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Jaina Sutras, Part II (SBE22), tr. by Hermann Jacobi, [1884], at


A sage who is well instructed in the law and leads a life of abstinence, is always a destroyer of the effects of works 1. To a mendicant who is little clothed 2 and firm in control, it will not occur (to think): My clothes are torn, I shall beg for (new) clothes; I shall beg for thread; I shall beg for a needle; I shall mend (my clothes); I shall darn them; I shall repair them; I shall put them on; I shall wrap myself in them. (1)

The unclothed one, who excels in this (abstinence), will often be molested by (sharp blades of) grass, by cold, heat, gnats, and mosquitoes. The unclothed one, who effects scarcity (of his wants or of his karman), bears these and various other hardships. He is fit for penance, as has been declared by the Revered One. Understanding this in all respects and with his whole mind, he should perfectly know righteousness. The great heroes (i.e. the Tîrthakaras) who for a long time 3 walked

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in the former years 1, the worthy ones bore the troubles (mentioned above); endowed with perfect knowledge they had lean arms and very little flesh and blood. He who discontinues (to sin) and is enlightened, is said to have crossed (the samsâra), to be liberated, and to have ceased (to act). Thus I say. (2)

But can discontent lay hold of a mendicant, who has ceased to act and leads a religious life, for a long time controlling himself? He advances in his spiritual career and exerts himself. As an island which is never covered with water, so is the law taught by the noble ones (a safe refuge for those in danger). They are free from desires, free from murder, beloved, wise, learned. For their benefit has been the exertion of the Revered One; as birds (feed) their young ones, so are the disciples regularly to be instructed day and night. Thus I say. (3)


57:1 Âdânam explained as implements which are not requisite for the law.

57:2 Akela, literally, unclothed. But it has that meaning only when it is applied to a ginakalpika. A ginakalpika is a monk who wears no clothes and uses the hollow of the hand for an alms-bowl. The only implements he has are the broom (ragoharanam) and the piece of cloth which the monk places before the mouth while speaking, in order to prevent insects from getting into his mouth (mukhavastrikâ).

57:3 Kirarâta, literally, long night. Compare dîrgharâtra, which the Bauddhas and Gainas employ in the sense we have given to kirarâtam in the text.

58:1 Puvvâim vâsâim, the former years are those long periods by which the length of the early Tîrthakaras' life is measured. Walked means walked in righteousness.

Next: Book I, Lecture 6, Lesson 4