Niyamasara is one of the most renowned
works of Shri Kundakunda Acharya.
He was the preceptor of Shri Uma
Swami, the renowned author of Shri
The Sanskrit commentary of Niyamasara was
Shri Padmaprabha Haladhari Deva, who. appears
to have lived about 1000 A. D. He was
preceded by Shri Amrit Chandra Acharya, who wrote
Sanskrit commentaries on
Panchastikaya, Pravachana-sara and Samayasara, the great monumental
works on Jaina metaphysics by Shri
Kundakunda Acharya. Padmaprabha has frequently quoted and referred
to some of the verses of Amrit
Chandira in his commentary on
The treatise is named Niyamasara, because it dales with the
path of liberation which is Right Belief, Right knowledge and Right
Conduct, the three jewels of faith combined. The word Niyama literally
means, �rule or law,� and Sara means �the right�. Niyamasara thus
signifies the Right Rule, i.e., the true and indispensable law for the
attainment of liberation.
The sole object and the whole gist of this treatise is to show that the
all-pure, all-conscious, all-blissful and self-absorbed soul alone is the
Siddha, a perfect soul. If a soul is in bondage with karmic matter, i.
e., if it is imperfect, and under delusion, it is imperfection or
delusion which is accountable for the continuance of transmigrations, and
experiences of pain and pleasure. La order to obtain liberation,
perfection, eternal beatitude. a soul must get rid of all connection with
the Non-self. When this connection with the Non-self is completely
severed, Siddha-pada, Perfection, is attained.
Right Belief, Right Knowledge, and Right Conduct have been dealt with,
from two points of view, the. real and the practical.
The real is the only sure and direct path; while the practical is an
auxiliary cause to the attainment of the real. Real path of liberation is
absorption in �the self.
Attachment and aversion, which include all passionate thought-activities;
are the main cause of karmic bondage, while non-attachment, or pure
thought-activity leads to freedom from bondage.
1. Practical Right Belief is a true and firm belief in Apta, the
all-accomplished, all-knowing, source of all knowledge, in the Agama, the
Scripture, the written discourse, which first flowed from the omniscient,
and in the Tattvas the Principles or categories.
The Apta must have three special characteristics:-
(a) Freedom from all defects such as hunger, fear, anger, delusion, (b)
Omniscience and (c) non-volitional propagation of truth. Such are the
Arhats, the adorable Lords, of whom the most prominent are the twenty-four
Agama is the scripture composed by the highly learned and spiritually
advanced saints from discourses which flowed from the Arhats. These
scriptures are faultless and free from the flaw of inconsistency.
Tattvas, the principle categories or substances are seven, (1) Jiva-soul,
(2) Ajiva-non-soul, (3) Asrava-inflow, (4) Bandha-bondage, (5)
Sam-vara-the check of inflow, (6) Nirjara-the shedding of previously bound
up Karmas, and (7) Moksha-liberation from all Karmic contact.
All that exists is included in one or other of the two principles, soul
and non-soul. While a man is alive it is the soul in his body while
perceives and knows all objects. A body without soul is incapable of
perceiving or knowing anything. Material objects such as a pen, table or
chair can not feel or know anything. They are unconscious or inanimate
I. The soul. It is the only conscious substance. Looked at from the real
point of view even a mundane soul; is pure, peaceful, all-knowing and all
blissful; It is potentially so. From the practical point of view such a
soul experiences various kinds of pain and pleasure in different
conditions of life.
II. The Non-soul. It comprises the other five teal and independent
substances, which, taken together with the soul, make up the six (
(1) (Pudgala) � matter � is the most prominent, and plays a very important
part in the amphitheater of the universe. The special attributes of
matter-substance ( Pudgala ) are touch, taste, smell, and colour. It
exists either in the form of
or of molecules. Only gross molecules are cognizable by the senses; fire,
electric and karmic molecules which compose the electric and the karmic
bodies of all mundane souls are not cognizable by the senses.
(2) Dharma Dravya. � Medium of motion � .is a single, immaterial
substance, pervading throughout the whole of the universe. It is
essentially an auxiliary cause of motion for soul and matter.
(3) Adharma Dravya. � Medium of rest� is also a single, immaterial
substance pervading .throughout the whole of the universe It is also an
essentially auxiliary cause of rest for soul and matter.
Dravya. � Space� is a single;-infinite immaterial substance. Its function
is to give place to all substances.
(5) Kala Dravya, � Time � is an immaterial substance. It is an auxiliary
cause of bringing about modifications in all substances.
III & IV. � Inflow � ( asrava ) and � (Bandha ).�
Every mundane Soul has a karmic body, formed of karmic molecules. The
universe is full of karmic molecules. Inflow of these molecules towards
the soul caused by its own vibratory activities, through mind, speech, and
body, is called Asrava. When these molecules are so attracted towards the
soul, they are assimilated in (he existing karmic body. The causes of
assimilation or bondage are the soul�s vibratory activities, and passions.
This process is known as Bandha ( bondage ). The processes of Inflow and
Bondage of Karmic matter go on simultaneously. The main auxiliary causes
of them are;�
(a) Wrong belief ( Mithyatva).
(b) Vow-lessness ( Avirati).
(c) Passions ( Kashaya )
(d) Soul�s vibratory activities ( Yoga )
V. Samvara. �Checking of Inflow� and �Bondage of Karmic� molecules, is
called Samvara ( Stoppage ).
The main auxiliary causes of stopping the inflow ,and bondage of karmic
(a) Right belief.
(b) Observance of vows.
(d)Restraint of soul�s vibratory activities
VI. Nirjara- �The shedding of karmas� already-bound with a soul at
maturity, or prematurely, is called Nirjara. The -premature :
karmas is caused by pure thought-activities, brought about by the practice
of right kind of austerities. The shedding on maturity is a natural and
Moksha. � Liberation� is freedom from all karmic matter as a result of the
non-existence of the cause of bondage and the shedding off all karmas
previously bound, ft is the state of a Siddha, the condition of
Continuous devotion to Apta, study of the scriptures, and meditation of
the seven principles, cause the subsidence of wrong belief (mithyatva) and
of the four error-feeding passions ( anantanubandhi kashaya ) and as a
consequence the real right belief which is an attribute of the soul,
shines forth in its true splendour. At this stage the right believer is
fully convinced of the true and pure nature of his own soul, and this is
Real Right belief.
I. Practical Right Knowledge is the acquisition of all the Jaina
scriptures. This Right-Knowledge must be free from three main defects (a)
doubt ( Samshaya), (b) Perversity ( Viparyaya ) and (c) Indefiniteness (
anadhyavasaya ). It reveals the complete and precise nature of things.
II. Real Right knowledge is to know the true and real nature of the soul
as quite distinct from all other non-soul substances.
Constant contemplation of, and unflinching devotion to, the subject
matter of practical right knowledge is an auxiliary cause to the
attainment of Right Knowledge.
right believer, who has fully realised the true and real nature of his own
soul, and is bent upon getting rid of the karmic filth which is in bondage
with his soul, tries to follow Right Conduct. His main object in doing so
is to be free from attachment and aversion, and from all impure
thought-activities and to attain the condition of equanimity.
Practical right conduct consists in observing the following five vows:�
(a) Ahimsa ... refraining from doing injury.
(b) Satya ... refraining from falsehood.
(c) Asteya ... refraining from theft.
Brahmacharya ... Chastity, purity.
(e) Aparigraha ... Non-attachment.