Jain monks and nuns are like soldiers of Arihant Paramatma, the Teerthankara. I am motivated to write this piece of post because of a misleading discussions among common Jain. It has become an apple of discord that whether there is a need of timely change in actions, rules and regulations for Jain monks and nuns. Jain laymen normally talk and discuss that several tough rules should be changed looking into present conditions. Many times they talk without knowing the sacred Jain canons and texts. They also do not know about deeper reasons behind these rules and principles.
It is better to think about soldiers and commandos while thinking and discussing about Jain monks and nuns. They are not laymen or women. Sermons of omniscience Arihant Paramatma clearly categorize Jain Sangh into two parts namely Sarvavirati and Desvirati. The four fold Sangh of Tirthankar includes Sadhu, Sadhvi, Shravak and Shravika where the first two falls in the first category and the later two in to the second. One, who is weak in following all the rules and regulations prescribed for a Jain monk or nun can chose or to remain in the second category. They can follow the path by observing five simple vows called Anuvrat. Those who are strong and willing to follow strict vows can only become monks and nuns. They have to follow five vows called Mahavrat. Both the names Mahavrat and Anuvrat are self explanatory where Maha means great and Anu means tiny.
There are different set of rules worldwide for marshals and civilians. No body objects in this differentiation. It is recognized by everyone and it is for ever. Why do we object when it comes to Jain religion? Can a soldier deny going to extremities of Siachin glaciers? can he deny to stand in the borders of Thar desert in scorching heat? A soldier has to go anywhere in any condition and at any time as ordered by his Senior officials. he has to eat whatever he gets and wear whatever he is provided with. These rules are not applicable to a civilian. He or she has own choice. They can deny to obey these types of orders.
Similar situation is with Jain religious rules. Sarvavirati category of Jain monks and nuns are like Marshals and Deshvirati category of lay Jain is like the civilians. Sacrifices of monks and nuns are much more than that of Jain laymen and women i.e Shravak and Shravika. Jain monks and nuns follow tough rules to attain salvation quickly where as Jain grihasth follow comparatively easy rules as salvation is little far for them.
At last but not the least, all these vows are optional. One willingly takes the vows whether Mahavrat or Anuvrat. No one, according to Jain path, can compel any one to take and follow those vows and to become Jain monks and nuns. When a person takes the vows willingly and surrenders him or herself to the noble path where is the question of changing these rules.
Moreover, Jain believe in the omniscience of Arihant. Is it right to challenge their knowledge and speak whatsoever we like? Is not it embarrassing when these questions come from a Jain believing in the omniscience of Tirthankar paramatma. It is better to go through Jain canons (Agam) or at least know a little about these texts before entering into such debate. Just a passing by comment does not make one intellectual.
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