A Treatise On Jainism


By - Shri Jayatilal S. Sanghvi

Index of Contents


The religion which enjoins adoration and worship of Jinas or the religion which is propounded by Jinas is knows as the Jain religion.

Jina means one who has conquered the internal enemies and impurities of the soul like attachment (raga) and hatred (dwesha). He is known as Parmatma (the great soul), Sarvajna (omniscient), and Savadarshee (omnipotent). Such Jinas have been in existence from times immemorial. No beginning can be traced for them, and the Jain Religion has also no beginning. It is a very ancient religion. It teaches us to become Jina and those who follow it are called Jains.

According to Jain conception the period of time consists of two cycles, ascending (utsarpinee) and descending (avasarpini). In each of these two cycles, twenty-four Tirthankaras (Jinas) came into existence. They are called Tirthankaras because they are to become the propounders of the sacred order of religion. The last Tirthankar was Lord Mahavir. Some say that Lord Mahavir was the founder of Jainism, but this is incorrect. Twenty-three Tirthankaras existed before Lord Mahavir flourished. In their times Jainism also flourished and before that also Jainism existed. By their extraordinary perception and knowledge, Tirthankaras who come from time to time, bring the fundamental principles into light again. They preach them, propound them, and also spread them.

The souls of Tirthankaras, from the very moment of their births, are gifted with superb knowledge and are very highly meritorious. They renounce their kingly status, cast aside their riches and worldly pleasures, and adopt asceticism. By the performance of extremely severe penances, they destroy all sins accumulated during their past births, burn all karmas, inculcate a spirit of equanimity towards friends and foes both, attain the status of Vitaraga i.e, where there is no attachment or hatred towards anyone, and gain omniscient knowledge.

Those souls (atmas) who have thus become Parmatmas are of two kinds, Jeevanmukta and Videhmukta. Those who have destroyed the four Ghati Karmas are called Jeevanmukta.

Jnana-varaniya, Darsana-varniya, Mohaniya, and Antaraya

Those who have destroyed the four further Karmas, known as Aghati Karmas are called Videhmukta or Siddha.

Nama, Gotra, Ayushya, and Vedniya

Jeevanmukta Parmatmas, Arhats, or Arihants impart their rare and unprecedented teachings to all to realize true happiness and ultimately attain the eternal bliss of the final beatitude (Moksha). The principles of Jain religion having been propounded by Veetraga (souls with no attachment or hatred) and Sarvajna (Omniscient) are universally wide and based on truth and for that very reason their universal beneficence can be said to be established and proved.

Ahimsa Parmo Dharma (nonviolence is the paramount religion) epitomize the true essence of Jainism. This suggests that one should bear love towards all living beings, as they are considered potentially divine in whatever form they exist. All of them have the capacity to be liberated from the endless cycle of birth and rebirth and attain eternal bliss. Attainment of the purity and liberation of the soul are achieved by the means of Right Faith, the Right Knowledge and the Right Conduct.

Jainism allows full freedom to all human beings to observe the vows and practice self-discipline. The vows to be observed by monks and nuns are stricter than those for lay people. The Jain religion preaches that even the smallest of the small living beings (jivas) should be given protection and should not be hurt. It is the teaching of Jainism that all living beings in the world desire to live. Death is not desired by anyone. All beings desire happiness, and dislike misery.

There is life (Jiva) even in earth, water, fire, air, and vegetables. The soul in all worldly living beings is potentially like the soul in us. There is no difference in the soul of an ant and that of an elephant, though the very same soul (Atma) takes the form of an ant as well as that of an elephant.

Contraction and expansion are its characteristic attributes and due to the bondage of karmas a soul finds itself born in any one of the eighty-four lack of forms of existence.

If any living being is ill disposed towards us, even so we must love and give protection to it, whether it is an animal or man. This is the magnanimity of Jain Religion. What a height of eminence! What a noble sentiment for universal welfare!

The Jain Religion preaches the Doctrines of Ahimsa (nonviolence), Satya (truth), Asteya (nonstealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy) and Aparigraha (nonattachment).

Anger, pride, deceit, greed, attachment, aversion all these are our terrible foes. One should be away from them.

Avoid nocturnal meals, look the ground you tread upon lest any injury may be done to any living being, filter water and other liquids and then use them.

Do not speak ill of anybody, nor feel jealous. Avoid strives and quarrels. Maintain mutual good-will and do not do evil to anybody. Be delighted at the, sight of virtuous. Be desirous of allaying the sufferings of the unhappy. Be friendly towards all living beings. By giving pain to others, one will have to experience bitter fruits. Therefore, one desiring happiness should make others happy. Inculcate the spirit of equanimity towards others. Be charitable, try to uplift the poor and the afflicted, observe the best moral standards in your conduct i.e. make your character an ideal one, practice austerities to the best of your abilities and lead a life of the pure and noble thinking. This is the principal message of the Jain Religion. The details will be found in the following pages.

It is extremely difficult to get this human existence. One should therefore shake off idleness and indolence, instill and practice religion and, thereby, enjoy the endless and unobstructed happiness of the final beatitude.


It is the doctrine of Jain Philosophy that the ultimate principle is always logical and there can be no principle devoid of logic. The Jain mode of explaining everything logically is very charming. One finds deliberative exhortations on any subject in all its facts, may they be constructive or obstructive, enlightening or destructive, consumptive, or nutritive. The main reason for this is the exquisitely beautiful system of logic and reasoning known as "Syadvad". The principles of Jain Philosophy are based on the theory of Syadvad. It is the best means of arriving at the truth or of ascertaining fundamental principles and it is because of this that the Jain Philosophy is at the helm of all philosophies and the Jain Religion is the perfect religion. The word Syadvad is composed of two words `Syat' and `Vada'. Syat means in a sense or from a certain standpoint (Apeksha) and Vada points at Principle or School. One thing from one standpoint or point of view appears to be of a certain type while from another point of view the same thing appears to be of a different type. Therefore, to comprehend the full aspect of a thing one must take into account several points of view. This being the belief of Syadvad, it is sometimes also known as "Anekantvada" as well (i.e. that school of thought which takes into account more than one point of view).

To understand the true nature of Syadvad, Apekshavada or Anekantvada one must properly follow the two parables viz, (1) The other side of the shield, and (2) The story of Blind Men and the Elephant.

Parable-1 Other side of the Shield

On the outskirts of a village a statue was erected in honor of one of its hero. It had a sword in one hand and a shield in the other. One side of the shield was covered with gold while the other one was covered with silver. Two unknown persons came there each from the opposite direction and began expressing their views. One said that the statue was beautiful and more so because its shield was covered with gold. The other said that the shield was not covered with gold but was with silver. A quarrel ensued between them. A wise man came from the village by that time and said that the shield was covered with gold as well as silver. Let both of you just exchange your places and see the other side of the shield. Both realized their error and apologized to each other for fighting falsely.

Parable-2 Blind Men and Elephant

Once a royal retinue was stopping at a village to spend their afternoon. The village folks came there and amongst them there were six blind men. All had heard a lot about elephants but none had ever been able to see one. They requested the care-taker to allow them to touch the elephant so that they may be able to make out what the elephant could be like. They were permitted to do so. The first who came across the ears stated that the elephant was like a tusk weeding tool (Supada). The other caught hold of the trunk and stated that the elephant was like a big wooden pestle. The third touched the tusks and said it was like a big windpipe. The fourth touched the legs and said it was like a big pillar. The fifth felt the stomach and said it looked like a water-bag. The sixth had a tail in his hand and said it appeared to him like a broom. Each thought that his version was right and others were wrong. The care-taker said that none of them had ever seen the elephant fully. Each one had merely seen one limb and from that data each one had given his surmises about the whole elephant. This was, therefore, the cause of their quarrel. He explained the whole position, and all the blind men became silent and departed.

By these parables, one thing certainly becomes clear that the same thing can be explained from different stand points and any description of a thing would be true from one stand point but from this it cannot mean that the other points of view cannot be right. From the above it follows that to comprehend the real nature of any thing one must pay due regard to all points of view. Viewing things in this light, one will have to admit that everything in this world involves endless points of view and has endless characteristics.

Any one of the standpoints to which one has to resort for expounding a thing is called Naya (standpoint). In Naya, there is only partial truth, but in denying other characteristics that statement could result in falsehood. Suppose there is an elderly person of 75 years and he has a son aged 45 and the latter has a son aged 15. Now if the son who is aged 45 is only addressed as "father," this form of address will result in falsehood because from the standpoint of his 75 years old father he is also a son. If the 45-year-old man is only styled a "son," that too would be wrong because from the standpoint of his 15-year-old son, he is also a father. Similarly, one person is known as "Arya" from standpoint of territory; or as "Vaishya" from standpoint of Verna; or as "Oshwal" from standpoint of his sub-caste or say "Nagori" from standpoint of the village or as a son, father, husband or brother from the standpoints respectively of his father, son, wife or sister. In this way, from various standpoints, it is possible to have different characteristics in one and the same thing.

Syadvada if properly understood reveals the true nature of a thing. What is the nature of this world? How many things have existed therein? What are their attributes? etc. Perfect solution of all such quarries is obtained by Syadvada. It is an unprecedented gift of the Jain Religion to the world. If its secret is properly understood, all false schools of philosophy would end and the earnest desires for universal brotherhood will shine to the fullest extent.


Everyone in this world desires happiness and dislikes misery, but we find that one is a millionaire while another is a pauper; one is healthy while another is diseased; one is white while another is black; one is handsome while another is ugly; one is stout while another is lean; one is intelligent while another is an idiot; one is a master while another is a slave. Similarly, we find the high and the low, the mutilated and the lame, the blind and the deaf, and many such oddities. What is the reason for all these conditions? People would say that it is due to individual luck. What is that luck? Who made it? Who governs it? How can you be free from all the above oddities and truly be happy? The Jain religion shows us the correct path to follow and we shall see in the following pages how to do it.

As said above there are many oddities in this world. It will have to be admitted that behind all of this some powerful force is at work. This force is called "karma". We are unable to perceive karma by our naked eyes, yet we are able to know it from its actions.

The thrones of mighty monarchs are gone, the proud and the haughty have been humiliated in a moment and reduced to ashes. What is the principal cause of all this? It is karma. Even amongst the twins born of the same mother we find one an idiot and another intelligent, one rich and another poor, one black and another white. What is all of this due to? They could not have done any deeds while they were in their mother's womb. Why then should such oddities exist? We have then to infer that these disparities must be the result of their deeds in their past births though they are born together at one time.

In Jain philosophy the word karma has quite a different and unique significance. The starting principle of Jainism is that there is an eternal union between soul and matter. This union though without a beginning is not without an end. Once the union is entirely broken, when the soul is free from the slightest vestige of contact with matter, nothing can bind it again. It is liberated.

The activity of soul which invites and enables matter of an exceptionally subtle form to flow into it, as also the matter which actually does flow into the soul, is technically called Karma. The thought activity is called Bhava-Karma, and the actual matter flowing into the soul and binding it is called Dravya Karma. It is a substance. It is in itself inert matter, lifeless like a pebble, but in combination with jiva (life) its potency is immense, beyond calculation and measure. It then keeps the jiva itself bound and fettered. A prisoner, dancing constantly at karma's every beck and gesture. At each step, the momentum for a new movement is gained. At each embrace of matter, the delighted deluded soul throbs and vibrates for a fresh embrace. Matter is ever ready to attack the soul and to flow into it with its billion insinuations, to keep alive the vigorous bondage of the living by the nonliving. It is so very fine and subtle, that it cannot be perceived, recognized, discerned by any the most highly developed sensory organ, or by the most perfected microscope. It eludes all efforts of the chemist and the physicist to calculate, measure, graph, photograph, use, harness, or control it. It is millions of times finer and subtler than the waves of sound, light, or electricity, or the electrons and protons conceived by man. Yet this matter is ever and anon surrounding us on all sides, and permeating through and through every particle of our body and soul. There is no space where it is not. It is perceivable, appreciable, and knowable by the omniscients. Its workings, metamorphoses, make-ups, and changes are explained by Acharyas, who have heard the voice of the omniscient, and who have transmitted the knowledge thus directly acquired from the omniscient to others through the past millenniums, by mouth and in writings.

Karma is the original cause, the first the ultimate, which keeps the universe going. All phenomena, all changes, all manifestations are due to karmic effects. Jain saints, the masters of wisdom, have analyzed the workings of karma in the most minutest details in the Jain Shastras.

Karmic matter never remains in an isolated condition. As soon as it takes form, it combines with the physical or fluid body, which stimulates it into activity. The stimulation into activity is called asrava or inflow, and when it combines is called bandha or bondage.

The karmic molecules produce their effect after a certain period. This duration is called abadhakala or quiescence.

The action or effect is called udaya or operation.

The period for which it continues to operate is called sthiti, and this varies with the mildness or intensity of passions.

The natural siddance, falling or shedding off, of karmic molecules in due course during the period of duration is called nirjara or shedding. This can also be effected earlier, and the operation and duration period can be shortened, by austerities. The duration and effect or fruition of karmas can be increased or decreased. A person is the maker and master of his destiny. He can make himself happy or miserable, he can rise above circumstances, and can make a hell of heaven and a heaven of hell. A karma bound in one life may produce its effect in the same life, in the next, or in a life thereafter.

Just as gold is mixed with mud in the mines, the soul is covered with karmas from the infinite past. Just as gold is purified by means of acids and other processes, the soul is purified and freed from karmas by the process of mercy, charity, penance, self control, etc. The soul then attains salvation.

The living souls (jivatmas) are infinitely infinite. Each has a distinct entity. If these were parts and parcels of one soul we would have found every one happy or miserable at the happiness or misery of any one of them. However, what we see is entirely different. If one eats sweets he alone enjoys sweetness. At the death of one, all do not die. From this we have to conclude that though similar in nature the soul of each individual has a distinct existence. The soul which gets absolved from karma becomes a Parmatma. Such a soul is not affected by karmas again and is not born again. There are no births and deaths for such a soul. It becomes Siddhatma.

The soul gets covered with karmas mainly due to attachment (raag) and hatred (dwesha). The fruits of karmas i.e, actions would be good or bad according to the nature of actions (good or bad) done. One who has self control and can resist from acquiring karmas i.e. One who has no attachment or hatred is called Jina and the religion which teaches us to become a Jina is known as Jainism. Those who follow this religion are Jains. To follow the Path of Liberation it is not necessary to be born a Jain. However one should lead a life which is in accord with Jainism and conforms to the type and measure of faith, knowledge, and conduct leading to the goal. If that be so the soul may be sure that he or she is a liberal being and on a path to truth and freedom from the miseries and limitations of embodied existence.

One would ask how many types of karmas exist? How do they bind the soul? How are their fruits are realized, and how they wear away or get destroyed? All of this is shown in detailed in the Jain Shastras. Karma can be divided into eight main classes. They have 148 sub-classes.

The main classes are:

(1) Jnanavarniya:

Knowledge obscuring karma; it is matter which obscures the soul's attribute of knowledge (5 subclasses).

(2) Darshanavarniya:

Conation obscuring karma; it is matter which obscures the soul's attribute of conation, perception (9 sub-classes).

(3) Vedniya:

Feeling karma; it is karma which mundane souls (embodied souls) come in contact with agreeable or disagreeable objects, which in their turn cause the feelings of pleasure or pain in the soul, according to their various degrees of attachment and aversion therein (2 sub-classes).

(4) Mohaniya:

Deluding karma; it is karma which obscures the attributes of right belief, and right conduct of the soul (28 sub-classes).

(5) Ayushya:

Age karma; this keeps one in bondage of four forms of existence i.e. hellish, sub-human, human, and celestial. It causes and determines the sojourn of a soul into a particular body (4 sub-classes).

(6) Nama:

Body making karma; this gives the soul a distinguishing form of existence, determines its classes. It causes condition of existence, formation of different kinds of bodies, and the change from one to another condition of existence (93 sub-classes).

(7) Gotra:

Family determining karma; this imparts a high or low status in life i.e. by which a soul is to take birth in a high or a low family (2 sub-classes).

(8) Antaraya:

Obstructive karma; this creates hindrance in the ways of the soul's giving of gifts or achieving of things, in its abilities and in its use and enjoyment. It obscures the infinite power of the soul (5 sub-classes).

Numbers 1, 2, 4 and 8 are called Ghatiya Karmas.

Numbers 3, 5, 6 and 7 are called Aghatiya Karmas.

Ghatiya karmas are called so because they destroy the manifestation of the real and essential attributes of the soul. The manifestation of these attributes in mundane souls varies inversely of the proportionate decrease of the forces of these four destructive karmas.

The Aghatiya karmas are called so because they do not obscure the real attributes of the soul, but affect only the external environments of the soul and pertains to body.

As said above there are mainly eight kinds of classes (Prakrites) of karmic matter and these eight classes have 148 sub-classes. The subclasses are:

(1) Jnanavarniya - knowledge obscuring karma (5).

1. Mati jnan - obscures sensory knowledge 2. Shruta jnan - obscures scriptural knowledge 3. Avadhi jnan - obscures visual knowledge 4. Manahparyaya jnan - obscures mental knowledge 5. Keval jnan - obscures perfect knowledge

(2) Darshnavarniya - conation obscuring karma (9).

6. Chakshu darshan - obscures ocular conation 7. Achakshu darshan - obscures nonocular conation 8. Avadhi darshan - obscures visual conation 9. Keval darshan - obscures perfect conation 10. Nidra darshan - obscures sleep conation 11. Nidra-Nidra darshan - obscures deep sleep conation 12. Prachala darshan - obscures drowsiness conation 13. Prachala-Prachala - obscures heavy drowsiness conation darshan 14. Styasagriddhi darshan - obscures somnambulism conation

(3) Vedaniya - feeling karma (2).

15. Sata - Pleasure 16. Asata - Pain

(4) Mohaniya - deluding karma

(A) Darshana Mohaniya - deludes right belief (3)

17. Mithyatva - wrong belief 18. Samyag mithyatva - right-wrong belief 19. Samyaktva Prakriti - right belief clouded by slight wrong belief

(B) Charitra Mohaniya - deludes right conduct (25)

Kashaya - Passions (16)

Anantanubandhi - right beleif preventing passions (4)

20. Krodha - anger 21. Mana - pride 22. Maya - deceit 23. Lobha - greed

Apratyakhyana varaniya - partial vow preventing passions (4)

24. Anger 25. Pride 26. Deceit 27. Greed

Pratyakhyana varaniya - total vow preventing passions (4)

28. Anger 29. Pride 30. Deceit 31. Greed

Samjvalana - prevents perfect conduct

This is the slightest degree of passion and coexists with self restraint of a higher order. It relates to the four passions (4).

32. Anger 33. Pride 34. Deceit 35. Greed

Akashaya - quasi passions, slight or minor passions (9).

36. Hasya - laughter 37. Rati - indulgence 38. Arati - ennui; dissatisfaction 39. Shoka - sorrow 40. Bhaya - fear 41. Jugupsa - disgust; aversion; hiding one's own, and publishing other people's shortcomings 42. Striveda - feminine inclination 43. Purusveda - masculine inclination 44. Napumsakaveda - common Sex

(5) Ayu - age karma (4)

45. Narakayu - hellish age 46. Tiryanchayu - sub-human age 47. Manushyayu - human age 48. Devayu - celestial age

(6) Nama - body making karma (93)

Gati - condition of existence (4)

49. Narak - hellish 50. Tiryanch - sub-human 51. Manushya - human 52. Deva - celestial

Jati - genus of beings (5)

53. Ekendriya - one-sensed 54. Dvindriya - two-sensed 55. Tendriya - three-sensed 56. Chaundriya - four-sensed 57. Panchendriya - five-sensed

Sharira - bodies (5)

58. Audarika - The physical body of all men and animals.

59. Vaikrjyika - The fluid body of hellish and celestial beings which they can change at will.

60. Aharaka - Assimilative, the spiritual man like emanation from the head of a saint in doubt, in the sixth spiritual stage.

61. Taijasa - Electric body of mundane souls which always accompanies the Karmana.

62. Karmana - Karmic body found in all mundane souls.

Angopanga - major and minor limbs (3)

63. Audarika - physical

64. Vaikriyika - fluid

65. Aharaka - assimilative

66. Nirman - proper formation of limbs in relation to their situation (sthana) and dimensions (pramana)

Bandhana - molecular bondage (5)

67. Audarika - physical 68. Vaikriyika - fluid 69. Aharaka - assimilative 70. Taijasa - electric 71. Karmana - karmic

Samghat - molecular interfusion (5)

72. Audarika - physical 73. Vaikriyika - fluid 74. Aharaka - assimilative 75. Taijasa - electric 76. Karmana - karmic

Samsthan - figure of the body (6)

77. Samachaturasra - Symmetrical; perfect symmetry all around. 78. Nyagrodha - Banyan like; short in lower but large parimandala in upper extremities like a banyan tree 79. Svati - Tapering; like a snake-hole, broad in lower but narrow in the upper extremities, reverse of the last. 80. Kubjaka - Hunchback 81. Vamana - Dwarf 82. Hundaka - Unsymmetrical; disproportionate, deformed

Samhanana - bones, muscle etc. (6)

83. Vajra rishabha aracha - adamantine, nerves, joints samhanana and bones 84. Vajra narcha samhanana - adamantine joints and bones 85. Naracha samhanana - unbreakable joints and bones 86. Ardha naracha - semi-unbreakable joints and samhanana bones 87. Kilita samhanana - riveted bones 88. Asamprapta sripatika - loosely jointed bones samhanana

Sparsha - touch (8)

89. Kathora - hard 90. Komala - soft 91. Guru - heavy 92. Laghu - light 93. Ruksha - rough 94. Snigdha - smooth 95. Shita - cold 96. Ushna - hot

Rasa - tastes (5)

97. Tikta - pungent 98. Katuka - bitter 99. Kashaya - astringent (saline) 100. Amla - acid 101. Madhura - sweet

Gandha - smell (2)

102. Sugandha - sweet-smelling; fragrant 103. Durgandha - evil-smelling; malodorous

Varna - color (5)

104. Krishna - black 105. Nila - blue 106. Rakta - red 107. Pita - yellow 108. Shukla - white

Anupurvi - Migratory form; the power of retaining the form of the last incarnation during transmigration, i.e. in the passage from one to another condition of existence.

109. Naraka Anupurvi - hellish migratory form 110. Tiryanch Anupurvi - sub-human migratory form 111. Manushya Anupurvi - human migratory form 112. Deva Anupurvi - celestial migratory form

113. Agurulaghu - neither too heavy to move, nor too light to have stability

114. Upaghata - having a self destructive limb or organ, as a stag's horns

115. Paraghata - destructive; possessing a limb or organ fatal to others, such as a lion's claws

116. Atapa - hot light; radiant heat; possesses a brilliant body, which is hot to others but not to the possessor, as the gross radiant earth bodied beings in the sun

117. Udyota - cold light, phosphorescence

118. Uchchhvasa - respiration

Vihayogati - movement; capacity of moving in space (2)

119. Shubha - graceful 120. Ashubha - awkward

121. Pratyeka - individual body; a body enjoyable by one Sharira soul only 122. Sadharana - common body; possessed and enjoyable by many souls, e.g. a potato 123. Trasa - mobile, with bodies having 2, 3, 4, and 5 senses 124. Sthavara - immobile, with bodies having one sense only, i.e. the sense of touch

125. Subhaga - amiable personality even though not beautiful 126. Durbhaga - unrepossessing even though beautiful

127. Susvara - sweet voiced; musical 128. Duhsvara - harsh voiced; noisy

129. Shubha - beautiful (body) 130. Ashubha - ugly (body)

131. Sukshma - fine (body) uncuttable and all pervasive 132. Badara - gross (body)

133. Paryapti - capable of developing the body fully 134. Aparyapti - incapable of developing the body fully

135. Sthira - steady (circulation of blood, bile, etc.) 136. Asthira - unsteady (circulation of blood, etc.)

137. Adeva - impressive appearance such as may affect others 138. Anadeya - nonimpressive, dull appearance

139. Yashah Kirti - bringing good name even if one does not do good actions 140. Ayashah Kirti - notoriety; bringing bad name, even if one does good actions

141. Tirthankara - a Tirthankara's career with all its grandeur when he preaches and completes his ministry

(7) Gotra - family determining karma (2)

142. Uchcha Gotra - high family 143. Nicha Gotra - low family

(8) Antaraya - obstructive karma (5)

144. Dana Antaraya - charity obstructive 145. Labha Antaraya - gain obstructive 146. Bhoga Antaraya - obstruction of enjoyment, of consumable things 147. Upabhoga Antaraya - obstruction of re-enjoyment of nonconsumable things 148. Virya Antaraya - obstruction of power of exercise of one's capacities.

Some Acharyas treat the 93 subclasses of the body, making karma differently and the total of subclasses of all karmas is taken as 97, 107, 148, 158, or 168. Mainly in all Jain books the total of 148 is considered for all purposes.


We now look at the Six Dravyas, or fundamental substances, their attributes and modifications.

The universe consists mainly of two substances, living (jiva) and nonliving (ajiva).

The living alone has consciousness, and the power to attend and to know.

The nonliving has neither consciousness, attention, nor knowledge. This nonliving is of five kinds:

(1) Matter (Pudgala) i.e. table, chair, brick, stone, etc. Matter is of many kinds, but the most mighty kind is karmic matter, which the mundane soul wears and which is the self wound matter to keep the soul moving in "Samsara."

(2) Principle of Motion (Dharma) is an essential auxiliary of the motion of souls and matter.

(3) Principle of Rest (Adharma) is a similar auxiliary of the cessation of the movements of souls and matter.

(4) Time (Kala) in virtue of which things become old, new, or continue in their existence.

(5) Space (Akasha) which gives their place or location to all substances. Space consists of the universe (Loka) and the non-universe (Aloka). Space and time are both extensive and infinite.

These six, Jiva, Pudgala, Dharma, Adharma, Kala, and Akasha, are called the six substances or Dravyas.

Dravya literally means flowing, or continuing. It is called so because it flows or continues the same through all its modifications. It is called "sat" or existence also.

Existence or substance is a collective name for a trinity unity of birth (utpada), decay (vyaya), and continuance (dhrauvya).

Further, a substance is a group of attributes (guna) and modifications (paryaya).

Some attributes are general or common for all six substances, others are special. Common attributes are necessary for the existence of the group as a group or substance. These are infinite but six are principal:

(1) Astitva - Indestructibility; permanence; the capacity by which a substance cannot be destroyed.

(2) Vastutva - Functionality; capacity by which a substance has function.

(3) Dravyatva - Changeability; capacity by which it is always changing in modifications.

(4) Prameyatva - Knowability; capacity by which it is known by someone, or of being the subject matter of knowledge.

(5) Agurulaghutva - Individuality; capacity by which one attribute or substance does not become another and the substance does not lose the attributes whose grouping forms the substance itself.

(6) Pradeshatva - Spatiality; capacity of having some kind of location in space.

Chetanatva, consciousness, amurtavta, and immateriality - are common attributes of the class of substance, or group of attributes, called soul.

Achetanatva, unconsciousness, murtatva, and materiality - are common to motion, rest, time and space.

Achetanatva, unconsciousness, amurtatva, and immaterially - are common to matter.

Vishesha Gunas are special attributes of a particular substance. These distinguish one group from the others, and are:

1. Jiva - Soul

(1) Knowledge. In its full form it arises only in the absence of knowledge obscuring karma.

(2) Conation. In its full form it arises only in the absence of conation obscuring karma.

(3) Bliss. In its full form it arises only in the absence of all the four destructive karmas, etc.

(4) Power. In its full form it arises only in the absence of obstructive karmas, etc.

(5) Right Belief. In its full form it arises only in the absence of deluding karma.

(6) Right Conduct. In its full form it arises only in the absence of deluding karma.

(7) Avyavadha. Undisturbable, due to the absence of Vedaniya or feeling karma, neither pleasure nor pain.

(8) Avagaha. Penetrability, due to the absence of age karma.

(9) Agurulaghutva. Due to the absence of family determining karma.

(10) Sukshmatva. Fineness due to the absence of body making karma.

The first six are Anujivi attributes, which coexist in and constitute the substance. They arise fully only on the destruction (kshya) of the four destructive (ghatiya) karmas, i.e. Conation and knowledge-obscuring, deluding and obstructive karmas.

The last four are pratijivi attributes, which merely indicate the absence of their opposites. They arise fully on the destruction (kshya) of the four nondestructive (aghatiya) karmas, i.e. feeling, age, family determining, and body making karmas,

II. Pudgala matter has special attributes:

(1) touch (2) taste (3) smell (4) color

III. Dharma has for its special attribute the quality of being the medium of motion.

IV. Adharma is the medium of rest.

V. Akasha or space's special attribute is to give place to all substances.

VI. Kala or time's special attribute is to bring about modifications (paryaya).

Modifications occur only with reference to attributes. This alone is what is meant by birth and decay. Modifications or conditions change, i.e. a new condition is born, i.e, comes into existence (utpada) and the old one decays, i.e. goes out of existence (vyaya).

The essential attributes of the substance always persist through all these modifications. It must be clearly understood and constantly remembered that substance is one; the birth and decay in its modifications, and the continuance of the substance (dhrauvya) itself are only three aspects of viewing one and the same thing.

Also substance (dravya), attribute (guna), and modification (paryaya) are three mutually interpervasive aspects of the trinity. Attribute is nothing different from substance and modification. So for all the three. When we talk or think of one, we necessarily talk or think of the remaining two. The soul with omniscience sees the whole trinity in its entirety at one and the same time.

In the universe, the jiva dravya or soul, is found mixed with nonliving matter. Death is a most universal and eternal phenomenon. The body is living; when death intervenes, the body becomes lifeless, or dies. Life has left the body. This, life is the soul; the body represents the grossest and most visible form of matter, with which the life was clothed, and which was "living" only so long as life or soul was united with it. The soul is a self existing entity and its existence is well proved. Since it is formless, it is not perceptible to our eyes. We do not see wind, but its effect is felt. Because of the effect the cause exists. The effect (actions) of atma i.e. soul is perceptible in a living man because a living man moves, walks, plays, does work, and even thinks in various ways. All this is not perceptible in a dead man.

A moment before death movements are perceptible in a living man but the moment after death nothing is perceived in the dead body. Death does not mean annihilation of anything, soul or matter. It is only a separation of the outer body from the soul, which is still combined with two material but fine bodies, i.e. electric and karmic. It is only when the soul obtains liberation, that it becomes permanently pure and completely rid of all combination with matter. By careful comparison we can find a trace to the characteristic features of life and its differences from lifelessness.

The first thing we notice in one, who was living but is dead now, is that his senses do not act. He cannot touch, taste, smell, see, or hear. He has no vitality of the senses. Also he is powerless. He cannot act, speak, or think. He has no force, no vitality of body, speech, or mind. Many of these things may be absent also in a living man who is asleep, in a trance, or otherwise unconscious. Therefore, all over the world we examine the man's respiration. If it is there, we say, he still lives. If not, we say, "He has breathed his last." This respiration is a sure sign of life.

To sum up the distinction between the living and nonliving substances we may say that a nonliving substance does not have

(1) the vitality of the five senses, (2) the power of body, speech, and mind, (3) respiration, and (4) age.

These four may be called the four (or with their sub-divisions ten) vitalities of living beings. It is noticeable that all these four or ten are also a manifestation of one underlying real fact, that of consciousness.

In a dead body the sensory organs are there and the eye may be impressed with color and form as before, but there is no consciousness behind it which in life received, recorded, and responded to the ocular stimulus. The four or ten vitalities are sure signs to distinguish the living from the nonliving, but in reality it is consciousness which distinguishes life from lifelessness. All this goes to prove that body and soul are two different things. Body is the abode of the soul.

When the duration of time of the existence of soul in the body comes to an end, the body is left and the soul according to the Ayu Karma (its deeds in this birth by which he earns the life span of the next birth) goes away to another place, takes a new birth, and there lives in a new body. When the duration in that birth comes to an end, it goes away to a third birth. There he puts on a third body. In this way from the eternal past, the line of births and deaths continues according to karma (deeds of each soul).

The matter (pudgala) referred to above is of six kinds:

(1) Gross-gross matter (solid) e.g. a mountain, pillar of iron etc.

(2) Gross (liquid), e.g. water, oil etc.

(3) Gross-fine, e,g. shade, sunshine.

(4) Fine-gross, e.g. fragrance, sound, sweetness etc.

(5) Fine, matter capable of becoming karmic matter. It cannot be perceived by the senses.

(6) Fine-fine, matter which has for its atoms the combinations of two or more ultimate atoms (parmanu). According to some saints it is the ultimate atom itself.

The inflow of the above said karmic matter towards the soul is caused by the vibratory activity of mind, speech, and body. Colored by passions (kashaya) of anger, pride, deceit, and greed mainly. The inflow leads to bondage of soul by karmic matter. The vibrations determine the kind (prakriti) and the quantity (pradesha) of the karmic matter to be drawn towards and bound to the soul. The passions determine the duration (sthiti) of the bondage, and the mild or intense fruition (anubhaga) of the karma at its maturity.


The Tatvas or the Principles are seven:

(1) Jiva, soul, (2) Ajiva, non-soul, (3) Asrava, inflow, (4) Bandh, bondage, (5) Samvara, the check of inflow, (6) Nirjara, the shedding of previously bound up karmas, (7) Moksha, liberation from all karmic contact.

I & II. Jiva & Ajiva.

All that exists is included in one or other of the two principles, soul and non-soul. While a man is alive, it is the soul in his body which perceives and knows all objects. A body without soul is incapable of perceiving or knowing anything. Material objects such as a pen, table or chair cannot feel or know anything. They are unconscious or inanimate substances. The soul is the only conscious substance. Looked at from the real point of view even a mundane i.e. embodied soul is pure, peaceful, all knowing and all blissful. It is potentially so. From the practical point of view such a soul experiences various kinds of pain and pleasure in different conditions of life. The universe teems with infinite living forms. How to observe, analyse, and classify them? This may be done in three different ways:

(1) Soul-classes (Jiva Samasa). There are obvious differences of body, sense and mind in different classes of souls. The body is primarily the basis of this classification. This in Jainism is technically called soul classes (Jiva Samasa).

(2) Soul-quest (Margana). It comprises other inner differences in species, sex, passion, knowledge, conation, etc. In soul quest, the embodied condition of the soul, i.e. the mixed living and non-living condition, is primarily the basis.

(3) Spiritual Stages (Gunasthan). They concern the purely-inner progress of the soul. In these spiritual stages, the progress of the soul from iguorance and delusion to perfect self-absorption is traced.

Soul-classes (Jiva Samasa). From the protoplasm of the germ-cell to a full blown human-being, there is an infinite number of mundane souls or living beings in the universe. The protoplasm so far as is known at present has no ears to hear, no eyes to see, no nose; to smell, no tongue to taste, it has only the sense of touch. The human being has all the five senses fully developed and distinct, and a mind also which is also a sort of additional and higher sense (a quasi-sense), the organ of which sense is invisibie to us. In Jainism, it is an organ which is made up of subtle matter called Manovargana or mental matter and its form is like a lotus with eight petals near the heart. We can divide mundane souls into six classes.

(1) With the sense of touch only (2) With touch and taste (3) With touch, taste and smell (4) With touch, taste, smell, and sight (5) With touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing (6) With touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing, and mind

One-sensed souls cannot be known by our senses. They can penetrate all matter. They are everywhere in the universe. They are not obstructed by, and they do not obstruct others. They die their own death.

Some of the above seven kinds are born with the capacity to develop, others die before acquiring the capacjty to develop. Each one of the seven may, therefore, be developable or non-developable. Thus, there may be said to be fourteen soul-classes in all. A further distinction can be considered. Some mundane souls can voluntarily change their place in space; others cannot. Observation will show that all one-sensed souls are immobile and that all the other souls are mobile. There are 406 soul classes of mundane souls as under:

(1) Sub-human, one to four-sensed - 81 One-sensed in earth, water, fire, air, vegetable, trunk, creeper, plant, tree, root.

(2) Sub-human, five-sensed - 42 In work region, highest, middle, lowest enjoyment regions.

(3) Human, five-sensed - 13 In work region Arva Khanda and Mlichha Khanda. In highest, middle, lowest and distorted enjoyment regions.

(4) Celestial, five-sensed - 172 In 1st to l6th Heaven, 9 Graiveyaka, 9 Anudisha, 6 Anuttara.

(5) Hellish, five-sensed - 98 In 1st to 7th Hell

Total Soul classes 406

Soul quests (Marganas). There are 14 soul quests as under:

(1) Gati. Conditions of existence are 4: human, sub-human, hellish and celestial. Margana is a condition in which a mundane soul is necessarily found. There are four such sets, of existence.

(2) Indriya. Senses are 5: touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing.

(3) Kaya. Body is of 6 kinds: earth, water, fire, air, vegetable (all immobile) and mobile bodies.

(4) Yoga. Soul's vibrations are of 15 kinds:

1 - 8 are mind and speech vibrations, each being true, false, mixed true and false, and neutral i.e, neither true nor false;

9 - 15 are body vibratious.

9 - Body vibration physical. 10 - Body vibration physical mixed with karmic. 11 - Body vibration fluid. 12 - Body vibration fluid mixed with karmic. 13 - Body vibration assimilative. 14 - Body vibration assimilative mixed with physical. 15 - Body vibration karmic.

(5) Veda. Sex is of 3 kinds: masculine, feminine, common.

(6) Kashaya. Passions are of 4 kinds: anger, pride, deceit, greed.

(7) Jnana. Knowledge is of 8 kinds: sensitive, scriptural, visual, mental, perfect and wrong sensitive, wrong scriptural, wrong visual.

(8) Samyam. Restraint is of 7 kinds: equanimity, recovery of equaninity after downfall, pure and absolute non-injury, slightest delusion, passionless, partial control, non-control.

(9) Darshana. Conation is of 4 kinds: occular, non-occular, visual, perfect.

(10) Leshya. Thought paint is of 6 kinds: black, blue, dove-gray, yellow, pink, white.

(11) Bhavya. It is of 2 kinds: capacity or incapacity of being liberated.

(12) Samyaktva. Right Belief is of 6 kinds: subsidential, destructive, destructive-subsidential, wrong-belief, downfall, mixed right and wrong belief.

(13) Sanjna. It is of 2 kinds: rational and irrational.

(14) Akaraka. It is of 2 kinds: Taking or not taking, no karmas or assimilative matter.

All these divisions of soul quests are marked out with reference to the results of the operation of different karmas. The pure soul has perfect knowledge, perfect conation, right belief, and pure right conduct. These have no reference to any operation of karmas. The pure soul is free from all these distinctions of soul quests.

Spiritual Stages (Gunasthana). These are dealt with in a separate chapter.

The non-soul comprises the other five real and independent substances mentioned below, which, taken together with the soul, make up the six substances (Dravyas) described previously.

(1) Pudgala, matter is the most prominent, and plays a very important part in the amphitheatre of the universe. The special attribute of matter-substance (Pudgala) are touch, taste, smell, and colour. It exists either in the form of atoms or of molecules. Only gross molecules are cognizable by the senses; fine, electric and karmic molecules which compose the electric and the karmic bodies of all mundane souls are not cognizable by the senses.

(2) Dharma Dravya, medium of motion is a single, immaterial substance, pervading throughout the whole of the universe. It is essentially an auxiliary cause of motion for soul and matter.

(3) Adharma Dravya, medium of rest is also a single, immaterial substance, pervading throughout the whole universe. It is also an essentially auxiliary cause of rest for soul and matter.

(4) Akasha Dravya, space is a single infinite immaterial substance. Its function is to give place to all substances.

(5) Kala Dravya, time is an immaterial substance. It is an auxiliary camse of bringing about modifications in all substances.

III & IV. Asrava and Bandha.

The most important combination of soul and matter is our body. It is also manifest that this body is constantly changing, in virtue of our activity of mind, speech and body.

A feeling of modesty in the mind of the maiden paints her cheeks with blush. A sad thought gives one a long face. Criminal broodings breed a criminal look in a man or woman. The pious chanting of a hymn or prayer gilds one with the calm detachment and glory of the halo of a priest or devotee. Our food, dress, play and work, all bring about constant changes in the body. Matter attracts matter. Generally the law of nature is "like to like". The matter of bad thoughts attracts matter of bad thought, and ultimately becomes the father of a bad habit. This attraction of good or bad matter by the soul in virtue of its mental, vocal, or bodily activity, is called infow (Asrava).

Every mundane soul has a karmic body, formed of karmic molecules. The universe is full of karmic molecules. Inflow of these molecules towards the soul, caused by its ows vibratory activities, through mind, speech, and body, is the third principle Asrava.

The mundane inflow is of 39 kinds, according to its causes:

5 caused by the activity of the 5 senses,

4 caused by the activity of the 4 passions,

5 caused by the activity of the 5 sins: injury, lies, theft, unchastity, and worldly attachment,

25 caused by 25 kinds of activities which are the effects of the 14 causes, viz., 5 senses, 4 passions, and 5 sins of vowlessness.

When these molecules are so attracted towards the soul, they are assimilated in the existing karmic body. The causes of assimilation or bondage are the soul's vibratory activities and passions. This process is known as Bandha (bondage) the fourth principle. The process of inflow and bondage of karmic matter go on simultaneously.

The main auxiliary causes of both of them are: (a) wrong belief (Mithyatva), (b) vowlessness (Avirati), (c) passions (Kashaya), and (d) soul's vibratory activities of mind, speech and body (Yoga).

If the vibratory activity is with passion, the inflow leads to bondage of soul by karmic matter. It is called Samparayika or mundane inflow.

If it is without passion, i.e. purely vibratory in the llth, l2th and 13th spiritual stages and does not lead to bondage it is called Iryapatha or transient or fleeting inflow.

The causes of inflow of the eight karmas are as under:

1 & 2. Knowledge and conation-obscuring karmas.

The inflow of knowledge and conation obscuring karmic matter is caused by the following:

(1) Depreciation of those who are learned in the scriptures. (2) Concealment of knowledge. (3) Envy, jealousy, refusal to impart knowledge out of envy. (4) Obstruction. Hindering the progress of knowledge. (5) Denying the truth, proclaimed by another, by body and speech. (6) Refuting the truth, although it is known, to be such.

3. Feeling Karma, Vedaniya Karma.

The inflow of pain bringing feeling (Asata Vedaniya) karmic matter is due, to the following feelings and acts:

(1) Dukha, pain (2) Shoka, sorrow, (3) Tapa, repentence, remorse (4) Akrandana, weeping (5) Badha, depriving of vitality (6) Paridevana, piteous or pathetic moaning to attract conpassion.

These 6 can be produced in one's own self, in another, or both in one's self and another. Thus, there are 18 forms of this inflow.

The following are the causes of inflow of pleasure bearing feeling (Sata Vedaniya) karmic matter:

(1) Bhuta anukampa, compassion for all living beings (2) Vraty anukampa, compassion for the vowers (3) Dana, charity (4) Saraga samyam, self-control with slight attachment (5) Samyam asamyam, restraint by vows of some, but not of others (6) Akama nirjara, equanimous submission to the fruition of karma (7) Bala tapa, austerities not based upon right knowledge (8) Yoga, contemplation (9) Kshanti, forgiveness (10) Shauch, contentment

4. Deluding Karma, Mohaniya Karma.

The inflow of Darshana Mohaniya, right belief deluding karmic matter is caused by Avarnavada, defaming the Omsiscient Lord, Arhat Kevali; the Scriptures Shruta; the Saint's brotherhood, Sangha; the true relegion, Dharma; and the celestial beings, Deva,

e.g. saying that the celestial beings take meat or wine, etc. and to offer these as sacrifices to them.

The inflow of Charitra Mohaniya, right conduct deluding karmic matter is caused by the intense thought activity produced by the rise of the passions and of the quasi passions, no-kashaya, e.g. joking about truth, etc., disinclination to take vows, etc., including in evil society, etc.

5. Age, Ayu Karma.

The inflow of Narakayu, Hellish Age Karma is caused by too much worldly activity and by attachment to too many wordly objects or by too much attachment e.g. committing breaches of the first five vows of non-killing, truth, non-stealing, chastity, non-attachment to worldly possessions. The point to be noted is that it is not the possession or ownership of worldly wealth which is sinful but it is the attachment to it which is a sin. A man may be in the world; but he must not be of it.

The infow of Tiryancha-ayu, Sub-human Age Karma is caused by Maya, deceit, e.g, cheating others, preaching the false doctrines, etc.

The infow of Manushya-ayu, Human Age Karma is caused by slight worldly activity and by attachment to a few wordly objects or by slight attachment. Natural humble disposition is also the cause of Human Age Karma.

Vowlessness and sub-vowlessness with slight worldly activity and slight attachment are causes of the inflow of all kinds of Age Karmas. Not taking the vows of laymen and not adopting the restrictions (Shila) but having slight attachment to the world and activity in it, can be the cause of the infow of Age-karmic matter of all four kinds.

The inflow of Deva Ayu, Celestial Age Karma is caused by the following:

(1) Saraga Samyam, self-coutrol with slight attachment found in monks only.

(2) Samyam Asamyam, restraint of some vows, but not of others, found in laymen only.

(3) Akama Nirjara, equanimous submission to the fruition of karma.

(4) Bala Tapa, austerities not based upon right-knowledge.

Right belief is also the cause of Celestial Age Karma, but only of the heavenly order. It applies to human and sub-human beings only. A celestial or hellish right believer binds the human age karma. Note also that if a human or sub-human being has bound a particular Age Karma before gaining right belief, he must enjoy that.

6. Body making, Nama Karma.

The inflow of Ashubha Nama, a bad body making karma is caused by a non-straightforward or deceitful working of the mind, body or speech or by Visamvada, wrangling, etc., wrong belief, envy, back-biting, self-praise, censuring others, etc.

The inflow of Shubha-Nama, a good body making karma is caused by the causes which are opposite of the above viz. by straightforward dealings with body, mind and speech; by avoiding disputes, etc., right belief, humility, admiring praiseworthy people, etc.

The inflow of Tirthankara body making karma is caused by meditation (Bhavana) of the following 16 matters:

(1) Darshana Vishuddhi, purity of right belief. Pure right belief is with 8 Angas or the following 8 qualities:

(a) Nisshankita. Free from all doubt. (b) Nishkankshita. Free from worldly desire. (c) Nirvichikitsita. Free from repulsion from anything. (d) Amudbadrishtitva. Free from superstitious belief. (e) Upa-brimhana or more popularly, Upa-guhana. Advancement in one's own attributes. Free from a tendency to proclaim the faiths of others. (f) Sthiti-karana. To help oneself or others to remain steady in the path of truth. (g) Vatsalya. Tender affection for one's brother on the path of liberation. (h) Prabhavana. Propagation of the path of liberation.

(2) Vinaya sampannata. Reverence for means of liberation and for those who follow them.

(3) Shila vrateshnanatichara. Faultless observance of the 5 vows, and faultless subdual of the passions.

(4) Abhikshna jnanopayoga. Ceaseless pursuit of right-knowledge.

(5) Samvega. Perpetual apprehension of mundane miseries.

(6) Shaktitas tyaga. Giving to others, gift of knowledge, food, medicine etc., according to one's capacity.

(7) Shaktitas-tapa. The practice of austerities, according to one's capacity.

(8) Sadhu samadhi. Protecting and reassuring to saints or removing their troubles.

(9) Vaiyavrittya karana. Serving the meritorious.

(10) Arhat bhakti. Devotion to Arhats or Omniscient Lords.

(11) Acharya bhakti. Devotion to Acharyas or heads of the orders of saints.

(12) Bahu shruta bhakti. Devotion to Upadhyayas or teaching saints.

(13) Pravachana bhakti. Devotion to Scriptures.

(14) Avashyaka parihari. Not neglecting one's six important daily duties.

(15) Marga prabhavana. Propagation of the Path of Liberation.

(16) Pravachana vatsalatva. Tender affection for one's brothers on the Path of Liberation.

Even one of these, if properly contemplated and with right belief, brings about the inflow of Tirthankara body making karma.

7. Family determining, Gotra Karma.

The inflow of low family determining karma is caused by the following:

(1) Paraninda, speaking ill of others. (2) Atma prashansa, praising oneself. (3) Sadgunochchhadana, concealing the good qualities of others. (4) Asad guna udbhavana, proclaiming in oneself the good qualities which one does not possess.

The inflow of high family determining karma is caused by the opposites of the above i.e.:

(1) Para prashansa, praising others. (2) Atma ninda, denouncing oneself. (3) Parsad gunandbhanana, proclaiming the good qualities of others. (4) Atmasad guna uchchhadana, not proclaiming one's own good qualities. (5) Nichaih Vritti, an attitude of humility towards one's betters. (6) Anutseka, not being proud of one's own achievements or attainments.

8. Obstructive, Antraya Karma.

The inflow of Antaraya Karma is caused: by disturbing others in charity, gain, enjoyment of consumable things, enjoyment of non-consumable things, and making use of their powers.

Note that the inflow of 7 Karmas, i.e. of all except the age karma, is going on always in souls influenced by the passions, and of the age karma also on special occasions; but the predominance of the above causes will determine the intensity of fruition (anubhaga) of their particular inflow.

The special occasions of Age Karma are eight in one man's life, as follows:

Suppose a man's life is to be 81 years long. The first occasion for binding the age karma will be on his passing 2/3 of it, i.e. when he is 54. The second on his passing 2/3 of the remainder i.e. when he is 72. The third on his passing 2/3 of the remainder, i.e. when he is 78. The fourth on his passing 2/3 of the remainder, i.e. when he is 80. Similarly the fifth when he is 80 years, 8 months. The sixth is at 80 years, 10 months and 20 days. The seventh at 80 years, 11 months, 16 days and 16 hours. The eighth at 80 years, 11 months, 25 days, 13 hours, and 20 minutes. If no age karma is bound yet, the ninth is the last antar muhurta of his life. The point is that the man is born with his particular age karma already bound. Therefore, he must bind the age karma of his next incarnation at the latest at the last moment.

(1) Wrong Belief. It is of 5 kinds:

(a) Ekanta. Taking only one aspect of a many sided thing. (b) Viparita. Perverse belief, e.g. animal sacrifices lead to heaven. Injury to auyone cannot be a cause of merit. (c) Samshaya. Doubt, scepticism, hesitation, e.g. as to Path of Liberation. (d) Vinaya. Veneration. Taking all religions and Gods, even the so-called religions which enjoin cruel or immoral practices, to be equally worthy of pursuit. (e) Ajnana. Wrong belief caused by ignorance. Indiscrimination of good and bad. Wrong belief is caused by Nisarga, inborn error; or by Adhigama, preaching of another.

(2) Avirata. Vowlessness, Non-renunciation is of 12 kinds: Lack of compassion for 6 classes of embodied souls; and lack of restraint of 5 senses and 1 mind.

(3) Pramada. Carelessness is of 15 kinds:

(1) Food (bhojana katha) (2) Women (stri katha) (3) Politics (rajya katha) (4) Scandal (desha katha) (5-9) Senses (10-13) Passions (14) Affection (15) Sleep

(4) Kashaya. Passions are four: anger, pride, deceit and greed.

(5) Yoga. Vibrations in the soul, through mind, speech and body, are of 15 kinds:

Mind: (1) Satya mana, true mind. (2) Asatya mana, false mind. (3) Ubhaya mana, mixed true and false mind. (4) Anubhaya mana, neither true nor false.

Speech: (1) Satya Vachana, true. (2) Asatya Vachana, false. (3) Ubhaya Vachana, both. (4) Anubhaya Vachana, none.

Body: (1) Audarika, physical. (2) Audarika mishra, i,e. physical with karmic. (3) Vakriyika, fluid. (4) Vakriyika mishra, Fluid with karmic. (5) Aharaka, Assimilative. (6) Aharaka mishra, i.e. Assimilative with physical. (7) Karmana, Karmic.

Note that the Taijasa, Electric Body, is always found with the Karmic Body. It never has an independent yoga. The electric molecules are drawn like the karmic molecules by the vibrations set in the soul by yoga of any kind.

Karmic matter is bound to the soul by the vibrations (yoga) of mind, speech and body, coloured by passions (Kashaya) of anger, pride, deceit, and greed mainly. The vibrations determine the kind (Prakriti) and the quantity (Pradesha) of the Karmic matter to be drawn towards and bound to the soul. The passions determine the duration (Sthiti) of the bondage and the mind or intense fruition (Anubhaga) of the karma at its maturity.

Kinds of Bondage:

There are eight kinds of Prakritis of Karmic matter and 148 sub-classes as already mentioned in Chapter II.

The Quantity of Bondage.

As to Pradesha, accoiding to the nature caused by their names from all around, due to the differences is the vibrations (yoga) in the soul-activty, not perceptible by the senses, the karmic molecules enter and become one and stay with every Pradesha of the soul. They come in infinite numbers, every moment, to each soul. The particular number of the molecules actually absorbed is called Pradesha-bandha.

Duration of Bondage.

The maximum durations are as under:

Knowledge and Conation obscuring karmas, Feeling Karmas and Obstructive karmas 30 crore x crore Sagaras.

This is possible in a rational five sensed, fully developable (Paryapta) soul, who has wrong belief (Mithyatva).

Deluding Karma: 70 crore x crore Sagaras.

Nama and Gotra Karmas: 33 crore x crore Sagaras for each. This is also possible as above.

Ayu, Age Karma: 33 Sagaras.

The minimum durations are as under:

Feeling Karma: 12 Muhurtas = 12 x 48 minutes = 12 x 48/60 = 48/5 = 9hours, 36 minutes.

Gotra Karma: 8 Muhurtas.

Nama Karma: 8 Muhurtas.

Knowledge obscuring Karma Conation obscuring Karma Obstructive obscuring Karma Deluding obscuring Karma One Antar-muhurta which ranges from 1 Samaya and 1 Ava1i at the lowest to 48 minutes minus one Samaya.

Fruition of Karma. It is according to the name of the karma, e.g. knowledge obscuring karma prevents the acquisition of knowledge and so on.

V. Samvara.

Checking of inflow and bondage of karmic molecules is called Samvara (stoppage). The main auxiliary causes of stopping the inflow and bondage of karmic molecules are: (a) right belief, (b) observance of vows, (c) passionlessness, and (d) restraint of soul's vibratory activities.

The causes of inflow and bondage are given above.

Wrong belief (Mithya Darshan) is stopped (Samvara) in the 4th Spiritual Stage (guuasthana), vowlessness (Avirata) in the 5th and 6th, carelessness (Pramada) in the 7th, passion (Kashaya) in the 8th, 9th and 10th, vibration (Yoga) in the 14th Stage.

Samvara or Stoppage of Inflow is produced by the following:

(A) 3 kinds of Gupti, preservation. (B) 5 kinds of Samiti, carefulness. (C) 10 kinds of Dharma, observances. (D) 12 kinds of Anupreksha, meditation. (E) 22 kinds of Parishaha Jaya, subdual of sufferings. (F) 5 kinds of Charitra, conduct.

By austerities is caused the shedding of karmic matter, and also stoppage of inflow.

(A) 3 preservations, Gupti, proper control (Nigraha) over (1) mind, (2) speech, and (3) body.

(B) 5 carefulness.

(1) Samyak Irya Samiti, Proper care in walking. (2) Samyak Bhasha Samiti, Proper care in speaking. (3) Samyak Eshna Samiti, Proper care in eating. (4) Samyak Adana Nikshepa Samiti, Proper care in lifting and laying. (5) Samyak Utsarga Samiti, Proper care in excreting.

(C) 10 observances:

(1) Uttama kshama, supreme forgiveness. (2) Uttama mardava, supreme humility. (3) Uttama arjava, supreme straight forwardness (Honesty). (4) Uttama shaucha, supreme contentment. (5) Uttama satya, supreme truth. (6) Uttama samyama, supreme restraint. (7) Uttama tapa, supreme austerities. (8) Uttama tyaga, supreme renunciation. (9) Uttama akinchanya, supreme non-attachment, not taking the non-self for one's own self. (10) Uttama brahmacharya, supreme chastity.

(D) 12 Meditations:

(1) Anitya Anupreksha, Everything is subject; to change or transitory but note that as substance everything is permanent. Only condition is transitory.

(2) Asharana Auupreksha. Unprotectiveness, helplessness. The soul is unprotected from the fruition of karmas, death, pain, pleasure success, failure are the necessary, results of our acts in this or past lives.

(3) Samsara Anupreksha, Mundaneness, soul, moves in the cycle of existences and cannot attain true happiness till he is out of it.

(4) Ekatva Anupreksha. Loneliness, I am alone the doer of my actions and the enjoyer of the fruits of them.

(5) Anyatva Anupreksha. Separateness, otherness. The world, my relatives and friends, my body and mind, they are all distinct and separate from my real self.

(6) Ashuchi Anupreksha. Impurity, the body is impure and dirty. Purity is of 2 kinds: of the Soul itself; and of the body and other things. This last is of 8 kinds.

(7) Ashrava Anupreksha, Inflow. The inflow of Karma is the cause of my mundane existence and it is the product of passions, etc.

(8) Samvara Anupreksha, Stoppage. The inflow must be stopped.

(9) Nirjara Anupreksha, Shedding. Karmic matter must be shed from or shaken out of the soul.

(10) Loka Anupreksha, Universe. The nature of the Universe and its constituent elements in all their vast variety proving the insignificance and miserable nothingness of man in time and space.

(11) Bodhi Durlabha Asupreksha. Rarity of Right Path. It is diffcult to attain right belief, knowledge and conduct.

(12) Dharma svakhya tattva Anupreksha. Nature of Right Path as said by the Conquerors. The true nature of Truth, i.e., the three fold path to real Liberation. These must be meditated again and again.

(E) 22 Sufferings. For the sake of non-falling-off from the Path of Liberation, and for the shedding of karmic matter, whatever sufferings are undergone calmly and with religious renunciation are called the Sufferings (Parishaha). They are:

(1) Hunger (2) Thirst (3) Cold (4) Heat (5) Troubles from insect-bites, mosquitoes, etc. (6) Nakedness, To bear calmly the troubles of climate, unpopularity, etc., due to the vow of absolute possessionlessness, i.e. nakedness (7) Ennui, dissatisfaction, languor (8) Women. Resisting temptations from and desire for women (9) Walking too much, not to feel the fatigue, but to bear it calmly (10) Continuous sitting in one posture, not to disturb the posture of meditation, even if there is danger from lion, snakes, etc. (11) Sleeping, resting on the hard earth (12) Abuse (13) Beating (14) Begging. To resist the temptation of begging even when there is great need of protection of body, mind, etc. (15) Failure to get alms (16) Disease (17) Contact with thorny shrubs, etc. (18) Dirt. Discomfort from dust, etc. (19) Respect or disrespect by admirers or enemies (20) To resist conceit of knowledge and to be full of humility (21) Lack of knowledge. Not to be pained, even though it is felt that one does not know much (22) Slack belief, e.g., on failure to attain supernatural powers, even after great piety and austerities to begin to doubt the truth of Jainism and its teachings.

(F) 5 Charitras. They are:

(1) Eqnanimity (2) Recovery of equalimity after a fall from it (3) Pure and absolute non-injury (4) All but entire freedom from passion (5) Ideal and passionless conduct (Parihar Vishuddhi)

VI. Nirjara.

The shedding of karmas already bound with a soul, at maturity, or prematurely, is called Nirjara. The premature shedding of karmas is caused by pure thought activities, brought about by the practice of right kind of austerities. The shedding on maturity is a natural and automatic process. But it is a long process. Therefore a shorter method is adopted; deliberate activity may hasten the ripening of a karma and the shedding of its matter.

To illustrate, we wish evil to our neighbour A : the thought activity invites the karmic matter into the soul (ashrava), the matter comes and binds the soul (bandha). This karma may take two months to bear its full fruits; in the meantime it is an evil load for the soul. To get lightness and to get rid of the karma, the soul may deliberately feel an opposite kind of feeling towards other neighbours B, C, and D, or towards A himself. A still surer way is to practise austerity. By removing the mind from the demands and impulses of the body, and by mortifying the physical man through not listening to its greed and temptations, matter may be overcome and the soul freed from the bondage.

The natural maturing of a Karma and its separation from the soul is called Savipaka Nirjara. Inducing a karma to leave the soul by means of a contrary karma, or by means of ascetic practices, is called Avipaka Nirjara (Riddance without fruition).

The causes of stopping of inflow of karmic matter given previously are also causes of the shedding of the karmas already bound to the soul. In addition to these, austerities (tapa) also cause the shedding before its time. Tapa, austerities are external and internal.

External austerities are six:

(1) Anashana, Fasting. (2) Avamodarya, Eating less than one's fill, or less than one has appetite for. (3) Vritti parisankhyana, Taking a mental vow to accept food from a house-holder, only if a certain condition is fulfilled, without letting anyone know about the vow. (4) Rasa parityaga, Daily renunciation of one or more of 6 kinds of delicacies: ghee (butter, clarified butter), milk, curd, sugar, salt, oil. (5) Vivikta shayyasana, sitting and sleeping in a lonely place, devoid of animate beings. (6) Kaya-Klesha, Mortification of the body, so long as the mind is not disturbed.

Internal austerities are also six:

(1) Prayashchitta, Expiation. (2) Vinava, Reverence. (3) Vaiyavritya, Service of the saints or worthy people. (4) Swadhyaya, Study. (5) Vyutsarga, Giving up attachment to the body, etc. (6) Dhyana, Concentration.

VII. Moksha,

Liberatiom is freedom from all karmic matter as a result of the non-existence of the cause of bondage and the shedding off of all karmas previously bound. The total separation of soul from the bondage of all karmic matter is liberation (Moksha). It is the state of a Siddha, the condition of perfection. Continuous devotion to Apta (own soul), study of the scriptures, and meditation of the seven principles, cause the subsidence of wrong belief (Mithyatva) and of the four error feeding passions (Anantanubandhi Kashaya) and as a cousequence the real Right Belief, which is an attribute of the soul, shines forth in its true splendour. At this stage the Right Believer is fully convinced of the true amd pure nature of his own soul, and this is Real Right Belief.

Punya (merit) and Papa (demerit):

Two more are added to the above said seven principles. These are Punya (merit) and Papa (demerit). Know good karmas as merit and bad karmas as demerit. Non-self, whether merit or demerit, is not conducive to the freedom of the soul. People generally love merit and hate demerit, because the latter brings pain and the former pleasure. Really pleasure also is not beneficial, because a mundane soul indulging in sense pleasures remains aloof from the path of spiritual purity. Every gratification of sense pleasure creates desire for further gratification. For obtaining such gratifications one has to employ means, which may be fair or foul, and, he inevitably binds bad karmas. He goes on sinking deeper and deeper in the mire and his chances of extricating himself become lesser and lesser. A wise man should wean himself away from both merit and demerit, and concentrate all attention to contemplation of pure soul. From the practical point of view, people prefer merit to demerit, and therefore, engage themselves in such acts and thoughts as bring in merit for the following reasons:

(1) Cause of bondage of each is different; good thoughts bring merit (Punya), and bad thoughts demerit (Papa).

(2) Nature of each is different. Good karmas are pleasure bearing feeling karma, high family, good body-making, good age karma classes; while bad karma are pain bearing feeling karma, low family, bad body-making, bad age karma, and the four destructive karmas, knowledge obscuring, conation obscuring, delusion and obstructive karmas.

(3) Fruition of each is different. Merit (Punya) result in pleasure and demerit (Papa) in pain.

(4) The result in each is different. Merit (Punya) leads on to the Path of Liberation ultimately and demerit (Papa) to the path of bondage.

From the real point of view, however, both merit and demerit lead the soul further into the vortex of transmigration because:

(1) Both are caused by impure thought activity of the soul (2) Both have got material karmic nature (3) Fruition of both is harmful to real happiness of soul (4) Both lead towards the path of bondage.

Passionate thought activity and soul vibration cause inflow and bondage of karma, good or bad. Both are bondages, hindering the purity and freedom of soul. Merit bondage is like fetters made of gold and the demerit bondage is like iron fetters, causing the soul to wander in the cycle of existences because fruits of good or bad karmas have to be enjoyed. A wise Right Believer should, therefore, see that merit and demerit both are derogatory to the Path of Liberation, and true peace and happiness. Thus he should have regard and liking only for self-absorption, based on Right Belief, Right Knowledge and Right conduct of Soul in its own true nature, as the true Path of Liberation. Although in the lower Spiritual Stages, when long-continued self-absorption is not possible, one is obliged to take resort to good deeds, such as, worship of Arhats and Saints, devotion to and services of the Acharyas, charity, and study of scriptures in order to keep away Pramada or lines of thoughts and deeds not beneficial for soul advancement. Such good deeds are performed with the object of self improvement and not for the gratification of sense desire. There is, however, a constant effort for attaining the high status of self-absorption.


According to Jain Philosophy there are 14 Spiritual Stages (Gunasthanas) of thought activities, which a soul, desirous of being liberated and of attaining perfection has to pass through. The 14 Spiritual Stages which trace the progress of the soul from delusion to a condition of perfection are useful as a practical preliminary. In its highest essence the soul neither needs nor is capable of any divisions or stages; it is always itself infinite. The 14 Spiritual Stages are:

(1) Mithyatva, Wrong Belief, Delusion.

The thoght activity of the soul due to the operation of the Right Belief Deluding Karmas. In this, the soul does not believe in the right path to liberation. All 28 sub-classes of Mohaniya i.e. deluding karma may be present in this first and lowest stage. From here the soul always goes to the 4th Gunasthana.

(2) Sasadana, Downfall.

The second and third stages are the intervening progressive stages of thought activities between wrong belief and right belief of the 4th stage. In the 2nd stage the three kinds of right belief deluding karmas are existent, but in an inoperative condition. The remaining 25 are operative. The duration of this stage is the shortest, viz. at the most 6 Avalis, or winks or twinklings of an eye. This is a stage, which is not touched by the soul in its progress. It is only one of the possible 3 stages, which the soul occupies if it suffers a downfall from the 4th stage. These 3 downward stages are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd. When there is operation in the 4th stage of one of the four Anantanubandhi Kashayas, error feeding passions, the soul falls down to the 1st stage through the 2nd and the thought activity in the passage through, is called Sasadana.

(3) Mishra, mixed right and wrong belief.

Operation of Samyak mithyatva mohaniya karmas or Mishra Mohaniya. Belief in right and wrong at one and the same time. This is reached on falling down from the 4th stage. From the 3rd, the soul may come down straight to the 1st or rise to the 4th stage. But the operation of the error feeding passions without operation of wrong belief brings about the downfall of the soul from the 4th to the 2nd stage. In the 3rd stage, only 22 causes delusion are operative, namely, 21, i.e., all except the 4 error feeding passions of right conduct deluding karma, and only 1, i.e. mixed right and wrong belief of the right belief deluding karma.

(4) Avirata Samyaktva, Vowless Right-Belief.

A soul which enters the 4th stage is said to have reached the threshold of Liberation. At this stage the soul has got only right belief. The soul here has belief in the Path of Liberation, but cannot observe the rules of conduct for attaining Liberation. Here only 21 causes of delusion are operative. There is no right belief deluding karma except of the 3rd kind i.e. when the right belief is clouded by wrong belief.

(5) Desha Virata, partial vows, i.e. taking the partial vows.

All the 11 Pratimas or stages of a layman's life come in this stage. As soon as the soul begins to follow the practical vows of a layman, it is said to enter the 5th stage. Here only 17 causes of delusion are operative. The four partial vow preventing passions become quiescent here.

(6) Pramata Virata, imperfect vows.

After renunciation of all worldly objects, still occasionally to turn the mind to the service or needs of the body. This is Pramattabhava, careless slackness in concentration. Henceforth, the stages are all in the life of a muni, saint. Here only 13 causes of delusion operate. The 4 total vow preventing passions become quiescent. The 6th stage is also a retrogressive one. It is reached by a soul which is going down from the 7th stage. But such a downfallen soul may regain the 7th stage from the 6th. Indeed this can go on for a long, long time.

(7) Apramata Virata, Perfect vows.

Renouncing the careless slackness of the 6th Gunasthana, and being absorbed in spiritual contemplation (righteous contemplation of tbe highest type). From here there are 2 Shrenis, or ways of ascent, (1) Upashama Shreni in which the right conduct deluding karma subsides,

(2) Kshapaka Shreni in which it is being destroyed. This last is the necessary way to Moksha, liberation.

(8) Apurva Karana, New thought activity.

Karana or thought activity which the sain't soul had never yet acquired. This is the beginning of the first Shukladhyana, pure concentration on the pure Atma or Self. In the 7th and 8th stages 13 causes of delusion operate but their operation is mild.

(9) Anivritta Karana, Advanced thought activity,

Special thought activity of a still greater purity. A stage of Pratham Shukladhyan. Here 7 causes of delusion operate, 6 slight passions no-kashyas subside or are destroyed.

(10) Suksma Samparaya, Slightest delusion.

All passions are destroyed or have subsided, except very slight nominal greed. This is also, first Shukladhyana.

(11) Upashanta moha or Upashanta kashaya subsided delusion.

A thought activity which is produced by the subsidence of the entire right conduct deluding karmas. This is also first Shukladhyana. A saint must fall down from here, but if strong enough, he can resume his ascent from the Kshapaka mode of ascent in the 8th stage. Here all 28 causes of delusion subside. Here the soul can stay at the most for one antar muhurt. After falling down to any of the lower stages up to 7th, the soul can go up the destructive ladder to the 8th and higher stages, skipping the 11th or the highest point of the subsidential ladder on its way from the 10th to the 12th stage, the highest point of the destructive ladder, where delusion does not subside but is entirely destroyed.

(12) Kshina moha, delusionless.

The entire right conduct deluding karmas are destroyed, in this stage, and the thought activity produced belongs to the 2nd Shukladhyana. The saint attaining this, does so directly from the 10th stage without passing through the 11th stage.

(13) Sayoga Kevali, Vibrating Perfect Soul.

Before commencing this, the soul must have destroyed the three remaining destructive karmas knowledge obscuring, conation obscuring, and obstructive karmas. The soul is subject to mundane vibratory activity due to body making karma. A saint after destroying all the four Ghati karmas by dint of meditation and self-realisation enters the 13th stage of Vibratory Omniscient (Sayoga-Jina), when he is known as Arhat or the Worshipful Lord. The Soul becomes Arhat or Perfect Soul in human body with vibrations in it. Preaching and peregritnations belong to this stage. The Worshipful Lord proclaims Truth to the world.

(14) Ayoga Kevali, Vibrationless Perfect soul.

When the same soul or the Worshipful Lord is about to be entirely freed from karmas and his vibratory activity has ceased, the soul is said to have entered the 14th stage of Non-vibrating Omniscient Lord (Ayoga Jina). During the very short period of this stage the soul destroys the remaining four Aghati karmas i.e. Vedniya, Nama, Gotra and Ayu karmas. Then the soul leaving the body goes to Siddhalaya at the top of the universe, is finally free from all the karmas and has accomplished all that was to be accomplished, liberation Moksha. Such a soul is known as a Perfect Soul (Siddha). The soul is a pure soul substance full of the infinite attributes of omniscience, omnipotence, etc. In one word the soul is itself God.

Thus, it will be seen that all these 14 Spiritual Stages are due to wrong belief, vowlessness, carelessness, passions and vibratory activity. Carelessness (Pramada) in intensity or mildness lasts from the 1st to the 6th stage of imperfect vow. Therefore, the first six stages are referred to by the word "Pramatta". All the other eight stages are meditation and free from carelessness in pursuing the Path of Self-realisation, and are described as "Apramatta". The stages are indices of degrees of progressing thought activities. They are mere steps of ladder to reach the abode of Liberation. When the top is reached, the ladder is left behind. Thus the soul in its essence is devoid of any distinction of stages.

While a saint remains in the 6th and the 7th stages and improves his qualifications, so that he has the capacity of controlling the whole order of saints and supervises their general conduct, he is said to be head of the order of saints or an Acharya, and as such he follows and practises the five kinds of conduct. They are as follows:

(a) Darshanachara, Conduct of right belief. Performance of all those duties which keep right belief firm.

(b) Jnanachara, Conduct of knowledge. Minute and detailed study of the scriptures, with the view of increasing right knowledge.

(c) Charitrachara, Conduct of observing saintly character. Thirteen kinds of rules of conduct are to be observed as under:

Five vows: (1) non-injury (2) truth (3) non-stealing (4) chastity (5) possessionlessness

The saints have to observe these rules fully, without any blemish or transgression

Carefulness in: (6) walking (7) speaking (8) eating (9) lifting up and laying down (10) excreting

Control of: (11) Mind (12) Speech (13) Body

Observing these rules regularly and flawlessly with the idea of realising the self is called Charitrachara.

(d) Tapachara, Conduct of austerities is the proper and regular observance of 12 kinds of austerities (tapas) as fasting, etc.

(e) Viryachara, Conduct of soul force means the development of soul force and repulsion of the karmic forces with the view of attaining liberation.

An Acharya, as defined above, himself practises and observes all the above mentioned five kinds of conduct, and instructs the saints of his order to do the same.

Any saint of the order who is in the 6th and the 7th stages, is well versed in Jain scriptures and is capable of teaching and instructing other saints of the order, is called the preceptor (Upadhaya),

All other saints who are neither Acharyas nor Upadhyas are known as Sadhus. They may be in any spiritual stage from the 6th to the 12th stages, when delusion is absolutely destroyed. From the 8th to the 12th, all are the progressive stages of meditation. In these stages a saint is deeply absorbed in meditation and self realisation.

From the above, we note that a soul when it observes and follows the 13 rules of conduct, remains either in the condition of an Acharya, Upadhyaya or a Sadhu and the attainment of the condition of being an Arhat or a Siddha is an outcome of the observance of the rules of right conduct. The Arhat or Arihant and the Acharya, Upadhyaya and Sadhu are said to be Mahan Atmas (great souls). All the above five i.e. the Arihants, Siddhas, Acharyas, Upadhyayas, and Sadhus are called five Supreme Dignitaries (Pancha Parmeshthi). It is only these five Dignitaries, who are worshipped by the Jainas in general. The most miraculous benedictory hymn (Navakar Mantra) which every Jain usually recites everyday consists of Namaskar to this Panch Parmeshthi. This Mantra comprises an adoration of qualities. In it, we have the praise of the highest souls (Siddhas) who have completely realised all the natural and inherent qualities of the soul and of those qualified persons who are on their way to realization.


The Path of Liberation is the combination of right belief (Samyak Darshan), right knowledge (Samyak Jnana), and right conduct (Samyak Charitra) the Three Jewels of Jainism. Following this path the soul reaches its ultimate goal, Nirvana. Nirvana is the condition of the soul when it is free from all karmic dirt and regains its own pure inherent nature. Then it is all blissful, all knowing, all powerful, ever lasting, having accomplished all that was to be accomplished.

The Jain Philosophy explains all points in a two-fold manner. The Nishchaya, Mukhya, Shuddha, Satyartha, Bhutartha, or Dravyartha Naya, is that aspect which views things from an absolute standpoint, unaffected by the influence of surrounding circumstances.

Vyavahara, Upachara, Ashuddha, Asatyartha, Abhutartha, or Paryarthika Naya contemplates the same objects in their varying conditions under outside influences.

This study of the two-fold aspect of substances, is essentially necessary for a full and perfect comprehension of an object. From the Nishchaya Naya i.e. Real point of view man viewed as the Jiva is pure consciousuess, and is immaterial.

Again, as encased in the body, it is from Vyavahara Naya i.e. Practical point of view, said to possess weight, colour and other attributes of matter. It has varying degrees of consciousness according as it is in one sensed, two sensed, three sensed, four sensed and five sensed form of life. The vast majority of people in the world are so very much engrossed in mundane pursuits, that they pay no attention, and bestow no thought to find out the reality of their own selves; and therefore they go deeper into the more of mundane meanderings.

"Know thyself," has been the precept and practice of all serious searchers after the truth about soul. The high saints point out Vyavahara for the guidance of the ignorat. They first describe things as they ordinarily and seemingly appear and gradually they lead to the real aspect. If attention is confined to vyavahara only and no effort is made to grasp the real aspect, there would be no real progress and one would be unable to evolve the spiritual side and would ever remain involved in mazes temporal. It is therefore essentially necessary that one should know both the real and practical aspects of things.

If one adopts the Nishchaya view only, one would altogether neglect the rules of conduct which serve as stepping stones to spiritual progress. If the Vyavahara view alone is adhered to, realisation of the true self, Moksha, would become impossible of attainment.

In the universe, Jivas exist in two conditions. There are the pure, uncontaminated Jivas, exhibiting all the attributes of perfection. They are omniscient. Omniscience is just the seeing of the whole Truth. It is a full and direct manifestation of the soul, knowledge is the essence of soul. There is no soul without knowledge, Non-omniscience is merely a result of the soul being obscured by the conation obscuring and knowledge obscuring karmas. These being destroyed, Omniscience the real natural characteristic of the Soul manifests itself. Such omniscient jivas want nothing, they are above desire, and they are ever happy. They are Mukta Jivas.

The Samsari Jivas or embodied souls are contaminated by combination with fine molecules of fine karmic matter, which obscure their inherent attributes such as omniscience, peace and beatitude. It is this Karmic combination, which is the inducing cause for attracting fresh Karmic matter to the soul, and keeping up the state of contamination. There is a limit to the period for which karmic matter can remain combined and bound up with a soul, but before the expiry of that period, the activities of body, mind and speech, and the passions and emotions, generated by the karmic molecules already in contact, create a condition which attracts other karmic molecules for bondage with the soul, and thus the process of falling off of old, and the bondage of fresh karmas goes on and on.

The karmas are ever changing in their intensity, duration, kind and quantity. The stoppage of this process of bondage and the elimination of all karmas can be attained by effort, of which the ultimate result is nirvana, emancipation, liberation from the karmas. The ultimate object of human existence is to attain perfect purity of soul, its condition of inherent perfection. The obstacle to such attainment is ignorance, illusion, or Moha, and when that is removed, the inherent attribuies appear and the latent becomes patent. The latent potentialities become fully, manifested, and the imperfect soul becomes perfect soul, Parmatma.

Jiva and matter both have the capacity of modification. The modification, however, would not go beyond the scope of their respective attributes. A Jiva would in spite of all modifications remain a Jiva, and would never get modified into matter; and so would matter never get modified into Jiva. But there is a sort of reciprocal connection of cause and effect between them, in as such as the impure thought activity of a Jiva is an auxiliary cause to the conversion of karmic molecules into karmas, and the operation of bound up karmas becomes an auxillary cause for the impure thought activities of Jiva. This reciprocal action is the cause of the ever continuous existence of Jiva in mundane condition.

Matter existing by itself could never have been capable of turning into karma, if there were no stimulus of the impure thought activity of a Jiva; and a Jiva could never entertain an impure thought activity if there were no karma affecting it. The continuance of such action is Samsara, and its discontinuance is Moksha. Illusion is the basic cause of the transmigration of Jiva in the world. This illusion consists in not understanding the true nature of Jiva and matter, and in identifying Jiva with the passions, affections and the various other conditions caused by karmas.

Love, hatred, lust, anger, greed, pride, and deceit are not the Svabhava (true nature) of Jiva; they are produced by the influence of karmas. The true nature of Jiva is pure consciousness, which, by the effect of karmas, has become affected with attachment, hatred and the various other passions and affections. Ignorant persons taking what are only (accidentals) circumstantials to be the essentials of Jiva, entertain hatred, and other passionate tendencies, and are ever involved in the course of transmigration.

Having got rid of the above perversity and having well realized the nature of the self, steadfastness therein is the means to the acquisition of the object of Jiva. This is what is well known as Samyak Darshan, Samyaktva, or Right Belief.

Right Belief (Samyak Darshan):

Right Belief must first be acquired; for it is there after that knowledge and conduct become right.

It is an unshakeable belief in the real nature of the essential soul, non-soul etc., the seven principles of Jainism as described previously. These seven principles solve all problems which agitate man's mind, such as, what substances the universe is composed of, what are the natural qualities and functions of each of these substances, what is the reality of Jiva, why does it transmigrate, and how can it attain Nirvana, what am I, why am I here, what is to become of me, what is the reality of what I see around me, why is there pain and misery in the world, and how can they be got rid of, and how can happiness be attained? There are eight pillars of Right Belief as shown below:

01. Nishankita Anga, i.e, it should be free from doubt.

The true believer should never entertain any doubt as to whether all these many sided views of things proceeding from the Omniscients, are true or untrue. He should never be skeptical. Our intellects are limited, our capacities are narrow and it is impossible for us to realize the complete knowledge of everything that exists. We have therefore to take many things on trust. Inquiry should not be stifled but it should begin in a reverent manner. With a firm belief in the truth, as laid down by the Lords of Wisdom, the earnest inquirer should proceed to investigate in a steady manner the real nature of the subjects of his inquiry, and light will come to him in fuller and fuller blaze, until he will himself enter the Hall of Wisdom, and see and know all.

02. Nikankshita Anga i.e. it should not be disfigured by expectations.

03. Nirvichkitsira Anga, by disgust

04. Armudha Drishti Anga, by superstition

05. Upavrinhano or Upaguhano Anga, by fault finding.

A true believer does not hanker after wordly pleasures and greatness. He is enamoured of spiritual happiness, which is far beyond the gratification of senses. He should not exhibit a feeling of disgust at the various conditions caused by hunger, thirst, cold, heat, etc. or at the sight of excrement, etc. He should realise the true nature of things as they, are and should look at everything with a dispassionate attitude. Physical conditions due to the operation of karmas should induce in him a feeling of pity and not disgust. A true believer who has faith in seven Tattvas should never have a superstitious belief in a fallacious scripture, an unreal doctrine, or a false deity. Similarly he should not search for and proclaim the faults, defects and discrepances of others.

06. Sthitikarana Anga is the 6th pillar of Right Belief.

It means steadiness. The right believer should be firm, and should strengthen others who are vacillating. One should always drive away the inroads of scepticism on himself or others by constant reassuring and argument, and should never yield to sceptical thoughts.

07. Vatsalya Anga means that the right believer should have affection for co-religionists. He should ever cherish feelings of deep affection for religion, which brings about the treasure of spiritual happiness, and also for co-religionists.

08. Prabhavana Anga is the 8th pillar of Right Belief. It is a desire to enhance the glory of the Faith.

The learned saints have said six Padas regarding soul as the basis of Right Belief:

1. There is soul. Just as there are other substances in the universe, similarly there is a soul substance also. On account of certain attributes, just as the existence of other substances has been proved, similarly on account of its attribute chetan, consciousness the existence of soul has been proved.

2. The soul is ever-lasting. Soul is of permanent duration. Other substances owe their existence to circumstances. Soul is a self entity because no circumstances are experienced for its origin or birth. Chetan attribute is not likely to be produced due to combination of any other substance. Therefore, that which has its existence without any circumstances cannot have its destruction due to any circumstances. As such soul is ever-lasting.

3. The soul is the doer. All substances are full with some actions and results thereof are seen. The soul is also full with actions and is therefore the doer thereof. In the real sense self-absorption is its action but in the practical sense it is the doer of karmas due to thought activities.

4. The soul is the enjoyer. There is always the fruit of whatever action is done. Such is the experience. There is fruit of poison if it is consumed, there is fruit of sugar if it is taken, there is fruit of fire touch if that is done, there is fruit of snow touch if that is done. Similarly, there is fruit of whatever way the soul acts, viz., with passions or without passions. The soul is therefore the enjoyer of those actions which he does.

5. There is Moksha (Liberation). The soul is the doer of karmas and the enjoyer of the fruits of its karmas. However, there is destruction of these karmas also, because as intensity of passions gets lessened by practice the karmas get destroyed that way. Pure self (without karma) is Moksha or liberation from karmas.

6. There is remedy for Moksha. If there is always bondage only of karmas, then these can be no release from same. But there are remedies swch as Right Belief, Right Knowledge, Right Conduct, which are contrary for the bondage of karmas and by the practice of which intensity of karmas gets lessened and gradually the karmas get destroyed. There are, therefore, the remedies for attainment of Moksha.

These six truths are said by the learned Saints as the basis of Right Belief.

Right Knowledge (Samyak Jnana):

Those who have attained Right Belief as above, should devote themselves to the acquisition of Right Knowledge, which though simultaneous with Right Belief is yet distinguishable from it and has to be striven for, as an effect following Right Belief.

Right Belief and Right Knowledge both are two distinct attributes of Jiva. They respectively are obscured by two destructive karmas, Darshanavaraniya and Jnanavaraniya. On the attainment of Right Belief, the knowledge then becomes Right Knowledge; but because of the existence of knowledge obscuring karma in operation, it not perfect. Therefore, it is necessary to make constant endeavours for advancement of knowledge as long as omniscience is not evolved. The conquerors (Jinas) have called Right Knowledge the effect and Right Belief the cause. Lamp and light go together; still the lamp precedes the light, and light cannot be said to precede the lamp. In the same way there is relation of cause and effect between Right Belief and Right Knowledge, though both are almost simultaneous.

It should be free from three main defects: (a) Doubt (Samashaya) (b) Perversity (Viparyaya), and (c) Indefiniteness or Vagueness (Anadhyavasaya).

Practical Right Knowledge is the acquisition of the detailed knowledge of all the seven principles, explained previously, with the help of the Jain Scriptures and should be free from the above said three main defects. Real Right Knowledge is to know the true and real nature of the soul as quite distinct from all other non-soul substances.

Constant contemplation of, and unflinching devotion to, the subject matter of practical Right Knowledge is an auxiliary cause to the attainment of real Right Knowledge. Further, it comprises correct reading, writing and pronouncing of letters and words, correct understanding, both combined, at proper time, with reverence, propriety of behaviour, zeal, and desire for its propagation. Just like eight pillars of Right Belief there are eight pillars also of Right Knowledge as set out below:

(1) Grantha - Reading, writing and pronouncing every letter and word correctly.

(2) Artha - Understanding the meaning and full significance of words, phrases and the text.

(3) Ubhya - Reading, writing and speaking with full and proper understanding of the import of what is read, written and spoken.

(4) Kala - Observance of regularity, punctuality and propriety of time. Improper and unsuitable occasions should be avoided.

(5) Vinaya - Reverent attitude.

(6) Sopadhana - Propriety of behaviour.

(7) Bahumam - Zeal.

(8) Aninhana - No concealment of knowledge or of its sources,

If knowledge is pursuied in the manner stated above, it will be properly and progressively acquired and promulgated.

Right Conduct (Samyak Charitra).

After Right Belief and Right Knowledge, the third but the most important path to the goal of Moksha is Right Conduct, the three together forming what is collectively known as Ratna Traya, the "Jewels Three" of Jainism. Right Belief and Right Knowledge would not lead to Moksha, which is attainable only after the destruction of all karmic contact, and this can only be accomplished through Right Conduct.

A Right Believer, who has fully realised the true and real nature of his own soul, and is bent upon getting rid of the karmic filth which is in bondage with his soul, tries to follow Right Conduct.

It is Right Knowledge which makes conduct right. Conduct following ignorance can never be designated as right. Therefore, Right Conduct follows Right Knowledge. The main object in following Right Conduct is to be free from attachment and aversion, and from all impure thought activities and to attain the condition of equanimity.

It is of two kinds. The complete conduct of a saint, and the partial discipline of a disciple or a layman, Shravak.

From the real point of view, Right couduct is an inherent attribute of Jiva, in its pure condition.

Practical Right Conduct consists in observing the following five vows:

1. Ahimsa - refraining from doing injury to any of the mundane souls. 2. Satya - refraining from falsehood. 3. Asteya - refraining from theft. 4. Brahmacharya - chastity. 5. Aparigraha - Non-attachment.

Laymen observe these partially (Anuvrata) while saints observe them fully (Mahavrata).

We now look into the details of these vows.

1. Ahimsa: Refraining from doing injury to any mundane soul.

Any injury whatsoever to the material or conscious vitalities caused through passionate activity of mind, body or speech is Himsa. Under the influence of passion, a person injures the natural purity of Jiva; and, as a result of the working of passions, he loses his life forces, or life itself, and similarly, causes pain to others, or even the deprivation of vitalities or of life itself. Passion is thus the moving cause which leads to himsa.

The word Prana means vitality. It is of two kinds. Bhava Prana, conscious vitalities are the attributes of Jiva such as consciousness, peacefulness, happiness, power. The conscious vitalities are possessed by all Jivas alike.

Dravya Prana are material vitalities. They are ten, the five senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing, the three forces of body, speech, and mind, and breathing and age.

With reference to the possession of material vitalities Jivas differ and are divided into the following six classes:

(1) Ekendriya, one sensed, such as earth bodied, fire bodied, air bodied, vegetable bodied. They have four vitalities: age, breathing, body force, and sense of touch.

(2) Dvendriya, two sensed, such as worms, conch, shell. These have six vitalities: the previous four, and speech force and sense of taste.

(3) Treendriya, three sensed, e.g. bug, ant, scorpion, lice. They have seven vitalities: sense of smell is added to the above six.

(4) Chaturendriya, four sensed, e.g. wasp, moth, fly, bee. They possess the sense of sight also and have eight vitalities.

(5) Panchendriya Asaini, Irrational, five sensed, such as a kind of serpent found in water. They have nine vitalities, the sense of hearing being added to the preceding eight. They are rarely found.

(6) Panchendriya Saini. Rational, five-sensed. They include hellish, celestial and human beings, beasts, birds, fowl, fishes, serpents, etc. They have ten vitalities, mind force being added to the above nine.

The degree of Himsa varies with the motive which causes it, and the vitalities injured. The higher the number of vitalities possessed by a Jiva, the greater is the himsa in killing it.

Himsa has been said of two kinds: Anarambhi or Samkalpi and Arambhi.

The first one may be translated as "Intentional Injury". It can be avoided by every thinking person without any difficulty or harm to himself.

The second one Arambhi Himsa may be sub-divided as Udyami, Graharambhi, and Virodhi.

Udyami Himsa is unavoidably committed in the performance of necessary domestic purposes such as preparation of food, keeping the house, body, clothes clean, construction of buildings, wells, gardens, and keeping cattle.

Virodhi is that which is unavoidably committed in defence of person and property, against thieves, robbers, etc. One who has adopted the discipline of a saint practises complete Ahimsa. A true believer in the householder's stage abstains from Samkalpi Himsa, but is unable to abstain from Arambhi, although he tries his best to avoid it as far as possible, and is ever making progress in such endeavour.

Further, those who desire avoiding himsa should, first of all take care to renounce wine, flesh, honey, and the five Udumbar fruits, viz., gular, anjeera, banyan, peepal and pakar, all belonging to the fig class. Honey, wine, butter, flesh are all the result of extrerne fermentation and the birth place of lives of the same genus. The five fruits referred to are birth places of mobile lives. A Jain disciple would renounce all the above non-eatables.

Also Himsa is inevitable in eating at night. It should, therefore, be renounced. One, who has perfectly renounced Himsa, will not utter a word which is likely to give pain to auother; will not do any act which may cause injury to another; will not harbour any thoughts prejudicial to another; will not make anybody else utter words likely to cause pain to another, nor commit acts likely to injure another, nor entertain feelings of ill will towards another; and will not approbate or encourage others who by words, deeds or thought cause pain to another. This nine fold renunciation is perfect renunciation.

2. Satya: Refraining from falsehood.

Wrong statement throught carelessness is falsehood. It may be:

(1) denial of the actual existence of a substance with reference to its position, time or nature (2) affirmation of what does not exist, with reference to position, time awd nature (3) where it is wrongly described (4) speech condemnable, sinful, or disagreeable.

Himsa is inevitable in such cases, because of careless indulgence.

3. Asteya: Refraining from theft.

This is the appropriation of what is not given. It causes injury and is himsa, for property is as dear as life and there is thoughtless indulgence.

4. Brahmacharya: Sexual purity, chastity.

In sexual intercourse there is obvious himsa, due to the killing of mobile germs in the act. Sexual indulgence otherwise has root in desire, and hence is himsa. If unable to live without a wife, let other females be abjured. Many a householder is not sufficiently advanced to give up sex desire altogether. It is only the ascetics who do so. The house holder also should, however, observe the vow of Brahmacharya to a limited extent by total abstinence from all sexual desires with reference to females other than his own wife.

5. Aparigraha, Non-attachment: Attachment of temporalities.

Affectionate regard for external objects is due to illusion and is attachment clinging to externals. Even if one has renounced all tangible property, the feeling of attachment itself is a clinging to externals. Possession (Parigraha) is external and internal (Bahiranga and Antaranga Parigraha).

Internal possessions are fourteen:

(1) Wrong belief (2) Desire for sexual enjoyment with woman (3) Desire for sexual enjoyment with man (4) Desire for sexual enjoyment with both (5) laughter (6) indulgence (7) enui (8) sorrow (9) fear (10) disgust (11) anger (12) pride (13) deceit (14) greed

External possession is of living or non-living objects. Abjuring all possession is Ahimsa; and all appropriation internal as well as external is himsa. Himsa, the central sin, is included in every other of the remaining four: falsehood, theft, sexual impurity, and possession of goods. Internal attachment, the desire for worldly objects prejudically affects the purity of the soul, and this injury to the pure nature of the soul constitutes himsa. External possession or the actual possession of temporalities creates attraction and love for them, which defiles soul purity and, therefore, amounts to himsa. Both internal and external attachment should, therefore, be given up by one who practises the principle of Ahimsa.

Supplementary Vows:

A layman is required to follow the seven supplementary vows (Sheelas) also, as they are helpful in the proper observance of the first five main vows. Just as the encircling walls guard town, so do Sheelas (supplementary vows) protect the Anu-Vratas. Out of these seven, the following are called Gunavratas (Multiplicative vows) because they raise the value of the first five vows multifold.


(1) Dig Vrata, a vow to limit worldly activities to fixed points in all the 10 directions, north, south, east, west, north- east, north-west, south-east, south-west, above and below. This brings the merit of Ahimsa with regard to what is beyond such limits.

(2) Desha Vrata, a vow to limit worldly activities for a fixed period only. This means that one shall not, during a certain period of time, proceed beyond a certain village, market, street, or house or have anything to do with objects beyond that limit. This secures Ahimsa in regard to what is beyond such confines.

(3) Anartha Danda Vrata. Taking a vow not to commit purposeless sin. It is of five kinds:

(a) Apa Dhyan, thinking ill of others.

(b) Papodesha, preaching ill of others.

(c) Pramada Charya. Inconsiderate conduct, such as uselessly breaking the boughs of trees.

(d) Himsa dan, preparing or supplying instruments of attack.

(e) Dushruti, reading or listening to improper literature.

The remaining four supplementary vows are the following Shiksha-vratas or disciplinary vows; so called because they are preparatory to the discipline of an ascetic's life.

Shiksha Vratas:

(1) Samayika. Taking a vow to devote a fixed period everyday, once, teice or thrice, at sunrise, sunset and noon to the contemplation of the self for spiritual advancement. By giving up Rag-Dwesha," affection and aversion and observing equauimity, in all objects, one should practise samayika, equanimity, continuously, as per set procedure, which brings about a realisation of the true nature of self.

(2) Proshadhopvasa. Taking a vow to fast on four days of the month, i.e. the two Ashtamis and the two Chaturdashis. To strength the daily practice of Samayika a discipline, one must observe fasting, twice each fortnight. Free from all work, and having given up affection for the body etc., one should commence fasting at middle of the day previous to Proshadha day (which is the 8th and the 14th day of each lunar fortnight). One should then retire to a secluded spot, renounce all sinful activities, abstain from indulgence in all objects of the senses, and observe due restraint of body, speech and mind, and pass time in spiritual contemplation, perform Samayika, engage himself in self study and worship of Jina. The Proshadha day, the second night, and the half of the third day should carefully be passed in the above manner. He who having set himself free from all sinful activities, passes 16 Yamas (48 hours) in the above manner certainly observes the vow of Ahimsa in its thoroughness, for that period.

(3) Bhogopabhoga Pariman. Taking a vow everyday to limit one's enjoyment of consumable and nom-consumable things. Bhoga means enjoyment of an object which can only be used once, such as food and drink, fruits and flowers. Upabhoga means enjoyment of an object which can be used several times, such as furniture, dresses, ornaments, buildings. Himsa is incurred from the use of articles of Bhoga and Upabhoga. One should, therefore, ascertain the reality of things, and renounce these two also, in accordance with his own capacity. The use of all Anant Kaya vegetatables such as potato, ginger, radish must be given up, Anant Kaya or Sadharana vegetable is that which infinite Jivas adopt as their one and common body. In Pratyeka vegetable only one jiva pervades throughout the body. Butter is the birth place of numerous Jivas. Fresh butter if not at once melted on fire and strained away, becomes the place of generation of innumerable Jivas. This is visibly apparent in what is called fermentation. Fermentation in the case of butter, actually commences at once, though it is not visible early. Just like honey, wine and flesh, butter should also be renounced or enjoyment should be limited.

(4) Atithi Samvibhag. Taking a vow to take one's food only after feeding ascetics or others, with a part of it. The food offered should be pure and with reverence.

The house-holder is also the observer in the last moments of his life, of the process of Sallekhana, peaceful death, which is characterised by non-attachment to the world and by a suppression of the passions. The last thought should be of a calm renunciation of the body, and this thought should ever be present long before death, supervenes. This is, Ahimsa, because all passions have been duly subdued. Thus, the house-holder's vows are twelve with the last or peaceful death as their supplement.

The following 11 stages of spiritual progress (Pratimas) have been laid down for a layman.

(1) Darshan (Faith) Pratima.

A layman who entertains Right Belief, and follows the five main vows to a limited extent is classed in this stage. He must have a perfect and intelligent, well-reasoned faith in Jainism, i.e., he must have a sound knowledge of its doctrines and their applications in life.

(2) Vrata (Vow) Pratima.

In this stage he observes the five main vows to a limited extent (Anuvratas), without transgression and follows the seven supplementary vows i.e. three Gunavratas and four Shiksha Vratas. In short, he must not destroy any kind of life, must not tell a lie, must not make use of another person's property without the owner's consent, must be chaste, must limit his necessities of life, and avoid the use of food which involves unnecessary killing of living beings. The three Guna-Vratas are special vows relating to the limitation and determination of his daily work, food, and enjoyment. The remaining four vows relate to his meaitation in the morning, noon and evening, to his keeping fast on certain days, limiting enjoyment everyday of consumable and non-consumable things, and to his duty of daily giving charity in the form of knowledge, medicine, comfort or protection, and food.

(3) Samayika (worship) Pratima.

In this state he practises faultless contemplation regularly, three times, in the morning, at midday and in the evening, at least for 48 minutes everytime. Worship means self contemplation and purifying one's ideas and emotions.

(4) Proshadhopavasa (Fortnightly must fast) Pratima.

In this stage, he observes regularly a fast faultlessly twice a fortnight i.e. on the 8th and 14th days of each lunar fortnight.

(5) Sachitta Tyaga Pratima.

In this stage he does not take animate water and vegetable, etc. Sachitta Tyaga means abstinence from the flesh of conscious creatures. He refrains from taking fresh vegetable because they are living.

(6) Ratri Bhukta Tyaga Pratima. (Abstinence from eating at night).

He does not take or give food or drink at night. There are minute living beings which no amount of light can reveal or disperse, and which must be consumed with meals after sunset.

(7) Brahmacharya Celebacy Pratima.

He gives up sexual intercourse even with his wife.

(8) Arambha Tyaga Pratima.

He gives up all professions and all means of earning money and all worldly occupations. Abandonment of merely all worldly engagements and occupations.

(9) Parigraha Tyaga Pratima.

He gives up all desire for objects of the world and abandons all property; except a very few limited number of clothes and utensils.

(10) Anumati Tyaga Pratima.

He would not even offer advice on any worldly matter.

(11) Uddishta Tyaga Pratima.

In this stage he would not accept food which is prepared particularly for him. He will only accept food which is respectfully offered by a house-holder at the time when he goes out for food.

The last three stages 9 to 11 are preparatory to the monk's life. They enjoin a gradual giving up of the world and retiring into some very quiet place to acquire the knowledge of Truth and ultimately to become fit to be a teacher of the Path to Liberation.

Six Daily Duties. Every Jain house-holder is ordinarily required to perform the following six daily duties:

(1) Deva-Puja. Worship of the Arhats, the adorables.

(2) Guru Bhakti. Devotion to the Gurus or Preceptor saints.

(3) Svadhyaya. Study of the scriptures.

(4) Samyama. Control of the five senses and the mind. In practising Samyam, it is necessary to renounce certain objects of enjoyments with the idea of self-control.

(5) Tapa. Austerities such as meditating upon, the nature of soul, every morning and evening, for a fixed time.

(6) Dana or Charity. Giving of food, knowledge, medicine, and protection.

The causes and processes of mundane ailments are adumbrated in the Jaina karma philosophy. Their remedies are the 11 Stages (Pratimas) of the house-holder's life; and the vows, common to the house-holder and the monk, but followed in a more extended and intensive way by the latter.

A saint while observing the five main vows fully and without any transmigration, has to observe the following eight rules of conduct also:

I. Five kinds of caution (Samiti).

(a) Irya Samiti, proper care is walking. (b) Bhasha Samiti, proper care in speaking. (c) Eshna Samiti, proper care in eating. (d) Adana Nikshepa Samiti, proper care in lifting and placing the bowl, etc. (e) Utsarga Samiti, proper care while attending calls of nature.

II. Three kinds of Restraint (Gupti)

(a) of mind (b) of word (c) of body

These eight rules of conduct taken together with the five vows make the thirteen rules of practical Right Conduct laid down for a saint.

Six Essential Daily Duties of a Saint (Avashyaka).

From the real point of view this means that a really true and independent saint must refrain from all good and bad thought activities. At the same time it is necessary for him not to engage himself in the flickering thought activities concerning various attributes and modifications of all the six substances (Dravyas). He should devote his whole attention to the realisation of the pure nature of his own self. It is only in this condition of self absorption that a saint is said to perform Avashyaka Karma (Independent Action)

From the practical point of view they may be briefly described as follows:

(1) Pratikramana -

Repentence means the statement of the sins and transgressions committed by a saint, during the performance of his daily routine; and making penance for them.

(2) Pratyakhyana -

Renpnciation means resolving to avoid particular thought activities and actions in future, which tend to disturb the performance of essential duties.

(3) Stuti - praising

(4) Vandana -

Prostration to the worshipful saints. They are both aspects of devotion which are practised with the object of getting rid of impure thought activities.

(5) Samayika - Equanimity.

In practising Samayika a saint resorts to some undisturbed solitude, and calmly and cheerfully withdraws all his thought activities, and meditates upon his own soul and its various attributes and modifications.

(6) Kayotsarga - This is the relinquishment of attachment to the body and all other objects associated with it.

If a saint or a layman merely observes his respective duties and vows, without having self absorption as his real aim, he falls far short of the standard and cannot be called the real follower of the Path of the Conquerors. He is known as a Bahir Atma or external soul, while a saint or a layman who believes in Avashyaka Karma of self absorption and tries to work up to that, and does not restrict himself merely to the observance of external formalities, is called an Antar Atma, internal soul. Nirvana is the result brought about by the practice of self absorption, which is the combination of real Right Belief, real Right Knowledge and real Right Conduct.

Among the Jains there are two main sects: Swetambaras and Digambaras.

The Svetambaras are subdivided into Murtipujak, Sthanakvasi and Terapanthi. The latter two do not believe in idol-worship.

The three main groups of Digambaras are Bisapanthi, Tarahapanthi and Taranapanthi. They believe in idol-worship.

The observance of the great vows are uniform for all the Jains except that the vow of Aparigraha (non-possession) is followed in its full sense by Digambar monks only, who remain unclad. A peacock feather broom and a water pot (tumbdu) are the possessions of Digambar Monks. They keep standing while they eat from the cavity of their palms.

Sthanakvasi and Terapanthi monks and nuns carry a piece of cloth tied on their mouth (Muhapatti) which distinguishes them from other monks and nuns.

Murtipujak monks and nuns carry a Muhapatti in their hand and they hold it at a distance from the mouth while delivering religious discourses. Some critics call the Jainas Idolatrous, The answer to them is that the Jainas do not worship the stone, silver, gold or diamond of which the images of Jinas are made. They worship the qualities of Total Renunciation of the World, the Acquisition of undisturbable harmony with the infinite, and the identity of the Liberated Soul with peace everlasting, which these images represent.

The itinerary of any Jain Pilgrim includes places where the Jinas (Tirthankaras) attained Moksha and became Siddhas. There are five such places associated with twenty-four Tirthankaras.

Mt. Kailas (Astapada) is associated with Rishabha the first Tirthankara.

Sammeta Shikharji (Mt. Parasnath), is associated with twenty other Jinas;

Champapuri is associated with Vasupujya the twelfth Tirthankara,

Mt. Girnar is associated with Neminath the twenty-second Tirthankara, and

Pawapuri is associated with Mahavira the last of the twenty-four Jinas or Tirthankaras. Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana at Pawapuri in 527 B C.

Pilgrims also visit places considered holy because of their association with various events in the lives of the Jinas.

Rajagriha the Tirth of five Hills, is famous because Lord Mahavir's Samavasarana (the assemblage of celestials, men and beasts that heard the Preachings of Mahavira) was held there.

Similarly, the Shatrunjaya Mountain in Saurashtra is holy because Rishabha the first Tirthankara had visited it. It was also here that Bharat, the son of Rishabha, built a magnificent temple. On the slopes of Shatrunjaya millions of Jain monks have come to meditate and seek Moksha. The place is considered very sacred. It has more than 800 shrines and 5000 images of the Tirthankaras.

Like Shatrunjaya, the twin mountains of Mangi Tungi with their cave temples are revered because from there countless monks of the Digambara Sect have attained Moksha.

In this category the Hill of Muktagiri can also be included. On full moon day of Kartik, there is a big festival at this Tirtha.

Near Muktagiri there is the Tirtha of Antariksha Parshvanatha. It is claimed that here the image of Parshvanatha defies the law of gravitation. It is suspended and does not touch its pedestal.

At Sravanbelagola, Mysore on Doddabetta or Vindhyagiri there is a collossal image of Bahubali, the son of the first Jina Rishabha. Known as Gomateswara the image (57 feet high) is carved out of single rock aud was erected in the 10th, century.

The Dilwara Jain Temples on Mt. Abu are a great attraction for Jains. The architecture is exquisite.

Some Jain Tirthas are known as "Atishaya Kshetras," as, each of them has a certain miraculous event associated with it. Among such places is the famous Kshetra of Shri Mahavirji in Rajasthan. The temple of Rikhabdevji in the Aravallis, near Udaipur also known as the temple of Shri Kesariaji is also a great attraction for Jain Pilgrims. To this deity everyday is offered Kesar (Saffron) and Chandan (Sandalwood), the exquisite fragrance of which engulfs the temple and forever lingers in the air.

The temple of Ranakpur (Rajasthan) on the western fringe of the Aravallis breathes an atmosphere of sublime peace. This Adinatha Temple was built in the 15th century. It covers an area of over 40,000 Sq. ft. and the richly carved (1444) pillars are arranged in such a way that the image of Lord Adinath can be seen from any point. There are no miracles associated with this shrine. But the pious chanting, echoing within its spacious interior, awakens the pilgrim's deepest yearnings for contact with the Divine.

The above are some prominent Jain Pilgrim centres. Pilgrimage is good from the practical point of view but the real aim of a seeker to the Path of Liberation should be self absorption, which is the combination real Right Belief, Knowledge and Conduct.


We have seen that the oddities which are found in this world are all due to the effects of different kinds of karmas. We have seen the causes of inflow and bondage of eights kinds of karmas and their sub-classes. We have seen how this inflow can be checked and how the shedding of karmas already bound can be done.

The pure soul is free from all karmic matter and is full of the infinite attributes of omniscience, omnipotence, etc. It is only when the soul forgets its own true self (Swabhava) and gets attracted towards material things due to Rag, Dwesha etc. (Vibhava) there is inflow and bondage of karmic matter with the soul and the cycle of mundane existence continues.

It is the duty or Dharma of every mundane soul to get itself liberated from such existences (i.e. from its condition of Vibhava) and bring to its pure true self (i.e. condition of Swabhava) with its natural and inherent attributes and thus achieve true happiness.

The Fourteen Gunasthanas show us how the soul reaches higher and higher ladder of Spiritual Advancement from Wrong Belief to Right Belief, then to Vows, then to perfectly careful Vows, then to passionless, and then to a cessation of the Vibratory Activity of body, speech, and mind.

A mundane Soul is beset with five kinds of innate evils or imperfections.

The Wrong Belief is shed at the end of the 1st, Vowlessness at the end of the 4th, Carelessness at the end of the 6th, Passions at the end of the 10th, and Vibratory Activity at the end of the 13th Spiritual Stage.

The Three Jewels of Jainism, Samyak Darshan, Samyak Jnan, and Samyak Charitra, teach us how to tread the Path of Liberation and ultimately to achieve the desired goal--Moksha.

The whole Drama of life is played or danced together by the living soul being in close grasp of lifeless matter. Lifeless space is the stage, lifeless time is the duration and lifeless Dharma and Adharma the indispensable assistants for the dancers to move or to rest. The exercise of dancing is their eternal movement in the cycle of mundane existences.

Every pilgrim on the Path of Liberation (Moksha) must be constantly careful to avoid all passionate thought activities. Every action of his will be performed with due care and caution and the commission of himsa would be avoided altogether.

The acquisition of internal purification follows the practice of self control or conquest over the cravings of the body, and the ravings of the mind, a supreme subjection of sense desires, mastering of passions and governance of emotions. The joys of yoga, of communion with the highest, are only known to those who have experienced them. They are above all earthly pleasures, they lead to heavenly happiness, and ultimately to the realization, the attainment to Godhood, Siddhasthan, Parmatma Pada, the true happiness where the soul is identified with limitless, perfect, direct, completed knowledge, of all that is, that was, that shall be, simultaneous, in all their varying forms and conditions, is supremely self satisfied, is omniscient, and omnipotent, forever and ever, in the unending eternity of time and space.

To achieve this condition requires supreme effort. It is difficult for a layman at once to do so. He has therefore to proceed gradually on the Path of Liberation. He should at least aim that his next birth should be better circumstanced than the present one, not with regard to sense pleasures, but with regard to his spiritual advancement, and he should try to concentrate his efforts in that direction. If such efforts are made and continued his soul is likely to rise higher and higher in spiritual advancement in subsequent births and ultimately after several births may reach the desired goal, the condition of Siddha.


Suggestions for Further Reading

Source: A Treatise On Jainism By - Shri Jayatilal S. Sanghvi. Introduction to Jainism, Theory of Karma, the six Dravyas and more.

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