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




     It is clear from what has been said in the earlier chapters that karmic matter flows into the soul with every action, whether mental or physical and that the fusion of spirit and matters takes place only when the soul is rendered receptive, or negative, in consequence of its desires. It would follow from this that complete freedom can be attained only by checking the continuous activity of mind and body which is the cause of fresh Asrava, and by the elimination of the accumulated deposit of karmic force from the soul. Hence, the first thing to do is to bring under control the organs of action which act as doorways to the ingress of the enemy. This amounts to saying that perfect control must be put on mind, body and speech, which are the three inlets for the particles of karmic matter to enter into the soul. The process of checking the inflow of fresh matter through these doorways is called Samvara, which is of two kinds, namely (i) Bhava Samvara and (ii) dravya Samvara. The former of these two kinds of Samvara signifies the control of passions, emotions, likes and dislikes, and the latter, i.e. dravya Samvara, the cessation of the influx of the particles of matter.


     Now, since passions and emotions only arise by virtue of unsatisfied desires, he who would bring them under control must begin by renouncing his desires in the first instance. Similarly, since dravya Asrava* takes place through the doorways of mind, body and speech, the controlling of the unchecked activity of these inlets of karmas is equally necessary for the aspirant for release from the bondage of 'sin'. To this end the following rules have been laid down by the omniscient Tirthankaras for the guidance of their non-involved brethren: (*Karmas are generally dealt with under two heads: (i) Bhava karmas and (ii) dravya karmas. Of these, Bhava karmas signify different kinds of mental states of the soul, and dravya karmas the material forces forged in consequence of those mental states. This distinction if also observed in respect of Asrava, bandha, Samvara, nirjara and Moksha. We thus have Bhava Asrava signifying the condition of receptivity or negativity, which is favorable for the influx of matter into the soul, and dravya Asrava, the actual inflow material itself. Similarly, Bhava bandha, Bhava Samvara, Bhava nirjara and Bhava Moksha have reference to mental attitude, and dravya bandha, dravya Samvara dravya nirjara and dravya Moksha to the physical side of the question.)


     1. The control of mind, speech and body (Gupti).

     2. The cultivation of the habit of carefulness (Samiti) in respect of the following five particulars:

     (a) Walking, so as not to injure any living being;

     (b) Speech so as not to cause pain to any one by offensive, disagreeable language, or by a careless use of words having a tendency to incite others to violent deeds; (c) Eating so as not to cause injury to any living being;

     (d) Handling things --begging bowl, books and the like, with which there is a great danger of injury to small insects; and,

     (e) Evacuation and disposal of faces, urine and the like.


3. The observance of the rules of the das-lakshana (consisting of ten rules or commandments) Dharma (path), viz.

     (a) Forgiveness,

     (b) Humility,

     (c) Honesty or straight forwardness,

     (d) Truthfulness,

     (e) Purity of mind, i.e. the avoidance of passions,

     (f) Mercy and control of senses.,

     (g) Tapa (asceticism, i.e. the performance of acts of self-denial, in order to bring the pure attributes of the soul into manifestation),

     (h) Renunciation (the giving of gifts, non-attachment, and the like),

     (i) Avoidance of greed, and

     (j) Chastity


     4. Constant meditation on the following twelve forms of reflection (Bhavanas):


     (i) Anita Bhavanas 'All things are transitory in the world; no condition of existence therein is everlasting; it is useless to be attached to the forms of perishable things; they can only cause pain and suffering; Dharma (religion) alone is one's true friend; friends, relations, health, wealth, beauty, strength and the like shall all desert one some day; Atma alone is nitya (eternal); he alone has to taste the fruit --Sukha (happiness) and Dukha (misery)--of his actions; therefore one's Atma alone is the fit object of attachment.'


     (ii) Asarana Bhavana-- 'None can help the Jiva in his troubles, he alone has to bear his pain and suffering; friends, relations, wife and children are powerless to combat suffering and disease; Dharma is the only protector of the helpless; Dharma enables the Jiva, by his own power, to surmount all obstacle therefore Dharma should be practiced under all circumstances. One should also be devoted to the five kinds of Teachers (Arihanta, Siddha, Acharya, Upadhyaya and Sadhu), who preach the true Dharma.


     (iii) Samsara Bhavanas --'Endless is the cycle of transmigration; painful is every form of life; there is no happiness in any of the four conditions of existence; Devas, human beings, animals and residents of hells are all involved in pain and misery of some kind or other; Moksha alone is blissful and free from pain; the wise should, therefore, only aspire for Moksha; all other conditions are temporary and painful.'


     (iv) Equate Bhavanas --'Alone does the Jiva come into the world; alone does he leave it to be re-born elsewhere; alone does he bear the consequences of his karmas; therefore, one should bestir oneself for the destruction of karmas.'

     (v) Anyatva Bhavana --'Soul is distinct from the body; it is also distinct from one's wife and child; at the moment of death it leaves them all --its body, relations and the like-- behind when one's body even is not one's own, what good is to be had out of regarding any one else as one's own?'


     (vi) Asuchi Bhavana-- 'The body is full of foul matter; it is constantly passing out filth; if its skin be removed it would cease to be attractive, it cannot be purified by unguents and scents; it is only a store-house of impurities; faces, saliva etc., does it contain; fool, indeed, is he who allows such a body to become his master; it is to be treated as a slave.'


     (vii) Asrava Bhavana-- 'Asrava is the cause of the influx of karmas; all kinds of evil arise from it; the wise should know and understand the nature of Asrava, and control his conduct.'

     (viii) Samvara Bhavana (meditation on the nature of Samvara).

     (ix) Nirjara Bhavana (meditation on the nature of nirjara Tattva).

     (x) Loka* (universe) Bhavana (one should meditate on the form, material and nature of the three worlds.


     (*Meditation on the form of the universe, its principle divisions, and the conditions of life which prevail there in, is called the Loka Bhavana. The infinity of Akash (space) is divided into two parts, the Lokakasa (universe) and the Aloka Akash (the region beyond the universe). Nothing but pure space is to be found in the Alokakasa, while the Lokakasa contains the remaining five substances, namely, Jiva, matter, Time, Dharma and Adharma, without which there can be no universe. The form of the universe (Lokakasa) is that of a spindle resting on half of another, and resembles the figure of a man standing with his arms akimbo. The middle part of this man-shaped universe is called the madhya Loka (the middle region), the upper the urdhva Loka (celestial region) and the lower the adho Loka (the nether region). The celestial region consists of sixteen heavens on eight stories, nine upper heavens (graivey Akash), nine anudishas and five Anuttara (still higher regions of Devas), with the place of residence of the Siddha Atma at the extreme top. The madhya Loka comprises a very large number of continents and seas, with the Jambu Dvipa, of which our little earth forms a part, in the center. Below the madhya Loka are the dwellings of certain kinds of beings --bhavnavasin Devas and others of their type. Below these are the seven hells, one on the top of another, while the lowest part of the universe is called nigoda.


     As regards the conditions of life, which prevail in the different parts of the universe, the Devas enjoy great elicits which increases the higher ascend. In the lowest heavens, the Devas and Devangnas (wives of Devas) enjoy long life and co-habit like human beings; they have no bones in their bodies, which are resplendent and shining, and capable of assuming any desired form by the mere force of will. As we rise higher in the celestial region, the method of the gratification of sex-passion becomes less and less gross in form --in some heavens satisfaction resulting from mere contact, in others from perception, conversation, and so forth --till it finally disappear in the Graiveyakas, where there are no Devangnas.


     Longevity also varies in the different heavens, becoming longer and longer as we go up, till the longest Ayuh in the last Anuttara comprises no less than thirty-three saguaros (oceans) of years. The residents of the highest Anuttara have only one more earth-life to undergo before final emancipation.


     In the madhya Loka, human beings are found in different places, in the first two and a half continents which cover the entire region illumined by the Sun. The conditions of life differ in these regions also, owing to the influence of the motion of suns, stars, moons and other heavenly bodies. In some places men enjoy great felicity, almost equaling that of Devas, while in others, such as our little earth, the conditions of life vary with the periods of time.


     As regards the conditions of existence in hells, life is more and more painful as we descend to lower and lower regions. Duration of life also increases proportionately in the lower hells, varying from 10,000 years in the first hell to thirty-three saguaros in the lowest, i.e., the seventh. The nigoda is the place into which fall all those who commit the worst kinds of sins. These are they who may be said to go to the 'outer darkness,' in the language of the Bible. Their case is hopeless, and, although they might come out of it again, no one can say how long they might have to remain there. Excruciating pain, extreme misery and unbearable torment at the hands of their neighbors and superiors are the characteristics of existence in hells. The residents of these unhappy regions are all neuter, and spend their time in lamentation and anguish.)