Food: 1 definition


Food means something in Jainism, Prakrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Food is under certain conditions suitable for ascetics, according to chapter 1.1 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra (“lives of the 63 illustrious persons”): a Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three important persons in Jainism. Accordingly, “[...] The Ācārya [Dharmaghoṣa] said [to Dhana], ‘Food, etc., which has not been made nor caused to be made, nor intended (for them) is suitable for ascetics. Water too that has come from tanks, wells, ponds, etc., is prohibited unless it is purified by some means, according to the teaching of the Jinas, O caravan-chief’.”

Also, the Sūri [Dharmaghoṣa] said, “[...] Food, etc., that has not been made, nor caused to be made, and is free from life, is suitable for us”. Dhana said, “I shall give to the sādhus only that which is suitable”; bowed, and went to his own abode. Then just behind him came two Sādhus, and by chance there was nothing, food, drink, etc., suitable for them. Searching here and there, the merchant himself saw some fresh ghee, pure as his own heart. “Here is something suitable”, the caravan-chief said. Saying, “I accept it”, the Sādhu held out his dish. Thinking, “I am blessed, I have done my duty, I am virtuous”, with the hair on his body erect from pleasure, he himself gave the ghee to the sādhu. After the gift of ghee had been made, Dhana paid homage to the Munis, making grow his bulb of merit, as it were, with the water of the tears of joy. They bestowed ‘dharmalābha’, equal to a perfect charm for the accomplishing of all happiness, and went to their retreat. At that time, by the power of his gift the seed of the tree of mokṣa, the seed of enlightenment, difficult to gain, was acquired by the merchant.

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context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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