Errors in Understanding the Seven Fundamentals
PANDIT DAULAT RAMJI (Samvat 1855-1923)
Deeply immersed in the knowledge of the soul, Pandit Daulatramji was a jewel of the Palliwal Jain community. He was born in village Sasni near Aligarh. He also lived in Aligarh afterwards. His father was Todarmalji.
Away from self-applause, the full life story of this great poet is not available. He was an ordinary householder, simple in nature and engaged in search of the soul.
His ‘Chhahdhala’, very much talked about and respected, is a jewel of his works. There is hardly any Jain who does not study this work. It has been prescribed in the courses of all Jain Examination Boards.
He wrote this in Samvat 1891. He has successfully tried to fill the ocean in a small pot. Apart from this he composed many prayers and spiritual verses, which are recited after the religious discourses in all the Jain temples in India. His devotional verses are full of deep thoughts of the self.
His poems, besides being spiritual, are full of poetical qualities of a high order. Language is simple, comprehensible and spontaneous. His verses can be compared with the works of any great master of Hindi lyric poetry.
The present portion has been taken from his famous work
ERRORS IN UNDERSTANDING THE SEVEN FUNDAMENTALS
Right Faith cannot be accomplished without understanding the seven fundamentals in their right perspective. People have been under delusion about these since times eternal. These errors are being clarified here.
Errors regarding Soul and Non-soul elements
The nature of the soul entity is knowing and seeing, while bodily frames made of non-soul elements have shapes. The behaviour of soul element is altogether unlike that of ether, anti ether, time and space, though they are shapeless. This soul, not recognising this difference, considers the behaviour of bodies (matter) to be that of the soul force.
Forgetting its own intrinsic nature, the soul considers itself beautiful or ugly due to the beauty or ugliness of the physical frame, and considers the bodily progeny as part and parcel of its own being. It also feels oneness with activities like fasts and discourses, that are dependent on physical frames.
When the body is born this being regards that as one’s own birth and when the physical frame leaves this soul, one considers it to be one’s death. This is our mistake regarding the soul and non-soul elements.
To consider one’s soul as physical and the non-living entity as a living one are errors regarding soul and non-soul elements.
Errors regarding Influx element
By their very nature unnatural tendencies are instrumental to unhappiness, but this being indulges in them and considers himself to be happy. He thinks that good deeds lead to happiness and attract material merit leading to heavenly joys. He does not, however, consider that, that which leads to bondage cannot fetch happiness. In the first chapter of the Chhahdhala it has been made specific that there is no happiness in the heavens. When there is no joy in the world, how can we expect to get it ? The good and bad activities and tendencies clearly cause bondage. To regard them desirable is the error regarding influx element.
Error regarding Bondage element
On fruition of good and bad karmas, the soul indulges in all sorts of attachments and aversions respectively. Sensual pleasures are the result of good karmas and these are full of uneasiness causing unhappiness only. Both are injurious being reasons of worldly continuance, while complete liberation is achieved, only when both are completely annihilated. The error regarding bondage is that he does not understand this fact.
Errors regarding Stoppage
Stoppage of influx takes place only with soul consciousness and detachment and those alone make the soul happy. He considers them to be painful, meaning thereby that he regards the achievement of Right Knowledge and Detachment as painful. He does not realise that these are blissful states of our being, and not causing any discomfort.
To regard them as causing discomfort, is the error regarding stoppage.
Errors regarding Gradual dissociation
Absence of desires is dissociation or partial shedding and that brings happiness. Not knowing this, and forgetting one’s own powers of the soul, when one considers oneself to be happy in the satisfaction of his desires and does not consider that their absence is real happiness, one commits error regarding shedding off the bondage partially.
Errors regarding Complete liberation
In liberation lies real happiness without any discomfiture. We do not understand this and consider pleasure seeking to be a happy state. We also think that the happiness of the liberated soul must also be of the same kind as sensual joys. This is our error regarding complete liberation.
As long as we do not remove these errors regarding seven fundamentals we cannot be said to be treading the path of liberation.
Dr. H.C. Bharill