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

Question: If you say that "chaitanya or consciousness is not the nature of the body and that it is of a different object", it is like saying that "a pot's redness does not belong to the pot, but it is of a different object". Does not this kind of belief seem a contradiction of the true concrete reality? Does it not seem quite contrary to the visible? (Contrary to the pratyaksha.)

Answer: What is the use of believing in only pratyaksha evidence? The sprout that comes from the earth seems to be of the earth, but it is not of the earth. Can it be believed to be the nature of the earth even to a little extent? Not at all. It is the nature of the seed. Otherwise, without the seed why is it not seen coming out of the earth? Hence, it shows that a sprout is the nature of the seed, but not of the earth.

(1) In the same manner, since in the absence of the soul, there is no consciousness seen in any body, we must believe that the nature of consciousness belongs not to the body but to the soul. Where we find an Anumana (inference) that contradicts the Pratyaksha, the visible contradiction becomes negligible. Suppose a man has not eaten food today since morning and in the afternoon he experiences stomach-ache; this stomach-ache is not caused by his remaining hungry today but the ache has occurred due to the excessive quantity of food eaten on the previous day. Where we get an inference (anumana pramana) of the existence of the soul, it makes the pratyaksha-virodh', viz., the contradiction of the 'visible' evidence negligible ).

Evidences: Soul is different from Senses:

Now these are the evidences of the existence of the soul as different from the senses:

That which even after the ending of the activities of senses, can retain the capacity for memory is different from them. For instance, after seeing through the five windows of a house, even after the windows are closed, the man can remember what he has seen, and he is different from the windows. Just as the person is seer, but the windows are not seers, so also the soul is the seer and senses are not seers; because:

Sometimes even though the senses themselves are engaged in the activity towards a particular object, if the mind is elsewhere or has become blank, that object is not perceived. This implies that the senses are not seers.

Even after the activites of the senses have ceased, the person experienced has memory of perceived things. This means that the seer was not the senses but the soul of that person.

Even after perceiving through the senses, one who experiences remembrance or carries out such sensations as contemplations, aberration, anxiety, or rejection etc., is someone else residing within the body.

From this, it is evident that the senses which are made of basic elments, 'bhutas' are not the soul but are merely windows, and that the soul is a separate entity different from the senses, and he makes use of all these means, these instrumental objects like senses.

For instance, just as someone looks out through a window and sees some person, and calls him through another window. These two windows do not have the power of unification of conceptual experience. Therefore, the one that unifies these conceptual experience of two windows is different from the windows. In the same manner, when one sees somebody eating a raw and sour mango, his tongue waters or his teeth grow sour. In such a case the one that experiences these two mixed sense-responses, these two combined sensations must be different from them, (viz. the senses), and must be of one soul.

For instance out of five people each may have knowledge of five different objects but each knowing a separate object, what one knows, the other may not know.

There is the sixth one who has the knowledge of all these five objects; then this sixth one is different from all the five. In the same manner, the soul that remembers the experience of all the five objects perceived by all these five senses must be a different entity from them. The senses of their own accord cannot do anything. Knowledge arises only by the interaction of the mind with the soul. Here a question may arise: "Does the senses have the quality of knowledge?"

It is a rule that knowledge is preceded by knowledge. According to this rule the first knowledge occurring in this body should have been preceded by knowledge. Who is the possessor of this previous knowledge? Say, it is the soul. Similarly, it is in desire, it is in the body. A desire is always preceded by desire. A body is always preceded by fear and anguish. The inference is 'any desire, body, passions, sorrows and joys are preceded by desire, body, sorrows and joys'. The entity that experiences those preceding desire etc., is the soul itself.

Like the relationship between the seed and sprout, the chain of relationships between body and karma has been flowing like a flood from times immemorial. This cannot go on without the creator i.e. 'karta' the doer (the soul that is different from the body).

When a pot is made with the help of a wooden stick, the stick is not the doer; it is only an instrument. In the same manner, the body itself is not the doer of the activities of the body. It is only an instrument, a means. Just as the potter is the doer in the case of a pot, here the doer of bodily activities is the soul.

As it is said in the section relating to the first Ganadhar (a) Just as a house, similarly the body must have its creator which has a particular shape, or doer who is different from the body. (b)Just as we wash and clean our dirty clothes and dye them and feel pleased with them, there is one who washes and cleans the body and beautifies it to make it beautiful and splendid: moreover enjoys and develops attachment for it and experiences those pleasures is not the body itself The experiencer must be a separate entity different from the body. (Here for that entity the body is like a dress). (c)Who is that which loves and desires the safety of the hands, the legs, the head etc. like the safety of pillars, windows, doors of the house? The lover of the safety is not the body, because the body like a house is merely an aggregation, a combination of limbs and organs like parts of a building. (d) Just as there is a relationship of the receiver and the received between metal and forceps, there is a similar relationship between the senses and their objects. This relationship between the senses and objects is that of a capturer and captured. For the existence of this kind of relationship between the senses and the sensual objects there is the need of a soul, comparable to a blacksmith, who has a volition of his own for capturing objects and knowing them. (e) That entity which can remember the experiences of another place and another time is imperishable. In the same manner, this is one argument that because one cannot remember the experiences of another, even though the body of the previous birth perishes, still that entity called soul that can remember those experiences in the new body, viz., bodily existence is surely different from the body.

The Theory of Momentary existence is not proper, how?

Question: Can we not remember the past experiences due to the impressions continued in the series of previous moments? We can remember. When that is so, where is the need for an imperishable soul of non-momentary existence?

Answer: Even in the momentary tradition of existence, there is the need for an individual who is interwoven in the series of moments and who is blessed and is imbued with memories and who retains impression of knowledge and experiences. Otherwise, after knowledge and experience perish, there cannot occur remembrances similar to them.

Without one individual who has visualized all the things of the world as momentary who can say whichever is existent is momentary? Such a sayer passing through the series of all moments must be himself imperishable. Otherwise how can he himself if momentary, know that 'Things are momentary?' Without visualizing them as to their momentary natures, it is impossible for him to say so. In the same manner, if one himself existing momentarily perishes afterwards, then since he has no connection, no contact, no relationship with the past or the future, how can he know what happened in the past and what will happen in the future?

The point is that there is the need for an imperishable soul who sees and knows the whole series of the past and future.

Question: "All are like us" means "all being existent like us are momentary". In this manner, can't we know all as momentary in their existence?

Answer: Even to know this, first we must know and realise and visualize the realness in all. As the realness is visualized, as present in us so realness must be visualized as present in all worldly things. Then only can we say emphatically that all real things are momentary. If there is no capacity in us to know all the real things, how can we deduce that whatever is real is momentary?

Otherwise even an unreal thing will be proved to be momentary, (meaning perishable in a moment). Here you can't say 'oh, let it be so', because 'momentary' means that which stays, exists only one moment and is destroyed in the next moment. Now when an unreal thing does not exist at all, how can it be called existing (staying) one moment and perishing in the next moment? It means, destruction happens only of a real thing.

Now you see, no one can propound this theory that 'In the world all the real things are momentary'. First, because when he has no knowledge of all the past, present and future things, how can he establish a truth pertaining to all? Secondly, because when the propounder himself being momentary perishes in the next moment even before he is in a position to realise the momentariness of anything, how can he propound that theory without realising it?

The purport is, according to this theory, if there is no one staying on the second moment, then the trouble is, in the first moment he shall have to realise all reals, and in the second moment he shall have to realise their destruction. Then only in the third moment he can say "all reals are momentary". But at that time he himself, being momentary, is not existing How can he realise the universal momentariness'

Question:: Cannot one who has w with him the previous impressions (samskars) of momentariness, realise and propound the truth of universal momentariness?

Answer: Even then you shall have to believe that the previous impressions and the possessor of them who co-existed, are not momentary, not perished in one moment, and hence only they remained intact to be inherited and to inherit on the successive moments. Here the theory of universal momentariness comes to end. If you say that the impressions (samskars) are also momentary, then no effect can be produced in the successive moments on the basis of lost impressions. But we experience the remembrances of past occurrances. This is only possible with the existence of past impressions and their owner. It means that the theory of universal and eternal momentariness is refuted.

The fruits of benevolence etc., mentioned in the Vedas can be possible to occur and to be experienced only if there exists the soul different from the body. The question may arise "If the soul enters the body and leaves the body, then why is it not visible?" The answer to this question is that as already mentioned on account of such thing as a subtle object though it is an entity it is not visible.

In this manner, there is no rule that the activities like the Yoga and Upayoga and the sensations like desire, iccha, raga attachments, passions etc., already explained and the innate joys and sorrows keep decreasing and increasing in consonance with the regeneration or degeneration of the body. From this we can understand that these qualities and nature are not of the body but are of the soul, which is an independent entity different from the body.

There are other proofs also in support of the soul: The remembrance of the previous birth;

The existence of the other words for the "soul" being separate than those of the body;

The fact that if an occasion arises, even the body is sacrificed for our most beloved, and that is our soul. These prove the existence of the soul as different from the body. (If the body was our most beloved, we would not dare sacrifice it. Hence, for whom is the body sacrificed? It is our most beloved soul. )

This logical exposition of the Bhagavan wiped out the doubt of Vayubhuti and he also, along with his five hundred disciples accepted the charitra diksa at the pious feet of Bhagavan Mahavir.