It is to be remembered that the combination of soul and
matter now in question is subtle one, and that a mere mechanical
separation is not possible. By what is called killing, the soul is
separated from the body and its forces, but not from the matter of a more
subtle nature that is the substance of the energies that render the soul
impure. As already mentioned, these energies go with the soul at death and
by reason of them the being gets a new material body. The energies which
render the soul impure, and which make us ignorant, wretched, unkind,
cruel, weak, infirm, or misshapen and which bring in their train old age,
and death, can be removed from the soul only by mental and moral
disciplines. This process is the process of stopping the inflow of fresh
matter and removing what matter is already attached to the soul. It is the
gradual process of removing in turn the four classes of impelling forces
previously mentioned, which are the instrumental causes of the attraction
an assimilation of foreign matter by the soul.
This process is considered in fourteen stages, arranged
in logical (not chronological) order. It is the process of development;
and the process of development has a beginning in time. There is a
beginning to the development of the soul; and so it follows that there was
time in the past when this development was not going on in us; and there
is always in existence a class of living beings (nigoda) in whom
development has not yet begun; it is a class of living being with which
the universe is packed, so that there is not an inch of space anywhere
these are not. They are conscious, very minute, and cannot be seen with
the eye or microscope; fire will not kill the, nor will water; they pass
through things without being hurt; no human instrument can kill them; they
can pass through mountains, - anything. There is an infinity of them; and
this is the source whence come the developing and liberated souls. It is
the state of existence before development has begun. When once out of this
state the living being never goes back to it again (avyavahara
mithyatva nigoda). It comes out of this state by circumstances, and
its development begins. We human beings are, of course, all now out of
this state and our development is proceeding, either naturally and slowly,
taking a long time, or scientifically and taking not so long a time.
The fourteen stages of development can be grouped into
four sets corresponding to the four cause above mentioned, plus one stage,
the 14th, in which none of the four causes operates.
In the first of the fourteen stages, all the
determinant causes work.
In the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th stages of development
only three of the determining causes work, namely, the non-control, the
moral uncleanness, and the final cause.
In the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th stages of
development only two of the determining causes work, namely, moral
uncleanness and the final one.
In the 11th, 12th, and 13th stages only the final
And in the 14th stage none of these four causes works.
It is only a momentary stage.