I And Mine: [02.18] - A Religious Revolution - Arjava or Sincerity

Published: 19.11.2005
Updated: 02.07.2015

Gautam said, 'Lord! What does a man gain by sincerity?'

Lord Mahavira said, 'Gautam! By sincerity a man gains physical, mental and linguistic straightforwardness, and harmonious tendency, i.e., congruence of speech and action.'

Arjava means sincerity and sincerity is like a lighthouse that can, be seen everywhere. Lord Mahavira said, 'Purity is earned by a man who is sincere and straightforward.' An insincere person can never be pure in heart. Children have a sincere heart that is why everyone loves them. As we grow and gain in wisdom, layers start covering our mind.

These layers consist of ignorance, doubt and deception.

We do not try to understand others and, therefore, we are not sincere towards them. Further, we incorrectly want to take advantage of others, which too prevents us from being sincere towards them, Had there been no ignorance, doubt and insincerity in this world, people would have loved one another and there would have been no distance between one man and another, It would not have been a divided humanity.

A Sanskrit poet says;

The needle is straight and so joins two (pieces) together and makes them one.

On the other hand a pair of scissors is crooked and so it severs and cuts one (piece) into two.

Sincerity creates bonds of love between hearts while deception or insincerity acts like a pair of scissors and tears hearts asunder.

Those who have written on the science of polity say,
‘A man should not be straightforward. You should know that the trees, which are straight, are cut down and those, which are warped and twisted, are not cut down.'
This politic sentence has served to extinguish the natural light of the human heart. I want to ask you, 'Do you like a man with a crooked body? Do you believe a person who does not talk in a straightforward way? Do you like a person who behaves insincerely with you? Do you like someone who is crooked at heart?'

All these questions will receive negative answers, which means you do not like them. Then how can it be conceded that we should not be straightforward? People would not have been afraid of each other if everyone' s heart were like an open book. Today people are afraid of one another because they harbour in their hearts secrecy, circumlocution, lack of clarity and darkness.

Let us not be such simpletons as not to register the reality around us. But let us also not be so dishonest and fraudulent that we pass on the moral filth of our hearts to others.
Let us be sincere - alert to the environment around us, and yet free from malice.
A person who is sincere cannot be deceived.
Only that person is deceived whose heart is impure.

Once an old woman was going somewhere. She had a bundle on her head. A young man was travelling in the same direction. His compassion was roused. He said to the woman, 'Grandma! Let me carry the bundle for some time. That would give you some relief.' The old woman was convinced of his sincerity and handed over the bundle to him. After some time she took it back. The young man' s heart changed. He thought, 'I had the bundle with me earlier. What could this old woman have done if I had run away with it?' He once again asked the old woman to let him carry the bundle. She refused to part with it. When he insisted on her giving it to him, she said, 'Now I will not give it to you.' He said; "Grandma! Why do you refuse to give it now?' She replied, ‘Son! I win not part with it now.The voice you heard I heard too.

Sincerity is that light of the mind in which nothing remains unclear. Insincerity is that darkness of the mind in which a man strays away from the right path and strays away forever.

  • I And Mine by Acharya Mahaprajna
  • Edited by Muni Dulahraj ji
  • Translated by R.P. Bhatnagar, formerly Prof. Dept. of English at Jaipur University
  • Published by Jain Vishva Bharati Institute, Ladnun, India, 1st Edition, 1995

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  1. Arjava
  2. Body
  3. Environment
  4. Mahavira
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