Siksa Vrata

Definition - What does Siksa Vrata mean?

The siksa vratas are a group of four vows that are among those that comprise the 12 vows of a layperson in Jainism. The siksa vratas are also known as the training vows or the vows of instruction. The term comes from the Sanskrit siksa, meaning “learning,” “knowledge” or “instruction”; vr, which means “conduct” and “restrain”; and rta, meaning as “order” and “oath.”

The 12 vratas include the anu vratas (the five vows of non-violence, truth, non-theft, celibacy and non-possession), the guna vratas (the three merit vows or vows of self-discipline) and the siksa vratas. Together, the guna and siksa vratas are called the shilas, or the seven vows of virtuous conduct.

Yogapedia explains Siksa Vrata

There is no singular and comprehensive list of which vows are included in the siksa vratas. Instead, the siksa vrata and guna vrata vary by the particular Jain teacher and tradition. One common example of the skisa vratas includes:

  • Samayik vrata, or the meditation vow, which states that the Jain taking this vow should meditate for 48 minutes every day. This is also known as the self-control vow.
  • Desavakasika vrata, which is a vow that one will restrict the duration of daily activities. By limiting activities, it is believed that one limits exposure to accumulated karma.
  • Pausadha vrata, or the limited ascetic's life vow, which is the promise to live like a monk or a nun for a day.
  • Atithi savinbhag vrata (also called dana vrata), or the charity vow, in which one gives selfless offerings to the needy and to monks and nuns, thereby developing detachment from worldly things.
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