Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions
About This Book (Translator's Prelude)
Peculiarity of Jainism
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)

Nature of Mundane Existence



Doha: Mithyabhav abhavtay, jo prgatai nijbhav

         So Jeywant rho sada, yih hee moksh upav


Let the intrinsic nature of self (soul) remain victorious always which gets manifested due to termination of false belief, etc. This alone is the means of Liberation.


Now, in this Shastra light is thrown on the path of liberation.  Liberation is the `Release from bondage'. This soul is having bondage of Karmas (Subtle matter particles or atoms of Karman-Vargana, which are characterized with bonding power with soul.) and due to that bondage the soul is suffering from miseries.  Although Jiva is continuously trying also to ward off the misery but without attaining the right means misery does not end and misery is also unbearable; therefore, this Jiva is becoming restless.


Thus the root cause of all miseries to this Jiva is the karmic bondage. Its destruction (separation) is Emancipation (liberation) and same is the supreme welfare and the prime duty is to make true effort for the same; therefore, all preaching is for the same.


Just as a physician first tells the patient about the diagnosis of disease as to how he got diseased, thereafter he tells him about the different conditions resulting from the disease. Thereby the patient infers that he assuredly has this disease. Then the physician further tells him about the means of curing the disease in various ways and makes him believe about the appropriateness of the treatment.  Giving such advice is the duty of physician. And if that patient adopts that means then he can enjoy his natural state after freeing himself from the disease. This is the duty of the patient.


 Similarly, here the Jiva (mundane being) having karmic bondage is first being told the reason for the karmic bondage as to how he got entangled with the Karmas. Then he is told about the various conditions, which he undergoes. Thereby the Jiva concludes that he assuredly has such karmic bondage and then he is further told in various ways about the means of release from that karmic bondage and the physician makes him believe about the efficacy of the means.  So much is the sermon of the scriptures.  If this Jiva makes efforts accordingly then by freeing himself from karmic bondage he can enjoy his natural bliss.  This is the duty of Jiva.


Diagnosis of Karmic Bondage


Now the diagnosis of karmic bondage is described. Due to karmic bondage transmigration of soul in various alien dispositions is found. One fixed state is not possible. Therefore, the state with karmic bondage is called `Mundane- existence (Sansara). In this mundane-existence there are infinite times infinite Jiva Dravyas (Soul-substances); they all are having karmic-bondage from eternity. It is not so that earlier the soul (Jiva) was separate and the karmic matter was separate and later on these got intermingled.  How is it then? As in the Merugiri (Meru mountain), naturally existing molecules, there are infinite atoms existing from eternity in a single-bonded form. From them many atoms get separated, many new atoms get united and thus their union and separation continues.  Similarly, in this universe the one soul substance and infinite matter-particles (atoms) in the form of Karmas are found inbred form since eternity; afterwards many get separated, many get united and thus their union and separation continues.


Establishing Eternity of Karmic Bondage


Here arises the question as to how Karmas are eternal because matter-particles (atoms) turn into karmic matter owing to the instrumental cause (Nimitta) of attachment (Raag) etc.?


 Answer: Attributing instrumentality is possible only when there is a new modification; there is no role of Nimitta in beginningless state. As the bondage of fresh matter-particles (atoms) occurs only due to (difference in) the degrees of smoothness- roughness. But in the molecules of Mountain Merugiri, etc, the bondage of matter-particles (atoms) is from beginningless time. So what is the purpose (function) of Nimitta there? Similarly, changing of fresh matter-particles (atoms) into karmic matter results only due to attachment etc, (impure) dispositions of the soul. But the matter particles which are (already existing) in the form of karmic matter from beginningless time, what is the purpose (function) of Nimitta there? Moreover, if in the beginningless state also Nimitta is accepted then `beginninglessness' is not established. Hence, the bondage of karmic matter is to be accepted from beginningless time. In Tattava-Pradeepika commentary of Prauachansara Shastra, there is a Samanya Jneyaadhikar; therein it is stated that `The associating (instrumental) cause of attachment (Raag) etc, is karmic matter (Dravya- Karma) and the associating cause of karmic matter is attachment (Raag) etc. There, a question is raised that in believing so the inter-dependence-fault (Itaretarashraya Dosha) arises, i.e., that depends on it and it depends on that; there is no stoppage anywhere.  There the following reply is given:-


"Neivam anadi prsidh drvyakrm smbandhsya tetr haitutvainopadanat"


Meaning: In this way there is no fault of interdependence because the association of karmic matter is axiomatic from beginningless time, there it has been accepted as an instrumental cause.


This is what is stated in scripture and logically also this alone is possible that if without the instrumental cause of Karmas abinitio Jiva gets entangled in attachment, etc. then attachment etc. would become the nature of Jiva, because that which is found without any other associating cause, same is called the nature (Swabhava). Hence, the association with the karmic matter is established from eternity.


Here again the question arises: `When the two substances are distinctly separate, how could such relationship between them be possible from eternity?'


Explanation: As from the origin itself, the bondage of water and milk, gold and stone, husk and seed and oil and sesame is found, these are not intermingled newly. Similarly, the bondage of soul and karmic matter be known from begnningless time. They are not intermingled newly. As from beginningless time many substances are quite separate and in the same way many substances are in bolded form (intermingled state); thus in the possibility of being so, there appears to be no contradiction.


Question: Asserting the state of bondage or association is possible then only when the (two distinct): things are firstly separate and then get intermingled. How is here the bondage of soul and karmic matter asserted to be existing from beginningless time?


Answer: These were in intermingled state from eternity but later on got separated then it was known that they were separate, so got separated. Therefore, formerly also they were separate; thus by inference as well as by omniscience these clearly appear separate.  On account of this, their separateness exits in spite of their being in bonded state. And from that separateness point of view only their bondage or association is asserted because in intermingled state of different substances, irrespective of their intermingling afresh or already being in intermingled state, asserting in this way only is possible. Thus, the bondage of this soul and Karmas is from beginningless time.


Distinctiveness of Soul and Karmas


 Jiva-Dravya (soul substance) possesses sentience attribute (Chetana Guna) as its distinctive characteristic in the form of knowing and seeing and it being imperceptible by senses has immaterial form, a substance having innumerable spatial units (Pradeshas) with the power of contraction-expansion. And the Karma is an insentient matter devoid of sentience attribute and has material form, is a mass of infinite matter-articles (atoms), hence it is not a single substance. Thus are these Jivas (souls) and Karmas (karmic matter) having relationship since eternity. Nevertheless, none of the space-points of Jiva changes into karmic matter form and none of the atoms of karmic matter change into Jiva form, both, by retaining their own distinctive characteristics, exist distinctly separate. For example, if there be a compound molecule of gold and silver, even then the gold by retaining its yellowness, etc. attributes remains distinctly different and silver by retaining its whiteness, etc, attributes remains distinctly different. Similarly, the soul and Karmas should be known as distinct and separate.


Question: The matter to matter bondage is possible but how can the bondage of matter (material particles) with the immaterial soul substance be possible?


Answer: As the bondage of subtle matter particles (atoms) which are not perceptible to senses and the gross matter- particles (molecules) which are perceptible to senses is accepted, similarly the bondage of immaterial soul which is not perceptible to senses and material Karmas worthy of being perceptible to senses should be accepted. Moreover, in this process of bondage none acts as the doer of other; so long as the bondage continues till then these remain united, do not get separated and the relationship of cause and effect continues in them. This much alone be known as the bondage here.  So, there is no contradiction in being this type of bondage between the material Karmas and the immaterial soul.


Thus as is explained the eternal karmic bondage to one Jiva, similarly it should be understood about each of the infinite Jivas (souls).