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Samayasara - by Acharya Kundakunda: Truth About The Devotion Towards Omniscients

iṇamaṇṇaṃ jῑvādo dehaṃ poggalamayaṃ thuṇittu muṇῑ.
maṇṇadi hu saṃthudo vaṃdido mae kevalῑ bhayavaṃ..

Taṃ ṇicchaye ṇa juñjadi ṇa sarῑraguṇā hi hoṃti kevaliṇo.
kevaliguṇe thuṇadi jo so taccaṃ kevaliṃ thuṇadi..

ṇayarammi vaṇṇide jaha ṇa vi raṇṇo vaṇṇaṇā kadā hodi.
dehaguṇe thuvvaṃte ṇa kevaliguṇā thudā hoṃti..

The Empirical View:

(Thuṇittu) By devotion towards (poggalamayaṃ dehaṃ) the physical body (jῑvādo aṇṇaṃ) which is different from the soul (muṇῑ) an ascetic aspirant (maṇṇadi hu) believes that (mae) I (saṃthudo vaṃdido) have worshipped and bowed to (kevalῑ bhayavaṃ) an omniscient.

The Transcendental View:

(Taṃ) The above process of devotion (ṇicchaye) with trans­cendental view (ṇa juñjadi) is not proper because (sarῑra-guṇā) the attributes of the physical body (kevalῑṇo ṇa hi hoṃti) are not really possessed by an omniscient; (jo) he who (kevali-guṇe thuṇadi) worships/eulogizes the spiritual virtues of the omniscient (so tacchaṃ kevalῑṃ thuṇadi) truly worships the omniscient.

[Devotion to physical body is not the same as that to spiritual virtues]. (Jaha) Just as (ṇayarammi vaṇṇide vi) describing the capital city of a king (raṇṇo vaṇṇaṇā kadā ṇa hodi) is not the same as describing the king himself, similarly (deha-guṇe thuvvaṃte) eulogizing the good qualities of the body of an omniscient (kevali-guṇā ṇa thudā hoṃti) does not mean eulogizing the virtues of an omniscient.


By these verses, Ācārya Kundakunda dispels the doubts of the disciple regarding the devotion towards an omniscient by clarifying the position. Omniscients (kevalῑ) are free from every kind of imperfections and are full of good virtues. Worship and devotion toward them is certainly desirable for spiritual advancement. But an omniscient is not a disembodied soul. He is a human being with a human body, who has realized the pure character of the soul by eradicating all passions. The question is who precisely is the omniscient? Is the body or the soul or the integrated organism? Now so long as the body and the soul are not distinguished as done only by the transcendental view, an aspirant is inclined to direct his devotion towards the body, which is the object of direct experience and not towards the soul. While there are certain good qualities of the body of an omniscient which are worthy of eulogization, this is not the same as eulogizing the pure and perfect state of the soul achieved by him. Moreover there can be no devotion apart from an affective state and when there is affection, there also is attachment to an external object. This does not mean that world-view of worship towards an omniscient is valueless but the aspirant must realize that the physical body is not the same as the soul just as a king is not the same as his capital city.


Samayasara - by Acharya Kundakunda Publishers:
Jain Vishva Bharati University First Edition: 2009

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Kundakunda
  3. Omniscient
  4. Omniscients
  5. Soul
  6. Ācārya
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