Category: Jainism
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Uttaradhyayana or Uttaradhyayana Sutra is a Śvētāmbara text said to be one of the final set lectures given by Lord Mahavira before his liberation. The Uttaradhyayana points to the fact that nudity distinguished Mahavira's monks from those of Parshvanatha.

Gaina Sutras

Translated from Prakrit


Hermann Jacobi





I shall explain in due order the discipline of a houseless monk, who has got rid of all worldly ties. Listen to me. (1)

A monk who, on receiving an order from his superior walks up to him, watching his nods and motions, is called well-behaved. (2)

But a monk who, on receiving an order from his superior, does not walk up to him, being insubordinate and inattentive, is called ill-behaved. (3)

As a bitch with sore ears is driven away everywhere, thus a bad, insubordinate, and talkative (pupil) is turned out. (4)

As a pig leaves a trough filled with grain to feed on faeces, so a brute (of a man) turns away from virtue, and takes to evil ways. (5)

Hearing a man thus compared to a dog and a pig, he who desires his own welfare, should adhere to good conduct. (6)

Therefore be eager for discipline, that you may acquire righteousness; a son of the wise who desires liberation will not be turned away from anywhere. (7)

One should always be meek, and not be talkative in the presence of the wise; one should acquire valuable knowledge, and avoid what is worthless. (8)

When reprimanded a wise man should not be angry, but he should be of a forbearing mood; he should not associate, laugh, and play with mean men. (9)

He should do nothing mean nor talk much; but after having learned his lesson, he should meditate by himself. (10)

If he by chance does anything mean, he should never deny it, but if he has done it, he should say: ‘I have done it;’ if he has not done it, ‘I have not done it.’ (11)

He should not, in every case, wait for the express command (of the teacher) like an unbroken horse for the whip (of the rider), but like a broken horse which sees the whip (of the rider) he should commit no evil act. (12)

Disobedient, rough speaking, ill-behaved pupils will exasperate even a gentle teacher; but those will soon win even a hot-tempered teacher who humour him and are polite. (13)

He should not speak unasked, and asked he should not tell a lie; he should not give way to his anger, and bear with indifference pleasant and unpleasant occurrences. (14)

Subdue your Self, for the Self is difficult to subdue; if your Self is subdued, you will be happy in this world and in the next. (15)

Better it is that I should subdue my Self by self-control and penance, than be subdued by others with fetters and corporal punishment. (16)

He should never do anything disagreeable to the wise neither in words nor deeds, neither openly nor secretly. (17)

He should not (sit) by the side of the teacher, nor before him, nor behind him; he should not touch (the teacher’s) thigh with his own, nor answer his call from the couch. (18)

A well-behaved monk should not sit on his hams nor cross his arms nor stretch out his legs, nor stand (too) close to his teacher. (19)

If spoken to by the superior, he should never remain silent, but should consider it as a favour; asking for his command he should always politely approach his teacher. (20)

If the teacher speaks little or much, he should never grow impatient; but an intelligent pupil should rise from his seat and answer (the teacher’s) call modestly and attentively. (21)

He should never ask a question when sitting on his stool or his bed, but rising from his seat and coming near, he should ask him with folded hands. (22)

When a pupil who observes the above rules of conduct, questions the teacher about the sacred text, its meaning, or both, he should deliver it according to tradition. (23)

A monk should avoid untruth, nor should he speak positively (about future things, his plans, &c.); he should avoid sinful speech, and always keep free from deceit. (24)

He should not tell anything sinful or meaningless or hurtful, neither for his own sake nor for anybody else’s, nor without such a motive. (25).

In barbers’ shops or houses, on the ground separating two houses, or on the highway a single monk should not stand with a single woman, nor should he converse with her. (26)

Any instruction the wise ones may give me in a kind or a rough way, I shall devotedly accept, thinking that it is for my benefit. (27)

(The teacher’s) instruction, his manner of giving it, and his blaming evil acts are considered blissful by the intelligent, but hateful by the bad monk. (28)

Wise, fearless monks consider even a rough instruction as a benefit, but the fools hate it, though it produces patience and purity of mind. (29)

He should occupy a low, firm seat, which does not rock; seldom rising and never without a cause, he should sit motionless. (30)

At the right time a monk should sally forth, and he should return at the right time; avoiding to do anything out of time, he should do what is appropriate for each period of the day. (31)

A monk should not approach (dining people) sitting in a row, but should collect alms that are freely given; having begged according to the sanctioned rules, he should eat a moderate portion at the proper time. (32)

A monk should wait (for his alms) alone, not too far from other monks, nor too near them, but so that he is not seen by another party; another monk should not pass him to get the start of him. (33)

Neither boldly erect nor humbly bowing down, standing neither too close by nor too far off, a monk should accept permitted food that was prepared for somebody else (34)

In a place that is covered above and sheltered on all sides, where there are no living beings nor seeds, a monk should eat in company, restrained and undressed. (35)

A monk should avoid as unallowed such food as is well dressed, or well cooked, or well cut, or such in which is much seasoning, or which is very rich, or very much flavoured, or much sweetened (36)

(The teacher) takes delight in instructing a clever (pupil), just as the rider (in managing) a well-broken horse; but he tires to instruct a foolish (pupil), just as the rider (tires to manage) an unbroken horse. (37)

(A bad pupil thinks:) ‘I get but knocks and boxes on the ear, hard words and blows;’ and he believes a teacher who instructs him well, to be a malevolent man. (38)

A good pupil has the best opinion (of his teacher), thinking that he treats him like his son or brother or a near relation but a malevolent pupil imagines himself treated like a slave. (39)

He should not provoke his teacher’s anger, nor should he himself grow angry; he should not offend the teacher nor irritate him by proclaiming his faults (40)

Perceiving the teacher’s anger one should pacify him by kindness, appease him with folded hands, and promise not to do wrong again. (41)

He who adopts the conduct which the wise ones have attained by their virtues and always practised, will not incur blame. (42)

Guessing the teacher’s thoughts and the purport of his words, one should express one’s assent, and execute (what he desires to be done). (43)

An excellent pupil needs no express directions, or he is (at least) quickly directed; he always carries out his duties as he is told. (44)

An intelligent man who has learned (the sacred texts) takes his duties upon himself and he becomes renowned in the world; as the earth is the dwelling of all beings, so he will be a dwelling of all duties. (45)

When the worthy teachers, who are thoroughly enlightened and from early times well versed in conduct are satisfied (with a pupil), they will make over to him their extensive and weighty knowledge of the sacred texts. (46)

His knowledge will be honoured, his doubts will be removed, he will gladden the heart of his teacher by his good acts; kept in safety by the performance of austerities and by meditation, being as it were a great light, he will keep the five vows. (47)

Honoured by gods, Gandharvas, and men, he will, on leaving this body which consists of dirt and impurities, become either an eternal Siddha or a god of great power and small imperfections. (48)

Thus I say


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