An Introduction To Jainism ► [25] Code of Conduct for the Lay Follower

Posted: 23.12.2008

After having laid down a discipline for the ascetics, Mahāvīra laid down the code of conduct for householders too. He said that although the householders cannot be free from the responsibilities concerning the family, the society, the state etc., yet they should observe the following five minor vows (aṇuvratas):

  1. Abstinence from gross violence.
  2. Abstinence from gross falsehood.
  3. Abstinence from gross stealing.
  4. Practise of chastity.
  5. To limit desires - to put a limit to accumulation of wealth etc.

The householder should practise the following auxiliary vows in order to strengthen the above mentioned minor vows:

  1. Limiting one's journeys in all directions and abstain from activites of violence etc., beyond it.
  2. Limiting the consumption of things.
  3. Abstinence from acts of unnecessary violence etc..
  4. Practise of equanimity for one muhūrta (= 48 minutes) at least once a day.
  5. To put a further limit even to the necessary activities of worldly interest for a limited time.
  6. Practise of fasting and abstaining from worldly activities for the whole day and night, at least once a year.
  7. Offering food etc. to ascetics in accordance with their rules.
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