Bhagwaan Mahaveer Evam Jain Darshan ► The Doctrine of Karma in Jain Philosophy ► The Scientific and Psychological study of the doctrine of karma

Posted: 14.03.2014

1.7    The Scientific and Psychological study of the doctrine of karma:

It has been stated in scriptures that at the moment the soul possesses as much emotions so much partial bondage (anubhāga-baṅdha) he earns. As man sows, so does he reap: our actions have their effects? These effects or results cannot be destroyed.  They have to be experienced and exhausted. If we cannot exhaust the effects of our actions in this life we have to complete the cycle of births and deaths to earn the fruit for all that we have done. No man inherits the good or evil of another man. Every living being is constantly active, expressing the activity in the three-fold functions of body, speech and mind. It leaves behind traces of after-effects in the physical and psychic forms. Every action, word or thought produces, besides its visible, invisible and transcendent effects. The various states and processes of karma are linked with the potency of soul. The nature of potency of soul, in turn, is determined by the nature of the dispositions of the soul. The karmic matter goes through various processes on account of different kinds of processes of potency of soul. Every process of potency of soul synchronizes with the corresponding process in the karma and vice versa. The karmic matter lays its effect on jīva in different manner. This is perceived directly that even in equal circumstances the pleasure and pain of every individual remains different and not equal. The stickiness nature of the soul space points and karmic particles require a scientific study.  The influence of the karmas on soul requires a psychological study.

Regarding the scientism of the doctrine of karma, an article of Pt. Nihalchand Jain is quotable. Some parts of that article are being submitted:

“The karmic inflow, bondage stoppage of karma, purification of the soul can be explained on the basis of scientific theory……… the entire cosmos is filled with the subtle karmic matter like in entire sky the electronic waves are penetrated. Being very minute the cluster of the karmic atoms can be deemed to move in the form of wave whose frequencies are enumerable times more in comparison to the frequencies of the highest x rays i.e. (1011_ 1017 Hz). In order to receive the electromagnetic waves of a certain vibrations through radio receiver, such an oscillator is used which must be generating that particular vibrating waves. That is called the Principal of Electrical Resonance. (Electrical resonance occurs in an electric circuit at a particular resonance frequency. Resonant circuits exhibit ringing and can generate higher voltages and currents than are fed into them.) The waves of the particular vibrancy spread over the sky are caught through the receiver. They are tuned through condenser in receiver. The same process works in receiving karmic atoms through the karmic space points………… karmic space points behave like oscillator. The waves generated through the emotions of the self and as much wave length they attract so much waves of karmic categories(vargaṇā) automatically are generated from the sky……..we can say it in the language of Jain philosophy that dravya karma come (karmic influx) from bhāva karma………. The karmic aggregate which is achieved on being influenced with emotions of attachment and aversion is bondage.”

(Pt. Nihalchand Jain: Karma Sidhant Ki Vaigyanikta,
Rishikalp Dr. Hiralal Jain felicitation vol. p.268- 269)

In this context, the author would like to mention the book entitled, “The Jain Doctrine of Karma and The Science of Genetics” by Dr. Sohan Raj Tater. It is an attempt to a comparative study of Karma and genes and the hypothesis is that karmas are the cause and genes are their effects.

There is a scope to explore the behavior of karmas and genes and the role of karmas in motivating and mutating the genetic codes & genes. Genetic engineers are engaged in doing research so that a positive change may be caused in a person by changing his genes. This may be helpful to find out the solution of some diseases or ailments of that person. Genetics is based on the principle of heredity. In our world, there are innumerable differences amongst all beings. Why there are so many differences amongst all beings. How come that two real brothers or even twins have differences not only in their looks but in their mental state and in their destiny, fortune and course of events in their life? The doctrine of karma, as propounded in Jain philosophy provides a logical solution to all these queries.  It can solve not only the differences relating to mind but also the differences relating to the body. For example, it is said in Jain scriptures that body-making-karmas presents innumerable forms of personalities.

Acharya Mahaprajna had also contributed in the direction of confluence between the Doctrine of Karma as propounded in Jain Philosophy and the human Psychology...

A worldly soul attracts karmic matter and assimilates it into many types of karmas, which mature into fruition in due course. It is to be noted that a particular batch of karma does not come to fruition as soon as it is acquired by a soul. It remains dormant for some time before producing its result. After the period of dormancy, the batch of karma goes into the phase of operation (उदय)) in order to produce its result. This phase continues until the end of fruition. On fruition, the karmic matter is shed by the soul. A person having rational perception (सम्यग्दर्शन) can transform specific kind of karmic matter into those of another. Because of particular kind of potency of a soul, it can increase the duration and intensity of fruition of the karmas as-well-as decrease the duration and intensity of the karmas in its possession. By modifying thought-process, an individual can bring about premature operation of karmas associated with the soul. Dissociation-cum-subsidence (क्षयोपशम) is a complex of dissociation (क्षय), subsidence (उपशमन) and operation (उदय). It is an accomplished and proven fact in itself that Jain doctrine of karma is very rational, complex and sophisticated and it is evident that Psychological study of the Jain doctrine may open the new fronts for the exploration and analysis of human behavior.

All scientists and Psychologists should note that “only that science is a great and the best of all sciences, the study of which frees man from all kinds of miseries.”

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Original Title:

भगवान महावीर एवं जैन दर्शन
Bhagwaan Mahaveer Evam Jain Darshan

English Translation:

Dr. Pradyumna Shah Singh
Department of Religious Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala, India

HN4U Online Edition:

in progress
showing the available English renderings.

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