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Jainism Lesson-2 By Dr. Roman Saini
Jain Sects There are two important Jain sects as 1. 2. Digambaras- The clothless This division was on the basis of nudity. The literal meaning of the svetambara is "whiteclad" and digambara is "skyclad". These two sects are further divided into a number of sects. . Svetambaras- Wearers of white clothes . .
The Digambaras They contended that perfection cannot be reached by anyone who wears clothing. They think that a man should abstain from food and possessions, including clothing, to become a saint. They also denied the eligibility of women for salvation. They strictly maintain that there can be no salvation without nakedness. Since women cannot go without clothes, they are said to be incapable of . salvation They believe that no original canonical text exist now. Hence they does not believe in the vedic text.
The Svetambaras They believe that one can very well understand a monk's acceptance of clothing because the practice for liberation is only subject of with the following 1. Having known that the true self consists in the freedom from passions, 2. Having realized the strength of the spiritual practice of non-attachment, and 3. Having understood the gradual order of undertaking the practice of the means of liberation.
The only essential point is that when one attains the state of perfect non-attachment, one definitely attains liberation, irrespective of one's being nude or not. Clothing is not an obstacle to salvation. It is attachment that acts as an obstacle to salvation . . They also allow women to enter the monastic order under the assumption that they have a possibility of attaining liberation. They still preserve the original scriptures. e
Twelve Vows in Jainism In the activities dealing with spiritual discipline for the layman, there . occurs the exposition of twelve vows. They are divided in the following categories as 1. Anuvratas- Five 2. Gunavrats- Three 3. Sikshavratas-Four .
Of this twelve vows, the first five are main vows of limited nature (Anuvratas) Five Main Vows of Limited Nature (Anuvratas): 1. Ahimsa Anuvrat Non-violence Limited Vow 2. Satya Anuvrat - Truthfulness Limited Vow 3. Asteya Anuvrat - Non-stealing Limited Vow 4. Brahmacharya Anuvrat - Chastity Limited Vow 5. Aparigraha Anuvrat Non-attachment Limited Vow They are somewhat easier in comparison with great vows (Mahavratas). The great vows are for the ascetics.
. The next three vows are known as merit vows (Guna-vratas), They are so called because they enhance and purify the effect of the five main vows and raise their value manifold. . . It also governs the external conduct of an individual Three Merit Vows (Guna-vrats): 1. 2. . Dik Vrata - Limited area of activity vow Bhoga-Upbhoga Vrata - Limited use of consumable and non-consumable items vow 3. Anartha-danda Vrata - Avoidance of purposeless sins vow
The last four are called disciplinary vows (Shiksha-vratas). Four Disciplinary Vows (Siksha-vratas): 1. Samayik Vrata - Meditation vow of limited duration 2. Desavakasika Vrata - Activity vow of limiting space 3. Pausadha Vrata Ascetic's life Vow of limited duration 4. Atithi Samvibhaga Vrata - Limited charity vow They are intended to encourage the person in the performance of their religious duties. . . .
. These last four reflect the purity of one's heart. They govern one's internal life and are expressed in a life that is marked by charity . They are preparatory to the discipline of an ascetic life. . . Three merit vows (Gunavrats) and four disciplinary vows (Shikhsa-vratas) together are known as Seven vows of virtuous conduct (Shilas) A person may adopt these vows, according to his/her individual capacity and circumstances with the intent to adopt ultimately as great vows. . However, great vows (Mahavratas) i.e. anuvrata in absolute form are practiced by the ascetics only.