www.jainworld.com

Ganadhara

Up-pravartak
Shri Amar Muni

THE THIRD GANADHARA:
VAYUBHUTI : IS THE BODY ITSELF THE SOUL?

On hearing that his two elder brothers Indrabhuti and Agnibhuti had become the disciples of the Bhagavan, the third brother Vayubhuti and other brahman scholars thought thus only "Bhagavan Mahavir is actually omniscient. When that is so, why should we entertain pride about our scholarship? We too should approach Bhagavan Mahavir and we too should venerate him and worship him. We too shall get rid of our sins by venerating the Bhagavan whom the three worlds glorify and whose refuge even such mighty scholars as Indrabhuti and Agnibhuti have sought. We too shall glorify the Lord and seek clarification regarding our doubts and the removal of them. So, the nine eminent scholars set off with their followers to meet the Lord. How full of faith they were and how deeply were they interested in tattvas. If the "two prominent leading scholars of our group have accepted the refuge of Bhagavan, let us also follow their footprints and do the "same". This was their faith. "If we can attain a life of the true tattvas, then let us give up this life of illusion". This was their deep interest in tattvas.

First of all, Vayubhuti accompanied by his five hundred disciples approached the Lord and stood before him. In those days, people had extraordinary love for spiritual education and scriptural studies and knowledge! Therefore, every tutor used to have hundreds of disciples gaining and realising scriptural studies under him. Every one of these eleven scholars had hundreds of disciples carrying out scriptural studies and following them wherever they went leaving behind their houses and relatives. Those disciples were absolutely polite and intelligent possessing power of discrimination; that if the preceptor dedicated his life at the feet of a great man, they also used to follow them and dedicated their lives to that great man. It means that they always followed them in the real sense of the word. What is the essence of human life? What should be the pollen and the fragrant dust of the flower of human life? What is the noble behaviour of the lofty levels to which human beings should rise from the level of animals?

The cause for the doubt: Vayubhuti approached the Bhagavan. The Bhagavan as before addressed him by his name and gotra (lineage) and mentioned his doubt even before Vayubhuti said anything, "O Gautam Vayubhuti; Your doubt is whether this body itself is the soul or the soul is different from the body? This doubt arises from two different Vedic texts.

"You have understood one of these two Vedic texts e.g. (Indian writing pg 72 angie) (Vijnanaghana eva) to mean that consciousness arises from the five basic elements namely the earth, the water, the fire, the air, and the sky; and that it gets destroyed when they are destroyed (dispersed). This implies that a thing like chetna or consciousness does exist, but it is the peculiar quality of the five material elements themselves, but not the peculiarity of the soul. It means that the body itself is the conscience soul.

On the other hand, you have obtained the other Vedic text, (Indian writing pg 72 angie)

From this text, you have come to understand that there is no voidness of the joys and sorrows for the soul so long as it is confined in the body, and that joys and sorrows do not touch the soul which is entirely freed from the body and which has attained salvation. It is clear from this Vedic text that it propounds the existence of some independent entity styled as 'soul', which dwells of course in the body but which is completely different from the body, which soul govens and controls the body movements. On account of this contradiction between two Vedic texts; the doubt arose naturally.

The theory that--the body, an aggregation (collection, combination) of the basic elements, is itself the soul'--is supported by this outward illustration of liquor. It is prepared out of flowers of a kind of grass, jaggery and water. None of these ingredients of liquor individually possess intoxicating power, but it appears when they are combined. From this it is evident that the intoxicating power does not lie in any of these substances individually, and it arises from their combination; and that this intoxicating power is not a different entity but is a peculiarity, dharma or nature of the aggregation of three ingredients. Similarly conscience and conscienceness is the dharma of the aggregation of the basic five elements, but is not an independent and different entity. Thus it is argued that the soul or consciousness is merely the dharma of the aggregation of the basic elements but not a different entity.

The Argument Regarding the Theory "The Soul is Different from the body':

It is necessary to realise this vital truth. "How can something which is not the nature of each of the substances, he the nature of the aggregation of those substances?" We know that there is no oil in a sand particle. If we grind millions of sand particles, can we get even a drop of oil? Since in each grain of sesame there is oil, however little the quantity be, we get oil when we grind a large quantity of sesame grains. In the same manner, in liquor also since the effect of intoxication sweetness and coolness that are experienced, are present at least to a little extent in grass, flowers, jaggery and water, respectively its clear experience is manifested in the aggregate of these substances when mixed and combined with each other. Otherwise, people could have prepared liquor by mixing (combining) any other substances. Therefore the inference is that what is present in each substance manifests itself in the aggregation in a higher degree.

Question: Then shall we believe that there is chetan or consciousness in every bhuta (basic element)? If so, why does not consciousness appear in every bhuta (basic element)? You can say 'it is latent, therefore it is not visible, and when the five elements combine, it becomes visible'.

Answer It means, "when the element (bhuta) is single, there is no other veil on the chetan or consciousness to envelop it; in other words the element itself is in the form of a veil, on account of which, the chetan or the consciousness is not visible, and when combined with other bhutas (elements), the same each element in aggregation becomes the revealer of the latent consciousness lying in it". But this is ~ contradiction. Can a veil become the revealer of a reality?

Question. No. It is not so. The element that is not combined with other elements is a veil, and the elements when aggregated possess a special type of combination on account of which they manifest chetan (meaning consciousness). Each element has no consciousness separately, but in combination it has; hence it is manifested in the combination. You may say that if it is present in combination it must be present in the individual. Let it be so, but it is not visible because the element is itself the cover (veil).

Answer This kind of special combination of elements is present even in a dead body, but there is no consciousness visible in it. Why is it so? What is the cause for it? If the absence of wind or warmth is the cause, those things can be supplied to the dead body.

Question: No. How can you produce the various kinds of winds like 'Pran' and 'Udan' etc. These things are not present in a dead body. Therefore there is no consciousness in it.

Answer It means "you establish the winds such as Pran and Udan as the regulator of consciousness and knowledge, whereas the true position is different from this. Consciousness chetan itself is the regulator of the winds called Pran etc. We see that those who perform Pranayam (breathing exercise) inhale and exhale wind in accordance with their volition (choice, desire). The essential point is that there is no consciousness in a dead body; therefore it implies that consciousness is not a natural quality of the bhutas or elements.

Question: Then, let us say that consciousness originates from the consciousness of the mother and it exists in the body until death. Now, what harm is there in this?

Answer: The harm is this. There is this great difficulty in believing so. Why is it that the samskaras ( the innate impressions) of the mother's consciousness are not inherited by the child? If the mother is by nature irritable, the son may be by nature calm or vice versa. What is the cause behind this difference? If you say that some inherited characteristics are attained by the children, the question is why are they not present in the lice which originates from the same mother? If it is said that consciousness arises from the combination of the semen and menses, how did the lice without that combination get that consciousness even though it may be very small, or short lived? If you say, "the mother causes the emergence of the consciousness in the child that continues till death", then the question arises what is death? If you say that it is the destruction of consciousness, then its implication is that "the consciousness is created as such that it exists until it gets destroyed"; but the question is what is the cause for the destruction of consciousness? It will not be correct to say that it is caused by disproportion, unevenness in the three humours of airbilious fluid and cough," because when this unevenness disappears after death, the maladies like fever and bronchitis (cough) caused by the disproportion of the humours do not appear. Therefore, it has to be believed that the disproportion has disappeared and air--bilious fluid and cough have been changed from disproportionate to proportionate amount; and it is said in the medical scriptures

"In other words their evenness is conducive to health, then he has to be alive again. You yourself say that chaitanya or consciousness exists when the humours are in the right proportion.

Question: There is no proportionate humour at all because there pollution of blood etc., in the aberrations are not abolished. When that is so, how can consciousness appear again?

Answer: Then the question is why are not the pollutions abolished? Were they curable or not? If they were curable then they must be cured by means of medical treatment. If they were not curable, why were they incurable? Were they incurable because of 1. the absence of doctors or 2. the absence of medicines or 3. the ending of the span of life?

1. It cannot be on account of the absence of doctors, because though there are doctors to treat them, many die.

2. In the same manner, it cannot also be on account of the absence of medicines, the same medicines brought about a cure in the past.

3. If you say that it is because of the ending of the span of life, viz, ayushya karma, then the question is where did this ayushya karma emerge and why is there the difference of time in the deaths of two sons of the same mother? Here is another proof to show that ayushya karma cannot be dharma or nature of the body embodying chaitanya or consciousness; otherwise. so long as the body exists that ayushva-karma would not have been destroyed. So you must accept that the soul itself has brought with it such karma viz. 'ayushya- karma' from previous birth, on the ending of which the relationship of the soul with the present body ended; hence, there appears no consciousness in the dead body. The essence of this argument is that chaitanya or consciousness is not at all the nature of the body. You might say "Chaitanya though being the nature of bhutas, on death, there is no special contact in five bhuta-particles of a dead body, or the special contact has left the body, hence there is no chaitanya (i.e., consciousness) in the dead body". If you say so, the meaning of "Special contact has left the body" is that 'the soul has left the body'.

Question: If you say that "chaitanya or consciousness is not the nature of the body and that it is of a different object", it is like saying that "a pot's redness does not belong to the pot, but it is of a different object". Does not this kind of belief seem a contradiction of the true concrete reality? Does it not seem quite contrary to the visible? (Contrary to the pratyaksha.)

Answer: What is the use of believing in only pratyaksha evidence? The sprout that comes from the earth seems to be of the earth, but it is not of the earth. Can it be believed to be the nature of the earth even to a little extent? Not at all. It is the nature of the seed. Otherwise, without the seed why is it not seen coming out of the earth? Hence, it shows that a sprout is the nature of the seed, but not of the earth.

(1) In the same manner, since in the absence of the soul, there is no consciousness seen in any body, we must believe that the nature of consciousness belongs not to the body but to the soul. Where we find an Anumana (inference) that contradicts the Pratyaksha, the visible contradiction becomes negligible. Suppose a man has not eaten food today since morning and in the afternoon he experiences stomach-ache; this stomach-ache is not caused by his remaining hungry today but the ache has occurred due to the excessive quantity of food eaten on the previous day. Where we get an inference (anumana pramana) of the existence of the soul, it makes the pratyaksha-virodh', viz., the contradiction of the 'visible' evidence negligible ).

Evidences: Soul is different from Senses:

Now these are the evidences of the existence of the soul as different from the senses:

That which even after the ending of the activities of senses, can retain the capacity for memory is different from them. For instance, after seeing through the five windows of a house, even after the windows are closed, the man can remember what he has seen, and he is different from the windows. Just as the person is seer, but the windows are not seers, so also the soul is the seer and senses are not seers; because:

Sometimes even though the senses themselves are engaged in the activity towards a particular object, if the mind is elsewhere or has become blank, that object is not perceived. This implies that the senses are not seers.

Even after the activites of the senses have ceased, the person experienced has memory of perceived things. This means that the seer was not the senses but the soul of that person.

Even after perceiving through the senses, one who experiences remembrance or carries out such sensations as contemplations, aberration, anxiety, or rejection etc., is someone else residing within the body.

From this, it is evident that the senses which are made of basic elments, 'bhutas' are not the soul but are merely windows, and that the soul is a separate entity different from the senses, and he makes use of all these means, these instrumental objects like senses.

For instance, just as someone looks out through a window and sees some person, and calls him through another window. These two windows do not have the power of unification of conceptual experience. Therefore, the one that unifies these conceptual experience of two windows is different from the windows. In the same manner, when one sees somebody eating a raw and sour mango, his tongue waters or his teeth grow sour. In such a case the one that experiences these two mixed sense-responses, these two combined sensations must be different from them, (viz. the senses), and must be of one soul.

For instance out of five people each may have knowledge of five different objects but each knowing a separate object, what one knows, the other may not know.

There is the sixth one who has the knowledge of all these five objects; then this sixth one is different from all the five. In the same manner, the soul that remembers the experience of all the five objects perceived by all these five senses must be a different entity from them. The senses of their own accord cannot do anything. Knowledge arises only by the interaction of the mind with the soul. Here a question may arise: "Does the senses have the quality of knowledge?"

It is a rule that knowledge is preceded by knowledge. According to this rule the first knowledge occurring in this body should have been preceded by knowledge. Who is the possessor of this previous knowledge? Say, it is the soul. Similarly, it is in desire, it is in the body. A desire is always preceded by desire. A body is always preceded by fear and anguish. The inference is 'any desire, body, passions, sorrows and joys are preceded by desire, body, sorrows and joys'. The entity that experiences those preceding desire etc., is the soul itself.

Like the relationship between the seed and sprout, the chain of relationships between body and karma has been flowing like a flood from times immemorial. This cannot go on without the creator i.e. 'karta' the doer (the soul that is different from the body).

When a pot is made with the help of a wooden stick, the stick is not the doer; it is only an instrument. In the same manner, the body itself is not the doer of the activities of the body. It is only an instrument, a means. Just as the potter is the doer in the case of a pot, here the doer of bodily activities is the soul.

As it is said in the section relating to the first Ganadhar (a) Just as a house, similarly the body must have its creator which has a particular shape, or doer who is different from the body. (b)Just as we wash and clean our dirty clothes and dye them and feel pleased with them, there is one who washes and cleans the body and beautifies it to make it beautiful and splendid: moreover enjoys and develops attachment for it and experiences those pleasures is not the body itself The experiencer must be a separate entity different from the body. (Here for that entity the body is like a dress). (c)Who is that which loves and desires the safety of the hands, the legs, the head etc. like the safety of pillars, windows, doors of the house? The lover of the safety is not the body, because the body like a house is merely an aggregation, a combination of limbs and organs like parts of a building. (d) Just as there is a relationship of the receiver and the received between metal and forceps, there is a similar relationship between the senses and their objects. This relationship between the senses and objects is that of a capturer and captured. For the existence of this kind of relationship between the senses and the sensual objects there is the need of a soul, comparable to a blacksmith, who has a volition of his own for capturing objects and knowing them. (e) That entity which can remember the experiences of another place and another time is imperishable. In the same manner, this is one argument that because one cannot remember the experiences of another, even though the body of the previous birth perishes, still that entity called soul that can remember those experiences in the new body, viz., bodily existence is surely different from the body.

The Theory of Momentary existence is not proper, how?

Question: Can we not remember the past experiences due to the impressions continued in the series of previous moments? We can remember. When that is so, where is the need for an imperishable soul of non-momentary existence?

Answer: Even in the momentary tradition of existence, there is the need for an individual who is interwoven in the series of moments and who is blessed and is imbued with memories and who retains impression of knowledge and experiences. Otherwise, after knowledge and experience perish, there cannot occur remembrances similar to them.

Without one individual who has visualized all the things of the world as momentary who can say whichever is existent is momentary? Such a sayer passing through the series of all moments must be himself imperishable. Otherwise how can he himself if momentary, know that 'Things are momentary?' Without visualizing them as to their momentary natures, it is impossible for him to say so. In the same manner, if one himself existing momentarily perishes afterwards, then since he has no connection, no contact, no relationship with the past or the future, how can he know what happened in the past and what will happen in the future?

The point is that there is the need for an imperishable soul who sees and knows the whole series of the past and future.

Question: "All are like us" means "all being existent like us are momentary". In this manner, can't we know all as momentary in their existence?

Answer: Even to know this, first we must know and realise and visualize the realness in all. As the realness is visualized, as present in us so realness must be visualized as present in all worldly things. Then only can we say emphatically that all real things are momentary. If there is no capacity in us to know all the real things, how can we deduce that whatever is real is momentary?

Otherwise even an unreal thing will be proved to be momentary, (meaning perishable in a moment). Here you can't say 'oh, let it be so', because 'momentary' means that which stays, exists only one moment and is destroyed in the next moment. Now when an unreal thing does not exist at all, how can it be called existing (staying) one moment and perishing in the next moment? It means, destruction happens only of a real thing.

Now you see, no one can propound this theory that 'In the world all the real things are momentary'. First, because when he has no knowledge of all the past, present and future things, how can he establish a truth pertaining to all? Secondly, because when the propounder himself being momentary perishes in the next moment even before he is in a position to realise the momentariness of anything, how can he propound that theory without realising it?

The purport is, according to this theory, if there is no one staying on the second moment, then the trouble is, in the first moment he shall have to realise all reals, and in the second moment he shall have to realise their destruction. Then only in the third moment he can say "all reals are momentary". But at that time he himself, being momentary, is not existing How can he realise the universal momentariness'

Question:: Cannot one who has w with him the previous impressions (samskars) of momentariness, realise and propound the truth of universal momentariness?

Answer: Even then you shall have to believe that the previous impressions and the possessor of them who co-existed, are not momentary, not perished in one moment, and hence only they remained intact to be inherited and to inherit on the successive moments. Here the theory of universal momentariness comes to end. If you say that the impressions (samskars) are also momentary, then no effect can be produced in the successive moments on the basis of lost impressions. But we experience the remembrances of past occurrances. This is only possible with the existence of past impressions and their owner. It means that the theory of universal and eternal momentariness is refuted.

The fruits of benevolence etc., mentioned in the Vedas can be possible to occur and to be experienced only if there exists the soul different from the body. The question may arise "If the soul enters the body and leaves the body, then why is it not visible?" The answer to this question is that as already mentioned on account of such thing as a subtle object though it is an entity it is not visible.

In this manner, there is no rule that the activities like the Yoga and Upayoga and the sensations like desire, iccha, raga attachments, passions etc., already explained and the innate joys and sorrows keep decreasing and increasing in consonance with the regeneration or degeneration of the body. From this we can understand that these qualities and nature are not of the body but are of the soul, which is an independent entity different from the body.

There are other proofs also in support of the soul: The remembrance of the previous birth;

The existence of the other words for the "soul" being separate than those of the body;

The fact that if an occasion arises, even the body is sacrificed for our most beloved, and that is our soul. These prove the existence of the soul as different from the body. (If the body was our most beloved, we would not dare sacrifice it. Hence, for whom is the body sacrificed? It is our most beloved soul. )

This logical exposition of the Bhagavan wiped out the doubt of Vayubhuti and he also, along with his five hundred disciples accepted the charitra diksa at the pious feet of Bhagavan Mahavir.