Those who know me would be mostly familiar with my annual ritual by now of asking for forgiveness on the auspicious day of Samvatsari, a Jain festival. 

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Coming to 2018, I thought of adding few small things from the Jain philosophy which I find immensely valuable. 

Anuvrat Movement was started by Acharya Tulsi wayback in 1949 based on the Jain philosophy of Sanyam khalu jeevanam – संयम: खलु जीवनम् – 
“Self-restraint is life”. 

Its 11 simple but powerful vows are something which resonate with the need of the society even today. 

(1) not to intentionally kill moving, innocent creatures; not to commit
suicide and not to commit foeticide;

(2) not to attack anybody; not to support aggression; to endeavour to bring about world peace and disarmament.

(3) not to take part in violent agitations or in any destructive activities;

(4) not to discriminate on the basis of caste, color etc., not to treat anyone as an untouchable; and to believe in human unity

(5) to practice religious toleration and not to rouse sectarian frenzy;

(6) to observe rectitude in business and general behavior; not harm others in order to serve any ends and not to practice deceit;

(7) to set limits to acquisition;

(8) not to resort to unethical practices in elections;

(9) not to encourage socially evil customs;

(10) to lead a life free from addictions; not to use intoxicants like alcohol, hemp, heroin, tobacco etc.;

(11) to be alert to the problems of keeping the environment pollution-free; not to cut down trees and not to waste water

You can read more on each vow in detail here.

One of the popular songs Acharya Tulsi composed is
“Sanyam Main Jeevan No, Naitikta ki sur sarita mein” . It goes like this: 

संयममय जीवन हो ॥
नैतिकता की सुर सरिता में जन-जन मन पावन हो। 
संयममय जीवन हो ॥ 

sayyama meṁ jīvana ho
naitikatā kī sura saritā meṁ
jana jana mana pāvana ho ||dhṛ||

अपने से अपना अनुशासन, अणुव्रत की परिभाषा,
वर्ण, जाति या समप्रदाय से मुक्त धर्म की भाषा। 
छोटे-छोटे संकल्पों से मानस परिवर्तन हो, संयममय जीवन हो ॥

apane se apanā anuśāsana jīvana kī paribhāṣā
varṇa jāti sampradāya se mukta dharma kī bhāṣā
choṭe choṭe saṁkalpoṁ se mānasa parivartana ho ||1|| 

मैत्री-भाव हमारा सबसे प्रतिदिन बढ़ता जाए,
समता, सह-अस्तित्व, समन्वय-नीति सफलता पाए। 
शुद्ध साध्य के लिए नियोजित मात्र शुद्ध, साधन हो, संयममय जीवन हो ॥

maitri bhāva hamārā sabase pratidina baḍatā jā e
samata saha astitva samanvaya nīti saphalatā pā e
śuddha sādha ke liye niyojita mātra śuddha sādhana ho ||2||

विद्यार्थी या शिक्षक हो मजदूर और व्यापारी,
नर हो नारी बने नीतिमय जीवनचर्या सारी। 
कथनी-करनी की समानता में गतिशील चरण हो, संयममय जीवन हो ॥

प्रभु बनकर ही हम प्रभु की पूजा कर सकते हैं,
प्रामाणिक बनकर ही संकट सागर तर सकते हैं । 
शौर्य-वीर्य-बलपती अहिंसा ही जीवन दर्शन हो, संयममय जीवन हो ॥

सुधरे व्यक्ति, समाज व्यक्ति से, राष्ट्र स्वयं सुधरेगा,
तुलसी अणुव्रत-सिंह नाथ सारे जग में पसरेंगा । 
मानवीय आचार संहिता में अर्पित तन-मन हो, संयममय जीवन हो ॥

sudhare vyakti samāja vyakti se rāṣṭra svayam sudharegā
apanā aṭala siṁhanātha sāre jaga meṁ garajegā
mānavīya ācāra saṁhitā meṁ arpita tana mana ho ||3||

While researching for this blog itself, I got to know this is quite a popular song and is sung in Kendriya Vidalayas and lot of schools across India so a lot of you may be already familiar with this. 

You would find this thought provoking if you translate it in English or your language, (I will try to add translation sometime later). The simple sounding song actually has a powerful message for all of us. 

I love the stanza where it says “kathni karni ki samanta” which is quite missing from world leaders these days the difference in their actions and what they say. And the last stanza says if we have good humans we will have good society and effectively a good nation. Wouldn’t our problems we all solved automatically if we could create good citizens? 

In summary this song talks about equality, religious tolerance, non-violence, respect for each other, truthfulness for building a strong nation and better humans, I wish the world follows this for decades to come. 

You can read more about Anuvrat here in the thesis by a Florida International University Student.  

I wish to add few insights later via blog/social media on Jain philosophy. Do share your queries/feedback.