Spiritual Purification And Enhancement Of Knowledge

Published: 24.12.2010
Updated: 02.07.2015


Series of 3 seminars on

Integrating Modern Science and Spirituality for Social Wellness:
A Challenge of 21st Century

Seminar "A"

Consciousness and Knowledge: Scientific and Spiritual Perspectives


Sundday, December 12, 2010

Session V: 12.00-13.00

Spiritual Purification And Enhancement Of Knowledge

Jain Doctrine states that consciousness and soul are concomitant. Further consciousness manifests itself as utilisation (knowledge and intuition) and attainment.

Pure soul i.e. without any defilement/veiling by karmic impurities is pure consciousness and hence its ability to know directly all objects (subtle or gross or non concrete) directly is infinite. This capability /utilisation of consciousness is inversely proportional to the extent of karmic enveloping the pure soul.

Souls of all living beings (like human beings, animal beings etc) with karmic veil, have to use other means like the sense organs to cognize the objects of knowledge. So all living beings with karmik veil on their souls are endowed with mind based knowledge/ sensual perception (mati jnana) and verbal testimony (sruta jnana) types of knowledge. These also are of different levels and subtypes giving separate identity to each one of us. Acquisition of direct knowledge like clairvoyance (avadhi jnana), mental modes / telepathy (manah paryava jnana) and finally just knowledge (omniscience or keval jnana) require specialized spiritual exertions to attain them.

In this paper we shall discuss how the two indirect i.e. mind based and verbal testimony knowledge can be enhanced using the path of purification of soul for the householders in Jainism. A significant aspect of advanced mind based knowledge are the four types of intellect i.e. Instantaneous comprehension (auppatika), intellect born out of faithful service (vainiki), intellect developed by practice (karmaja) and finally mature intellect (wisdom or parinamika) result from the practice of the Jain code of conduct for spiritual purification by householders.

An important aspect of Jain doctrine is that the soul carries the knowledge acquired in its many births. Also the spiritual path, while enhancing knowledge also enhances endurance and power of the sense organs (Namakarma in Jainism) thereby is supporting the enhancement of the means and the level of knowledge itself.

Even though the Jain doctrine relates to attainment of higher knowledge in spiritual term, yet its literature is full of instance where extraordinary super natural powers called riddhis are also accrue which can imply enhancing the time, space, type limitations of the object of knowledge for cognition by the soul.

Clairvoyance and telepathy can, to some extent be interpreted as enhancement of mind based and verbal testimony types of knowledge.

The above doctrine is comparable to the material science as well where we see that the level of purification of a particular material type significantly enhances its distinguishing characteristics. This is amply demonstrated by the near revolution in knowledge processing industry by refining the silicon powder to the molecular state and using them in the manufacture of microprocessors with million times faster processing speeds compared to their earlier versions in the mid 1950s. The only difference is that soul on its own achieves its full potential while materials, either as homogenous mixtures of like material particles or alloys, achieve the higher levels of desired attributes.


Dr. Rudi Jansma
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  1. Avadhi Jnana
  2. Clairvoyance
  3. Consciousness
  4. Delhi
  5. ISJS
  6. Jain Code Of Conduct
  7. Jainism
  8. Jnana
  9. Keval Jnana
  10. Manah
  11. Mati Jnana
  12. Paryava
  13. Rudi Jansma
  14. Science
  15. Soul
  16. Space
  17. Sruta
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