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 VII  -  The Shedding of Karmas (Nirjara)




The Shedding of Karmas (Nirjara)


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          202.  All the enjoyment, though senses, or things inanimate and animate which is had by a right believer is for the shedding of karmas.



          A distinction is here drawn between the enjoyment by one who holds wrong belief and by one holds right belief.  The former is engrossed in pleasure, or deeply afflicted with pain, arising from the operation of karma, whether good or bad; the latter; while enjoying pleasure and suffering pain, is not under the perverse belief that the aim of life is the gratification of senses.  His right belief is a light, which shows him that worldly pleasures are fleeting and unsatisfying; that real happiness is inherent in his soul and can be enjoyed only in self-realisation; and that both pleasure and pain are due to the operation of the Law of karma.  He is therefore neither overjoyed at pleasures nor over-grieved when in pain.  He remains clam, and peacefully bears the fruits of his karmas.  The right believer, who has attained to the sixth or to a higher spiritual stage, becomes quite unattached as regards wordly objects, which he renounces at the time of his initiation as a monk.  He takes food and meets all suffering in a clam and impersonates way.  The right believers in the fourth and the fifth stages so long as they are in association with family and property, and are engaged in earning money, procuring and enjoying sense objects, and occupied in matters of administration, are not in a spirit of saintly unattachment.  Still their love for agreeable, and there aversion to disagreeable objects, cannot rightly be said to be due to wrong belief and error-feeding passions.  The enjoy things as they came, but with no deliberate attachment to them as their aim of life.  Their soul-power is not then strong enough to check the operation of passion-karmas and is therefore under the influence of karmas, As a rule, the bondage of karmas is caused by passions and by vibrations of the soul.  There will be bondage to these right believers, no doubt, according to their intense or mind thought paint (Leshya), but they cannot bind those bad Karmas, wrong belief, error-feeding passions and bellish age, the one-sensed-genus and the immobile body-making Karmas, etc., which are bound by wrong believers, even if they enjoy the same objects which are enjoyed by the wrong believers.  This is so, because the right believers are free from the influence of strong passions in their thought activity. 


Bondage in a right believer does not become the cause of keeping him entangled in the world forever; his bondage must, be cast off one day.  The bondage in a wrong believer is very strong and causes continuous infinite wordly transmigrations.  Thus it is, that sense-enjoyment by right believers does not not tend to forge bondage, it rather tends �to shed� karmas after their operation.  Moreover, a right believer will shed more and become bound to less karmas.

          One should not however misinterpret the above Gatha to justify the false notion that a right believer ma be quite regardless of the rules of right conduct without risking a bondage by such karmas as he is intentionally guilty of.  A right believer cannot be led away by such a false notion.  He always wishes to have a pure activity of thought, but owing to his karmas bound in the past he has occasionally to suffer from passionate thought-activity, A right believer, strictly speaking from the real point of view, realises his soul as quite free from the enjoyment of any sense objects and this view is the cause of shedding of karmas prematurely.

          Wrong believers are always binders of karmas, while the right believers shed them off as they are on the path of liberation.  The fundamental point of distinction is that right belief means and connotes a right outlook of the soul; the Karma, whether good or bad, does not affect the pure vibrations of the thought-activities of the soul; it cannot therefore forge a bondage for it and its bad effects can in no case be assimilated by the soul.  The deep conviction of the harmful nature of Karma, helps to dissipate the worst aspect of its impress; the havoc which gnaws the soul.  The action is conscious and its effects are therefore merely transient and can be melted by the counter-actions of the vibrations of spiritual righteousness born of right belief.  Consider wrong belief as connoting ignorance, the conscious ignorance, which remaining unperceived is still more dangerous.  It does not realise the nature of Karma, which is thus free to forge its bondage and implant itself in the soul to subdue and suppress its righteous vibrations.  All the bad impressions of karma are assimilated by the soul and hence unceasing transmigration; till in the process of evolution, the soul attains to its righteous outlook which can only be produced by right belief.


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          203.  In enjoying a substance there certainly is produced pleasure or pain.  (The right believer) feels such pleasure (or) pain as the resultant (of Karma).  Thus the shedding (of Karmic matter) takes place.



          A right believer knows Karmas and their effects to be distinct and separate from his soul.  He knows that the pain is the result of his own past deeds; and that he must bear it calmly.  He also knows that pleasure is also the result of his good actions and is not lasting.  Pain and pleasure both, he knows, are opposed to his real happiness which he acquired by self-realisation.  He many become subjected to a slight bondage of Karmas, owing to operation of other slight passions, which is not of itself the cause of mundane sufferings for a long time.  Such bondage need not be taken into account here.  A right believer is therefore said to only shedding off the old karmas after suffering their fruits.


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          204.  As men learned (in anti-toxic science) do not meet death when they have poison; so the knower taken the operation of Karmic matter, but is not bound (by new Karmas).



          A physician having the knowledge of antidotes is like the right believer endowed with the power of self-discrimination.  The wrong believer on the other hand is like the ignorant person, who does not know such antidotes, and cannot withstand the effect of poison.  A great monarch, like Bharata Chakravarti was not subject to karmic bondage even when ruling over all six-parts of Bharata Kshetra, and partaking of innumerable and immeasurable pleasures.  Sense enjoyment of a right believer is not detrimental to his spiritual progress, as it is to a wrong believer; the latter is closely identified with sense-enjoyment while the former considers sense-desire a disease, and wishes to be relieved of it us early as possible.  Rishabhadeva enjoyed household life for a long time, then renounced it and attained Liberation.


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          205.  As the taking of wine (as medicine) without a desire for it does not intoxicate a man.  So the knower also by enjoying things without desire for them is not bound (by Karmas).


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          206.  One even when enjoying does not enjoy and (another) even when not enjoying is the enjoyed.  One occupied in a drama does not become the drastic character.



          An actor does not feel the emotions of the character he personifies; but one in the audience may be affected by such emotions.  To the right believer, the whole world is a stage and men are all actors.  He is centred in His-self, and is not affected by what passess about him; and is indifierent to the treatment of friends and foes.  The right believer is always thinking of his own pure self and is ever on the way to its attainment, while the wrong believer even when engaged in austerities thinks of sensual and wordly pleasures, and is subject to bondage.