Acharanga Bhasyam ► Chapter VI — Shaking Off Through Austerity ► Section — 3 ► Sūtras 59-66 : The Dhūta Of The Abandonment Of Clothes

Posted: 08.04.2011

6.59 eyaṃ khu munī ayaṇaṃ say a suakkhayadhamme vidhutakappe ṇijjhosaitā.

The monk practising the well-propounded law[1] and the course of shaking off[2] should always be the avoider of the āyāṇaṃ.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 59

Āyāṇaṃ means clothing.[3] 'Course'[4] means conduct.

6.60 je acele parivusie, tassa ṇaṃ bhikkussa ṇo evaṃ bhavai—parijuṇṇe me vatthe vatthaṃ jāissāmi, suttaṃ jāissāmi, sūiṃ, jāissāmi, saṃdhissāmi, sīvīssāmi, ukkasissāmi, vokkasissāmi, parihissāmi, pāuṇissāmi.

In the mind of the monk who practises the nudity, there do not arise the capricious notions: ‘my clothing is worn out, I shall beg a new one, I shall beg thread and needle, I shall mend,[5] darn, lenthen, shorten,[6] wear and wrap[7] it'.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 60

The capricious notions arise in as many numbers as there are necessities. The varieties of such notions decrease proportionately with the necessities. The implication is that the notion about any object arises due to necessity.

6.61 aduvā tattha parakkamaṃtaṃ bhujjo acelaṃ taṇaphāsā phusaṃti, sīyaphāsā phusaṃti, teuphāsā phusaṃti, daṃsamasagaphāsā phusaṃti.

Or the unclothed one who excels in the abstinence will often be molested by the touches of sharp blades of grass, cold, heat, gnats and mosquitoes.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 61

Or, when exerting himself in that state of nudity, he is afflicted by the pricks of the blades of grass,[8] when laying on the beds of kuśa grass. In the winter, he is tortured by cold touches, in the summer and autumn by the hot touches;[9] moreover he is beaten by gnats and mosquitoes.

6.62 egayare aṇṇayare virūvarūve phyāse ahiyāseti acele.

The nude monk tolerates many similar and dissimilar hardships.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 62

The nude monk endures touches, mentioned among the hardships in the previous sūtras, that are of many kinds and varieties (6/44).

6.63 lāghavaṃ āgamamāṇe.

The nude monk experiences lightness.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 63

The nude monk experiences lightness. 'Lightness' means the state of being light. It is twofold—material and mental. The lightness of physical outfit is material, modesty i.e. lightness of conceit is mental. Here the reference is to the lightness of outfit. 'Āgamamāṇe' means experiencing and enduring.[10]

In the Cūrṇi, the inter-relatedness of the lightness of outfit and that of mind is explained, in this way - there is lightness of mind on the lightness of the outfit. There is lightness of outfit on the lightness of mind. Therefore there is mutual relationship between them. There is no incompatibility because they do not contradict. In this way as regards material karma, there is karmic lightness due to mental lightness. The karmic lightness results in auspicious mental lightness; therefore there is no essential contradiction between them. This is instruction about lightness.[11]

6.64 tave se abhisamaṇṇāgae bhavati.

The nude monk is fit for practising the penance in a right manner.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 64

The 'penance of nudity' becomes easy of practice[12] for a monk who is nude. 'Penance' means the paucity of outfit or enduring of physical hardship.

6.65 jaheyaṃ bhagavatā paveditaṃ tameva abhisameccā saw ato sawattāe samattameva samabhijāṇiyā.

The monk should realise nudity exactly as the Lord has propounded and practise equality in its completeness and in all respects.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 65

Having properly realised, that is, rightly understanding its effect at propounded by the Lord, the monk should properly understand the equanimity absolutely in all space and time and completely in the real sense[13] and not out of hypocricy, fear or deceit. He should not feel elated, he should not insult those who are with clothing. Here in the Vṛtti three gāthās are quoted:[14]

"A monk whether possessing two, three or one piece of clothing or absolutely nude does not deprecate the other, because all of them are the followers of the Lord's commandment.”

"Those who follow different kinds of conduct on account of their physical strength and mental competance should not ignore one another nor should they consider themselves inferior to others.”

"All of them are engaged in shaking off their karma according to the rule and the command of the Jina. They understand the discipline rightly."

The merits of nudity have been described in the Sthānāṅga and the Uttarādhyayana. In the Sthānāṅga, it is said that the nudity is superior for five reasons viz. (1) the necessity of inspection of outfit is mitigated. (2) His practice of lightness is praiseworthy. (3) His outfit (i.e., nudity) makes him trust-worthy. (4) His penance is approved by the Jinas. (5) He incurs immense.[15]

Similarly in the Uttarādhyayana,, it is said -

'O Lord! what does the soul produce by the practice of nudity, the penance like that of the Jinas?

'By aforesaid nudity he produces lightness; by lightness he is free from non-vigilance, his insignia is manifest and excellent, his faith is pure, he is full of vigour and has composed behaviour. He inspires trust among all animates, living beings, souls and sentient beings devoid of any necessity of inspecting the outfit. He is conqueror of the senses and endowed with vast penance and practises everywhere compose behaviour'.[16]

6.66 evaṃ tesiṃ mahāvīrāṇaṃ cirarāiṃ puvvāiṃ vāsāṇi rīyamāṇāṇaṃ daviyāṇaṃ pāsa ahiyāsiyaṃ.

("O disciple!) (Look at the tolerance of the valiant monks endowed with right conduct who having been ordained in earlier period of the life practice the discipline for the whole life’.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 66

Now the Sūtra points out that[17] this nudity is not impossible in practice. In this way, there are courageous and valiant monks who have adopted the
discipline of nudity as conquerors of attachment and hatred, and observers of the discipline for the whole life, renouncing the world in their earlier life, that is, the first and second periods of life. 'O disciple! you look at the hardships of cold touch and the like that they have endured.[18]

Footnotes:
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