Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions
About This Book (Translator's Prelude)
Peculiarity of Jainism
Introduction
Prologue
Nature of Mundane Existence
  Miseries of Mundane Existence and Bliss of Liberation 
  Exposition of False Belief Knowledge and Conduct
  Analytical study of different religions
  Refutation of False Deity-Preceptor-Religion
  X-ray of Jaina-misbelievers
  Nature of Sermons
  Nature of Liberation Path
  Nature of Noble Peaceful Death
  Rahasyapoorna Chitthi (Spiritual Letter)
  Glossary

Introduction

 

 

A BRIEF SUMMARY OF CONTENTS

 

The title of the book is Moksha Marg Prakashak, therefore, a discussion and interpretation of the path of liberation is expected to be found in the contents. But liberation is relative with bondage.

 

Therefore, in the beginning the mundane state of bondage and its causes have been considered.  This is mainly the subject matter of the first seven chapters.  In the Eighth Chapter a detailed and comprehensive discussion is found about the technique of understanding the essence of the real message of Jain literature. The Ninth Chapter which has remained incomplete, marks the beginning of a detailed consideration of the liberation path.

 

The First Chapter is the foundation chapter in which first of all in two verses obeisance is offered to the passionless science of knowledge by following which the Panchparmeshthis have become adorable. Thereafter, after adoration of Panchparmeshthis, their traits, the objective of adoration, authenticity of the book, and purpose of writing it have been logically and judiciously discussed.  This follows characteristics of Shastras worth reading and listening to, traits of discourses and listeners. In the end, the purposefulness of the name of the book and the object of writing it has, been established.

 

The Second Chapter contains description of the mundane existence. Sufficient thought is given to the bonded state of the soul, the existence of the bonded state from beginning less times, separate identity of Karmas from the soul and division of Karmas into obscuring (Ghati) and non- obscuring (Aghati), substantive and psychic, etc. Thereafter, light is thrown on new bondage and its causes. At the end, the partially evolved dependent state of knowledge and the state of the soul in bonded state have been considered in detail.

 

In the Third Chapter, mundane miseries, basic causes of miseries i.e. perverse faith- knowledge- conduct, dispositions of the soul under the influence of passions and ways and means of freeing oneself from the same are described. Thereafter, the migratory states of the soul in the form of one- sensed being, etc, and the miseries suffered in these states along with the means of ending such miseries are discussed. This chapter ends with a description of the Siddha State and it has been logically established that all miseries come to an end in this state and endless total bliss is produced which should be the sole objective of every soul.

 

The subject matter of the Fourth Chapter is the involvement of the soul from beginningless times in false belief - knowledge and conduct. It also contains a graphic discussion of the need and logic for discriminating between purposeful and purposeless Tattvas. Light is also thrown in detail on the states and dispositions of the soul under influence of delusion and passions.

 

In the Fifth Chapter the newly developed and accepted false belief has been described at length. Under it all the important non-Jain schools of faith have been x-rayed.

 

The antiquity and truthfulness of Jaina faith has been logically established on the basis of quotations contained in the oldest shastras and scriptures of other faiths. Panditji considers the Swetamber faction of Jain faith also under other faiths and the falsehood of liberation in the state of womanhood, liberation in the low caste state, liberation in clothal state, etc. has been in logically exposed and refuted.

 

In the Sixth Chapter also, under the title of newly accepted false belief, the futility of worshiping false deity - preceptor and shastras has been logically established and Jivas are forbidden to worship the same. It also includes an analytical discussion of the futility of adoring Kshetrapal, Padmavati, Sun, Moon, Fire, Beasts, etc.

 

The subtle form of false belief (delusion) has been described in the Seventh Chapter. Such false belief is found both in the persons who are Jain by mere name and also in Jains who claim that they follow the commandments of Jain Shastras. This is so because they do not understand the inner message contained in Jain scriptures.  Panditji clarifies that although they do not keep company with non Jain preceptors, etc., yet they further foster their already existing wrong belief either due to their own ignorance and mistakes or due to the company of ignorant naked saints and preceptors or by study of scriptures written by them.

 

Pandit Todarmalji has classified such misbelievers into the following four categories:

 

(1) Misbelievers having false conception about Real viewpoint (Nishchayaabhasi)

 

(2) Misbelievers having false conception about Conventional view-point. (Vyavaharabhasi)

 

(3) Misbelievers having false conception about both Real and Conventational viewpoints (Ubhayabhasi)

 

(4) Misbelievers' facing to Right belief (Samyaktva-ke- sanmukh Mithya drishties)

 

In the discussion of the traits of Nishchayabhasis, their tendencies have been analyzed at length and Jivas are forbidden to become reckless by treating the soul to be pure without understanding the reality about the purity of the self-soul.

 

While describing the misconceptions of vyavaharabhasi misbelievers, Panditji has strongly supported the viewpoint that in adopting religious practices and rituals one should not follow the same because it is traditional or because such is the commandment of shastras. One should examine its essence and purposefulness judiciously before adopting it.  Even the adoration of true - deity-preceptor and shastra blindly with passion worldly intentions has been forbidden.  A detailed analysis about the misconceptions about the seven Tattvas harbored by the Vyavaharabhasi misbelievers is worth paying attention. The injudicious practices adopted by such persons for attainment of Right Knowledge and Right Conduct have also been thoroughly x-rayed.

 

A clear cut and in depth analysis of Vyavahar and Nishchay points of views has been attempted while critically examining the misconceptions and practices of misbelievers having false conceptions about both Nishchay and Vyavhar Nayas.

 

In the description of misbelievers facing Right Belief, the steps involved in understanding the true nature of tattvas for attainment of Right Belief are explained at length and the traits and sequential processes of five labhdis which invariably precede the attainment of Right Belief have been thoroughly discussed.

 

At the end of this chapter it has been emphatically stressed that the aforesaid various types of blemishes and misconceptions are described here not for searching the same in others and censuring them but for giving up such blemishes and misunderstandings if found existing in one's own self.

 

 The Eighth Chapter considers the nature of sermons. The whole Jain literature is divided into four categories from the viewpoint of subject matter. These are Mythonomy (Prathamanuyoga), Aetiology (Karnanuyoga), Philosophy (Dravyanuyoga) and Ethology (Charnanuyoga). Though the style and subject matter of each Anuyoga is different from others, yet the objective of all the four Anuyogas is one and the same and it is to inspire Jivas to adopt religion in life. The essence of Jain literature cannot be grasped properly without the knowledge of the style of their descriptions. The subject matter of each and its style of interpretation has been described in detail. Each Anuyoga has its purpose, without understanding which many meaningless misgivings crop up. All these have been very well clarified with suitable examples and comparisons. At the end, great stress is laid on the study of Jain literature with particular emphasis on the study of shastras discussing the true nature of the soul and the seven Tattvas, etc., because therein lies the main purpose of the soul.

 

In the Ninth Chapter starts the discussion of the nature of the path of liberation. After judiciously proving the hollowness of worldly pleasures and pondering over the existence of real bliss in the state of liberation, it has been well established that attainment of liberation is possible only through one's own real efforts. One should, therefore, himself make right efforts in this direction without expecting any help from others. Then starts a detailed discussion of the first step in the path of liberation, viz. Right Belief and its various definitions available in the four Anuyogas. The misconceptions about the seeming difference in the approach of the four Anuyogas in defining Right Belief have been clearly removed with the help of suitable examples and a synthesis between the same has been established. The nature of the seven Tattvas whose correct knowledge is essential in the attainment of Right Belief has been discussed at length. The concluding lines of this chapter contain an attempt to lay stress on the eight qualities of Right Belief and avoidance of the twenty-five blemishes but this attempt has remained incomplete.

 

It is a pity that this great personality who was never attracted towards amassing physical comforts and worldly achievements, became a prey of communal hatred and consequently had to sacrifice his life prematurely.

 

It is extremely difficult and unbecoming for illustrious persons to tread the trodden path, but fewer are such personalities who find their own path and yet do not go astray. Acharyakalpa Pandit Todarmalji was one such person who did not adopt the trodden path and yet did not go astray.

 

The present work Moksha Marg Prakashak is to be read and digested from beginning to end. Its study and contemplation on issues raised herein are profoundly beneficial for all the seekers of self-realization. Panditji himself has expressed this earnest desire at the end of each chapter.  Keeping in mind those persons who are wasting this precious opportunity of human existence in amassing and enjoying objects of sensual pleasures only and not availing of the opportunity of evolving knowledge of the self-soul Panditji writes:

"As for example- if a miraculous and precious diamond is offered to an extremely pauper person for looking at it but he refuses even to look at it and if a cup of nectar is offered to a leper for drinking but he refuses to drink it, similarly, if a mundane miserable jiva gets an opportunity to listen to an easy discourse on path of liberation (and of studying such simple book written in the spoken language), but he refuses to pay attention to it, then it is not possible for us to describe the glory of his misfortune. When we ponder over his future, a compassionate feeling only arises in us."

There can be no better end to my thoughts beyond the above inspiring words of Pandit Todarmalji.
 

J. L. Jain