Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Sermon on the kashayas which is the twenty-first part of chapter V of the English translation of the Shri Dharmanatha-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Shri Dharmanatha in jainism is one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 21: Sermon on the kaṣāyas

After this hymn of praise, Śakra, Keśava, and Sīrin became silent, and the Blessed Dharmanātha delivered a sermon.

“Emancipation (mokṣa) is the chief of the four objects of existence and the source of it is self-concentration (yoga), and it (yoga) is the three jewels having the form of jnana, śraddhāna, and caritra. Understanding in accordance with the Principles is jñāna; right-belief is saṃyakśraddhā; and abandonment of all censurable activities is caritra. The Soul alone—or rather, the right-belief, knowledge, and conduct of a yati, since it (the soul) really consists of them—rules the body. If anyone knows the soul in himself by himself because of the freedom from delusion, that itself is his right-conduct, -knowledge, and -belief. The pain arising from the ignorance of soul is destroyed by knowledge of the soul; it can not be destroyed by penance even by persons lacking in comprehension of the soul. This very soul, consisting of pure thought, has a body from union with karma, but may become perfect soul, spotless, having its karma consumed by the fire of meditation. This same soul, overcome by passions and the senses is saṃsāra (worldly existence); and wise men call the very same, when it overcomes the passions and senses, mokṣa (emancipation).

Creatures’ passions are four-fold: anger (krodha), conceit (māna), deceit (māyā), and greed (lobha); and each of them is divided into sañjvalana, et cetera.[1] Sañjvalana (perfect conduct-preventing) lasts for two weeks; pratyākhyāna (total vow-preventing) lasts for four months; apratyākhyāna (partial vow-preventing) for a year; and anantānubandhaka (eternal) for a birth.[2] They are destructive of freedom from passions, of being an ascetic, of being a layman, and of right-belief, respectively. They produce births as gods, humans, animals, and hell-inhabitants, respectively.


Of these, anger causes pain, anger is the cause of hostility, anger is the path to an evil birth, anger is a bar to tranquillity and happiness. First, when it is produced, anger burns its own abode, like a fire. Afterwards, it does or does not burn other things. Penance acquired by a crore of pūrvas less eight years is consumed immediately by the fire of anger. Water in the form of tranquillity, collected by many meritorious acts, instantly becomes unfit for use from contact with the poison of anger. The smoke of anger, streaming forth, blackens deeply the bright pattern of good-conduct which possesses variegated threads of the virtues. The juice of tranquillity which is caught with a cup made from the śamī-leaf of asceticism, why is it spilled by anger which resembles a cup made from a vegetable-leaf?[3] When this anger increases, what does it not do that should not be done? Dvārakā is future fuel for the fire of Dvaipāyana’s anger.[4] Whatever accomplishment there may be on the part of an angry person does not have anger as its cause, but is the result of strong karma acquired in another birth. Alas! Alas! People produce anger in their bodies for the ruin of themselves in both worlds and for the destruction of their own and others’ purposes. Look! Blind with anger, pitiless, they strike down father, mother, teacher, friend, brother, wives, and even themselves. Therefore, forbearance alone, the water-channel in the garden of self-control, must be resorted to by the pure-souled for the quick extinction of the fire of anger.

How can anger against evil-doers be prevented? It can be prevented by great nobility, or by this reflection: ‘If someone wishes to injure me, having consented to this evil on his own part—who, even a fool, would be angry at him destroyed by his own act?’ If you have the thought, ‘I am angry at evil-doers,’ then why are you not angry at your own action, the cause of pain? A dog bites a clod, disregarding the thrower of the clod; disregarding the arrow, a lion attacks the thrower of the arrow. Why should I, disregarding the cruel deeds by which an enemy is impelled to be angry with me, be angry at the enemy and resort to a wealth of abuse?


The future Arhat Mahāvīra will go to the Mlecchas for forbearance, as he does not wish at all to bear forbearance that has come without effort. If those who are capable of giving protection against the destruction of the three worlds have resorted to forbearance, is not forbearance possible to you with the nature of a plantain?[5] Why did you not acquire such merit that no one injures you? Now, grieving over your own negligence, agree to forbearance.

There is no difference between an ascetic blind with anger and a cruel outcaste. So, attain a stage of pure thought, having given up anger. A great sage penetrated by anger and Kūragaḍḍuka[6] free from anger—Kūragaḍḍuka will be praised by the gods, ignoring the sage. Vexed by the cruel weapons of speech, one should reflect, ‘If this is true, why anger? If false, it is spoken by a crazy man.’ If another person has approached for the purpose of injury, one should laugh, astonished. ‘The fool acts in vain, for injury has been produced by my karma.’ One should reflect at one eager to strike him down, ‘There is destruction of our life (in any case). So he, fearless of evil, commits the killing of a dead man.’ If you do not feel anger at anger, which is the thief of all the objects of existence, shame on your feeling anger at another guilty of a little crime. Then a wise man should overcome the great serpent of anger which fatigues all the senses, creeping along, by the snake-charm of forbearance.


Conceit is destructive of three things—reverence, learning, and good conduct, injures the eye of discernment, makes men blind. Feeling pride in caste, wealth, family, power, strength, beauty, penance, and learning, a person gets the same in low degree in another birth.[7] What wise man, indeed, feels pride in caste, after seeing the numerous divisions of caste, high, low, and medium? One obtains high caste from karma; one obtains low caste from karma. Who, indeed, can be proud, because he has obtained transitory caste in that case?

Wealth comes only from destruction of obstructive (antarāya) karma, not otherwise. Knowing the truth about wealth, one should not show pride in it. Noble persons do not at all fall into pride in wealth even in the case of great wealth arising from the favor of others, power, et cetera.

Pride in family must not be felt even by those born in a high family when they observe that low-born persons also possess knowledge, wealth, and good conduct. What has family to do with bad conduct, or with good conduct? Knowing this, a discriminating person would not feel pṛide in family.

After hearing of Indra’s wealth of power over the three worlds, what kind of pride is there in power over cities, villages, money, et cetera? It could desert one brilliant with virtues; it could resort to a wicked person. Power, like a woman of evil conduct, is not a source of pride on the part of the discerning.

Even a very strong person is made weak in a moment by disease, et cetera. Verily, pride in strength in regard to such transient strength is not suitable for men. If the strong are weak in old age, in death, in other results of karma, then, indeed, their pride in strength is useless.

Who would show pride in beauty which increases and decreases in the body consisting of seven elements,[8] having the nature of old age, disease, et cetera? After hearing of the future beauty of Sanatkumāra[9] and its destruction, who with ears would be proud of beauty, even in sleep?

After hearing of the perfection of penance of Nābheya and the Jina Vīra, who pray would resort to pride in his own slight penance? The heap of karma grows by the very same penance, if contaminated by pride, by which the heap of karma would break quickly.

After sniffing at the śāstras made by others from their own knowledge for amusement, proud at the thought, ‘I am omniscient,’ he devours his own scriptures. When he has heard of the boundless memory of the holy chief-gaṇadharas,[10] who with ears and a heart would feel pride in learning?


The tree of conceit which makes the branch of faults grow, bending down the roots of the virtues, must be rooted up by the floods of the river of humility. Humility, called mārdava, wards off arrogance; furthermore, arrogance is the very form of conceit, not supernumerary. Wherever arrogance, in the sphere of caste, et cetera, touches the heart, then one should resort to humility as an antidote to it. Everywhere one should show humility, especially to honored persons, by which one would avoid the evil of lack of respect to those entitled to it.

Bāhubali, bound by evils like creepers because of conceit, freed at once by humility, attained omniscience immediately.[11] A Cakravartin, who has abandoned worldly attachment, goes to the houses even of enemies for alms. Indeed, humility is harsh for destroying conceit. Even a Cakravartin just initiated bows to a poor sādhu and serves him for a long time, his conceit abandoned. So, realizing that the whole sphere of conceit is entirely sinful, the sensible man should resort unwearyingly to humility for its destruction.


Deceit is the mother of untruthfulness, the axe to the tree of good conduct, the birth-place of ignorance; the cause of a low condition of existence. Persons who are clever at crookedness, evil through deceit, hypocritical, deceiving the world, certainly deceive themselves also. Kings deceive the whole world by means of the deceitful six stratagems through trickery and destruction of trusting people because of greed for wealth. Brāhmans, empty within and strong without, deceive the people by tilakas, signs stamped on their bodies, charms, and sight of their emaciation. Deceitful merchants, false from contact with gain by the quick method of false weights and measures, deceive the simple people. Heretics—atheists at heart—cheat the simple laymen by wearing matted hair, mauñji-grass girdles, top-knots, ashes, bark-dress, fire, et cetera. The world deceives lovers by courtesans not in love (themselves) who make them fall in love by attention to feeling, emotion, sportiveness, and gait.[12] Monied men, after deceiving (others) by false oaths and after making false cowries[13] are deceived by gamblers. Husband and wife, fathers, sons, full brothers and sisters, one’s own friends, masters, servants, and others, too, defraud each other by deceit. Greedy for money, pitiless, robbers and thieves, day and night the watchful men trick the careless ones. The artisans and the low castes, living as a result of their own work, defraud the good man by false oaths through deceit.

Those living in inferior birth-nuclei, Vyantaras, et cetera, having observed them generally negligent, cruelly injure wretched men by numerous tricks. The sea-animals, fish, et cetera, devour their own offspring through trickery; they in turn are injured by fishermen holding nets deceitfully. Creatures on land, foolish, are bound and destroyed by various devices by hunters full of deceit. Birds of many kinds, pitiable partridges, et cetera, are injured by deceit by cruel persons eager for a little food. So, in the whole world persons devoted to deceiving others deceive themselves, and destroy their own dharma and good condition of existence. Deceit, the best seed for producing animal-births, a bar to the city of emancipation, a forest-fire to the tree of confidence, must be abandoned by the wise. Mallinātha will be born as a woman, because she practiced very slight deceit in a former birth, as she had not removed the arrow of deceit.


One should subdue deceit which causes injury to people like a serpent by the powerful herb sincerity, the source of joy to the world. Sincerity is celebrated as the straight road to the city of emancipation, fully described by teachers, characterized by the abandonment of pain to others, et cetera. Sincere people are a delight to the world. People are afraid of crookedness like a snake. The genuine happiness of emancipation, known to themselves, belongs to the noble-minded honest in thought and deed, though they are still in worldly existence. How can there be happiness even in a dream to those whose minds are injured by the dart of crookedness, their souls deceitful, engaged in injuring others? In the learning of all the sciences and in the study of the arts, sincerity of the fortunate like that of children, appears. The sincerity of children, even though ignorant, is a source of delight. How much more that of minds engaged in interpretation of all the śāstras! Indeed, sincerity is natural; a crooked character is assumed. Then who would leave natural dharma and resort to fictitious?

Some fortunate people are unchangeable, like gold statues, in a people full of tricks, slander, evasive speech, and deceit. All the best gaṇabhṛts, crossing the ocean of learning, look you! listened like pupils to the Arhats’ words because of sincerity. By straightforward confession[14] one can throw away all bad karma; by crooked confession bad karma increases, even though it is very small. There is no emancipation of persons entirely crooked in body, speech, and mind; but there may be emancipation of persons always straight. The wise man, recognizing that the crookedness of the crooked has very severe karma, should resort to sincerity alone, with a desire for emancipation.


Greed is the akāra[15] of all faults, a Rākṣasa for devouring virtues, a bulb of creepers of calamities, injurious to all things. A man without money wants a hundred;

the one with a hundred wants a thousand; the master of a thousand wants a lac; the possessor of a lac wants a crore; the owner of a crore wants to be a king; a king wants to be a Cakravartin; a Cakravartin wants to be a god; and a god wants to be an Indra. Even when the rank of an Indra has been attained, since desire is not checked, greed, though small in the beginning, grows like grass.[16] As injury to life is the worst of all evils; as wrong belief is the worst of all karma; as tuberculosis is the worst of all diseases; so greed is the worst of all faults.

Oh! greed has a one-umbrellaed sovereignty over the earth, since even trees cover up a deposit, which they have received, with their roots. Even the two-sensed, three-and four-sensed, because of greed for money, stand guard over their former deposits with infatuation. Serpents[17] and house-lizards, though chief five-sensed creatures, cling to the places of deposits from greed for money. From greed Piśācas, Mudgalas,[18] spirits, ghosts, Yakṣas, et cetera, stand guard over their own or another’s money. Even gods, infatuated with ornaments, gardens, ponds, et cetera, are born in these same things in birth-nuclei of earth-bodies, et cetera, when they have fallen. Even ascetics, after attaining the stage when delusion is quiescent,[19] when anger, et cetera, have been overcome, fall from the fault of just a particle of greed. Full brothers soon fight from desire for a bit of money, like dogs from desire for food. From greed villagers, ministers, and kings become enemies of each other, their friendship destroyed by the question of boundaries of villages, et cetera.

Greedy people, like actors, portray laughter, grief, enmity, joy, before the master, though obviously not present in themselves. In proportion as the cavity of greed begins to be filled, it increases constantly, a very strange thing! It is possible that the ocean can be filled with water, forsooth, but greed is not satisfied, even though the sovereignty of the three worlds has been attained. Endless heaps of food, clothes, sense-objects, and money have been enjoyed. Nevertheless, not a particle of greed is satisfied. If greed has been abandoned, then enough of unnecessary penance; if greed has not been abandoned, then enough of useless penance. Pressing out the wealth of the śāstras, let this be understood. A wise man should strive preeminently for the elimination of greed.


A wise man should restrain the ocean of greed, overflowing, exceeding bounds, spreading out, by the dike of contentment.[20] Just as a Cakravartin is first of men and Pākaśāsana first of gods, so contentment is the best of all qualities. I think the degree of pleasure in a contented ascetic and the degree of pain in a discontented cakrin are equal. After renouncing their own kingdoms from thirst for the nectar of contentment, cakravartins instantly attain freedom from interest. When the desire for money has been checked, wealth is only an attendant. When the ear is covered with the finger, nothing but sound spreads. Those who are satisfied in the accomplishment of contentment are disgusted with counterparts. In the covering of the eyes, the whole movable and immovable universe is covered. What is the use of subduing the senses? What is the use of injuring the body? Verily, just from contentment, one sees the face of the Śrī of emancipation. People who have the happiness of being free from greed are emancipated even though still alive. But, is there any sign of emancipation on the head? What happiness is there filled with love and hate, or originating in sense-objects, on account of which the happiness of blissful emancipation originating in contentment should be cast aside? Let persons whose eyes have been closed by the good counsels of the śāstras spoiled by the explanations of other people meditate on the happiness from a taste of contentment. If you regulate actions in accordance with their cause, then let the joy of emancipation produced by the joy of contentment be recognized. Whatever severe penance they call destructive of karma, they know all that is fruitless, if devoid of contentment.

What is the use of ploughing, service, taking care of cattle, and trade, on the part of persons seeking happiness? Pray, does not the soul attain emancipation from observing contentment? The happiness which the contented feel lying on beds of straw is not felt by the discontented though lying on cotton. Rich men, if dissatisfied, are like straw, compared with rulers. Rulers are like straw, compared with the satisfied. The happiness arising from the fortune of a cakrin, Śakra, et cetera, is only with effort and it is transitory. That happiness originating in contentment is without effort and it is permanent. So a wise man should resort to contentment, the abode of peerless happiness, to destroy greed, the abode of all faults. Thus the one whose passions are conquered, though in this world, shares the happiness of emancipation; but in the next world he certainly attains imperishable emancipation.”

After hearing this sermon by the Lord, many persons became mendicants. Hari attained right belief and Sīrabhṛt became a layman. The Lord finished his sermon when the first watch was completed. Then Ariṣṭa was made gaṇabhṛt, occupying the Master’s footstool. He finished a sermon at the end of the second watch. Then, after bowing to the Arhat, Śakra, Viṣṇu, Bala and the others went away. The Blessed Dharmanātha, adorned with all the supernatural qualities, wandered over the earth from that place to other places.

Footnotes and references:


See I, p. 403.


I.e., if it is already manifest. The anantānubandha-kaṣāyas that are in existence, but not yet manifested, pass on in a succession of births. Hence the name.


Obviously, one cup is made from a leaf that could be made to hold liquid and one from a leaf that could not; but I have not been able to ascertain the real point to the comparison.


See B., p. 80 and Jacobi, ZDMG 42, pp. 493 ff. The ascetic Dvaipāyana was beaten by some drunken princes of Dvārakā and vowed revenge. In his next birth he was an Agnikumāra and burned Dvārakā and all its inhabitants except Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. After Dvārakā was burned, it was covered by the ocean.


I.e., frail, but the argument seems reversed. Certainly kṣamā would be easier for a strong character than a weak one. The details of Mahāvīra’s experiences among the Mlecchas are given in the tenth parvan.


See App. I.


That is, the penalty for pride in high caste is low caste in another birth, et cetera.


See I, n. 74.


See below, Chapter Seven.


That is, the early gaṇadharas knew all the scriptures by heart.


See I, pp. 323 ff.


For hāva and bhāva, see Sāhityadarpaṇa 3. 93-94 and Daśarūpa 2.48-51: ‘Emotion (hāva) is ardent love which produces a change in eyes and brows.’ ‘Feeling (bhāva) is the first touch of emotion in a nature that was previously unaffected.’ Līlā (sportiveness) is ‘imitation of a lover in the actions of a fair-limbed maiden.’ Daśarūpa 2.60.


Counterfeit money.


Cf. Uttar. 29. 5. Ṛjubhāva is the result of ālocanā.


The first letter of the alphabet.


See Text Corrections.


Serpents as guardians of treasure are common-place in Indian folk-lore, but lizards are not.


A kind of Vyantara. See PH, moggaḍa.


The eleventh guṇasthāna.


In the case of the other kaṣāyas: krodha, māna, and māya, the respective opposites: kṣānti, mārdava, and ārjava, belong to the yatidharmas. Santoṣa (content) takes the place of mukti-nirlobhatā. See I, n. 38.

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