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Navkar Mahamantra: Author's Foreword

Published: 29.10.2013
Updated: 24.11.2013

Text:

As we all know very well, though seeds are tiny and sometimes not visible to the naked eye, yet, they have a great capacity to grow into big trees. The same is the case with human beings. As a seed is not just a seed but contains a tree within itself, a human being is not just a human being but has God within himself. Every individual has the inherent potential to be a wish-fulfilling person like the 'Kalpavriksha' under which Gautam became Gautam Buddha. To achieve the goal of self-fulfillment, we need to look forward to Navkar, i.e. seek a state of mind, which is equanimous, peaceful, poised and serene in adversity as well as in prosperity.

We are always confused how to begin our spiritual pursuit and achieve the goal of salvation that we wish. Let us make a humble beginning by eating one or two morsels less than our routine appetite regularly. This 'Unodari' is the first step towards our goal. It has immense benefits - to get rid of lethargy, indolence and obesity as well as many diseases. The second step is devoting a little time to reading a few paragraphs of this or any other books on Navkar Mantra or other Jain canonical scriptures every day. We feed the body many times a day but keep the mind hungry. It is our pious duty to develop the mind and acquire as much knowledge as possible. Knowledge is better than anything else in this world, ‘पढमं नाण तओ दया‘.

We have talked of two virtues needed to begin the spiritual journey, i.e. a little less diet for the body and a little more learning for the mind. It will endow both physical culture and mental culture on us. Culture means development of body, mind and spirit. Both these cultures will result in an ageless body and a timeless mind, which we all love and wish.

The French speak of the joy of living. I may modify it by speaking about the joy of learning. Learning is discovering. It is an ineffable bliss. We cannot buy it by any amount of money. Therefore, we cannot be merely after money and remain intellectual dwarfs by neglecting reading and learning. Learned Aristotle said, "We should not merely live but live well." The Navkar Mantra teaches us the art of living well. The first verse of the Maha Mantra teaches us not to be the prisoners of four-fold enemies, anger, deceit, greed and pride but be the pilgrims of 'Arihanthood' by winning over the vices and attaining the virtues of nonviolence, truth and self-control.

The Navkar Mantra pays salutations to the five excellent categories of Souls. Salutation is discarding pride and replacing it with politeness. Politeness turns a man into an angel and pride turns him into a devil.

In our daily life, we take a sadistic delight in expressing our superiority over others in wealth, beauty, intelligence, knowledge etc. Pride is deep rooted in our habits, so we remain spiritual dwarfs. Humility is the antidote to pride. It is the mother of all virtues. To cite a fine example of humility, when Socrates was asked the secret of this wisdom, he replied that whatever he knew was little in comparison to what he did not know. The Navkar Mantra teaches us the spirit and style of Socrates. We should follow the Tirthankar Mallinatha ji & Mahaveer Swami while inculcating humility in our Souls.

Knowledge bestows humility... Humility bestows merits... Merits lead to riches... Riches lead to religion... Religion leads to liberation.

In nutshell, if one learns humility by mind, speech and body, all the rest follows. The great musicians like Tansen and Baijubavra had demonstrated before the Moghul Empire the miraculous effects of sound energy by bringing down rains and lighting lamps while they rendered the melodies. The ritual incantation of this Maha Mantra liberates tremendous energy which can unravel the Karma bondage of the Soul and make it shine in all its glory. This energy can also convert the wicked into the virtuous, the cruel into the kind hearted, the dishonest into the honest and an atheist into a believer.

I am greatly indebted to the revered Acharya Mahaprajna, Acharya Padam Sagar Suri and Acharya Shiv Muni for devoting their invaluable time in perusing this humble work, appreciating it and scripting their thoughts on it. Born out of a deep insight of Jain philosophy and the Navkar Mantra, their blessings will prove to be a feather in the cap of this treatise. I am grateful to respected Muni Shali Bhadraji for his inspiration.

I owe a deep sense of gratitude to Shri A.L. Sancheti for initiating me and constantly guiding and encouraging me during the entire processs of writing this humble monograph on Navkar Mantra. Thanks are also due to Shri Chagan Lai Jain for Hindi translation, Shri Rajesh Nahta, Shri Sidhraj Bhandari, Shri Manak Sancheti, Shri Vinod Bhandari, Shri Anil Amlani and Shri U.R. Daga for their help. I thank my wife Chandrakala, son Sunil, daughter-in-law Rajni and daughter Sangeeta for standing by me and encouraging me throughout the period of writing this book.

Above all, I must express a sense of obligation to all those who undertake to read this book. If this modest work can initiate even some of them into imbibing the basic tenets of Jainism and following the Navkar Mantra in letter and in spirit, my purpose behind writing it will have been served.

- Prakash Sancheti

Sources
Title: Navkar Mahamantra Designer & Publisher: Prakash Sancheti / Navkar Textile, Jodhpur, India Edition: 2012 HN4U Online Edition: 2013


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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Mahaprajna
  3. Acharya Shiv Muni
  4. Anger
  5. Aristotle
  6. Body
  7. Buddha
  8. Deceit
  9. Greed
  10. Jain Philosophy
  11. Jainism
  12. Karma
  13. Mahaveer
  14. Mantra
  15. Muni
  16. Navkar Mantra
  17. Nonviolence
  18. Prakash Sancheti
  19. Pride
  20. Sagar
  21. Shiv Muni
  22. Sidhraj Bhandari
  23. Socrates
  24. Soul
  25. Swami
  26. Tirthankar
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