Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

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




With the different karmans a definite abadha-kala is assumed i.e. an interval during which the k is existing, but is not practicing its molesting effect. One arrives at that if one puts 100 years instead of 1 kotakoti of sagaropamas. The maximum abadha of the veilings of knowledge amounts, therefore, to 3000 years, that of the passions, to 4000 years, etc., (and) the abadha of the minimum sthiti with all prakrtis to less than 48 minutes (Kg II 25a, 32a).


About sthiti and abadha there are still a number of other special regulations which in this connection can just as little be discussed as the differences of opinion which exist between the several teachers concerning the duration of the karmans.


The maximum-duration of all ks, even of the good ones, with the exception of the celestial, human and animal ayus is considered as bad, the minimum duration as good. Those of the 3 ayus mentioned are always considered as good. The duration of the karmans of a jiva is dependent on the tenure of his mind (adhyavasaya), and, therefore, on the strength of the kasayas. The more sinful a being is, the larger s the sthiti of the karman; the purer the being is, the smaller is the sthiti. Of the 3 ayus mentioned, however, the sinful is binding a smaller, the pure a larger sthiti.

THE INTENSITY (rasa or anubhaga) OF THE KARMAN

                          Kg. II, 52b., Ps. 564.


Just as the nimba fruit has in the different kinds of preparation a more or less bitter, a sweet dish a more or less sweet taste, so, likewise the karman practices its effect, according to circumstances, in a more or less intense manner. The intensity of the effects of the karman corresponds to the compactness or the karman-matter; it is conditional upon the weakness of strength of the kasayas. According to the 4 degrees of the passions, 4 degrees of the strength of the karman are recognized.


With the bad prakrtis the strongest, the 4th degree of the rasa is produced by the most violent passions, those of life-long duration. The 3rd degree is caused by the apratyakhyanavaranakasayas, the 2nd by the pratyakhyanavarana-kasayas, the 1st (the weakest) by the flaming-up passions. With the good karman-species the samjvalanas cause the 4th (the strongest), the pratyakhyanavarana-kasayas the 3rd, the apratyakhyanavarana-kasayas the 2nd (the weakest) degree. A rasa of the 1st degree does not exist with the good prakrtis. Of the bad prakrtis only 17 have the rasa of the 1st degree, namely the 5 hindrances, the first 4 veilings of knowledge, the first 3 veilings of undifferentiated cognition, male sex, and the flaming-up passions; the other bad prakrtis have, like the good ones, only a rasa of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th degree. The reason for the absence of the 1st degree in the case of most of the karman-species in their peculiar arrangement in the gunasthanas, of which more will be said later.


The different rasa of a karma-prakrti can be exemplified most clearly by the desaghatis. The 4 first veilings of knowledge, for instance, are working so strongly at the anubhaga of the 4th and 3rd degrees that knowledge is quite impossible, at the intensity of the 2nd degree they hinder knowledge totally or partially, at the rasa of the 1st degree only partially (Kg. II, 56b).


The most sinful a jiva is, the longer the duration of his karman, the stronger the effect of his bad, the weaker that of his good prakrtis, whilst with an increased purity the duration of the bound karman and the intensity of the bad prakrtis decrease and the rasa of the good prakrtis grows (Kg. II, 43b).



(Kg. II, 68b seq., Tattv. VIII, 25).


The atoms are, according to the number in which they are found together, divided into categories (vargana). Atoms which are found alone, from the 1st vargana, aggregates (skandha) of 2 atoms the 2nd vargana and so forth.


A vargana the aggregates of which are comprising a certain minimum of pradesas and which is according to its condition (parinama), is not too high a degree gross (sthula), can be assimilated by the jiva to the physical body. This is the minimum-audarika-vargana. If one adds an atoms to each aggregate of the vargana, one obtains the 2nd audarika-vargana, which is somewhat fine, but more compact than the preceding one. If one continues in this way, one finally obtains the maximum audarika-vargana. If one atom is added to each skandha of the latter, there results the minimum audarika-agrahana-vargana: the complex is not gross enough and contains too many atoms in order to be capable of being assimilated to the physical body. Again, to each aggregate an atoms is added till the maximum audarika-agrahana-vargana results ; still one atom more, and the complex contains enough atoms and possesses a sufficient degree of subtlety (suksma-parinama), in order to be capable of forming the minimum vargana for the transformation-body. On the maximum-vargana follow again vaikriya-agrahana-varganas, and then in constant change the grahana-and-agrahana-varganas of the translocation-body, of the fiery body, of the speech, of the breath, of the thinking organ, and finally of the karman.


From the preceding result two essential peculiarities of the karman-complexes, through which these are distinguished from the other kinds of the varganas, which the jivas assimilate. Firstly the karma-varganas are exceedingly fine, finer even than those which the jiva requires for speaking, breathing and thinking. And, secondly, a karman aggregate surpasses in regard to the quantity of atoms of which it consists, all other skandhas.


About the condition of the karman-aggregates, we further learn, that there exist with them 2 odors, 5 colors, 5 tastes, and only 4 touches, namely cold, warm, adhesive, and rough (whilst with the skandhas of the physical body all 8 sparsas are found).


The jiva assimilates karman-matter which is within his own pradesas, not matter lying outside of them, just as fire only seizes inflammable material which is lying within its reach. Every part of the soul is, therefore, filled with karma-pudgalas, which, if the necessary conditions are fulfilled, adhere to the jiva like dust to a body besmeared with oil. The jiva seizes a karman-particle simultaneously with all his parts, because an exceedingly close connection exists between all the pradesas of a jiva, as with the links of a chain.


The karman-particle absorbed by the jiva develops into the 8 species of the karman, as food consumed at a changes itself into blood and the other humors of the body (Jacobi ad. Tattv. VIII, 5). The shares which fall to the 8 mula-prakrtis differ from one another; their measure corresponds to the length of their sthiti. Ayus receives the smallest part, a greater portion goes to naman and gotra, which both obtain equal portions. More than the latter go to the two avaranas and antaraya, each of which gets an equal portion. Still a larger part than these falls to mohaniya; by far the greatest of all, however, to vedaniya.


The part falling to a mula-prakrti is then further divided among the uttara-prakrtis. Among the jnanavaranas the veiling of omniscience receives an infinitely small part (as it is sarvaghatin), the rest falls to the 4 other prakrtis. At the darsanavarana the part which has sarvaghati-rasa is divided into 6 parts (for the veiling of absolute undifferentiated cognition and the 5 kinds of sleep), the remainder, provided with desaghati-rasa is divided into 3 parts. The part falling to vedaniya becomes completely sata or asata, as only one of these two can be bound. The part of the mohaniya provided with sarvaghati-rasa is divided into 2 portions, one of which falls to darsana-mohaniya, the other to caritra-mohaniya. The former becomes entirely mithyatva, the latter is converted into the 12 kasayas. The remainder has desaghati-rasa and is divided into 2 parts, of which the first belongs to the 4 flaming-up passions, whilst the other falls to one of the 3 sexes, to joking and liking (or to disliking and sorrow, according to which was bound) and to fear and disgust. The part of the ayus belongs altogether to one of the 4 uttara-prakrtis, as only one of them can be bound. The part of the naman is separated into as many sub-divisions as uttara-prakrtis can be bound, the sub-divisions of color, odor, taste, touch, body, samghatana and binding obtain portions from the one particle falling to the mula-prakrti. The part of the gotra is attributed entirely to the high or low gotra, as both are not bound simultaneously. The part of the antaraya is equally distributed between the 5 uttara-prakrtis.


If a certain prakrti can no more be bound in a particular gunasthana, the quantity of matter that would fall to it, is attributed to the other prakrtis which belong to the same class (jati). If also those are no more bound, the karman-particle falls to the mula-prakrti, and is divided between the still remaining parts. If also the mula-prakrti is no longer bound, it falls to another mula-prakrti. For example, if nidranidra, pracalapracala and styanarddhi are no longer bound, the dravya which would fall to them becomes nidra and pracala, which both belong to their class. If also nidra and pracala are no longer capable of being bound the matter is converted into the still remaining kinds of the darsanavarana. If the binding of all the darsanavarana is no more possible (as in the 11th gunasthana), the particle becomes sata-vedaniya.


Devendasuri shows (Kg. II, 77a et seq.) in a detailed manner in what proportion the number of the pradesas of an uttara-prakrti stands in maximum and minimum towards the quantity of the pradesas of the other uttara-prakrtis belonging to the same class. I do not wish to reproduce these long explanations in extenso, and therefore content myself with an example:

"Of darsanavarana, if the maximum number of pradesas in taken into consideration, the number of pradesas of pracala is comparatively very small; in proportion to it, the number of nidra is larger (visesadhika); in proportion to it, that of pracalapracala is larger; in proportion to it, that of nidranidra is larger; in proportion to it, that of styanarddhi is larger; in proportion to it, that of kevala-darsana-avarana is larger; in proportion to it, the number of the pradesas of avadhi-darsana-avarana is infinitely larger; in proportion to it, that of acaksur-darsana-avarana is still larger; in proportion to it, that of caksur-darsana-avarana is again larger."

"Of darsanavarana, if the minimum number of pradesas is taken into consideration, the quantity of the pradesas of nidra is comparatively small; in proportion to it, the number of the pradesas of pracala is larger; in proportion to it, that of nidranidra is larger; in proportion to is that of pracalapracala is larger; in proportion to it, that of styanarddhi is larger; in proportion to it, that of kevala-darsana-avarana is larger; in proportion to it, that of avadhi-darsana-avarana is infinitely larger; in proportion to it, that of acaksur-darsana-avarana is still larger; in proportion to it, that of caksur-darsana-avarana is again larger."

The smaller the number of prakrtis between which a karman-particle must be divided, and the higher organized the being is who assimilates the karman, the larger is the number of the pradesas which fall to a prakrti (Kg. II, 89a). The height of the physical development of a jiva corresponds to the degree of his activity (yoga), through which he produces the attraction of karma-pudgalas. A completely developed thinking being assimilates, therefore, more matter than a creature only incompletely developed and with only one sense. If now this great quantity of matter is only divided between a few prakrtis, because most of the prakrtis are no more bound, then naturally arises with each of these prakrtis a greater number of pradesas than if the same matter would fall to a great number of prakrtis. This consideration shows that the greatness or smallness of the pradesa-bandha of the different prakrtis does not upon ethical factors, as with sthiti-bandha and rasa-bandha, but upon mechanical ones.