five great vows for ascetics and twelve vows for laypeople, Jainism lays great
emphasis on observance of five rules of conducts (Samitis) and three rules of
avoidance of misconduct (Guptis).
A person must
be careful in walking, sitting, standing, and lying down. He must speak only gentle, sweet, and
righteous speech. He must be careful in
placing and removing articles of his use.
He must keep every thing clean and should not make himself instrumental
in the growth or death of germs and insects.
Five Rules of
- Iriya Samiti - Regulation of walking
- Bhasa Samiti - Regulation of speaking
- Esnna Samiti - Regulation of begging
- Adana Nikshepana Samiti - Regulation of taking or keeping
- Utsarga Samiti - Regulation of disposal
of Avoidance of Misconduct (Guptis):
Five Rules of Conduct (Samitis):Iriya Samiti - regulation of walking: One should walk
carefully looking forward about six feet distance so as not to cause the pain
or death of any living being.
- Mana Gupti ‑ Regulation of mind
- Vachana Gupti ‑ Regulation of speech
- Kaya Gupti ‑ Regulation of bodily
Bhasa Samiti ‑
regulation of speaking: One should avoid
the eight faults of speech during conversation.
The eight faults are anger, pride, deceit, greed, laughter, fear,
gossip, and slander. Always use sinless
and concise speech.Esnna Samiti ‑
regulation of begging: Monks should search
and obtain pure foods and other articles necessary for use, and to use the same
in a faultless manner.Adana
Nikshepana Samiti ‑ regulation of taking or keeping: One should lay down
or take up an article of use very carefully so as not to endanger the life of
small creatures and insects.
Samiti ‑ regulation of disposal: One should dispose
of waste things, such as mucus, urine, stools and other items in a solitary and
out of the way place in a proper manner so as not to cause any inconvenience to
anybody by becoming a source of nuisance, unsanitation, or contamination. This waste helps the growth of germs, and is
also the indirect cause of their death.
Three Rules of Preservation (Guptis):
Mana Gupti ‑ regulation
of mind: One should guard
one's mind from impure thoughts such as anger, hate, curse, greed, jealous,
ego, etc. Always be forgiving and devote
the mind to pious meditation.
‑ regulation of speech: One should guard
his speech so that it might not utter harmful, harsh, careless, foul,
senseless, embarrassing, or bad language.
Kaya Gupti ‑
regulation of bodily activity: One should guard
movement of his body, so as not to hurt others, walking with an eye on the path
so as not to harm, or kill an innocent life such as ants, bugs, etc. One should not daydream while doing any
activity. Develop decent behavior and
purify the actions and make them faultless, while Guptis are prohibitions
against sinful activities of mind, speech, and body. Both are equally necessary for the spiritual
uplift of soul. Collectively all eight
virtues are known as Ashta Pravachan Mata.