Knowledge occupies the
first place in self realization. It is further stated - "First knowledge, then
If one properly and
thoroughly grasps the purpose of compassion and the person to whom compassion is to be
shown, then and only then, the bestowing of mercy bears fruit. Mercy or compassion is
therefore given the second place. Knowledge comes first.
He who does not know
himself - who he is, where he has come from or the purpose of his life - cannot be helpful
Knowledge is deep,
unfathomable and infinite. Only the person who is endowed with attaining absolute
knowledge can possible master it. For attaining sbsolute knowledge therefore, it is first
of all necessary to have the knowledge of the nine tattvas.
Infinite knowledge is, only
the vast extpansion of these nine tattvas. The aspirant attains to the bliss of his soul
definitely through this knowledge, plus, of course, faith.
The nine tattvas of Jainism
1. Jiva, 2. Ajiva,
3. Punya, 4. Papa,
5 Asrava, 6. Samvara,
7. Nirjara, 8. Bandha,
He who knows these nine
tattvas gets interested in them and grasps them, has full faith in them; he is the person
duly qualified to realize the soul. Such a duly qualified aspirant is known as a samakit,
i.e. one on whom right knowledge has dawned.
Knowledge of and unstinted
faith in these nine tattvas is called. "Samyaktva" (righteousness) or rather
"Samakiti", which is the first step to the pilgrimage on the path of liberation.
Without attaining samyaktva, the soul can never attain liberation.
Tattvas In Brief
called the soul. Soul is a sentient, formless entity. Sentience is the essential
characteristic of the soul.
1. Jiva (the soul)
There are 563 types of soul
2. Ajiva (non-soul)
Absence of sentience or soul is Ajiva. It is so called because it is inert and it remains
without a soul forever.Ajivatattva consists of 560 types.
The soul receives, it earns good Karma-pudgalas (Karmic matter) by noble thoughts and
feelings, good conduct of mind, words or body. This is designated Punyatattva.
Nine different ways are shown to acquire merit :
(1) Annadana or giving food to the hungry and alms to ascetics, etc.
(2) Jaladana or giving water to the thirsty.
(3) Giving vessels, etc.
(4) Giving clothes, etc.
(5) Giving beds and resting places, etc.
(6) By thinking only of good to others.
(7) By praising merits.
(8) By other services to good people, ascetics, etc.
(9) By praising and honouring worthy persons.
A meritorious person enjoys
good fruits and rewards of 42 types.
4. Papatattva (Demerit) :
The soul becomes the recipient of bad Karma-pudgalas (Karmic matter) through bad feelings,
bad thoughts and bad conduct of mind, words and body.
Sins arise from eighteen sources.
(16) Joy and misery
(17) Falsehood through deceit
(18) Faith in false doctrines
By the practice of one or
more of these sins, the soul gets bound. The sinful man receives bad fruits or rewards of
(influx of karmic matter) :
The inlets through which karma particles (pudgalas) enter the soul and make it sinful are
Water fails to enter a
bucket or utensil if it is intact and without any hole. Water cannot enter a ship if it is
without any hole. Similarly the inlets or holes through which karma pudgalas enter the
soul are known as "Asrava". In other words, Ashravas are the inlets through
which karmic matter flows.
The number of Asravas is
42. It is through these that the soul sinks into the ocean of life.
(stopping the entry of karma) :
stoppage or prevention. "Samvara"thus means closing the inlets or causes through
which the karma enters the soul.
(drying up) :
Agreed that through
Samvara, the entry of karma is stopped. But what about the karmas that have already
entered the soul ? To dry up or destory these karmas is what is known as Nirjara. 12 are
the ways in which Nirjara works. These constitute the twelve types of penances prescribed
by the Jain code of conduct.
The position of the soul
between asrava and nirjara is called "Bandha" (bondage). The process of
transformation of karmic atoms into karma attaching to the soul, is called Baudha.
Just like water in milk,
oil in til, fragrance in flowers, the soul and the karmic matter are bound with each
other. This is "Bandha".
Four are the types of
The complete annihilation
and cessation of all types of karma is designated Moksa.
Moksa can be attained by
the potent and pure practice of these four - right faith, right knowledge, right conduct
Out of these nine tattvas
Jiva and Ajiva are jneya (worth knowing) Papa, Asrava and Bandha are heya (deserving to be
condemned and abandoned).
Punya, Samvara, Nirjara and
Moksa - these four are upadeya (deserving to be put into practice.
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