THE DOCTRINE OF KARMA IN JAINA
I. “O Gautma, just as a sprout has a seed for its hetu as there is a hetu for happiness ad misery; since it is a karaya. That hetu is the karman” We find in this life persons, having the same means for enjoying happiness, misery, in this life, is too much of a fact to be ignored. It is also true that there is abundant inequality in the status and experiences of individual men, which is inexplicable by our empirical methods of enquiry. Good men suffer ad the evil prospers like the green banyan trees. It is necessary to explain this provident inequality in the status and development of individuals.
Attempts have been made to refer this inequality to man’s first disobedience and the fruit of that forbidden tree. Others have denied the existence of evil and the consequent inequality; still others would like us to think of this word as training ground for perfection. But life is to a pleasure garden and God a sort of a Sata Cause whose main duty is to please his creatures. It is necessary to find a solution on the basis of autonomous nature of ma and his responsibility to shape his o destiny. The Indian thought has found it in the doctrine of Karma.
II. The doctrine of Karma is one of the most significant tenets of Indian thought. It has profoundly influenced the life and thought of the people in India. it has become the ‘logical pricus of all Indian thought’ It is the basal presupposition of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism (of course with minor differences). As a man sows, so does he reap: our actions have their effects. These effects cannot be destroyed. They have to be experienced and exhausted. If we cannot exhaust the effects of our actions in this life, we have to complete the visual of birth ad deaths to ear the fruit for al that we have doe. No ma inherits the good or evil of another man. The doctrine of Karma is, thus closely associate with the transmigration of souls. Every evil deed must be expatiated, and every good deed must receive its reward. If it is not possible to reap the fruits in one single empirical existence, it must be experienced on earth in fresh incarnation. Plato has made a reference to this theory in the Law, perhaps under the influence of orphic mysticism, and refers to ‘the tradition which is firmly believed by many and has been received from those who are learned in the mysteries. In Indian thought, the Jainas have developed the doctrine of Karma o scientific basis.
Karma etymologically whatever is done, any activity. It got associated with the after-effects of actions, both physical ad psychical. Ever Jiva (living being) is constantly active, expressing the activity in the three-fold functions of body, speech and mind. It leaves behind traces of after-effects in the physic and psychic forms. Every action word or thought produces, besides it visible, invisible and transcendent effects. It produces under certain conditions certain potential energies which forge the visible effects in the form of reward or punishment. As in the case of a bond which continues to operate until, but loses it validity on the repayment of the capital sum; so does the invisible effect has disappeared. Actions performed in this life would be the causes of future life, and the present life is the result of actions performed in the precious life. So it’s the chain of life connected in the series of actions and their effects realised. The Karma doctrine involves the idea of a eternal metempsychosis. 5 Kerl potter in his presuppositions of India’s has tried to interpret Karma as a form of habit. Human being faces challenges from many sides which have to be met by birth, social act ion and by the application of scientific techniques in order to be free from the bondage in life. But the more subtle challenges lie underneath the surface, and ‘arise form habits themes, which continues after the conditions that engender them have been removed, and which engender new habits which in turn must be removed somehow. This round of habits breeding habits is a part of what is called in Sanskrit samsara, the wheel of birth, which is governed by Karma, the habits themselves’ 6 Karma is described in the Jaina philosophy as a kind of dirt which accretes to the other wise pure Jiva by virtue of one’s actions. In the bhagaadgita the dirt is described as of three kinds. “one may think of these as types of habits” 7 I have not been abe to understand how potter interprets Karma as a type of habit. One must be steeped in the Indian tradition in order to understand the nature and significance of Karma.
C.J. Jung, while distinguishing, personal and the collective unconscious, hints at the possibility of comparing the archetypes of the collective Unconscious to the Karma in Indian thought the collective unconscious stands for the objective psyche. The personal layer ends at the earliest memories of infancy, but the collective layer comprises the pre-infantile period that is the residue of ancestral life. The force of Karma works implicitly and determines the nature and development of personality. The Karma aspect is essential to the deeper understanding of theatre of an archetype. 8 Although it is possible to say that Karma has essentially a reference4 to individual differences and hence a personal acquisition, yet each India has a common heritage which he shares with the community and which shapes his being. The archetypes refer to the common heritage. To this extent they regret to the Karma aspect.
However, Jung was primarily concerned with and interpretations of dermas and fantasies in presenting his theory of the collective unconscious. He would have reached the doctrine of Karma the store-house of the physical ad psychical effective of the past.
It is difficult say who ans. where the Karma doctrine originated in India. Some have traced the origin of Karma in the principle of Rta. Rta is the socmic principle. It pervades the whole world, and gods and man must obey it. It is the anticipation of the law of Karma. In the revedic hymns the doctrine of Karma is yet in its infancy as Rta. The doctrine does not appear in the old hymns of the Rgeda. The edit seers were mainly interested in the good of this life, and when death came they went the way of their fathers to the world where Yaa, the first to die ruled. The doctrine us have developed against a number of other doctrines about creation. Some regarded time as the determinant factor of creation. Others believed in nature(svabhava)as the prominent factor. There were other theories as well. The Jainas rejected these doctrines and said that even time and svabhava are determined by Karman. 10 Concept of Karma must have existed at least a thousand years before the beginning of the Christian era, and has since become the basis ad center of religious though.11 it is probable that Karama and rebirth must have been pre-Aryan doctrines which were important in the Sramaba culture later assimilated in the Brahman thought by the time the Upanishads were clearly formulated. The India view of Karma was doubtless of on Aryan province, and it was a kind of a natural loaw.12 Transmigration of the soul was perhaps one of the oldest forms in which the belief in the after-life was held. Karma was closely liked with this doctrine. With the gradual emphasis of asceticism under the influence of the sramana culture, came the awareness of one’s responsibility to shape one’s personality here and here-after. However, the doctrine has been widely accepted in ancient Indian thought, except for the Caravaka. In the samnyasa Upanisad we are told that the Jiavas are bound by Kara. 13 and while thus we feted yourselves with the effect of our deeds. In the Mahabharata, the emphasis is on the force of Karma. Of the three kinds of Karma , prarabdha, samcita ad agami mentioned in the Bhagavadgita, agami and samcita can be overcome by knowledge. In Buddhism, as there is no substance as soul, what transmigrates is not a person but his Karma. When the series of mental states which constitutes the self resulting from a chain of acts ends, there would still be some acts and their effects which sontumue; and the vijnana projects into the future duce to the course of the effects of Karma. The Buddihista distinguish acts accompanied by asrava (impure acts) from pure acts which are not accompanied by asrava. Samasara is the effect of Karma. Our present happiness and misery are the fruit of what we have ourselves done in the past. Operation of Karma can be considered as a principle of more life, as force limiting and particularizing personality as as a principle of conservation of energy in physical world.15 but Buddhism maintains that involuntary actions, whether of body, speech and mind do not constitute karma, ad there fore cannot bring about the results accruing to karma. It only means that unwilled actions do not modify characte.16 Karma theory has been expressed in a variety of ways ‘from the most extreme realism which regard Karma as a compledity of arterial particles in fetching the soul to the most extreme idealism where it is a species of newly produced invisible force, it its highest unreal the Jainas give a realistic view of Karma. It has existed from the pre-Buddhist time. The idea of the pollution of the soul due to Karma has been largely allegorical in other religious philosophies in India, while the Jainas ‘have adopted it in the ra sense of the word’ and have worked out into an original system.17 the Jaina conception of Karma must have been completely developed agter a thousand years of Mahavira’s nirvana. The Sthanaaga, Uttaradhayaana- sutra ad the Bhagavatisutra contain genera outline of the doctrine, ad the details have been worked out in the karmagrantha, pancasmgraha and the Karmaprakriti. In working out the details there have been two schools of thought: I) agamiskas and
Jainism is, in a sense, dualistic. The universe is constituted of the two fundamental categories: jiva (living) and ajiva (non-living) sou (jiva) has been decribed from the numeral and the phenomenal points of view, jiva is pure and perfect. It is simple an without parts. It is immaterial and formless. 18 it is characterise but etana. It is pure consciousness. From the phenomenal point of view Jiva is described as possessing four pranas. It is the lord (prabhu,) limited to his body (dehanaatre,) still incorporates and it is ordinarily found with Karma.19 the jiva comes in contact with the external world, alive the Jiva is active, and the activity is expressed in threefold forms-the bodily, in speech and mental . this is called yoga . Yoga brings its after –effects in the form of karmic particles which veil the pure nature of the soul. The souls are contaminated by the Karma which is a foreign element, and are involved in the wheel samsara. This contamination is beginningless, though it his an end. It is difficult to say how and when sould got included in the wheel of samsara. Caught in the where of Samasara the soul forgets it serial nature and the efforts ot reach for the truth are obscured by the passions. The inherent capacity of the soul for self-realization is also obstructed by the veil of Karma.20 It is subjected to the forces of Karma which express themselves first through feelings and emotions, and secondly in the chains of very subtle kinds of matter invisible to the eye and the instruments of science. It is then embodied and is affected by the environment, physical and social and spiritual. We, thus get various types of soul existence.
Karma , according to the Jainas, is material nature. It is matter I a subtle form and it is a substantive force. It is constituted of finer particles of matter. The kind of matter fit to manifest Karma fills the universe. It has the special property of developing the effects of merit and demerit. By it activity due tot the contact with the physical world, the soul becomes penetrated with the particles of karmic body (karma sarira) which is constantly attached to the soul till it succeeds to be free from it. ‘nowhere has the physical nature of karma been asserted with such stress as in Jinism.21 A more fact produces a psycho-physical quality, a read and not merely a symbolic mark, aggecting the soul in its physical nature this point of view has been worked in detail in the form of in form of mathematical calculations, in the karrmagrantha.
The Jaina tradition distinguishes two aspects: I) the physical aspect (drvya-karman) and ii) the psychic aspect (bhava-karman.) The physicals aspect comprises the particles of Karma (karma-pudgala) accruing into the soul and polluting it. The psychic aspect is primarily the mental states ad events arising out of the activity of mind, body and speech. They are like the mental traces of the actions, as we experience the mnemonic traces long after the conscious states experienced vanish. The physical and the psychic Kara are mutually related to each other as cause and effect.22 The distinction between the physical and the psychic aspects of Karma is psychologically significant, s it presents the interaction of the bodily ad the mental due to the incessant activity of the soul.
This bondage of the soul to karman is of four types according t nature (parkarit ) duration (sthiti) intensity (anubhaga or rasa ) and quantity (pradesa.)23
Karma can be distinguished into eight types: 1) jana carnaiya, that which obscures right knowledge; 2)darsanavara niya that which obscure right intuition: 3) vedaniya, arousing affective states like feelings and emotion: 4) mohaniya, that which deludes right faith: 5) ayus- karman, determining the age of the individual; 6) nama karman, which produces various circumstances collectively making up an individual existence, like the body and other special qualities of individuality; 7) gotra-karman, which determines the family, social standing etc; of the individual; and 8) atarya –karman which obstructs the inborn energy of the sow and prevents the doing of good actions.
Each kind of karma has its limits in time within which it must exhaust itself. The accumulated karma brings a trances dental he or hallo to the soul which is called lesya. There are six Lesyas. These Lesyas have predominantly a moral resultant.
Karma is substantive force. It has the property of developing the eggects of merit and demerit. The Karmic particles build up a special body which is called karma-sarira which does not leae the soul till its emancipation. Karma has its psychic effects also. Bhava-karma is immediate to the Jivas while Dravya-karman belongs to the body. Five classes of Karmic coditions ar mentioned . on account of the rise (udaya), suppression (upasama),annihilation (ksaya), suppression ad annihilation (ksayopasama) and psychological effect (parinama), the soul has ice conditions of thought and existence.24 In the usual course of things, Karma takes effect and produces results. The soul is said to be in audayika state. Karma may be prevented from its operation for sometime. In this stte it is still present, like fire covered by ashes. The soul is in the aupasamika state it is still present, like fire overhead by ashes. The soul is in the aupasamika state. When Karma is annihilated, it is in a kasayika state. The fourth state is the mixed state. The last, unconditioned state leads to moska.
The aim is to seek freedom from the miseries of this life, to seek deliverance. But the path to Mokasa is ling and endless. We have to free ourselves from the Karma that has already been accumulated and to see that no new Karma is added. The soul gets bound by the constant flow of Karma. This is called bundha. Menta states, like passion attachment ad aversion, which prepare the ground for the binding of the soul by Karma are called psychic bondage (bhava- bhandha; and the actual binding by the particles of Karma is called dravya- bhandha. When passions overcome us, the particles get glued to our souls and bind them, just a as heated iron ball when immersed in water, absorbs water. But the first step to the realization of the self is to see that all chancels through which Karma has been flowing have been stopped so that no additional Karma can accumulate. This is samvara. There are two kinds of Sanvara: bhava-samvara which is concerned with mental life, and dravya- sammvara which is concerned with mental life, and dravya samvara which reefers to the removal of Karmic particles. This is possible by self- control ad freedom from attachment. The practice of vows (vrata), carefulness (samiti), self-control (gupti) observance of ten kinds of dharma, reflection (anuprekasa) and removing the various obstacles like hunger and thirst and passion, will stop the inflow of karma and protect us from the impurities of fresh Karma. Here right conduct (caritra) is of help.
The next important task is to remove the Karma that has already accumulated. The destruction of Karma is called nirjara. Nnirjara is of two types : bhava-burhara and dravya nirjara. The karma may exhaust itself it its natural course when the fruits of karma are completely exhausted. This is called savipaka or akama nirjara, where no efforts would be required on one’s part the remaining karma has to be removed by means of penance. This is avipaka nirjara. The soul is like a mirror which looks dim when the dust of karma is deposited on its furface. When the Karma is removed by Nirjara, the soul shines in its pure and transcendent form. It then attains the goal of Moksa. The Ghati karmas are first removed still, to disappear. Last of all is the final ayogi state of kevala.
The influx of karma affects the soul and brings bondage. The soul’s activity ( yoga is due to its inherent energy (virya.) The infinite energy of the soul gets imperfect expression by which karma accumulated and this imperfect expression of energy is responsible for the various processes of the Karmic matter.
Karmic matter undergoes virus processes due to the different types of activity. The pancasamgradha describes eight processes of expression of energy (karma) in its limited form. These processes lead to corresponding Karmic processes. The soul activates Karmic matter at every moment of its worldly existence and assimilates it with different types of karma which express themselves in due course and being the disabilities and defilement of the soul.
The influx of karma (asrava) into the soul and the consequent bondage involve certain processes like I) transformation (samkrmaa) of one type of karma into that of another, ii) edurance of Karma for a certain time (stta), iii) endurance without producing the effect (abadha) ad iv) coming effect (udaya). Transformation is a process by which the soul transforms the nature, duration intensity and extensity of Karma into those of another 25. This transformation is generally restricted to the change of one sub-type of the same kind. For instance, in the vedaniya Karma, soul can transform the Karma producing pain (asata vedaniya) into that producing pleasure (satavedaniya). In the Janavaraniy a karma it can transform caksu- darsana. A person having right intuition (samyamithyatva).26 But two are told any karma cannot be transformed into any other. One cannot transform karma obscuring intuitive experiecnce (darsana moha) with the karma obstructing conduct (caritra-moha) into that of any karma (determining life duration.) This expiation is scientifically plausible and logically acceptable. We find that electrical energy can be transformed into heat or light energy. Transformation of one
Karma into another requires energy and this energy is determined bu the degree of the purity of the foul. A person having perversity of attitude (mithyatva) cannot convert, cannot change the mithyatva karman into the mixed or samyaktva, because the person with wrong belief is not pure and not capable of such transformation. Conversely a person with right belief (samyaktava) cannot easily transform the karma to any of the pure forms.
Transformation of karma may also affect increase (udvartana) decrease (apavartana), duration (sthiti) and intensity of the function ( anubhaga) of karma.27 The Jainas have worked out a scientific and detailed analysis of these processes with a view to explaining the process of the operation of Karma.
Karma may be made to express its effect prematurely by this process the souls attract back the karmic particles which are to fructify later . karma is made to realize it effect prematurely. Through gradual subsidence and destruction of Karma, the soul reaches the state of perfection wherein all the karmas are removed and no additional karma accumulates .The inherent energy of the soul gets perfect expression. It is possible that one who is free from energy-obstructing karma may still continue to act tin this word. The enlighten one is perfect. He may continue to work for the welfare of all creatures. But his is a purely detached activity and therefore free from any contamination ending to the coloration of the soul (lesya)
III. The analysis of karma and the involvement of Jiva in the wheel of Samaras due to the impact of karma on it raises a more fundamental question as to how the soul which is immaterial and simple is affected by the material Karma. Some seem to think that such a contact between contradictory entities is logically difficult to accept. But souls are imperfect because the particles of Karma which are foreign to the nature of the soul enter into the soul and cause great changes in it. The karmic matter produces in the soul certain conditions even as a medical polio given to an individual produces manifold physical and psychic effects.28 In the state of bondage the soul is infected with a kind of susceptibility to some into contact with matter.
This susceptibility finds expression in the affective states. Through the Yoga (kaya-van-manh –karma yogah) the soul puts into motion the material substrata of its activity, and fine particles of matter are dawn to unite themselves to become karma, and enter into union with the Jiva. This mixing up is more intimate than milk and water, than between fire and iron ball.29 The matter once entered into the soul separates itself into a greater number of particles, karma-*prakrti, with varying effects. Their number and character are determined but the conduct of Jiva if the activity is good, Jiva assimilates good karma; if it is bad, there is bondage of Karma.
The soul’s embodiment in the wheel of Samsara is an empirical fact; and beginingless nature of this bandage is also a fact, a presupposition as some would like to say. The problem as to how the immaterial soul gets mixed with karma and is involved in the empirical life has been considered from different point of Jew. Schools of philosophy have annualized it on the basis of their metaphysical views. For the Buddhist, soul is namarupa, psycho-physical in nature. Nescience (avidya) is the seed of worldly existence; and nescience is formless like consciousness , for according to the Buddhists the formless acna alsone aggect the formless. The material rupa cannot affect the formless nama. But the Jaina contends that emancipation would not be possible, as the seed for the emancipation would then be within consciousness itself. The Yogacara school avoids the difficulty by making the physical world unreal. But the Jaina is a realist , and he asserts the reality of the material world. He says that it would be consistent to believe that the material would affect the mental, as consciousness would be affected by intoxicating drugs.
The Nyaya-Vaisesika believes that conditions of bondage belong to the soul, and the unseen potency expressing in merit and demerit belongs to the soul. But the Jaina pints out that as passions according to them are equalities of the soul, conditioning its bondage, they must be rooted in something material, for conditions of the passions must be distinct from the qualities of the soul. 30 There is no bondage without the integration between spirit and matter; and there is no interruption without bondage. According to Jaina, the worldly existence is possible in the reaction of identity- cum diffececnce between the spiritual and the material. The Nyaya Vaisesika regard merit and demerit as arising out of the activity of the body and mind, though it does accept any form of dinette between spirit and matter. The Jaina does not understand this situation. The Samkhaya Yoga presents a duality between pursua and prakriti The conscious principle is involved in the evil of the world, though it does not belong to it. The pursue is ever kept aloof from the material and conditions of worldly existence lie in the nature of Prakriti. But the Jaina finds this position and as such presupposes a fall of the principle of consciousness for the venation the world is only empirically true. And karma belongs to the empirical existence and as such an illusion.
The jaina philosopher bases his stand on experience and avoids absolute conceptions of soul and karma. Je ad,ots cmcrete relation between the soul and karma. Soul is affected by the influx of karma. The change effected in the soul is determined by the nature of the Karmic matter, and the nature of Karma is in turn determined by the passions. Similarly, the nature of passions is determined by the nature of karma. This is a reciprocal relation affecting the soul and matter. In this conception, the distinction between the material Karma (dravya-karma) and psychic karma (bhava karman) is very significant. The former is associated with avraa; the latter is associated with dosa (defect.)31 every act brigs with it the after-effects I physical and psychic aspects. The physical aspects of the parches is dravya-karma; while the psychic traces are have karma. The material karma and the psychic counterpart are related as caused as cause and effect.32 In a passage in the karamagrantha, a question regarding the cause of the Karmic influx has been raised. How is it possible that particular particles of Karmic matter entering the soul can transform themselves into various forms of Karma? And we are told that this is possible through the my stories power of the soul and through the peculiar quality of matter itself. We find matter of one form is transformed int another; water is transformed into clouds and rai again .why them cannot matter of karma besmearing the Jiva be transformed into different types of karma? We are then told that all further discussions would not be necessary.35
The discarding of rational argument, in this connection, is justified, because Jainism does not pretend to have attained this doctrine by human ration means.34 It is not through the limited comprehension of an average man that the view has been presented but by revelation of on the authority of a kevalin.
IV. karma theory has been found buy some to be an inadequate explanation for the prevalent inequalities in life. It is suggested that the theory suffers from serious defects.
1.Karma leads to the damping of the spirit and men suffer the ills of life with helpless equanimity of attitude simply because they get the awareness that it is beyond their power to change the course of their life as it is determined by Karma. Karma leaders to fatalism. It does not give any incentive to social service. The general apathy oaf an India towards the natural, social and political Elise is mentioned as an examples of the impact of karma o our life. The famous temple of Samantha was destroyed; and there was no visible resistance because the common man in India was overpowered by the belief that everything that happens is the result of karma.
But this is more an over-statement of a fact, if not a misstatement. It is not true to say that the Karma theory does not give any incentive to social severe. The Upanisads enjoin social service. The Jaina ethics is based on service and sacrifice, although on the highest level one has to trenchant social morality. The five vows to be unsaved by and SciTech and the layman (sravaka) imply the recognition of dignity and equality of life. Schweitzer maintains that the attitude in the Cincinnati Indian thought was that of world and life negation. Still the problem of deviance in the Jaina and the Buddhist thought the purity of conduct, ‘and the soul cleanses itself from the besmirching it has suffered and altogether frees itself from it. What is new then, in Jainism is the importance attained but ethics 35. An it full of significance for the thought of India 36. And Karma is not a mechanical principle, but a spiritual necessity’. It is the counterpart in the moral world of the physical low of uniformity 37. Unfortunately the theory of Karma became confused with fatality in India when man himself grew feeble and was disinclined to do his work 38. Still the importance of karma as after effects of our action and determining the course of life cannot be easily underestimated . karma has to be looked at as aa principle involving explanation of action and reaction. Fatalistic theory of life was presented by Mikhail Fosala, a contemporary of Mahavira. He considered himself a rival of Mahavira. He said that happiness and misery are measured to one as it were in bushels. The duration of life and the transmigration of souls have their fixed forms. No human effort can change them. Mahavira and the Buddha opposed Gosala mose vigorously.
2. It is also said that the karma theory is inconsistent with individual freedom of the wil. It does not guarantee true freedom to the individual which is essential to his moral progress 39. Karma works as the inexorable law of causation, in its essentially mechanical way. And in the background of caste system, the boon of individual inequality becomes a furs; ‘if Karma had not to work with caste, a varnasrama-dharma, a wrong idea of the self and transmigration, we might reconcile Karma with freedom . but as it is, it is not possible. The theory in entirety cannot escape the charge of ‘determinism’ from the point of view of higher morality 40. Older Buddhism ans. Jainism were much concerned to defend self-regulative character of Karma; salvation was essentially through self-reliance: and there was fear of the antinomain tendencies of the notion of reliance on others (e.g. the Lord) 41. The answer to the charge of fatalism was that by our own efforts we can annihilate the existing Karma and neutralise it s effects.
But it is difficult to determine the nature of this objection. We are told that from the point of view of higher morality Karma theory cannot escapee the charge of determinism. Yet’ the objection is determined by and based on the individual’s status in a particular caste. It is more a sting against caste system than a criticism of karma theory. The object appears to confuse the essential from the acquittal. It is a fallacy of Ifnoratio Elenchi.Caste system is a sociolifia problem ad it is not essential for understanding the nature and operation the nature and operation karma. In fact determinism is determined b the past karma, yet the individual is free to act in such a way as to mould his own future by reducing or destroying the existing karma. The present is determined, but ‘the future is only conditioned’ 43. In general, the principle of karma reckons with the material in the context in which each individual is born.45 But the spiritual element in man allows him freedom within the limits of his own nature.44. there is room for the lowliest of men even of animals to rise higher and price his self, Attempts were made to reconcile the law of Karma with freedom of man. Karma is compared to a fire which were can, by one’s own efforts. Grace of Food has no place in Jaina ethics. Self effort in the direction of purification of the soul is the one way towards perfection. A thief for instance, undermines his own character and being every time he commits theft. No amount of prayer and worship will erase the effect that has been accumulated, although it may create mental atmosphere for eliminating such future possibilities Jainas have, therefore given a detail theory of conduct distinguishing it into two grades as that of the mui an ascetic, and of a sravaka, a householder.
3. It has been objected that that Karma theory connects actions and its consequences in a rather mechanical way. In its mechanical aspect. It mistakes the means for the end in this it is presumed that repentance is the end and paying the due penalty is only a means. It is said that Karma theory overemphasis’s the retributive aspect of punishment.
But here again, we find a confusions between end and means. Repentance has its place in life but it is not the end to be achieved. Reentrance does purify the mind and has the effect of a catharsis. This would be a means for the future development of an individual. Even as a means it is not all. The Jaina theory of Karma emphasis’s that but individual efforts at moral and sritiual development we can reduce the intensity of Karma, suppress it effects or even annihilate. We have seen that one can, by suitable efforts, transform the energy of one form of Karma into that of another,45 as we can transform electrical energy in to that of heat or light. Repentance is not to be taken as the final end. It only creates an atmosphere for moral efforts towards self- realization. It is at best a powerful psychological means which would help us in attainment of spiritual perfection. If repentance were sufficient to lead to purification the after –effect of past action cannot be accounted for, not can they by explained away, as that would be contrary to the laws of physical and moral nature.
4. karma doctrine implies that sin is a finite offence that can be made good by private temporary punishment. It presupposes that we can make godour sin which is entirely beyond our power.
It is also said that the domination impression that one gets of the Karma doctrine is that the individual is in the grip so power, which heedless of his own wishes, is working out a burden of an immemorial past 46. Pringle-pattison shows that the whole emphasis of the karma theory is on retribution. There is nothing redemptive in its operation, and the process becomes ans endless one, leading t no goal of ultimate release. He quotes Deussen and says that expiation involves further action which in turn involves expiation and thus the process is endless. The clock work of requital, in running down, always winds itself up again, and s in perpetuity 47. Accumulation of merit may ease a future life , but it would not suffice to effect a release from the wheel of life . even when a new world follows after the deluge in the cycle of worlds, it does not start with a Sean balance-sheet, as the operation of will proceeds from the point where it was suspended 48. Karma only perpetuates the curse of existence 49. So the karma doctrine ‘seems open to the criticism to which the vindictive theory of punishment has been subjected in modern times 50. To conceive this universe as primarily a place for doling out punishment is to degrade it to the level of a glorified police – court 51.
The dominate note in the objection is that to make good our sin is beyond our power and the emphasis on the reributue element in the doctrine of Karma makes this world frightful and miserable’ as a glorified police-court but this is far from truth. It is not beyond our power as we said earlier, to improve our states of existence. The Jainas have shown that self-effort can shape the future the present is with us and the further is in our hands.
Retributive theory is a more consistent theory of action and reaction and not merely of p8unishment, that Reformative theory. Man gets what he martins to get; and to with hold it would be injustice to him unless he makes his won efforts to modify the effects of his own efforts modify the effects of his actions. Reformative theory may be full of noble and soft sentiments, it may be comforting to be told that by the grace of God, we would be better. But that destroys the individuality and dignity oaf an individual and he destroys the individuality and dignity oaf an individual and he would become a too in the hands of a higher power or his agent I this world. We refuse to be treated as things. Moreover , it is good to tell men, though it is unpleasant to do so that they are alone responsible for their present state. To put the responsibility on the individual is hard truth. And Radhakrishanan says that karma is not so stomach a principle f retribution as one of continuity 52.
5.Some have said that the doctrine of karma leads to unbridled individualism. It fails to see that we all belong to community, that there is what is called joint Karma’ corporate sin or guilt. It allows the fortunate ones it boast of their self merited happiness 53. Explanation for the inequality is referred to the vicarious suffering’. The ethical justice is to be found in the crucification of Christ; and the Cross is a symbol of taking over the sufferings of man upon oneself so as to lighten the suffering of man.
But according to the Jainas , as also in other Indian thought, except in the Carvaka, self-realization is t be attained through a moral effect which is essentially social it contain. We have seen that the Jaina ethics is essentially social in its significance. Moksa is to be attained through the practice of goodness, charity compassion and humility, although the Moksa is attained but one who practices the virtues and the three-fold noble path. It is, therefor, more accurate to say that Karma theory awakens an man to his responsib9ilities to himself and to others, and does not make him isolated and self- centered.
We may also add that Karma does not imply a hedonistic outlook on life. Reward for pleasure is snot a life of pleasure nor is the punishment for is pain. The theory is not to be confused with hedonistic or a judicial theory of rewards and punishments 54. Pleasure and pain are determinants of animal experience, but for human life the end to be attained is nothing short of perfection. His efforts are to be directed to the attainment of this highest end. The universe is , in the words of Tennyson, a vale of soul-making’ and not a pleasure garden.
v. Therefore the karma there is an explanation of the moral justice in the universe. It is the conception of an all controlling law of natural retribution which links together the successive earth lives of each individual soul. It satisfied my sense of justice and threw light on the problem of unmerited suffering’ 55. For the modern European verities of karma theory’ it is not the mechanical idea of an identical soul- substance passing form body t body, the mystical idea of suffering with and for other’, that forms the real attraction of doctrine. And perhaps that may be the rue explanation of its ascendancy in the East as wee 56.
Judged by the historic standards, the Karma theory did much to raise man’s status and to wean him from caxing gods through sacrifice and pryer. It insisted on individual expiation, and emphasized the moral continuity of life here and here after 57.
Karma is in fact a striking answer to the ‘fathomlessijnustie to the nature of thing’ and it appeals ‘to the overpowering sense of the necessity of justice’. The conception of an all contorting law of natural retribution which links together the successive earth lies of each individual soul, both satisfied my sense of justice and threw light on the problem of seemingly unmerited suffering 58.
Having discussed the arguments and counter arguments of the logical justification of the docritne of Karma, we may say that, from the real point of view (niscaua-naya) logical justification of the doctrine is not possible not necessary. It is the expressio of the highest knowledge and expression of the highest knowledge and experience of the seers. We must accept it as authority. When the ascetic, named Kaladecala saw the newborn Siddhartha Gautama he was at one delighted and sad. Delighted because he saw vision of Siddhartha as one to be the Buddha, and sad because he saw that he sould not live to see that glorious day. This need not be taken as mere fable. It has a great significance in presenting the experience of a seer. The story is told of Pythagorean remonstrating with a ma who was beating a dog, because in the howling of the animal he recognised the voice of a departed friend. The spice of malice in this anecdote is perhaps misplaced. And, “Oh, agnibhuti Karma is pratyaksa to me, the omniscinecent being, just as your doubt is pratyaksa to me.’59.
VI. we may add here a note on the much discussed doctrie of Lesya.
We have seen that the perfect soul may continue to work for the welfare off all creatures. But he is detached from all activity and is free from any creatures. But he is detached from all activity and is free from any contamination which leads to the coloration of hallo for the soul (lesya).
1. According to the Jaias, the soul is a substance distice from matter. Matter and soul influence each other, yet are quite distance from one another .The soul is a spiritual monad From the nominal point of view , the soul is pure and perfect. It is pure consciousness. It is characterised by upayoga ad is formless . Upayoga is the hormic force. But the purity of the soul is defied but the influx of karma. It gets entangled I the wheel of samasara and emoodied through the operation of Karma. This entanglement is beginningless, though it has an end. It is subjected ot the forces of karma through feelings, emotions and activity (yoga ) . The soul is associated with Karma and forms a subtle body called the Karma-sarira comparable to the linga-sarira of the Samkhya school. The immediate presence of the Karmic matter in the soul throws reflection, as it were on the soul, as a colored flower does in a mirror or a crystal.60 The subtle Karmic is invisible ot the eye and to the instruments of Science. The influx of Karma effects the soul in various forms and produces certain type of ‘aura’ or coloration about it. This coloration or hallo is the lesya. But this coloration does not affect the soul in tis pure nature. The color of the revelation does not belong to the soul. When the soul becomes free from Karmi matter ad reaches the Siddhahood, it becomes free from this foreign element of coloration.
2. Lesya is of two kinds:- dravyalesya ad bhava lesya. Drya Lesya refers to the karmic material affectig the organism. Bhava lesya refers to the psychic conditions affecting organism and thereby radiating the colour which may alled than scedental coloration. Thus, the effect of darma in matters affecting the nature of the organism though it an not be said that Lesya refers to the colour of the body. We are told that the denizens of hello are black in colour. Celestial beings get difference colors on the basis of the pact of a different karma. So is the case with human begins 61. This distinction may be referred to the racia colors and innumerable distinctions I the individual shades of color . Bhava Lesya refers to the psychic conditions affecting the individual in verging an auraroung the organism. The psychic conditions create reflexes and they, in turn may give rise through some form of radiation to some kinds of cloration round the organism. This may not be ordinarily visible to the eye, but only to persons disciplined in yoga further distinctions are made I lesya six types of primary colours are suggested three of them refer to egilminded persons. The remainging are attributed to morally good persons. The six Lesyas are: 1) black (krshana), 2) blue (nila),3)dovegrey (kepota), 4) yellow (pita, 5) oink (padma), 6) white (sukla.). For instance, a man who is wicked ad cruel gets the black lesya. A man who has affected by anger and envy and who loves pleasure get was the biue lesaya. One who is base an dsishonest has gray. On the contrary, a weldisciplined man develops the red lesya. One who has subdued the passions has yellow. One who is engrossed in mediation of the Dhrama and truth has the white lese. but the fully liberated souls have no lesya at all 62. The ethical or moral significance of this doctrine has been emphasized in this distinction. The lesyas are treated as an index of temperament and character. Lesyas have a moral bearing. 63 The Jainas give the example of six travelers in the forest. They see a tree full of fruits. The ma with a black Lesya intends to uproot the tree; that with a blue to cut the trunk; that with a grey to cut the breaches; that with a yellow, to take the twigs only; the ma with the pink Lesya intends to pluck the fruits, while the one who has a pure white lesya is content to take whatever fruits have fallen on the ground. 64
There are degrees of expression of Lesya in terms of time and intensity. We are told that in the case of black Lesya the duration varies from half a muhurta to thirty- three sagaropamas. The effect of the blue Lesya varies from half a Muhurta to ten Sagaropamas plus one Palyoama and a part of an asamkhyeya. So is the variation in the duration of other Lesyas . 65 The Jaias have given a fabulous mathematical calculation of the effects ad the generation Lesya 66 I think they were fond of such arithmetical formulations.
3. There has been a controversy regarding the antiquity and the nature of Lesya . leumann found a resemblance between the six lesyas and Gosal’s division of mankind into six classes 67. Jacobi was perplexed but the resemblance and though it difficult tot bring the lesya doctrine into harmony with there rest of their creed’ 68.
However, as Dr . upadhye pints out, these early scholar on Jinism were misled but their supposition that the Lesyas represent that colors of the soul. Tradition neversays that thesoul itself has colour 69. Colour and sense qualities are associated with Karma throws a reflection on the soul, as a colored flower does on crystal. The colour does not form part of the crysta; so Lesya is not part of the soul. It may also be noted that the liberated soul is free from Karmic matter and also from any of esyas. Thus, the conception of esya is closely associated with the karma theory.
In Buddhism too, Karma is classified according to colours: 1) black, 2)white, 3) black and white, and 4)not black and not white 71. The same classification was adopted in the yoga school. But these systems do not accept the material nature of karma. Therefore, Dasgupta suggests that the idea of the black and white Karma in the Yoga philosophy was probably suggested by the Jaina view 72.
4. The problem of interpreting the Lesya theory in terms of modern psychology, especially para- psychology has been engaging my attention for some time past the bhava-lesya has a psychological significance. It is an aura created round the soul due to psychic effects and yoga. It is dependent on the activity of the mind. The six primary colours are effects of Karmic influx arising out of the mental states and events. Every psychosis brings some after-effects which are both physical and psychic; it is possible to show, by proper analysis and investigation, that such psychic phenomena exist and are detectable. The effects of psychic states are transformed through some for of radiation into the ‘aura’ of colour spreading round the organism, like the halo supposed it surround a prophet. We have heard that the gods and the prophets like Jesus, Mhahavira and Buddha, had ahalo round them. The Jainas have said that three enlightened ones still living in this world get a white halo around them. But those who are liberated are without any Lesya or coloration. They are alesyi. Such aura or coloration may not be visible to the eye, not detectable by the ordinary instruments of science. But men disciplined in the Yoga and those who have developed an extrasensory capacity may see it. We may perhaps find some methods pertinent to para-psychology by which we may discover the possibility and existence of such phenomena .It would therefore, be a problem for the para-psychologist’s research.
I have recently read an autobiographical not by Lama Managalabjong Rama, who states that he could see, owing to the Yogic discipline he had undergone, the ‘aura of colour round an individual . It varied with individual difference in the mental states at the moment. He once saw blue rays of light emanating from a Chinese delegation which had gone to see the Dalai Lama. He then appealed to the Dalai Lama not to take the delegation at their word, as they were full for read.
It would not therefore, be a presumption to suggest that the Lesya phenomena should be investigated by the methods of parapsychology.
I may also point out that some have suggested a resemblance between the Lesya doctrie and the theosophical view of the transcendental colours in the individual 73. We may refer here to the theosophical writing of Mrs. Besat.74 The Jainas say that the soul is immaterial; consciousness and its states are also immaterial and colorless. Colour is in matter; and matter certainly acts ad reacts on the soul by the inflow and bondage (bandha) of the Karmaic matter due to passions and modifications in the mental states.