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   Fundamental Features of Jainism

Supreme Non-Attachment

-Uttama Akinchanya Dharma-

Source religious books written by Upadhaya Munishri Kamakumar Nandi ji in excerpt form.



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He, who abandons the evil thought of attachment to worldly objects, can alone give up possessions.

‘Assuredly, the non-appearance of attachment and other passions is Ahimsa, and their appearance is Himsa,’

The philosophical term “attachments” denotes the state of being firmly and for a long time attached with one’s senses to some worldly objects. Not to have the least attachment is known as Akinchanya (non-attachment). This means to put a limit to ambitions, to put a check on desires.

Man is a social animal. Man makes many future plans while living amidst society and in the nation. These plans never come to an end; rather they go on multiplying one after the other. It has been said:

            In the heart of every living being there exists a deep pit of hopes, in which the universe appears to be equivalent to an atom. Then for whom, what and how much scope there can be left inside this pit i.e., it can contain almost nothing else but hopes. Therefore, O noble souls! Futile is your ambition for those articles of enjoyments or pleasure-giving objects. It means that thirst of desires of every living being has grown to the extent that even if he attains all the wealth of the whole world, his thirst of desires can never be quenched by any means. This ignorant creature has been wasting his precious life time in claiming such mortal and transitory objects as are different from self as his own. The passions and sensuous pleasure which are the out come of objects non-self, have made him blind. This blindness is more dreadful than blindness of eyes by birth. It has been said:

This human being who has lost his sense of wisdom and power of discrimination due to his over indulgence in lustful desires is more blind than a worldly blind man; for a blind man fails to see with his eyes only, but a man blinded by sensuous pleasures cannot grasp the real nature of things; neither by senses nor by the mind. Therefore, he has misconceived the non-self as the real self. So long as this living being does not forsake this sense of attachment, he will not realize the virtue of non-attachment. Acharya Aklanka Swamy has also affirmed this fact in ‘Rajvartika’ thus: To give up the belief that this thing belongs to me is virtue of non-attachment.

There was a forest. Daily some cowherds led the cows to graze in that pasture land. While grazing the cows one day they chanced to see ripe mangoes hanging from a tree. Their mouth watered on seeing the mangoes. When one of the cowherds cast a pebble at the mangoes, two mangoes fell down. He ate them and enjoyed the delicious fruits. The mangoes were really sweet. This made other cowherd think-“Why to miss such tasty fruits? I shall also pluck a mango just now.” So saying he picked up a pebble and struck at the mangoes. Instead, the stone piece stuck the head of a saint meditating under the tree. His head was injured and started bleeding. All the cowherds were terrified by this horrible sight. Seeing tears flowing from the eyes of the saint, the cowherds approached him and spoke humbly-“O saint! We are guilty. You are all merciful. Please pardon us. We have inflicted severe injury and pain to you.” The saint replied calmly, “I have suffered no pain.” The cowherds again questioned, “If you have felt no pain, why are tears bursting from your eyes?” At this the saint replied, “Boys! When you cast pebbles at the mango tree, it gave you sweet and tasty mangoes. But now when your stone piece stuck me, I have nothing to give you in return. That is why tears are flowing from my eyes.” The cowherds paid homage to the saint lying at his feet and returned home. The instant that the feeling of compassion grows in human heart, it is the beginning of religion.

1.      Internal Attachment-The feeling of love, hatred, affection and ill-will for living beings; and wrong belief are internal attachments.

2.      External Attachment-The greed for wealth and property is external attachment. Greed for worldly possession consists in desiring more than what is needed by an individual.


It is very easy to achieve wealth, property and royal glory; but extremely difficult to acquire real knowledge in order to attain the virtue of non-attachment.

Ahideva and Mahideva were two brothers. They both went abroad on business errand. They amassed enormous wealth and bought a precious diamond with the money. The diamond proved so inauspicious in its effect that a vicious feeling to kill his partner took possession of the mind of its holder. But the two brothers had great mutual love. So, any how, they put reins to their evil feeling and did not kill each other. Soon after they returned home and handed over the diamond to their mother. Instantly, on getting the diamond an evil thought flashed into her mind, “why not kill my both my sons by giving them poison in food, so that the diamond may remain in my possession for ever?”

She went on pondering thus through out the night. In the morning her mind changed on hearing the holy sermon of a monk and she began to reproach herself:

“Cursed am I that I plotted to assassinate my own flesh and blood-my dear sons-for this petty stone. Condemned be this devil ‘Parigraha’ (attachment for possession).” On coming to her senses, she told the whole truth to her sons. She at once instructed them to cast away the inauspicious diamond into some unfathomable pond or deep sea. What to say of keeping it with her, she disdained even to look at it. The sons obeyed her and acted accordingly. Thereafter, all of them began to live with love and peace.

While describing the virtue of non-attachment, the great poet Reidhy writes:

1.      Imagine of the virtue of non-attachment taking the soul as different from the body; soul is a store-house of knowledge; it is unique; it is colorless; it is blissful; it is superb; it is devoid of senses and fearless. Such evaluation of soul is ‘Akinchanya Dharma’ i.e., virtue of non-attachment.

2.      To get rid of attachment from all worldly possessions is the vow of non-attachment. To be endowed with the power to meditate upon the four auspicious virtues; viz.

Ø     Maitri-friendship with all living beings.

Ø      Pramodaon- path of liberation.

Ø      Karuna-Compassion for the afflicted, and

Ø      Madhyastha-tolerance or indifference to those who are uncivil or ill behaved; is the vow of internal non attachment. To be free from the feeling of allurement for something is the vow of Akinchanya (non-attachment); and to have no feeling of possession is the vow of external non-attachment; and to be dedicated to the three jewels—Right belief, Right Knowledge and Right conduct, is the vow of  Akinchanya.

3        The vow of non-attachment puts reins to the mind which roams in the strange forest of senses. To give up love for the body is the vow of non-attachment, and to be averse to the worldly enjoyment is also the vow of non-attachment

4        Where there is not the least attachment equivalent even to a straw, as a rule there is the vow of non-attachment. Where there exists the power of discrimination between self and non-power of discrimination between self and non-self; where devotion for the five divinities is revealed; where the evil pledges are discarded and where ambition for the delicious dishes exists no more, there lies the virtue of non-attachment. A man should meditate upon these in this world.

5   The Tirthankaras have attained salvation as a result of, and with the assistance of, this virtue of non-attachment. On account of this non-attachment virtue the saints who are devoid of the evils of vicious passions are venerated forever.

Hence, O Mortal Man! Be non-attached. be  non-attached and be non-attached to all worldly allurements in order to enjoy the true and eternal bliss available in the heavenly adobe of the celestial beings i.e., enlightened souls who became librated as they were endowed with the supreme virtue of non-attachment.

                                                                                          The End


Note:-The words shown in italics and green color are from prakart/sanskrit language.

In case any mistake is noticed it may be either informed to us or the contents may be read after correction.


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