Nirjarä & Bandha (Eradication of Karma & Bondage)

7) NIRJARÄ.. 1

Sakäm Nirjarä & Akäm Nirjarä. 2

External Types of Nirjarä. 4

Internal Types of Nirjarä. 23

Other Austerities (Tapasyäs) 55

8) BANDH (Bondage of Karma) 57

Process of Bondage. 58

Souls - Extrovert, Introvert & Supreme. 90



If all the holes of a boat are plugged, no water enters; similarly; when one stops all the activities leading to  äsrav like mithyättva, etc., he prevents the influx of Karmas. The process of stopping the influx is the best device for a living being. Äsrav is the problem, and samvar is the solution. Äsrav is the state of sleepiness, and samvar is the state of alertness. Äsrav takes Jiva to a lower level, and samvar takes the Jiva to a higher level. Samvar is the right thing to do, it is the right path for spiritual progress.


Every worldly soul happens to be confined (not free). The imprisonment is due to the bondage of Karma (bandha). To be free, Jiva has to eradicate the Karmas he is bound by. The process of eradicating the Karmas is called Nirjarä. The word Nirjarä means to fall off. It denotes dripping off, destruction, or removal of Karmas from the soul. Inflow of Karma is due to äsrav, the stoppage of the inflow is due to samvar and the eradication of Karma is due to nirjarä.  Jiva can shed the Karmas and purify his soul with the help of austerities.
















Sakäm Nirjarä & Akäm Nirjarä

Karmas are shed in two ways: 1) forcing the process of eradication by special self-efforts, which is called sakäm nirjarä, and 2) eradication without self-efforts is called akäm nirjarä. When Karmas are brought to maturity ahead off their time by special efforts with a view to eradicate them prematurely, it is called sakäm nirjarä. When Karmas mature and drip off in  due course, it is called akäm nirjarä. By resorting to  Yoga or austerities, one can shed his Karmas and also earn punya. But the purpose

should be nirjarä, not to earn  punya.

External Types of Nirjarä

There are twelve types of austerities(tap), of which six are external and six are internal.. The external Tap involves enduring hardships Such Tap is observed for developing   spiritual  capabilities. The following are the six types of external tap:


1.      Anashan (fasting): Anashan  is derived from Ashan which means to eat. The prefix an  givea negative connotation. Anashan therefore means not to eat. It conveys renouncing of food, water, etc. for a day or days or for the remaining lifetime. This  is  physical Anashan. One can combine the physical anashan with bhäv anashan by exercising total control of the inner desires for a short or a long time. Anashan for a day or days is called fasting, and Anashan for the rest of the life is called santhäro. When one’s death is imminent in next few days, he undertakes several vows including fasting so as to have the remaining time spent spiritually. This process is called santhäro. Santhäro is the art of dying. After undertaking the santhäro, one fasts peacefully, forgives everyone, asks for forgiveness for all his mistakes that he might have committed knowingly or unknowingly, and gets absorbed in the serene recitation of panch parmesthi.   His fasting can go on for  several days till his soul leaves the body peacefully.


2.      Unodari (Partial Fasting): Unodari is made of two words - una and udar. Una means somewhat less and udar means stomach. To eat less than the normal diet is called unodari. The deeper meaning of unodari is to practice more self-restraints (Sanyam) by reducing unwholesome activities.


One can have many negative emotions that can lead him to wrong path. Therefore, it is important  that one not only reduces his normal diet but also reduces his passions. By reducing the intake of the food and controlling the passions, one not only gains physically, but also benefits mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Unodary of food and passions keeps Jiva healthy and keeps away from doctor and diseases, but  most importantly, it strengthens the spirituality.


3.      Vruti-sankshep (Bhikshächari or Limiting Food Items): This is the third type of nirjarä, which is for developing the willpower. In this type of austerity, one takes abhigraha (makes some resolution). This type of austerity is mostly carried out by the Jain ascetics. One may also take abhigraha on the day of terminating the austerities.. There are four types of abhigrahas - 1. Material (Dravya) - To have pre-determination of having certain items  is called Dravya abhigraha. 2. Area (kshetra) - To take food at a specific location is called kshetra abhigraha,  3. Time (käl) - To fix a specific time is called käl abhigraha and 4. Mode (bhäv) - To get the food only  from  a particular individual or a certain type of person  is called bhäv abhigraha.


Mahävir Bhagawän had undertaken an Abhigraha when he was yet to attain the perfect knowledge. It was the twelfth year of his spiritual pursuit.  He was continually meditating and observing severe austerities. . once he set up apparently improbable stipulations for accepting food.  He vowed that he would accept food only if soaked black peas were offered to him from a winnower, by a princess in chains, with shaved head, who had fasted for three days and who had tears flowing from her eyes.  How all these conditions can be fulfilled at one time ?

For months he used to go for alms and came back without food because his stipulations could not be fulfilled.  But how the fate could allow so great a saint to die for want of food ?  The fate had brought apparent havoc on Chandanbala as if to enable her to fulfill the divine mission of terminating six months’ fasts of Lord Mahavir!

So the Lord happened to come for alms where Chandanbala was thinking to offer food to some Muni.  He saw all his stipulations coming true. There was a princess in chains with cleaned shaven head, having fasted for three days, offering black peas from winnowing pan.  Chandanbala was happy to see the great ascetic in front of her and cheerfully offered the peas.  For Lord this was the right situation for accepting food.  But nay, where were the tears?  He declined the offer and turned back.

Chandanbala felt intensely miserable that the sage did not accept her food.  She started crying and tears began to roll down her eyes as she repeatedly entreated the great ascetic to accept her humble offer.  The Lord looked back and saw the tears rolling down her cheeks.  Now all his hard stipulations were fulfilling and he willingly accepted the food offered by her.

4.       Ras-tyäg (Limiting Tasty Food): This is the fourth type of nirjarä. It involves renouncing the tasty food that one likes. This is for conquering the desire for tasty food and eliminating the attachment for the tasty food, and thus, enabling to strengthen the spiritual capability. There are many ways to limit the consumption of tasty food. For example: performance of  äyambil (tasteless meal - no oil, butter, red pepper, green or raw vegetables, etc.), abstaining from vigai (absence of milk, oil, butter, sugar, yogurt, and fried food), etc. To suppress one’s passions, it is essential that he overcomes his desire for tasty food. One who has a desire for tasty food, cannot be free of sensual instinct. Mahävir’s preaching in this respect is now more adopted by western doctors. American doctors tell their heart patients to reduce or stop the intake of milk, butter, sugar and the like. By willingly, putting the limits to the tasty foods one eradicates the Karmas, and  better health, lower risk of heart decease, diabetes, etc. are the by-products

5.      Käyäklesh (Physical Forbearance): Käyä means body and klesha means forbearance. Body is an instrument that is needed in good condition for undertaking  spiritual pursuit (Sädhanä), and, therefore, it is important to develop its endurance power. By developing physical endurance power, Jiva is enabled to tolerate the bodily inconveniences with equanimity. There are several ways, one can practice the austerity of käyäklesha: 1. Location:  This involves practicing Sädhanä while standing. 2. Yogic posture (äsana): This involves practicing of various yogic postures such as virtäsan, vajräsan (diamond posture), padmäsan (lotus posture), etc. 3. Shayan (in lying down position):This involves practicing käyotsarga (total relaxation by experiencing that body and soul are separate) while lying down on the left or the right side. 4. Ätäpana: This requires standing steadily while facing the sun. 5. Aprävaran: This needs tolerating cold, specially in the winter season, without any or with few clothes on. 6. Sharir parikrama - parityäg: This involves putting on an exotic makeup on the body.


6.      Pratisanlinatä (Controlling of Senses): Ordinarily, we use our senses to satisfy our external needs, and that is supposed to give happiness. Pratisamlinatä involves restraining the senses from external happiness, and diverts their use for spiritual uplift. To control the sensual desires is also pratisamlinatä. As regard the sensual things, not to see them by eyes, not to hear them by ears, not to smell them by nose, not to taste them by tongue, and not to touch them by skin is called controlling of senses - pratisanlinatä. One should not develop a possessive attitude to what he is seeing, to what he is listening, to what he is smelling, to what he is tasting and to what he is touching. Sense organs are useful, if they are used for spiritual purposes.

Internal Types of Nirjarä

There are six internal types of austerity that shed the Karmas.


7.      Präyaschhit (Repentance or remorse): In präyaschhit, one trpents for the various errors of commission and omission, the faults and the sins committed. This can be performed in the presence of an ascetic or can be done alone. Präyaschhit helps us to reflect upon ourselves in a way that leads to self correction. Even for a small fault we should say " Michchha Mi Dukkadam." Präyaschhit is a very vital type of  nirjarä. Präyaschhit is a process of improving mental, emotional and spiritual health. Nirjarä is the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual clinical process. Whom would you go to for präyaschhit?  The preceptor you go to for präyaschhit should have certain qualifications. It is said in the Jain Ägam, Thänäng Sutra that the preceptor should have ten characteristics: 1. excellent paternal race, 2. excellent maternal race, 3. reverence (humility), 4. proper knowledge, 5. proper perception, 6. proper conduct, 7. forgiving and forbearing, 8 control over the senses, 9. straightforwardness and 10. remorsefulness for the mistakes.


There are nine types of präyaschhit. (1) To confess one's mistake in the presence of the preceptor and with a pure heart ‑ that is called älochana. (2) To repent for the mistake that has been committed and to refrain from it, as also to remain alert that no new mistakes are committed ‑ that is called pratikraman. (3) When these älochana and pratikramana are performed together ‑ that is called a combination of Alochana and pratikramana. (4) When forbidden food and/or drink happen to have been received and the fact comes to light, then to discard these food and drink ‑ that is called vivek. (5) To regret for the mistake committed, one adopts concentration and  gives up the operations of body and speech ‑ that is called vyutsarga. (6) To regret for the mistake committed, one performs external penances like anashan etc. ‑ that is called tap. (7) Corresponding to the gravity of the offense committed, the reckoned period of monkshood is reduced by a day, a fortnight, a month or a year ‑ that is called chheda. (8) To keep the offender at a distance and not to have any dealing with him for a specific period ‑ that is called parihära. (9) When on account of the violation, the adopted vratas are deemed to be forfeited ‑ that is called upasthäpanä.


One who wants to repent for his mistakes should do so in a straightforward manner like a child. One cannot be truly regretful without having simplicity and purity of the heart. By truly carrying out the right process of präyaschhit, one sheds his unwholesome Karmas, and purifies himself. Therefore, präyaschhit is the austerity for purifying the soul.


8.      Vinay (Humility): Vinay denotes humbleness, submissiveness, kindness, courtesy, humility, civility, respect, etc. True meaning of Vinay is absence of ego. There are eight types of ego, and the person with vinay does not have any of them. Vinay saves Jiva from getting bad destinies like hell. Vinay is an internal quality of Jiva. Vinay is considered the root of the religion per the Jain canonical books. Vinay is given the utmost importance in Jainism, for example, it is discussed in the first chapter of Utarädhyayan Sutra. To have adequate vinay is the sign of right character. There are seven types of vinay: 1. vinay for knowledge, 2. vinay for perception, 3. vinay for conduct, 4. vinay of mind, 5. vinay of speech, 6. vinay of body and 7. vinay for paying homage.


9.      Vaiyävrutya (Selfless service): To serve Sanyami (who practices self-restraint) with devotion and without any selfish motive is called vaiyävrutya. Vinay and vaiyävruttya differ from one another in that the former is a mental act and the latter a bodily one. If one offers right food, clothes, medicines, and other necessities to the Jain ascetics, it is called vaiyävrutya. There are ten types of people who are considered as deserving vaiyävrutya: (1) ächärya (chief of the religious order) (2) upädhyäya (who teaches others), (3) tapasvin (who performs some great and severe penance), (4) shaiksha (new ascetic), (5) glan (ailing ascetic), (6) gana (group of older ascetics), (7) kula (group of disciples under one ächärya), (8) sangha (constituted of Sädhu, Sädhvis, Shrävak and shrävikäs), (9) Sädhu and (10) samanojna (who is spiritually equal). Vaiyävrutya - rendering service to the worthy ones is like serving a Tirthankar. That enhances the unity of the sangha, strengthens the religious order, helps the needy and stabilizes the aspirant on the right path. That also creates an atmosphere of mutual help.


10.  Swädhyä (Self-study): To undertake various practices with a view to acquiring the right knowledge is called swädhyäy or self‑study. Swädhyäy is a potent instrument for shedding Karmas. Swädhyäy also keeps the right knowledge alive for the next generation, and generations to come. Per Jain canonical books, Jain ascetics are required to do swädhyäy for about nine hours a day. If the Jain ascetic is irregular about doing his swädhyäy, then he is not truly a Jain Sädhu. He will drift into gossips, and eventually, will end up doing unwholesome activities. It is essential that Jain ascetics should keep their interest alive, and continue their swädhyäy per Jain canonical books. To acquire knowledge, to render it free from doubt, lucid and ripe and to seek to propagate it ‑ all these can be covered in swädhyäy. It has been divided into five subtypes corresponding to the order followed in a course of study. They are as follows : (1) To take lessons in the wording or the meaning of a text ‑ that is vächanä. (2) To make inquires to remove doubts or to confirm the understanding ‑ that is pruchchhanä. (3) To correctly repeat the wording of a text that has been learnt ‑ that is paravartana (meaning repetition). (4) To mentally ponder over the wording or the meaning of a text ‑ that is anuprekshä.  (5) To grasp the secret of a text that has been learnt ‑ that is dharmopadesha;  to preach things religiously is also dharmopadesha.


11.Dhyän (Meditation): To stop the wandering (distractions) of the conscious mind (chitta) and to concentrate it on one thing is called meditation. The concentration can arise from intense attachment, lust, or animosity; or from the search for the truth and from detachment for the worldly affairs. Dhyän is the practice to retire the soul from unnatural activities and to get absorbed into the self. All Tirthankars meditated prior to achieving the perfect knowledge (keval-Jnän). No one has achieved Moksha without mediation.  Dhyän is divided into four categories: i) Ärta Dhyän, ii) Roudra Dhyän, iii) Dharma Dhyän, iv) Shukla Dhyän.


A person possessing a superior type of bone‑structure such as vajrarishabhanäracha, ardhavajrarishabhanäracha and näracha samhanana is capable of practicing the true Dhyän. To have sufficient mental power to perform Dhyän, one has to have sufficient physical power that comes only from these three types of bone-structures. If body power is weak, one will have weaker mental power, and therefore, weaker concentration. This does not mean that others should not meditate. The degree of success will be less for the persons with inferior bone-structure, but the progress will be spiritual, and in the right direction. An endeavor to put a stop to the gross bodily and mental operations is also a Dhyän.


Ärta and Roudra dhyän are the causes of worldly transmigration, are evil‑Dhyän and, therefore, they are to be avoided. On the other hand, dharmya dhyan and shukla dhyan are noble‑dhyän and are worth resorting to.


Ärta Dhyän : Dhyän that relates to distress or pain is called ärta dhyän. There are four causes that produce pain: 1. Getting what is not desired. 2. Losing what is desired. 3. Disagreeable situation. and 4. Hankering for material enjoyment..


Roudra Dhyän : There are four subtypes of roudraDhyän corresponding to the above four possiblbilities. He whose heart is cruel or hard is considered roudra. Cruelty or hardness of heart leads to  violence,  lies,  stealing and  protecting the possessions by even the foul means.


DharmyaDhyän : There are four types of dharmya Dhyän: (1) äjnä or commandment - Contemplating about the commandment of omniscients and how to get rid of passions. (2) apäya or misery - Contemplating about the nature of defilements and the resulting misery and unhappiness (3) vipäka or the fruition of Karma - Contemplating about the Karmas, and  the  consequences they yield. (4) sansthäna or structure of universe - Contemplating about the nature of the universe. 


Shukladhyän : There are four subtypes. First two can be performed by the persons who are in eleventh and twelfth gunasthänas, who are versed in Purva texts. However, there are exceptions, because Mäshtushmuni and Marudevi  could perform that dhyan even though they werle not well versed in the Purva texts. The last two subtypes of shukla Dhyän can be performed by kevalis (omniscients) who are in the thirteenth or fourteenth gunasthäna. The four subtypes are: 1.  Pruthaktvavitarkasavichära, 2. Ekatvavitarkanirvichära, 3.  Suksmakriyäpratipätin and 4. Vyuparatakriyänivrtti (or Samuchchhinnakriyänivrtti). The first two subtypes of are associated with  scriptural knowledge. The first subtype involves transition while the second is devoid of it. In the first type, the practitioner switches his concentration from one form of a substance to another, from a substance to a mode, or from one mode to another, or from a meaning to a word or from a word to a meaning or, from one type of Yoga to another. When the practitioner introduces no such change, then the Dhyän is called ekatvavitarka avichära.  Thus first one is dominated by difference and the second one is dominated by constancy. When the meditation involves a subtle bodily Yoga while putting an end to all the remaining Yogas, then this act of concentration is called Sukshmakriyäpratipäti Dhyän. At this stage there proceeds only the subtle bodily activities like inhalation and exhalation, and there is no possibility of a fall from that. When even the subtle bodily activities like inhalation and exhalation cease altogether and the constituent units of the soul become free from all wavering, then the state is called samuchchhinnakriyänivrttiDhyän. In this state, no activity takes place. In the fourth subtype of Dhyän all äsrava and all bandha cease altogether, all Karmas come to the end, and liberation(Moksha) is attained. The last two are also called analambana or devoid of any dependence..


12.  Vyutsarga (abandonment of external & internal aspects): There are two major types: 1. abandonment of external aspects is called Dravya vyutsarga, and 2. abandonment of internal aspects is called bhäv vyutsarga. There are four types of Dravya vyutsarga: 1. abandonment of body (käyotsarga), 2. ganavyutsarga (abandoning the company of other mendicants), 3. upadhi-vyutsarga (abandoning material objects such as clothes, pots, blanket, bench, medicine, etc.) and 4. bhakta-vyutsarga (abandoning the food and drink). There are three types of bhäv-vyutsarga: 1. Kashäy-vyutsarga (overcoming the passions), 2. Sansär-vyutsarga (abandoning the worldly life), 3. Karma-vyutsarga (eradicating Karmas). One has to have bhed-Jnän (vivek-Jnän = discriminatory knowledge that the soul and the body are separate) to be able to exercise vyutsarga.


More one practices these twelve austerities, lighter he becomes in his Karmas. Thus, samvar is the process of stopping the influx of Karmas, and nirjarä is the process of purifying the soul by eradicating the Karmas. These two processes liberate the soul from the cycle of birth and death, and thus, Moksha is achieved. Samvar and nirjarä therefore  constitute the pillars of religion.

Other Austerities (Tapasyäs)

There are some other common external austerities. They are: 1) Navkärsi:  One must take food and water forty eight minutes after sunrise. 2) Porsi:  Taking food and water three hours after sunrise. 3) Sädh-porsi:  Taking food and water four hours and thirty minutes after  sunrise. 4) Purimuddh: Taking food and water six hours after sunrise. 5) Avadhdh:  Taking food and water eight hours after sunrise. 6) Biyäsan:  Taking food twice a day. 7) Ekäsan:  Taking food only once. 8) Äyambil:  Taking blanch food only once. The food should not have any taste and spices and should be boiled or cooked. Also, one shall not take milk, curds, ghee, oil, fruits and green or raw vegetables. 9) Upaväs:  One must not take any food for almost thirty six hours starting from sunset on the previous day to sunrise the succeeding day.  a) Tivihär upaväs: One may drink only insentient water during   upaväs.  b) Chauvihär upaväs: One does not even take water during the upaväs. 10) Tivihär:  After sunset no food or juice shall be taken, but one may take only water until sunrise the next day. 11) Chauvihär: After sunset no food or water is taken until sunrise the next day. 12) Attham:  Upaväs for three consecutive days. 13) Atthai:  Upaväs for eight consecutive days. 14) Mäsakshaman: Consecutive upaväs for one month. 15) Navapad oli:  During every year for 9 days starting from the 6/7th day in the bright fortnight until the full moon day in Ashwin and Chaitra months, one does äyambil. This is repeated for the next four and half years. These äyambils can also be restricted to only one kind of food or grain per day. 16) Other austerities are: varshitap, vardhamän tap, visasthänak tap, etc.

8) BANDH (Bondage of Karma)

Process of Bondage

Whenever, we think, talk or do any physical activity, Karman particles are attracted towards the soul and get associated with it. Such Karman particles are then called Karmas. The situations that arise spontaneously without any of our plans. are the outcome of  the Dravya Karmas. If one does not react to that with the sense of craviing or aversion, those Karmas would be dripped off in due course. If however one reacts to that with the sense of anger, ego, deceit or greed, that would attract new Karmas which are called Bhäv Karmas. Such Bhäv Katmas would result in new Dravya Karmas which will in turn give their fruits in due course.


The bondage  occurs while undrtaking different activities: 1) physically by  killing, hunting, crushing, etc. 2) verbally by abusive or harsh words, gossiping, and/or 3) mentally by thinking bad about some one, and so on.  Moreover we get involved in such activities in three different ways: 1) we may do that ourselves, 2) we ask someone else to do that for us, and/or 3) we encourage someone else who is doing that. Thus in all, there are nine ways in which the bondage can occur. 


The Bondage comprises following four aspects: 1) What Kind of (Nature-Prakriti) Karmas will there be? (What characteristic of the soul will it obstruct?) 2) How many Karma particles would be attached to how many parts of the soul(Quantity-Pradesh)? 3) How long (Duration-Sthiti) would the Karmas stay with the soul? and 4) How intense (Intensity-Anubhäg or Ras) will be the results of these Karmas? The nature and the quantity of Karmas depend on the intensity of physical activities while the duration and the intensity of Karmas depend on the intensity of desires for such activities.


1) Nature Of Bondage (Prakriti): There are eight different types of main Karmas. Depending upon our activities of our mind, speech and body, we will acquire one or more of these eight  Karmas. Normally we (Sansäri Jivas) beget seven (eight only  once in a life-time) types every moment. The main eight  Karmas are: 1) Knowledge-Obscuring, Jnänävarniya Karma, 2) Perception-Obscuring, Darshanävarniya Karma, 3) Obstructive, Antaräy Karma, 4) Deluding (giving rise to wrong perception and wrong conduct), Mohniya Karma, 5) Situation conferring, Vedniya Karma, 6) Body-Making, Näm Karma, 7) Status-determining, Gotra Karma and  8) Age-Determining, Äyushya Karma.


These Karmas are grouped in two categories, 1) Destructive or Ghäti Karmas and 2) Non-destructive or Aghäti Karmas. Here, Ghät means hurting or defiling. The Karmas that defile the nature of the Soul are called  Ghäti Karmas, while, those that do not defile the soul, but affect the body, are called Aghäti Karmas.


Ghäti Karmas are: 1) Knowledge-Obscuring, Jnänävarniya, 2) Perception-Obscuring, Darshnavarniya, 3) Obstructive, Antaräy and 4) Deluding Karmas, Mohniya. Aghäti Karmas are: 5) Situation conferring, Vedaniya, 6) Body-Making, Näm, 7) Status-determining, Gotra and 8) Age-Determining Karmas, Äyushya.


2) Quantity Of Bondage (Pradesh): When the intensity of our activities is low, we acquire milder Karmas  but if the  intensity is high, we acquire stronger Karmas..


Karman particles have 2 odors, 5 colors, 5 tastes and only 4 touches (cold, warm, 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. The quantity of eight main Karmas differ from each other. Age-Determining, Äyushya Karma receives the smallest quantity. Body-Making, Näm Karma and Status-determining, Gotra Karma receive equal and the next smallest quantity. Knowledge-Obscuring, Jnänävaraniya Karma, Perception-Obscuring, Darshanävaraniya Karma and Obstructive, Antaräy Karma; all three receive equal but more quantity than the above 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.  Situation conferring, Vedniya Karma receives the largest quantity.


3) Duration Of Karma Bondage (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 period. If our desire is stronger then the duration of bondage would be of a longer period. The minimum time could be a fraction of a second and the maximum  could be of innumerable years (70 kroda-krodi sägaropam).


Knowledge-Obscuring, Jnänävarniya, Perception-Obscuring, Darshnavarniya and Obstructive, Antaräy: Maximum duration - 30 kkso (kroda-krodi sägaropam) and minimum duration - antarmuharta (less than 48 minutes). Deluding Karmas, Mohniya: Maximum duration - 40 kkso and minimum duration - antarmuharta.  Situation conferring, Vedniya: Maximum duration - 30 kkso and minimum duration - 12 antarmuhartas. Body-Making, Näm and  Status-determining, Gotra: 30 kkso and minimum duration - 8 antarmuhartas And Age-Determining Karmas, Äyushya:  Maximum duration -  33 so (sägaropam) and minimum duration - 256 ävalikas.


4) Intensity  (Anubhäg, Ras) Of Results:  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 impact and if our passions are severe then it would cause severe impact.


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 untied. 2) Tight (Baddha or Gadha) In this case,  Karmas are attached to the soul like a tight knot that can be loosened with some efforts.  3) Nidhatta (Tighter): In this case, Karmas are attached to the soul like a very tight knot that can be loosened by very strong efforts like Tapascharya and 4) Nikachit (Tightest): In this case, Karmas are so tightly attached to the soul that they cannot be shed off by any effort except by bearing the consequences.


There are main four degrees of intensity corresponding to the four Kashäy - Anantänubandhi Kashäy,  Apratyäkhyäni Kashäy,  Pratyäkhyäni Kashäy and  Sanjwalan Kashäy.








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


Souls - Extrovert, Introvert & Supreme

In order to understand, the karmic bondage and Moksha (liberation), we need to understand the three stages of the soul. By the use of the chart, we will make an attempt to understand the karmic bondage, and how one can pursue the path of liberation?


Supreme Soul




     Unwholesome Feelings-Extrovert soul

          Wholesome Feelings-Introvert Soul





















Knowledge Obscuring

Happiness causing








Perception Obscuring

Wholesome life-span





(King Shrenik)


(Corroded & melted needles)


(Arjun Mäli)


(Corroded needles)


Deluding Karma

Pain Causing

Inwholesome Life-span

Lower Status

Inwholesome Body

High Status

Wholesome Body

(Prasanna Rajashri)


(Needle without string)


(Aimuttä Muni)


(Needle with  a string through)


The outer circle designates the extrovert soul (Bahirätmä). The middle circle symbolizes the introvert soul (Antarätmä), and the inner circle stands for the supreme soul (Paramätmä). Karmic bondage is the cause of extrovert and introvert souls. One has to progress beyond these two stages of the soul to attain the third stage of the soul. When one attains the third stage (Parämätman state), he is liberated and is freed of any karmic bondage.


The state in which the concentration of the activities is outward, is called extrovert. When  Jiva acts inconsistent to the true nature of the soul, then it is Bahirätmä. When  the concentration of its activities is shifted from outward to inward - towards the qualities of the soul, it is called Antarätmä.  When it stabilizes in its true nature, it is called  Paramätmä. One soul - but three different leves define its three stages.


Bahirätmä: In this state, the soul has unwholesome inner aspects (bhäv = mental reflections). Antarätmä  is the stage of wholesome inner aspects, and Paramätmä is the purified state of the soul. Bahirätmä has eight unwholesome Karmas: 1. knowledge obscuring, 2. perception obscuring, 3. pain causing, 4. deluding, 5.unwholesome life-span determining, 6. unwholesome body determining, 7. lower status determining, and 8. obstructive. Every Karma has different duration, different quantity and different intensity. Intensity is the prime constituent of the Karma. Bahirätmä acquires Karma with two types of intensity,  tightest (nikächit) and tighter (nidhati).  In nidhati,  one can endeavor to change its duration and intensity but cannot change its quantity and nature. In nikächit, one cannot change its duration, intensity, quantity and nature. He has to bear the fruits of this type of Karma.


Antarätmä: Antarätmä mostly binds wholesome Karmas like happiness causing, wholesome life-span determining, wholesome body determining and high status determining Karmas. Antarätmä is also under the influence of knowledge obscuring, perception obscuring, deluding and obstructive Karmas but the intensity is milder than the intensity of  Bahirätmä.

Antarätmä has two types of intensity that cause loose (sprushta) and tight (baddha) karmic bondage.  Sprushta means the Karmas having a dry association with the soul - They just touch the soul. Sprushta Karma is like a needle with a thread through its hole so that it can be picked up easily. Baddha means the Karmas having tight bondage with the soul. Baddha  Karma is like loose needle without thread - rather difficult to find.


Paramätmä: The pure state of the soul is known as Paramätmä. In this state, there is no association with Karmas. Without Karmas and without the cycle of birth and death, the state of the soul is pure, liberated and supreme. Liberated soul is always absorbed in the undisturbed and unlimited joy.