Samayasara - by Acharya Kundakunda: Unshakable Belief (Faith) In The Transcendental State Of The Soul Is Essential For Self-realization

paramaṭṭho khalu samao suddho jo kevalῑ muṇῑ ṇāṇῑ.
 tamhi ṭṭhidā sahāve muṇiṇo pāvaṃti ṇivvāṇaṃ..

paramaṭṭhammi du aṭhido jo kuṇadi tavaṃ vadaṃ ca dhārayadi.
 taṃ savvaṃ bālatavaṃ bālavadaṃ viṃti savvaṇhū..

vadaṇiyamāṇi dharaṃtā sῑlāṇi tahā tavaṃ ca kuvvaṃtā.
 paramaṭṭhabāhirā je ṇivvāṇaṃ te ṇa viṃdaṃti..

paramaṭṭhabāhirā je te aṇṇāṇeva puṇṇamicchaṃti.
saṃsāragamaṇaheduṃ vi mokkhaheduṃ ayāṇaṃtā..

(Khalu jo paramaṭṭho) Undoubtedly the pure and perfect state of the soul [transcendental state] is (samao, suddho, kevalῑ, muṇῑ, ṇāṇῑ) SELF, pure, omniscient, muni [self-absorbed], consciousness, (tamhi sahāveṭṭhidā muṇiṇo ṇivvāṇaṃ pavaṃti) hence ascetics who aspire for self-realization can achieve it by self-meditation [concen­trating on the transcendental self].

(Jo paramaṭṭhammi du aṭhido) If one is not anchored to [has no faith in] the transcendental but (tavaṃ kundi) practises penance (ca) and (vadaṃ dhārayadi) observes vows; (taṃ savvaṃ savvaṇhu bālatavaṃ bālavadaṃ viṃti) all such penances and vows are considered bālatapa [austerity of an ignorant one] and bālavrata [vow of an ignorant one] by the omniscient.

(Vada-ṇiyamāṇi dharaṃtā) Inspite of practising vows and observing rules (of ascetic conduct) (tahā sῑlāṇi ca tavaṃ kuvvaṃtā) as well as celibacy and penances, (je paramaṭṭhabāhirā te ṇivvāṇaṃ ṇa viṃdaṃti) one cannot succeed in attaining self-realization, if he is not anchored in the transcendental.

(Je paramaṭṭhabāhirā te mokkhaheduṃ ayāṇaṃtā) They who are not anchored in the transcendental, because he is not aware of the path of self-realization [emancipation], (aṇṇaṇeṇa saṃsāra-gamaṇaheduṃ vi punṇamicchaṃti) desires puṇy a auspicious karma although it is the cause of the worldly state.


These four verses emphatically establish that full and unshakable faith in the inherent purity of the soul, that is, the perfect transcendental state of the self, is basic for the process of self-reali­zation/emancipation. In other words the process of self-realization cannot even be commenced until the aspirant is not only fully aware of the ultimate pure and perfect [unencumbered with any alien object] state of the Self, but also has full and irreversible belief/ faith that self-realization is (i) possible and (ii) the only ultimate goal and objective of a spiritual aspirant. The aspirant must trust the records of the experiences of the omniscients and believe that the truth is not unknowable; that purity is integral to the self and its realization is not a new creation in the sense of emergence of an absolutely unprecedented state.

It has been repeatedly stated that inspite of the integral perfection and inherent purity, the soul has been obstructed from attaining self-realization [which is the same thing as the realization of its infinite glory] from eternity. What is that which causes the obstruction and makes the soul oblivious of itself? What prevents the innate potentiality of perfection from action and the possibility of realization from becoming a reality? It may sound unbelievable but true that the soul is unaware of itself, i.e., unaware of the supreme bliss and infinite bliss hidden in itself. Instead, it sticks to the world process and is lured by the sensuous pleasures and carnal desires which give transient happiness but sustain the cycles of rebirth.

The author first describes the ultimate perfect state of the soul by ascribing purest qualities to it. The soul is samaya because all its attributes and qualities and modes are self-determined and self-dependent. It is, śuddha—pure because it is totally free from defilement—it is 'kevali' a singularity because all its attributes are fused with its substance into a unity or singularity it is 'muni'1 because it is totally absorbed by and within itself—it is 'nāṇi'; the omniscient—because it is the incarnation of pure and perfect knowledge. And such ultimate perfectness is innate to the soul of every ascetic who aspires for self-realization.

To initiate the process of self-realization one has to be absorbed in self-meditation, that is, concentration on the pure transcendental state of the soul. This leads to the dawn of enlightenment.

Thus, the self-awareness of one's own potential of perfectness and the consequent enlightenment provides a well-defined specific goal or objective to the aspirant who had, so far, been groping in the dark from eternity.

Empirically various ways are prescribed for self-realization and final emancipation. All of them can be grouped under the term violence, truth, celibacy etc. (i) The five vows fully undertaken by ascetics are called great vows—mahāvratas, and when they are partially taken by householders/laymen are called small vows aṇuvratas. (ii) Austerities—tapas—of two types are prescribed which effects stoppage of the inflow of new karmic matter as well as dissociation of accumulated karma-nirjarā. Fasting, discipline in diet etc. are external austerities while expiation, meditation etc. are internal ones. Right conduct, however, is futile in the absence of right attitude and right knowledge. The author is very emphatic about this mutual relationship of the trio. We shall study the problem of relationship of faith, knowledge and conduct in some detail, in the succeeding verses. Here we shall merely point out that self-awareness and faith in the innate purity of the self must precede all other religious activities such as vow etc. The appellation "bāla" to vow and austerity (bāla vrata & bāla tapa) is to emphasize their futility in the absence of enlightenment, in the path of emancipation.


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. Celibacy
  2. Concentration
  3. Consciousness
  4. Discipline
  5. Fasting
  6. Karma
  7. Karmic matter
  8. Meditation
  9. Muni
  10. Omniscient
  11. Omniscients
  12. Samaya
  13. Soul
  14. Tapa
  15. Violence
  16. Vrata
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