The Jaina Doctrine of Karma And The Science Of Genetics ► [8.2] Effect Of Karma Over Genes ► The Scientific Communistic Thought of Jainism

Posted: 19.10.2009

According to the modern anatomy, all creatures have the same genetic codes - fundamental building blocks of life.[51] It is only due to the mutation of the genetic codes, different types of species of creatures - right from amibā to man take birth. Thus the doctrine of Jaina karma believes that all the jivas are possessed with similar soul, similar capacities but their different karmas provide them different bodies.[52]


First of all it should be made clear that every incident does not occur only due to karma. Karmas are not all in all. If we believe that whatever happens is subject to karmas only, it will be such on explanation, that the thiest (believer in God) says, that every thing happens only due to command of God or all that happens is subject to fate (fate accomplain or pre-destined), we cannot introduce any change. If karma is believed to be all in all, there will be then, no room for self exertion to eliminate them nor there will be any possibility for achieving salvation (mokṣa), because - as the karmas are done, so do they rise and reward the doer, and he or she will act according to them and bear further bondage of karmas. If it is so, then the thought of self-exertion and salvation will prove wrong. Thus it is proved that karmas are not all in all.


Karma is not an autocratic dominion. The karma has also goad on it. Changes can be made in karmas. Lord Mahāvīra says, "karma performed will be undergone", is a general principle, but there is an exception in it. In karmasUdīrṇa, (to attract pre mature karma), Udvartana (lengthening of karma period), Apvartana (shortening of karma period) and saṁkramaṇa (changing nature of karma) all these stages are possible, and change can be introduced in the karmas. Thus, we can say that due to self-exertion eradication of karmas can be done even before their maturity. Their duration and intensity can be minimized or maximized and one nature of karma can be changed with other sub group of same nature. The karmas which has come in rising, their reward can be subsided for a time, they can be made incapable for a certain period in their reward. This process is called "upaśama".


According to Ācārya Mahāprajña "The theory of saṁkramaṇa", is the theory of mutation of gene. One important thing worth paying attention is that the rise of karma take place according to substance, area, time, mode and state of living being. This rise depend upon medium and rewards accordingly. If the pain-causing karma rise at the same time with two different persons, and one person out of these two listens to the religious sermons and the devotional songs, the other one kept himself in a closed room doing nothing. The pain causing karma will cause more pain to second person in comparison to the first person who spends his time in listening to the religious sermons and devotional songs. There is a psychological reason of it also.[53]


Thus we reach to the conclusion considering all the above facts that in building personality, karma is not all in all, but heredity, environment, geographical situation and ecological conditions all effect nature and behaviour of man. Nāma karmas are not all in all. In facial and body formation of man, effect of the place and time can easily be perceptible on human physique. If two children are born to a mother - the one in some cold country and the other one in some hot country, the chilld born in a cold country can comparatively be more fair than the other child. If some person begins to live in some cold country, his complexion will change. According to Ācārya Mahāprajña the change of genes and the chemical changes bring change in human personality.


Āyuṣya karma is also a karma. But the outer mediums like poison etc. can minimize life span of a creature. Similarly, if some change is made in chromosomes and genes, a person's physique can be changed. Thus alone nāma karma does not decide human physique but environmental conditions can bring change in human physique. If we produce carbon copy of doner parent (i.e. clone) by changing nucleus of cell by a special scientific method, there come no discrepancy according to the Theory of karma because Saṁkramaṇa is possible in karmas.


Thus we come to conclusion that according to karma Theory, giving birth of the same physique by the cloning process is possible. So, the process of cloning is not a challenge to the karma Theory, but after understanding the karma Theory very systematically this process can easily be interpreted.[54]

Footnotes:
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Doctoral Thesis, JVBU