Aghati Karma

In this life we see so many different people; some are prettier than others, some live longer than others, etc. What is the cause of such imbalance? The answer to that question is effects of karmas. Karmas are grouped into two groups; 1) Ghati (Destructive) karmas and 2) Aghati karmas (Non- destructive). Ghati karmas obstruct the true nature of the soul while Aghati Karmas affect only the body in which the soul resides. As long as we have Aghati karmas, our souls will be caged in some kind of body and we will have to experience pain, and suffering in many different forms. Only the pure souls, Siddhas are formless and experience ultimate bliss. We should all strive for this stage.

The Aghati Karmas are:

Vedniya (Feeling-Producing) Karma

Nam – Body-determining Karma

Gotra – Status-determining Karma

Ayushya – Age-Determining Karma

Vedniya (Feeling producing) Karma

Vedniya Karma is responsible for all the pleasure and pain we feel. Some of the effects of Vedniya Karma are good health, happiness, sickness, sorrow, etc.

Vedniya Karma is divided into two sub-types:

  1. Ashata (unhappiness causing) Vedniya

  2. Shata (Happiness causing) Vedniya

Ashata Vedniya Karma is built by causing pain to others, harassing others, killing others, causing others to worry, and by making others miserable. Shata Vedniya Karma is built by making others happy, helping others, giving others protection and peace, and sharing with and comforting others.

Vedniya Karma can be shed by offering comfort, kindness, help, protection, and peace to others.

When we get rid of Vedniya Karma completely our souls attain infinite bliss. The pure soul has no disease, pain, sorrow, boredom, or uneasiness and is ever blissful.

Nam (Body determining) Karma

Nam Karma determines what type of body the soul will have, and what it will look like.

Nam Karma is divided into one hundred and three sub-types. The major groups are:

Gati (Existence determining) Nam Karmas

Jatinam (Number of senses determining) Nam Karmas

Sharir (Body determining) Nam Karmas

Angopanga (Chief and parts of bodies determining) Nam Karmas

Samhanan (Firmness of Joints determining) Nam Karmas

Samsthan (Figure determining) Nam Karmas

Bandhan (Different bodies binding) Nam Karmas

Samghatana (Different pudgals of bodies binding) Nam Karmas

Varna (color determining) Nam Karma

Gnadha (Odor determining) Nam Karma

Ras (Taste determining) Nam Karma

Sparsha (Touch determining) Nam Karma

Anupoorvi (Direction determining) Nam Karma

Vihayogati (Movement determining) Nam Karma

Tirthankar (To be Tirthankar determining) Nam Karma

Shubh (Pleasant result producing) Nam Karma

Ashubh (Unpleasant result producing) Nam Karma

Some effects of Nam Karma are beauty, ugliness, good fortune, misfortune, prosperity, adversity; honor, and dishonor. One may be born as a dev, human, bird, animal, a plant, or hellish beings on account of Nam Karma.

On hundred and three sub-types of Nam Karma are also grouped in two broad groups:

  1. Shubh (good) Nam Karma.

  2. Ashubh (bad) Nam Karma.

Shubh Karma is acquired by being kind to all people, being gentle and helpful, maintaining good conduct, and leading a simple life. Those who strictly follow the discipline and rules of religion earn Dev-gati Nam karma. Those who are charitable, merciful and perform religious activities earn Manushya Nam Karma. Those who acquire Tirthankar Nam Karma become Tirthankars in life after next.

Ashubh karma is acquired by making fun of people who are ugly or short or by showing off our build. Being proud of physical beauty, power, caste, intelligence, knowledge, and wealth also build Ashubh Nam karma. Those who cheat and deceive others earn Tiryanch Nam Karma.

Those who are violent and kill others earn Hellish Nam Karma.

Nam Karma can be shed off by always being kind, loving, generous, and patient and by admiring those who are beautiful and those who are not. The observance of purity also helps to shed Ashubh Nam karma.

When we get rid of Nam Karma completely, our souls become Arupi. In this state the soul is freed from its body and becomes formless.

Gotra (Status determining) Karma

Gotra Karma determines your social and economical status. There are two sub-types of Gotra Karma:

  1. Nichcha (Lower status determining) Gotra Karma

  2. Uchcha (Higher status determining) Gotra Karma

Nichcha Gotra Karma causes us to be low and poor in society. Uchcha Gotra Karma causes us to be high, well respected and wealthy in society.

Nichcha Gotra Karma is built by disrespecting people, being egoistic and proud, and making fun of others. Uchcha Gotra Karma is built by having devotion and faith in the Jain Sangh, not looking down upon anyone, being free from pride, respecting and honoring all, and treating everyone with love.

Gotra Karma can be shed off by being respectful towards those who have status and also towards those who do not.

Once our Gotra Karma is shed off completely, our souls become Agurulaghu.

Ayushya (Age Determining) Karma

Ayushya Karma decides our life span. Ayushya karma may be shortened, but can not be prolonged. The Ayushya karma for the next life is decided only once in each life time; specifically, when two thirds of our current life have passed. If it is not decided during the first two thirds then it is decided during two-thirds of remaining time. If it is still not decided yet then again at the two thirds of remaining time and so on or at the time of death. Ayushya karma will not be acquired if the soul is going to be liberated in the current life. There are four sub-types of Ayushya Karma:

  1. Narak (Infernal) Ayushya Karma

  2. Tiryancha (Animal) Ayushya Karma

  3. Manushya (Human) Ayushya Karma

  4. Dev (Celestial) Ayushya Karma

Depending upon its effects, some may live short or others may live longer.

Ayushya Karma is built by engaging in violent activities and taking the lives of others.

Ayushya Karma can be shed off by showing compassion towards everybody.

Once all of our Ayushya Karma has been shed off completely, our souls attain Akshaysthiti. In this state the soul becomes immortal and is never reborn.