આજ નો દિવસ : વિક્રમ સંવત   ૨૦૭૪  ( નેમિસૂરિ સંવત  ૬૯ )  માગશર સુદ છઠ શુક્રવાર   Dt: 24-11-2017



દોડતા તા ત્યારે લાગતું એવું, આપણા જેવો કોઈ સમર્થ નથી, સહેજ નવરા પડી જોયું ત્યારે, ખબર પડી, જે દોડ્યા તેનો કોઈ અર્થ નથી…

Käle Vinae Bahumäne Uvahäne Tah Aninhavane

Vanjan Attha Tadubhaye Atthaviho Nänmäyäro

--- Panchächär Sutra

Proper timing, reverence, esteem, required austerities, gratitude and loyalty, reading carefully, grasping the meaning and making out the underlying sense constitute eight-fold code of knowledge.

The first aspect pertains to Jnän or knowledge. Mati-Jnän, Shruta-Jnän, Avadhi- Jnän, Manah-Paryäya- Jnän and Keval -Jnän are the five categories of the Jnän. Mati means intelligence. The knowledge acquired by using the intellect or by exercising the mind is therefore called Matijnän. Shru means to hear. By implication, it also covers reading, writing, learning etc. So Shruta-Jnän means the knowledge gained by listening, reading, studying etc. These two categories thus deal with knowledge that can be gained by the use of senses and mind. Since mind is considered the intangible sense, these categories of knowledge are termed as sensed based knowledge or Indriyädhin Jnän. Knowledge of different arts, sciences etc. falls within these categories. Since use of senses does not directly involve the soul, Jainism considers these two categories as indirect knowledge or Parokshajnän. This type of knowledge is subject to destruction and does not last forever.

The remaining three categories are not sense based. They arise by virtue of the spiritual development and are called direct knowledge or Pratyaksha-Jnän. They are extra-sensual or say, of the occult type that can be experienced without exercising the senses. Avadhijnän pertains to the knowledge of tangible aspects. The term Avadhi denotes certain limitations. Avadhijnän therefore means the knowledge of the tangible aspects lying beyond sensory perception, subject to the limitations of time, space etc. For instance, a person may gain capability to know by extra-sensory perception, what had happened or what is going to happen during a specified period of time. Such period may be of a few hours, a few days, a few years or even a few lives. His capability to know prevails within such limitations and cannot prevail beyond that. On the other hand, a person may gain capability to know what is happening within a specified distance. That distance may be long or short. That much distance is the limitation, within which he can exercise his capability, but cannot do it beyond that. Avadhijnän thus prevails within the defined time and space. This capability is thus not infinite and it is not everlasting.

 

The 4th category is Manah-Paryäya-Jnän, which is sometimes mentioned as Manah-paryav-Jnän. Manas means the mind. Paryäya means the changing state. This category therefore denotes capability to make out the thinking process and mental attitudes of others. It pertains only to intangible aspects. This capability also is not infinite and its operation is subject to limitations. It is of two types, Rujumati and Vipulmati. The former can disappear, while the latter stays with the soul till it attains Kevaljnän.

The last one is Kevaljnän. Keval means only as well as pure. In the former sense Kevaljnän means exclusive prevalence of knowledge only and nothing else. In the latter sense, it is pure, untainted knowledge. Either of these interpretations enables it to operate without any limitations. The person attaining this knowledge gets infinite capability to know each and every thing, tangible or intangible, and for all the time in the past, present and future. This knowledge is therefore termed as true enlightenment. The holder of such capability is known as omniscient or Sarvajna. Kevaljnän is indestructible. Once it is attained, it stays forever.

 

The question that would arise is how to gain knowledge. It should be clearly understood that knowledge does not come without any effort. As a matter of fact, soul is inherently imbibed with infinite knowledge. It is however not manifested at present on account of operating unwholesome Karma that obscures its manifestation. The way to acquire knowledge is therefore to eradicate or suppress that Karma. This can be done by undertaking wholesome Karma and/or by bearing the consequence of the operating Karma with equanimity.

Let us understand this phenomenon by illustrating the case of Matijnän. Suppose some particular prayer is to be memorized, it is possible that one person may succeed in memorizing it with little effort; another may have to repeatedly recite it for memorizing it; while some one else may fail to memorize it despite all possible efforts. This means that the bondage of obscuring Karma in the first case is very loose and it gives way by exerting little effort which amounts to undertaking slight present Karma. In the second case, the bondage is rather tight and needs more efforts or higher countervailing Karma to break it. In the third case, the bondage is unbreakable and has to be born as such. Every one should therefore endeavor or undertake such countervailing Karma to break the bondage of the knowledge obscuring Karma. Such endeavor is termed as Purushärtha. Whether it succeeds or not depends upon the intensity of the operative Karmas.

 

Acquisition of knowledge is thus a function of overcoming Karmas. Purushärtha (efforts) lies in trying to overcome the same. It has two aspects, external and internal. Trying to gain Matijnän and Shruta-Jnän by developing and exercising physical and mental abilities is external Purushärtha. Trying to gain spiritual development by achieving Nirjarä (eradication of karmas) is internal Purushärtha. Avadhijnän, Manah-paryäya-jnäna and Kevaljnän automatically emerge by such Purushärtha. Every one should therefore devote maximum energy for undertaking internal Purushärtha.

External Purushärtha consists of appropriately selecting the school and subjects of study, undertaking study at the proper time, regular attendance, patiently attending and absorbing what is being taught, carefully following the instructions, doing the required home work, taking proper care of the books and other means of study, reverence for the teachers, observing the discipline etc. Undertaking research, remaining in touch with the latest developments, taking refresher courses, participation in seminars and workshops for the purpose of more intensive study constitute higher type of Purushärtha.

It should be understood that every one do not have the same capacity to absorb what is being taught. The outcomes are therefore bound to be different. However, if one is keen to gain knowledge, have trust in him, pursues the goal with diligence and have access to capable teachers and Guides, he can surely gain what he might be seeking. In other words, his knowledge obscuring Karma would give way in the face of his Purushärtha.

Jain tradition is particularly concerned with acquiring knowledge. For that purpose it lays down the following stipulations:

  1. Undertaking study at the proper time

  2. Reverence for the teachers and proper care for the means of gaining knowledge

  3. Esteem for the learned

  4. Observance of the required austerities for getting properly equipped

  5. Utmost loyalty to the preceptors

  6. Accurate study of the Sutras (Religious scripture)

  7. Understanding their meanings

  8. Grasping the underlying meaning and purpose.

It would be noted that all the earlier mentioned aspects of Purushärtha are covered in these stipulations. If they are properly observed, that can lead to the eradication of the knowledge obscuring Karma and thereby to the manifestation of knowledge.

On the other hand, factors contrary to the said stipulations like ignoring the proper time for study, negligence for the means of learning, careless or casual reading of the Sutras, disrespect for the teachers, not properly maintaining the books etc. would result in knowledge obscuring Karma. Such factors are therefore termed as transgressions of the code of knowledge and should be scrupulously avoided.