The word Aarjava means uprightness, straightforwardness, simplicity, frank speaking, honesty, non- hypocrisy, large-heartedness and freedom from deceit.
The action of a deceitful person is to think one thing, speak something else and do something entirely different. There is no harmony in his thought, speech and actions. Such a person loses credibility very quickly and lives in constant anxiety and fear of his deception being exposed. Being straightforward or honest, oils the wheel of life. You will be seen to be reliable and trustworthy. Deceitful actions lead to the influx of karmas.
Delusion about one’s identity is the root cause of unhappiness. The soul is made up of countless qualities like knowledge, happiness, effort, faith, and conduct. It has the potential to achieve omniscience (Keval Gyana) and reach a state of supreme bliss. Again, the body, the karmas, the thoughts and all the emotions are separate from the true nature of the soul. Only by practicing Nischay Aarjav Dharma will one taste the true happiness that comes from within.
A Jain saint (Shraman Muni) acts in life with an unblemished heart discarding crooked feelings, and follows a definite moral code of conduct; as a rule, he practices uprightness (Aarjava Dharma) i.e., the third virtue out of the ten supreme virtues.
'Rijorbhav aarjvam'. Simplicity in life is known as straight-forwardness (Aarjava). Its opposite is hypocrisy or crookedness. To give up hypocrisy is the supreme virtue of uprightness (Uttama Aarjava Dharma).
Hypocrisy is a hindrance in life journey. So long this obstacle lurks in a devotee, he cannot fully perform his devotion.
If a devotee wants to carry on his life's journey in a well-planned, simple and unhindered manner, it is essential for him to give up hypocrisy or crookedness.
Deceit (Maya), wrong belief (Mithya) and ambition of reward for a good deed (Nidan) are the three thorns (shaliya). If any of these thorns persists in somebody's mind, the person cannot lead a spiritual life. Likewise, when the thorn of deceit enters a man's heart, it goes on pricking him. A deceitful person is always worried and remains suspicious, lest his deceit should be exposed. It is a well-known saying: 'A guilty conscious is always suspicious'.
One day a king began to ease himself sitting under a jack fruit tree. Ripe jackfruits had dropped all around the tree. On seeing the jack fruits the king's mouth watered.
Finding it a secluded place, he picked up a jackfruit and put it into his mouth. But soon fear overpowered his mind with the doubt that someone should have seen him. After easing himself, the king came back to his palace.
That day, while dancing in the royal court, the court dancer began to sing, " I shall disclose today's secret, O King". As soon as the king heard this, filled with his own mental doubt, he began to think, "Probably she has seen me eating the jack fruit."
Doubting that she should disclose the secret in the presence of all counselors and citizens, he took off his necklace and offered it to the court dancer. When the royal dancer sang the same song the next day as well, the king took off his earrings and presented them to her. The court dancer mistook the king's bounty.
She began to sing the same song in the royal court and got one or the other present from the king daily. When the king was fed up with presenting her precious ornaments, one day in great rage he asked, "Why do you daily repeat the same song? Disclose everything if you want to do so.
I have not done any improper act by eating a jack fruit while easing myself." Hearing this the court dancer was dumbfounded. From the above example, it becomes amply clear that so long as the thorn of deceit exists in the heart of a person, he remains perturbed and loses the peace of mind.