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I And Mine: [02.24] - A Religious Revolution - Sacrifice

Published: 25.11.2005
Updated: 02.07.2015

Once I was sitting in a temple. It was evening time. The priest came, lighted the lamp and performed the aarti (a ceremony in adoration of a deity by circular movement of alighted lamp) and put the lamp on its stand. I was sitting by the stand. I saw how a slender flame was dancing to the tune of the wind. It was giving out a slender flame of smoke also. I thought it was necessary to forsake what is worth forsaking. The lamp was giving light precisely because it is giving up what deserves to be given up. We go for a morning walk. We inhale gradually the vital air and then exhale it very gradually. While exhaling it is not only the vital air expelled but also the impure air with carbon. We keep healthy simply because we know how to forsake that which deserves forsaking.

There is a principle of life-use and then abandon. He who is acquainted with this principle has his life full of light, happiness and health. He who is not acquainted with this principle - he who knows only to take, to receive but not to give up - has no light, happiness and health in his life.

Those who accumulate wealth but do not part with it are, as it were, neglecting light and filling themselves with smoke.

Those who keep adding to their power and do not give it up are, as it were, neglecting health and filling themselves with impure air. Sacrifice is reflected not only in the temple of spirituality but in every bit of our action and behaviour.

No one not acquainted with the power of sacrifice can ever lead a life of freedom and honour.
Dasharnabhadra was the ruler of Dasharnapur. He came to pay obeisance to Lord Mahavira. He was feeling very proud of his glory and splendour. Indra also came - to pay obeisance to the Lord. Seeing his glory and splendour Dasharnabhadra felt ashamed. Pride grows in the presence of inferiors and declines in the presence of superiors. Dasharnabhadra's pride suddenly declined. It was no longer possible to protect his honour. Dasharnabhadra relinquished the power eclipsing light. Indra bowed down before his spiritual splendour.

Enjoyment extinguishes the lamp of bravery while sacrifice lights it. Life blossoms through sacrifice - and withers through enjoyment.

Dasharnabhadra gave up not only state of power but also passion. Sensual pleasure is in material pursuits and passion is within our minds. Sacrifice consists in giving up sensual pleasures and rooting out passions. But if we keep passions active while giving up material pursuits, it is not real sacrifice but only its semblance.

The truth is that we do not know as much about giving up passions as we do about giving up material pursuits, That is why many times even in the act of sacrifice we experience non-sacrifice.

Sacrifice is possible only when attachment is withdrawn from external things and turned inwards. A man while trying to free himself from passions said ,

'Dear Anger! Look for another victim. Brother Honour! You too depart. And you, Madam Deception, cannot stay here. Get out. So also Friend Greed. Now my attachment is directed inwards. Therefore, you cannot coexist with such a situation.'

Be alert to passion, its power will disappear, and obsession with material objects will automatically disappear.

  • 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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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Aarti
  2. Anger
  3. Greed
  4. Indra
  5. Mahavira
  6. Pride
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