Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions
Publisher's Note
Authorĺs Note
Mahavira: A Non-Violent Revolutionary
Transfer of Embryo
  Socio-political Conditions
  Vajji's Democracy
  Magadha and Srenika
  Ajatasatru Vajjis
  Princely following of Mahavira
  Social Conditions
  Intellectual Fervour
  Revolutionary push by Mahavira
  Significant Events
  Indra's Offer of Protection
  Five Resolves at Morak Hermitage
  Education Rather than Exposure
  Poisonous Fangs of Canda Kausika
  States of a Digambara
  Association with Gosala
  Candanabala : First Head of Women Disciples
  Final Act of Nirjara
  Attainment of Kaivalya
  First Ganadharas
  Actions follow the Doer
  Search for Responsibilty and Sramana Line
  Mahavira's Synthesis
  Psychological Approach of Mahavira
  Categories of Karmas
  Duration of Karmic Bondage
  Nature of Bondage
  Mitigation of Bondage
  Fresh Karmas
  Life's activities
  Even good actions bind, if motivated
  Consequences of Karma Theory
  Process of Change and Nine Tattvas
  Essential Tendency of Jiva
  Papa' and ĹPunya' : Both of Binding Nature
  Asrava (Influx)
  Bandha (Bondage)
  Nirjara (Shedding of Accumulated Karmas)
  Moksa (Final Liberation)
  Enlightened Consciousness
  Self, the starting point
  Will and Eagerness
  Bhavana or Anupreksa (Reflection)
  Twelve Vratas of House-holder
  Dhyana (Meditation)
  Lesya (Disposition)
  Code of Conduct for Monks - Modus Operandi
  Austerities (Tapascarya)
  Appendix - A
  Appendix - B
  Appendix - C
  Appendix - D
  Appendix - E


Justice T.U.Mehta

Doctrine of Conditional Origination

Some Buddhist scholars claim that the doctrine of conditional origination is not the doctrine of causation which implies an element of continuity. The doctrine of simply means that ´┐ŻB' in its origination conditioned by ´┐Żor' dependent on ´┐ŻA'. In other words, ´┐ŻB' is originated rather on the extinction of ´┐ŻA' but being conditioned by the existence of ´┐ŻA'. The Buddhist logic is that if ´┐ŻA' and ´┐ŻB' are taken as identical, that leads us to eternalism (Sasvatavada). But Buddhism is based on the theory of transitoriness and so would not admit of any principle of eternalism. On the other hand, if ´┐ŻA' and ´┐ŻB' are taken as totally different identities, that takes us to nihilism (Ucchedavada) which is also an extreme view. So Buddhism discards both the extremes and accepts the middle course by evolving the doctrine of ´┐Żconditioned origination or dependent origination'. Thus denying the eternity of soul (Jiva), the Buddhists justify the theory of karma and rebirth explaining that when the soul is reborn it attains the status of ´┐ŻB' but is conditioned by the karmas earned by the previous link ´┐ŻA'.

In my humble view this whole exercise of ´┐Żconditioned origination' involves a strained logic to save the theory of transitoriness of the soul. Element of permanence, which is attributed to the soul by all systems of metaphysical thoughts in India, is capable of explaining various universal phenomena exhibiting a sort of continuity amidst the complexity of enormous changes. Buddhism indirectly accepts this position when it asserts that ´┐ŻB' is originated being ´┐Żconditioned' by ´┐ŻA'. Why ´┐ŻB' should be ´┐Żconditioned' by ´┐ŻA' if these is nothing common between the two ? Things having nothing in common which would either attract or repel the other, can never get ´┐Żconditioned' by each other. And if there is some ´┐Żcommon' element in two things which has the conditioning influence over to each other, that conditioning influence supplies the element of permanence. Such an element of permanence is called ´┐ŻJiva' by the Jainas and ´┐ŻBrahma' by the Vedantists.

Jaina philosophers, have should the problem by their theory of Nayavada. They say that purely from theoretical standpoint the ´┐ŻJiva' is permanent. It was never die. This is called ´┐ŻNiscaya naya' (Real view-point). However, from the practical point of view when ´┐ŻJiva' in association with ´┐ŻKarmas' takes ´┐Żbirth' and then ´┐Żappears' to die with the body of its ´┐Żbirth', it ´┐Żappears' to be transitory. So when we say that soul is transitory, what we assert is a practical or empirical standpoint which is known as ´┐ŻVyavahara naya'.

Buddhist theory of transitoriness of soul has led it to the doctrine of ´┐ŻNirvana' which literally means ´┐Żextinction'. The root ´┐ŻVa' means to blow; prefix ´┐ŻNir' means ´┐Żout' or ´┐Żoff'. So, literally ´┐ŻNirvana' means ´┐Żblowing out'. Logically, therefore, Nirvana means end of worldly existence.

Jainas do not believe that Jiva cease to exist on attainment of Siddhahood. Since karmas are destroyed, Siddhahood, according to Jainas, is the bodiless existence of soul. This is the state of formless Brahma (Nirakara-Brahma) of the Vedantist.

It, therefore, appears that in their search of Madhyama-Marga (Middle course) the Buddhists have carried their doctrine of transitoriness (Ksanikavada) to the extreme by applying it even to the existence of soul. This gives an impression of Anatmavada (denial of the existence of soul).

Jaina approach on this aspect appears to be more logical and scientific. Dr. S. Radhakrishna interestingly observes, in this connection, as under :

"It is impossible to think Buddha recognized nothing permanent in this rush of the world, no resting place in the

}}}}}Gada }}}}}

universal turmoil where man's troubled heart can find peace. However, much Buddha tried to refuse to reply the question of ultimate reality which lay beyond the categories of the phenomenal world, he did not seem to have any doubt about it. There is an unborn, unoriginated, an unmade, an uncompounded; were there not. Oh mendicants, there would be no escape from the world of the born, the originated, the made and the compounded." (Udana, VIII.3)



Buddhism passed through three great phases of its developments, known as Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana.

The word ´┐ŻYana' means vehicle, ´┐ŻHinayana' means ´┐ŻLittle vehicle'. It was so called by the ´┐ŻMahayanists' because it preaches salvation of oneself, the individual soul only. It insists upon the necessity of monastic life. According to it ones personality is illusory. It emphasizes non-selfhood (Nairatmyata) of existence.



Literally it means ´┐Żgreat vehicle' which is so called because it teaches the salvation of all. thus, it is more social in outlook. It is predominantly devotional and metaphysical in its character. Vajrayana



It means ´┐Żdiamond vehicle' or the ´┐Żadamant way' so called because like the irresistible vajra it annihilates all obstacles to the Nirvana by highly esoteric Yogic exercises and development of spiritual power.


Some common characteristics of Jaina and Buddhist ideology

We have already pointed out the agreement and disagreements between these two Sramanic ideologies. Following are the main common characteristics between the two --

(1) Both are ascetic in nature. Both believe in ´┐ŻNivrtti-dharma' as distinguished from ´┐ŻPravrtti-dharma' of the Vedas. Hence both believe in asceticism or Path of renunciation.

(2) Self reliance - Both believe that liberation of self from bondage is in its own hands.

(3) Denial of any super-power as the final arbitrator of our destiny.

(4) There are infinite souls each striving for its own liberation.

(5) Non-souls cannot be called Maya. They are as real as souls.

(6) Both believe that Vedas are not of divine origin and cannot be taken as final and absolute authority.

(7) Outright rejection of caste distinction by both. It is Karma and not birth which can decide a social class to which one belongs. All souls have equal potentiality to be liberated.

(8) Non-recognition of four Asramas in life by Buddhists and partly even by Jainas who put great emphasis on total renunciation and austerities.

(9) Rejection of Avatarvada by both.

(10) Tirthankaras and Buddhas were born as human and attained total liberation by their own efforts.

(11) The words of Tirthankaras and Buddhas provide proper guidance but to gain liberation one has to exert himself, without any favours from above.

(12) Shedding of karmas by avoiding desires and attachment is the only path of salvation.

(13) Rituals and ceremonies are of no help in case the inner development is wanting.

(14) Non-violence (Ahimsa) in every field of life is the guiding principle.