After a householder has reached a certain level of spiritual development, he is supposed to have acquired certain virtues. At that stage, in addition to the 12 Vratas, he is also expected to observe 11 Pratimas. A householder is advised to proceed stage by stage according to his ability and environment and observe the rules of discipline that are prescribed for each stage.
Pratima for Sravakacara
Pratima is the rules of conduct prescribed for laymen. The 11 Pratimas or stages laid down for householders are as follows:
1. Darsana Pratima - The householder must possess the perfect, intelligent and rational faith in Jain doctrines. He must be free from all misconceptions and also from attachments to worldly pleasures of every kind.
2. Vrata Pratima - The householder must observe the 12 vows without any transgressions. He also has to keep the extra vow of Sallekhana. Such a householder is called as Vrati. He must also have an understanding that compassion is the essence of Jainism.
3. Samayika Pratima - The stage of Samayika means attainment of equanimity regularly for 48 minutes, three times daily. One who is detached from harmful actions, controls his body, mind and speech and restrains his senses is said to have attained equanimity. It is said in several Jain texts that one may observe fast, perform severe penance, give donation, etc. but if he cannot attain equanimity, he cannot attain liberation.
4. Pausadhopavasa Pratima - This is a stage of fasting regularly, as a rule, twice a fortnight on holy days in each lunar month for 48 hours. The entire period of fasting has to be spent in prayers, study of scriptures, meditationand hearing of religious discourses.
5. Sacitta Tyaga Pratima - The householder abstains from eating uncooked or insufficiently cooked vegetables and foodstuff and should also refrain from serving such food too others. He should not trample on any growing plant or pluck fruits from a tree. Un-boiled water as well as liquids that contain salt is prohibited.
6. Ratribhojana Tyaga Pratima - The householder gives up forever, eating and drinking anything after sunset, as also providing food and drinks to anybody else during the night.
7. Brahmacharya Pratima - The householder in this stage must observe complete celibacy, maintain sexual purity, put an end to all sexual desires and even avoid the use of all personal decorations, which would lead to sexual desires.
8. Arambha Tyaga Pratima - The householder must refrain from all activities like commerce, agriculture, service, etc. exercised directly or indirectly for livelihood with a view to avoid injury to living beings as far as possible. All occupations involving any kind of Himsa are to be avoided.
9. Parigraha Tyaga Pratima - This stage contemplates the abandonment of all kinds of attachments. The householder should give up 10 kinds of worldly possessions viz. land, house, silver, gold, cattle, grain, cloths, utensils, maid and male servants. In matters like food, shelter and clothing, he should keep enough for his mere requirements. This stage is essentially one of preparation for the 11th stage.
10. Anumati Tyaga Pratima - He should give up all his activities like trade and agriculture, his attachment to property and his concerns with any of the family affairs. He entertains no feeling of like or dislike towards food served to him. He should not express either consent or dissent towards any of the activities or functions carried on by any of the members of his family.
11. Uddista Tyaga Pratima - This is the highest stage of discipline for a householder. In this stage, he leaves even his home, renounces every worldly thing and connection, goes to a forest or a lonely place for shelter and adopts the rules laid down for the guidance of ascetics. He does not accept food specially prepared for him. He is called Uttam Sravaka. This, in fact, is a qualified and thorough apprenticeship for leading the life of perfect asceticism.
Thus, a householder has to go up step by step from lower to higher Pratima depending on his ability and circumstances. There should not be a sudden change in his life.
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