Samayasara - by Acharya Kundakunda: Distinction Between "Awareness" And "Action"

je poggaladavvāṇaṃ pariṇāmā hoṃti ṇāṇaāvaraṇā.
ṇa karedi tāṇi ādā jo jāṇadi so havadi ṇāṇῑ..

jaṃ bhāvaṃ suhamasuhaṃ karedi ādā sa tassa khalu kattā.
 taṃ tassa hodi kammaṃ so tassa du vedugo appā..

(Je nāṇā āvaraṇā poggaladavvāṇaṃ pariṇāmā hoṃti) The phenomena of the modification of the karmic matter into various types of karma viz., knowledge—obscuring etc, goes on; (jo ādā ṇa karedi jāṇadi) the soul who is aware of the phenomena but does not arrogate to himself their causal agency (so ṇāṇi havadi) is the enlightened one [possessor of right knowledge].

(Ādā jaṃ suhamasuhaṃ bhāvaṃ karedi) The soul who arrogates to himself the causal agency of virtuous as well as sinful psychic states; (sa tassa khalu kattā) is, positively, the determinant of such states, (taṃ tassa kammaṃ hodi so appā du tassa vedago) consequently he will become producer (kartā) and undergo the bondage as well enjoyer of the fruits of these karma.


In these verses, the author presents an important criterion for distinguishing the right knowledge from the perverse one. He pinpoints why the soul, from eternity has been hindered from self-realization. The worldly carrier of the soul is sustained and "nourished by his perverse knowledge; and would last as long as the perversion lasts. The moment the perversion is removed and knowledge purified into right knowledge, the process of self realization commences.

Fundamentally the function of knowledge is only 'to know' i.e., "to be aware" of and not to do or to act, and hence, the pure knowledge is that which just knows i.e. is just aware of what is happening within the purview of its field without taking part in or reacting to it. And, therefore, whenever action, reaction, or arrogance of action is associated with awareness, the purity is defiled and perverted and it is fit to be called perverted knowledge.

Unfortunately, encumbrance of the soul with delusion is beginningless and same is, therefore, the case with the perverse knowledge. The soul gropes in the darkness, formulates wrong views about the truth and treads upon many a path, none leading to the region of light. The potency of the perversion is to be made ineffective by the instructions of the people who know the truth.

Such instructions prescribe abandonment of the arrogance of action and ownership of the alien substance (matter) and its attributes-'Ramain a spectator, an observer, a witness of all that is happening in the physical world but do not become an actor, a doer, because the drama is being played by aliens and you being a spectator have no legitimate right to participate or interfere in it as an actor." As soon as the soul takes these instructions to heart (for the first time in eternity) and stops acting his perversion is removed and he is entitled to be called "jñānῑ" i.e., the possessor of right knowledge.

Note that both virtuous as well as sinful activities are included because virtuous actions also result in bondage of auspicious karma (puṇya) and this will have to be expiated by enjoyment which presupposes extension of worldly state and preclusion of emancipation. Empirical aspect of these facets will be discussed in the subsequent chapters.


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. Karma
  2. Karmic matter
  3. Puṇya
  4. Soul
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