Arhat Vandanā ► 0.2 Preface

Posted: 15.11.2010


A man lives on the basis of faith. Various centres of faith exist including belief in a spiritual God, trust in a Guru, faith in penance or indeed in prayer.

Prayer is important from a spiritualistic as well as a practical point of view. In all religious places whether they be temples or churches, prayer is performed on a daily basis.

In Jain philosophy along with knowledge and action, devotion is considered to be extremely important. Prayer allows the expression of this devotion to the Jina. Note that per Jain Dharma, prayers are not used to ask for anything from God.

To pay homage with devotion is known as vandanā. When expressed towards the Arhat, who has conquered attachment and aversion, it is known as Arhat Vandanā.

This prayer was composed by Acharya Tulsi in 1968, during his chāturmās in Chennai. It is now sung every day by all monks and nuns of the Terapanth Sect.

The basis of Arhat Vandanā is the teachings of Lord Mahavir. It starts with the Namaskār Sutra and ends with Mangal Sutra. The remaining verses are selected maxims found within the kgams, the sacred Jain scriptures. Arhat Vandanā is thus relevant to all Jains regardless of sect.

After understanding the origin and meaning of Arhat Vandanā a question may arise as to why one should do Arhat Vandanā and what are its benefits.

The Arhats are our ideal. To gain inspiration from their lives we remember their qualities and take a firm resolution to also become omniscient. We all have the potential for infinite power. This prayer is directed towards those who have realized that power, in an effort to help us move towards the goal of self realization. When we sing Arhat Vandanā with full devotion and concentration, it works as a powerful mantra. It is one of the best means of awakening our inner wisdom.

Arhat Vandanā is a collection of canonical maxims, thus its recitation automatically enables studying (swādhyāya) of the Kgams. On account of being a mean of swādhyāya it aids in the destruction cum subsidence of knowledge obscuring karma and hence increases our knowledge. Regular singing of Arhat Vandanā increases concentration of the mind and bestows mental peace. It increases our listening and speaking power and helps to improve our pronunciation. Each and every spiritual maxim of Arhat Vandanā is a guiding principle which will help us to perform our day to day activities in a proper manner.

Arhat Vandanā is written in the ancient language of Prakrit. This book is a small effort to present Arhat Vandanā in English, with a simple explanation, as well as in Gujarati and Hindi so that everyone, young and old alike, can understand the secret of Jain scriptures and apply it so as to lead a successful and peaceful life. For spiritual progress it is suggested that one practise Arhat Vandanā with full concentration, awareness and devotion.

It is our great pleasure to have been given an opportunity to work on this spiritual book. We are immensely satisfied to be able to help spread Lord Mahavir's preachings abroad through the medium of this book.

In accomplishing this work successfully, we are very grateful to Revered Gurudeva Acharya Shree Mahapragya, without whose blessings and kindness it would not have been possible.

Appreciation must go to Saggar Malde, who with great devotion and dedication, has helped with the editing of this book. His selfless contribution will not be forgotten.

A special thanks to those who have supported this book financially and inspired JVB London to keep working on these projects.

Finally we would like to appreciate the assistance given by Rakesh Jain in the printing of this book. He always serves JVB London with enthusiasm.

Jain Vishva Bharati London is proud to present the book 'Arhat Vandanā' on the occasion of the first joint celebration of Mahavir Janma Kalyanak Divas in London.

Samani Prasanna Pragya
Samani Rohit Pragya

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Arhat Vandana

Samani Prasanna Pragya,
Samani Rohit Pragya
Publisher: JVB London
Edition: 2008