Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Sermon on yatidharma and householders’ dharma which is the ninth part of chapter VII of the English translation of the Shri Munisuvratanatha-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Shri Munisuvratanatha in jainism is one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 9: Sermon on yatidharma and householders’ dharma

When Śakra and Suvrata had become silent after this hymn of praise, the Master delivered a sermon for the enlightenment of all.

“An intelligent person should take dharma, the most valuable part, from this valueless ocean of existence, like a fine jewel from the Salt Ocean. Self-control, truthfulness, purity, chastity, poverty, austerities, forbearance, humility, sincerity, freedom from greed—it has these ten divisions.[1] One who is free from desire even in his body, free from interest even in himself, always indifferent to the one showing him reverence or to the one doing him an injury, able to bear attacks and trials to a great extent, his mind penetrated constantly by the mental attitudes,[2] friendliness, et cetera, forbearing, reverent, his senses subdued, eager for the instruction of the guru, endowed with the virtues of good birth, et cetera, he is capable of yatidharma. The roots of right belief are the five lesser vows, the three meritorious vows, and the four disciplinary steps.[3] This is the dharma of householders. One whose wealth has been lawfully acquired; who praises cultured behavior; whose marriage is with those of another gotra with the same family customs; afraid of evil; observing the established customs of the country; censuring no one, especially kings, et cetera; whose house does not have many outside doors,[4] and is situated in a place not too public and not too private, with good neighbours; who associates with respectable people; honors his father and mother; abandons a place afflicted by calamities; does not engage in disapproved actions;[5] makes expenditure according to his income; and dresses according to his means; is endowed with the eight qualities of intelligence;[6] listens daily to dharma; stops eating in case of indigestion; eats at the right time from habit; gains the three objects in life without interference with each other; entertains properly an unexpected guest, respectable or poor; is never obstinate; has a partiality for good qualities; avoids conduct unsuitable to the country and time; knows his own strength and weakness; honors those who observe good usage and those advanced in knowledge; supports those who should be supported; is far-seeing; has special knowledge;[7] is grateful for benefits; is popular with people; is modest; compassionate; gentle; eager to benefit others; devoted to the destruction of the six internal enemies; whose senses are under control, is suitable for householder’s dharma.[8] In this worldly existence lay-dharma must be practiced by a man who wishes consciousness as the fruit, but is not capable of yatidharma.”

After hearing the Lord’s sermon many people became mendicants and some became laymen. For the Arhats’ teaching is never in vain. The Master had eighteen gaṇadharas, Indra, et cetera. After the Lord had finished his sermon, Indra delivered one. When he also had finished preaching, every one, Vajrabhṛt, Suvrata, et cetera, paid homage to the Jineśvara and went to his own house.

Footnotes and references:


See I, n. 38.


See I, n. 56.


See I, p. 26.


As a protection against thieves.


I.e., acts that can be criticized from the standpoint of country, caste, or family.


See III, App. I.


I.e., he knows how to distinguish between what should and should not be done, or he knows the characteristics of virtues or faults of the soul. Yog., p. 55.


These ślokas on the qualities of a layman occur also in the Yogaśāstra 1.47-56 with com., pp. 50-56.

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: