The word kashaya (passions) can be broken down
into kasha, meaning worldly life and aya, meaning gain. Thus the literal meaning
of kashaya is to gain worldly life again. This means that as long as we have the
kashayas, the cycle of birth and death will continue. There are four types of
kashayas namely: krodha (anger), mana (ego), maya (deceit), lobha (greed). These
four can be grouped into two categories: 1) rag (attachment), 2) dwesh (hatred).
Rag is formed from maya and lobha and dwesh is formed from krodh and man.
Spiritually, our goal should be to get rid of
worldly life and become liberated. But, when we grow attachment, hatred or
passions for worldly objects, we hinder the spiritual progress of the soul.
Until we are under the influence of passions, our intellect becomes irrational,
we become vicious by nature. Thus, the passions are the greatest enemies of the
soul and we should save ourselves from their influences. Affinity, affection,
hostility, dislike, or disgust, etc., are the roots of passion. We develop
affinity or hostility for things due to our distorted attitude, ignorance, and
false perception and knowledge. We, humans, are opportunistic and when we are
deprived of what we want then we react with anger. In the same way, if we do not
get the fame we think we deserve, our ego hurts and we react accordingly.
Therefore in reality even the anger and ego are caused by the liking and liking
is nothing but one form of an attachment (rag). In other word, attachment is the
single root of our all passions. So, those who have conquered attachment that
means they donít have any attachment have conquered everything. It is for that
reason that the Lord Jina is called Vitaragi, one who has no attachment.
Passions are caused by the maturating of
previously accumulated Mohniya Karma. Therefore, instead of reacting with more
passion to the situations we should stay tranquil or calm in order to break the
cycle which causes the new karmas. Our aim should be to stop the new karmas from
coming in and get over the effect of old karmas calmly. If we can do that, the
door to the liberation will open.
The four passions: krodh, man, maya, and lobha,
are each further sub-divided into four types, depending upon the of their
intensity. They are:
Anantanubadh (extremely severe): This
obstructs the right belief and conduct and until it is destroyed, we cannot
attain the right belief or conduct. Its effects pursue through a long long
time and always operate with Darshan Mohniya Karma.
Apratyakhanavarana (severe): This obstructs
the partial renunciation but does not affect the true belief. While it is
active, we cannot take the vows even in a limited form.
Pratyakhanavarana (moderate): This obstructs
the total renunciation, but does not affect the right belief and partial
renunciation. While it is active the partial renunciation is possible by us,
but the total renunciation (becoming a monk or nun) is not.
Sanjvalana (slight): This obstructs the
attainment of total right conduct, but does not affect the right belief and
total renunciation. While it is active, initiation into monkhood or nunhood
and spiritual progress are possible, but becoming Vitragi is not possible.
When anger flares we lose our sense of
judgment. The virtues like love and forgiveness are destroyed. The anger trgers
if someone acts against our wish, if someone causes obstacles in the fulfillment
of our desires, or if someone breaches our trust. Everyone wants to stay away
from those who become angry easily. Due to anger, friends become foes. No one
wants to help an angry person, nor does anyone loves him. The anger nourishes
revenge and therefore, instead of an angry nature we should have a forgiving and
peaceful nature. Not only is anger harmful in this life, but it can bring the
bitter consequences into our next lives too. Sometimes, the virtuous people
become angry, but they immediately calm down and ask for forgiveness from the
people involved. In such situations, that is the the right way to act and we
should do the same. This way, the sin caused by anger would be removed. We
should cultivate virtues such as forgiveness, penance, and repentance.
Lobha (Greed) A greedy person is not satisfied with what he has. To get
more, a person may use all the means without caring for the others. We should
not forget that our gain is someone elseís loss. The greed prevents us from
giving and sharing. We should be content with what we have and only accumulate
to meet our needs. We should develop the habit of helping others by offering
what we have. Greed destroys the peace and happiness while caring brings them
One who is full of ego looses his sense of
judgment and politeness. A proud man invites his own destruction. We can obtain
the knowledge only if we are humble. Humility brings good thoughts where there
is no room for the pride or ego. Humility is at the root of religion and it is
rather difficult to develop religious feelings as long as ego exists.
Deceit is responsible for a dishonest life.
Due to deceit one loses friends. Honesty helps to realize the truth. A deceitful
person has little understanding of religion.
There are nine No-kashayas (pseudo-passions)
which trigger our passions. They are:
Hashya - laughing or joking
Rati - pleasure for sensual activities
Arati - displeasure for sensual activities
Shoka - sorrow
Bhaya - fear
Jugupsa - disgust
Prurushved - cause of sexual desires for
Strived - cause of sexual desires for men
Napumsakaved - cause of sexual desires for
both men and women
Manifestation of no-kashayas decreases as
spiritual uplift begins. Therefore, we should be careful not only of kashayas,
but of no-kashayas, too.