations, and that was provided to be done by the general assembly of all the monks resident in a particular locality under the ultimate supervision of the Ganadhara or Acarya. The procedure was likely to raise an insuperable problem, such as faced. Buddhism itself when its band of disciples grew into a large spiritual force preaching and begging throughout all India and even beyond it; the problem was to effectively administer the spiritual regency in church-government in which the center of gravity lay within the circumference, within the small corps of brethren dwelling in the same circuit. The Jaina Sangha also rapidly grew, both in numbers and in the area of its activity. From Bihar its influence spread to Kalinga and from there presumably to South India on one side and to the Mathura, Gujrat and the Punjab on the other. Yet the spiritual regency of the Jainas has continued to be administered right up to this day with an honesty, a rigour, and a desire not to lose grip of the fundamental truths enunciated by the Master, which is wholly antique in the annals of any religion with such long history. The anxiety to stick to the original doctrine as closely has enabled Jainism to weather the storms that in India wrecked so many of the other faiths. “The inflexible conservatism of the Jaina community has probably been the chief cause of its survival during period of severe affliction; for there can be little doubt that the most important doctrines of the Jaina religion have remained practically unaltered since the first great separation in the time of Bhadrabahu, about 300 B.C. And although a number of less vital rules concerning the life and practices of the monks and laymen, which we find recorded in the holy scriptures, may have fallen into oblivion or disuse, there is no reason to doubt that the religious life or the Jaina community is now substantially the same as it was two thousand years ago. It must be confessed from this that an absolute refusal to admit changes has been the strongest safeguard of the Jainas.”






Mahavira's Teachings:


The teachings of Mahavira have come down to us as a living tradition which grew up and took a complete literary form through ten centuries from his demise. The original doctrine was contained in the Purvas of which there were fourteen, which Mahavira himself taught to his disciples. The fourteen Purvas were presumably preceded by the existence of ten Purvas, which had embodied the religious traditions of Parsva and which formed, as we are led to believe by a legend mentioned in the Bhagavati, a common basis of the Jaina and Ajivika canons. The knowledge of the Purvas was gradually lost till it became totally extinct. Only one of the Mahavira’s disciples, Arya Sudharma, handed them down, and they were preserved during six generations more. In the second century after Mahavira’s death there was a horrible famine in the land of Magadha, which lasted for twelve years. Bhadrabahu was then the head of the Jaina Sangha. There is a legend which connects this Bhadrabahu with the Emperor Chandra Gupta Maurya and says that owning to the famine Bhadrabahu emigrated with a host of his disciples including Chandragupta himself to Karnataka in South India. This is clearly unwarranted by the chronology of the event. When the famine took place, Bhadrabahu took recourse to the neighboring Nepal hills and there started his Sadhana. During the absence of Bhadrabahu it became evident that the knowledge of the sacred texts was threatening to lapse into oblivion; and so a Council was called at Pataliputra to compile a recession of the canon. The Jaina belief is that the Tirthankara himself taught the Purvas to his disciples, the Ganadharas, and the Ganadharas then composed the Angas . The Council performed its task successfully, although there was great difficulty in the compilation of the twelfth Angas, the Drstivada, which is believed to have incorporated the fourteen Purvas at the time when they ceased to exist independently of the Angas literature. The difficulty was that the head of the community in the Magadha did not have a complete knowledge of the Purvas and so was not able to proceed with the business without the guidance from a distance of Bhadrabahu himself.


It may be mentioned that the famous Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela furnishes a confirmation of the Jaina tradition regarding the Council of Patalipurta and the compilation of a recession of Angas “in sixty-four section.” “It is not by accident that the knowledge of the Purvas” says Jacobi, “is said to have commenced to fade away at the same time when the Angas were collected by the Sangha of Pataliputra.” The loss of Purvas and later on of Drstivada was due largely to the rise of other books on their basis. The very name Purva (which means the former, the earlier) testifies to the fact that they were superseded by a new canon. It may be inferred that the Purvas were, like the Upanishads, a heterogeneous type of literature presenting a wide diversity of sometimes mutually conflicting views, and therefore extremely difficult to master, is of the opinion that they were devoted to the description of controversies held between Mahavira and rival teachers. It is true that the Drstivada, which is said to have included the fourteen Purvas, dealt chiefly with the drstis or philosophical opinions of the Jainas and other sects. The title which is added to the name of each Purva, would seem to support this view. When the opponents of Mahavira died and the sects headed by them became extinct, the controversies related in the Purvas evidently lost their interest and ceased to be of any practical significance. That reason may have been partly responsible for their neglect.


The Angas came in the course of time to be known and acknowledged as the only authoritative sacred books of Jainism. They were expressly referred to in the Sutrakrtanga as the “Canon of the Jinas, which has been taught, produced and declared by the Sramana, the Nirgrantha.” The Digambara, however, refuse to recognize the authenticity of the Angas. After the famine and the Council of Pataliputra which had compiled the recession of the Angas, the adherents of Bhadrabahu returned to Magadha but refused to consider the compilation satisfactory and so declared that the Purvas and the Angas had been irrecoverably lost. This became the basis of the belief of the Digambara who hold that what exists as the Siddhanta is not in its original form at all. Such contention does not appear to be well grounded on the facts of history, although it is undoubtedly true that the works of Siddhanta are the product of a process of compilation which extended over a long period of at least one thousand years. After compilation by the Council of Pataliputra the Canon fell into a state of great disorder again and was on the verge of being lost, when it was ultimately reduced to writing at the Council of Valabhi under the presidency of Devardhi Ganin in the 5th century A.D. During the period between the two councils, that is to say between the Council of Pataliputra in the 4th century B.C. and the Council of Valabhi in the 5th Century A.D., written copies of the Siddhanta were not easily extant. Some privately owned copies must have existed, but it is certain that the teachers made no use of written books when teaching the Siddhanta to novices, as they undoubtedly began to do afterwards. What the Council of Valabhi presumably did was to issue a large edition of the Siddhanta so as to provide every teacher with copies of the sacred books. This edition of course was merely a redaction of the sacred books, which existed already. But in the course of ages, passages must have crept into the text at any time and additions must have been made to the several books, as is clear from the variety of language forms in which different parts of the canon are written. Arguing from the language of the composition, Jacobi is of the opinion that “the first book of the Acaranga and that of the Sutrakrtanga sutra may be reckoned among the most ancient parts of the Siddhanta.” The earliest portions of the Canon do undoubtedly belong to the period of the first disciples of Mahavira himself, while the latest portions would presumably be nearer the time of Devardhi Ganin.


Notwithstanding occasional later accretions, however, the text of the Angas and of some at least of the Upangas offer a substantially correct description of the state of society, religion and thought in which Mahavira performed his Sadhana and attained omniscience and of the teachings of the Lord himself.


View of the World:


Like Buddha, Lord Mahavira presented a gloomy picture of the world. “The (living) world is afflicted miserable, difficult to instruct and without discrimination.”


Thus begins the second lecture of the first book of Acaranga “Quality is the seat of the root, and the seat of the root is quality. He who longs for the qualities, is overcome by great pains, and he is careless. (For he thinks) I have to provide for a mother, for a father, for a sister, for a wife, for sons, for daughters, for a daughter-in-law, for my friends, for near and remote relations, for my acquaintances, for different kinds of property, profit, meals, and clothes.


Longing for these objects, people are careless, suffer day and night, work in the right and wrong time, desire wealth and treasures, commit injuries and violent acts, direct the mind, again and again, upon those injurious things (described in the first lecture). (Doing so) the life of some mortals (which by destiny would have been long) is shortened. For when with the deterioration of the perceptions of the ear, eye, organs of smelling, tasting, touching, a man becomes aware of the decline of life, they (i.e., those failing perceptions) after a time produce dotage. Or his kinsmen with whom he lives together will, after a time, first grumble at him and he will afterwards grumble at them. He is not fit for hilarity, playing, pleasure, show. Therefore proceeding to pilgrimage, and thinking that the present moment is favorable (for such intentions), he should be steadfast and not, even for an hour, carelessly conduct himself. His youth, his age and his life fade away.


“A man who carelessly conducts himself, who killing, cutting striking, destroying, chasing away, frightening (living beings) resolves to do what has not been done (by anyone)-him his relations with whom he lived together, will first cherish, and he will afterwards cherish them. But they cannot help thee or protect thee, nor canst thou help them or protect them.”


In bold relief against this gloomy view of the Samsara, there is presented the bright prospect of religious life as lived and taught by Lord Mahavira. Mahavira developed a systematic exposition of Kriyavada or Karmavada which he clearly distinguished from (1) the Akriyavada of Gosala, who was essentially fatalist, (2) Ajnanavada or agnosticism of Sanjaya, and (3) Vinayavada of the average ascetic, who believes that the goal of religious life is realized by conformation to the rules of discipline. He also distinguished it from the other brands of Kviyavada, by defining his own creed as follows. “The painful condition of the self is brought about by one’s own action, it is not brought about by any other cause (fate, creator, chance or the like)”. “Individually a man is born, individually he dies, individually he falls (from this state of existence), individually he rises (to another). His passions, consciousness, intellect, perceptions and impressions belong to the individual exclusively. Here, indeed, the bonds of relationship are not able to help or save one.” “All living beings owe their present form of existence to their own Karman; timid, wicked, suffering latent misery, they err about (in the circle of births), subject to birth, old age and death.” Mahavira declared that there are as many souls as living individuals, and that Karman consists of acts, intentional or unintentional, that produce effects on the nature of the soul. The soul is not passive in the sense that it remains untouched or unaffected by what a person does for the sake of some interests. It is susceptible to the influences of Karma, and it possesses the capacity to actively annihilate Karma. By the practice of austerities and penance’s the jiva can wear our, and ultimately destroy the effects of sinful karma committed in former existence’s and by the practice of far-reaching self-restraint it can free itself from the production of new karmas. The result of this freedom from the bondage of Karma will be a non-guiding of the self in the course of samsara in future, and the attainment of the eternal and blissful condition of the soul in its perfection.

 This condition of the soul is realizable in this very existence and solely by human efforts, if rightly directed. The life of the Master stood for all his disciples as a living example of such realization. The development and manifestation of supreme personality, such as was attained by Lord Mahavira himself, was the visible fruition of religious effort and self-discipline; and this self-discipline was set out and preached by him for the adoption of all persons, male or female, irrespective of any class or caste distinctions.




But, said Mahavira, there is no right conduct without right knowledge and no right knowledge without the right belief. It is therefore, desirable to first explain the fundamental ideas of Jaina Philosophy.


The foundation of true metaphysics, according to Jainism, consists of nine categories Jiva, Ajiva, Punya, Papa, Asrava, Samvara, bandha, nirjara, and Moksa. Sometimes the number of categories is reduced to seven by including two of them, Punya and papa under other heads.


Jiva or soul, according to Jaina metaphysics, is a substance, its chief characteristic being Caitanya (consciousness); but as a substance it is absolute and permanent, unlike the Buddhist belief. The Jaina idea of the jiva differs from the Brahmanic idea, in so far as it is the Jiva which, in consequence of the karma it has acquired, is believed to go through the succession of rebirths and finally, obtaining freedom through the destruction of its karmas, to soar upwards to moksa. “It performs different kinds of actions, it reaps the fruit of those actions, it circles round returning again; these and none other are the characteristics of the soul.” The soul in its pure state is possessed of infinite perception (Anantdarshen), infinite knowledge (Anantgyan), infinite bliss (Anantsukh) and infinite power (Infinite virya). It is perfect. Ordinarily however, with the exception of a few released pure souls (Sidh) all the other jives have all their purity and power covered with a veil of karmic matter which has been accumulating in them from the beginning-less time. Ajiva is in all respects the opposite of jiva, it means things inanimate, matter. Karma is Ajiva, which comes into contact with the jiva and bedims its power; but the union of jiva with ajiva can never be so complete as to make their separation impossible. The jiva is a substance (drvya) in the sense that it occupies a space-point in our mundane world, has a limited size and is not all-persuasiveness. But the jiva is not matter, for it has consciousness which matter cannot have. Of the jiva the Jainas have made a fivefold classification according to the number of senses it possesses. The sthaver jiva possesses only one sense, the sense of touch, but has four pranr, touch, body, the power of exhaling and inhaling, and allotted term of life. Water, fire, wind, and all vegetables are supposed to have Jives. The Dvindrya jiva possesses two senses, the sense of taste and the sense of touch, and has six pranr, taste and speech in addition to the four pranr of the sthaver jiva. Such jives are in worms, leeches, earth- worms, etc. The Trindriya jiva similarly possesses three senses, the sense of smell in addition to those of taste and touch and seven pranr examples of such beings ants, bugs, moths etc. The chaturindriya jiva possesses four senses, of touch, taste, smell and sight and eight pranr, the category including such beings as wasps, scorpions, mosquitoes, gnats, flies, locusts and butterflies. The panchindriya jiva possesses all five senses, of hearing, taste, touch, smell and sight and includes human beings as well as animals, besides hell-beings and demigods. But all these classes of jiva are to be clearly distinguished from Ajiva which is classified into Roopee and aroopee. Roopee division is pudgel or matter, which possesses color, smell, taste and form and is perceptible to touch. Its Aroopee division is further subdivided into which helps the jiva associated with Pudgala to progress, Adhermastikaye which keeps it motionless, akashastikaye which gives it space and kal which gives it a continuity of changes.


As was said above, it is the union of jiva with matter, which causes and constitutes samsara. The form of this union is determined by the force of Karma. Karma is a substantive force a sort of infra- atomic particles of matter, which have the peculiar property of developing the effects of merit. Karma acts in such a way that every change which takes place leaves a mark, which is retained and built into the organism to serve as the foundation for future action. Punya is the name of those actions which lead to the good karma, which in its turn is productive of peace of mind; Pap is just the opposite of Punya, may be laid up in the following nine ways; by giving food to deserving people who are hungry, weak, destitute of help and needy (anpunrya), by giving water to the thirsty (panpunrya); by giving residence, by giving sleeping accommodation, by giving clothes, by thinking well of every one and wishing them well (snkelp); by exerting ourselves to render service to others or to save life; by speaking sweetly and so as to influence others towards religion and morality (stevan); and by reverent salutations (Namaskar). Pap may be earned in eighteen ways; by destroying life (pranrtipat) by speaking untruthfull (mrishavad); by acting dishonestly (adetadan); by unchaste conduct (Methuen); by excessive love of one’s own possessions (prigreh); by getting angry without a cause (krodh); by conceited behavior (man); by intrigue or cheating (Maya); by avarice (lobh); by over- foundness (rag) for a person or a thing; by hatred or envy (dvaish); by quarrelsomeness (klah); by slander of others (abhyakhyan); by telling stories to discredit any one (peshunya); by continually thinking of other’s faults (parprivad); by excessive attachment to temporal and transitory objects of affection (Rti); by hypocrisy (mayamrisha); and by false faith (mithyatv). It is needless to labor the point that such detailed analysis of the acts of merit and demerit entitles Jainism to be considered as primarily an ethical philosophy.


Karma, the accumulated result of action, is one of the central ideas of Jaina philosophy, and Asrava deals with the way in which karma is acquired by the human soul. There are forty-two chief channels of Asrava through which karma affects a jiva; of these seventeen are regarded as major- the five senses, the four kasayas i.e., anger, conceit, intrigue and avarice, the five avrt or omission to take the vows, and the three yoga’s, that is to say entanglement with a material object of the mind, speech and body. But there is a distinction between the channels and the Karmas which actually enter through these channels, the distinction is represented by two terms Bhavasrava and Karmasrava. Bhavasrava means the thought activities of the soul through which or on account of which the Karma particles affect the soul; Bhavasrava is that kind of change in the soul which enables the karma to affect the soul while karmasrava is the actual movement of contiguous karma matter towards the soul. Bhavasrava is of five kinds, namely mithyatv (delusion), Avirti (want of control), Prmad (inadvertence), Yog (activities of body, mind and speech) and kshaye (passions). Karmasrava, which means the actual movement of matter towards the soul, affects the soul in eight different ways, gyanavaranr, drshanavaranr, vaidniya, mohniya, ayu, nam, gotr, and antraya all of which have been explained in another connection before.


Opposed to Asrava is Samvara, which means the arrest of the inflow of karmas into the soul. The subject is of supreme importance in so far as it implies a discipline which every individual is expected to practice in his own life. There are fifty-seven ways of impeding karmas; the five samitis consisting of the use of trodden tracks in order to avoid injury to insects Eeryasmiti, gentle and holy talk (Bhashase), care in eating (Aishanra), cleanliness (adan) and the careful disposal of rubbish and refuse (prishthapnika); the three guptis or restraints of body, speech and mind; the twenty-two parishes or endurance of hardships, of hunger, thirst, cold, heat, cloth, lodging etc., ten duties (dharm) particularly incumbent upon monks, like forgiveness, humility, straightforwardness, freedom from greed, fasting, control of mind, body and speech, truth, cleanliness, non-attachment, chastity; five Caritra or rules of conduct, twelve bhavanas or reflections about the transient character of the world, about our helplessness without the truth, about the cycles of world-existence, about our own responsibilities for our good and bad actions, about the difference between the soul and the non-soul; about the uncleanliness of our body and all that is associated with it, about the influx of karmas and its stoppage and destruction of those karmas which have already entered the soul, about soul, matter and the substance of the universe, about the difficulty of attaining true principles of the world. Corresponding to the two modes of inrush of karma into the soul. Bhavasamvara means thought modifications with a view to stop the inflow of karmas and Karmasamvara or dravyasamvara means the actual stoppage of the inflow of karma.


Bandha is the name of the stage after Karmasrava as nirjara is the name of the stage after Karmasamvara. Bandha means the bondage of the soul by karma, that is to say, subjection of soul to the laws of birth and death, old age and decay, pleasure and pain and other vicissitudes of life brought about by the effect of karma. The jaina view is that we are, by our actions of mind, speech and body, continually producing subtle karma matter, which in the first instance is called bhavakarma and later on transforms itself into dravyakarma, thus pouring into the soul and sticking there by coming into contact with the passions of the soul. The process of generation of Karma and its pouring into and sticking to the soul has been analyzed into four stages, which can be clearly distinguished from each other but not described in the spoken language with sufficient lucidity, Bhavasrava, karmasravava, bhavabandha and karmabandha. Accordingly as good or bad karma matter sticks to the soul, the soul gets colored respectively golden, lotus-pink, white, black, blue and gray; these are known as. Like Asrava, bandha, karma etc., also have been considered in two forms, as bhavalesya i.e., the feelings generated by the accumulation of the karma matter, and the dravya- lesya i.e., the actual coloration of the soul by it. Bandha or bondage of the soul by the karma is of four kinds according to its nature, (prakriti), duration (sthiti), essence (anubhav), and content (Pradaish). Man’s passions are responsible for the nature and duration of Karma and intensity and mass of Karma is largely determined by his exertion.


After the effect (vipak) of a particular karma matter has been once produced, it is discharged and purged off the soul. The process of purging off of the karma is called Nirjara. Nirjara also is of two kinds, bhavanirjara, i.e., the change in the soul by virtue of which the karma particles are destroyed, and dravya-nirjara i.e., the actual destruction of the karma particles. Destruction of the karma is automatic after reaping its effects vipak but is possible by proper exertion even before its time of fruition (Opkrmik). The best way is by burning up karma in the glow of austerities (tap). These austerities are of two kinds, exterior or bodily and interior or spiritual. The six exterior austerities are anshan (fasting), unreedree (graduated decrease of the quantity of food), Bhikshacharya (begging), Resprityag (giving up dainty foods), kayaklaish (mortification of the flesh), and Sanleenta (avoidance of temptation by control of limbs etc.); and the six interior austerities include Prayshchit (confession), Vinay (reverence and humility), vyavrit (service), (study), Vinay (Meditation), and Kayotserg (showing and feeling absolute indifference to the body and its needs).


When the soul is freed from all bonds to Karma, it gets released from the circle of births. It then attains Moksa or complete deliverance. It becomes a Siddha or a perfect soul, there is no returning again to a worldly state. The Siddha has been defined as a being “without caste, unaffected by smell, without the sense of taste, without feeling, without form, without hunger, without pain, without sorrow, without joy, without birth, without old age, without death, without body, without karma, enjoying an endless and unbroken calm.” The attainment of Siddhahood is by no means restricted to Jaina ascetics, it is equally possible for householders of eminent holiness (Grihasthlingsidh) and even for non-Jainas who live a perfectly holy life (Anyalingsidh). Jaina ascetics obtaining Siddhahood would be known Svlingsidh. It has sometimes been debated whether Moksa is a place situated somewhere in the Universe or merely a state or condition of freedom. In the Moksa state the soul has absolute knowledge and absolute perception so that it knows all things simultaneously: it also has infinite capacity or power for right action (anantveerye), so that karma can never subdue this freedom and absolute bliss (Anantsukh).




From the foregoing analysis of the fundamental truths of Jainism, it will be clear that Jainism may fairly be regarded as a system of ethics rather than a religion. Its extremely severe practical discipline is a special feature of Jainism. Not only for the ascetic but also for the householder does Jainism prescribe a highly rigorous discipline. Like many other Indian doctrines, it emphasizes enlightenment and conduct, but to these it adds faith, and so insists upon right faith, right knowledge and right conduct as the three precious principles (Gunrratntriya) of life. Right conduct includes the five vows, which have been mentioned before, -viz., Ahimsa, Satya, Astay, Brahmcharya, and aprigreh and a long list of items of self-control and self-restraint. Practically each one of these vows was enjoined in some form or other by other faiths also, but they were quite distinctively interpreted by Jainism. The way in which the doctrine of Ahimsa is made to pervade the whole code of conduct is peculiarly Jaina. Ahimsa has been understood to comprehend Ahimsa in thought, by word or act. It is important to add that it has not been explained merely as negative principle, it has been taken to mean the rendering of active service to others, for we shall be really injuring a person when we can help him but do not. The social or objective side of ethics is not ignored; but in so far as the final aim of Jainism is the development of one’s personality, it emphasizes the individualistic aspect.


Purification of the mind is insisted upon as the starting point of all ethical life. No kind of asceticism can be of any good until the mind is purified, for with purification of the mind is the removal of attachment (rag) and antipathy (dvaish) really possible. Purification of the mind is achieved by continuous meditation and constant self-control. During his sadhakas life Mahavira devoted himself intently to meditation and the practice of the ten dharmas including Senyem (self-control or control of the senses), Stya (truthfulness), Showch (purity), Brahmcharya (chastity), Akinrchanya (absolute want of greed), tep (asceticism), Kshma (forbearance and patience), Mardv (mildness), Arjv (sincerity), and Mukti (freedom or emancipation from all sins). It was by that means that he ultimately obtained enlightenment and true self-knowledge. Samtv (the capacity to look on all beings with equality) and Dhyan (or meditation) are interdependent; there can be no Dhyan without samatva, nor can there be samatva without Dhyan. The Jaina Dhyan, consists in the concentration of the mind on the syllables of the prayer phrases, and is enjoined to be practiced as an aid to making the mind steady and perfectly equal and undisturbed towards all things. Further aids to making the mind steady have been mentioned in the Jaina texts. They comprehend Metree (universal friendship), Prmad (the habit of emphasizing the good sides of men), Krunra (universal compassion) and Madhysthya (indifference to the wickedness of people, i.e., the habit of not taking any note of sinners).


Jaina texts give a very close description of the system of ethics in their analysis of Bandh and Moksh. Unlike Hinduism, Jainism has correlated ethical teaching with its metaphysical system. The four most important sins are the kasayas, anger, conceit, intrigue and greed. They are sister sins, that is to say, a person committing one of them invariably goes to the commission of others. Krodha or anger has been stressed first, for it is the source of all sins then there is mana or conceit, Maya or cheating and or avarice. Jainism argues that the length of time, a sin is indulged in, affects the nature of the sin. The worst degree to which any of these four sins may be indulged in is called Anantanubandhi when the sin is cherished as long as life lasts; while under the sway of sin to this degree it is impossible for a man to grasp any ideas of religion or to give his mind to study, The next, i.e., Apratyakhyana degree is when the sin, though nursed for a year, is confessed at the great annual confession. Under the influence of these degrees of sins a man might possess an intellectual grasp of religious principles, but cannot possibly carry them our into his daily life, for he cannot really give up attachment to the world. The least harmful of the degrees of sins is sanjvalana, when they are renounced at the evening confession. The matter has been brought home to the disciple by means of a number of parables. In the case of anger the least harmful degree has been likened to a line drawn on water which soon passes away; the next to one drawn to the dust, which is stamped out and effected in a day, the third to a crack in the dried mud at the bottom of an empty village tank which will not disappear till the yearly rains fill the tank and cover it, and the worst of all to a fissure in a mountain side, which will remain till the end of the world. In the case of Maya or deceit, which leads to crookedness, the last degree can be straightened as one can straighten a bamboo cane; the second degree has been likened to the crooked crack of moisture left in the dust by the dripping from the water carrier’s leather bucket; the third degree to a ram’s horn; and the worst degree to the knot in the root of a bamboo, the most crooked thing in the world. The result of any of these four sins, if indulged in the worst degree, is to condemn a man to rebirth in hell; the next worst forces him in his next life to become a bird or a beast, or an insect; it is only the less harmful degrees which would enable him to be reborn as a man or a god; and in order to become a siddha one must completely renounce all wrath, conceit, intrigue and greed.


It is important to point out that not only wrath, conceit, intrigue, greed, attachment and enmity are sins in the Jaina view, but also such personal characteristics as quarrelsomeness, slander, the telling of stories to discredit others, undue fault-finding, excessive attachment to worldly objects of affection, hypocrisy and false faith. The list is a comprehensive one, and when one remembers that the Lord enjoined upon every Jaina ascetic or householder, to make a daily confession of these sins, one cannot help being impressed by the significantly ethical character of the whole system. Jaina ethics is not simply negative as some critics have been often inclined to point out. The chapter on Pun gives a list of positive social duties, the performance of which is regarded as bringing peace of mind to the individual. These duties are the giving of food to the hungry, the weak and the needy, the giving of water to the thirsty, the giving of clothes to the destitute, the giving of shelter and lodging to the homeless. By thinking well of every one and by exerting ourselves to render them services also we accumulate merit. Sweet and fruitful speech, reverential behavior and generally amiable disposition are among the other acts of Punya. All these are virtues which are the only firm basis of a truly civic and socially useful life; and even Mrs. Stevenson admits “not in vain are practical ethic wedded to philosophical speculation” in Jainism.