Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions
  THE NATURE OF KARMA (Karma ka swroop)
  Vairagya Bhavana




     The man who longs for the joy of Gods must prepare himself for the practicing of absolute Ahimsa by a steady course of training. He should begin with abstaining from causing unnecessary injury to all kinds of beings having more than one sense. With respect to the evolution of sense, living beings all under the following five classes:--


(1) One-sensed beings who possess only the sense of touch, such as vegetables;


(2) Two-sensed beings, i.e., those which possess touch and taste both, such as protozoa and certain varieties of shell-fish;


(3) Three-sensed beings, who also enjoy the sense of smell in addition to touch and taste, such as lice, bugs and ants;


(4) Four-sensed beings who are endowed with all the senses except hearing, and


(5) Five-sensed beings.


In addition to their appropriate or specific senses, all living beings possess three kinds of forces of life, namely Ayuh, bodily strength and the power of breathing. The power of communicating with others, which in the higher grades of life assumes the form of speech, is enjoyed by the two-sensed and other higher types, while mind is a distinguishing feature of the five-sensed type alone, though all Jivas belonging to that class are not endowed with it. These ten kinds of forces-- five senses, Ayuh, bodily strength, breathing, speech and mind-- are called the ten pranas.


     Now, all five kinds of living beings are souls capable of feeling pain though not always in anticipation of injury, for that kind of pain is felt only by those of the fifth class who evolve out a mind -- men, monkeys, dogs and the like. All kinds of living beings, however possess the Karma and the taijasa Shareers whose separation from the body of gross matter is called death --a painful process at all times, and more so when the bodies are separated by force of external violence. Pain is also felt by all kinds of living beings when their limbs are cut, pierced, torn asunder or otherwise mutilated.


     Hinsa is the causing of pain to another and includes all kinds of acts calculated to interfere with one's enjoyment of life or freedom in respect of one's pranas.


     The following table will enable the reader to form a general idea of its main types at a glance:--





         |                                                                    |

     injuring one-sensed beings             injuring the remaining types of living beings




          |                                                                                  |

 deliberate                                                                accidental



                              |                                                     |

             due to carelessness                 implied in the struggle for

                          (C)                                               existence






      |                                                                                                       |

  necessary (E)                                                                                  Wanton (F)


|                                  |                             |                     |                         

in defiance of         for the main-           in the treat-            in the em-                 

(i) body,                  tenance of                ment of             ployment of                  

(ii) property              law and                 wounds etc.           men and                         

       and                    order.                                              animals for                         

(iii) country.                                                                    the purposes                          

                                                                                          of trade,                        

                                                                                        etc., etc.                       



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- = 1

|                                       |                    |                          |                           |

killing for                sport             slavery                sacrifice             vivisection

food, trade,




     The layman very naturally, is not expected to avoid injuring the one-sensed beings, nor can he refrain from all other kinds of injury except wanton cruelty. He is, there fore required to practice Ahimsa in respect of class F. The Muni is, however able to avoid injuring others in all cases falling under classes D., E and F., and also to a great extent, under class C. The kevali who has conquered the twenty two forms of parisaha (see page 57 ante) does not cause any kind of Hinsa, and the same is the case with the Siddha who has no material impurities left in his soul.


     Thus the practical observance of the principles of Hinsa varies with the circumstance of each soul, so that the least advanced begin with the renunciation of wanton cruelty, and gradually train themselves to observe the stricter vows of a Muni. As personal wants and desires become limited to bare food, once a day or so, the practicing of the higher forms of Ahimsa is not felt to be irksome or difficult; and finally, when the powers of the soul are developed to perfection and complete mastery over the lower nature is obtained, resulting in the manifestation of those subtle and powerful forces which enable the kevali to defy all kinds of adverse influences -- hunger, thirst, sickness, old age, death and the like-- the observance of absolute Ahimsa becomes perfectly easy and natural.