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Acharanga Bhasyam: Sūtras 39-61 : Non-Acquisitiveness And Detachment From The Sensual Pleasures

Published: 18.02.2011
Updated: 02.07.2015

5.39 āvaṃtī keāvaṃtī loyaṃsī apariggahāvaṃtī, eesu ceva apariggahāvaṃtῑ.

The persons endowed with the virtue of non-possessiveness are so on account of their non-clinging to the possessions.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 39

All those who are free from acquisitiveness are so only on account of their being free from the sense of 'mine'-ness with respect to worldly objects. It is possible to change the course of life only by accepting the truth of non-possessiveness. In the presence of clinging to the worldly things, the passions of violence and falsehood are difficult of eradication. Only those who do not accumulate fortune and have no clinging to it are capable of practicing non-possessiveness.

5.40 soccā vaī mehāvī, paṃḍiyāṇaṃ ṇisāmiyā. samiyāe[1] dhammo, āriehiṃ pavedite.

The Jinas have propounded the law of equality. Learning this law from the learned preceptor, the intelligent aspirant should appreciate the truth.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 40

The Jinas have propounded the law of equality. Having heard[2] the law from the learned preceptor, the intelligent monk should properly cultivate the law of equality.
The aspirations and ambitions disappear[3] in a person cultivating equality with respect to all creatures,[4] with respect to gain and loss,[5] pleasant and unpleasant situations. All virtues such as non-violence and the like are rooted in the virtue of equality.

Comprised by the virtue of equality are all the three types of equanimity,[6] namely, equanimity due to faith in the truth, due to learning of the categories of truth—soul, non-soul, etc. - and due to practice of the vows of non-violence etc.

5.41 jahettha mae saṃdhī jhosie, evamaṇṇattha saṃdhī dujjosie bhavati, tamhā bemi—ṇo ṇihejja vīriyaṃ.

The manner in which I combinedly practised the trinity of knowledge, faith and conduct is difficult to find elsewhere, and therefore I enjoin that you should not conceal your capacity to practise the discipline.

Bhāsyam Sūtra 41

'Juncture' (saṃdhi) means the hole. It is identical with psychic centre in the body. Or, the trinity of knowledge, faith and conduct is the spiritual juncture. Lord Mahāvīra himself addresses the disciples thus: the juncture that I discovered and followed through great exertion in the discipline of non-absolutism, non-possessiveness and equality is difficult to discover and follow in other disciplines that are infected by absolutism and perverse possessiveness. Therefore do I say: one should not stifle or suppress[7] the power of exertion. By treading the path infected with the perversity of possessiveness, one should not try to practise the aforesaid trinity and destroy his energy. On the other hand he should not conceal his energy in the practise of the trinity in the path endowed with non-possessiveness and equality.

The confirmation of this doctrine is available in the entire body of the ninth chapter.

5.42 je puvvuṭṭhāī, ṇo pacchā-ṇivāῑ je puvvuṭṭhāī, pacchā-ṇivāī. je ṇo puvvuṭṭhāī, ṇo pacchā-nivāī.

There are people who exert themselves and do never slide back. There are others who exert but slide back. There are others who neither exert nor slide back.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 42

All persons are not possessed of equal amount of energy on account of diversity in the transformations that they are susceptible of. Their diversity is exhibited here. There are people who are possessed of great energy and do not slide back after having manifested their energy and risen up. They follow the discipline for the whole life without break. There are again people of feeble energy, who rise up but fall down afterwards. They do not follow the discipline that they have adopted. There are again some people who have not the capacity to follow the law of non-violence. They neither rise up in the beginning nor fall down in the end. They live engaged in their household affairs for the whole life.[8]

5.43 sevi tārisae siyā, je pariṇṇāya logamaṇussio.

Like the householder verily is the monk who slides back to worldly life after having renounced it before.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 43

Even the monk resembles the householder, if, after having renounced the worldly life slides back to it. The monk has three characteristics: freedom from worldly ties, homelessness and depending on alms. The householder, on the contrary, has the three: incurring worldly bondage, domestic living and cooking food, all of which are due to possessiveness. Even the monk, if he has possessiveness, is susceptible of indulging in all these three activities of the householder. The like of demarcation between a monk and a householder is that the former is free of possessiveness, whereas the latter, even though robed as a monk, is a householder.

5.44 eyaṃ ṇiyāya muṇiṇā paveditaṃ - iha āṇākaṃkhī paṃḍie aṇihe, puvvāva- rarāyaṃ jayamāṇe, sayā sīlaṃ saṃpehāe, suṇiyā bhave akāme ajhaṃjhe.

Knowing this, the Lord has said, "The learned monk, initiated in the discipline of the Jina, should have faith in the commandment, should not be overwhelmed by passions, should engage in study and meditation in the first and last quarters of night, should be steadfast in the vows, and remain aloof from desires and quarrels."

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 44

Knowing the varieties of the aspirant's moods, the Lord said: "One should accept the commandment in the sermon of the Jina, keeping perfectly detached from the body and the sensual objects. The wise, that is, one who desists from sinful activities, should be uninfluenced by the sensual objects and passions,[9] being devoid of any affectionate bond. He keeps striving (for spiritual excellence) in the first and last quarters of the night."[10]

The expression "keeps striving"[11] stands for keeping awake in the practice of the discipline, self-introspection, abstinence from sensual objects, and the practice of the spiritual resolves. One should introspect one's moral restraint which has many shades of meaning according to the Cūrṇi : nature; eighteen thousand limbs of moral restraint; great vows; ecstacy; inhibition of the senses; abstinence from violence in thought, word and deed; subjugation of passions.[12]

Having listened to the discipline of non-possession which is most excellent virtue in the world,[13] one should be free from the lust and disputes. Free from the lust means free from desires and hankerings. Free from disputes means free from any controversy. When there is perfection in the practice of non-attachment, there is passification of dispute and anger automatically. The truth is that anger is rooted in sensual desire.

The present Sūtra gives seven fundamental principles for the stability of monkhood:

  1. Love for knowledge and scriptural instruction.
  2. Freedom from affectionate bond, that is, not succumbing to the sensual objects and passions.
  3. Spiritual striving at the first and last quarters of the night and cultivation of self-awareness.
  4. Contemplation on moral restraint such as observing the vows controlling the senses; steadfastness in thought, word and deed; subsiding anger, pride, deceitfulness and greed.
  5. Listening to the precepts on principles of spiritual discipline in life, such as knowledge, faith, good conduct etc.
  6. Abandonment of desires.
  7. Avoidance of disputes.

5.45 imeṇaṃ ceva jujjhāhi, kiṃ te jujjheṇa bajjhao?

Fight with your internal karma-body. Why should you engage in fight with external objects?

Bhāṣyaṃ Sutra 45

The disciples asked: "O Lord! in pursuance of the dictum "one should not conceal one's energy," we are applying our energy without the least concealment. But still then we are not able to uproot delusion. And, therefore, we desire to hear something else in order to be able to get what is the summum bonum in this world. In our mind there is a great curiosity for the attainment of the summum bonum. We are prepared to do whatever difficult task is necessary for its attainment. We can fight even with the lion, we can give up our body even'. Having heard so, the Lord replied: 'In accordance with the dictum "what is being done is done", what you have said has already been achieved by you. But one need not fight with the lion for attaining the summum bonum; what is needed is to fight with oneself. On this occasion the Lord explained the meaning of fighting with the self. You should fight with the gross body consisting of the sense and the mind an also with the karmic body. What will you gain by external fighting with the lion? But if you are prepared to give up our life for the sake of emancipation, then you should know that -

5.46 juddhārihaṃ khalu dullahaṃ.

Difficult indeed it is to get at the object worth the fight.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 46

'The object worth the fight' is the gross body in the form of human physique, which is difficult to get at. Therefore you should fight with it till the old age does not intervene, disease does not grow up, and the senses are not weakened.

5.47 jahettha kusalehiṃ pariṇṇā-vivege bhāsie.

In the context of fight, the Lord expounded the wisdom of comprehension and discrimination.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 47

In this context, the Lord has laid down the principles of wisdom of comprehension as well as the power of discrimination. The weapons called comprehension and discrimination are to be employed in the field of spiritual fight.[14] By this means the summum bonum will be realized in a special way. First of all, you should have a comprehensive knowledge of soul and body and the knowledge of their true nature. This is to be followed by discrimination. 'Discrimination' means freedom from the sense of 'mine'-ness. You should contemplate that this body is not mine. By means of such discrimination, that is, the knowledge of the separateness of soul and body, the predipositions of delusion will be destroyed. Delusion is augmented by the cooperation with the body that satisfies the involvement with the sensual and mental objects. The delusion wither along with the non-cooperation with the body. Therefore, you should practise discrimination between soul and body.

5.48 cue hu bāle gabbhāisu rajjai.

The ignorant aspirant who has fallen from the religious discipline finds himself entangled in the cycle of birth and death.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 48

The monk who falters even after attaining the very rare power of discrimination which is the summum bonum of this life, instead of engaging himself in the spiritual fight, falls down from the discipline and entangles[15] himself in the cycle of entering the womb and the like.[16] 'And the like' means birth, death and suffering.

5.49 assiṃ ceyaṃ pavvuccati, rūvaṃsi vā chaṇaṃsi vā.

In the discipline of the Jina, it is forcefully laid down that the person indulging into the material objects and acts of violence necessarily slides back from the spiritual path.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 49

In this sermon it is asserted that the person who finds interest in material objects and violence, falls down from the discipline and roams from birth to birth. 'Material objects' means the object of the eye, or the object of any other sense organs as well as all worldly things.[17]

5.50 se hu ege saṃviddhapahe muṇī, aṇṇahā logamuvehamāṇe.

Only the monk who looks at the world quite differently remains steadfast on his own path.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 50

A person attached to the worldly objects thinks only about the material objects as the most precious things in the world. A person addicted to violence regards violence alone as the solution of all problems. The approach of the sage is changed and consequently he looks at the world of sensible objects and the world of violence in a different way. He develops non-attachment to the material objects, and, appreciates them as impermanent and a source of suffering in the end. Similarly, he appreciates that violence is the root cause of all problems, and all suffering is due to violence. The person who has understood this truth is the sage who has trodden the path. The implication is that such person never slides back from the accepted path.

5.51 iti kamaṃ pariṇṇāya, savvaso seṇa hiṃsati. saṃjamati ṇo pagabbhati.

Perfectly knowing the nature of karma in this manner, he does not indulge in violence to any being. He controls his senses and does not allow them to go astray.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 51

In this way, having comprehended the nature of karma and the cause of karmic bondage, he does not indulge in any act of violence to any class of living beings. The basis of non-violence is self-restraint. Therefore, he restrains the activities of the senses and the mind. The root of self-restraint is shame (external and internal) or self-discipline. A person with shame (internal) does not commit any unworthy act even in privacy. He is never arrogant.

5.52 uvehamāṇo patteyaṃ sayaṃ.

The aspirant should closely comprehend that pleasure (and pain) are of the individual himself.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 52

The basic truth that pleasure and pain are concerned exclusively with the /individual himself has been expounded in different ways in this scripture.[18] The dictum that pleasurable feeling is individual's own renders support to the principles of non-violence and self-restraint.

5.53 vaṇṇāesi ṇārabhe kaṃcaṇaṃ savvaloe.

The monk should not perform anything in any field of life for the sake of ostentation.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 53

'Ostentation'[19] means reputation. In search of reputation, one should not indulge in anything in any field of life. As it has been said in the Daśavaikālika Sūtra (9.4.6): one should not undertake penance for the sake of fame, reputation, eulogy and praise.

'Ostentation' means beauty. One should not use emetic, purgative, enema (oil), or wash hands and feet for the purpose of beautification. 'Field of life' means the environment or the body.[20]

5.54 egappamuhe vidisappaiṇṇe, niwinnacārī arae payāsu.

Keeping the ultimate end in front, he should turn away from perverse direction, be disgusted with the world and detached from women.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 54

The aspirant should concentrate his mind exclusively on the self.[21] His mind or attention should be directed exclusively to the self, and not to anything else. The right faith, knowledge and conduct are the right directions; anything else is perverse direction, for instance, the absolutistic approach is a perverse view. The heretics' commandment supporting violence are the perverse directions of knowledge; the sensual objects and the passions are the perverse directions of the conduct. One should swimingly cross these perverse directions by one's own efforts. Such person should be endowed with the spirit of disgust. He should have this disgust in respect of the things of the world, one's own relations and also one's own body. One should not be enamoured of women.

5.55 se vasumam sava-samannāgaya-pannānenam appānenam akaranijjam pāvam kammam.

For the self-disciplined monk with all-comprehensive wisdom, all kinds of sinful acts are worthy not worth while.

Bhāsyam Sūtra 55

An evil act is unworthy of being committed by the self-restrained aspirant,[22] because of his all comprehensive wisdom. It is only the person in whom all-embracing or truth-embracing wisdom has arisen will consider all evil acts as unworthy of being perpetrated.

5.56 taṃ ṇo annesiṃ.

The aspirant should not pursue any evil act.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 56

A sinful activity is not worthy of being committed by the wise, and therefore one should not pursue[23] a sinful end. One should not even turn one's face towards it.

5.57 jaṃ sammaṃ ti pāsahā, taṃ moṇaṃ ti pāsahā. jaṃ moṇaṃ ti pāsahā, taṃ sammaṃ ti pāsahā.

Look, that which is the right view is monkhood; that which is monkhood is the right view.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 57

'Monkhood' is self-restraint. 'Right view' (sammaṃ) is right attitude. From the transcendental viewpoint, the self-restrained person alone is a person of right view.[24] Concomitance between right view and self-restraint has been demonstrated here. Here, by the word 'right view' both right knowledge and right attitude have been accepted. It has also been stated in the Cūrṇi that where there is right attitude, there is necessarily the right knowledge, and where there is right knowledge there is necessarily the right attitude.[25] Therefore both of them are right view.

5.58 ṇa imaṃ sakkaṃ siḍhilehiṃ addijjamāṇehiṃ guṇāsāehiṃ vaṃkasa-māyārehiṃ pamattehiṃ gāramāvasaṃtehiṃ.

This knowledge is not possible for the householders of weak forbearance, saturated with affection, addicted to sensual objects, of deceitful conduct, and non-vigilant.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 58

The monkhood is not possible for them who are unsteady in penance and self-restraint, and are not possessed of forbearance; and also for the persons who are drenched in affection, that is, attached to their relations and the outfits; those who relish the sensual objects such as sound and the like, or consider them pleasurable; those who are of crooked conduct and do not repent for the unseemly acts done by them; those who are non-vigilant, that is, not enthusiastic about the religious conduct; those who lead the householder's life; those who think that there is no other station of life like the householder's.

The monkhood is possible only for those who are endowed with forbearance, bereft of possessions, abstain from sensual objects, freed from croockedness and non-vigilance, and capable of renouncing the householder's life.

5.59 muṇī moṇaṃ samāyāe, dhuṇe kamma-sarīragaṃ.

Having attained this knowledge, the monk should shake off his karma- body.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 59

See the Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtras 2.163-165.

5.60 paṃtaṃ lūhaṃ sevaṃti, vīrā samattadaṃsiṇo.

The courageous monk cultivating the view of equality live on tasteless and rough food.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 60

Restraining consumption of food is a means to shaking off the karma-body. Everybody is not capable of such restraint. Only the heroic one, on account of their sufficient psychic power of stamina can do so. A person without the attitude of equality to the agreeable and disagreeable is also unable to do so. The equally disposed people alone can succeed in such restraint and enjoy the stale, sapless food. In the Cūrṇi, the attitude of equality has been substituted by 'right vision'. The persons with wrong vision not are capable of restraining their food habit.

5.61 esa ohaṃtare muṇī, tiṇṇe mutte virae viyāhie. - tti bemi.

Such monk is designated as one who has crossed the flood of birth and death, has passed over, is liberated and detached. - Thus do Isay.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 61

The monk described in these Sutras (160-164) is said to have crossed the stream of life, gone to the other shore, liberated, and free from attachment.
The crosser of the stream is so called because he has crossed the stream of the habits and instincts produced by karma or the cycle of worldly life.


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Jain Vishwa Bharati

Ladnun- 341 306 (Raj.) India © Jain Vishva Bharti

ISBNS 1-7195-74-4

First Edition:2001

Courtesy :
Shree Chhotulal Sethia Charitable Trust Sethia House, 23/24,
Radha Bazar Street, Kolkata-700 001 (INDIA)

Printed by:
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Delhi (INDIA)

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anger
  2. Body
  3. Contemplation
  4. Cooperation
  5. Cūrṇi
  6. Daśavaikālika
  7. Daśavaikālika Sūtra
  8. Dhammo
  9. Discipline
  10. Ekendriya
  11. Environment
  12. Equanimity
  13. Greed
  14. Jina
  15. Karma
  16. Karma Body
  17. Karmic Body
  18. Mahāvīra
  19. Meditation
  20. Muni
  21. Non-absolutism
  22. Non-violence
  23. Pride
  24. Psychic Centre
  25. Samatā
  26. Sanskrit
  27. Soul
  28. Sutra
  29. Sūtra
  30. Violence
  31. Vṛtti
  32. Ācārāṅga
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