5. In this age of scientific development, we are giving
exclusive emphasis on the material ends of life. Artha and Kama have
become important. Exclusive importance on one of the other of the human
values is likely to lead to a partial development of human personality. We
may either go the way of mechanising the human or divinising the man.
Western civilization has advanced in scientific development through the
democracy of intellect. Life in lndia has gone the way of
overspiritualising the human and we lost foot on earth. It is true that
the ideal of life is Moksa but it is also true that few of us can attain
it in this life. We have, therefore to reorientate our moral concepts so
as to lead us to perfection through the progressive realization of the
ideal of emancipation in the context of human life and limitations.
We have seen the Jainas have given gradations of moral
practice for the realisation of the end of perfection. There are two
levels of ethical codes i) one for the layman (sravak dharma) and ii) the
other for the spiritually advanced who have given up the attachment of
Samsara. It is the muni-dhurmaThe moral practice for them is more rigorous
than for the comnmon man. It would be worth analysing these gradations of
moral life in the context of the moral structure of present day society.
I think it would be possible to work out a synthesis of
the way of all flesh and spirit and find out a proper place for man in
this universe. We can only say that with the advancement of science and
technology for the sake of man, in our struggle to find out man we have
6. And to find out man we have to reassert the ideal of
spiritual perfection without in any way disparaging the aims of empirical
life. This is the Anekanta attitude. All have aimed at Moksa, but few have
attained it. Yet it is imperative on the part of us, humans, to know the
real nature of the highest perfection as presented in the ideal of Moksa.
III. MOKSA AS AN IDEAL 1. The idea of release of the
soul from the wheel of Samsara was common in Indian philosophy except with
the Carvaka. Philosophy was not merely an academic pursuit but it had a
practical aim of the attainment of Moksa. The ancient Indians did not stop
at the discovery of truth but strove to realize it in their own
experiences. They followed up tattvajnana by strenuous efforts to attain
Moksa or llberation.
But the conception of Moksa was not in the spirit of
the Vedic Aryans, as they were profoundly interested in the happiness in
this life. The Rgveda Samhita largely presents the invocations of the Gods
for the promotion of happiness in this life. Awareness of emancipation as
such is not present in the earliest recorded expressions in the Vedas.
Moksa as a release from the wheel of Samsara and its positive aspect as
oneness with the Highest, was becoming gradually clear in the Upanisadas.
In the Chhandogya Upanisad, it is still not clear. The Brhadaranyaka
Upanisad describes the release as freedom from death day or night of
waxing and waning, of the moon. In the later Upanisads like the
Maitrayani we find new ideas jolting against old ones.
It is therefore possible to say that the conception of
moksa or release from the bonds of empirical life is primarily pre Aryan.
It was prevalent in India before the Aryans settled here. Indian
philosophy is the synthesis of two currents of thought the Aryan and the
pre Aryan. The Jaina and the Buddhist thoughts were original and preAryan.
They were assimilated in the subsequent Hindu philosophy through the
Upanisads. The Dravidian contribution to the development of Indian
philosophy was no less important. The influence of forest life, the
emergence of female gods and the conception of Avatara were largely due to
the Dravidian influence. And so was the conception of Moksa brought
from the pre-Aryan thought and developed in the Upanisads and subsequent
Jaina religion is very ancient and preAryan. It
prevailed even before Parsva and Vardhamana, the last two T1rthakaras.
The Yajurveda mentions Rsabha, Ajita and Aristanemi as Tirthakaras.
Jainism reflects the cosmology and anthropology of a much older pre-Aryan
upper class of North-Eastern India-Jacobi has traced Jainism to early
primitive current of metaphysical speculation.
2. For a Jaina, the highest ideal is Moksa, freedom
from the wheel of amsara It is to be attained through, through right
intuition, right knowledge and right conduct.
Due to the activity, the soul gets entangled in the
wheel of Samsara. This process of entanglement is beginningless but has an
end. The soul gets entangled in the Samsara and embodied through the
operation of karma. It gets various forms due to the materially caused
conditions ( upadhi ), and is involved in the cycle of birth and death.
But the Jainas believe in the inherent capacity of the
soul for selfrealization. The deliverance of the soul from this wheel of
Samsara is possible by voluntary efforts on the part of the individuals.
The veil of Karma has to be removed. This is possible when the individual
soul makes efforts to stop the influx of karma by samvara and remove the
accumulated Karma by Nirjara. When all the obstacles are removed the soul
becomes pure and perfect and free from the wheel Samsara. Being free, with
its upward motion, it attains liberation or Moksa.
However, the journey of the soul to freedom is long and
arduous, because the removal of Karma involves a long moral and spiritual
discipline. The journey has to be through fourteen stages of self
realization called Guntsthana. The soul has gradually to remove the five
conditions of bondage mithyatva ( perversity), avirati,(lack of control),
pramada (spiritual inertia) kasaya (passion) and triyoga (three fold
activity of body, speech and mind). In the highest stage of spiritual
realization, the soul reaches the stage of perfection and omniscience.
This is the consummation of the struggle.
Radhakrishnansays that it is not possible to give a
positive description of the liberated soul. The state of perfection is
passively described as freedom from action and desires, a stage of utter
and absolute quiescence. It is a state of unaffected peace since
energy of past Karma is extinguished. In this state, the soul is 'itself'
and no other. It is the perfect liberation. Zimmer says that, after its
pilgrimage of innumberable existence in the various inferior
stratifications, The life monad rises to the cranial zone of the
microscopic being, purged of the weight of the subtle Karmic particles
that formerly held it down. Nothing can happen to it any more, for it has
put aside the traits of ignorance, those heavy veils of individuality that
are the precipitating causes of biographical events. ' In the higher
stage of perfection, the individuality, the masks, the formal personal
features are distilled away.'Sterilized of colouring, flavour and weight
the sublime crystals now are absolutely pure-like the drops of rain that
descend from a clear sky tasteless and emasculate.
This state is the Siddha state. The liberated soul has
no empirical adjuncts. It is neither long nor small, nor black nor blue,
nor bitter nor pungent. lt is without body and without rebirth He
perceives and he knows all. There is no analogy to describe the condition
of the liberated soul. It is difficult to give a positive description of
the freed soul. It is the state in which there is freedom from action and
desire, a state of rest a passionless inaffable peace. However in terms of
positive description, we are told that the liberated state has infinite
consciousness, pure understanding, absolute freedom and eternal
bliss.' It lives in this state of eternity. This freed soul has
beginning but no end, while the soul in the Samsara has no beginning but
an end of that state in its freedom. From the noumenal point of view the
freed soul is the absolutely unconditioned. It is beyond the
It is difficult to give a clear and graphic description
of the liberated soul as language is an inadequate instrument for such
description. Attempts have, therefore, been made in various ways to
present a picture of the state of Moksa in different systems in Indian
philosophy. The Buddhist have been inclined to give a negative description
as the extinction of every trace of individuality. It is a state of
nothingness. But some Buddhists have repudiated the negative conception of
the liberated state, Nirvana. The Madhyamikas consider this stage as
inexpressible. Nirvana is not an end ( bhava ) or abhava ( noness ). It
is abandonment of all such considerations of the real. The Madhyamika
conception of Nirvana comes very close to the Advaita notion of mukti as
Brahmanbhava. Nirvana is the transcendent life of the spirit. But
Moksa, according to the Advaita, is the absolutely unconditioned and is
characterised by infinite bliss. But for Madhyamika, Nirvana is
inexpressible and cannot be identified with the Good or Bliss. According
to the Naiyayikas, Moksa is a state of pure existence to which a
liberated soul attains and is compared to a dreamless sleep. The critic
feels that the Moksa of the Naiyayikas is a word without meaning. Sleep
without dream is a state of torpor, and we may as well say that a stone is
enjoying supreme felicity in a sound sleep without disturbing dreams.'
For the Samkhya, salvation is phenomenal as bondage does not belong to the
Purusa. When Purusa is free from the defilement of prakrti, it passes
beyond the bondage of the Gunas and shines forth in its pure intelligence.
There is no bliss nor happiness in the state of Mukti as all feeling
belongs to Prakrti. Jaimini and Sabara did not face the problem of
ultimate release. For Prabhakara, Moksa is a state in which there is
absolute cessation of all dreams. It is a simple natural form of the
soul. Kumarila states that it is a state of Atman in itself free from all
pain. Some refer it as a bliss of atman. For Samkara Moksa is a state of
direct realization of something which existed from eternity. When the
limitations are removed the soul is liberated. It is the state of
absolute peace and eternal bliss. When Avidya vanishes, the true soul
stands self-revealed, free from the impurities, as the star shines in a
cloudless night. The nature of the liberated soul is a state of
oneness with Brahman. Moksa is described negatively, as the state of
freedom where there is neither day nor night, where the stream of time has
stopped and where the sun and the stars are no longer seen.
The state of perfection of Moksa need not be attained
only after shedding off this bodily existence. It is possible to attain
such a state in this life only. The conception of Jivanmukta has,
therefore, played an important part in the ancient thought. Samsara admits
the possibility kramamukti ( gradual liberation ). He says that the
meditation of `OM' leads one to the Brahmaloka where one gradually attains
perfect knowledge. He also admits the possibility of perfection and
freedom from pain even in this life. As the potter's wheel continues for a
time to revolve even after the vessel has been completed, so also life
continues even after liberation for some time. In this stage the perfect
being does not acquire new Karma. The Buddhists have also made a
distinction between upaidhtsesanirvana and anupadhisesanirvana. The former
comes nearer to the conception of Jivanmukti. Similarly the distinction
corresponds to nirvana and parinirvana. In the state of upadhisesa-nirvana,
there is the total cessation of ignorance and of passions, though the body
and the mind continue to function but without passions. This state
corresponds to the Jivan mukti of Samkhya and the Vedanta. The Buddha
after his enlightenment is a representative example. The Mahayanists added
one more type of Nirvana in apratisthita nirvana, the state of Bodhisattva
who does not accept the final release although he is entitled for it. He
decides to serve humanity out of compassion.
According to the Jainas in the thirteenth stage of
Gunasthana called sayuza-kevali all the passions and the four types of
Ghati Karma are destroyed, one is free from the bondage of mithyatva,
pramada and passions. However, it is not free from yoga and empirical
activity and is still not free from embodied existence, as the four types
of nonobscuring Karmas, like vedaniya which produces feelings, ayu which
determines the span of life, nama determining the physical structure and
the gotra responsible for one's status in life are still operating. One
is not free from bodily existence, because the ayu karma is still to be
exhausted. But there is no influx of karma. In this stage we find
omniscient beings like the Tirthakaras, the Ganadharas and the Samanya
kevalins. They attain the enlightenment, but still live in this world
preaching the truth that they have seen. This stage may be compared to the
Jivanmukti described by the Sankhya and Vedanta systems of thought. It is
like the upadhisesa-nirvana o� the Buddhists. It may also be likened to
the apratisthita nirvan of the Mahayanists. Such a perfect being, may
appear to be active in this world :in many ways, yet, at root, he is
inactive. He is like a man assisting a magician in a magical show,
knowing that all that is shown is merely an illusion of the senses. He is
unaffected by all that happen . When Gautama the Buddha attained
enlightenment, he wanted his enlightenment not to be known to others. But
Brahma inspired the Buddha to be the teacher of mankind. This is the
stage of sayoga kevalin or jivan mukta. So did the Tirthakaras, Ganadharas
and Samanya-kevalins preach the sublime knowledge to the people of this
worldZimmer compares this attitude of the Kevalins to the function of a
lamp. Just as the lamp lights the room and still remains unconcerned with
the what is going on in the room, so the self enacts the role of '
lighting the phenomenal exersonality solely for the maintenance of the
body, not for pursuit of any good, any gratification of the sense nor any