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Bahubali practicing meditation in standing Kayotsarga posture. (Photo: Gommateshwara statue, Shravanbelagola)

Kayotsarga (Sanskrit: कायोत्सर्ग Kāyōtsarga), Magadhi Prakrit: काउस्सग्ग Kāussagga is a yogic posture which is an important part of the Jain meditation. It literally means "dismissing the body".[1][2] A tirthankara is represented either seated in yoga posture or standing in the Kayotsarga posture.[3] Kayotsarga means to give up one's physical comfort and body movements, thus staying steady, either in a standing or other posture, and concentrating upon the true nature of the soul. It is one of the six essentials (avasyaka) of a Jain ascetic.[4] It is one of the 28 primary attributes of a Digambara monk

Twenty-one of the tīrthankaras of Jainism are said to have attained moksha in the kayotsarga “standing meditation” posture. A famous example of unflinching standing meditation is that of Arihant Bahubali who is said to have stood in Kayotsarga for a year.[5]


Main article: Samayika

In performing sāmayika (daily meditation), the śrāvaka has to stand facing north or east and bow to the Pañca-Parameṣṭhi.[6] He then sit down and recites the Namokara mantra a certain number of times, and finally devotes himself to holy meditation. This consists in:[7]

  • pratikramana, recounting the sins committed and repenting for them,
  • pratyākhyanā, resolving to avoid particular sins in future,
  • sāmayika karma, renunciation of personal attachments, and the cultivation of a feeling of regarding every body and thing alike,
  • stuti, praising the four and twenty Tīrthankaras,
  • vandanā, devotion to a particular Tirthankara, and
  • kāyotsarga, withdrawal of attention from the body (physical personality) and becoming absorbed in the contemplation of the spiritual Self.


  1. ^ Zimmer 1953, p. 210.
  2. ^ "Kayotsarga: A jaina technique of relaxation". http://www.merinews.com. 8 May 2010.  External link in |journal= (help)
  3. ^ Zimmer 1953, p. 209-210.
  4. ^ "The nature of the Whole: Holism in Ancient Greek and Indian Medecine". https://books.google.ch.  External link in |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Zimmer 1953, p. 212.
  6. ^ Jain 1917, p. 44, 61.
  7. ^ Jain 1917, p. 45.