Munis wearing glasses


#1

I have understood from my studies of the religion that a muni is not permitted to wear glasses since that would be a parigraha. This makes sense to me. How then has it become today become acceptable for muni’s to wear glasses? Is there anything in the scriptures that could be construed as supporting this. Are there scriptural guidebooks related to the conduct of munis that only any acharya has access to, which may actually have the detail necessary to give the correct direction on this matter?
Also, if a muni’s eyesight degrades so much that they cannot maintain their ahimsa without taking support of glasses, what will happen? As I understand it they would have to take sanlekhna at that point, since they can neither give up their vow of ahimsa nor of aparigraha. Is my understanding correct, and if so, what is the scriptural reference for this direction. Again do the acharyas have a guidebook that gives the detailed direction for this… One that general shravaks or munis do not have privilege to read?


#2

Acharyas do have guidebooks but I dont think the Brahmanical discrimination of some not allowed to read them is present in Jainism. Every Jain aspiring to become a monk, prior to adopting monkhood, (should) learn the ethical path to be followed…
Also what is to be done in different scenarios of uncertainty is provided in those texts of charnanuyog with minute details…

They may or may not have to go with this. (I am not saying that glasses are allowed, only the fact that sallekhana is not the only available option)
When to take sallekhana and when to adopt a shravakhood instead of going with sallekhana is also given in them… many complex scenarios are already dealt with in them, though only theoretically.


#3

Jainism is a well-defined and practical religion. But some people (either due to misunderstandings or for their own selfish reasons) created different versions of this religion. There is no supporting mention or evidence in any of our scriptures that allows the Munis to wear glasses. Not a single line. Although, Muni is allowed to have a Picchi (for cleanliness), Kamandal (for hygeine) and Shastra (for पठन-पाठन). A muni cannot take carry anything other than these things. But, the Munis who have started to wear glasses today argue that they wear glasses as a ज्ञान का साधन। The argument is completely baseless and wrong.

Yes, there are many Charnanuyog granths written by our Acharyas. They are the guidebooks for every person who is/will be ascending on Moksha Marg (Whether Shravak or a Muni). These granths are never secretive and are open for everybody to read.

There are two ways to handle such situation -

  1. If Muni is very old and Acharya of Sangh thinks that the disease is incurable, Muni will take Sallekhna
  2. The case of Samantbhadra Acharya : Samantbhadra muni had a great potential. But unfortunately, he was suffering with Bhasmakvyaadhi disease (a disease in which the food digests as soon as it goes into stomach). He was quite young at that time and Sallekhna would just disturb the serenity of his thoughts. That’s why he had to voluntarily break his दीक्षा (दीक्षा-छेद). And he came back after curing his disease.
    There is no other alternative for a jain muni to cure his disease. In some cases, the shravaks can add medicines into aahaar of Jain Munis too. (If they become aware of muni’s ailment)

More description can be found in Moolachar ji.

Correct me if I am wrong. Hope this satisfies your knowledge starving.


#4

Thanks for this comprehensive answer. Much appreciated.


#5

Thanks. This has been helpful for my understanding.


#6

I don’t have that much knowledge to say anything about this topic, but there are “28 Mool Gun” which a “True Muni” has to follow.
If you want to know “28 Mool Gun” in detail, check this video.


#7

Even I have this doubt from long time. I will try to ask this question from Pandit Bainada Ji.


#8

Please share your findings after having that discussion. Would be interested to learn his perspective on the subject.


#9

Sorry, I forgot to ask him. I will try to ask him today in the evening. I will definitely share his thoughts on this topic in the forum.


#10

I asked this question to Pandit Bainada Ji, he said that “it is a “सय्यम का साधन” and it is acceptable because he may not be able to see hair etc and won’t be able to follow his his cahrya, 28 mool gun properly, so the specs won’t come under Parigrah”. But he also said if the Muni chooses the specs, it will come under Parigrah. He has even seen munis wearing specs of INR 50000. When I said that, “Without specs, Muni Maharaj won’t be able to see properly and may step on small insects unintentionally, so it is not put under parighah”, he said I am totally right.

Then he told also gave another example of a muni carrying erasers etc in a bag, the intention of the Muni was that it will attract small children so that the Muni will be able to teach them religious knowledge like Namokar Mantra etc,he said it is wrong. Btw the Muni who was doing so, has left doing such kind of things.

Then he said,“Even Munis also keep pens, paper for writing something”
Then he concluded that if a thing is kept for the atmahit, it is not under parigrah. But even it is kept for the paropkar, it comes under parighar.

This was my conversation with him. I am sorry if wrote anything wrong or excluded anything intentionally or unintentionally.

I would like to conclude by saying, this was Pt. Bainada Ji’s viewpoints, everybody is independent to have his viewpoints. We believe in anekantvada, only the Omniscience knows the complete truth.


#11

I am not trying to convince you to my view point, but may be specs were not invented at that time or may be none of the Munis at time had the need of specs. Because the power of humans is decreasing as this is avsarpni kaal.


#12

I guess the question that this raises is, can a pair of glasses be kept without some level of attachment. If it is so that a muni’s sayyam is at risk if he doesn’t have his glasses, it feels to me like that level of dependency surely must induce some level of attachment. Or can you draw parallels with Picchi Kamandal that justify the conclusion that it is acceptable? Hope my question makes sense.


#13

Why not? Munis don’t have attachment to even their bodies. They pluck their hairs like people pluck grass. This shows their detachment to even their body. Glasses are not the part of their body, so the level of detachment will be more.

I would like you to even give an example of Bharat chakravarti, he was a chakravarti, i.e. king of 6 khand, even he didn’t have attachment to anything, nothing in the comptele 6 khand. Once somebody asked him, whether he has attachment to anything, he gave him a bowl of oil filled fully that and requested him to go and take a tour of his palace. But there was a condition that a soldier will also accompany him and will kill him if even a single drop of oil falls. When that person returned Bharat chakravarti asked how was the Palace, the visitor said that his mind was only at the bowl of oil. Though he took the tour, but he hasn’t seen even a single thing. Then Bharat chakravarti said, his condition is also like him. Though he is the king of the 6 khand but his mind is only in the soul and he is not seeing anything else. Even when Bharat chakravarti took diksha, he didn’t had to meditate for long to get Keval gyan.

This was the story of a king who has 6 khaand, on the other side there is a muni who is not having even clothes on his body and who sheds hair like grass. Even while eating the muni thinks when will I leave eating. I have been eating time memorial.


#14

The attachment argument is one, but the most important aspect of Jain sadhu is their complete independence. All discussion regarding keeping something in or out of the scope of parigrah should be viewed in keeping the independence in forefront. At no cost digambar muniraj will bring some sort of dependence in his life.


#15

I may be wrong but Munis are even dependent on food that why they take aahar. Accoring to me, a human cannot be independent. Even arihants are not independent, they have to go to different places to give diwyadhwani. They are dependent on the punya of other people, which decides where to go.


#16

This is completely wrong, brother. काल के प्रभाव के कारण या कमज़ोर सहनन के कारण धर्म का स्वरूप तो नहीं बदल सकते न? धर्म तो त्रिकाल एकरूप ही रहेगा।
अगर आपके दिए हुए तर्क को स्वीकार कर लिया जाए तो भविष्य में तो सहनन और भी हीन होता जाएगा तो क्या मुनि का स्वरूप उतना ही नीचा गिरते जाएगा?
इसलिए शास्त्र के आधार पर सच्चे स्वरूप का निर्णय करना चाहिए। पक्षधारी, पक्ष की ही बातें कहेंगे। अस्तु।


#17

Since you said this, it is also applicable on the other side as well. Moreover, I am neither in support of glasses nor in the opposition. I am just finding what is the truth. This I will do so after reading Jinvaani only.

I also want to ask for sorry from you because I wrote,

because you wrote,

but I wrongly interpreted unconsiously as “There was no muni who wore glasses in the past”

Now, I understand that you are talking about present scenario as well and that “According to you, Jinvaani doesn’t allow that”. I cann’t say myself anything because I haven’t read anything related to this topic in Jinvaani myself.
Peace!!!