Attracting of Karma is Ashrav (+)
Stopping of Karma is Sanwar ( = ) and
Shedding of Karma is known as Nirjara ( – ) .
In the previous post, we saw 57 ways a soul can avoid attracting of new Karma. Today we will discuss about Nirjara. But before we discuss Nirjara we should know about the status of various Karmas.
Bandh: Actual attachment of Karma to the soul is known as Bandh. There is a difference between Ashrav and Bandh. Ashrav is actions (of mind, body and words) which attract Karma while Bandh is the actual physical attachment of Karma to the soul. One is the cause and other is the effect.
Uday: Out of the physically attached Karmas, there are some which are operative and giving its fruits in the present moment. These Karmas are known as Karma in Uday.
Udirana: We have seen earlier Karma when attached has its maturity time. But bringing the Karma to Uday before its maturity by some means (Nirjara) is known as Udirana.
Satta: This means Karmas which are attached to the soul in dormant form and yet to give its fruits.
When a Karma is in operation i.e. Uday Karma, it gives its fruit and vanishes that is Nirjara. This is natural Nirjara and every soul is doing this every second. However, there are possibilities of extinguishing the existing Karma before it matures i.e. in Uday. Tattvarthigum Sutra suggests this kind of Nirjara is possible in twelve ways.
Penance is the way of doing it. There are twelve types of penance as the Sutra suggests. These are divided into : Six external and six internal. Penance, which others can see is known as external and penance known only to the self is known as internal penance. In external penance, focus is on detachment from Pudgala (things) while in external penance focus is on refrainment of Kasyaha (anger, ego, deceit , greed).
Both types of penance are equally important. Let’s look at it one by one:
Maintaining equanimity in above six condition helps in destroying existing Karma.
Now we turn to internal penance. This is invisible to others, but a soul can practice this for its own betterment. The body is not impacted in these types of penance as much it’s impacted during practicing external penance. However, this kind of penance enhances quality of the soul. These are:
All these twelve penances are the means to get rid of existing Karma before it matures. This can speed up the journey of the soul to Moksha. (Remember: Karmaless soul is the Moksha.)
We the souls, not only need to stop Ashrav but also practice Sanwar and Nirjara to become Karmaless as quickly as possible.
However, before one thinks of indulging in these penances, do not forget this will only work to extinguish Karma if the doer is in a soul mode and not consider self as a body. (The Real Maths)
Believing self as a body is Mithyatva i.e. wrong knowledge and in that case Nirjara becomes the cause of Ashrav. Soul attracts good Karma. The objective to attain Moksha is to get rid off and not attract good or bad Karma.
When the living beings are suffering due to the wrong belief about the self and not knowing the laws of Karma which operates for every soul, the knowledge of Ashrav, Sanwar and Nirjara as explained in this and previous two posts will be immensely useful.
Source Credit: 1) Tattvarthigum Sutra 2) Karma Granth – 1