The States of the Soul

The Faculty of Cognition of the Soul

The Activity of the Soul

The lesyas






Kg. I 154 b et seq., Lp. XXXVI 1 et seq., Tattv. II, 1-7.


We have given an account of the different karmans in themselves and in their relations to one another; in the following we have to represent their relations towards the soul (jiva) and the states (bhava) produced in it by them.


In the jiva 5 states are possible which can manifest themselves simultaneously in a greater or smaller number, namely:

1)   parinamika bhava, the essential state. This comprises the qualities belonging to the jiva in himself, the qualities in which nothing is changed through the karman.

2)   audayika bhava, the state which is the consequence of the unhindered realization of the karman. It comprises all accidental attributes of the jiva, which become apparent through udaya of karman.

3)   aupasamika bhava, the state produced by the suppression of the karman. This comprises all states of the jiva which become manifest when the (mohaniya) karmans have been suppressed, i.e. when they have, although still existing, been overcome through strict self-control, so that they cannot realize themselves. The aupasamika bhava may be compared to the state of water in which the clouding mud has been cast down through the addition of kataka-nut.

4)   ksayika bhava, the state resulting from the annihilation of the karman. This comprises all that manifest itself in the jiva when the karman has totally disappeared. It may be compared to the clearing of the water which is produced through its separation from the mud.

5)   ksayopasamika (misra) bhava, the mixed state. In it the karman is still existing in the jiva, but does not realize itself. Whilst, however, the jiva in the aupasamika bhava has so completely suppress the karman that its effect is no longer altogether felt, in the misra bhava the existence of karma-pradesas is still experienced, although these do not reach udaya and possess no intensity. The inefficacy of the karman is therefore a smaller one than in the two preceding states; for this reason the ksayopasamika bhava is inferior to them in rank.


The name "ksayopasamika" or "misra" it owes to the circumstance that in it the karman is partly annihilated, partly suppressed. This definition is, however, not quite sufficient, because also in the aupasamika bhava the realized karman is annihilated and the one not yet realized is suppressed; the characteristic feature, that the karmapradesas are still felt, is however, not pronounced. The terminus technicus for this state is therefore, not a very aptly chosen one. This explains that it could not become clearly grasped by the older European expounders of the Jaina philosophy.


In the following I give the sub-species (bheda) of the states referred to above. I deviate however from the given succession in so far as I mention them in their natural order:

The essential state has 3 sub-divisions: (1) jivatva, the spiritual nature of the soul; (2) bhavyatva, the capability of salvation; (3) abhavyatva, the incapability of salvation. As essential states of the soul there could further be mentioned eternity, activity and others. But these parinamika-bhavas are also proper to other substances, that is why here only the states proper to the jiva are mentioned. (Concerning bhavyatva and abhavyatva see infra).


The audayika-bhava has 21 sub-species: 1. asiddhatva, the state of unholiness, the lacking of spiritual perfection ; 2. ajnana, ignorance; 3. asamyama, lacking self-discipline, caused through the realization of the pratyakhyanavaranakasayas; 4. mithyatva, unbelief, caused through realization of mithyatva-mohaniya; 5-8. the four kasayas, anger, pride, deceitfulness, greed caused through udaya of kasaya-mohaniya; 9-11 the three sexes caused through udaya of the respective nokasaya-mohaniyas; 12-15, the 4 states of existence, caused through realization of the respective gati-karmans; 16-21. the 6 lesyas, colors of the soul.


All the 21 bhavas here quoted in the jiva through unhindered realization of the karman. Many other bhavas ought still to be mentioned here, which likewise arise through udaya of karman. But as in the Purvasastras these 21 alone are mentioned, this enumeration has been universally adopted (Kg. I 156a) and the many other audayika bhavas are considered to be included in them.


The ksayopasamika-bhava comprises 18 sub-species: 1-10. all species of cognition (upayoga) with the exception of omniscience and absolute undifferentiated cognition; 11-15. the 5 faculties (labdhi) of giving, taking, enjoyment, usufruct and will. All states hitherto explained have arisen through annihilation or suppression of jnanavarana-, darsanavarana-, and antaraya-k. But as the respective karmans have not been made completely ineffective, the jiva possesses the upayogas and labdhis in a greater or smaller measure only, not absolutely as the ksayikas; 16. samyaktva, (a low degree of) belief; 17. desavirati, partial self-discipline, arisen through suppression and annihilation of the apratyakhyanavarana-kasayas; 18. sarvavirati, (a lower degree of) complete self-discipline.


The aupasamika-bhava has 2 sub-divisions: (1) samyaktva, true belief, and (2) caritra, right conduct. Both states arise through suppression of the darsana- or caritra-mohaniyas. They stand, therefore, relatively higher than the corresponding ones of the ksayopasamikas, but relatively lower than those of the ksayikas.


The ksayika-bhava has 9 sub-divisions: 1. samyaktva, true belief in the highest degree, arisen through complete annihilation of the darsanamohaniya-ks; 2. caritra, perfect right conduct, (so called yathakhyata), caused through total annihilation of the caritra-mohaniya-ks; 3. omniscience and 4. absolute undifferentiated cognition, in consequence of the complete annihilation of the karmans veiling them; 5-9. the 5 faculties (labdhi) of giving, taking, enjoyment, usufruct, and will, in an absolute manner, as every antaraya-k is completely extinguished.


This theory is of importance for the Jaina system because it affords it the possibility exactly to define which states of the soul are the consequence of its own being, which are added through realization of the karman, and which have arisen through the making of the karman inefficacious. In a being possessing the true belief, but not yet self-discipline (avirata-samyagdrsti), the following states are e.g. possible, e.g.: 2 parinamika: jivatva and capability of salvation ; 19 audayika, i.e. all except unbelief and ignorance ; 12 ksayopasamika, namely 5 labdhis, 3 species of knowledge, and 3 species of undifferentiated cognition and ksayopasamika-samyaktva ; 1 aupasamika, namely the aupasamika-samyaktva ; I the ksayika, namely the ksayika form of the true belief. Altogether 36 states are therefore POSSIBLE, the number of those ACTUALLY OCCURRING is, of course much less, and in every individual case different. For it scarcely needs an explanation, that a jiva can, at a fixed time, possess only one kind of samyaktva, can belong only to one of the 4 states of existence, can have only one of the 6 lesyas etc.


Of the above-mentioned 53 states of the soul, the kasayas and vedas have already sufficiently been dealt with, in the explanation of the karman-species. The others, that is to say, the different kinds of cognition (upayoga), of activity (yoga), of the color of the soul (lesya), of belief (darsana), conduct (caritra) and states of existence (gati) will be discussed in the following .



Kg. I, 100a 133b, II 10a; Ps. 10 et seq.; Lp. III 701 et seq.; Tattv. II 8,9.


The first and most important characteristic of the soul (jiva) is its capability of cognition. If the soul is completely free from the disturbing influence of matter, it is capable of recognizing everything in the present, past and future, all the substances and all their conditions. If it is however infected by karman-matter, this absolute cognition disappears. Matter veils the omniscience of the soul, as a dense veil of clouds hides the light of the sun. But as, although the sun may be veiled, some light is breaking through the clouds, so there also, in spite of the influence of matter, a fraction of the faculty of cognition is preserved to the jiva: for, if the jiva would also lose this, he would no longer be a jiva. This fraction of cognition is of different dimensions in different beings. In some it is very large: they are capable of perceiving absent material things and even the thoughts of others by means of transcendental perception; in most of them, however, it is only small, as they can only perceive by means of their senses.


The cognition of a thing can be of two kinds: either it is restricted to the grasping of it in its general outlines, in its notional generality; then it is called darsana "undifferentiated cognition"; or it grasps a things with its individual attributes; then it is called jnana "knowledge". Darsana is therefore formaliter not differentiated cognition (anakaraupayoga), jnana formaliter differentiated cognition (sakara-upayoga).


Darsana occurs in 4 species, namely as:

1)   caksur-darsana, when produced through the medium of the eye.

2)   acaksur-darsana, when produced through the medium of the other four senses and the manas.

3)   avadhi-darsana, if it occurs on its own account, without the mediation of organs.

4)   kevala-darsana, if it is unlimited, absolute and direct.


The acksur-darsana is existence in all beings, the caksur-darsana in all who possess an organ of sight. The avadhi-darsana, the transcendental cognition of corporeal things, only exists innately in celestial and infernal beings, but can also arise in fully developed animals endowed with reason and in men, through ksayopasama. The kevala-darsana only occurs with kevalins, with men the darsanavarana-karmans of whom are completely annihilated.


There are 5 species of jnana, namely:

1)   mati-jnana, the knowledge through the medium of the 5 senses and manas.

2)   sruta-jnana, the knowledge which is based on the interpretation of signs, the understanding of words, writings, gestures, etc.

3)   avadhi-jnana, the transcendental knowledge of corporeal things, occurring without the medium of organs.

4)   manahparyaya-jnana, the transcendental knowledge of the thoughts of others, occurring without the medium of organs.

5)   kevala-jnana, unlimited, absolute, direct omniscience.


The kevala-jnana only exists in kevalins, the manahparyaya-jnana only with men on a high spiritual plane, who have true belief. The 3 other species of knowledge can occur however- the avadhi-jnana with similar limitations as the corresponding darsana-in all beings endowed with reason, even in unbelievers. But as knowledge is bad (kutsita) as long as it is not supported by the true belief, because the unbeliever "conceives things existing and non-existing without distinction and arbitrarily, the jnana of the mithyadrsti is called "a-jnana" "bad knowledge, ignorance." Thus to the foregoing 5 species of knowledge three more must still be added, namely the ajnanas of the above-mentioned 3 species of knowledge (mati-, sruta-, ajnana). All jivas have therefore ajnana until they have reached the true belief, but jnana from the moment of the attainment of samyaktva. Beings whose belief consists of true and false elements, have partly jnana, partly ajnana.


In worldly souls occur 1 to 4 of the 8 species of knowledge and 1 to 3 of the species of undifferentiated cognition. The kevalins, however, have only kevala-jnana and kevala-darsana, be it, because in these two, already all species of knowledge and undifferentiated cognition are implicitly existing-as in the ownership of a village the possession of its ground and land is included (Kg. II 11a)- or be it, because the absolute knowledge so outshines every kind of partial knowledge, that no longer attention is paid to them, as to the stars at sunrise (Lp. III 964).



Kg. I, 85b et seq., 98 et seq., 123 a et seq., 146a ; II, 44 a et seq., 93b , 99 et seq., 102b; KP. 3 a et seq.; Ps. 4 et seq., 17 et seq., 32 et seq., 88 et seq., 719 et seq.; Lp. III, 1243; Tattv. II, 26 V, 44, VI, 1, 7, 9; Gandhi 57.


The jiva possesses not only the faculty of cognition, but also activity. The Jaina philosophy occupies herein, as well as Nyaya and Vaisesika, the position of the kriyavada, in contrast with most of the other Indian systems, which deny every activity to the soul.


The soul has virya "energy" "infinite capacities of activity ". This innate quality manifest itself only if the jiva is free from all karman-matter. As long as the virya-antaraya-k is operating, the virya is, although not completely eliminated, nevertheless exceedingly restricted. It does not manifest itself spontaneously, as is the case with released souls, but it is bound to matter. It needs an organ as "accompanying cause" (sahakarikarana), in order to be able to act; it needs the medium of the body, the organ of speech and manas, in order to manifest itself. This form of virya, bound to matter, is called yoga (activity).


The characteristic mark of the activity is its causing the movement of the particles of the soul. It attracts the matter which is necessary for the body, the organ of speech and manas, changes it into the specific essence of these organs and, finally, emits it again. Because it continually conveys matter to the soul, it is the chief cause of the assimilation of new karman; salvation is therefore only possible, if every yoga has disappeared.


The activity of the soul is threefold: it consists in thoughts, words and deeds and is, therefore, produced through the manas, the organ of speech and the body. The two first species of activity are subdivided into 4 groups, the last into 7.


mano-yoga, activity of the organ of thinking. It has 4 species:


1)   satya "true". The manas occupies itself with the thinking about a thing that is true.

2)   asatya "untrue". The manas occupies itself with the thinking about a thing that is not true.

3)   satyamrsa "true and untrue". The manas thinks of something that is partly true, partly untrue. For instance, it thinks: "this is an Asoka-wood". But in reality, it is the question of a wood, in which truly there are many Asoka-trees, but in which there are also growing Dhavala-, Khadira-, Palasa- and other trees.

4)   asatyamrsa "neither true nor untrue". The manas thinks of something that lies outside the sphere of true and untrue, e.g. "Devadatta, give me the cow".


vag-yoga, activity of speech. The 4 species correspond to those of the mano-yoga.


kaya-yoga, activity of the bodies, namely:

1)   audarika-kaya-yoga, activity of the physical body.

2)   vaikriya-kaya-yoga, activity of the transformation-body.

3)   aharaka-kaya-yoga, activity of the translocation-body.

4)   karmana-kaya-yoga, activity of the karman-body; it manifests itself chiefly during the period between death and re-incarnation.

5)   audarika-misra-kaya-yoga, activity of the physical body mixed with the activity of the karman-body.

6)   vaikriya-misra-kaya-yoga, activity of the transformation-body mixed with that of the karman-body or with that of the audarika-body.

7)   aharaka-misra-kaya-yoga, activity of the translocation-body, mixed with that of the physical body.


The 3 last mentioned species of activity take place as long as the physical body, or one of the other two bodies, is not yet quite developed that is to say, if united with the karman-body shortly after birth, or if united with the physical body during the time when the translocation or transformation-body of the ascetic is not yet quite ready.


The activity of the fiery body is not specially counted, because the latter is always connected with the karman-body.


The activity is least in the lowest animated beings (the suksmani-godas); it augments with the always ascending organization.


The multiplicity of activity grows also with the class of beings: the developed suksma-nigoda has only audarika-kaya-yoga, whilst in the thinking being with 5 senses all 15 yogas can occur. In order to hinder the bandha of bad karman, the activity of the body, speech and thinking organ must be regulated. If through continual self-control (samyama) the state of holiness is finally reached and through extinction of the antaraya-karmans the absolute virya has been attained, then at first the grosser, and later on the finer activity of body, speech and manas is excluded. The holy man has then become an ayogi-kevalin, and possesses henceforth, into all eternity, the infinite virya, bound to no organ, completely withdrawn from the influence of matter.



Kg. I 92b, 95a, 101b et seq., 112b, 155b; Ps. 27; Lp. III. 284 et seq., XXXVI, 54 JS. II 196 et seq.


According to the moral value of their activity-and corresponding also to the kind of karman which they bind-the jivas can be divided into 6 categories. The first is characterized by the possession of the greatest sinfulness, whilst each following one improves, and the last is finally standing in the state of the highest attainable purity. The appertainment to one of these 6 classes shows itself in the soul externally: the soul which is free by nature from all distinctions perceptible by the senses, receives color, smell, taste and touch; in short, it becomes a defined type, which distinguishes it from other souls-although in a manner not recognizable by our senses. This type of soul is called lesya.


The different lesyas are distinguished according to the colors which they give to the souls, as follows:

1)   krsna black,

2)   nila dark,

3)   kapota gray,

4)   tejas fiery-red.

5)   padma lotus-pink.

6)   sukla white.


The nature of the lesyas is explained by two parables:

Six men see a Jambu-tree, full of ripe fruit. They want to eat the fruit but the climbing-up is perilous to life. They reflect therefore as to how they can obtain possession of the jambus. The first proposes to hew down the tree from the root. The 2nd advises merely to cut down the boughs, the 3rd recommends to cut off only the branches, the 4th to cut off only the bunches. The 5th wants only gather and eat the fruit fallen to the ground. Here the first has a black, the 2nd a dark, the 3rd a gray, the 4th a fiery, the 5th a lotus-pink, the 6th a white lesya.


The second parable tells of 6 robbers who want to surprise a village. The 1st robber wants to kill all beings, quadrupeds and bipeds ; the 2nd only human beings; the 3rd only men; the 4th only those armed; the 5th only those who fight. The 6th advises to take away only the treasures, but not to murder anybody. The explanation of this parable is similar to that of the last.


The possessors of the lesyas are described (Kg. I, 93) in the following manner:

The hostile, pitiless, cruel, barbarous, impious man, who has a bad tongue and who takes pleasure in torturing other beings, has a black lesya.


The fraudulent, corruptible, inconstant, hypocritical, voluptuous man has a dark lesya.


The thoughtless one, who in all his actions does not weigh the evil and the wrathful, has a gray one.


The prudent man who stops the influx of new karman, the liberal honorable one, who has a friendly mind towards religion, has a fiery lesya.


The compassionate, bountiful, steady, intelligent one has a lotus-pink lesya.


The pious man who performs good deeds, is passionless and impartial, has a white lesya.


The above-mentioned emotions are only the fundamental tendencies of the soul; in every lesya there are different degrees of intensity to be distinguished. We must therefore not be astonished, if we see later, that the worst lesyas are still occurring in very high states of psychical development, when partial or complete self-discipline have already been attained. The lesyas characterize only the general tendency of a soul, without the described passions necessarily being exhibited in such a pronounced manner.


Finally, it is still worth mentioning that a being at its birth has in the beginning the lesya which it possessed at its death in the preceding existence ("jallese marai tallese uvavajjai" Kg. I, 117b); later on, the lesya can change.


The holy men have no more yoga, and the Siddhas have no lesya.


BELIEF (darsana).

Kg. I, 112b et seq., P. 27; Lp. III, 596 et seq.; Tattv. I, 2 et seq.

True belief is the unshakable conviction of the absolute truth of the doctrines of the Jain religion. The samyag-darsana is an essential quality of the jiva. In consequence of the assimilation of mohaniya-karman, true belief has completely disappeared; if the karman is hindered in its efficiency in smaller or greater measure, true belief appears in a smaller or greater dimension; if the karman is completely annihilated, the absolute true belief manifests itself in its completeness.


From complete unbelief to complete true belief 6 kinds of belief are possible:

1)   mithyatva, the non-belief in the doctrine of Mahavira and the belief in false doctrines. There are 5 species of it (Kg. I, 149 a ; Gandhi 54):

I.   abhigrahika, produced by believing a certain false doctrine to be true.

II.  anabhigrahika, produced without acceptance of a certain false doctrine, by apathy and indifference.

III. abhinivesika produced by obstinate predilection for something which is estimated to be false.

IV.  samsayika produced by doubt.

V.   anabhoga "caused by deficient judgment", i.e. by the incapability of accepting the truth.


VI.  sasvadana-samyaktva "a taste of the true belief". This is a feeling of the true belief, lasting only for a few moments, which soon gives place to unbelief. The name is explained in the following manner:

2)   A man who does not know that he has eaten milk-rice tastes it distinctly in the moment he returns it by vomiting. Thus also a man whose confused mind is directed towards unbelief, feels a momentary taste of the true belief when he spits it out.


3)   samyagmithyatva "mixed belief" undifferentiated acceptance of true and false. This kind of belief is also called misra.


4)   ksayopasamika or vedaka samyaktva "lower right belief". This is produced by the poisonless mithyatva-pudgalas being left (nirvalita-madana-kodravarupam mithyatvam eva samyaktvam).


5)   aupasamika samyaktva, true belief produced by the suppression of the karman which caused disturbance of belief.


6)   ksayika samyaktva, true belief produced by absolute annihilation of the karman which causes disturbance of belief.


CONDUCT (caritra).

Kg. I, 107a et seq; Jacobi ad Tattv. IX 18; JS. II 157; W. Schubring ad Kalpasutra VI 14.


If the jiva is free the influence of the caritra-mohaniya-karmans, he possesses completely pure conduct. The anantanubandhin and apratyakhyanavarana-kasayas however, hinder it completely, and make every self-discipline (samyama or virati) altogether impossible; so long as they operate, the jiva is in the state of avirati. The deficient self-discipline refers to the objects of the 5 senses and of the manas and to the injuring of the 4 species of elementary beings, of plants and of beings with movable bodies, (and) is therefore 0f 12 species.


If the two worst kinds of passions are eliminated, the jiva possesses partial self-discipline (desavirati). This manifests itself chiefly in the evidence of killing movable beings. (See Gandhi p. 116).


If also the pratyakhyanavarana-kasayas have been made ineffective, complete self-discipline (sarva-virati), i.e. right conduct, is produced, 5 degrees of caritra are distinguished:

1)   samayika, the conduct in the primary stage of self-control.

2)   chedopasthapana, the conduct of the monk in the beginning of his spiritual career.

3)   pariharavisuddhi, the conduct produced by special austerities.

4)   suksmansamparaya, the conduct in which the passions are manifesting themselves at the utmost in a subtle form.

5)   yathakhyata, the absolutely perfect conduct which is produced when all passions have been made effective.