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Who is a Jain Shravak: Preface

Published: 31.01.2020

Once Sahu Shantiprasad Jain requested Gurudev Tulsi, 'In your discourses you mostly discuss about the ethics of a monk which is good to know, but it is not of much benefit to us. More of Grihasth dharmand shraavakaachaar should be discussed with us.' This text (or book) thus focuses on understanding the code of conduct of a layman. Thereafter, the righteousness of a layman was often discussed during the discourses. Reverent Gurudev Tulsi composed a book for laypeople entitled as 'Grihasth ko bhi Adhikaar hai Dharm Karane ka'- A layman also has right to practice religion.

The present work is the most recent work on shraavakaachaar (conduct of a shravak). Its origin is associated with historical event.

Tameva dhammam duviham aaikhai, tam jaha - agaardhammam anagaardhammam cha-[1]

Bhagawan Mahavira propounded two types of religion - agaardharm (religion for layman) and anagaardharm (religion for monks). Aagardharm is an ideal guideline for householders. He described the code of conduct for householders very lucidly and with absolute clarity. This code of conduct is known as BaarahVrat (12 vows). They are also well-known as shraavakaachaar and shravak dharm. There is a plethora of literature found on this subject within both Shvetambar and Digambar traditions. Uvasagdasao[2], the seventh Aagam (canonical literature) of dvaadashaangi (12 Aagams), elucidates agaardharm in detail.

In Shvetambar tradition following works are found explaining shraavakaachaar.

Sr. No.

Text

Author

1.

Tattvarth Sutra

Acharya Umasvati

2.

Avashyak Niryukti

Bhadrabahu Swami

3.

Avashyak Churni

Jinadasgani

4.

Visheshavashyak Bhashya

Jinabhadragani Kshamashraman

R. Williams, in his work Jain Yoga[3], has listed the following 29 books related with shraavakaachaar.

Sr. No

Text

Author

Time

1.

Sharavakpragyapti

Umasvati

5th CE

2.

Panchashak

Haribhadra Virahank


3.

Dharmabindu

Haribhadra Yakiniputra


4.

Lalitvistara

Haribhadra Yakiniputra


5.

Avashyak Vritti

Haribhadra Yakiniputra


6.

Tattvarth Sutra Vritti

Siddhasenagani


7.

Shravakvidhi

Dhanapal


8.

Navapadaprakaran with Vritti

Devagupta


9.

Dharmaratnaprakaran

Shantisuri


10.

Upasakadasha Vritti

Abhayadeva


11.

Panchashak Vritti

Abhayadeva


12.

Pravachansaroddhar

Nemichandra


13.

Dharmabindu Vritti

Munichandra


14.

Panchashak Vritti

Yashodeva


15.

Yogashastra

Hemachandra


16.

Pravachansaroddhar Vritti

Siddhasenasuri


17.

Shraddhadina Kritya

Devendra


18

Vandaru Vritti

Devendra


19.

Bhashyatraya

Devendra


20.

Shraddhajitakalpa

Dharmghosha


21.

Sangrahachar

Dharmghosha


22.

Chaityavandanakulak

Jinadatta


23.

Pujaprakaran



24.

Vivek Vilas

Jinadatta


25.

Acharadinakar

Vardhmana


26.

Acharopadesha

Charitrasundar


27.

Shraddhagunashreni-sangrah

Jinamandan


28.

Shraddhavidhi

Ratnashekhar


29.

Dharmasangraha Vritti

Yashovijay


Digambar tradition also has many significant works on shraavakaachaar. R.Williams4 has listed 27 texts in his book as follows:

Sr. No

Text

Author

Time

1.

Charitraprabhrit

Kundakunda

2nd CE

2.

Tattavartha Sutra

Umasvati

3rd CE

3.

Dvadashanupreksha

Kartikeya

4th CE

4.

Ratnakaranda Shraavakaachaar

Samantbhadra

450

5.

Sarvarthasiddhi

Pujyapad

6th CE

6.

Ratnasara


8th CE

7.

Adipurana

Jinasen

end of the 9th CE

8.

Bhavasangraha

Devasen

end of the 10th CE

9.

Yashastilak

Somadev

959

10.

Subhashitaratnasandoh

Amitgati

993

11.

Shraavakaachaar

Amitgati

993

12.

Charitrasar

Chamundaraya

1000

13.

Purusharthasiddhupaya

Amritchandra

11th CE

14.

Shravakdharmadohak

11th CE

15.

Shraavakaachaar

Vasunandi

1100

16.

Dharmarasayan

Padmanandi

12th CE

17.

Sagardharmamrit

Ashadhar

1240

18.

Shraavakaachaar

Maghanandi

1260

19.

Shraavakaachaar

Gunabhushan

1300

20.

Shraavakaachaar

Padmanandi

15th CE

21.

Bhavasangraha

Vamadeva

15th CE

22.

Prashnottarshraavakaachaar

Sakalkirti

15th CE

23.

Dharmasangrahshraavakaachaar

Medhavi

1504

24.

Dharmapiyushshraavakaachaar

Brahmanemidatta

1530

25.

Lati Sanhita

Rajmalla

1584

26.

Ratnamala

Shivakoti

17th CE

27.

Trayavarnikachar

Somasen

1610

R. Williams, in the bibliography of the book Jain Yoga, has mentioned few more works other than above mentioned two lists:

Anagaardharmamrit

Shravakdharmapanchashak

Haribhadra

Dharmasangrah

Manvijay

Dharmaratnaprakaran

Shantisuri

Siddhantsaradisangrah

Shivakoti

The above mentioned texts are written in Prakrit or Sanskrit languages by Jain Acharyas of Shvetambar and Digambar tradition. Moreover, the following two significant works in Rajasthani and Hindi, if not mentioned, will make the list incomplete.

Barah Vrat Ki Chaupai Acharya Bhikshu

18th CE

Shravak Sambodh Acharya Tulsi

20th CE

Acharya Tulsi composed Shravak Sambodh in the context of current affairs and contemporary problems. Therefore, comparative study of Shravak Sambodh becomes essential while studying the chronological development of sharavakachar. This short treatise codifies the rules of shraavakaachaar and lead shravaks to new spiritual heights with a touch of novelty.

Subject Matter

Agaar dharm, the religion of layman or shraavakaachaar, is the subject of this text. Uvasagadasao [5] explains it in detail. According to Digambar literature shraavakaachaar begins with the acceptance of eleven pratimas, whereas Uvasagadasao[6] mentions acceptance of pratimas by Shravak Anand after understanding and accepting the twelve vows. Dasashrutskandh[7] elucidates pratima in great detail.

Samyak darshan is explained in detail following the introduction in this text because samyaktva (right faith) is the foundation of vrat (vows). Samyak darshan (right faith), Samyak gyan (right knowledge) and Samyak chaaritra (right conduct) are the prime subjects of this text. The topics are like twelve vows, sanlekhana (spiritual preparation for death), four vishram (repose), three manorath (aspirations) and eleven pratimas, the extension of Samyak chaaritra are based on Aagam[8].

The desire for consumption is the biggest problem of our modern era. To change such attitude, shravak is advised to control the wastage of resources such as water and electricity. A limit on travelling which was outlined in the ancient scriptures can be correlated to minimize pollution. The concept of visarjan is presented to channelize the attitude of accumulation. Acharya Tulsi revised the traditional 14 vows (14 niyam) and came up with the nine mentioned below, which are extremely pertinent in the present era.

khaadyon ki seema, vastron ka parisiman, paani bijali ka ho na apvyay dhiman!
yaatra-parimaan, maun pratidin, svaadhyaayi, har roj visarjan, anaasakti, varadaayi.

ho sada sangha seva savivek safaai, pratidivas rahe in niyamon ki parchhaai[9].

The suggested nine vows (niyam) are equally significant part of shraavakaachaar as the twelve vows are. Practice of vows is not possible without changing one's lifestyle. Acharya Tulsi, the author of Shravak Sambodh, envisages a shravak to be recognized as one through his lifestyle. He also dreamt of the puritanical Jain lifestyle becoming the lifestyle of everyone.

The nine maxims of Jain lifestyle are:

  1. Samyak Darshan (Right Faith)
  2. Anekant (Relative Perspective)
  3. Ahimsa (Non-Violence)
  4. Shraman Sanskriti (Ascetic Culture)
  5. Ichchha Parimaan (Restraint over Desires)
  6. Samyak Aajivika (Right Livelihood)
  7. Samyak Sanskaar (Right Values)
  8. Aahaar shuddhi, Vyasan-mukti (Vegetarian and Addiction-free diet)
  9. Saadharmik Vaatsaly[10] (Ethnic Affection)

The format of the second section of this text can be compared with the format of the beginning of Acharang Sutra, the prime Jain canonical literature. Acharya begins with questions regarding the self, such as, Who was I? What will I become in the next life after leaving this body? [11] In Shravak Sambodh, a shravak asks himself - Who am I? What is my identity? [12] In this context, some questions regarding gati, jaati and seven questions about Indra Sanatkumar, the King of the third heaven, are asked.[13]Self-introspection of such questions is very pertinent for a shravak. Elucidation of a balanced life and responsibility of a shravak is an essential motif of the present work.[14]

A special feature of Shravak Sambodh[15] is the remark of shravaks and shravikas belonging to the age of Aagam. Gurudev Tulsi has described nine codes of conduct of shraavakaachaar through the description of systemic lifestyle, termed as Jain Jeevan Shaili, Anuvrat, Preksha Dhyan and Jeevan Vigyan.[16] The appropriate behaviour is well explained through Jain Sanskaar Vidhi[17].

At the end of this text, Acharya Tulsi has briefly and objectively sketched the tradition of Jain religion[18]. Since Acharya Tulsi is the ninth Acharya of Terapanth sect, he has in conclusion illustrated some of the devotees of Terapanth[19].

Shrimad Rajchandra was an iconic shravak as per the Jain tradition. Acharya Tulsi has specified him as a gem of Jain religion and eminently effective person of spirituality. Since, shraavakatva is not the domain of any particular religion, mentioning Shrimad Rajchandra (who does not belong to the Terapanth sect) reflects a spark of the broad mindedness of Acharya Tulsi.

Shravak Sambodh is brief in size but has profound meaning and contains important concepts to follow to have a balanced life-style. It can be metaphorically described as an ocean in a drop of water.

The literatures by Acharya Tulsi have been created in various eras. Jain Siddhanta Deepika on ontology, Manonushasanam on Yog, disciplinary books like Panchasutram and biographies etc. were all created during different periods. The journey of writing biographies which commenced with Kaluyashovilas (about the 8th Acharya Kalugani) could not just end with at Sahishnuta ki Pratimurti (about Sadhvi Pramukha Sardaraji). He planned for many more biographies. During his last decade, Acharya Tulsi's writing took a new turn and he composed five new works such as Aachaara Bodh, Sanskaar Bodh, Vyavahaar Bodh, Terapanth Prabodh and Shravak Sambodh. It will not be an exaggeration to say that these small treatises are treasures of his vast knowledge and experience of sixty years. The elevated works of Acharya Tulsi have become the subject of research for scholars, guidelines for students and medium of bliss for spiritual aspirants.

Shravak Sambodh holds a significant place among these five compositions. It will give life to the growing dry mentality of the people for acceptance of twelve vows, pratima or the entire shraavakaachaar.

Jain Vishva Bharati Acharya Mahapragya

Ladnun (Rajasthan)


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Sources

Title:  Who is a Jain Shravak?
Author: 

Acharya MahaPragya

Translator: 

Sadhvi Vishrut Vibha

Publisher:  Adarsh Sahitya Vibhag, JVB
Edition: 
2019
Digital Publishing: 
Amit Kumar Jain

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Aagam
  2. Aagams
  3. Acharang
  4. Acharya
  5. Acharya Bhikshu
  6. Acharya Kalugani
  7. Acharya Mahapragya
  8. Acharya Tulsi
  9. Acharya Umasvati
  10. Acharyas
  11. Ahimsa
  12. Anaasakti
  13. Anand
  14. Anekant
  15. Anuvrat
  16. Avashyak
  17. Ayaro
  18. Bhikshu
  19. Body
  20. Chamundaraya
  21. Darshan
  22. Devendra
  23. Dharm
  24. Dhyan
  25. Digambar
  26. Gati
  27. Gurudev
  28. Gyan
  29. Haribhadra
  30. Hemachandra
  31. Indra
  32. Jain Vishva Bharati
  33. Jain Yoga
  34. Jeevan Shaili
  35. Jeevan Vigyan
  36. Kalugani
  37. Kshamashraman
  38. Kundakunda
  39. Ladnun
  40. Mahapragya
  41. Mahavira
  42. Niryukti
  43. Niyam
  44. Non-violence
  45. Prabodh
  46. Prakrit
  47. Pratima
  48. Preksha
  49. Preksha Dhyan
  50. Rajasthan
  51. Rajasthani
  52. Sadhvi
  53. Sadhvi Pramukha
  54. Samyak Darshan
  55. Samyaktva
  56. Sangha
  57. Sanlekhana
  58. Sanskrit
  59. Seva
  60. Shraman
  61. Shravak
  62. Shravaks
  63. Shravikas
  64. Shrimad Rajchandra
  65. Shvetambar
  66. Sutra
  67. Swami
  68. Terapanth
  69. Tulsi
  70. Uvasagadasao
  71. Yog
  72. Yoga
  73. vrat
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