Whether Sutak and Paatak need be followed by those who have had a birth or a death in their family
- Samyak Darshan
Dear Shri K P Jain,
Ques. Whether Sutak and Paatak need be followed by those who have had a birth or a death in their family. Can those people visit the temple?
Sutak / Paatak: unholy condition �apavitrata" - is the basic character that prohibits any act of the house-holder. There are two kinds of following viz., traditional �loukik" - and sacred or holy - "lokottar".
That which is holy and scared is to be followed and that which is traditional need to be discarded under certain psycho-physical conditions.
Now the issue is whether one in whose house there has been birth or death whether any one in that house can visit Jinalaya?
Passionless Jina Dharma is clear on the services by the house-holder to the nirgrantha Sadhu �providing clean food and shelter with due respect". On these two aspects birth and death carries defects in house-holders and so lays constraints on them to do such services.
In respect of visiting Jinalaya by them, there is no bar laid as per passionless Jina Dharma. He /She can follow as usual the daily routine before visiting Jinalaya for Dev Pooja or Dev Darshan, provided there is normal peace and calmness in them. In respect of women who have delivered a child, she had to satisfy that the body is as clean as it was prior to delivery and can visit to perform pooja or for Dev darshan.
That apart, purity of body is next to impossibility as it is full of ever flowing filth such as urine, shit, pus, blood, skin, bones etc., so the un-holiness apavitrata - continues. Nonetheless the traditional practice is to take bath and go with clean cloth to perform Pooja or Darshan. So, it is opined that there is no bar for the house-holder to go to Jinalaya for Dev pooja or Dev darshan. Perhaps, such a visit and performance of pooja or darshan may relieve residual pain or remembrance of the event.
Death and birth in any house is a very normal event and that need not bar or restrain one form doing Jinendra Bhaghavaan Pooja or Darshan provided one is mentally and physically prepared for it. Pavitrata purity in thought or equanimity is the essential feature required for any dharmic act to secure the fruit of such act.
- Ques. Whether Sutak and Paatak need be followed by those who have had
a birth or a death in their family. Can those people visit the temple?
Ans. Sutak and Paatak are prescribed in the conduct related scriptures
of the Jains. Traditionally, after a birth or death in the family, one
does not enter the temple for three days after the death / birth in
one's kutumba. After the third day, one may enter the temple and do
darshan of the Jinas, but not perform abhisheka and puja. After the
thirteenth day, one may go back to one's normal routine and perform
abhisheka and puja.
Hence, tradition directs us to follow the Sutak and the Paatak.
Whether you choose to follow the tradition is for you to decide.
For further reading, you may refer to Acarya Vasunandi's Vasunandi
Shravakacara and to the Sanskrit commentaries of the Ratnakaranda
Shravakacara by Acarya Prabhacandra and Acarya Shrutasagara.