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Who is a Jain Shravak: 29.3 Daily Routine of a Jain Shravak

Published: 22.03.2020

Dhaarmik Anusthaan(Religious Practices)

The lifestyle of a shravak should be systematic. Therefore, religious practices are essential. Five such practices have been mentioned in this stanza -

Upaasana upsampda, yogaasan dhruvayog
kam-se-kam Preksha shivir ka ho ek prayog

1. Upaasana (Staying in the Presence)

The first religious practice is upaasana. Upaasana means staying around or in the aura of the monks. The spiritual aura of monks influences the human mind. Observing their life, consciousness of renunciation awakens. Listening to the scriptures in their presence enhances the capacity of understanding the tattva(essence) of religion.

There are two types of religion - aachaar(conduct) and upaasana(staying in the presence of a saint). Conduct is an internal phenomenon, whereas upaasana is concerned with external religious practices. Religious practices which are undertaken with understanding and discretion are beneficial. Chanting mantras, doing saamaayik etc. are part of religious rituals.

2. Upsampada (Guiding Principles)

Before practicing Preksha Meditation, a practitioner must accept initiation, in cross-legged or lotus posture and by folding both the hands. Then the following verses should be spoken aloud:

  • Abbhutthiomia araahanaaye- I present myself to practice Preksha Meditation.
  • Maggam uvasampajjaami- I accept the path of spirituality.
  • Sammattam uvasampajjaami- I accept the path of inner realization.
  • Sanjamam Uvasampajjaami- I present myself to the path of spiritual practice.

There are five resolutions in the routine of upsampada:

  1. Bhaavkriya(mindful action) - Living in the present, act consciously, constant awareness.
  2. Pratikriya Virati(restraint of reaction) - Practice of abstaining from reaction to stimuli.
  3. Maitri(universal amity) - Developing a friendly attitude towards all.
  4. Mitaahaar(restraint in food) - Keeping a limit on the number of items and quantity of food.
  5. Mitabhaashan(restraint in speech) - Practicing a vow of silence, avoiding unnecessary talk.

3. Yogaasan(Exercise)

Kaayaaklesh (physical exercise) is one of the twelve types of penances. The body is controlled through it. Kaayaaklesh is an Aagamic word. The word yogaasan is used today in the manuals of yoga. A shravak should practice yogic postures such as vajraasan (diamond posture),padmaasan (lotus posture), shalabhaasan (locust posture), taaraasan, pavanmuktaasan, mayuraasan, etc.

4. Dhruvayog (Essentials)

Dhruv means essential. Spiritual activities essential to be done every day are included in dhruvayog. The recitation of Namaskaar Mahaamantra, saamaayik, spiritual study, Guruvandana, yogasan, paramesthi vandana, arhat vandana, fortnightly pratikraman, the practice of abstaining from eating at night, Preksha meditation etc. constitute dhruvayoga.

5. Preksha Meditation Training Camps

The practice of Preksha meditation is a dhruvayog. Its systematic training is imparted through meditation camps. It is necessary for a shravak to undertake this training at least once in order to learn the techniques of meditation properly.

Anuvrat and Preksha Meditation

'Annaha nam paasaaye pariharejja' is a verse from Aayaro. It means that the behaviour of an observer should be different or distinct from a common person. A shravak is also a human being, but in comparison to others, his life must be remarkable. This uniqueness should be reflected not only in the spiritual routine, but in worldly life too. Eating, drinking, sleeping, waking-up, clothing, walking, travelling etc. are necessities of a human life. Growing ambitions, luxuries and attitude of unbridled comforts has led to the masses consuming things limitlessly. AcharyaTulsi has opined that the path of unrestrained consumption is not conducive for a healthy life. A person should regulate even the smallest of their activities. This constitutes a great outlook. Based on this ideology, the concept of restraint with eating and drinking has been associated.

khaana peena sona jagana sayant ho,
anuvrat aachaar sahinta jeevan vrat ho.
preksha prayog ke jhule mein nit jhulein,
anu preksha sahishunta ko kabhi na bhulein

Restraint is a foundation of anuvrat. 'sanyamah khalu jeevanam' - Restraint is life, is the motto of anuvrat. Nij par shaasan: phiranushaashan' is the base of anuvrat. Today, we live in a nuclear age - the age of atom bomb. Nothing can defeat atomic weaponry, except the atom itself. The code of conduct of anuvrat is an infallible solution to the problems of the present age. A shravak cannot practice the Great Vows (mahaavrats). Therefore, BhagawanMahavira defined anuvrat as a suitable alternative for the shravaks, which is a great model. To transform one's life on the basis of anuvrat should be objective of a shravak.

The structure of anuvrat was formulated and introduced. Nevertheless, human life and behaviour did not change. Is it possible that one eats food and still remains hungry? After deep thought, AcharyaTulsi put forth the concept of Preksha meditation. How can a person change his life after embracing anuvrat? The answer to this question is Preksha meditation. Upon understanding the complete process of meditation, if practiced regularly, the secretion of the endocrine glands (hormone) can change. Transformation of conduct starts from here.

The Contemplation (Anupreksha) of Tolerance

Contemplation or anupreksha means a repetitive practice of any feeling or thought. The transformation of instincts can be achieved through contemplation of forbearance, harmony, amity and fearlessness. In this context, the contemplation of tolerance is emphasized. The maxim for peaceful social life is harmony. Tolerance is a prerequisite. The practice of contemplation is undertaken in order to develop tolerance. The method is as follows:

  1. Mahaapraan Dhvani(humming sound, 2 minutes)
  2. Relaxation (Kaayotsarg) (5 minutes)
  3. Breath in blue air and experience with each breath that blue atoms are entering the body (3 minutes)
  4. Concentrate on the centre of purity (Vishuddhi kendra) with the colour blue. (3 minutes)
  5. Focus on the centre of enlightenment (Jyoti kendra) with the following contemplation:

a) My tolerance power is developing.

b) Mental balance is increasing.

Recite the above phrases aloud nine times and then repeat mentally nine times. (5 minutes)

  1. Contemplate the following:
  • Physical sensation - caused by weather and diseases
  • Mental sensation - pain, pleasure, favourable and unfavourable situation
  • Emotional sensation - opposite thoughts-nature-interest

These sensations do affect me, but I must reduce their influence. If they become dominant, my powers will be blocked. The lesser I am influenced by these, the stronger my powers will become. So, developing tolerance is the key to success in my life. (10 minutes)

  1. Conclude the meditation with Mahaapraan Dhvani(2 minutes)

Title:  Who is a Jain Shravak?

Acharya MahaPragya


Sadhvi Vishrut Vibha

Publisher:  Adarsh Sahitya Vibhag, JVB
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. Anu
  2. Anu Preksha
  3. Anuvrat
  4. Arhat
  5. Arhat Vandana
  6. Aura
  7. Body
  8. Centre of Enlightenment
  9. Centre of Purity
  10. Consciousness
  11. Contemplation
  12. Dhruvayoga
  13. Dhvani
  14. Fearlessness
  15. Jyoti Kendra
  16. Kendra
  17. Maitri
  18. Meditation
  19. Pratikraman
  20. Preksha
  21. Preksha Meditation
  22. Shivir
  23. Shravak
  24. Shravaks
  25. Tattva
  26. Tolerance
  27. Upsampada
  28. Vandana
  29. Vishuddhi Kendra
  30. Yoga
  31. vrat
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