Episode 6: The 9 Ways of Earning Punya (Good Karma)

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Episode 6: The 9 Ways of Earning Punya (Good Karma)

The art of giving, in form of donation or charity, is highly valued in Jain culture. To help others even when you are going through difficult times is what makes you a true human. Any act of goodness done for others without harming any person or the ecosystem, leads to accumulating Punya (Good Karma) or virtue.

There are 9 fundamental types of Punya by which we can build good karma:

  1. Anna Punya (offering food to the hungry, needy and weak)
  2. Paana Punya (giving water to thirsty)
  3. Vastra Punya (giving clothes to the poor and needy)
  4. Layana Punya (lending space to the monk)
  5. Shayana Punya (giving bed to the monk)
  6. Mana Punya (thinking highly of every being)
  7. Kaaya Punya (saving the life of someone)
  8. Vachana Punya (speaking without hurting anyone’s sentiments)
  9. Namaskar Punya (the first step to moksha is by bowing down)


In this fine example of narrative art, a shravika is seen offering food to the sadhus (Anna Punya). The interesting thing that reflects in this painting is the architecture shown of the ancient times – the decorative motifs of peacocks and the beautiful arches made of wooden carvings at the entrance of the home. The intricate design and symbols reflect the richness prevailing during that period. By putting them on pedestal, the artist shows his reverence to the sadhus. The artist chose to show the paatra in black instead of the usual blue and red, thus symbolizing importance.

Also, it becomes important to note how the artist has used red and blue diagonally (in the background of the peacocks’ and sadhu’s head) in the same picture to balance the composition. The figures too help in building a strong circular composition.