Shri Amar Muni



Now, Shri Mahavir Bhagavan says to the tenth brahamanda scholar by name Metarya, that on account of such mutually contradictory vedic statements, (indian writing pg 135 angie) you have entertained the doubt whether there is anything like the next life, the next birth or not?

You believed that there is no next life, No Rebirth on account of the following reasons:

1. Like the whiteness of a thing, consciousness belongs to the bhoota-pinda (the elemental body). Just as when a cloth is destroyed its whiteness is destroyed, similarly when the body is destroyed consciousness itself is destroyed. When that is so where remains anything for going to the next birth?

2. Even though the consciousness may be different from the body, like the flames emerging from the wood, it can be transient not permanent. There is therefore no next life.

3. Even if the soul possessing consciousness may be a permanent thing, and if it is all-pervasive then it cannot go anywhere. There is therefore no going to next life.

4. In the form of the other worlds, heaven and hell are not visible at all, then what is 'parloka', the other world? But now consider.

The proofs supporting the existence of the other world (Next Life)

1. From the inferences already mentioned, consciousness is the nature of the different independent soul but not of 'bhutas'-- the basic elements. From the reasons like the remembrance of the previous life, it is proved that the soul has come from the other world.

It is permanent as a dravya (a substance, a reality); but as parvava or a modification it is a transient, conscious soul.

2. There cannot be only one all-pervasive and motionless soul, because--

(a) Due to the differences among souls of attachment and hatred, sensual pleasures and emotions, thoughts and feelings, auspicious and inauspicious contemplations, existence of hell-abiders and heavenly beings, there cannot exist in the universe only one soul but there must be different souls on account of these different effects.

(b)Since those attributes are perceptible only in the body, the soul pervades only the body; and

(c)The soul is proved as possessing movement because it is bhokta (one who experiences karma-fruits) and roaming in various lives is capable of movements in the four gatis).

3. The soul is both transient and constant

Question: Knowledge being not different from the soul if the soul is an embodiment of knowledge, then knowledge being of creative nature, is transient and so the soul also must be transient . Then whose is the next birth?

Answer If knowledge is different from the soul, the soul can remain permanent.

Question: But there in this condition, like that of a pure sky, or like an inanimate wood, where remains the issue of the next birth, of the pure soul different from knowledge? How can there be next birth for inanimate wood? In the permanent one if there is the capacity of doing karmas and experiencing their fruits, then these may go on always, but it is not so. Therefore, the soul is not permanent but transient, and when it is transient, how can there be the next birth?

Answer: In vijnan, let there be creativity, and hence let the vijnan be transient, but why should it not be permanent also?

Question: Yes. Even in the pot there is not merely transience, there is also permanence; because what is a pot? It is not merely a shape but it is an aggregate of colour, taste, smell, touch, oneness in number, shape of roundness, capacity to contain water. In the previous clay-bulk also these qualities like colour etc. existed. Only shape and capacity did not exist. It means that the pot in the form of colour etc. is not newly created but is constant; as well as in the form of new shape and capacity it is created. Here the clay-bulk is destroyed in its shape and capacity. Same pot is destroyed also in its previous attributes like blackness etc. In this manner, the pot is proved to be steady (constant) and also created.

In other words the soul is both transient and constant. In the same manner, all substances and soul also are proved as steady and transient. In this position the soul sees cloth after seeing pot, the soul itself in the form of pot knowledge is lost and in the form of cloth- knowledge is created and remains steady in the form of jivatva. In this manner, when a man dies and is born as a heavenly being he perishes as a human being but is newly created as a heavenly being. Of course in the form of jivatva, he is intact. Thus the next birth is logically established and it is reasonable, relevant, coherent, consistent and reconcilable.

All the 'sat-vastu' (real substances) have the three attributes viz. utpad (creation), vyaya (destruction), and dhravya (steadiness); because what is unreal cannot be created; otherwise the unreal like 'horse-horns' could go on being created! The real substance can never be destroyed. Otherwise, gradually, all substances, might be completely destroyed. Therefore, a substance in a certain form, remains intact in a certain form and goes on being created in a certain form. The prince's beloved gold pot had been broken and transformed into small anklets for the princess. In this the substance gold is the same, but forms are three. When the same substance as a pot is lost, the prince's feeling is changed into sadness; and the same substance as a small anklet is created, the princess' feeling is changed into joy, and since the sarne substance remains intact as gold, the king remains neutral in his feelings. The causes of these three different feelings must be different, and they are pot, anklet and gold, which must be believed as different and intermingled in the same substance.

4. If there is no other world, the vedic statements that prescribe agnihotra etc. for the attainment of heaven, will be meaningless.

This explanation given by Shri Mahavir Bhagavan removed the doubts of Metarya and he with his three hundred pupils accepted charitra diksa at the hands of the Bhagavan.