Purpose of Adoration

Thus is the nature of Arhantas, etc., it is full of passionlessness with perfect knowledge. By means of that only, the Arhantas, etc., are supreme and worthy of invocation and adoration. Because from Jiva Tattva (sentient-being) point of view, all Jivas (souls) are alike but because of attachment, etc., psychic maladies and feeble knowledge, Jivas become censurable and due to lessening of attachment, etc., and increase of knowledge deserve adoration; so in Arhantas and Siddhas due to complete absence of attachment, etc., and perfectness of knowledge, the manifestation of absolute passionlessness with perfect knowledge (omniscience) is possible. And in Acharyas, Upadhyaya and Sadhus i.e., in all real Digamber Jain monks, due to partial lessening of attachment, etc., and speciality of knowledge, the manifestation of partial passionlessness with discriminative right knowledge is possible. Hence Arhantas etc. are to be known as Supreme, worthy of invocation and adoration.

Further, it should be remembered that amongst these Arhantas etc., (five ranks) mainly Tirthankaras and generally all omniscients are termed Arhanta in Prakrit and Arhat in Sanskrit. And just after the last moment of fourteenth Gunasthana (stage of spiritual development) the Arhantas become Siddhas. Further, those monks who have been installed as Acharyas irrespective of whether they live in the congregation of monks or solitarily do self-mediation or live solivagantly or might have attained the rank of Gandhara by getting principalship among theAcharyas also, all of them are called Acharyas. Further, reading & teaching work is done by other monks too but those on whom Upadhyaya rank of monk is conferred by Acharyas, they only, even besides doing the work of self-meditation etc., get the name of Upadhyaya. And all those monks who do not possess any rank are called Sadhus.

Here, there is no such rule that Acharya's rank is attained or termed by observing Panchaachara (five types of observances), Upadhyayas rank by doing teaching-preaching and Sadhu's rank by practising Moolgunas basic-rites) because these observances, rites, etc., are common to all monks, but from the Shabda-Naya (verbalistic standpoint) their literal meaning is derived so. From Samabhirudha-Naya (conventional standpoint) the Acharya etc. names are to be known by the graduation of ranks only. As for example, by Shabda Naya, that which moves is called the 'cow', likewise the human beings, etc., also make the movement but from Samabhirudha Naya the names are so given from the Paryaya (embodied state) point of view. Similarly, one must understand here also.

Question: what is the reason of offering salutation to Arhantas prior to Siddhas?

Answer: Salutation is offered with the object of getting our purpose accomplished and because the purpose of sermons etc., chiefly gets accomplished from the Arhantas, therefore, the salutation is offered first to them.

Thus, the characteristics of Arhantas, etc., have been reflected on, because by reflecting on their characteristics the specific object gets accomplished. Further, these Arhantas, etc., are called PanchParmeshtis (the five utmost beneficial Supreme souls) because that which is utmost beneficial is named as Parameshta . The Panch (five) who are Parameshta are thus collectively named and called Panch Parmeshtis.

Further, Rishabha, Ajita, Sambhava, Abhinandana, Sumati, Padmaprabha, Suparshva, Chandraprabha, Pushpadant, Sheetal, Shreyansa, Vasupujya, Vimal, Ananta, Dharma, Shanti, Kuntha, Ara, Malli, Munisuvrat, Nami, Nemi, Parshva, Wardhamana - so named 24 Tirthankaras - have been the pioneers of the presently existing Dharma Tirtha (spiritual voyage) in this Bharat-Kshetra; they are specifically adored by Indras (Heavenly gods), etc., during their attaining auspicious occasions of conception, birth, asceticism, omniscience and salvation, and are now situated in Siddhalaya (the abode of liberated souls at the summit of the universe); I bow to them all.

Further, Seemandhara, Yugamandhara, Bahu, Subaha, Samjataka; Swayamprabh, Vrishabhanana, Ananta-virya, Surprabha, Vishalkirti, Vajradhara, Chandranana, Chandrabahu, Bhujangama, Ishwara, Nemiprabha, Veersena, Mahabhadra, Devayash, Ajitvirya - so named 20 Tirthankaras - who are at present situated with omniscience in Videhakshetras of Panch-merus (the five highest mounts), I bow to them all.

Although these are included in the Parameshtis rank, nevertheless, in the present time, knowing their significance and supremacy, salutation is offered separately.

Further, the naturally existing unartificial idols of Jinas (Arhantas) that are situated in Triloka (three worlds of the universe) and the artificial 'Jinas' idols that are installed with ritual-ceremony in the middle world, whose Darshan (sighting and invocation) etc., only, even without getting any (discernible) sermon from them, the accomplishment of our benediction takes place as is accomplished by the Darshan of Tirthankara-Kewali (embodied omniscients); I bow to all these 'Jinas' idols.

Further, the Anga-prakeernakas (the sacred scriptures containing omnicient's commandments) created by Ganadharas according to the sermons given in Divya-dhwani (omrnscient's preachings) and according to those (Anga-Prakeernakas) the Granthas (sacred books) written by other Acharyas etc., all those are Jina-vachanas (omniscient's preachings) which are worth recognising through the emblem of Syadvada (the theory of relative or conditional predication) and are non-contradictory to path of justice, therefore, are authentic and are the cause of Tattva-Jnana (true knowledge of substances) for Jivas; therefore, are benefical; I bow to them.

Further, the Chaityalaya (Jina's temple), Aaryika (Jaina-nun), Shravaka (the right-faithed house-holder) of the highest vows and rank, etc., substances (Dravyas), the Tirthankshetras i.e., sacred pilgrimatic places, etc., lands (Kshetras), the Kalyanaka-Kalas benedictory periods etc., periods (Kalas) and Ratnatraya (right faith, knowledge and conduct), etc., pure dispositions (Bhavas) which are worth saluting, I bow to all of them. And I pay due respect to them also who deserve some respect. Thus the invocation is done by giving due respect to our benefactors.

Now we discuss as to how these Arhantas, etc., are the benefactors. The purpose (objective) is the name of that act or deed due to which happiness is obtained and misery is ended, and that by means of which the accomplishment of the purpose takes place is our benefactor. Presently, obtaining the passionless discriminative-knowledge, is the purpose, because by means of that, imperturbable real happiness is attained and all sorrows and miseries, which are full of perplexities, are ended.