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Doctrine of Karman in Jain Philosophy

PREFACE TO THE GERMAN EDITION by Dr. Helmuth von Glasenapp
The contents of first volume of the Karmagranthas.
PREFACE TO THE ENGLISH EDITION by Dr. Helmuth von Glasenapp
TRANSLATOR'S NOTE
  INTRODUCTION
  THE KARMAN IN ITSELF
  THE KARMAN IN THEIR RELATION TO THE SOUL AND TO ONE ANOTHER
  THE QUALITIES OF THE SOUL
  STATES OF EXISTENCE AND CLASSES OF BEINGS
  THE CAUSES OF THE KARMAN AND THE MEANS FOR ITS ANNIHILATION
  THE WAY OF SALVATION
  THE 14 GUNASTHANAKAS
  THE STATE OF THE RELEASED

The contents of first volume of the Karmagranthas


 

 

VI. SAPTATIKA (SATTARIYA).

1. List of contents (115b); 2. bandha-, udaya-, satta-, mula-prakrti-sthanas (116a); 3-5. their samvedha in guna- and jiva-sthanas (118b); 6. explanation of uttara-prakrtis (120b); 7. bandha-, udaya- satta-sthanas of the uttara-prakrtis of jnanavarana,- and antaraya-k. (127b); 8-9. of darsanavarana (128a); 10 of vedaniya, ayus, gotra (130a); 11-24 of mohaniya (132a); 25-33 of naman (143a); 34-39. the same in the jivasthanas (158b); 40-52. in gunasthanas (168b); 53-55. in marganasthanas (189b); 56-58. udirana (194b); 59-63. bandha in gunasthanas (195b); 64. bandha in gatis (197b); 65. upasama-sreni (198a). 66-72. ksapaka-sreni (205b); 73. salvation (212b); 74-75. epilogue (213a).

 

The task of the Karmagranthas is to expose completely a dogma but not to prove it. That is why we find in them a full enumeration of the different kinds of the karman, of the states of the soul, the degrees of their development, etc. but we do not hear why any of this is thus and not otherwise. I am aware of one passage only wherein the author deliberately raises the question concerning the cause. It is contained in Kgs. II., 75 a; herein the author raises an objection as to how it is possible that the particle of matter seized in a moment by the soul is capable of transforming itself into the number of particles necessary for the formation of the various species of the karman, whereupon he replies that it is performed through the mysterious power of the soul, of which we may not make to ourselves any idea, and through the peculiar quality of the matter itself. It may be observed, he argues, that matter on which no spiritual force is working, is changing into clouds and rainbows; why, then, could not matter with which a jiva is in connection be changed into different kinds of karman? All further discussion is cut off by an energetic "alam vistarena". The disregard of national argumentation here shown is justified in so far as Jainism does not pretend to have attained its doctrines by human rational means. It is not through the limited comprehension of an average man that Jainism arrives at its view-point of the world, but by revelation, or better, by that which an omniscient man, a kevalin, has communicated. Everything that such a Master, adorned with 18 characteristics 2, proclaims concerning world and life is accepted unconditionally as Truth that nothing can shake. All Jain scriptures, therefore, only undertake to recapitulate the utterances of such a man, to explain them, and, if necessary, to supplement them. This supplementing is done by the restricted agency of the human understanding; the interpreters are consequently fully aware of their own imperfection, and point out, over and over again, that they are liable to err, for the reason that the Truth is only revealed to the omniscient ones,-never-the less, this fact in no way deters them from opposing people who arrive at other conclusions.

 

In working up the material I have been governed by the desire to be as concise as possible. I have discarded all that is not in direct connection with the subject, that is to say, all the discursive matter which is interwoven in the text and the commentaries. Further, I have not taken into consideration all the views of the different teachers excepting only opinions expressed in the text itself. Although several things have been abbreviated or omitted, I hope that nothing of importance has been lost to view. If in many instances and in manifold regard the text provided too much for our necessities, on the other hand, in many respects, it supplied too little. In order to present a general view of the world of ideas connected with the karman doctrine, I felt myself compelled to supplement the missing points by drawing upon other works, chiefly the Tattvarthadhigamasutra and the Lokaprkasa. This applies especially to the introduction and to chapters V., VI. 2, VII. 1, which, although probably affording scarcely anything new to the specialist in Jain Philosophy, will not be unacceptable to other readers.

 

Of the books published in European languages, two only have been of prominent use to me. The first is the series of lectures on Karman Philosophy, delivered by the late Mr. Virchand R. Gandhi in London, and which were subsequently published from notes made by Mr. H.Warren. This excellent work would undoubtedly have become an exhaustive manual had Gandhi not been overtaken by death before its completion. Thus his work remains a torso, and treats of a small part only of the karman system proper, namely the doctrine of the karmaprakrtis and the first five gunasthanas; but notwithstanding its incomplete form, it has been of great value to me. The other work to which I have referred is Professor H. Jacobi's German translation of the Tattvarthadhigama-Sutra, the only book on Jain dogmatics hitherto translated into a European languages. The rendering of numerous termini technici is due to it, and to it likewise I owe many observations contributing essentially to an understanding of the subject.

 

In conclusion, I feel myself bound to acknowledge the kindly aid and information supplied to me by those whose names follow: Mr. Hemchand Amerchand (Bombay), Dr. A. Guerinot (Paris), Jagmandar Lal Jaini, M.A.2 (Bankripore), Dr. Willbald Kirfel (Bonn), Pandit F.K.Lalan (Bombay), Vakil Keshavlal P. Mody, B.A., LL.B 3 (Ahmedabad), Dr. Walther Schubring (Berlin), Dr. F.W. Thomas (London) and Mr. Herbert Warren (London).

 

I must reserve till the last my special expression of gratitude to my revered teacher, the celebrated Jaindarsanadivakara, Herr Geheimrat Professor Dr. Jacobi, who inspired me to undertake this work and who, by his advise and encouragement, has aided me in its accomplishment.

 

Dr. HELMUTH VON GLASENAPP.