1 The Path to liberation 2 The Three Jewels
2.1 Right Faith 2.2 Right knowledge 2.3 Right conduct
3 Right Faith and Right Knowledge 4 Right Knowledge and Right Conduct
4.1 Stages on the Path to liberation
5 See also 6 Notes 7 Sources
The Path to liberation The very first sloka (aphorism) of the Sacred Jain text, Tattvartha sutra reads:
Right faith, right knowledge, and right conduct (together) constitute the path to liberation. — Tattvārthasūtra (1-1)
Perfect release from all karmas is liberation. The path to liberation is the method by which it can be attained. The singular ‘path’ is used in order to indicate that all the three together constitute the path to liberation. This controverts the views that each of these singly constitutes a path. Hence it must be understood that these three— right faith, right knowledge and right conduct — together constitute the direct path to liberation.
The Three Jewels
In Jain flag, three dots above swastika represents Ratnatraya
Chart showing Samyak Darsana as per Tattvarthasutra
jīva- the soul which is characterized by consciousness.
ajīva- the non-soul
āsrava – inflow of auspicious and evil karmic matter into the soul.
bondage (Bandha)- mutual intermingling of the soul and karmas
Many disciplines of knowledge are developed based on certain
fundamental givens, or axioms. For example,
A person who sees objects illuminated by coloured light may not be
able to judge the true colour of the objects. However, the same person
viewing these objects illuminated by sunlight will see the true nature
of their colours, without difficulty. Similarly, proper knowledge is
essential to provide the right guidance to the soul in its journey
towards spiritual uplifting.
The Jain theory of knowledge is a highly developed one based on
comprehensive apprehension of reality in multitude of view points and
Anekantavada, which literally means search of truth from different
points of view, is the application of the principle of equality of
souls in the sphere of thought. It is a jain philosophical standpoint
just as there is the Advaitic standpoint of Sankara and the standpoint
of the Middle Path of the Buddhists. This search leads to
understanding and toleration of different and even conflicting views.
When this happens, prejudices subside and the tendency to accommodate
increases. The theory of
1.Syād-asti — "in some ways it is" 2.Syād-nāsti — "in some ways it is not" 3.Syād-asti-nāsti — "in some ways it is and it is not" 4.Syād-asti-avaktavya — "in some ways it is and it is indescribable" 5.Syād-nāsti-avaktavya — "in some ways it is not and it is indescribable" 6.Syād-asti-nāsti-avaktavya — "in some ways it is, it is not and it is indescribable" 7.Syād-avaktavya — "in some ways it is indescribable"
This means, no model of reality is absolute including religious/spiritual/philosophical concepts. However, each model provides insight into the working of the universe that are useful within the bounds of its framework and therefore useful under certain conditions.
Right conduct Right conduct is the application of the knowledge developed, so as to exercise control over our inner desires and reach a stage where there is no attachment or aversion. Right conduct includes:
Five kinds of spiritual purity
Observance of Mahavratas (five major vows) and seven supplementary vows.
Head Vow Meaning
Five vows 1. Ahiṃsā Not to hurt any living being by actions and thoughts
2. Satya Not to lie or speak what is not commendable.
3. Asteya Not to take anything if not given.
4. Brahmacharya Chastity / Celibacy in action, words & thoughts
Guņa vratas Merit vows 6. digvrata Restriction on movement with regard to directions.
7. bhogopabhogaparimana Vow of limiting consumable and non-consumable things
8. anartha-dandaviramana Refraining from harmful occupations and activities (purposeless sins).
Śikşā vratas Disciplinary vows 9. samayika Vow to meditate and concentrate periodically.
10.desavrata Limiting movement to certain places for a fixed period of time.
11.upvas Fasting at regular intervals.
12.atihti samvibhag Vow of offering food to the ascetic and needy people
The interesting aspect is that on this path there is a place for every one from the beginner to the most advanced seekers. Further, it encompasses all aspects of human life, namely social, personal, economic and spiritual leading to integrated development of the individual. Right Faith and Right Knowledge Right view and right knowledge are inter-dependent. For instance, when the clouds disappear, both the heat and the light of the sun are manifested simultaneously. Similarly, when right faith is attained by the soul owing to the subsidence, destruction or destruction- cum-subsidence of faith-deluding karmas, right sensory knowledge and right scriptural knowledge are attained by the soul at the same time by the removal of wrong sensory and wrong scriptural knowledge. Right Knowledge and Right Conduct Right Knowledge must be accompanied by Right conduct which is necessary for the destruction of karmic bonds. Without it there is no release from the cycle of transmigration, i.e., repeated births and deaths. Just like the light from millions of lamps is of no avail to a blind person, studying scriptures alone is of no use to a person who does not apply them. Stages on the Path to liberation Main article: gunasthana
Fourteen stages on the Path to liberation
Awakening - Developing right view
Lowest stage with ignorance, delusion, and with intense attachments and aversions. This is the normal condition of all souls involved in the samsara, and is the starting point of spiritual evolution. Indifference to reality with occasional vague memory of spiritual insight. Fleeting moments of curiosity towards understanding reality. Awareness of reality with trust developed in the right view, combined with willingness to practice self-discipline. The soul may be able to subdue the four passions, namely anger, pride, deceit and greed.
Developing right view and discipline
5. The soul now begins to observe some of the rules of right conduct with a view to perfecting itself. With the discipline of introductory or minor vows, the soul starts on the process of climbing the spiritual ladder. 6. Major vows taken up with firm resolve to control passions. There may be failures due to lack of full control over passions or carelessness.
Developing self discipline and knowledge
7. Intense practice of vows assisted in better self-control and virtually replaced carelessness with spiritual vigilance and vigor. 8. Closer to perfect self-control over actions, higher control over mind, thought and passions with the soul ready for reduction of the effects of conduct-deluding karma. 9. Higher control over removal of passions, and elimination of conduct-deluding karma begins. 10. Complete elimination of all passions except for subtle degree of attachment.
Gaining absolute knowledge and bliss
11. Suppressed passions and lingering conduct-deluding karma may rise to drag the soul to lower stages; fleeting experiences of equanimity. 12. This is the point of no return. All passions as well as conduct-deluding karma are eliminated. Permanent internal peace achieved. No new bondage from this point onwards. 13. All inimical karma destroyed. Omniscience achieved and Arihant stage reached. However the perfected soul is still trapped in the physical body (with right knowledge attained). 14. This is the last stage on the Path, and is followed by the soul's destruction of the aghātiā karmas. Those who pass this stage are called siddha and become fully established in Right Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct. See also
^ a b Tattvartha Sutra
^ a b Jain 2011, p. 2.
^ S. A. Jain 1992, p. 4.
^ S.A. Jain 1992, p. 7.
^ a b Mehta, T.U (1993). "Path of Arhat - A Religious Democracy". 63.
Pujya Sohanalala Smaraka Parsvanatha Sodhapitha.
^ a b Jyoti Prasad Jain Dr. Essence of Jainism, Shuchita Publications,
^ Jain 2011, p. 5.
^ Jain 2011, p. 13.
^ Singh Ramjee Dr. Jaina Perspective in Philosophy and Religion,Pujya
Sohanalala Smaraka Parsvanatha Sodhapitha, Faridabad, 1992
Champat Rai Jain
S. A. Jain (1992). Reality. Jwalamalini Trust. Archived from the
original on 2015. Not in Copyright
Jain, Vijay K. (2011), Acharya Umasvami's Tattvārthsūtra, Vikalp
Printers, ISBN 978-81-903639-2-1, Non-Copyright
Champat Rai Jain
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