Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions


I. Samayasara Samayaprabharitam
II. Soul and Non-soul (Jiva-Ajiva)
III. The Ethic of Action
IV. Demerit and Merit (Punya Papa)
  V. Inflow of Karmas
  VI. Checking of Karmas (Samvara)
  VII. The shedding of Karmas (Nirjara)
  VIII. Bondage  (Bandha)
  IX. Liberation (Moksha)
  X. Liberation Pure bsolute Knowledge
  XI. Samayasara

Chapter  IV - Demerit and Merit � (Punya Papa)



Demerit and Merit. � (Punya Papa.)


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          152.   Know bad Karmas (to be) demerit and good karmas (to be) merit. How can that be meritoriou which causes (the soul) to wander in the cycle of existences.



          Non-self, whether merit or demerit is not conducive to the freedom of the Soul. People generally love merit and hate demerit, because the latter beings pain an the former pleasure. Really pleasure also is not beneficial, because a mundane soul indulging in sense-pleasures remains aloof from the path of piratical purity. Every gratifiication of sense-pleasure creates desire for further gratification. For obtsining such gratification oen has to employ mean, which may be fair or foul, and he inevitably binds bad karmas. He goes on sinking deeper and deeper in the mire an his chances of extricating himself become lesser and lesser. A wise man shoals wean himself away from both merit and demerit, and concentrate all attention to contemplation of the pure soul. From the practical point of view, people prefer merit to demerit, an there fore engage them selves in such acts and thoughts as bring in merit for the following reasons.

1.       Cause of bondage of each is different; good thoughts bring merit, and bad thoughts demerit.

2.       Nature of each is different. Good karmas ae pleasure-bearing feeling-karma, high family, good body-making, good age karma classes, hile bad karmas are pain-bearing feeling-karma, low family, bad body-making, bad age-karma and the four destructive karma, knowledge obscuring conation obscuring, delusion, and obstructive karmas.

3.       Fruition of each is different. Merit results in pleasure and demerit in pain.

4.       The result in each is different. Merit leads on to the path of liberation, and demerit to the path of bondage.

          From the real point of view however both merit an demerit lead the soul further into the vorte of transmigration because: -

          (1) Both are caused by impure pssonation thought-activity of soul, (2) both have got material karmic nature; (3) fruition of both is harmful to real happiness of soul, and (4) both lead towards the path of bondage.


          A wise right believer should therefore see that merit and demerit both are derogatory to the path of liberation, and true peace and happiness. Thus he should dbave regard and liking only for self-absorption, based on right belief, right knowledge and right conduct of soul in its won true nature, as the true path of liberation. Although in the lower spiritual tagged, where long-continued self-saborption s not possible, one is obliged to take resort to good deeds, such a, worship of Arhats and saints, devotion to and services of the Acharyas, charity, and study of scriptures, in order to keep away Premed or inks of thoughts and deeds not beneficial for soul-advancement. Such good deeds are performed with the object of self-improvement and not for the gratification of sense desire. There is however a constant effort for attaining the high status of self-absorption.


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          153.          A gold fetter binds oa person as much as are iron one. Similarly good or bad deeds performed, whether good or bad (both) bid the soul (with karmas).


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          154.          And therefore o not have either attachment or association with (both of these) evil-disposed (karmas). (Because) certainly by association and attachment with these evil-disposed (karmas) independence shall be destroyed.



          Good karmas also are obstacles to the higher and purer status of soul purity. A right believer in the 4th stage of vowel�s right belief or in the 5th stage o partial vows, or in the 6th stage of imperfect vows, has to perform my good deeds of charity, devotion, service, et., but he does not believe these good deeds as real causes of liberation. He kows them ascausing bondage of merit karma. He oes not perform those good deeds for the sake of merit; but only owing to his inability to strictly and continuously follow the high and Infield pth of pure thought-activity and to save himself from slipping into the dismal depths of evil-thoughts and evil-deeds.


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          155-156.   As any one who so-ever knowing a man (to be) of bad character gives up association and attachment with him. Similarly, from the real standpoint knowing the nature of karmas (good or bad), to be harmful, to see absorbed in their own nature refrain, and prohibit (others), from association, (with such karmas).


          A saint absorbed in the contemplation of his own pure nature has no concern with either good or bad deeds. He advises others lo to stick to the sure path of freedom, peace and happiness. Even a person who has just begun to walk in the path of liberation should believe so. He my take help from good deeds (as they are useful I cheking him from indulgence in evil) as long as he finds himself unable to stick to self relisation, but hi belief that they do not directly lead to liberation, but perpetuate bondage, and thus hinder liberation, remains unshaken.


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          157.          The attached (soul) binds karmas; the detached soul liberates itself (from them). Such (is) the preaching of the conqueror. Therefore do not indulge in karmas.



          Emphasis is here laid upon the supreme self-discipline of avoidance of all attachments, good or bad, the bhakti merge, intense attachment for all attachments, good or bad, the bhakti Marge, intense attachment for saints, and Sadhus, Shasana and Shastra, would certainly be meritorious leading to the higher regions of Bliss, but would still perpetuate transmigration, nd not being about Liberation bu one should not misunderstandthe eating. If one is unable to fix his attention to contemplation of the pure self, he may well follow the path of Virtue but he must strive all the while to ascend the higher spiritual ages, by gradual but constant Soul advancement.