Acharanga Bhasyam: Sūtras 31-38 : Acquisitiveness

Published: 16.02.2011
Updated: 02.07.2015

5.31 āvaṃtī keāvaṃti logaṃsi pariggahāvaṃtī—se appaṃ vā, bahuṃ vā, aṇuṃ vā, thūlaṃ vā, cittamaṃtaṃ vā, acittamaṃ taṃ vā, etesu ceva pariggahāvaṃtī.

Whoever is seized by the passion of possessiveness, does so with respect to six kinds of beings that are few or many, subtle or gross, animate or inanimate is subject to the passion of possession on account of his clinging to those objects.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 31

Things are made of matter, and as such they are not possessions. They become so when they are seized by the person on account of his clinging.Clinging is accepted as possession,[1] though in the present Sūtra the things themselves are overtly mentioned as possession.

5.32 etadevegesiṃ mahabbhayaṃ bhavati, logavittaṃ ca ṇaṃ uvehāe.

The possession is the source of terrible fear for some people. Look at the conduct of the people.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 32

The possessions are of three kinds: body, karma and things. Some people renounce the things- but have clinging to the body, and this body becomes a source of great fear for them. Look closely at the conduct of the people. Just as they produce terrible fear on account of their clinging to wealth and property, exactly so their clinging to body[2] is the source of terrible fear.

5.33 ee saṃge avijāṇato.

For the ignorant these things are sources of temptation.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 33

These things and the body are the causes of temptation[3] for the ignorant,[4] that is, they are the sources of attachment. Here the Sūtra has clarified that things are not the producers of temptation by themselves. They produce temptation to an ignorant person. They cannot do so in the case of the enlightened person.[5]

5.34 se supaḍibuddhaṃ sūvaṇīyaṃ ti ṇaccā, purisā! paramacakkhū! viparakkamā.

The fact that the possessions are the cause of great fear is clearly known and illustrated. You, the possessor of the eye of wisdom as you are, should exert for restraining the passion of possessiveness.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 34

It has been well understood and well explained by the seers that possession is the cause of great fear. Knowing that it has been explained to the disciples by well-ascertained reasons, you who are a person of great vision should exert properly and in various ways for the fulfilment of the virtue of non-possession.

5.35 etesu ceva baṃbhaceraṃ ti bemi.

Celibacy finds its fulfilment only in the practitioner of restraint with respect to possessions - thus do I say.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 35

Only the people freed from possessiveness are capab'e of observing celibacy - thus do I say. 'Celibacy' means self-absorption, control of the sex or living with the teacher.[6] A person, entangled in the things of the world, cannot live in himself.

For a person attracted by the things of the world, it is not easy to practise celibacy nor it is easy for the non-restrained person to live in the family of the teacher. The implication is that it is only the person free from possession who can practise the vow of celibacy in all its aspects.

5.36 se suyaṃ ca me ajjhatthiyaṃ ca me, "baṃdha-pamokkho tujjha ajjhattheva."

I have heard, I have experienced - Bondage and emancipation are within yourself.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 36

The Sūtra says that the bondage is only in your inner self. In the same way the emancipation is also in your inner self.[7] The lust for things is the cause of bondage. The non-attachment to things is the cause of emancipation. This I have heard from the Lord, I have thought about it myself, and I have also found it by my own experience.[8]

The soul itself is the maker of the karma, and so the karmic bondage is due to the soul. He is also the unmaker of karma and the liberation from karma is due to the soul itself. The implication is that the soul is the creator of bondage as well as liberation. Had God been the creator, what purpose would be served by karma, karmic bondage and liberation? To incur bondage in order to achieve liberation is an act that only an ignorant person will indulge.

The soul, due to its laxity and non-vigilance, creates its own bondage by attracting karmic particles on account of its own inauspicious enthusiasm, action, strength, energy, self-exertion and stamina. On the other hand the soul itself due to its self-aware vigilance effects its own liberation from karmic bondage by means of its own auspicious enthusiasm, action, strength, energy, self-exertion and stamina. The soul is also capable of altering the karmic course by the process of premature fruition and interchange of the nature of karma. It is thus established that the bondage and liberation are due to the soul itself, and not any other external agency like god.

5.37 ettha virate aṇagāre, dīharāyaṃ titikkhae. pamatte bahiyā pāsa, appamatto pariwae.

The ascetic detached from possessiveness should endure hardships all through his life. Look, the careless people live outside the realm of self-discipline. You should therefore be vigilant and live in yourself.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 37

The monk who has renounced the possessions has to tolerate the privations and hardships due to the non-possession forever throughout his life. You should see that the people who are infatuated with possessions and find delight in them are situated outside the realization of the self. Knowing that the non-vigilant person is never emancipated, while the vigilant one is sure to be emancipated, you should renounce the world, being free from non-vigilance.[9]

5.38 eyaṃ moṇaṃ sammaṃ aṇuvāsijjāsi. - tti bemi.

'You should properly maintain the state of monkhood9. - Thus do I say.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 38

The man entangled in possessiveness is outside the realm of self-realization. The essence of this Sūtra deserves careful reflection. Merely hearing and reciting is not enough for getting into the meaning of the Sūtra. So long as the text heard or recited is not practised and experienced within oneself, it is not possible even to think of the actual application of the truth in day-to-day life.

The Sūtra, therefore, concludes with the injuction: 'one should properly maintain the state of his monkhood'.

The monkhood means the practice of non-possessiveness and self-restraint.


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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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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Brahmacarya
  3. Celibacy
  4. Cūrṇi
  5. Discipline
  6. Fear
  7. Karma
  8. Non-violence
  9. Soul
  10. Syāt
  11. Sūtra
  12. Vṛtti
  13. Ācārāṅga
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