Five Anuvratas AND Sallekhna

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Five Anuvratas AND Sallekhna

According to Jain tradition, there are four types of destinities i.e. gatis in the world. These are Manushaya (human), Tiryanch (sub-human), Naraki (hellish-beings) and Dev (celestials). Out of these, Manushaya Gati i.e. human beings are the best because they have the power of thinking and so they can adopt different vows to have restraint & austerity in their lives. Today I will tell you about five ANUVRATAS i.e. Minor or Partial vows, which are supposed to be the characteristic contribution of Jain Philosophy for the whole world.
As an atom bomb can destroy half of the world at a time, in the same way, Anuvratas, if adopted in life, destroy the world of sins of the person. Five Anuvratas are, infact, the shield for defending the person from 5 sins i.e. Himsa (Violence), Jhuth (telling lie), Chori (stealing), Kusheel (Non-Chastity) & Parigrah (Possessions beyond the needs). These five sins are the basic causes of the disbalance & distress in life because by the indulgement in these sins, the person is always suspicious, disturbed and earn unauspicious Karmas. Five Anuvratas described by Tirthankar Bhagwants, are the basic tools for eradicating these sins from the life. These Anuvratas are above the caste & creed and anybody on the earth can adopt these ‘Minor Vows’ to make life meaningful & worthy.

Five Anuvratas(Partial Vows)

The five partial vows form the basic components of partial right conduct. They are defined as below :

AhimsÂàuvrata (Partial Vow of Non-violence)
The partial vow of non-violence is defined as the observance of intentional non-injury towards the Trasa jÍvas (mobile living beings having 2 to 5 senses) through mind, body and speech and by the methods of self-commitment (Kçta), commissioning (KÂrita) by others and consenting (AnumodanÂ) of the process of injury.

SatyÂàuvrata (Partial Vow of Truth)
This is defined as not to speak gross untruth or not to speak such a truth which causes the loss of religiosity or which may cause calamity on others. This is called the partial vow of truth.

AcauryÂàuvrata (Partial Vow of Non-stealth)
The partial vow of non-stealth is defined as not to take any thing or property which is kept, forgotten or fallen without it being given.

BrahmacaryÂàuvrata (partial Vow of Celibacy)
The partial vow of celibacy is defined as the renunciation of (sex with) other women (except one’s own married wife) due to fearfulness of sins. In the same way, renunciation of sexual relationship with any male member except own married husband is Partial Vow of Celibacy for ladies. It is also called as Sheel Vrat.
Parigraha ParimÂàa Aàuvrata (Partial Vow of Limitation of Attachmental Possessions)
This fifth partial vow is defined as to become desireless or non-attached in possessions like riches, grains etc. which are in excess of the limits set by one-self.
The observance of all these five partial vows leads to heavens as a rule. It is stated that the observer of total or partial vows binds the celestial life-span only. They can not be observed when the rest of the three types of life-span Karmas (humanbeing, Subhuman being, Hellish being) are bound.
For adopting & practising these Partial or Minor Vows, no money has to be invested, rather the spirits have to be bent towords morality & righteousness.
I want to quote the example of seth Poonam Chand Ghasilal-Mumbai, who was the Sanghpati i.e. care-taker of the Sangh (i.e. group of Sadhus) of the first great-most Digambar Jain Acharya of 20th Century-Charitra Chakravarti Acharya Shri Shantisagar Ji Maharaj. Seth Poonam Chand once adopted five partial vows from Acharya Shri and made the limit of his possessions (money, gold, silver, diamond, jewellery, house, farm-house etc.). In some months only, his possessions started crossing the decided limits. He told the fact to Acharya-Shri and decided to utilize the extra money for organizing Sammed Shikhar Vandana by the Sangh and he did accordingly. Sammed Shikhar Ji at Jharkhand-India is the most pious pilgrimage of Jains because 20 Tirthankars & crores of Munis have been salvated from this Mountain. I want to mention here that when these vows enter the life, one surely proceeds on the path of physical & spiritual upliftment. Gradually the person proceeds on the path of ‘Mahavratas’ or ‘Major Vows’ to be firmly affixed on the path of Salvation. In our Sangh, Brahmacharini Km. Swati Jain is also doing the same on 29th June 2012, when Pujya Ganini Shri Gyanmati Mataji will give her ‘Aryika Deeksha’. You all are welcome here to see this procedure in practical.
One More important aspect, that I want to discuss today, is Sallekhna. Sometimes people consider Sallekhna as Suicide of Jainism, but it is not so. You should understand the real concept.

The Nature of The Ritual of Sallekhan (Holy Death)

<poem>Sallekhan (The ritual of holy death) means to renounce the body or accept death with pleasure while observing religious duties (Ratnatraya Dharma) under the conditions of (1) unsurmountable calamity, (2) famine, (3) advanced old age or (4) incurable disease. The ritual of holy death is prescribed for the votary after observing all the twelve vows. One should observe the ritual of holy death with pleasure at the time of death. Many texts like Vasunandi êrÂvakÂcÂra (Householders’-Conduct by Vasunandi) and others have included the vow of holy death as the fourth variety of êikî Vratas (educative vows). According to Vasunandi “The educative vow of holy death is defined as to renounce all the remaining three kinds of foods (out of four kinds) except the potable drinks while undertaking self-introspective confession with three-fold (mental, vocal and bodily) purity before the saint teacher in own house or Jina temple after renouncing all the attachmental possessions. In other words, the vow of holy death is to gradually lean and wean passions and body at the fag end of life. It involves gradual renouncing of foods and drinks and recital of ÛamokÂra Mantra repetitively. This ritual has high importance. It is stated that the individual attains liberation in a minimum of one or two or in the maximum of seven or eight rebirths who dies following the proper prescription of holy death.

If Wealth is lost, nothing is lost If health is lost, something is lost But, If Character is lost, everything is lost. Remember that Religion is the thing to be practised in life and not only to listen & to forget. I always say ; Human Life is a Gift, accept it Human Life is a love, enjoy it Human Life is a Struggle, fight it Human Life is a tragedy, face it Human Life is a duty, perform it