The ceaseless activity of the samsari soul, while responsible for its ever-renewing bondage, is also the cause of its constantly changing circumstances. As new particles
of matter flow into the Karma sarira, they ceaselessly modify its constitution, ejecting and displacing those already there.
In this respect the Karma sarira resembles the surface of a pond fed by a channel in which the processes of inflow and evaporation of water are constantly going on. This mechanical process of 'evaporation' of karmas is called savipaka nirjara, which means the removal of matter from the Karma sarira in the ordinary course of things. The other kind, called avipaka, is the process of the removal of matter, and the consequent destruction of karmic energies, by individual exertion; and it is this second kind of nirjara which is the direct cause of Moksha.
The avipaka nirjara consists in the performance of Tapa, which literally means heating. As pure gold can be easily separated from alloy by putting the impure compound on fire, so can a Jiva free himself from the various kinds of karmas by Tapa (asceticism). It should be born in mind that dependence on any outside agency for the removal of one's karmic bonds not only means so much time wasted, but is also fraught with the most harmful consequences. Our investigation into the nature of the bonds which hold us tight in their grip has revealed the fact that they arise only from our own desires, beliefs, passions and the like, and cannot be destroyed, by any possibility, so long as we do not obtain full control on our own actions. The training of the individual will, then, is the only way to salvation, and it is no exaggeration to say that no one who does not seriously take himself in hand has the least shadow of a chance of acquiring the freedom of Gods.
Tapa is of two kinds, bahya, and antaranga, the one signifying the controlling of body, and the other of mind. The former of these consists in the process of self- restraint, and is of the following six kinds:
(i) Anashana, or fasting, the frequent observance of which is well-calculated to purify the sense organs, on the one hand, and to lessen the sense of attachment to the objects of bodily enjoyment on the other.
(ii) Avamodarya, or the avoidance of full meals. The habitual practicing of this form of self-restraint would go a long way towards eradicating laziness from the system and would impart fresh energy to the mind.
(iii) Vrita parisankhyana, putting restrictions on begging for food, for instance, taking the vow that nothing would be eaten on a certain day unless it be given by a raja, or in golden vessels, and so forth.
(iv) Rasa parityaga, or abstaining from one or more of the six kinds of tasty articles of food, clarified butter, milk, Dahi (a kind of sour milk), sugar, salt and oil.
(v) Bibikta shayyasana or living in unfrequented places, away from the haunts of men; staying in unoccupied houses, and the like.
(vi) Kayaklesa, the practicing of bodily austerities such as remaining in the sun in summer, standing under a tree in rain, living on the bank of a river in winter, and the like. The object of kayaklesha is to get over the longing for bodily comfort, and to prepare the system to bear the inclemency's of seasons without disquietude of mind.
The practicing of these six forms of physical austerities is necessary for perfection in the antaranga Tapa, which is also of six kinds, viz.,
(1) Prayashchita, the doing of penance for faults committed through Pramad (laziness).
(2) Vinaya which is of four kinds, viz.,
(a) Darshan Vinaya, the establishing of mind in right belief, or faith, and showing respect to those who have such belief;
(b)Jnana Vinaya, observing due respect for those who are endowed with true wisdom, and the acquisition of Jnana;
(c) Charitra Vinaya, the observance of the rules of conduct becoming a layman and a Sadhu (anascetic), and the reverence of those who follow these rules; and
(d) Upachara- Vinaya, behaving with great respect towards the Scripture of truth, saints and holy personages.
(3) Vaiyavritya, serving and attending upon holy saints, and offering them food, books, and the like.
(4) Svadhyaya, or the acquisition and spreading of truth with energy. This is of five kinds, viz., (i) reading Scripture, (ii) questioning those more learned than oneself, (iii) meditation, (iv) testing the accuracy of one's own conclusions with those arrived at by great Acharyas, and (v) the preaching of truth to others.
(5) Vyutsarga, discrimination between the Atma and the body.
(6) Dhyana, or contemplation, i.e., the concentration of mind on some object, and, in the highest sense, on the Atma.
Of these six kinds of antarange Tapa, the last, called Dhyana, is the chief cause of Moksha, so that the remaining five forms of the internal and all the six of the physical austerities are only intended as preparatory steps for its practicing. It is to be observed that the desiring manes (mind) is an extremely swift rover, passing from object to object with the rapidity of thought, and the hardest thing to control. Unsteady, full of desires, constantly engrossed in sense-gratification, volatile and unaccustomed to restraint, it is the principal cause of disturbance in the purity of Dhyana, and capable of upsetting the determination of all but the most resolute ascetics of indomitable, iron will. The holy Acharyas have, therefore, laid down these scientific rules of austerity to bring this most intrepid enemy of mankind under the control of will, so as to enjoy undisturbed contemplation.
Apart from this the analysis of the attitude of pure contemplation would show that its attainment is compatible only with quiescence of body and mind both. Hence, they both must be taken in hand for ascetic training, and completely subjugated to the aspirant's will. It must be remembered that ascetics do not drop from the sky, but come from the class of laymen, so that when a layman is impressed with the truth of the continuity of life in the future, he begins to reflect on the circumstances of the soul in which it would find itself after the somatic death in this world. Meditation on the nature of the soul and other substances convinces him of the fact that the making or marring of his future is a thing which is entirely his own concern, and that as a sensible man he ought to live the life which is conducive to his spiritual good rather than the life of an animal engrossed in the enjoyment of senses.
Arrived at this conclusion, his mind longs to ascertain what others have said on the subject and to find out if his own conclusions are true. He then takes to the study of Scripture, which is the final authority on the subject. His faith in the Word of Truth increases with his insight into the nature of Tattvas, and he no longer ridicules the descriptions of things and events in the holy Sastras. His conduct also becomes characterized by purity of thought, speech and actions, and finally, when the longing for liberation from the bondage of samsara begins to actuate him intensely from within, he throws off the shackles of worldly attachment, and takes to Tapa. Thus, no one can become an ascetic without having first undergone the preparatory training enjoined on the laity, though owing to the fruition of Shubha (auspicious) karmas of a past life, or lives, the course of training may be considerably shortened in particular cases.
Thus, the spiritual training of the soul consists of two sets of rules, one of which apply to the laity and the other to those who have reached the state of Vairagya (renunciation of the world). The dynamic power which enables a man to persevere in the observance of these rules lies in the craving of the soul for liberation, and the craving itself is rooted in the knowledge that the life is samsara is full of pain and misery, and that the Atma, the true source of immortality and bliss, is to be freed from the bondage of sin before it can manifest its natural attributes in perfection. It must be conceded that so long as the soul depends on any outside agency for the attainment of the highest state of existence known as the status of the Siddha Atma, it only betrays its inner emptiness and negativity which are a sure sign of failure in the spiritual realm.
Of the rules prescribed for laymen and saints, those, suitable for the former are divided into twelve vrata (vows) and eleven pratimas, in addition to thirty-five minor directions for general conduct enjoined on every house- holder.
The layman must begin with the avoidance of the five aticharas (short-comings) of faith, namely, (i) entertainment of doubt after once being convinced of truth, (ii) desire to belong to another faith, (iii) beginning to doubt the efficacy of the Law (Dharma) in moments of suffering, (iv) praising hypocrites, and (v) constant association with those known to follow a wrong faith. This will enable him to observe the vows, which mark the first stage of Right Conduct. The twelve vows* are:--
(*The first five of these vows are called anu vrata (minor or less rigid vows), the next three guna vratas (guna = qualities) because they widen the scope of the five anu vratas; and the last four shiksha vratas (study vratas) because of their being helpful in study and meditation.)
(i) To refrain from killing and destroying. Killing means the forcible separation of the body of gross matter from the two other bodies, the Karma and the taijasa. It is forbidden, because it is the source of pain to the living being concerned, and also because it betrays ignorance of the nature of soul in the destroyer. Hinsa is the immediate cause of hard-heartedness, and leads to re-births in hells and to suffering and pain generally. This vow extends to all kinds of killing whether it be done for sport, science (vivisection), dress (skin, feathers, and the like), food, private revenge, religion (sacrifices), comfort (destruction of insects, and the like), as a punishment to evil doers (capital sentence), in self-defense, or for any other purpose. A king who fights in defending his empire, however, does not violate this vow, for his motive is to protect his subjects. The vow also extends to such acts as tying up animals too tightly, beating them mercilessly, cutting their limbs, overloading them or neglecting to feed them properly. Of the five types of living beings, the one-sensed and the like, a layman is forbidden to kill, or destroy, intentionally, all except the lowest (like one sensed, such as vegetables, herbs, cereals, etc., which are endowed with only the sense of touch).
(ii) Refraining from falsehood. This vow is transgressed by revealing the secrets of others, false speech, forgery, and the like.
(iii) Stealing or taking what is not freely given is the subject matter of the third vow. Selling goods not up to sample, employment of false weights and measures, adulteration, counterfeiting, receiving stolen property, employment or encouragement of thieves, and harboring dacoits are some of the forms of its transgression.
(iv) Refraining from indulgence in sex-passion. The Muni is naturally enjoined to practice complete control, since sex-passion is a great enemy of spiritual progress; but the layman only vows to restrict his carnal lust to his married spouse. Artificial gratification, encouraging others in sexual lust, looking lustfully at any woman other than one's own wife, use of aphrodisiac remedies when weak, and the like, constitute a transgression of this vow.
(v) Putting a limit on one's possessions. This is calculated to lessen the sense of power, pride, and the like.
(vi) Setting bounds to one's travels. This does not apply to a Muni, though he is required to avoid luxury in his traveling.
(vii) Limiting the number of articles of bhoga (those which can be enjoyed only once, such as food) and upabhoga (which can be enjoyed more than once, such as furniture, clothes, etc.). The object being the control of (nafs = lower nature), the layman should cheerfully place greater and greater restrictions on his senses, remembering always that the aim of life is the attainment of Moksha, but no the pursuit of sensual lust.
(viii) The eighth vow is designed to guard against unnecessary evil befalling others through one's carelessness. One should not hope that some evil should befall another, nor think evil of any one. One should take care not to let oil, milk and other liquid substances lying about uncovered, for flies and other insects get drowned in them and thereby suffer unnecessary pain and loss of life. One should keep as few weapons as possible. The encouraging of another in evil deeds is also prohibited. We should not also fear the loss of any of the good things we have-- wealth, friends, health, etc, etc., --nor imagine that conditions of poverty, disease, ill-luck, and the like are in store for us. Even undue anxiety to get rid of disease, poverty, and other undesirable conditions is to be avoided. The vow also condemns such deeds as rejoicing at the death of another to come into his property, or for one's own safety; giving gratuitous advice, lending dangerous weapons, such as guns, fishing tackle, and the like; sheer carelessness of thought, word, and action; drinking, meaningless chitchat, excessive sleep, talking about things which do not concern one, writing immoral books, selling evil medicines and poisons, buffoonery, abuse, lustful thoughts, sensuality, and all other like thoughts and deeds.
(ix) The Samayika vow. It consists in spending a certain amount of time at least once every day in a particular place, reading Scripture, praising the Master, recounting the merits of the Siddha Atma, repenting of evil deeds, and, in a general way, concentrating the mind on suitable, proper and holy objects of meditation.
(x) The tenth vow is a severer form of the sixth, and consists in limiting one's movements, at least once a year or so, to one room or, at the most, to one's house. This is transgressed by ordering things from beyond, or by transacting business outside the limits.
(xi) This vow is a severer form of the ninth. Prolonged meditation coupled with fasting is its characteristic. The layman should try to spend a whole day, four times in a month, in holy meditation, and should observe fasting on those days.
(xii) Sharing one's food with some holy monk, or a pious Sravaka (house-holder), and giving him presents of books and other useful articles at least once a year. This implies that one should also eat the same food as is offered to the guest.
In addition to these twelve, there is another vow, which a man on the point of death is expected to take. Its object is to be inferred from the following formula in which it is generally worded:
"I vow to abstain from food and drink and fruits and sopari (betel-nut) as long as I live."
Terrible and cruel as this last vow may appear to the uninitiated, it is the severest form of austerity, and, therefore, leads to the greatest prosperity in the next life. There is no idea of suicide involved in the operation of this vow, since it is only taken when the last remaining hope of life is given up. At that supreme moment of life, when fate may be said to be trembling in the balance, the successful carrying out of a terrible resolve like this is an ample guarantee of future happiness, for the exertion of will to adhere to its resolve, in the trying moments of a departing life, goes a long way to remove its negativity, and there by enables the soul to attain to the region of heavens where pain and misery are the least known.
We now come to the eleven pratimas, which may be described as follows:
(i) The worship of the true Deva (God, i.e., Tirthankara.) guru (preceptor) and shastra (Scripture), and the avoidance of gambling, meat- cutting, drinking (wine), adultery, hunting, thieving and debauchery.
(ii) The keeping of the vows, and the Samadhi marina (the last vow taken on death bed).
(iii) The observance of the Samayika vow at least three times a day.
(iv) The observance of the eleventh vow at least four times a month.
(v) Refraining from eating uncooked vegetables, plucking fruit from a tree, and the like.
(vi) Abstaining from taking food, etc., as well as from offering it to others after sunset (to avoid accidental destruction of animal life).
(vii) Sexual purity; even keeping away from the society of one's own wife, as much as possible, also not decorating ones person.
(viii) Abstaining from all kinds of occupations and trades.
(ix) Preparation for Sannyasa, which means withdrawing oneself still further from the world, dividing one's property among one's sons or heirs, or making over its management to some other member of the family, and otherwise generally training oneself to bear the hardships incidental to a life of asceticism.
(x) Practicing a still severer form of the last pratima --eating only what is permissible, and that only if offered at mealtimes and without special preparation; refraining even from giving advice on matters relating to family honor and business, and the like.
(xi) The complete renunciation of the house- holder's life, retiring into a forest and adopting the rules laid down for the guidance of Munis.
The thirty-five rules of good conduct enjoined on a
Jaina house- holder, are fully described in Mr. Warren's 'Jainism', and may be summed up as follows.
'He should earn his livelihood by honesty, and follow some kind of business, which should not be of an ignoble or degrading nature. He should not undertake to do more than he can perform. The layman should marry to avoid promiscuous indulgence. He should not commit any offence, and avoid deeds, which have evil consequences. He should respect wisdom and admire the wise. He should control his desires and passions. He should not live in dangerous or infected places, nor in a country where there is no adequate protection of life or property. He should walk in the footsteps of the wise and the spiritually advanced, and should not keep the company of bad persons. He should not build his house in a place altogether open or too much concealed. He should dress himself simply, and his expenses should be in proportion to his income. He should follow the customs of the locality where he resides unless they involve a violation of the rules of Dharma (religion). He should not eat such things as meat, nor take to intoxicants. He should not slander any body, especially the king. He should respect his parents, and avoid giving offence to others by his actions, maintaining and preserving those, dependent on him. He should live peacefully, respecting and serving the Master, the Preceptor, the guest and the deserving poor, and observing moderation in all things. He should sympathize with all, but avoid too much intimacy with any. With regard to the four objects of life-- Dharma (virtue), Artha (wealth), Kama (pleasure) and Moksha (salvation)--he should never allow the higher to be sacrificed for the sake of a lower one. He should daily read the Scripture and observe the rules of life, excelling in right conduct and aspiring to rise higher and higher every day. He should avoid obstinacy and develop a partiality for virtue. His attitude towards religion, philosophy, opinions and beliefs should be that of a critical student, and he should try to solve all the doubts that arise in his own mind'.
If the house- holder would carefully observe these thirty-five rules of conduct, he would come into the possession of the following twenty-one marks, which every true gentleman should possess. He would be serious in demeanor, clean as regards both his clothes and person, good-tempered, popular, merciful, afraid of sinning, straight foreword, wise, modest, kind, moderate, gentle, careful in speech, sociable, cautious, studious, reverent both to old age and ancient customs, humble, grateful, benevolent, and attentive to business.
By the time that the house- holder becomes steady in the observance of the above rules of conduct and pratimas he is qualified to become a Muni. The admission into the order of monks is accompanied by the impressive ceremony of Kaisha Alochana, which means the pulling out hair. Perhaps this was intended as a test of the true spirit of Vairagya, since the intensity of the feeling of disgust with a purely animal existence and the proper observance of the rules of conduct enjoined on a layman suffice, by themselves, to bring into manifestation, to a fairly appreciable extent, certain of the natural qualities of the soul which enable it to endure pain with a cheerful heart. The intoxicating rhythm of true joy, which is partially felt by a perfect house- holder, is one of such qualities, and suffices to make one immune to almost all kinds of bodily pain.
The Kaisha -Alochana over, the house- holder becomes a wanderer, possessing nothing, and dependent for his very subsistence on the charity of others. He may posses nothing of value-- neither clothes, nor metal, nor anything else. His conduct must be characterized by the highest degree of self- control, and he should perfect himself in righteousness, mercy, equanimity, renunciation, and all other auspicious qualities of a like nature. His object being the attainment of absolute freedom from the trammels of samsara, he neither pays any attention to the taunts or jibes of men, nor to the objects of senses, nor even to the embellishment of his own person. He aims at the perfection of the holiest form of Dhyana, the immediate cause of emancipation, and leaves all other things, such as the embellishment of his physical 'prison' and the like, to those who have no desire, or capacity, to realize the great Ideal of Immortality and Bliss. What the others say or think of him does not worry him; he is indifferent to the vagaries of fortune and the inclemency's of seasons, and steadily pursues the course he has deliberately adopted for escaping from this Vale of Tears. While as a house- holder he had vowed only to spend a certain portion of his time daily in the reading of Scripture and meditation, he now devotes every moment of his life to these holy objects, and brings all his energies to bear on the attainment of pure, undisturbed Dhyana. The five great vows, which he now takes are similar to those of the layman, but of unbending rigidity.
(i) His first vow relates to the observance of Ahimsa (non-injury) in the widest sense. The ascetic must try to avoid even injuring the one-sensed form of life to the best of his ability. He must walk along the trodden path, so as to be able to detect the presence of any insects; use only the gentlest form of expression in speech; be careful as to the food that is given to him by others; avoid injuring the insects that might have got into his books, etc., and be circumspect in depositing refuse, excretions and the like, so as not to injure any insect's life.
(ii) The second vow enjoins avoidance of untruth, which means not only the speaking of truth, but also the abstaining from unpleasant or rude speech. There are five special points to be observed in connection with speech. One should never speak without deliberation, nor in wrath. Speech when the speaker is influenced by greed is to be condemned, and the same is the case when one is moved by fear. To tell a falsehood for fun, or from the desire to return a smart repartee, is also to be avoided.
(iii) Non-stealing. A monk is required to be exceedingly careful in respect of this vrata. He should not even enter any one's house without the permission of the owner, though there be reason to believe that his presence would be welcomed; nor even use any article belonging to another monk without first obtaining his permission for the purpose.
(iv) The vow of absolute celibacy. One should not look at the feminine form, nor occupy any seat previously occupied by a woman or by a female animal or an eunuch, nor recall to mind the incidents of any past experience of pleasure in connection with the female sex, nor decorate one's person, nor eat highly seasoned food.
(v) The vow of renunciation. All liking for pleasant touch, taste, smell, form (beauty), or word (literature), and for all the objects of the five senses, also hatred or loathing for unpleasant objects, must be completely surrendered to the pursuit of the sublime Ideal of the soul.
These are the five great vows of asceticism; and, as stated before, they differ in the degree of rigidity from the five similar ones of the layman.
The aim being the attainment of liberation from the liability to repeated births and deaths, the ascetic must ardently and earnestly strive for the emancipation of his soul in every possible way, shunning virtue as much as vice-- since they are both instrumental in the prolongation of bondage --and trying all the time to establish himself in the purity of contemplation of his own effulgent Atma. It is not to be supposed that the shunning of all kinds of activities of mind, speech and body is tantamount to idleness; pure and simple, or leads to stultification of character, as some unthinking writers have urged. The process of self-contemplation has nothing in common with these two characteristics of ordinary humanity, and implies the realization of sleepless bliss, infinite perfection, true immortality and perfect freedom from all kinds of ties and bonds. There is no use denying the fact that what we call character means neither more nor less than a resolute frame of mind, though all sorts of evil passions and emotions are also, at times, allowed to be smuggled in under that name. Self-contemplation does not, in any sense, imply the eradication of will, rather, on the contrary, it leads to its development in the highest possible degree, so that if the word character be employed in its true sense, it is only in respect of the Siddha Atma that it can express its full purport. Nor has the non-performance of virtuous deeds the effect of exposing the Siddha Atma to blame for not doing good; for the kind of good which flows from the Perfect Ones cannot be equaled by men even in imagination. Men generally do good by gifts of money, medicine, clothes and the like, which, even when we lose sight of the fact that these things are not always acquired or amassed with a strict regard to the rules of virtue or good conduct, can only go to afford temporary relief to the suffering, or, at best, enable them to stand upon their legs to enter into the struggle for life, --to thrive at the expense of their fellow beings. The good that constantly flows from the being of the Perfect Ones is not to be compared to this kind of human philanthropy; it is the greatest good which one living being can do to another, and consists in the imparting of the knowledge which would enable each and every soul who cares to benefit thereby, to attain freedom from all kinds of bonds, and the perfection and joy of Gods. And not only is the knowledge imparted by the Holy Ones the true source of freedom and joy, the example set by Them is even more useful to those who aspire to escape from pain and misery consequent on the four conditions of life, Deva, Manushya, Tiryanch, and nark. Their holy feet have illuminated the Path to the highest height of glory, and we have their noble example before us to inspire and encourage us in the pursuit of the ideal. Let no one in his senses call this idleness or stultification of character.
It is true that the Siddha Atma do not concern themselves with the affairs of men-- neither does the Over- Lord of theology, for the matter of that, else we should not have terrible slaughter of men in wars to say nothing of other calamities which periodically befall mankind --but it is no less true that no righteous request of any true follower of Theirs ever remains unsatisfied. The explanation of this seemingly inconsistent statement is to be found in the fact that the will of a true believer (he who actually believes that the Holy Ones are possessed of all kinds of perfection, and are now residing at the top of the universe, enjoying the highest form of bliss) is potent enough to attract to itself all kinds of conditions of prosperity, and is also capable of drawing the attention of the higher order of beings (residents of heavens and other kinds of powerful beings) who can grant every wish in the twinkling of an eye.
To revert to the rules of conduct laid down for an ascetic, it is to be observed that he does not adopt the life of hardship under any external compulsion, but from a conviction of its being the only path to perfection and joy. He knows that every weakness overcome is a clear gain, and remains cheerful under the severest trials and mishaps. As he advances steadily along the path, he soon begins to feel the natural delight of his soul, compared with which the ease and pleasure of millionaires and great potentates of the world loses all its fascination in his sight. Onward and onward does he press, making fresh conquests everyday till the all-illumining effulgence of Kevala Jnana bursts on his consciousness from within, on the breaking up of the clouds of ignorance and sin amassed together by the four kinds of his Ghatia karmas. The shock of the destruction of the last knot of karmic bonds is felt by the Rulers of the heaven- worlds, and they immediately set out to offer worship and adoration to the conquering Jiva Worshipped and adored by Devas and men, the Conqueror lingers in the world of men till His Aghatia karmas are worked off, when He rises to the top of the universe to reside there, for ever, in the enjoyment of all those divine qualities and attributes which people associate with their Gods.
It would not be amiss to say a few words here about the nature of the 'shock', which is occasioned by the manifestation of omniscience. It arises from the breaking asunder of the karmic chains, and the bursting forth of the pure effulgence of Will determined to manifest itself in all its natural splendor. The force of will exerted for the destruction of the karmic knot sets up powerful vibrations all round which, impinging on the finer material of bells and other things in the heaven-world, set them resounding without any visible cause. These are noticed by Devas, who ascertaining their cause with the help of the Avadhi Jnana with which they are endowed from birth, at once proceed to do reverence to the Master. The destruction of the ghati karmas, it should be pointed out, is accompanied by many kinds of changes in the system of the Muni who make a conquest of his lower nature; sense-perception is lost once for all and for ever, nerve currents are straightened out and lose their Jnana and darsana obstructing crookedness, and the Karma and taijasa Shareers are burnt up to ashes, as it were, though they still retain their form owing to the influence of the remaining four kinds of karmas. The reason for this is that our nervous system consist of nervous 'threads' which under the influence of the customary forms of activity have become arranged in certain forms, so that when we check the activity of the senses and prevent the mind from wandering in its usual haunts, holding it to a particular point, a kind of strain is produced which tends to unloosen the very structure of nerves and the knots formed by them. If we now persevere in the attitude of concentration for a 'sufficiently long period of time, these nervous 'threads' would become completely detached from their old groupings, and fall apart. The ascetic, who knows that the natural 'light' of his soul is obscured by the 'bushel' of matter, and knows how to remove the cover, concentrates his mind on those centers of his nervous system, which are the least obscured and affected by matter. As he perseveres in concentration on these centers, the nervous 'threads' which enter into the 'warp and woof' of the 'bushel' are loosened and detached from one another, and dispersed in all directions, leaving the effulgence of pure 'Light' free to manifest itself. For this very reason, the liability to sleep, which arises from the preponderance of matter in certain centers of the brain, is also destroyed prior to the attainment of Kevala Jnana.
Dhyana, or concentration of mind, thus, is the direct means of the attainment of Moksha. It not only enables one to purge one's consciousness of all kinds of evil passions and inclinations by preventing the uncontrolled wandering of mind, but also destroys the veil of matter which bars the manifestation of one's divine powers and attributes-- omniscience, bliss and the like. It is, therefore, not surprising that the Scripture should describe it as the sole means of escape from the bondage of samsara, and should lay down the most minute instructions for its practicing.