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Abstract Thinking: [22.05] - Anupreksha Of Secularism - Sadhana And Sect

Published: 30.05.2007
Updated: 06.08.2008

How are sadhana and sect related? This question is quite intricate. The sects originally came into being with a view to helping the sadhaks in their sadhana. In the course of time, sectarian stubbornness increased while the aspect of sadhana grew secondary. The tendency of one sect to show itself superior to other sects became prominent. Communal bigotry sowed the seeds of enmity. Religion, which earlier filled the common people with abundant love, now become the cause of division and conflict. Today the minds of the people are again becoming enlightened. In these circumstances, it is desirable that the sects pay attention to the chief purpose behind their creation. They should be helpful in the sadhak's sadhana, not obstruct it. Sadhana should occupy the first place, the sect being secondary. Just as the purpose of the boat is fulfilled when it takes a man across the river to the other bank, similarly, a sect fulfils its function when it helps a sadhak to reach a particular stage of sadhana. Communal or sectarian prejudices have not allowed sadhana to grow concentrated and luminous, nor, in the absence of concentrated sadhana, have the sadhaks been able to reach their goal.

Acharya Bhikshu's instinct for the exploration of truth was very strong. Before the truth, he grew very humble and modest. That is why he was altogether free from any kind of stubbornness. He did not consider his own traditions as being ultimate truths. He had faith in the future. Therefore, he left it to the future Acharyas to change and modify the norms of conduct. His own penance-purified routine, righteous thinking and behaviour, his goodwill, his inclination to give more importance to quality than mere quantity, his dedication to discipline, etc. created such an environment that for thousands and thousands of people his sayings came to be looked upon as divine utterances.

Acharya Bhikshu laid so great a stress on service and assurance of life-subsistence that an individual, even after surrendering his all at the altar of prescribed norms, does not in any way feel constrained or experience any difficulty.

Assurance of life-subsistence by the Order and total self-surrender on the part of the member-these two symbolize the uniqueness of Terapanth.
It is our good fortune that from the very beginning we have been free from communal bigotry. Till today, Terapanth has never been in vain repudiation.

"In the path of self-purification there is no room for attachment to a sect." This pronouncement is the result of an inner inspiration. The principles underlying Communal harmony and unity have been laid down on that basis. The Anuvrat Movement is a mighty demonstration thereof.
  • Abstract Thinking
    by Acharya Mahaprajna, © 1988
  • Edited by  Muni Dulheraj
  • Translated by Muni Mahendra Kumar
  • Published by Jain Vishva Barati
  • Edition 1999 compiled by Samani Stith Pragya

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Bhikshu
  3. Acharyas
  4. Anuvrat
  5. Anuvrat Movement
  6. Bhikshu
  7. Communal Harmony
  8. Discipline
  9. Environment
  10. Sadhak
  11. Sadhaks
  12. Sadhana
  13. Terapanth
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