Jai Mahavir ji
Fundamental Features of Jainism
(Uttama Brahmacharya Dharma)
Source religious books written by Upadhaya Munishri Kamakumar Nandi ji in excerpt form.
‘The ills of life are cured, if you root out lust from your heart.’
Brahmacharya is a word with a very wide scope. It means maintaining sexual purity by assuming the strict aspect of celibacy. Brahma means soul, which is chaste, enlightened, eternal and blissful. To become fully engrossed in soul is Brahmacharya-celibacy.
The opposite of Brahma is Abrahma- sexuality. It is of several form-match-making (bringing about marriages as a hobby), unnatural gratification, indulging in voluptuous speech, and visiting immoral married and unmarried women, are all different form of unchastely or sexuality.
The vow of chastity is an ornament of a man and a woman both; it is a garland woven by auspicious virtues and is a gateway to heaven. Chastity is the most precious jewel of a lady. “The impenetrable fence which protects a woman is her virtue of celibacy; no other fence can safeguard her as well.” Indeed, chastity! Thy name is woman.
A monk came to take meals at the house of a rich business man (Setha). After taking meals the holy saint dwelt upon the significance of chastity in his sermon. On hearing the importance and glory of celibacy, JinDatt, the son of the businessman, took the vow to observe celibacy during the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) of every month. On the other hand, JinDatta, the daughter of the businessman of Ujjain city, had taken the vow to observe celibacy during the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha) of every month. Ignorant of each other’s pledges, as the chance would have it, Jin Datt and Jin Datta were tied in wed-lock. The wedding ceremonies were performed on the 13th of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha). Thereafter, JinDatt returned home with his newly wedded bride.
On the first night when all wedding ceremonies were over JinDatta fully adorned with proper makeup entered her bed room in the grand palatial building. During sweet conversation Jin Datt disclosed to her, “My darling! I have taken a vow of observing celibacy during the bright fortnight of every month. Therefore, we shall be able to celebrate the honey-moon night only after four days, not before that. Don’t get worried and restless. It’s a matter of only three or four days” In reply to the loving words of her husband, Jin Datta said, “My Lord! What a strange contradiction! I have also taken a pledge to observe celibacy during the dark fortnight. So you enter into wedlock and marry any other damsel. I shall now get initiated as a female ascetic and try for my spiritual uplift.”
At this Jin Datt said to her, “My dear when you are so eager for your spiritual uplift despite being a lady, why should I get indulged in the mud amid mire of sensuous pleasures being a man. We both shall observe the vow of life-long celibacy while living under one and the same roof in our home. But this decision should not leak out.” Thus, taking a firm pledge of celibacy, which is as difficult to observe as walking on a sharp- edged sword, they both began to live together happily and peacefully practicing rigorously celibacy.
Once there was a princess who suffered from leprosy. All treatments to cure her failed. One day the princess chanced to see a monk. After paying homage to the monk with full reverence, the princess asked the holy sage to tell her a remedy to get rid of her incurable malady. The compassionate sage spoke, “My daughter! A happy newly wedded couple named Jin Datt and Jin Datta, who have been practicing the rigorous vow of celibacy for long, lives in your city. If you shower over your body water purified by the touch of their hands, you can get rid of your disease.” Soon after, in order to act on the advice of the Saint, the princess went to Jin Datta’s house. All the members Jin Datta’s family was taken aback on hearing the words of the princess. As soon as water touched with the hands of Jin Datt and Jin Datta was poured over the princess, her skin disease was cured in no time. Flowers rained from the sky at this miracle. Ultimately, the happy couple Jin Datt and his wife Jin Datta, got initiated to Jain monkshood. This example shows without doubt that self-restraint and good conduct are attained only by practicing the vow of celibacy.
The underground water is pure. A wife loyal to her husband is chaste. A king dedicated to religion is always just and merciful; above all, a celibate’s life is sacred for ever.
The great poet Reidhu explains the supreme virtue of celibacy or chastity as below:
. 1 A man should adopt the superb vow of celibacy so difficult to perform and discard of celibacy; a man should adopt the difficult to perform superb vow and discard the lustful ambitions for sexual pleasures. This living being is running amuck like an elephant whose mind is always engrossed in thoughts of sexual gratification. Therefore, O grand Souls! Safeguard the vow of celibacy with a firm mind.
2. Kam Deva –The god of love and sex, as a rule takes birth in the soil of the unchaste mind. By its onslaught the living beings perform improper deeds. They take delight in the embrace of the disdain able bodies of the ladies, and the fools fail to make any distinction between their legally married wife and the other’s wife.
3. The mean fellow who breaks the vow of celibacy ultimately goes to hell, and suffers untold miseries there. Knowing the truth, one should observe the vow of celibacy in thought, speech and action whole heartedly.
4. A living being is relieved from the world by celibacy. All bodily tortures in the absence of celibacy are no avail; such is the opinion of lord Jinendra.
5. Defend your soul from the outward sensual pleasures derived through the sense of touch and maintain the superb virtue of celibacy in the inner self-soul. The adobe of celibacy is attained through this plan. Such is the humble prayer of the great poet, Reidhu.
6. Observe in a noble way the ten supreme universal virtues, which have been glorified by the omniscient Lord Jinendra and to which the holy monks pay homage and bow in reverence.
Hence, O Mortal Man! Observe celibacy, Observe celibacy and under all odds Observe celibacy, which is the super most virtue, highly adulated by all religions philosophies of the world. Violation of chastity of any woman by way of criminal assault on her or otherwise, is a cognizable offence in all legal systems of the world, punishable even to the extent of severe bodily torture and severe life long sentences. Indeed, sweet are the fruits of celibacy.
To sum up, men of chastity are men of character; and character is supreme and unique possession of man. This is why the scholars assign the highest value to character in human life. The great poet writes:
If wealth is lost, nothing is lost;
If health is lost, something is lost;
If character is lost, everything is lost.
Note:-The words shown in italics and green color are from prakart/sanskrit language.
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