Vratapratima, Vratapratimā, Vrata-pratima: 2 definitions

Introduction:

Vratapratima 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»] — Vratapratima in Jainism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism

Vratapratimā (व्रतप्रतिमा) or simply Vrata represents the second of eleven pratimā (stages) laid down for Jain laymen. Vratapratimā refers to “keeping up the twelve vows and the extra vow of Sallekhanā.” according to J. L. Jaini in his “outlines of Jainism” (pp. 67-70).

These pratimās (e.g., vrata-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

Vratapratimā (व्रतप्रतिमा) refers to “the stage of taking the vows” and represents the second of eleven pratimās (stages of spiritual progress) according to Śvetāmbara, Digambara and Āvaśyakacūrṇi.—This in the Pañcāśaka is described as the assumption and observance of the vratas and the avoidance of their aticāras and the comprehension that the essence of the law is compassion. Abhayadeva makes it plain that here the aṇuvratas are intended.

Samantabhadra, however, states unambiguously that this pratimā implies also the observance of the guṇa-vratas and śikṣā-vratas, and from the statements of other ācāryas this may be taken as the generally accepted Digambara view. Freedom from the three śalyas is, of course, a prerequisite for the taking of the vows.

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., vrata-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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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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