Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

The doubt regarding the existence of the soul

Dont Despair: Remember Soul
The Second Ganadhara
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  The Eleventh Ganadhara


Shri Amar Muni

2. Now regarding the second question: "Because karmas are not visible to us they are not existent". We cannot say this, because many things exist which though we may not see them yet they are in others' sight. Therefore, it is wrong to say that 'Karmas do not exist because they cannot be seen by anyone'. The reason is, first of all, where have we seen all the jivas in the world so that we may know whether there is not one of them who has seen karmas? Even in visible jivas are we able to see knowledge--of what nature and to which extent? This we cannot see. Morever how can we say "In future too there will be none who can see karmas"? Therefore, it is not proper to disbelieve the existence of karmas.

Bhagavan Mahavir says to Agnibhutil 'you might have thought that there are "Three reasons for the existence of karmas being logically improbable:"

"The thing like Karma is improbable". Behind this statement are these three reasons:

(a) There is nothing like soul taking rebirth, and hence who can carry on karmas in the next life?

(b) Let there be any one who may take a rebirth, but karmas are above rational comprehension. They cannot be brought within the scope of rational understanding, testing, and verification.

(c) Or, it can be said that all things take place in this world because of the 'nature' of the things. Therefore where is the need for believing in karmas?

Refutation of these three reasons

(I-1 ) If there is nothing like one who goes to the next birth, then who will carry karmas with him? And for this life karmas are useless and inefficacious". We cannot say this because the soul taking another birth has been proved. It is for this reason that the Vedic statements like "they who desire to go to heaven, should perform the Agnihotra yajna etc." which you believe to be true are logical and relevant. If the soul does not at all exist, who would go to heaven by performing the yajna.

(I-2) Karmas are beyond intellectual analysis, because here the question is of what nature will you believe karmas?

'Sanimittak' karmas i.e. produced from cause or 'Animittak', karmas those created without cause?

1. 'Animittak: those created without any cause.

2. 'Sanimittak: produced by causes and reasons.

Of these two points,

(a) the first one cannot be believed in, because if karmas can arise naturally without a cause, then why is it that such 'Animittak' karmas are not produced in those who have attained Moksa (salvation)? Or why is it that 'Animittak' karmas are not being produced always? If so, nobody can attain moksa at any time.

(b) Regarding the second point, of Sanimittak' karmas, we shall have to think over the three causes by which karmas are produced.

The three causes that create Karmas

1. Karmas arise from violence; or

2. They arise from attachment and hatred; or

3. They arise from other karmas.

Now thinking over these three, we shall see how each of them is not rational.

Why is it that those who with much cruelty slaughter a lot of animals and cut them to pieces with sharp implements, and also those who impel others to do so, are seen to enjoy happiness? They are bound by dangerous sins (inauspicious karmas) on account of their violent activities: then owing to their karmas they should be in great pain and anguish; but on the contrary they seem happy. As opposed to this, why are those who are always engaged in the worship of Tirthankar Parmatma, penances and austerities etc. and who being merciful do not harm even the smallest creatures like ants, lead a life of poverty and adversity? Why so? Auspicious karmas created by worship, mercy, penances, non-violence etc. must bring happiness to them. Hence this doctrine that bad karmas are born out of violence, and good karmas are born out of worship, penances and mercy etc., is not appealing. Therefore the doctrine of karmas that they are created by violence does not remain logical. Hence it is not valid.

(b)As regards the second point, if you say, "the karma] is created by attachment and hatred," then the question is how do those attachments and hatred originate and from what source? If it is from karmas then we cannot say from present karmas they originate. If we say that they originate from the karmas of the previous life, moksa will have no scope no meaning, because according to this theory, attachment and hatred arise from karmas and karmas arise from attachment and hatred. Consequently this endless cycle will continue further and further for infinity and moksa will never be attained. If moksa is never to happen then the shastras are meaningless.

(c)As regards the third point, if you say that karma arises from karma, then this process coming down through generations, from times immemorial, will continue likewise in the future forever, and there can be no possibility of moksa

Hence from the point of rationality, a thing like karma does not seem to exist.

"If there is no such thing as karma, the question arises as to how can strange particular effects and peculiar actions be created? One child is born with a golden spoon in his mouth, while another child cannot get even enough breast-milk from its mother. Why is this difference? We may say that it happens accidentally or by chance, without any cause. Instead of this chance if we believe in the karmas, we have to face conflicts of ideas.

A Refutation of the Theory that "Effects are created accidentally:"

In the theory that effects and activities arise accidentally, what does the word "accidentally" mean?

1. They arise without a cause;

2. They arise naturally;

3. They arise not on account of any external causes, but they arise automatically of their own accord. This is called Swatma-hetu (it being the cause itself);

4. Not on account of any cause but on account of some unreal substance (the effect is produced).

"Effect happens without a cause" this is a wrong statement, a wrong view We find everywhere that for an effect a cause has to be searched for, or obtained. It means if the cause is present, then only the effect comes into existence; for example if there is fire, then only there is smoke. It means, smoke can be obtained only from fire, curds is obtained only from milk, butter only from curds.

If everything happens by nature, e.g. the flame of fire goes vertically upwards only, the wind blows horizontally only, fire gives heat only and water gives coolness only, this is natural. The thorn is naturally sharp and pointed. If so, what is then the meaning of 'nature?'

The four meanings of nature:

Nature means own--'Bhava'

(a) It may be the quality of an object;

(b) it may be the existence of an object;

(c) it may be the special object, or

(d) it may be its own nature, namely time-modification (modifications regarding various time-created substances.

(1) Now 'natural' means they originate from the quality of the substance; but how can the quality exist without a substance that has never existed before its birth? And without the quality, how could that substance itself arise previously? If nature in the form of quality is deemed a different reality, then it is identical with karma. Is it not?

(2) If we consider the existence only of a substance, as its nature, then what is this existence? Excepting the substance, nothing is to be brought from outside, as the existence.

The substance will be considered as the effect only and consequently, it means, its existence uptil now was not there at all. So how can it be worthwhile to say that the substance creates itself.

(3) By the name of 'Nature' if you mean the special object, then here the question arises "what is this special object?" Is it a substance (dravya) or an attribute (guna) or the action of being produced? These three are impossible. If it is a separate object from these three, then it would mean the object is created from a different cause (but not from nature). Then how could it be called as created on account of its own nature?

(4) If nature means time-modification of the substance and if a substance is born out of that nature, then how is it that the substances arising at the same time are dissimilar? How can there be dissimilarity in effects if there is no dissimilarity in causes?

Thus 'everything is created by nature' is a wrong statement.


3. Everything is Self-Caused: It is not sensible to say that something arises from its own self Here two forms come before us: the own self is the cause-form and the substance is the effect form. If we say that something arises from its own self, then it is presumed for the creation of its own self, that original own self as the cause-form existed earlier. If the effect form is the same as the cause-form and the cause- form exists, then what remains for the effect-form to emerge? Which cause-form created the effect-form? Then it means that there is no such original form. How can a substance arise from its own self?

4. "Origin from an unreal source". This also is wrong. If in this world there is no substance at all like ''unreal'', then what is the meaning of creation from "unreal"? How can any thing originate from any unreal one? Such creation from unreal is something like an object arising from a donkey-horn which does not exist at all and which is unreal. Even if such an origin is accepted, where is the necessity for (a) someone to remain poor? (b)someone to remain hungry? (c)some to remain sick? Why should they suffer from poverty, hunger and disease? Because money, food, and health will then arise from the unreal. If the effects originate from an unreal cause, then their creations must also be similar but why should there be such dissimilar phases as childhood at one time, youth at another time? Or why is it not that similar- dissimilar things may appear simultaneously as cold and heat, health and disease, life and death?

It is, therefore, absolutely wrong to say that an effect arises accidentally (without a cause).

Three Ways for the origin of Karmas: Now we may see that karmas originate from

1. violence,

2. attachments and hatred, and

3 other karmas. These three ways of the origin of karmas are logical and reasonable.

Punyanubandhi -papanubandhi kalmas:

1. Karmas are of two kinds namely (a) punyanubandhi ( i(a) papanubandhi. The punyanubandhi karmas are those which when ripen manifest their fruit but at the same time create such conditions for the jiva concerned that would be for earning merits and punya The papanubandhi karma is that which when ripens, impels the jiva concerned to develop sinful propensities. Among the karmas that we experience, some are auspicious, some are inauspicious. Thus there are four kinds of karmas namely:

(1) Punyanubandhi punya: Auspicious karmas giving happiness accompained with virtues and pious mental attitude.

(2) Papanubandhi punya: Happiness accompanied with vices and evil, inauspicious mental attitude.

(3) Punyanubandhi papa: Inauspicious karmas giving sorrows accompanied with virtues and pious mental attitude.

(4) Papanubandhi papa: Sorrows accompanied with vices, and evil inauspicious attitude.

Those persons who in spite of being violent, heartless, cruel and wicked in this life are at present happy are under the influence of the ripening of Papanubandhi punya 'Papanubandhi' punya means the good luck mixed with sinful impressions and propensities. Karma-binding is not created in this life and it does not ripen so quickly. Those jivas that earned punya, viz. good luck in their previous birth by means of charity, benevolence, self-restraint like celibacy, spiritual austerities, devotion and worshipping God etc. but who performed all these with the vicious aims of wordly pleasure and ambitions, enjoy wealth and happiness in this life on account of ripening of their good luck but on the other hand they also carry evil thoughts in their mind and remain engrossed in committing sinful actions like violence etc. on account of their previous vicious aims.

Those who performed religious ceremonies in the previous birth but with mean ambitions, sensual pleasures or with a view to take revenge etc., their wicked impressions continue in this life due to which illusory infatuation, attachments and sensual desires arise in this birth. On the contrary, those who have committed sins in the previous birth with disgust towards them and who repented their sins and at the same time performed pious religious actions, as the fruit of sins they have to experience sorrow in this life but at the same time on account of their previous repentance of sinful acts, they get opportunities to come in contact with Sadhus who are noble spiritual heads, and are also engaged in noble learning, noble thoughts and noble religious spiritual activities and austerities. They exercise the practice of virtues as also they acquire virtues. Thus they are earning punyas (good lucks) as their new spiritual wealth. This is the result of punyanubandhi-Papakanna, and on account of this the jivas experience sorrows on one hand and on the other they acquire such virtues as kindness, good conduct, spiritual activities, benevolence, nobility and devotion to and worshipping the lotus- like feet of Paramatma. All these good actions and virtues will bring them fruit in their next birth.

In normal wordly life, we find that those who eat sweetmeats etc. beyond the limit at functions or marriage ceremonies etc. fall ill the next day and will have to fast. When someone says about such a person on the day he is fasting that "he has not eaten anything today yet he is ill, why?", and if he makes the rule that "illness is caused by eating less", this rule would be wrong. In the same manner, if a person has excellent vigour and strength, if he eats something that causes illness or eats more than necessary and yet if he looks strong and healthy, here it will be wrong to make the rule "One becomes happy and healthy by eating too much food and sweetmeats etc." Because here health or disease is not the result of present activities of eating more or less but it is the result of such previous activity, whereas the present activity will produce their results in the future. In the same manner understand this, in respect of activities of even dharma and adharma as well as punya and papa (virtue and sin).

Therefore, there is no harm in saying that karmas destinies) arise from violence etc.