“Religion is the realisation of spirit as spirit.” Swami Vivekananda.
We all consider ourselves as religious by visiting temples, doing all kinds of rituals under the pretext of religion, worshipping the non-Gods considering them as Gods, making pilgrimages all around the world, going on so-called religious tours on select days, visiting temples and worshipping with worldly expectations, worshipping false gurus, and many many such things. All our religious practices are thoughtless and most of the time loaded with worldly expectations.
But alas, nothing of these qualifies as true religious acts if these acts and pilgrimages do not help us achieve what is stated by Swami Vivekananda.
Narsinh Mehta a renowned Gujarati poet (who had written the famous Bhajan – Vaishnav Jan to… favourite one of Gandhiji) had in one of his Bhajans stated,” Without knowing the spirit (Soul) all religious activities and rituals are worthless.”
Jainism defines knowing the spirit (Soul) as spirit (Soul) as Samyak Darshan. According to Jain scripture, all religious activities towards the liberation of a soul starts when one realises spirit as spirit. Without the self-realisation, all so-called religious activities can be anything but won’t help in the liberation of the soul.
Believing the self as Soul and not the body is the basic truth, but unfortunately, we do not realise that till our human life ends. What can be more disgusting than not knowing the real self as Spirit/Soul/Atma?
To quote Swamiji again, “Have you realised that you are spirit? When you say, ‘I do,’ what is meant by that— this lump of flesh, called the body or the spirit, the infinite, ever blessed, effulgent, immortal? You may be the greatest philosopher, but as long as you have the idea that you are the body, you are no better than the little worm crawling under your foot! No excuse for you! So much the worse for you that you know all the philosophies and at the same time think you are the body.”
According to Jain scriptures, believing the self as a body and not the Spirit i.e. the soul is the Mithyatva of the highest level. Mithyatva is the cause of the continuation of cycles of life and death of a soul. Mithyatva is defined as false beliefs. The Jain scholar Hemchandracharya defined Mithyatva as “belief in false divinities, false gurus, and false scriptures.”
This is not about Jainism and the concept of Jainism. Religion is the realisation of spirit as spirit and the other quote of Swamiji above are quotes of Swamiji taken from his article on Bhagavad Gita.
However, how many of us whether Jains or Hindu believer of Bhagavad Gita knows this fundamental about the religion?
We all are obsessed with rituals and pilgrimage ignorant of what is expected out of it to make it worth. What is the end result we have to achieve to make our so-called religious efforts actually religious? No clue.
As rightly stated by Swamiji, there are no difference between us human being and the little worm crawling under our feet if we think the self as a body because at the level of Mithyatva we both share the same belief about ourselves.
This is the reality of so-called religious people as I am ignoring people who don’t think about religion or about the true self. They just waste their human lives running after sensual pleasures, and without giving a thought about the self.
We are action oriented people so we indulge in all kinds of actions even as our religious practices but we don’t realise for pursuing the real religion, the right realisation must precede right actions. We never realise the basic truth and therefore even our actions are not right.
We humans have become highly knowledgeable with the advancement of science. We know about the atom theory, we know about byte and we now also know about a gene but isn’t not knowing the self is the highest ignorance we suffer from?
There is an ocean at the bottom of which there are countless dangerous creatures suffering miserably, beyond the ocean, there is an island, a place where there is no pain, but only permanent bliss/ happiness and there is a ship sailing in the ocean.
There are many people with different abilities, knowledge, and resources traveling on the ship. These differences are as per the standard rules applicable to everyone.
These people on the ship indulge in various activities while on the ship. People with abilities and knowledge are busy with using their skills to earn money and acquire resources; people who already have more resources are still busy in splurging in excesses, earning more money and acquiring more resources. Some of these resourceful people are also helping others who have fewer resources. This way they feel good having done good for the deprived people. Some are busy in improving the ship and some are busy in improving the living condition of the travelers of the ship. Some are busy enhancing their knowledge about the ship and people of the ship. Some are busy in ruling people on the ship.
Rules of the game:
Everyone on the ship will be thrown out of the ship anytime without any prior notice or intimation.
They will sink if they don’t know how to swim and will join those many suffering creatures living at the bottom.
They do not have knowledge about these rules when they enter the ship, but they have to know it by their own during their ship stay.
The moot question for all the travelers of the ship:
What should be the first priority of everyone traveling on the ship?
Pondering over the moot question is important for all of us because we all are the travelers on the ship.
The title of this post seems to be an attention drawing gimmick. Well, judge it at the end of the post.
Here I only want to show a simple way to become the likes of Vivekananda (Or whosoever enlightened Guru /God you believe in).
We all are so much obsessed with our bodily condition since birth that we forget our true self. Our external world is so demanding that till death, we hardly know the self as a soul and internal world of the soul.
Our social life and the importance we attach to it, our insatiable desires of our five senses, our attachment/hatred towards family members, our job/business, friends, parenting responsibilities, politics, TV, everything consumes and kills time (limited) available to us as a human life.
The casualty is our Soul, which after the death as a human body will get any one of the bodies of animals we look around with pity and sometimes hatred.
Unless, of course a few rare souls like Mahavira / Buddha or Vivekananda who would awaken during their life time and know the real self as a Soul. They are not merely bogged down in the present body conditions, which the soul has got in its ongoing journey. This awakening will make them realise the importance of human life and the mission to be achieved in this life.
Be it Mukesh Ambani or Bill Gates, all their wealth for which they are spending their extremely precious human life will remain here when the death arrives. Awakening to the realities of the self i.e. the soul is the purpose of every human life. Without knowing the self as a soul this human life loses its purpose.
This is possible when we look inward, away from the worldly things around us. Swami Vivekananda sat on a rock memorial detached from the world and absorbed in the nature and the self i.e. the soul. When you are alone and in the lap of the vastness of the nature, when all other body related thoughts are at the bottom, the soul speaks and can be experienced.
Pratyahar is the one of the eight limbs of Yoga, which means moving inward from the world of body senses. We are so obsessed with body and exterior world that we stop at Asana and Pranayama stage only. Unfortunately, our attention to our physical needs and present social priorities do not give this chance to our soul and mostly till the death.
You can try and experiment this. Go to a sea beach or on top of the mountain and be alone. Ignore the physical world, ignore all the thoughts about our present life/circumstances seek our attention. Just be with the nature and experience the nature. At this stage someone who is talking with you is your Soul. Know it, experience it.
Detachment is the word. Mahavira did it, Buddha did it and in the recent past Vivekananda did it. It is easy, but only after once we know that this is the agenda of a human life. Knowing agenda of a human life can take millions of years and many, many births but that is a different thing.
“Man should possess dignity and alertness. Only he whose spiritual consciousness is awakened possesses this dignity and alertness, and can be called a man. Futile is the human birth without the awakening of spiritual consciousness.”
The foundation of Jain philosophy is Nonviolence or rather TOTAL Non Violence towards any living being howsoever small it might be. This philosophy guides the conduct of the followers of Jain philosophy. I have no hesitation to say that this need not be a Jain philosophy only, but this should be a philosophy of every human being. In order to live this philosophy the conduct of true followers of Jainism differs from the other Non Jains.
“The basic foundation of Jain food is non-violence. First of all, we should only take such food, which involves least possible injury. The question of killing five-sensed beings doesn’t arise at all; we should avoid injury to mobile beings also. It is necessary to avoid destruction of even one sensed beings as far as possible. Jain-food-conduct has been determined keeping all these things in view.”
Jain Scholar Dr. Hukam Chand Bharill.
This is obvious as it entails killing of animals/ other living beings.
Eggs are also non eatables. Eggs are the progeny of five-sensed beings. Food produced out of eggs is clearly flesh food. Some people argue that a vegetarian egg cannot give birth to a child; it is lifeless. This statement is untrue because it is a product of the sexual organ of the hen. So not only is it impure, but it also increases in size after birth and does not become rotten. Therefore, it is alive, though it may not possess the capacity to evolve from, but in no way can it be treated as lifeless.
Some people say that the milk of a cow or goat is also part of the body. However, there is a vast difference between milk and eggs. This understanding is incorrect because an egg is the progeny of a hen, similarly milk is not the progeny of the cow. By taking milk out of the body of a cow or goat, no harm is done to their lives; whereas by use of the egg the creature inside the egg is killed. If the milk producing cow or goat is not milked at the proper time, agony is caused to it.
The fundamental principle is whether killing/harm is caused to the living being.
There are is millions of small lives in root vegetables. Those who have attended school laboratory should be aware that while viewing Onion or Potato slices in the microscope, one can easily see the micro living beings. Root vegetables (tuber-roots) are totally forbidden as uneatable for 2 reasons. The first being that vegetables grown underground are the depository of countless of small creatures. The second reason being the uproot of such vegetables has definitely results in the destruction of plants and trees.
According to Jain texts, a śrāvaka (householder) shouldn’t consume the four maha-vigai – wine, flesh, butter and honey; and the five udumbara fruits (the five udumbara trees are Gular, Anjeera, Banyan, Peepal, and Pakar, all belonging to the fig class). Honey is forbidden, as its collection would amount to violence against the bees.
Mushrooms, fungus and yeasts are forbidden because they are parasites, grow in non-hygienic environments and may harbour other life forms.
Even chocolates and many other ready-made food items do contain the above stated non eatables. Those who are conscious about following this pure way of life must check the contents of these ready-made foods.
Many a times the food contains gelatine powder and the manufactures put up the Green Mark assuming that no living beings are used during manufacturing however the gelatine powder itself is made up of;
“Gelatine is a mixture of peptides and proteins produced by partial hydrolysis of collagen extracted from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals such as domesticated cattle, chicken, pigs and fish.” Wikipedia.
There are microbes which hide during the sunshine. They reappear once the sun sets. They enter our food chain and preparations after the sunset. We all can see micro and small living being appears after the sunset if we are out in the open. Similar living beings are all there in the atmosphere after the sunset, some are seen and some cannot be seen by naked eyes. The principle of Non Violence is at play when Jains do Chauvihar and do not eat after the sunset.
You can see the video to know more. You Tube Video by Dr Raksha Shah on Chauvihar
Fasting is one of the 12 types of penance according to Jainism. The soul sheds its KARMAs known as Nirjara, in two ways:
Akam Nirjara: By getting its fruits (good or bad) as the Karma comes into play. This is the natural course of Nirjara. We have no choice.
Sakam Nirjara: By pre-poning the fruits by doing penance. This is by our choice.
Akam Nirjara can be compared with repayment of debt as per repayment schedule, while Sakam Nirjara can be compared with prepayment of debt by choice.
All penance practices performed by Jains, if done with the proper frame of mind and understanding, are the forms of Sakam Nirjara.
These are some of the usual practices performed the by Jains around us. So when the next time you see any Jains doing any of the above practices you are now aware about the logic/science and purpose behind the same.
(Note: Some of the content of this post is taken from “Vegetarian Food and Jain Conduct” by Dr. Hukam Chand Bharill )
Jains will celebrate Paryushan, their most prominent festival from today till the 15th of Sep 2016. When the world is facing severe degradation of Morale and widespread violence, Jainism, one of the most ancient or perhaps the oldest philosophy of extreme Non-Violence is worth knowing and practicing by everybody.
The word “Jain” is derived from the Sanskrit word jina (conqueror). A human being who has conquered all inner passions like attachment, desire, anger, pride, greed, etc. is called Jina. Followers of the path practiced and preached by the jinas are known as Jains
Jains believe that Jainism is eternal.
Ancient history of India reveals that there were three major religions in India. They were Brahaminism, Buddhism and Jainism (Nirgranthas). Latest research and excavation at Mohenjodaro and Harappa has shown that Jainism existed before five thousand years ago.
“There is nothing wonderful in my saying that Jainism was in existence long before the Vedas were composed.”
— Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan – Ex-President, India
There is a belief that Lord Mahavira founded the Jain religion. This is a wrong belief. The lord Mahavira was the 24th Tirthankara of the present set of Tirthankaras. There are an infinite number of sets of these Tirthankaras as per the Jain philosophy. As the world is eternal so is the Jain philosophy/science/principles.
Agamas are the original texts of Jainism based on the discourse of the tirthankara. The discourse delivered in a samavasarana (divine preaching hall) is called Śhrut Jnāna and comprises eleven Angas and fourteen purvas. The discourse is recorded by Ganadharas (chief disciples), and is composed of twelve angas (departments). It is generally represented by a tree with twelve branches. This forms the basis of the Jaina Agamas or canons. These are believed to have originated from Rishabhdev, the first Jain Tirthankara of the present set.
The earliest versions of Jain Agamas known were written in the Ardhamagadhi Prakrit language. Agama is a Sanskrit word which signifies the ‘coming’ of a body of doctrine, by means of transmission through a lineage of authoritative teachers.
The Jainas divide the whole span of time into two equally spanned cycles, namely, Utsarpini and Avasarpini. During Utsarpini, there is a gradual ascendancy in moral and physical state of the universe, while during Avasarpini, the case is just reversed, i.e. the gradual descent of moral and physical state of universe. Each of these two is subdivided into six aras, each extending from over crores of years to twenty-two thousands of years. This time-cycle goes on endlessly and humans like us rise to be Tirthankaras (Jina) at regular intervals. They, themselves, practice the eternal principles of Jainism and attain omniscience (Kevaljnan) and preach and expound us the same.
The present time is Avsarpani – 5th ara. This ara will last for 21000 years and in 2016 2540 years have already been elapsed.
Karma & GOD as per Jain science:
God as per the Jain philosophy is pure form of the SOUL. Every soul can become God i.e. liberated from the cycles of the body. Jains do not believe God as creator or manager of the universe. Every soul is governed by its own Karma. Every soul is surrounded with invisible Karman Varganas. These are matter scattered around us i.e SOUL. Karmas are the derivatives of Karman particles. Karman particles are non-living matter scattered all around us and all over the universe. They are very fine particles that cannot be seen even with a microscope. A cluster of innumerable Karman particles is called Karman Vargana. When you act with passions like attachment, anger, greed, ego, or deceitfulness (4 Kashays), Karman Varganas are attracted towards your soul. Karman Varganas that are attached to your soul are called karmas.
At the time of bondage of karmas to the soul, four characteristics of karmas are decided. They are: 1) Prakriti (nature).2) Pradesh (quantity).3) Sthiti (duration).4) Anubhag (intensity). The nature and quantity of karmas depend on the vigor of the activities, while the duration and intensity of karmas depend upon the intensity of the desires behind the activities. When a soul sheds all its Karma, it becomes Karma-less and this status of the soul is known as Moksha. Know how a soul attracts Karma and How to a soul get rid of our Karmas & How a soul can avoid attracting Karma.
The following three doctrines of Jainism constitute the path to liberation i.e. Moksha:
Jain principles are about the science of the Souls; whether one calls it a religion or a way of life or anything else.
Jainism believes that every living being is a combination of a body and a soul. The body is nothing but the culmination of the Karmas soul had attracted.
The only purpose of the soul is to get liberated (attain Moksha) from the bondage of the Karmas to get rid from the cycles of life and death. Compassion towards every soul is the central theme of the Jain philosophy in order to achieve the Moksha.
All Jain practices are guided by compassion towards other tiniest living beings.
Jainism & Buddhism:
Though there are many similarities but there is confusion about the differences in Jainism and Buddhism. The major differences as per the Jainworld.com are:
Nature of Religion
Buddhism belongs to the category of ‘Founded Religion’ as it was founded by a specific person viz.. Lord Gautama Buddha, at a particular period of time i.e.. in the sixth century B.C. But this cannot be said about Jainism which is a traditional religion continuously existing in India from remote Past.
Concept of Soul
Jainism is an atmavadi religion in the sense that it is based on the existence of soul and that it deals, in detail, with various aspects, conditions and progress of the soul till it reaches its highest position after getting liberated from the bondage of karmas. But Buddhism holds completely contrary views. Buddhism is, therefore, termed as anatmavadi; religion i.e., a religion which does not give any importance to the soul. According to Buddhism, soul is not a permanent thing and that it will wither away in due course.
Principles of Ahimsa
Even though Buddhism and Jainism are regarded as religions based on the fundamental principle of Ahimsa still there is a significant difference in the treatment and application of the principle of Ahimsa in actual practice by both religions. Buddhism deals with the principle of Ahimsa in a limited way in the sense that it enjoins upon its followers not to commit Ahimsa themselves only. That is why a Buddhist can eat fish caught by others. But Jainism not only considers the principle of Ahimsa in all its aspects, but also makes it obligatory on its followers to abstain from committing Ahimsa in nine possible ways. In other words, it is expected of a devout Jaina that he should not commit Ahimsa through manas (i.e., mind), vachana (i.e., speech) and kaya (i.e., body) and each through the manner of krta (i.e., personally committed), karita (i.e., commissioned through others) and anumodita (i.e., giving consent for commitment by others).
Practice of Penance
It is true that both Jainism and Buddhism are considered as ascetic religions as they attach prominence to the ascetic way of life and to the practice of penance. But there is a great difference in the extent of practice of penance in both religions. Jainism always lays utmost stress on the strict observance of the practice of asceticism in all possible ways. In fact, Jaina asceticism is considered as most difficult in the world and for its proper observance in practice, elaborate rules and regulations have been laid down giving rise to what is known as monastic jurisprudence. But Buddhism has shown a complete aversion to extreme asceticism and in its place, it has laid down madhyam-marga i.e.. the ‘Middle Path’ lying between complete laxity and extreme asceticity.
I think the detailing of the science of the soul mentioned in the Jain texts is unparalleled.
Prominent People’s Views on Jain Philosophy:
“In conclusion let me assert my conviction that Jainism is an original system, quite distinct and independent from all others; and that therefore it is of great importance for the study of philosophical thoughts and religious life in ancient India.”
“Jainism is of a very high order. Its important teachings are based upon science. The more the scientific knowledge advances the more that Jain teaching will be proven.”
“I adore so greatly the principles of the Jain religion, that I would like to be reborn in a Jain community.”
“The Jains have written great masterpieces only for the benefit of the world.”
“I say with conviction that the doctrine for which the name of Lord Mahavir is glorified nowadays is the doctrine of Ahimsa. If anyone has practiced to the fullest extent and has propagated most the doctrine of Ahimsa, it was Lord Mahavira.”
“I am not Rama. I have no desire for material things. Like Jina I want to establish peace within myself.”
“Mahavira proclaimed in India that religion is a reality and not a mere social convention. It is really true that salvation cannot be had by merely observing external ceremonies. Religion cannot make any difference between man and man.”
“We learn from scriptures (Sashtras) and commentaries that Jainism is existing from beginning-less time. This fact is indisputable and free from difference of opinion. There is much historical evidence on this point.”
“Jainism has contributed to the world the sublime doctrine of Ahimsa. No other religion has emphasized the importance of Ahimsa and carried its practice to the extent that Jainism has done. Jainism deserves to become the universal religion because of its Ahimsa doctrine.”
“Truly speaking, Jainism is an independent and original religion, for it is neither Hinduism nor Vedic religion, but of course it is an aspect of Indian life, culture, and philosophy.”
Ideologist and biographer of Moghul Emperor Akbar, Vincent Smith notes: “Akbar’s action in abstaining almost wholly from meat and in issuing stringent prohibitions, resembling those of Asoka, restricting to the narrowest limit the destruction of animal life, certainly was taken in obedience to the doctrine of his Jaina teachers.”
If one wants to know about the principles of the science of the Jain philosophy, one book that covers it all is: Tattvarth Sutra. The place to get it free is Jain Library, where more than 8500 books on Jainism available for free.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred his name couple of times during his Independence Day speech today. For those who wish to know more about Shrimad Rajchandra, Spiritual Guru of Mahatma Gandhi here I have reproduced some of the questions Mahatma Gandhi had asked Shrimad Rajchandra and answers given by him.
It is remarkable that Mahatma Gandhi had grown a close intimacy with Kavi Rajchandraji. Mahatmaji had expressed this experience of his life in very impressive language. He writes,
“Tolstoy, Ruskin and Rajchandbhai the three great personalities have influenced me much. Tolstoy through his book and correspondence Ruskin by his ” UNTO THIS LAST!” and Rajchandbhai by his close contact.
When I had grown up doubts about Hinduism, it was Rajchandbhai who helped me (to remain firm in my belief). In the month of July 1891, when I returned from England and reached Bombay, that I first met Rajchandbhai. Dr. Pranjivandas introducing him to me, as a Kavi (Poet), said, that inspite of being a poet, he is a partner with us in business. He is very wise, a ‘SHATAVADHANI’ also.
I was simply amazed to hear this and out of curiosity read out to him a big list of words from various languages, which I had written beforehand for my convenience. After hearing me, Rajchandbhai repeated those words exactly in the same order as I read them.
I was satisfied and wondered (at this extraordinary feat of memory). Indeed I had a great regard and impression about his faculty of memory. The wonder is that the Kavi had no knowledge of English and he was only 25 years old at the time. A student only of vernacular (normal) classes, yet he developed his wisdom and knowledge such that commanded respect from all ! My acquaintance with Kavi continued for long, as a ” Gnyani” he was!
While Mahatma Gandhi was in South Africa, he came into the contact of the Christian Missionaries and had religious and philosophical discussions with them. As a result he had to face a mental storm which arose in his mind . He at once wrote to Kavi Rajchandra and sought his help to clear the doubtful points, which were troubling his mind. He put no less than 27 questions to the Kavi, which were duly answered. Four are reproduced below:
Q.- What is a soul and what are its functions ? Do the Karmas bound it ?
A.-Just as the pot, table etc. are material substances, similarly a soul is a conscious substance. But pots, tables etc. all material substances are transient impermanent. They cannot remain static in their nature through aall the ages : past, present and future. While on the other hand, soul retains all its characteristics, because it is permanent and eternal. ‘ Eternal ‘ is that substance which is not created by the processes of integration and disintegration.
There is nothing to show that soul has been created by any such processes. We may make thousands sorts of combinations and permutation (alteration) of material objects, but it is impossible to create consciousness. It is a thing of common experience that if a particular characteristic is wanting in a substance, it cannot be created in it by undergoing it through innumerable processes of combination and permutation. Thus material objects, like pots, tables, etc. which are devoid of consciousness, can never be made to yield it in whatever way they are changed or processed. All these things will result in producing objects of the same materialistic order. It is thus established that soul which is characterized by the wise as a conscious substance, cannot be created from material objects like earth, water, air, and space, etc. The particular characteristic of soul is consciousness.
Where it is not found, or which is devoid of it, that, of course, is a material substance. Animate and inanimate these two are eternal entities. Besides the above, there are other methods also for the eternity and immortality of soul. If you just ponder deep you yourself can well realize the permanence of soul. There is no harm or objection, rather it carries you to truth, to accept the fact that the feelings of pleasure & pain, the desire of getting free from them, thoughts and inspiration etc. are all experiences due to the existence of soul and that soul is primarily a conscious entity.
Since such conscious feeling, willing and knowing are always present in soul, therefore, it is eternal. For a clear understanding of such philosophical questions, it is advisable for you to first read the Shaddarshana-samuchchaya which is being sent to you.
The soul in its pure conscious state, i. e. in the state of its self-realization, is the creator of its own inherent characteristics of knowledge, perception and samadhii. e. spiritual equanimity. But in the state of its ignorance the soul becomes a creator of emotions like anger, conceit, deceit, greed etc. which are all foreign to it. Not only this much, under the influence of these emotions, soul through its instrumentality also becomes a creator of things like pot, table, etc.
To put it more expressively, though soul is not the creator of the substratums of earth from which pots, etc. are prepared, yet it becomes a creator of processes which give new modifications to it. This latter state and functioning of soul is called ‘Karma’ i.e. action in Jainism, and ‘ Bhranti’ i.e. illusion in the Vedanta. Other systems of Philosophy also refer to this state of soul by similar sort of terms. But solemn and serene thinking reveals the truth that in reality the soul is neither a creator of pot etc., nor of the emotions of anger, conceit etc. In fact, it is a creator of its own conscious characteristics of feelings, willing and knowing.
The Karmas (actions) which are done in ignorance of one’s own self, though in the beginning are merely seeds, yet at the time of maturity they turn into trees laden with heavy fruits. It is thus self-evident that the soul itself has to bear the fruits of its actions just as by giving a touch to fire you first feel its heat and then pain follows, similar is the state of the mundane soul.
It also by coming in contact with earthly objects by its sensuous organs, first gives rise to emotions of greed, anger and deceit etc. and then as its fruits has to suffer the pangs of birth, death and old age. Please ponder well over these problems with a detached mind and if you have any doubts please rewrite to me. It is the detached mind, which gives strength for abstinence and control and ultimately leads the soul to Nirvana.
Q.-What is God ? Is He the creator of the universe ?
A.-I. Just see you and we, are all mundane beings bound with Karmas, i.e. our souls are in bondage of foreign matter and foreign impulses. The natural state of self with its intrinsic glory free from all karmas, aloof from all impurities and bondages is godhood. God is endowed with the fullness of peace, bliss and knowledge. This godhood is the inherent nature of self, but due to ignorance born of the bondage of karmas one is unable to have a vision thereof.
However when one realizes the truth that self is altogether aloof from body and its limitations the dire fruits of actions, and this self is introspected by mind, then by and by one begins to realize its inner glory of omniscience etc. If you just make a minute survey of the value of all things around you, you will find that there is nothing to excel in the glory of your self. Thus we are led to conclude that ‘God ‘ is a synonym of self. For this reason I have a firm conviction that God is self and self is God: God has no abode outside the self.
God is not the creator of the universe. All the elements of nature such as atom, space etc. are eternal and uncreated. They have got their own substratum. They cannot be created from substances other than themselves. Perchance if one says that God has created them, this also does not look sound, because if God is a conscious being or consciousness is taken to be His characteristic, then how can atoms, and space etc. be conceived to have been born from Him ?
It is quite impossible for the insentient to come out of the sentient. If we regard God also to be insentient, then it will become devoid of all its glory of peace, bliss and knowledge. just as it is impossible for material things to come out of God, similarly the conscious beings called Jivas cannot be born out of Him.
If God is taken to be sentient-cum-insentient, then we will have to con. tent ourselves with universe by calling it to be God, because universe consists both of sentients and insentients. Perchance while admitting atoms, space etc. to be realities independent of God, you may assert that God is the giver of fruits of our actions, but this pro, position also will equally fail. On this part it would be advisable to consult ” Shaddarshan.-Samuchchaya ” which has dealt this topic at length.
Q.-What is Moksa (salvation) ?
A.-Moksa or salivation is the absolute liberation of self from anger, conceit, greed and other nescient propensities, which bind the soul with earthly coils and other limitations. There is a natural urge in life to be free from all bandages and limitations. A close consideration of this urge makes the truth of the above saying of the wisemen to be self evident.
Q.-It is possible for an embodied soul to know precisely whether he would attain Moksa or not ?
A.-Just as a man, whose hands have been tightly bound down with a rope, on being slowly and slowly loosened, feels a great relaxation from bondage and begins to perceive as if the rope has ceased to exist or exert any influence, similarly the soul which is bound down with various kinds of nescient emotions, on being slowly and slowly released from them, beings to feel the glory of salvation.
The more and more the streaks of these emotions fade away, the more and more the soul shines in its luster untarnished with ignorance. As soon as there is a complete extinction of these nescient forces, soul even though it may be delineated by body it blooms out in its full splendor with a consciousness of freedom all round. Thus the soul though residing, in this body enjoys the blessings of salvation.
Question number 1:
Can principles of physics or chemistry or maths be different for different individuals in different parts of the world?
One plus one is two is universal across the world because this is a natural law.
Any laws which are natural are universally applicable to everyone irrespective of their social status, so called caste, human invented religions or geographies.
Question number 2:
Whether the treatment of a disease for different people is different for similar disease?
Medical science does not specify treatment based on caste, religion, class or geographies.
The treatment is the same and does not differentiate for Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jews, Jains, Buddhists and atheists. Or for Bhramins, Dalits or Shias or Sunnis. The treatment is same for everyone.
Science and nature do not have two laws based on the divisions we human beings have created based on our limited thinking and selfish motives.
We human beings or for that matter every animal is a nature’s creation. All laws applicable to us are same and unequivocal.
The real problem is; we do not know our own selves. We think the self as a body and we think the present body is the only body and life we live. Erroneously considering the self as a body makes us believe our existence is only from the birth till death. We believe the family, caste, religion, we are born in is the finest and right.
Though for everything else we change our views and upgrade our knowledge throughout the life, but the knowledge about who we are and why every life is different, we hardly try to know.
Because of the apparent differences in appearance, social status, education etc. makes us believe different rules are applicable to everyone.
However, we do not see the commonness in everybody, be it humans or animals and that commonness is our SOUL. We all are SOULs having a body. Different bodies. Everybody is different.
Why everybody is different?
Each soul is exactly similar but KARMAs of every soul are different and that is why we all bodies are different.
Why Karma of two SOULS cannot be similar?
Because KARMAs are attached to the soul by the thoughts/action/words of the soul. & these cannot be similar for two souls.
This is the reason everybody is different.
Laws of Karma are universal and natural laws and therefore they are applicable to every soul which is also natural.
We see ourselves as different bodies and hence we think rules applicable to different people are different. We do not see or believe everybody as a soul and only differentiated as body based on our Karma. Know the math of body and soul.
The science and soul and Karma are what Jainism is all about. Whether you call it religion or thinking or way of life anything but it is a pure science. Know about physics of karma.
Jainism explains how every soul become bondage of Karma and how it can be liberated and attain Moksha by the complete extinction of Karma attached to the soul. Know how a soul attracts Karma and How to a soul get rid of our Karmas & How a soul can avoid attracting Karma.
It is a science of Soul. Every living being is a soul and therefore this science is universally applicable to every soul.
Whether one believes in the laws of physics does it make any different to the laws? But if one wants to solve the problems involving the laws of physics one has to follow the laws of physics. Likewise, if one wants to know about the living beings and the laws governing them, Principles of Jainism have the answer. Principles of Jainism are a pure science.
The curiosity about the principles of soul and Karma can be initiated by asking three questions.
The purpose of human life is to know the laws governing souls as it won’t be possible in any other lives.
Irrfan is right when he says we must question the purpose of religious rituals we are doing. What is the purpose and are we achieving the purpose with these rituals? Most of the time we do not either dare or care to question the religious practices; we are indulging in and its purpose.
“What could have saved Indian society from the ponderous burden of omniferous ritualistic ceremonialism, with its animal and other sacrifices, which all but crushed the very life of it, except the Jain revolution which took its strong stand exclusively on chaste morals and philosophical truths?
Jains were the first great ascetics and they did some great work. ‘Don’t injure any and do good to all that you can, and that is all the morality and ethics, and that is all the work there is, and the rest is all nonsense-the Brahmins created that. Throw it all away.’
And then they went to work and elaborated this one principle all through, and it is most wonderful ideal: how all that we call ethics they simply bring out from that one great principle of non-injury and doing good.” (Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Volume 3)
Our soul has once in a hundreds or thousands or perhaps millions of years, this human body; either spend in ignorance or pursue the real knowledge.
This post is an overview of my books.
This is a fiction about entrepreneur’s aggression to expand rapidly to please PE investors and creating wealth through an IPO. & how one incident changed everything. Read how he becomes employee happiness-centric from mere profit and market share-centric.
The book has earned praise from Ritesh Agarwal of Oyo Rooms, Ninad Karpe of Aptech, Richa Anirudh of Zindagi Live TV Programme and Dr. Anupam Sibal of Apollo Hospital
A reader’s review on Amazon:
The book is primer for Indian entrepreneurs on the subject of customer experience (CX) and service design. What, why and how of CX.
The book is praised by Govind Shrikhande of Shoppers Stop and Joy Chakraborty of Hinduja Hospital.
One of the readers recently tweeted.
The book is a fiction. A story of a woman’s journey who discovers self is not a body but a soul and road she takes once ignorance about the self evaporates and the deep desire for enlightenment emerges.
This book has received praise from Dr. Jagdish Sheth, Professor at Emory University – USA, Christopher Chapel of Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, USA Vallabh Bhansali of Enam, Padmabhushan Mallika Sarabhai, CA Bhavana Doshi of KPMG & CA Pradeep Shah to name a few.
“For today’s brake-less and largely aim-less people, Sunilbhai has created a ‘sugar coated’ fast pill. Fiction that presents the highest wisdom in a practical and applied manner. Hope a lot of readers take its benefit.”
– Vallabh Bhanshali , Co-Founder & Chairman , ENAM Group
“Beautiful……. very touching……… lucidly written story … A must read for all… young and not so young, initiated and non-initiated…… “
– CA Bhavana Doshi, Senior Advisor, KPMG
There are some good readers’ reviews on Amazon. This book an English translation of my Gujarati book Titled ‘The Shortest Journey’.
Wow ! & Weird:
This is a collection my choicest blog post over last 6 six years. Infact this is available free on my blog on registration. Welcome to register and download this ebook.
The book is praised by CA Ashwin Parekh, Ex – E & Y, Anand Rathi, Bijou Kurian of Reliance Retail and Rajnikant Patel, Ex – MD & CEO of BSE and ICE.
Coming up next:
Dangerous Debt – What every entrepreneur must know.
This is at the manuscript stage and I am inviting beta readers.
Wish you a happy READING experience with these books.
The world is celebrating International Yoga Day today.
Yoga is popularly known by Asana i.e. physical movements and Prayanama, breathing exercise performed by practitioners. Asana and Prayanama are what the Yoga means is the belief of most practitioners when most think about the Yoga.
Now, since the Yoga has gained international acceptance and popularity, it is pertinent to know what the Yoga means.
Yoga is a way of life and not limited to Asana and Prayanama. Sage Patanjali had about 2000 years ago, prescribed Yoga in sutras in his treatises known as Patanjali Yoga Sutras. Even before Patanjali Yoga was practiced and considered a way of life in India. However the oldest Sutras, we have in written format is by Sage Patanjali.
Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which means ‘to join, to unite’. Joining or union of the self with the supreme.
Yoga has eight limbs and is known as Ashtang-yoga (Ashtang = Eight Limbs). Asana and Prayanama are only two of them. This is considered a way of life to achieve the highest objective of human life. The highest objective is known as Samadhi, union with the object of meditation or enlightenment. Therefore, in broader sense Yoga is a road map to attain enlightenment.
In order to achieve this higher state, we need a moral code of conduct and self-purification. These are known as Yama and Niyama, two of the limbs.
Yama means a moral code of conduct. There are five Yamas.
Niyama means acts of self-purification. There are five Niyamas.
Next two limbs are what have commonly known Yoga with; Asana and Prayanama.
Asana is physical movements designed to keep the body functioning in proper order. There are various such movements and practices covering the entire body and all body parts / systems.
Unless the body is fit the person can’t focus on the higher purpose. Therefore, fit body is necessary for higher pursuit and Asana helps in achieving and maintaining a healthy body.
Pranayama is about breathing exercise. Prana means life force i.e. our breath. Controlling the breath is what Pranayama is. But why do we need to control the breath?
There is a sutra in Yoga Sutras which says;
‘Chale vate chale chitta, nishacle nishal bhavatu’ which means;
Our mind is wavering as our breath is not under our control so in order to keep the mind fixated and concentrate on one thing, controlling of the breath is necessary. Pranayama helps us with that.
All these four limbs i.e. Yama, Niyama, Asana & Prayanama are known as Bahirang i.e. external limbs of Yoga. These prepare us for the higher pursuit which the next level of limbs aims to take us.
The next four limbs are known as Antarang i.e. Internal.
These are Pratyahara, Dharna, Dhyana and Samadhi.
Pratyahara means moving inward from our senses to our internal world. This is the withdrawal of senses. We experience the external world through our senses; our senses are our doors to the external world. Now we are moving inward so withdrawal of the senses in order to experience the internal non-physical world. Just closing of eyes and ignoring all the signals of the senses can help us focus inward.
The next is Dharana. That is focussing on just one thing i.e. concentration on one thing.
The meditation has become very famous and popular the world over. This meditation is known as Dhyana and this is the 7th limb of Yoga. Continues focus on one thing for a longer period is known as Dhyana. Continues Dharana is Dhyana. We focus on breath once is Dharana and continues focus for a long time is Dhyana or Meditation.
One can realise why Asana and Pranayama are important and precedes internal limbs? If the body is not healthy and fit one can’t sit in meditation for a long time and if our breath is not under our control our mind wavers during Dhyana. Asana and Prayanama prepare us to practice Dhyana.
One sitting for a longer period in Dhyana, focussing only on one object or even not on any object but absorption with the self, achieves Samadhi i.e. enlightenment. The ultimate objective of the human being i.e. to become one with the self i.e. Soul.
Therefore, Yoga is a complete road map till one achieves enlightenment. All the preceding limbs prepare the practitioners to practice the successive limbs. However, most of us are using this rich and elaborate roadmap for merely achieving a very low aim of physical fitness by practicing Asana and Pranayama. Yes, this is a starting point, but we should not stop at this. On this International Yoga Day, we should expand our understanding to know more about these aspects of Yoga and pursue it as and when time permits or the time is right.
For those who is only practicing Yoga for healthy a living, there are a few cautions:
Hathapradapika, one of the texts on Yoga which was written between 14 to 16th century says;
Yoga fails by six causes: Over-eating, over exertion, talkativeness, undisciplined life, promiscuous company and unsteadiness.
Gherandsahita says; the one who practices Yoga without control on diet will attract many diseases and will not get success in Yoga.
The point is Diet plays very important role in our health and even Yoga i.e. Asana and Prayanama practitioners will not get success if one is not disciplined about the diet.
For more curious readers the book on Yoga Light on Patanjali Yogasutras by BKS Iyengar is quite in detail about Sutras.
Existential Distress is the term I learnt from the podcast titled ‘The Man Who Studied 1,000 Deaths to Learn How to Live’ by Tim Ferris with BJ Miller.
The meaning of these two words is: Existential distress at the end of life has been defined as hopelessness, a burden to others, loss of a sense of dignity, desire for death or loss of the will to live and threats to self-identity.
Existential Loneliness has entered the literature and “is understood as an intolerable emptiness, sadness, and longing, that results from the awareness of one’s fundamental separateness as a human being.”
However BJ Miller, who is an expert on Death and has witnessed about 1000 deaths, in the Podcast defines the term as;
When a terminal stage cancer patient thinks that he has lost an opportunity to live a meaningful life, he feels this – Existential Distress.
A life is almost gone and one can’t do anything about it. A life which could have been lived differently, meaningfully, beautifully, enjoying the small things, without grudges, for own happiness is now on the verge of collapse. These feelings make the patient suffer from Existential Distress.
Unless we see our death in front of us, these feelings never occur and we keep indulging n irrelevant, unimportant and self-boasting things. The point is: Is it only at the time of death, we should feel Existential Distress? That is the time when we can’t do anything about it except repenting. & therefore, should we not become aware of our daily life NOW? A question – How meaninglessly we are living our life? should not occur to us?
The whole objective of our life, what we have made out is to run after the money till we die. The money, which we will keep here at the time of death for someone else to splurge, waste or fight for. But unless we are terminally ill, we don’t realise that we are also going to die – if not in the near future than certainly in the foreseeable future.
Those of us who are not terminally ill should also wait till the time we are near death to feel Existential Distress? Or when we have a chance and time to make our life meaningful, we must become aware and act to make it meaningful?
Whether we are terminally ill or no, if the death is certain than whether we suffer from Existential Distress or enjoy Existential Satisfaction, our action should start much before our proximity to death. It is not necessary that only people with terminal illness suffer from Existential Distress, everyone can suffer from this state of mind if the life is not lived meaningfully.
The opportunity to do something meaningful, something which we loved to do, the opportunity to be helpful, the opportunity to forgive someone, the opportunity to pursue our dreams and hobbies will be LOST sooner than we realise. & we may not be terminally ill, but terminally aged.
Thinking about OWN death is the greatest moment of awakening about the life.
We all know about Opportunity Cost, in financial terminology; however, we are blatantly ignorant about Opportunity Cost when it comes to our own life choices. Terminally ills can have lessons for each of us on HOW to live a life.