Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

Essence of Jainism

Search for Happiness
Know Thyself
SAMYAKTVA, the basis of Jainism
ASHTAKARMA - Eight types of Karma
  Theory of Karma and Cycle of Rebirth
  Questions and Answers about the Theory of Karma
  Shaddravya, The Six Substances
  NAV TATTVA : Punya and Paap
  NAV TATTVA : Asrava and Bandha
  Samvar and Nirjara
  Other factors conducive to Nirjara
  The Liberation
  Ladder of Elevation
  Syadvad
  History of Jain Sects and Scriptures
  Glossary

LADDER OF ELEVATION


 

- By Manubhai Doshi

SIXTH STAGE: As the aspirant continues to shake off the bondage, he reaches the sixth stage known as Sarva Virati meaning the stage of full restraint. His vigor is now in high gear. He therefore overcomes Pratyakhyanavaraniya Kashaya as well. He is n ow in control of all Kashayas excepting the subtle Kashayas. He has also developed capability to give up the worldly life and stays free from all sorts of mundane attachment. He has however not gained full alertness and is therefore subject to minor pitfa lls. This is due to Pramaad or indolence in which he is still likely to get indulged. On such occasions he gets overcome by Sanjwalan Kashaya. Not being in full control of Pramaad, this stage is also known as Pramatta Virati Gunasthan. Aspirants at this stage are considered fit to preach.

SEVENTH STAGE: Trying to control indolence, the aspirant reaches this stage known as Apramatta or no indolence stage. Subtle anger of the Sanjwalan category comes under control at this stage. But other Sanjwalan Kashayas also known as Samparay Kashayas st ill continue to have hold over him. This is not a steady stage. At times the aspirant gets overcome with indolence and reverts to the 6th stage. As he becomes conscious of it, he tries to overcome his indolence and gets back to the 7th stage. This movemen t from 6th to 7th and 7th to 6th is likely to continue long. If the aspirant does not happen to fall further below, he eventually achieves irreversible control over indolence and reaches the next stage.

EIGHTH STAGE: Path of liberation consists of the unity of right perception, right knowledge and right behavior. Right perception is gained at the 4th stage and right knowledge comes along with the right perception. From 5th onwards, the aspirant tries to control defilements so as to gain right behavior. By the end of the 7th stage, he has started controlling very subtle defilement that he has never done before. This stage is therefore called Apurvakaran or the unprecedented stage. It is very hard to reach this stage and very few aspirants have ever attained it.. The ascent from this stage is quick. All sorts of ego which is very subtle form of Maan come under control at this stage. The aspirant is now capable to undertake the highest form of meditation kn own as Shukladhyan. With the aid of that meditation the aspirant can rapidly rise to the next two stages.

NINTH STAGE: This is known as Anivritti Badar. Badar means gross. Since we are now dealing with very subtle defilements, question may arise how the subtle Samparay Kashaya can be gross. But the word Badar is used here in relative terms indicating that def ilement at this stage is gross as compared to the one in the next stage. At this stage the aspirant gains control over very subtle form of Maya and also he reaches above the sense of being male or female. Remaining Nokashayas and wholesome attachment whic h can be termed as subtle Lobha still continue at this stage.

TENTH STAGE: This stage is known as Sukshma Samparay. Sukshma means subtle. The aspirant has now reached a still subtle stage. All the Nokashayas and visible defilements come to an end at this stage. Even the subtle attachment now remain under control. The aspirants reaching this stage are of two categories and they proceed to two different levels. Those who have come along progressively pacifying the defilements go to the next stage, while others skip that stage.

ELEVENTH STAGE: This is known as Upashanta Moha meaning the stage where delusion has been fully pacified. This ascent is called Upasham Shreni or the line of pacification. The defilements of such aspirants happen to be pacified but have not been destroyed . With the loss of alertness they get subjected to defilements and fall back. If they do not get vigilant enough of rearising defilements, they can fall up to the second stage. They can of course rise again by reasserting the alertness and progressively destroying the defilements.

TWELFTH STAGE: This stage is known as Kshina Moha meaning the stage where the delusion has been totally destroyed. Aspirants reaching this stage have not therefore to revert to the lower stage. Now they have to get rid of the rest of the Ghatiya Karmas wh ich happen to be subtle Darshanavaraniya (Perception obscuring), Jnanavaraniya (Enlightenment obscuring) and Antaray(Obstructing) Karmas. This is usually done in a short time. The aspirant then reaches the next stage.

THIRTEENTH STAGE: This is the stage of omniscience or Kevaljnan. Since no Ghatiya Karma survives at this stage, the entity attains full enlightenment and is known as Kevali. Such entities are endowed with infinite perception, infinite knowledge, infinite bliss and infinite vigor. These four aspects are known as Anant Chatushthaya. These entities are called Arihantas whom we offer obeisance in the first line of Navakar Mantra. They continue to remain embodied as long as Aghatiya Karmas stay with them. But being fully enlightened and devoid of any attachment, they do not incur new bondage of Karma.

FOURTEENTH STAGE: If Aghatiya Karmas also terminate simultaneously with the Ghatiya ones, the Arihantas instantly leave the embodiment and attain the 14th stage of Siddha. Such entities are known as Antahkrit Kevalis. The rest of Kevalis spend the rem aining part of their lives teaching religion and in the end they attain the Siddha stage. This is known as liberation that has been described in the last chapter. By its inherent property, the liberated soul rises and in no time reaches the top of Lokakas h which is also known as Sidhashila. There being no Dharmastikaya beyond this point, the soul stops there. This stage is irreversible. The liberated soul therefore has not to revert and stays in eternal bliss forever.