23 Jun

Earth Sustaining Lifestyle – Part 1

Jain monks, living examples of effective ways of saving water.
– Priyam

It has been predicted for years now that the third world war will be for the resource of water. Now this prediction seems a reality in present times. There is a crisis that awaits us all, the future generations as well.

It even calls for attention to increasing use of showers and bathtubs. Most of the times it is observed that use of bathtubs and showers for bathing causes unwarranted wastage of water whereas the same purpose can be fulfilled just as effectively with a bucket bath. After all, it is just to clean your body, so why not do it the way which would ultimately help in saving earth. And you get the credit for doing so just by "bathing smartly!" Flushes call for a similar kind of attention.
It is noteworthy to say that Jain monks do not use these methods thereby contributing to saving thousands of litres of water.

In present time, it would not only be interesting to know the lifestyle of a Jain Monk, but shall be lighthouse for the world, a ray of hope for us to follow.

Before we see how they save water, let us understand the primary reason as to what encourages them to do so! The answer lies in the fundamentals of Jainism. Jainism recognises water, rather even a drop of water has life(majorly Ekindriya Jeev); and every Jain Monk pledges his life for Jeev Raksha. This Establishes the basic fact why every drop matters to a Jain Monk and that wasting it is considered Criminal.

1) A Jain Monk only drinks boiled water. This not only is good for the physical health but also recommended for psychological health. In the context of saving water, such a practice reduces the use of water and eventually reduces wastage of water. The water which gets wasted by directly drinking from taps or from packaged mineral water is directly reduced.

2) Jain Monks use water as if it is molten gold. A common man uses over a half bucket of water in washing hands, legs, brushing teeth etc. In its comparison, a Jain monk uses only over half a glass of water for all these activities. This is how they use water minimally and efficiently.

3) Jain monks don’t use washing machines nor make others use it to wash their clothes. This means, a Jain monk single handedly saves over 8-10 buckets of water. Usually common man tend to wash their clothes keeping taps on, with overflowing buckets, absent minded of the water getting wasted. Such absent mindedness never takes place in the life of a Jain Monk. The process of washing clothes by a Jain Monks has been defined in terms of Jainism, and is known as ‘Kaap’ which ensures the use of least amount of water. They use maximum of half or one bucket of water to wash all their clothes. In half a bucket 10-12 clothes, and in one bucket 20-22 clothes can be washed easily.
The cloth which Jain Monk’s use to wipe clean the floor, is known as a ‘Luchaniyu’. After washing all the clothes, Even the Luchaniyu is cleaned thoroughly in the same water.

4) The utensils in which Jain Monks have their food, are not washed with detergent in a sink. They have their food in such a planned and thoughtful way that they have minimal use of resources to wash their utensils. For ex. they have rice and lentils in the end so that any oily greasy stuff gets stuck on the rice and gets away with the meal. They take extra effort and concern for that.

Then they take a quarter cup water in their utensil. They wash the greasy stuff from the utensil thoroughly and take that water in the other utensils they have used. Like this they squeak clean all the utensils and collects that water in another utensil. Then they take another quarter cup water and repeat the process. And the same process is repeated for the third time to ensure complete cleanliness of utensils.

Like this all the utensils are thoroughly washed clean thrice. Very less water is used and this whole process takes less than 5 minutes for the Jain Monks. Then they take a handkerchief sized cloth and wipe clean all the utensils. Those utensils are then stacked and put in a clean cloth. Then they wash the cloth used for wiping utensils thoroughly with a quarter glass of water.

From centuries this procedure is being followed and the Jain Monks are so skilled at this that you may not even notice that they had their utensils cleaned so swiftly with minimum usage and no wastage of water. The Jain Monks do the whole process with such ease and quickness.

The Jain Monks Save crores of litres of water in a life time by following an ecocentric, pacifist, compassionate lifestyle. If people will not practice such a minimalist and conscious lifestyle, then those days aren’t far where there would be wars for water and even basic necessities of life would require water-free non-effective alternatives like dry cleaning.

1 Comment

  1. Aho Jinshashanam. Very well written blog. Described the eco-friendly daily life of Sadhu Jeevan with great clarity.
    I was surprised to read about cleaning the whole utensils with such minimum use of water.. Thank you for this blog.

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.