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JAINA Special Newsletter: Paryushan Mahaparva Day - 3
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Dear Sadharmik brothers and sisters,
Jai Jinendra!

On the third day of Paryushan Parva, many Shravaks and Shravikas will be completing Atham (3 Upvas). Wish you all sukh sata.

After Jiv and Ajiv tattvas, let’s learn about Aasrava and Bandha tattvas and their relation with Karma.

Let us look into the third main principle in Jainism that is aparigraha which means non-attachment to the wordly possesions.

Mahesh Wadher
JAINA President

Let’s learn the next two Tattvas: Aasrava and Bandha

Aasrava (Influx of Karma):

Aasrava is the cause, which leads to the influx of good and evil karma which lead to the bondage of the soul.

Aasrava may be described as an attraction in the soul toward sense objects. The following are causes of Aasrava or influx of good and evil karma:

Mithyatva Delusion or ignorance
Avirati Lack of self-restraint
Pramada* Unawareness of unmindfulness
Kasaya Passions like anger, conceit, deceit, and lust
Yoga Activities of the mind, speech, and body

* Some Jain literature mention only four causes of Aasrava. They include Pramad in the category of Kasaya.

Bandha (Bondage of Karma):

Bandha is the attachment of karmic matter (karma pudgala) to the soul. The soul has acquired this karmic matter bondage from eternity. This karmic body is known as the karmana body or causal body or karma.

The karmic matter is a particular type of matter which is attracted to the soul because of the soul's delusion or ignorance, lack of self-restraint, unmindfulness, passions, activities of body, mind, and speech.

The soul, which is covered by karmic matter, continues acquiring new karma from the universe and exhausting old karma into the universe through the above-mentioned actions at every moment. Because of this continual process of acquiring and exhausting karma particles, the soul has to pass through the cycles of births and deaths, and experiencing pleasure and pain. So under normal circumstances, the soul cannot attain freedom from karma and hence liberation.

When karma attaches to the soul, its bondage to the soul is explained in the following four forms:

Prakriti bandha Type of karma
Sthiti bandha Duration of attachment of karma
Anubhava bandha (Rasa Bandha) Intensity of attachment of karma
Pradesa bandha Quantity of karma

Prakriti Bandha (a type of Karma):

When karmic matter attaches to the soul, it obscures the soul's essential nature of perfect knowledge, perfect vision, bliss, perfect power, eternal existence, noncorporeal, and equanimity. The different types of karma obscure different qualities or attributes of the soul. This is known as Prakriti bandha.

Ghati karma and Aghati karma: Prakriti bandha is classified into eight categories, according to the particular attribute of the soul that it obscures. These eight categories of karma are grouped into two major categories, known as Ghati karma, which subdues the qualities of the soul, and Aghati karma, which relates to the physical body of the living beings.

1. Ghati karma:

Jnana varaniya karma Covers the soul's power of perfect knowledge.
Darasna varaniya karma Covers the soul's power of perfect visions.
Mohniya karma It generates the delusion in the soul in regard to its own true nature. The soul identifies itself with other eternal substances and relationships.
Antaraya karma It obstructs the natural quality or energy of the soul such as charity and will power. This prevents the soul from attaining liberation. It also prevents a living being from doing something good and enjoyable.

2. Aghati karma:

Vedniya karma Obscures the blissful nature of the soul and thereby produces pleasure and pain.
Nama karma Obscures the non-corporeal existence of the soul and provides the body with its limitations, qualities, facilities, etc.
Gotra karma Obscures the soul's characteristics of equanimity and determines the caste, family, social standing, and personality.
Ayu karma Determines the span of life in one's birth, thus obscuring the soul's nature of eternal existence.

Sthiti Bandha (Duration of attachment):

When karmic matter attaches to the soul it remains attached for a certain duration before it produces the result. The duration of the attachment is determined according to the intensity or dullness of the soul's passions or actions when the karma is being attached to the soul. After producing the result, karma will separate from the soul.

Anubhava Bandha or Rasa Bandha (Intensity of Attachment):

What fruits the karmic matter will produce are determined at the time of attachment by varying degrees of the soul's passions.

Pradesa Bandha (Quantity of Karma):

The intensity or dullness of the soul's action determines the quantum of karmic matter that is drawn towards the soul for attachment.

Jainism believes that the more worldly wealth a person possesses, the more he is likely to sin to acquire and maintain the possession, and in the long run, he may be unhappy. The worldly wealth creates attachments, which will continuously result in greed, jealousy, selfishness, ego, hatred, violence, etc. Lord Mahavir has said that wants and desires have no end, and only the sky is the limit for them.

An attachment to worldly objects results in bondage to the cycle of birth and death. Therefore, one who desires spiritual liberation should withdraw from all attachments to pleasing objects of all the five senses.

Monks observe this vow by giving up attachments to all things such as:
  • Material things: Wealth, property, grains, house, books, clothes, etc.
  • Relationships: Father, mother, spouse, children, friends, enemies, other monks, disciples, etc.
  • The pleasure of Five Senses: The five senses are touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing.
  • Feelings: Pleasure and painful feelings towards any objects.
They have the equanimity towards music and noise, good and bad smells, soft and hard objects for touch, beautiful and dirty sights, etc. They do not eat food for taste but for survival to continue to progress spiritually and ultimately to attain liberation.

Non-possession and non-attachment are to be observed in speech, mind, and deed. One should not possess, ask others to do so, or approve of such activities.

The soul is the central point of spiritual discipline.

- Bhagwan Mahavir
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