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Navkar Mahamantra: External Penance (Bahiya Tap)

Published: 26.11.2013
Updated: 17.12.2013

Page 40+41


External Penance (Bahiya Tap):

1) Fasting (Upvas):

To give up all types of food or drink or both willfully and the desire thereof is fasting. It is a difficult form of penance and when done without passion, it purifies the body, the mind and the Soul. It can be for a minimum period of 48 minutes (one muhurta) and a longer period upto six months. There are numerous types of fasts for fixed period like fasting for one day, two days, eight days, alternate days and various combinations thereof. Fasting till death known as Santhara (Salekhna) is giving up the body willingly and bravely. This is the highest form of renunciation and penance, whereby the performer discards the body like old clothes, realising the body and Soul are separate.

2) Reduced Consumption (Unodari):

To take food or drink less than appetite is reduced consumption of food. In a broader sense, to minimize other things like clothes, equipment and passions also come under reduced consumption. To minimize passion is very important. It helps to achieve salvation. When food, drink and other things are available at hand, control over mind and body is a matter of sacrifice. It leads to purification of the Soul and makes the Soul free from sinful acts.

3) Begging for living (Bhikshachari):

To have food and other things by begging is not due to poverty or to get away from labour but to have a better control on oneself. One must have utmost consideration during begging. The food or drink should not be tainted and it should not hurt the giver. Begging should be done as a bumble bee. The bumble bee collects juice from different flowers in a small quantity without discrimination; similarly eatables should be accepted from different houses and a little quantity without hurting any body and without discrimination of poor and rich. Monks have to keep fast when conditions are not favourable for colleting food by begging.

4) Unattachment (Anaasakti):

To the senses like taste, touch, sight, smell and hearing. The purpose of it is to eat to live and not live to eat. We should give up one or more or all of the following:

  1. Milk
  2. Curd
  3. Ghee
  4. Oil
  5. Sugar
  6. Salt

They help in taste. We must give up nonveg., alcohol, honey and butter.

5) Tolerance of body pain (Kaya Klesh):

To train and develop mind and body in such a way that one will not have bodily comforts and attachment to body. Therefore one has to inculcate a habit to put-up with hot or cold weather, pluck one's hair and sleep without comfort. It does not mean to harm or hurt the body but to keep up religious activity. It is not a matter of trouble but pleasure just as the mountaineer climbs the mountain and feels pleasure during climbing, even while facing troubles

6) Withdrawals (Sallinata):

To keep away the Soul from the external matters or worldly pursuits are withdrawals. In other words it means, to make or keep the Soul introvert from outworldly pursuits. We may say our pilgrimage is not outside but inside the Soul. So our mind and body should look into the Soul.

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. Anaasakti
  2. Bahiya Tap
  3. Bhikshachari
  4. Body
  5. Fasting
  6. Ghee
  7. Kaya Klesh
  8. Muhurta
  9. Sallinata
  10. Santhara
  11. Soul
  12. Tap
  13. Tolerance
  14. Unodari
  15. Upvas
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