Trae saint does not enjoy his taste buds. He takes his food as per the rales prescribed by religious texts observing four kinds of outer-penance and does not even think of yearning for food. He strives for the “Mrzara” (shedding) of his karma by sticking to four kinds of penances viz.
“Anshan” (not taking food at all), “Avmaudarya ” (taking food in a very little quantity), “ Vritti-parisankhayan” (taking food only when a particular vow, thought before hand prior to having food, is fulfilled) and the “Ras-parityag ” (taking tasteless food).
He evaluates himself to assess as to what extent his infatuation towards food has been controlled. He examines his ‘Labhantrai karma’ Karma obstructing the gain) by taking some peculiar vow while starting off to take food such as- he will take food only if it is available in a particular house, lane or if a shravak invites him with a particular item in his hand such as ‘kalasli, garland, fruit, etc.
Once, Achharya Shri took a strange vow in Kannoor. The requirement of his vow could not be met for six continuous days resulting into six fasts of Achharya Shri. He would move out everyday to take food and after having a round of the city returned calmly to his abode. Anxiety of Shravaks began to rise due to unavailability of proper “Vidhi” (rite) for taking food by Achharya Shri.
The situation in Kannor was quite similar to that of Bhagwan Adinath’s when he could not get the “Aahar” (food) for six months as the innocent people were unaware of the right procedure of offering food to a Digambar Muni. On the seventh day, due to weakening of his Labhantrai Karma, the proper Vidhi for taking food by Achharya Shri was poverty of Bhimappa became a boon in disguise.
As there wasn’t any large sized brass pot in his house due to poverty, he placed a coconut on an earthen pot and invited Achharya Shri for food. Maharaj Shri had taken a vow that he would take food only if someone invited him holding a coconut placed on an earthen pot in his hands. Hail to such a hard penance of the saint.
Praiseworthy is the patience with which he remained stuck to his vow enduring the affliction of the taste buds, appetite and thirst. Bhimappa earned an intense Punya (virtue) by offering food to Maharaj Shri on the seventh day.
Several incidents have been reported about the “Vritti-pari sankhyari” penance of Achharya Shri. (Refer, Aryika Vishudhamati: “Eise the Charitra Chakarvarti”)Achharya Shri reached Gwalior in the winter of 1930. It was extremely cold.
Achharya Shri took a vow that he would take food that day only if someone invited him wearing wet clothes. He passed by the doors of shravaks once and twice but in the absence of the proper Vidhi, the Shravaks had to be disappointed. When Achharya Shri was on the third and final round, suddenly one shravak invited him wearing wet clothes.
In fact, it so happened that his clothes had become “Ashudha ” (tainted or degraded) having been touched by some other person. When that Shravak came to know that Achharya Shri was coming again to that side he immediately poured water over his body and stood up to invite Achharya Shri wearing the wet clothes.
Achharya Shri also had an eye for community reformation through his %iVritti-parisankhyan Tapa” Jain Shravaks of Belgaum, Kolhapur and surrounding areas had become entangled in the confusion of the “Mithyatava” (false bel ief). Therefore, Achharya Shri took a vow that he would take food only by the hand of the person who renounces mithyatva.
A person having mithyatva does not posses the quality of “Shradha ” (right or reverential belief); which, out of seven, should be the first quality of a donor. In the absence of shradha, the remaining six qualities could not be present in a donor. experienced that there was a laxity of conduct due to degenerate manners of eating and drinking and low inherent rites.
The non-vegetarians household servants used to fetch water for the kitchen. How could a Maha-Vriti saint take food prepared with that water? Achharya Shri had the foresight and was endowed with transparency of views.
He took a vow that he would take food only from a person who had abandoned consuming water brought by a low- caste person. The motive behind that vow of Achharya Shri was that the procedure of using pure water be followed in the houses of Jains.