IV Practical Right Conduct, (Vyavahaar Charitra) 39
V Repentance, (Pratikramana) 50
VI Renunciation, (pratyakhyana) 56
VII Confession, (Alochana) 61
VIII Expiation, (Prayaschitta) 64
IX Supreme Equanimity, (Parama Samadhi) 67
X Supreme Devotion, (Parama Bhakti) 71
XI Real Independence, (Nishchaya Avashaya) 73
XII Pure Consciousness, (Shuddha Upayoga) 79
* INTRODUCTION: *
Niyamasara is one of the most renowned Adhyatmic works of Shri Kundakunda Acharya. He was the preceptor of Shri Uma Swami, the renowned author of Shri Tattwarthadhigama Sutra.
The Sanskrit commentary of Niyamasara was written by Shri Padmaprabha Haladhari Deva, who. appears to have lived about 1000 A. D. He was preceded by Shri Amrit Chandra Acharya, who wrote Sanskrit commentaries on Panchastikaya, Pravachana-sara and Samayasara, the great monumental works on Jaina metaphysics by Shri Kundakunda Acharya. Padmaprabha has frequently quoted and referred to some of the verses of Amrit Chandira in his commentary on Niyamasara. The treatise is named Niyamasara, because it dales with the path of liberation which is Right Belief, Right knowledge and Right Conduct, the three jewels of faith combined. The word Niyama literally means, “rule or law,” and Sara means “the right”. Niyamasara thus signifies the Right Rule, i.e., the true and indispensable law for the attainment of liberation.
The sole object and the whole gist of this treatise is to show that the all-pure, all-conscious, all-blissful and self-absorbed soul alone is the Siddha, a perfect soul. If a soul is in bondage with karmic matter, i. e., if it is imperfect, and under delusion, it is imperfection or delusion which is accountable for the continuance of transmigrations, and experiences of pain and pleasure. La order to obtain liberation, perfection, eternal beatitude. a soul must get rid of all connection with the Non-self. When this connection with the Non-self is completely severed, Siddha-pada, Perfection, is attained. Right Belief, Right Knowledge, and Right Conduct have been dealt with, from two points of view, the. real and the practical.
The real is the only sure and direct path; while the practical is an auxiliary cause to the attainment of the real. Real path of liberation is absorption in “the self.
Attachment and aversion, which include all passionate thought-activities; are the main cause of karmic bondage, while non-attachment, or pure thought-activity leads to freedom from bondage.
1. Practical Right Belief is a true and firm belief in Apta, the all-accomplished, all-knowing, source of all knowledge, in the Agama, the Scripture, the written discourse, which first flowed from the omniscient, and in the Tattvas the Principles or categories. The Apta must have three special characteristics:-
(a) Freedom from all defects such as hunger, fear, anger, delusion, (b) Omniscience and (c) non-volitional propagation of truth. Such are the Arhats, the adorable Lords, of whom the most prominent are the twenty-four Tirthankaras.
Agama is the scripture composed by the highly learned and spiritually advanced saints from discourses which flowed from the Arhats. These scriptures are faultless and free from the flaw of inconsistency.
Tattvas, the principle categories or substances are seven, (1) Jiva-soul, (2) Ajiva-non-soul, (3) Asrava-inflow, (4) Bandha-bondage, (5) Sam-vara-the check of inflow, (6) Nirjara-the shedding of previously bound up Karmas, and (7) Moksha-liberation from all Karmic contact.
All that exists is included in one or other of the two principles, soul and non-soul. While a man is alive it is the soul in his body while perceives and knows all objects. A body without soul is incapable of perceiving or knowing anything. Material objects such as a pen, table or chair can not feel or know anything. They are unconscious or inanimate substances.
I. The soul. It is the only conscious substance. Looked at from the real point of view even a mundane soul; is pure, peaceful, all-knowing and all blissful; It is potentially so. From the practical point of view such a soul experiences various kinds of pain and pleasure in different conditions of life.
II. The Non-soul. It comprises the other five teal and independent substances, which, taken together with the soul, make up the six ( Dravyas) substances.
(1) (Pudgala) “ matter “ is the most prominent, and plays a very important part in the amphitheater of the universe. The special attributes of matter-substance ( Pudgala ) are touch, taste, smell, and colour. It exists either in the form of atoms, or of molecules. Only gross molecules are cognizable by the senses; fire, electric and karmic molecules which compose the electric and the karmic bodies of all mundane souls are not cognizable by the senses.
(2) Dharma Dravya. “ Medium of motion “ .is a single, immaterial substance, pervading throughout the whole of the universe. It is essentially an auxiliary cause of motion for soul and matter.
(3) Adharma Dravya. “ Medium of rest” is also a single, immaterial substance pervading .throughout the whole of the universe It is also an essentially auxiliary cause of rest for soul and matter.
(4) Akasha Dravya. “ Space” is a single;-infinite immaterial substance. Its function is to give place to all substances.
(5) Kala Dravya, “ Time ” is an immaterial substance. It is an auxiliary cause of bringing about modifications in all substances. III & IV. “ Inflow ” ( asrava ) and “ (Bandha ).”
Every mundane Soul has a karmic body, formed of karmic molecules. The universe is full of karmic molecules. Inflow of these molecules towards the soul caused by its own vibratory activities, through mind, speech, and body, is called Asrava. When these molecules are so attracted towards the soul, they are assimilated in (he existing karmic body. The causes of assimilation or bondage are the soul’s vibratory activities, and passions. This process is known as Bandha ( bondage ). The processes of Inflow and Bondage of Karmic matter go on simultaneously. The main auxiliary causes of them are;— (a) Wrong belief ( Mithyatva).
(b) Vow-lessness ( Avirati).
(c) Passions ( Kashaya )
(d) Soul’s vibratory activities ( Yoga ) V. Samvara. “Checking of Inflow” and “Bondage of Karmic” molecules, is called Samvara ( Stoppage ).
The main auxiliary causes of stopping the inflow ,and bondage of karmic molecules are:—
(a) Right belief.
(b) Observance of vows.
(d)Restraint of soul’s vibratory activities
VI. Nirjara- ‘The shedding of karmas” already-bound with a soul at maturity, or prematurely, is called Nirjara. The -premature : shedding of karmas is caused by pure thought-activities, brought about by the practice of right kind of austerities. The shedding on maturity is a natural and automatic process.
Moksha. “ Liberation” is freedom from all karmic matter as a result of the non-existence of the cause of bondage and the shedding off all karmas previously bound, ft is the state of a Siddha, the condition of perfection. Continuous devotion to Apta, study of the scriptures, and meditation of the seven principles, cause the subsidence of wrong belief (mithyatva) and of the four error-feeding passions ( anantanubandhi kashaya ) and as a consequence the real right belief which is an attribute of the soul, shines forth in its true splendour. At this stage the right believer is fully convinced of the true and pure nature of his own soul, and this is Real Right belief. RIGHT KNOWLEDGE.
I. Practical Right Knowledge is the acquisition of all the Jaina scriptures. This Right-Knowledge must be free from three main defects (a) doubt ( Samshaya), (b) Perversity ( Viparyaya ) and (c) Indefiniteness ( anadhyavasaya ). It reveals the complete and precise nature of things.
II. Real Right knowledge is to know the true and real nature of the soul as quite distinct from all other non-soul substances.
Constant contemplation of, and unflinching devotion to, the subject matter of practical right knowledge is an auxiliary cause to the attainment of Right Knowledge. RIGHT CONDUCT.
A right believer, who has fully realised the true and real nature of his own soul, and is bent upon getting rid of the karmic filth which is in bondage with his soul, tries to follow Right Conduct. His main object in doing so is to be free from attachment and aversion, and from all impure thought-activities and to attain the condition of equanimity. Practical right conduct consists in observing the following five vows:—
(a) Ahimsa ... refraining from doing injury.
(b) Satya ... refraining from falsehood.
(c) Asteya ... refraining from theft.
(d) Brahmacharya ... Chastity, purity.
(e) Aparigraha ... Non-attachment. This practical right conduct can be observed either partially or fully. Laymen observe it partially, while those who observe it fully are saints. Partial observance is merely a stepping stone to the conduct of a saint, without following which it is not possible to advance spiritually and to ultimately liberate the soul from karmic bondage.
A layman is required to follow the seven supplementary vows also, as they are helpful in the proper observance of the first five.
Out of these seven, the following three are called Gunavratas ( multiplicative vows ) because they raise the value of the five vows multifold.
Dig-Vrata, a vow to limit worldly activities to fixed points in all the 10 directions North, South, East, West, North-east, North-west, South-east South-west, above and below.
Desha-Vrata, a vow to limit wordly activity for a fixed period “ only. ”
Anartha-Danda Vrata. Taking a vow not to commit purposeless sin. It is of five kinds:—
(a) Apa-Dhyana, thinking ill of others.
(b) Papopadesha, Preaching evil of others.
(c) Pramada-charya. Inconsiderate conduct, such as uselessly breaking the boughs of trees.
(d) Himsa-dan, preparing pr supplying instruments of attack.
(e) Dushruti, Reading or listening to improper literature. The remaining four are the following Shiksha Vratas or disciplinary vows; so called because they are preparatory to the discipline of an ascetic’s life:--
Samayikar-Taking a vow to devote a fixed1 period every day, once, twice, or three times, at sunrise, sunset and noon to the contemplation of the self for spiritual advancement.
Proshadhopvasa Taking a vow to fast on four days of the month, l. e., the two Ashtamis and the two Chaturdashis.
Bhogopobhoga. Parimana. Taking a vow every day to limit one’s enjoyment of consumable and non-consumeable things.
Atithi-Samvibhaga. Taking a vow to take one’s food only after feeding ascetics or others, with a part of it.
The following eleven stages of spiritual progress have been laid down for a layman.
1 Darshana pratima. A layman who entertains right belief, and follows the five main vows to a limited extent is classed in this stage.
2 Vrata-Pratima. In this stage he observes the five main vows to a limited extent (anuvratas), without transgression and follows the seven supplementary vows
3. Samayika Pratima. In this stage he practices faultless contemplation regularly, three times, in the morning, at midday and in the evening, at least for about 48 minutes every time
4 Proshadhopavasa Pratima. In this stage he observes a fast faultlessly, on the 8th and 14th days of the fortnight.
5. Sachitta Tyaga Pratima, In this stage he does not take animate water and vegetable, etc.
6. Ratri-Bhukat Tyaga Pratima. He does not take or give food or drink at night
7. Brahmacharya Pratima:’ He gives up sexual intercourse even with his wife.
8. Arambha Tyaga Pratima He gives up all profession and all means of earning money and all wordly occupations.
9. Parigraha-Tyaga pratima. He gives up all desire for objects of the word and abandons all property except a very few limited number of clothes and utensils
10. Anumati-Tyaga Pratima. He would not even offer advice on any worldly matter
11. Uddishta-Tyaga Pratima. In this stage he would not accept food which is prepared particularly for him. He will only accept food which is respect-full offered by a house-holder at the time when he goes out for food. One following the discipline of this stage may be-
(a) Kshullaka, who keeps a small sheet of cloth not sufficiently long to cover his whole body and a small loin-cloth (langoti), and dines in a dish, or
(b) Ailaka, who wears only a small loin-cloth (langoti) and dines off his hands.
They both carry a bowl of water for cleaning the body and peacock-feathers brush for harmlessly removing insects.
Every Jaina houses-holder is ordinarily required to perform the following six daily duties.
1. Deva-Puja. Worship of the Arhats, the adorables.
2. Guru Bhakti Devotion to the gurus or pre ceptor-saints.
3 Svadhyaya Study of the scriptures
4. Samyama. Control of the five senses and the mind. In practicing Samyama, it is necessary to renounce certain objects of enjoyments with the idea of self-control.
5. Tapa. Austerities such as meditating upon the nature of soul, every morning and evening, for a fixed time.
6. Dana or Charity Giving of (a) food, (b) knowledge, (c) medicine, or (d) protection.
As soon as an Ailaka is able to subdue his passion, and regards himself as above passion and emotion, like an infant he discards that small langoti also, becomes a nirgrantha, a naked saint, without any possession, whatsoever, except the bowl for carrying water, for cleaning, but not bathing the body and the peacock fathers brush for carefully removing insects He may keep scriptures as well for daily study.
A saint while observing the five great vows fully and without any transmigration, has to observe the following eight rules of Conduct also:—
1. Five kinds of caution, (Samiti).
(a) Irya Samiti proper care in walking.
(b) Bhasha Samiti, proper care in speaking.
(c) Eshna Samiti, proper care in eating.
(d) Adana-Nikshepa Samiti, Proper care in lifting and placing the bowl, ect.
(e) Utsarga Samiti, proper care while attending calls of nature. II. Three kinds of Restraint (Gupti), (a) of mind, (b) of word, (c) of body.
These eight rules of conduct taken together with the five vows make the thirteen rules of practical right conduct laid down for a saint.
In dealing with the six essential duties from the real point of view, the author has used the word Avashyaka in its etymological sense. Avasha, means independent; and Avashyaka Karma means independent action. Independent action signifies the idea that a soul of a saint in mediation, is not dependent upon any other thought activity except its own pure and real nature. This is only possible in the condition of self-absorption, when a saint is free from all fareign thought activities.
From the practical point of view, they may be briefly described as follows:-
1. Pratikramana; Repentence means the statement of the sins and transgressions committed by a saint, during the performance of his daily routing; and making penance for them.
2. Pratyakayana. Renunciation means resolving to avoid particular thought-activities and action in future, which tend to disturb the performance of essential duties.
3. Stuti or Praising and
4. Vandana prostration the worshipful saints. They are both aspects of Devotion which are practiced with the object of getting rid of impure thought activities.
5. Samavika or Equanimity. In practicing Samayika a saint resorts to some .undisturbed and calmly and cheerfully withdraws all is activities, and meditates upon his own soul and various attributes and modifications.
6. Kayotsarga. Is the relinquishment of attachment to the body and all other objects associated with it.
Nirvana is the result brought about by the practice of self-absorption, which is the combination of Real Right belief, Real Right Knowledge and Real
In the condition of Nirvana the soul retains its own pure and real thought-activities only, and its own natural and eternal bliss.