Doctrine of Karma Part -2(A)

First Steps To Jainism (Part-2)


Various aspects of Bondage of Karma with the soul
(The Doctrine of Karma Part -2A)

A number of questions can arise about different aspects of BONDAGE OR KARMA BANDHA e.g. what is the result of such Bondage, does Bondage effect all pradesh of the soul or part only, is the bondage similar for all souls etc. The answers to these questions throw light on the process of Bondage and therefore, deserve mention here. It is as a result of Bondage that the Karma varieties are formed. Just as fodder eaten by a cow or goat is converted into milk, which simultaneously determines its taste like sweetness, and other qualities as also its quantity and lastingness or duration, similarly in respect of Karma the nature (Prakriti) duration (Sithi), intensity (Anubhag) and quantity (Pradesh) is determined alongwith the attachment or Bondage. The Karma acquired by the soul are in Sooksham or very fine form and are formed by infinitesimal pudgals. The soul in its entirety gets bound by the Karma Pudgal which it draws from all directions but from the limited area of its (souls) existence only (not from beyond it). However, the Karma Bandha-Bondage of each soul varies depending upon the difference in its YOGA activities in body, speech and mind and the Kashyas at that time.

It must have become evident that the Influx and Bondage (Ashrava and Bandh) as also Sanvar and Nirjara of Karma-with soul are occurring all the times simultaneously. These are very complex phenomena that can de gauged exactly by only omniscient beings-the Keval Gyanis. Such beings can see the interplay of soul and Karma Pudgal like a fruit on one’s palm. Before closing this discussion and going over to the attributes of Karma it may be recalled that some Karma bondage is good or happy meaning thereby that they result in worldly prosperity, physical well-being etc., but it is bondage alright and it results in continuation of transmigration of the soul in the world and obstructs its final release and Moksha.

Four parts or varieties of Bondage (Bandh)

It has been mentioned above that along with the process of Karma Bondage by Influx (YOGA) and Passions (KASHAYA) the (i) Nature (Prakriti); (ii) Quantum (Pradesh); (iii) Duration (Stithi) and (iv) Intensity (Anubhag) of such Karma Bondage is also determined. The first two are primarily determined by Yoga as it is on the magnitude or power or otherwise of the Yoga that the (i) Nature of the Karma Bandh and (ii) Quantum of Karma absorbed will depend. Again the latter two i.e. (iii) Duration and (iv) Intensity of Bondage will primarily depend upon the four Kashyas or passions and their intensity or otherwise as these will provide operating time and force to the Karma Bondage. This will become more clear from the subsequent discussion of the subject where we shall examine each of the four parts of bondage separately viz. (i) Nature, (ii) Duration, (iii) Intensity and (iv) Quantum.

Nature Bondage (Prikriti Bandh)

The Karma acquired by the soul depend on the different types of activities of body, speech and mind accompanied by passions. As a result of the difference in such activities the Karma acquire different natures. These are broadly divided into eight species of Nature Bondage or Prikriti Bandh for the sake of categorisation though the nature of Karma Bondage is of innumerable types as the activities are of innumerable kinds. These Natures are invisible but can be judged from the effect of Karma on the living beings. The main eight kinds of Nature Bondage (Prikriti Bandh ) are further divided into the following ninety seven (some authorities give more types taking sub-classes into count) detailed types which are discussed below :

  1. Gyanavarniya – Knowledge obscuring Karma with five sub-divisions.

  2. Darshnavarniya – Perception obscuring Karma with nine sub-divisions.

  3. Vedneeya – Feeling producing Karma with two sub-divisions.

  4. Mohaneeya – Deluding Karma with twenty eight sub-divisions.

  5. Aayu – Age Karma with four sub-divisions.

  6. Naam – Physique Karma with forty two main sub-division, and ninety three (103 also) further sub-divisions.

  7. Gotra – Status Karma with two sub-divisions.

  8. Antraya – Obstructing Karma with five sub-divisions.

Knowledge obscuring Karma-Gyanavarniya Karma

Knowledge or consciousness is an essential and distinctive attribute of the soul. This may be specific or general i.e. knowledge which gives specific information or exact nature of things is Gyan (as opposed to general idea of things which is Darshan discussed later). The Karma which obscure or obstruct this attribute of the soul i.e. consciousness or knowledge (the Gyan) due to its evil effect are known as knowledge obscuring Karma which are like a bandage on the eyes which obstructs the sight. Some of the reasons leading to knowledge obscuring Karma are criticizing and opposing the really knowledgeable or Gyanis, obstructing acquisition of knowledge by any body and similar activities. It is known that knowledge is of five types and accordingly this Karma is also divided into five types-depending upon the types of knowledge these obstruct or obscure. These are briefly mentioned below :

  1. Sensory-knowledge-obscuring Karma (Mati Gyanavarniya) – which obstruct the right sensory knowledge derived through the five senses viz., sense of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch as also the mind.

  2. Study knowledge- obscuring Karma (Shrut Gyanavarniya) – which obstruct the right study knowledge.

  3. Remote knowledge – obscuring Karma (Avadhi Gyanavarniya) – which obstruct the determinate knowledge of remote physical objects derived directly without the help of sense and mind.

  4. Mind reading knowledge obscuring Karma (Man-paryay Gyanavarniya ) – which obscure the powers of mind reading which also may be termed as telepathy broadly.

  5. Omniscience obscuring Karma (Kewal Gyanavarniya) – which obscure the power of soul to acquire omniscience or unlimited knowledge.

Perception obscuring Karma (Darshanvarniya Karma) –

The word Darshan here is translated as Perception to distinguish it from the word Darshan which means faith and vision as mentioned in the first Sutra of Tatvarth Sutra – “Samyag Darshan, Gyan, Charitrani Moksha Marg” Hence Darshan or perception here implies general or non-specific knowledge of things as opposed to specific knowledge which is meant by Gyan. The Bondage of Karma which obscure, the powers of general perceptions the soul fall in this category. This general perception is of four types and the Karma obscuring these four perceptions are the types of perception obscuring Karma as listed below :

  1. Sight perception obscuring Karma (Chakshu darshanavarniya) – The general perception which is acquired with the help of eyes or sight is sight perception and Karma obscuring this power is sight perception-obscuring Karma.

  2. Non-sight perception obscuring Karma (Achksu Darshanvarniya) – The general perception which is acquired through the mind and senses other than eyes is non-sight Perception and Karma obscuring such powers are called non-sight obscuring Karma.

  3. Remote Perception obscuring Karma (Avadhi Darshanavaniya) – This Karma obscure general perception of remote physical objects without the medium of eyes or other sense and the mind (which is akin to the remote knowledge).

  4. Perfect perception obscuring Karma (Kewal Darshanvarniya) – Just like Kewal Gyanavarniya Karma, these Karma obstruct the power of the soul to realise perfect Perception or Kewal Darshan.

In addition there are five types of Perception- obscuring Karma, which relate to powers of sleep over wakefulness. These are termed “Vedniya ” as against “avaran” of four types discussed above. These are –

  1. Nidravedniya Darshanvarniya – Karma which enable such sleep from which one can wake up easily;

  2. Nidra Nidra Vedniya Darshnavarniya Karma – which make it difficult to wake up from sleep.

  3. Prachala Vedniya Darshnavarniya Karma – which result into sleep even while standing or sitting.

  4. Prachala Prachala Vedniya Darshnavarniya Karma – which result in sleep even while walking.

  5. Styanagridhi Darshanavarniya Karma – which enables execution of different actions during sleep by giving considerable power during sleep.

These are the nine varieties of Perception obscuring Karma which is compared with a guard or gatekeeper not permitting free access to the soul. The reasons for acquisition of this Karma are the same as those for knowledge obscuring karma, because as mentioned earlier Darshan is general or non-specific type of knowledge only.

It may again be clarified that though the name Darshana-varniya is used this Karma does not obscure the attribute of true faith or vision which is caused by Deluding Karma (Mohaniya Karma ) which will be explained later.

Feeling Producing Karma or Vedneeya Karma

The Karma bondage which on fruition gives feeling of worldly pleasure or pain or happiness or unhappiness is called feeling producing or Vedneeya Karma. This is of two types i.e. (i) The Karma which produce pleasure or happiness are called Pleasure producing (Sata Vedneeya) Karma and (ii) those which produce displeasure or unhappiness are called Displeasure Producing (Asata Vedneeya) Karma.

As a corollary to feeling of pleasure or pain this Karma provides all means and equipment leading to pleasure or pain. This is compared with a sharp knife or dagger covered with honey, which is sweet to taste but can also cut or harm the tongue. The causes leading to this Karma are the acts leading to harm or hurt to other living beings or providing means of happiness or otherwise to others by thought, word or deed.

It may be clarified again that this Karma concerns worldly pleasure (or pain) only and not the ultimate infinite happiness of the soul or spirit which comes from complete destruction of all Karma, (including this Karma) on attainment of liberation or Moksha.

Deluding Karma or Mohaneeya Karma

It is well known that Right knowledge, Right faith and Right conduct form the path of liberation. It has been stated above that knowledge obscuring Karma obstruct the soul’s efforts to acquire right knowledge. The type of Karma which obstructs or obscures the soul’s effort for achieving Right faith and Right conduct (even right knowledge) is called the Deluding or Mohaneeya Karma. The effects of this Karma deludes or misleads the soul and this Karma is so powerful that it is considered the villian of the piece or the king of all Karma. It is compared with intoxication and like an intoxicated person the soul under its influence loses power to distinguish between good and bad, right and wrong and goes astray towards false faith and false conduct. Its two main divisions are (I) Faith or vision Deluding Karma (Darshan Mohaneeya) and (II) Conduct Deluding Karma (Charitra Mohaneeya). The former Karma which obscure Right Vision or Right faith can be further sub-division into three categories :

Faith or vision Deluding Karma (Darshan Mohaneeya)

Rationalism Deluding Karma (Samkytav Mohaneeya)

The operation of this type of Karma though permitting inclination towards Right vision/Faith obstructs high degree of right faith which is necessary to eliminate or suppress false faith completely to pave the way to full realisation of the soul’s qualities.

Mixed Deluding Karma (Misra Mohaneeya)

The operation of this variety of Karma results in uncertain or doubtful state of the faith or vision of the soul which vacillates between true vision or faith and false vision or faith and makes it a “Sanshayatma (Doubting Thomas)” as mentioned in the Bhagwat Geeta.

Falsehood-Irrationalism Deluding Karma (Mithyatva Mohaneeya)

The operation of this Karma results in complete lack of true faith/vision; or positive adherence to false faith. This depends upon whether the development of the beings enables them understanding or not. As such if the beings are like insects which have no understanding they will suffer from lack of true faith called Anabhigrahik (Untaught) Bondage. If the beings are with developed understanding like human beings and even than they do not have true faith but also have false faith (belief in false gods, teachers and books) then it will be called Abhigrahik (Taught) Bondage.

This Karma is so powerful that it brings in its train all other causes of Bondage of soul viz. undisciplined life (Avirati), Negligence (Pramad), Passion (Kashya) and Yoga (Influx). As such it completely overpowers and misleads the soul and not only does it vitiate Right faith/vision but also obstructs acquisition of Right knowledge and Right conduct.

Conduct Deluding (Charitra Mohaneeya) Karma

Conduct Deluding (Charitra Mohaneeya) Karma are those which obscure or obstruct Right conduct and are further sub-divided into twenty five categories, sixteen of Passion Deluding (Kashaya Mohaneeya) and nine of Pseudopassion Deluding (No-Kashaya Mohaneeya) Karma.

Passion Deluding (Kashaya Mohoneeya) categories of Conduct Deluding Karma

At first the sixteen Passion Deluding (Kashaya Mohoneeya) categories of Conduct Deluding Karma should be dealt with. The four Kashyas or Passions are Anger (Krodh), Pride (Maan), Deceit (Maya) and Greed (Lobha) and these are introduced in the soul by this type of Karma. Each of these passions is of four gradations and all together make sixteen categories.

The highest grade or extremely severe type of Anger, Pride, Deceit and Greed which results in such Bondage that the soul has to go through transmigration in the world for infinite period due to repeated births and deaths. This is called Infinite Bondage-Anger, Pride, Deceit and Greed (Anantanubandhi Krodha, Maan, Maya and Lobha) and is of four types according to four passions. It is like a line engraved on the stone which cannot be removed.

When the Karma bondage is less severe but still such that the four passions do not permit adoption of even minor vows (Anuvratas) of layman of Non-violence, Truth, Non-theft, Continence and Non-covetousness, this Karma Bondage is called Non-adoption (of vows) Karma of Anger, Pride, Deceit and Greed (Apratyakhanavarni Karma) and is also of four types.

Slightly less severe than the above are the four types of Karma bondage pertaining to each of the four Kashaya (Passions) which permit adoption of minor vows or vows of layman i.e. Anuvratas but do not permit acceptance of major vows or vows of saints i.e. Mahavratas in respect of Non-violence etc. and are called Pratyakhanivarni Karma and are also of the four types viz., Anger, Pride, Deceit, and Greed.

Even lesser in severity are the four Karma Bondage which may not obstruct acceptance of major vows or Mahavratas but may cause blemishes and minor breaches in the proper acceptance and implementation of the major vows of non-violence etc. These are called Sanjvalan Karma relating to Anger, Pride, Deceit and Greed and are also of four types.

Nine Pseudo-passion (Nokashaya Mohaneeya) categories of Conduct Deluding (Charitra Mohaneeya) Karma.

While there are four main passions called Kashayas there are nine Pseudo-passions or sub-passions called No-kashaya which are attendant upon and lead to the intensification of the four passions viz. Anger, Pride, Deceit and Greed. These nine are:

  1. Laughter (Hasya),

  2. Attraction (Rati),

  3. Repulsion (Arati),

  4. Fear (Bhaya),

  5. Grief (Shok),

  6. Hatred (Ghrina),

  7. Feminine (Stree Ved),

  8. Masculine (Purush Ved)

  9. Neuter (Napusank Ved).

These sub-passions are described below along with the causes leading to them in brief –

1. Laughter-Deluding (Hasya Mohaneeya) – Karma Bondage is caused by ridicule of true religion, poor people and undue loud laughter and results in non-serious disposition and unjustified tendency towards laughter.

2. Attraction Deluding (Rati Mohaneeya) – Karma Bondage is caused by non-restraint in life and indifference in the observance of vows and results in undue attachment with persons and things worldly.

3. Repulsion Deluding (Arati Mohaneeya) – Karma Bondage is caused by causing discomfort and creating obstructions for others, moving in company of un-restrained people and results in undue repulsion and enmity towards others.

4. Fear Deluding (Bhay-Mohaneeya) – Karma Bondage is caused by terrorising and creating scare for others and results in a tendency towards being afraid, cowardly and terror stricken.

5. Grief Deluding (Shok Mohaneeya) – Karma Bondage is caused by unnecessarily grieving and weeping and making others do the same and this results in a grevious nature in one’s life.

6. Hatred Deluding (Ghrina Mohaneeya) – Karma Bondage is caused by hating what is useful like useful advice, useful persons and things. This brings in its turn a hateful disposition.

7. Purush Ved (Masculine) Deluding Karma bondage is caused by showing the inclination towards the women

8. Stree Ved (Masculine) Deluding Karma bondage is caused by showing the inclination towards the men

9. Napusank Ved (Masculine) Deluding Karma bondage is caused by showing the inclination towards the neuters

7, 8, and 9 also result in the being showing tendencies and inclination towards the particular sex in the future.

This brings to end the discussion of twenty eight types of Deluding (Mohaneeya) Bondage which may appear lengthy but is necessary due too the importance of this type of karma bondage which is the most difficult to overcome. It is well known that the senior most learned disciple of Lord Mahaveer, Gandhar Gautam could not attain Omniscience or Perfect knowledge (Keval Gyan) due to this Karma and his resultant attachment (Moha) for Lord Mahaveer and he (Gautam Swami) became omniscient only when he realised this and gave up such delusion (Moha) after the death of Lord Mahaveer.