The Jaina Doctrine of Karma And The Science Of Genetics ► [6.4] Eradication Of Karma - Triple Jewels ► The Pathway To Emancipation

Posted: 04.09.2009

The triple Jewels - right attitude, right knowledge and right conduct constitute, according to Jainas, the pathway to final emancipation. [24] Right attitude or samyagdarśana is the predilection or love for truth. Every soul has such predilection in some measure. But unless and until it develops into a self-conscious persuit of truth, it does not help in spiritual progress. It is only at the stage of self-conscious effort for spiritual advancement that this love of truth is called samyagdarśana. The soul is conceived as groping in darkness before it acquires this love of truth in an appreciable measure. And it has to undergo a number of processes before the acquisition of this characteristic. There are souls who do never acquire this characteristic and, therefore are never released from worldly bondage. These souls are called abhavya (incapable of salvation). The Jainas do not give any ultimate reason for this endless bondage. After the acquisition of this characteristic the soul passes through a number of stages of spiritual development, technically known as fourteen guṇasthānas. This is a very important Doctrine of Jainas.

Once the soul succeeds in acquiring samyag-darśana, it is bound to attain emancipation sooner or later. The nature of samyag-darśana and its condition viz. the purity of soul we have already described one more than one occasion and shall have again and occassion to do so while dealing with the Doctrine of guṇasthāna. The attainment of right attitude (samyag-darśana) is followed by the attainment of right knowledge (samyag jñāna) and right conduct (samyag caritra). The soul acquires more and more power for self concentration (dhyāna) along with the increase of its purity and consequent attainment of the corresponding stages of spiritual development.

Right conduct means doing whatever is right, good and proper. It represents the rules of moral discipline, which control good behaviour and constitutes the right activities of mind, body and speech. It presupposes the attainment of right knowledge, and right knowledge requires the presence of right faith. Hence right knowledge and right faith, when coupled together make the guidelines for right conduct. The self can follow right conduct only when it is equipped with right faith and right knowledge. So, along with right faith and right knowledge, right conduct is a fundamental factor in attainment of mokṣa. There is a close relation between knowledge and action. The uttarādhyayana sūtra states that right faith, knowledge, and conduct are interrelated. Through right knowledge one knows the nature of things, through faith one believes in them, through conduct and austerities he attains purity. By means of purity, one achieves emancipation. There is a close relation between knowledge and conduct. Conduct is the final fulfilment of knowledge.[25]

The three jewels of Jainism viz. right faith, right knowledge and right conduct, do not exist in any other substance except the self. One should know that these make the real self and its cause of liberation.[26] From the absolute point of view, conduct is only in self-realization and self-absorption. The Pravacanasāra states that conduct is dharma; dharma lies in equanimity and equanimity means that state of the self, which is devoid of attachment and aversion.[27]

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