Karma and Soul bondage….The Jainism Way!!!

When karma attaches to the soul, its bondage to the soul is explained in the following four forms ✿

Prakriti Bandha (Type of karma):

When karmic matter attaches to the soul, it obscures soul’s essential nature of perfect knowledge, perfect vision, perfect conduct, unobstructed bliss, unlimited energy, eternal existence, equality and formlessness. The different types of karma obscure different quality or attributes of soul. This is known as Prakriti bandha.

Ghäti karma and Aghäti karma:

Prakriti bandha is classified into eight categories, according to the particular attribute of the soul that it obscures. These eight categories of karma are grouped into two major groups, known as Ghäti karma, which subdues the qualities of the soul, and Aghäti karma, which relates to physical body of the living beings and does not defile the qualities of the soul.

When a person destroys all of his Ghäti karmas, he attains Keval-jnäna (absolute knowledge). At that time he/she is known as Arihant or Sämanya (simple) Kevali. However, he/she continues to live his/her human life until all his/her Äghäti karmas are destroyed. He/she attains liberation or Nirvän only after äall the Äghäti karmas are destroyed.

Arihants establish the religious order of Sädhu (monks), Sädhvi (nuns), Shrävaka, (male laypersons), and Shrävikä (female laypersons). These Arihants are called Tirthankaras and the religious order is known as four fold Jain order or Sangh. Sämanya Kevalis do not establish the religious order but remain as a part of the existing order. At the end of that life,ä both Tirthankaras and simple Kevalis attain Nirvän and become Siddhas.

All Siddhas are unique individuals, they all possess infinite knowledge, infinite vision, perfect conduct, unobstructed bliss, and unlimited energy, and no physical body. Hence from the qualities and attributes points of view all Siddhas are the same.


Sthiti Bandha (Duration of attachment of karma):

When karmic matter attaches to the soul it remains attached for certain duration before it produces the result. The duration of the attachment is determined according to the intensity or dullness of the soul’s passions or actions when the karma is being attached to the soul. After producing the result, karma will separate from the soul.

Anubhava Bandha or Rasa Bandha (Intensity of attachment of karma):

What fruits the karmic matter will produce are determined at the time of attachment by varying degrees of soul’s passions.

Pradesa Bandha (Quantity of karma):

The intensity or dullness of the soul’s action determines the quantum of karmic matter that is drawn towards the soul for attachment.

Punya (Virtue) and Päp (Sin)

The influx of karmic matter due to good activities of the mind, body, and speech with the potential of producing pleasant sensations is called Punya or virtue. Activities such as offering food, drink, shelter, purifying thought, physical and mental happiness result in producing Punya karma

The influx of karmic matter due to evil activities of the mind, body, and speech with the potential of producing unpleasant sensations is called Paapa or sin. Activities such as violence, untruth, theft, unchastity, attachment to objects, anger, conceit, deceit, lust result in producing Päpa karma

Both Punya and Päpa karma are manifested in the future in ways that the soul perceives as pleasure or pain (reward or punishment).

Samvara (Stoppage of Karma)

The method that stops fresh karma from attaching to the soul is called Samvara. This process is a reverse process of Äsrava. It can be accomplished by constant practice of:

· Right belief

· Observance of vows

· Awareness (Spiritual-alertness)

· Passionless

· Peacefulness

Jain literature explains 57 practical ways a person can stop the influx of karma.

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