By Manubhai Doshi
Indira Mansukhlal Doshi Memorial Trust 1992
For last few years I had been thinking to write about Jainism. The matter took concrete shape when I started writing as editor of Jain Darshan, a monthly publication issued on behalf of Jain Society of Metropolitan Chicago. When the publication completed the first year, some of the well wishers suggested that if issues of Jain Darshan can be made available in bound volume, that could be helpful to those who would like to get a glimpse of the Jain ideology. When I went through all the issues, I however no ticed that it would serve a better purpose, if the material is recast in a book form. I therefore reedited all those articles, made additions wherever necessary and prepared the material for this small publication.
Even while writing for Jain Darshan, I had been particular to present the theory from the point of view of pure Jainism steering clear of different sectarian approaches. That approach has been kept intact in this booklet. I have noticed that many readers of Jain Darshan appreciate this approach. This book would be of use to the people who wish to get unbiased view of Jainism.
It is possible that some errors might have crept in or some particular aspect might be needing better treatment. If readers can point out any scope for correction or improvement, all possible efforts will be made to incorporate them in the subsequent edit ion.
Before concluding I would like to thank sub-editors of Jain Darshan for encouraging me to write this book. Dilip Shah in particular has taken lot of pain in presenting the material in right shape. Without his help this book could not have taken its presen t shape and would not have been ready by this time.
Indira M. Doshi Trust was set up in 1987 as a non-profit organisation. Its principal objective is to popularize Jainism. Its trustees have rightly decided to issue this book on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Indiraben Doshi.
Chapter 1 Search for happiness
Chapter 2 Know thyself
Chapter 3 Samyaktva, the basis of Jainism
Chapter 4 Ashtakarma, eight types of Karma
Chapter 5 Theory of Karma and cycle of rebirth
Chapter 6 Questions and answers about the theory of Karma
Chapter 7 Shaddravya, the six substances
Chapter 8 Nav Tattva : Jiva and Ajiva
Chapter 9 Nav Tattva : Punya and Paap
Chapter 10 Nav Tattva : Asrava and Bandha
Chapter 11 Nav Tattva : Samvar and Nirjara
Chapter 12 Nav Tattva : Other factors conducive to Nirjara
Chapter 13 Nav Tattva Liberation
Chapter 14 Ladder of elevation
Chapter 15 Syadvad
Chapter 16 History of Jain Sects and Scriptures
May the entire universe attain bliss, may all beings be oriented to the interest of others, let all faults be eliminated and may people be happy everywhere.
May all persons be happy, may all be disease free, may all attain well being and let no one be overtaken by miseries.
Every living being desires happiness and endeavors to avoid pain and suffering. The question arises how these objectives can materialize. Generally a person may feel happy if he gets whatever he desires and can avoid everything that he does not like. Situ ations however do occur which are not in his interest or do not conform to his likings. Even when situations occur according to one’s choice, it is not within his power to make sure that those very situations would continue to last as long as he likes. Ev ery situation undergoes change and a person feels miserable when the changed one is not to his liking. Moreover desires and likes or dislikes of all beings are not identical. What one person loves may be of utter distaste to another. It is therefore impos sible that everything can happen to every one’s taste. Viewed in this light it would seem that there cannot possibly be a way for making everyone happy.
Fortunately however there is a way. Two verses, one each from Jain and Hindu traditions quoted above address to that way. It would be seen that they have the identical meaning. Both of them convey the same message of well-being for all, for the whole univ erse and of removal of all evils. Vaidic and Shraman(Jain and Buddhist) traditions have grown side by side; both have borrowed from and influenced each other. They happen to be two sisters having more or less identical and/or complementary approach. It is therefore not surprising that Jain scholars have time and again insisted on the study of not only Jainism but also on the six schools of thought prevalent in India and collectively known as Shaddarshan. Broadly classified, they are known as Vaidic and Sh raman traditions, both having origin from the same Indo Aryan culture. Both of them have addressed to the problem of universal happiness and have discovered that the way is to wish and act for happiness and well being of all. If every one acts accordingly , the world can turn into paradise and there would not be any misery; at least the man-made misery would come to an end.
Indian philosophies being spiritually oriented, they do not restrict themselves only to the happiness in this world. Almost all of them believe in existence of eternal soul and continually changing pattern of every thing else. Therefore they seek happines s that lasts beyond the present life. Their ultimate aim is to present path of salvation which is defined as termination of embodiment and end of birth and death. However, as long as embodiment continues, their approach is to seek continuing happiness. Th e above two verses therefore exhort every one to look for the well being of all others, to stay meritorious in this life and to be sure of reaping fruits of their merits in subsequent life.
A wise man has rightly said that the place to be happy is ‘here’, the time to be happy is ‘present’ and the way to be happy is ‘to make others happy’.
He who knows one (soul), also knows all; he who knows all, knows the one.
When one talks of religion, the question may arise, ‘Why do we bother about religion? Could we not be happy in this life without worrying about religion?’ One may be healthy, have a lovable spouse and children that they love, may have enough earning from job or profession and possess all the amenities that one needs. What more is religion going to offer?
These are legitimate questions. Let us therefore examine them. The concept underlying these questions revolves round our body. Its health, its relations, its well being, comforts and luxuries it can indulge into, are supposed to bring forth happiness. Acc ordingly, when such situations are to our liking, we happen to consider ourselves happy. Unfortunately however the body with which we identify ourselves and also everything around it happen to be transitory. All the situations are ephemeral. The happiness that we might be experiencing from such situations, can disappear at any time. We do not know what is going to happen the next moment. As such our so called happiness happens to be unstable and short-lived.
Even if situations conducive to our interest were likely to continue indefinitely, peace and happiness may not result therefrom. As poet Shelley put it in one of his poems, we are prone to ‘look before and after and pine for what is nought.’ Hardly any on e feels satisfied with what he has. We have the tendency to desire what we don’t have. Our desires are endless and as long as desires remain unsatisfied, no one can ever feel happy and experience real peace that can lead to blissful pleasure. We may striv e hard for achieving that pleasure but hardly any one attains it any time during the life.
This is because we hardly try to explore who we are and what is our true nature. Nothing against our nature is going to give us lasting happiness or real satisfaction. Jain scriptures therefore define religion as ‘Vatthu Sahavo Dhammo’. It means that reli gion is the nature or property of matter. Without knowing ourselves and without realizing our own nature, we have been trying to gain happiness. No wonder that it eludes us, because we have been trying to gain it from extraneous circumstances. In a way, w e have been dwelling, all the time, in a state of delusion about ourselves. We can as well say that we have been pursuing a mirage.
Herein comes the role of religion. A generally accepted definition of religion is ‘Dharayati Iti Dharmah’ It means that what holds (from falling) is religion. Our remaining in the deluded state constitutes a fall and religion tends to protect us therefrom . It teaches us that the physical body with which we identify ourselves is live on account of the soul that abides within it. That soul is our real self. We are the consciousness pervading the body and our association with body terminates at the end of l ife. The true nature of consciousness is to know whatever happens without any sense of craving or aversion. It is therefore futile to be pleased or displeased with different situations. Thus by revealing our true nature, the religion helps in extricating ourselves from the deluded state in which we have been entangled since the time without beginning. Religion teaches us to know ourselves.
The quotation at the top of this chapter taken from Aacharang Sutra therefore states that he who knows the soul, knows every thing else. This is so because knowledge of true Self as pure, enlightened, unaging, immortal and ever blissful soul can lead t o the state of desirelessness.
This, of course, does not mean that we should not try to change an undesirable situation; nor does it endorse inaction. As long as the soul is embodied, it would stay active. There are different types of activities that a monk or a layman should undertake . Religion however prescribes that every one should undertake activities destined for him, vigorously but without any degree of attachment. This would mean facing any situation dispassionately without reacting in terms of craving or aversion. In Jain term inology this is called Jnata-Drashta approach which is similar to Nishkam Karmayoga of Geeta. The common objective is to enable one to view every situation, comfortable or uncomfortable, with equanimity and without any way getting agitated. That would amo unt to knowing oneself and abiding in one’s own blissful nature.
Utmost importance is attached in Jain tradition to right approach which is known as Samyaktva. In a way, that is the principal objective for Jains and it comprises the trio of Samyag Darshan, the right perception; Samyag Jnana, the right knowledge and Sam yak Charitra, the right practice. The learned author of Tattvarthasutra, His Holiness Umaswati begins the Sutra with SAMYAG DARSHAN JNANA CHARITRANI MOKSHA MARGAH. It means that the path of liberation consists of Samyag Darshan, Samyag Jnana and Samyak Charitra. Let us therefore try to understand these three concepts.
The first step for achieving any objective is to have a keen desire for it. We have so many desires, many of them conflicting with one another. For instance, we may desire to remain very healthy. Simultaneously, however, we may also desire to eat some fo od of our choice or indulge in some addiction that may not be conducive to health. In that case our desire to remain healthy cannot materialize. So, our desire for gaining any objective must be acute enough to be pursued to the exclusion of other desires that would be detrimental to the attainment of our objective. This type of desire needs a strong will that could arise only if we are convinced of our objective being in our best interest. That would in turn generate firm faith in the objective and a sens e of dedication for attaining it. That type of faith can be described as right perception.
Once we are clear and certain about our objective, we should gain adequate knowledge for the purpose. Suppose, we want to be a doctor. In that case, we have to acquire appropriate knowledge of medical science. Instead of that if we go in for proficiency i n literary works of Kalidas or Shakespeare or for knowledge of engineering or of any other science or art, that would not be helpful in achieving our objective of becoming a doctor. Thus gaining right knowledge of the subject is another essential for realizing an objective.
After gaining medical proficiency, if we do not set up practice as a doctor and stay idle or start some kind of trade or any other profession, our decision to become a doctor and the knowledge of medical science acquired for the purpose would not be helpf ul in realizing our objective. So the knowledge that has been gained has to be effectively used for realizing any objective. Knowledge without practical application remains sterile. Thus if we want to realize any objective, we must have right concept, app ropriate knowledge and right type of activity.
The objective of becoming a doctor is not a good analogy for the objective of attaining liberation that we are discussing here. It would however be helpful in getting a rough idea of these three aspects which in spiritual terminology are called Samyag Dar shan, Samyag Jnana and Samyak Charitra. They together are known as Samyaktrayi or simply Samyaktva. It is therefore not at all surprising that most of our prayers are directed towards gaining Samyaktva. Many of our devotional songs express devotee’s longi ng for three jewels. Very few of the devotees are aware that these jewels mean Samyag Darshan, Samyag Jnana and Samyak Charitra. In fact, they are more precious than jewels, because they together can ultimately lead to salvation.
We do talk of liberation as the abode of happiness and therefore pray for salvation. Our concept of happiness, however, mostly happens to be inaccurate, because it generally pertains to bodily happiness, sensuous pleasure etc.. We are prone to think that in the liberated state we may get all sorts of happiness that includes material happiness which we are accustomed to. Nothing can however be further from truth. In liberated state the soul stays unembodied. As such, the question of bodily happiness or sen suous pleasure does not arise. It is a state of perfect bliss, a state of unending bliss where the soul is no longer subjected to any kind of affliction.
For successfully pursuing any objective there are some common factors to be taken into account. For example, if we intend to be involved in manufacturing activity, we should thoroughly acquaint ourselves about the article to be manufactured. We should kno w its properties in the pure form, condition of the raw materials together with any impurities associated with them, the method of removing the impurities, circumstances under which our product may be contaminated, other materials that can compete with it , the ways to avert the contamination and competition, etc. Similarly if our objective be to attain liberation of soul, we have to understand true properties of soul(Jiva), other objects(Ajivas) that compete with it for attracting our attention, merits an d sins(Punya and Paap, known as good and evil Karmas) that tend to pollute it, the ways the soul gets influx(Asrava) of Karmas, adulterated state of soul on account of the bondage(Bandha) of Karmas, ways to avert(Samvara) the influx, elimination(Nirjara) of adulteration arising out of bondage of Karma and attainment of perfect purity of soul which is called liberation (Moksha). These nine factors are known in Jain terminology as Nav Tattvas or nine fundamentals.
Some people do not treat Punya and Papa as separate factors and therefore talk of only seven fundamentals. Punya and Papa are however covered by them under Asrava and Bandha. Therefore the difference is only numerical and there is no material difference b etween the two view points. If a person sincerely believes in these seven or nine fundamentals, he gets a real good concept of the soul, its present state, the objective to be aimed at and methods for the purpose. Sooner or later he would therefore activa te his energy towards liberation. As such, faith in these fundamentals is also termed as Samyag Darshan.
Of these nine Tattvas, only soul or Jiva is conscious and animate. All others are inanimate or lifeless. In that sense they all are Ajivas. Lifeless objects are however of two types. Some objects have form and shape and have properties of smell, color, od or and taste. Such objects are known as matter or Pudgal and constitute one of the six basic substances or Dravyas as we call them. While talking of Ajiva as one of the nine fundamentals, we really mean this Pudgal that has impact on soul. The rest of the seven fundamentals are not Dravyas. Jiva and Ajiva being the Dravyas, form part of six Dravyas. That is known as Shaddravya in Jain terminology. We shall deal with it in chapter 7.
We have seen that the essence of religion is to know soul, the true Self, the consciousness. By true Self we mean the Self that stays, that lasts, that formless consciousness which existed prior to the present life and which is going to exist even after t he end of this life, that which is eternal. We have to get aware of our own Self in its true state as well as in its present state. In true state it is pure, enlightened, omnipercipient, omniscient. full of vigor and infinite bliss. These inherent attribu tes of soul are however not experienced in the present state because it is smeared with Karma particles that do not allow full manifestation of those attributes. Its being binded with Karma particles is known as Karmabandha. We would therefore examine Kar mas in respect of their types or Prakrities, duration or Sthiti, intensity or Anubhava (also written as Anubhaga) and areas or Pradesh of soul they get attached.
Karmas are of innumerable types. Lord Umaswati in Tattwarthasutra mentions 97 types in all. Some others specify 148 types. All of them can however be broadly classified into 8 categories as detailed below. Of these the first four are called Ghatiya or of defiling types in the sense that they tend to defile the real nature of soul; they do not allow its true properties to be manifested. The remaining four are called Aghatiya or of undefiling types. Though the soul has to bear their consequences, the operat ion of these Karmas does not come in the way of manifestation of its true properties.
Soul has infinite capacity of knowing anything and everything. We however do not realize this capacity because the knowing property of the soul is obscured by the operation of this Karma. It does not actually reduce its inherent capacity of knowing, but i ts operation remains restricted as the impact of sunlight gets limited when the sky is clouded. Similarly, the operation of this Karma hampers the manifestation of soul’s knowability. This type of Karma is acquired mainly by disregard of preceptors and of the sources of knowledge. Matijnan, Shrutjnan, Avadhijnan, Manahparyayjnan and Kewaljnan are the five divisions of Jnana. Therefore this obscuring Karma is also subdivided into those respective five subdivisions.
Perceiving property of soul gets obscured by the operation of this Karma. This also does not reduce soul’s inherent capacity of perceiving, but restricts its manifestation. This Karma is acquired on account of absence of conviction and loss of faith in the tenets of truth. Chakshudarshan, Achakshudarshan, Avadhidarshan and Kewaldarshan are the four divisions of Darshan. Therefore, this obscuring Karma too is subdivided into those respective four subdivisions.
The operation of this Karma deludes the soul by causing wrong perception. On account of this Karma soul fails to perceive the realities and tends to identify itself with the ephemeral body, its worldly connections, acquisitions etc. Thereby the soul happe ns to perceive the comforts or discomforts of the body and its environments as its own happiness or misery. One feels pleased when such situations are comfortable and strives to maintain them as such. If the situations are not comfortable, he strives hard to change them to his liking and indulges in different types of defilements, when something does not happen to his liking. This arises from our basic ignorance on account of which our Self is smeared with defilements and we indulge in craving and aversio n.
This Karma is divided into two parts viz. Darshan Mohaniya and Charitra Mohaniya. The former arises on account of ignorance and the latter from indulgence in defilements. There are 28 subdivisions of this Karma.
By the operation of this Karma we experience obstacles or obstructions in our effort of Self realization or in our intention to do something good. For instance, there may be a lecture of some enlightened person and we might be intending to attend it. But all of a sudden we may be overcome by some bodily pain, or some of our family members gets sick, or the car gets stuck or any such eventuality may arise preventing us from going to the lecture. It would be possible to conceive of such obstructions arising when we get ready for undertaking some good or desirable activity like charity, extending help to others, enjoying any situation etc. Danantaraya, Labhantaraya, Bhogantaraya, Upabhogantaraya and Viryantaraya are therefore five subdivisions of this Karma.
These are the four Ghatiya Karmas that handicap the full manifestation of the properties of consciousness. Usual pattern among Jain scholars is to describe the category of Antaraya Karma at the end after dealing with Aghatiya Karmas. For convenience sake we have however described it together with other Ghatiya Karmas. Now we turn to Aghatiya Karmas.
By operation of this Karma a living being is endowed with comfortable or uncomfortable situations. Previous good deeds result in this Karma being Shatavedaniya or one that can be undergone with the feelings of happiness and pleasure; evil actions result i n this Karma being Ashatavedaniya or one that can be experienced with the feelings of unhappiness and miseries. Every one tries to be happy. One however hardly gets results in proportion to his efforts. Only so called lucky ones succeed and get happiness. That apparently inexplicable phenomenon is witnessed on account of the operation of this Karma.
As the name suggests, this Karma determines the life span of any particular being. It is not normally possible for any being to live longer or shorter than the period fixed by this Karma. This is irrespective of divine, human, animal or infernal life. The re are however exceptional cases where persons endowed with special achievements can reduce the life span by bearing the destined consequences in a shorter period. This is known as Udirana.
By the operation of this Karma it is decided what type of body, mind, intellect etc. a living being will have. What we call Gati or state is also decided by this Karma. Divine, human, animal or plant life and infernal life are the four states in which the worldly souls get born from time to time depending upon this Karma.
A living being is born in a particular type of family by the operation of this Karma. One is born in a noble or high status or religiously oriented family by virtue of good Karmas. By indulging in evil Karmas, one has to be born in a low status or not rel igiously oriented family.
Indulgence in defilements is one of the major factors that create bondage of Karma. Duration of a bondage depends upon the intensity of defilement at the time of incurring the bondage. Stronger and intense defilements create bondage of longer duration and weaker defilements result into bondage of short term duration. Thus Sthiti of any bondage is subjective and varies from bondage to bondage. The scriptures however do indicate the maximum and minimum duration of different types of bondage. The Maximum lim its for all types of Karmas are super-astronomical and are therefore expressed in Sagaropams which are almost immeasurable. The lowest of the maximum pertains to life span bondage which is of 23 Sagaropams. All other types of bondage run into trillions of Sagaropams. Minimum limits are laid down in terms of Samaya which is infinitesimal part of a second. The minimum durations of different types of bondage range from 9 such Samayas to 12 Muhurtas which amount to 9 hours and 36 minutes.
Anubhava relates to the strength of bondage and intensity with which its consequences have to be born when the Karma matures and becomes operative. That stage is known as Vipak and its intensity depends upon the degree of defilements that prevailed at the time of bondage. If the degree of defilement is high, the intensity of resulting bondage is more acute. In Jain terminology, this type of bondage, whether of wholesome or unwholesome Karmas, is known as Nikachit or indelible bondage. It does not recede w ithout extending consequences. Soul incurring that bondage cannot strip it off without bearing the consequences. If, however, the degree of defilements, prevailing at the time of bondage, is low; the resulting bondage is loose. The consequences of such b ondage at the time of Vipak are relatively light. This type of bondage can be erased by penance or by undertaking activity that tends to destroy such weak bondage. This has however to be done before the bondage gets operative.
Pradesh is a very infinitesimal area that would be discussed in a later chapter. Soul comprises innumerable such Pradeshas. When a bondage is incurred, it does not necessarily enter all the Pradeshas of the soul. For instance, when a person gets headache, his other limbs do not experience the pain. On the basis of theory of Karma, this phenomenon can be explained by stating that he had indulged in some unwholesome activity that induced Karma particles to enter only those Pradeshas of soul that abide in th e forehead. It is not possible to state which particles of Karmas would be attracted to which parts of soul. They can be attracted to any parts of soul. No part is immune excepting some very subtle Pradeshas which are termed as Ruchak Pradesh.
Theory of Karma is acceptable to all the three Indian philosophies viz. Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. The above is a short description of Karma theory according to Jain philosophy. It would obviously raise some questions in the minds of readers. We shal l deal with them in a subsequent chapter. In the next chapter we shall deal with the cycle of rebirth which is another aspect of the theory of Karma.
We have seen that the reasons of our comfortable or uncomfortable situations lie in the activities undertaken by us during this or earlier lives. This automatically assumes the theory of rebirth. It is the law of nature that we reap as we sow. This reapi ng does not necessarily occur in the same life. The Law moreover is not restricted to the physical activities. It applies to our persisting tendencies and instincts as well, even though they may not be translated into action. Whatever thoughts we may reli sh, even in the midst of mountains or within a remote cave, would have their consequences. No one can escape them. Appropriate consequences of our physical activities and of mental attitude are invariably extended to us. It is not possible to deceive the nature. Consequences have to be borne sooner or later and no one is immune therefrom. This law of Karma in spiritual science is not different from the law of cause and effect or that of action and reaction in physical sciences. In spiritual field its scop e is extended to the realm of emotions and feelings as well.
This law of Karma and theory of rebirth need not be brushed aside as a fancy of spiritual thinkers. Recent psychological research bears testimony to their validity. The modern psychologists have been increasingly veering to accept it. Dr. Alexander Cannon during his experiments of age regression observed that the causes of his patients’ phobias lay in earlier lives. Reasons for such ailments in many cases could be traced back even to the Roman period. After surveying the results of 1382 reincarnation sitt ings, as he calls them, he writes as under in his book entitled ‘The Power Within’.
“For years the theory of reincarnation was a nightmare to me and I did my best to disprove it * * * and I have to admit that there is such a thing as reincarnation. It is therefore only right and proper that I should include this study as a branch of psyc hology, as my text bears witness to the great benefit many have received psychologically from discovering hidden complexes and fears which undoubtedly have been brought over from past lives.
This study explains the scales of justice in a very broad way showing how a person appears to suffer in this life as a result of something he has done in a past life through this law of action and reaction known in the East as Karma. * * * A person canno t see why he suffers one disaster after another in this life, yet reincarnation may reveal atrocities committed by him in lives gone by.”
We can consider ourselves fortunate that we could obtain, as part of
our heritage, what science has been revealing now. Most of us have,
in background of mind, the consequences of what we have been doing
now. That helps us in restraining our emotions and we can stay more
or less tolerant in adversity. We do not tend to react very violently
even when hurt physically or otherwise. It is therefore worthwhile to
examine the impact of this theory of Karma for the broad spectrum of
If every one knew that one day he is surely going to bear the consequences of whatever he does or thinks, no one would dare to indulge in any thing that would hurt others. All conflicts and wars, disputes and violence, enmity and vengeance, parochialism a nd selfishness would come to an end. If one ponders rightly, he can realize that hatred, jealousy etc. may or may not hurt the person against whom they are aimed at, but they surely hurt the user; since his sense of discretion and equanimity gets obscured by being overcome with defilements. No one in that case would harbor any evil and everyone would abide by the code of conduct that is beneficial to the society. Even if someone gets any way hurt by others, he would be inclined to consider it as a consequ ence of his own past evil Karma. Instead of adversely reacting, he would therefore bear it with a sense of equanimity. The world would in that case turn into a sort of paradise.
Unfortunately all people are never going to realize it and the living beings have to bear the brunt of evils generated from passions and different types of evil instincts. The seers have brought out the truth that every being is governed by the inviolable law of Karma. Realizing that meritorious deeds would be ultimately helpful in pursuit of happiness, one can try to ensure one’s own future well-being by making use of his ability and resources for the benefit of all. The nature has left to us whether to abide by that law and stay happy by extending happiness to others or to learn the lesson hard way by undergoing the miseries and pains arising from evil Karmas.
In this chapter we shall deal with some questions that normally arise regarding the theory of Karma.
Q.1: Do you mean to say that whatever situation that we may be in, is the result of our previous Karmas and that we can’t do anything about it and we can’t change it anyway?
A. Reply to the first part of the question is ‘yes’. We can however try to alter the given situation. Karmas do not mean only past Karmas. Whatever we presently do also constitutes Karma and that too is going to be fruitful. Suppose, we are not financiall y well off. We may therefore undertake a new business activity or go in for a better paying job. Undertaking such activities also constitutes Karma and may turn to be useful in improving our financial condition. In that case we have effectively changed th e given situation by new Karma. We however do not know which Karma would be fruitful at what time. Some Karmas are instantly fruitful and some remotely so. For instance, we may be hungry. Taking food for the purpose is Karma and satisfying hunger is the i nstant fruit. To take another illustration, one may be careless about the food or in respect of some habits. Even if such behavior may not instantly affect the health, some disease may develop later on. In that case the Karma of being careless gets fruitf ul at that time.
Q.2: Can you throw some light on Prarabdha vs. Purushartha in light of theory of Karma?
A. Karmas can be divided into three categories. One is of Sanchit or accumulated Karmas which are not currently operative. They are like certificates of deposit, the amount whereof can be used at maturity. We know when our C.D. is going to mature but we d o not know when Sanchit Karmas are going to mature. Second category is of Vartaman or present Karmas that we are currently acquiring. They can be fruitful immediately or later on. The third category is of Uday or operative Karmas. The consequences of thes e Karmas are currently destined for us. They therefore constitute our Prarabdha. They can however be modified by Vartaman Karmas, if such Karmas are going to be instantly fruitful. Uday Karmas thus constitute Prarabdha and Vartaman Karmas constitute Purus hartha. By Purushartha we may be in a position to change our Prarabdha, if Vartaman Karmas are going to be instantly fruitful. We can however never be sure of their instant fruitfulness. That is why every endeavor of ours does not necessarily succeed. Thu s Prarabdha and Purushartha are not at odds with each other. Rather, they are two sides of the same coin.
Q.3: Soul is conscious and Karmas are lifeless. How can lifeless matter modify the property of soul which is supposed to be pure, enlightened and full of bliss?
A. There is no rule that a lifeless substance cannot influence conscious matter. We experience different types of sensations because we are alive. A dead body does not feel any sensation. That means that sensations are experienced on account of the existe nce of soul or consciousness. The sensations are however not felt while a patient is under influence of anesthetic drugs. If lifeless drugs can thus affect the sensations of a live being, there is no reason to think that lifeless Karma cannot affect the p roperty of soul. As the bodily sensations revive when no longer under influence of drug, similarly soul also can attain self realization when it is no longer subjected to the bondage of Karmas.
Q.4: Karmas are lifeless and hence unconscious. How can they be conscious enough to bear specific fruits appropriate to that type of Karma?
A. Karmas have not to be conscious of bearing fruits. It is their property that automatically works. If a person consumes poison, the result would be death. For this purpose, poison has not to be conscious of killing him. It is the inherent property of po ison that works. Similarly different types of Karmas have their own respective properties that become effective in their own ways.
Q.5: If purity, enlighenment, bliss etc are the properties of soul, when did it initially get polluted with Karma?
A. Worldly soul has been smeared with Karma since the time without beginning. It has never been devoid of Karma. Therefore, the question of soul’s initial bondage with Karma does not arise.
Q.6: If soul has been associated with Karma since the beginning, there can neither be end to it. As such it can never be devoid of Karma. Then why worry about it?
A. Though the bondage of Karma is without beginning, it is not the same bondage all throughout. Every Karma has a time limit during which its consequences have to be borne and that Karma drops off at the end of that time. Meanwhile however, the soul indul ges in new Karma and thereby gets new bondage. If soul does not indulge in new Karma, it can be devoid of Karma when consequences of previous Karmas are fully borne and the soul gets disassociated therefrom. In religious terminology this disassociation is called Nirjara that we are going to discuss in a later chapter.
Everything in the universe is either animate or inanimate. Animation denotes Chaitanya or consciousness while inanimate is Jada or lifeless. These two concepts are described differently by different schools of thought. Vedanta calls them Ishwar and Maya; Sankhyas call them Purush and Prakriti; we call them Jiva and Ajiva. We however consider Ajiva as made up of five different substances. They are Pudgala or matter; Dharma, which is an ethereal substance that is instrumental in making movement; Adharma, an other ethereal substance that is instrumental in maintaining stability; Akash or space and Kaal or time. It should be noted that the terms Dharma and Adharma in this context do not denote religion or absence of religion. Here, they are to be taken simply as two natural substances that pervade the universe. In order to avoid confusion and for the reason that would be clear later, we will use the terms Dharmastikaya and Adharmastikaya instead of Dharma and Adharma.
Concepts of consciousness, lifeless matter, space and time are acceptable to other schools as well. Those of Dharmastikaya and Adharmastikaya however are exclusively Jain concepts. It is generally accepted that soul and matter are endowed with mobility. T hey are not stationary. Motion is one of their characteristics. As such they make movements on their own. Every action however has some instrumental cause. There has therefore to be some medium that could be instrumental in their making movements. We call that medium as Dharmastikaya. Similarly there has to be some medium that could be instrumental in maintaining stability. We call that medium as Adharamastikaya.
Most of the people can easily accept the necessity of a medium for making movement. Justification for a medium to help stability may not be so obvious. It is however not very hard to understand it. Since Dharmastikaya pervades the entire universe, soul an d matter, being capable of making movements, would for ever continue to move in absence of another medium that would be instrumental in their staying stable as well. In Jain terminology that medium is known as Adharmastikaya.
So we believe in six basic substances. This is known as Shaddrayas. Shat (which is changed to Shad) means six and Dravya means substance or basic element. There are infinite number of Jivas(souls). They are categorized as worldly souls and liberated soul s. Worldly souls are embodied, while liberated ones are unembodied. Each soul is a separate entity. They never combine with each other or with any other matter, even though they may be found habiting the same abode.
Everything having some semblance of life is an embodied soul. Touch, taste, smell, sight and sound are the five senses. Number of senses that a being may possess is variable. Depending upon their sense faculties, living beings are categorized as Akendriya or one sensed organism that possesses only the sense of touch; Dweendriya or two sensed organism that possesses the senses of touch and taste;
Treendriya or three sensed organism that possesses the senses of touch, taste and smell; Chaturendriya or four sensed organism that possesses senses of touch, taste, smell and sight and Panchendriya which means five sensed organism that possesses all the five senses. Most of the seemingly lifeless objects and the plant life constitute Akendriyas. Earth worms, leac hes etc. are Dweendriya. Ants, bugs etc. are Treendriyas. Flies, bees etc. are Chaturendriyas. Most of the animals, human beings and heavenly as well as infernal beings are Panchendriyas. We shall give more details about Jiva in the next chapter.
Pudgals are infinite particles of matter pervading the universe. These particles called Paramanus are too minute to be visible. Our scriptures have described them as being more microscopic than atoms. They have however the capacity to combine with each ot her. When they so combine, they are called Skandhas or molecules. Depending upon their combination, these Skandhas can be visible and can also be experienced by other senses. Color, smell, taste and touch are the principal properties of Pudgal and are kno wn as its Gunas. Soulless bodies and everything in the environment that is lifeless, constitute Pudgal. Pudgals do undergo change. Their changing states are known as their Paryayas. Paramanus and their Skandhas have capacity to give scope to other Paraman us and Skandhas. As such, any number of them can simultaneously occupy the same space. Infinitesimal minute space occupied by a single Paramanu is called a Pradesh.
There is one indivisible Dharmastikaya pervading the Lokakash part of the universe and is instrumental to Jiva and Pudgal in making movements. Similarly there is Adharmastikaya that is instrumental in maintaining stability. They have the capacity to give space to other substances.
There is one all pervading. indivisible, universal space or Akash. Its property is to accommodate or give space. The above mentioned four substances however habitate only a part of Akash. That part is known as Lokakash. Other part is simply space not havi ng anything within it and is called Alokakash.
It would be clear from the above definition of Pradesh that Jivas, Skandhas of Pudgals, Dharmastikaya, Adharmastikaya and Akash occupy more than one Pradesh. In fact, Pradesh is so minute that each of the souls and Skandhas are said to be occupying countl ess number of Pradeshas. Anything occupying more than one Pradesh is termed as Astikaya. Therefore these five substances together are known as Panchastikaya comprising Jivastikaya, Pudgalastikaya, Dharmastikaya, Adharmastikaya and Akashastikaya.
The last substance is Kaal, the Time. It may not seem appropriate to treat Kaal as a separate substance. Jain scholars have different views about Kaal. Digambaras generally treat it as an independent substance; Shwetambaras generally treat it as an instru mental substance useful for comprehending changing states of the other five substances. Usually we measure time in terms of hours, minutes, seconds etc. Our scriptures have however conceived of an infinitesimal part of time which is called Samaya that is infinitely shorter than a second. People who accept time as an independent substance, believe that Samayas are strewn all over the Lokakash. Every Samaya is supposed to occupy one Pradesh. As such, even if time is admitted as an independent substance, it is not an Astikaya. There is therefore no term as Kaalastikaya.
It was stated in chapter 3 that Jiva, Ajiva, Punya, Paap, Asrava, Bandha, Samvar, Nirjara and Moksha are the nine fundamentals or Nav Tattva that every one should know. Some description of Jiva has been given in the last chapter while dealing with Shaddra ya. It would however be clear from the discussion so far that the knowledge of these fundamentals or of anything else is meant for knowing the Self. This Self is variously known as Jiva, Atma, Paramatma, Chaitanya, Brahma, consciousness, etc, Thus soul be ing the focal point and ultimate objective of all knowledge, it would be useful to discuss it here at some length.
A question may arise, ‘What is this soul after all?’ No one has ever seen it. Therefore the atheists, who refuse to believe in anything that cannot be perceived or grasped by senses, deny the existence of soul. Most of the scientists contribute to this v iew. They think that the body is a biochemical composition arising from a peculiar combination of productive genes of the parents. As long as the composition is active, it is said to be living organism; and when the activity comes to an end, it is conside red to be dead. But science does not clarify what exactly makes it active and why does the activity come to an end. This is not the place to enter into pros and cons of the genetic theory. It is however, a fact that when a person dies, his heart, kidneys and other limbs may still be active but that body is unable to use them and therefore they cease to function. If however they are removed from that body in time, they can be transplanted in other body and they happen to function effectively in the new bod y. Does it not mean that there was some sort of invisible energy that was activating different limbs of the body, while it was alive? That energy happens to disappear at the time of death and the presence or loss of that energy makes the difference betwee n life and death. Spiritual science calls that energy as soul.
There are infinite number of souls and every living body has a soul. It is invisible and has no form or shape. It cannot therefore be experienced by the senses. It is an element on its own and cannot be produced by any sort of combination or composition. As such it is stable and can never be decomposed. It is eternal and lasts for ever. From time to time, worldly soul has been abiding in different organisms through which it manifests itself. It leaves the body of one organism when it is rendered useless and assumes other body suitable for its manifestation. This type of transmigration and new embodiment birth after birth, has been going on since the time without beginning. Even though a particular body happens to be its temporary residence, soul tends to take it as its permanent abode and gets happy or unhappy depending upon the type of that body and its environments. Forgetful of its true nature, it aspires to get maximum happiness within the framework of given embodiment and surrounding situations. Whe n one body becomes useless for fulfilling its purpose, it gains a new one in tune with its yearnings and degree of attachment during its earlier embodiment. This attachment results from delusion of soul about its true nature. Attachment gives rise to the disposition of craving for the desirables and of aversion for the undesirables. These craving and aversion are the causes of the bondage of Karmas that have been described in earlier chapters.
Every living being longs to be happy. The deluded sense of being one with the body however causes soul to feel happy or unhappy depending upon the conditions obtained as consequence of its previous Karmas. Our ancient Seers have dwelt deep in search of tr ue happiness. They tried to explore the Self by raising the question ‘Koham’, which means ‘Who am I’. The appropriate answer that they could obtain was ‘Soham’ which means that I am that(soul). They could also perceive that the ‘I’ or the true Self is th e source of true happiness and abode of perfect bliss. They realized that the lifeless matter does not have the property to make any one happy or unhappy and that happiness is the inherent property of soul.
We however do not experience the lasting happiness, because we do not realize the true properties of soul. After thoroughly exploring the nature of soul, the Seers have concluded that the principal property of soul that distinguishes it from lifeless matt er, is knowability or capability of being aware. None of the five lifeless substances that we have described in the last chapter possesses that property. This property can enable soul to observe and know anything and everything. Scriptures have described this as Upayoga Lakshano Jivo. It means that knowability is the characteristic of soul. That attribute is inseparable from consciousness and therefore forms its basic property. As such, soul should simply stay aware of any given situation without any way reacting to it, because none of the situations really belongs to it. This would generate the sense of detachment; and absence of attachment to any extraneous influence can enable soul to abide forever in bliss which is beyond description. No wonder that the Seers, while describing the properties of soul, have preferred to call the same as indescribable.
To sum up, soul is pure consciousness. Infinite awareness and eternal bliss are its principal properties. Sanskrit words for eternity, consciousness and bliss are respectively Sat, Chit and Ananda. Therefore perfected soul is variously known as Sacchidana nda, Chidanand or Sahajanand. Negatively speaking, it is intangible, invisible, colorless, odorless, tasteless, formless and shapeless. It is therefore described in the scriptures by Neti, Neti(Not this, not that). It is beyond the reach of senses and min d. It can however be experienced by dwelling deep within oneself.
Vaidic and other schools of thought consider soul as immutable. Jainism disagrees. It believes in changing states of soul which are known as its Paryayas. On the basis of two major Paryayas souls are categorized as worldly souls and liberated ones. Depend ing upon the sense organs that they possess, five categories of worldly souls have been described in the last chapter. Of these, Akendriyas are further classified in five sub-categories. They are known as Prithwikaya or earthly bodies, Apkaya or aquatic b odies, Teukaya or fire bodies, Vaukaya or gaseous bodies and Vanaspatikaya or plant life. These five sub-categories are collectively known as Sthavar meaning immobile. Remaining embodied souls are known as Trasa meaning mobile, because those that can move in face of danger are treated as Trasa and others as Sthavar. Sometimes, those five categories of Sthavar together with Trasa category are mentioned as six major categories and are known as Chhakaya Jiva.
Description of Ajiva and of its five categories has been given in the last chapter. Jiva and these five Ajivas are not any way dependent on one another. Each of these six substances has potentialities to undergo changes in its own states. Other substances however play the role of being instrumental in effecting those changes. For instance, Dharmastikaya, Adharmastikaya, Akash and Kaal play the role of being instrumental in locationwise and timewise changes. Worldly soul does not try to identify itself wit h these foursubstances. It therefore hardly has any misunderstanding or delusion in such respect and views the role of those four Ajivas more or less dispassionately. Role of Pudgal on Jiva and of Jiva on Pudgal has however been the source of lot of misun derstanding. Worldly soul does not realize that its embodiment and all its surroundings have resulted from its past Karmas. It tends to identify itself with all those situations ignoring the fact that they are ephemeral. This has been the root cause of it s continuing bondage of Karma and resulting transmigration. The discussion of Nav Tattvas has been undertaken for analysing the state of worldly soul and the factors that inhibit and those that help in attaining liberation. Therefore Pudgal and particular ly Karma Pudgal, would be attracting our major attention in the subsequent chapters.
We have dealt with Jiva and Ajiva in the last chapter. Now we are taking the next two fundamentals, viz. Punya that can be earned by meritorious or virtuous deeds and Paap that is acquired by evil or vicious acts.
As long as soul is embodied, it does indulge in some or other activity. This activity may be physical or mental or both. It is possible that a person may refrain from physical activity for some time. His mental apparatus however never rests. It functions even when he rests or undergoes sleep. Every activity involves Karma and he has to bear consequences thereof sooner or later. If one undertakes meritorious activity, he earns Punya or Shubha(wholesome) Karmas; if he indulges in evil activity, he acquires Paap or Ashubha(unwholesome) Karmas. Depending upon the intensity and accumulation of wholesome Karmas, one may be blessed with happy and comfortable situations like handsome and strong or beautiful and graceful body, good health, attractive and loving sp ouse, children to be proud of, wealth, amenities etc. Unwholesome Karmas on the other hand would result in unhappy and miserable situations like ugliness, illness, quarrelsome and wicked spouse, issuelessness or vicious issues, poverty etc. It is therefor e generally accepted that every one should try to undertake meritorious activities and refrain from evil ones.
Many of the physical activities are evidently good or bad. Organized societies therefore endeavor to encourage beneficial or virtuous activities and to discourage the wicked or vicious ones. There may also be legal provisions to forbid some of the manifes tly wicked activities so as to maintain peace and order within the society. Some of the activities however cannot be clearly labelled as good or bad. In spiritual field the intention, with which and the disposition in which an activity is undertaken, play s an important role in deciding whether it would attract wholesome or unwholesome Karmas. Let us examine this aspect with the help of illustrations. A burglar, for instance, comes across a person whom he wants to rob. He therefore fatally stabs the person . On the other hand, a patient with tumor in stomach is advised to undergo surgery. He therefore goes to a surgeon who opens his belly with the surgical knife. Unfortunately for the patient, the tumor is in too advanced stage or there are other complicat ions. Consequently, the patient dies at the opening of the belly. In both these cases a person hurts the other person with a knife and that other person dies. Does it mean that the burglar and the surgeon would attract the same type of Karma? Obviously n ot. The burglar’s activity is evidently sinful, while that of the surgeon can be treated as meritorious.
Let us take a finer case. Suppose, Suresh and Raman, two young pupils of the same preceptor are going from one place to another. On the way they come across a river that is flooded. On the bank of the river, there is a beautiful young girl intending to go across but scared of too much water. Realizing her anxiety, Suresh offers his hand and leads her into water. Watching this, Raman screams, but Suresh ignores his screams and goes ahead. Flow of the river gets swifter causing the girl to drift. Suresh the refore holds his hand around her waist and leads her ahead. For Raman this act of Suresh is beyond imagination and he severely reproaches Suresh for his audacity. Suresh again ignores his objection. Water gets deeper ahead. The girl does not know how to s wim. Suresh therefore carries her on his back and swims across the river. This is too much for Raman who abuses Suresh like anything for gross violation of the vow of celibacy. Suresh does not respond any way. He leaves the girl on the other bank and sile ntly proceeds ahead with his colleague. On the way, Raman rebukes him again and again for what he had done and warns him of the dire consequences at the hands of the preceptor. Suresh maintains silence while reproaches of his friend continue unabated. Aft er listening for one hour Suresh points out that he had left the girl one hour back, while Raman was still holding her in his head.
It would be evident that in this case Suresh had no intention aside from helping a girl in crossing the river. While holding her hand or while carrying her on his back, he had no other motivation. Therefore he left her as soon as he reached the other bank . In all probability he even did not look at her beauty. For him, she was simply a person who was in need of help. He rendered it while retaining unimpassioned attitude throughout. Raman’s attitude was totally different. Though he did not even touch the g irl, he was thrilled by the imaginary sensation of close contact of a beautiful girl. In the heart of his heart he longed to have a feel of her beauty. He did not actually do so simply because it was forbidden. In the spiritual sense he therefore committe d sin of indulging in undesirable activity, while Suresh earned the Punya of helping a person in need. Thus Paap and Punya are to be conceived in relative terms and more often than naught they depend upon one’s mental attitude in a given situation.
Concepts of Punya and Paap are more or less identical with most of the religions. The latter concept is however more subtly treated by Indian philosophies, They take into consideration not only the actual act but also the intention behind it. They are una nimous in adoring the meritorious intentions and activities and in condemning the sinful ones. In a major respect however Jainism differs from others in its approach to Punya or meritorious activities. As explained above, one may obtain material happiness and comforts as a result of wholesome Karmas, but what after that? Material happiness does come to an end and comfortable situations do not last for ever. One has therefore to undergo miseries at the expiration of Punya Karmas, unless he has earned other Punya Karmas meanwhile. This earning of new Punya Karma while enjoying the fruits of earlier ones is known in Jain terminology as Punyanubandhi Punya or wholesome Karmas motivating further wholesome activities.
Very few persons fall within the category of Punyanubandhi Punya, because most of the persons get infatuated by the happiness and comforts. By virtue of the infatuation they indulge in unwholesome activities. This type of Punya is known as Papanubandhi Pu nya or wholesome Karmas leading to unwholesome activities. Misery is thus destined for them in the end. How can one avoid this situation? If the objective is to attain liberation, one has to avoid all sorts of Karmas. There is no other alternative. In ult imate analysis, Jainism therefore lays down avoidance of wholesome Karmas as well.
Paap Karmas or unwholesome Karmas are also considered of two types. As consequence of operative Paap Karmas a person does undergo varying degrees of miseries. If however that person realizes that his miseries are the consequence of his previous Karmas, he may like to stay unaffected and bear the miseries with a sense of detachment and objectivity. He may therefore undergo the pain of the miseries with equanimity and meanwhile try to undertake the best possible activities. This attitude would earn to him P unyas. His operative Karmas are therefore known as Punyanubandhi Paap or unwholesome Karmas motivating wholesome activities.
On the other hand, most of the people undergoing miseries blame some one else or some extraneous factors for causing the miseries. They therefore indulge in anger, jealousy, enmity etc. and react violently or wrongly to the pain and miseries obtained by t hem. Thus they acquire new unwholesome Karmas or Paap. The current Paap Karmas of such persons are therefore known as Paapanubandhi Paap or unwholesome Karmas leading to further unwholesome Karmas.
The wholesome as well as unwholesome Karmas cause bondage to which soul gets chained. If unwholesome Karmas are shackles of iron, wholesome ones are those of gold. Both of them come in the way of soul’s liberation and are to be avoided as such. This can b e done by cultivating sense of detachment in all possible situations, favorable as well as unfavorable. No situation lasts for ever and every conceivable situation comes to an end sooner or later. Why then get infatuated or feel miserable in a situation w hich is ephemeral? If a person stays tuned to such detached attitude and maintains equanimity, he does not attract new Karmas. His earlier Karmas would steadily drip off as he bears their consequences. In due course he would therefore shake off all Karmas . As such, he proceeds on the path of liberation. Unfortunately however it is not possible for a worldly soul to stay continuously tuned to its true nature very long. The Seers have stated that no one can continuously concentrate on any object more than t wo Ghadies or 48 minutes. Beyond that time the attention of the aspirant gets diverted. Thus after staying tuned to true nature, the attention reverts to other aspects. During periods of such reversals a person may better be involved in wholesome activiti es instead of indulging in unwholesome ones. Therein lies the preference of Punya Karmas over Paap Karmas.
Of the nine fundamentals that we have been discussing, we have dealt with Jiva, Ajiva, Punya and Paap. In this chapter, we now intend to deal with Asrava and Bandha, the closely related next two fundamentals. In a way these two fundamentals are two aspect s of the same phenomenon pertaining to bondage of Karma. The term Asrava is made up of two words, ‘Aa, meaning from all sides and ‘Srav’ meaning dripping in. So Asrava, which is also spelt as Ashrava, means inflow of Karma. Bandha means bondage and the b inding of incoming Karma with soul is therefore called Bandha.
As we have observed earlier, every activity involves Karma. Whether one indulges in such activity by mind, words or by physical action, he does acquire Karma. Since worldly soul continually stays involved in some or other activity, the resulting Karmas co ntinue to flow towards it. Its involvement with the activities serve as Asrava or doors through which Karmas enter. Thus Asrava of Karma continues to occur more or less incessantly. If soul gets involved in virtuous activities, Asrava happens to be of who lesome Karmas. If it is involved in evil activities, Asrava happens to be of unwholesome Karmas. This involvement mainly occurs on account of defilements or Kashayas and embodiment which is known as Yoga. Any particular embodiment and the relevant circums tances are gained by soul on the basis of its Karmas that become operative. In other words, it is placed in favorable or unfavorable situations depending upon its operative Karmas.
None of such situations really belongs to soul. They are not and in no case can become the part and parcel of soul. If soul understands rightly, it can remain unaffected by any given situation and stay equanimous. The term rightly is very pertinent in th is context, because true nature of soul happens to be pure, enlightened and full of blessed consciousness. In its pure state it is devoid of any defilements or Kashayas. As such, it is supposed simply to observe whatever happens as a result of operative K armas and stay aware of any given situation without any way reacting to it. Since the time without beginning, however, worldly soul has stayed deluded about its true nature and has been conditioned to react to any situation with the sense of craving or av ersion. If it does not react that way and views all possible situations with equanimity, it does not attract new Karmas and can avoid Asrava or incoming of Karmas and the resulting Bandha.
Thus Asrava and Bandha mainly occur on account of the ignorance of soul about its true nature. Question may arise as to how any conscious subject can be ignorant about itself. The ignorance of soul regarding its true nature, however, happens to be on acco unt of its delusion. Its perception remains deluded as a drunk person stays deluded about himself. This wrong perception is known as Mithyatva. On account of this delusion and ignorance, it views any given situation as the cause of its own happiness or un happiness. If the situation is pleasing to the sense organs of the body, soul identifies itself with that feeling and craves for continuance of such situations. If it is unpleasing, soul identifies with the resulting unhappiness and tries to avoid it. Thu s it continues to react to different situations with the sense of craving or aversion.
These cravings and aversions are the defilements of soul, because they defile its true nature of staying equanimous. These defilements are expressed in the form of Krodh(Anger, enmity etc.), Maan(Ego and arrogance), Maya (Deception) and Lobha (attachment and covetousness). These are known as Kashayas meaning those that drag soul downwards. In addition to these, there are Nokashayas or semidefilements like joy, gloom, affection, disaffection, fear, disgust and three types of sexual impulses. On account of these Kashayas and Nokashayas, soul indulges in arrogance, covetousness, joy, affection, love etc.. when it views any given situation as favorable. If it views the situation as unfavorable, it indulges in anger, deception, gloom, disaffection, fear, disgu st etc.
So, wrong perception, attachment to the bodily sensations and the Kashayas turn out to be the principal causes of Asrava and Bandha. Lord Umaswati, in his Tattvarthasutra, mentions Mithyatva(Wrong perception), Avirati(Absence of restraint). Pramad(Indolen ce), Kashayas(Defilements) and Yoga(Embodi-ment) as the five causes of Bandha. Mithyatva, Avirati, Pramad and Kashayas however arise on account of Moha or the delusion which again arises out of ignorance of soul about itself. It can therefore, as well, be stated that ignorance and Yoga are the two ultimate causes of Asrav and Bandha.
Jain philosophy views all aspects of life in 3 categories viz. Jneya meaning those to be known, Heya meaning those to be avoided and Upadeya meaning those to be adopted. Of the six fundamentals that we have dealt with, Jiva and Ajivas are Jneya; Paap, Asr ava and Bandha are Heya; while Punya happens to have dual category. For worldly considerations Punya is meritorious. Therefore it can be considered Upadeya for laymen; but for those who are active aspirants of liberation it is considered Heya, because suc h aspirants have to avoid all sorts of Karmas. Punya results in wholesome Karma and that too binds the soul because it has to bear consequences of that Karma as well. Therefore wholesome Karma also has to be ultimately avoided.
The next two fundamentals that we are going to deal in this chapter are Samvar and Nirjara. Samvar means prevention of the incoming Karmas and Nirjara means the eradication of acquired ones. They are to be resorted to and are therefore considered Upadeya. We have to act with a view to achieve Samvar and Nirjara. They are therefore concerned with conduct or Charitra as we call it. They are meant to guide us in deciding the right conduct. After all, the purpose of studying religion is to learn the appropria te mode of behavior so as to attain salvation in the end. Samvar and Nirjara indicate us how we should act so as to get rid of Karmas and gain liberation. If bondage of Karma is taken as the disease that afflicts soul and Asrava, the door through which th e disease arrives, Samvar is the prevention of the disease and Nirjara is the cure. Since prevention is better than cure, let us first examine how to prevent the influx of Karmas.
It has been stated earlier that the worldly soul gains different types of situations according to its operative Karmas. One has to accept the given situation with a sense of equanimity. If he views it dispassionately without any way reacting to it, operat ive Karmas terminate in due course and he does not beget new Karma. Worldly soul is however conditioned to react to any given situation favorably or unfavorably. If the situation is to his liking, he feels happy over it and craves for its continuation. He usually tends to think that the happy situation has arisen as a result of his ability and takes pride for gaining it. He may also be led to think that people who are unhappy, have to blame themselves for their miseries; because in his opinion they might not be using their energy appropriately for improving their condition. As such, he could be overpowered by self esteem and it would be hard for him to cultivate the sense of compassion for the miseries and unhappiness of others. His arrogance may also mak e him prone to develop a sense of disgust and contempt for the miserables.
If the situation is not to one’s liking, the soul feels unhappy over it and strives to get rid of it. There is nothing wrong in striving to improve a given situation. Unfortunately however, worldly soul does not mind even resorting to foul means for this purpose. He usually tends to think that some extraneous factors or some people have contrived to create the unhappy conditions or they are otherwise instrumental in bringing unhappiness and misery to him. As such, he harbors ill feeling for them and culti vates the sense of jealousy or enmity towards those whom he suspects of perpetrating his misery or unhappiness. Thus, worldly soul is conditioned to interact to any given situation with sense of craving or aversion.
It was mentioned in the last chapter that wrong perception, absence of restraint, indolence and passions are the main causes of the influx of Karmas. Craving and aversion lead worldly soul to indulge in such defilements from time to time. Of all these, fo ur Kashayas of Krodh, Maan, Maya and Lobha are the principal defiling factors. If soul avoids them, it can stay equanimous in all conceivable situations. It can thereby prevent the incoming of new Karmas while facing the consequences of the current operat ive Karmas. This is similar to closing all openings of our house, when dirt and trash happen to be flung inside on account of a whirlwind. Staying equanimous may not seem as easy as closing the doors. It should not however be so hard, because staying so d oes not preclude efforts to change the given situation. Making effort is also Karma and if that Karma happens to give instant fruits, the situation may change. One should however avoid the sense of ego and arrogance in favorable circumstances and stop bla ming any thing or any one else for unfavorable circumstances. In short, one should have the right perception so as to avoid indulging in Kashayas in all circumstances. Staying free of Kashayas is Samvar and it helps in preventing the inflow of new Karmas .
Eradication of previously acquired Karma is Nirjara. This is similar to cleaning the inside of the house after closing the openings for preventing incoming dust, trash etc. The previously acquired Karmas that become operative, get extinguished as the cons equences are borne. This dripping of Karmas on their own at the end of their duration is called Akaam Nirjara. This type of Nirjara is automatic. Accumulated Karmas which are not operative however continue to stay with soul in dormant state. Efforts can b e made to eradicate them before they get operative. This process of eradication by deliberate effort is Sakaam Nirjara.
In Jain traditions, considerable emphasis has been laid for this purpose on Tapa. In Tattvarthasutra, Lord Umaswati states in this connection: ‘Tapasa Nirjara Cha’ It means that Nirjara can be achieved by Tapa or austerities. Jains are accordingly encoura ged to observe Tapa. However, Tapa is usually taken as and is equated with fasting. Jains therefore undertake even long fasting with a view to achieve Nirjara. It is generally overlooked that our scriptures have laid down 12 types of Tapa and fasting is o nly one of them. Three stanzas from the Panchachar Sutra which are very pertinent in this respect, state as under:
Internal and external Tapa laid down by the Seers is of 12 types. When it is observed while staying unperturbed and without any other consideration, it is known as Tapachar or code of austerity.
Fasting, eating less than needed, contracting desires, relinquishing tastes, bearing physical pain and braving discomfort constitute the six types of external Tapa.
Repentance, courtesy, rendering service, self-study, meditation and concentration constitute the six types of internal Tapa.
When we talk of Tapa as a means for Nirjara, we evidently mean internal Tapa. External Tapa has importance so long as it is helpful and is conducive to internal one. In practice, however, we hardly think of internal Tapa and usually feel contented with ob serving fasts or Anashan, the first of the six external austerities. Ashan means eating and Anashan means non-eating or fasting. Thus eating and non-eating are rather physical phenomena. As long as the body survives, it is going to need food. The body can of course survive for some time without food. One however tends to get conditioned to eat at regular intervals. In order to inhibit this conditioning, it is useful to fast from time to time. Thus fasting has its own importance. Fasting by itself however , does not lead us any way closer to eradication of Karmas. For Nirjara, we have to resort to internal Tapa.
The term ‘Upavas’ that we generally use for fasting is not synonym with Anashan. ‘Upa’ means closer and ‘Vas’ means abode. Thus Upavas really means abiding in proximity with or in tune with soul. If a person sincerely tries to stay in accordance with the real nature of soul, he can not indulge in any sense of craving or aversion. As such, he would stay away from all defilements and achieve a very high degree of Nirjara. Thus Upavas in the true sense of the term amounts to right activity and is as such pan acea for eradicating Karmas. We however hardly observe that kind of Upavas. It is, in a way, paradoxical to think that Upavas can be observed simply by abstaining from food.
Let us examine the entire aspect of Karma, Tapa and Nirjara scientifically. Now we know that every action generates Karma. When a person undertakes to do some thing wrong for the first time, he experiences inhibition from within, which indicates resistanc e from his conscience. If however he ignores the inhibition and indulges in the wrong act, that act leaves a mark of defilement on his conscience. His inhibition is reduced the next time he does the same thing. His conscience thus goes on losing its force and gets totally obscured, if he continues to repeat that type of activity. That way, he gets habituated to indulge in that activity. His initial wrong action is, thus, commencement of forming a wrong habit. Such habits leave indelible mark on his consc ience that steadily stops resisting. So he can indulge in that activity without any inhibition. Such uninhibited habits assume the form of strong tendencies and traits that stay with the conscience and are not left behind even at the time of soul migratin g to other embodiment. In spiritual terminology such traits are called Karmas.
Such traits set the behavioral pattern in the new life. As long as conscience remains obscured, one tends to behave impulsively according to that set pattern. In spiritual terms, we call this Ajnan which is the ignorance of soul about itself. As such, he fails to perceive rightly and instinctively stays tuned to the pursuit of sensuous pleasure and physical comforts. In order to come out of this, one needs to break this set pattern. For this purpose one has to strive very hard. First of all, one has to be come aware of his Self and of the traits that are unbecoming to himself. Then he tries to loosen the grip of such traits by repentance etc. This is beginning of internal Tapa. In order to get rid of the traits he has to remain more and more vigilant of th e defilements that try to overcome him from time to time. Eventually he reaches the stage of constant vigilance which he gains as a result of meditation and concentration, the ultimate two categories of internal Tapa.
While undertaking to remove the wrong traits, one has to sacrifice his sensuous pleasures and material comforts. In his endeavor he may face different types of hardships. Environments may not be conducive; he may get no food or insufficient food and whate ver he gets may not be to his taste; he may get exposed to different types of pain and physical discomforts. He must be willing to bear all these and any other type of hardship as well. In fact willingness to bear hardships is the prerequisite for refini ng himself and that constitutes his external Tapa. More patiently one faces the hardships patiently, the more intense would be his Tapa. In this way, with the help of external and internal Tapa, the aspirant ultimately succeeds in getting rid of all defi ling traits. This process of removing defiling traits is Nirjara. Therefore it is said that Nirjara can be achieved by Tapa.
It could have been seen from our discussion so far that termination of any Karma is Nirjara. We have mentioned two types of Nirjara, viz. Akaam Nirjara and Sakaam Nirjara. Operative Karmas fall off or terminate after extending appropriate consequences to the soul. This type of termination is automatic. Soul has not to make any effort for such termination. That is called Akaam Nirjara which means getting to the end of some Karma without any deliberate effort or intention of terminating it. All the worldly souls have been undergoing this type of Nirjara since time without beginning. While bearing the consequences of the operative Karma, soul however, generally indulges in sense of craving or aversion for the given situation. As such, it acquires new Karmas while achieving Nirjara of the operative Karmas. Akaam Nirjara therefore does not help soul in getting rid of the bondage of Karmas. In case of Sakaam Nirjara, soul is desirous of getting freed of Karmas. It therefore stays equanimous and does not indulge in craving or aversion while bearing the consequences of operative Karmas. As such it does not acquire new Karmas while undergoing Sakaam Nirjara. The bondage of Karma is thus getting reduced by that type of Nirjara. Our present discussion is therefore c oncerned with Sakaam Nirjara only.
We have seen in the last chapter that different types of Tapa, if properly performed, can serve as excellent means for achieving Nirjara. In this chapter, we want to discuss other aspects for achieving it. Aside from bondage arising from soul’s embodiment , principal factors responsible for causing bondage of Karma, are wrong perception, lust of sensuous pleasures, defilements and indolence. On the other hand, right perception, restraint, detachment and diligence are the factors that counter those causes a nd are therefore means for achieving Nirjara. Wrong perception arises on account of ignorance of soul about itself. Consciousness, that manifests itself in the form of capability of knowing, is the essential attribute of soul. That attribute does not belo ng to lifeless objects. Our body by itself is lifeless. Its peculiar mechanism is however helpful to the intangible soul for manifesting itself. Soul thus abides in a body that is destined for it by its operative Karmas and that body thereby displays the quality of consciousness as long as soul so abides. We therefore treat that body as alive. As soon as soul departs from it, the body loses the consciousness and is treated as dead. It is then destined to disintegrate and we cremate the body for its quicke r disintegration. Bodies of our most beloved ones are not exception to this.
All of us have witnessed this difference between life and death and know for sure that connection of body with soul does not last for ever. We are however prone to vaguely imagine that death would somehow not overtake us and lead the life as if we are not going to die. There is an interesting anecdote in this connection in Mahabharat. During the period Pandavas were in exile, once Udhishthira got thirsty and asked Nakul to look for water. Nakul spotted a lake a little away. As he approached the water, he heard a voice warning him not to take water before answering some questions. Ignoring the warning, Nakul tried to get water and was instantaneously dead. As he did not return, Udhishthira sent Sahdev after him. He came to the same place. He too tried to g et water ignoring the voice and was dead. Thereafter Arjun and Bhima followed them in succession and met the same fate. Then Udhishthira went there. He was wise enough not to ignore the voice. He therefore expressed his willingness to answer the questions . One important question was ‘What is the biggest amazement of the world’. Udhishthira replied that death is a certainty for every being. People however behave as if they are not going to die and that type of behavior is the most amazing aspect of the wor ldly life. The invisible deity was pleased with his replies and restored all his brothers to life.
Many of us might have heard or read this story or something similar to that. Hardly any one however cares for this aspect in daily life. There is no intention here to deny association of soul with body as long as one is alive. Soul being an intangible ob ject has to manifest itself through some body. As such it experiences the feeling of happiness and/or unhappiness depending upon the conditioning of that body. No situation however continues for ever. The feelings of happiness or unhappiness are thus ephe meral and therefore unreal. One should stay aware of this ephemeral nature of every situation and of all the connections inclusive of the connection of soul with body. That awareness can help us in performing our duties in this life properly and adequatel y without developing undue attachment for any situation. However our identification with the body and everything else, that we think as belonging to us, happens to be so complete that we can hardly remember that all these connections are ephemeral and we have to leave them one day.
The religious books compare this connection of soul with body to that of milk with water. These are two separate, distinct ingredients having different properties. When mixed together, they look as one single substance and cannot be easily separated. Simi larly soul happens to identify itself with the body through which it manifests and stays oblivious of its own real nature. Soul is conscious, formless, everlasting and blissful; the body by itself is lifeless, concrete, ephemeral and devoid of feelings. T hese two cannot stay connected for ever and can never be totally identified. Any feeling of such identification is therefore false.
This false identification has however been continuing from embodiment to embodiment and constitutes the basic ignorance of soul that leads it to delusion about itself. This delusion causes the wrong perception leading the conscious entity to believe that ‘I am the body and my happiness consists of the comforts and well being of the body’. All the activities of worldly souls therefore stay tuned to pursuits of material happiness and physical comforts. This wrong perception has to be erased by attaining th e right perception which is also known as Samyagdarshan. The right perception enables us to distinguish right from the wrong and leads us to the path of true well being. Thus right perception or Samyagdarshan is the basic means for achieving Nirjara.
Another factor responsible for acquiring bondage of Karma is lust for sensuous pleasure. It can also be expressed as absence of restraint. It has however been observed that once a person gains right perception, his approach to life undergoes radical chan ge. He is no longer inclined to lead unrestrained life. His new perception would not allow him to do so. Slowly and steadily, restraint would become a part of his nature and he can afford to take vow for observing the same. This is known as Vrata. There a re five main Vratas that have been laid down for the aspirants. For persons who have renounced the worldly life, they are to be observed to the fullest extent and are therefore called Mahavratas. For laymen it is not practicable to observe them to that ex tent. They are therefore supposed to observe them in modified form, that are known as Anuvratas. Of all these Anuvratas observance of non-violence is the supreme Vrata. In a way it is the essence of Jainism. Other Vratas lie inherent in observance of non- violence. In order to make the observance of these Anuvratas more effective, seven more Vratas have been laid down as supplementary restraints. Three of them are known as Gunavratas and four others have been laid down as disciplinary restraints which are known as Shikshavratas. Following is the list of these 12 Vratas.
1) Observing nonviolence to utmost possible extent
2) Practising truthfulness and avoiding major lies
3) Avoiding theft, burglary, smuggling, cheating etc.
4) Staying contented with married spouse
5) Laying down limits on possessions
6) Restricting the areas of operations
7) Restrictions on consumption and avoiding avocations involving too much violence.
8) Avoiding purposeless activities
9) Practising Samayik for gaining equanimity
10) Restricting activities within a limited area.
11) Observing Paushadh or practising life of a monk
12) Serving the monks and worthy entities and helping the persons in
With right perception, the aspirant also begins to realize that the favorable or unfavorable situations in life are obtained as a result of the past Karmas. He therefore tries to avoid reacting to any given situation with craving or aversion. Thereby he g ains increasing degree of equanimity and tries to remain unperturbed even in adverse circumstances. That way he starts overcoming defilements.
He also makes out that the life span being limited, he cannot afford to waste any time and should diligently pursue his objective of Self realization. He tries to remain alert to an increasing extent and overcomes all types of indolence. Thus restraint, equanimity and alertness are more or less like corollaries of right perception and invariably follow it, if the person does not lose that perception. Right perception can therefore be called the panacea for gaining Nirjara.
Mukti or liberation is the last of the 9 fundamentals. It is also known as Moksha, salvation or emancipation. Followers of almost all religions usually have aspiration for gaining liberation but they hardly have clear concept of that term. They have been told that liberation is the abode of happiness. Many of them therefore imagine that in the liberation stage they would forever get all types of material comforts in abundance. Many of them think that by following religion, they would please the Almighty w ho would graciously permit them to abide in heaven, where they would get whatever they desire. But what would happen if they somehow happen to displease Him? The Almighty would then send them to hell. Isn’t that? Therefore, pleasing the Almighty does not serve the purpose of gaining the happiness, because after a spell of so called happiness they have to face misery and pain once again. Thus their longed for happiness turns out to be a fiction.
This brings us face to face with the concept of God. Can there be a God who would be pleased by worship and would therefore bestow wealth and happiness on worshippers and who would harm the nonworshippers? Such an entity can be a despotic ruler or a self centered man of means or any one else, but not God. Being self centered or getting pleased with praise is not a Godly virtue. Again, is it possible for God or Almighty to create universe or anything else out of nothing and destroy it, if He gets disgusted with it? The dispassionate reply will be ‘No’. Moreover, why should He create? If the reply is ‘Out of free will’, the question arises, ‘Why should He will it?’. Even if we admit His will and capacity to create, the question arises, ‘Why he creates anyth ing that is bad, ugly, wicked, miserable, painful etc.?’ There are number of such questions that would tend any intelligent person to think that there is something wrong with the prevalent concept about Creator. Does it not look like a myth? Can there not be a scientific, sensible concept?
At least 2500 years back, Jainism exploded this myth. It boldly refused to believe in a Creator. Without the aid of present day science, it proclaimed that nothing can be produced out of nothing and the original substances or matter, as science would call it, is indestructible. Every such substance exists of its own, with its own properties and would continue to exist in one form or another. Whatever products that we come across, are merely transformations, not creations. They are produced out of somethin g, that existed before. As we have seen in chapter 7, Jainism believes in six original substances of which soul is the only conscious substance. Jainism is therefore concerned with its well being and happiness. After carefully studying living organism, it came to the conclusion that all living beings are embodied souls. Every soul is an independent entity and has been undergoing embodiment after embodiment as a result of bondage of Karma.
For its liberation therefore Jainism does not look for whim or favor of an Almighty. Its concept of liberation is totally different and is based on sound scientific principles. It lays down that all material situations are compositions and no composition can last forever. Our bodies too are compositions and are bound to decompose sooner or later. ‘Material happiness’ is therefore a contradiction in terms, because it is not real happiness that does not last forever. True happiness cannot be obtained from any external situation. That happiness lies within the soul. Whatever phantom of happiness we experience in life is due to the existence of soul within the body. No dead body has ever experienced happiness or any other feeling. It is not the property of p hysical body to experience anything. Happiness is the inherent property of soul. This inherent happiness does not manifest on account of physical and mental limitations resulting from the bondage of Karma. Everlasting happiness can manifest, when soul sha kes off all its bondage.
For this purpose we studied the nature of soul, the bondage of Karmas that obscure and obstruct the manifestation of its properties and how to shake off the bondage. We saw that soul is a substance on its own. Not being a composition, it is not subject to decomposition. Therefore it is eternal and lasts forever. It acquires bondage on account of Asrava of Karmas that can be eradicated by Samvar and Nirjara. This eradication process has two stages, semifinal and final. Semifinal stage is attained when delu sion is totally overcome and all Ghatiya or defiling Karmas are destroyed. This is the state of omniscience or Kewaljnan. Such omniscient entity is known as Arihant. After attaining Kewaljnan that entity may continue to live, if He has still to undergo Ay u, Naam, Gotra and Vedaniya Karmas. These four are Aghatiya Karmas that terminate with the termination of the life span. For instance, Lord Mahavir lived for 30 years after attaining Kevaljnan.
With the termination of Aghatiya Karmas, soul attains ultimate liberation. This is the final state which is known as the state of Siddha. Since the bondage stands finally erased, soul is forever freed of embodiment and all other limitations. It is now pur e consciousness whose nature of infinite enlightenment and infinite happiness manifests by itself, because there are no longer any factors that obstruct or inhibit its full manifestation. Even a slight reflection of our routine experience would indicate t hat desire is the root cause of all miseries, problems and unhappiness. In the unembodied state, there is no physical body and hence no physical requirements. Similarly there is no apparatus like mind that would desire anything. That desireless state is the blissful state of liberation.
Every soul has sooner or later to undergo this process of erasing the bondage of Karmas. Till then there is no end to the cycle of birth and rebirth. Arihantas and Siddhas have set the models for our purpose. They are therefore worshipped by aspirants. I n common parlance, they are Jain Gods. They do not bestow liberation or any other favor on worshippers. Liberation is to be gained by one’s own efforts. Listening to the teachings of Arihantas, while they are alive, would provide directions for attaining liberation. Devotion to them and to Siddhas simply provides incentive to the aspirants to strive for attainment of ultimate happiness. They therefore serve as ideals for devotees.
Questions may arise: ‘What would be the form and shape of the liberated soul?’ ‘Where would it stay, move, rest or sleep?’ “what would it be doing?’ Answers are simple. Not being a physical entity, it has no form; it does not move and does not need rest o r sleep. Being intangible, its shape is invisible; but the seers have stated that its size would be equal to 2/3rd the size of the last embodiment. Bondage of Karma was holding it. Now being freed of all bondage it rises up in the space and stops at the t op of Lokakash. That part of the space is known in Jain terminology as Siddhashila, the abode of liberated souls. Beyond that it is Alokakash where there is no Dharmastikaya. So there is no movement beyond that point. Liberated souls continually stay engr ossed in their nature of infinite awareness, infinite enlightenment, infinite energy and infinite bliss. That state is irreversible and as such, it stays for ever.
We have by now discussed how a worldly soul can gain liberation. This is necessarily a process of evolution. Prior to the commencement of that process, the thinking and behavior of a person stays deluded on account of his ignorance about his true Self. He happens to identify himself with the body and its pleasure. He therefore uses all his energy to gain material happiness and physical comforts. That way, he wanders birth after birth oblivious of his true Self. As and when he gets curious about the spirit ual aspects, his condition undergoes a major change. He can then be termed as an aspirant. For advancing to liberation from that state he has to traverse a long distance...Question may arise whether there are any milestones or other signs on the way to gu ide the aspirant that he is on the right track. Jainism has divided the path of the spiritual uplift in 14 stages. They are known as Gunasthanak or stages of elevation. If the entire track can be compared to a ladder or an elevator, these stages are 14 ru ngs of the ladder or 14 floors where elevator stops, but with the difference that the space between the two adjacent rungs or the adjacent floors is not uniform. The ascent here is in the form of steadily shaking off the bondage of Karma.
Of the eight main types of Karma described in chapter 4, deluding Karma happens to be the strongest. The path of liberation can therefore be presented in terms of ever accelerating destruction of the deluding Karma. As such, it would be useful here to consider some significant aspects of that Karma. Deluded perception and deluded behavior are the two main divisions of deluding Karma. The former arises from ignorance and the latter from indulgence in defilements which in Jain terminology are known as K ashaya. Anger, arrogance, deception and covetousness are the four main types of Kashayas. Depending upon their duration and intensity each of them is subdivided into four subcategories. The most enduring Kashaya is termed as Anantanubandhi meaning the one that results in the bondage of endless duration. This is comparable to the letters engraved in stone. Somewhat less durable and less intense Kashaya is known as Apratyakhyanavaraniya, meaning the one that cannot be overcome even by adopting vow to con trol it. This is comparable to letters on .wood. or paper. Still less durable and less intense Kashaya is known as Pratykhyanavaraniya meaning the one that can be overcome by taking vow for the purpose. This is comparable to letters in sand. The least short-lived is known as Sanjwalan Kashaya which is very subtle. This is comparable to letters drawn in water. This can be overcome after attaining higher state. Thus there are 16 subdivisions of Kashayas that are responsible for deluded behavior. In addition , there are nine types of Nokashayas or semidefilements that also can be overcome at a higher stage. With this background we can now turn to the description of the 14 stages of elevation.
FIRST STAGE: This stage is known as Mithyatva or the stage of wrong faith. As the name suggests, it does not signify even the real beginning of the elevation. It is like the bottom floor where the person comes looking for the elevator. Most of the aspiran ts are supposed to be at this stage. The life at this stage is still more instinctive and reactions to the arising situations are more impulsive than discriminative. The aspirant still attaches more importance to the body and its pleasure. He has however gained curiosity for spiritual development. For that purpose he gets access to religious teachers. But he does not have insight to recognize true preceptors. As such, he gets under the influence of wrong teachers and also undertakes unbecoming rituals etc . at their behests. For the sake of his professed religion, he does not mind even resorting to evil activities. He has dislike and disregard for the true faith.
SECOND STAGE: This stage is known as Saswadan. This too is not the stage of elevation. It is the stage where an aspirant comes down, if he somehow falls from the higher stages. Since he has experienced the taste of right perception in the 4th stage, he ca nnot forget it altogether. Sooner or later he is therefore bound to regain that perception and proceed again on the path of elevation.
THIRD STAGE: This stage is known as Mishra. It is the combination of right and wrong or Samyaktva and Mithyatva. Here, the aspirant does not have discernment to differentiate right from the wrong and truth from the falsity. He still gropes in the darkness of doubt and wavers between right and wrong. He may have overcome dislike for true faith but does not stay tuned to it. He may happen to practise right rituals etc. but is not discriminate enough to recognize their truth. As such, he is likely to accept even falsity as truth.
FOURTH STAGE: This stage is known as Avirat Samyak or the right perception not associated with restraint. This is the real stage of elevation where few worldly souls have ever arrived. As the name suggests, the aspirant attains this stage when he gets fre ed from perception deluding Karma and has gained the right perception. He exactly knows what is right and what is wrong. He stands convinced that soul is his enduring self, while body and all incidental situations are ephemeral and have been gained as con sequence of his operative Karmas. He knows the true nature of soul and might have even glimpsed it some time. He also has right understanding of Karma and its bondage and is keen to shake it off. He has, accordingly, controlled all the four Anantanubandhi types of Kashaya, but has not still gained enough vigor to control other types of Kashayas. As such, he cannot resort to restrained life, even though he desires to adopt it. He gets involved in different activities as destined by his operative Karmas, bu t does not develop attachment for the same. He feels sad for the recurring embodiment and his sole aspiration is to go ahead on the path of liberation. In case, he happens to forsake this right perception on any account, he falls from this stage and goes back to the second stage.
FIFTH STAGE: As the aspirant advances on the path of liberation, he arrives at the fifth stage. From this stage, he starts loosening bondage of deluded behavior. He has now developed more vigor and gained capability to overcome Apratyakhyanavaraniya Kasha ya. He therefore resorts to partial restraints. This stage is called Deshvirati Samyag or the stage of right perception and partial restraints. At this stage, he adopts 12 main Vratas of laymen which have been described in chapter 12. His behavior now rem ains more or less restrained and he continues to strive for the fully restrained life.
SIXTH STAGE: As the aspirant continues to shake off the bondage, he reaches the sixth stage known as Sarva Virati meaning the stage of full restraint. His vigor is now in high gear. He therefore overcomes Pratyakhyanavaraniya Kashaya as well. He is n ow in control of all Kashayas excepting the subtle Kashayas. He has also developed capability to give up the worldly life and stays free from all sorts of mundane attachment. He has however not gained full alertness and is therefore subject to minor pitfa lls. This is due to Pramaad or indolence in which he is still likely to get indulged. On such occasions he gets overcome by Sanjwalan Kashaya. Not being in full control of Pramaad, this stage is also known as Pramatta Virati Gunasthan. Aspirants at this stage are considered fit to preach.
SEVENTH STAGE: Trying to control indolence, the aspirant reaches this stage known as Apramatta or no indolence stage. Subtle anger of the Sanjwalan category comes under control at this stage. But other Sanjwalan Kashayas also known as Samparay Kashayas st ill continue to have hold over him. This is not a steady stage. At times the aspirant gets overcome with indolence and reverts to the 6th stage. As he becomes conscious of it, he tries to overcome his indolence and gets back to the 7th stage. This movemen t from 6th to 7th and 7th to 6th is likely to continue long. If the aspirant does not happen to fall further below, he eventually achieves irreversible control over indolence and reaches the next stage.
EIGHTH STAGE: Path of liberation consists of the unity of right perception, right knowledge and right behavior. Right perception is gained at the 4th stage and right knowledge comes along with the right perception. From 5th onwards, the aspirant tries to control defilements so as to gain right behavior. By the end of the 7th stage, he has started controlling very subtle defilement that he has never done before. This stage is therefore called Apurvakaran or the unprecedented stage. It is very hard to reach this stage and very few aspirants have ever attained it.. The ascent from this stage is quick. All sorts of ego which is very subtle form of Maan come under control at this stage. The aspirant is now capable to undertake the highest form of meditation kn own as Shukladhyan. With the aid of that meditation the aspirant can rapidly rise to the next two stages.
NINTH STAGE: This is known as Anivritti Badar. Badar means gross. Since we are now dealing with very subtle defilements, question may arise how the subtle Samparay Kashaya can be gross. But the word Badar is used here in relative terms indicating that def ilement at this stage is gross as compared to the one in the next stage. At this stage the aspirant gains control over very subtle form of Maya and also he reaches above the sense of being male or female. Remaining Nokashayas and wholesome attachment whic h can be termed as subtle Lobha still continue at this stage.
TENTH STAGE: This stage is known as Sukshma Samparay. Sukshma means subtle. The aspirant has now reached a still subtle stage. All the Nokashayas and visible defilements come to an end at this stage. Even the subtle attachment now remain under control. The aspirants reaching this stage are of two categories and they proceed to two different levels. Those who have come along progressively pacifying the defilements go to the next stage, while others skip that stage.
ELEVENTH STAGE: This is known as Upashanta Moha meaning the stage where delusion has been fully pacified. This ascent is called Upasham Shreni or the line of pacification. The defilements of such aspirants happen to be pacified but have not been destroyed . With the loss of alertness they get subjected to defilements and fall back. If they do not get vigilant enough of rearising defilements, they can fall up to the second stage. They can of course rise again by reasserting the alertness and progressively destroying the defilements.
TWELFTH STAGE: This stage is known as Kshina Moha meaning the stage where the delusion has been totally destroyed. Aspirants reaching this stage have not therefore to revert to the lower stage. Now they have to get rid of the rest of the Ghatiya Karmas wh ich happen to be subtle Darshanavaraniya (Perception obscuring), Jnanavaraniya (Enlightenment obscuring) and Antaray(Obstructing) Karmas. This is usually done in a short time. The aspirant then reaches the next stage.
THIRTEENTH STAGE: This is the stage of omniscience or Kevaljnan. Since no Ghatiya Karma survives at this stage, the entity attains full enlightenment and is known as Kevali. Such entities are endowed with infinite perception, infinite knowledge, infinite bliss and infinite vigor. These four aspects are known as Anant Chatushthaya. These entities are called Arihantas whom we offer obeisance in the first line of Navakar Mantra. They continue to remain embodied as long as Aghatiya Karmas stay with them. But being fully enlightened and devoid of any attachment, they do not incur new bondage of Karma.
FOURTEENTH STAGE: If Aghatiya Karmas also terminate simultaneously with the Ghatiya ones, the Arihantas instantly leave the embodiment and attain the 14th stage of Siddha. Such entities are known as Antahkrit Kevalis. The rest of Kevalis spend the rem aining part of their lives teaching religion and in the end they attain the Siddha stage. This is known as liberation that has been described in the last chapter. By its inherent property, the liberated soul rises and in no time reaches the top of Lokakas h which is also known as Sidhashila. There being no Dharmastikaya beyond this point, the soul stops there. This stage is irreversible. The liberated soul therefore has not to revert and stays in eternal bliss forever.
Syadvad is the most significant contribution of Jainism to the human society. The term Syat means relatively probable and Vad means Ism or method of presentation. Thus Syadavd literally means the method of examining different probabilities. Every one kno ws that lot of disputes arise on account of difference of opinions. People generally believe that whatever they think is right. They therefore tend to oppose any view that does not agree with theirs. Even a slight analysis of such disputes would indicate that there might be partial truth in the apparrently opposing views and the parties to the dispute might be merely stressing their views from different angles.
Everything in the world is multi-propertied. For instance, sugar is white, sweet, granular etc. Now if a person simply states that sugar is sweet, he is not wrong. He has however mentioned only one property of sugar. His statement is therefore a partial t ruth, not the whole truth. If another person states that sugar is white, he also states partial truth. The properties of sugar are universally known and there is hardly any possibility for a person to pick up dispute about its properties. But to a person, who has simply seen sugar but has never tasted it and has not otherwise known about its sweetness, the statement of sugar being sweet makes no sense. For him, sugar is white and granular. There arises therefore a hypothetical probability of his disputing the sweetness of sugar until someone brings sugar and asks him to taste it.
Real disputes arise in the case of substances having variable properties. For instance, grapes may be green. red or black. Any one of these colors signifies the simultaneous nonexistence of other colors. Therefore any one who has seen only green grapes, w ould dispute the existence of red or black grapes. We can also visualize disputes about grapes being seeded or seedless. People normally do not pick up disputes on such scores, because they do not happen to hold strong views about them. They usually tend to ignore such differences. On ideological issues like capitalism vs. communism or ephemeral vs. everlasting nature of soul, however, people generally hold very strong views. Since such views happen to be diametrically opposite, such people cannot tolerat e the differing views. Let us take the case of soul. Vedant believes in eternal, immutable, indestructible soul; while Buddhism believes it to be ephemeral, ever-changing, destructible. Each of them would insist that it is right and anything to the contra ry is wrong and irreligious. Now, science states that no substance is entirely destructible. Since soul is also a substance, obviously it is eternal and indestructible. On the other hand, every substance undergoes changes in its states. States of the soul also undergo changes. The state of a person, when overcome with defilements, is totally different from the one when he is equanimous. Every change means destruction of earlier state and emergence of the new one. Thus in terms of changing states, soul is ephemeral and destructible. Syadvad would therefore state that the views of Vedanta as well as Buddhism express partial truth and not the whole truth. It would exhort both of them to admit the partial truth of the other. The dispute over such issues can t hus be easily averted by resorting to Syadvad.
Much criticism has been levelled against Syadvad by other schools of thought. It has been labelled as the ism of uncertainty and as the theory of avoiding the issues. All such accusations are however ill based. Syadvad does not give rise to any uncertain ty. It rightly states that every view, every aspect can have some truth and therefore partial justification. One may state that Mahavir was son of Siddhartha, another may state that he was the son of Trishala, the third may state that he was the nephew of Suparshwa, the fourth may state that he was the brother of Nandivardhan and so on. None of these statements is incorrect. All of them have been made, keeping in view some particular relation of the Lord with a specific person. It would therefore be futil e for any one to deny any of those statements. None of them however singly presents the complete truth about the relations of the Lord. Real truth is the sumtotal of all such statements. The Syadvad states that every statement can have some truth. We have simply to examine it from some specific standpoint. It endeavors to find the relative truth of seemingly opposite views and would like to give justice to the respective view to the extent concerned. It is the Jain theory of relativity propounded at least 2500 years back. This justification of different views from the respective perspective is also known as Anekantvad.
Making any statement from one single view point is known in Jain traditions as Naya. The term literally means to lead. Naya therefore means leading to a truth from a particular view point. There could be as many Nayas as there are view points. Broadly, ho wever, they can be classified in two categories. Those relating to substantial aspect are known as substantial or Dravyarthic Naya and those relating to changing aspects are known as Subjective or Paryayarthic Naya. The statement of the soul being eternal has been made from Dravyarthic Naya; and that of its being ephemeral has been made from Paryayarthic Naya. These two main categories are subdivided into seven sub-categories. Each of these seven Nayas is supposed to present partial truth of any phenomeno n expressed from a particular angle. Significance of this method lies in the fact that it leads to tolerance of differing views. Students of history are aware of the havoc perpetrated on account of intolerance. How much blood has been spilled all over the world, simply because people in power could not appreciate the differing views of others? Paradoxically enough, this was mostly done in the name of religion. It was conveniently forgotten that tolerance is the essence of religion. If they had learnt Syad vad, they could have accepted at least the partial truth of the differing views and avoided the bloodshed.
Jainism does not stop with the admittance of different views. Its objective is to arrive at the complete truth, the absolute truth. This cannot be done without considering each and every view point. If one fails to consider the truth of any single view, h e cannot hit upon the complete truth, By Syadvad Jainism tries to give appropriate justice to all the views of any phenomenon and eventually to derive unequivocal, indisputable truth. This can also be termed as arriving at final truth on the basis of all partial truths. For instance, after examining the different views about the soul, Jainism would state that the soul, as a substance, is eternal but its states undergo changes from time to time. Thus, instead of leading to uncertainty or doubts, Syadavd he lps in leading us to the ultimate certainty, where there is absolutely no scope for any doubt. It is the process of arriving at Ekant truth through Anekant truths.
Jain scriptures are popularly known as Aagamas. The term means what comes out (from the mouth of the Lord). It is generally accepted that whatever Lord Mahavir taught after gaining omniscience, was compiled by His Ganadharas in 12 parts, Sanskrit word for part is Anga. These 12 compilations are therefore called as 12 Angas and are collectively known as Dwadashangi. The foremost of these Angas is Aacharang Sutra. Other well known Angas are Sutrakritang, Samavayang, Sthanang and Vyakhya Pragnapti which is more popularly known as Bhagavati Sutra. Based on these Angas, the seers also compiled 12 auxiliary works that came to be known as Upangas. These 24 compilations should have been completed by the time of Jambuswami who was the second successor of the reli gious order set up by Lord Mahavir and also was the last omniscient of the current time cycle.
It should be noted that these Angas and Upangas were not written for a long time. They were orally passed on by the preceptors to their pupils. Memory of the omniscient being infallible, they could have been retained in the original form up to the time of Jambuswami. Immediate successors of Jamuswami were known as Shrut Kevalis meaning that they knew all Angas and Upangs thoroughly well. During their time, however some variations seem to have crept in, since Samavayang and Nandisutra indicate some varying versions of Sutras. Shrut Kevalis and other prominent Acharyas also prepared subsidiary works known as Mul Sutras, Chhed Sutras etc. which were considered authorized versions of the Lord’s teaching. Dashvaikalik, Uttaradhyayan and Avasyak are the most we ll known Sutras belonging to this category. By the time of Bhadrabahuswami who was the last Shrut Kevali, there came to be quite a few compilations that were admitted as Aagamas. They were written in Ardhamagadhi which was the language understood in the a rea where Lord Mahavir went about during His life.
About 160 years after the Lord’s departure, when Bhadrabahuswami was the head of religious order and Nand dynasty was ruling over Magadha, Pataliputra, the capital city became the center of learning and knowledge. That time, there occurred a severe famine that seems to have raged for 12 long years. During that period of shortage and scarcity, it was hard for Jain monks to observe the code of conduct laid down by the Lord. Bhadrabahuswami therefore decided to migrate to south along with many followers. (Ac cording to another version, he went to Nepal.) For those who stayed behind, it was hard to remember accurately whatever they had learnt. Hence there came about varying versions of Aagamas. Condition might have reached a chaotic stage. A convention was th erefore called at Patliputra under the leadership of venerable Sthulibhadra, who was the principal disciple of Bhadrabahuswami. That convention prepared uniform version of all the Aagamas. In Jain traditions this is known as the first Vachana of Aagamas.
The version so prepared was however not found acceptable to most of those who had migrated to south. They considered the version unauthentic and contended that the original Aagamas had got lost. This was the first major cleavage among the followers of Lor d Mahavir. In this connection it would be interesting to dwell a little in the background of this cleavage. When the Lord renounced the worldly life, he seems to have retained a single cloth to cover His body. During the first year of His renounced life, that cloth seems to have been worn, torn or entangled in thicket somewhere. After that He did not care to get another one. For the rest of life He therefore stayed without clothes. The immediate followers that He got after omniscience were also presumabl y unclad. Later on, followers of Parshwa traditions acknowledged His leadership. They were covering their bodies with two pieces of cloth. While admitting them in His fold, the Lord does not seem to have objected to their being clad. Thus His Sangha cons tituted clad as well as unclad monks amicably staying together. The amity between these two however might not have survived after the age of omniscients. Though there was no open dispute, there could have been some misunderstanding and unfriendliness betw een these two groups.
Venerable Sthulibhadra and most of those who stayed in north used to cover their bodies with plain, white cloth; while those who had migrated with Bhadrabahuswami were mostly unclad. With the open cleavage on the authenticity of the Aagamas. the latter to ok pride in their being true unclad followers of the Lord and in due course came to be known as Digamabars which means skyclad. Those on the other side came to be known as Shwetamabars on account of white cloth that they wore. The history of the Aagamas f rom that time onwards thus takes two different courses.
Even after Patliputra convention, Aagamas remained unwritten and continued to be passed on orally from preceptor to pupil. Memorizing must have taken its own toll. Moreover with the fall of Mauryan dynasty in 150 B.C., Patliputra ceased to be the main cen ter of Jainism, because Mitra dynasty that took over, was not favorably inclined to it. There was therefore large scale migration of Jain monks and laymen towards Udaygiri(Near present Bhuvaneshwar) in the south-east and towards Mathura in the west. All t hese factors contributed once again to variations in the version of Sutras. By the end of the first century, most probably in 97 A.D., another convention was called at Mathura under the leadership of Hon’ble Skandilacharya. Curiously enough, another conv ention was simultaneously held at Valabhipur in Saurashtra under the leadership of Hon’ble Nagarjunacharya. There were some differences in the versions arrived at the two conventions. We are not exactly sure whether any attempt was made to reconcile the v arying versions. Any way, this is called second Vachana of the Aagamas.
That time too, the Aagamas remained unwritten. Variations in the version were therefore bound to occur. Ultimately one more convention was held at Valabhipur in 454 A.D. under the leadership Devardhigani Khshamashraman. Authorized version of all the Aagam as (Presumably 84) was prepared at that convention and they were for the first time written down. With the passage of time some of the Aagamas got lost and some got destroyed during Muslim invasions. At present following 45 Aagamas are available that are acceptable to Shwetambar Murtipujak sect:- 11 Angas(The 12th one lost long back), 12 Upangas, 4 Mul Sutras, 6 Chhed Sutras, 10 Misc. and 2 Chulikas.
Digambars started writing their text of Aagamas on the basis of knowledge at their command. Acharyas Dharsen and Gundhar who happened to be in the line of Bhadrabahuswami, were very knowledgeable. Their successors prepared the Shatkhandagam, Gomatasar, Labdhisar etc. that are collectively known as Pratham Shrut Skandha or the first collection of scriptures.
This could have occurred some time after the Patliputra convention. During the second century A.D. the most venerable Kundkunacharya wrote Samayasar, Pravachanasar, Niyamasar, Panchastikaya, Ashtapahud etc. which are known as Dwitiya Shrut Skandha or seco nd collection of scriptures. His Samayasar, Pravachanasar and Panchastikaya are held in high esteem even by Non-Digamabars. Digambar saints accept these works as the most authentic Jain Aagamas and most of the subsequent Digamabar literature is based on t hem. In about 200 A.D. Hon’ble Umaswati wrote his Tattwarthasutra giving the entire essence of Jainism in Sanskrit language. Luckily this book happens to be acceptable to all the sects of Jainism. This shows that despite the outward differences, there is no disputes among them about any of its fundamentals. Several learned commentaries have been written on this book by many Acharyas of both the denominations.
Subsequent well known author is Hon’ble Siddhasen Diwakar who lived during the time of Vikramaditya. He seems to have written on many aspects of Jainism. His Sanmatitark is considered a masterly book and is enthusiastically studied by scholars even at pre sent. Sarvartha Siddhi of Pujyapadswami in 5th or 6th century and Shaddarshan Samucchaya and Yoga Drishti Samucchaya of Acharya Haribhadrasuri in 8th century are the major works after the compilations of Aagamas. By that time idol worship was firmly estab lished and many temples were set up. This necessitated the help of well versed persons for consecrating the idols and for performance of various rituals. In Shwetambar sect this led to the rise of renegade monks known as Yatis. They used to stay in the te mples and therefore came to be known as Chaityavasis. They lived in affluence and availed of all the comforts of life. Haribhadrasuri was the first to castigate their excesses. The evil however seems to have continued long after that.
Noteworthy works after this period are Mahapuran of Digambar Acharya Jinsen (770-850) and Trishashti Shalaka Purush of Hemchandracharya (1088-1173). Both these works are voluminous and deal with the lives of Tirthankaras and other illustrious personalities . Serious efforts were made to curtail the excesses of Yatis in 11th century by Vardhamansuri. This was continued by his successors Jineshwarsuri and Jindattasuri. The latter is popularly known as Dada. He founded Kharatar Gacchha meaning purer sect in about 1150. The excesses Yati however seems to have survived that onslaught.
So far we have talked about contribution of well known Acharyas. Now we come to the contribution of a householder. He was Lonkashah of Ahmedabad. He could not believe that the excesses of Yatis could have religious sanction. Scriptures were however not a ccessible to householders. Luckily, a monk once happened to see the neat handwriting of Lonkashah. He therefore entrusted the latter to make copies of scriptures. While doing that Lonkashah also prepared copies for himself and studied them carefully. Equi pped with that knowledge he came out with a heavy hand against Chaityavasis in 1451. Based on his study of Aagamas, he also disputed idol worship as being against original Jain tenets. This was preamble to setting up Sthanakwasi sect which came into being as non-idol worshippers in 1474. Bhanajimuni was the first known Muni of that sect. Shwetambar sect was thus divided into two sub-sects. This division was however helpful in dealing death blow to the evils of Yatis. Sthanakwasis introduced strict code o f conduct for their monks in contrast to Chaitywasis.
Hirvijayasuri was the well known Acharya of the next century. He seems to have impressed even emperor Akabar who issued proclamation forbidding animal slaughter on certain days. Poet Banarasidas also lived during that period. He was born in a Shwetambar f amily and was an easy going youth. He however happened to read Samayasar and was very much impressed. He has written SamayasarNatak which is a dramatic version of Samayasar. The next two well known personalities are Yogi Ananadghanji and Upadhyaya Yashovi jayaji. The real name of the former was Labhanandji. Since he remained more absorbed in the nature of soul, he is popularly known as Anandghanji. He has written many thought provoking Padas. The most well known is his Ananadghan Chovisi that contains devo tional songs in admiration of all the 24 Tirthankaras. Upadhyaya Yashovijayaji was a prolific writer. He has written on almost every aspect of Jainism in Sanskrit, Prakrit and Gujarati languages. Soon after that Acharya Bhikshu split the Sthanakvasi sect in 1727 on the issue of role of charities etc. in Jainism. The new sect that was set up is known as Terapanthi sect.
The last one to be mentioned is Shrimad Rajchandraji who was born in 1868. He was a highly gifted person. He could heavily impress even Mahatma Gandhi, who considered Shrimad as his guide. He has compiled many devotional songs and has written at length ab out the true nature of soul in the form of letters. Most of his writings is in Gujarati language. Mokshamala and Atmasiddhishastra are his outshining independent publications that have influenced lot of people. He had plans to propound the true Jainism af resh. Unfortunately however he did not survive long and left the mortal body in 1901 at the young age of 33.
Aacharang: Name of the first Jain Aagama
Aagama: Jain scripture
Aavashyak Sutra: Name of an auxiliary essential scripture
Aayu: Life span
Achakshudarshan: Perception beyond eyesight
Adharma: Absence of religion; One of the six basic substances
Adharmastikaya: One of the six basic substances
Age regression: Reverting to earlier behavior pattern
Aghatiya: Karma that does not hurt soul
Akam Nirjara: Unplanned dripping of Karma
Akendriya: One sensed bodies
Alokakash: Empty space
Anand: Bliss, pleasure
Anantanubandhi: Bondage of apparently endless duration
Anant Chatushthaya: Infinite knowledge, perception, action and vigor
Anashan: Not to eat
Anekanta Vad: Multiplicity of view points
Anga: Part; any of the first 12 Aagamas
Anivratti Badar: 9th stage of elevation
Antahkrit Kevali: One attaining omniscience and liberation simultaneously
Antaraya: Obstructing Karmas; obstruction
Anuvrata: Minor restraint
Apkaya: Hydraulic bodies
Apramatta Virat: Restraint without indolence; 7th stage of elevation
Apratyakhyanavaraniya: Defilements uncontrollable by vows
Apurvakaran: Unprecedented performance; 8th stage of
Arihant: One who has overcome internal enemies; Omniscient
Ashatavedaniya: Situations bearable with pain
Ashrav: Inflow of Karma
Ashta Karma: Eight types of Karmas
Asrav: Inflow of Karma
Astikaya: What occupies more than one Pradesh
Avadhidarshan: Limited extrasensory perception
Avadhijnana: Limited extrasensory knowledge
Avirat(i) Samyag: Right perception without restraint; 4th stage of elevation
Ayogi Kevali: Unembodied omniscient; 14th stage of elevation
Bhagavati Sutra: Name of an original Aagama
Bhogantaraya: Karma that obstructs utilization of consumables
Buddhism: Religion of Lord Buddha
Chaityavasi: Renegade monks who used to live in temples
Chakshudarshan: Perception with eyes
Charitra: Behavior; conduct; practice
Charitra Mohaniya: Karma causing deluded behavior
Chaturendriya: Four sensed beings
Chhakaya: Sixfold division of all beings
Chhed Sutra: Name given to a class of subsidiary Aagamas
Chidanand: Blissful consciousness
Danantaraya: Karma that obstructs charity
Darshan Mohaniya: Karma causing deluded perception
Dashavaikalik: Name of a prominent auxiliary Aagama
Defiling: One that spoils or pollutes
Desh Virati: Partly restrained; 5th stage of elevation
Dharma: Religion; one of the six basic substances
Dharmastikaya: One of the six basic substances
Digambar: Without clothes; name of a Jain sect
Discretion: Exercising wisdom
Dravyarthic Naya: Substantial viewpoint
Dwadashangi: Collective term for 12 Angas
Dweendriya: Two sensed beings
Ekanta: Singular or one-sided view point
Embodiment: Having physical body
Ephemeral: Temporary; transitory
Equanimity: Perfect balance of mind
Ganadhar: Principal disciple of Tirthankara
Gati: State of (Divine,human, animal or infernal) existence
Geeta: Name of the Hindu scripture
Ghatiya: Karma that hurts nature of soul
Gotra: Type of family
Guna: Characteristic; property
Gunasthanak: Stage of elevation
Gunavrat: Helpful restraint
Heya: What is to be avoided
Infernal: Pertaining to hell
Ishwar: Endowed with esteemable attributes
Jainism: Religion propounded by omniscients
Jiva: Living being; soul
Jnana: Knowledge; enlightenment
Jnanavaraniya: Knowledge obscuring Karma
Jnata: One who knows
Jneya: What is to be known
Karma: Impact of one’s action on Self
Karmabandha: Bondage of Karma
Karmayoga: Dispassionate activity
Keval Darshan: Omniperception
Keval Jnana: Omniscience
Knowability: Capacity to know
Kshamashraman: Forgiving saint
Koham: Who am I?
Krodh: Anger; enragement
Kshina Moha: Devoid of delusion; 12th stage of elevation
Labhantaraya: Karma that obstructs gain
Layman: House holder
Liberation: Ultimate salvation
Lokakash: Space that accommodates six Dravyas
Lobha: Greediness, covetousness
Maan: Ego; arrogance; vanity
Magadha: Present State of Bihar and adjoining territory
Mahabharat: Name of ancient Indian epic
Manahparyav Jnana: Capacity to read mind
Manahparyay Jnana: Capacity to read mind
Mati Jnana: Intellectual knowledge; intelligence
Maya: Deception; attachment
Mirage: Illusion of water
Mishra: Right and wrong perception mixed; 3rd stage of elevation
Mithyatva: Wrong perception and belief; 1st stage of elevation
Moksha: Liberation; salvation
Mokshamarg: Path of liberation
Muhurta: 48 minutes
Mukti: Liberation; emancipation
Mul Sutra: Name given to a class of auxiliary scriptures
Naam Karma: Physique determining Karma
Nav Tattva: Nine fundamentals
Naya: View point
Neti: Not this, not that etc.
Nirjara: Shaking off or dripping of Karmas
Omnipercipient: One who can perceive everything
Omnipotent: All powerful
Omniscience: Knowledge of every thing
Omniscient: One who knows every thing; Kevali
Operative: In force
Panchachar Sutra: Text dealing with fivefold code
Panchendriya: Five sensed beings
Pandavas: Sons of Pandu; five main characters of Mahabharat
Paapanubandhi Paap: Unwholesome Karmas leading to new unwholesome Karmas
Paapanubandhi Punya: Wholesome karmas leading to unwholesome ones
Paramanu: Infinitesimally minute particles of Pudgal
Paramatma: Supreme entity
Parochialism: Narrowness of mind or thought
Parshwa tradition: Tradition of Lord Parshwanath
Paryaya: Changing states
Paryayarthic Naya: View point that considers changing states
Paushadha: Practising the life of a monk
Phobia: Irrational persisting fear
Pradesh: Infinitesimal area
Prarabdha: Destiny determined by previous Karma
Pramad: Indolence; care free attitude
Pramatta Virati: Restraint subject to indolence
Pratykhyanavaraniya: What can be avoided by taking vows
Prithwikaya: Earth bodies
Pudgal: Lifeless matter with form etc.
Pudgalastikaya: Lifeless matter with form etc.
Punya: Meritorious activity
Punyanubandhi Paap: Unwholesome Karma motivating wholesome ones
Punyanubandhi Punya: Wholesome Karma motivating wholesome ones
Purush: Embodied person or entity
Purusharth: Hard endeavor
Ruchak Pradesh: Region of soul not subject to bondage
Sagaropam: Comparable to ocean, inconceivably long period
Sahajanand: Bliss at ease
Sahavo: Nature; property
Sakam Nirjara: Planned eradication of Karma
Samaya: Infinitesimal part of a second
Samayasar: Name of a well known book by Kundkundacharya
Samavayang: Name of an original Aagama
Samyag Darshan: Right perception
Samyag Jnana: Right knowledge; enlightenment
Samyak Charitra: Right action or behavior
Samyaktrayi: Right perception, knowledge and action
Samyaktva: Right conviction
Sanchit Karma: Accumulated Karma
Sangha: Religious order
Sanjwalan: Very subtle
Sankhya: Religious philosophy believing in immutable soul
Sarva Virati: Fully restrained; 6th stage of elevation
Saswadan: Having taste of previous experience; 2nd stage of elevation
Sat: That which exists forever
Sayogi Kevali: Embodied omniscient; 13th stage of elevation
Sensuous: Pertaining to senses
Shad Darshan: Six schools of thought
Shad Dravya: Six basic substances
Shatavedaniya: Pleasurable situations
Shikshavrat: Disciplinary restraint
Shraman: Jain or Buddhist monk
Shrut Kevali: Knowing all scriptures
Shrut Jnana: Religious books; knowledge gained by studying
Shrut Skandha: Collection of scriptures
Shwetambar: Whiteclad; name of a Jain sect
Siddhashila: Abode of liberated ones
Skandha: Combination of Paramanus
Soham: I am the soul
Sthanakwasi: Non-idolator Jain sect
Sthavar: Immobile beings
Sthiti: Duration of bondage
Sukshma Samparay: Very subtle Kashaya; 10th stage of elevation
Sutra Kritang: Name of an original Aagama
Syat: May be possible
Tapachar: Code of austerity
Tattvartha Sutra: Name of a book acceptable to all Jains
Terapanth: Name of a Sthanakwasi sect
Teukaya: Light bodies
Trasa: Mobile beings
Treendriya: Three sensed beings
Uday Karma: Operative Karma
Udirana: Curtailing the duration of Karma
Unembodied: Bodiless soul
Upabhogantaraya: Karma obstructing use of non-consumables
Upasham Shreni: Line of pacification
Upashant Moha: Pacified delusion; 11th stage of elevation
Upayog: Attentiveness; vigilance; awareness
Uttaradhyayan Name of a prominent Aagama
Vachana: Reediting of Aagamas at religious convention
Vad: Ism; school of thought
Vaidic: Pertaining to Vedas
Vanaspatikaya: Plant bodies
Vartaman Karma: Present Karma
Vatthu: Any thing
Vaukaya: Gaseous bodies
Vedaniya: What has to be undergone
Vedant: Scriptures based on Vedas
Viryantaraya: Karma that obstructs vigor
Yati: Renegade monk
Yog: Coming together