Uttaradhyayana Sutra ► Twenty-Fourth Lecture: The Samitis

Posted: 27.09.2015

Twenty-Fourth Lecture: The Samitis

The eight articles[1] of the creed are the Samitis and the Guptis; there are five Samitis and three Guptis. (1)

The Samitis[2] are: 1. īryā-samiti (going by paths trodden by men, beasts, carts, etc., and looking carefully so as not to occasion the death of any living creature); 2. bhāṣā-samiti (gentle, salutary, sweet, righteous speech); 3. ēṣaṇā-samiti (receiving alms in a manner to avoid the forty-two faults that are laid down); 4. ādāna-samiti (receiving and keeping of the things necessary for religious exercises, after having carefully examined them); 5. uccāra-samiti (performing the operations of nature in an unfrequented place). The three Guptis (which are here included in the term Samiti in its wider application) are: 1. mano-gupti (preventing the mind from wandering in the forest of sensual pleasures by employing it in contemplation, study, etc.); 2. vāg-gupti (preventing the tongue from saying bad things by a vow of silence, etc.); 3. kāya-gupti (putting the body in an immovable posture as in the case of Kāyōtsarga). (2)

The eight Samitis are thus briefly enumerated, in which the whole creed taught by the Jinas and set forth in the twelve Angās, is comprehended. (3)

1. The walking of a well-disciplined monk should be pure in four respects: in respect to 1. the cause;[3] 2. the time; 3. the road; 4. the effort.[4] (4)

The cause is: knowledge, faith, and right conduct; the time is day-time; the road excludes bad ways. (5)

The effort is fourfold, viz. as regards: 1. substance, 2. place, 3. time, and 4. condition of mind. Hear me explain them. (6)

With regard to substance: the (walking monk) should look with his eyes; with regard to place: the space of a yuga (i.e. four hastas or cubits); with regard to time: as long as he walks; and with regard to condition of mind: carefully.[5] (7)

He walks carefully who pays attention only to his walk and his body (executing it), whilst he avoids attending to the objects of sense, but (minds) his study, the latter in all five ways.[6] (8)

2. To give way to: anger, pride, deceit and greed, laughter, fear, loquacity and slander;[7] these eight faults should a well-disciplined monk avoid; he should use blameless and concise speech at the proper time. (9, 10)

3. As regards begging,[8] a monk should avoid the faults in the search,[9] in the receiving,[10] and in the use[11] of the three kinds of objects, viz. food, articles of use, and lodging. (11)

A zealous monk should avoid in the first (i.e. in the search for alms) the faults occasioned either by the giver (udgama) or by the receiver (utpādana); in the second (i.e. in the receiving of alms) the faults inherent in the receiving; and in the use of the articles received, the four faults.[12] (12)

4. If a monk takes up or lays down the two kinds of things belonging to his general and supplementary[13] outfit, he should proceed in the following way. (13)

A zealous monk should wipe the thing after having inspected it with his eyes, and then he should take it up or put it down, having the Samiti in both respects.[14] (14)

5. Excrements, urine, saliva, mucus, uncleanliness of the body, offals of food, waste things, his own body (when he is about to die), and everything of this description (is to be disposed of in the way to be described). (15)

[A place may be not frequented and not seen (by people), or not frequented but seen, or frequented and not seen, or frequented and seen. (16)][15]

In a place neither frequented nor seen by other people, which offers no obstacles to self-control, which is even, not covered with grass or leaves[16], and has been brought into its present condition[17] not long ago, which is spacious, has an inanimate surface-layer,[18] not too near (the village, etc.), not perforated by holes, and is exempt from insects and seeds—in such a place he should leave his excrements, etc. (17, 18)

The five Samitis are thus briefly enumerated, I shall now explain in due order the three Guptis.[19] (19)

1. There is, 1. truth; 2. untruth; 3. a mixture of truth and untruth; 4. a mixture of what is not true, and what is not untrue. The Gupti of mind refers to all four.[20] (20)

A zealous monk should prevent his mind from desires for the misfortune of somebody else,[21] from thoughts on acts which cause misery to living beings,[22] and from thoughts on acts which cause their destruction.[23] (21)

2. The Gupti of speech is also of four kinds (referring to the four divisions as in verse 20). (22)

A zealous monk should prevent his speech from (expressing) desires, etc. (as in verse 21). (23)

3. In standing, sitting, lying down, jumping, going, and in the use of his organs, a zealous monk should prevent his body from intimating obnoxious desires, from doing acts which cause misery to living beings, or which cause their destruction. (24, 25)

These are the five Samitis for the practice of the religious life, and the Guptis for the prevention of everything sinful. (26)

This is the essence of the creed, which a sage should thoroughly put into practice; such a wise man will soon get beyond the Circle of Births. (27)

Thus I say.


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