Sacred Texts  Jainism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

Jaina Sutras, Part II (SBE45), tr. by Hermann Jacobi, [1895], at



It is said that two definitions of exertion are given; but in what does the exertion of the virtuous consist, and how is it defined? (1)

Some say that it consists in works, and the pious (say that it consists) in abstention from works. Men appear divided into two classes from this point of view. (2)

Carelessness is called (the cause of) Karman, carefulness that of the contrary (viz. absence of Karman); when the one or the other is predicated

p. 298

(of a man, he is called) either a fool or a wise man. (3)

Some learn sciences 1 which teach the destruction of living beings, others study spells for killing all sorts of creatures. (4)

Deceivers practise deceit in order to procure themselves pleasures and amusement; they kill, cut, and dismember (beings) for the sake of their own comfort. (5)

The careless (commit sins) by thoughts, words, and acts, with regard to this and the next world, both (by doing the act themselves and by making others do it). (6)

A cruel 2 man does cruel acts and is thereby involved in other cruelties; but sinful undertakings will in the end bring about misery. (7)

Sinners, subject to love and hate and doing wrong, acquire Karman arising from passions 3 and commit many sins. (8)

Thus the 'exertion leading to works' of the sinners has been described; now learn from me the wise men's 'exertion not leading to works.' (9)

A pious monk, who is free from bonds and has severed all fetters, annihilates his bad Karman, and removes definitely the thorn (of sin). (to)

Following the right doctrine he exerts himself; as one becomes more and more the receptacle

p. 299

of misery, so his bad thoughts (or sinfulness) increase. (11)

Those who have good places (in heaven, &c.) must surely leave them (some time). We live together with relations and friends but a limited time. (12)

Considering this, a wise man should conquer his greed, and enter upon the noble (path), which contains all virtues and is not blamed 1. (13)

Whether he know the pith of the Law by intuition or through instruction, a houseless (monk) should exert himself and abstain from sins. (14)

When a wise man, in whatever way, comes to know that the apportioned space of his life draws towards its end, he should in the meantime quickly learn the method (of dying a religious death) 2. (15)

As a tortoise draws its limbs into its own body, so a wise man should cover, as it were, his sins with his own meditation. (16)

He should draw in, as it were, his hands and feet, his mind and five organs of sense, the effect of his bad Karman, and every bad use of language. (17)

The virtuous exert themselves with regard to the distant end (viz. Liberation 3). One should live

p. 300

indifferent to one's own happiness, calm, and without any attachment. (18)

Do not kill living beings, do not take what is not freely given, do not talk false, treacherous speech! This is the Law of him who is rich in control. (19)

Do not desire by words or thoughts what is a transgression (of the Law); guarding yourself in all ways, and subduing (the senses), practise control. (20)

A man who guards his self and subdues his senses, abhors all sins, past, present, and future ones. (21)

Benighted men of wrong faith, (though) they be renowned as heroes, exert themselves in a bad way, which will have, in all respects, evil consequences for them. (22)

Wise men of right faith, who are renowned heroes, exert themselves in a good way which will have no (evil) consequences whatever for them. (23)

Penance is of no good if performed by noble men who have turned monks (for the sake of fame); but that penance of which nobody else knows anything (is meritorious). Do not spread your own fame 1! (24)

A pious man should eat little, drink little, talk little; he should always exert himself, being calm, indifferent, a subduer (of his senses), and free from greed. (25)

Meditating and performing religious practices,

p. 301

abandoning his body, regarding forbearance as the paramount duty, a monk should wander about till he obtains liberation. (26)

Thus I say.


297:2 Vîrya; it is the power or virtue of a thing.

298:1 Sattha = sâstra or sastra. On the latter alternative we must translate '(practice of) arms.'

298:2 Vêri = vairin, gîvôpamardakârin.

298:3 Karma is of two kinds, airyapathika, arising from 'walking,' i.e. from those actions which are indispensable to a virtuous life or the conduct of monks, and sâmparâyika, arising from the passions.

299:1 Savvadhammamagôviyam. According to the commentator the meaning of this phrase is: which is not blamed or shown to be wrong by all (heretical) Laws.

299:2 See Uttarâdhyayana, Fifth Lecture.

299:3 Sîlâṅka quotes and comments upon four different readings of the first line of this verse, the last of which is rendered above as it is the textus receptus of the Dîpikâ. (1) Abstaining from even small pride and from deceit, one, &c. (2) 'Great' for 'even small.' (3) I have heard from some men: This is the valour of the virtuous man, that, &c. After this verse Sîlâṅka quotes another which, he says, is not found in MSS. of the text, but p. 300 is found in the Tîkâ. It is, however, the identical verse I, 3, 4, 20, see above, p. 271, which occurs again I, 11, 11.

300:1 Compare Matthew vi. i-6.

Next: Book 1, Lecture 9: The Law