Doctrine of Karma Part -2(B)

First Steps To Jainism (Part-2)


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

Age (AAYU) Karma Bondage –

This Bondage which keeps the soul in the body and determines the quantity of life for which it will remain there is called the Life Span or Age or Aayu Karma. In other words a being’s body remains alive for the quantum of life determined by this Karma and dies when this Karma is exhausted. The quantum of life need not be years or months as like a sponge absorbing water the quantity of water may be determined but the time may vary. It is compared with imprisonment broadly. The age may be of two types i.e. (i) Apavartaniya or the one which may be shortened due to accidents in which case the Age Karma are exhausted in shorter duration due to untimely (Akal) death. (ii) Anapavartaniya or the age which will run its full course of length of years and cannot be shortened.

There are four sub-types of Age Bondage which decide the quantum of life (not years) the living being will be spending in the particular type of existence and exhausting the age karma in any one out of the four types of existence i.e. (i) Hellish existence (ii) Animal existence, (iii) Human existence and (iv) Godly existence. It may be clarified that the Age Karma determines only the duration of stay in the particular existence, the birth therein is determined by Naam Karma-dealt with below.

A salient feature of Life Span or Age Karma is that its bondage with the soul does not accrue at all times like other Karmas. On the contrary its bondage occurs at fixed times only. In respect of Gods and hellish creatures it occurs six months before the death of such beings. For human beings and animals bondage of future life span occurs when 1/3, 1/9, 1/27 or 1/81 of the existing age remains for the being.

Physique Determining (Naam) Karma Bondage –

This Karma bondage determines the physique or the body that the soul will occupy. It has, therefore, been compared with a painter like whom it creates different types of bodies, their forms and shapes, sounds and smells and determines the soul’s abode ranging from the lowest type of immovable body with one sense to the body of the Perfect beings, the Tirthankars. As such it has got numerous sub-categories, varying from two to one hundred three, according to different schools and classification and sub-classification. There are firstly two main divisions viz. (i) the Happy Physique Karma (Shubh Naam Karma) and (ii) the Unhappy Physique Karma (Ashubh Naam Karma). If the being or soul feels happy and satisfied in a particular physique and its other characteristics, it is considered that it is due to this Karma. This Karma accrues by sincerity of nature, uniformity in professing and acting and by removal of discord. The second is Unhappy Physique Karma (Ashubh Naam Karma) which results in unhappiness and dissatisfaction in the being from his body, physical features etc. and is a result of insincerity of one’s disposition, diversity in what one says and how one acts, and a discordful nature.

There are other numerous classifications and sub-divisions of this Karma and these are listed below –

  • 1. Pind Prakrities – There are fourteen classifications of these with sixty five (seventy five elsewhere) sub-classifications.
  • 2. Pratayek Prakrities – These are of eight types.
  • 3. Tras Prakrities – These are of ten types.
  • 4. Sthavara Prakrities – These are of ten types.

Thus there are forty two main classes and ninety three sub-classes (one hundred three elsewhere) of Physique determining Karma. Each main class with sub details is listed below with its functions (this is according to Doctrine of Karma in Jain Philosophy by Dr. Glasenapp).

The 14 Pinda-Prakrities with 65 subcategories –

States of Existence (Gati) Four –

  • 1. Deva gati Naam Karma bestows the celestial state of existence.
  • 2. Manusya-gati-naam karma-bestows the human state of existence.
  • 3. Tiryag-gati-naam-karma-bestows the animal state of existence.
  • 4. Narak-gati-naam-karma-bestows the infernal state of existence.

Classes of Beings (Jati) Five –

  • 1. Ekendriya-jati-naam-karma-causes birth as a being with one senses.
  • 2. Dvindriya-jati-naam-karma-causes birth as a being with two senses.
  • 3. Trindriya-jati-naam-karma-causes birth as a being with three senses.
  • 4. Chaturindriya-jati-naam-karma-causes birth as a being with four senses.
  • 5. Panchendriay-jati-naam-karma-causes birth as a being with five senses.

Bodies (Sharir) Five –

  • 1. Audarika-sharira-naam-karma-gives the gross physical body peculiar to animals and men.
  • 2. Vaikriya-sharira-naam-karma gives the transformation body which consists of fine matter, a body that changes in form and dimension. The body exists by nature in gods, infernal beings and certain animals; men can attain it through higher perfection.
  • 3. Aharaka-sharira-naam-karma gives the translocation body. This body which consists of good and pure substance and is without active and passive resistance. It is created for a short time by an pramatta-samyata-ascetic, in order to seek information concerning intricate dogmatic questions from an arhat who is in another part of the world, while his own physical body remains in its original place.
  • 4. Taijasa-sharira-naam-karma gives the fiery body. This body consists of fire pudgals and serves for digestion of swallowed food. It can also be used by ascetics to burn other beings or things.
  • 5. Karmana-sharir-naam-karma gives the karman body. This body is the receptacle for karman-matter. It changes every moment, because new karman is continually assimilated by the soul and the already existing one is consumed. Accompanied by it, the jiva at death leaves his body and betakes himself to the place of his new birth, where the karman body then forms the basis of the newly produced other bodies.

Chief and Secondary Parts of the Bodies – Three –

The angopanga-naam-karma cause the origin of the chief parts of the bodies. The fiery and the karman-body have no parts; that is why there are only 3 angopanga-naam-karmas namely :

  • 1. Audarika-angopanga-naam-karma which produce the chief and secondary parts of the physical body.
  • 2. Vaikriya-angopanga-naam-karma which produce the chief and secondary parts of the transformation body.
  • 3. Aharka-angopanga-naam-karma which produce the chief and secondary parts of translocation body.


The bandhana-naam-karma provide that the newly seized pudgals of a body are united with those formerly assimilated ones into an organic entity, as wood sticks through an adhesive substance. According to the 5 bodies there are 5 binding-karmas:

  • 1. audarika-bandhana-naam-karma procures the binding of the physical body.
  • 2. vaikriya-bandhan-naam-karma procures the binding of the transformation body.
  • 3. aharaka bandhana-naam-karma procures the binding of the translocation body.
  • 4. taijasa-bandhana-naam-karma procures the binding of the fiery body.
  • 5. karmana-bandhana-naam-karma procures the binding of the karman body. Instead of five bandhana some adopt 15, by not only taking into consideration the binding of the single parts of the body to one another, but also the binding of the parts of one body with one or two others (e.g. audarika taijasa-karmana-bandhana).


The samghatana-naam-karma cause the pudgals of the different bodies to bind one another; they scrape them together as a rake gathers together grass that is scattered about. According to the 5 bodies there are 5 samghatana-naam-karmas.

  • 1. audarika samghatana-naama karma procures the flocking together of the pudgals of the physical body.
  • 2. vaikriya-samghatana-naam-karma procures the flocking together of pudgals of the transformation body.
  • 3. aharaka-samghatana-naam-karma procures the flocking together of the pudgals of the translocation body.
  • 4. taijasa-samghatana-naam-karma procures the flocking together of the pudgals of the fiery body.
  • 5. karmana-samghatana-namm-karma procures the flocking together of the pudgals of the karman body.

Firmness of the joints – Six –

The samhanana-naam-karma unites the bones of the physical body with one another. According to the firmness of the joining, 6 karmas are to be distinguished which produce more or less strong joining of the joints :

vajra-risabha-naraca-samhanana-naam-karma gives an excellent joining. The two bones are hooked into one another; through the joining a tack (vajra) is hammered; and the whole is surrounded by a bandage.

  • 1. risabha-naraca-samhanana-naam-karma gives a joining not so firm as the preceding one, because the tack is missing.
  • 2. naraca-samhanana-naam-karma gives as joining which is still weaker, because the bandage is missing.
  • 3. ardha-naraca-samhanana-naam-karma gives a joining which is on one side like the preceding one, whilst on the other the bones are simply pressed together and nailed.
  • 4. kilika samhanana-naam-karma gives a weak joining by which the bones are merely pressed together and nailed.
  • 5. sevarta (or chedaprstha) samhanana-naam-karma gives quite a weak joining, by which the ends of the bones only touch one another.

The samhananas play a great role in Jain dogmatics. Only the first four make meditation possible (Tattva. IX, 27), and only the best i.e. the first joining of the joints, permits the highest kind of concentration which precedes salvation.

Figures – Six –

The Samsthana-naam-karma determine the stature of a being, that is to say :

  • 1. samacaturasra-samsthana-naam-karma cause the entire body to be symmetrically built.
  • 2. nyagrodhaparimandala-samsthana-naam-karma causes the upper part of the body to be symmetrical, not the lower.
  • 3. saddi-samsthana-naam-karma makes the body below the naval symmetrical and above it unsymmetrical.
  • 4. kubja samsthana-naam-karma makes the body hunchbacked i.e. hands, feet, head and neck symmetrical but breast and belly unsymmetrical.
  • 5. vamana-samsthana-naam-karma makes the body dwarf i.e. breast and belly symmetrical, hands, feet etc. unsymmetrical.
  • 6. hunda-samsthana-naam-karma makes the entire body unsymmetrical.

The conception of symmetry is explained in the following way. Imagine a man sitting in the paryanka posture i.e. crossing the legs and placing the hands over the navel. If the two knees are joined by a line and from the right shoulder to the left knee, and from the left shoulder to the right knee, and from the forehead to the hands, straight lines are drawn, one gets four lines. If these are equal to one another, symmetry is apparent, if they are not so, one of the other five samsthanas results.

Gods have only the first, infernal beings and jivas who have been produced through coagulation only the 6th figure and in the case of animal and men (also of Kevalins) all 6 samsthanas are to be found.

Colours – Five –

  • 1. krsna varna- naam – karma gives a colour which is black like a raja – patta diamond.
  • 2. nile – varma – naam – karma gives a colour which is dark, blue green, like an emerald.
  • 3. lohita – varna – naam – karma gives a colour which is red like vermillion.
  • 4. haridra – varna – naam – karma gives a colour which is yellow like turmeric.
  • 5. sita – varna – naam – karma gives a colour which is white, like a shell.

Other colours, such as brown etc. are produced by mixing. black and green are considered as being pleasant, the others as unpleasant colours.

Odours – Two –

  • 1. Surabhi-gandh-naam-karma produces pleasant odours (e.g. that of camphor).
  • 2. Durabhi-gandha-naam-karma produces unpleasent odours (e.g. that of garlic).

Tastes – Five –

  • 1. Tikta-rasa-naam-karma gives a bitter-taste (like that of the nimba fruit).
  • 2. Katu-rasa-naam-karma gives a biting taste (like that of ginger).
  • 3. Kasaya-rasa-naam-karma gives an astringent taste (like that of bibhitaka).
  • 4. Amla-rasa-naam-karma gives a sour taste (like that of tamarind).
  • 5. Madhura-rasa-naam-karma gives a sweet taste (like that of sugar).

The salt taste is produced by a combination of sweet taste with another. Bitter and biting tastes are considered unpleasant, the others pleasant.

Touches – Eight –

  • 1. guru-sparsa-naam-karma causes a body to be heavy, like an iron ball.
  • 2. laghu-sparsa-naam-karma causes a body to be light, like motes in a sunbeam.
  • 3. mridu-sparsa-naam-karma causes a body to be smooth, like a tinisa-tendril.
  • 4. khara-sparsa-naam-karma causes a body to be rough, like stone.
  • 5. sita sparsa-naam-karma causes a body to be cold, like snow.
  • 6. usna-sparsa-naam-karma causes a body to be warm, like fire.
  • 7. snigdha-sparsa-naam-karma causes a body to be adhesive, like oil.
  • 8. ruksa-sparsa-naam-karma causes a body to be dry like ashes.

Heavy, rough, dry and cold are considered to be unpleasent touches, the others pleasant.

Anupurvis – Four –

The anupurvi-naam-karma causes that the jiva, when one existence is finished, goes from the place of death in the proper direction to the place of his new birth. According to the 4 states of existence (celestial, human, animal, infernal), there are 4 anupurvi-karma, namely –

  • 1. deva-anupurvi-naam-karma.
  • 2. manusya-anupurvi-naam-karma.
  • 3. tiryag-anupurvi-naam-karma.
  • 4. naraka-anupurvi-naam-karma.

Gaits – Two

  • 1. prasasta-vihayogati-naam-karma-causes a being to move in a pleasant manner, like one finds with oxen, elephants and geese.
  • 2. aprasasta-vihayogati-naam-karma causes an ugly manner of motion like one finds with camels and asses.

The Eight pratyeka-prakritis

  • 1. paraghata-naam-karma gives superiority over others. It endows the capability of injuring or vanquishing others; on the other hand, it prevents one from being injured or overcome by others.
  • 2. ucchavasa-naam-karma-bestows the capability of breathing.
  • 3. atapa-naam-karma causes the body of a being not in itself hot to emit a warm splendour.
  • 4. uddyota-naam-karma causes the transformation body of the gods and ascetics, as well as moon, stars, precious stones, herbs and shining insects to emit a cold lusture.
  • 5. agurulaghu-naam-karma makes a being neither heavy or light i.e. causes it to possess neither absolute weight nor absolute lack of it.
  • 6. tirthankara-naam-karma procures the position of a prophet.
  • 7. nirmana-naam-karma causes the formation of body i.e. it causes the members of a being to be in their right place.
  • 8. upaghata-naam-karma causes selftorture. It produces result that the parts of the body of a being (e.g. the uvula in the throat) cause it torture.

The Ten trasa-prakritis

  • 1. trasa-naam-karma gives a voluntarily movable body.
  • 2. badara-naam-karma gives a gross body.
  • 3. paryapta-naam-karma causes the complete development of the organs (Karana) and capacities (labdhi) of nourishment, of the body, of the senses, of breathing, of speech, and of thought.
  • 4. pratyeka-naam-karma causes the being to possess an individual body.
  • 5. sthira-naam-karma causes the teeth, bones, etc. to be firm.
  • 6. shubha-naam-karma causes the parts of the body above the navel to be beautiful, so that, some one whom one touches with the head is glad.
  • 7. subhaga-naam-karma causes some one to whom one is not under an obligation to be sympathetic to one.
  • 8. susvara-naam-karma bestows a voice which is melodious.
  • 9. adeya-naam-karma causes that some one is suggestive, so that his speech meets with approbation and belief.
  • 10. yaskirtin-karma grants honour and glory.

The Ten sthavara-prakrtis.

  • 1. sthavara-naam-karma causes the body (plants and elementary beings) that cannot be moved voluntarily.
  • 2. suksma-naam-karma gives (to elementary beings) a subtle body imperceptible to our senses.
  • 3. aparyapta-naam-karma causes that the organs or faculties of a being do not attain full development, but remain undeveloped.
  • 4. sadharana-naam-karma gives (to plants etc.) a body in common with others of their species.
  • 5. asthira-naam-karma causes that ears, brows, tongue etc. are flexible.
  • 6. ashubha-naam-karma causes that all parts of the body, below the navel are considered to be ugly, so that somebody who is touched by the foot feels this to be unpleasant.
  • 7. durbhaga-naam-karma makes the jiva unsympathetic.
  • 8. duhsavara-naam-karma makes the voice ill sounding.
  • 9. anadeya-naam-karma makes the jiva unsuggestive.
  • 10. ayashkirti-naam-karma causes dishonour and shame.