Jain Home Page
Five Samitis and Three Guptis
Besides the five great vows for ascetics and twelve vows for laypeople, Jainism lays great emphasis on observance of five rules of conducts (Samitis) and three rules of avoidance of misconducts (Guptis).
A person must be careful in walking, sitting, standing, and lying down. He must speak only gentle, sweet, and righteous speech. He must be careful in placing and removing articles of his use. He must be clean and should not make himself instrumental in the growth or death of germs and insects.
- Iriya Samiti - regulation of walking
- Bhasa Samiti - regulation of speaking
- Esnna Samiti - regulation of begging
- Adana Nikshepana Samiti - regulation of taking or keeping
- Utsarga Samiti - regulation of disposal
- Mana Gupti - regulation of mind
- Vachana Gupti - regulation of speech
- Kaya Gupti - regulation of bodily activity
- Iriya Samiti - regulation of walking. One should walk carefully looking forward about six feet distance so as not to cause the pain or death of any living being.
- Bhasa Samiti - regulation of speaking. One should avoid the eight faults of speech during conversation. The eight faults are anger, pride, deceit, greed, laughter, fear, gossip, and slander. Always use sinless and concise speech.
- Esnna Samiti - regulation of begging. Monks should search and obtain pure foods and other articles necessary for use, and to use the same in a faultless manner.
- Adana Nikshepana Samiti - regulation of taking or keeping. One should lay down or take up an article of use very carefully so as not to endanger the life of small creatures and insects.
- Utsarga Samiti - regulation of disposal. One should dispose of waste things, such as mucus, urine, stools, etc. in a solitary and out of the way place in a proper manner so as not to cause any inconvenience to anybody by becoming a source of nuisance, unsanitation, or contamination. This waste helps the growth of germs, and is also the indirect cause of their death.
Thus Samitis purify the actions and make them faultless, while Guptis are prohibitions against sinful activities of mind, speech, and body. Both are equally necessary for the spiritual uplift of soul. Collectively all eight virtues are known as Ashta Pravachan Mata.
- Mana Gupti - regulation of mind. One should guard one's mind from impure thoughts such as anger, hate, curse, greed, jealous, ego, etc. Always be forgiving and devote the mind to pious meditation.
- Vachana Gupti - regulation of speech. One should guard his speech so that it might not utter harmful, harsh, careless, foul, senseless, embarrassing, or bad language.
- Kaya Gupti - regulation of bodily activity. One should guard movement of his body, so as not to hurt others, walking with an eye on the path so as not to harm, or kill an innocent life such as ants, bugs, etc. One should not day dream while doing any activity. Develop decent behavior and manners.