Gems from Jain Literature-5; Four Things are Rare (Post No.11,148)


Post No. 11,148

Date uploaded in London – –    28 JULY 2022         

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The following slokas are from Mahavira Vacanamrutam (Pronunciation- Mahaaviira vacanaamrutham)

Chattaari paramamghani  dullahaanika jantuno

Maanusattam  suyi saddhaa sanjmammi ya viiriyam

“Four things of paramount value are difficult to obtain in the world. They are human birth, religious instruction, faith in the religion and energy to practise self control.

And though they  be born with a human body, it will be difficult for them to  hear religious instruction, on which they will undertake  austerities, forgiveness  and abstinence from injury to all living beings (Ahimsaa)”

It is very interesting to see the same thought in Tamil and Sanskrit verses as well. Famous Tamil poetess Avvaiyaar also saud that it is rare to be born as a human being; that too without any disabilities.

Aadi Shnakara, the greatest of the Hindu philosophers, says in his Viveka Chudamani (pronunciation– Choodaamani)

Jantuunaam narajanma durlabhathah pumstham thatho vipratha

Tasmaath vaidka dharma margaparataa vidwatvamasmatparam

—Viveka chudmani 2

For all beings a human birth is difficult to obtain, more so is a male body; rarer than that is Brahmanahood; rarer still is the attachment to the path of Vedic religion.


Just as a bee sucks the honey from the flowers of a tree, but never harms the flowers while it satisfies itself, even so the monks, who are free from greed and attachment, and who are bent on attaining peace and equanimity in the world,and engrossed in seeking pure food and drinks, like bees from the flowers.


A true monk should not eat for the sake of the delicious taste but for the maintenance of life.


When a monk does not care to learn discipline, out of conceit, , anger, vanity, and carelessness, that itself, constitutes his spiritual poverty, which leads to his own ruin,like the fruit of a bamboo tree.

The bamboo tree bears fruit once in hundred years, and then the tree dies/ withers


If there were innumerable mountains of gold and silver, each as big as the Kailasa mountain, they are nothing to a greedy man; for desire is boundless like space.


Wealth will not afford protection either in this world or in the next, to a careless man, whose light of knowledge is extinguished.


In thought, words or deeds, a monk should not undertake harmful activity to living beings , who live in this world, whether they are mobile or immobile.


All living creatures in the world desire to live. Nobody wishes to die. And hence it is that Jain monks avoid the terrible sin of injury to living beings.


Without right faith, there cannot be right knowledge. Without right knowledge, there can be no virtuous conduct. Without virtuous conduct, there cannot be freedom from Karma. Without freedom from karmas, there cannot be Nirvana/ liberation


to be continued………………………

Tags- human birth, Jain monk, greedy, Nirvana, Ahimsa

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