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Handbook of Jainism

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MAN AS HE MAY BECOME

When man has actually become what he is now potentially, he will no longer be man but a released soul (siddha). The qualities he will then actually have are infinite, but eight are mentioned, namely, those which become actual when the eight kinds of energies classified in the previous pages have been removed from the man. that is to say, he will be omniscient, he will have unlimited undifferentiated knowledge, will be blissful, will have permanent right conduct, everlasting life, no material body, equality of status, and he will have infinite capacities of activity.

This state (called nirvana, nirvrti, mukti, or moksa) has a beginning, but it has no ending.

There is and always has been an infinity of souls that have attained this state. This state is the soul in its pure natural condition, and all those who are in that condition have become so by development from an unclean or impure state. To attain this state should be life's object, and the human outfit affords the greatest opportunity for progress towards this state. For us at present it must be a matter of belief or faith only. And in this connection we may mention four difficulties, namely, it is difficult to get the human life; having got the human life it is difficult to come across true spiritual teaching; having come across true spiritual teaching it is difficult to believe it; and believing it, it is difficult to practice it.