Economics Of Mahavira ► 11 ► [11.01] Mahavira and Economics - How to Achieve Consistency

Posted: 19.06.2006

The question is: How can Mahavira and Economics be in conformity with each other? Mahavira is a dispassionate religious propounder, free from any attachment. How could he talk about Economics? We are not talking of Mahavira as a siddha (a person who has attained perfection), a propounder and a preceptor. We are talking of Mahavira as sadhaka (a committed devotee). Mahavira as a saint will not talk about money. While Mahavira is a Tirthankar (propounder and preceptor), he is performing sadhana (total dedication}. In that context, Mahavira is entitled to talk about anything.

Acharya Hemchandra wrote:

Atachcho sarvain savadhyamapi lokanuhampipaya
Swani parvartyamas janan kartavyamatmanha.

Tirthankar Rishabhdev gave directions consistent with the times - how farming be carried out, how the sword be wielded, how any other work be done, one should one earn one's livelihood, how should marriage be organized. He knew that all these rules are known, but even accepting all these as known, he propagated the ideas with compassion in recognition of his duty. He made it clear that everybody is not a saint, they are not with all attainment. They are a part of the society. If he did not guide them, who else would do it?

For the societal persons, Mahavira did not talk about mahavrat (the supreme vow), he talked about anuvrat (small vows). He did not talk about renunciation either, but about limiting consumption, limiting enjoyment. It is his generosity. From this perspective, it is consistent to talk about Economics of Mahavira.

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