Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions - Jain View of Life
INTRODUCTION
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 OR GODS
 

GENERAL INDEX


Chapter-5 : THE DOCTRINE OF KARMA IN JAINA PHILOSOPHY

 

          I.  �O Gautma, just as a sprout has a seed for its hetu as there is a hetu for happiness ad misery; since it is a karaya. That hetu is the karman� We find in this life persons, having the same means for enjoying happiness, misery, in this life, is too much of a fact to be ignored. It is also true that there is abundant inequality in the status and experiences of individual men, which is inexplicable by our empirical methods of enquiry. Good men suffer ad the evil prospers like the green banyan trees. It is necessary to explain this provident inequality in the status and development of individuals.

Attempts have been made to refer this inequality to man�s first disobedience and the fruit of that forbidden tree. Others have denied the existence of evil and the consequent inequality; still others would like us to think of this word as training ground for perfection. But life is to a pleasure garden and God a sort of a Sata Cause whose main duty is to please his creatures. It is necessary to find a solution on the basis of autonomous nature of ma and his responsibility to shape his o destiny. The Indian thought has found it in the doctrine of Karma.

II. The doctrine of Karma is one of the most significant tenets of Indian thought. It has profoundly influenced the life and thought of the people in India. it has become the �logical pricus of all Indian thought� It is the basal presupposition of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism (of course with minor differences). As a man sows, so does he reap: our actions have their effects. These effects cannot be destroyed. They have to be experienced and exhausted. If we cannot exhaust the effects of our actions in this life, we have to complete the visual of birth ad deaths to ear the fruit for al that we have doe. No ma inherits the good or evil of another man. The doctrine of Karma is, thus closely associate with the transmigration of souls. Every evil deed must be expatiated, and every good deed must receive its reward. If it is not possible to reap the fruits in one single empirical existence, it must be experienced on earth in fresh incarnation. Plato has made a reference to this theory in the Law, perhaps under the influence of orphic mysticism, and refers to �the tradition which is firmly believed by many and has been received from those who are learned in the mysteries.   In Indian thought, the Jainas have developed the doctrine of Karma o scientific basis.

Karma etymologically whatever is done, any activity. It got associated with the after-effects of actions, both physical ad psychical. Ever Jiva (living being) is constantly active, expressing the activity in the three-fold functions of body, speech and mind. It leaves behind traces of after-effects in the physic and psychic forms. Every action word or thought produces, besides it visible, invisible and transcendent effects. It produces under certain conditions certain potential energies which forge the visible effects in the form of reward or punishment. As in the case of a bond which continues to operate until, but loses it validity on the repayment of the capital sum; so does the invisible effect has disappeared. Actions performed in this life would be the causes of future life, and the present life is the result of actions performed in the precious life. So it�s the chain of life connected in the series of actions and their effects realised. The Karma doctrine involves the idea of a eternal metempsychosis. 5  Kerl potter in his presuppositions of India�s  has tried to interpret Karma as a form of habit. Human being faces challenges from many sides which have to be met by birth, social act ion and by the application of scientific techniques in order to be free from the bondage in life. But the more subtle challenges lie underneath the surface, and �arise form habits themes, which continues after the conditions that engender them have been removed, and which engender new habits which in turn must be removed somehow. This round of habits breeding habits is a part of what is called in Sanskrit samsara, the wheel of birth, which is governed by Karma, the habits themselves� 6 Karma is described in the Jaina philosophy as a kind of dirt which accretes to the other wise pure Jiva by virtue of one�s actions. In the bhagaadgita the dirt is described as of three kinds. �one may think of these as types of habits� 7 I have not been abe to understand how potter interprets Karma as a type of habit. One must be steeped in the Indian tradition in order to understand the nature and significance of Karma.