Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions
Foreword
I. JAINA TRADITION UPTO MAHAVIRA
II. PRINCE MAHAVIRA
IV. PRECEPTS OF MAHAVIRA
V. DOCTRINES OF MAHAVIRA
  VII. SIGNIFICANCE OF MAHAVIRA

Chapter V - DOCTRINES OF MAHAVIRA

 

Dr. V.A.Sangave

(i) and (ii) Jiva and Ajiva :-Out of these seven tattvas, the first two deal with the nature and enumeration of the eternal substance of nature, and the remaining five with the interaction between these two substances, viz. soul and matter. (iii) Asl2rava : The third principle Ashrava signifies the influx of Karmic matter, into the constitution of the soul. Combination of Karmic matter with Jiva is due to Yoga. Yoga is the activity of mind, speech and body. Thus Yoga is the channel of Ashrava. The physical matter which is actually drawn to the soul cannot be perceived by the

senses as it is very fine. (iv) Bandha : When the Karmic matter enters the soul, both get imperceptibly mixed with each other. Bandha or bondage is the assimilation of matter which is fit to form Karmas by the soul as it is associated with passions. The union of spirit and matter does not imply a complete annihilation of their natural properties, but only a suspension of their functions, in varying degree, according to the quality and quantity of the material absorbed. Thus, the effect of the fusion of the soul and matter is manifested in the form of a compound personality which partakes of the nature of the both, without actually destroying either. The causes of Bandha are five, viz.,

(a) Mithyadarshana, i.e. wrong belief or faith,

(b) Avirati, i.e. vowlessness or non-renunciation,

(c) Pramada, i.e. carelessness

(d) Kashaya, i.e. passions, and

(e)Yoga, i.e. vibrations in the soul through mind, speech and body.

(v) Samvara : Effective states of desire and aversion, and activity of thought, speech or body are the conditions that attract Karmas, good and bad, towards the soul.When those conditions are removed, there will be no Karmas approaching the Jiva, that is complete Samvara sort of protective wall shutting out all the Karmas is established round the self. Thus Samvara is the stoppage of inflow of Karmic matter into the soul.There are several ways through which the stoppage couldbe effected.(vi) Nirjara : Nirjara means the falling away of Karmic matter from the soul.The soul will be rendered free by the automatic falling out of the Karmas when they becomeripe.But this is a lengthy process. The falling away may be deliberately brought through the practice of austerities.Thus Nirjara is of

two kinds. The natural maturing of a Karma and its separation from the soul is called Savipaka Nirjara and inducing a Karma to leave the soul, before it gets ripened by means of ascetic practices, is called Avipaka Nirjara. (vii) Moksha : Moksha or liberation is the freedom from all Karmic matter, owing to the non-existence of the cause of bondage andthe shedding of all the Karmas.Thus complete freedom of thesoul from Karmic matter is called Moksha.It is attained when the soul and matter are separated from each other. The separation is effected when all the Karmas have left the soul, and no more Karmic matter can be attracted towards it.

2. The Doctrine of Karma :

The fundamental principles of Jaina Philosophy entail the doctrine of Karma. These principles assert that mudane souls exist in this world from time eternal in association with matter. Of course, the character of this association or bondage is freely and constantly being changed; but the fact and condition of the bondage of the soul by matter persists through all these changes. This association leads to further contact and so the cycle goes on till the association is severed in such a manner as to avoid any fresh contact.

This contact of soul with matter takes place in this manner. The soul is surrounded by a large volume of fine and subtle matter called Karma. When the soul tries to do any thing, then instantly the surrounding particles of matter cling to it just as the particles of dust stick to the body besmeared with oil. Like water in milk these particles of matter get completely assimilated with soul and remain in this condition throughout life as well as in its migrations from one body to another. The connection of soul and matter is real; otherwise in a pure state the soul would have flown to the highest point in the universe as the soul is the lightest of all substances.As this connection or bondage is effected by the Karma or deed or activity of the soul, the subtle matter which combines the soul is termed as Karma.

Thus the Karma is something material and it produces in the soul certain conditions, just as a medical pill, when introduced into the body, produces therein manifold effects. The Karmic matter remains with the soul and binds it in the circuit of births as gods, men, denizens of hell and sub-human beings. Since the presence of Karmic matter in the soul is the cause of cycle of births and deaths and of all conditions of life,the soul must be made free from the Karmic matter.For this the influx of Karmic matter must be stopped by cultivating pure thoughts and actions; and the stock of existing Karmic matter must be consumed by the practice of religious austerities.In this way when the Karmas are completely destroyed. the soul becomes liberated with all its potential qualities fully developed. This liberated and perfect soul is an embodiment of infinite bliss and other qualities.It should, therefore, be the aim of every in-dividual to achieve this perfect and natural condition of soul by one's own efforts. In this regard the Jaina philosophy clearly asserts that the attainment of the freedom of the soul from the Karmic matter entirely depends on one's own proper deeds or actions and not on the favours of human or divine beings. Just as the interacting eternal substances (viz. Dravyas) postulated in Jainism admit no Creator, so also the inviolable

law of Karma makes man the master of his destiny and dispenses away with the favourite theistic idea that some divinity bestows on man favours and frowns.

3. The Doctrines of Nayavada and Syadvada :

According to Jaina philosophy, as noted above, the object of knowledge is a huge complexity constituted of substances, qualities and modifications, extended over past, present and future times and infinite space, and simultaneously subjected to origination, destruction and permanence. Such an object can be fully comprehended only in omniscience, which is not manifested in the case of worldly beings who perceive through their organs of senses. But the senses are the indirect means of knowledge, and whatever they apprehend is partial like the proverbial perception of an elephant by seven blind persons; each one touches only a part of the animal and concludes that the animal is like a log of wood, like a fan, like a wall, etc. The ordinary human being, therefore, cannot rise above the limitations of his senses; so his apprehension of reality is partial and it is valid only from a particular point of view known as Naya'.Thus as Nayas are modes of expressing things, there can be number of Nayas through which reality could be expressed. For example, when different kinds of gold ornaments are described from the point of view of the modes or modifications of gold, it is termed the Paryayarthika-naya or the Paryaya-naya, i.e. the modal point of view, and when gold ornaments are described with regard to their substance, i.e. gold, and its inherent qualities, it is termed the dravyarthika-naya or the dravya-naya, i.e. the substantial point of view. On the same lines, in spiritual discussions, the things could be described from vyavahara-naya, i.e. the common-sense of practical point of view and also from nishchaya-naya, i.e. the realistic point of view. In this way the system of describing reality from different points of view is known as Nayavada it is not enough if various problems about reality are merely understood from different points of view. What one knows must be able to state truly and accurately. This need is met by the doctrine of Syadvada or anekantavada, i.e. many-sided view-point. The object of knowledge is a huge complexity covering infinite modes ; human mind is of limited understanding; and human speech has its imperfections in expressing the whole range of experience. Under these circumstances all our statements are conditionally or relatively true. Hence every statement must be qualified with the term `Syat', i.e. `somehow', or in a way, with a view to emphasise its conditional or relative character. In this way on the basis of anekanta-vada or Syadvada, while describing a thing seven assertions, seemingly contradictory but perfectly true, can be made in a following manner:

 

(i) Syadasti, i.e. showhow it is,

(ii) Syannasti, i.e. somehow it is not,

(iii) Syadasti-nasti, i.e. somehow it is and it is not,

(v) Syadavaktavyam, i.e., somehow it is indescribable,

(vi) (v) Syadasti cha avaktavyam Cha, i.e. somehow it is and is indescribable,

(vi) Syannasti chk avaktavyam cha, i.e. somehow it is not and is indescribable, and

(vii) Syadasti nasti cha avaktavyam cha, i.e. somehow it is, is not and is indescribable.

For example, a man is the father, and is not the father and is both-are perfectly intelligible statements, if one understands the point of view from which they are made. In relation to a particular boy he is the father ; in relation to another boy he is not the father; in relation to both the boys taken to gether he is the father and is not the father. Since both the ideas cannot be conveyed in words at the same time, he may be called indescribable : still he is the father and is indescribable ; and so on. Thus, this doctrine of Anekantavada is neither self-contradictory nor vague or indefinite ; on the contrary, it represents a very sensible view of things in a systematized form.

Further, this doctrine of anekantavada is also called the doctrines of Sapta-bhangi, i.e. the doctrine of sevenfold predication, because these seven possible modes of expression can be used while describing a thing.