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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Exploring the “Dharma” —- The Jainism way!!

Before we even try to comprehend the meaning of the Jain dharma, it is absolutely necessary that we should have a thorough knowledge of the word, dharma or religion because for thousands of years, innumerable wrong notions about dharma has been nourished and held by people. Unlike what we see in today’s world and our society……

Dharma or religion is neither a cult nor a creed; nor it is a reserved system of any community. Dharma is not entirely related either to an individual or to a society; nor it is confined to any area.

Dharma is the essential nature of an individual or an object. Shramana Bhagawana Lord Mahavira has explained the meaning of dharma clearly thus:-

“Vatthu Sahavo Dhammo”
Meaning, Dharma is nothing but the real nature of an object.                                            

Just as the nature of fire is to burn and the nature of water is to produce a cooling effect, in the same manner, the essential nature of the soul is to seek self-realization and spiritual elevation.

If we examine the matter thus, we find that dharma acquires different definitions in different contexts but here is a simple and clear meaning of it; “Dharma is the name that can be given to all the elaborate codes of conduct and ideologies that enable life to attain nobility and spiritual exaltation”.

Dharma can be the only means to understand and realize the true meaning of life. Dharma in its real sense is that which leads the soul on the path of felicity, peace and spiritual bliss; and impels it to be active and progressive. The great Jinas/Jieshwaras (liberated souls) have defined dharma thus:-

Arhat Dharma: the dharma of Arihantas or the destroyers of the inner enemies namely Karmas.
Anekanta Darshan: the ideology that is comprehensive and is not limited to a single point of view.
Vitaraga Marg: the dharma that has been expounded by the Paramatma (liberated soul) who is devoid of all attachments and hatred.

Thus, I feel that my Dharma is a step toward self-realization and awakening!

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The Power Of Jainism!

Origins of Jainism

Jainism originated in India, although its time of origin cannot be determined. Jainism believes in a cyclical nature of the universe. Jains believe in a universe without beginning, end or creator, hence Jains will refer to the present cycle of the cosmos. The word Jain means a follower of the Jinas (spiritual victors). This title, or that of Tirthankara, was given to a succession of teachers who, through their own spiritual struggle, are believed to have attained kevalajnana (infinite knowledge). Jains believe that there have been twenty-four Tirthankaras. In the present cycle of the cosmos the last of these 24 Tirthankaras, Vardhamana, usually called Mahavira (Great Victor) is believed to have been born in 599BC in contemporary Bihar, India. At the age of thirty Mahavira began a twelve year spiritual quest, which resulted in his attainment of kevalajnana and the founding of the fourfold order of sadhus (monks) and sadhvis (nuns), shravakas (laymen) and shravikas (laywomen). Jainism does not believe in God as the creator of universe but as a liberated soul (Siddha) who has attained Moksha (liberation from the unending cycles of birth, death and re-birth). Every human being and every living being for that matter has the potential to attain Moksha and thus become God. One who is liberated is called Siddha.

Although Jainism has been in existence since millions of years..but specially since its recorded existence more than 5000 years ago, Jainism has never compromised its core principle of non-violence. Rather it upholds non-violence as its supreme religion in the following words of Ahimsa paramo Dharmah and has strictly emphasized its practice at all levels.

Concept of GOD in Jainism

Jainism believes that universe and all its substances or entities are eternal. It has no beginning or end with respect to time. Universe runs own its own accord by its own cosmic laws. All the substances change or modify their forms continuously. Nothing can be destroyed or created in the universe. There is no need of some one to create or manage the affairs of the universe. Hence Jainism does not believe in God as a creator, survivor, and destroyer of the universe.

However Jainism does believe in God, not as a creator, but as a perfect being. When a person destroys all his karmas, he becomes a liberated soul. He lives in a perfect blissful state in Moksha forever. The liberated soul possesses infinite knowledge, infinite vision, infinite power, and infinite bliss. This living being is a God of Jain religion.

Every living being has a potential to become God. Hence Jains do not have one God, but Jain Gods are innumerable and their number is continuously increasing as more living beings attain liberation.

Jains believe that since the beginning of the time every living being (soul) is attached with karma and also it is in delusion (ignorant) state of its true nature. The main purpose of the religion is to remove this delusion through self-knowledge and self-effort. This knowledge will remove karma which are associated with it from the beginning of time. When all karma get removed, the soul becomes liberated soul.

Jain Beliefs & Philosophy

  • Ahimsa: non-injury to anyone or anything.
  • Atman: no personal God, just consciousness.
  • Bandha: the effect of karma upon a person which results in bondage.
  • Karma: a physical substance which attaches itself to a person’s soul.
  • Moksha: the liberation of a living being from the physical realm after innumerable karmic effects leading to reincarnation.
  • Reincarnation: perpetual recycling of the person’s being until one attains moksha or nirvana.
  • Sallekhana: literally means “holy death” by self-starvation.
  • Salvation: self-accomplished through extreme asceticism and multiple journeys through the reincarnation cycle.
  • Siddhas: those liberated souls at the top of the Jain universe.
  • Three Jewels: right belief, right knowledge, right conduct.
  • Tirthankara: literally means “ford maker” or “Conqueror;” an enlightened Jina, or which there are only 24, and Mahavira being the last of them.

Five Great Ascetic Vows for Jain Monks

  • Thou shalt not kill any living being.ahimsa
  • Thou shalt not lie.
  • Thou shalt not take what is not given.
  • Thou shalt not have sex.
  • Thou shalt not be attached to anything.
  • Thou shalt not eat after dark.

More on “The Power Of Jainism!”…Stay Tuned.!!

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