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Publisher: SAGE
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: 1500
The article investigates the relationship between canonical rules (dharma) and customary rules (maryādā) in contemporary Jain mendicant life. It focuses on an analysis of the Terāpanth Śvetāmbara Jain mendicant order and presents translations and analyses of the rules and regulations and initiation rituals for a new category of Jain novices, the samaṇ order, which was introduced by the Terāpanth in 1981. It is argued that variations and cumulative changes in post-canonical monastic law can be understood in terms of rule specification and secondary canonization and not only in terms of exceptions to the rule. The article contributes both to the anthropology of South Asian asceticism and monasticism and to the exploration of the maryādā and āvaśyaka literatures of the Jains.
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    • 1 I wish to thank Samanº ¯ı Pratibha¯prajn˜ a¯, Sama nº¯ı Rº juprajn˜ a¯, Mumukºsu Anita and Sama nº¯ı Caritraprajn˜a¯, who explained to me the Niyama¯val¯ı of the samanº /¯ıs in AugustOctober 2001. I am also indebted to Adelheid Mette and Lalita Du Perron for their valuable comments on earlier drafts of this article, and to Sama nº Sthitiprajn˜ a¯, who introduced me to A¯ ca¯rya Tuls¯ı in 1992.
    • 2 The pioneers in this field were Weber, Jacobi, Leumann and Schubring. For further references see the text editions and translations cited in this article.
    • 3 Today, there are eight to ten schools (depending on definitional criteria) and some 57 independently organized mendicant orders in the S´veta¯mbara tradition. The Digambara ascetics are currently not organized into tightly regulated mendicant orders (see Flu¨gel, in press b).
    • 4 With the exception of certain technical terms at their first occurrence, I have not transliterated the inherent Sanskrit vowel 'a' in roman script, in accordance with the conventions established by McGregor, 1993: xi.
    • 5 For a general analysis of the structure and the function of rules in the Tera¯panth mendicant order see Flu¨gel, 1994: 107-45.
    • 6 A translation of the Marya¯da¯val¯ı of the monks is currently in preparation by the author.
    • 7 For the history, doctrine and organization of the Tera¯panth see Sharma 1991, Flu¨gel, 1994, 1995-96, 2000. The Tera¯panth split from the aniconic Dhanna¯ Dharmada¯sa Stha¯nakava¯s¯ı tradition in Ra¯jastha¯n in 1760 under the leadership of Muni Bh¯ıkhan (1726-1803). Bh¯ıkhan disagreed with the Stha¯nakava¯s¯ı a¯ca¯rya Raghuna¯th (1710-90) over the issue of the religious value of charity and compassionate help and advocated strict ascetic practice as the only path to salvation. In the late 19th century A¯ ca¯rya Jaya¯ca¯rya (1803-81) established the present stronghold of the Tera¯panth in the kingdom of B¯ıka¯ner where it remains the dominant aniconic Jain tradition to date. Until the reign of A¯ ca¯rya Tuls¯ı, the influence of the Tera¯panth was largely confined to Ra¯jastha¯n. Tuls¯ı was a modernizer who, under the impact of the Indian independence in 1947, changed the inward-looking orientation of the order and promoted (Tera¯panth) Jain moral values for the transformation of the world. He initiated social and monastic reforms and widened the geographical sphere of influence of the Tera¯panth to India as a whole and Nepal. In 1980, he created a new category of Tera¯panth Jain mendicants for the purpose of the Tera¯panth mission in the subcontinent and abroad.
    • 8 'The aim of establishing this new category of ascetics was not merely to help and facilitate the spread of Jainism abroad but it was also felt that it would open up new
    • 67 Rare and costly types of food, such as fruit juice, dry fruits, etc., which may be important for curing illness, etc. are considered to be the property of the entire group of ascetics at one particular place. In contrast to ordinary food, such as bread, which can be eaten by the members of each itinerant group, the availability of these types of food has to be reported to all groups in a particular location in order to be allocated to the needy by the most senior mendicant (see ON 503, 525-6).
    • 68 Breaking a fast means completing it. E.g. for two days after a four-day fast, three days after a six-day fast, five days after a ten-day fast, etc. any type of food can be taken from the whole group. This unwritten rule reflects the need for specific types of food, which are sometimes unavailable in one group, for nurturing an individual back to full strength after a long fast.
    • 69 The a¯yambila (a¯ca¯ma¯mla), or 'sour' fast, of the Tera¯panth¯ıs requires the eating, only once a day, of one unsalted cereal 'cooked only in water with a sour flavouring' (a¯mlarasa)' (Williams, 1963: 40, cf. 209). For the meaning of the word a¯yambila see Schubring, 1935: § 156.
    • 70 The threefold (tiviha¯r) fast permits drinking water, whereas the fourfold (cauviha¯r) fast requires complete abstinence. See Williams, 1963: 39.
    • 71 That is, a one and a half day release from compulsory collective work is rounded up to two days, two and a half days to three days, etc.
    • 72 The polite expression ja¯m˙ cna¯ (Pkt. ja¯yanº a¯, Skt. ya¯cana¯), to investigate, here means to ask for, to receive or accept, begging, soliciting.
    • 73 Tera¯panth mendicants may touch objects belonging to a householder but cannot borrow them without asking and receiving them formally from the hand of the owner.
    • 74 The uniform of the samanº/¯ıs and samanº¯ıs, called kavac (lit. armour), is a specially designed white cotton frock with the word 'arham' stitched in red colour onto the chest.
    • 75 Khanº dºiya are small pieces of fabric that are torn off a larger piece of cloth to be used for cleansing the body orifices and the paraphernalia of the mendicants.
    • 76 This list of possessions is not exhaustive (khanº dºiya clothes for instance are not mentioned). In addition, the samanº/¯ıs borrow most essentials for their daily use, such as soap, toothpaste, etc. from the householders.
    • 77 Samanº/¯ıs cannot accept vessels made of metal. Today, the buckets used both by samanº/ ¯ıs and sa¯dhu-sa¯dhv¯ıs are usually made of plastic, and should only comprise insignificant pieces of metal, such as a handle. Metal is avoided, because it is regarded as a valuable possession, and because it is produced in a process involving violence. Orthodox Jain mendicants also do not accept plastic vessels or vessels containing small pieces of metal.
    • 78 The technical term for discarding, which should take place not later than 48 minutes, is paraºthanº a¯ (Pkt. pariºtºthavanºa, Skt. parisºthº a¯pana). See ON 303; Mette, 1974: 138f., 143; Mette (in press); Flu¨gel (forthcoming).
    • 79 Or a pitcher, both made of plastic.
    • 80 In contrast to other objects borrowed from householders, bowls and plates used for eating should not be returned. That is, the samanº/¯ıs should only eat from their own bowls.
    • 81 The use of both water and utensils should be minimised.
    • 82 Cf. AS 2.1.8, etc. The term gocar¯ı should not be used for the begging round of the samanº/¯ıs, to distinguish them clearly from the ´sramanºas.
    • 83 Pieces of raw fruit may contain life even after being pickled. They are only considered dead after a transformation of taste induced by the admixture of different substances. The acceptability of various types of pickles is a contentious issue in the Jain tradition.
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