Doctrine of Karma 

Table of Contents


1. Introduction. 4

2. What is karma?. 5

3. Why do we need to know about karma?. 5

4. Genes & karma. 6

5. Parapsychology & Karma. 8

6. Causes of Karma Bondage. 8

6.1 Mithyätva. 8

(False Belief or Delusion; Mithyä = wrong, tva = ness; Mithyätva = Wrongness) 8

6.2 Avirati (Vowlessness - Non-abstinence) 10

6.3 Pramäd (Spiritual non-vigilance) 10

6.4 Kashäyas (Passions) 10

6.5 Yoga (Psychophysical Activities) 11

7. Components of Bondage Process. 12

7.1 Nature Of Karma (Prakriti) 13

7.2 Quantity Of Karma (Pradesh) 14

7.3 Duration of karma (Sthiti) 15

7.4 Intensity (Quality) (Anubhäg, Ras) 16

8. 158 Subgroups (Uttaraprakriti) Of Eight Main karmas. 16

8.1 Jnänävaraniya (5) 16

8.2 Darshanävaraniya (9) 17

8.3 Vedaniya (2) 17

8.4 Mohaniya karma (28) 18

8.5 Äyushya (4) 19

8.6 Näma karma (103) 20

Group 1: 4 Gati näma karmas: (Destiny) 20

Group 2: 5 Jäti näma karmas: (Classes of Beings) 20

Group 3: 5 Shrarira näma karmas: (Bodies) 20

Group 4:  3 Upänga näma karmas: (Main & secondary parts of body) 20

Group 5: 15 Bandhana näma karmas: (Binding of new body particles to old ones) 21

Group 6: 5 Sanghatana näma karmas: (Organizing particles for various body parts) 21

Group 7: 6 Samhanana näma karmas (Firmness of the joints) 21

Group 8: 6 Samsthäna näma karmas (Stature determining) 21

Group 9: 5 Varna näma karmas: (Colors) 22

Group 10: 2 Gandha näma karmas: (Odors) 22

Group 11: 5 Rasa näma karmas: (Tastes) 22

Group 12: 8 Sparsha näma karmas: (Touch) 22

Group 13: 4 Anupurvi näma karmas: (Direction to next destination) 22

Group 14: 2 Vihäyogatinäma karmas: (Gaits) 23

Group 15: 8 Prathyek Prakriti  Näma karma. 23

Group 16: Trasa (Moving) Dashaka (Group of Ten) and Sthävar (Unmoving) Dhashaka. 23

8.7 Gotrakarma (2) 24

8.8 Antaräy karma (5) 24

9. Bandha (Bondage), Udaya (Realization) and Satta (Existence) 24

10. Sarva-ghäti karmas, Desa-ghäti karmas and Aghäti karma. 25

11. Karan (Activities) 25

12. Punya, Päpa and äshrav (Influx of karma) 26

13. Samvar (Stoppage of karma) and Nirjarä (Eradication of karma): 27

14. Moksha (Salvation) 27

15. References. 27


1. Introduction  

There has to be a cause for the inequality we notice in the material world (sansär). We are unable to justify inequality based on external reasons. There has to be something internal which justifies the worldly inequality.


As a student we have seen that some students do very well in the class while others struggle. Some earn money easily, while others struggle. There is nothing but suffering in some people's life while others enjoy their life.  Question may arise in our mind that how come some live longer while others die at younger age. Twins born in the same family, one is smarter than other. One makes more money than other. Someone is healthy, someone is sick. Someone is rich and someone is poor. Someone is good looking and someone is not so good looking. One is born in a rich family, other is born in a poor family. Someone is a good person, someone is not a good person. Why there is such a contrast in the life? What are the root causes behind these? These all happen due to one’s own karmas. How that can we get rid of karmas?


Jainism is based on two basic substances: a) ätma and b) karma.  Nine tatvas (fundamentals) of Jainism are based on ätma and karma. To succeed in our crusade to free our souls, we must know all about karma and ätma, and their interrelationship. Here, we will make a brief attempt to understand the doctrine of karma.


It is a duality of light and darkness, purity and impurity, detachment and attachment, alertness and carelessness, awareness and ignorance, and insight and outward-ness. For worldly souls like us it is a battle between ätma and karma. All we have to do is disassociate ätma from karma. In fact, our final and only objective is to disassociate ätma from karma and to realize our-own (ätma's) qualities.



Text Box:  Jains have gone in extraordinary details to describe the theory of karma. The involvement of the soul with karma has had no beginning. The soul of sansäri has always been impure, just as gold in a gold mine. As gold cannot be purified until it goes through the refinement process, the soul cannot be purified until it goes through proper purification process of achieving perfect faith, perfect knowledge and perfect conduct. As long as the soul is impure, it will go through the cycle of birth and death (the cycle of transmigration - samsära). The impurities are called karma. There is a continuous interaction between soul and karma. It is very likely that the most souls will have endless journey through the cycle of four destinies - dev (heavenly beings), manusya (human beings), näraki (hellish beings) and tiryancha (animals, plants and all other living beings).




According to Jainism, the universe is everlasting and imperishable, created by no divine power and governed by no Higher Being. The universe is self-regulated. The universe is consisted of six substances (dravyas). Everything in this universe is either jiva or ajiva or a result of these two. There are five ajiva (non-living) substances; matters & energy (pudgalästhikäya), medium of motion (dharmästhikäya), medium of rest (adharmästhikäya), space (äkäshästhikäya) and time (käl). There is one jiva substance (soul). Thus, we have six basic substances (dravyas). All of the six  substances are indestructible, imperishable, immortal, eternal and continuously go through countless changes.

2. What is karma?

Karma is made of karman particles.  Karman particles are pudgalas (non-living, ajiva). Karmas are the subtlest pudgala.. It cannot be seen by most magnificent microscope or any similar instrument. 


·       There are infinite number of individual atoms that do not join with others. The group of such atoms is known as first varganä. Similarly, there are infinite numbers of 2 atoms joined (such group is called second varganä), infinite numbers of 3 atoms joined (called third varganä), and going up to the group of infinite atoms joined.

·       Now we come to the great group called mahävarganä. In the first mahävarganä, there are infinite number of first varganäs, second, third, up to infinite varganäs. In second mahävarganä, the first group has one more atom joined than the last group of the first mahävarganä, (the first raw of this mahävarganä has infinite number of such groups) and the last group has infinite more atoms joined that the last group of the first mahävarganä (the last raw of this mahävarganä has infinite number of such groups). Similarly, third, fourth and up to sixteenth mahävarganä are there in this universe. The number of atoms are more and the size is finer in the second mahävarganä than in the first mahävarganä and onwards.

·       The mahävarganäs with odd number has no usefulness to the living beings. The body of human beings  and tiryancha (other than human beings, hellish beings and heavenly beings) called audärik sharir, is made from second mahävarganä. The body of hellish beings and heavenly beings, called vaikriya sharir is made from fourth mahävarganä. Similarly, ähärak sharir (special holy body - only very knowledgeable sädhus can have capacity to develop), taijasha sharir (body of vital energy), anäpana (respiratory system), bhäsha (speech), manah (mind) and karmana sharir are made from sixth, eighth, tenth, twelfth, fourteenth and sixteenth mahävarganä respectively. All non-liberated living beings have taijasha sharir and karmana sharir in addition to their gross body.

·       The universe is full of karmana particles. On the tip of a needle, there are infinite number of karman particles.

3. Why do we need to know about karma?

We, sansäri living beings,  are consisted of two dravyas; jiva and ajiva. Ajiva portions are divided in three bodies; Audärik sharir (our gross body), taijasha sharir (body of vital energy, subtle body) and karmana sharir (micro subtle body). Heavenly beings and inhabitants of hells have vaikriya body instead of audärik sharir. Spiritually advanced and knowledgeable of 14 poorvas can have ähärak body. Ätma is formless and invisible, and it is everywhere in our body. In sansäri (worldly - non-liberated) jivas, chetna (quality of ätma, consciousness) is associated by karma particles everywhere in our body. Also, karmana particles are everywhere in the space. As long as they are not associated with chetnä (quality of ätma, consciousness), they are ineffective. Our activities with attachments and aversions (Räg-Dvesha) work as a magnet and attract karmana particles. When they associate with our ätma, they are called karma. Karma and ätma have been associated since the beginningless beginning (infinite time). Also every moment, we are adding karma continuously due to  our attachments and aversions.  Often we have partial separation meaning disassociation of some karma through austerities (tapas).


karma is the hindrance that does not allow us to realize the true qualities of ätma, does not let us become what we should be by our own nature, does not let ourselves free from misery, does not let us become paramätma from ätma. Kevelis (siddhas) do not have any association with karma. We all want to achieve this state. The effect of karmas on the soul is illustrated in the following table:


A (Qualities of Soul)

+ B (Type of karma)

=C (Qualities of Worldly Living Being)

Perfect Knowledge (Kevaljnäna)

Knowledge Obscuring (Jnänävaraniya)

Incomplete Knowledge

Perfect Intution (Kevaldarshana)

Intuition Obscuring (Darshanävaraniya)

Incomplete Intuition (darshan)

Superiority over joy & grief (Avyabadha)

Feeling Producing (Vedniya)

Feeling of Sadness & Happiness

Perfect Belief & Conduct (Samyaktva & Anantchäritra)

Belief & Conduct Obscuring (Mohaniya)

Imperfect Belief & Imperfect Conduct

Eternity (Akshayasthiti)

Longevity (Äyushya)

Cycles of Birth & Death

Complete Formlessness (Amurtatva)

Body giving (Näma)

Senses, Structure & Body

Complete Equality

Family (Gotra)

High or Low family

Unrestricted Energy (Anantshakti)

Energy Restricting (Antaräya)

Limited / Restricted use of energy


4. Genes & karma

It is the time to examine whether there are any similar things like karma researched by the modern science. The recent developments in the field of genetics may shed some lights that the science is getting closer to something like karma.


A human body has over 50 trillion (50x1012) cells. This is 10,000 times the world's population. There are thousands of genes in one cell. Over 100,000 cells can be placed in one square inch. Each cell has 23 pairs of chromosomes. Each chromosome has thousands of genes. This gives over a billion genes in one square inch.  Each DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) strand is 16 inches long. If we put all gene threads in one line, the line will be 50 billion miles long (200,000 times the distance between Moon and Earth).


Genes cannot be seen. Scientists have used mightiest electron microscope that magnifies an object by 100,000 times. Such microscope makes the length of an ant half a  mile long. And yet we cannot see genes. DNA module is the nucleus of every cell. It never leaves the nucleus of the cell. DNA is surrounded by organic molecules. DNA has four basic building blocks A, T, C and G (adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine). With this four basic blocks, each DNA can produce infinite number of combinations, some short and some long. Computers use only 0's and 1's with limited field length. DNA can produce over 2 million different proteins. RNA (ribonucleic acid) is a copy of DNA. RNA is an active knowledge. Shall we call DNA a silent intelligent? DNA invents new chemicals itself. There are spacers in between A, T, C and G when used in combination. The modern science knows that DNA uses only 1% of the available genetic material. About 99% of the genetic material, the modern science does not know anything, yet. 5% of 1% genetic material is what we use - called "intelligence". One cell, if it is written in molecular words, it will fill up about thousand volumes, each equal to the size of Webster’s dictionary. This is due to only 1% of the genetic material, we use. Aren't we approaching infinity and micro subtleness when we try to understand about genes and DNA’s? For example, there are 280 million molecules in each red cell. A molecule of Hemoglobin has over 10,000 atoms. Our system is so organized that the chemicals produced in a cell move from one point to another in an extremely organized way and their aim is very precise. Who is behind all these? One can conclude that a non-molecule becomes a molecule - If so, how? Guru Vishishtha said, "In every atom, there are worlds within worlds".


Genetic program decides characteristics of the body of every living beings (Näma karma?). So does karma. Genes affect aging process (Äyushya karma?). So does karma. Genes link family history (Gotra karma?). So does karma. Non-stop chemicals and proteins produced by DNA affect our feelings, our emotions, our energy level, our knowledge, etc. (Vedniya karma, antaräya karma, etc.?). So does karma. Remember, karman particles are much finer (subtler) than the genes.


The modern science has a long way to go in finding many answers about genes: a) how do genes operate?, b) detailed function of all tiny parts, c) what causes aging process, d) do not know what most of the genetic codes means, e) can genetic code be corrected?, f) If so, how can we correct?, and more.


Scientists are searching answers by external experiments. This approach can be called primitive. The carrier of the genes (our own-self) is the best laboratory. They need to add elements like positive thinking, emotions, austerities, forgiveness, humility, straightforwardness,  contentment, etc.


75 years back, the science told us " we are what we are because of our endocrine glands". Only in last 100 years, they have understood the importance of endocrine glands. One may conclude that the science may not have completely understood the endocrine gland system.


Recently, the modern science says " we are what we are because of our genes". They still do not know most about genes.


Our thirthankars have said since the beginningless beginning that " we are what we are because of our karmas."


We all have Body. The body is consisted of systems, the systems  are consisted of organs, the organs are consisted of tissues, the tissues are consisted of cells, the cells are consisted of genes. The science knows this far. What is beyond genes? Is there an emptiness? Where the thoughts (non-molecule) reactions are generated? The answer, the science someday will find, will be that there is consciousness (soul) and karma behind genes.

5. Parapsychology & Karma

The parapsychology comes closer to find the answers regarding what is behind genes. They claim that we have a unconscious mind and a subconscious mind. Per Jainism, unconscious mind is the karma and the subconscious mind is adhyavasäya (waves due to the effect of the karma on the soul's purity). They talk about things that are controlled by other than the senses. They talk about ESP (Extra Sensory Perception). They talk about telepathy (sending thoughts/feeling from one person to another), clairvoyance (awareness of objects, things without use of senses), pre-recognition (knowledge of future events) and psychokinesis (mind over matter). We say there are avadhi jnäna (knowledge limited by area, time and feelings), manahparyava jnäna (knowledge of others thoughts) and keval jnäna (perfect knowledge). These three knowledge’s are not dependent on our senses and mind. Karma and its effect on our soul are behind everything we do.

6. Causes of Karma Bondage

Text Box:  There are five causes for the bondage of karmas: False belief (Mithyätatva), vowlessness (non-abstinence) (Avirati), negligence (Pramäda), passions (Kashäya) and activities (Yogäs).


1. Violence, 2. falsehood, 3.stealing, 4. sensual activity, 5. anger, 6. ego, 7. deceit 8. greed; 9. attachment, 10. hatred, 11. quarrel, 12. false accusations, 13. divulging someone's secrets, 14. backbiting; 15. Gossiping, 16. delight/sadness, 17 uttering deceptive falsehood and 18. false belief - these eighteen sources of sin also cause the influx of karma (äshrava).

6.1 Mithyätva

(False Belief or Delusion; Mithyä = wrong, tva = ness; Mithyätva = Wrongness)

Mithyätva means to believe that wrong is right and right is wrong. One way there are 25 types of Mithyätva: 

  1. To believe living being as non-living being,
  2. To believe non-living being as living being,
  3. To believe wrong religion as right one,
  4. To believe right religion as wrong one,
  5. To believe right Sädhu as wrong Sädhu,
  6. To believe wrong Sädhu as right Sädhu,
  7. To believe worldly ways as the path of liberation,
  8. To believe the path of liberation as worldly ways,
  9. To believe liberated ones as worldly souls,
  10. To believe worldly souls as liberated ones,
  11. Abhigrähik Mithyätva (Absolutist or Fanatic false faith): This belief involves one sided attitude, one sided view, sticking to a false belief like there is no soul, no karma or killing inferior living beings is acceptable. This means having fanatic faith and interest in a false dharma. Believing fanatically that his/her dharma alone is right and does not accept the true dharma expounded by the omniscient ones (tirthankaras).
  12. Abhiniveshik Mithyätva (Perverse or Prejudicial faith): This involves intentionally sticking to a wrong belief or not accepting the right belief. For example, monks can have money, monks can have women, God will be pleased if I sacrifice certain thing. This also includes that one may have attained the right  dharma but he/she may not believe in some of its doctrines and may have prejudicial partiality and believe in contrary doctrines.
  13. Samshayik Mithyätva (Skepticism): Doubting or being skeptical about the dharma expounded by the omniscient ones. This person just cannot decide what is right and what is wrong.
  14. Anabhigrahik Mithyätva (Egalitarian - Faith in false dharma): In this case, he may believe that “this belief is right” and then he/she will change his/her mind that “that belief is right.” He may believe that all religions are true even though they are contradicting. He/she has a non-discriminatory attitude. He/she thinks all religions are equal and acceptable.
  15. Anabhogik Mithyätva (Agnostic, Total ignorance, Lack of Knowledge): In this state, one cannot distinguish between  the right doctrine and false doctrines and cannot have any knowledge or understanding of them. This is the largely case with lower sense living beings.
  16. Laukik Mithyätva: To believe a person as a true dev who has not completely conquered his/her attachments and aversions, has not attained Vitarägatä (complete state of non-attachment), does not have perfect knowledge (Keval-jnäna),  who is guiding for worldly gains, does not practice samvar (stopping of karma) and Nirjarä (eradication of karma), has not taken or practicing five great vows, who does not have right knowledge, who promotes rituals for worldly happiness, etc.. is called Laukik Mithyätva.
  17. Lokottar Mithyätva: To believe in true dev (Vitaräg dev), to worship HIM, to perform the spiritual activities as he taught but with the expectation of wordly gains.
  18.  To believe in the teachings of non-vitaräg and not to believe in the teachings of vitaräg.
  19. To believe partially in the teachings of vitaräg and not to believe in HIS certain teachings.
  20. To promote the teachings of non-vitaräg
  21. To criticize the teachings of vitaräg
  22.  Not to believe in the Right Conduct (Samyag Chäritra)
  23.  Not to believe in the Right Knowledge (Samyag Jnäna)
  24. Not to express the humility (vinay) towards right dev, right guru and right religion.
  25. To violate (Äshatanä) the proper methods of respecting right dev, right guru and right religion.


Mithyätva (False belief) is the greatest enemy of the soul. First step to practice the true religion and advance spiritually is to get rid of Mithyätva.

6.2 Avirati (Vowlessness - Non-abstinence)

Avirati means not taking any vows. Even though we may not commit sins, but vow-lwss-ness may cause temptation or desire to commit sins. If one does not want to commit a sin, then why should he/she hesitate to take a vow to that effect ?


In simple terms, Avirati or the absence of vows is of 12 kinds. 1 to 6 - Not having taken vows relating to the pleasures of the five senses and the mind. 7 to 12 - Not having taken vows relating to the use of earth, water, fire, air and plants (vegetation), and all moving (trasa) living beings. In addition, included are not taking vows to discard violence, falsehood, stealing, sensual activity, attachment and taking food in the nights. Taking vows for a partial restraint from these is called Desh virati (for family-persons). If a serious and solemn vow is taken with three yogas and three karanas i.e. if a vow is taken by a person that he/she will not by mind, speech or body commit these sins; that he would not get them committed by others; and would not approve them when others commit them, then it is called Sarva virati. This type of vows is taken by a Jain monk. But for a family-person it is impossible not to approve knowingly or unknowingly when others are committing sins as well as it is difficult to stop the sins of subtle kind. Therefore, the family-person takes partial vows which he/she can observe.

6.3 Pramäd (Spiritual non-vigilance)

Pramäd makes the soul to stop taking delight in contemplating on its own form. Pramäd is mainly of five kinds. Arrogance, sensual cravings, passions (kashäyas), sleep and engaging in gossiping. In addition, attachments, hatred, ignorance, doubt, illusion, forgetfulness, are the evil activities of the mind, body and speech, not caring for true dharma and not having enthusiasm for true dharma also constitute the pramäd.


Even after a person takes all necessary vows and becomes a Jain sädhu, he/she may be subjected to pramäda time to time. This state is called pramatta. If he/she discards the pramäd completely, then he becomes an Apramatta Mahämuni. It is more often that a Jain sädhu goes for and back from apramatta state to pramatta state.

6.4 Kashäyas (Passions)

Kash means Samsär (material world, cycles of birth and death, world of misery). Aya means gain. Kashäyas, therefore, secure the samsär for the jiva. Anger, ego, deceit, and greed keep us in samsär, keep us miserable. Therefore, they are called kashäyas.


Anger, ego, deceit and greed are the main four Kashäyas. Each one is of four kinds. Thus a total of 16 main Kashäyas. These kashäyas are many forms such as attachments, hatred, animosity, hostility, arrogance, craftiness, trickery, lust, etc. Laughing (joking hasya), improper liking (rati), improper dislike (arati), sorrow (shok), fear (bhaya), disgust (jugupsa) and sexual craving for male (purusha-ved), for female (stri-ved) and for both (napusamka-ved) ( a total of 9) provoke kashäyas.

6.5 Yoga (Psychophysical Activities)

The activities of mind  (man), speech (vachan) and body (käya) of the jiva are called yogas. If these activities are noble, the soul gathers auspicious karmas (punya) and if they are ignoble (dishonorable), the soul gathers inauspicious karmas (päpa).


1. Manyoga(Yoga of Mind): There are four type of Mind-Yogas: 1. Satyamanoyoga: It means thinking of truth (thinking of an object or its condition as it is in itself). For instance, thinking like "Moksha can be attained only by knowledge accompanied with action." 2. Asatyamanoyoga: This means thinking of falsehood (thinking of a thing or its condition in a way that is totally opposite to or different from what it is in itself). For example, thinking like "Activities and austerities are unnecessary for attaining Moksha".  3. Satyasatyamanoyoga: This is a mixed thinking. It involves both, partial truth and partial falsehood.  For example, thinking like 'Knowledge itself is enough to attain Moksha". 4. Vyavaharmanoyoga: In this kind of thinking, there is neither truth nor falsehood. It is thinking about some practical affair of life such as saying to some person concerned: "You must get up early in the morning".


2. Vachanyoga(Yoga of Speech): Vachanyoga(activity of speech) has four forms like manyoga(activity of mind) like speaking the truth about an object is Satyavachanyoga. Speaking lies is Asatyavachanyoga. Saying something which is partly true and partly untrue is Satyasatyavachanyoga. The examples of Vyavaharvachanyogäre utterances like "You go. You come, etc."


3. Käyayoga(Yoga of body): There are seven kinds of käyayoga: Human beings (manusya) and the beings of the realm of animals, birds, insects, plants, etc. (tiryancha) have the audärik body (sharir). The heavenly beings and the inhabitants of hell have the vaikriya type of body. The Mahämunis (great Jain saints) who, have mastered the shästras (poorvas), can develop a body that can visit a nearby tirthankara to get a clarification for their doubts. This type of body is called ähäraka body (sharir). We all sansäris have taijasha (body of vital energy) sharir and karman sharir (body). These two bodies stay with us until we achieve the salvation (moksha). Thus, we have activities of audärik sharir, vaikraya sharir, ähärak sharir and karman sharir. We don’t have independent activities of taijasha sharir. Now first three bodies can have combine activities with karman and taijasha sharir. Thus, we have a total of 7 käyayoga.


Thus we have a total of 15 yogas of mind, speech and body. Of them, there are two kinds; namely, the auspicious ones and the inauspicious ones. Truthful speech, truthfulness thoughts and corresponding truthful physical activity relating to the true dharma are auspicious vocal, mental and physical activities. All other activities are inauspicious. We attain punya (merit) by means of auspicious yogänd päpa (sin) by means of inauspicious yoga.


This makes the causes for the bondage of karma 57 in number, 5 mithyätva, 12 avirati, 25 kashäyas and 15 yogas. The types of pramäd are not included since the pramäd is due to other four causes.

7. Components of Bondage Process

Binding of Karman Varganä with soul is called Dravya karmas.  Attachment-aversion (räg-dvesha) oriented results of soul are called Bhäva karmas.

Text Box:  Our activities are physical, verbal and mental. Some are good and some are bad. Bad ones are:  1) physical, like killing, hunting, crushing, etc. , 2) verbal, like abusive or harsh words, gossiping, and/or 3) mental, like thinking bad about someone, etc. Good ones are just opposite of bad ones. We do these three activities in three different ways:  1) we do activities ourselves, 2) we ask someone else to do for us, and/or 3) we encourage someone else who is doing them. Through these nine types of our activities are causes for the bondage of karmas.  This is a simple way to state the causes of karma bondage as compared to the causes of karma bondage discussed in earlier section.


At the time of bondage, there are four factors are decided. They are: 1) What Kind of (Nature-Prakriti) karmas will these be? (What characteristic of the soul will it obstruct?) 2) How many karma particles (Quantity-Pradesh) will be involved? 3) How long (Duration-Sthiti) will these karmas stay with the soul? and 4) How intense (Intensity-anubhäg or ras) will be the results of these karmas?


These are the four components involved in  bondage process. The nature and the quantity of karmas depend on the intensity of physical and verbal activities while the duration and the intensity of karmas depend on the intensity of desires (thoughts) behind these activities.

7.1 Nature Of Karma (Prakriti)

Text Box:  There are eight different types of main karmas. Depending upon our activities of our mind, speech and body, we will accumulate one or more of these eight main karmas. Normally we (sansäri jivas) accumulate seven (eight once in a life-time) main types at every moment. These main eight  karmas are: 1) Knowledge-Obscuring, Jnänavarniya karma, 2) Intuition-Obscuring, Darshanavarniya karma, 3) Energy Obstructive, Antaräy karma, 4) Deluding (belief and conduct obstructing), Mohniya karma, 5) Feeling-Producing, Vedniya karma, 6) Body-Making, Näm karma, 7) Status-determining, Gotra karma and  8) Age-Determining, äyushya karma.


These karmas are grouped into two categories, 1) Destructive, Ghäti karmas and 2) Non-destructive, Aghäti karmas. Ghat means destruction.  The karmas that destroy the real nature of the Soul are called the destructive or Ghäti karmas. While, the karmas that do not destroy the real nature of the soul but affect the body in which the soul abodes are called non-destructive or Aghäti karmas.


Destructive karmas are: 1) Knowledge-Obscuring, Jnänavarniya, 2) Perception-Obscuring, Darshnavarniya, 3) Obstructive, Antaräy and 4) Deluding karmas, Mohniya. Non-Destructive karmas are: 5) Feeling-Producing, Vedniya, 6) Body-Making, Näma, 7) Status-determining, Gotra and 8) Age-Determining karmas, äyushya.


Comparative Names (Upamä):


Type of karma

Comparative Name (Upamä)

Knowledge Obscuring (Jnänävaraniya)

Like Blind fold:  As blind folded person cannot see, a person with this karma does not have special knowledge.

Intuition Obscuring (Darshanävaraniya)

Like a watchman at the entrance of King’s palace: This karma obscures ordinary knowledge as a watchman at the entrance of the king’s palace does not permit to go in and therefore you are unable to see the king.

Feeling Producing (Vedniya)

Like honey dipped sword: when honey dipped sword is put on tongue, it gives good feeling because of honey but if it is not handled right it can hurt the tongue and give you unhappiness.

Belief & Conduct Obscuring (Mohaniya)

Like drinking alcohol: As a drunk does not good from evil, this karma obscures you to know right from wrong as regards to faith and conduct.

Longevity (Äyushya)

Like prison: This karma decides how long you’re going to live and thus it imprisons you for a certain period in this life form.

Body giving (Näma)

Like painter: Just like an artist’s painting, this karma decides different personality, senses, body, appearance.

Family (Gotra)

Like a clay pot:: Some clay pot are used for good things like holy nectar and some for used for bad things like alcohol, meat, etc. Similarly this karma decides whether you are going to be born in a good family or a bad family.

Energy Restricting (Antaräya)

Like a treasurer of king: As a miser treasurer does not allow his king to donate. This karma obscures one from donating, gaining, enjoying, etc.


7.2 Quantity Of Karma (Pradesh)

When the intensity of our activities is slight then we accumulate smaller numbers of karman particles but if the intensity is strong then we accumulate larger numbers of karman particles to the soul.


Karman particles have 2 odors, 5 colors, 5 tastes and only 4 touches (cold, worm, sticky and dry) instead of 8 touches that the physical body has. The soul accumulates the karma in its own pradesha, they do not reside outside the soul’s pradesha. The quantity of eight main karmas differ from each other. Age-Determining, äyushya karma receives the smallest quantity. Body-Making, Näma karma and Status-determining, Gotra karma receive equal and the next smallest quantity. Knowledge-Obscuring, Jnänävaraniya karma, Intuition-Obscuring, Darshanävaraniya karma and Obstructive, Antaräy karma; all three receive equal but more quantity than previously mentioned karmas and less than the remaining karmas.  Deluding (belief and conduct obstructing), Mohniya karma receives more  quantity than previously mentioned karmas and less than the remaining karma.  Feeling-Producing, Vedniya karma receives the largest quantity.


Type of karma

Quantity (Pradesh Bandh)

Knowledge Obscuring (Jnänävaraniya)

Intuition Obscuring (Darshanävaraniya)


Feeling Producing (Vedniya)

Belief & Conduct Obscuring (Mohaniya)

Longevity (Äyushya)


Body giving (Näma)

Family (Gotra)

Energy Restricting (Antaräya)

7.3 Duration of karma (Sthiti)

How long the karma will stay associated with the soul is determined by the quality  of our passions at the time of our activities. If our desire for the activity is mild then the duration of bondage would be of a shorter time. If our desire is stronger then the duration of bondage would be of a longer time. The minimum time could be a fraction of a second and a maximum time could be of innumerable years (70 kroda-krodi sägaropam).


Knowledge Obscuring – Jnänävaraniya

Insuition Obscuring – Darshanävaraniya

Obstructive – Antaräya

Maximum duration - 30 kkso (Krodä-Krodi sägaropam) and minimum duration - Antarmuhurta (less than 48 minutes). (abäthäkäl = 3000 years)

Deluding Karma, Mohaniya

Maximum duration – 70 kkso and minimum duration – Antarmuhurta. (abäthäkäl = 7000 years)

Feeling Producing, Vedaniya

Maximum duration – 30 kkso and minimum duration - 12 Antarmuhurtas. (abäthäkäl = 3000 years)

Body-Making, Näm and Status-determining, Gotra

Maximum duration - 20 kkso and minimum duration - 8 Antarmuhurtas (abäthäkäl = 2000 years)

Age-Determining Karma, Äyushya

Maximum duration – 33 so (sägaropam) and minimum duration – 256 ävalikas. (abäthäkäl = none)


Abäthäkäl  is the maximum waiting time before realization.

7.4 Intensity (Quality) (Anubhäg, Ras)

How intense would be the results of karmas at the time of maturity is decided by the severity of our passions at the time of our activities. If our passions are slight then it would cause slight effect and if our passions are severe then it would cause severe results.


Now, when the karmas get attached to the soul, they may be attached very loose or very tight. There are four types: 1) Loose (Sprusta or Sithil; ): In this case, karmas are attached to the soul like a loose knot that can easily be shed off. 2) Tight (Baddha or Gadha) In this case,  karmas are attached to the soul like a tight knot that can be shed off with some efforts.  3) Nidhatta (Tighter): In this case, karmas are attached to the soul like a moderately tight knot that can only be shed off by very strong efforts like tapascharya and 4) Nikachit (Tightest): In this case, karmas are very tightly attached to the soul that they cannot be shed off by any type of efforts except by bearing the results.

Text Box:  8. 158 Subgroups (Uttaraprakriti) Of Eight Main karmas

8.1 Jnänävaraniya (5)

Jnänävaraniya means the blockage of Knowledge that is knowing about an object in a special manner.  There are five sub-classifications of it. They are: 1) Matijanävaraniya, 2) Shrutajnänävaraniya, 3) Avadhijnänävaraniya, 4) Manaparyay jnänävaraniya and 5) Kevaljnänävaran.


1. Matijanävaraniya obscures the knowledge acquired by senses and intellect (mind). 2. Shrutajnänävaraniya obscures the knowledge acquired by words, signs, writings, gestures, etc. 3. Avadhijnänävaraniya obscures the transcendental knowledge of material things obtained by the soul, without the help of the mind or the senses (Extra-Sensory Perception). 4. Manaparyay jnänävaraniya obscures the transcendental knowledge of the mental states (thoughts, telepathic knowledge) of other human beings and its modifications (paryäya), and 5. Kevaljnänävaraniya obscures the total direct knowledge by the soul of all the dravyas and their modifications (paryäya) in this universe in past, present and future (obscures the omniscience inherent in the soul).


Causes of Jnänävaraniya karma: 1. To criticize the true knowledge, truly knowledgeable and instruments of knowledge, 2) To not credit the person from whom you have acquired the knowledge. Even you have instruments of knowledge, you will not share with anyone. 3) To express aversion against the true knowledge, truly knowledgeable and instruments of knowledge, 4) to obstruct someone getting true knowledge, 5) to violate the rules of respect (äshatanä) relating to true knowledge, truly knowledgeable and instruments of knowledge and 6) To argue wrongfully with the truly knowledgeable people.

8.2 Darshanävaraniya (9)

The word Darshan has two meanings in Jainism. One meaning is doctrine, philosophical system, ( the right view, the true faith.  The second meaning of  Darshan is ordinary (indistinct) knowledge about an object (undifferentiated cognition). Here Darshana has the second meaning. Darshanävaraniya means blockage of ordinary knowledge.  There are 9 sub-classifications.


(1) Chakshu (eyes)-darshanävaraniya karma  obscures our vision (eyes). (2) Achakshu-darshanävaraniya (the non-eye darshanävaran) obscures ordinary knowledge of the other senses (except eyes) and the mind. (3) Because of Avadhi-darshanävaraniya, the power to see without the help of senses and mind would be impaired. (4) Because of the Kevaldarshanävaraniya, the power to see everything would be impaired. 5 types of Sleep: (5) Nidrä karma causes slight sleep from which one is easily awakened; (6) Nidrä-nidrä karma causes sleep from which one is awaken with great difficulty; (7) Prachalä karma causes the sleep while sitting or standing; (8) Prachaläprachalä causes sleep, but during sleep one walks; (9) Satyanaddhi causes the sleep during which one carries out an action which would be sometime impossible during day time and may not remember what one has done during this sleep.


The first four Darshanävarans do not allow the power of darshan or understanding or perception. All five types of nidrä completely destroy the power of understanding.


Causes of Darshanävarniya karma: same six causes for Jnänävaraniya karma except knowledge mentioned Causes of Jnänävaraniya karma is special knowledge and here it is an ordinary knowledge (intuition).

8.3 Vedaniya (2)

(1) Shätä  vedaniya causes happiness, and (2) Ashätä vedaniya causes unhappiness.


Causes of Vedaniya karma: There are ten causes for Shätä  vedaniya – 1. To show compassion to two, three and four sense living beings, 2. To show compassion to “plant” living beings, 3. To show compassion five sense living beings, 4. To show compassion to other four one-sense living beings, 5. Not to make any living beings sad, 6. Not to cause sorrow to any living beings, 7. Not to harass any living beings, 8. Not to make anyone cry, 9. Not to hurt any living beings, and 10. Not to give hard time to anyone. There are twelve causes for Ashätä vedaniya: 1. sadness, 2. sorrow, 3. regretting, 4. crying, 5. violence and 6. causing hardship – to do these six by self and get them done by others – makes a total of 12 causes.

8.4 Mohaniya karma (28)

This karma obstructs true faith and right conduct. It keeps us deeply involved in the worldly affairs. This karma is called the king of all karmas. If we can overcome this karma then the Kevaljnäna can be attained in less than 48 minutes, and after the nirvana, salvation (Moksha) is attained. There are two main groups: (1) Darshanmohaniya  - 3 sub-groups and (2) Chäritramohaniya  - 25 sub-groups. Thus, there are 28 sub-divisions of this Mohaniya karma. 


1) Darshan Mohaniya: Here the meaning of darshana is true faith. At the time of its bondage this karma is single but at the times of realization, it becomes diversified into three forms namely: 1) Mithyätva mohaniya, 2) Mishra mohaniya and 3) Samyaktva mohaniya.


Text Box:  1) Mithyätva Mohaniya or False Belief: Because of this karma, jivas lose their faith in the right doctrine that leads to everlasting happiness (Moksha) as expounded by the omniscient ones (Tirthankars) and develop a taste for false doctrines. 2) Mishra mohaniya makes a man indifferent to false doctrines as well as to the right doctrine. and 3) Because of the Samyaktva Mohaniya, faith in the true doctrine becomes sound but breaches may occur.


2) Chäritra-mohaniya (this has 25 sub-groups): (16 kashäya mohaniya + 9 nokashäya mohaniya): 16 kashäyas: Kash means samsär; aya means gaining. So kashäyas keep us in the samsär (worldly life). There are four main kashäya are: anger (krodh), pride (män), deceit (mäyä ) and greed (lobha).


These four are grouped into two; attachment and hatred. The hatred includes anger and ego; while deceit and greed are included in attachment. Each of these four kashäyas are further sub-grouped into four divisions. These are: 1) Anantänubandhi, 2) Apratyäkhyäna, 3) Pratyäkhyäna and 4) Samjvalan. Therefore, we have 4 x 4 = 16 kashäyas.








anger (krodh)

line in rock

line in earth

line in sand

line in water

pride (män)

stone pillar


piece of wood


deceit (mäyä )

bamboo root

horn of a ram

urine of cow

shavings of wood

greed (lobha)

fast color



water color


9 Nokashäyas: Nokashäyas are those which provoke kashäyas. They are: laughter, sorrow, pleasure, (being pleased with what one likes), displeasure (being displeased with what one dislikes), fear (fearing one's own decisions), contempt, purushved (desiring the company of woman), strived (desiring union with a man), and napumsakved (desiring both, man and woman).


Causes of Mohaniya karma: Darshan Mohaniya Karma – Being critical and disrespectful to 1. Kevali, 2. true knowledge, 3. Sangh (four folded community), 4. true doctrine and 5. True omniscient. Chäritra Mohaniya Karma: Intensive 1. anger, 2. ego, 3. deceit, 4. greed, 5. delusion about right faith and 6. delusion about right conduct.

8.5 Äyushya (4)

It decides how long one would live.  (1) Narakäyu decides the span of life in the hell. (2) Tiryanchäyu decides the span of life in the realm of animals, birds, and plants, etc. (tiryancha), (3) Manushyäyu decides the span of life in the human state, and (4) Deväyu decides the span of life for the heavenly beings.


The jivas of Naraka, devloka, and Tirthankars, including 63 Shaläkä Purush live until their span is over and their life-span is not shortened. While the life-span of plants, birds, animals and most human beings may be shorten for various reasons.


Causes of Äyushya  karma: Causes for (1) Narakäyu – highly intensive a) violent activities, b) attachment, c) intake of alcohol and meat and d) killing of five sense living beings. Causes for (2) Tiryanchäyu – a) deceitful acts, b) highly intensive cheating, c) lies often, d) dishonest interactions. Causes for (3) Manushyäyu – a) straightforwardness, b) humility, c) compassion and d) absence of jealousy and ego. Causes for (4) Deväyu – a) practicing great vows, b) practicing partial vows, c) to tolerate because of ignorance and d) to perform austerities without desire or with force.

8.6 Näma karma (103)

This karma gives personality, body, individuality and diversity to each living being. There are 103 subdivisions of this karma as follows:

Group 1: 4 Gati näma karmas: (Destiny)

1. Deva gati näma karma: This karma brings the living being into that state of existence, known as the deva state; it is a pleasurable state in a fine subtle body, perhaps comparable to the Christian heaven. It is a state in which pleasure preponderates  over pain, there is some pain but mostly pleasure.

2. Näraka gati näma karma: This karma brings the living being into the naraka state where there is no pleasure at all but pain all the time, perhaps comparable to the Christian hell. But it is not everlasting, it comes to an end.

3. Manusya gati näma karma: This karma brings the living being into the human state, or ordinary human life. 

4. Tiryancha gati näma karma: This karma brings the living being into the animal state, animal, insect, fish, bird, vegetable or mineral life (tiryancha).

Group 2: 5 Jäti näma karmas: (Classes of Beings)

5.  Ekendriya näma karma - Due to this karma, the living being has only one sense, the sense  of  touch.

6. Dwiendriya näma karma: - Due to this karma, the living being has only two senses, the senses of touch and taste.

7. Triendriya näma karma: - Due to this karma, the living being has only three senses, the senses of touch, taste and, smell.

8. Chaurendriya näma karma: - Due to this karma, the living being has only four senses, the senses of touch, taste, smell and sight.

9. Panchendriya näma karma: - Due to this karma, the living being has all five senses, the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing.

Group 3: 5 Shrarira näma karmas: (Bodies)

10. Audärika sharir näma karma: Due to this karma, the living being has an ordinary physical body, that we actually see. This body is created out of gross pudgals. The human beings and tiryancha have this body.

11. Vaikriya sharir näma karma: Due to this karma, the living being has a subtle body, which is changeable, it may be large and then small, have one shape and then another.  The heavenly beings and hellish beings this type of body.

12. Ähäraka sharir näma karma: Great munis, who have mastered the 14 poorvas, can develop this body. They use this body to visit to a nearby thirthankara to clear their doubts. The size of the body they create is of one hand.

13. Taijasha sharir näma karma: This karma gives a body which con­sumes food.

14. Karmana sharir näma karma: This karma gives a body which is made up of all the karmas put together.  It is changing every moment.


Of these bodies, we, human beings, have  audärik sharir, taijasha sharir and karmana sharir.  We may or may not have the subtle or vaikriya body, while only the very spiritually advanced munis have the ähäraka body.

Group 4:  3 Upänga näma karmas: (Main & secondary parts of body)

15. Audärika upänga näma karma: Due to this karma, the limbs and organs of the physical body are formed. Also formed are internal and external organs, arms, legs, ears, lungs, etc.

16. Vaikriya upänga näma karma forms the limbs and organs of the subtle or vaikriya body.

17. ähäraka upänga näma karma produces the limbs of the ähäraka body.


The taijasha and the karmana bodies do not have limbs or organs.

Group 5: 15 Bandhana näma karmas: (Binding of new body particles to old ones)

18. Audärika bandhana näma karma - This karma binds the different parts of the physical body together.

19. Vaikriya bandhana näma karma: This karma binds the different parts of the subtle body together.

20. ähäraka bandhana näma karma: This karma binds the different parts of the ähäraka body together.

21. Taijasha bandhana näma karma, same thing for the taijasha body.

22. Karmana bandhana näma karma, same thing for the karmana body.

23-32.  Then by combinations of the two and sometimes of the three of these five kinds of matters, ten more sub-groups are produced.

Group 6: 5 Sanghatana näma karmas: (Organizing particles for various body parts)

This karma organizes the various organs like teeth in their proper places, with pudgals that can form the body in a definite proportion and in a particular organization. 

33-37: They are five types for five different shariras (bodies) - Audärika sanghatana näma karma, Vaikriya sanghatana näma karma, Ähäraka sanghatana näma karma, Taijasha sanghatana näma karma and karmana sanghatana näma karma,

Group 7: 6 Samhanana näma karmas (Firmness of the joints)

This karma gives joints to the body.

38. Vajra Rishabha naracha samhanana näma karma: This karma gives the strongest joint.  The ends of the bones are hooked into each other, there is a sort of bolt or pin through the hook, and the whole joint is covered with an envelope of tissue. Vajra means the 'pin'.

39.  Rishabha näracha samhanana näma karma: The joint is same as the previous one except there is no vajra (pin).

40 Näracha samhanana näma karma: same as the previous one, only the envelope of tissue is omitted.  Only the hook remains.

41. Ardha-näracha-samhanana näma karma:  The bones are at one end hooked into each other, and pinned, with no envelope. While at the other end, the bone is simply straight and pinned.

42.  Kilikä samhanana näma karma:  The bones are straight at each end and nailed.  No hook and no envelope.

43. Sevärta samhanana karma:  This karma gives a joint where the bones simply touch, or are in sockets.  Most of our joints are like this; it is the weakest and worst form of the joint. 


The teaching is that the moksha can only be achieved by those who has the first kind of joint. This does not mean that we do not pursue the goal to attain moksha. If we do every thing properly in this life then we can get the right body and joints in the next life.

Group 8: 6 Samsthäna näma karmas (Stature determining)

44. Samachaturasra samsthäna näma karma: (Asra means angle) Because of this karma, entire body is symmetrical.

45. Nyagrodhaparimandal samsthäna näma karma: Because of this karma, the upper part (above the navel) of the body is symmetrical and the lower part is not.

46. Sädi samsthäna näma karma: Because of this karma, the lower part of the body is symmetrical, but the upper part is not.

47. Kubjä samsthäna näma karma:  The trunk is deformed Because of this karma, while the legs, arms, face, neck are symmetrical. (Humpback, for instance.)

48. Vämana samsthäna näma karma: Because of this karma, the arms and legs are defective, while the trunk is all right. [Dwarf, for example.]

49. Hunda samsthäna näma karma: Because of this karma, everything is non-symmetrical.  The bodies of animals, fish, birds, insects come under this class. The human form is considered as the symmetrical form.


All living beings born in the womb may have any of these six kinds of bodies and those living beings not born in the womb can have only the hunda body.

Group 9: 5 Varna näma karmas: (Colors)

50. Because of this karma, the living being is black or blue-black.

51. Because of this karma, the living being is green.

52. Because of this karma, the living being is yellow.

53. Because of this karma, the living being is red.

54. Because of this karma, the living being is white, fair.


Of the above colors, the Black and green are inferior (though in respect to things other than color the person may be superior); and the yellow, red and white are superior colors.  It does not mean that a person is inferior in this one particular that he/she is therefore inferior in all, or if superior, superior in all.  A white man may be a thief and a murderer, a black man may be virtuous and spiritually advanced.

Group 10: 2 Gandha näma karmas: (Odors)

55. Surabhi gandha näma karma:  This karma makes the general odor of the body pleasant.

56. Durabhi gandha näma karma: This karma makes the general odor of the body unpleasant.

Group 11: 5 Rasa näma karmas: (Tastes)

57. Tikhu rasa näma karma: This karma gives the body hot - pepper like - taste.

58. Katu rasa näma karma: This karma gives the body bitter taste.

59. Kashäya rasa näma karma: This karma gives the body astringent taste.

60. Ambla rasa näma karma: This karma gives the body sour taste.

61. Madhura rasa näma karma: This karma gives the body sweet taste.

Group 12: 8 Sparsha näma karmas: (Touch)

62. Guru sparsha näma karma:  This karma makes the body feel heavy.

63. Laghu sparsha näma karma: This karma makes the body feel light.
64. Mrudu sparsha näma karma: This karma makes the body feel smooth.
65. Khara sparsha näma karma: This karma makes the body feel rough.
66. Shita sparsha näma karma: This karma makes the body feel cold.
67. Ushna sparsha näma karma: This karma makes the body feel warm.
68. Snighna sparsha näma karma: This karma makes the body feel oily.
69. Ruksha sparsha näma karma: This karma makes the body feel dry.

Group 13: 4 Anupurvi näma karmas: (Direction to next destination)

70.  Deva-anupurvi näma karma:  This karma decides the direction of  the  living  being,

after his/her death, towards the place of the devas. (There must be some force which causes the person at death to travel in the right direction to reach his/her next destination, whether to another planet or elsewhere, and this karma does that).

71. Naraka-anupurvi näma karma:  This karma determines the direction of the living being at death towards the place of the narakas.

72. Manusya-anupurvi näma karma: This karma determines the right direction of travel at death, for the entity to go to the place of the human beings.

73. Tiryancha-anupurvi näma karma: This karma determines the direction of the living being at death towards the place of animals, birds, insects, plants , etc. (tiryancha).

Group 14: 2 Vihäyogatinäma karmas: (Gaits)

74. Prashasta vihäyogatinäma karma: This karma makes the living being to move in a pleasant manner.

75. Aprashasta vihäyogatinäma karma: This karma makes living being to move in an unpleasant manner.

Group 15: 8 Prathyek Prakriti  Näma karma

76. Agurlaghu Näma karma: Due to this karma, the body is neither heavy nor light. It acquires agurulaghutha.

77. Upäghath Näma karma: Due to this karma, we get organs that cause trouble to us.  For example a small tongue; (a small tongue beneath the tongue); ugly teeth (teeth over teeth), the sixth finger etc.

78. Paräghath Näma karma: Due to this karma, the jiva gets such an appearance that others feel impressed by the luster of his face,

79. Shwäsochwas Näma karma: Due to this karma, we acquire the power of inhaling and exhaling air,

80. Ätap Näma karma: Due to this karma, the jiva gets such a body that though it is cold, it gives heat and light to others like the sun.

81. Udyoth Näma karma: Due to this karma, the jiva acquires a body which gives out a cool, gleaming light, like moonlight.

82. Nirmal Näma karma: This karma produces organs in the body in their proper places like a carpenter.

83. Tirthankar Näma karma or the Jinnäma karma: Due to this karma, the jiva is decorated with the eight kinds of greatness and in that state he/she will get an opportunity for establishing and disseminating the Dharamshasan.

Group 16: Trasa (Moving) Dashaka (Group of Ten) and Sthävar (Unmoving) Dhashaka

On account of its emergence, the jiva attains the following:

84. Trasa näma karma: This karma gives a body that can move away from the sun etc. and can voluntarily move about. 94. When a body cannot move about, it is the result of  Sthäwar näma karma.

85. Bädara näma karma: This karma gives a body that can be seen. 95. Sukshma näma karma gives a subtle body that cannot see even if many bodies put together.

86. Paryäpta näma karma: Because of this karma, one gets the power of reaching up to one's proper limits; 96. Aparyapta näma karma produces the opposite effect.

87. Pratyeka näma karma: By this each jiva gets a separate body.  97. Sadharan näma karma:  countless jivas share (get) one body.

88. Sthira näma karma: By this, jivas get fixed and firm organs like head, bones, teeth etc. 98. Asthira näma karma: they get unstable or moving organs like tongue.

89. Shubha näma karma: This gives auspicious organs above the navel. 99. Ashubha näma karma: gives inauspicious organs below the navel.

90. Soubhägya näma karma: Because of this karma, the jiva is liked by others even without helping others. 100. Dowrbhägya näma karma: Because of this karma, the jiva is disliked by others though he/she may help others.

91. Suswar näma karma: By this one gets a sweet voice. 101. Duswar näma karma: is the opposite of this.

92. Adeya näma karma: Because of this karma, the words of a jiva though not free and showy are understood by others. Even at the very sight of him/her others honor him/her. 102. Anädeya näma karma: By this the words of a jiva are not understood by others.

93. Yasha näma karma: Because of this karma, the jiva gets the adoration from others. 103. Apayasha näma karma: is the opposite of this.


Causes of Näm  karma: Causes for auspicious Näm karma – a-c) straightforwardness of body, speech and thinking and d) not to engage in wrongful debate or fight. Causes for inauspicious Näm karma – a-c) deceitful behavior of body, speech and thinking and d) to engage in wrongful debate and fight.

8.7 Gotrakarma (2)

(1) Uchchagotra, due to it jivas attain wealth, honorable treatment, honor, etc. and are born in high families. (2) Nichagotra, due to it one does not get much wealth, honorable treatment and is born in lower family.


Causes of Gotra  karma: Lower family Gotra karma is bound because of eight types of egos: ego of race, family, strength, beauty, austerities, gain, knowledge and special gifts. And absense of these eight egos bind higher family Gotra karma.

8.8 Antaräy karma (5)

(1) Dänantaräy obstructs rendering benevolence (charity), (2) Labhantaräy obstructs attaining gain, (3) Bhogantaräy obstructs enjoying things like food which can be enjoyed once, (4) Upabhogantaräy obstructs enjoying things like dress which can be enjoyed several times by wearing, and (5) Viryantaräy obstructs the emergence of spiritual energy.


Causes of Anträya karma: to obstruct or stop 1. when someone is willing to donate, 2. someone is about to gain, c) someone is about to enjoy, d) someone is about to re-enjoy, e) someone is making use of his/her energy for spiritual purposes.


Knowledge Obscuring (Jnänävaraniya), Intuition Obscuring (Darshanävaraniya), Belief & Conduct Obscuring (Mohaniya), Energy Restricting (Antaräya) – these four karmas affect the true nature of the soul and that is why they are called Ghäti karmas.  While, remaining four karmas do not affect the true nature of the soul but affect the body in which soul abodes. They are called Aghäti karmas.


9. Bandha (Bondage), Udaya (Realization) and Satta (Existence)

Bandha (Bondage) is called absorption or binding of karmas by soul. Udaya (Realization) is called the realization of the effects of the karmas. Satta (Existence) means the duration the karmas’ association with the soul from the time of bondage to its realization.


Only 122 subgroups out of a total of 158 subgroups can be realized (can come in udaya) - 15 Bandhana näma karmas (Binding of new body particles to old ones) and 5 Sanghatana näma karmas (Organizing particles for various body parts) are included in 5 Shrarira näma karmas (Bodies). This reduces number by 20. Only one for each color, odor, taste and touch (total 4) instead of  5 colors, 2 odors, 5 tastes and 8 touches (instead of 20) is considered for realization as auspicious or sinful. This further reduces the number by 16. Thus, the total number for realization (Udaya) is 122.


For bondage (bandha), the number is further reduced by two. Only one of the three darshan-mohaniyas, Mithyätva mohaniya is bound and,  Mishra mohaniya  and Samyaktva mohaniya are not bound. At the time of realization, either Mithyätva mohaniya is realized or it is converted into either Mishra mohaniya  or Samyaktva mohaniya.


All subgroups (158 of them) can be in existence with the soul. This will be an advanced topic for a later discussion.

10. Sarva-ghäti karmas, Desa-ghäti karmas and Aghäti karma

Sarva-ghäti karmas: Kevaljnänävaraniya, Kevaldarshanävaraniya, five types of sleep: Nidrä, Nidrä-nidrä, Prachalä,  Prachaläprachalä and Satyanaddhi, first 12 kashäyas ([anger, ego, deceit and greed] x [Anantänubandhi,  Apratyäkhyäni and Pratyäkhyäni]), and non-belief (Mithyätva) - these 20 are called sarva-ghäti karmas that completely obstruct the qualities of the soul.


Desa-ghäti karmas: Matijanävaraniya, Shrutajnänävaraniya, Avadhijnänävaraniya, Manaparyay jnänävaraniya, Chakshudarshanävaraniya, Achakshudarshanävaraniya, Avadhidarshanävaraniya, samjawalan - anger, ego, deceit and greed, Laughing (joking, hasya), improper liking (rati), improper dislike (arati), sorrow (shok), fear (bhaya), disgust (jugupsa) and sexual craving for male (purusha-ved), for female (stri-ved) and for both (napusamka-ved), and five types of Obstructive, Antaräy karmas - these 25 partially obstruct the qualities of the soul.


Aghäti karma: The remaining 75 karmas do not effect the quality of the soul.

11. Karan (Activities)

The karmas that associate (bind) with the soul may not rise to the surface in the same form. In other words, there may be changes in their Prakriti (nature), Sthithi (duration) and Ras (degree of intensity). Just as the soul attracts karmas, it also does certain other things such as combining them.  The activity of the soul in respect of the bondage and mixing of karmas is called Karan (Ätma Viryayog, energy-oriented activities of the soul).


There are eight types of Karanas: 1) Bandhan Karan, 2) Samkraman Karan, 3) Udvartana Karan, 4) Apavartana Karan, 5) Udirana Karan, 6) Upashamana Karan, 7) Nidhatti Karan, and 8) Nikächana Karan.


(1) Bandhan Karan:  This comprises the activities relating to the bondage of karmas to the soul.  We already discussed four components of it.


(2) Samkraman Karan: It means the activity of combining the karma of one sub-type with the other sub-type of the same karma. Samkraman means a certain number of karma is already present and are mixing with the new karma and assuming that form.  For example, let us say that because of some noble contemplation, the shätä  vedaniya karma (happiness causing) is being attracted. Some of the already existing Ashätä  vedaniya karma (sadness causing) mixes with it (the new shätä  vedaniya karma (happiness causing)); assumes the form of shätä  vedaniya karma. This is called the Samkraman of Ashätä  vedaniya karma. On the contrary when the Ashätä  vedaniya karma is gathered on account of some evil contemplation, some of the already existent shätä  vedaniya mixes with them and assumes the form of Ashätä  .


(3 & 4) Udvartana And Apavartana Karan:  Udvartana means an increase in the Sthithi and Ras of a karma; and a decrease in their intensity and/or duration is called Apavartana. If the jiva is occupied in noble contemplation, the Ras and Sthiti of the existing noble karmas increases; and reduces the Ras and Sthiti of the evil ones. The effect of evil contemplation is opposite to this.


(5) Upashamana Karan: Upashamana means suppressing the emergence of the Mohaniya karma for a certain period of time by means of noble contemplation’s of a special kind.


(6) Udirana Karan: In this case, the karma are forced to be realized pre-maturely by special efforts by the soul.


(7) Nidhatti Karan: This activity gives such a form to the karma that no other karans can act upon it except the Udvartana and Apavartana Karans. It becomes unfit for the other karans.


(8) Nikächana Karan: This makes the karma uninfluenced by all other karans. The karans like Samkraman cannot act upon them when they are influenced by the Nikachana karan. Punya (auspicious) karmas and päpa (sinful) karmas become Nikachit (inevitable) by strong contemplation either noble or inferior (evil).


From this, it becomes evident that karmas do not remain in the same form or condition or intensity after they are gathered. But they undergo such changes as udvartan and udirana in Sthithi and Ras by combining with other karmas.


If an aspirant engages itself in such activities as renunciation, austerities, practicing vows to restrain from sins, higher degree of spiritual activities, etc., he/she can get rid of all karmas except Nikächit karma. The opposite of this happens under the impact of ignoble contemplation.

12. Punya, Päpa and äshrav (Influx of karma)

The good and auspicious actions and propensities of the mind, speech and body are called Punya or merit.  It is also called Shubha karma or auspicious karma.  The effect of the auspicious karma falls directly on the soul. Because of punya, the various kinds of conveniences and comforts like wealth, fame glory, prestige, respect, popularity, health, well-being, esteem, radiance, intelligence, strength, the power of comprehension, attainment of right Dharma, spiritual benefit meeting noble people, the company of noble people, etc. that the Jivätma gets. There are nine different types of punya activities like giving food, cloth, etc., to the true monks/nuns.


Päpa or sin is the name given to the evil or inauspicious actions and propensities of the mind, speech and body. The Ashubha karma is also known as inauspicious karma. Like the effect of Punya, the effect of Päpa also falls deeply on the soul.  Due to päp,  the jiva experiences various kinds of misery and anguish; and it has to bear many hardships like poverty, sickness, violence, falsehood, foolishness, ugliness, defamation etc., result only from sin. There are eighteen main kinds of sinful propensities are: stealing, bad conduct, attachment, improper liking, improper disliking, gossiping, etc.


Äshrav means influx of karma through sinful actions - like causes of bondage of karma discussed earlier.  Äshrav  of good karma is punya  and äshrav  of bad karma is called päpa.

13. Samvar (Stoppage of karma) and Nirjarä (Eradication of karma):

It is the responsibility or duty of the watchman to stop the entry of strangers and of those who are suspected. Samvar does the duty of preventing karmas from entering the soul in the same manner. It is possible to prevent karmas from entering the soul by carefulness in our activities, restraints, taking vows, practicing forgiveness, etc., austerities, right contemplations and proper conduct. It is possible to build a boundary with 57 kinds of Samvars to prevent karmas from entering the soul.


The actions and propensities that uproot and eradicate the karmas that are bound to the soul, are called Nirjarä. The external and internal austerities help in ending or burning away the karmas that are associated with the soul. There are mainly, twelve forms of Nirjara like fasting, control of senses and mind, confession, humility, svädhyäya, meditation, etc.

14. Moksha (Salvation)

The complete destruction of all the karmas that envelop the pure soul, is called Moksha or salvation.  When all the karmas are completely destroyed, the ätma-the soul becomes Paramätma or the supreme soul.  After this state is attained, the soul does not have birth and death. Moksha is the natural state of the soul. Only human beings can traverse up to the state of Moksha and attain it. Of course, when all the karmas are destroyed in the soul's journey towards salvation, even the body is discarded. Then, only the Ätma or the soul exists with its natural attributes of perfect perception, perfect knowledge, perfect conduct, unlimited energy, independent bliss, etc. The bliss of Moksha cannot be expressed in words; but it has to be experienced. This is a journey of experience. It cannot be described in words or shown. It has to be attained by one's own efforts. It’s the thing to experience. To attain Moksha is the one and only goal of practicing right doctrine, Jainism.

15. References

1. Karma Granth, Parts 1-6 2. The Doctrine of Karman in Jain Philosophy by Glasenapp, Helmuth Von, 3. The Jaina Path o Purification by Dr. P. S. Jaini, 4. the Jain Philosophy by Virchand Gandhi,  5. Guidences of Jainism, By  Bhadrabahu Vijay, 6. Electronic Material which was prepared by various individuals for JAINA, 7. Essense of Jainism by Manubhai Doshi, 9. Many Jain Books.


I've tried my best to present veeträg väni as I understood. I've tried not to inject my personal thinking. Since I've a very long way to go spiritually, I must have committed some mistakes. Michchhä Mi Dukkadam, if I’ve committed mistakes or offended anyone’s beliefs.