Bhadrabahu Vijay


Grihasth dharma; partial renunciation.

In the Jain terminology, the names Shravak or Shravika are given to those who love and adore Lord Jina's life and message; who have reverence and devotion for them; who desire to travel on the path of Salvation shown by Lord Jina, and who put forth efforts towards that end according to their ability.

The Shravaks and Shravikas need not, like the Sadhus, renounce totally throughout their lives such things as violence, falsehood, stealing and sensual pleasures or being possessive. On account of the need to carry on domestic life a total renunciatlon of these things is not practical but should not do such things when they can avoid them. Hence, the Lord has shown them the path of Deshvirati dharma.


The twelve vows, (vratas) for Shravakas.

A Description of the vratas and the prohibitions (according to possible breaches)

The spiritual welfare of society increases and the image of the nation grows greater in proportion to the extent to which the character of the individuals gets tolerant and elevated. The Tirthankar Paramatma has prescribed twelve vows which are of profound psychological significance, for the attainment of excellence in character. The codes of conduct and observance prescribed are not to be considered as merely useful for practice but are essential and unavoidable.

Atichär means the errors of commission and omission (those committed by mistake; those committed knowingly and breaches of non-observance). Even if there is a partial breach of a vow, it is called Atichar violation.

Mainly, there are twelve vows and for each, 5 Atichars or violations have been mentioned. For the performance of the austerities fully, even the Atichars should be given up. The 12 vows have been grouped in three parts.

Anuvrata: Anuvrata means following of vows at a lesser degree compared to same vows observed by sadhus and sadhvis. They are five in number.

Gunavrata -Gunavrata safeguards anuvratas by increasing its efficacy and quality. They are three in number.

Shikshavrata -Some Shikshavrata provides a lighter experience of the life of a Sadhu and also help us to be better prepared for anuvratas.



The Sthool Pranatipat Virman Vrat

(the vow of nonviolence)

The ordinary vow for the renunciation of violence.

The vow not to cause violence and pain to any creature unknowingly or unnecessarily.

Atichar ( Violations ).

1) Binding any creature and putting it in a prison-house or a pound.

2) The beating and chasing of cattle.

3) Cutting their organs or castrating them.

4) Making them draw or carry heavy loads.

5) Starving them without giving them fodder.


The Sthool Mrishavadviraman Vrat.

(the vow of truthfulness)

The vow not to say a lie in any situation or event unnecessarily and unknowingly.

Atichor ( Violations ).

1) Making false accusations against anyone or giving evidence without proof,

2) Throwing blame on others by making public some secrets of theirs.

3) Divulging the secrets of one's wife or of those who are intimate.

4) Giving wrong suggestions and opinions.

5) Preparing a false and forged document or maintaining false accounts.


The Sthool Adattadanaviraman Vrat

(The vow of non-stealing)

The vow not to steal anyone's belongings without cause or unknowingly.

Atichar (Violations)

1) Buying stolen goods.

2) Getting things stolen; encouraging the act of stealing and giving shelter to thieves.

3) Breaking the Government rules relating to customs, taxes and imports and exports; and also smuggling goods.

4) Keeping false weights and measures and wrong balances.

5) Adulteration of commodities.


The Sthool Maithunviraman Vrat

(The vow to renunciate sexual pleasures)

The vow not to have sexual contacts, with a man other than one's husband or with a woman other than one's wife; and not to engage oneself in talk or gossip that provokes sexual desires.

Atichar ( Violations )

1 ) Having sexual intimacy with unmarried men and women and widowers.

2 ) Keeping a mistress or going to a prostitute ( Man seeking pleasure from woman ).

3 ) Gossiping about sex or making sexually provocative gestures.

4 ) Leaving one's own children and celebrating the marriages of others.

5 ) Wearing indecent dress and decorations; and taking any intoxicating things.


The Sthool Parigrahpariman Vrat

The vow relating to non-attachment.

The vow to determine the limit to the acquisition of belongings and to their use. The taking of a vow to delimit and determine their number or quantity.

Atichar ( Violations ).

1 ) Keeping more money than the limit determined by a vow.

2 ) Possessing lands, grounds, houses, etc., beyond need.

3 ) Possessing gold, silver. ornaments, etc., more than necessary.

4 ) Keeping excess of domestic articles and provisions.

5 ) Keeping servants, workers and domestic animals and birds beyond the determined limit.




The Dikpariman vrat ( vow relating to the extent of movement ).

The vow to limit and determine the extent to which one can go and return; the area within which one can move about; and the extent to which one can travel. or go.

Atichar ( Violations ).

1 ) Not limiting the extent to which one can move upwards.

2 ) Not limiting the extent to which one can move downwards into an underground vault or into the deeper levels of the sea.

3) Not determining the limit to which one may move in the four directions, forwards, back-wards sidewards ( to the neighborhood).

4) Going in the four directions breaking the limit.

5) Crossing in ignorance the limits relating to movements.


The Bhogopabhog viraman vrat (the vow to control and limit pleasures).

The vow contains two words Bhog and Upabhog. Bhog implies the pleasures relating the things like grain, water and things for anointing which can be used only once.

Upabhog implies the pleasures relating to things which may be enjoyed again and again such as houses, ornaments, clothes, the body, etc.

The vow to fix a limit to the use of these two types of things.

Atichar ( Violations ).

1 ) Not giving up meat-eating and wine-drinking and not giving up food etc.. obtained from raw vegetables ( growing out of plants etc. )

2 ) Consuming food connected with raw vegetables or raw- grain.

3 ) Eating such low kinds of things like rose-apples, sitapal, ranibor, etc.

4 ) Eating raw food which can be cooked.

5 ) Eating half-cooked food.


The Anarthdandaviraman Vrat.

The vow to renounce those propensities that prompt such actions and activities as do not matter even if they are not done and which are unnecessary and meaningless. That means those actions that are not profitable and are harmful to others are undesirable. The vow to renounce those tendencies of the mind that impel us to do things that are not profitable to us and are harmful to others; in a word, harmful activities.

Atichar (Violation)

1 ) Reading such literature and seeing such sights as disturb the mind.

2 ) making such bodily actions and gestures as laughing; provoking laughter, mono-acting

3) Engaging in meaningless talk; gossiping and making unnecessary commotion.

4) Manufacturing and keeping weapons and devices to cause violence.

5) Hoarding things relating to worldly and sensual enjoyments.

Besides these five violations, in this vow 15 (Karmadans) must be renounced (Karn adan means those propensities that cause actions that bind us in karma.)

Karmadan--Renouncing certain other propensities.

(1) Angar Karm: Activities relating to fire.

Engaging in those occupations that require excessive use of fire such as putting up brick-kilns; running factories for making soap and oil and for making match-boxes and crackers and engaging in industries to make alkalis like washing soda and ashes.

(2) Vankarm: Activity relating to trees etc.

Engaging in business activities that necessitate cutting of green plants and trees-such as getting a jungle cut; peeling fruits; making gum etc., or running a paper mill- keeping a grazing ground for cattle etc.

(3) Shakat Karm: Manufacturing and selling of bullock carts, tongas, motor vehicles, cars, buses, taxies, riksha, etc.

(4) Bhatak Karm: Giving vehicles cattle on hire or existing only on the hire-money obtained thus.

(5) Sphotak Karm: Engaging in activities such as blasting the earth or breaking stones; cutting them into pieces; making a tank by digging the earth; cutting tunnels; digging wells or digging the land; getting tunnels made, etc.

(6) Laksha Vanijya: (business relating to wax)-

Carrying on business in lac or wax or alkalis that necessitate killing of too many creatures; manufacturing blue; engaging in industries for making soap and other detergents.

(7) Dant Vanijya: (Doing business in ivory ).

Carrying on business in ivory; engaging in business activities in respect of musk, the hides of animals and the feathers of birds.

(8) Ras Vanijya; (Business relating to rasas or tasty Iiquids, etc.)

Making ghee. oil, butter and honey, alcoholic drinks and selling them.

(9) Kesh Vanijya: (Carrying on business in hair).

Carrying on business in selling the hair of human beings or animals and dealing in cattle.

(10) Vish Vanijya: Business in poisons.

Manufacturing different kinds of poisons or poisonous substances or destructive weapons and dealing in them.

(11) Yantrapilan Karm: Relating to machinery.

Running industries with various kinds of machines selling them or gettinq them run for hire.

(12) Nirlanchan Karm: Relating to animals and birds.

Cutting the limbs of animals and birds. drenching them in water or castrating them.

(13 ) Dav Danav Karm: Burning and demolition.

Setting fire to things or burning things such as forests, houses etc., out of enmity or spite,

(14) Asatiposhan Karm:

Running a brothel for livelihood, keeping animals, birds, etc., and showing them as an amusement for earning money. Carrying on business in meat, eggs, etc.



The Samayik vrat

The vow to be seated at a certain (asan) place for one muhurth or 48 minutes; to renounce all sinful propensities of word, thought and deed and to carry out spiritual studies, meditation, recitation of hymns, etc., according to prescription.

Atichar: Violations

1) Entertaining wicked thoughts and to keep thinking of the pros and cons of things so as to disturb the mind.

2) Uttering lies, disagreeable words and improper words.

3) Performing bodily actions that are inauspicious, improper and undesirable.

4) Taking a vow for Samayik and forgetting it.

5) Taking the Samayik not according to prescription.


The Deshavakashik vrat.

The eight vows described earlier are to be observed throughout one's life. Extending the concessions of those austerities from one to many days; for this. performing Samayik for one day and trying to free oneself from sinful tendencies.

Atichar: Violations

1) Sending a message beyond the limits of the prescribed area and getting things by means of signals.

2) Sending a person to fetch something.

3) Suggesting one's ideas through coughing or other such gestures.

4) Revealing thoughts by signals and peeping out.

5) Revealing one's presence by throwing stones, etc.


The Paushadhopavas Vrat

Paushadh is the name given to those activities that enhance the speed of spiritual endeavors and provide strength to them. Renouncing eating and drinking water; being immersed in spiritual reflections; and renouncing thoughts relating to domestic life; carrying on for 12 to 24 hours, or throughout the day or night or from one day to many days, the austerity of performing certain activities for spiritual attainments according to the vow prescribed.

Atichar: Violations

1) Not examining minutely the place of residence, the clothes. blankets and shawls or doing this carelessly.

2) Not cleaning the residence, not washing the clothes, etc., or doing these things carelessly.

3) Not carefully and thoroughly examining the Places where one moves about.

4) Not cleaning the places where excretion, etc., are passed or not cleaning them properly.

5) Not taking the Paushadh according to prescriptions or taking it late and completing it in a hurry; and reducing the time.


The Atithi Samvibhag Vrat

The vow to give with a feeling of selflessness. with love and respect, food, water and other such things necessary for existence to Sadhus and Sadhvis, Shravaks and Shravikas and to fellow Jains according to one's ability and means.

Atichar Violations

1) The giving of proper food, etc., mixing it with things obtained from raw vegetables and grains such things as Sadhus and Sadhvis cannot accept ).

2) Covering food, etc., with plates etc., containing raw vegetables.

3) "This food belongs to somebody else." Giving this pretext and putting off ( if one does not like to give).

4) Going to invite Sadhus, etc., after the time for receiving Biksha (food) is over.

5) Giving charity out of a feeling of jealousy or rivalry.

Any person can take these 12 vows for the whole life or for a fixed period of time. Besides these vows, there are other Sadhanas ( austerities ) meant for the daily life of noble Jain householders.