SCALE OF LIVING BEINGS


  

The following is a scale of livings, by which we can estimate our position among them. And for those of us who have not yet reached the right attitude or fourth stage of development where soul outweights matter, this scale is followed by three processes through which we must pass to get the right attitude, also by some thirty-five rules of life which will prevent us from falling spiritually and will bring us to the right attitude.

  

LIVING BEINGS

     |---------------|-----------|                  

Samsarin      Siddha

     \|/

      |---------------------------|                  

Sayogin      Ayogin

     \|/      

      |---------------------------|

Chhadmastha      Kevalin

      |

      |---------------------------|

Samohin      Amohin

      |

      |---------------------------|

Udita-mohin      Anudita-mohin

      |

      |---------------------------|

Badara-mohin      Suksma-mohin

      |

      |---------------------------|

Sreni-rahita      Sreni-rahita

      |

      |---------------------------|

Aviratin      Viratin

      |

      |---------------------------|

Mithyatvin      Samyaktvin

      |

      |---------------------------|

Granthi-abhedin      Granthi-bhedin

      |

      |---------------------------|

Abhavya      Bhavya

 

 

This table is read upwards, and is a division by dichotomy. The meanings of the names in the same order are as follows:

 

LIVING BEINGS

|--------------------------|            

Embodied       Liberated

           \|/

       |----------------------|            

            |                   |

Those emodied ones      Those who have done

who have not stopped      so. (This is only a

the activity of body,      momentary state just

mind and speech.      before passing to

                                                liberation.)

      \|/

       |-----------------------|            

            |                   |

Living beings with      Living beings with

imperfect knowledge      perfect knowledge,

           or omniscience.

      \|/

       |-----------------------|            

            |                   |

Those who still have      Those whose intoxi-

the intoxicating      cating elements have

elements.            disappeared.

      \|/

       |-----------------------|            

            |                   |

Those in whom the      Those in whom it is

intoxicating elements      under control, or at

are actually seen      the bottom, like mud

manifesting.            in a clear brook.

      \|/

       |-----------------------|            

            |                   |

Those who realize only      Those who realize

rough sub-divisions of      delicate sub-division

their intoxicating ele-      such as more and

ments, anger, pride,      less intense degrees

greed, etc.            of anger, etc.

      \|/

       |-----------------------|            

            |                   |

Those who are without      Those who have a

any system of working      method by which they

out their intoxicating      systematically work

elements.            out their intoxicating elements.

      \|/

       |-----------------------|            

            |                   |

Those who have not yet      Those who have

obtained any control      obtained a partial

over their minds and      control.

senses.

      \|/

       |-----------------------|            

            |                   |

Those who have not yet      Those who are in the

reached the right      right attitude of

attitude of mind      mind.

      \|/

       |-----------------------|            

            |                   |

Those who have not yet      Those who have cut      

cut the knot of worldly      it.

attachment

      \|/

       |-----------------------|            

            |                   |

 

Those who have not      Those who have got

potentiality to reach      such potentiality

liberation.            to reach liberation.

 

 

This table is read upward thus : There are those living beings who have got potentiality to reach liberation, and those who will not. Of those who have got such potentiality there are those who have cut the knot of worldly desires, and those who have not..... There are those living beings who have reached liberation, and those who have not; but they are all living beings.

 

With regard to those living beings whose nature it is not to reach liberation ever, the idea is that there are very few of them; that they find it no misery to remain in the embodied state; and that if there is any feeling of regret at the idea of never reaching liberation, then the being who feels such regret is not of this class of living beings, but is of the class that has got potentiality to reach liberation.

 

MEANS WHEREBY THE RIGHT ATTITUDE MAY BE OBTAINED

 

1.   Three process (karana), and

2.   Thirty Rules of Conduct.

 

The man who wishes to attain to the right attitude of mind towards life, truth, and the universe, must pass through three processes. When the work to be done in these three processes has been accomplished, then the "knot": spoken of in the scale of living being just given is cut. There is then the control of the first three sub-divisions of class, four of the first three sub-divisions of class, four of energies (mentioned in earlier chapter) and control of the life-long intensity of anger, pride, deceitfulness, and greed; and then the lowest degree of the right attitude is attained and the signs mentioned above will manifest themselves.

 

1ST PROCESS

The work done in the first process is an enormous reduction of the length of time that any particular foreign energy that we may generate may stay with us before it is naturally worked out. And when the living being experiences the feeling that this whole embodied life is misery it shows that this work of reduction has been done.

  

2ND PROCESS

The work done in the second process is a still further reduction even if it be only a reduction of 48 minutes. And when the living being experiences for the first time a desire to remove the worst degree of anger, etc., above referred to, it shows that this further reduction has been effected.

 

3RD PROCESS

The third process is the actual control of the worst degree of anger, etc., so that it does not arise, it is checked by the mind directly it is felt to be rising.

 

The "knot" spoken of above is the attack on us of our inborn likes and dislikes, especially as to convictions regarding conduct, that it is right (or wrong) to kill, hunt, fish, etc.

 

With regard to the first process, it is possible only for a being with the five senses and a mind to pass through this experience. But this experience that embodies life is a misery may be felt an infinite number of times and still the living being may not pass into the second process. Animals, birds, and fish are being who have the five senses and a mind, and a fish may experience this first process.

 

TIME

In the Jain idea of time the smallest division is called a "samaya", and it is so small that there are innumerable "samayas" in a wink of the eye, etc., which is called an "avali". Sixteen million, seven hundred and seventy-seven thousand, two hundred and sixteen "avails" make 48 minutes, or one "muhurta".

 

Thirty muhurtas make one day.

Fifteen days make one fortnight.

Two fortnights one month.

Twelve months one year.

Innumerable years make one "palyopama".

1,000,000,000,000,000 palyopamas make one sagaropama. In India five sorts of years are recognized, viz. solar, lunar, seasonal, and two others. The seasonal year is of 360 days.

 

THIRTY-FIVE RULES OF CONDUCT

 

The practice of the following rules prevents us from falling spiritually lower, and helps us to rise higher. It is the means whereby we reach the right attitude or come to pass through the three processes just mentioned. It is the means whereby we begin to stop the inflow of the worst foreign energies, and to work out those that we have already generated in the past and which are in us at present. It is the means whereby we get ourselves from the first stage of development to the fourth. The second and third stages are of but momentary duration.

 

These rules are based upon love, sympathy, fellow-feeling, pity, etc., and the practice of them is to be accomplished by these feelings, otherwise it is mere hypocrisy.

 

These rules are the ideas, convictions, and conduct of those who practice them. These rules are not commands. The Jain Deity issues no commands. These rules are an aspect of the man who practices them; they are not something separate from the man; they are the man's state of knowledge and mode of behavior.

 

And the man's practice of these rules has an internal and external aspect. The inward state ought to correspond with the external, visible conduct. The description which a man makes, either for himself or to other people, of his rules or principles, would be the external aspect of the rules; it is like a peg on which, on account of weakness, the thoughts must be hung. The rules must be practiced in each of these two aspects, otherwise the end to which they are the means will not be reached. The external visible conduct must become the cause of the internal state of love, pithy, etc. From the sincere practice of these external principles or rules of conduct, comes out the purity of the soul; the dirt or foreign matter in combination with the soul is removed.

 

These rules are the first step which a person desiring to make some spiritual progress should adopt. They are rules for beginners, and not for those who are spiritually advanced. If you wish to paint a likeness of some one, and the canvas is soiled, you must first clean it. These rules are as it were the cleaning process.

RULE 1

The person should follow some kind of business, trade, or profession, which is not of an ignoble or degrading nature. He should follow it in a just and honest way, and in proportion to his capital or, in the case of service under the employment of other people, in proportion to his strength, not undertaking more than he can perform.

 

By following some kind of business the person can provide himself with means to support anyone who is dependent upon him as well as to support himself. Also with means to help those who are in distress - a layman cannot do much good in the way of spiritual teaching - and by helping people in distress he removes bad character and generates good. Also he can provide himself with means to perform his duties without too much difficulty.

 

The reason why the business must not be an ignoble or degrading nature is because all these rules are based on love and fellow-feeling, doing good to and not injuring others, whether men, animals, fish, birds, or insects. Therefore the business must not be that of a butcher, brewer, wine merchant, gun-maker or anything which involves wholesale destruction of life.

 

The reasons why he should do his business in a just and honest way are because, as far as the present life is concerned, there is all the time a kind of fear while enjoying or using money earned dishonestly lest the dishonesty be discovered, and when the money is earned honestly the mind remains in a peaceful state, the wealth is enjoyed, and the religious functions are performed in a fearless way. And, as far as the future life is concerned, we improve it by the association of virtuous people, which we cannot get if we earn money dishonestly; they will not come in contact with us. Also when earning money in a foul way, the mind is in a foul state and we are generating bad energies for the future.

 

RULE 2

The layman should marry; and he should not marry a person from the same ancestors or of the same family; but a person whose character, tastes, culture, language, etc. are of the same kind.

 

The reasons are that the layman who is beginning to make some effort to progress spiritually has not got control of his sex passion, and therefore marriage is better than promiscuous indulgence. If he can control his sex passion, he should not marry. And the reason for having a marriage partner of like culture, etc. is to render misunderstandings, discord, or inhamony less likely than otherwise might be the case.

 

RULE 3

The person who wishes to make some spiritual progress, should always be cautious of danger spots, visible and invisible. The visible ones would be those pursuits or pastimes, the bad results of which are seen all around us, gambling, lustfully eyeing other men's wives, or any crimes which we know take us to prison, etc. The invisible danger spots would be any pursuit which can be known by reflecting to lead to bad results, such as drink, or meat-eating. The person should be wary and even afraid of these dangerous pursuits.

 

RULE 4

The person who wishes to advance spiritually should appreciate the conduct, life, and doings of truly spiritually experienced persons. The layman may not be able to act as they do, but he can appreciate the actions.

 

By experienced persons is meant those who are experienced by reason of having come into contact with the wise. They would always try to do good to people who need it. They would always be grateful for kindness. They would even give up their own less important business to do some more important thing for others. They would never malign, slander, or libel. They do not get elated at prosperity or grieve at losses. They do not use too many words. They do not make enemies through recklessness. They would always fulfill their promises. Such experienced persons are called in Sanskrit "sista".

  

RULE 5

Is with regard to the degree in which sense pleasures should be enjoyed and controlled. The man, having been for all past time enjoying the pleasures of the senses, cannot give them up at once, and, therefore, only some need be given up at first. He may enjoy sense pleasures to a degree commensurate with his business and household duties, and should give up sense pleasures which conflict with those duties. Also he should control those sense pleasures which would encourage or feed any of the following six things, namely:

1.   Sexual passion, the lustful eye towards any girl or woman not the man's wife.

2.   That emotion by which we in a rash way hurt or injure others in our speech or actions. It may be called anger: there are those two elements in it, rashness and injury.

3.   Greed, whether it be in the form of not relieving a genuine case of distress when we are appealed to or that comes to our notice when we have the means or are able to relieve it. Or whether the greed takes the form of persuasively getting property from a person in an illegitimate way without any reason. Shop people do this sometimes by inducing purchasers to buy that they don't want.

4.   Pride, in the form of the non-acceptance, through obstinacy, of the teaching of persons who are actively engaged in attaining the state of liberation. We think, "I know just as well as he does", and the teaching is rejected without examination.

5.   Pride, in the form of boasting about one's family, ancestors, about one's strength, greatness, -- a Lord might think himself a great person -- about one's beauty, handsomeness, learning, etc. This pride, if it makes us look down upon others and think that, being a superior person, we have the right to tyrannize, is liable to become the cause of hurting others.

6.   Giving pleasure to our mind by causing unnecessary pain to others. Also pleasure got by hunting, fishing, gambling, etc.

RULE 6

The layman who wishes to take the first steps towards spiritual progress should avoid or abandon places of difficulties and dangers. For instance, a place where famine, or plague is; a place of battle; or where there is much ill-feeling towards him by the people around him. If he stays in such places, he will not be able to accomplish what he wishes to accomplish.

 

RULE 7

He should live in a country where he will have adequate protection of his life and property by the Government. If be lives where crimes go on unpunished, he is liable to be disturbed.

 

RULE 8

The layman should get the company of people who appreciate good, whose conduct is of the right kind, and who are always partial to virtue; people who are spiritually more advanced, and whom he considers as examples to be followed.

 

RULES 9

If he wishes to establish a home or a house, the spot where it is built should to be too much concealed (this refers to India, more especially in the past). There should not be bones underneath. The house should not be among quarrelsome people or undesirable neighbors.

 

RULE 10

He should dress according to his means should not spend beyond his means; and if he has the means to dress extravagantly, still he should not do so. The dress should not be too showy.

 

RULE 11

His expenses should be in proportion to his income.

 

RULE 12

When he lives in any country, if there is some particular, well-known, well-established custom, which does not involve the breaking of any high principle, such custom should be followed.

 

RULE 13

He should avoid any undesirable habits such as meat-eating, or wine-drinking. There is a destruction of infinite minute life in fermentation.

 

RULE 14

He should not libel or slander anybody, especially the king; these are done not with a view to doing good, but with a view to, or from the motive of, harming the person and are done without any proper reason. Showing up fraudulent persons is doing good and is not libel or slander.

 

RULES 15 AND 16

He should keep the company of only pure-hearted persons, and persons of good conduct, and should not keep the company of bad persons. The difference between this and rule 8 is that this rule refers to equals, and rule 8 refers to spiritual superiors.

 

RULE 17

He should respect the parents. The idea is that they do so much for us, while we are weak and incapable that we should return gratitude.

 

RULES 18

None of the person's actions should be such as to cause unnecessary ill-feeling to anybody; he should not speak words which would unnecessarily cause ill-feeling in the mind of another.

 

RULE 19

He should maintain those who are dependent on him; that obligation should be fulfilled. He should assign to them their proper work and should see that they do it right, or else they become harmful to him. If they get into vices, etc., then he should assume such an attitude toward them that they may feel that he knows of their wrong-doing. He should not ignore wrong-doing or let the dependent persons get so vicious that their condition would lower his wisdom. Avoid a person if very bad; do not bring up serpents in your house.

 

RULE 20

Respect and render service to the Master, i.e. the right ideal; to the guest; and to poor, deserving people. When a person has an ideal, he respects him; if he does not respect him. He is not that person's ideal. If the ideal is a wrong one, then the whole life will be wrong.

 

RULE 21

With regard to eating and drinking; the person should eat and drink at the proper time, in conformity with the nature of his constitution. But under all circumstances give up excessive eating or drinking simply because that particular fool or drink is liked.

 

RULE 22

When he feels that he is getting weak physically, he should adopt the proper remedy.

 

RULE 23

He should not travel in countries which are full of criminals, or where there are other dangers, such as earthquake, plague, famine, wild animals, lions, tigers, etc. The idea is self-protection.

RULE 24

He should not act in such a way as to become unnecessarily hostile to the people; he should live in peace with them. (All these rules are for the beginner and not for those strong in spiritual quality.)

 

RULE 25

With reference to the attitude that he should have towards people who are in a low state of development, his action should be such that they would feel that there is a higher life than their own; he should let them feel the influence of the purer life of honesty, for instance.

 

RULE 27

He should render service to those who have taken spiritual vows and who are experienced in wisdom and knowledge. He should do some kind of service to them, and in that way he appreciates the wisdom and vows, with the idea of, in time, becoming like those persons.

 

RULE 28

This rule is with regard to the objects of life. There are four classes of objects of life, and the person who wishes to progress spiritually should have all these four objects, but in such a way that a higher one is not sacrificed for the sake of a lower one. If there are difficulties, as far as the lowest object is concerned, then he should let it go, and preserve the higher ones.

 

The four classes of objects of life are as follows:

1.   Doing good; that is to say, the practice of these rules.

2.   The acquisition of the means of enjoyment; i.e., wealth.

3.   Desires. There are desires for a nice house, for dress, for writing books, etc. This is the lowest of the four objects of life.

4.   Liberation. This is the highest of the four classes of objects of life, and some idea of it can be had by remembering what particular quality of the soul comes out when any of the foreign energies in any of the eight classes mentioned (in earlier chapters) is removed.

 

The ordinary man of the world accepts only two of these four objects, viz., the second and third; getting the means to satisfy desires, and satisfying desires. When the other two objects are added, the person's life becomes very different.

 

RULE 29

In doing anything, he should always consider his strength and his weaknesses. He should not undertake more than his strength will allow him to carry out.

 

RULE 30

He should always attempt to rise higher and higher, so far as concerns the above mentioned objects of life.

 

RULE 31

He should do or abstain from doing things that should be done or should not be done, respectively, at the time. He should stop doing a thing, if it should not be done at that time.

 

RULE 32

The layman should hear or read every day the rules of life, or scriptures. The idea is that the practice of these rules leads the person to the state of right conviction, right belief, etc., so that, if, after examining himself, he finds he has not attained the right attitude to be known by the previously mentioned internal signs,, then he will know how to reach it, viz., by practicing these rules.

 

RULE 33

The person who wishes to make spiritual progress should give up obstinacy in all things.

 

Obstinacy, as here meant, is the doing of an immoral, wrong, or evil act, with the object of hurting, or defeating another. He should be yielding and not stubborn.

 

RULE 34

He should be partial to virtues. He should have all his energies directed towards the gaining of virtue.

 

RULE 35

He should be critical towards opinions, beliefs, philosophies, religions, etc., he should reconcile all the questions and solve all the doubts arise out of this critical attitude.

 

We have now seen that in all the 14 stages of development above the 3rd, the right attitude of mind and a relish of the truth are present. The signs of this attitude and the means of attaining it have been given. The next subject is, therefore, the fourth stage of development.

 

SYNTHESIS OR RECAPITULATION

 

The plan I have endeavored to follow in this book is the procedure mentioned earlier (on pages 17-18), synstatis, analysis, and synthesis making respectively the parts I, II, and III of the book.

 

The Jain doctrines are summed up in nine fundamental truths; and to put together the four sections of part II, we perhaps cannot do better than give these nine principles, prefaced with the two remarks that 1) reality exhibits distinct and contrary aspects, such as permanence and change, etc., 2) the whole truth about anything cannot be expressed in one predicate.

 

SUMMING UP

We live socially in a real and, in a sense, everlasting universe of sentient, conscious beings (jiva), and of inanimate, insentient, unconscious things (ajiva). We attract (asrava) subtle forms of matter to ourselves, and we assimilate it (bandha); the natural qualities of the soul are thus more or less obscured, and, consequent various conditions of weal (punya) and woe (papa) are experienced. We have been doing this, and suffering the consequences for ever in the past,-before birth and since, perpetuating our bodily existence through deaths and rebirths continually. This continual attraction and assimilation of matter generates in us energies which are not essential factors of the soul's existence, but which hinder the soul's natural activities. These unnatural energies may be stopped and destroyed by stopping the influx (samvara) and by ridding the soul of matter (nirjara). This is effected by practicing the thirty-five ordinary rules of conduct, self-control, twelve special rules of conduct, and concentration, as described in the preceding pages; and by practicing more advanced forms of mental and moral disciplines, not given in this book. In this process of stopping the inflow and of ridding the soul of matter, the individual develop gradually through fourteen stages, in which there appears, more and more, unimpeded activity of the immortal self, in the form of right knowledge, wisdom, love, strength, blissfulness, etc., until, at the finish, every atom of physical matter in combination with the soul and the consequent ignorance, foolishness, cruelty, weakness, pain, misery, etc., are removed from us for ever (moksa).

 

The above statements are put forward as being literally true; they are not figurative or mystical; they are about concrete realities, are not abstractions, and are of universal application to living beings.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

1. Lokaprakasa, Agamodaya Samiti, 1929.

 

2. Sarvarthasidhhi, Murtidevi Jaina Granthamala, No.13, 1955.

 

3. Tattvarthasutra with bhasya and Siddhasenagani's tika, Devacanda Lalbhai Series Nos.67, 76 (Ed. R.H. Kapadia).

 

4. Rajavartika, Murtidevi Jaina Granthamala, Nos. 10, 20, 1953-57.

 

5. Gunasthankaramaroha, Devacanda Lalbhai Series No.37, 1916.

 

6. Syadvadamanjari, Bombay Sanskrit and Prakrit Series No.LXXXIII.

 

7. Pancastikayasara, Bibliotheca Jainica Vol.III, 1920.

 

8. Yogasastra, Nirnayasagara Ed. (1899).