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Samayasara - by Acharya Kundakunda: Ultimate (Transcendental) Nature Of The Soul

arasamarūvamagaṃdhaṃ avvattaṃ cedaṇāguṇamasaddaṃ
 jāṇa aliṃgaggahaṇaṃ jῑvamaṇiddiṭṭhasaṃṭhāṇaṃ..

jῑvassa ṇatthi vaṇṇo ṇa vi gaṃdho ṇa vi raso ṇa vi ya phāso.
ṇa vi rūvaṁ ṇa sarῑraṃ ṇa vi saṃṭhāṇaṃ ṇa saṃhaṇaṇaṃ..

jῑvassa ṇatthi rāgo ṇa vi doso ṇeva vijjade moho.
ṇo paccayā ṇa kammaṃ ṇokammaṃ cāvi se ṇatthi..

jῑvassa ṇatthi vaggo ṇa vaggaṇā ṇeva phaḍḍhayā keῑ.
ṇo ajjhappaṭtḥānā ṇeva ya aṇubhāgaṭḥāṇā vā..

jῑvassa ṇatthi keῑ jogaṭṭhāṇā ṇa baṃdhaṭhāṇā vā.
ṇeva ya udayaṭṭhāṇā ṇo maggaṇaṭṭhāṇayā keῑ..

ṇo ṭhidibaṃdhaṭṭhāṇā jῑvassa ṇa saṃkilesaṭṭhāṇā vā.
 ṇeva visohiṭṭhāṇā ṇo saṃjamaladdhiṭṭhāṇā vā..

ṇeva ya jῑvaṭṭhāṇā ṇa guṇaṭṭhāṇā ya atthi jῑvassa.
 jeṇa du ede savve poggaladavvassa pariṇāmā..

(Arasaṃ arūvaṃ agaṃdhaṃ asaddaṃ) That which is without taste, form, smell and sound, which is beyond perception (cedaṇāguṇam) which possesses consciousness, (aliṃgaggahaṇaṃ) which cannot be apprehended through a symbol or sense-organs, (aṇiddiṭṭhasaṃṭhāṇaṃ) and which, being shapeless, cannot be shown by diagrams, (jῑvaṃ jāṇa) must be known as the soul.

(Jῑvassa) The soul (ṇathi vaṇṇo ṇa vi gaṃdho ṇa vi raso ṇa vi ya phāso ṇa vi rūvaṁ ṇa sarῑraṃ ṇa vi saṃṭhāṇaṃ ṇa saṃhananaṃ) is devoid of colour, odour, taste, touch, form, body, configuration and physical [bone-] structure.

(Jῑvassa) The soul (ṇathi rāgo ṇa vi doso moho ṇeva vijjade ṇo paccayā ṇa kammaṃ ṇokammaṃ cāvi se ṇatthi) is devoid of attachment, aversion, delusion, influx [of karmic matter], subtle body, and gross physical body.

(Jῑvassa) The soul (ṇathi vaggo ṇa vaggaṇā kei phaḍḍhayā ṇeva ajjhappaṭhānā ṇeva ya aṇubhāgaṭḥāṇā vā) is also devoid of class, group, degree of intensity and degree of fruition.

(Jῑvassa) The soul (kei jogaṭṭhāṇā ṇatthi ṇa baṃdhaṭṭhāṇā vā ṇeva ya udayaṭṭhāṇā ṇa maggaṇaṭṭhaṇaṃ kei) displays neither any degree of spiritual discipline nor bondage, neither fruition nor it is subject to investigation based on varieties [mārgaṇasthāna].

(Jῑvassa) The soul (ṇoṭhidibaṃdhaṭṭhāṇā ṇa saṃkilesaṭhāṇā ṇeva visohiṭhāṇā ṇa saṃjamaladdhiṭhāṇaṃ vā) possesses neither bondage nor defilement neither purity nor power of acquiring self-restraint [saṃjamalabdhi].

(Jῑvassa) The soul (neva ya jῑvaṭṭhāṇā ṇa guṇaṭṭhāṇā ya atthi) possesses neither jῑvasthāna [stages of biological development] nor guṇasthāna [states of spiritual development], (jeṇa du ede savve poggaladavvassa pariṇāmā) all these are modifications of pudgala-dravya (physical order of existence or matter).


In the above verses, the author presents a comprehensive picture of the nature of the pure soul. It is true that at the first sight, the presentation might appear to be merely negative and one might remark that it only tells us what the soul is not and does not throw any light as to what it is. However, no true and significant negative judgement is merely negative, all negation is really exclusion resting upon a positive basis.

Verse no. 3.11 emphasizes that the soul can never be an object of sentient experience, because it does not possess a single attribute which can be cognized through sense-organs. In the worldly life, however, the soul does not exist as a "disembodied spirit" and our intercommunion with other individuals is always through the medium of an alien material body. We are, therefore, liable to ascribe the attributes of the 'body' to the soul. But experience is not regarded as totally false because in actual life the dualistic separation (into a body and a soul) is impractical. And this fact will be admitted, in some succeeding verses, as an empirical truth/reality. However, the aim of the above verses is to present the ultimate truth, viz., the nature of the pure unadulterated soul. And, hence, it is necessary to emphasize that what is presented to us in actual experience are the physical attributes of the material body and not of the non-material soul, which transcends each one of them. And this capacity of transcendence, itself, becomes the positive attribute to recognise the soul.

Colour, odour, taste and touch are fundamental characteristic qualities of all matter down to atoms. Form, configuration and physical structure are also concomitant with them as a matter of necessity. So the verse no. 3.12 nearly repeats the emphasis presented in verse no. 3.11.

Verses 3.13 and 3.14 present some psychological states such as attachment, aversion, delusion and the like, which might be legitimately ascribed to the soul rather than to the body. But these again, are really psychological impurities and distortions produced by the association of the soul with karma and are present in a defiled soul and not in a pure soul.

Verses 3.15 to 3.17 enumerate some stages of spiritual advancement of the soul (guṇasthāna) and are even more qualified to be regarded as possessed by the soul. However since for final emancipation, the soul has to transcend even these states, they cannot be regarded as soul. In fact, though they are desirable, valuable and laudable upto a certain stage of spiritual development, ultimately they have to be abandoned as they constitute the subtle non-self. Even the love and devotion towards pure and perfect beings (other than the self) form subtle kind of obstacle in the way of self-realization. The purest thing identified by the scriptures is the SELF and nothing but the self. And whoever realizes this truth (that the SELF is the highest reality) ultimately becomes free from the non-self.

The last line of verse 3.17 justifies all these statements by saying that all attributes enumerated here are the products of interaction of the alien substance-pudgala and not the soul.


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

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Consciousness
  3. Discipline
  4. Guṇasthāna
  5. Karma
  6. Soul
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