means inflow and according to Jain philosophy defined as the inflow of karmas to
the soul. The influx of karmas occurs at every second in life. It is this
process that keeps our souls wandering in this universe and prevents it from
being free. Let us say that you went boating and were having a good time.
Suddenly, you noticed water spurting from the floor of the boat. What would go
through your mind? What would you do? The first thing that would go through your
mind is that there is a hole, let me fix it before the boat sinks. You may be
lucky if it was just one hole, but there could be more than one. In the same
way, we know that karmas are accumulating to our souls through one or more of
our activities and unless we stop them they are going to choke our souls.
Asrav can be described as two types.
Physical or Objective
Psychic or Subjective
The physical type refers to actual activities
which lead to the inflow of karmas. The psychic refers to mental engrossment in
There are forty-two ways through which the
soul is exposed to the inflow of karmas. Of the forty-two, five are senses, four
are passions, five are avratas, three are yogas, and twenty-five are activities.
The first seventeen of these are regarded as the major ones, while the other
rest twenty-five are the minor asrava.
These asrav can also be named in eighteen
different forms (sins), such as; violence, falsehood, stealing, sexual activity,
possessiveness, anger, ego, deceit, greed, attachment, hatred , quarrelsomeness,
false accusations, divulging someone's secrets, backbiting, taking delight in
committing sins, being unhappy with religious acts, lying maliciously, trusting
false belief, religious teachers, and religions.
In Jainism, karmas enter due to following five
Wrong Belief (Mithyatva),
Psychophysical activities (Yoga).
Mithyatva (False Belief):
Mithyatva means wrong attitude, wrong taste,
wrong activities, and lack of faith in the nine fundamentals (tattvas) explaind
by the Jinas. Mithyatva also means not having interest and faith in the path of
Moksha shown by the Jina, but having interest and faith in a so called path of
Moksha expounded by ignorant and unenlightened people. In other words, instead
of having faith in the Arihants, great spiritual heads, and a great dharma,
those with mithyatva believe in a short cuts shown by people or religions
without true deep knowledge of fundmentals.
The false preceptor is one who does not act
according to the great vows such as non-violence (Ahimsa), Truth (Satya),
Non-stealing (Asteya), Celibacy (Brahamcharya), and Non-possessiveness (Aparigraha).
He keeps wealth and woman, and approves of such actions. He does not abide by
the code of conduct of monks. Such a person is a false spiritual head.
The false religion, is that which is devoid of
samyakdarshan (the right faith), samyakjnan (the right knowledge), and
samyakcharitra (the right character). A false religion does not explain the true
nature of jiva and ajiva. A false religion deems it right to enjoy sensual
pleasures, to have passions, and to commit sins.
Having faith in such a false spiritual head
and dharma; having partiality for them and interest in them constitute false
belief or mithyatva.
The five kinds of mithyatva:
The Anabhogik Mithyatva (Total ignorance):
This is a state of ignorance in which one
cannot distinguish between good and bad, or true and false doctrines. This
state is also present in all the jivas that do not have a mind. Such jivas range
from the Ekendriya up to the Asamjni Panchendriya (do not possess a mind).
The Abhigrahik Mithyatva (Fanatic false
This refers to those having a fanatic faith
and interest in a false dharma (religion). In such a state one believes that
their dharma is the only right one, even though its propagator may have
derogation like attachments, hatred, and violence, etc.
The Anabhigrahik Mithyatva (Accepting other
faiths without comparing their qualities):
In this state people are simple; they are not
extremists. People in this state believe that all religions are equal even
though other religions may not be observing principles like Ahimsa and
truthfulness. They do not completely accept celibacy, non-possessiveness, or
anything which is not offered, etc. How can we consider them equal when they do
not follow these principles to the full extent?
The Abhiniveshik Mithyatva (Insistence in
State in which one knows that his or her
religion is not right, but continues to live in accord with that faith.
The Samshayik Mithyatva (Skepticism):
State in which there is doubt or skepticism
about the dharma expounded by the Jina.
False belief is the greatest enemy of the
soul. Because of mithyatva, one can not have faith in the fundamentals (tattvas),
the path of Moksha, Tirthankars, Arihants, spiritual heads and dharma. One will
have a strong interest in the sinful activities like violence and sensual
pleasures. As a result of this, man moves farther away from a noble dharma. All
the devotion and austerities carried out through various previous lives become
wasted on account of the excitement caused by sins and sensual enjoyments. We
should discard mithyatva which is the basic cause of our distraction from true
Avirati means the stage of vowlessness during
which one has no restraint from doing or contemplating upon bad things. Unless
we take a vow to restrain or cut our association with any undesirable
activities, all such activities will bring bad karmas to our soul. By taking a
vow, we are saying that we will not have anything to do with these activities.
In this way, we will not accumulate any bad karmas related to such activities.
Kash means Samsar and Aya means gain.
Therefore, kashayas means that which helps to gain or keep the jiva in samsar.
In other words, kashayas are those things which keep Jivas in the cycle of
births and deaths. Kashayas are also called passions and refer specially to
anger, ego, deception, and greed. These passions have many forms such as
attachments, hatred, enmity, hostility, arrogance, craftiness, trickery, lust,
greed, and possessive propensity, etc. While fun, sorrow, delight,
excitement, fear, disgust, abhorrence and sexual craving, etc., provoke kashayas.
They themselves are not kashayas, but are rather referred to as
Anger, greed, deception, and ego are further
subdivided into four types depending upon their severity: The four types are:
Severe (Anantanubandhi Kashaya),
Moderate (Apratyakhyan Kashaya),
Mild (Pratyakhyan Kashaya),
Slight (Samjwalan Kashay).
This kashay binds the soul to endless worldly
lives (samsar). It adds bondage and impels the cycle of life and death to go on
forever. This kashay dwells in person who lives in false belief or Mithyatva .
The jiva, under the influence of this kashay, commits very violent sins and has
very severe attachments and hatred towards others. On account of the influence
of this kashay, the jiva commits sins without realizing what is right and what
is wrong, and carries out evil actions without any fear. This kashaya undermines
righteousness or samyaktva which in this context means faith in religious
fundamentals, tattvas. Therefore, it is necessary to realize that a sin is a sin
and should be considered an ignoble action. In this respect, when one destroys
the Anantanubandhi kashaya, one will develop the right faith in the tattvas and
will develop Samyaktva. If Anantanubandhi Kashaya arises it will destroy the
faith and will throw the jiva down from the level of Samyaktva to Mithyatva or
Sins like violence should not be committed.
Though jivas know and realize this truth, they have not developed the strength
to discard such sinful activities. In other words, the idea that a vow should be
taken or restraint should be used to discard these sins does not arise. Even if
one desires to take such vows, the apratyakhyan kashay would paralyze such
desires. When this kashaya surfaces, it even drags those who are observing
partial restraints to a level of no restraints (vowlessness). Under the
influence of this kashay, the jiva, in spite of knowing it, becomes so inactive
and apathetic that he or she cannot even say, "I will take a vow to refrain from
this sin of this magnitude".
Pratyakhyan Kashaya does not oppose
partial restraints, vows, or pachchakhanas (accepting a vow to discard sins),
but it eclipses the idea of total vows. Even though the first two extreme
kashayas are gone, and faith and a desire to take total vows may appear, this
kashaya still proves harmful towards acceptance of the total vows. During the
effect of this kashaya, even though jiva may realize that violence is a sin and
would like to abstain totally from committing such sins, he or she will only be
able to restrain partially. Violence towards the sthavar jivas may continue but
when this kashaya is destroyed, suppressed, or both one can totally restrain
from causing violence to all lives. Therefore, depending upon the effect of this
kashaya person may follow partial or total vows.
At the point when this is the only kashaya
left, the soul has dropped passions greatly in severity to the level of slight
passions. At this level a person may either suppress this kashaya or destroy it
completely. When this kashaya is suppressed, it will appear as if the jiva is
devoid of any attachment or hatred, but such a state does not always last for
long. Within the next half antah muharat (twenty-eight minutes), the jiva will
fall prey to newly surfacing kashayas, and may regress all the way back to the
influence of anantanubandhi kashaya. On the other hand, if this kashay is
completely destroyed then, the soul will arise to the true non-attached stage
from which there is no rolling back. Therefore, when all samjwalan kashayas are
destroyed this jiva will become a Kevali. Thus it can be seen that even a slight
kashayas holds the Vitragata (status of equanimity) as a hostage.
Pramad means that soul is inactive in
contemplating on its own form. Pramad is caused by five things:
Engaging in gossiping.
It may be described that the pramad is also
caused by eight other things:
Harmful activities of the mind, body and
Not caring for, and not having enthusiasm
for any religious activities.
If there is slight indolence (pramad) when a
person has discarded all sinful activities and is initiated as a monk or a nun,
then that monk or nun is called a Pramatta (one who is under the impact of
pramad). When a monk or nun discards gross pramad he or she is an
Apramatta monk or nun. Even after one becomes an Apramatta, passions may arise,
but they will be very subtle. Thus, these passions can be destroyed or
controlled. At such a time, the jiva will be strongly awakened. Therefore, a
very small degree of passion is not called pramad. When the jiva transcends from
this state of spiritual awareness, the vitrag state appears. Consequently,
senses are the cause for passions and passions lead to one’s downfall.
Senses are so slippery that if we are not
vigilant, they get involved into what is happening around us and provoke our
passions. Passions in turn may drag our souls from spiritual path. Let us
understand how the five senses can hinder our spiritual progress.
A person may become involved in listening to
sensual songs, music or talk and may spend so much time in it that he or she may
not be able to concentrate on doing the necessary things. One should listen to
religious sermons and devotional songs which help to improve our conation,
cognition, conduct, and ultimately lead us to liberation.
People spend so much time watching television
that involves violence, sensual or demoralizing episodes, or MTV which increase
one's lust and makes the mind more violent. Instead, one should spend time
watching moral episodes and sermons by monks and nuns if available which would,
in turn, also increase our conation, cognition, conduct and lead us to
We should not be engrossed in pleasures of
perfumes and scents that will increase our lust as well as other’s lust. Such
engrossment will bring the downfall of all parties involved. We should also be
reminded that there is a great deal of violence involved in the creation of such
products. Some people pluck flowers to smell, but they forget that they have
caused a death. Nonetheless, such is violence. For these reasons, one should
keep desires low, and stay away from such things.
Many people eat meat because they consider
meat to be a tasty food. Sometimes people overlook the violence involved in meat
production. A similar incident occurs when some one drinks liquor. Even though,
some may say we do not drink too much, we hear cries about driving while
intoxicated. Not only do these people harm themselves, but they cause many
innocent lives to be lost. There are many unwanted incidents occurring in the
society due to the influence of the sense of taste. In order to prevent such
occurrences, let us control our taste and stay away from such things. Let us
learn to live on simplistic tasteful food so that austerity like Ayambil can
easily be performed.
What do kissing, hugging, or even shaking
hands bring to our minds? They bring sensual pleasure and increase our lust and
therefore, we should avoid these things. We can greet a person by saying "Jai-
Jinendra" with folded hands.
Yoga (Psychophysical Activity)
In Jainism, yoga means psychophysical
activities. In other words, the thoughts, the words, and the physical activities
of the jiva are called yogas. There are fifteen types of activities. If these
activities are meritorious, the soul gathers auspicious karmas, and if they are
demeritorious, the soul gathers inauspicious karmas.
The Manoyoga (the activity of the mind) is
divided into four subtypes:
Satyamanoyoga - thinking about an object or
its condition for what it is. For example: "Right knowledge, right faith, and
right conduct action would lead to Moksha."
Asatyamanoyoga - thinking about a thing or its
condition, in such a way which is contrary to what it truly is. For
example: "Right conduct is not necessary for Moksha."
Satyashatyamanoyoga (mixed activities of the
mind) - thinking that something may have some truth, but not the whole truth, or
may have some falseness, but not totally so. For example: "Knowledge itself is
enough to attain Moksha".
Vyavaharmanoyoga - thinking about something
which is of a general nature. In this the truth or falseness, does not matter
very much. For example: "Let me tell Ramesh that it is nine o’clock because if
he does not get ready, he will be late." "Let me tell Bhavesh, it is lunch time
even though there is half hour more to go."
The Vachan yoga (the activity of the speech)is
divide into four subtypes:
Satyavachan yoga - speaking the truth about an
Asatyavachan yoga - telling lie about an
Satyashatyavachan yoga (mix vachan) - saying
something that may have some truth and some falseness.
Vyavaharvachan yoga - refers to casual words
like; "You may go. You may come in, etc."
The Kaya yoga (the activity of the body) is
divided into seven subtypes which are related to the following five types of
The human beings, animals and birds have the
The heavenly beings and the inhabitants of
hell have the vaikriya body.
The highly spiritual monks, who have mastered
the shastras (fourteen poorvas) go to Samavasaran when they need clarification
of their doubts where Lord Arihant is giving a sermon, by creating a special
extra body called the aharak sharir. Their real body stays with them wherever
The tejas body gives energy to the whole body.
The karman body carries the imprints of karmas
to the next birth.
When the soul departs from the current body,
at the time of death, the tejas and karman bodies go with it to the next life.
Kaya yoga means the activities of these
bodies, any organs, or any sense organs of all jivas. The seven types of kaya
yogas are divided into:
Two Audarik Kaya yoga - (1) Mishra Audarik,
and (2) Pure Audarik,
Two Vaikriya Kaya yoga - (1) Mishra Vaikriya,
and (2) Pure Vaikriya,
Two Aharak Kaya yoga - (1) Mishra aharak, and
(2) Pure Aharak, and
One Karman Kaya yoga.
Mishra Audarik Kaya Yoga: As a jiva is reborn
in the next life, a new body is not ready at the very first moment, but the body
is formed with the help of the Karman sharir, a collection of karmas, and with
Audarik Pudgals. This activity is called the Mishra Audarik Kaya Yoga.
Pure Audarik Kaya yoga: Whatever activities
that occur after the body has been fully formed are called the Audarik Kaya
The same is for:
Mishra Vaikriya Yoga, and 4) Pure Vaikriya
Mishra Aharak Yoga, and 6) Pure Aharak Yoga.
Karman kaya Yoga: When the soul (jiva) travels
to the next life, it first goes straight up and then, it usually turns twice.
When the soul turns for the first time, it does not have any connection with a
body because it has just discarded its current body and has not reached its
next. At that time, the activity of the soul is due to the Karman body. This
activity is called the Karman Kaya Yoga.
All together there are 15 yogas. These
activities could be the auspicious ones or the inauspicious ones. Truthful
activities relating to religious principles are auspicious activities.
Untruthful activities relating to religious principles are inauspicious. We
attain punya (merit) by means of auspicious yogas and papa (demerit or sin) by
means of inauspicious yogas.
The following twenty-five activities cause
influx of karmas, and one should take care to avoid them:
Kayiki activity: When carefree physical
activities cause injury.
Adhikarniki activity: When someone engages
in the activity of creating or supporting the instruments or weapons of
Pradvesiki activity: When someone is causing
injury due to anger.
Paritapaniki activity: When someone acts in
grief and sorrow, causing others grief or sorrow.
Pranatipatiki activity: When someone kills
or injures any part of the body.
Arambhiki activity: When someone begins
activities which would cause injury. For example: building a house, or tilling
a farm, etc.
Parigrahiki activity: Activities which cause
hoarding of grains, cattle, wealth, and other material things.
Mayapratyayiki activity: When someone is
causing injury by way of deceptive activities.
Mithyadarshanapratyayiki activity: When
someone acts contrary to the path shown by the Jina and follows a false faith.
Apratyakhaniki activity: When one carries on
activities without taking their vows.
Dristiki activity: When one looks at someone
else with lust, hatred or attachment.
Spristiki activity: When one touches or hugs
or kisses someone else with lust.
Pratityaki activity: When one reacts to
Samantopanipatiki activity: When one enjoys
praise for possessing wealth.
Naishastriki activity: When one causes
injury or death on the job due to compulsion or command from a superior.
Svahastiki activity: As an employer, when
one commands an employee to perform any action which may cause injury.
Ajnanpaniki activity: When one acts contrary
to the Jina’s teaching while thinking he or she is a wise person.
Vaidaraniki activity: When one unjustly
speaks ill of another person in order to defame others.
Anabhogiki activity: One should be very
careful when voiding urine or defecating bowel movements, etc.
Anavakanksapratyayiki activity: When one
shows disregard to and disbelief in the effectiveness of laws of life and
conduct as proclaimed by the Jina.
Prayogiki activity: When one does not
control mind, speech, and bodily movements as taught in the Jain Scriptures.
Samudayiki activity: When one acts with such
wide implications that all eight karmas become attracted. For example, many
people go to see acts of violence such as hanging, and have thoughts which
make them wonder why it is taking so long to hang someone.
Premiki activity: When a person does things
under the influence of deceit and greed.
Dvesiki activity: When a person does things
under the influence of pride and anger.
Iryapahiki activity: Any passionless
movements or activities.