Jai Mahavir ji
Fundamental Features of Jainism
Supreme Contentment or Purity
(Uttam shaucha Dhar)
‘Contentment is happiness’
Source religious books written by Upadhaya Munishri Kamakumar Nandi ji in excerpt form.
Contentment or “Shuchi” means sacredness, cleanliness, to be pure, to be clean, to be spot less and to be non-greedy.
The humanitarian approach to lessen the miseries of living beings is included in the abstention from greed of worldly passions. Contentment aims at putting a limit on the worldly passions by individuals according to their needs and desires. Stating the characteristics of the virtue of supreme Contentment in one of the Jain scripture named ‘Sarvartha Siddhi” Acharya Pujya Pad Swami writes: To discard different types of greed is Contentment. The supreme saint who conducts himself suppressing all desires and possesses the thoughts of renunciation is endowed with the virtue of Contentment. To do away with this feeling of attachment for worldly objects from heart is abstentions or Contentment. To be greedy is disastrous. The soul becomes impure due to greed.
Sir Edwin Arnold says:-
‘Give freely and receive, but take from none,
By greed or force or fraud what is his own.’
It has been said:
Just as color gives out its full luster only on a neat and clean sheet of canvas; likewise virtues like Contentment enter only a clean, pure and upright mind. Only when the impurity of greed is washed away by way of holy living, purity may come into the forefront. From the above it becomes clear that ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’. According to one view point, cleanliness is of two types- external and the internal; but according to another view point it is of three types-bodily, mental and pertaining to speech. All these are supplementary and complementary to one another. Even in the absence of one of these, the work cannot be accomplished or perfect purity cannot be achieved.
The significance of the internal and external purity is very well expressed by means of the following words-
A king very often visited a saint to seek his blessings. He would always pray to him only to give him some holy sermon. The saint paid no attention to his frequent requests. One day the king made a forceful appeal to the saint. At length the saint was appeased and said to the king, “Tomorrow I shall visit royal palace and deliver my sermon there.” The king was overjoyed and again insisted that the saint should oblige him by taking his meals too in the royal palace. The saint readily consented to it. The next day the saint reached the royal palace at the appointed time with his begging bowl. The king had devotedly got prepared various types of delicacies and dainty dishes for the saint. At first the king wished to serve to the saint Kheer, a preparation of milk and rice. The saint brought forward his begging bowel to take it. The king peeped inside his begging bowel and drew back his hand without serving the kheer into the bowl. At this saint stood up and got ready to go back. The king was terrified, as the saint neither taken the meals nor delivered a sermon. The perturbed king said, “O Holy saint! You neither took meals, nor delivered a sermon as per your promise; still you are going back home leaving us in the lurch.” The saint promptly replied,” I have delivered the sermon which you have failed to grasp.” The king stood dumb founded. Then the saint asked the perplexed king,” Why did you not serve the kheer into my bowl?” The king said, “Holy Sir! Dust particles and pebbles were lying in your bowl. I did not serve the kheer into the bowl, lest my nectar like sweet and tasty kheer should get spoiled.” The saint said, “I had also to teach you only this lesson that your mind is full of filth and dirt in the shape of evil passions like anger, vanity, arrogance and greed. Until and unless your mind, on being relieved of these evil passions, becomes purified, how should I deliver my sermon to you? In the present state of your mind, my sermon will also be futile and go waste.”
The great poet Peidhu has described the supreme virtue of Contentment as below;
1. The virtue of Contentment is part and parcel of religion; it is enthusiastic; it excels materialism; it gives utility to life; it relieves one from old age death; it enlightens all the three worlds and is eternal. Pay heed to it day in and day out.
2. The virtue of Contentment can be acquired through the purity of mind; it is acquired through purification by the treasure of truth-speaking. This virtue is attained by subduing the evil passions and a man endowed with this virtue does not indulge in sinful deeds.
3. The virtue of Contentment lays stress on abstention from greed; it leads one on path of supreme austerity; this virtue is attained by observing celibacy; and this virtue of Contentment is attained by discarding the eight type of arrogance or vanity.
4. The virtue of Contentment is installed in man by the study of Holy Scriptures; it is attained by getting rid of three thorns i.e.; ambitions deception and wrong belief; and finally this virtue is attained by marinating purity in thoughts.
Hence, O Mortal Man! Be contented, be contented and be contented throughout thy life from cradle to grave; for according to French saying-
“Grande fortune, Grande servitude” i.e. great wealth, great slavery”
To sum up, ‘the pleasure of possessing little is far more enjoyable than the prospect of getting much hereafter. The little you have, if properly used will bring you more than you can expect or have the power to enjoy. Ambition ruins a man; contented secures him the peace and happiness of heaven.’
Infect all our existence and happiness in life depends on our mental attitude. Human mind is the Supreme power that governs all our actions. Only a calm and contented mind will lead us to a blissful life.
Note:-The words shown in italics and green color are from prakart/sanskrit language.
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