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Acharanga Bhasyam: Sūtras 54-65 : Forswearing Of Violence

Published: 15.10.2010
Updated: 02.07.2015

1.54 se bemi—saṃti pāṇā udaya-nissiyā jῑvā aṇegā.

There are many acquatic beings living in water. Thus do I say.

1.55 ihaṃ ca khalu bho! aṇagārāṇaṃ udaya-jῑvā viyāhiyā.

In this ascetic discipline, O men, water itself has been propounded as a living being.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtras 54,55

In those days no other thinker did accept water as a sentient entity. There was of course the opinion that there are living beings in water. This Sūtra clarifies the issue. In the Jaina scripture, water itself is propounded a living substance. There are many creatures living in water. But they are not water-bodied beings, being simply the mobile beings born in water. The organisms (accepted by modern science) live in water, but they are not water-bodied beings.[1]

    1.56 sa.tthaṃ cettha āṇuvῑi pāsā.

    Minutely visualize the weapons of injury to water-bodied beings.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 56

    Look carefully at the weapons that destroy the water-bodied beings, that is, the instruments that kill them. This is for enlightening the mind of the disciple. Asks the disciple: what are those weapons? The reply is contained in the sūtra that follows.

    1.57 puḍho satthaṃ paveiyaṃ.

    That there are varieties of weapons has been propounded (by the Lord).

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 57

    There are many varieties of weapons that kill the water-bodied beings. In the Niryukti,[2] those weapons are:

    1. Drawing out water from a well by means of a vessel.[3]
    2. Straining through a thick smooth piece of cloth.[4]
    3. Washing cloth, pot, etc.
    4. The river water is the weapon of pond water. (Here the weapon is homogeneous).
    5. Earth, soil, alkali, fire, etc., are the weapons of water-bodied beings. (Here the weapon is heterogeneous).
    6. Earth mixed with water is the weapon of the water-bodied beings. (Here the weapon is a mixture of homogeneous and hetrogeneous instruments of destruction).

    The Cūrṇi mentions some other varieties of weapons also, such as, change produced in colour, taste, smell and touch.

    For instance, water when heated becomes slightly brown in colour, smoky in smell, insipid in taste, and hot in touch. The imperfectly boiled water is not lifeless.

    The salty, sweet and sour water are weapons mutually. The foul smelled water is mostly lifeless.

    The natural hot water of the Mahātapa spring (the hot spring near Rajgir in Bihar) is by nature animate. When it grows cold, it gives up its nature and becomes inanimate.

    Salty, sweet and acid water are mutually weapons. The fowl smell is usually inanimate.[5]

    In the Bhagavatῑ Sūtra, there is mention of the growth of fire-bodied beings in this hot spring.[6] But there is no mention of the water becoming inanimate, when it becomes cold.

    1.58 aduvā adiṇṇāadāṇaṃ.

    Or, it (viz. the use of live water) is a case of accepting what has not been offered (stealing).

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 58

    In those days, the heretic teachers did not use water, not offered to them. They took the permission of the owner of the water reservoir and considered sufficient for the observance of the principle of non-stealing. The Jaina monks, however, argued that such permission was inadequate for the use of water, without violating the principle of non-stealing.

    The permission, according to them, of the live water was necessary for its killing before use. In the absence of such permission, was not the use of water, that was deprived of its life, a case of accepting what was not offered? The Sūtra expressly advances such arguments by pointing out that such use of water was palpably the case of stealing, and as such, illegitimate.

    1.59 kappaiṇe, pakkaiṇe pāuṃ, aduvā vibhūsāe.

    Some (heretics) asserted: water was allowed to them, water was allowed to them to drink, also to beautify their body.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 59

    Although some heretical sects like the Ājῑvikas and others, did not believe in the existence of the water-bodied beings, they had imposed certain restrictions for using water. This is indicated in this Sūtra. The Ājῑvikas and the Śaivas agreed that they could use water only to drink and not for any other purpose.

    The Buddhists used water to drink and also to bathe. 'Beautifying' stands for washing garments, etc, and also bathing.

    1.60 puḍho satthehiṃ viuṭṭaṃti.

    They kill water-bodied beings by various weapons.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 60

    The above mentioned heretics did not accept that water is alive and so the principle of not accepting what was not offered was not acceptable to them in the case of using water. They did not consequently abstain from injury to live water. Keeping their doctrine in view, the Sutra emphasizes that those heretics do not desist from killing water-bodied beings by various weapons. In other words, the heretics indulged in injury to water-bodied beings citing their respective scriptures in support of their contention.

    1.61 etthavi tesiṃ ṇo ṇikaraṇāe.

    Even then they cannot absolve themselves (of the responsibility).

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 61

    Even though those heretics admitted that only a limited use of water was allowed to them by their scriptures, they were not able to desist from injury to water-bodied beings, in order to avoid violence to them.

    Here the word 'nikaraṇa (absolving oneself)' means denouncing, avoiding, abstaining, reasoning, absence of activity, and so on.1

    1.62  etha satthaṃ samāraṃbhamāṇassa iccette āraṃbhā apariṇṇāyā bhavaṃti.

    The person thus indulging in acts of violence does neither comprehend, nor abandon them.

    1.63  etha satthaṃ asamāraṃbhamāṇassa iccette āraṃbhā apariṇṇāyā bhavaṃti.

    The person not indulging in acts of violence is capable of comprehending and abandoning them.

    1.64 taṃ pariṇṇāya mehāvῑ ṇeva sayaṃ udaya-satthaṃ samāraṃbhejjā, ṇevannehiṃ udaya-satthaṃ samāraṃbhāvejjā, udaya-satthaṃ samāraṃbhaṃtevi aṇṇe ṇa samuṇajāṇejā.

    Comprehending this, an intelligent ascetic should not indulge in violence to the water-bodied beings, nor should he instigate others to do so, nor should he approve of such violence committed by others.

    1.65  jassete udaya-sattha-samāraṃbhā pariṇṇāyā bhavaṃti, se hu muṇῑ pariṇṇāta-kamme. - tti bemi.

    The ascetic who comprehends and abandons these acts of violence to the water-bodied beings is indeed an ascetic who has fully comprehended and abandoned all acts of violence.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtras 62-65

    See 5.31-34.


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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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    1. Bihar
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    5. JAINA
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