Acharanga Bhasyam ► Chapter I — Comprehension And Abandonment Of Weapons Of Injury ► Section — 3 ► Sūtras 35-37 : Dedication To The Aim

Posted: 13.10.2010

1.35 se bemi—se jahāvi aṇagāre ujjukāḍe,ṇiyāgapaḍivaṇṇe, amāyaṃ kuvvamāṇe viyāhie.

Likewise also, the ascetic (desisting from violent action to the water-bodied beings) is straightforward, treader on the path to liberation, not a deceitful concealer of his power of self-restraint. Thus do I say.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 35

In this chapter, there is a minute discussion of the nature of ahiṃsā observed by a person who has renounced the world, which clearly explains character of a houseless mendicant. Who is a true mendicant? In answer, the Sutra says: the true mendicant is he, who while desisting from inflicting injury to the earth-bodied beings, also desists from injury to the water-bodied beings. This is indicated by the particle 'also' in the Sūtra.

'Straightforwardness' means self-restraint. The aspirant who observes self-restraint, pursues the path to liberation and does not possess the thorn of deceit is called a mendicant. The implication is that only the person who has faith in restraint in respect of all living beings and emancipation and who does not hide his power to practice the discipline is capable of making a resolve to practice ahiṃsā towards subtle (imperceptible) living beings.[1]

1.36 jāe saddhāe ṇikkhaṃto, tameva aṇupāliyā. vijahittu visottiyaṃ.

He (the ascetic) should follow immaculately the same faith with which he renounced the world, not flowing in the stream of mental fickleness (about the reality of water-bodied beings).

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 36

It is indeed very difficult to abstain from injury to the water-bodied beings. The Sūtra, keeping this truth in view, asserts that one should follow immaculately the same faith with which he renounced the world.

The implication is: at the time of initiation the ascetic's faith is on the increase. He should maintain this state of faith for all times, not allowing it to wane in anyway. If the increase is constant, that is well and good, but any sort of lapse in faith is not commendable. Even if there is no enhancement, let there be no loss of the original faith.

'Mental fickleness' is doubtful mind. In the path of ahiṃsā, varieties of doubts,[2] and bad types of mental concentration due to anguish and anger may arise, which lead to the diminution of the faith. The progress of faith mainly consists in the avoiding such doubts and unmindfulness.

1.37 paṇayā vῑrā mahāvῑhiṃ.

The heroes are dedicated to the great path of liberation.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 37

Ahiṃsā is the spacious path. Ordinary people do not follow that path. Only the mighty heroes can dedicate themselves to that spacious path.

The implication is that non-violence is not the way of the coward. Only the brave can tread that path.[3]

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