Utmost importance is attached in Jain
tradition to right approach which is known as Samyaktva. In a way, that is
the principal objective for Jains and it comprises the trio of Samyag
Darshan, the right perception; Samyag Jnana, the right knowledge and Sam
yak Charitra, the right practice. The learned author of Tattvarthasutra,
His Holiness Umaswati begins the Sutra with SAMYAG DARSHAN JNANA
CHARITRANI MOKSHA MARGAH. It means that the path of liberation consists of
Samyag Darshan, Samyag Jnana and Samyak Charitra. Let us therefore try to
understand these three concepts.
The first step for achieving any
objective is to have a keen desire for it. We have so many desires, many
of them conflicting with one another. For instance, we may desire to
remain very healthy. Simultaneously, however, we may also desire to eat
some fo od of our choice or indulge in some addiction that may not be
conducive to health. In that case our desire to remain healthy cannot
materialize. So, our desire for gaining any objective must be acute enough
to be pursued to the exclusion of other desires that would be detrimental
to the attainment of our objective. This type of desire needs a strong
will that could arise only if we are convinced of our objective being in
our best interest. That would in turn generate firm faith in the objective
and a sens e of dedication for attaining it. That type of faith can be
described as right perception.
Once we are clear and certain about
our objective, we should gain adequate knowledge for the purpose. Suppose,
we want to be a doctor. In that case, we have to acquire appropriate
knowledge of medical science. Instead of that if we go in for proficiency
i n literary works of Kalidas or Shakespeare or for knowledge of
engineering or of any other science or art, that would not be helpful in
achieving our objective of becoming a doctor. Thus gaining right knowledge
of the subject is another essential for realizing an objective.
After gaining medical proficiency, if
we do not set up practice as a doctor and stay idle or start some kind of
trade or any other profession, our decision to become a doctor and the
knowledge of medical science acquired for the purpose would not be helpf
ul in realizing our objective. So the knowledge that has been gained has
to be effectively used for realizing any objective. Knowledge without
practical application remains sterile. Thus if we want to realize any
objective, we must have right concept, app ropriate knowledge and right
type of activity.
The objective of becoming a doctor is
not a good analogy for the objective of attaining liberation that we are
discussing here. It would however be helpful in getting a rough idea of
these three aspects which in spiritual terminology are called Samyag Dar
shan, Samyag Jnana and Samyak Charitra. They together are known as
Samyaktrayi or simply Samyaktva. It is therefore not at all surprising
that most of our prayers are directed towards gaining Samyaktva. Many of
our devotional songs express devotee�s longi ng for three jewels. Very few
of the devotees are aware that these jewels mean Samyag Darshan, Samyag
Jnana and Samyak Charitra. In fact, they are more precious than jewels,
because they together can ultimately lead to salvation.
We do talk of liberation as the abode
of happiness and therefore pray for salvation. Our concept of happiness,
however, mostly happens to be inaccurate, because it generally pertains to
bodily happiness, sensuous pleasure etc.. We are prone to think that in
the liberated state we may get all sorts of happiness that includes
material happiness which we are accustomed to. Nothing can however be
further from truth. In liberated state the soul stays unembodied. As such,
the question of bodily happiness or sen suous pleasure does not arise. It
is a state of perfect bliss, a state of unending bliss where the soul is
no longer subjected to any kind of affliction.
For successfully pursuing any
objective there are some common factors to be taken into account. For
example, if we intend to be involved in manufacturing activity, we should
thoroughly acquaint ourselves about the article to be manufactured. We
should kno w its properties in the pure form, condition of the raw
materials together with any impurities associated with them, the method of
removing the impurities, circumstances under which our product may be
contaminated, other materials that can compete with it , the ways to avert
the contamination and competition, etc. Similarly if our objective be to
attain liberation of soul, we have to understand true properties of
soul(Jiva), other objects(Ajivas) that compete with it for attracting our
attention, merits an d sins(Punya and Paap, known as good and evil Karmas)
that tend to pollute it, the ways the soul gets influx(Asrava) of Karmas,
adulterated state of soul on account of the bondage(Bandha) of Karmas,
ways to avert(Samvara) the influx, elimination(Nirjara) of adulteration
arising out of bondage of Karma and attainment of perfect purity of soul
which is called liberation (Moksha). These nine factors are known in Jain
terminology as Nav Tattvas or nine fundamentals.
Some people do not treat Punya and
Papa as separate factors and therefore talk of only seven fundamentals.
Punya and Papa are however covered by them under Asrava and Bandha.
Therefore the difference is only numerical and there is no material
difference b etween the two view points. If a person sincerely believes in
these seven or nine fundamentals, he gets a real good concept of the soul,
its present state, the objective to be aimed at and methods for the
purpose. Sooner or later he would therefore activa te his energy towards
liberation. As such, faith in these fundamentals is also termed as Samyag
Of these nine Tattvas, only soul or
Jiva is conscious and animate. All others are inanimate or lifeless. In
that sense they all are Ajivas. Lifeless objects are however of two types.
Some objects have form and shape and have properties of smell, color, od
or and taste. Such objects are known as matter or Pudgal and constitute
one of the six basic substances or Dravyas as we call them. While talking
of Ajiva as one of the nine fundamentals, we really mean this Pudgal that
has impact on soul. The rest of the seven fundamentals are not Dravyas.
Jiva and Ajiva being the Dravyas, form part of six Dravyas. That is known
as Shaddravya in Jain terminology. We shall deal with it in chapter 7.