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Acharanga Bhasyam: Sūtra 9-10 : Fundamental Motives Of Actions

Published: 05.10.2010
Updated: 02.07.2015

1. 9 tattha khalu bhagavayā pariṇṇā paveiyā.

On this subject, the Lord has propounded the principle of comprehension and abandonment.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 9

The Lord has revealed the nature of comprehension and abandonment by confirming the truth of the knowledge of the person with the memory of previous births through his own experience of special events. Comprehension and abandonment means discrimination between self-restraint and indulgence. The person who does not comprehend the nature of karma, travels from one birth to another in different cardinal and intermediate directions. This is indeed a fact. It is nevertheless necessary to search out the basic causes of the non-comprehension of the nature of karma leading to transmigration. The following causes of transmigration are enumerated in the sūtra  10.

1.10 imassa ceva jῑviyassa, parivaṃdaṇa-māṇaṇa-pūyaṇāe, jāῑ-maraṇa-moyaṇāe, dukkhapaḍighāyaheuṃ.

Longing for survival, praise, reverence and adoration; life and death; emancipation, and elimination of physical and mental suffering.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 10

The following causes of transmigration are enumerated in  the sūtra  10:

  1. Longing for survival - There are multitude of longings in a living being. Among these, the longing to live is the strongest and foremost. This truth has been demonstrated in the following words coming out of the deepest experience of the seer. "All beings love life..................... They are attached to this mortal coil. They want to hang on to life."[1] "Life is dear to all beings."[2] The person longing for life stores up things to perpetuate cruel acts of violence. Thus the longing for life turns into a spring of karma.[3] This is the whirlpool of suffering.[4]
  2. Praise - The word 'honour' (parivandana) has been explained as 'praise' by the commentator.[5] People indulge in violent actions to earn praise. Here it seems that the original text has got vitiated. It should read "Jῑviyassa paribaṃhaṇa." In the Cūrṇi we get corroboration of this reading. According to the book of Āyurveda, the nourishment should help the growth of life. The word bṛṃhaṇiya as used here in the context of present sūtra, the meaning will be—people indulge in violent activities for strengthening the life. The error of the scribe may be responsible for writing 'da' in place of 'ha'. This has resulted in changing of the whole meaning. The Cūrṇi, however, accepts the reading paribaṃḍaṇa.[6]
  3. Reverence (mānanam) - This word is to be explained in two different ways. First, a person engages in violent actions in order to honour another person. Secondly, a person, when not honoured, indulges in violent action such as punishing the person who failed to honour him. For instance, when a powerful tyrant does not get proper honour and reverence from his subjects, he indulges in imprisoning and killing them and confiscating their possessions.
  4. Adoration (pūjanam) - Even as acts of violence are done for offering respect, exactly so harmful acts can be perpetrated in order to adore others. The show of respect is done by standing-up in order to welcome, while the worship is performed by putting mark of sandal or saffforn on the forehead of the person to be adorned.
  5. Life and death - We have used the word 'birth' for jāti which has two meanings: birth and similarity. Here, the meaning birth is relevant and appropriate. Death means the end of life. The indulgence in violent karma can be easily be found to be done for the sake of birth and death. For instance, a person performs sacrifices for his birth in heaven, or he can arrange for special ceremony in advance on the occasion of his death.
  6.  Emancipation - It means liberation or freedom. It is well known that in many religious traditions, varieties of cruel acts are prescribed for liberation from worldly bondage.

    The phrase 'for birth, death and emancipation' can be interpreted as one single concept, which means emancipation from birth and death. We find people  believe in acts of violence (such as animal sacrifice) for their own freedom from birth and death, as well as the spiritual freedom of the victims of such violence.

    The reading ‘bhoyaṇāe’, for ‘moyaṇāe’, accepted by the Cūrṇi appears to be more appropriate. People are found engaged in agriculture and the like for food. Even the psychoanalysts and biologists admit that the search for food is a fundamental instinct.[7] Freud has accepted only two instincts, e.g., the instinct of life and instinct of death.[8] The later psychologists expanded the scope of instincts and emotions. In the sūtra 10, only seven fundamental instincts are mentioned. Maslo has admitted 'regard' and 'respect' also as a fundamental instinct and emotion.[9]

  7. The elimination of mental and physical suffering - For the purpose of getting rid of various kinds of physical and mental sufffering, a person indulges in various acts of violence. Such indulgence is the fountain-head of worldly activity.

    In the sūtra  under discussion, the most profound estimate and enumeration of the causes of violence has been made.


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Jain Vishwa Bharati

Ladnun- 341 306 (Raj.) India © Jain Vishva Bharti

ISBNS 1-7195-74-4

First Edition:2001

Courtesy :
Shree Chhotulal Sethia Charitable Trust Sethia House, 23/24,
Radha Bazar Street, Kolkata-700 001 (INDIA)

Printed by:
Shree Vardhaman Press
Delhi (INDIA)

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Cūrṇi
  2. Karma
  3. London
  4. Nāma
  5. Sūtra
  6. Violence
  7. Vṛtti
  8. Ācārāṅga
  9. Āyurveda
  10. Āyāro
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