The Samayik Sutra ~ Perfect Way to Prayer

This book sheds light on the importance of prayer in one’s life. It gives the meaning and significance of a Jaina prayer known as ‘samayik’. A lucid English translation by Pratibha Jain of Part 2 of Upadhyaya Amar Muni’s ‘Samayik Sutra’.

 

Samayika Sutra - Jaina Translation

 

Specifications

Title: The Samayik Sutra | Author: Upadhyaya Amar Muni | Translator: Pratibha Jain | ISBN: 9788190425360 | Publishers: Sugal & Damani, Veerayatan | Price: Rs. 200 | First Print Sep 2012

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Introduction

In the hectic schedules of our lives, we often lose our balance and inner alignment. We get caught in our daily activities like machines forgetting the larger purpose of our existence. The purpose of prayer is to re-align us with our higher self. During prayer, we invest in nothing else but our own self. When we spend this time wisely and correctly, it has an impact on our entire life. Our actions and our thoughts come into alignment.

 

Jainism talks of a prayer known as ‘samayika’ which is performed for 48 minutes. “”Samayika’ means equanimity. This prayer helps us to look at life and happenings around us with serenity and without being unduly disturbed. A set of Prakrit sutras are recited to commence the prayer as well as to conclude it. This book gives the order in which the sutras have to be recited, and explains the meaning and significance of each sutra. The English transcription of the sutras along with their translation and analysis is given. This helps the seeker to perform this prayer with mindfulness and understanding. Thus it becomes a life-enhancing experience.

Page of Contents

THE SĀMĀYIKA SŪTRA

1 Namaskāra sūtra – Five-fold obeisance
2 Samyaktva sūtra – The sūtra of right faith
3 Guru-guṇa-smaraṇa sūtra – Remembering the guru’s qualities
4 Guru vandanā sūtra – Obeisance to guru
5 Ālocanā sūtra – The sūtra of introspection
6 Kāyotsarga sūtra – The sūtra of meditation
7 Āgāra sūtra – The sūtra of exceptions
8 Caturviśatistava sūtra – Obeisance to the tīrthaṅkaras
9 Pratijñā sūtra – The sūtra of pledge
10 Praṇipāta sūtra – The sūtra of obeisance
11 Samāpti sūtra – The sūtra of conclusion

APPENDIX: Procedure of sāmāyika

 

Read an Excerpt

The meaning of namaskāra

Obeisance is the perfect symbol of humility and openness to superior qualities. The grammarians give the following analysis of obeisance -
mattastvamutkṛṣṭastvattohamapakṛṣṭaḥ, etadadvaya bodhanānukūla vyāpāro hi namaḥ śabdārthaḥ

 

The meaning of the word ‘namaskāra’ is this: “You are greater than me, superior to me in qualities and I am inferior to you with lesser qualities.”

 

Here the relationship between lesser and greater beings is as pure and qualitative as that of father and son, or master and disciple. It is the kingdom of love and devotion that exists between devotee and deity. The devotee stands before his god only to receive pure saṁskāras from him. Nowhere is the feeling of helplessness and dependence to be seen in this. It is not therefore, a relationship between master and slave.

 

The emotion of namaskāra:
In scriptural language, namaskāra is an emotion of joy and appreciation. To become overwhelmed with adoration, and to express respect and reverence towards those evolved souls who are more radiant and superior to oneself in qualities is pramoda bhāvanā or joyous appreciation.

 

By practising this emotion of love, the aspirant finds that the negative qualities of envy, jealousy and pride are uprooted. One aquires positive energy, and as a result, the heart of the sādhaka becomes broader, kinder and more sublime. We have incredible stories in our scriptures that tell us of many an aspirant who brought about a transformation in his life by the sheer power of this emotion.

 

The benefit of namaskāra:
We are now in an era of logic and reasoning. We question everything around us. We want a logical reason for rules that exist, for practices we are expected to follow. So we ask – why must we pay obeisance to the enlightened beings? Can we really benefit from uttering their name? Can they do anything for us?

 

To these questions, my response is – when did anybody ever claim that the arihantas and siddhas have done anything for us? They have no direct relationship with our evolution or destruction. It is each individual who has to do whatever is required for his or her evolution. But one can draw inspiration and strength from these enlightened beings, and thus they are a motivation for our evolution. These five padas are our support, our ideals and our goal. It is our spiritual goal to reach where they have reached, and to uplift our souls as they have done. Duty does not mean superficial efforts. In this respect, the Jaina path is in agreement with others who prescribe duties. But where duty is considered as help, deliverance and magical powers, Jainism treads its own independent view.

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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