[Advaita-l] Srimad ParamahaMsa ParivrAjakAchAryavaryavarya

jaldhar at braincells.com jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Jul 19 02:05:56 EDT 2022

On Mon, 18 Jul 2022, Jaldhar H. Vyas via Advaita-l wrote:

> "And then the Parivrajakas who live in dwellings of their own[1] such as the 
> SAmkhyas, Yogis, Kapilas[2], Bhargavas[3], and many others living in mountain 
> caves, ashramas, temples, and visiting the villages [only] for begging alms, 
> the haMsas, paramahaMsas, the bahudakas, Kuticharas[4] and the kR^iShNa 
> ParivrAjakas[5] including eight types of Brahmanas such as: kR^iShNa, 
> karakANDa, amvADa, pArAshara, kR^iShNa, dvIpAyana, and nArada[6] and eight 
> types of kShatrIya parivrAjakas such as silai, sashihara, naggai, bhaggai, 
> videha, rAyArAya, rAyArAma and bala[7] who are versed in the four vedas, 
> R^ik, yaju, sAma, and atharva, the itihasa, and the fifth[8]; of which they 
> know the rahasya[9]; of which they have reached the end[10] and of which they 
> are upholders; and who are experts in the six-fold a~ngas, shikShA, kalpa, 
> vyAkaraNa, chanda, nirukta and jyotiSha; in the shaShTitantra[11] and in 
> gANita."

"Those parivrAjakas who live on dAna only, by practicing shuddhi and 
bathing in tirthas, who teach these precepts to others saying, 'We purify 
our bodies in this way and our clothes, our conduct, and therefore our 
atmas. By ablutions of water we shall surely attain svarga.'

Those parivrAjakas who do not bathe in a well, tank, river, lake, 
pushkariNi[1], artificial lake, guNjalikA[2], sea or ocean.[3]

Those parivrAjakas who do not ride in any vehicle from a bullock cart to 
syandamANikA[4]; who do not watch any performance from naTaprekSha[5] to 
mAgadhaprekSha[6]; who do not graft plants or harvest them, or collect 
their fruits, or uproot them.[7]

Those parivrAjakas who do not gossip about women, or food, or the 
country[8] or the king, or thieves; Who only carry kamandalus made of 
gourd or wood or clay not iron, pittal, brass, lead, silver gold or any 
other which is expensive

Those parivrAjakas who do not use cooking pots with chains of iron, 
pittal, brass, copper or any other which is expensive; who do not wear 
clothes of any colour except kesari; who do not except a copper ring, wear 
any necklace, ardhahAra, ekAvalI, muktAvalI, kanakAvalI, murabI, 
kanThamurabI, prAlamba, keyUra, kuNDala, crown or chuDAmaNI[9]

Those parivrAjakas who do not wear, except karNapura[10] any other 
garland made of threaded flowers or flowers wrapped around a frame or 
tied together; who do not massage their bodies except with ganga clay 
not with camphor, sandalwood, kumkum or precious perfumes, who do not 
drink more than a mAgadhaprasthaka[11] of water and that only from a 
flowing stream not a stagnant pool; which has pure soil on the riverbed 
not moss; absolutely clean not contaminated; offered by someone else not 
taken; just to drink not to wash hands, feet, vessels etc or to bathe.

Those parivrAjakas who are allowed to take half a mAgadhADhaka[12] of 
water from a flowing stream etc.[13] to wash hands, feet, vessels etc. but 
not to drink or bathe.

The parivrAjakas who live like this, fully bearing this discipline for 
many years will be born again in brahmaloka as devatAs.  The span of their 
stay there is 10 sagaras[14] of years.  The rest is as before.[15]

[1] A lotus pond, either natural or constructed.

[2] This is a sort of pleasure lake constructed for a king and his wives 
to enjoy.

[3] What all these have in common is they are public places.  The 
parivrajaka will not bathe there with the exception of tirths.  Even there 
as we see in tirths today, there are often separate areas or times for 
sannyasis to bathe.

[4] A type of ornate palanquin

[5] A play or dance performed for an audience

[6] A performance of an epic song about kings, their heroic deeds, 
illustrious ancestry etc.

[7] In other words they do not practice agriculture.  However according to 
dharmashastras, they are allowed to pick up the grains left behind after 
harvest or eat fruit that has naturally fallen from the tree.

[8] i.e. politics.

[9] These are different types of jewelery.

[10] an ornament for the ears made of flowers

[11] a unit of measure.  I don't know how much exactly.

[12] another unit of measure.  Again I don't know how much but it seems to 
be greater than a mAgadhaprasthaka.  Also the fact that they are prefixed 
with mAgadha (the area MahavIra was from) indicates that they are local 
units and may have had different values elsewhere in India or replaced by 
other units altogether.

[13] i.e. the same stipulations as in the previous paragraph.

[14] a sagara or jaladhi is 100 crore of crores.  so 10 of those is 
altogether 10 to the power of 15 years.

[15] In describing the various types of non-Jains who have some measure of 
punya, this sUtra follows a formula.  First the description of their 
lifestyle.  Then the length of their reward in various heavenly worlds, 
and then how they will be reborn as Jains or hear the true (i.e. Jain) 
dharma in some other way and get moksha.  In other words to use our 
terminology, the best a virtuous non-Jain can acheive is kramamukti 
whereas only Jains can achieve jivanmukti

When reading works like this, one must bear in mind they were written by 
outsiders and often rivals.  They may have deliberately or accidently 
misunderstood certain ideas or practices.  Nevertheless I think this gives 
a pretty interesting glimpse into how sannyasa must have been in early 
Indian history.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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