Bhoga-Upbhoga Vrata

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Bhoga-Upbhoga Vrata Mean?

Bhoga-upbhoga vrata is one of the 12 vows of a layperson in Jainism. It is a vow that is taken to limit the use of resources such a food, clothing and material goods to only what is absolutely necessary.

Bhoga-upbhoga vrata is comprised of three Sanskrit words – Bhoga, meaning “enjoyment” and upbhoga, meaning “enjoying” and “using.” Its last word, vrata, comes from the Sanskrit vr, meaning “conduct” and “restrain” and rta, which translates as “order” and “oath.”

In the context of Jain philosophy, bhoga refers to consumable items, while upbhoga refers to non-consumables.


Yogapedia Explains Bhoga-Upbhoga Vrata

According to Jainism, the use of consumable and non-consumable items can lead to sin. Bhoga includes such consumables as food and drink while upbhoga includes things that are used more than once, such as clothing, furnishings, tools and other material objects. By taking a vow of bhoga-upbhoga vrata, the layperson promises to use just want he needs to avoid the sin of attachment (parigraha).

Bhoga-upbhoga vrata is one of the guna vratas (merit vows), which is a one of three groups comprised of 12 vows. The guna vratas also include dik vrata and anarthadanda vrata, although some Jain traditions list different vratas. The guna vratas are all vows meant to limit or avoid a particular behavior. In addition to the guna vratas, the 12 vows are subdivided into the five anu vratas (vows of non-harming, truth, non-theft, chastity and non-possession) and the four siksa vratas (spiritual or disciplinary vows).

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