Acharanga Bhasyam: Sūtras 43-53 : The Relinquishment Of Clothes

Published: 23.05.2011
Updated: 02.07.2015

8.43 je bhikkhū tihiṃ vatthehiṃ parivusite pāya-cautthehiṃ, tassa ṇaṃ ṇo evaṃ bhavati - cautthaṃ vatthaṃ jāissāmi.

The monk who abides by the tradition of three pieces of cloth and a bowl does not think: I shall beg for a fourth piece of cloth.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 43

In the present chapter, four classes of ascetics have been mentioned in connection with the clothing—with three or two or one or no clothing.[1] The acceptance of clothing was twofold: general and exceptional. An ascetic engaged in intensive penance uses three pieces of clothing. Here, the ancient tradition is to be followed.[2] A monk, with three clothings, is either the practiser of Jina's discipline or elder's discipline. But the monk with two pieces of clothing is necessarily the observer of Jina's discipline or the practiser of the discipline of purification through service, or observer of a time-bound course or engaged in intensive penance.[3]

The monk with one piece of clothing is stronger, possessed of strong physical structure in comparison with the monks with three or two pieces of clothings.

The desire for fourth cloth is incidental—seasonal. A true ascetic never desires for a fourth piece.

8.44 se ahesaṇijjāiṃ vatthāiṃ jāejjā.

The monk should beg for clothing as acceptable in his respective code of conduct.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 44

Winter is set in. But the monk has not the three pieces of clothings. Under such circumstances, the observers of the Jina's discipline or the discipline of purification through service and so on should beg as per prescribed rules. There are four kinds of begging of clothing as mentioned above.[4]

8.45 ahāpariggahiyāiṃ vatthāiṃ dhārejjā.

He should put on clothes as obtained as alms, (without altering its size).

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 45

This Sūtra is available in the Āyāraculā with slight verbal modification. The implication of this Sūtra is being cleared in the next Sūtra.[5] Washing is not allowed for embellishment and so it has been said that the clothing should be worn as it is obtained.

8.46 ṇo dhoejjā, ṇo raejjā, ṇo dhoya-rattāiṃ vatthāiṃ dhārejjā.

The monk should neither wash nor dye the clothes, nor should he wear what has been washed and dyed.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 46

The ascetics engaged in Jina's discipline and the like should not wash the clothes nor should they dye them with ochre or other kinds of colours.[6] The word 'washed-dyed', according to Cūrṇi, means what has been washed and then dyed, that is, after washing away the unwanted colour it is dyed in another colour. Just like the unwashed and undyed, what has not been embellished is to be understood.[7]

8.47 apaliuṃcamāṇe gāmaṃtaresu.

While wandering from village to village, he should not try to hide his garments.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 47

The ascetic wears clothings that are disposable, and so he would be able to go to another village without concealing them. He is not subject to any fear from the thieves and the like.

8.48 omacelie.

He uses very ordinary and meagre clothings.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 48

The ascetics wears meagre clothings in respect of number, length and cost.[8]

8.49 eyaṃ khu vatthadhāñssa sāmaggiyaṃ.

These are the whole outfits of clad-monks.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 49

It is obvious.

8.50 aha puṇa evaṃ jāṇejjā—uvāikkaṃte khalu hemaṃte, gimhe paḍivanne, ahāparijuṇṇāiṃ vatthāiṃ pariṭṭhavejjā, ahāparijuṇṇāiṃ vatthāiṃ pariṭṭhavettā -

8.51 aduvā saṃtaruttare.

(50,51) When the monk finds that winter has passed away and summer has set in, he should discard his tattered and used up clothes and dispose them in the prescribed way. Or while disposing them, he may keep an upper and inner garments.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtras 50,51

Here the old costum is[9] - on the advent of the summer, that is the month of Caitra (April) and Vaiśākha (May), he should discard all the worn-out clothings; if they are not suitable for use in the next winter then he discards them. Having discarded the worn-out clothings, he remains naked for the next eight months. However, if he finds that they are difficult to get, or they will not be available at all, in that case he should dispose off what is worn out, should keep the rest but should not wear them.

If calculated on the basis of three seasons (in a year), the month of Caitra would fall under the summer season. Here the ancient tradition is - if there is cold climate or ice-fall in the month of Caitra, for example, in the Golla country, he should have upper and under clothings, that is, one underwear and the other overwear.[10]

In the Vṛtti the word upper and under has been explained in a different way - 'or, if on account of the nature of the locality and the like if there is icy-wind, he should have upper and under clothing in order to guage his own power of endurance or measuring the intensity of cold. He sometimes covers his body with them, or sometimes keep them aside (without wearing them). But he does not dispose of them in expectation of cold weather. Or he should be a practiser of meagre clothing, because he has given up one of the three clothings.[11]

8.52 aduvā egasāḍe.

Or he should wear only one piece of cloth.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 52

Or, if two pieces of cloth are completely worn out, and one piece is intact, then he should dispose off two worn out pieces and wear only one piece of cloth. Here, the opinion of the Cūrni is as follows - he now possesses one overwear, and so he is an ascetic with one overwear only, as it is said he is possessed of one rapper, otherwise even one underwear will not be acceptable to him, what to speak of an overwear.[12]

8.53 aduvā acele.

Or he should be unclad.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 53

Or, when the winter season is completely over, he becomes naked. The implication is that he should not possess any clothing without necessity. There are three reasons mentioned in the Sthānāṅga for clothing - bashfulness, to avoid people's disgust and enduring hardships.[13]

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Sources

Publishers:
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:
Shree Vardhaman Press
Delhi (INDIA)

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Cūrṇi
  3. Discipline
  4. Fear
  5. Sūtra
  6. Vṛtti
  7. Ācārāṅga
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