Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

The doubt regarding the existence of the soul

Dont Despair: Remember Soul
The Second Ganadhara
The Third Ganadhara
The Fourth Ganadhara
  The Fifth Ganadhara
  The Sixth Ganadhara
  The Seventh Ganadhara
  The Eighth Ganadhara
  The Ninth Ganadhara
  The Tenth Ganadhara
  The Eleventh Ganadhara


Shri Amar Muni


Now we begin the discussion with the arguments of the second Ganadhar. As soon as Agnibhuti heard the news that Indrabhuti had accepted Jain Charita Deeksa (initiation to the ascetic group) at the hands of Bhagavan Mahavir, he was shocked 'Ah! What has happened? My brother, who has never in his life known defeat in arguments, has surrendered himself for life to his opponent. Certainly, there should have occurred some deceit. Therefore, I must go there with an absolute intellectual awareness and vigilance, so that I may not fall prey to the snares of the opponent, and by silincing him and making him void of arguments through my incisive arguments I may release my brother from his snares." Thinking thus he, accompanied by his 500 disciples, proceeded to see Bhagavan Mahavir.

But alas! he should have known that not only his brother Indrabhuti, but even the great Indra, the supreme of gods possessing divine knowledge named Avadhigyan got enthralled and fascinated by Bhagavan Mahavir who had ascended to the top most post named Tirthankarpad and who was vitarag and omniscient: that he himself would be thus fascinated by the Lord: and that the Lord had appeared here only to destroy his internal enemy namely Moha or illusion. Agnibhuti arrived at the staircase of the Samavasaran. The Bhagavan addressed him also as he had addressed Indrabhuti and also disclosed the doubt of Agnibhuti thus: "Dear Agnibhuti you have a doubt whether such a thing as karma (destiny, fate) exists in the world or not? But you have not thoroughly and deeply understood and contemplated over the meaning of the Vedic statement."

Like his brother, Angibhuti also stood stratified on seeing and hearing the Bhagavan. On the disclosure of his inner doubt, he rightly thought, "He is an omniscient one! So, now let me understand the truth properly and fully from Him". He stood before the Bhagavan politely with folded hands.

The Bhagavan began to explain the truth to Agnibhuti in this way:

Why Doubt About the Existence of Karma

"Oh Agnibhuti . You are confused because you have found two contradictory Vedic statements. One of them is,[indian writing pg 46 angie] " in other words, "whatever has happened (in the past), and is apt to happen (in the future), is 'Purush (soul) only". The other contradictory Vedic saying you found is, [indian writing pag46 angie].`In other words, "one desiring heavenly birth should perform the sacrifice named 'Agnihotra".

You have understood the first one thus:"That which is logically probable to happen is the Purusha or soul only. In other words all the phenomenon of the world occur only on account of the prowess and power of soul. There is no such thing as Karma If such a thing as Karma existed in the world, then in the Vedic statement with the word 'Purush' the word 'Eva' meaning 'only' would not have been joined. But here in Vedas say 'only the soul' and that negates the other things, such as Karma and time etc. That means soul is all in all."

But on the other hand, you have found the contrary statement: like 'Svargakaamo agnihotram juhuyat'. [indian writing pg 46 angie]

(He who desires heavenly birth must perform the yajna, sacrifice called the 'Agnihotra'. From this Vedic statement, you have understood that "according to the Vedas, he who desires to go to heaven must perform the Angihotra sacrifice. But even after the agnihorta} sacrifice is performed soul continues in the same state of existence for a long time: and then after a lapse of some time soul goes to heaven. In that case, the cause Agnihotra is destroyed long before, the effect the heavenly birth to be created comes later on. Then how can it be called heavenly birth's cause. Without the medium of karma Agnihotra being destroyed is not capable in the absence of inter-medium to create heaven. So there must be karma as a link between cause and effect. If without this link in the form of karma the soul itself accompanied with the endeavour of Agnihotra would have been creating heaven, then just as the 'yajna' is completed the soul should have immediately attained heaven! So there must be a medium, a link, call it anything, but Karma is a link between the 'cause' like 'Agnihotra and the 'effect' like birth in heaven. The jiva attains heaven only on account of the ripening of this Karma In this manner you have to interpret and understand the Vedic text. From this, it becomes proved and it is evident that Karma does exist.

"Oh Agnibhuti! You entertained the doubt whether in the world such a thing as 'Karma' exists or not', because in Vedas you found contradictory statements regarding Karma Moreover you are thinking of this in yet another way, and so you might be feeling that:

(1) If karmas are not visible, how can they be believed in?

(2) Even if they are believed in, Karmas are incongruent with existence. So how are Karmas (destiny, fate ) believable?

(3) Why can we not deny the existence of something that is invisible?

But Oh, Agnibhuti! two questions arise on this:-

(a) One is, can you say that a certain thing, just because it is invisible, does not exist at all?

(b)The second thing is, can you say that 01. because a thing is invisible to you only, it is unbelievable or 02. because it is not visible to anybody, it is unbelievable?

1. To answer the first question, you should mind well that there are many hindrances on account of which even existent things may not be visible. Yet we are compelled to believe in their existence. We cannot see our eye lids because of their extreme proximity, yet on that basis can we say that our eye- lids do not exist? There are many hindrances on account of which a thing although existing is not visible; (We shall consider them later: ) yet we have to believe in it.

Be afraid of the invisible Karmas: We have also to ponder over these utterances of the Lord spoken to Agnibhuti. Just because we cannot see an object, can we deny its existence! In the modern age, we have such phenomena as electricity in wires, magnetic power in a magnet, and the capacity in the atoms, although they are invisible, yet people believe in their existence. But it is surprising that in the case of truths relating to Shastras or the religion or the religious doctrines or the philosophical principles, people say "Where is it seen? Is it visible? Show us if it is visible". Saying thus they disbelieve the existence of such things as religion and Tattvas and it is surprising that they do not accept them! By speaking thus they show their distrust in the scriptures, religion and philosophy. By neglecting or denying the existence of the invisible Karmas, they waste, pollute and ruin the lofty human birth which is of a very short period, a very short span of life that has been attained. They ruin human birth on account of their ignorance, on account of mean and irrelevant thoughts, and obstinate beliefs or fanaticism or for the sake of sensual pleasures that are transient. They court spiritual ruin, and in consequence, they create terrible agonies and anguish for countless lives. But they should realise that just because a certain thing is not visible or not understandable, it cannot be negated or disbelieved as something unreal. It must be understood that there are very many reasons due to which a thing may not be visible, or not known to us, but that is no ground for entertaining distrust in its existence.

Those who have belief in karmas and their efficacy, at least experience this:

1. Very many things happen against their wishes; and

2. though they entertain a strong wish for something that thing is not accomplished according to their wish.

Why so? Say due to karmas being not favourable. 'I hen why should they not believe in the existence of karmas? Even if they disbelieve in Karmas' theory, they notice the gradual decrease in age and frustrations because of unfulfilled desires. When there is no change in such conditions in their lives then why not believe in karma-theory? Why should they not make their life blessed in this invaluable state of human-birth by believing in the writings of the scriptures written by the sages who were entertaining the fear of Samsara, that means who were afraid of the down-fall in the series of births and deaths in Samsara and who were the men of outstanding spiritual attainments and knowledge, living an extraordinary pious life of samyam (self restraint), and who were veracious i.e. who always spoke truth, and who possessed intensely unselfish and absolutely benevolent talent and behaviour?

Mind well this rarely obtainable and very precious human birth has been attained by us, for keeping complete trust in them. If the faith is preserved, further in future in accordance with this faith, the life will be rewarded by carrying out such samyam (self restraint) sacrifices, spiritual austerities, and keeping absolutely benevolent attitude, abhorrance towards sensual pleasures, and truthfulness and restraint over senses and mind. But if there is no faith at all, the life will go waste in sensual pleasures and enjoyments, such as eating, drinking, enjoying leisures, music, dance and so on. Here the soul lives the life of a beastly attitude. In the births of animals, birds and insects, these pleasures can be experienced by the flies, insects, birds, elephants, cuckoos, peacocks, donkeys, etc. Therefore we should value human birth and have faith in the words of the enlightened sages.

Things Though in front why Invisible ?

Now let us think over the reasons why certain things though they exist are not known.

1. The things if very nearest to our eyes cannot be seen though they are in front of our eyes, just as we cannot see the collyrium applied to the eyes, and the movement of the eyelids.

2. At a very distance, just as the telegraph poles along the railway track situated at a distance cannot be seen though they exist.

3. Very subtle: just as such subtle object as the atoms or the radio-active particles (which are not visible if there is no beam of light emanating from the sun).

4. In the same manner, if your mind does not concentrate on the idol, at the time of seeing the idol, you have no awareness whether the idol has a crown or not. Whether it had symmetrical eyes? Whether the saffron used was red or yellow. There are also many other reasons for our not being able to see the realities even en though they exist.

What are the reasons that we do not see some objects though they exist there?

The Reason Things not seen

1. Extreme proximity The eyelids and the collyrium in the eyes.

2. Great distance The telegraph-poles on the sides of the railway track.

3. Extremely minute The dust particles visible only in a beam of light

cannot be seen without it.

4. The absence of One cannot say whether the idol had a crown

mental or not when he was seeing the idol,

concentration because he was absent- minded.

5. Impossible One's own ears and head.

6. The weakness Inability to see letters etc. with of the senses out

senses spectacles.

7. Mental dullness Carats of gold: lustre of pearls.

uncultivated or

in-trained mind

8. Being covered A veiled (covered) object.

9. Defeat, overthrow Stars in sunlight.

1O. Nature The sky, ghost, etc.

11. Being mixed with A few grains mixed with a heap of

other similar green lentil and mustard.


12. Mind diverted to While concentrating on the taste,

another object the colour is not seen.

13. Forgetfulness Something seen say some ten years ago.

14. Loss of eye-sight A blind man cannot see anything.

15. Wrong under- The gold ornaments (not of pure gold)

standing or perception worn by a wealthy villager or perception

enforced upon a person by his deceitful friend, a


16. False faith or The realities like the jiva (soul).

`Moha' illusion

17. Old age or One cannot recognise things or ,

disease, three humours persons in sickness though one might

being corrupted have seen them with familiarity many times


18. Without action or The butter in milk and curds.


19. Mixed substance Water in milk.

20. Lack of training Unable to distinguish a jewel from a


21. Devine illusion Gold transformed into a coal.

Therefore, we cannot say that karmas do not exist just because they are not seen.