Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions
About This Book (Translator's Prelude)
Peculiarity of Jainism
Introduction
Prologue
Nature of Mundane Existence
  Miseries of Mundane Existence and Bliss of Liberation 
  Exposition of False Belief Knowledge and Conduct
  Analytical study of different religions
  Refutation of False Deity-Preceptor-Religion
  X-ray of Jaina-misbelievers
  Nature of Sermons
  Nature of Liberation Path
  Nature of Noble Peaceful Death
  Rahasyapoorna Chitthi (Spiritual Letter)
  Glossary

Introduction

 

 

Not only has Panditji provided new knowledge but he has also x-rayed and given valuable comments and suggestions upon the prevalent religious rituals and practices of the society of his times.  This clearly shows that besides self-realization and profound knowledge of scriptures, he possessed a keen sense of understanding and analyzing the intricacies of social behavior (Chapter seventh). As an example, the following graphic description relating to the so-called religious practices and rituals followed by the Jain society 230 years ago is truly applicable even in the present era:

 

" Many Jivas follow religion (rituals) either because of family tradition or by observing others or under the influence of greed passion. Such persons in no way possess the religious viewpoint.  While they are worshiping, their mind gets engrossed in other thoughts, their eyes are engaged in seeing others, chanting of sermons continues through mouth.  All this is not purposeful, because they do not know as to who they are, whose adoration is being done and for what purpose, What is the meaning of the words they are chanting, etc.

 

Sometimes they are found worshiping even the fallacious and imaginary gods, etc. because of the want of discriminatory knowledge between fallacious gods and true gods, etc."

 

For drawing attention of learned scholars and pious readers, innumerable revolutionary statements are found at several places in Moksha Marg Prakashak. A few of them are quoted hereunder:

 

(1) If one's belief becomes as per the true nature of the substances then all his miseries come to an end.

 

(2) In Tattvarthsutra, while defining Influx Tatva, Great and Small Vows also are included under Influx. How could then these be worth adopting?

 

 (3) But Adoration is a form of attachment and attachment causes bondage, therefore, it is not the cause of liberation.

 

(4) One does not make effort for renouncing attachment- aversion passions, which cause Influx and merely makes efforts for avoiding related external activities or other instrumental causes. But by their avoidance Influx cannot be avoided.

 

(5) No other substance defiles forcibly. When our own thoughts and feelings get defiled then only it is an instrumental cause. Moreover, one's thoughts get defiled even without an instrumental cause; therefore, it is not a regulatory instrumental cause. Thus finding faults in others, is a fallacy.

 

(6) And in not ascertaining the real nature of Tattvas there is no fault of any Karma, it is your own fault. But you want to remain an ostentatious person and lay your fault on Karmas. So, for one who obeys Jinas commands, such malversation is not possible.

 

(7) Behold the magnanimity of deliberation on Tattvas. A person devoid of deliberation on Tattvas, may have faith on Deva etc., may study many shastras, may practice vows, may observe penances, etc., even then he is not entitled to evolve right belief, and one who engrosses himself in deliberation on Tattvas is privileged to evolve right belief even without these practices.

 

(8) Vyauahara-Naya describes the self and nonself substances, their modifications and cause and effect relationship, etc. by intermingling one with the other; misbelief is caused by having such faith; therefore, one should abandon it. And Nishchay-Naya describes the substances, etc. exactly as they are; it does not inter mingle one with the other. So right belief is evolved by such faith. Therefore, one should possess its faith.

 

 (9) Therefore, so long as such state (passionless disposition) is not evolved, one should indulge in virtuous activities but his belief should be such that these activities too are causes of bondage and worth giving up. If in belief these are taken to be the path of liberation then he is assuredly a Misbeliever (Mithya Dristhi).

 

Pandit Todarmalji has given prime importance to the practice of passionless conduct in the path of liberation. While attempting to define and explain Right Belief, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct, after analyzing the traits of these three jewels at length, he concludes in the following words: "What to say more, in whatever way the belief of uprooting passions emerges, the same is right belief; by whatever means the knowledge of exterminating passions, etc. is evolved, the same is right knowledge and by whatever means passions are destroyed, the same is right conduct. Such alone should be believed to be the true path of liberation"

 

The greatest contribution of Panditji is this that he unfolded the spiritual knowledge of Tattvas available in Sanskrit and Prakrit languages through the medium of the spoken language of his times and also provided a new insight for interpretation and analysis of spiritual knowledge. He did not view the spiritual knowledge from traditional and scriptural angle only. For him Tattvajnana is a lively process of meditation, which not only contradicts the traditional ritualistic practices, but, hits hard at the contemporary so-called religious prevalent practices. His thesis has been that no spiritual thinking is original till it has been established on the foundation of logic and self- realization.  According to him religion is not a mere tradition but a self-examined system and practice.

 

 Though basically he is a spiritual thinker, yet in his contemplation there lies a wonderful harmony of logic and self-realization. He pays attention not only on the thought, but also examines the ability or disability of its propagator and follower on the basis of logic. He maintains that certain essential qualities are necessary for under-standing and interpretation of Tattvajnana. According to him, the path of liberation is nothing separate but it is knowledge of the self-soul only, which he calls passionless-knowledge. Whatever practices and dispositions provide impediments in the process of self-realization, all these are false. He has divided these false traits into two - those which are newly evolved or accepted and those which are found from beginningless times. By newly accepted false belief he means those conjectures and beliefs which we accept in the company of the so-called preceptors who are devoid of spiritual knowledge and which we accept to be true; be these of other sects or of our own sect.  Under these he has logically analyzed and x-rayed all those Jain practices and beliefs which were accepted as part and parcel of Jain Tattvajnana from the sixth century up to the eighteenth century and which had no relation, whatsoever, with real spiritual knowledge.  He has firmly and logically contradicted these so-called visual Jain practices and rituals full of blemishes propagated by Bhattarakas (so-called preceptors).

 

His style is unique being composed of questions/answers and befitting examples.  One of the chief characteristics of his style is that the question and its answer both are his only. In the answer of the earlier question germinates the latter question. In this way, the earlier question ends only when the subject matter reaches its logical end. The other original and sparkling characteristic of his prose style is  that, he avoids giving sermons to the reader and places before him such a graphic description and analysis of the situation that the reader of his own has to reach at the desired conclusion. The same style and approach which a doctor adopts in the treatment of a disease, is visible in the style of Panditji also.