An Introduction To Jainism ► [24] Jain Monastic Conduct

Posted: 22.12.2008

Lord Mahāvīra has prescribed religion for both—lay followers as well as ascetics:


Agāra Dharma

i.e., Religion or code of conduct for household.


Anagāra Dharma

i.e., Religion or code of conduct for monks and nuns.

There are five Mahāvratas (great vows) to be observed by Jain monks and nuns -

1. Non-violence
2. Truth
3. Non-Stealing
4. Celibacy
5. Non-possession

These five vows are to be observed for the whole life. The monk (or nun) should never indulge in killing or hurting any living beings by body, speech and mind. Under any circumstances, he should never tell a lie. He should not steal anything; as such for staying at somebody's place, he should seek permission from the owner. He should abstain himself from any kind of sexual activities. Monks and nuns shouldn't touch the opposite sex. They shouldn't have any kind of possession except those which are necessary for sustaining life. All the monks and nuns have to follow these Mahāvratas even in adverse conditions.

All the monks and nuns also should practise the rules of deportment called Samiti & Gupti.

Five Samities


Iryā Samiti

Walking in a disciplined way.


Bhāṣā Samiti

Speaking in a disciplined way.


Eṣeṇā Samiti

Accepting food etc. in accordance with the rules prescribed for obtaining food etc. and eating food in a disciplined way.


Ādāna Nikṣepa Samiti

Using utensils in a disciplined way.


Utsarga Samiti

Disposal of excreta in a disciplined way.

Three Gupties


Mana Gupti

Control over the mental activities.


Vacana Gupti

Observance of silence.


Kāya Gupti

Control of physical activities.

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