The Six Cases


Speaker :-I bow to thee Oh Vardhman Bhagwan, the advocate of the path of emancipation, whom the lords of heavenly beings and the Asuras adore and wash off their impurities of the bondage of karma.

This is the sacred Pravachansar, Acharya Kundkunddeo wrote it about two thousand years back. Acharya Amritchandra has written the great commentary Tatva Pradipika in Sanskrit, as great as the original work itself. There are three big chapters of this commentary :-

1. Gyan Tatva Pragyapan

2. Geya Tatva Pragyapan

3. Charananuyog Suchak Chulika

We are at the sixteenth verse of the Gyan Tatva Pragyapan chapter. It has been shown here that achievement of the pure soul, with perfectly pure operative consciousness, is most independent, having no adherence to other cases (grammar). The meaning is that no support of any non-self substance is needed for psychical consciousness and psychical happiness.

The soul having attained its natural attribute is omniscient. worshipped by the whole world and born of itself. This has been asserted by Jinendradeo.

The Acharya wants to say here that from the real point of view the soul has no case-relationship with any non-soul element. This being is in vain unhappy in his restlessness for the association of objects other than the soul.

The Student :-What is the relationship of cases ? What are cases ? Please explain these at length.

Speaker :-That which creates an action, is purposeful in the happening of the action, is called the case. Case can only be that which in some shape or the other can be purposeful in the operation of the action, none else.

There are six cases

1. (Karta)-Subjective or nominative

2. (Karma)-The objective

3. (Karan)-Means of that deed

4. (Sampradan)-The receiver of the action

5. (Apadan)-Producer and

6. (Adhikaran)-Base of the deed

That which independently (unaidedly) does (performs) its own deed (function) is called the doer (agent or Karta); whatever modification is obtained by the subject (the doer) is called its function (Karma); the substantial cause of that particular deed by which it is done or originated is called the means of that deed (the Karan); that for which that particular deed is performed or done, is called the receiver (Sampradan karak); the permanent substance out of which that particular function or deed is done or obtained is called the (Apadan) and the permanent cause and the same permanent substance is called the base of the deed (Adhikaran).

These six cases are of two kinds: (i) real, (ii) conventional. When the achievement of the deed is shown as due to other agencies, we have conventional cases; and where the achievement is said to be due to the substance itself (its inner strength) it is called real case.

The application of conventional cases is like this :-The pot-makar is the doer, the jar is the deed, wheel, stick etc. are means, the pot-maker makes the jar for somebody to keep water in it, that somebody is the (Sampradan) or the receiver; the earth is taken out of the pit which is the Apadan (or the permanent cause) and the pot is made on the base of the earth, which is the base or (Adhikaran). All the cases are different from each other. Intrinsically no substance can be the producer or destroyer of any other substance. As such all the six cases are untrue. They have been called so from the imposed untrue conventional aspect of speech. From the real aspect no substance has any case-relationship with any other substance.

The application of the real cases is like this:- Earth independently accomplishes the production of the jar. As such earth is the producer and jar is the object of creation, in other words jar is not separate from the earth and so earth itself is the object; the earth produced the jar on account of its own operative power and so earth is the means (Karan); the earth gave the produced jar to itself and so the earth is the receiver (Sampradan); the earth destroyed its mass modification and produced the jar, while it remained permanent, as such the earth is the Apadan (permanent cause) and the earth made the jar with its own foundation and so it is itself the base (Adhikaran). Thus all the intrinsic cases are found in the same one substance.

Spiritually, one substance cannot give any help or support to the other and it operates and produces its modifications itself, to itself, with itself, for itself, out of itself and in itself. Therefore, the real six cases are the supreme truth.

As shown above, the substance itself is full of its wealth of eternal vitality and as such is capable of doing its own work into the six cases; no outside agency can transforming itself into the six cases; no outside agency can offer any help to it. Thus the soul desirous of obtaining the offer any help to it. Supreme sentience does not need any support, its dependence on others is meaningless. The soul with its adherence to the pure state of its being obtains omniscience in itself and by assuming six cases itself. That soul is independent on account of its own eternal vitality and sentient nature and as such is the doer (Karta), it achieves the omnipotent consciousness which is its deed (Karma) or that it is in itself inseparable from omncsience and therefore, it is the deed; it achieves omniscience by science by the highest soul endeavour of its operative consciousness and so it is the means (Karan); it gives omniscience to itself and so the soul itself is the receiver (Sampradan); it discards its own incomplete sensory knowledge and produces omniscience by its natural conscious behaviour, which is permanent, and as such it is the permanent cause (Apadan); and it creates omniscience on its own foundation and as such it itself is the base (Adhikaran). Thus it itself assumes six cases, and so is called born of itself.

The Student :-The above scheme applies to the pure modifications of the soul. Is there case-relationship in the unnatural manifestations of the soul and the karmic matter of Gyanavaran and others ?

Speaker :- No. The six cases operate in every modification of the six substances intrinsically in themselves. Thus the soul and the matter substance, be they in their pure or impure states, assume the six cases themselves and do not stand in need of other cases.

Kundkundacharya has illustrated this in his great work Panchastikaya. Amritchandracharya has clarified it most strongly in the commentary of the 62nd verse, which is as below :-

1 .Matter substance being the doer of karmic matter independently, matter itself is the doer.

2. Because karma matter attains that stage itself, it is the deed, or being inseparable from karmic matter, matter itself is the deed.

3.Being possessed of the power of changing itself into karmic matter, matter substance itself is the means.

4.Because it converts itself into karmic matter, the matter substance itself is the receiver.

5.Destroying the previous manifestation in itself and thus turning into karmic matter and also remaining permanent as matter, the matter substance itself is the permanent case and

6.Being the producer of karmic matter on its own basis, the matter substance is the basis case.

In the same manner :-

1.The soul independently operating as sentience and perfection is itself the doer.

2.Because the soul attains that stage itself, it is the deed or being inseparable from the soul itself, it is the deed.

3.Being possessed of the power of changing itself in animate form, the soul itself is the means.

4.Because it converts itself into the animate form, the soul itself is the receiver.

5.Destroying the previous manifestation in itself and thus turning into animate substance and also remaining permanent as soul, the soul substance itself is the permanent case and

6.Being the producer of the living soul substance on its own basis, the soul substance is the basis case.

In reality the karma itself changes into the six cases and as such does not stand in need of the six cases of any other substance. Likewise, the soul manifests itself into the six cases and does not need the help of the six cases of any other substance; therefore, from the intrinsic point of view, soul is not the doer of the karmas and the karmas are not the doer of the soul.

From the real point of view, the matter substance itself manifests in the shape of the eight Karmas and the soul substance as the Audyik Bhawas. The cases of both are quite separate from one another and do not require the help of the other. As such, the cases of one substance do not stand in need of the cases of other substances.

Student :-What do we gain by all this analysis ?

Speaker :-It is clear that wrong belief persists as long as faith retains the conception that one substance can operate the origination or destruction, modifications of any other substance. When the faith entertains the true belief that every substance is the agent (doer) of its own modifications the soul due to its own non-sentient state deserves roaming in the worldly circle of existence and the same soul by dint of its effort can end this state and becomes qualified for the supreme happiness of the liberated state. It is at this point that the manifestation of right faith in the soul starts and on this basis, as the soul develops independence of other entities and proceeds further on the path of conduct, it assumes the shape of soul absorption and complete merger into the sentient nature. It is only convention to say that a substance is the agent responsible for changes in other substances by way of doer, deed, means, receiver, permanent cause or basis; intrinsically every substance is the creator of its own modifications, it is itself the deed, itself the means, itself the receiver, itself the permanent cause and itself its own basis. This is the supreme faith.

Since eternity, this soul has forgotten the six real cases and has been placing its faith in the conventional cases and thus roaming in the wide world. The real path of liberation starts, when this soul really believes in the operation of the six real cases, takes recourse to its eternal sentient nature and arouses in itself the manifestation of the pure soul. As such, a correct knowledge of six cases is necessary in the activity of the purification of the soul.

It has here been said that from the real aspect, the soul does not have any case relationship with other substances. Creatures on the path of emancipation, therefore, in vain invite dependence on others and are unhappy on account of the consequent restlessness in finding external means to achieve this aim.

Student :-We have been very much benefited by the information about real and conventional six cases, but you have not explained why you have discussed six cases only when they are eight in number. Why did you not include vocative and connective cases in the list of cases as such ?

Speaker :-There is no question of vocative being a case, but connective is also not a case. Both these have no relationship with the verb. That which is purposeful in some way or the other in the operation of the verb is alone called a case. Vocative and connective are not purposeful in the operation of the verb and so they have not been included in the cases.

By understanding this scheme of the six cases, tearing your vision from other non-self substances, if you merge yourself in your own being, the soul, you will certainly attain supreme bliss.

Samaysar is the great unique treatise of Jain spiritualism. Pravachansar and Panchastikaya have detailed description of the Jain principles. The above three are also known as Natak Trayi, Prabhrit Trayi and Kundkund Trayi. Acharya Amritchandra has written elaborate commentaries on the three in the Sanskrit language. Commentaries of Acharya Jaisen in Sanskrit are also available.

The present lesson has been written on the basis of Pravachansar and Panchastikaya and their commentaries. Readers are advised to study seriously the treatises of Kundkund in order to understand the subtleties and the principles of Jain spiritualism.

Dr. H.C. Bharill