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Samayasara - by Acharya Kundakunda: Effort For Liberation Is Essential For Final Emancipation

jaha ṇāma ko vi puriso baṃdhaṇayamhi cirakālapaḍibaddho.
tivvaṃ maṃdasahāvaṃ kālaṃ ca viyāṇade tassa..

jadi ṇa vi kuvvadi chedaṃ ṇa muccade teṇa baṃdhaṇavaso saṃ.
kāleṇa du bahugeṇa vi ṇa so ṇaro pāvadi vimokkhaṃ..

iya kammabaṃdhaṇāṇaṃ padesapayaḍiṭṭhidῑ ya aṇubhāgaṃ.
jāṇaṃto vi ṇa muccadi muccadi savve jadi visuddho..

jaha baṃdhe ciṃtaṃto baṃdhaṇabaddho ṇa pāvadi viṃokkhaṃ.
taha baṃdhe citaṃto jῑvo vi ṇa pāvadi viṃokkhaṃ..

jaha baṃdhe chettūṇa ya baṃdhaṇabaddho du pāvadi viṃokkhaṃ.
taha baṃdhe chettūṇa ya jῑvo saṃpāvadi viṃokkhaṃ..

(Jaha nāma ko vi puriso) Just as a person, (baṃdhaṇayamhi cirakālapadibaddho) who is in fetters for a long time, (viyāṇade) becomes [fully] aware (tassa tivvaṃ maṃdasahāvaṃ) about the strength or weakness of his bondage, (ca) and (kālaṃ) also the long duration of the ordeal suffered by him; (Ṇa muccade teṇa baṃdhaṇavasosaṃ) but he cannot achieve freedom from the bondage (jadi ṇa vi kuvvadi chedaṃ) if he does not make an effort (to cut,off the fetters) (ṇa so ṇaro pāvadi vimokkhaṃ) [and consequently] cannot become free even after a very long period of time. (Iya) Much in the same way (kammabaṃdhanāṇaṃ) a soul in bondage of karma, (jāṇaṃto vi) inspite of being (fully) aware and conversant with the (padesapayaḍiṭṭhidῑyaaṇubhāgaṃ) [four types of] bondage, viz., the extent, the nature, the duration and the intensity of fruition, (ṇa muccadi) cannot achieve freedom from the bondage of karma, (jadi visuddho savve muccadi) unless and until he makes a concerted effort to destroy the impurity of affection etc. [That is he cannot be liberated by his knowledge of bondage alone].

(Jaha) [And also] just as (baṃdhaṇabaddho) [a person] who is in fetters (ṇa pāvadi vimokkhaṃ) cannot achieve freedom (baṃdhacitaṃto) by merely worrying or contemplating his misfortune of bondage, (taha) so also (jῑvo) a soul [in bondage of karma] (ṇa pāvadi vimokkhaṃ) cannot be liberated, (baṃdhe citaṃto) merely by contemplating—theoretically thinking about—the bondage of karma. [And also] (Jaha) just as (baṃdhaṇabaddho) [a person] in. fetters, (pāvadi vimokkhaṃ) achieves freedom, (baṃdhe chettūṇa) [as soon as] he cuts off the fetters [by a conceited effort], (taha) so also (jῑva) a soul (saṃpāvadi vimokkhaṃ) achieves liberation (baṃdhe chettūṇa) [as soon as] it succeeds in cutting the bondage of karma.


The opening verses of this chapter are very important because they clarify the mutual dependence and usefulness of pure theoretical knowledge and pure spiritual action/discipline for achieving final liberation/emancipation (mokṣa). They are very important because, while there is no controversy regarding the state of emancipation, divergent views are held, regarding the method and process of final liberation, by different philosophers and schools of thought.

The main controversy is whether knowledge alone is competent enough to secure emancipation or spiritual energy is also essential. The author has clearly and vigorously refuted the position of the upholders of knowledge as the means of emancipation. Throughout the book, the author has put the knowledge in the supreme position and these verses are necessary to dispel the misunderstanding that the author—Ācārya Kundakunda—does not consider the application of spiritual energy essential for achieving emancipation. Now it is clear that knowledge and spiritual action are equally necessary for emancipation. The psychic action, here, means the application of pure psychic energy, i.e., ātmika vῑrya which is without the corruption such as attachment and aversion. It is well known that even after demolishing the deluding karma and the knowledge-obscuring karma and attaining pure and perfect knowledge—kevalajñāna—the soul has to destroy the residual karma by the application of spiritual energy called śukladhyāna. Thus, pure knowledge is futile without kriyā; at the same time, kriyā is futile without knowledge, which is consistent with the popular saying, "knowledge without kriyā is cripple and kriyā without knowledge is blind."[1]

In these verses the author refutes some false beliefs about the method and process of final liberation. Though there is no dispute about the state of final liberation, there are many false notions about its process. It is universally accepted that the liberations means freedom from bondage, that is, separation of Self from the bondage of Non-self. However, some people believe and maintain that:

  1. A thorough theoretical knowledge about various features of bondage is enough to get freedom.
  2. Constant and concentrated thinking about the bondage is enough to get freedom.
  3. Contemplation or mental concentration on various facets of bondage is sure to lead to freedom.

The author uses a simple analogy of a person who is fettered with chains in the worldly life, to refute all the above views which are false and misleading. A person in chains, in course of his long bondage, is sure to become aware and conversant about the nature, i.e., the strength and weakness of the chain, the duration of his ordeal and many other parameters regarding his bondage. But all this knowledge is ineffectual in securing his freedom, if he doesn't make an effort to secure it. Much in the same way, though one may have vast theoretical knowledge regarding bondage of karma, i.e., one knows all about the four important features of bondage, viz., its extent (pradeṣa bandha), its nature (prakṛti bandha), its duration (sthiti bandha) and the intensity of its fruition (anubhāga bandha).[2]

In the same way, repeated thinking about various facets of the doctrine of karma, viz., the material nature of karma, relation between the soul and karma, classification of karma and various states and processes of karma, would prove to be of no avail in achieving freedom. Can a chained person secure his release and end his ordeal by contemplation, i.e. concentrating and canalizing his thoughts on the chains which have fettered him? Just as it is ridiculous to believe such a false notion, so also it is wrong to believe that mere contemplation of the doctrine of karma (after learning it thoroughly) can lead to liberation. What, then, is the method of securing liberation? The answer is given by the author in verse 9.5. The one and only way to obtain freedom from the chains which bind, is to cut off the chain and break the bondage. In the same way, the only way to achieve final liberation is to demolish the karma and break its bondage.

In the verses that follow, the author prescribes a systematic process by which pure consciousness can be isolated and directly experienced.


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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. Akarma
  2. Antarāya
  3. Anubhāga
  4. Anubhāga Bandha
  5. Bandha
  6. Concentration
  7. Consciousness
  8. Contemplation
  9. Karma
  10. Kriyā
  11. Kundakunda
  12. Mokṣa
  13. Nāma
  14. Prakṛti
  15. Prakṛti Bandha
  16. Soul
  17. Sthiti
  18. Sthiti Bandha
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