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Jain World
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Jivaraja Jaina Granthmala, No. 20

General Editorial
Preface to The First Edition
Preface to The Second Edition
Synoptic Philosophy
  Approach to Reality
  The Jaina Theory of the Soul
  Critique of Knowledge
  The Doctrine of Karma in Jaina Philosophy
  The Pathway to Perfection
  In this Our Life
  Men and Gods

THE PATHWAY TO PERFECTION

 

 

The end as Moksa  -- need for physical and mental discipline -- Jaina Yoga as compared with Patanjali Yoga -- stages of Yoga -- Dhyana -- types of Dhyana -- psychological analysis of  Dhyana -- Yoga and Sivayoga compared -- Gunasthana as stages in the spiritual progress -- analysis of fourteen Gunasthanas -- the final stage � Jaina Mysticism.

 

I. Moksa is the ideal of life. Supernormal experiences, like the yogaja-pratyaksa, arsa jnana, and avadhi, manahparyaya are only incidental. Kevala is symptomatic of the realization of the consummate end of life. Moksa is to be realized through self-discipline in the affective, the cognitive and conative sense. Samyag-caritra is as important as Samyagdarsana and jnana. The way to self-realization is primarily ethical.  If deliverance is to be achieved, the lower matter is to be subdued by the higher spirit. When the soul is free from the weight which keeps it down, it rises to the top of the universe where the liberated dwell.  The radical conversion of the inner man is the way to freedom."[1]

 

The Jainas were aware that physical and mental discipline are-necessary conditions of moral discipline. Knouledge and faith are preliminary steps on the path of self-realization. Ordinary sources of knowledge are not adequate to comprehend the nature of truth.  Reason fails here. Kant shoued that categories of understanding are fraught with antinomies. One has to transcend reason and seek the truth in the supernormal forms of experience. Implicit faith in the truth to be sought is necessary. It is the starting point of self-realization. Samkara's prescription of the four qualifications of a student of philosophy as stated in the commentary on the first Sutra of the Vedanta Sutra, is very pertinent in the case of those who seek the truth. There are different processes which lead us from faith to the reatization of the final end. Meditation (dhyana) is an important factor in this process. One cannot grasp the truth unless one meditates on it; and one cannot realize it unless one grasps it. Meditation on the nature of the Self is the highest form of Dhyana. One reaches the stage of mieditation on the self when one is free from passions and is self-controlled, self-control is in turn, possible through the practice of physical and mental discipline. Thus the ancient Indian philosophers developed a science of self-realisation called Yoga. They have been in general agreement regarding the principles and practice of Yoga. The Yoga prescribed by Patanjali regards moral and physical discipline to be indispensable preliminaries to the spiritual progress. The Jainas are in agreement with the fundamental principles and practice of this system.  Among the Jaina authors Haribhadra gives a comparative study o� Yoga in his works. The .Jnananava of Subhacandra and the Yoga-sastra of Hemacandra are valuable contributions to the study a� Yoga as a science of spiritual progress.

 

II. In ancient India, Yoga was a science of self-realization.  The word occurs in Rgveda meaning 'bringing about connection'. In the Atharva-veda it is stated that supernatural powers are attained by the ascetic practices'.[2] Later it was used in the sense of yoking a horse. The senses have been compared to the unbridled horses and Yoga is the means of controlling the horses[3]. In the Jaina literature, Haribhadra defines Yoga as that which leads one to emancipation', and the terms dhyana and samadhi were more in vogue than yoga. It is only in the Yoga-sutra of Patanjali that we find the proper location of Dhyana in the whole process called Yoga[5]. However, Patanjali probably did not start the Yoga school, but he must have collected the different forms of practices and gleaned the diverse ideas which were and could be associated with Yogas.[6]  Yoga, as we see now, is to be cosidered as a fully developed science of self-realization.

 

 The Yogatattva Upanisad mentions four types of Yoga: 1) Hathayoga is one in which the primary aim is to control bodily activities. 2) Mantra-yoga aims at healing the diseased by means of mantra or incantations of certain esoteric hymns. It is based on the influence of suggession as psychological factor. 3) Layayoga is based on the physiological analysis of human organism. The aim is to effect concentration on an image through the Mantras and to be absorbed and lost in them. 4) The last is the Rajayoga. It is Pitanjala Yoga. Its aim is higher; and it consists in achieving spiritual beatitude, though bodily control is a part of Patanjati's Yoga.  According to S. Dasagupta, the Yoga practices grew in accordance with the doctrines of the Saiva and Sakta schools and assumed a peculiar form as the Mantrayoga. They grew in another direction as Hathayoga through constant practices of nervous exercises and produced mystical and magical feats.[7] The influence of these practices in the development of Tantra was also great. Jaigisavya in his Dharmasastra mentions different parts of the body like heart, tip of the nose, palate, forehead and the centre of the brain as centres of memory where, concentration can be made. [8]

 

 Moral discipline is a necessary condition for the practice of Yoga leading to spiritual realization. The purpose of moral discipline ls to remove the bondage due to Karma.  The Jaina theory of morality is centred round the principle of ahimsa, non-violence.  Patanjali also gives prominence to nonviolence in moral discipline.  The Jainas have distinguished two levels in the practice of morality: i) for the lay follower (sravaka), and ii) for the ascetic (muni.). However, some general principles are embodied in their theory of morality, Five Vratas (vows) are to be practiced more rigorously by the Muni bnt with less rigour by the layman. In the former case they are called Mahavratasr and in the latter Anuvratas. The five vows are: i) ahimsa. (nonviolence), ii) satya, (truth, iii) asteya (non-stealing), iv)  brahmacarva (celibacy) and v) aparigraha (abstinence from personal possessions.[9] A number of ways have been prescribed for the observation of the vows. For instance, regulation of movement (iryasamiti)? and control of thought (manogupti) are prescribed for the practice of non-violence. What is important is the cultivation of equanimity and indifference to the things of the world.  Friendship(maitri) right understanding (pramoda) compassion (karunyai and indifference towards evil (madhyasthya)are qualities seeking self-realisation,[10]  This in brief is the moral practice as a background to self-realization. In the Yoga Sutra, yama and niyama are the ethical preparations for Yoga, Without this moral training , practice of Yoga will not succeed. Yama is negative in value and Niyama gives the code of observances. The  five vows mentioned by the Jainas are also given by Patanjali.[11] The Yama is universal validity regardless of differences of caste and country, age and condition.[12] Niyama is for self-purification. The observances are austerity (tapas), contentment (samtosa), purification (sauca) and ,devotion to God (Isvarapranidhana). By practising Yama and Niyama one develops vairagya or detachment and freedom from desires. It may be noted that surrender to God is not an end in itself. It is only to be means to the attainment of the proper conditions for self realization.  In this sense, Patanjali's Yoga is a scientific discipline.  The idea of God is a useful hypothesis which give a focus, a pulley ring as it were, on, which the weight of consciousness can be lifted.[13] Similarly for Haribhadra, Yoga consists of religious activity so far as it leads one to final emancipation, though there is no place for God in Jainism. Haribhadra gives prominence to five types of practices in Yoga: i) sthana. (proper posture) ii urna (correct utterance or sound, iii) artha (proper understanding and iv) alambana(concentration, of abstract attributes of Tirthakara The first two of these are external activities preparatory to the, practice of concentration. The last three are inner activity (jnana Yoga). Those who have reached the fifth stage of Gunaasthana (spiritual progress, viz., Desaaviratasamyagdrsti, can practice Yoga Sthana and Urna are qualifying conditions for practising Dhyana (concentration)[15].The Jnanarnava describes the conditions of Asana. A  selfcontrolled man may select a suitable place, like the top of mountain, the bank of a river, etc. for the practice of concentration.  Some  asanas like paryarika, vira, subha and kamala are said to be most suitable. The object of an asana is to enable one to be free from physical discomfort and the conquest mental distraction.[16]

 

Similarly,pranayama is a preparation for the concentration of mind.  Subhacandra, like Patanjali realised the importance of Pranayama.  Three forms of Pranayama were suggested: i) Puraka ii) Kumbhaka and iii) Recaka.[17] ' Pratyahara is given an important place in the stages of Yoga. Here the senses are withdrawn from the external object and fixed on the internal function.[18] However, the ethical preparation, asana, pranayama, and pratyahara are only accessories to Yoga and not themselves elements of it.[19] ln the practice of Dhyana, the first stage is concentration on the image of a Tirthakara. This is the concrete symbol for concentration. After achieving steadfastness in this concentration, one should practice concentration on the abstract qualities of a Tlrthankara.The practice of Yoga is closely connected with the various stages of spiritual realization (gunasthana). Dhyana ls in its primary stage in the seventh Gunasthana apramatta-samyata). The urge to self-realization leads us to the eighth stage of Gunasthana,  called Apurva-karana: greater self-control and a more definite progress on the path of self-realization are possible in this stage. Steadfastness of concentration gradually develops till one reaches the twelfth stage of (gunasthana. called ksina-moha in which the passions are altogether subdued. ln this stage, the transcendental self is possible to be realized.[20] We have. here, analambana yoga.  This is the state of omniscience. It is often compared to the asampra-jnata-samadhi of Patanjali.[21] Still, there is a higher stage of self realization. In the fourteenth stage of Gunasthana called ayoga-kevali all activity is stopped; and the soul attains final emancipation. It is analogous to the dharmamegha of the Patanjali's system, to the amrtatman of another system and to the para of still another.[22]

 

As one goes ascending in the stages of self-realization and the practice of yoga, one gradually develops the perspective of truth (drsti). This gradual development has been classified into eight stages: mitra, tara, bala, dipra, sthira, kanta, prabha and para. The eight drstis are compared to the eigbtfold stages (astanga of Patanjali's Yoga.[23] As we go higher in the stages of Drsti the perspective of truth becomes clearer; and, finally, in the last stage one reaches the Samadhi, the consummation of Dhyana.

 

Practice of Yoga may be actuated by i) love ( prtti. ii) rev rence (bhakti). iii) duty prescribed by scriptures (agama) and iv) no consideration (asamga). When the spiritual activity is done out of love or reverence, it leads to wordly or other worldly prosperity (abhyudaya). If it is done as a duty or with no motive whatever, it leads to final emancipation.[24]

 

 But Haribhadra is aware of some difficulties in the practice of Yoga and the attainment of supernormal experience. He says that we have to overcome some physical and mental inhibition before practising the Yoga exercises. The mind of the common man (prathagjanacitta) is vitiated by many defects.  Eight defects 'have been mentioned: i) inertia (kheda, ii) anxiety (dveg) iii) unsteadiness (ksepa). iv) distraction (utthana). v) loss of memory (bhranty). vi) attraction for what is not desirable (anyamud) vii) mental disturbance (ruk) and viii) attachment (samga)[25]

 

In the practice of Yoga one is likely to acquire some physical and mental powers which are beyond the common man. But these are distractions and would lead us away from the final goal. The Jainas were primarily concerned with the purification of the soul and the development of detachment from the things of the world. They were against the use of paranormal powers and miracle. This was the general view of other lndian philosophers as well Patanjali mentions the acquisition of such powers by the Yogi and warns him against temptations associated with these powers.26] The Yoga believes that the citta of man is like a millstone. If we put wheat under it, it grinds it into flour; if we put nothing under it, it grinds on until it grinds itself away.[27]

 

In the highest stage omniscience (kevala) is attained. This is not merely a negative state of knowledge. In this, one gets experience of everything, past, present and future, as if in a moment. In the highest form of samadhi, according to Patanjali, all possibility of confusion between the self and the activity of the citta ceases.

 

Concentration of mind (Dhyana) is an essential factor as a means to spiritual realization. The lower self sometimes gets the vision of perfection in its purified state and aims at the attainment of this ideal. On the attainment of prominent vision knowledge the self rises to its own pure state ( paramatma). Dhyana is the concentration of thought in a particular object,[28] for a certain length of time. The duration of concentration depends on the bodily constitution, The maximum time of concentration can be, for one antarmuhurta (about forty-eight minutes)[29] Dhyana is further inauspicious (aprasasta) and auspicious (prasasta). Aprasasta Dhyana leads to the influx of Karma (asrava) and the bondage of the, soul to the wheel of life (bandha) The auspicious  Karma brings about dissociation and destruction of Karma. Arta-Dhyana and Raudradhyana are the varieties of evil concentration. Arta-dhyana is painful concentration, as when we experience the pain in the loss of a loved object or in the anguish of an unsatisfied desire. Raudradhyana is vengeful concentration as when, smarting under the injury of insult we contemplate on taking revenge.[30] They express the pain of unsatisfied instinctive urges and are rooted, in the animal nature of man. The Jaina analysis of the lower types of Dhyana has a great psychological importance and need to be studied in the light of recent research in depth of psychology.  Dharmadhyana and Sukladhyana are conditions of spiritual progress.  The nature of revelation, the fact of suffering the operation of Karma and the structure of the universe are objects of Dharma-dhyana, Umasvati defines Dharmadhyana as a collection of scattered thoughts (smrtisamsnvahar ) for the sake of meditation on the objects of concentration. Jnana (knowledge), Darsana (intuition) Caritra (good conduct) and  Vairagya (non-attachment) are needed for developing the steadfastness of mind for attaining concentration.[31] A beginner has to select a suitable lonely place and convenient time.  Several places made holy by the sages create a better atmosphere for Dharmadhyana[32]. Dharmadhyana is possible from the fourth to the seventh stage of Gunasthana. As one goes higher up in the spiritual development, one should have developed sufficient physical and mental strength to aim at the final emancipation. The Jaina analysis of right concentration (Dharmadhyana) is intimately woven in the moral texture in this  life. One has to practice the four-fold virtues: maitri  (friendship), pramoda (appreciation or the merits of others), karuna (compassion) and madhya sthya (undisturbed equanimity) as the pre-requisites of this type of concentration.[33]' And in the graded levels of concentration the consummation is reached when the pure and perfect self is the object of concentration. The same type of concentration is to be reached in Sukladhyana, except for the fact that in the Sukladhyan we get perfect concentration.