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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 KARMAN IN ITSELF


 

 

The Species of the Karman

The Duration of the Karman

The Intensity of the Karman

The Quality of the Pradesas of the Karman

 

The atoms which have become karman in the soul can be contemnplated from 4 points of view:

1)   according to the manner of their effect (prakrti),

2)   according to the duration of their effect (sthiti),

3)   according to the intensity of their effect (rasa), and

4)   according to their quantity, i.e. according to the number of their pradesas.

 

Even as an article of confectionery (modaka), which is composed of a substance that cures wind in the body through its natural quality annihilates the wind- a sweetmeat composed of a substance that cures the bile, annihilates the bile- a sweetmeat composed of material that destroys phlegm, annihilates phlegm- so the pudgalas which have become jnanavarana-karman veil the knowledge, those changed into caritra-mohaniya-karman disturb the right conduct, etc. Even as the effect of one modaka is restricted to one day, of another to two days, and so forth, so the duration of one karman is 30 sagaropamakotikotis, that of another is 70, and so forth. Even as this pill has a sweet, that a still sweeter taste, so the one karman works with a lesser, the other with a greater intensity. And, finally, even as one pill measures 1 prakrti, or 2 prakrti, according to the number of grains that composite, so also a karman-particle has a greater or less dimension according to whether it contains more or less pradesas 1.

 

THE SPECIES OF THE KARMAN

There are 8 chief or fundamental species (mula-prakrti) of the karman, namely:

1.   jnanavarana-k, the k which obscures knowledge,

2.   darsanavarana-k, the k which obscures undifferentiated cognition,

3.   vedaniya-k, the k which produces the feeling of joy and brief,

4.   mohaniya-k, the k which obstructs belief and conduct,

5.   ayus-k, the k which determines the duration of life,

6.   nama-k, the k which gives the various factors of individuality,

7.   gotra-k, the k which destines family surroundings,

8.   antaraya-k, the k which hinders the jiva in his capability of resolution and enjoyment.

 

Each of these mula-prakrtis is divided into a number of uttara-prakrtis, sub-species. The latter can, on their part, be separated into yet smaller sub-divisions, so that the entire number of the karmans is exceedingly large. For the system, however, only the 8 mula and the 148 uttara-prakrtis are of importance; I can therefore restrict myself to presenting a summary of these.

JNANAVARANA-KARMAN

The jnanavarana-k obscures the knowledge peculiar to the soul, i.e. it hinder the jiva from recognizing a thing with its individual attributes. It is divided into 5 uttara-prakrtis, according to the 5 kinds of knowledge:

 

1.   mati-jnanavarana-k which causes the obscuration of the knowledge, transmitted through the senses,

2.   sruta-jnanavarana-k which produces the obscuration of knowledge acquired by interpreting signs (i.e. words, writings, gestures),

3.   avadhi-jnanavarana-k which hinders transcendental knowledge of material things,

4.   manahparyaya-jnanavarana-k which hinders transcendental knowledge of the thoughts of others,

5.   kevala-jnanavarana-k which obscures the omniscience inherent in the jiva by natural disposition.

 

Of these, the last mentioned karman hinders omniscience altogether; the four others do not always involve, through their realization, a complete destruction of the corresponding faculties of knowledge, but often produce only greater or less disturbances.

 

DARSANAVARANA-KARMAN

The word darsana has two different meanings in Jain Philosophy. Firstly it means: "opinion, doctrine, philosophical system", and samyag-darsana then has the signification "the fight view, the true belief". But, secondly, the word darsana has also the meaning "the recognition of a thing in its general outlines or in its notional generality." (Jacobi ad Tattv. 1.1) i.e. formaliter indistinct knowledge. Here the darsana mentioned in the second place is dealt with: for the sake of brevity and for lack of a better word, we translate it by "undifferentiated cognition". According to the 4 species of undifferentiated cognition1 there are 4 species of the darsanavarana-karman, namely:

1.   caksur-darsanavarana-k which produces the obscuration of the darsana conditional upon the eye,

2.   acaksur-darsanavarana-k which causes the obscuration of the undifferentiated cognition, conditional upon the other senses and the organ of thinking,

3.   avadhi-darsanavarana-k which causes the obscuration of the transcendental undifferentiated cognition of material things,

4.   kevala-darsanavarana-k which hinder the absolute undifferentiated cognition (the counterpart of the omniscience).

 

The last mentioned k hinders completely; the three others produce under certain circumstances only a disturbance of the respective cognition-faculties.

 

In addition to these 4 darsanavarana-ks come still 5 others which produce physio-psychological conditions in which the sense-organs are not active, and which, therefore, exclude all possibility of perception. These are the 5 nidra-ks, "sleep-ks", namely:

 

1.   nidra-k which produces a light, pleasant slumber, out of which the sleeper is already aroused by the clicking of finger-nails.

 

2.   nidranidra-k which produces a deep slumber, out of which the sleeper can only be awakened by being shaken violently,

 

3.   pracala-k which sitting or standing upright (cf. Desi-Kosa VI, 6).

 

4.   pracalapracala-k which produces an exceedingly intensive sleep, that overcomes a person while walking,

 

5.   styanagrddhi-(styanarddhi-)k which causes somnambulism, acting an unconscious state.