Equanimity ~ A Book for Inner Alignment

Transform your life by understanding the power of equanimity. A life-defining quality, it creates an inner equilibrium and composure at all times. An English translation of Part 1 of Upadhyaya Amar Muni’s ‘Samayika Sutra’.


Equanimity - Jainism book on Samayika


Title: Equanimity | Author: Upadhyaya Amar Muni | Translator: Pratibha Jain | ISBN 13: 978-8190425360 | Publishers: Sugal & Damani, Veerayatan | Price: Rs. 200 | 130 pages, Paperback | First Print Sep 2012

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How wonderful it would be if we could remain calm and composed at all times? If we could exercise mindfulness in whatever is happening around us without reacting with fear or anxiety? Such a composed frame of mind is being in equanimity, a state where one is neither elated nor depressed. How do we achieve such equanimity? Over centuries, seers have given us life practices to achieve such equilibrium.


The Jaina seers recommend a prayer of 48 minutes known as ‘samayika’, meaning equanimity, which will help us achieve such a state. They guide us on what is the ideal time, posture, direction to be seated during this prayer? How do we deal with negative thoughts that may arise during this duration? How do we achieve positive vibrations with this prayer?


This book sheds light on the ideal way to perform this prayer. As we adopt this practice, over time, we will begin to see a transformation in the way we deal with everyday situations. By practising this regularly, unrest will give way to peace, violence to non-violence, and strife to compatibility.


Page of Contents

The Discourses

1) What is this universe?
2) Consciousness
3) Human and humaneness
4) Inculcating humaneness
5) Sāmāyika – an analysis
6) Sāmāyika – external and internal
7) The purification for sāmāyika
8) The wrongdoings in sāmāyika
9) The eighteen sins
10) Aspirants deserving of sāmāyika
11) Significance of sāmāyika
12) The worth of sāmāyika
13) Removal of negative thoughts during sāmāyika
14) Auspicious thoughts
15) The soul is sāmāyika
16) Sāmāyika for monks and householders
17) Six āvaśyakas of sāmāyika
18) Ideal time for sāmāyika
19) Ideal posture of sāmāyika
20) Ideal directions for sāmāyika
21) Why are the sūtras in Prākrit?
22) Ideal duration of sāmāyika
23) Sāmāyika and Vedic sandhyā
24) Recitation of Pratijñā sūtra
25) Meditation during sāmāyika
26) Meditation with logassa
27) Epilogue


Read an Excerpt

Chapter 3: Human and Humaneness

Is not human life a rare gem? Could anything be greater than human existence? It is indeed a rare gift. But the human body cannot achieve anything by itself. So our great masters focus on humaneness rather than on the human body. This makes sense because a soul may obtain the human form not once or twice, but myriads of times –forms with beautiful, strong and attractive bodies. But does it always achieve anything beyond the bodily form? Many times, we have lost more than what we have gained.


The human being is often a thief who steals another’s wealth, or a butcher whose profession is to kill innocent animals. He is on the one hand, the power hungry monarch whose thirst for kingdoms leads to war, death and destruction. Sometimes the human being is also a prostitute who corrupts youth. You may respond with disgust that such persons are more demoniac than human. Yes, the human body by itself is worthless; it has no meaning. We have been born as humans more often than we can count.


An Acharya once stated in a poetic verse: “We have adorned the human body so many times that if the blood of all our lifetimes is collected, innumerable oceans could get filled; if our flesh from each birth as human being is collected, then even the sun and the moon could be submerged, and innumerable legendary Meru mountains would be erected with our bones thus gathered and heaped.”


The need for humaneness:
The implication of the above sentence is that the human body is not as precious a gift as humaneness is. The fact that we are still struggling in this ocean of life means that though we have become human beings, we have unfortunately not found humaneness within us. Without the quality of humaneness, all our efforts are in vain, and we have turned to dust what we have gained.


How can humaneness be gained? This is a question frequently raised in all religious scriptures. Human life has two aspects – one that delves within, and the other that looks outside. A being which searches for joy outside of itself is caught in the mire of worldly entanglements; it worships the external body – the shell, and forgets the eternal spirit – the core within. Such a human existence cannot be blessed with humaneness.


Translator’s Note

From the translator’s desk

It is always a challenge to capture the essence of a saint’s thoughts in another language. More so, when they are in the form of writings and reflections on sāmāyika, an essential process of self-purification. We are indeed grateful to Shri Sugalchand Jain for giving us this blessed opportunity of translating the words of one of the greatest saints of the Jaina religion, Upādhyāya Amar Muniji.


The original Hindi text “Sāmāyika Sūtra” is a comprehensive work on the insights and profound implications behind the inclusion of sāmāyika in our lives. It is a religious discipline that brings equanimity in our lives and is considered one of the essential rites of Jaina spiritual practices. The great saint’s subtle, profound and insightful words are a priceless gift to us. The constant dwelling upon his magnificent thoughts during the process of translation has been a heart-warming reward indeed.


My profound thanks to my mentor and father, Shri Dulichand Jain for his consistent and meticulous inputs; my friend and partner, Jigyasa Giri who left no stone unturned in refining the translation; and Nisha Nahar, Probal Ray Choudhry and Sangeetha Surana for their help at various stages.


We hope that the great saint’s message has been preserved in its pristine purity while we applied our humble understanding into his enchanting words.


Pratibha Jain
July 26, 2012


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