Ghati Karma

If a soul has the inherent power to know and see everything, then why does our soul not know and see everything? If a soul is to be non-attached and has infinite power, then why do we have attachment and why we are so weak?

Karmas are responsible for such distortions of the soul. Karmas fall into two groups:

(1) Ghati (Destructive) karmas, and (2) Aghati (Non- destructive) karmas. Ghati karmas obstruct the true nature of the soul while they are attached to it. When ghati karmas are destroyed, the soul exhibits its true nature of total knowledge and perception as well as non-attachment and infinite power. Arihants have destroyed these ghati karmas, and that is why their souls exhibit total knowledge and perception as well as non-attachment and infinite power. We should all strive for this stage of destroying ghati karmas.

Ghati karmas are:

  1. Jnanavarniya (Knowledge obscuring) karma

  2. Darshanavarniya (Perception obscuring) karma

  3. Antaräy (Obstructing) karma

  4. Mohniya (Deluding) karma

1) Jnanavarniya (Knowledge obscuring) karma: As the name implies, Jnanavarniya karma obscures the knowledge power of the soul. Those who have less Jnanavarniya karma are more intelligent and learn more easily, while those who have more Jnanavarniya karma have problems retaining knowledge. There are five sub-types of Jnanavarniya karma. They are:

i) Mati-Jnanavarniya (Senses and mind oriented knowledge obscuring) karma

ii) Shrut-Jnanavarniya (Writing interpretation oriented knowledge obscuring) karma

iii) Avadhi-Jnanavarniya (Far sight knowledge obscuring) karma

iv) Manah-Paryay-Jnanavarniya (Thoughts reading knowledge obscuring) karma

v) Keval-Jnanavarniya (Perfect knowledge obscuring) karma

i) Mati-Jnanavarniya (Senses and mind oriented knowledge obscuring) karma

Mati-Jnan refers to the knowledge, which is aquired through the use of the senses and mind. Karma that blocks this function of the mind and senses is known as Mati-Jnanavarniya karma. Therefore, if someone has more Mati-Jnanavarniya karma, then he/she would be less intelligent, while on the other hand, if someone has less

Mati-Jnanavarniya karmas, then he/she would be more intelligent.

ii) Shrut-Jnanavarniya (Writing interpretation knowledge obscuring) karma:

The knowledge, which is acquired by understanding the words, writing or gestures, is known as Shrut-Jnan. The karma that obscures this process of gaining knowledge is known as Shrut-Jnanavarniya karma. For this reason it is understood why some people can remember things after reading only once, while others cannot remember even after reading them for many times.

iii) Avadhi-Jnanavarniya (Far sight knowledge obscuring) karma:

The soul through Avadhi-Jnan can see the material things far beyond than the normal eyes can see without the help of the senses or mind. The karma that obscures this type of knowledge is known as “Avadhi-Jnanavarniya karma”. Different people can attain Avadhi-Jnan of various ranges.

iv) Manah Paryay-Jnanavarniya (Thoughts reading knowledge obscuring) karma:

The soul through Manah Paryay-Jnan can know about the mental thoughts of others without the help of senses and mind. The karma that obscures this type of knowledge is known as Manah Paryay-Jnanavarniya karma. The soul who would be a Tirthankar in that life would attain Manah Paryay-Jnan at the time of renunciation of the worldly life.

v) Keval-Jnanavarniya (Perfect knowledge obscuring) karma

The soul has the power to know what is happening now, what happened in the past, and what will happen in the future in the whole universe at the same time. Such knowledge is known as Keval-Jnan and the karma that obscures this type of knowledge is known as Keval-Jnanavarniya karma. Arihants and Siddhas have destroyed Keval-Jnanavarniya karma and that is why they have attained Keval-Jnan.

Some of the effects of Jnanavarniya Karma are ignorance, inability to understand, inability to learn, illiteracy, and stammering.

Jnanavarniya Karma is accumulated if we condemn knowledge, scholars, or enlightened people, show laziness, contempt, or displeasure in studying and learning, or show any disrespect for knowledge and knowledge related things, e.g. tearing off the pages or throwing the books around.

Jnanavarniya Karma can be shed off by worshipping knowledge, paying reverence and respect to the teachers, showing respect for the books, and by studying religious books regularly with humility.

When we get rid of Jnanavarniya Karma completely, we will develop Keval-Jnan and become Anantjnani. Our soul will know everything from the past, present, and future all at the same time.

2) Darshanavarniya (Perception obscuring) Karma

Darshanavarniya Karma diminishes the powers of our perception through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin to the extent that we may not be able to see well, hear well, smell well, etc. There are nine sub-types of Darshanavarniya Karma:

i) Chakshu-Darshanavarniya (Vision perception obscuring) Karma

ii) Achakshu-Darshanavarniya (Non-vision perception obscuring) Karma

iii) Avadhi-Darshanavarniya (Far sight-perception obscuring) Karma

iv) Kevali-Darshanavarniya (Perfect perception obscuring) Karma

v) Nindra (Light sleep producing) Karma

vi) Nindra-nindra (Deep sleep producing) Karma

vii) Prachala (Sound sleep producing) Karma

viii) Prachala-prachala (Exceedingly intensive sleep producing) Karma

ix) Styanarddhi Nindra (Somnambulistic sleep producing) Karma

Some of the effects of Darshanavarniya Karma are blindness, inadequacy of the senses, sleepiness, swooning, and sleepwalking.

Darshanavarniya Karma is accumulated on account of condemning the principles of religion, disrespecting the virtuous, and trying to find the faults in other people’s perception.

Worshipping faithfully, having faith in the Jinas, and being respectful to the spiritual teachers and religion sheds off Darshanavarniya Karma. In order to avoid accumulating this karmas we should not insult sadhus, sadhvis, shravaks, or shravikas. We should also be humble followers of the Jain Religion, help others to follow it, and be alert and work for the peace of the four-fold (sadhus, sadhvis, male and female householders) Jain order.

Once our Darshanavarniya Karma is shed off completely, we will develop Kevaldarshan and become Anantdarshani. Arihants and Siddhas perceive everything that is happening now, happened in the past, and will happen in the future, all at the same time.

3) Antaräy (Obstructing) karma

Even though many of us desire to give charity, we cannot do so. A rich person with diabetic can afford any dinner of his or her choice but cannot necessarily enjoy it. You might have had the experience in which everything was set 100% right to complete the project, but for some reason you could not even start the project. Situations of these natures occur because of the influence of Antaray Karma. This karma also causes obstruction in the worship of Jina and in the performance of the spiritual activities. Consequently Antaray Karma is responsible for all the obstacles we face in our lives. There are five sub-types of Antaray Karma:

i) Danantaray (Charity obstructing) Karma

ii) Labhantaray (gain obstructing) Karma

iii) Bhogantaray (Enjoyment Obstructing) Karma

iv) Upabhogantaray (Re-enjoyment obstructing) Karma

v) Viryantaray (Will-power obstructing) Karma

Some of the effects of Antaray Karma include the inability to perform penance, laziness, and weakness. Even if one has the desire to travel on the right path, on account of excessive Antaraya Karma, one would not be able to do so.

Antaräy Karma is accumulated due to the obstruction of the worship of the Jinas and other spiritual activities, obstructing others from doing penance, service, or practicing devotion or giving charity, not giving the charity, and causing loss to the others.

Antaräy Karma can be shed off by giving charity, sharing knowledge, helping sadhus and sadhvis, encouraging others to give charity, and encouraging and helping others to do penance and service and by showing benevolence.

When we get rid of Antaraya Karma completely, we become Anantshakti. The soul will have no disability or weakness. It will never become tired, and never fail.


4) Mohniya (Deluding) Karma

Mohniya Karma creates doubts about religion and spiritual teachers and destroys faith in the Jina. It obscures right belief and right conduct of the soul. Mohniya Karma causes attachment and hatred and passions such as anger, ego, deceit, and greed. Of all the karmas, Mohniya Karma is the most dangerous and the most difficult to overcome. Once we overcome this karma, the salvation or liberation is guaranteed. There are twenty-eight sub-types of Mohniya Karma:

A) Darshan (Belief disturbing) Mohniya Karma

a) Mithyatva (Disbelief causing) Mohniya Karma

b) Mishra (Mixed belief causing) Mohniya Karma

c) Samyaktva (Correct belief causing) Mohniya Karma

B) Charitra ( Right conduct disturbing) Mohniya Karma

a) Kashayas

i) Anantanubandhi (Right conduct hindering) Krodha, Man, Maya, and Lobha Mohniya Karmas

ii) Apratyakhanavarniya (Partial renunciation hindering) Krodha, Man, Maya, and Lobha Mohniya Karmas

iii) Pratyakhanavarniya (Total renunciation hindering) Krodha, Man, Maya, and Lobha Mohniya Karmas

iv) Sanjvalan (Complete right conduct hindering) Krodha, Man, Maya, and Lobha Mohniya Karmas

b) No-Kashayas

i) Hashya (Laughing causing) Karma

ii) Rati (Liking causing) Karma

iii) Arati (Disliking causing) Karma

iv) Bhaya (Fear causing) Karma

v) Shock (Sorrow causing) Karma

vi) Jugupsa (Disgust causing) Karma

vii) Strived (Sex desire for man causing) karma

viii)Purushaved (Sex desire for woman causing) Karma

ix) Napunsankved (Sex desire for both man and woman causing) Karma

Some effects of Mohniya Karma include attachment, hatred, envy, contempt, misery, infatuation, longing, ecstasy, anger, greed, ego, and deception.

Mohniya Karma is accumulated on account of treating gods and preceptors with the contempt, having a deep attachment and hatred, lamenting and weeping, becoming over excited, being irritable, furious, greedy, egoistic, deceptive, etc.

Observing virtues such as honesty, humbleness, contentness, and straightforwardness can shed off Mohniya Karma. In order to avoid Mohniya Karma, we should do the prayers, go to the upashraya to worship spiritual teachers, and perform austerity everyday.

When we rid of Mohniya Karma completely we become Veetragi. After this point the soul never becomes angry, proud, greedy, pleased, displeased, happy, sad, or afraid. A Veetragi soul has no attachment or hatred for anyone. Once Mohniya Karma is destroyed, Jnanavarniya, Darshanävarniya, and Antaräy Karmas are destroyed within forty-eight minutes and Kevaljnan, Kevaldarshan, and Anant Virya are all achieved.