Samayasara - by Acharya Kundakunda: Perverted Knowledge And Right Knowledge

edesu ya uvaogo tiviho suddho ṇiraṃjaṇo bhāvo.
 jaṃ so karedi bhāvaṃ uvaogo tassa so kattā..

jaṃ kuṇadi bhāvamādā kattā so hodi tassa bhāvassa.
 kammattaṃ pariṇamade tamhi
sayaṃ poggalaṃ davvaṃ..23

paramappāṇaṃ kuvvaṃ appāṇaṃ pi ya paraṃ karaṃto so.
aṇṇāṇamao jῑvo kammāṇaṃ kārago hodi..

paramappāṇamakuvvaṃ appāṇaṃ pi ya paraṃ akuvvaṃto.
so ṇāṇamao jῑvo kammāṇamakārago hodi..

(Uvaogo suddho ṇiraṃjaṇo bhāvo) Though (transcendentally) consciousness [of the soul] is pure, [undefiled] and uncorrupted integrated unity, (edesu ya tiviho) the aforementioned three types of [beginningless impurities-viz., perverted world-view, knowledge and conduct-serve as extrinsic causal agents and defile the (pure) consciousness] which (jaṃ so karedi bhāvaṃ uvaogo tassa so kattā) then, becomes the intrinsic causal agent of the corresponding psychic imperfections.

(Ādā) The [above impure] soul, itself, (jaṃ bhāvaṃ kuṇadi tassa bhāvassa kattā hodi) is the principal causal agent of the psychical attributes thus produced; (tamhi poggalaṃ davvaṃ sayaṃ kammattaṃ pariṇamade) consequently, the karmic matter itself is transformed/modified into the corresponding karma attributes, (the soul being of service only as extrinsic causal agent).

(Paramappāṇaṃ kuvvaṃ) The delusion that non-self has been transformed into self (psychic attributes) (ya appāṇaṃ pi paraṃ karaṃto) and that the self (soul) has produced the non-self (karma), (aṇṇāṇamao jῑvo kammāṇaṃ kārago hodi) is perverted knowledge and soul then [from this aspect] can be said to be the author of the karma.

(Paramappāṇaṃ akuvvaṃto) He, who believes that non-self (alien) cannot be transformed into self (ya appāṇaṃ pi parama ākuvvaṃto) and that the self cannot be transformed into non-self, (aṇṇāṇamao jῑvo kammāṇaṃ akārgo hodi) is possessed of right knowledge and is not the author of karma.


In the above verses, the intention of the author is to go to the root of evil which acts as a hindrance against the realization of truth and obstruction to emancipation. Hence Ācārya Kundakunda first reminds the readers that transcendentally the essence of soulhood is a single principle viz., pure unadulterated consciousness and emancipation is a concrete fact. But the selfsame fact of emancipation, again, presupposes a degradation of the soul from perfection to the state of worldly existence. And this, again leads to the question as to what is it that is keeping one away from truth and self-realization? The answer is, it is the perverted knowledge (ajñāna) that keeps one turning away from truth.

Delusion, the beginningless supreme pollutant of the soul, is made up of three-fold perversions—perverted attitude, perverted knowledge and perverted conduct. Thus transcendentally pure consciousness, under the constant onslaught of delusion, in the state of worldly existences, generates triple impurities and becomes the substantial condition (upādāna karaṇa) for its three imperfect attributes, Now, it has been repeatedly maintained that the psychical purity or impurity is, in truth, the substantial condition for psychical states only and as a concomitant of these psychical state, the karmic matter undergoes modification in its own way. The psychic states merely act as a sort of catalyst. Just as the mere presence of a catalyst is enough to inspire a reaction in two chemicals—different from the catalyst itself—so also the presence of emotional states of desire or aversion has as its concomitants in changes in karmic matter. Various manifestations of karmic matter take place undetermined by psychical (alien to karmic matter) states.

Two verses (nos. 90 and 91) clearly reject direct causal relation between the two series of modification and yet it also holds that one series is concomitant with the other. Consequently in verse no. 92 we obtain an unambiguous criterion of ajñāna—perverted knowledge. Any knowledge that is contrary to the truth is perverted knowledge and in this case he who believes that the soul has transformed karma or that karma has transformed the soul is possessed of perverted knowledge. And because this belief is beginningless the soul continues the worldly existence and is obstructed from being emancipated.

This criterion for perverted knowledge automatically yields its opposite viz., criterion for the right knowledge or jñāna. Since the perverted knowledge was accepted as the condition for bondage and continuation of the worldly state of existence, its antidote the right knowledge must be accepted as the condition of emancipation and the end of worldly existence. The gist of the discussion is: As long as the soul accepts the authorship/ownership of karma it will continue to accumulate karmic matter and continue its worldly existence. And as soon as it realizes that it is not the author/owner of karma the accumulation stops and the process of emancipation commences. [1]


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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. Ajñāna
  2. Consciousness
  3. Jñāna
  4. Karaṇa
  5. Karma
  6. Karmic matter
  7. Kundakunda
  8. Soul
  9. Upādāna
  10. Ācārya
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