six fundamental truths (six fundamental aspects relating to the soul) are: (1)
Soul exists, (2) Soul is eternal, (3) Soul is the author of its actions (Karma), (4) It therefore has to enjoy or
suffer the consequences of its actions (Karma),
(5) Such a Soul can be liberated, and (6) There is a definite process for
Soul's Liberation and that is true religion.
A true religion liberates the Soul from the worldly cycle of birth and
death. The entire Jain philosophy revolves around the right perception (also
called: right faith, Samyag-darshan,
Samyaktva, Samyagdrasti, Samakit). Right perception is in fact its basis.
Without right perception, efforts to attain Moksha
(Salvation) are in vain. No one has achieved, no one is achieving and no one
will achieve Moksha without the right
perception. Unconditional faith in these six fundamentals is helpful in
attaining right perception. These six truths provide the field for the
cultivation and stabilization of Right Faith in reality and its true nature.
the 12 original Ägams, the last was Drishtiväd. It had five parts. One of
them was called Purva. There were 14 Purvas in all. The 7th was named as Ätmapraväd. These six fundamentals were
supposed to be part of that Purva.
Those Purvas have of course been lost
forever, but description of these six aspects is found in several Jain
Scriptures including Sanmati-Tarka
of Ächärya Siddhasen Diwäkar, who lived
most probably in the second century.
Jain Ächärya Shri Haribhadra wrote 1444 great Jain canonical books, and one of
them is “Samyaktva Saptika”. In this
book, he describes possible 67 characteristics of a person who has the right
perception. Based on this canonical book, great Jain Upädhyäya Shri Yshovijaji,
about 350 years ago, wrote “Samakit nä 67
bol ni Sajzäi” describing the same 67 characteristics in a poetry format
and in Gujarati. The last six characteristics of these 67 characteristics
describe the six fundamental truths. In addition, there are numerous works by
great Jain saints and scholars on this subject.
Räjchandra, the well known religious philosopher of the last century and
spiritual guide of Mahätmä Gändhi wrote one of the great Jain works in
Gujarati, Ätmasiddhi which describes
these six fundamental truths in a poetry format. Preceding to this, he wrote a
letter explaining six fundamentals to his principal follower Laghuräjswämi
(also know as Shri Lalluji Maharaj), which is included in this chapter.
six truths also include a critical appreciation of the Six Systems of
philosophy. Buddhists believe that
there is no soul at all or that if there is one then it is only a momentary
soul. Jains believe that soul exists
and it is eternal. Samkhya System believes in the soul which is totally inactive
and yet the enjoyer of all activities of Prakriti
(nature). Jains believe that there cannot be enjoyment or suffering without any
activities. To the Vedäntins, who hold
that the soul neither does anything nor it has to enjoy or suffer from actions.
Jain believe that the soul does actions and therefore it cannot escape the
results of the actions. To other
Vedäntins, who say that the soul was never bound and so no question of its
achieving Liberation arises. Jains believe that since the soul is attached to
actions from endless past, non‑attachment from them is a stage to be
obtained by conscious effort for Liberation, which is significant. To the
Chärväks who do not believe in a permanent soul nor into its actions and
Liberation from them and hence not in the proper way to Liberation. Jains
believe that since the first five truths are established the sixth also follows
them. If the Self‑Liberation is
meaningful then the method for it or the way to it must be equally
From Jain Scripture:
these are the attributes and characteristic of a soul, it is indeed very
pertinent to ask what are the proofs of its existence. Bhagavati‑Sutra
refers to Lord Mahavira as prescribing four means of true knowledge, namely‑
`Pratyaksha' (Direct perception), `Anumän' (Inference), `Upamän' (Analogy) and `Ägam' (Scriptures). All these four means
are utilized, hereafter in proof of soul's existence.
Jinabhadra, a very learned and respected scholar saint, flourished in 5th
century A.D. has written the classic named Vishesävasyaka‑bhäsya.
It contains the dialogue, between Lord Mahavira and eleven leading Vedic
Scholars on different aspects of self and other philosophical theories, which
are basic to Jainism.
Eleven Doubts of the eleven Vedic Scholars:
Indrabhuti Gautam had a doubt regarding the soul. His doubt was this: "In
this universe, is there an entity called Ätmä
(the Soul) which is independent and eternal?"
Agnibhuti Gautam, another scholar, had a doubt regarding Karma. His doubt was
whether everything that happened was only the soul's doing or according to
karma. Is there such an entity as
Vayubhuti Gautam had this doubt: "Is this body itself the soul or is the
soul different from the body?"
Vyakta had a doubt regarding the five elements. His doubt was this: "There
are the five material elements, namely Prithvi
(earth), Ap (water), Tejas (fire), Väyu (air) and Äkäsh
(space). Are these real or unreal and illusory like a dream?"
Sudharma's doubt was this: "Is the soul in the next birth the same kind as
in this birth or different?"
Mandit, another Brahmin, had a doubt regarding bondage. His doubt was this:
"Is the soul forever pure, enlightened and free from that bondage by means
of proper endeavors?"
Mauryaputra had a doubt regarding celestial beings. His doubt was this:
"Is there a place called Heaven at all?"
In the same manner, Akampit had a doubt regarding the existence of hell.
9. Achalbhrata had a doubt regarding punya or good actions. His doubt was this: "Why should we believe in both good d luck and bad luck? Let there be one."
Metarya had a doubt regarding the existence of the next birth and
The scholar by name Prabhas had a doubt regarding salvation, Moksha His doubt was this: "Is
there a definite state called Moksha.
Does the soul attain a state of eternal, boundless and pure happiness? Is the Jiva (soul) completely destroyed or
annihilated after its samsär is
doubts, which were completely resolved by Lord Mahavira, echo the subject
relating to the six fundamental truths.
Gautam, who subsequently become the chief disciple of Lord Mahavira, was a
great Vedic Scholar, seeing many persons flocking to listen the first sermon of
the Lord, he went to see him along with his own disciples. There the Lord
himself disclosed to Indrabhuti, the nature of philosophical doubts regarding
the existence of otherwise of `soul' which afflicted him. `Oh, Indrabhti' !
Lord Mahavira said, "I know that you have doubts about the existence of Jiva (soul). You believe that the
existence of Jiva (soul) cannot be
proved by any method, as it cannot be directly perceived by any sense‑organs.
You further argue within yourself that even atoms cannot be seen by naked eyes,
but they could be perceived as collectivities. But this cannot be said about
the soul. You contend that if one wants to prove the existence of the soul by
the process of inference, even that cannot solve the problem because every
inference is based on some tangible experience. You say that even scriptural
authority is of no use as even they are not uniform in accepting the existence
of soul, and even otherwise, scriptural knowledge is nothing but inferential
knowledge. According to you even the process of analogy is useless because
there is no tangible thing, analogous to soul. Thus it is not possible to prove
soul's existence through any of the means of Valid knowledge. So the only
conclusion is that the soul does not exist."
thus formulated the opposite point of view, the Lord proceeded to resolve the
doubts as under :
Gautam, your doubts about the soul's existence are out of place, and your
contention that soul cannot be perceived by senses is also not correct because
it can be perceived very directly."
how that is so?" asked Gautam.
just consider what is `Soul'. It is nothing but pure consciousness or knowledge
`Vijnänarupa'. If this consciousness
exists, soul exists. This consciousness exists in you because, otherwise, there
can not be any doubt in your mind about the existence of souls. Hence the very fact of the existence of
doubt is the proof of consciousness. Unconscious has no doubts. Thus, there is
direct proof of consciousness and hence of soul. If it can thus be directly
perceived, it does not require any further proof."
however, required further proof. He therefore asked : "May be that
the `Soul' can be directly perceived as
you say, but still further proof is required, because there are some
philosophers known as Sunyvadi, not recognizing the real existence of even the
things which could be perceived by senses and insist upon their proof by other
Mahavira said : "We often say `I did' or `I am doing' or `I shall do'. In all these statements of
past, present and future, the subjects is `I' even though the action was over,
or is being done in the present or is yet to be done in future. This suggests
the continuity of `I' consciousness throughout past, present and future. The
`ego consciousness' (Ahamrupa Jnäna), thus expressed by reference to a
constant `I' is a further proof of the existence of soul because that `I' is
the `soul' or the `self', is not destroyed by the past, exists in the present
and projects existence in future also. This ego consciousness is not the
subject matter of any inference, nor does it require any scriptural authority.
Even those, ignorant of scriptures, experience this ego consciousness. So this
is direct perception and hence direct proof of soul's existence."
Oh Gautam ! there cannot be any `knowledge' of the object having no existence
at all. So if the `soul' does not exist, who has the consciousness or knowledge
of `I', when one says `I did' etc. `I doubt' who is it who is it who doubts?
Every doubt presupposes a doubter. That doubter, that `I', is your own self,
your soul. `Ego consciousness' has soul as its object because the question is
whose `consciousness'? Answer is consciousness of `I' which is the object of
: "Sir, this `ego consciousness' would not be rendered objectless if
instead of believing that `soul' or `self' is its object, we take our body as
its object. When I say `I am black' or `I am thin;, the ego consciousness `I'
is used with reference to our body. So, what is objectionable if we take `I' as
referring to our body and not to our `self'."
Mahavira : "If ego consciousness
expressed by the use of `I' has a reference to our body as its object, then
even our dead body could be having that ego consciousness and could be referred
to as `I'. But that is not so. It follows, therefore, that the object of ego
consciousness is not the body. It cannot be said that the `doubter' of your
consider what is a `doubt'. Every `doubt' is an attribute (Guna) of some object which is its substratum. Every substratum is
known by its attributes because attributes and their substratum are mutually
reciprocal so tat the existence of one can be known by the existence of the
other. Therefore, even though the substratum cannot be perceived by our senses
its existence can be mentally perceived through our knowledge of its
attributes. A doubt can never be an attribute of your body because doubt is
always an attribute of consciousness and the body has no consciousness of its own."
just consider who possesses the power of memory, who remembers the past and the
present and who has a comprehension about future. This attribute of memory is
not the attribute of body. It is the attribute of `I' consciousness. So when
you are doubting the very existence of `I' you are doubting your own self,
because, the moment you doubt your own self, you doubt exist. But you do exist
because you are doubting. So, the doubter of your doubts is your `self', your
`soul'. Soul exists because `I' exists and `I' exists because `doubt'
it is many a times seen that the attributes such as memory, perception,
sensation etc. are absent even when body is present and in a living condition.
This proves that these attributes are not of body.'
is found that body gets consciousness only in association with soul and without
soul, it is dead as wood. Hence consciousness is `soul'."
dialogue which proceeded further left Indrabhuti Gautam fully convinced about
the existence of soul and he became the principal disciple of Lord Mahavira.
Lord Mahavira completely removed the doubts of other ten Brahmin scholars and
they all became his disciples. These eleven are called Ganadharas as they were
appointed as the first heads of different groups of monks. Lord Mahavira
survived all of them except the first Ganadhara Indrabhuti Gautam and the fifth
one Sudharma. It is significant that all these first principal disciples were
Brahmins of great repute and learning which shows that the silent ideological
revolution had already started in the intelligentsia of the time.
letter by Shrimad Rajchandra on six fundamental truths explains the subject in
a concise manner yet in simple language.
The Letter of Six
Fundamentals by Shrimad Rajchandra:
Lalluji Maharaj being sick in Surat requested Shrimadji for Samädhi (Yogic concentration, state of
non-attachment, absorbed in Soul) Maran
(death). In reply, Shrimadji wrote the
famous letter of six fundamental truths, and inspired Lalluji Maharaj not to
fear death. This letter is the theme,
of which "Ätmasiddhi" is the development. Shri Lalluji Maharaj
appreciates this letter as follows:
letter has helped us to remove all our stray ideas and wandering thoughts, it
has removed our doubts, confirmed our faith in the fundamentals of Jainism and
those of all religions in general, namely the nature and development of soul.”
The letter is as follows:
intense devotion I bow to the true Guide, the bestower of unique refuge.
enlightened, who have attained true knowledge of Self have described the
following six fundamentals as the supreme abode of right perception.
fundamental:- 'There is existence of soul.' As there is existence of physical
objects like pot, cloth, etc. so is the existence of soul. As the properties of
pot, cloth, etc. are the evidence of their existence, so the obvious property
of consciousness to manifest itself as well as others, is the evidence of the
existence of soul.
fundamental:- 'Soul is eternal'. Pot, cloth, etc. stay as such for some time;
but soul stays forever. Pot, cloth, etc. are composed of some materials, but
soul is a substance on its own, because no composition can be visualized for
producing soul. Consciousness cannot arise out of any composition, so it is not
a product. Being incomposible, it is nonperishable; because what cannot be
produced by any composition, can not merge in anything else.
fundamental:- "Soul is Kartä'.
All objects are associated with purposeful activity. All of them are seen with
some or other process that causes alterations. Soul also is imbibed with
activity. Having the actuation., it is Kartä.
The omniscient Lords have described three types of such actuation. In absolute
state when soul stays tuned to its pure nature, it is the Kartä of that nature; in normal practice (which can be experienced;
which comes in close contact), it is the Kartä
of material Karma; and nominally it is the Kartä
of physical objects like buildings, towns, etc.
fundamental:- 'Soul bears consequences'. All activities are fruitful; they are
not futile. It is the obvious experience that whatever is done, has its
consequences. Consumption of poison or sugar and contact with fire or snow do
not fail to produce their respective consequences. Similarly, if soul indulges
in defiled or undefiled state, that state too is bound to be fruitful and it
produces consequences. Thus being Kartä,
soul bears the consequences as well.
fundamental:- 'There is liberation'. Soul has been described above as being Kartä of material Karmas and as such
being subject to their consequences, Those Karmas can, however, be terminated
as well; because even if prevailing defilement etc. are very acute, they can be
reduced by discontinuance of practice, by avoiding contact and by calming them
down. They are reducible and can be destroyed. The state of the bondage thus
being destructible, pure state of soul devoid of all bondage, is the state of
fundamental:- 'There are means to achieve liberation'. If bondage of Karma
simply continues to occur, its cessation can never be visualized. There are,
however, factors like knowledge, conviction, staying tuned to soul, detachment,
devotion etc. that are manifestly opposites of the bondage of Karma. By the
intensity of these means, the bondage gets loose, gets pacified and can be
destroyed. Therefore knowledge, perception, restraint etc. are the means for
six fundamentals, which are termed by the blessed enlightened as the supreme
abode of right perception, have been narrated here in brief. Soul that is
closer to liberation would easily find them accurate and entirely convincing.
Consideration of these aspects in all perspectives would lead to the rise of
discernment within. The supreme entity has pronounced these six fundamentals as
beyond all doubts. Discernment arising from these six aspects can be helpful to
the soul in comprehending its true Self.
enlightened entities have laid down the teaching of these six aspects for
removing the sense of ego and attachment of the worldly soul that arises from
its dreaming state which has been prevailing since the time without beginning.
If the soul realizes that its true nature is beyond that state, it would easily
gain awareness and obtain right perception. By gaining right perception, it
would attain liberation in the sense of realizing its true Self. Sense of
exultation, grief or other interaction would not occur to it from any
perishable, impure or such other impact. That awareness would lead it to
experience, from close proximity, its own natural purity, perfection,
imperishability and boundless joy.
has been accustomed to identity itself with unnatural states. It would now gain
clear, visible, vivid, manifest experience of being completely distinct from
such states. The interaction with the perishable or such other objects would
not be viewed by it with the sense of desirability or undesirability. It would
feel gratified with the knowledge and experience of its own true Self as being
the abode of perfect greatness, free from any affliction of birth, old age,
death, disease etc. All the persons who are convinced of soul, by the
appropriate description of these six fundamentals by the supreme entities, have
realized their true state. In the past such persons have got free from worries,
disease, afflictions and all other interactions; presently such persons do get
free and the same will happen in future.
our highly devoted obeisance be to the enlightened entities who have laid down
to abide at ease within the true self, that can forever end the affliction of
birth, old age and death. True nature of soul can arise by daily and continuous
adoration of their innate compassion. Lotus like feet of such enlightened may
always stay within our hearts.
is not possible to define the attributes of the enlightened, the adoption of
whose instructions easily leads to the manifestation of true Self as evidenced
by these six fundamentals. By such manifestation, soul gains fearlessness that
arises from the attainment of everlasting bliss.
their innate compassion, the enlightened entities have conferred the
unrewardable supreme disposition without desiring any thing whatsoever and yet
have never conceived that so and so is my pupil or is mine because he is my
devotee. Repeated obeisance with intense devotion be to such enlightened
Such entities have laid down devotion for true Guide solely for the benefit of Pupils. They have prescribed devotion so that the tendency of pupils may stay towards the state of Guide's soul, self indulgence may come to an end by witnessing their unprecedented attributes and true Self may be easily visualized. Our all time obeisance be to that devotion and to those enlightened entities.
has of course not been presently manifested. It has, however, been clearly
known as a potentiality from the words of the enlightened entities. Omniscience
exists as a matter of faith, as a state to be contemplated and a state to be
aspired; and from the absolute point of view, it is prevalent within. Repeated
obeisance with supreme devotion be to the benevolence of the enlightened entity
by whose grace this soul easily got worthy of attaining omniscience, that
manifests the unobstructed bliss.