(Last Updated on : 15-06-2018)
Samvara means stoppage of inflow of Karma
into the soul
. It is the exactly opposite of Asrava in Jainism
. Non-involvement in activities leading to Asrava is Samvara. There are several ways through which this stoppage could be affected and further inflow of karmic matter into the soul could be checked. Samvara is a sort of protective wall shutting out all the karmas is established round the self.
Activities of Samvara in Jainism
It can be accomplished by constant practice of: restraint of mind, body, and speech religious meditation
conquest of desire forgiveness, tenderness, purity, truth, austerity, renunciation, un-attachment and chastity. Jain texts
prescribe 57 kinds of Samvara divided into 5 Samiti, 3 Gupti, 10Yati Dharma, 22 Parisaha, 12 Bhavana and 5 Charitra.
They are as follows;
a. Samiti (Carefulness)
- Samiti is the voluntary movements or actions of a Jiva practiced according to the scriptures
or ordained laws. They are Irya (walking), Esana (Alms collecting), Bhasa (Speaking), Adana-Niksepa (Lifting or putting various objects) and Utsarga (Discarding of Body Excreta). One has to be careful to avoid any violence in these activities. They are mainly for ascetics but lay person also have to take care in these activities.
b. Gupti (Restraints)
- Gupti are the actions performed to control the inner nature of a jiva, such as restraining the activities of mind, body and speech is to avoid any kind of violence. They are Mano Gupti, Kaya Gupti and Vacana Gupti.
c. Parisaha Jaya (Adversities)
- Parisaha Jaya refers to the winning over 22 forms of obstacles and torments encountered in the course of spiritual journey, such as endurance of hardship arising from hunger, thirst, cold, heat, insect bites, nakedness, presence of opposite sex, taunts and insults, personal injury, sleeplessness, thorns, etc.
d. Yati Dharma (Ascetic Behaviors)
- Yati Dharma are the duties of a monk in the practice of 10 excellent qualities meant for the ascetics. They are Forgiveness, Humility, Honesty, Supreme Purity, Truthfulness, Self-restraint, Austerity, Renunciation, Non-attachment and Chastity.
- Bhavana are mental states brought by contemplation that will lead to detachment from worldly pleasures such as impermanence, helplessness of the soul, nature of the world, aloneness of the soul, the distinction between the soul and the body, influx of the Karma, etc.
- Charitra are rules of conduct, which a Jain has to practice to arrest the flow of karmic influx, such as abandoning relationship with bad characters and retiring into seclusion, confessing ones sins to a teacher or master, purifying the heart and the mind by serving the monks who are engaged in austerity, cultivating indifference to worldly things and staying in the present guarding against harmful thoughts in a reflective and introspective state.
The first 3 helps one to lead a non-violent life and the last 3 leads to a spiritual journey. The practice of these 57 types of activities is included in Samvara. These various types of actions, restraints and observances gradually arrest the influx of Karma into the soul and enable the jiva to progress on the path of liberation and self-purification.