Living a life with religious vows signifies/justifies the Manusya-Bhav. Achharya Shanti Sagar Ji Maharaj had delivered a soul-stirring sermon to observe vows during “Paryusan Parva” at Baramati Chaturmas.
1.“Whoever abandons mundane pleasures without enjoying them is par-excellent / an eminent person.
2.Whoever abandons mundane pleasures after enjoying them is mediocre?
3.Whoever remains engaged in enjoying them and does not think of abandoning them are worthless rogue, i.e., life without religious vows is meaningless and worthless.
People have a notion that observing religious vows is bothersome. It is an illusion. How much does a person struggle with worldly affairs? How much trouble does he take? The day is spent without a moment of rest in earning money, and there is no sleep during the night in the anxiety of its protection. There is in fact an illusion of pleasures while accumulating wealth day and night.
It is not really bothersome to observe religious vows by being a “ Vriti ” (observer of religious vows). By being a Vriti one attains the dev-bhav (a form of life living by gods in heaven) wherein an immense pleasure awaits him that is unimaginable in manushya-bhav.
Apart from this, the soul in dev-bhav can reach even “Videh-Kshetra” where it may have the privilege of visiting in person “Simandhar Swami”, the first Tirthankar of Videh kshetra, and may attain Samyaktava hearing his “Divya Dhwani” (celestial speech). A vital point on which Achharya Shri focused his attention was- “We should always think about the happiness and welfare of the living beings”.
The status of Tirthankar is attained by constant reflection on the welfare of the world at large. If there is no feeling of compassion in the conscience then despite having “Kshayak Samayktva ” (i.e. never ending samyaktava), one can’t fasten on the ‘‘Tirthankar Prikriti ”.
So, observe vow. That vow will definitely be fostered. Command of the scripture is Command of the Jinendra Dev. Vows should be observed adhering to the Command of the scripture and not out of conservatism. Command of world is convention. A religious person regards scriptures as his guide.
We can escape from enjoyments and mundane pleasures only by abandoning them. Mundane pleasures, in what ever quantity or duration, do not give satisfaction. This omnipresent truth should enter into our inner-self.
The worth of manushya-bhav is self-beneficial. The self-benefit is in the abandonment of mundane pleasures and enjoyments. Even a life of hundred years without observing religious vows is useless. But a life span of even a year with vow-observance is meaningftil and worthy. Achharya Shanti Sagar Ji Maharaj being compassionate towards all worldly beingsO was inspired by the auspicious desire of their welfare instructs, “There is no hope for future. Accept religious vows for the benefit of the self.”
Being imbibed by the grandeur of religious vows, elder brother of Achharya Shri of his house-holder times undertook initiation of “Kshullak” (junior asceticism) at the age of 70 years and of Digambar saint at the age of 76 years by the name of Vardhman Sagar.
A person, whose life is filled with the bliss of renunciation, can’t be restricted by even old age from observing great religious vows.
Modem intellectual class of people can’t even think of adopt- ing “Muni-Mudra ’’(accepting asceticism) and fostering great arduous vows in thn.ir olH non After according him “Diksha ” (initiation of asceticism), Achharya Shri Shanti Sagar Ji Maharaj ordered Vardhaman Sagar Ji to leave for the south. The Guru so ordered to prevent arousal of any brotherly affection in their hearts. Thus, the immensely experienced Achharya Shri asked him to live elsewhere.
Observance of faultless religious vows is a very tough task, which can be accomplished only by rare ascetics.