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Fundamental Features of Jainism.

The science of Attaining Godhood

"Jain Dharma"

 

 

 

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            Section-1

 Attaining God hood (omniscience) is our birth right           Every soul possesses the nucleus capacity of Godhood-

There are two types of substances in the world: "Chetan" (sentient/living beings) and 'Achetan' (non-sentient/non-soul). Sentient substances are those, which possess the power of know­ing and feeling or experiencing happiness-unhappiness. Contrary to these are the non-sentient substances, which are devoid of the power of knowing and feeling or experiencing, which cannot feel pleasure or pain. Under the 'Chetan' -the sentient type of sub­stances, all souls and living beings (jivas) are covered; the rest of all substances are included in the non-sentient 'Achetan' -sub­stances. All living beings (souls) are separate; every soul has its independent existence. Their happiness-unhappiness, life, birth death, experiences, feelings, pangs are separate from each other.

All living beings, even besides their being one from one com­mon category ('Chetan') point of view, are separate from indi­vidual entity point of view. All flora and fauna varying from plants, trees, ants, worms, insects, mosquitoes, bees, flies, beasts, birds, tortoises, fishes to human beings, all the living beings of sky, wa­ter and earth possess the power of cognizance (sentiency). All these have the power of knowing. Even the smallest microbe (bac­teria, virus etc), which is found everywhere, possesses the power of knowing.

All living beings, though belong to one sentient class from genius point of view and are all-identical from the intrinsic quali­ties point of view, yet the manifestation of that sentient-power or of those qualities is not found alike and equal in them; this is the only difference amongst them. The manifestation of that power in human being is comparatively more. Among the animals and birds it is lesser than human beings; in ants and flies etc. still less; among

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plants and trees further lesser than flies, etc. and in microbes it is still less - so less that they cannot feel in them that manifestation of consciousness. Where as on one hand the manifestation of soul's power gradually reducing can reach to this extremity of reduc­tion, on the other hand the same gradually increasing in human state of existence, when it touches the uppermost limit of evolution of humanity, attains the state of supreme human being i.e. Godhood and thus it can reach the summit of perfection. In this way every soul possesses the greatest possibility of attaining Godhood and also the lowest possibility of becoming almost an inanimate substances like microbe-bacteria etc.

The progress of a living being (soul) towards the attainment of Supreme State (Godhood} or the downfall towards the bacte­rial state-both depends on its own effort making. It is totally at its liberty to decide, choose, (proceed on) the path of progress or of downfall. However, it is essential to know this much that human state is that special halting place from where this Jiva (soul) has the facility of proceeding towards the journey of self-progress; though all the rational five sensed beings can too start this jour­ney. Although, the right effort for the progress of the soul (self realization) is possible from the rational five sensed state, yet in all its states of existence this Jiva possesses the nucleus capacity of attaining Godhood. Like the seed of Banyan tree, the nucleus capacity of becoming God (Omniscient Supreme being) is always present in this Jiva (soul) since eternity, which he needs to evolve through his right efforts.

At present the Jiva is distressed / unhappy

Although there lies in each Jiva the highest possibility of at­taining Godhood, yet we find that at present, the Jiva is in dis­tressed state. Every living in the world wants to be happy and his every effort is meant for attaining happiness only; but because of being unaware / ignorant of the true nature of happiness, his ef­forts are also not proper/true, consequently he does not get any­thing except unhappiness and misery.

'How the miseries of          ‘ How the misery of this Jiva could come to an end?'- For

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this the science that has been invented is called religion (Dharma). The Jiva is unhappy - this is an evidently clear and proven thing. The experience of each of us makes us feel that we are distressed / unhappy. "Why are we distressed and what is the remedy to remove / get rid of that misery" - this is what we have to think about.

For this it is essential to understand as to what is unhappi­ness (misery) and the cause of unhappiness and what is happiness (bliss) and the cause of happiness. The cause of unhappiness is due to belief in oneness feeling with body and fruits of one's Karma (actions). And in consequence of it the unhappiness (misery) is nothing but the evolution of attachment-aversion feeling in the self-sentient nature devoid of body and the fruits of Karma's. And in the consequence of it the happiness (bliss) is the absence or non-evolution of attachment -aversion feeling i.e.; passionless ness. So, we shall now discuss these things in detail here under: -

Cause of miseries: - Attachment and aversion

In every mundane being, anger (krodha), conceit (mana), deceit (maya), greed (lobha) or in other words attachment (raag), aversion (dwesha) feelings are found. It is clearly observed that the person in whom anger, conceit, deceit, greed are found are more vehement (forceful); he/she himself/herself remains unhappy/ distressed and is not liked by other people also. Even the son wants to keep himself away from his angry (wrathful) father. The person who has more vehement / forceful anger can commit even murder of any other being. The person whose pride is more vehe­ment does not have any regard for others in comparison to him­self. When overpowered by deceit passion the son cheats even his own parents. What sort of wrong conducts does a person not indulge into under the excessive state of greed? From all this it appears that whose anger, etc. passions or attachment-aversion feelings are more (vehement / forceful) they are assuredly un­happy (miserable). And in the presence of vehement passions, they perform attachment-aversion or whatever acts, those all acts are not only sinful but also troublesome to others. Moreover, it is not

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so that only intensive attachment alone is distressing, but from realistic standpoint the mild passion too is distressing; but in com­parison to intense passions/attachment these (mild-passions/at­tachment) are said to be happiness instead of unhappiness.

Way to happiness: Absence of attachment-aversion

Anybody whose attachment -aversion/passions are somewhat lessened or mitigated, we call him a good person; he does not indulge in evil acts and proves to be a useful/helpmate/supporter to other people and never an obstructer. If in some person these passions/attachment-aversion are lessened furthermore, then people call him a respectable gentleman. Such a person acts judi­ciously, i.e.; he is honest in his conduct, speaks truth, protects, helps, serves other fellow beings and remains serene / calm in thoughts~ his life is full of (virtuous) fragrance. And the person in whom attachment/aversion/passions are found even more less­ened he is called a 'Sadhu' (a true saint). Merely by adopting outward posture (guise) of a monk one does not become monk;' the outward posture (guise) is an outward state. His soul attains monk-hood when the major portions of attachment-aversion are finished internally. What to say about the so evolved tranquility (peace) of the soul! His life becomes like that of a flower, which is not only full of fragrance in itself but fills others too with fra­grance. And the soul in which the attachment-aversion is totally finished, vanished forever, his serenity; his bliss crossing all limits becomes limitless, endless and infinite. Such a soul attains its natural completeness and becomes the Supreme Soul.

Vanishing of attachment-aversion completely is not an im­possible thing; because when these attachment-aversion are found more (vehement) in some Jivas, less in some Jivas, further lesser  in some Jivas, then it is quite likely that these (attachment-aversion) may not be present at all in some Jivas. In other words, when these can reduce from much to less, from less to lesser, then their extremely lesser state or even their total absence can also be                    attained assuredly.                    

                                                       

 

-grees of attachment-aversion and suffering (unhappiness). Those who have too much of attachment-aversion are always sorrowful in themselves; even besides having all external things agreeable/ favorable, they are assuredly extremely unhappy/sorrowful. The external agreeable favorable conditions are found in abundance with celestial beings (Devas), kings, emperors and 'chakravarty' (king of kings) but even they do not possess the spiritual happi­ness.

The cause of bodily comforts and agreeable conditions is the due to rise of one's virtuous (good) Karmas, whereas the cause of inner happiness (spiritual bliss) is due to the absence of attach­ment-aversion. Therefore they, whose attachment-aversion goes on vanishing, feel happy even without having agreeable external conditions. A true monk feels extremely happy even without hav­ing any external thing with him. Why? Because in him the attach­ment-aversion feelings are much reduced and its place is taken by truth, forbearance, modesty, simplicity, self-contentment, celibacy, etc. and other natural qualities. Consequently the monk remains happy even without having external agreeable conditions. This concludes that Jiva is unhappy and distressed because of his own attachment-aversion feelings and not due to outward conditions. For attaining happiness we've made several efforts continuously till date in order to get external agreeable conditions and for ob­taining those agreeable conditions we also made efforts for ac­quiring auspicious Karma's, but never made efforts for renounc­ing and destroying attachment-aversion. Hence due to rise of vir­tuous Karmas we sometimes got the external agreeable condi­tions also, yet we could not become happy because we never knew its means or remedy; and then the question of making right effort could not arise. Had we known the right means and had made efforts accordingly - had we made vigorous effort for finishing the attachment-aversion - then to whatever extent we might have succeeded in finishing them, to that extent this soul or our souls would have attained happiness.

From this deliberation it is concluded that attachment-aver­sion only is unhappiness and misery. Their absence (annihilat

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only is happiness and bliss; and their total absence (annihilation) is extreme happiness (beatitude). Or in other words this can be equated as under:

Mundane being (soul) - attachment-aversion = Supreme Soul

Or

Mundane being (soul) –indulgence in sensory objects (passion)

   

Mundane being (soul) - indulgence in                                                                     =Supreme Soul (God)         

  Dharma (Religion). Adharma (Non Religion). Virtue and           

Vice

(Attaining) the means of annihilation (complete destruction) of attachment-aversion is the religious-path. The extent to which attachment-aversion are vanished, to that much extent is the reli­gious purity evolved in a soul. And only the total annihilation of the same is the completeness of religion or attainment of perfect religion. Evolution of attachment-aversion is non-religion (impu­rity) and it is of two kinds: one is vice (demerit) and the other is Virtue (merit). Aversion of all kinds whether it is feeble or intense is inauspicious (vice) from all angles. The vehement state of at­tachment is vice (pap) and feeble state is virtue (punya). In other words, whatever action is performed with the intention of attach­ment-aversion is a vicious act because of the presence of intense attachment-aversion. Whereas, any act or done with the intention of mitigating (vanishing) the attachment-aversion is a virtuous act because of the presence of feeble degree of attachment.

Whatever acts/deeds are done or performed in the vehement state of attachment-aversion, all those are vicious (demeritorious) only; e.g. indulging in violence, lie, theft, adultery, excessive at­tachment in the objects of senses, injustice, eating the non-eat­ables, etc. And whatever acts/deeds are done or performed in the feeble state of attachment-aversion, all those are virtuous (meri­torious), e.g. observing non-violence, speaking truth, non-steal­ing, celibacy, non attachment in sensory objects, justful acts etc. Since these are of auspicious nature, so these become the cause

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of auspicious bondage. And no indulgence (of any kind) is found in the absence of attachment-aversion, hence there being absence of both (vicious or virtuous) types of acts; the soul remains pas­sionless (devoid of attachment-aversion feelings) only.

Attaining passionless ness (stoicism) is profit, dwelling in auspicious thoughts/dispositions is less-loss, and dwelling in in­auspicious dispositions is more loss. Our effort should be to ob­tain profit; if profit could not be attained then for escaping from (the state of) great loss it is necessary to remain in the state of less loss.

Many definitions of religion. but the focal point is one:

Annihilation of attachment-aversion

                 There are four basic definitions of 'Dharma' (religion)-

     (1) Oneness of true-belief (insight), knowledge and conduct is religion.

   (2) The nature of substance is religion. Here the context is of soul substance, hence the nature of (self) soul is religion.

  (3) Supreme forbearance, etc. Ten innate (natural) charac­teristics are religion, and

(4) Non-violence is the Supreme religion.

Attachment-aversion is the impurity of the soul, knowing, that impurity as one's own malady (blemish) and achieving its

 " annihilation is true-believe (insight or Samyak Darshan). The means of annihilating that impurity is to know and realize one's own sentient-nature devoid of attachment-aversion; this is right knowl­edge (i.e. Samyak Jnan). And steadiness in one's own sentient nature is right conduct (i.e. Samyak Charitra). The extent to which one remains stable (steady) in one's own conscious nature, to that extent his/her attachment-aversion are annihilated and to that ex- tent is evolved the religion (Dharma) or purity. On getting per­fectly stable (in self soul) all sorts of attachment-aversion are an­nihilated, this is the completeness/perfection of right conduct, it is the completeness/perfection of religion (Dharma) or purity. This (the state of purity) itself is the passionless ness and this itself is the nature of soul also.

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Absence of anger-passion is forbearance, absence of pride- passion is modesty, absence of deceit-passion is straight forward­ness and absence of greed passion is purification (contentment), etc. Thus, through the ten characteristics of religion also the ab­sence (annihilation) of passions or attachment-aversion is de­scribed.

The evolution or presence of attachment-aversion leading to the destruction (foulness) of the nature of the soul is injury (Hinsa); because the attachment-aversion feelings are the destroyer (ob­server) of the passionless nature of the soul. In the absence of those attachment-aversion, the nature of the soul is not destroyed. So, it is non-injury (Ahinsa). Killing of Jiva is merely an outward injury, which takes place due to the presence of attachment-aver­sion passion existing in the inner feelings. In the state of intense attachment-aversion the conduct i.e. the proclivity of Jiva found is of the form of effortlessness, carelessness and negligence. As a result of that negligent conduct, externally any Jiva (living being) may die or may not die, (but) wherever one's conduct is of negligent form, the injury (Hinsa) is invariably caused. The real disease is attachment-aversion; the outward action is its result (outcome) only. By curing the disease, its counter-effect (outward negligent conduct) ends automatically. Therefore the ultimate conclusion is, that presence or evolution of attachment-aversion only is in­jury, and the absence of attachment-aversion is non-injury, and this is religion.

The root cause of evolution of attachment-aversion-feelings:

Identifying the body to be the self (soul)

Here, naturally a question may arise as to what is the root cause of evolution of attachment-aversion feelings? Why are those produced? On deep thinking, we find that the substratum (root cause) of evolution of attachment-aversion is the Jiva's misbelieve from time immemorial that "I am body." This Jiva (embodied mundane being), even though being in itself conscious (sentient) by nature and a self-knower too, not identifying oneself as to be a sentient being, knows the self-soul as to be the body. He views

oneness in the body and the self; and due to this, the feeling of one-ness is developed in all the things concerned with the body. He feels attachment in the things non-agreeable to it. Besides the feelings of one-ness in the body, whatever virtuous and vicious form of impure dispositions (foul thoughts) is evolved, he devel­ops the feeling of one-ness in them also.

By viewing (believing) the body and the things related with the body as one's own, a feeling of pride/ego about all these things is developed in him. When ego is hurt, anger-passion arises. For fostering the egotism he tries to hoard the "other non-self objects, material things and living beings, which gives rise to the greed passion in him. And on not. getting the agreeable conditions ful­filled, he indulges in deceitful activities. In this way the basic cause of indulgence in passions or attachment-aversion feelings is due to believing the body as one's own and to believe mine-ness in the (associated) conditions caused by the rise of Karmas. On pon­dering over further, it is concluded that- "since he looks upon the auspicious-inauspicious dispositions, i.e. attachment-aversion feel­ings as one's own (of the self-form), so he treats them to be as his nature itself; therefore he cannot even think about the annihilation of those (impure) dispositions.

In this way we find that the root or the basis of the tree of attachment-aversion feelings is the (false) belief of this Jiva that "I am body" and this tree is being fostered (watered) by this (wrong) understanding that attachment-aversion feelings are my nature. These false convictions (beliefs) of oneness with body and attach­ment-aversion can be removed only when this Jiva identifies him­self and understands \that I am not body and also that the auspi­cious-inauspicious dispositions or attachment-aversion feelings are not my nature. Distinct from all these one should feel that I am the owner (possessor) of knowledge; I am one alone sentient-entity,

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The root cause of happiness (spiritual bliss): Realising oneself in self-form

When we experience our self to be the body, all sort of rest­lessness surround us; many types of thoughts (notions) arise in our mind. This fact is well experienced by all of us because since eternity we have been seeing (believing) ourselves to be the body only. Contrary to this, when we experience ourselves as self sen­tient souls then no restlessness is evolved because the sentient soul which possesses knowledge as its intrinsic nature, neither takes birth nor it dies, none of its infinitive qualities is going to get reduced nor anything is going to be added into it from outside. Hence there cannot be any fear of its getting spoiled or lost nor any greed of something coming in or mixing in it. Since all souls are alike by knowing nature (being embodiment of knowledge), hence neither the question of mutual comparison in them can arise, nor the situation of any form of envy or pride (among them) can arise. In this way of realizing the self as one sentient form only, there remains no cause for germination of any passion or attach­ment aversion disposition (the basic cause of miseries), which are produced due to believing one-ness in the body and in non-self objects. On experiencing the self -soul as to be the self, these get mitigated. This principle is so clear like that of the arithmetic rule that two plus two are equal to four. There is no room for any doubt or mystery about this.

The conclusion of above discussion is that it is essential to know two things:-

(1) Misery is caused due to attachment aversion feelings and not due to other substances.

(2) Without identifying the self-sentient soul's one-ness feel­ing in the body, the attachment aversion cannot be ended, and without the end of attachment-aversion this Jiva (mundane being) can never ever become happy.

This Jiva has only one disease i.e. attachment and aversion.

This Jiva has only one.                                                  10

 

Also, the medicine for a]] living beings, of whatever faith they may be belonging to, is only one. To experience the self-soul as sentient form alone and quite distinct from the body, and the frui­tion of karmas, is the only remedy to end the attachment aversion. Also it is seen in this world at large that we do not feel happy ­unhappy from knowing the profit or loss, survival or death of those persons or things whom we do not know identify and see as to be our own. Here, because we have identified our things (to be our own), so those things appear to be other (non-self) things and not to be as our own. Similarly, if on the same pattern we could have attained the knowledge of self soul being quite distinct from the body, etc. then the body, etc. also would have appeared to be (non-self) thing and then the feelings of happiness unhappiness, attachment aversion in them too would have not arisen. When the body, etc. itself would have appeared as other non-self things then all the other objects related to this body i.e. wife, son, etc. or wealth-property etc. would have automatically been perceived (known) as another (non-self) things. Therefore in their associa­tion-disassociation, the question of becoming happy-unhappy would not at all arise.

The end of attachment aversion alone is the real happiness.

How to bring the end of attachment aversion feeling? For finish­ing them, how to identity the self-sentient soul? We will discuss in detail on this issue.

The root cause of mundane existence

 ,oe;a deZd`rS HkhoSjlekfgrksvfi ;qFr boa A

izfrHkkfr ckfy’kkuka] izfrHkkl% l [kyq Hkochte~ AA

Thus, this soul, even if it is not being attached (mixed) with attachment, etc., Karmic product and body, etc. appears to be (mixed) with them to ignorant selves. Such (false) appearance alone is, in fact, the seed of mundane existence.

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By annihilating the perverse belief  (mithyatva) and knowing 

(identifying) the self soul correctly and remaining (engrossed) in it 

and not moving/diverting its attention is the only means of 

ac­complishing self realization (spiritual effort).

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