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