by Jayaram V
According to Jainism, karma is not a mere effect of a
particular activity, but a real
substance, a kind of subtle matter or
flowing mass of energy that readily enters a living body with each activity
of the latter and envelops it in dark gloom. Karma binds the soul to the
matter and makes its liberation an increasingly difficult task.The process
of the inflow of karma is called asarva.
Karma brings in lighter or denser material into the body
depending upon the nature of action performed and builds karmana sarira
which envelops the jiva from all sides and prevents its liberation.
Denser material makes the body grosser and the liberation more difficult. As
long as the karmic substance exists in the body, the soul remains in
bondage, its purity and brilliance overshadowed by the darkness and
grossness of the latter. The karmic matter effects the jiva in the following
1.Obscures the inborn knowledge of the soul resulting in
varying degrees of ignorance.
2.Obscures the intuitive power of the soul.
3.Obscures the blissful nature of the soul, causing pain
4.Disturbs the inner balance of the soul, causing
doubt and confusion.
5.Impacts the lifespan of the physical body.
6.Impacts the life and destiny of an individual and his
identity and personal name.
7.Impacts his back ground, inheritance, social and
8.Renders the soul helpless in performing good deeds
despite of its desire to do so.
Liberation is possible only when the entry of the karmic
material is blocked by individual efforts, which involve good conduct and
non injury to others. The process of inner purification takes place in
progressive stages and demands a high degree of commitment at each stage.
1. Audayika state: The normal state when karmic
matters enters the physical body and forms karmana sarira or the karmic
2. Kshayopasamika state: Some karmic matter is
removed, some is neutralized, and some is still there awaiting elimination.
3. Aupasamika state: By right actions the effects
of karma are either neutralized or reduced. But some substance is still
there in latent form and needs some more effort for its complete removal.
4. Ksayika State: The karma is complete removed
from the body and the jiva is ready for liberation.
5. Moksha: In this state the jiva is completely free and remains
eternally in a blissful state.
The first two are achieved by right conduct and good
actions. The other two are obtained through strict austerities and severe
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