The Jaina Doctrine of Karma And The Science Of Genetics ► [4.1] Bondage Of Karma ► ▪ Kaṣayas (Passions)

Posted: 17.04.2009

Kaṣayas (Passions)

Kaṣ means saṁsār (material world, cycles of birth and death, world of misery) āya means gain. Kaṣāyas therefore secure the saṁsāra keep us miserable. Therefore, they are called kaṣāyas:

  1. Anger (krodha)
  2. Ego (māna)
  3. Deceit (māya)
  4. Greed (lobha)


Each of these have four kinds (degrees):

    1. Life long (extremely violent)
    2. Non-renunciatory (violent)
    3. Partially renunciatory (violence of middle level)
    4. Flame like (completely renunciatory, mild)


Their prakṛtika names are given in the Āgamas as follow:

    1. Anantānubandhī kaṣāya
    2. Apratyākhyānī kaṣāya
    3. Pratyākhyānī kaṣāya
    4. Saṁjwalana kaṣāya.

1. Anantānubandhi (life long) Kaṣāya

This kaṣāya binds the soul to endless saṁsāra. This kaṣāya usually lasts more than 12 months. It adds bondage to bondage and impels the cycle of life and death to go on endlessly. A person with this type of kaṣāya is in mithyātva. The intensity of this kaṣāya keeps the jīva under its impact such that she/he will not have even a rational thought. The jīva under the influence of this kaṣāya commits sins like violence and other evil actions without fear and any hesitation. Person with this kaṣāya does not have faith (or samyaktva) in tatvas (basic elements of Jainism). Therefore anantānubandhī kaṣāya (anger, ego, deceit and greed) are extremely harmful. First, a person destroys this type of kaṣāya and, thus develops faith in tatvas (basic elements of Jainism). When the anantānubandhī kaṣāya arises, it destroys the right faith. [9]


2. Apartyākhyanī (non-renuntiatory) kaṣāyas

This Kaṣāya lasts at least 4 months and upto 12 months. A person under influence of this kaṣāya has the right belief but has not yet taken any vows to minimize sinful and unnecessary activities. By taking partial vows, he/she overcomes this kaṣāya. [10]


3. Pratyākhyānī (partially renunciatory) kaṣāya

This kaṣāya lasts more than 15 days and upto 4 months. A person under influence of this kaṣāya has taken partial vows to minimize sinful and unnecessary activities. This stage is for a family person like us. [11]


4. Saṁjwalana (flame like, totally renunciatory) kaṣāya

This kaṣāya is of subtle kind and lasts less than 15 days. In this stage, an individual takes total vows and becomes a Jaina monk. He/she discards all sinful activities. [12] Three Kaṣāya have many forms such as attachments hatred, enemity (animosity), hostility, arrogance, craftiness, trickety, lust, greed, possessive propensity (partiality) etc. There are nine no kaṣāya which are called quasi kaṣāyas which function as catalyst to kaṣāyas. Those are following:

  1. Laughing (joking-hāsya)
  2. Improper liking (rati)
  3. Improper disliking (arati)
  4. Sorrow (śoka)
  5. Fear (Bhaya)[13]
  6. Disgust (jugupṣā)
  7. Sexual craving for male (puruṣa-veda)
  8. Sexual craving for female (stri-veda)
  9. Sexual carving for both male and female (napusaṁka veda). [14]

These nine nokaṣāyas provoke kaṣāyas:

        1. Laughing and joking - Making fun of some one, telling a lie to make other laugh.
        2. Improper liking - To like certain things without any regard to truth or false hood.
        3. Improper disliking - To dislike certain things without any regard to truth or falsehood.
        4. Sorrow - This is an obstacle to right conduct. Leads to wrong action. Leads to accusing someone else.
        5. Fear - An obstacle to right action. Most of our wrong actions are result of our fear.
        6. Disgust - Obstruction to knowledge and right action. Not liking certain things, without proper thinking.
        7. to  9.   Desire have sex with male, female and both.

These nine are known as nokaṣāyas (subsidiary kaṣāyas). Nokaṣāyas generate and intensify the kaṣāyas and vice versa. The nokaṣāyas are considered as a part of kaṣāyas. [15] Thus total kaṣāyas are twenty five.

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