Acharanga Bhasyam ► Chapter IV — The Right View ► Section — 4 ► Sūtras 40-53 : Right Ascetic Discipline

Posted: 31.01.2011

4.40 avīlae pavīlae nippīlae jahitta puvvasaṃjogaṃ, hicca uvasamaṃ.

After renouncing his worldly relations and consolidating his tranquillity, he should mortify his body and passions in high, higher and highest degree.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 40

The person capable of emancipation gives up his past connections with relations as a result of hearing the discipline, and renounces the world on acquiring calmness of senses and the mind. To the query about what he should do after renunciation, there are three stages.

The first stage is initial mortifying. The second is mortification in a higher and third in the highest. The mortification concerns the body and the karma. There are two means to such mortification: scriptural study and penance.

At the first stage, the mortification is effected by labour in the study of the scripture, and the practice of the penance according to the scripture.[1]

At the second stage, further mortification is effected by means of indefinite halt at a particular place during the itinerary, in giving sermons in augmenting the strength of disciples, in teaching and in the practice of penance.
At the third stage, even more powerful mortification is effected by means of purging the body and mind of impurities through fasting unto death.[2]

The duration of the first stage is twenty-four years—twelve years for scriptural study and the same period for understanding the meaning and essence of the scripture. The duration of each of the second and the third stage is twelve years.

4.41 tamhā avimaṇe vīre sārae samie sahite sayā jae.

Therefore the ascetic should always exert himself being undistracted, courageous, endowed with the power of grasping scriptures,[3] rightly practising the discipline and tolerant.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 41

There is quick destruction of karma when there is tranquillity. Therefore a person with tranquil mind should always throughout life strive for self-realization. 'Undistracted mind'[4] means blissful mind. 'Courageous person' means a hero.

The right practice of discipline has been defined in the Uttarādhyayana (8.9): 'One should not kill any living being; such person is designated as the right practitioner of the discipline and protector of living beings'.[5]

4.42 duraṇucaro maggo vīrāṇaṃ aṇiyaṭṭagāmīṇaṃ.

Difficult to practice is indeed the path of the heroes who never fall back from their practice of the discipline.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 42

Lord Mahāvīra enjoyed life-long restraint. Having given up the worldly objects, if they do not hanker after them whole life, they are genuinely valiant person. Their path is really a hard path. Only the courageous ones can tread on such path which is inaccessible to the persons devoid of strength.

4.43 vigiṃca maṃsa-soṇiyaṃ.

Mortify your flesh and blood.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 43

Attachment to sexual desires is the principal impediment to the practice of restrained life. And therefore the antidote to that impediment is prescribed here. The nourishment of flesh and blood is one of the causes of the augmentation of the instinct of sexual desire. It is therefore prescribed that one should mortify his flesh and blood.

The body is the base of religious discipline and the nourishment of flesh and blood is the base of the body. What then is the purpose of the mortification of flesh and blood? The reply is that the mortification should be only to the extent that the flesh and blood may not be conducive to the sexual instinct.

As a result of non-stimulating food, there is no nourishment of blood, and in the absence of such nourishment the elements of flesh, fat, bone, marrow, semen and the like will not be nourished and consequently the subduing of the senses will be possible without any difficulty.

4.44 esa purise davie vīre, āyāṇijje viyāhie.
je dhuṇāi samussayaṃ, vasittā baṃbhaceraṃsi..

Such ascetic is designated as competent, heroic and praiseworthy. Practicing celebacy, he emaciates the conglomerate of his physical and karmic body.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 44

The mortifier of flesh and blood is self-restrained, that is, free from attachment and aversion. Exerting his valour in the right manner, he is acceptable to others, that is, he becomes worthy of imitation.

The conglomerate is twofold - the material aggregate such as the body, the mental aggregate such as anger, pride, deceit, greed an.d the entire range of delusion. He shakes off the physical and mental aggregates, while being firmly devoted to celibacy.

The word celibacy has three meanings:[6] religious conduct, abstinence from sex and living with a teacher. Here the reference is to the abstinence from sex.

4.45 ṇettehiṃ palichinnehiṃ, āyāṇasoya-gaḍhie bāle, awocchinnabaṃdhaṇe, aṇabhikkaṃtasaṃjoe, tamaṃsi avijāṇao āṇāe laṃbho ṇatthi tti bemi.

Even when engaged in conquering the senses, such as the eye and the like, the ignorant person gets attracted to sensual objects and fails to sever his family ties and monetary involvement. He enters the darkness of attachment and becomes ignorant of the blemishes of gratification from sensual objects. Such aspirant can not take advantage of the commandment. Thus do I Say.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 45

The Sanskrit word netra 'eye' in the Sūtra, which usually stands for the sense of sight, etymologically means a conveyer and stands for the senses in general.

While conquering the senses some deluded person is bogged down in the vortex of sensuality and his worldly tie remains unsevered, and consequently, he reverts to worldly life. Such person, immersed as he is in darkness, and is ignorant of the pitfalls of sexual attachment cannot avail himself of the benefits of the commandment.

'Commandment' means the scripture. Good conduct is the essence of the scripture. The karmic dissociation is the essence of conduct. A lusty person cannot advance in the path of right conduct and karmic dissociation.

4.46 jassa natthi pur a pacchā, majjhe tassa kao siya?

What has neither a before nor an after cannot have a middle.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 46

'Before' means the time that has passed away. 'After' means the future. How can there be the sensual desire at the present moment for him who has not the memory of the sensual objects enjoyed in the past or any desire for such objects in the future? The reason is that his desire for the past and the future sensual objects has been completely annihilated.[7]

The present Sūtra has also been explained metaphysically. What had no existence in the past, nor will have any in the future, cannot have any existence in the present. The implication is that the existence of the present life is possible only on the acceptance of the existence of the previous birth and the birth in the future.

One who has not doubt about the past and future births is alone capable of getting rid of the desire for sensual objects at the present moment.

4.47 se hu paṇṇāṇamaṃte buddhe āraṃbhovarae.

Such wise and enlightened person alone can desist from violent activity.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 47

The person who is completely free from the desires for the sensual objects is possessed of wisdom, is enlightened and capable of desisting from all kinds of evil acts. A man indulges in violent activity on account of sensual objects and passions. On the cessation of the desire for sensual objects a person gets rid of the violent activities.

'Wisdom' means perfect vision.

'Enlightened' means endowed with discriminative knowledge. 'Violent activity' means the activity that cause injury to earth-bodied beings and the like.

4.48 sammameyaṃti pas aha.

This is the truth. Realize it.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 48

It is only when the sensual desire has vanished that the instinct of violence ceases. You should realize this truth.

4.49 jeṇa baṃdhaṃ vahaṃ ghoraṃ, paritāvaṃ ca dāruṇaṃ.

Instigated by the desire for sensual objects, a person indulges in fierce acts of enslaving, killing and inflicting terrible pain on creatures.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 49

Instigated by sensual desires, a person indulges in dreadful binding, beating and inflicts terrible pain. Binding and beating are physical while the pain is mental. 'Fierce' and 'terrible' are indicative of extreme forms of cruelty.

4.50 palicchiṃdiya bāhiragaṃ ca soyaṃ, ṇikkammadaṃsī iha macciehiṃ.

Checking the outward flow of the senses, realize yourself as freed from karma in the world of mortal beings.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 50

The karmic flow is twofold: external and internal. The external flow is the senses; the internal flow is attachment and the like. The unrestrained state of the external flow is responsible for the augmentation of the internal one. It has, therefore, been said that after checking the outworldly flow, a man should realize freedom from all activity in this mortal world. 'Freedom from activity' means emancipation, pure soul or karmic inhibition. The person who desires immortality ih this mortal world perceives freedom from activity to the exclusion of everything else. His soul, mind and psychic coloration are identified with his vision. He does not see anything else though looking at other things.[8]

The activity is three-fold: mental, verbal and physical. The essence of soul is consciousness which is the feeling of inhibition of activity. This inhibition is the secret of the discipline of non-activity, as has been explained by Acharya Amrit Chandra in following verses:[9]

"I take resort to absolute non-activity by relinquishing all activity through thought, word and deed in all the three periods of time, as done by myself or got done by others, or approved of by me.

"I retrace from whatever I did in the past out of delusion and the like, to dwell in myself which is of the nature of pure consciousness and absolute inactivity.

"I look at the karma that arises as the effusion of the play of delusion, in order to dwell in myself which is of the nature of pure consciousness and absolute inactivity."

4.51 kammuṇā saphalaṃ daṭṭhuṃ, tao ṇijjāi veyavī.

Knowing that the karma will bear its fruit, a person, versed in the sacred lore, parts from karma.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 51

The karmas are necessarily fruitful; what is not impotent must give its fruit to be enjoyed. For instance, as it is said in the Uttarādhyayana:[10] 'there is no escape from the karmas that have been committed'. Good acts bear good fruits and bad acts bear bad fruits. Therefore a person versed in the sacred lore abstains or desists from such karma. 'Sacred lore' means the scripture. One who knows the scripture is versed in the sacred lore.

The word karma has double meaning: [i] the activity of the mind, speech and body is karma; [ii] The material body attracted by the activity, and capable of producing good and bad results is also karma.

There are three different conceptions about the renunciation of karma: [i] renunciation of karma, which is done with attachment; [ii] renunciation of the result of karma, and [iii] renunciation of karma.

On this subject, the central idea of the present sūtra is that one should not do any act out of attachment; one should not hanker after any result of karma; one should renounce karma. This is abstinence from karma and non-activity. The implication is not that one should give up all karma, but only that one should restrain the karma, which is identical with inhibition or tranquillity of mind. In other words, whatever necessary act is to be done should be done with equanimity so that the karmic result or bondage is minimised. All those activities that are of feeble result also are designated as non-activity.[11]

4.52 je khalu bho! vīrā samitā sahitā sadā jayā saṃghaḍadaṃsiṇo ātovarayā, ahā-tahā logamuvehamāṇā, pāīṇaṃ paḍīṇaṃ dāhiṇaṃ udīṇaṃ iti saccaṃsi pariciṭṭhiṃsu, sāhissāmo ṇāṇaṃ vīrāṇaṃ samitāṇaṃ sahitāṇaṃ sadā jayāṇaṃ saṃghaḍadaṃsiṇaṃ ātovarayāṇaṃ ahātahā logamuvehamāṇāṇaṃ.

O noble ones, we shall describe[12] the right knowledge of the ascetics who are courageous, rightly exerting, tolerant, always self-restrained, always self-aware, self-disciplined, looking at the world as it is, confirmed in the truth in all directions, east, west, south and north.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 52

The right view has been explained. Now the result of the right view is being described. 'Courageous' means exerting in penance; the word 'saṃghaḍadaṃsiṇo' means always vigilant, that is always self-aware;[13] 'self-disciplined'[14] means abstaining from sinful activity spontaneously, not as instructed by others. 'The world as it is' means the karmic world or the living world as governed by the universal law. 'Truth' means right view or self-restrained. The practitioners of truth dwell in all directions. This is the implication. We shall speak of the right knowledge of the persons qualified with the above mentioned merits.

4.53 kimatthi uvādhī pāsagassaṇa vijjati? ṇatthi, - tti bemi.

It is to be translated and explained like the sūtra no 3.87.

Footnotes:
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