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Book Jainism in Buddhist Literature Author Dr. Hiralal Jain


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In another classification, the dravyas or Tattvas are divided into seven categories, viz. Jiva (soul), ajiva (nonsoul), asrava (inflow of karmic matter into the sould), bandha (bondage of soul by karmic matter), sanbara (stoppage of the inflow of karmic matter), nirjara (shedding of karmic matter), and moksa (liberation of sould from karmic matter). The seven tattvasare so arranged here as to provide an epitome of the Jaina doctrine of salvation. The plight of the Jiva in somsara and mirjara are two states in the process of liberation wherein the inflow of karmic matter is first stopped and all karmic matter is subsequently shed. The jivd thus becomes completely free of karmic matter and attains moksa. These seven tattvas are eternal and `'sat".11

(i) Jiva (soul)

The Jaina theory of soul, though fundamentally similar to the concept of soul in othe philosophical schools, is still differrent from them in certain respects. Soul is eternal, uncreated and beginningless. There is no controversy on this point. The controversial point is its nature. The Samhitas of the Rigveda12 and Atharvaveda13 state about the nature of the soul that when a man dies, it goes to the world of his forefathers and stays with ceaseless perfect life. The Sataptha Brahmana14 points out that it is enjoyer of good or evil deeds. The Upanisads are against its plural form15. According to the Kathopanisad16, it is eternal and distinct from body. Avidya is the cause of wandering into birth.17 Further, Gaudapada says that it is one and neither born nor created. Maya (illusion) is the casue of appearance of births. Ssnkara follows Gaudapada's view, saying "It is due to maya, pure and simple, that the Great Self (Atman) appears as the threefold states (viz. walking, dreaming the dreamless sleep) even as a rope appears as a snake and the like."18

Both the Sankhya and the Yoga systems are practically one.19 Sankhya presents the doctrfues while the Yoga prescribes certain practices for the sake of their spiritual development'. The sould in these philosophies is accepted in the form of purusa, but it is said to be absolutely non-active or unattached to prakrti or matter and Purusa is unaffected by the vicissitudes of the Prakrti20.

According to the Nyaya and the Vaisesika philosophy, the soul itself is responsible for its deeds. Its is eternal and possesses the non-eternal qualities such as consciousness, desire etc. Jnana (knowledge) is distinct from soul and it obtains the capacity of knowing by association with itself. That means Juana is devoid of knowing power by nature21.

The Buddha, on the other hand, declined to answer the nature of sould as he felt that it is not indispensible for the removal of suffering. The entire universe in his view is a bundle of Khandhaas, viz. rupa (body), vedana (feeling) sanna (perception), sankhara (aggregates), and vinnana (consciousness). All things including even soul are analysed into the elements that can be perceived in them. All things are devoid of soul, just as a chariot is nothing but a congregation of wheel, frame, etc. "I" or "Mine" should not be attached with mundane affaris if one wants to attain salvation. Hence this view is named anatta in Buddism.22

Jainism considers soul as the central figure. Its perfect knowledge (Bhedajnana or Atmajnana) is essential to destroy karmsa and attain salvation.23 The nature of soul in Jainism is to be understood from the standpoint of non-absolutism (anekantavada). From the real standpoint (niscayanaya), soul is absolutely pure possessing the nature of knowledge and vision (ahameko khalu siddho damsanamiya sadrupi)24. It is regarded to be without smell, without sound, not an object of anumand (inference), without any definite bodily shape, imperceptible and intangible and is characterised by consciousness25. Acarya Nemicandra points out that the soul is characterised by upayoga (consciousness), is formless (amutti), is an agent (katta), has the same extent as its own body (sadehaparimana), is the enjoyer of the fruits of karma (bhotta), exists in world (samsarattho), is siddha (siddho) and has the characteristic upward motion (vissasoddhagai):

Jivo ubao gamao amutti katta sadehaparimano.

Bhotta samsarattho siddho so vissasoddhagai26

Thus we have seen that the nature of soul in Jainism is dual in character. According to the realistic standpoint, it remains the same unhder all states, while accroding to the practical standpoint, it is transformed into modes and thus becomes different in number, place, form, etc.

(ii) Pudgala (matter)

Things perceived or enjoyed by the senses, bodies, mind, karma, and the other material objects are called Pudgala (matter)27. They can be touched tasted, smelt, and have colour. Sabda (sound produced by various means). Bandha (union caused by man or otherwise), sauksmya (fineness), shaulya (grossness) samsthana (figure), bheda (dividion), tamas (darkness), chaya (shade) and atapa (sun-shine) are the forms of Pudgala. it has two prominent forms, namely atoms (anu) and molecule (skandhas)28. They unite together to construct reality.

The nature of the universe in Jainism is based on the nature of reality which possess triple characteristics, utpada, vyaya and dhrauvya. The things that exist cannot be destroyed and the things that do not exist cannot be originated from a realistic standpoint, but they get transformed into their own attributes and modes from a practical point of view.29 This system of realities results in the universe being in finite as well as eternal in character. The entire universe, according to Jainism, is a compendium of the six Dravyas which are a permutation and combination of atoms. The atom in Jainology is the smallest unitary part of pudgala. It is characterised by its internal cohesion (sneha) and indivisible unity. a molecule (anu), a kombination of atoms, results in an aggregate of matter (skandha)30. Anui is an indivisible entity and cannot be perceived by ordinary men.

Pudgaladravya is always transformed into skandha and paramanu. The upadana karana (substantive cause) and the nimitta karana (external cause) are responsible for these modifications. For instance, in the manufacturing of apot, clay is the substantive cause and the potter, stick, water, etc. are external causes. Each and every entity runs through these two causes and gets its similar modes.

Thus the univers in Jaina philosophy is undivided, uncreated, eternal, self-existent, and infinite from realistic standpoint; while from a practical standpoint of its inter-related parts it is transitory, phenomenal, evanescent, and finite. This theory rejects all the other theories based on the absolute standpoint such as Kalavada, Svabhavavada, Niyativada, Yadrechavada, Purusavada, Isvarvada, Bhutavada, etc.

The doctrine of karman seems to have developed against these doctrines of creation. According to Janiism, the vibrations (yoga) and the passions (ksayas) of soul attract karmic matter and transform it into karmic body. Soul is pure in its intrinsic nature. The relation of karmas is a cause that makes its cycling into births. This is the nature of bondage. Soul, which is amurtd (spiritual), is affected by karmas which are murta (material). This concrete association of the spiritual and the meterial leads to the existence of universe, which is beginningless. The material karman (dravyakarman) is a avarana (cover) which brings about the bhavakarman (its spirtinal counterpart) that is called dosa like privation and perversion. This is the mutual relation as cause and effect of both these karmas.

Karmas are classified into eight main types, viz. (1) Jnanavarana (knowledge-obscuring). (2) Darsanbavarana (vision-obscuring). (3) Vedaniya (feeling-producing). (4) Mohaniya (deluding). (5) Ayu (longevity determining). (6) Nama (body-making). (7) Gotra (status determining, and (8) Antaraya (obstructive).

These karmas are sub-divided into one hundred and forty eight which may be seen in detail in Gomattasara Karmakanda etc.

The inflow of karmic matter into the soul is called Asrava and the bondage of the soul by karmic matter is called Bandha in Jainism. Both are related mutually to each other as cause and effect. Asrava isthe antecedent and anterior cause of bondage. The stoppage of inflow of karmic matters into the soul is called Samvara and the shedding of karmic matters by the soul is cailed Nirjara. Evil thoughts and miseries lead to a suffering in the world as well as in hell. The happiness of salvation.31

Thus the Samvara and Nirjara lead to the destruction of the karmas and reveal the purity of self, which is called Moksa Umasvami says that Moksa is a state of freedom from all karmic matter owing to the destruction of the cause of bondage and to the shedding of the karmas32. Pujyapada in the Sarvarthasiddhi defines moksa "as the state of the highest condition of purification, unthinkable inherent attitude of knowledge and unobstructed bliss, of a soul which becomes totally free from the defect of karmic dirt and is liberated from the body33.

(3-4) Dharma and Adharma

Dharma and adharma dravyas convey special meanings ih Jainism. Dharma is accepted as a kind of Ether which helps us in motion. Pudgala and Jiua move with the help of dharma as fish move with the help of water. Adharma is the exact opposite of dharma. It assists Pudgalas and Jiuas in staying as a shadow assists travellers to rest 34.

(5) Akasa Dravya:



Akasa in Jainism provides a place for all substances to exact. It is said to be anantapradesi (possessing infinite pradesas) amurtika (having a non-physical factor), and niskriya (inactive), and savayaui (having parts). It is of two kinds, lokakasa and alokakasa. The former is co-extensive with the dravyas, whereas the latter is devoid of this characheristic. Loke consists of three divisions, Uadholoka (upper world),Madhyalok (middle world_, and Adholoka (lower world). They are the abodes of celestial beings, men and other creatures, and the inmates of hell. Beyond this Likakasa which is said to be eternal, infinite, formless, without activity and perceptible only by the omnisscient 35

(6) Kala dravaya

Kala in Jainism is divided into two categories, ByauaharaKala and Paramarthikakala. The former helps to change substances into their modes and the latter is undersrood from continuity. Time is not an appearance but a reality since we experience it in the form of hours, minutes etc. 36

The Six Dravyas in Buddhist Literature

The references fo six dravyas of Jainism are found in the pali Canon as well as in later Sanskrit Buddhist literature. They aer however, not referred to in a systematic order,.

(1) The Jaina Conception of Soul (Jiva).

In the course of a conversation with Sakya Mahanama, the Buddha speaks of Nigantha Nataputta's doctrine as follows:

"If there is an evil deed that was formerly done by you, ger rid of its consequences by severe austerity, To keep away from of body ( kayena samvuta), control of soeech (vacaya samvuta), and control of thought(manasassanvuta).Thus by burning up, by making an end of former deeds, by the nondoing of new deeds, there is no transmission of modes in the future for him. Form there being no transmission in future is the destruction of deeds (ayatim anavassavo), from the destruction of deeds is the destruction of ill, from the destruction of ill is the destruction of feeling, from the destruction of feeling all ill become worn away." The Buddha says further, "That is approved by us; it is pleasing to us: therefore we are delighted37."

This is a comprehensive introduction to the seven states or Tattvas of the Jainas. The thoughts of Nigantha Nataputta represented in this passage are as follws:

(i) The existence of Soul.

(ii) Sukha of Duhkha is due to previous karmas done.

(iii) By ascetic practices with right knowledge on could get rid of the effects of karmic matter.

(iv) On the complete stoppage of karmic matter,Dukkhas would be arrested, and without dukkha there would be no Vedana (feeling).and the absence of Vedana leads to the end of dukkhas and this is called moksa. Here the first point represents Jive and ajiva, the second represents the asrave and the bandha, and the third point stands for samvara and nirjara, and the last corresponds to Moksa.

The Brahmajalasutta in the Dighanikaya refers to the sixty-two contemporary philosophical views which fall into two categoris namely Pubantanuditthi indicating the ultinate beginningless of things concerned with the ultinate passt on eighteen grounds, and the aparantanuditthi concerned with the future on forty-four grounds. All the current views of that tine have been classified into these two groups, as the Buddha himself says that there is no other conception beyond them (natthi ito bahiddha).38

According to pubbantanuditthis, theviews about the be ginning of things in eighteen ways are as follows 39:

(i) Some (sassatatvadis) hold in four ways that the soul (atta) and the universe (loka are eternal,

(ii) Some (Ekaccasassatavadis) hold in four ways that the soul and universe are in sone resoects eternal and in sone not.

(iii) Some (antanantavadis) hold that the universe is finite or infinite or finite and infinite, or neither finite nor infinite.

(iv) Some (anaravikkhepavadis) wriggle like eels in four ways and refuse a clear answer.

(v) Some (adhiccasamuppannavadis) assert in two ways that the soul and the universe have arisen without a cause.

In the context of showing the aparantanuditthis40 (views abowt the future), the Buddha mentions then in forty-four ways:

(i) Some (Uddhamafhatanika asnnivadis) hold in sixteen ways that the soul is conscious after death.

(ii) Some (Uddhamaghatamika asannivadis) hold in eight ways the it is unconscious after death.

(iii) Some (Uddhamaghatanika nevasnni-nasannivadis) hold in eight ways that it is neither conscious nor unconscious after death.

(iv) Some (Ucchedavadis) hold in seven ways the annihilation of the soul.

(v) Some (ditthadhammanibbanvadis) hold that nibbana consists in the enjoument of this life in five ways, either in the pleasures of sense or one of the four trances.

out of these conceptions, the theories of Uddhamaghata nika sannivada should be mentioned here, according to which the soul is conscious and eternal. The Buddha says: "Thete ate brethern, recluses and Brahmanas who maintin in sixteen ways, that the soul after death is conscious and it is not a subject to decay. "The sixteen ways are as follows41:

(i) Soul has form (rupi atta hoti arogo param marana sanni)-

(ii)soul is formless (arupi atta hoti arogo param marana)

(iii) Soul has and has not form (rupi ca arupi atta hoti).

(iv) neither has nor has not form (nevarapi narupi atta hoti).

(v) is finite (antava atta hoti)

(vi) is infinite (anantava atta hoti).

(vii) is both (antava ca anantava ca atta holi).

(viii) is neither (nevantava nanantava ca atta holi).

(ix) has one mode of consciousness (ekattasanniatta hoti).

(x) has various motes of consciousness (nan ittasanni atta hoti).

(xi) has limited consciousness (parittasanni atta hoti).

(xii) has infinite consciousness (appamanasanni atta hoti).

(xiii) is altogether happy (ekantasukhi atta hoti).

(xiv) is altogether miserable (elamtadilljo atta hoti).

(xv) is both (sukhadukkhi atta hoti).

(xvi) is neither (adukkhamasukhi atta hoti).

A list of sixteen theories regarding the nature of soul is also referred to in the Udana42. The topics listed there are said to be debated by many Sananas and Brahmanas,and they are the same type of conception of the soul as we find in the section of Uddhamaghatanika sannivada. Thesame points ate also treated somewjtat dofferemt;u in the list of undeternined questions43. There several other places also in pali literature where such questions had been discussed44.

Out of these views mentioned above, the thoughts of Nigantha Nataputta can be detected. As we have already seen Buddhaghosa thought that Jainism was a combination of eternalism and nihilism. If this is due to an early Buddhist tradition, the Nigantha Nataputta's views might have been recorded in Pali Literature under these two sections. The sassatavada indicatesthe eternality of soul which should have been mentioned fron the realistic standpoint and Ucchedavada points out the non-eternality of soul which should have been explained from practical standpoint. That means soul is eternal and having consciousness according to mscayanaya, and it is non eternal and is a subhect to change in its modifications from the viewpoint of vyavaharanaya. Itis also pointed out that soyl is extended over all parts of bidy which is very similar to the view of Jainas. Jainism is also of view that soul is formless and is possessed of consciousness45. Buddhaghosa also referred to this view of Jainas46.

Potthapada47 Describes the theories of atta (soul) as follows:

(i) Atta has a a forn and is composed of the four elements enjoying food. Thes is the theory of material soul (O arikam kho, aham bhante, attanam paccemi rupim catumahabhutikam kabalikaraharabhakkham ti).

(ii) Atta is made of mind (nanonaya) comprising of all parts and not devoid of sense-organs (manonayan kho aham bhante attanam paccemi sabbangapaccangim ahimndriyam ti).

(iii) Atta is formless and with consciousness (arupim kho aham, bhante, attanam paceemi sannamayam ti).

(iv) Consciousness is different from Atta (anna va sanna anna va atta ti).

Out of these theories, Guruge is of view thet the first theory probably belonge to the Jainas, for Jainism flourished in the sane region where the Buddha was active48. As a matter of fact, this theory belongs to the Carvaka philosophy accrding to which soyl, like body, is a congregation of the four elements49. Nosuch view is accepted by jaina philosophy. The third wiew can be, of course, recognised as the Jaina theory of soyl, for soul in Jainism is accepted, as we have already seen, formless and conscious.

Vasubandhu mentions that according to the Jainas,the soul is eternal by nature. and it makes extension according to the body50.

The Catuhsataka also pointed out that according to sone philosophers the soul is spread over the entire body. It shringks and extends according to the dimensions of the body of man or aninal. Therefore,a bee, bird, elephant, etc, have their souls in proportion to their bodies51. This view mentioned in the Catuhsataka is definirely related to the Jaina theory of soul. Umasvati says that by the contraction and ezpansion of the pradesas, the soul expands according to the body, as the light from a lamp gets expansion and contraction according to the room. That is the reason why a soyl can occpy the space represented by an ant or an elephaht52.

Acarya Santaraksita in his Tattvasangraha wrote a separate chaoter entitled Atma pariksa or the examination of Soul.He there refuted most of the relevant theories. In this context he established the theory of soul according to the Jainas and then refuted it on the basis of the doctrine of momentariness of Buddhism.

The theory of soyl] according to the Jainas' as he describad, has been established throwgh Dravyarthikanaya (successive factors point of view) and paryayarthikanaya (successive factors point of view). He says: the soyl has the charcteristic of consciousness only (cillaksana evatma).In the form of substance,it remains the same under all states (anugatatnaka or comprehensive) by nature, while in the form of successive factors, being distinct with each state, it is exclusive in its nature (vyavrtyatmaka).This two-fold character of soul is cognised by direct perceprion, and does not stand in need of being proved by other evidence. thus consciousness which continues to exist through all states, even though these states are diverse, is a form of pleasure and rest, from the substance standpoint, while the successive factors consist of the diverse states which appearone after the other; and all these are distinctly perceived53.

Santaraksita further explains the above view of Jainas stating of behalf of them that of the substance wete absolutely different from the successive factors, then no difference in it would be possible; because on the ground of their non-difference regarding place, time and nature, the two are held to be one. As a matter of fact, however, the two are different as regatds number is that the substance is one, while the successive factors are many. By nature, one is comprehensive, while the other is distributive. In number, a jar, for example, is one while its colour and the rest are many. In this way. their functions, etc, are also different, Thus substance is not absolutely different from the successive factors. Therefore, soul and its modes are also not absolutely different. Having the characteristic of consciousness, it is eternal and constant fron the view of substance, wtile from the view of successive factors it changes in its modes such as pleasure, pain, etc54.

The Jainas try to convince the opponents by presenting the example of Narasimha, there is no self-contradiction in the dual characteristic of soul. For,the soul is impartiate (nirbhaga); therefore it exists in the joint dual form, and hence is not perceived separately55.

The theory of soul in Jainism, as referred to by Santaraksita, is also raferred to by Arcata in his Hetubindutika56. The arguments submitted to refute the theory also are similar. The main defect, according to them, in this theory, is the selfcontradiction, which is not accepted by the Jainas, Santaraksita urged that one entity cannot bave two forms. Ke puts forward two points in support of his view.He says if there is an wumodified substance in connection with successive factors,there is on difference in it, and in that case, it is not liable to be modified57. Oneness between substance and its modes will involve the substance to be distribured like the forms of successive factors or the successive factors themselves would be mixed into the substance. Hence there would be no difference between them and the theory will be disproved58.As regards Narasimha.he says. it is an aggregate of many atoms, that is whyot seems dual in nature (anekanusanuhatma sa tathaiva pratiyate)59. ThuSantaraksita, as well as Arcata60, refutes the theory on the ground that one. cannot bave two forms. Otherwise the eternality and the dual nature would be both untrue and unreliable.

As a matter pf factthe dual characteristic, of soul is based on the standpoint of non-absolutism which is ignored by the Buddhist philosophers. The view of Jainas against these objections will be discussed in the chapter on Syadvada. Moreover, we can point ont here that there is no selg-contradiction problem through Non-absolutistic standpoint.

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