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Acharanga Bhasyam: Sūtras 123-140 : The Immaculate Soul — The Supreme Soul

Published: 18.03.2011
Updated: 02.07.2015

5.123 savve sarā ṇiyaṭṭaṃti.

All sound recoil thence.

5.124 takkā jattha ṇa vijjai.

There speculation has no room.

5.125 mai tattha ṇa gāhiyā.

Nor does the mind penetrate there.

5.126 oe appatiṭṭhāṇassa kheyaṇṇe.

The liberated soul is solitary, supportless and the pure knower.

5.127 se ṇa dīhe, ṇa hasse, na vaṭṭe, ṇa taṃse, ṇa cauraṃse, ṇa parimaṃḍale.

It is neither long, nor small, nor round, not triangular, nor quadrangular, nor circular.

5.128 ṇa kiṇhe, ṇa ṇīle, ṇa lohie, ṇa hālidde, ṇa sukkille.

It is neither black, nor blue, nor red, nor yellow, nor white.

5.129 ṇa subbhigaṃdhe, ṇa durabhigaṃdhe.

It is neither of good smell nor of bad smell.

5.130 ṇa titte, ṇa kadue, ṇa kasāe, ṇa aṃbile, ṇa mahure.

It is neither bitter, nor pungent, nor astringent, nor acid, nor sweet.

5.131 ṇa kakkhaḍe, ṇa maue, ṇa garue, ṇa lahue, ṇa sīe, ṇa uṇhe, ṇa ṇiddhe, ṇa lukkhe.

It is neither rough, nor soft; neither heavy, nor light; neither cold, nor hot; neither wet nor dry.

5.132 ṇa kāū.

It does not possess a physique.

5.133 ṇa ruhe.

It is without rebirth.

5.134 ṇa saṃge.

It is without contamitation (attachment).

5.135 ṇa itthī, ṇa purise, ṇa aṇṇahā.

It is neither female, nor male, nor neuter.

5.136 pariṇṇe saṇṇe.

It knows and perceives.

5.137 uvamā ṇa vijjae.

It is beyond any analogy.

5.138 arūvī sattā.

It is formless existence.

5.139 apayassa payaṃ ṇatthi.

It transcends all expressions. There is no word to express it.

5.140 se ṇa sadde, ṇa rūve, ṇa gaṃdhe, ṇa rase, ṇa phase, iccetāva. - tti bemi.

It is neither colour, nor smell, nor taste, nor touch. It is that much. - Thus do I say.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtras 123-140

The present Āgama begins with the doctrine of soul. The transmigrating[1] soul assumes many varieties of bodies and migrates to various births.[2] Such soul is designated as worldly.

According to the substantial standpoint which is related to the state of soul associated with karma, the soul, on account of his embodied state, is knowable by logic, comprehensible by empirical knowledge and is endowed with the qualities of matter, it is subject to re-birth and it belongs to the sex such as male, female, etc. and in some sense is also possessed of form.

According to the substantial standpoint which is related to the state of soul dissociated from karma, the soul, with respect to its innate state of soulhood, is designated as emancipated or liberated from the destructive karma as well as non-destructive karma. It is without a form, because it is bereft of the body. Consequently, it is not susceptible to description through words, logic and empirical knowledge. It is devoid of the qualities of matter and three kinds of sex,, It is in its state of knower. In the present Sūtras (123-140) the nature of the soul which is free from association with karma and bereft of body has been propounded.

The sūtras of the Upaniṣadas, that describe soul have similarity to these Sūtras. The kṣatriyas were the forerunners among the upholders of the science of self. They had the authority of propounding the doctrine of the self. This could be proved on the evidence of the Upaniṣadas.[3] This mere similarity cannot be a sufficient proof of the Upaniṣadas' influence on the Ācārāṅga Sūtra, as claimed by some scholars. Such claim, therefore, needs re-consideration.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 123: Now the unknowable or the ineffable aspect of the soul is explained—the soul is without any form and is the subtlest principle and therefore it cannot be expressed in words. In the Cūrṇi (p. 199), the sound is replaced by the word doctrine—all doctrines cease to exist in respect of the soul.[4]

In the Upaniṣadas the bliss of Brahaman is described as follows;

"Words do not reach there, but recoil together with the mind. The person who knows the bliss of Brahman has no fear from any quarter."[5]

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 124: 'Logic' means investigation.[6] The soul cannot be perceived directly through investigation. It is not amenable to the logic, because of its being a formless and the most subtle principle.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 125: The soul is not knowable by the empirical perception. A formless principle is not the object of words, logic or intellect, as it is explained in the Uttarādhyayana Sūtra (14.19).[7]

Bhāsyam Sūtra 126: The soul is one and alone, that is, independent. The Sanskrit word 'Oja' in the Sūtra according to its scriptural connotation, means solitary and alone. Being different from the body, it exists alone. There is no second (to it). It is supportless[8] and the knower.[9]

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 127: The soul is not long i.e., all pervasive (as some philosophers believe). It is not small i.e., being of the size of the thumb (as some thinkers assert).[10] It is not of any shape such as the circular and the like.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 128: It is not possessed of any colour viz., black and the like.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 129: It is not possessed of any smell.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 130: It is not possessed of any taste.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 131: It is not possessed of any touch.

In the aforesaid five Sūtras (127 to 131), the soul has been propounded by negative designations. The shapes, the qualities of colour etc. mentioned in these Sūtra are existent in the material substance. In the sensible world, we perceive the world as possessed of three dimensions. The soul is beyond all dimensions, and therefore, in order to propound its difference from the material substance, the negative designations have been used. It is proved from this that what is possessed of shape and the like is a substance possessed of form. All these do not exist in the soul and therefore it is formless.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 132: The liberated soul is not embodied with any kind of body. Neither any soul incarnate from and merge into it, as some philosophers believe.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 133: It is not subject to birth like a seed burnt by fire. On account of its burnt out karma-seed, the sprout of transmigration does not grow.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 134: It is free from attachment.[11] The soul which has even a slight, remnant of attachment is subject to transmigration. The liberated soul, on account of its being completely free from attachment is not born again.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 135: The sex belongs to the body. The genital emotion is due to the conduct-deluding karma. The soul in its pure state is without any body and bereft of all karma. So it is beyond all genital modes. It is neither female nor male nor neuter. It is beyond sex - physical and emotional.

In the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad,[12] the state of the soul with and without gender have been described as follows:

"The soul is neither female, nor male, nor neuter. It is identified with male, female and neuter in accord with his body."

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 136: It knows from all ways and from all sides, and therefore, it is all knowing. The ordinary person knows only partially through his sense-organs,13 but the soul without any veil knows completely. It perceives rightly, and therefore, it is designated as one who perceives rightly.

Consciousness is the defining characteristics of the soul. Liberated or not, it can never be devoid of consciousness. In the philosophy (unlike Nyāya, Vaiṣeśika and Sāṃkhya) the soul has knowledge and its function even in the innate state of liberation.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 137: The soul alone is all-knowing and all-perceiving. No other entity is all-knowing and all-perceiving. And therefore, there is no simile applicable to the soul or the soul is not comparable to anything that is worldly.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 138: 'Existence' means 'isness'. There is existence of the soul, but it is formless and therefore its existence is directly known only by omniscience. The soul is not directly known to those who are possessed of only sensuous knowledge.

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 139: The soul cannot be expressed by any word. There is no word that signifies the soul. Unlike the Sāṃkhya philosophy which asserts that ‘Om’ stands for the liberated soul, the emancipated soul has no designation. In the Cūrṇi the word 'pada' is explained as footprint. For instance, the serpent has no feet, circular or round-like.[14]

Bhāṣyaṃ Sūtra 140: The word, (pada) is of the nature of sound. The soul is neither sound, nor color, nor smell, nor taste, nor touch—


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Jain Vishwa Bharati

Ladnun- 341 306 (Raj.) India © Jain Vishva Bharti

ISBNS 1-7195-74-4

First Edition:2001

Courtesy :
Shree Chhotulal Sethia Charitable Trust Sethia House, 23/24,
Radha Bazar Street, Kolkata-700 001 (INDIA)

Printed by:
Shree Vardhaman Press
Delhi (INDIA)

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Brahman
  3. Consciousness
  4. Cūrṇi
  5. Fear
  6. Karma
  7. Mīmāṃsā
  8. Nyāya
  9. OM
  10. Sanskrit
  11. Sattā
  12. Science
  13. Soul
  14. Sāṃkhya
  15. Sūtra
  16. Uttarādhyayana
  17. Uttarādhyayana Sūtra
  18. Vṛtti
  19. Ācārāṅga
  20. Ācārāṅga Sūtra
  21. Āgama
  22. Āyāro
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