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Acharanga Bhasyam: Verses 19-25 : Fast Unto Death Without Any Movement Called Prāopagamana

Published: 24.06.2011
Updated: 02.07.2015

8.19 ayaṃ cāyatatare siyā, jo evaṃ aṇupālae.
savvagāyaṇirodhevi, ṭhāṇāto ṇa viubbhame..

There is a still more excellent way of fasting unto death than the fasting with restricted movement. This is fasting unto death without any movement. The monk who undertakes such fasting according to aforesaid manner does not move from his place, even if the whole body turns rigid.

Bhāṣyaṃ Verse 19

The fasting unto death without any movement is superior, that is more excellent than fasting accompanied with restricted movement. There is strict prohibition of movement from the place occupied by the fasting monk. It is natural that the entire body of the practiser laying down without any kind of movement becomes rigid. But for the monk, engaged in fasting without movement, has a stronger will and unflinching power of endurance. Because of such will and power of tolerance, the monk is capable of observing complete detachment from body.

8.20 ayaṃ se uttame dhamme, puvvaṭṭhāṇassa paggahe.
aciraṃ paḍilehittā, vihare ciṭṭha māhaṇe..

It is the highest discipline. This is the consummation of the previous fasting unto death with restricted movement. The monk should And out a suitable[1] place free from insects and keep perfectly still.

Bhāṣyaṃ Verse 20

This fasting unto death without movement is an excellent discipline, that is, a superior mode of dying. In this mode, there is a special rite that is superior to the rite of dying with movement. The practiser of fasting with restricted movement may move to and fro in a restricted area and render service to his own body. But the monk, engaged in immobile fasting, keeps unmoved from his place of fasting and does not even himself render any kind of service to his body.

8.21 acittaṃ tu samāsajja, ṭhāvae tattha appagaṃ.
vosire savvaso kāyaṃ, ṇa me dehe parīsahā..

Such monk should select a suitable place for his practice of austerity. Having attained a place (such as a wooden plank etc.), free from living beings, he should fix himself there. He should abandon his body and ponder that how this body which does not belong to him can be subject to hardships.

Bhāṣyaṃ Verse 21

The monk engaged in motionless fasting, on reaching some lifeless spot or wall or a log of wood or a place, should fix himself there. He should completely abandon his body from, that is, desisting from all kinds of physical movement. In this way, the practice of fasting without movement is accomplished.[2]

Having adopted the practise of motionless fasting, he should take resort to the contemplation of otherness of the soul from the body, which enables him to tolerate the hardships. The motionless death can be practised in all these three postures—relaxation while laying down, relaxation while sitting down, relaxation while standing up. In all these three postures, there arises pain when one makes himself static for a long time in a single state of relaxation. At that time, it occurs to his mind that 'this body is not mine, how can there be hardships, or I am living in a state of equanimity as regards joy and sorrow, and so there is no hardships in my body'. With his mind fixed on such thoughts, he can properly endure the hardships.

8.22 jāvajjīvaṃ parīsahā, uvasaggāya saṃkhāya.
saṃvuḍe dehabheyāe, iti paṇṇehiyāsae..

So long as there is life, there would occur these hardships and troubles. Knowing this, the wise and restricted monk who abandons his body and is preparing for its dissolution should bear them with equanimity.

Bhāṣyaṃ Verse 22

Having realized that the hardships and troubles arise so long as there is life, the wise monk apply his will-power to endure them. He should not be agitated on the occurence of the hardships and troubles, nor should he resort to any kind of relief.[3]

8.23 bheuresu na rajjejjā, kāmesu bahutaresu vi.
icchā-lobhaṃ ṇa sevejjā, suhumaṃ vaṇṇaṃ sapehiyā..

He should not be attached to transitory pleasures of various kinds.
He should not nourish desire and greed, realising the subtle nature of the spiritual discipline.

Bhāṣyaṃ Verse 23

There is massive dissociation of karma for the monk who has tranquillised his mind in the state of practising motionless fasting. In that state, ingrained propensities of desire, greed etc. manifest themselves and therefore the instruction has been given to the monk to detach himself from the transient pleasure of various kinds.

'Desire' means will for future pleasures. He should not indulge in the greedy desire like, "I shall be such and such person in the next life."

'Discipline' means self-restraint. That virtue is very subtle. It is violated even by a small evil striving. Perceiving this, he should refrain from entertaining desires.[4]

8.24 sāsaehiṃ ṇimaṃtejjā, divvaṃ māyaṃ ṇa saddahe.
taṃ paḍibujjha māhaṇe, savvaṃ nūmaṃ vidhūṇiyā..

The monk should not have interest in divine illusion when gods invite him to enjoy heavenly pleasures. He should understood the illusion and get rid of it in all respects.

Bhāṣyaṃ Verse 24

And in that stage, gods make appearance. Some god may invite him for heavenly pleasures.[5] Such invitation may be made for swerving him from the discipline or test him or for any other purpose. At that moment, the wise monk should ponder: these heavenly pleasures are transitory. They are not eternal even if lasting for a long time. Thinking thus, he should not believe in divine deceit.[6] He should discard such deceit, fully knowing its nature. The meaning of the word 'numam' is deceit.[7]

8.25 savvaṭṭhehiṃ amucchie, āukālassa pārae.
titikkhaṃ paramaṃ ṇaccā, vimohaṇṇataraṃ hitaṃ - tti bemi..

Not clinging to any heavenly or mundane object of enjoyment and capable of reaching the end of worldly existence, the monk should know the forbearance as the highest good and resort to any one of the three means of liberation, namely, fasting unto death, fasting with restricted movement, fasting with no movement, considering it to be for its well- being.

Bhāṣyaṃ Verse 25

The gist of death through meditation is that one should end his life by fasting. From among the three modes of liberation, the acceptance of any one is, beneficial. Non-clinging to the heavenly or mundane sensual objects and forbearance of hardships and troubles that may happen are conducive to the highest good. Knowing this, the monk should properly practise the discipline of fasting unto death.

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Sources

Publishers:
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. Contemplation
  3. Cūrṇi
  4. Deceit
  5. Discipline
  6. Equanimity
  7. Fasting
  8. Greed
  9. Karma
  10. Kāma
  11. Meditation
  12. Soul
  13. Tolerance
  14. Vṛtti
  15. Ācārāṅga
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