The Theory of Karma

99. The theory of Karma is considered under the purview of Pudgala (matter). Karma in Jain philosophy emphasizes that one has its pivotal stand for deciding the fruits of one’s activities on an individual basis. No God can exercise its power as the middleman. One will have to bear the result of ones own deeds. The vibration (Yoga) and the passions (Kasaya) of soul attract Karmic matter and transform it into Karmic body. Yoga is the action of mind, speech and body due to desire, aversion and cognition. Soul is pure in its intrinsic nature. The relation of Karma is the cause that makes it the subject to the cycle of birth and death. There are two distinct causal agencies, viz. Nimittakarana or Dravyakarma (remote or distant cause) and Upadanakarana or Bhavakarma (substantial cause). Soul is the substantial cause of the passions while Karmic matter is the remote cause. Acarya Kundakunda has discussed in detail about the interrelation between soul and body. That can be summed up with the words that the soul and body are capable of causal interrelation and the change in one always involves two antecedents, one physical and the other psychic. If causal interrelation is not admitted, certainly ethical values will remain unexplained and unintelligible.

100. On the basis of nature, the Karmas are of eight kinds, via). Jnanavarana which conceals the light of knowledge, 2) Darsnavarana which obscures right intuition, 3) Vedaniya karma which obscures the pleasant feeling and unpleasant feeling, 4) Mohaniyakarma, the Karma which deludes faith, conduct, etc. This is the greatest powerful karma, which covers the powers of the soul like wine. As long as the Mohaniyakarma is powerful, all the karmas remain powerful and as soon as it gets weaker, all the Karmas lose their strength. 5) Ayukarma that which determines the quantum of life in the states of existence as internal beings, plants and animals, human beings and celestial beings, 6) Namakarma, the karma due to which the soul acquires Nama- rupa etc. that is body, 7) Gotrakarma (status determining Karmas) are of two types, high and low, and 8) Antarayakarma that creates obstructions in making gifts, gain, enjoyment, effort etc. Of these, Jnanavarana, Darsanavarana, Mohaniya and Antaraya Karmas are called i) Ghatiya Karmas which destroy the four main characteristics of soul- knowledge, perception, pleasure and effort, and ii) the remaining four Karmas are called Aghatiyakarmas which do not destroy the virtues of soul. On destruction of Ghatikarmas, one attains Kevalajnana and on destruction of remaining four Karmas he achieves salvation. Karmas are also divided into another two divisions, viz. Subha (virtuous), and Asubha (wicked activities). Just as water flows into the lake by means of streams, so also karmic matter flows into the soul through the channel or medium of activity. All the eight types of Karmas have the causes of the influx.

101. Theory of Karma, as in Buddhism, rejects the theory of God as creator, supporter or protector and destroyer of the world. Jainism does not believe in the principles of reward, judgment, incarnation and forgiveness. One will have to bear the result of one’s own deeds. They cannot be extinguished simply by the mercy of God. Jainism, of course, unlike Buddhism, believes in Godhood, the Paramatman state of soul itself and in innumerable gods. Karma stands to reincarnate the soul as cause to effect. It can be purged through the trinity, right faith, right knowledge, and right conduct. Every soul is potentially divine and the manifestation of divinity is called Paramatman. It has three stages, I) Bahiratman that engages itself in the external objects through the senses and is endowed with wrong views, 2) Antarataman, the stage which moves towards the real of soul, repents for indulging tendency of senses. 3) The third stage is the Paramatman, the Siddha, the soul that is freed itself from bondage of Karma and cycle of birth and death. This is the most purified stage of soul. Such the soul is bereft of the bodies produced by eight Kinds of Karmas, preserves infinite perception, infinite knowledge and infinite bliss and stays at the summit of the universe. This is called the stage of Nirvana (emancipation from all Karmas).