The fourteen Gunasth�naks.
The fourteen Qualitative Stages.
Sadhana and Siddhi
Endeavour and attainment.
Endeavour marks the beginning of the journey of
spiritual development. The last and supreme objective of endeavour is
spiritual perfection or purification-Mukti- deliverance, Moksha -
The Sadhakie one who makes the endeavour has to travel
step by step; by high, higher and the highest stages in his journey, from
endeavour to attainment. Certain actions and reactions occur between
effort and attainment of result. Therefore, every dharma, every religion
and philosophy has described and prescribed certain stages for the
development of the soul. The Sadhak proceeding by those steps or stages
reaches his destination and attains the highest peak of Mukti or
The Jain philosophy has fixed fourteen stages for the
development of the soul; and to indicate by means of those stages, the
different levels of spiritual development in Jivas. They have been called
Gunasthanak means the steps or stages of the
development of the soul; and character. When the impurities of Karma are
discarded, the development of the soul commences. The development of the
soul takes place in accordance with the virtues and vices or merits and
defects present in it. R�g - attachment, Dwesh - hatred and Moh -
infatuation are the three principles that make the soul impure and
polluted. The speed of Sadhana or endeavour keeps changing in accordance
with the intensity or lightness of these three principles. The low or
debased condition of the soul is but the intensity of R�g, Dwesh and Moh.
The highest and sublime state of the soul is marked by the complete
eradication and disappearance of these three defects. The stages between
these two states are called Gunasthanaks
1. Mithyadrishti Gunasthanak
The stage of false-vision or delusion.
Thinking that right, is wrong thinking that truth is
untruth. In other words, Mithyathva drishthi is that view of truth which
is unnatural. There is no soul in which the eradication of Karma has taken
place to some extent or the other. If there is partial purity or clarity
in Mithyadrishti it is called Gun�sthanak.
Saswadan Samyagdrishti Gunasthanak
The stage of having tasted righteousness.
Saswadan Samyagdrishti Gunasthanak is the name given to
the stage of the soul that has once tasted righteousness - the right path
but has returned from there for want of faith in Tatvas- principles. This
stage is called so because the soul in that stage has once tasted
The mixed stage.
The condition of the soul that lives in this state is
really strange. It has neither the view of righteousness nor the view of
delusion. Its intellect always keeps swinging and vacillating between the
two points. It is neither high; nor low; and it keeps moving between the
two. states like a pendulum.
Avirat Samyagdrishti Gunasthanak
Uninterested in Sadhana.
By having an absolute faith in the nine tatvas -
principles, the Jiva acquires the right vision - but in this stage, man
cannot perform such austerities as tapasya, recitation of holy hymns etc,
and cannot renounce worldly things; and also cannot make efforts for
spiritual attainment. He reflects on the soul but does not attempt to
purify it. He will be Avirat i.e., he will not take interest in
self-discipline and spiritual endeavours. In respect of these things, he
will be uninterested and inactive.
Though he knows and respects dharma, he does not act
according to it. Though he knows what is wrong or adharma, he does not
give it up. this kind of cowardly state can be seen in many men.
Partial practice of Sadhana.
Desh means an aspect. Virat means renunciation. The
Jivatma that lives in this condition makes only a partial renunciation.
According to his ability, he also performs the twelve vratas or
austerities. The soul that lives in this state attains Moksha in three
lives minimum and in 15 lives. maximum.
Pramatta Samyati Gunasthanak
The state of a Sadhu who is not always mindful of
Pramad or intoxication is the name given to the mental
state of not being careful in one's spiritual efforts. Samyati means Sadhu.
The Sadhus who do not carefully conform to the principles and ideals of
the life of a Sadhu and who break those rules exist in this Gunasthanak or
stage. The Jiva that lives in this state attains Moksha in 3 lives minimum
or 15 lives maximum.
Apramatta Samyati Gunasthanak
Absolutely careful regarding a high level of Sadhana.
Those Sadhus are said to be Apramatta Samyati (
level-headed Sadhus) who always keep their eyes fixed on Moksha; who
conform to the principles of self-discipline; and who do not entertain any
sinful thoughts; and who do not commit any kind of sinful actions. The
Jivatma that lives in that estate keeps away from pride, sensual
enjoyments. passions, calumniation and gossip, always and in all forms;
and lives strictly according to the principle of the life of a Shraman
mendicant. The Jivatma that is living in this state achieves Moksha either
in this (Janma) life or within the next three lives.
The stage of renunciation.
This stage is also called, Apoorva Karan. In this
condition, the Jivatma is completely freed from the gross passions. His
soul attains purity and perfection to a vast extent. He controls his
attachments, hatred and infatuation to the maximum extent. The Jivtama
living in this state attains Moksha either in this life or within the next