Understanding the Seven Fundamentals
Deeply immersed in the
knowledge of the soul, Pandit Daulatramji was a jewel of the Palliwal Jain
community. He was born in village Sasni near Aligarh. He also lived in
Aligarh afterwards. His father was Todarmalji.
Away from self-applause,
the full life story of this great poet is not available. He was an
ordinary householder, simple in nature and engaged in search of the soul.
His 'Chhahdhala', very
much talked about and respected, is a jewel of his works. There is hardly
any Jain who does not study this work. It has been prescribed in the
courses of all Jain Examination Boards.
He wrote this in Samvat
1891. He has successfully tried to fill the ocean in a small pot. Apart
from this he composed many prayers and spiritual verses, which are recited
after the religious discourses in all the Jain temples in India. His
devotional verses are full of deep thoughts of the self.
His poems, besides being
spiritual, are full of poetical qualities of a high order. Language is
simple, comprehensible and spontaneous. His verses can be compared with
the works of any great master of Hindi lyric poetry.
The present portion has
been taken from his famous work
UNDERSTANDING THE SEVEN FUNDAMENTALS
Right Faith cannot be
accomplished without understanding the seven fundamentals in their right
perspective. People have been under delusion about these since times
eternal. These errors are being clarified here.
Errors regarding Soul
and Non-soul elements
The nature of the soul
entity is knowing and seeing, while bodily frames made of non-soul
elements have shapes. The behaviour of soul element is altogether unlike
that of ether, anti ether, time and space, though they are shapeless. This
soul, not recognising this difference, considers the behaviour of bodies
(matter) to be that of the soul force.
Forgetting its own
intrinsic nature, the soul considers itself beautiful or ugly due to the
beauty or ugliness of the physical frame, and considers the bodily progeny
as part and parcel of its own being. It also feels oneness with activities
like fasts and discourses, that are dependent on physical frames.
When the body is born
this being regards that as one's own birth and when the physical frame
leaves this soul, one considers it to be one's death. This is our mistake
regarding the soul and non-soul elements.
To consider one's soul
as physical and the non-living entity as a living one are errors regarding
soul and non-soul elements.
Errors regarding Influx
By their very nature
unnatural tendencies are instrumental to unhappiness, but this being
indulges in them and considers himself to be happy. He thinks that good
deeds lead to happiness and attract material merit leading to heavenly
joys. He does not, however, consider that, that which leads to bondage
cannot fetch happiness. In the first chapter of the Chhahdhala it has been
made specific that there is no happiness in the heavens. When there is no
joy in the world, how can we expect to get it ? The good and bad
activities and tendencies clearly cause bondage. To regard them desirable
is the error regarding influx element.
Error regarding Bondage
On fruition of good and
bad karmas, the soul indulges in all sorts of attachments and aversions
respectively. Sensual pleasures are the result of good karmas and these
are full of uneasiness causing unhappiness only. Both are injurious being
reasons of worldly continuance, while complete liberation is achieved,
only when both are completely annihilated. The error regarding bondage is
that he does not understand this fact.
Stoppage of influx takes
place only with soul consciousness and detachment and those alone make the
soul happy. He considers them to be painful, meaning thereby that he
regards the achievement of Right Knowledge and Detachment as painful. He
does not realise that these are blissful states of our being, and not
causing any discomfort.
To regard them as
causing discomfort, is the error regarding stoppage.
Errors regarding Gradual
Absence of desires is
dissociation or partial shedding and that brings happiness. Not knowing
this, and forgetting one's own powers of the soul, when one considers
oneself to be happy in the satisfaction of his desires and does not
consider that their absence is real happiness, one commits error regarding
shedding off the bondage partially.
In liberation lies real
happiness without any discomfiture. We do not understand this and consider
pleasure seeking to be a happy state. We also think that the happiness of
the liberated soul must also be of the same kind as sensual joys. This is
our error regarding complete liberation.
As long as we do not
remove these errors regarding seven fundamentals we cannot be said to be
treading the path of liberation.
Dr. H.C. Bharill