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Acharanga Bhasyam: Sūtras 121-139 : Non-Attachment To Desire: Freedom From Sexuality

Published: 26.11.2010
Updated: 02.07.2015

2.121 kāmā duratikkamā.

The desires are difficult to control.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 121

The root of possessiveness is desire. The desire is of two kinds: desire as wish, that is hankering after things like gold, etc., desire as lust, that is, the desire for the sensual objects like sound, colour, etc.

The instinct of sex originates from long drawn-out, motives and inclinations. And, therefore, sexual desires are insurmountable. The surmounting of the desires is like swimming upstream while the senses flow along the stream. Surmounting them therefore is difficult.

2.122 jīviyaṃ duppaḍivahaṇaṃ.

It is difficult to hold life.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 122

Life is short while the desires are very many. In a short life it is not possible to satisfy them. The desires increase in proportion of their enjoyment, but the span of life is difficult to prolong likewise. This is the primary reason for the insurmountability of desires.

2.123 kāmakāmī khalu ayaṃ purise.

The purser of desires is indeed this man.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 123

By nature the man is a pursuer of desires. The desire is a basic instinct and so very difficult to get rid of. This is the second reason for the insurmountability cf the desires.

2.124 se soyati jūrati tippati piḍḍatti paritappati.

He grieves, feels depressed, is angry, sheds tears, experiences pain and torment.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 124

Having shown the nature of desires, the Sūtra now shows the process of meditation called contemplation on the harmful karmic consequence.

Until his desires are surmounted, the state of the man is delineated thus:

He grieves being smitten with sorrow or filled with aspirations and ambitions.

He feels depressed[1], that is, he becomes irritated not getting the desired object, and angry on being deprived of it. He sheds tears. He is oppressed, that is, feels pain on the memory of the objects of desire. He feels tormented being stricken by sexual desires, that is, he feels agony in thought, word and deed caused by the environment outside and the mind within. The torment produced by anger and the like is temporary but the agony due to desires is long-drawn and persistent.

Grief, depression, anger, tear-shedding, pain and torment are the evils[2] that originate from the sexual urge. It is necessary therefore to find out the means to get rid of the urges which are the sources of all evils.

    2.125 āyatacakkhu loga-vipassī logassa aho bhāgaṃ jāṇai, uḍḍhaṃ bhāgaṃ jāṇai, tiriyaṃ bhāgaṃ jāṇai.

    The wide awake monk, with controlled eyes, perceives the structure of the world: he knows the lower, the upper and the middle region.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 125

    In the Sūtra, the process of meditation called contemplation on the harmful karmic consequences[3] is shown. There is a means to surmounting the desires. It is perception or the pure state of the perceiver. The person with 'widely open eyes'[4] means the person with controlled eyes, that is, unwinking eyes.

    'World' means the body[5] which is the structure of the universe. This interpretation can be supported by the Brahmnical works like Śivasaṃhitā, Tantrasaṅgraha, and Carakasaṃhitā (Śarīrasthāna 9/3). In these works the world is compared to the brahmāṇḍa, which is also called 'puruṣa' i.e. the cosmic person.

    In the Sūtra under comment, the word 'Loka' (world) has other meanings too. It can mean the body of a person which is a sensuous object with three parts: the lower, beneath the navel; the upper above the navel, and the middle, the region of the navel itself. Thus, the perceiver of the body is "logavipassī."

    Put in another way, these three parts are: the depressed part consists of socket of the eyes, thyroid cartilage, the middle of the face (cheek bones); the protroding part consists of knees, chest, forehead; and the plain part is the flat surface.

    Again the meditator should perceive the secretion in the upper, lower and middle parts of the body, which can be identified with the endocrine glands and the cakras (psychic centres) of ancient Indian physiology.

    The practice of perceiving the body as a whole is an important aspect of the discipline of meditation. This practice has found elaborate treatment in the Visuddhimagga (chapter 6).

    The Sūtra can be explained in yet another way. The experienced meditator perceives the lower, upper and the middle parts of the universe as striken with grief due to indulgence in sensual desires.

    Yet another way of explaining the sūtra is to discern those states of the soul which lead it to the lower realm of hells or the upper realm of heavens or the middle realm of humans and animals.

    The Sutra under comment can also be explained as describing the practice of concentrating of the widely open and unblinking eyes on a particular object, which is called trāṭaka. By the successful practice of trāṭaka the meditator can know the nature of the three worlds: lower, upper and middle. Lord Mahāvīra frequently practised trāṭaka to enter into deep meditation. (See Āyāro 9/4/14).

    The following three ways of meditation follow from the practice of trāṭaka:

    1. Concentration on the sky.
    2. Concentration on the wall in front.
    3. Concentration on the interior of earth.

    While looking at the sky above, Lord Mahāvīra meditated on the objects situated there. While looking at the wall in front, he meditated on the objects of the middle region. Likewise, while looking at the interior (part) of the earth below, he meditated on the objects there. Reflection on the objects of the upper, the lower and the middle regions supports the enthusiasm, the strength and exertion of the meditator.

    The perception of the structure of the world can be compared with the fourth variety of analytic meditation, namely meditation on the structure of the world.

    Now to revert to the question of the three parts of the body, for the purpose of vipaśyanā meditation, the three parts of the body are: the region of the navel - the middle part of the world; the part beneath the navel - the lower part of the world; the part above the navel - the upper part of the world. The person who perceives the body with unwinking eyes, merely perceives all the three parts, but does not produce empathy to them. Such person is able to surmount the desires.[6]

    2.126  gaḍhie aṇupariyaṭṭamāṇe.

    Tied to the desires, he revolves round them.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 126

    The person tied to the desires revolves round them. The contemplation on this revolving is the second means to release from the desires. The enjoyment of desires is not conducive to pacification of the hankering. A desirous person constantly revolves round them. The desire is calmed down by non-desire, and not by the repeated indulgence in desire. The awakening of such understanding is a powerful support to the release from desires.

    2.127  saṃdhiṃ vidittā iha macciehiṃ.

    One should get rid of addiction to desires by disarming the joining point in the mortals.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 127

    In the scripture, the word 'sandhi' (joining point) is used in various senses.

    It is found in six places in the present scripture:

    1. The noble self-disciplined ascetic (2.106) endowed with noble wisdom and noble vision discovered the sandhi (pitfall). Here it means aperture.
    2. The present Sūtra - here it means joint of the bones.
    3. Having known the 'sandhi' of all beings (3.51) - here it means intention; the content of the Sūtra is repeated in 3.3 and 3.77.
    4. The monk devoted to the doctrine of the Jina, restraints his body and perceives the 'sandhi' (5/20) - here it has two meanings - the aperture in the karmic body which is the cause of the rise of extra­sensory perception; a physical organ which is a psychic centre that preserves the continuity of vigilant perception.
    5. For the monk who perceives the 'sandhi' is engrossed in the single path of detachment, is free from worldly possessiveness, is completely free from violent activities; there is no specific path for emancipation because he has reached the culmination of spiritual discipline - Thus do I say (see 5.30).
    6. The devout practice of the 'sandhi' which I followed is difficult to find elsewhere (5.41) - here 'sandhi' means aperture or devout practice of knowledge, intuition and conduct.

    In the Visuddhimagga,[7] the perception of 'sandhi' (joints) is approved as a support to detachment. In the present context, the perception of the joints in the human body is the third means to the release from attachment to desires.[8]

    2.128 esa vīre pasaṃsie, je baddhe paḍimoyae.

    Praise-worthy indeed is the hero who delivers beings from the bondage of desires.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 128

    The release from desires is possible by valiant exertion. Therefore, in this path of discipline, only the person who has the courage of exertion in self-control is considered praiseworthy for his success in getting release from desires.

    2.129 jahā aṃto tahā bāhiṃ, jahā bāhiṃ tahā aṃto.

    The external of the body is like the internal and the internal is like the external.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 129

    The fourth means to release from the bondage of desires is the absolute disgust for worldly life. It is the cause of detachment from the body. The nature of the body is loathsome as made of primary ingredients like blood, flesh, etc. inside; it is so externally too. The exterior of the body is as much impure as the interior of it.[9]

    2.130 aṃto aṃto pūtidehaṃtarāṇi pāsati puḍhovi savaṃtāiṃ.

    The spiritual aspirant, while contemplating on the loathsome condition of the body by deeply looking into it, perceives the interior apertures of the disgustful body as well as the various secreting sources.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 130

    In the male, there are nine apertures whereas in the female there are twelve. By the perception of the loathsome nature, there is release from the attachment to the body, leading to the attenuation of the attachment to desires.

    The following two verses are quoted in the Vṛtti[10] in support of the contemplation of the loathsome nature of the body:

    "There can be no reason for attachment to the impure body covered by a sheath of skin which is loathsome, ugly and foul, on account of its being full of flesh, bone, blood, sinews, liquid of embryo, fat and marrow; and also full of excreta, urine and sweat flowing, oozing and rotting on all sides."

    2.131 paṃḍie paḍilehāe.

    The learned monk should look at the result of indulging in desires.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 131

    The wise monk, contempleting on the hollowness and impurity of the body and also the results of indulgence in enjoyments, should examine himself, that is, reflect deeply and inscribe the impress or reflection on his mind.

    The desires that have been abandoned by means of self-examination should not be indulged in again. This is a support to the nature of thoughtful contemplation.

    2.132 se maimaṃ pariṇṇāya, mā ya hu lālaṃ paccāsī.

    The intelligent monk should comprehend the nature of desires and abandon them; he should not lick his own saliva.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 132

    The intelligent aspirant has got rid of the desires by the practice of the twofold comprehension. Comprehension means discrimination. It is twofold: comprehension quâ knowledge of the resultants of desires, and comprehension qua abandonment of the desires. In this Sūtra, the meditative thought is impressed upon the disciple: "You should not lick back your own saliva. The desires vomitted should not be licked back."

    2.133 mā tesu tiricchamappāṇmāvātae.

    One should not surrender oneself to the desires.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 133

    There are desires in human beings and there are apertures in the body for sensual desires. So long as there is attachment to his body, a person clings to those apertures. The body may be at any place, but the mind runs to those apertures again and again. In reference to such state of the mind, the Lord has given the instruction: One should not throw[11] himself into those apertures.

    2.134 kāsaṃkase khalu ayaṃ purise, bahumāī, kaḍeṇa muḍhe puṇo taṃ karei lobhaṃ.

    The person is full of lust for desires, he deceives many in various ways, and deluded by his deeds he repeatedly indulges in greed (for the desires).

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 134

    The desires are twofold: wishful desires and sexual urge. The lustful person[12] takes resort to various deceitful devices to satisfy his desires. He is deceitful in multiple ways. He is greedy of various objects. To the query: why is one so greedy. The Sūtra gives the doctrine of the origin of persistent habits. A habit or instinct is produced in the person according to his deeds. That instinct or habit persistently follows him, that is, finds expression in him again and again, the implication is: the person indulges in greed, etc., impelled by his instincts and habits. It is, therefore, said that deluded by his own deeds, he greedily hankers after the objects of his desires.

    Such person on account of the worries and anxieties loses his power of discerning his duties and responsibilities and is designated a deluded person. He hankers after happiness, but subjects himself to suffering instead. He does not sleep, nor takes care of his body, nor takes his food in time. All his actions are topsy-turvy. He lives in dream and is entangled in imaginary problems, being quite ignorant of the problems that beset him.

    2.135 veraṃ vaḍḍheti appaṇo.

    By his greed a person multiples his enmity.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 135

    The Sūtra points out the pitfalls of the passion of the greed. A person under the sway of lust and desires strengthens his inimical disposition. Anger accompanied with pride is enmity. Enmity is the cause of suffering or producer of evil karma.

    2.136 jamiṇaṃ parikahijai, imassa cevapadibūhaṇayāe.

    The view that 'the lust for desires gives satisfaction' is a misconception. It augments the discontent instead.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 136

    The dictum: 'deluded by his past deeds, he repeatedly indulges in greed' means that hankering after the sensual object augments his lust. The implication is: The deluded person indulges in the satisfaction of desires for the purpose of doing away with the suffering, but he does not know that such indulgence leads to the strengthening of the desires. It has therefore been said: 'A person tormented by sufferings indulges in sensual things, which cause suffering. If suffering is not dear to you, it is not proper for you to indulge in them (the sensual objects)'.[13]

    2.137 amarāyai mahāsaḍḍhi. The believer in desire and greed behaves like an immortal beings.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 137

    A person who has deep interest in the objects of desire and the means of their acquisition, namely, wealth, is a person of great ambition, behaving like an immortal being,[14] apparently free of the fear of death.

    2.138 aṭṭametaṃ pehāe.

    Look at the agony of such people.

    Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 138

    A person excited by the thought of the sexual desires and the fortune needed for its satisfaction is a person in anguish, that is, distressed and miserable. Observing this state of the anguished person you should know that sexual desire and wealth are the source of misery and suffering.

    2.139 apariṇṇāe kaṃdati.

    The person not abstaining from accumulation of wealth bewails in the long ran.

    Bhasyam Sutra 139

    Ignorant of the true nature of desires and the wealth and their consequences, he weeps. He bewails out of unfulfilled ambition when the object is not achieved, and sheds tears out of grief when the object is lost.


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    Jain Vishwa Bharati

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

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    First Edition:2001

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    Page glossary
    Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
    1. Anger
    2. Body
    3. Cakras
    4. Concentration
    5. Contemplation
    6. Cūrṇi
    7. Discipline
    8. Environment
    9. Fear
    10. Greed
    11. Jina
    12. Karma
    13. Karmic Body
    14. Loka
    15. Magadha
    16. Mahāvīra
    17. Meditation
    18. Pride
    19. Psychic Centre
    20. Psychic Centres
    21. Rājagṛha
    22. Soul
    23. Sutra
    24. Sādhaka
    25. Sādhanā
    26. Sūtra
    27. Vṛtti
    28. Ācārāṅga
    29. Āyāro
    30. śloka
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