Acharanga Bhasyam ► Chapter I — Comprehension And Abandonment Of Weapons Of Injury ► Section — 2 ► Sūtra 15-27 : Injury To The Earth-Bodied Beings

Posted: 08.10.2010

1.15 tattha tattha pudho pasa, atura paritavemti.

Look, with different intentions and purposes, passionate people are indulging in acts of violence.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 15

The Lord invites the disciple to look for himself: Only the person afflicted with anguish and anger are engaged in various undertakings such as putting up dwelling places and the like involving injury to life. Afraid of death, they inflict violence on earth-bodied creatures, guided by the principle that a living being is an indispensible source of life to another living being. Similarly, the passionate persons dominated by desires for the sensual objects torture the earth-bodied beings to satisfy their own hankering after those objects.

1.16 saṃti pāṇā puḍho siyā.

There are beings inhabiting individual bodies.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 16

The earth-bodied beings live in individual bodies. It is not possible to have an insight into the urge for violence until and unless the nature of soul is known. This applies to the principle of ahiṃsā too. It is, therefore, necessary to have a firm knowledge about soul to start with. Lord Mahāvῑra Propounded the doctrine of six classes of souls, namely, earth-bodied, water-bodied, fire-bodied, air-bodied and plant-bodied, and the mobile creatures.[1] In the present section the comprehension of the nature of violence to the earth-bodied beings is explained. This thesis is: There is life in the elements of earth too. The heretical teachers of those times refused to believe that earth had life. The thesis was a novel theory. There are beings living in 'individual' bodies, that is, separate bodies of their own.[2] The Vṛtti gives another meaning of 'living in different bodies' which is 'living in the bodies made of earth'.

The present chapter started with the description of the earth-bodied beings and the like instead of speaking of the humans. This is because, the central theme of the Ācārāṅga is the principle of soul in general. The main concern of the chapter is the exposition of the equality of all souls, starting from the earth-bodied beings which resemble the soul in human beings.[3] There is no discrimination about the nature of soul, the distinction being only in respect of the degree of their knowledge, intuition, etc. owing to the difference in the karmic veils that cover or distort them.

    1.17  lajjamāṇā puḍho pāsa.

    Look at self-restrained people, ashamed of their violent activities.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 17

    Look at the people who are ashamed of violence, because it is a form of non-restraint: they refrain from violence. Some people among the multitude worldly life and abstain from injury to earth-bodied organisms. This is indicated in next sūtra.

    1.18  aṇagārā ṁotti ege pavayamāṇā.

    1.19  jamiṇaṃ virūvarūvehiṃ satthehiṃ puḍhavi-kamma-samāraṃbheṇaṃ puḍhavi-satthaṃ samāraṃbhemāṇe aṇṇe vaṇegarūve pāṇe vihiṃsati.

    (1.18, 1.19) Some people style themselves homeless mendicants, though indulging in violent actions to earth-bodied beings with various weapons, which involve destruction of various other classes of beings.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtras 18,19

    Some people though declaring themselves mendicants, do not abstain from injury to earth-bodied organisms. Here the sūtra says that if the householder does not desist from injuring the earth-bodied beings, there would be nothing unusual. But if even the mendicants do not abstain from such acts, that should be a matter of great surprise. The self-restrained activities should also be properly guarded to the best of one's capacity.

    The person who destroys the earth-bodied organisms by a variety of weapons also kills other creatures that infest the earth. Thus it is said: A person killing the earth-bodied organisms also kills the creatures living there, such as various kinds of mobile beings, visible or invisible.[4] How could such person be a mendicant?

    A śastra (weapon) is so called because it is an instrument of violence (śasyate yena). Such weapons include plough, spade, shovel, etc.

    Here the word śastra (weapon) deserves further consideration. The weapon is of two kinds:[5] material and mental. The instrument that kills is material weapon, while the attitude of non-restraint that is responsible for such killing is a mental weapon.[6] The Sthānāṅga (the third book of Inner Corpus) says[7]: the material weapons comprise fire, poison, salt, oil, soda and sour soil; the mental weapons are non-abstinence and ill-applied thought, word and deed.

    In the following three kinds of material weapons, the mental ones are to be understood by implication:

    1. Homogeneous weapon - for example, black soil is the weapon for the yellow soil. Here the soil is the weapon causing injury to another kind of soil.
    2. Heterogeneous weapon - for example, fire (burning the earth).
    3. Mixture of both - for example, water mixed with earth, a weapon that kills earth.

      1.20  tatha khalu bhagavayā pariṇṇā paveiyā.

      On  this subject, the  Lord  has propounded the principle of comprehension and abandonment.

      1.21    imassa ceva jῑviyassa, parivaṃdaṇa-māṇaṇa-pūyaṇāe, jāῑ-maraṇa- moyaṇāe, dukkhapaḍighāyaheuṃ.

      Longing for survival, praise, reverence and adoration; life and death, emancipation, and elimination of physical and mental sufffering.

      1.22    se sayameva puḍhavi-satthaṃ samāraṃbhai, aṇṇehiṃ vā puḍhavi- satthaṃ samāraṃbhāvei, aṇṇe vā puḍhavi-satthaṃ samāraṃbhaṃte samaṇujāṇai.

      He himself indulges in killing the earth-bodied beings or instigates others to do so, or approves of such killing by others.

      1.23  taṃ se ahiyāe, taṃ se abohῑe.

      Such violence is for his harm, is for his non-enlightenment.

      Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtras 22,23

      A householder, though firmly established in the Jina's doctrine, may not always be capable of completely desisting from injury to earth-bodied beings. But if an ascetic himself indulges in injury to earth-bodied beings, or gets such injury done by others, or approves others doing so, that is for his harm, being an impediment to his attaining enlightenment. He cannot get enlightenment, consisting of knowledge, faith and conduct for a long time. This is surely a great harm to his well-being.

      1.24 se taṃ saṃbujjhamāṇe āyāṇῑyaṃ samuṭṭhāe.

      The ascetic comprehends the result of violence and applies himself to the practice of self-restraint.

      Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 24

      The ascetic who rightly comprehends the nature and result of injury to earth-bodied organism, has prepared himself for the practice of self-restraint.

      The word ādānῑya in the sūtra, rendered as self-restraint, has several other connotations.

      1.25 soccā khalu bhagavao aṇagārāṇaṃ vā aṃtie ihamegesiṃ ṇātaṃ bhavati - esa khalu gaṃthe, esa khalu mohe, esa khalu māre, esa khalu ṇarae.

      Hearing from the Jina or other ascetics, some people come to know: such violence is indeed a knot, is delusion, is death, is hell.

      Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 25

      The person who is ignorant of the consequences of violence cannot practice non-violence. Here the sūtra indicated the way to enlightenment. On learning the truth directly from the Jina, the enlightened one, or learning it from other ascetics, the wisdom arises: violence binds the minds of the living beings and so it is called knot; it stupefies their minds and so it is called delusion; it takes away their life and therefore it is called death; it causes immense pain to them and therefore it is called hell.

      1.26 iccatthaṃ gaḍhie he.

      Nevertheless, the people entrapped in pursuit of pleasure (indulge in violence to earth-bodied beings).

      1.27 jamiṇaṃ virūvarūvehiṃ satthehiṃ puḍhavi-kamma-samāraṃbheṇaṃ puḍhavi-satthaṃ samāraṃbhemāṇe aṇṇe vaṇegarūve pāṇe vihiṃsai.

      They indulge in violent actions to earth-bodied beings with various weapons which involve destruction of various other classes of beings.

      Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtras 26-27

      If violence means knot, delusion, death and hell, who will engage in violence (and for what purpose)? The answer is provided by the sūtra, pointing out that the people entrapped in wordly pleasures and comforts are inclined to injury to earth-bodies beings and to the beings infesting the earth. See Sūtra 19.

      Footnotes:
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      [2]
      [3]
      [4]
      [5]
      [6]
      [7]
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