Siddhanta Chakravarti

“Just as a Chakravarti, with the help of a Sudarshan wheel conquers the six great lands, I (Nemichandra) have, by virtue of my great quest for truth, assimilated the six divisions of the Scriptures of Jain Philosophy (Shatkhandagam).”

He was known as Siddhanta Chakravarti (the repository of all pervading philosophy enunciated by omniconscious Lords of the Digambar Jain order). He was a contemporary of the Jain King Chamund Rai, whose time is the first half of the 11th century. So he lived in this land then.

He was not an ordinary scholar; his great living works Gomattasar Jivakand, Gomattasar Karmakand, Triloksar, Labdhisar, Kshapnasar are shining examples of his extraordinary erudition and an ample justification for the title of Siddhanta Chakravarty i.e. a great master of the fundamental principles.

On the persuasion of King Chamundrai, he wrote Gomattasar taking the essence of all available works of the great acharyas. Jivkand and Karmakand are two parts thereof. Panch Sangraha is a name given to this great work. There are four available commentaries on this great work :-

  1. Mand Prabodhika – a Sanskrit commentary by Abhayachandracharya.

  2. Jiva Tattva Pradipika -a commentary by Keshav Verma in Kannada mixed with Sanskrit.

  3. Jiva Tattva Pradipika -a Sanskrit commentary by another Nemi-chandracharya.

  4. Samyakgyan Chandrika – Hindi commentary by Acharyakalpa Pandit Todarmal.

This lesson is based on Gomattasar Karmakand.


Chamundrai -Why is this soul unhappy ? Wherein lies the good of the soul?

Acharya Nemichandra -Good of the soul is happiness without restlessness. That can be accomplished only by taking refuge in the soul. This being, however, has forgotten his sentient soul and indulged in all sorts of unnatural inclinations and is, therefore, unhappy.

Chamundrai – We have known that karma is the cause of this misery.

Acharya Nemichandra -No, not so, when this soul forgetting itself, indulges in all sorts of impure deeds and feelings of delusion, attachment and aversion, fruition of karma is called conventional cause thereof. Karma does not force our souls to indulge in these demerits.

Chamundrai – What is this conventional cause ?

Acharya Nemichandra – When substances assume different forms of their own accord, the existence of those elements that are harmonious to these assumptions are described as their causes. These are Nimittas i.e. passive instruments. When this soul on account of its own failings assumes different virtuous or vicious manifestations, karma is called conventional cause thereof.

Chamundrai – It is alright that this soul is, of its own, unhappy, not on account of consciousness obstructing or other Karmas, but what is this failing of the soul?

Acharya Nemichandra – Forgetting oneself and regarding other entities as desirables and undesirables and indulging in psychic karmas as delusions, attachments and aversions, is the failing of the soul.

When the soul of its own accord hurts its perception attributes i.e. does not give full vent to its perceptional sentience, the karma passively instrumental to this imperfect perception is called perception obstructing karma i.e. Darshanavarni karma

Chamundrai -What is psychic karma ? 

Acharya Nemichandra – With the fruition of karmas this being indulges in imperfections like delusions, attachments and aversions. These are psychic karmas. These delusions etc., the passive causes of karmic matter, get associated with our souls. They are called material karmas.

Chamundrai – So psychic karmas are delusions, attachments, aversions etc. which originate in the soul and karmic matter turned into karmas is the material karma.

Acharya Nemichandra – Originally karmas are of eight kinds, of these, Sentience obstructing, Perception obstructing, Delusion producing, and Deprivation are destructive karmas and delight and anguish producing karmic matter, life determining karmic matter, physique making karmic matter and status determining karmic matter are called non-destructive karmas.

Chamundrai -What do you mean by destructive and non-destructive karmas?

Acharya Nemichandra – Those karmas that are instrumental in destroying intrinsic qualities of the soul are called destructive, and those that do not do so are undestructive karmas.

Chamundrai – Karma obstructing consciousness must be Gyanavaran and that obstructing perception must be Darshanavaran.

Acharya Nemichandra – When the soul of its own accord hurts its consciousness attribute i.e. does not give vent to its sentience, the karma indifferently instrumental to this obstruction of full expression of sentience is called sentience obstructing karma i.e. Gyanavaran karma.

When the Soul of its own accord hurts its perception attribute i.e. does not give full vent to its perceptional sentience, the karma passively instrumental to this imperfect perception is called perception obstructing karma i.e. Darshanavarni karma.

Chamundrai – And delusion ?

Acharya Nemichandra – When this being forgets one’s self, regards others as his own, and is non-attentive towards one’s own self, the karma then present is called Delusion i.e. Mohiniya karma.

It is of two kinds- Faith delusion and Conduct delusion. The three karmic divisions of wrong faith are of faith delusions and twenty-five passions are parts of conduct delusion.

Chamundrai – Now only one destructive karma Deprivation remains.

Acharya Nemichandra – The karma in whose presence a being is deprived of charity, strength and enjoyments of objects-some of them once for all and others repeatedly-is called Deprivation. It is of five kinds.

Chamundrai -Now let me know about non-destructive karmas also.

Acharya Nemichandra -Yes, listen, our soul itself becomes restless on account of delusion, and favourable and unfavourable affiliations are obtained. In that state the karma present is called delight and anguish producing karma. It is of two kinds.: (1) giving comfort (ii) giving discomfort.

This being by virtue of its own ability remains in hellish, animal, human or divine present is called life determining karmic matter.

The karma that is instrumental in the bodily formations is called physique making karmic matter. Auspicious and inauspicious are its two kinds. Its other divisions are ninety-three in all.

The karma that indifferently leads this soul to take birth in noble or ignoble families is called status giving karma i.e. Gotra karma. Noble and ignoble states of birth are its two kinds.

Chamundrai -Are there thus only eight karmas?

Acharya Nemichandra –There are subdivisions of these eight, which are called Prakrities and they are one hundred and forty-eight; we can understand them by divisions made from other points of views. At this stage only this much is enough. If you want to understand these at length, you should read Gomattasar Karmakand.

Dr. H.C. Bharill