the above invocation repeated several times every day the
Jains bow with hands folded in anjali (worship) in the four
cardinal directions, East, West, South and North.
While reciting the Navkar Mantra, we are bowing down with
respect Arihantas, Siddhas, Acharya(heads of sadhus and sadhvis),
Upadhyaya (those who teach scriptures to sadhus and sadhvis),
Sadhus (monks, who have voluntarily given up social, economical
and family relationships) and Sadhvis (nuns, who have voluntarily
given up social, economical and family relationships). Collectively,
they are called Panch Parmesthi (five supreme spiritual people).
In this mantra we worship their virtues rather than worshipping
any one particular person or Tirthankara. This mantra is also
called Namaskar or Namokar Mantra as we are bowing down.
The word Arihanta is made up of two words: 1) Ari, meaning
enemies, and 2)hanta, meaning destroyer of the enemies. These
enemies are inner desires known as passions such as anger,
ego, deception, and greed within us. When a person (soul)
wins over these inner enemies he/she is called Arihanta. Arihanta
destroys the four ghati karmas namely Jnanavarniya (knowledge
blocking) Karma, Darshanavarniya (perception blocking) Karma,
Mohniya (passion causing) Karma and Antaraya (obstacle causing)
Karma. Arihanta attains: 1) Kevaljnan, perfect knowledge due
to the destruction of all Jnanavarniya Karmas, 2) Kevaldarshan,
perfect perception due to the destruction of all Darshanavarniya
karmas, 3) becomes passionless due to the destruction of all
Mohniya Karmas, and 4) gains infinite power due to the destruction
of all Antaraya Karmas.
Siddhas are the liberated souls. They are no longer among
us because they have completely ended the cycle of birth and
death. They have reached the ultimate highest state, salvation.
They do not have any karmas, and they do not collect any new
karmas. This state of true freedom is called Moksha.
Acharyas carry the message of Jina. They are our spiritual
leaders. Acharyas must have to do in-depth study and achieve
mastery of the Jain scriptures (Ägams). In addition to
acquiring a high level of spiritual excellence, they have
the ability to lead the monks and nuns. They know various
languages with a sound knowledge of other philosophies and
religions of the area and the world.
The title Upadhyayas is given to those Sadhus who have acquired
a special knowledge of the Ägams and philosophical systems.
They teach Jain scriptures to sadhus and sadhvis.
SADHUS AND SADHVIS
When householders become detached from the worldly aspects
of life and get the desire for spiritual uplift (and not worldly
uplift), they give up their worldly lives and become sadhus
(monk) or sadhvis (nun). A male person is called sadhu, and
a female person is called sadhvi. At the time of Deeksha,
the sadhu or sadhvi voluntarily accepts to obey following
five major vows for the rest of his/her life:
1. Commitment of Total Ahimsa (non-violence)-not to commit
any type of violence.
2. Commitment of Total Satya (truth)-not to indulge in any
type of lie or falsehood.
3. Commitment of Total Asteya (non-stealing)-not to take anything
unless it is given.
4. Commitment of Total Brahmacharya (celibacy)-not to indulge
in any sensual activities
5. Commitment of Total Aparigraha (non-possessiveness)-not
to acquire more than what is needed
to maintain day to day life.