Shri Amar Muni
IS THE BIRTH SIMILAR?
Does the jiva take the same form in the next birth as
it had in this birth? This was the doubt of the fifth Brahmin named
Bhagavan Mahavir Swami said to him "You learnt from the
Vedic statement that 'puruso vai purusatva masasnute pasavah
pasutvam,(indian writing gadapg 103) It means
"human beings take birth as human beings in their next
life, and animals as animals". You also learnt from this Vedic statement,
(indian writing pg103 angie). It means the one whose body is burnt along
with excrement is born as a jackal. Thus we learn that human beings also
can take birth as jackals. therefore, you have entertained this doubt.
The Arguments relating to a Similiar Dissimilar next
1) In supporting the view that the jiva takes birth in
the next life in the same kind as it is in this life, it is argued "Wheat
grows from wheat, maize from maize, mango from mango. Thus the effect is
created in accordance with the cause". But this kind of belief is not
logically sensible, because an arrow can be made out of a horn: and if it
is sown after being smeared with particular oil, grass also grows
therefrom. In the shastra called 'Yoni Praabhrit' it is said that from the
combination of many diverse substances snakes lions, gold, pearls can be
created. In practical life we find that scorpions take birth from
scorpions, as well as from cowdung.
2) The theory is that the effect is created only in
accordance with the seed. Now according to this principle also jiva can
take a different kind of birth in the next life. It happens in this
manner; In samsar, the seed of the next life is karma, and these karmas,
are created in strange forms due to the strangeness of the causes such as
Mithyatva (false faith) and 'avirati' (lack of refrainment) etc. Then the
sprouts of next life that arise from these strange karmas also remain
different in 'Gati' (human existence, beastly existence etc.,); Jati'
(from 'one-sense' life to 'five- sense' life), strength, wealth,
appearance etc., what wonder is there in this? By inference; the worldly
births of the Jiva are varied in the form of inhabitants in hell, beasts,
etc. Because this is the effect of strange karmas. The different effects
of karmas is like the worldly differences that arise from agriculture or
trade etc., as occupations. The implication is that in the world, the
birth is not accidental; but is the fruit of previous karmas. The rule is
therefore as is the karma; so is the kind of birth. Karmas of the similar
kind produce the similar kind of birth; and dissimilar ones produce
dissimilar kind of birth.
3) The ripening of karmas is strange because it is in
the form of modification of pudgals i.e. (effect in the form of inanimate
substances). For this, similar illustration is of the cloud etc., and
opposite illustration is of the sky. For the creation of clouds strange
causes happen hence there is strangeness in clouds. Whereas for the sky
there are no strange causes, hence there is no strangeness in the sky. As
regards karma special strangeness happens on account of many sorts of
Avarans (veils). If the cause is strange, the effect must be strange. This
is quite logical.
4) You say 'the next birth is created always of the
same type as of the present; but this is not proper, because for the next
birth, only this birth is not the seed, but the seed is, this birth with
all its auspicious and inauspicious actions and activities. Man performs
in this life strange activities and these are not futile. We must
therefore, have to believe that a strange kind of birth appears, as their
5) Question: In actions relating to such things as
cultivating fields etc. the fruit is visible and direct, but the actions
like violence and knowledge ceremony are performed only according to one's
choice and mental tastes and hence they are fruitless. It means that they
do not attribute anything to the next life. How can there be a different
kind of life in the next birth?
Answer: If action like violence and knowledge are
fruitless: i) There is the difficulty of 'Kritanash' and 'Akrutagam'
namely there is the danger of a noble action that has been done here going
fruitless and the danger of good or bad fruits being obtained here even
though one has not done anything good or bad in the previous life.
ii) Even the next birth will not be possible because in
this world the cause of birth is karma, and you do not believe in karmas
being produced from the activities of life, studying scriptures
non-violence etc. Now when there is no next birth at all, where is the
question of a rebirth of the same kind as of this life? Yet if there is
the next birth, then it is 'Krit-Agam' namely the coming of the fruit of
the previous actions done. In this manner birth from birth continues
endlessly, the soul will never be emancipated from it, and moksa will
never be attained, because according to your theory the previous birth
only is the cause for the next birth.
In short, you do not attach any importance to the
actions of present life as the other causes. You believe only in the
previous birth as the cause, and that results in infinite births.
6) Question: From clay, its equivalent effect in the
form of a pot appears in clay's own nature. In the same manner from this
life by its own nature why cannot the same kind of life emerge in the next
Answer: The pot over and above the nature of clay
depends also upon the doer, implements etc. In the same manner here the
next birth depends upon karmas. If the next birth appears by its own
nature but not by karmas then the body of the next life would be of
unfixed form like clouds. How could it be of particular form?
7) If you say "By its own nature the present life
generates the similar next birth", then the question arises what do you
mean by the 'own nature of the thing'?
(a) It is the thing itself;
(b)or causelessness or;
(c)the quality of the things.
1. If you mean by 'the thing itself the present birth,
then that is destroyed even before the next birth. So how can it be a
cause for the next life as its nature? If you deem this thing as the cause
can it be a cause for itself?
2. If you 'by own nature of the thing' mean
causelesness, then this difficulty arises. The next birth due to
causelessness becomes of the same kind as this. Now if only causelessness
is effective for creating the next birth, these questions arise:
Questions on causedness:
(a) Why is it that the next birth should be of the
same kind? But not dissimilar?
(b)Why should not there be an end to the samsar i.e.
the cycle of births and deaths!
(c) Why should there be a particular shape?
(d) And the birth should be always real or always
unreal, but why real only for a particular time?
3. If you mean by `own nature of the thing' (vastu
dharma') then this point comes up 'the present birth' by its Vastu dharma
makes the next birth of the same kind'. If so the question is what dharma
of this life becomes cause for the next life? Does this dharma possess a
form or is it formless? You cannot say 'formless', because the effect of a
formless thing cannot be form-possessing thing like body, sorrows, joys
etc. If you mean by 'own nature of the thing', form- possessing substance,
then how can this principle be made that 'it should create always similar
dharma?' So we can say that this life gives rise to only a similar next
4.The actual situation is this. The next birth is a
modification of the soul. Such varied modifications happen not only in the
case of soul, but in the three worlds, everything remains as it is with
many modifications unchanged, and gets changed with many newly created
modifications. These modifications being "inseparable" from the substance
we can say a substance goes on being created in the form of successive
modifications leaving previous modifications. Now the question arises
where is the rule that those newly created modifications must be only
similar and not dissimilar to the previous ones'? When there is no such
rule, then why should you insist upon the same kind of next birth? Even in
this life just as many similar modifications like existence, soulhood etc.
remain as they are, in the same way many dissimilar modifications like
childhood, youth etc., happen as different; there also, why do you not
insist upon similar modifications namely those of the same kind?
Question: We speak of similarity only pertaining to
manhood and animalhood etc.
Answer: You should bear in mind that the creation of
modifications is dependent on the cause. Similar causes generate similar
modifications, and dissimilar causes generate dissimilar modifications. In
the running matter the causative karmas are strange also, therefore the
modifications like the next life etc., created by these strange karmas
will be dissimilar also. Otherwise why only for manhood? One who is poor
here (in this life) will be poor in the next life, a rich man will be
rich, a sick man will be sick, and one of low birth will be one of low
birth only. But you cannot say "Oh it is definitely so" because in such
happenings the austerities like tapasya, penance, charity and meditation
etc., would be fruitless. Even in the present life a sick man can become
healthy; a poor man can become a rich man. If dissimilar can happen in
this birth, why should not be the next birth dissimilar also?
5. If the next birth is of the same kind, the Vedic
statement like (indian writing pg107 angie) ""Shrigalo Vai Esh.. " "Agnihotram
Swarge-Kamah" etc. will be proved meaningless! So (indian writing pg 107
angie)... its meaning is this: one who is by nature good, polite, kind can
again take similar birth as a man by earning here again, the karma of the
life-span of manhood for the next life, through these qualities.
Sudharma also became fully free from his doubts by this
explanation of Bhagavan Mahavir paramatma and became a disciple of the
Bhagavan with his 500 pupils.