Empirical and Ideal Path of Liberation (Vyavahara – Niṡcaya Mokṣamarga)
The united trio of right faith, right knowledge and right conduct is the means of liberation with respect to empirical standpoint.
In contrast, the soul of the nature of the above trio is the means of liberation with respect to the ideal standpoint as the Ratnatraya does not exist in any reality except the soul. It is due to this fact, that the soul of the nature of Ratnatraya is the only means of liberation.24
The righteouness or right faith is defined as to believe in seven reals and six realities (substances) or nine categories of the living beings etc. This kind of righteousness is the inseparable characteristic of the soul. When this is there, there arises the right knowledge devoid of doubt (Sanṡaya), reversal (Viparyaya) and uncertainty (Anadhyavasāya).
Later on, there is attachmental conduct traditionally leading to the detachmental conduct characterised by the pure functional consciousness (Upayoga) in the form of experience of pure soul of the self. It is said in Dravya Sangraha verse 4525 that “The practical (right) conduct has the nature of getting away from inauspicious propensities and involving in the auspicious propensities.
The Jinas have stated that this conduct is thirteen-fold: 5 total vows, 5 carefulnesses and three self- guards- with respect to practical standpoint. This conduct is also called “attachmental conduct” or “desembled restraint” (Apahṛta Sanyama).
After this state, the ideal Ratnatraya state is manifest in which it is said, “I am the bearer of happiness in the form of supreme peace bom out due to the reflection on the glory of soul and devoid of options like attachment etc.” This type of ideal predilection is ideal right faith. Similarly, it is the right knowledge in which one learns to differentiate this happiness from the defiled modes of attachment etc.
through the knowledge of self reflection. Similarly, the ideal conduct is defined as to repetitively stabilise the mind through supreme equanimous volitions of unitary nature while absorbed in that happiness acquired by renouncing all the thoughts and options of evil nature related with the earlier seen, heard and enjoyed possessions and desires etc. This ideal Ratnatraya is called “Non-differential Ratnatraya” or detachmental conduct as at this time all the three components are mono-channelised and transformed into one.
The cessation of external and internal propensities by the living being possessed of knowledge to destroy the causes of wandering in the world is the best conduct propounded by the Jinas. This conduct is also designated as detachmental or ideal conduct.
As a rule, the saints find the way to the ideal or practical form of salvation by the force of meditation.27 Hence, one should practice meditation. If one wishes to make the mind steady for accomplishing the wonderful meditation, one should resign from the delusion of the desired and non-desired objects. One should neither have the affection nor aversion.
One should internally meditate on the soul in terms of, “I have infinite knowledge, I have infinite bliss” etc. by engaging one’s intellect in the self soul who is natural, pure, supremely conscious and full of bliss.
Also, one should externally practice the meditation on certain objects (Pindastha), chantings or litany (Padastha) and forms (Rūpastha) etc. which form the external substratum for the five Supreme souls.
The right-faithed living being understands the essence of the reality of soul on the basis of both the standpoints-ideal and empirical.
The Samaya Sāra (Essence of Soul) verse 12 states28 that the pure or ideal standpoint detailing the pure realities is worth knowing which has been taught by those great personalities who have perceived the supreme self through the ideal standpoint and who became right-faithed, complete knowers and perfect in conduct.
Here, there is the topic of pure soul, hence one should understand that it is pure, eternal, solitary and knower only. In contrast, those living beings, who have not attained complete faith, knowledge and conduct and are at the stage of aspirant or votary should be taught through the practical standpoint.
Both the standpoints are useful in their own respects because the ford of religion (Tīrtha) and its effects (Tīrtha-phala) have been designed in this way.29 The ford or crossing bridge (Tīrtha) is a medium through which one crosses over (the ocean of the world).
This is the practical religion. The crossing itself is the effect of the ford. In other words, to realise the nature of one’s own self is the effect of crossing. It is also stated in scriptures30 that if you want to promote Jaina religion, you must not avoid both kinds of standpoint – ideal and practical.
There will be the loss of the ford or practical religion without the practical standpoint and there will be loss of eternal reality without the ideal standpoint.
Jayasenācārya states that the ideal standpoint is useful for saints who are engaged in distinctionless trance or meditation.
However, the practical standpoint is also useful for those living beings who do not have the distinctionless trance like the use of few-times heated gold in the absence of sixteen-fold-heated pure gold. In this case, some preliminary disciples under distinctioned meditation may utilise the practical standpoint to deprive them of wrongness, sensual objects, passions and inauspicious meditation.
It is only the ideal standpoint which is useful during the process of meditation on the nature of non-differential Ratnatraya like the sixteen-fold heated gold. In other words, the practical standpoint is useful for those living beings
It is to be stated here that there is impure-volitioned state upto the seventh spiritual stage and the practical standpoint is useful upto this stage only. On moving on the stages further, the practical standpoint automatically vanishes away under specific meditation state. There is no support for standpoints in higher stages.
The science of differentiation (between body and soul) leads to the absence of karmic bondage. It is said in Samaya-Sāra commentary on verse 7232that when the living being learns that the soul and alien entities like body etc. are different from each other, he is called the wise man.
The influx (of karma) is impure, inanimate and the cause of suffering. In contrast, the soul is pure, knower, and blissful. By identifying the difference between the two through the different characteristics of the soul and body, the soul refrains from karmic influx and there are no karmic bondings.
Q. If there is cessation of bondage by knowledge only, there will be the possibility of admission of Sānkhyan concept.
A. It is to be enquired whether the differentiation related with the soul and karmic influx is dissociated with the influx of affection etc. If it is devoid of influx of affection etc., the differentiation involves detached conduct and righteousness with respect to the non-differential stand-point like the Indian cold drink (made of aniseed, black pepper etc.).
On this basis, it is proper to state that the right knowledge is the cause of absence of karmic bondage. If the differentiation is not devoid of affection etc., it means, then, that it is not the right kind of differentiation. In other words, it is only the a-passioned beings who do not have the karmic bondage. The non-restrained right-faithed being has annihilated forty one karmic species.
He has no bondage of these species. As the living being moves ahead in spiritual stages, there is gradual annihilation of karmic species in them and, subsequently, there is cessation of bondage of those karmic species.
Though the living being does neither forego his nature nor does transform into alien nature with respect to the pure ideal standpoint, nevertheless, it undergoes volitional transformation in terms of affection etc. due to karmic fruition with respect to practical standpoint. That is why, the living being is transforming in some respects.
When the living being is materialist or extrovert and ignorant, he is the doer of inauspicious consciousness (Aṡubhopayoga) in terms of sensuals and passions. He may also be the doer of auspicious consciousness in terms of future desires for enjoyments. In this condition, he becomes the doer or enjoyer of the physical and psychical reals or categories of the sacred, sin, influx and bondage.
When the right-faithed living being is introvert-souled, he is the doer of volitions of distinction-less trance (Nirvikalpa Samādhi) while developing detachmental right-faith which is concomitant of pure conduct. He becomes such a doer on the strength of auspicious consciousness characterised mainly by the pure Ratnatraya. These volitions lead him to be the doer of physical and psychical reals or categories of stoppage, shedding and even salvation.
By chance, the living being, in the absence of distinctionless trance and to get release from the sensuals and passions or to develop the reflection on the pure soul, becomes devoid of bondage resulting from the future desires of enjoyment, fame, and honour and, then, he may be the doer of volitions related with auspicious consciousness in terms of eulogisation of five Supreme souls – the Enlightened and liberated ones of the nature of pure soul, head-saints and preceptors-worshippers of pure soul and sages-aspirant of pure soul.
Thus, the right-faithed being has also been admitted as the doer of the reals or categories of (Karmic) stoppage and shedding with respect to practical standpoint. If the living being is admitted as absolutely nondoer, there will be no place for liberation.
The defiled volitions of affection etc. are developed due to the association of the living beings and mattergies. They are conscious in the form of impure material (Upādāna) factor with respect to impure ideal standpoint as they are related with the living being.
However, these volitions are non-conscious in the form of pure material factor with respect to pure ideal standpoint as they are mattergic. In fact, they are neither absolutely in the form of the living nor in the form of mattergy.
They have both the forms-the living and mattergy with respect to practical standpoint just like a child bom out of male-female contact belongs to both-the mother and father. With respect to the objective fine and pure standpoint, the wrong-ness etc. are not volitions in the form of affection etc. as they are bom due to the association of ignorance with the living being.
Q. To whom these volitions belong with respect to the fine and pure ideal standpoint?
A. With respect to the fine and pure ideal standpoint, these volitions do not tmly exist.
The right-faithed one does not have the influx of attachment, aversion and delusions. Hence, the physical factors are not the cause of karmic bondage without the influxing volitions. The four or five factors of wrong-ness etc. (i.e. non-abstinence, non-vigilance, passion and activity) have been stated to be the causes for bonding of eight-fold karmas.
These four-fold factors have also been stated to be the causes for the volitions of attachment etc. Thus, there is no karmic bonding in the right-faithed living being due to the absence of volitions of attachment etc.
The right-faithed living being does not have the volitions of attachment, aversion and delusion because there can not be right faith in their presence. It has been elaborated clearly in the following way:
“The right-faithed being does not have the volitions of attachment, aversion and delusion arising out of the fmition of infinite-bonding anger, pride, deceit and greed and wrong-ness, because, otherwise, there can not be the righteousness associated with the fourth spiritual stage which has eight attributes of
|(1) Detachment (Nirveda)||(2) Agitational fearful emotion (Samvega)|
|(3) Condemnation (Nindā)||(4) Censure (Garhā|
|(5) Subsidence (Upaṡama)||(6) Devotion (Bhakti)|
|(7) Selfless affection (Vātsalya)||(8) Compassion (Anukampā)|
which is devoid of twenty five defects like three idiocies etc. to beget predilection in six substances or realities, five extensive existents, seven reals and nine categories as stated by the detached omniscients and acceptance of beneficience in the Supreme soul having infinite attributes like omniscience etc.”
Alternatively, there is no attachment, aversion and delusion related with the infinite-bonding and partial renunciation-obscuring passions, because, otherwise, there can not be attachmental righteousness occurring together with the partial conduct of the fifth spiritual stage.
Thirdly, the right-faithed ones do not have attachment, aversion and delusion related with infinite-bonding and renunciation-obscuring passions, because, otherwise, there can not be attachmental righteousness occurring together with the attachmental conduct of the sixth spiritual stage.
Alternatively, the right-faithed being does not have the volitions of attachment, aversion and delusion arising out of non-vigilance due to the fruition of infinite-bonding, partial renunciation-obscuring, total renunciation obscuring and gleaming passions of anger etc.
because there can be no detachmental righteousness without the detachmental conduct concomitant with the proper conduct of the seventh spiritual stage of vigilant restraint which has a nature of experiencing natural bliss due to deep meditation on pure soul with proper intellectual and beneficial engagement in the pure, enlightened and unitary supreme soul.
Thus, with this point of view in mind, the right-faithed being does not have the volitions of the nature of attachment, aversion and delusion and, therefore, the material factors of wrongness etc. due to their fruition or sub-sidential existence are not the causes of karmic bonding in the absence of above volitions. This is so, because the four factors of wrongness, non-abstinence, passion and activity are the causes for new karmic bonding.
All this means that the living being does not bind new karmas when he acquires the knowledge of differentiation (between body and soul) characterised by non-differentiated Ratnatraya qualified by the supreme detachmental equanimous reflections. The same point has also been elaborated in Jayasena commentary on verse 166 of Samaya Sāra.
|(1) attachmental||(2) detachmental|
Out of these two, the detachmental right-faithed being does not bind new karmas at all. It is on this basis that the above statements have been made and the right-faithed being has been called as ‘non-bonding’ (Abandha).
However, the attachmentally right-faithed being does have the annihilation of bonding depending upon his spiritual stages. If we look at this point from the view point of the order of annihilation of bonding on the basis of the statement elaborating the triad of bondage, we find that
(a)The non-restrained right-faithed being at the fourth spiritual stage does not bind 43 karmic species annihilated in the early spiritual stages of wrong-ness etc. but he is bonder of 77 karmic species in their low intensity and duration. Still he is the reducer of his worldly wandering, and, hence, he is a slight bonder (Iṣat Bandhaka).
Similarly, the living being is also a slight bonder at higher spiritual stages with respect to lower spiritual stages. However, when one looks at him with respect to higher spiritual stages, he is definitely a bonder.
Of course, he is clearly a direct non-bonder when he becomes detachmentally righteous over the stage of attachmental righteousness. Hence, one should not understand that because one is the right- faithed living being, one does not have karmic bonding.
(b)Acārya Jayasena has admitted the presence of attachmental righteousness upto the sixth spiritual stage in many places in his commentary on Samaya Sāra. However, there is detachmental righteousness in higher spiritual stages. In the twelfth spiritual stage, there is the same completely and there is total absence of bondage in this stage.
Prior to this stage, the living being is called slight-bonder with respect to the stoppage of influx of the gradual annihilation of the bonding of karmic species.
The scriptural texts have indicated that there are the following four causes for destruction of worldly duration:
Practically, it means to know the twelve-fold scriptures and its contents externally and ideally, it means to have the knowledge of detachmental self-experience.
The ‘Bhakti’ here means righteousness. This is in the terms of honour or worship of the five Supreme souls for the attachmental right-faithed beings. However, it is in the form of reflection on pure soul-element for the detachmental right-faithed ones.
The term ‘Anivrtti’ means non-specific, similar or mono-channelised. It means not to deviate from the nature of pure self or to acquire the state of mono-directional volitions.
Thus, one gets the knowledge of the ideal and practical by studying the twelve-fold scriptures.37 By ‘deep faith’, one acquires the ideal and practical righteousness. By ‘similar volitions ’, one acquires the detachmental conduct after the state of attachmental conduct.
Thus, the triad of right faith, knowledge and conduct form the Ratnatraya of the nature of differentiation and non-differentiation and they are the causes for the termination of worldly duration.
Q. For whom, they are the world-terminating causes ?
A. They are the world-terminating causes for the non-omniscient beings. However, for omniscients, the omniscient based projections of soul space-point in the form of
|(1) stick shape (Danda)||(2) door-shape (Kapāta)|
|(3) layer-shape (Pratara)||(4) world-filling (Loka-pūraṇa)|
are the causes for their worldly termination.
The Samaya-Sāra verse 4638 mentions that the Jinas have stated that all the volitions of attachment etc. are the modifications of the living being. This statement has been made with reference to practical standpoint.
The Gist of the Commentary of Amrtacandra?
The statement of the Jinas that the volitions of attachment etc. are the modes of living soul – is based on the practical standpoint which is not real (Abhūtārtha).
This is meant for the worldly beings to move them towards the ultimate object. It is verily proper to describe the practical standpoint, despite being non-ultimate, for exposing the people towards the religious order.
It is like teaching the non-Aryans in their own language (mother tongues). If one does not tell the practical viewpoint and does tell the ultimate viewpoint of absolute body-soul duality, it will be equivalent to the injury towards the trasa and sthāvara beings.
For example, as there is no violence in massaging by the ashes, similarly, there will be no violence in killing the above beings. This will lead to the possibility of absence of violence and, therefore, loss of karmic bondage in its absence.
Similarly, it has also been stated that the living being with attachment, aversion and delusion binds karma and he is worth to be released from this bond.
If it is said with respect to ultimate point of view, that the living being is different from attachment, aversion and delusion, the instructions about the path of liberation will be useless, and, then, there will be no liberation also. Hence, the practical standpoint is useful.
Acārya Jayasena40 also corroborates the above point of view. According to him, if there is no practical standpoint, the people will take the view of pure ideal standpoint that there are no trasa or sthāvara beings and they will injure them without any doubt.
Thus, there will be the flaw of loss of religion of the nature of sacredness. Similarly, when the living being is already devoid of attachment, aversion and delusion, why one should practice the path of liberation ?
This will, again, lead to the absence of liberation. This will be another flaw. It is, therefore, verily proper to explain the practical standpoint also.
Q. By injuring others, there is violence only from the practical standpoint. It is not there from the ideal standpoint.
A. You are right in stating that violence occurs with respect to practical standpoint. The bondage of sinful karmas also occurs due to the same point of the view. The sufferings due to the different destinities of infernal etc. are also there from practical point of view.
All this is desirable.41 However, if the sufferings due to various destinities are desirable to the disputant, let him undertake violence. If one is fearful of these sufferings, let the violence be abandoned. Thus, it has been established that the living being is not an absolute non-doer of karmas.
The karmas are bonded with the living beings with respect to practical standpoint42 and they are not bonded with it with respect to ideal standpoint. Both these alternatives are two sides of standpoints. An individual, who moves ahead of these standpointal alternatives, attains the nature of distinction-less-ness and full knowledge and, then, directly realises the self.
The great saints43 who move beyond the favours of standpoints, and who are always steady in absorbing themselves in the nature of the self-soul, become devoid of the distinctional network and enjoy the elixir of life with peaceful mind.
The karmic network is destroyed in an Antarmuhūrta only through the detachmental and distinctionless meditation in the form of trance.
If a great saint attaches himself with the Supreme soul even for half a Nimiṣa (0.25 sec.), he destroys all his sinful karmas just like a single fire particle bums whole of the mountain (trees etc.).
It means that the indiviual destroys all the karmas in no time who meditates on the supreme soul under distinctionless meditation after getting devoid of defilement of attachment and aversion etc. or all the network of distinctions.