Acharanga Bhasyam ► Chapter VIII — Liberation ► Section — 6 ► Sūtras 106-110 : Fast Unto Death Called Iṃgiṇῑ

Posted: 10.06.2011

8.106 aṇupavisittā gāmaṃ vā, ṇagaraṃ vā, kheḍaṃ vā, kabbaḍaṃ vā, maḍaṃbaṃ vā, paṭṭaṇaṃ vā, doṇamuhaṃ vā, āgaraṃ vā, āsamaṃ vā, saṇṇivesaṃ vā, ṇigamaṃ vā, rāyahāṇiṃ vā, taṇāiṃ jāejjā, taṇāiṃ jāettā, se tamāyāe egaṃtamavakkamejjā, egaṃtamavakkamettā appamḍe apa-pāṇe appa-bīe appa-harie appose appidae apputtiṃga-paṇaga-daga-maṭṭiya-makkḍāsaṃ-tāṇae, paḍilehiya-padilehiya, pamajjiya-pamajjiya taṇāiṃ saṃtharejjā, taṇāiṃ saṃtharettā ettha vi samae ittariyaṃ kujjā.

The monk preparing for attrition, if he is physically fit for begging straw, he should enter village, town, village sorrounded by earthen wall, a small habitation, isolated habitation, port, habitation accessible by land and water, village near mine, hermitage, caravan centre, business centre, or the capital. Having begged for straw, he should retire with it to a secluded spot. After having repeatedly examined and cleaned the ground where there are no eggs, nor living beings, nor seeds, nor sprouts, not dew, nor water, nor anthills, nor mildew, nor mud, nor cobwebs, he should spread the straw on it. Then he starts fasting unto death accompanied by physical movement.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 106

Fasting unto death is accompanied by physical movement. In the Cūrṇi and the Vṛtti, such fasting unto death has been critically considered. In the Bhagavatī, two kinds of penance have been mentioned—short term fasting and long term fasting. Of these, short-term fasting continues for a short period. The life long fasting means abandoning food for the whole life.[1] In the present Sūtra, such short time fasting is not relevant. Instead, this fasting unto death is allowed to be accompanied by physical movement. In the Samavāya, there is mention of such penance.[2] In such fasting, standing, laying down or sitting down for a short period is permissible. This is why such fasting has been so designated.[3]

8.107 taṃ saccaṃ saccāvādī oe tiṇṇe chiṇṇa-kahaṃkahe ātītaṭṭhe aṇātīte veccāṇa bheūraṃ kāyaṃ, saṃvihūṇiya virūvarūve parisahovasagge assiṃ vissaṃ bhaittā bheravamaṇuciṇṇe.

Such fasting is righteous. The monk true to his resolve, dispassionate, crossing the (ocean of) saṃsāra, free from doubt, of fully accomplished mission, is unaffected by external influences. Knowing the transient nature of body, conquering all kinds of hardships and troubles, he contemplates on separateness of the soul from the body. He is not perturbed while undertaking formidable task of fasting.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 107

As this 'fast unto death' accompanied with physical movement is beneficial, it is morally true. The monk, undertaking it, observes such formidable fasting. Such monk deserves a higher recognition on account of his following traits -

  1. He is true to his resolve, for he carries it out.
  2. He is dispassionate (oja) for he experiences the solitariness of the soul.
  3. He is said to have crossed the ocean of saṃsāra, on the basis of the fact that one who has nearly crossed is deemed to be one who has crossed; he also has nearly completed his course of renunciation.
  4. He is free from doubt—the meaning of the word kathaṃ-kathaṃ is doubt. One who transcends the doubt as to he would succeed or not, is called 'chinnakatathaṃkathaṃ’.
  5. He is 'ātitārtha[4] for he has fully accomplished the mission.
  6. He is called anādatta, for he is unaffected by external influences.

Such a monk fulfils the formidable[5] fast by considering the body to have 'evanescent nature', conquering all kinds of trials and tribulations, and contemplating that although my soul is inside my body, yet it is separate[6] from the latter.

8.108 talthāvi tassa kālapariyāe.

Such death is also timely and unblameworthy.

8.109 se tattha viaṃtikārae.

By such death, the monk can also put an end to his worldly existence.

8.110 iccetaṃ vimohāyataṇaṃ hiyaṃ, suhaṃ, khamaṃ, ṇisseyasaṃ, āṇugāmi-yaṃ. - tti bemi.

Such death is the proper ground for elimination of the delusion about death. It is good, auspicious, blissful, appropriate, beneficial and conducive to enlightenment. - Thus do I say.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtras 108-110

The purport is obvious.

Footnotes:
[1]
[2]
[3]
[4]
[5]
[6]
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