Kayotsargapratima, Kāyotsargapratimā, Kayotsarga-pratima: 2 definitions


Kayotsargapratima 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.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Kayotsargapratima in Jainism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Kāyotsargapratimā (कायोत्सर्गप्रतिमा) or simply Kāyotsarga represents the sixth of eleven pratimā (stages) laid down for Jain laymen. Kāyotsargapratimā refers to “abstaining from food after sunset” according to J. L. Jaini in his “outlines of Jainism” (pp. 67-70). It is also known as Rātribhuktatyāgapratimā.

These pratimās (e.g., kāyotsarga-pratimā) form a series of duties and performances, the standard and duration of which rises periodically and which finally culminates in an attitude resembling monkhood. Thus the pratimās rise by degrees and every stage includes all the virtues practised in those preceeding it. The conception of eleven pratimās appears to be the best way of exhibiting the rules of conduct prescribved for the Jaina laymen.

Source: archive.org: Jaina Yoga

Kāyotsargapratima (कायोत्सर्गप्रतिम) refers to “the stage of continence by day” and represents the fifth of eleven pratimās (stages of spiritual progress) according to Śvetāmbara. In Digambara, the fifth pratimā is known as sacitta-tyāga and in Āvaśyakacūrṇi as rātri-bhojana-parijñā.—According to Abhayadeva the requirements of this pratimā are that on the parvan days when fasting a man should spend the whole night in the kāyotsarga posture, steadfast in heart and conscious of his aim, and that at other times he should avoid sexual congress by day and “make only moderate use” of his wife by night. He should also, in the words of the Pañcāśaka, be vikaṭa-bhojin (explained as ‘refraining from night eating’).

Amongst the Digambaras Kārttikeya and Samantabhadra (followed by Rājamalla) interpret this pratimā to mean the refusal to take food by night. The existence of this view is noted by Āśādhara but he, with Cāmuṇḍarāya, Somadeva, Amitagati, and Vasunandin (and also Medhāvin and Vāmadeva), prefers to understand by it the abstinence from sexual relations during the day. Āśādhara indeed would seem to extend this interdiction at this stage to cover all intercourse unless during the ṛtu and expressly for the procreation of children.

The word pratimā means a statue and is used in another specifcally Jaina sense to designate the kāyotsara. The medieval ācāryas, however, quite plainly conceive of the pratimās (e.g., poṣadha-pratimā) as performing a regular progressing series in Amitagati’s words, a sopāna-mārga, a ladder on each rung of which the aspirant layman is to rest for a number of months proportionate to its place on the list before he is fit to supplement and reinforce his acheivement by the practice of the succeeding stage.

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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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