Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

by Helen M. Johnson | 1931 | 742,503 words

This is the English translation of the Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Charita (literally “The lives of the sixty-three illustrious People”), a Sanskrit epic poem written by Hemachandra in the twelfth century. The work relates the history and legends of important figures in the Jain faith. These 63 persons include: the twenty four tirthankaras , the t...

The six daily duties

Icchāmithyākaraṇādiyogeṣvāvaśyakeṣu. The Āva. p. 161 gives this sthānaka as āvaśyaka only, so it is surely a noun here and not an adjective.

The ‘daily duties’ are 6, defined in the Anuyog. (58, p. 43) as follows:

1) sāmāyika, the avoidance of injury to living creatures, etc., and cessation of all censurable activity. This, however, does not make clear the entire field of sāmāyika. C. R. Jam, Key of Knowledge, p. 365 ff, says: “The sāmāyika consists in an endeavor to refrain from the commission of all kinds of sin for a certain period of time, usually an antaramuhūrta (about 48 minutes) every day. During this period one should remain cheerful and engaged in subduing the element of mental disturbance arising from personal likes and dislikes, and should dissociate oneself, in one’s mind, from all kinds of interests and undertakings of which our worldly personality is made up. The most valuable gain from sāmāyika is the cultivation of an ever-growing feeling of equanimity, that well-balanced state of mental quietude and serenity which is the foremost attribute of divinity........

The Sāmāyika consists in

  1. repenting for the faults committed in the past,
  2. resolving to abstain from particular sins in future,
  3. renunciation of personal likes and dislikes,
  4. praise of Tīrthaṅkaras,
  5. devotion to a particular Tīrthaṅkara,
  6. withdrawal of attention from the body, and its being directed towards the souls.”

2) caturviṃśatistava, praise of the twenty-four Arhats;

3) vandanā, homage to those having the mūla- and uttaraguṇas;

4) pratīkramana, repentance for any fault committed;

5), kāyotsarga, cure of spiritual faults (by meditation);

6) pratyākhyāna, determination to avoid faults in future.

The 10 sāmācarī (practices of sādhus)

Icchāmithyākaraṇa belong to the 10 sāmācarī, practices of sādhus. They are given in Uttar. 26. 2-7. Anuyog. 118. Pravac. 760-67. Sth. 749, p. 500. As always, there are some variations, but in general they agree. I give the list as taken from the Sth. by Hoernle, Uv. n. 121, with additions and corrections.

1. Icchā, ‘acting voluntarily’; i.e., if any one wishes another to do anything for him, he is not to put any pressure on him; it may only be accepted, if done voluntarily; this especially applies to a Sādhu wishing help from an inferior.

2. Micchā (mithyā), ‘declaring an act to be false’; i.e., if a Sādhu be betrayed into doing any act inconsistent with his profession, he is to own it in his heart to be false or wrong; i.e., he is to express repentance (paścāttāpakāra).

3. Tahakkāra (tathākāra), ‘expressing acquiescence’ or ‘acceptance’; e.g., if a guru be asked any question, his reply is to be accepted as true and correct. (This also applies further to his sermons, etc.)

4. Āvassitā (āvaśyakī), ‘acting unavoidably’; e.g., if a Sādhu, who should never unnecessarily come out of his shelter (upāśraya), finds it necessary to leave it, he should, on coming out, say, “It is necessary.”

5. Nisīhitā (naiṣedhikī), ‘warding off other business’; i.e., avoidance of anything that would interrupt his concentration. When he goes to the temple, he says ‘nisīhi’ three times; when he leaves he says ‘avasīhi’; when he returns to his shelter, he again says ‘nisīhi.’ ‘Avasīhi’ is the reverse of ‘nisīhi,’; he is to engage in any necessary work while outside. He says the words three times with reference to mind, speech, and body.

6. Āpucchaṇā (āpṛcchanā), ‘consulting’ or ‘conferring’; i.e., if there is any work to be done, one should consult with those who have a right to be asked; e.g., on going to a Jain temple, the guru should be asked.

7. Paḍipucchā (pratipṛcchā), ‘giving notice’; i.e., even in the case of a previously given general permission or of a previous consultation, when the actual moment of action arrives, notice of doing it should again be given. (To this should be added—that īf permission was refused when he first asked, he must ask again, if the business is very urgent,) The Uttar, gives quite a different explanation. In the text itself, paḍipucchaṇa is explained as parakaraṇe, in distinction from āpucchaṇa, which is sayaṃkaraṇe. In the commentary the more usual explanation is also given.

8. Chandaṇā (chandanā), ‘invitation’; e.g., if a Sādhu returns from begging food, he is to invite the other Sādhus, who remained at home, to share his meal.

9. Nimantaṇā (nimantraṇā), ‘making an offer’; e.g., if a Sādhu has no food for himself, he is, on going to beg, to ask the other Sādhus whether he may bring some for them. The Uttar. again has a variation. Here it substitutes abbhuṭṭhana (abhyutthana) which it explains as gurupūjā in the text. The com. interprets it also as equal to nimantraṇā.

10. Uvasampayā (upasampat), ‘receiving initiation’; i.e., if any one goes to an Ācārya to receive from him initiation or further instruction in matters of knowledge, faith, and conduct, he is to acknowledge himself as his disciple (śiṣya).

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