Sacred Texts  Jainism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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


The wise ones who attain in due order 3 to one of the unerring states (in which suicide is prescribed), those who are rich in control and endowed with knowledge, knowing the incomparable (religious death, should continue their contemplation). (1)

p. 75

Knowing the twofold (obstacles, i.e. bodily and mental), the wise ones, having thoroughly learned the law, perceiving in due order (that the time for their death has come), get rid of karman. (2)

Subduing the passions and living on little food 1, he should endure (hardships). If a mendicant falls sick, let him again take food. (3)

H e should not long for life, nor wish for death he should yearn after neither, life or death. (4)

He who is indifferent and wishes for the destruction of karman, should continue his contemplation. Becoming unattached internally and externally, he should strive after absolute purity. (5)

Whatever means one knows for calming one's own life 2, that a wise man should learn (i.e. practise) in order to gain time (for continuing penance). (6)

In a village or in a forest, examining the ground and recognising it as free from living beings, the sage should spread the straw 3. (7)

Without food he should lie down and bear the pains which attack him. He should not for too long time give way to worldly feelings which overcome him. (8)

When crawling animals or such as live on high or below, feed on his flesh and blood, he should neither kill them nor rub (the wound). (9)

Though these animals destroy the body, he should not stir from his position,

p. 76

After the âsravas have ceased, he should bear (pains) as if he rejoiced in them. (10)

When the bonds fall off, then he has accomplished his life.

(We shall now describe) a more exalted (method 1) for a well-controlled and instructed monk. (11)

This other law has been proclaimed by Gñâtriputra:

He should give up all motions except his own in the thrice-threefold way 2. (12)

He should not lie on sprouts of grass, but inspecting the bare ground he should lie on it.

Without any comfort and food, he should there bear pain. (13)

When the sage becomes weak in his limbs, he should strive after calmness 3.

For he is blameless, who is well fixed and immovable (in his intention to die). (14)

He should move to and fro (on his ground), contract and stretch (his limbs) for the benefit of the whole body; or (he should remain quiet as if he were) lifeless. (15)

He should walk about, when tired of (lying), or stand with passive limbs; when tired of standing, he should sit down. (16)

Intent on such an uncommon death, he should regulate the motions of his organs.

p. 77

Having attained a place swarming with insects, he should search for a clean spot. (17)

He should not remain there whence sin would rise.

He should raise himself above (sinfulness), and bear all pains. (18)

And this is a still more difficult method 1, when one lives according to it: not to stir from one's place, while checking all motions of the body. (19)

This is the highest law, exalted above the preceding method:

Having examined a spot of bare ground he should remain there; stay O Brâhmana! (20)

Having attained a place free from living beings, he should there fix himself.

He should thoroughly mortify his flesh, thinking: There are no obstacles in my body. (21)

Knowing as long as he lives the dangers and troubles, the wise and restrained (ascetic) should bear them as being instrumental to the dissolution of the body. (22)

He should not be attached to the transitory pleasures, nor to the greater ones; he should not nourish desire and greed, looking only for eternal praise. (23)

He should be enlightened with eternal objects 2, and not trust in the delusive power of the gods;

p. 78

a Brâhmana should know of this and cast off all inferiority 1. (24)

Not devoted to any of the external objects he reaches the end of his life; thinking that patience is the highest good, he (should choose) one of (the described three) good methods of entering Nirvâna. (25) Thus I say.

End of the Seventh Lecture, called Liberation.



74:1 Ahesanigga: it had those qualities which are required of a thing the mendicant may accept.

74:2 Ahâpariggahiya = ahâparigrihîta.

74:3 The preceding lessons treated of suicide conceded to sick persons as a means of entering Nirvâna. The eighth lesson, which is written in slokas, describes the different kinds of religious deaths which form the end of a twelve-years' mortification of the flesh (samlekhanâ). But the ascetic must ask and get the permission of his Guru, before he commits suicide.

75:1 Compare lecture 7, lesson 6, § 3.

75:2 I.e. for preserving the life, when too severe penance brings on sickness and the probability of instant death.

75:3 Here commences the description of the bhaktapratyâkhyânamarana, suicide by rejecting food.

76:1 Viz. the iṅgitamarana, which differs from the preceding one by the restriction of the motions of the candidate for suicide to a limited space.

76:2 I.e. of body, speech, and mind; doing, or causing, or allowing to be done.

76:3 He should not give way to melancholy thoughts.

77:1 It is called pâovagamana, translated by the commentators pâdapopagamana, remaining motionless like a felled tree. This etymology, which is generally adopted by the Gainas, is evidently wrong; for the Sanskrit prototype is the Brahmanical prâyopagamana.

77:2 This is the scholiast's interpretation of nimamteggâ nimantrayet.

78:1 Nûmam karma mâyâ vâ.

Next: Book I, Lecture 8, Lesson 1.