Pristine Jainism ► Samyaktva (Rationality) ► Competitive Glorification of Deity

Posted: 17.05.2012

There appears to be a serious aberration in the interpretation of omniscience of kevali. If it is overstretched to the point of pre-ordained destiny then the whole edifice of effort (Purusharth) crumbles down and all preaching for good rational conduct will become irrelevant. As a matter of fact kevali having attained the purest and highest state are veetrag and do not predict any body's future.

जाणादि पस्सदि सव्वं ववहार णयेण केवली भगवं। केवलणाणि जाणदि पस्सदि नियमेण अप्पाणं॥
[Niyamsar - 159]

Kevalins know all substances is subject matter of mundane view point or Vyavhar Naya. In fact and truly by Nishchaya Naya, they know and enjoy only the attributes of their purified souls). They only preach path of rational trinity for salvation. The overstretching of omniscience of kevali is the result of competitive enthusiasm of the followers of different sects to adorn their deities with more and more superior powers. This may also be due to growing laxity and even apathy towards pursuing good conduct. Such overstretched concepts provide an easy excuse to ignore good, pious conduct on the plea that one is helpless as one is doing only wherever is preordained (Niyativad) as per futuristic omniscience of kevali. Such over stretching is not at all in tune with the fundamental tenets of Jainism. Arhat kevalins are not sooth sayers or future tellers. They cannot be pessimistic and sadistic to frighten or placate the mundane souls by telling them their bad or good future. Rationality enjoins on Jains to discard the overstretched concept of omniscience. Acceptance of untimely death (Akal Mritu) and Anekant (non-absolutism), justifying both orderly sequence and not (Kram-Akram), timely and not (Kal-Akal), pre-ordained and not (Niyat-Aniyat) etc. in Janism also repudiates the overstretched concept of omniscience, particularly the pre-ordained destiny. Dr. Sandeep Jain of Prakrit Vidya, New Delhi has quoted the following verse in his article published in Adhyatma - Parva. Patrika, August-October '97 issue, mentioning that only Siddha's are kevali. Siddhas do not come to preach or tell the future.

सीलेसी संयति णिरूद्ध-णिस्मेसे आसवो जीवो।
कम्मरय-विप्पमुक्को गय जोगो केवलि होदि॥

There is another inexplicable and illogical assertion in scriptures about the speech and sermons of Arhat Tirthankaras in the futile zeal to glorify them. It is mentioned that they are so detached and unconcerned that they do not at all intend to speak or deliver sermons. It is special sound particulate atoms (Divya Dhwani), which automatically start emanating and spreading and getting transformed in different languages to be understood by all present. If it is so then it cannot have the erudition of omniscience. The requirement of principal special capable scholar disciples (Gandharas) signifies that they were interpreters of one language into different languages. Instead of logical and scientific explanations, there is more emphasis and indulgence in abstract superstitious interpretations. Such a zeal for glorification should also be not over stretched in order to justify rationality of Jainism.

Share this page on:




Pristine Jainism
(Beyond rituals and superstitions)


Parshwanath Vidyapeeth, Varanasi, India


Prof. Sagarmal Jain