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Ganadhara

Up-pravartak
Shri Amar Muni

THE SEVENTH GANADHARA: MAURYAPUTRAARE

THERE REALLY CELESTIAL BEINGS?

The seventh Ganadhar, Mauryaputra arrived. His doubt was "whether the deities and the heaven exist or not". The Bhagavan says to him,

(indian writing pg 119 angie)

Because you have found these two kinds of contradictory Vedic statements, you have entertained the doubt whether deities (celestial beings) exist or not? 'Who has seen the deities who are like magical and mesmeric beings?' In other words, from the first Vedic statement one seems to feel that there are no deities and no heaven. The second Vedic statement says "those who have performed yajnas (sacrifices) attain heaven; because yajnas work as weapon and they tear off the cover of sins." From this statement, you get the idea that heavenly beings do exist.

The absence of heavenly beings is assumed because the inhabitants of hell being dependent cannot come to this world; but heavenly beings are deemed to be free and independent to come to this world, so if they really exist why do they not come here?' Since they do not come, this shows their absence.

But these are the proofs of the existence of heavenly beings:

1. Here in the samavasaran (the preaching-castle), the celestial beings are directly visualized.

2. The jyotish-vimans (planes) are a locality, and so like a mansion, they must be the abode, the residence of some beings. These residents are a class of heavenly beings. These abodes are called vimans (Planes) because the vimans are studded with gems and they regularly travel through the sky in a fixed manner. Winds, clouds, a ball of fire etc. are not made of gems. So they are not the residence of any beings.

Question: Why should we not call it an illusory structure?

Answer If you believe them to be illusory, even then the heavenly beings are proved to exist. Who can construct such illusory things! This kind of construction is beyond the capacity of human beings.

3. Just as jivas experience the fruits of an intense kind of sins committed by them on going to hell; similarly 'who are to experience the fruit of the loftiest kind of punya (good deeds?) Say, only deities. Man whose body is made up of foul smelling substances and who is subject to the afflictions of old age and disease, cannot be called the enjoyer of the supreme kind of felicity.

4. Even from the statements made by those who remember their previous births, the existence of heavenly beings is proved just as we can get knowledge of the countries and the people and places from the travellers who visited those countries.

5. Our aspirations are fulfilled by means of the adoration of Vidya-Mantra. That happens only by the grace of heavenly beings, just as a king's servants' aspirations are fulfilled by the grace of that king.

6. Sometimes some human beings speak in a strange manner or make strange actions. They do not speak or act thus when they are in a normal condition. So it must be be accepted that this kind of impossible like distortion takes place because of the entrance of a deity (heavenly being) into that human body. Just as a mechanical vehicle going at a normal speed in a particular direction, when takes a strange turn, and when it so happens there is the inference that 'not the machine itself, but the person sitting in it has brought about the change'. In the same manner, a heavenly being that captures a human body makes the human being act in an abnormal manner.

7. Sometimes, miracles occur in temples. Human beings get special dreams, they get special revelations. All these things prove the existence of heavenly beings, who impel them.

8. The word 'deity' is a pure word with a clear etymological derivation. Therefore, it is necessarily meaningful. The deity denoted by this 'Dev' word must exist.

Question: The word 'deity' can be applied to a very affluent person possessing a lot of paraphernelia. He can be called a deity. Is that not so? We say to someone "Friend see! he is like a deity".

Answer: First, a word denotes prominently an existent object. Then this word is subordinately used elsewhere for attributive denotation; and it is a duplicate of the basic thing. If the denoted subject of the basic word itself is not existent at all, how can there be an attributive simile? Since a lion exists, we say a brave and courageous man a 'lion-man' 'narsimha' that is a man like a lion.

`Dev, `Amar, `Girvan, `Divaukas', etc. are independent alternative names, other words. They are not for mortals but for deities. If deities were there such austerities as penance and benevolence etc. become fruitless! If there are no deities, the Vedic statements that mentioned `soma', `yama', `suraguru' etc. and the vedic statements inviting the heavenly beings like Indra, will have no meaning at all.

The Reasons why Celestial beings do not come here:

1. The transition of divine love;

2. Divine sensual cravings and attachments;

3. Infinite divine duties (like a polite person absorbed in some extraordinary duties and endeavours);

4. Independent duties liek those of men (like a yati who has renounced wordly life );

5. The unbearable smell of the human world.

Yet the Reasons for the coming of Deities: Here

1. The celebration of the JIN KALYANAK SAMAROH (celebration of crucial events of the Tirthankar);

2. Removal of doubts:

3. Deep attachment for some one;

4. The fulfilment of a promise to carry out awakening etc.;

5. Enmity;

6. Curiosity;

7. The attraction of the spiritual strength of a Mahatma;

8. The spreading of Mahatma's glory;

9. Bestowing grace on friends or children;

10.Testing sadhus etc.

For these reasons, deities come to this world. The introduction of deities as being 'illusory' is to indicate that if even divine prosperity is transitory, what to talk of human prosperity why should we indulge in their deep attachment?

This explanation cleared the doubt of Mauryaputra and he accepted the Charitra-diksa at the feet of Shri Mahavir Bhagavan with his three hundred and fifty pupils.