Jai Mahavir ji
Fundamental Features of Jainism
Supreme Tenderness or Humility
(Uttama Mardav Dharma)
Source religious books written by Upadhaya Munishri Kamakumar Nandi ji in excerpt form.
Compassion or supreme tenderness (Uttama Mardav) gets the second place amidst the ten tenets of Jainism, in the book ‘sarvartha Sidhi) the Reverend Acharya Piya Pad Swamy tells the meaning of compassion (Mardav):
“The feeling of humility or tenderness is compassion”
Compassion means to put an end to vanity or egotism. The foundation of compassion is tenderness or humility. It is an inherent trait of the soul. Telling humility the root of religion in Jain scripture ‘Bodh Pahud’ Acharya shri KundKund Swamy states: ‘Religion means to be adorned with pity’. In another scripture ‘Rayansar’ it has been stated as ‘Mercy is the true religion’. Just as the construction of a building in absence of foundation; the existence of a tree in absence of roots; likewise birth of the virtue of compassion and Right belief is impossible for want of humility. The attainment of salvation lies in humility or compassion.
Look at a genuine nude Jain Saint who is a living image of extreme humility treading this earth. Indeed, humility is the strength of perfection; it will bring down all enemies.
In nearly all the world's religions, personal morality begins with this simple concept: Treat others as you would like to be treated. As such, the golden rule is perhaps the most basic of the personal virtues.
Hence, O Mortal Man! Be compassionate, be compassionate, and be compassionate to one and all both men, birds and beasts.
In the world lifelong abstention from injury to living beings, is a vow difficult to observe impartiality or equanimity towards all living beings, whether friends or foes, and lifelong.
Therefore, the futility of baseless pride should be abandoned absolutely. The following story throws light to guide us to the right path.
A man named Maan Mal was an extremely rich but proud person. In his neighborhood there lived a poor man named Vinaya Kumar who earned his bread and butter by making baskets. Vinaya Kumar was polite and diligent by nature. He had become very popular due to his humility. All praised him. Despite being poor Vinaya Kumar was content and happy. Maan Mal had grown jealous of Vinaya Kumar at heart on seeing his happiness and popularity. The jealousy of Maan Mal assumed a furious shape. Out of jealousy the cottage of Vinaya Kumar was set on fire by him. As a result Vinaya Kumar was totally ruined. The implements and raw materials like bamboo and twigs etc used for making baskets were also burnt to ashes along with cottage. However, the life of Vinaya Kumar was saved. He appealed to judge in the court for justice. In order to affirm whether Maan Mal was really jealous of Vinaya Kumar, the judge sent both of them to a far off unknown Island.
On reaching the distant and new Island they both set to work to arrange for means of livelihood afresh. Vinaya labored hard and charmed the inhabitants of the Island by his service and good conduct. All began to respect him. On the other hand maddened with pride of wealth, the cruel hearted Maan Mal did not bring a change in his vain nature and behavior. Resulting Maan Mal got hatred and disgrace from the inhabitants of the Islands.
Faced with loneliness, disgrace and helplessness Maan Mal became unhappy in the life. He now realized that his arrogant nature and bad conduct were the cause of his misery. Being sad and ashamed Maan Mal apologized to Vinaya Kumar. Pleading guilty Maan Mal pledged to follow good conduct and politeness in future. It shows that in order to become popular and peace and happiness in life a man should follow the rules of good conduct getting rid of egotism and vanity.
It has been well said, “The heat of the sun scorches the moon, but the moon smiles sweet and sheds her cool luster to delight the world. The truly noble man bears all sorts of troubles with a smiling face, and showers peace and happiness to please mankind.”
The great poet Reidhu has described the supreme virtue of Supreme tenderness or humility as follow:
This virtue of compassion or tenderness overcomes the world i.e. conquers every one in the world. It subdues vanity. This compassion or humility is at the root of mercy; it is the cause for unblemished conduct and is beneficial to all. It is superb amongst all the virtues; and vows and self-control are fulfilled and exercised only with compassion or humility.
Compassion destroys vanity and egotism; puts a check on all the five senses and mind. By the blessing of virtue of humility, the creeper of the mercy expands on the ground of mind.
3. The virtue of compassion exhibits devotion to Lord Jinendra; compassion restraints the growth of evil thoughts. Compassion gives rise to the feeling of humility and puts an end to the feeling of bitterness.
4. Compassion brings purity in outlook; it helps in the attainment of both the worlds- the earthly and heavenly world, it glorifies both type of penance and by it a man can charm the creature of all the three world.
5. The virtue of compassion makes one aware of the Jain discipline and it gives clear perception of the real shape of the self and non-self. Humility removes all evils and it takes us across the ocean of world.
6. The feeling of compassion or tenderness is part and parcel of Right Belief. Knowing this, pay homage to the wonderful and unblemished virtue of compassion (Mardav Dharma)
Note:-The words shown in italics and green color are from prakart/sanskrit language.
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