Jainism and Patanjali Yoga (Comparative Study)

by Deepak bagadia | 2016 | 109,819 words

This page relates ‘Internal Austerities (Tapas)’ of the study dealing with the Spiritual Practices of Jainism and Patanjali Yoga in the context of ancient Indian Philosophy (in Sanskrit: Darshana), including extracts from the Yogasutra and the Tattvartha-Sutra. The system of Yoga offers techniques which are scientifically designed for the spiritual development of an individual. Jainism offers ethicical principles and meditation practices to assist with spiritual development.

Internal Austerities (Tapas)

Internal Tapa includes six types of austerities[1]. They are as under:—a) Prayascitta (repentance, atonement) b) Vinaya (modesty) c) Veyavaccha (service to all monks) d) svadhyaya (self-study) e) dhyana (meditation) and f) kausagga (Japa meditation) are internal Tapa as explained under:

a) Repentance

Repentance (Prayaschitta) is attonement for our indulgence in wrong activities or evil tendencies. The sense of remorse should enable one to avoid the recurrence of such indulgences. Nine categories of repentances are mentioned in Tattvarthasautra[2] namely Alochan (confession), Pratikaman (recalling the lapses with a view to attoning), Tadubhay (Confession and attonement), Vivek (discriminating wisdom), Vyutsarga (giving up physical and mental involvement), Tapa (austerities), Chhed (reduction in proportion and delay in initiation of faults), parihara (remaining in a quarantine for a specific period), Upasthapan (re-adoption of vows).

b) Reverence

Reverence (Vinay) means modesty, humility and respect for others. With this egoless attitude, one may feel inclined to develop the wholesome attributes by noticing the virtues of others which leads one to increasingly higher spiritual level.

c) Rendering selfless service

Rendering selfless service (Veyavachcham):[3] Respectful service to the head (acarya), the preceptor, the ascetic, the disciple, the ailing ascetic, the congregation of aged saints, the congregation of disciples of a common teacher, the congregation of the four orders (ascetic, nuns, laymen and laywomen), the long-standing ascetic and the ascetic of high reputation are the ten kinds of service. A spiritual aspirant

knows that all living beings have the same type of soul. So, he needs to develop regards for others, thus a will to serve others without expecting in return.

d) Self-study

Self-study (Svadhyay): Svadhyaya or “self study” is of great importance in Jainism. The study of self is conducted to learn and to know the true nature of the soul. Study of those scriptures and meditation which has potential of uplifting self towards liberation is Svadhyay.

The Bhasya of the AgamaSthanamga Sutra” says:

shobhanam amaryadaya adhyayan srutesyadhikamanusaranam swadhayah

Svadhyaya is methodological, systematic study and implementation with full of awareness and control of what is heard (srut). It is also self-study or study of self, soul i.e.

Svasyah atmannah adhyayanam svadhyayah

When the closest disciple Gautam asks Lord Mahavira,

Sahajjanam bhante jive ki janayi?”

It means:

“What one gains out of Svadhyaya?

Mahavira replies,

Sajjanam nanavarnijja kammam khaveh

It means:

“All accumulated Jnanavarniya karma can be destroyed instantly with Svadhyaya.”

The proper form of words could be understood and explained in the right meaning with Svadhyaya. His words are more effective and influencial, who is true practitioner of Svadhyaya.

Dasavaikalika sutra explains that monks with pure mind can wash out all past bondages as gold and silver get purified by heating them in fire if they do Svadhyaya and meditation with full concentration.

e) Renunciation of body

Renunciation of body (Vyutsarga, Kayotsarga) means to give up or renounce from the body. Giving up external and internal attachments are two types of renunciations.[4]

f) Dhyana

Dhyana is meditation. Tattvarthasutra refers to concentration on one subject by a person of a very strong physique which can extend upto one prahar or 48 minutes[5].

The Acaramga Sutra based on teachings of Lord Mahavira dating back to 500B.C., describes Jain meditation and spiritual practices elaborately and in minute detail of philosophy. The Sutraktiamga, Bhagavati and Sthanamg also give directions on contemplation, Yogasana, meditation and other practices. Aupapattika has organised presentation of Tapoyoga which is a kind of right conduct.

Footnotes and references:


prāyaścivinaya vaiyā vṛttyasvādhyāya vyutsargadhyānānyuttaram | T.S. 9.20


ālocanapratikramaṇatadubhaya vivekavyutasargatapaśchedaparihāropasthapanāḥ | T.S. 9.22


ācāryopādhyāya tapasviśaikṣa glānagaṇa kula saṃgha sādhu manojñānām | Tattvartha-sutra 9.24


bāhyābhyantaropadhyoḥ | Tattvartha-sutra 9.26


uttamasaṃhananasyaikāgracintānirodho dhyānamāntarmuhūrtāt | Tattvartha-sutra 9.27

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