Shri Amar Muni
IS THERE NEXT LIFE?
Now, Shri Mahavir Bhagavan says to the tenth brahamanda
scholar by name Metarya, that on account of such mutually contradictory
vedic statements, (indian writing pg 135 angie) you have entertained the
doubt whether there is anything like the next life, the next birth or not?
You believed that there is no next life, No Rebirth
on account of the following reasons:
1. Like the whiteness of a thing, consciousness
belongs to the bhoota-pinda (the elemental body). Just as when a cloth
is destroyed its whiteness is destroyed, similarly when the body is
destroyed consciousness itself is destroyed. When that is so where
remains anything for going to the next birth?
2. Even though the consciousness may be different
from the body, like the flames emerging from the wood, it can be
transient not permanent. There is therefore no next life.
3. Even if the soul possessing consciousness may be a
permanent thing, and if it is all-pervasive then it cannot go anywhere.
There is therefore no going to next life.
4. In the form of the other worlds, heaven and hell
are not visible at all, then what is 'parloka', the other world? But now
The proofs supporting the existence of the other
world (Next Life)
1. From the inferences already mentioned, consciousness
is the nature of the different independent soul but not of 'bhutas'-- the
basic elements. From the reasons like the remembrance of the previous
life, it is proved that the soul has come from the other world.
It is permanent as a dravya (a substance, a reality);
but as parvava or a modification it is a transient, conscious soul.
2. There cannot be only one all-pervasive and
motionless soul, because--
(a) Due to the differences among souls of attachment
and hatred, sensual pleasures and emotions, thoughts and feelings,
auspicious and inauspicious contemplations, existence of hell-abiders
and heavenly beings, there cannot exist in the universe only one soul
but there must be different souls on account of these different effects.
(b)Since those attributes are perceptible only in the
body, the soul pervades only the body; and
(c)The soul is proved as possessing movement because
it is bhokta (one who experiences karma-fruits) and roaming in various
lives is capable of movements in the four gatis).
3. The soul is both transient and constant
Question: Knowledge being not different from the soul
if the soul is an embodiment of knowledge, then knowledge being of
creative nature, is transient and so the soul also must be transient .
Then whose is the next birth?
Answer If knowledge is different from the soul, the
soul can remain permanent.
Question: But there in this condition, like that of a
pure sky, or like an inanimate wood, where remains the issue of the next
birth, of the pure soul different from knowledge? How can there be next
birth for inanimate wood? In the permanent one if there is the capacity of
doing karmas and experiencing their fruits, then these may go on always,
but it is not so. Therefore, the soul is not permanent but transient, and
when it is transient, how can there be the next birth?
Answer: In vijnan, let there be creativity, and hence
let the vijnan be transient, but why should it not be permanent also?
Question: Yes. Even in the pot there is not merely
transience, there is also permanence; because what is a pot? It is not
merely a shape but it is an aggregate of colour, taste, smell, touch,
oneness in number, shape of roundness, capacity to contain water. In the
previous clay-bulk also these qualities like colour etc. existed. Only
shape and capacity did not exist. It means that the pot in the form of
colour etc. is not newly created but is constant; as well as in the form
of new shape and capacity it is created. Here the clay-bulk is destroyed
in its shape and capacity. Same pot is destroyed also in its previous
attributes like blackness etc. In this manner, the pot is proved to be
steady (constant) and also created.
In other words the soul is both transient and constant.
In the same manner, all substances and soul also are proved as steady and
transient. In this position the soul sees cloth after seeing pot, the soul
itself in the form of pot knowledge is lost and in the form of cloth-
knowledge is created and remains steady in the form of jivatva. In this
manner, when a man dies and is born as a heavenly being he perishes as a
human being but is newly created as a heavenly being. Of course in the
form of jivatva, he is intact. Thus the next birth is logically
established and it is reasonable, relevant, coherent, consistent and
All the 'sat-vastu' (real substances) have the three
attributes viz. utpad (creation), vyaya (destruction), and dhravya
(steadiness); because what is unreal cannot be created; otherwise the
unreal like 'horse-horns' could go on being created! The real substance
can never be destroyed. Otherwise, gradually, all substances, might be
completely destroyed. Therefore, a substance in a certain form, remains
intact in a certain form and goes on being created in a certain form. The
prince's beloved gold pot had been broken and transformed into small
anklets for the princess. In this the substance gold is the same, but
forms are three. When the same substance as a pot is lost, the prince's
feeling is changed into sadness; and the same substance as a small anklet
is created, the princess' feeling is changed into joy, and since the sarne
substance remains intact as gold, the king remains neutral in his
feelings. The causes of these three different feelings must be different,
and they are pot, anklet and gold, which must be believed as different and
intermingled in the same substance.
4. If there is no other world, the vedic statements
that prescribe agnihotra etc. for the attainment of heaven, will be
This explanation given by Shri Mahavir Bhagavan removed
the doubts of Metarya and he with his three hundred pupils accepted
charitra diksa at the hands of the Bhagavan.