The Capability of Salvation
Preliminary Survey of the
The Attainment of samyaktva
THE CAPABILITY OF SALVATION
Gandhi 76 et seq., Warren
The souls, the number of
which is infinite, are of a two-fold kind: 1. worldly souls (samsarin)
provided with karman-matter, and 2. released souls (mukta, siddha) free
from karman. The former are again separated into 2 groups: 1. into souls,
in which a spiritual development has not yet begun, and 2. into such, in
which it has begun. Each of these 2 latter species comprises two classes
of jivas, namely, 1. such as can attain salvation (bhavya) and 2. such as
The entire universe is
filled with very minute, fine living beings (nigoda), imperceptible to our
senses, which pervade everything and which nothing can destroy. The jivas
have undifferentiated unbelief (avyaktva mithyatva), they have no tendency
either for good or evil; a spiritual development has not yet begun in
them. Special circumstances are rousing the nigoda out of its apathy; its
unbelief differentiates itself, assumes a certain form (vyakta mithyatva);
through it the nigoda awakes from indifference and starts a spiritual
development, which, under favorable circumstances, leads finally to
The beginning of
development as well as the capability of salvation are solely dependent
upon accidental circumstances: "In a whirlpool some bit of stick or paper
or other matter may in the surging of the water get to one side and become
separated from the rest, be caught by the wind, and dried by the sun; and
so some such thing may happen to a nigoda which would awaken just a spark
of the latent potential power of development" (Gandhi 77). The same
parable is used in order to show that also the bhavyatva is dependent upon
The number of abhavyas is
small in comparison to that of the bhavyas. Jivas incapable of being
released, are existing in all classes of beings; they never reach beyond
the mithyatva (and thereby not beyond the 1st gunasthana) and feel
themselves quite well in the embodied state, because they do not know
anything better. The bhavyas, on the contrary, finally become tired of the
wandering in ever new forms of existence, they recognize the truth of the
religion of the Jina, practice self-control and asceticism, and in the
end, after the lapse of longer or shorter periods of time, attain
PRELIMINARY SURVEY OF THE
From the state of
complete dependency upon the karman to the state of complete detachment
from it, 14 stages, the so-called gunasthanas (states of virtue) can be
distinguished. There are stages of development in which the soul gradually
delivers itself, firstly from the worst, then from the less bad, and
finally, from all kinds of karman, and manifests the innate faculties of
knowledge, belief, and conduct in a more and more perfect form. They are
named according to their owners, the characteristics of these always being
associated with the word "gunasthana". The owners of the different stages
are the following:
the one who has only a taste of the true belief.
(or misra), the one who has a mixed belief.
the one who has true belief but has not yet self-control.
5. desavirata, the one
who has partial self-control.
6. pramatta-samyata, the
one who has complete self-control, sometimes, however brought into
wavering through negligence.
7. apramatta-samyata, the
one who has self-control without negligence.
8. apurva-karana (or
nivrti-badara-samparaya), the one who practices the process called
apurva-karana, in whom, however, the passions are still occurring in a
the one who practices the process called anivrtti-karana, in whom,
however, the passions are still occurring in a gross form.
10. suksma-samparaya, the
one in whom the passions still only occur in a more subtle form.
(or shortly upasantamoha) the one who has suppressed every passions, but
who does not yet possess omniscience.
(or ksina-moha), the one who has annihilated every passion, but does not
yet possess omniscience.
13. sayogi-kevalin, the
omniscient one who still practices an activity (yoga).
14. ayogi-kevalin, the
omniscient without yoga.
The gunasthanas are
arranged in a logical order, according to the principle of the decreasing
sinfulness and the increasing purity. In the 1st gunasthana all 4 causes
of bandha are operating: unbelief, lack of self-control, passion and
activity; in the 2-5th, only 3: i.e., unbelief is absent; in 6-10th only
passion and activity exercise their influence; in the 11-13th only
activity. In the last gunasthana a bondage of karman no longer takes
place. With the single causes of bondage, the bandha of the karman-species
conditional upon them disappear. Likewise also, with every step the number
of the karmans which have udaya and satta, decrease. Further details on
this subject will be given later.
The order of the
gunasthanas is logical and not chronological. The succession in which they
are to pass is different with each individual, because relapses can throw
the jivas down from the arduously attained height and can, wholly or
partially annul the development hitherto achieved. This becomes still more
comprehensible, if we call to mind the fact, that the remaining on one
stage may only last a few minutes, so that in the morning one can be on a
high level, sink down from it an noon, and climb up to it again in the
evening. But even if we put aside the possibility of a relapse, it is
impossible to pass through all 14 gunasthanas successively, because a
direct transition from the 1st into the 2nd stage is out of question (Kg.
II, 19b) and the 11th stage cannot be passed before the 12th to 14th. The
different possibilities of the succession of the gunasthanas are
conditional upon the process which lead to the attainment of samyaktva and
upon the two ways, by which a methodical reduction of karman can be
brought about. Before we turn therefore to a detailed analysis of the
gunasthanas, a description of the events in the attainment of the true
belief and in the suppression or annihilation of the disturbances of the
true belief, is necessary. The samyaktva-labha and the two srenis belong
to the most difficult points in Jain metaphysics; all sources at my
disposal treat psychic events always in the same dry, stereotyped way,
without giving any clues which could facilitate our understanding or still
less the feeling of the spiritual conditions which underlie them, As
hitherto I have not succeeded in learning anything essential from the
texts or from modern Jains which would contribute to the solution of these
difficult problems of "occult Jainism"--as Mr. J.H. Jaini, the President
of the All-India Jain-Association mentioned them to me--I restrict myself
here to a short reproduction of that which the Kgs. offer and leave it to
further research to explore these psychological labyrinths.