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I And Mine: [03.09.05] - 8 Brief Rules of Group Spiritual Practice - 1. Right Behaviour (5)

Published: 21.12.2005
Updated: 02.07.2015

Chandan:

Is this not attachment?

Muni Shree:

It is affection. At present we are affected by our love for religion. Samyak Darshan (right faith) has eight brief rules, one of which is Vatsalya or affectionate love. There can be no bond of unit without affectionate love. It can bring about many happy results. With affection rigorous discipline can be imposed, penitence can be enforced, and such situations can be created as are beyond imagination. The thread of affection can easily enter the eyes of the needle of affection. Attachment and detachment are not incompatible. Attachment to one is detachment from another. Attachment to the soul, the Supreme, liberation and religion is pure.

Chandan:

Is affectionate love not infatuation?

Muni Shree:

It may be, but how can it be banished from social relations? Take the relation between father and son. If the father cares for the son, remains sympathetic towards him, the whole behaviour becomes sweet. He is bound to create enmity in the heart of the son if he behaves unsympathetically, even though a part of the family, under the impact of singleness leading him to think that man comes in the world alone, carries his own deserts with him and that it is in vain to think of friendship. King Udrayan once thought that the son should not be crowned since a king is invariably damned and it would be bad to damn one's own son. - Hence, he crowned his nephew instead. Consequently the son turned hostile toward him and remains so until the end. He swore that he would never beg pardon of his father. On the other hand, the nephew grew apprehensive of a change of the mind of the king and so tried to kill the latter. All this happened simply because of wrong treatment.

Jainendra:

It is necessary to keep in mind both scientific appraisal and analytical approach . Can the latter be not derived from the former? Analytical approach itself will culminate in being scientific appraisal. By concentrating on the scientific appraisal, attachment and detachment could be avoided. Inclination towards analytical approach will destroy scientific appraisal and vice versa. On the contrary, if scientific appraisal is followed honestly, the analytical approach will automatically be taken care of.

Muni Shree:

All Tirthankars (chief saints of the Jains) promote analytical approach: They promote the Sangh (community of monks) and they promote organization. Where has the analytical approach come from? Where did this perception come from in their lives? Analytical approach has undoubtedly been derived from scientific appraisal. The Tirtha nkars were f ulfilled beings - they had successfully completed their mission. Though they had nothing to gain, even then they went on working. Nobody can ever be free from the analytical approach. It will go on so long as the body is functional. Of the twelve vows enjoined upon a Shravak (disciple) is an Atichar (transgression) that “I will not cut off the source of livelihood of those dependent on me.” Where has this analytical approach come from? The more religious a man, the more pleasant his behaviour.

Jainendra:

Religiosity will diminish in proportion to the degree of defective nature of the analytical approach (behaviour).

Muni Shree:

Roopchandji Sethia was a deeply religious disciple. He was as cautious about behaviour as he was religious.

Chandan:

Is analytical approach not fascination?

Muni Shree:

Why do you see only fascination in the analytical approach? Why don't you see the sense of justice or equality associated with it? Imagine that a father has four sons. He is more inclined towards one of them. He gives that son two lacs of rupees and one lac to the second son and half a lac each to the third and the fourth. The result is bound to be mutual clashes. The father might consider himself to be religious; the sons would regard him irreligious and impractical. If the behaviour had been influenced by religion, everyone would have been treated equally. There would not have been injustice to three of them.

Chandan:

It is right that injustice should be avoided. But is it not the previous birth which determines our feelings towards one another?

Muni Shree:

There can be dissatisfaction with a Vitarag (one who is free from passions) also.

Jainendra:

Not merely dissatisfaction but acute dissatisfaction. Without his posing threat to anyone Gandhi was assassinated. Jesus Christ was the very picture of love; yet he was crucified.

Muni Shree:

Incongruity is born of one's own mentality.

Jainendra:

Christ had love even for those who crucified him. It was his great quality. A worshipper of religion will be ineffectual if he looks outside himself and worries about the effects of his actions.

Muni Shree:

One has to be careful to ensure that hatred does not become the cause of one's actions. Having the responsibility of running the household and mining away from it is bound to create difficulty.

The f ather of Chandanbala was King Dadhivahan. Shatanik attached his kingdom and Dadhivahan tied away out of fear. The soldiers entered and plundered the capital. The queen met her death. Chandanbala was kidnapped. Shall we say that it was the feeling of non-violence which made the king flee? Not in the least; it was sheer cowardice. It amounted to gross irresponsibility and betrayal of everybody's trust. It was not renunciation but breach of responsibility. If he had really been given to renunciation, he would not have in the first instance accepted the responsibility of ruling the state.

Chandan:

Is it religious to fulfil one's responsibility?

Muni Shree:

One who is cautious about his behaviour creates a liking for religion in others. We are six sadhus. One of us is ill. If I think, 'my meditation will suffer if I direct my attention towards his illness. It is his destiny. He has to reap the fruit of his karmas and I cannot do anything about it.' If I think like this, I will make people disinclined towards religion not inclined towards it.

Chandan:

The wife is ill. It is time for meditation. Should the husband meditate or look after his wife?

Muni Shree:

I consider meditation very essential, but how will one in practical life forget to serve in need, when it is a question of preventing people from being indifferent to religion and religious people.

Jainendra:

No behaviour is bad if it is full of sympathy. Indifferent or unsympathetic behaviour is in itself cruelty of some kind.

Muni Shree:

Very often non-violence is thought of at the final stage, whereas it should concern us in the initial stale. Once Acharya Shree said. 'People think of non-violence when they are concerned with preserving the country and not in normal times when they are concerned with keeping it and governing it. Violence has its roots not in preserving possessions but in accepting the validity of possessions.

Phool Kumari:

How is one to judge behaviour when people separate as a result of the growth of the family?

Muni Shree:

Both Lord Mahavira and Lord Buddha left their home and rid themselves of family responsibility. The question of responsibility arises when the relationship is present. The situation changes if a man leaves home and goes away to dwell in a forest. Only that religious person makes people known to and near him antipathetic to religion who does not fulfil the responsibility having accepted before. All questions pertaining to behaviour cease to be meaningful if the inner feeling of renunciation becomes pronounced.

Sources
  • I And Mine by Acharya Mahaprajna
  • Edited by Muni Dulahraj ji
  • Translated by R.P. Bhatnagar, formerly Prof. Dept. of English at Jaipur University
  • Published by Jain Vishva Bharati Institute, Ladnun, India, 1st Edition, 1995

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Body
  3. Buddha
  4. Chandanbala
  5. Darshan
  6. Discipline
  7. Fear
  8. Gandhi
  9. Karmas
  10. Lac
  11. Mahavira
  12. Meditation
  13. Muni
  14. Non-violence
  15. Sadhus
  16. Samyak Darshan
  17. Sangh
  18. Shravak
  19. Soul
  20. Tirtha
  21. Tirthankars
  22. Vatsalya
  23. Violence
  24. Vitarag
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