Seven Varities (Tattvas) in Jainism (Based on Tattvārtha Sutra)

Posted: 29.08.2008
Updated on: 30.07.2015


Total release of kārmika matter from the self (soul) by self-realization is liberation / emancipation/ salvation. Everybody feels pain in transmigration and wants to eliminate this pain.

Right belief - knowledge - conduct together constitutes the path of liberation. UmāSvāmi, the Ācārya revered by all sects of Jains, wrote an important text in Sanskrit in the first century AD. This text called TattvārathSutra, considered as Bible of Jains, has ten chapters and 357 sutras. This text is also called as text for attaining liberation (Mokṣa Sāstra}. TattvārathaSutra starts with the following sutra:

Samyagdarśanajñānacāritrāṇimokṣamārgaħ (TS I/1)

UmāSvāmi defined right belief as firm belief in the true nature of the principles/ verities/tattvas. Right belief arises from the innate disposition or by acquisition of right knowledge. The living being (jīva), the non living beings (ajīva), influx {āsrava), bondage (baṅdha), stoppage (saṅvara), dissociation (nirjarā) and liberation (mokṣa) constitute the seven tattvas /verities. Sutras 2nd and 4th from first chapter of TattvārthaSutra define right belief and verities.

Tattvārthaśraddhānaṅ samyagdarśanam.
Jjīvājīvāsravabaṅdhsaṅvaranirjarāmokṣastattvam. (TS/I/2, 3)

This classification of the fundamental principles into seven verities is metaphysical with overtones of spiritual values. To these seven verities, merit (punya) and demerit (pāpa) have been added and the nine verities called padārthas giving them a flavor of religious content.

Jīva, the living being

In this world, we do not meet jīva or pure soul as such. Jīva or the living being is a mix of pure soul and non-living being i.e. pure soul bonded with kārmika matter. In common parlance, jīva is translated as soul or living being. An average individual, due to ignorance, regards his body as his soul and all thoughts and attention to keep it in comfort. The root cause of our suffering lies in our ignorance of the essential characteristics of our soul.

According to Jain philosophy, living being is neither created nor destroyed. As already indicated, living being and non-living being are the two substance types which comprise the universe. The primary characteristic of living being is consciousness that distinguishes it from non-living being. Attentiveness is its inherent feature, as without it, it cannot have conation. It is the prerequisites of any kind of knowledge.

1.1 Distinctive characteristics of jīva (Living being)

The further distinctive characteristics of living being mentioned by Umā Svāmi in TattvārathSutra is

Upayogo lakṣaṇam (TS/II/8)

i.e. manifestation of consciousness is the distinctive feature of the jīva. That, which arises from both internal and external causes and concomitant with consciousness, is upyoga (active or attentive consciousness).

Consciousness manifests itself in two ways namely intuition (darśana) and knowledge (jñāna). The difference between intuition and knowledge is that the former is detail-less knowledge (a feeling of sheer existence) while the later is with all the details of the object of knowledge. It is important to understand the difference between these two terms as they occur very frequently in Jaina texts. Darśana is an indeterminate stage in the process of cognition. The object of knowledge gets in contact with sense organs and initiates the process of cognition. At this stage it is just a mere awareness of the existence of the object. So at this stage there is an indefinite and indistinct idea about the object in question. The details about the object are not perceived and so there is no question of identifying the object as belonging to a particular class or group. The process of discrimination or analysis that is inherent in the human mind enables the enhancement of mere sensual awareness into sensual perception. The vague consciousness of the object presented to the senses is replaced by a definite comprehension of its class and characteristics.  The distinction of the object is grasped and this paves the way for a further expansion of the knowledge domain.

According to Pujya Pāda, knowledge is with details and the intuition is without details. Apprehension of the mere object (the universal) is intuition and awareness of the particulars is knowledge.

1.2 Two main types of living beings

Saṅsāriṇo muktāśca  (TS/II/10)

Living beings are further described as of two types i.e. empirical souls or the Tran-migratory soul (saṅsāri jīva) and Pure or liberated souls (Muktātmā). Tran-migration (metem-psychosis) means moving in an endless cycle of birth-death-birth and the living beings going through transmigration are called saṅsāri jīva / empirical souls.  Those living beings who have freed themselves from transmigration are the emancipated / liberated/ pure souls (Muktātmā).

1.3 Living beings are inter-related / inter dependent/ help each other.

Parasparopgraho jīvānām. (TS/V/21)

Souls are also substnaces. The function of soul is to help one another. The word paraspara means reciprocity of action. Parasparasya upgraha means rendering help to one another. What is it? Is it the mutual help between master and the servant or the teacher and taught. The master renders help to servants by paying them in cash while the servants render their physical and mental services to the master in return. The preceptor teaches what is good in this life and thereafter and makes his disciples follow them. The disciples benefit their preceptor by their devoted services.  What is the purpose of the repetition of the word ‘upgraha’? It indicates that living beings are also the cause of pleasure and pain, life and death of one another. This sutra is very important and famous in Jain community and used as a logo of Jainism.


2. Non - Soul (ajīva)

Jaina cosmology regards the universe as comprising six substances that are technically called dravyas. It is real and consists of Jīva (soul) and Ajīva (non-soul). While the Jaina Ācāryas have divided the substances into broad categories of Jīva and Ajīva, or Living and non- living, they have further divided Ajīva (non-living) into five categories, namely:


  1. Pudgala,
  2. Dharma
  3. Adharma
  4. Ākāśa
  5. Kāla.

According to Umā Svāmi

Ajīvakāya dharmādharmākāśapudgalaħ  and Kālśca. (TS/V/1, 39)


The non soul substances (bodies) are the medium of motion, the medium of rest, space and matter. Here in the first sutra the term ‘Kāya’ is derived from ‘body’. Here it is applied on the basis of analogy. The non-soul substances are called bodies on the analogy of the body of a Living being. The word ‘body’ is intended to indicate a multitude of space point. The space-points of the Medium of Motion are a multitude.

According to Kundkundācārya also there are only five Astikāyas, like Jīva, Pudgala, Dharma, Adharma and Ākāśa. Time (Kāla) is not Astikāya because of only one space point. Since jīva and pudgala (and in pudgala also it is only karmika matter which is of interest in the discussions of tattvas or verities) which are active and other four types of ajīva i.e. Dharma, Adharma and Ākāśa. Time (Kāla) is inactive and just support the activities or interactions between jiva and karmas, we have discussed here only jīva and pudgala and the remaining have been discussed in the chapter on substances. 

2.1 Pudgala (Matter)

Pudgala’ is a definitive word used for matter in Jainism. Matter (Pudgala) has been defined as that which undergoes modification by combination (Pud = to combine) and dissociations (Gala = to dissociate). It has rūpa / form, meaning, the qualities of colour, touch, taste and smell i.e. it possesses a form (Mūrta) or defined as concrete. Matter signifies anything that is liable to integration and disintegration. It is an eternal substance with regard to quantity and quality. It may increase or diminish in volume without any addition or loss of particles. All material substances are characterized by the tendency to form aggregates (Skandha) or to break up into smaller and smaller parts. The smallest part, which cannot be divided further, is the atom (aṇu). Compound objects of the material world including senses, mind and breath are the aggregates of atoms. Sound has been regarded not as a quality but only as a modification of matter. According to Kundakunda, matter is an entity, which can be cognized by the five-sense organs. The entire universe and its contents are perceptible due to matteronly as it is the only concrete substance. Its basic or distinguishing characteristics are to join with or dissociate from other matter (of same type or different) or to be attracted to jīvaand be of use to it.

Matter types which are of use to jīva are called clusters/vargaṇās and are of eight types namely kārmaṇ, luminous (Tejus), gross body (Āudārika), protean body (Vaikriyika),conveyance body(Āhāraka), mind material (Mano vargaā), speech material (Bhāśa vargaṇā) and breathe material (śwāsocchāsa vargaṇās). Gross bodies, protean bodies and conveyance bodies are three types of matter endowed with associability. All vargaṇās are respectively used by jīva to have kārmaṇ, tejus (electric), physical and protean/celestial (for hellish and heaven beings) bodies, āhāraka or knowledge body for ascetics of higher order and remaining vargaṇās for mind, speech, body and breathe.

He further says that both parmāṇu (individual part of matter) and aggregates are matter as they are the modifications of several matters. Matter exists in two states namely parmāṇu and aggregate. So he classified matter further in four classes namely: skandha (aggregate), Skandha deśa (aggregate occupying space), Skandh Pradeśa (aggregate occupying limited space) and parmāṇus. Matter is of two types namely lump (skandha) and parmāṇu.Lump is a collection of parmāṇus and is perceptible. Skandha is further classified in six categories as follows:


Lump, which can be broken in parts and the parts, cannot be lumped together again e.g. wood, stone.


Lumps, which cannot be broken in parts but divided and can be mixed together again e.g. milk, water etc.


Those which can be seen but cannot be touched or held e.g. shade, light etc.


Those which cannot be seen but cognized by some other sense organs e.g. words, sound, heat, odour etc.


Cannot be cognized by any sense organ directly like karma particles.


Even smaller e.g. lumps of two or three parmāṇus.

Pudgala is a substance type that is concrete i.e. with touch, taste, smell and color attributes. It is active like jīva. However unlike jīva, its activity is not purposive to spontaneously result in its manifestation of its nature. It is thus affected to a large extent by jīva and is capable of greatly affecting jīva, due to its omnipresence. It is a major component of empirical soul and almost all knowledge acquired by empirical soul is through the use of matter as a means or the medium.  Tattvārtha sutra (V.19-21)describes the benefits and uses of pudgala for jīva

(śarīravādmamanaħprāṇāpānāpudgalānām, sukhdukhajīvitamaraṇopagrahāśca, parasparograhojīvānām).

Thus matteris of immense use to the jīva.  Identification of empirical souland its activities are all due to matter associated with it. Even acquisition of knowledge by jīva to rid / dissociate itself of matter is matter. Spoken words, activities of mind, body and speech, thoughts are all matter.

Matter has eight types (4 pairs of existent-non existent attributes) of touches (2 out of 4 present at a time in any parmāṇu), 5 colors, 5 tastes and two smell types. Thus a total of 200 different types of aggregate (i.e. of different characteristics) can be formed. Science has to date found 114 types of basic elements.

3.  Āsrava or influx

Activities of mind, body and speech (called yoga in Jain texts) cause vibrations in the environment around soul. These vibrations cause the kārmika particles (matter particles) flow towards the soul. This flow of kārmika particles towards soul is called Āsrava. The soul forgets its own nature due to its being veiled by kārmika impurities called karmas themselves. jīva’s involvement in the transmigratory cycle is due this influx. Just like water flows in a pond through a number of streamlets, so also karma particles flow towards soul from all directions due to activities of mind, body and speech.

Kāyavāđmanaħ karma yogaħ.  sa āsravaħ. (TS/VI/1, 2)

3.1 Punya (merit) and Pāpa (demerit)

According to Umā Svāmi, there are two kinds of influx namely: Punyāsrava or influx of meritorious kārmika particles and Pāpāsrava or influx of De-meritorious kārmika particles.  Auspicious activities of mind body and speech are the causes of meritorious influx while inauspicious activities of mind body and speech are the causes of de-meritorious influx. If we add these two to the seven verities then we have nine padārthas.

What is good and what is bad? Killing, stealing, copulation, etc are the wicked activities of the body. Thoughts of violence, envy, calumny etc are wicked thought activities. Opposites of these are good activities.  An activity performed with good intentions is good and those performed with bad intention is bad.  Good activities and intentions are the cause of influx of meritorious particles while evil activities and intentions are the cause of influx of de-meritorious particles. 

3.2 Two types of influx.

Influx is also classified in another way as follows:

  • Bhāvāsrava or psychic influx
  • Dravyāsrava or matter influx.

The former is concerned with thought activities and the later with actual influx of matter particles. The causes of the former i.e. psychic influx are activities of five senses like attachment, e.g. flow of water into the boat through holes in its body when the boat is actually floating over water. Matter influx is the actual kārmika particles, which fills our environment. Psychic influx is further classified in five categories namely delusion (mithyātva), lack of self-control (avirati), pramāda (inadvertence), yoga (activity) and kaṣāya (passions).

3.3 Influx varies from person to person

According to Umā Svāmi, there are two kinds of influx namely that of persons tainted with passions which extends transmigration and the other of persons who are free from passions which prevents or shortens it or is not affected by it.

Persons are of two types, namely those actuated by passions (called sakaṣāya) and those who are free from passions (called akaṣāya). Passions are anger, deceit, pride and greed. These passions are called kaṣāya in Jain texts.  Sāmparāya is saṅsāra (transmigration). Karma which leads to saṅsāra is called Sāmparāyika. Īryā means yoga or movement / vibrations. Karmas caused by vibrations is called īryāpatha.  The influx of the former karma operates in the case of persons of perverted faith actuated by passions while the influx of later karma takes place in the case of ascetics who are free from passions.

4. Baṅdha (Bondage)

The principle of bondage is an important spiritual concept of Jainism. It is the bondage which leads one to ever increasing involvement in transmigration. Bondage is caused by influx of kārmika particles. Influx brings bondage. According to Umā Svāmi

sakaṣāya  tvajjīvāħ karmaṇo  yogyānpudgalānādatte sa bandhaħ (TS/VIII/2)

The individual self actuated by passions attracts particles of matter filling the environment, which are fit to turn into karma. This is called bondage.

How does influx of karmas bind the soul? The process is illustrated by the example of a person who has fully smeared his body with oil and stands out in the open where wind is blowing. It is natural that particles of dust should stick to his body. Similarly when the soul is rendered weak by various kinds of passions and thought activities, it gives room for kārmika particles to stick to it and get converted into karmas. It is invariably the process that the psychic influx or the thought activities are the direct and proximate causes of matter influx.


4.1 Bhāva baṅdha, psychic bondage and dravya baṅdh or matter bondage.

It is the conscious state of mind that binds the karma with the soul when the soul is excited by any of the causes like passion or attachment/aversion. Bondage is also of two types namely

  • Bhāva baṅdha or bondage by emotion or psychic bondage
  • Dravaya baṅdha or matter bondage.

According to Nemi Canda Sidhānta Deva

Bajjhadi kammaṅ jeṇa du chedaṇabhāveṇa bhāvabandho so,
Kammmādpadesāṇaṅ aṇṇoṇṇapavesaṇaṅ idaro.

  1. That modification of consciousness consisting of attachment or aversion by which karmas are bonded to the soul is known as psychic bondage. Psychic bondage is therefore the alliance of the soul with mental or psychic activities that are produced when the soul is excited with attachment or aversion to the worldly objects.

  2. There is a union of soul with actual karmas. This union consists of the interpenetration of the soul and karmas, and the bondage resulting bondage is called matter bondage.

4.2 Causes of bondage

According to Umā Svāmi

Mithyādarśanāviratipramādakaṣāyayogā bandhahetavaħ  (TS/VIII/1)

i.e. Mithyātva (wrong belief), Avirati (non-abstinence), Pramāda (negligence), Kaṣāya (passions) and Yoga (activities) are the causes of Bandh (bondage).

4.2.1 Wrong belief

It is the perversity of outlook. Wrong belief in these seven verities is called wrong belief.  It has many subdivisions like ekānta (solitary viewpoint), viparyaya (opposite of right knowledge), vinaya (), saṅśaya (doubt) and ajnāna (lack of knowledge).

4.2.2 Non abstinence

It is the absence of self-control. A person who has no control over his senses indulges in sense pleasures and he looses direction for self-realization. There are five vows in Jainism namely non violence, non-stealing, speaking the truth, non possession and celibacy. Non-abstinence primarily means non-adherence to these five vows.

Hiṅsānristeyābramhparigrahebhyo Viratirvaratam. (TS/VII/1)

4.2.3 Negligence

Negligence here means indifference to higher values of life. Indulgence in sensual pleasures leads one to negligence and it again leads to activities like listening to reprehensible talks (vikātha) or activities leading to sensual pleasures again. Reprehensible talks can be about affairs of an individual, state, leader, organization, women etc.

4.2.4 Passions

Passions create states of the soul, which are intensely affective in nature. Feelings and emotions like anger, greed, deceit and pride are responsible for the influx and bondage of karmas.

4.2.5 Activities.

Activities of mind, body and speech cause vibrations in the environment and affect the state of the soul. (TS/VI/1)


4.3 Four kinds of bondage

Bondage is of four types according to the nature and species of karmas, duration, fruition and quantity of space points. According to Umā Svāmi:

Prakṛitisthityanubhavapradeśāstdvidhayaħ (TS/VIII/3)

4.3.1 Prakṛiti baṅdha Nature of the bondage

It refers to the nature of karma that has been bonded with the soul.

4.3.2 Duration of bondage

It refers to the state i.e. present and when it gets activated and is extinguished i.e. separated from the soul after fruition.

4.3.3 Potency or strength of karmas

 It refers to the intensity of experience resulting from the karmas which leads to the intensity if bondage.

4.3.4 Space-points of karmas

It is concerned with the extensiveness and the aggregation of kārmika particles associated with the soul.

The three fold activities determine nature and space point bondages while the passions determine duration and potency of bondage.  This diversity of bondage is due to the degree and intensity of passions. If the soul does not take the modes of activities and passions, then the kārmika particles are destroyed. Hence the soul is not the cause of bondage.

The four types of bondages as discussed above are intimately associated and affect the soul accordingly.

So far we have seen that the soul gets involved in the cycle of life and is bound due to influx of karmas. This bondage is beginning-less but it has an end. The soul with its inherent capacity is pure and perfect and can achieve the ultimate sate of eliminating all types of bondages to it.  This is possible by means of a process, which gradually stops new bondages and then eliminates the effects of exiting bondages (kṣayopśama). From now onwards the self-realization starts.

We therefore have to take steps in this direction namely


      • Saṅvara or stoppage of influx and bondage (new).
      • Nirjarā or dissociation of existing karmas with the soul


These steps follow that order i.e. Saṅvara first and Nirjarā then.


5.0. Saṅvara - (Stoppage of influx of new karmās in soul)

Saṅvara or stoppage of the influx of new karmās is the first significant step in the process of liberation of the soul from karma. Saṅvara is the opposite of Aśrava; it is so called as it prevents the entry of karma into the soul. Umāsvāmi has given a precise definition - ‘The obstruction of influx is stoppage’. (Saṅvara)

‘Āsravanirodhaћ saṅvaraћ’ (TS/IX/1)

It is the harbinger of spiritual development that chooses the entry for new karmas. Continuing the earlier simile, if the entry of water in to a boat through a hole is to be stopped, the hole must be plugged. If the wind is blowing in through the window, the window must be closed. This is the common-sense remedy. The some principle applies to stoppage of influx of new karmas. If the influx is to be stopped, the activities, which cause it, must be stopped. If the passions are the cause, they must be subdued. Many of karamās are due to wrong belief. When a person is in a state of delusion or in the grip of a passion, he will not know what is good for the soul. He becomes deeply involve in attachments of the world and affected with miseries of various kinds.

5.1. Dravya Savara and Bhāva Savara

Saṅvara is of two types

  • Dravya Saṅvara
  • Bhāva Saṅvara

Dravya saṅvara refers to the stoppage of the influx of the karmic practices of matter. It helps reducing possibilities of the long duration of saṅvara. Psychic accompaniment of the influx of karmic particles has also to be stopped. The stoppage of the psychic accompaniments and psychic causes of the influx of karma is the bhāvasamvara.

5.2. The means of stoppage

According to Umāsvāmi stoppage is affected by control (Gupti), carefulness (Samiti), virtue (Dharma) contemplation (Anuprekṣā), conquest by endurance (Pariṣahajaya), and conduct (Cāritra).

Sa gupti samitidharmānuprekṣāpariṣahajayacāritaiћ.(TS/IX/2)

5.2.1 Gupti (attitude of restraint/control)

That, by which the soul is protected from the causes of transmigration, is control (gupti). There are three kinds of Gupti.

  1. Mangupti (restraint on mental activity)
  2. Vacanagupti (restraint on speech activity)
  3. Kāya gupti (restraint on body activity)

According to Umāsvāmi - Curbing activity well is control.

Samyagyoganigraho guptiћ. (TS/IX/4)

5.2.2. Samiti (carefulness)

Carefulness in walking, speech, eating, lifting and lying down and depositing waste products constitute the five-fold regulation of activities.

Īryābhāṣaiṣaṇādānanīkṣepotsargāћ samitayaћ (TS/IX/5)

5.2.3 Dharma (virtue)

There are ten virtues described by Umāsvāmi - Supreme forbearance (Kśhamā), Modesty (Mardava), straight forwardness (Ārjava), Truthfulness (Satya), purity (śauca), self-restraint (Saṅyama), austerity (Tapa), renunciation (Tyāga), Non-attachment (Ākinchanya), celibacy (Brahmcarya) constitute virtues or duties (Dharma). The practice of these moral virtues coupled with the thought of evil caused by the opposites of these leads to stoppage of karmic inflow. (TS/IX/6)

5.2.4. Anuprekṣā (Contemplation)

Anuprekṣā or reflection or contemplation on transitoriness etc. helps one to practice moral virtues such as forbearance and consequently leads to effective stoppage of karmas.  Reflection is mentioned in the middle for the sake of both. He who practices contemplation in this way is enabled to practice the moral virtues and also subdue of afflictions.

There are twelve type of contemplation according to Umāsvāmi. (TS/IX/7)



Contemplation of Transitory-ness



Contemplation of Helplessness



Contemplation of Transmigration



Contemplation of Loneliness



Contemplation of Distinctness



Contemplation of Impurity



Contemplation of Influx



Contemplation of Stoppage



Contemplation of dissociation



Contemplation of universe



Contemplation of rarity of enlightenment.



Contemplation of truth proclaimed by religion.


5.2.5. Pariṣajaya (Conquest by endurance)

Pariṣajaya or victory over afflictions. According to Umāsvāmi the afflictions are to be endured so as not to swerve from the path of stoppage of karmās and for the sake of dissociation of Karmas.

Mārgācyavananirjarārtham Pariṣođhacyāћ (TS/IX/8) Types of afflictions

There are twenty two afflictions, which have to b endured, described by Umāsvāmi - (TS/IX/9)















insect - bites 






absence of pleasure






pain arising from roaming



discomfort of postures



uncomfortable couch












lack of gain





Tṛṇa- sparśa

pain inflicted by blades of grass





Satkāra puraskāra

reverence and honour (good as well as bad reception)



conceit of learning



despair / uneasiness arising from ignorance



Lack of Faith



5.2.6. - Cāritra (Conduct)

Umāsvāmi mentioned the five kinds of conduct. (TS/IX/18)









purity of non injury



slight passion



perfect conduct

It is clear from what has been stated above that stoppage results when there is spiritual development from various points. It is the activities and passion that lead to transmigration. Their cessation on activities and conquest over passions stop the influx of Karmic matter, that is, results in Dravya- saṅvara.



 6.0 Nirjarā - (Dissociation of Karma)

After saṅvara we came to the process of nirjarā. The function of saṅvara is to arrest the influx of karma through different sources by stopping the inlets. But the function of nirjarā is to remove the accumulated Karma already present in the soul.

According to Pujyapāda - ‘The karmas fall off after giving pain or pleasure, as these cannot stay on after fruition at the end of their duration, just as food and similar things decay in course of time. Dissociation takes place after the fruition of Karmas.

6.1. Two kinds of dissociation of Karmas

The separation of or dissociation of Karamas is of two kinds, namely ripening in the usual course (Vipākā or Akāma) and being made to ripen prematurely i.e. (Avipākjā) or (Sakāma).

In the great ocean of transmigration, the individual self wanders for countless periods of time, whirling round and round among the four states of existence in various births. And the auspicious and inauspicious Karmas associated with the self, reach the stage of fruition gradually and attain fruition and then dissociate themselves from the self. This is the first kind of dissociation without ripeness in the natural course of things.

6.2. Method dissociation

Dissociation is effected by penance and also by other ways, according to Umāsvāmi

                                                Tapasā nirjarā ca. (TS/IX/3)

Dissociation by penance (austerity) is dissociation also.

Penance (Tapa) is very important for both saṅvara and nirjarā. Though penance (religious austerity) in included under the moral virtues, it is mentioned separately in order to indicate that it effects both stoppage and dissociation and that it is the chief cause of stoppage of influx.

6.2.1. The twelve types of Penance (austerities)

It is of two kinds                           

1. External Austerities (Penance)

There are six types of external austerities –  (TS/IX/19)






reducing the diet.



special restrictions for begging food.



giving up stimulating and delicious dishes.



lonely habitation



mortification of the body

These are called external, as these are dependent on external things and can be seen by others.


2. Internal Austerities (Penances)

There are six types of internal austerities - (TS/IX/20)












Study of Agamās







These are called Internal because these are development on internal things.

The soul regains its purity after the Karmas have fallen of either due to enjoyment or destruction. Kundakunda Ācārya has dealt with this subject in verses 144 to 146 of the Pañcāstikāya. According to him, a person who has practiced a number of austerities and observed rules for the purifications of his activities will be able to shed away many of his Karmas. A person who understands the real nature of the self and the futility of attachment to objects of the world will have right knowledge and thereby acquire the ability to destroy the Karmas due to his purity of thought and action. He alone will be able to cast away his Karmas. Who on an account of his right knowledge contemplates on the self with full concentration. The force which right belief, right - knowledge and non-attachment generates becomes the course of premature shedding of Karmas. Pursuit of self-absorption results in shedding karmas by thoughts (Bhāva-nirjarā) first followed by Karmic shedding (dravya-nirjarā).


7.0 Mokṣa (salvation / liberation)

The last element of the seven elements is called Mokṣa. This is the ultimate goal of every religious practitioner like Sādhu, muni or monk, when the self is freed from the bondage of Karma and has passed beyond the possibility of rebirth it is said to have attained mokṣa. Mokṣa is the highest ideal to be attained by the self at the time of perfection. According to Umāsvāmi

Bandhahetvabhāvanirjarābhyām Kṛtsnakarmavipramokṣo mokṣaћ.  (TS/X/2)

Owing to the absence of the cause of bondage and with the functioning of the dissociation of Karmas, the annihilation of all Karmas is Liberation.

No new karmas flow in owing to the absence of causes such as perverted faith and as on. And the already acquired karmas fall of gradually in the presence of causes that lead to dissociation of Karmas. Owing to the absence of the cause of bondage and the functioning of dissociation indicate the case denoting cause. Therefore Liberation is the total destruction of all Karmas at the same time, after Leveling down the duration of all the remaining there Karmas, so as to be equal to that of the age - Karma (Āyu - Karma).

The final stage of self-realization is the stage absolute perfection in this stage of śukladhyāna. This stage lasts only for the period of time required to pronounce five shorts syllables. At the end of this period the soul attains perfect and disembodied liberation. This is a stage of perfection. However, the join conception of mokṣa does not obliterate the individuality of each soul. It is neither merged nor is identical with anything higher than itself. Its individuality is not lost. This is the permanent personality of the soul even in the state of perfection immediately after attaining release from all Karmas the soul darts up to the end of the universe.

Tadnantaramūradvam gacchtyālokāntāt. (TS/X/5)


8.0 Summary / Conclusion

Annexe I shows the seven varities and the two states of bondage i.e. merit and demerit. If we see closely at the chart, we find that the seven verities relate to jīva and pudgala (primarily karma) as the constituents of cosmos and the remaining five verities are the sates of their interaction and the resultant jīva. The next two states i.e. influx and bondage is the indicator of saṅsāra or the world, as we know it or the transmigratory state of the jīva. The next two verities i.e. stoppage of influx and dissociation are the spiritual state of jīva where jiva tries to free itself of the kārmica bondage and attain the state of pure soul called mokṣa, the last verity. Merit and demerit are the results of the interactions of the jiva and karma as auspicious (merit) and inauspicious (demerit).



TS stands for Tattvāratha sutra by ācārya Umā Svāmi and its commentary by Pujya Pāda Known as Sarvārtha Siddhi


Annexe I

Seven Tattvas / Verities
Nine padarthas / entities
















Constituents of universe.
Jiva and pudgal active, others

Causes delusion, inadvertence, laziness, passions and activities.
Pravritti /engagement.
Moral ethics

Spirituality, Disengagement/Detachment, Nivritti, Major vows, guptis, samitis



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