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HereNow4U.net :: Article Archive | Five Supreme Auspicious Beings (Paňca Parameşthis) & Namokāra Mahāmańtra [2/2]

Five Supreme Auspicious Beings (Paňca Parameşthis) & Namokāra Mahāmańtra [2/2]

Posted: 29.05.2008
Updated on: 30.07.2015

Five Supreme Auspicious Beings (Paňca Parameşthis) & Namokāra Mahāmańtra

6. The ‘Sādhu Monks: (Jaina Monks)

Vāvāra vippamukkā cauvvihārāhaņā sayārattā.
Ņiggańthā ņimmohā Sāhu ederisā hońti

Niyamsāra-75

Meaning:

Those who are free from all worldly occupations; are always deeply absorbed in four kinds of contemplations (Ārrādhanās), i.e., faith, knowledge, conduct and penance, types of contemplations, and are absolutely possession-less and delusion less i.e., totally detached from worldly affairs, are called to be the true Jaina monks. The ‘Sādhus have 28 basic rites (Mulagūņas), which are enumerated as per below:

Mahāvratas (5):

Five great vows of non-injury, truth, non-stealing, celibacy and nonpossessiveness.

Samitis (5):

Atiudes of carefulness in walking, talking, taking food, keeping & lifting of book, water pot called Kamandalu or Picchi (Peacock - feathers broom) and in removal of excreta etc.

Indriya-vijay(5):

(Conquering of five senses)

Āvaśyakas (6):

Six essential duties - Equanimity, obeisance to and Eulogy of omniscient, study of scripture, repentance with confession for transgression in observing rites, chanting Namokāra-Mantra by giving up attachment to body.

Other compulsory activities (7):

Sleeping on ground on one hand side, not cleaning the teeth, not-bathing, taking meal standing in hallowed palms, taking meal only once in day hours, Living naked- unclothed and pulling put hairs of head, chin & moustache. These are for Digambara monks. For Śvetāmbara monks, there are some deviations in dress, food habits etc. Thus are the 28 rituals (Mulagūņas.) of a Digambara Jaina monk.

In Mokşa Mārga Prakāśaka Todarmal Ji has written the characteristics of a Jaina monk as under:

6.1 Characteristics of Sādhus: - (Ascetic/ monk)

‘Excepting the preceding above mentioned two types of rank- holders’ monks i.e. Ācārya and upādhyāya, the rest are all those monks who holds monk’s rank and are engrossed in attaining the nature of the soul. They do not let their upayoga (attention) engrossed in other substances by treating them neither agreeable nor disagreeable. Thus they try to tranquillize the ‘upayoga and externally observe religious penances, rituals etc. as being instrumental causes. Sometimes they engage themselves in the acts of invocation, obeisance and such other activities worthy of him. Such are the true Jaina monks who incessantly make efforts for the realization of the self /soul, I bow to all such ascetic monks.

6.2 General Characteristics of Jaina Monks:

He (the true believer), who after becoming dispassionate and indifferent to worldly pleasures, relinquished all kinds of possessions and attachments and accepted ‘Śuddhopayoga’ i.e. his own self to be the self soul only. He never feels I-ness in other objects and believes that sentiency is only one’s own. He never feels mine-ness in alien dispositions and whatever other substances and their characteristics appear in knowledge; does not have attachment-aversion feelings in them by treating them as agreeable or disagreeable; understands that the body undergoes different changes, various instrumental causes get associated eternally; but in those situations he does not feel happy or unhappy at all. External (bodily) activity suitable to his spiritual status takes place in natural course, he does not involve himself in it forcibly and he does not allow his “upayoga” (attention) to deviate or ramble too much. He rather holds deviation-less (stable) condition by becoming stoical and dispassionate. And occasionally, due to rise of mild passion, “Śuddhopayoga” gets disturbed; but knowing such inclination also to be relinquish-able wishes to uproot it.

Due to the absence of the rise of intense passions there exists no ‘aśubhopayoga’ (inauspicious thought activity) of indulging in violence etc. Having attained such an internal-state of self; he has accepted the Digambara posture (totally possession less naked state) of serenity, has become free from the acts of decorating the body etc. lives in forest, caves etc.; follows without any fault “28 basic virtues (Mulagūņas) endures 22 types of Parişahas (afflictions), adores 12 kinds of ‘Tapas (penances), sometimes becomes motionless like an idol by holding the meditation–posture; sometimes engages himself in external pious activities such as study of scriptures etc.; sometimes attentively engages one self in taking food and making movement etc. which are in accordance to Muni-Dharma (monk’s religion).

Such is the state of a Jain monk and this applies to all Jaina monks - Ācāryas, upādhyāyas & Sādhus. I bow to all of them.

7.0 The importance of ‘Namokāra-Mańtra’.

The following four lines have almost become an integral part of the mańtra. They describe the benefits to be accrued by reciting this mantra.

Eso Pańca namokkāro, savve pāpapapnāsaņo.
Mańgalā aņaņance savvesin padhamań havai mańgalam.

Meaning:

This Namokāra Mańtra, where in the solution is offered to five supreme souls, do annihilate all sins and misdeeds (of the person who chants it regularly), it bestows well-being-ness whence chanting beings. It is the first benediction among all sorts of benedictions on this earth.

Question:

What is the reason of offering salutation to Arihańtas prior to Siddhas?

Answer:

Salutation is offered with the object of getting our purpose accomplished and because the purpose of sermons etc. is accomplished chiefly from Arihańtas, therefore, the salutation is offered first to them.

8.0 Conclusion:

Arihańtas etc. are called ‘Paňca Parameşthis (the five utmost auspicious and beneficial supreme souls) because that which is utmost beneficial supreme is named as ‘Parameştha’ The ‘Paňca’ (five) who are ‘Paramestha’ are thus collectively known / named as “Paňca Parameşthis’. All these are benefactors to all of us.

The purpose or objective is the name of that act or deed due to which happiness is obtained and misery ends and that by means of which the accomplishment of the purpose takes place is our benefactor. Presently obtaining the passionless discriminative knowledge is the purpose, because by means of that imperturbable real happiness is attained and all sorrows and miseries, which are full of perplexities, are ended forever.

Question:

How this purpose of happiness is accomplished by the invocation, prayer Arihańtas etc.?

Answer:

The depositions of the soul are of three types as are enumerated by Ācārya Kunda Kunda in Pravacanasāra verse 181:

Suha Pariņāmo puņam asuho pavam ti Bhanidā manyesu.
Pariņāmo ņaņņgado Dukkhakkhay kāraņam samaye //81//

Meaning:

The auspicious disposition towards other non-self things is termed ‘virtue’ (Punya) and the inauspicious as vice (Pāpa) because in both the cases the thought / disposition is found attached / engrossed in non-self things but soul’s that thought / disposition which is not engrossed in other non-self things and remains engrossed in self - soul only is called pure disposition; i.e.; the disposition are of 3 kinds - inauspicious, auspicious and pure.

“The instant in the form of intense passion are inauspicious (cruel), in the form of mildpassion are auspicious (ingenuous) and passionless are pure. The destroyer of our natural character of the form of passionless discriminative knowledge is the ‘jňānāvarņiya’ etc. ghāti karmas; there intense bondage occurs by cruel instincts and feeble bondage by ingenuous instincts and if the ingenuous instincts are strong then the intense bondage that had occurred in the past also gets feeble. No bondage is caused by pure passionless dispositions, rather only “Nirjarā- (dissociation) of those karmas takes place. The dispositions of invocations to ‘Arihańtas’ etc. are assuredly of the nature of feeble passions, therefore, are the means of destroying all sorts of passions, therefore, are the cause of pure dispositions. So by such instincts the self-obscuring ghāti-karmas become feeble and the passionless discriminative knowledge gets naturally evolved. Thus our purpose is accomplished by ‘Arihańtas’ etc.

Also looking at the image of ‘Arihantas or pondering over their nature or listening to their preaching or beings closer to them or following the path according to their preaching instantly reduce the delusion attachment etc. by becoming instrumental causes and give rise to discriminative - knowledge of Jīva (soul), Ajīva (non-soul) etc. So in this way also Arihańtas etc accomplish the purpose of passionless discriminative-knowledge.

By constant occupation with the Arhantas, his mind finally assumes their qualities. Thus, according to the Jaina-theory, the worship of the Tīrthańkaras has no objective goal, but only a subjective one; the Tīrthańkaras themselves do not need any adoration because they are elevated above everything that is mundane, and a believer does not get any mercy through them because they do not pay any attention to the activity in the world in their blissful perfection; but the Jina- cult is beneficial and necessary for salvation because the one who accomplishes it, turns a new leaf in his life and is redeemed on account of it.

Tīrthańkaras are the most prominent among the 5 Parmeşţhīs or the supreme beings of Jainism. Siddhas or the Perfect beings who have become absolutely free from this transmigratoy world are the next. Ācāryas or the leaders of the congregation, Upādhyāyas or the teachers and Munis or the ascetics are also given their due respect in the cult.

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