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I And Mine: [02.13] - A Religious Revolution - Moral Restraints and Spiritual Observances

Published: 14.11.2005
Updated: 06.08.2008

Fences are built to protect cultivated fields and embankments are built to protect water reservoirs. Fences are useful when there is a rich harvest and embankments are useful only when water is flooding and billowing. For a field without any cultivation the presence or absence of fences is irrelevant. Likewise, if the dam has no water, how does it matter whether it has embankments or not? Fences and embankments have no intrinsic usefulness. They acquire usefulness only when there are cultivated fields and water filled dams. Spiritual observances also have utility only when moral restraints are there. There are five moral restraints - non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, all round self-control and nonpossession.

Whenever the curtain is rung down on moral restraints and spiritual observances are put on the centre stage, religion loses its lustre. Both religion and its followers add lustre to themselves when the first place is given to moral restraints and the second place to spiritual observances.

Religion seems to be losing its vigour today because it is losing imperative presence of moral restraints and making spiritual observances imperative. An Acharya has put it succinctly thus:

Practise moral restraints daily and resort to spiritual observances only now and then. Both kinds of people stray from the right path­ - those who do not practise moral restraints daily and those who practise only religious observances. The formula for finding the right equation of this incongruous position of morality is a coordinated and harmonious practice of moral restraints and spiritual observances.
  • 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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