The timeless Jain tradition highlights the nine tattvas as the mechanics of how we are caught up in the ups and downs of worldly life, and how to free ourselves from this suffering, thereby attaining true peace and happiness.
These foundational truths consist of: Jeev, Ajeev, Ashrav, Bandha, Paap, Punya, Samvar, Nirjara and Moksha.
Ashrav is about identifying how our engagement with the world causes karmic clusters to flow in and obscure our true pure state.
It’s about what rocks our peace when all we want is to attain our effortlessly blissful inner state, just like how the storm batters the boat that wants nothing but to calmly drift towards it’s destination.
Only by looking closely at our behaviours can we loosen the grip that keeps us bound to the suffering that we all face throughout our lives.
Causes of the inflow of karma
The wisdom of the timeless Jain tradition presents us with a classification system to help us inspect the causes in detail. It may help to look at it as 184.108.40.206.25:
3 actions by operation of the mind, speech and body
5 senses through which there is experience of the outer world
As a side note, the five vows for an ascetic or a householder are there to act as a protective fence, shielding one’s self from the above five indulgences. These vows are non-violence (ahimsa), truth (satya), non-stealing (asteya), celibacy (brahmacharya = conducting one’s self close to the soul) and non-possessiveness (aparigraha).
Written by Acharya Umasvati (a Jain spiritual leader who is said to have lived around the 2nd century BC), Tattvarth sutra is a Jain spiritual text (sutra) which is both succinct yet comprehensive, wherein each line in it is independently true and expanded just the right amount.
From the entry on wikipedia: The Tattvartha Sutra is regarded as the most authoritative book on Jainism, and the only text authoritative in both the Svetambara and Digambara sects.
The first verse, “à¤¸à¤®à¥à¤¯à¤—à¥à¤¦à¤°à¥à¤¶à¤¨à¤œà¥à¤žà¤¾à¤¨à¤šà¤¾à¤°à¤¿à¤¤à¥à¤°à¤¾à¤£à¤¿à¤®à¥‹à¤•à¥à¤·à¤®à¤¾à¤°à¥à¤—: | samyag-darshan-gnaan-charitrani mokshamargaha” summarises Jainism by saying that right view, right knowledge and right conduct collectively are the path of liberation or moksha.
The first chapter deals with the process of cognition and details about different types of knowledge.
The next three chapters deal with the soul, lower worlds, naraka, and celestial abodes, deva.
The fifth chapter discusses Non-soul (Ajiva).
The next three chapters deal with the karmas and their manifestations and the inflow, ahsrava, good and bad karma, shubha-ashubha karma and the bondage of the karmas.
The ninth chapter describes the blocking, samvara and shedding of the karmas, nirjara.
The final chapter discusses moksha or the liberation of the soul.
Tattvarth sutra may be available from Young Jains or you could order it from Amazon: