|Handbook of Jainism||
FIRST STAGE OF DEVELOPMENT
In the state before development commences, the life is an indefinite life; the false beliefs are of an indefinite kind; they have not taken any shape; whereas the false beliefs of beings whose development has advanced in the first stage are shaped and definite; certain view are held on certain subjects.
In the early stages of this first stage the person has an intense dislike of truth. When the truth is presented to him he does not believe it at all, nor will he have anything to do with it.
In these stages of development the relation is given between the energies of the eight classes and the impelling forces which cause them.
Delusion (mithyatva), lack of self-control (avirati), passion (kasaya), lack of other activities of thought, speech, and body (yoga), - the four "causes" mentioned above - are all operative in this first stage of development, and so, out of the whole list of energies that can be generated, we may in this stage generate anyone (except the one by which a person becomes a master, or those which give us the body (aharaka sarira) used for visiting a higher being. Thus, in this stage of development we are liable to generate such undesirable states and characteristics as life in hell, life as a being with only one, two, three, or four, instead of with five senses; life as a tree or other stationary being; life as an invisibly minute being (not nigoda); life as a being having a body in common with innumerable other beings (such as a potato); also the neuter sex passion; delusion (mithyatva); and a few (four) others. These states are not generated in the stages of development above the first, however. To avoid them we must stop the cause (mithyatva).
The four instrumental causes of these energies were sub-divided, and there were five sub-divisions of the first. These do not operate in any stage above this first stage of development; they are controlled by the mind.
It is, therefore, important to know how to get out of this first stage of development; and also, if we are out of it, how to prevent ourselves from falling back into it; for these stages are, as already mentioned, in logical order but not in chronological order, and it is possible to fall into a lower one from a higher one until we reach the 12th whence we do not fall to a lower one.
Before dealing with the means of reaching the stages above this first stage of development, the second and the third stages each being of only a few moments duration, may first be described.