3. Harms caused by Temptation:
It has been clear from the above that the unlimited desire of sensual subjects is the basic cause of misery and unrest. This desire is the Greed of the soul. Both, this birth (bhav) and the subsequent births, get spoiled by Greed. He always harbours a desire to accumulate more and more wealth and shows pride in his possessions and virtues too. He builds an empire of wealth, because of his earlier auspicious Karmas. But he does not hesitate to exploit the people and commit violence. He makes it difficult for other people around to earn their legitimate part. Therefore, due to Greed, he attracts antaraya karma also. He does not mind causing great harm to others for the fulfilment of his own selfish goal. The Greedy person remains in constant arta and raudra (distressed and violent) thoughts, due to which his mind experiences agitation and stress. In a Greedy soul, evil qualities like jealousy and mental agony etc. are born [3, 11/45]. He cannot see and tolerate the good of others.
4. A Greedy soul’s disease and its Treatment:
A Greedy man is like a spiritual Patient. Its Remedy starts with reducing and limiting the possessions, quantifying desires, and following the rules of gross Non-violence, he will become friendly towards all the common beings and nature.
4.1. The pathway to make Greedy a contented Soul:
Yugadrashta Mahavira had given effective measures, some 2500 years ago to the human society in the form of Anuvrata to achieve contentment. Concurrently an important scientific postulate was revealed by him that plants, water, air and earth are also living-beings of immobile mature. Hence by treating them with compassion and self-respect, the “Greedy attitude” of the person will be restrained and controlled. Excessive exploitation of nature will be drastically avoided, and environmental balance will be maintained.
4.2. Prescription and Medicines:
A Greedy must first get knowledge of the causes of Greed. He should have conviction about the necessity to understand the actual ‘need’ and get rid of Greed. He should instill faith and follow right conduct and austerity to remove Greed [3, 28/2]. As said [3,29/70], contentment is achieved by conquering Greed. For curing this disease, camps should be organized according to the level of Greed. During the interactive lecture sessions, the Greedy person is motivated to adopt two virtues of Aparigraha and Charity. These are the best medicines for its treatment. He would become healthier in the form of a contented person. His attitude would also exhibit the quality of contentment.
Description of this practical solution has been given in Jain scriptures as below.
4.3. Principle of Aparigraha:
When the fire of deadly passion is burning, extinguish it by water of spiritual knowledge, noble conduct, and austerity [3, 23/53]. It is a realistic, practical, and rational principle with a solid foundation for social uplift. It imbibes the doctrine of non-possession to limit the desires for worldly pursuit. As Gandhi proclaimed, the mind-set should be to consume minimum resources for one’s needs and to utilize one’s surplus resources for the well-being of society. This is a sort of trusteeship principle for managing one’s accumulated resources, as prescribed by him.
At individual level, a person is inspired to remain as aparigrahi, if the feeling of sharing or portfolio distribution is inculcated in him. If one takes a resolution to live the life by minimizing his needs, then the message of non-violent attitude will spread. The curriculum of Schools should also be so designed that it highlights the aim of developing such a system of aparigraha. As a result, the future generation will get a solid spiritual base for a different mind-set in the society to make it free from fear and exploitation.
Under this system the inner feelings of a person will always keep him connected with the whole society. He will not indulge in Greed, which actually leads to violence and excessive exploitation of nature and humans. It would prevent the people from utilizing Science and Technology for environmental disasters. It will create a simple Spiritual base for the economic system, as preached by Mahavira. It should be understood that Spirituality is not merely a philosophy or theoretical knowledge, but it is knowledge applied to situations in real life and put into actions. So, it attempts to make one’s outlook and attitude more relevant to real life to make it worthwhile for physical as well as spiritual progress in harmony with the environment .
Mahavira prescribes that observing austerity leads to control of senses and Greed for possession of resources. It empowers the candidate to destroy the karmas and purify his soul . Certain rules like physical strength, prowess, knowledge of the purpose and time are to be followed for observation of austerities / tapa. . The importance of self-restraint is obvious in controlling desires. Sensual pleasures, Greed and ego are tamed by austerity, making him a better and strong individual. Austerity is not observed for getting praise, status, or fame. It is done to concentrate on Self through meditation and to study scriptures. One of the natural offshoots is reduction of Greed and realization of the fact that wealth and property are not capable of providing protection and removal of Karmas from his soul. [3, 19/17]. By conquering Greed, contentment would be achieved, which would lead to real happiness and peace. [3, 29/70]
5. Practical Method to change Heart of the Greedy:
5.1. To transform the Greedy, one should never speak ill of him. Rather, by explaining the nature of Greed, he should highlight the ultimate sufferings by Greed and explain the ways to remove Greed. Cultivate the belief that “Greed can be conquered.” Instill in him the belief that desires can be stopped. In order to get rid of Greed, start with one of the 14 daily Rules, as per the 10th Shravaka Vrata, like taking the vow of limiting the number of food items on daily basis. This may prove to be very beneficial and effective in reducing Greed. Controlling Greed and attachment leads to Nirjara of the karmas, i.e., upgrading of the soul.
5.2. The 5th Anuvrata of a laity may be explained to inspire him to accept its rules. By doing regular Samayik, by doing pratikraman, by doing Gochari-Dayaa vrata, one can get success in controlling Greed and start feeling content. By contemplating on the temporariness of the happiness derived from the money earned by Greed, one would realize that it cannot save one from disease, old age and death. Hence Greed must be controlled by up grading the soul.
5.3. “उदारचरितानां सु वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम। “For a person with liberal and generous thoughts, the whole world is his family. That’s why all avenues of happiness are open to him. There is no enmity or malice in his mind towards anyone.
It has been said in Gita that the sorrow which is like poison in the beginning and like nectar in the end, gives peace to the soul and intellect. That happiness is pure and eternal. That happiness can be attained only by renouncing Greed and illusion. Only through that method can true world peace – mental and physical – be established. But it is well known that renouncing Greed and illusion is very difficult. Since it is a must for our survival at this juncture, our world leaders have to achieve that on war footing. It requires concerted and unanimous efforts with disciplined mind by spiritual as well as political, to make the people get rid of Greed.
Apart from the general methods outlined above in point 5.1 and 5.2. following systematic and well-structured plans must be started throughout the world.
5.4. As a universal measure, it is better, as the saying goes, “Catch them Young”, to start from primary school level.
The curriculum of Schools throughout the Globe should also be so designed that it emphasizes the purpose of life and highlights the necessity and aim of developing a global system of aparigraha pravriti. This will help maintain harmony within and with the environment. . The above value-based education in schools lays the foundation for a fear free international community, where the tendency of exploitation among its citizens is curbed or minimized.
For better controls on Greed, it is also important to Develop common Global Training Programs for public to instill Right attitude towards Nature and one’s Life-objective on Earth.
It would highlight the ill effect of Temptation and inculcate the right Discipline to manage it.
If there is any slight improvement in his past qualities due to the new vows of non-possession and contentment, then due encouragement should be given to him in public.