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Yati Dharma in Jainism – 10 Yati Dharma – observances

Yati Dharma is an important aspect of Jainism. The 10 Yati Dharma or observances are enjoined on the Jain monks. Good conduct, the path of Samyaka Charitra, emphasizes that one must refrain from what is harmful and develop attitudes which aid one in treading on the right path.

10 Yati Dharma - Observances

  1. Forgiveness
  2. Humility
  3. Simplicity
  4. Non-covetousness
  5. Austerity
  6. Restraint
  7. Truthfulness
  8. Purity or personal cleanliness
  9. Renunciation
  10. Celibacy
A spirit of forgiveness and cultivation of goodwill is one of the important dharmas. One should not seeks vengeance but learn to forgive another. It is a positive quality that is to be developed as it leads to the attainment of self control over emotions like anger and prevents vindictive behavior.

The cultivation of the virtue of humility subdues pride, arrogance and selfish tendencies. A humble person is sensitive and sympathetic to the needs of others.

The quality of simplicity develops veracity of character and leads to the attitude of non-attachment, overcoming tendencies of avariciousness.

Greed leads to increasing attachment and craving for possessions. Absence of non-covetousness helps in cultivating goodwill and the attitude of detachment.

Austerity leads to self-discipline and concentration of mind. Austerities are classified into exterior and interior. Exterior austerities include fasting, dietetic restrictions and withstanding physical strain and troubles. The ascetic avoids temptations and gains perfect control over passions so that he develops equanimity of mind through exterior austerities. Interior austerities refer to the practice of penance as repentance for the mistakes done in the past.

Jain ascetics practice restraint over the senses, speech and mind as a prerequisite to spiritual progress. Temperateness with regard to all emotions is necessary and leads to the virtue of continence. Turning the focus of consciousness from attachment to objects, one concentrates on the true nature and the cardinal truths regarding oneself.

The vow of speaking the truth, carefulness in speech and control of vocal activity is practiced in a rigid manner.

Purity applies to both body and mind. One must cultivate healthy habits and must guard one’s thoughts and keep them pure. Personal cleanliness liberates the mind from greed and leads to contentment.

Renunciation helps in developing the spirit of detachment. A monk is able to keep thoughts, activities, and feelings away from the worldly objects.

Celibacy is a principle that has to be maintained in thought, word and deed. One should free the mind from erotic thoughts of any kind.

Source - Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume IV page 53-54 IHRF



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