Shri Amar Muni
Question: For the strangeness of joys and sorrows, you
believe in strange karmas as the cause, but why cannot joys and sorrows,
rather than depending upon the cause, be believed as happening naturally
like this strange modification in the sky, just as clouds, rainbows, and
twilight etc.? Where is the need of believing in karmas to produce those
Answer: The distortions of the sky are regular. The
twilight occurs twice, once in the morning, and once in the evening.
Clouds appear only in the rainy season. Even the rainbow occurs in the
morning or in the evening when the sun-rays are refracted by
watery-clouds. Thus these are mostly regular but joys and sorrows do not
appear in such a regular manner. They appear to happen in an irregular
manner. Therefore, they cannot be said to be happening naturally.
Moreover, even the changes (modifications) in the sky take place at
regular times and under definite circumstances. From this, it is evident
that all these phenomena occur not merely naturally, but occur on account
of some causes. In the same manner, joys and sorrows also do not appear
naturally but they appear only when the creator-relative karmas are
Question: All right. Then can we believe that the
distortions of karmas in the soul are also natural and causeless?
Answer: There can be no effect without a cause. Even
nature (svabhava) also is a necessary cause, but it must also be
necessarily accompanied with the cause like time, endeavours, and
instrumental means etc.
Question: Many strange changes (modifications) occur in
the sky haphazardly without any cause. In the same manner, let the changes
like sorrows and joys also occur in the body haphazardly, without cause.
In other words, let the body itself be the cause for joys and sorrows.
What is the need to bring karmas in between here?
Answer: The body is no doubt accepted as the cause, but
note down this much that even the bulk of karmas is a kind of body called
the "karman body". If you do not believe in this, how can the soul, after
leaving the present body, and proceeding further to take birth in the next
life, without creative (causative) karmas assume a visible and particular
solid body? How can even that body be created of a particular type without
the particular sort of the karman-body? In other words, it should not
happen so. If this is so, in other words there is no karman body to follow
the soul after this life, the death here would bring an end to the soul's
worldly relation and the soul would attain moksa (salvation). Another
difficulty is this, if the soul without the body, relieved completely from
this body has to experience samsar, then even for the souls that have
attained moksa the same thing would apply and they would have to
experience samsar and so consequently none will have trust in moksa.
Question: How can there be a connection between karmas
possessing a form and the formless soul?
1. Dharmastikaya (the medium of motion) and the
adharmastikaya (the medium of rest) though formless do come in connection
with pudgals (inanimate substances) that possess a form. only then i.e.,
they having connection can be helpful in motion and rest, without such a
connection, how can this happen?
2. This is our experience. The visible solid body also
has been connected to the soul. Otherwise, how could there be any
difference between a living body and a dead body?
In the same manner, the karmas, that have a form can
come in contact with the soul. The soul in the samsar is not absolutely
formless, but it is partly formless, because the soul, in past time during
the infinite flow of karmas was in contact with karmas, like milk in
contact with water; hence it is partly possessing form also. So, since it
was bound (connected) with karmas of previous lives, now new karmas, which
have form can be connected with such a soul which, being mixed with
karmas, is partially possessing a form. That is why the soul which has
been completely void of karmas and has attained moksa and now being
absolutely formless cannot come at all in contact with karmas.
Question: Just as by the sandal wood paste or the
stroke of a sword there is no beneficent or harmful effect on formless
akash (sky or space), similarly, how can good or evil karmas possessing
form can have any good or evil effect on the formless soul?
1. The illustration is dissimilar, because those things
have no effect on the sky (space) whereas there is effect on the soul by
karmas having relationship with it.
2. By good or bad food etc. the effect, like benefit or
harm on the soul, is evident.
3. The intellect though being formless is affected in
the form of benefit or harm by the herb nourishing intellect or by
intoxicating drinks. Similarly, on the soul, karmas can produce their
effects like benefit or harm.
Why is it that karmas are the creator of the body etc.?
Why is it that the pure soul (Brahma) or God (Iswar) is not their creator?
1. Just as the potter and the blacksmith can't create a
pot etc., without tools, similarly, how can the pure soul or Iswar create
anything without proper tools? When the child is conceived in the womb
there are no tools except karmas. Karmas are the only tools. Therefore,
the creation of the body is carried out by the soul. If you say there are
tools in the form of the union of the egg and the sperm, even that also
can't take place without karmas, as the cause and creator; otherwise a
body should be created of a pure and liberated soul.
2. Without karmas, the pure soul or Iswar can't be the
creator, because it lacks the potentiality of action, movement. It is
formless, bodyless, and it is either pervasive everywhere just like Akas
or pervasive like an atom.
Question: Can Iswar by his all pervasive body be the
creator? Can he not?
Answer :If you believe in this theory that 'to create
anything even "Iswar" (God) requires a body', then the question arises,
our body is also an effect, a creation. Now say what kind of body does 'Iswar'
possess to create such an all- pervasive body? If you say that this body
is created naturally without the cause, then why should he not create the
bodies of jivas etc., also in the same manner? If you say "yes, he does
create it thus", then there arises the contradiction among the creations
of varied effects only from the raw material without varied instrumental
causes like karmas. Moreover the question is, what is the purpose of God
behind such creations? If you say that 'he goes on creating such effects
without any purpose', then can he not be called insane? Even if you
believe for the time-being that he creates sometimes things thus without
purpose, then this difficulty arises that then he should create all jivas
alike, but why create jivas possessing strangeness and differences? You
may say that he creates jivas because of compassions, then he must create
all the creatures good and happy. Instead of that, why does he create some
creatures evil and unhappy? If you say that he creates the creatures
according to karmas of jivas then the 'karma' thing is proved. Even then
if you are bent upon believing in a creator-God you shall have to explain
as also accept the following: The first is you shall have to accept God
responsibile for the futile or controversial self-deceiving actions
performed by ignorant and foolish men. You shall have to believe God's
involvement in the actions like murder wickedness, and the like executed
by scoundrals. In this case where remains intelligence, gentlemanliness
and benevolence in God? If God does not possess the capacity to prevent
the crimes and faults of jivas, how can you style God as 'possessing all
the capacities?' Moreover the question also arises that if he has no
capacity to prevent crimes, then how can he possess the capacity to impart
punishment? If you say that punishment is imparted by karmas of jiva
himself, then this final conclusion is arrived at, that not God but karmas
and jiva accompanied with karmas are proved as the creator.
Consequently the original question remains unsolved,
"What about the Vedic statement 'purush ev idam gnim sarvam' (Idian
writing pg 68 angie). In other words, "The soul alone is wholly and solely
responsible for all creations, all which exists, all which is past, all
which is to happen or which is governing the eternal, which increases by
diet, which is shivering, which is standstill like mountains, which is at
distance (like Meru), which is in proximity, which is in the middle, which
is intermingled with all animate and inanimate substances and which is
absolutely separate from all. This all is only the 'Purush' (soul).
From this Vedic statement the existence of only the
soul is established, but not of karmas. In the same manner from the Vedic
statement (Indian writing pg 68 angie) `Vijnan Ghan eva' also the
aggregate of only Vijnan is established but not of karma.
But this is not a true interpretation because these
Vedic statements are not meant to narrate the actual fact and figures but
are meant only to appreciate the importance of the soul.
The question arises what is then the aim of such
appreciation of the soul?
The answer is: The aim of such statement is to make one
abandon the pride of higher Brahmini caste or higher ksatriya caste and to
create contemplation (bhavna) of oneness with all. For example 'this man
and I are one and the same in respect of the soul. Then what is the
meaning of the pride of being of higher caste?
As regards the scriptures a discretion must be resorted
to in the interpretation of sentences as to what type a particular
sentence is. In normal circumstances some sentences are meant to
inspire--to instigate power of good activity; or some sentences are for
making fun of people, whereas some indicate the actual condition of the
thing, even though the wording might be the same. We say to a student who
is in despair, "you are vigilant and clever" and thereby convey that "you
endeavour and will be successful". To a dull untalented student but one
who pretends to be clever, we say "Brother, you are vigilant and clever".
We say this to make fun of him. But when we say "you are vigilant and
clever" to an intelligent and industrious student, we mean that he would
easily pass the examination.
In this manner, we find three kinds of statements in
(1). Vidhivakya (commands),
(2). Artha-vad (praising or censuring),
(3) Anuvad (explanation).
1. Vidhivad (Commands): These statements command people
to carry out certain duties and avoid certain other actions. For example,
(Indian writing pag 69 angie): "He who desires heavenly life (birth) must
carry out the Agnihotra yajna."
Do not commit violence.
Arthavad (Praise): This kind of statement contains
praise or censure. For instance,
All aspirations can be fulfilled by means of one
complete bestowal (Poornahuti). This is a praise of poornahuti, but this
is not a command to do something. Because if it were so, people would
carry out only Poornahuti and stop there only. Why should they carry out
the Agnihotra etc. because thus they are proved useless. But by praising
the poornahuti, the text suggets that people must carry out atleast this
austerity and that it should be done well.
An unconflicting interpretation of the Vedic statement.
In this manner (Indian writing pg 69 angie): " That means 'Agnishtoma
sacrifice is your first duty', and here the text censures those who do not
carry out that duty. The text suggests that people will have to be liable
for going to hell if they carry out such sacrifice as the Ashwamedha and
other likewise yajnas etc. without first carrying out the ritual called
Agnishtoma. It is suggested so that people should take care of this point.
3. Anuvad (Explanation): Here is an example. (Indian
writing pag 70 angie); `Twelve months make a year." It is a statement of
mere placing truth about a certain fact. Now in the running matter,
(Indian writing pg70 angie). This statement as explained earlier glorifies
Purusa as all-pervasive; but it is not a statement to negate the existence
of karmas or the nature of karmas; otherwise the Vedic statements which
expound the existence of karmas (Indian writing pg 70 angie) would be
wrong. Here are some examples:
An auspicious karma brings a good luck. A sinful karma
brings bad luck etc.. In this manner, as already stated without reference
to the karma and by referring only to the purusa the truth about a thing
cannot match with a fact.
This explanation given by Bhagavan Mahavir convinced
Agnibhuti Gautam and brought about a spiritual awakening in him; and he
with his five hundred disciples renounced worldly relationships and
accepted Sadhu Diksa at the feet of the Bhagavan. Agnibhuti Gautam got rid
of his wrong knowledge and attained the right knowledge.