Chapter 1

There are two reasons people research the true nature of the things; one is for worldly gains; fame, money, etc. and other one is for spiritual development. One who chooses the path for spiritual development attains the samyak-darshana.


Now, we examine what are the causes of Samyak-darshana.


tad nisargäd adhigamäd vä  (3)

jivä-jivä-srava-bandha-samvara-nirjarä-moksäs tattvam (4)

näma-sthäpanä-dravya-bhävatas tannyäsah (5)

pramäna-nayair-adhigamah (6)

nirdesa-svämitva-säidhanq-dhikarana-sthiti-vidhänatah (7)

sat-samkhyä-ksetra-sparsana-kälän-tara-bhävä-lpabahutvaia ca (8)


tad nisargäd adhigamäd vä  (3)


This right faith is attained by intuition or by acquisition of knowledge.


That (i.e. samyak-darshana ) originates either by nature, that is,

in the automatic course of affairs ‑ or through attainment ‑ that is, through external means like instruction etc.


The samyak-darshana may arise spontaneously or through learning.


Nisarga  means nature or innate disposition. Adhigama  is knowledge of objects. These are mentioned as causes.


The worldly life of a soul has no beginning. The soul transmigrates from one birth to the next according to its karma, which determines its destiny. Nevertheless, each unique soul possesses the inherent knowledge and intuition which can empower it to destroy the beginning-less deluded faith (Mithyätva)) tormenting it.


As soon as the level of spiritual evolution capable of producing samyak-darshana is reached samyak-darshana is attained. Sometimes this samyak-darshana breaks through spontaneously without outside assistance. In some cases, the aid of some external means is required and in other cases, outside aid is not required.


Just as one person learns an art like sculpture etc. with the aid of an instructor etc., while another one does the same by himself/herself and without requiring the aid of someone else.


External means are of various types. One attains samyak-darshana through a mere sight of some religious article like image etc., another one does so through listening to the instructions of the preceptor, another one through reading or listening to the scriptural texts, another one through entering into the company of saintly personages. One attains samyak-darshana when the painful nature of life is realized, a vision of the Jina (omniscient founders of the Jaina religion)) is seen, the teachings of the Jina heard or a past life remembered.


From ideological point of view, a living being attains samyak-darshana because of his/her soul is ready to attain. In some cases, his/her soul realizes samyak-darshana – from traditional point of view – through the assistance of external means. One thing is that external things cannot produce samyak-darshana but it can be a nimitta. It happens only because the soul is capable and responsible for his/her samyak-darshana.


The samyak-darshana can arise at the appropriate moment in any form of life - infernal, subhuman, human or celestial.


It has been mentioned that belief in tattvärtha  is right faith. But what is tattva ?


Tattva (Realities, fundamental categories, categories of truth) mentioned by name :

jivä-jivä-srava-bandha-samvara-nirjarä-moksäs tattvam (4)


Jiva or soul, ajiva or non‑soul, äshrava or influx, bandha or bondage, samvara or stoppage, nirjarä or annihilation (disassociation) and moksha or liberation (emancipation) ‑ these are the fundamental categories (categories of truth, ralities).


The categories of truth are:

(1)     souls [sentient entities] – Jiva : The soul is characterized by consciousness, which is divided into several kinds such as knowledge and so on.

(2)     non-sentient entities – Ajiva: The non-soul is opposed to the nature of the soul.   

(3)     Influx of karmic particles to the soul – Äshrava : The inflow of auspicious and evil karmic matter into the soul is influx. 

(4)          bondage of the karmic particles to the soul – Bandha : The mutual intermingling of the soul and karmas is bondage. 

(5)          stoppage of the influx of karmic particles – Samvara : The obstruction of the inflow of karmic matter into the soul is stoppage.

(6)          Disassociation of the karmic particles – Nirjarä : The separation or falling off of part of karmic matter from the soul is dissociation.

(7)          liberation from worldly (karmic) bondage -  Moksha : The complete annihilation of all karmic matter (bound with any particular soul) is liberation. 


In this sutra, the categories of truth are restricted to seven, but, in some scriptures, nine are mentioned.  In many scriptures, punya or good (beneficial, auspicious) karma and päpa or bad (harmful, inauspicious) are counted among the fundamental categories which thus total nine. But here their number is seven because here both punya and päpa are included in the category äshrava or the category bandha or in both.


     Question : The five categories from äshrava up to moksha are, unlike jiva and ajiva, neither independent nor beginning-less and endless. For they are simply either a possible state of a jiva or a possible state of an ajiva. Why then are they counted as fundamental categories along with jiva and ajiva?


     Answer : A fundamental category does not have to be an entity that is beginning-less, endless and independent but it should be an entity whose knowledge is useful in attaining moksha. Items are enumerated here as fundamental categories are those whose knowledge is extremely necessary and desirous in attaining moksha as moksha being the main subject‑matter, major goal and, only goal.


    Since attaining moksha is the main goal, it is necessary to know it, its causes and what opposes it otherwise one desirous of attaining moksha cannot take up the path leading to moksha. And one desirous of attaining moksha has to know first of all that if he is competent to attain moksha then what are the entities that share features characteristic of him and what are those that do not do so. It is in order to make this knowledge available that the seven fundamental categories have been mentioned.


By mentioning the category jiva it is made out as to who is competent to attain moksha. By mentioning the category ajiva it is indicated that there is also in the world an entity which being inanimate is incompetent to receive instruction regarding the path leading to moksha. By mentioning the category bandha is pointed out the entity that stands opposed to moksha, by mentioning the category äshrava that which causes this entity. By the category samvara is indicated the cause of moksha, by the category nirjarä the procedural order of moksha.


Here liberation is the main theme of the work.  And that liberation is preceded by the cycle of births and deaths.  Influx and bondage are the main causes of transmigration.  Stoppage and gradual dissociation are the chief causes of liberation.  Hence these are mentioned severally in order to indicate the chief causes and effects. 


All fruits are experienced by the soul.  So the soul is mentioned first in the sutra.  The non-soul is mentioned next as it is of use to the soul.  Influx is included next as it concerns both the soul and the non-soul.  Bondage is added next, as it follows influx.  As there is no bondage for one who practices stoppage, stoppage is mentioned after bondage in order to indicate that it is its opposite.  Dissociation proceeds after stoppage, and hence it is mentioned after stoppage.  As liberation is attained at the end, it is mentioned last.


Hey, Jneya & Upädeya


Among these nine categories of truth, some are worth knowing (Gney - ), some are worth practicing (Upädey - ) and some are worth abandoning(Hey -).


From practical point of view (Vyavahär):

Worth knowing (Gney - ): Jiva, Ajiva (or all nine)

Worth practicing (Upädey - ): Punya, Samvar, Nirjarä & Moksha. Punya is eventually worth abandoning.

Worth abandoning(Hey -): Päpa, Äshrava & Bandha


Jiva: Jiva, Samvar, Nirjarä & Moksha

Ajiva: Ajiva, Punya, Päpa, Äshrava & Bandha


One who does not know what jiva is, he/she does not know what ajiva is. The individual who does not know jiva and ajiva, how will he be able to practice self-restraint (samyam)?


Jain philosophers developed a unique and detailed theory of the workings of karma.  The karmic particles referred to in this sutra are material clusters assimilated or "bound" by the soul as karma.  These bound particles cause the soul to vibrate in association with its mind and body. The vibrations manifest thought, speech and action and cause further karmic particles to rush into the soul from all directions, thereby perpetuating worldly bondage.  As long as it is bound by karma the soul can never be liberated from worldly existence.  In liberated souls there is no vibration and therefore no accumulation of karmic particles.  For full discussion of the mechanics of karma and means of release from it, see chapters 6, 8 and 9.

näma-sthäpanä-dravya-bhävatas tannyäsah (5)


The samyak-darshana  and the categories of truth, etc. can be analyzed (through the  process of nikshepa or nyäsa (i.e. positing) or vibhäga (i.e. classification)) by näma or name, sthäpanä or symbol (representation), dravya or potentiality (potency, substance) and bhäva or actuality (actual state, reality).


The categories of truth are explained for precision and clarity in different ways:          through various gateways of investigation (Sutra  1-7, 1-8), through the approved means of knowledge (1-6) and through philosophical standpoints (1-6, 1-34). This sutra lists four gateways of investigation. 


All practical communication or exchange of knowledge is mainly made through the medium of language. And a language is made up of words. Now one and the same word can have several meanings depending on the purpose or context. In any case, each and every word had four meanings. These four meanings are the four classifications of its general meaning. And these classifications are what are called nikshepas or nyäsas. Knowing them one finds it easy to follow the intention of a speaker.


Here are the four nikshepas in question :


(i)                The meaning that is not derived based on actuality but is gathered on the basis of the convention set up by the father, mother or some other people is meaning of the type called näma‑nikshepa . Giving a name to an object irrespective of its qualities for the sake of asocial interaction is called näma‑nikshepa. For example, a person who possesses no qualification appropriate to a sevaka (Sanskrit for servant) but whom somebody has given the name Sevaka.  Another example, any substance, living or not, can be called a soul and exists as such in name at least (for example a college building can be called All Souls).

(ii)              The thing which is a copy, statue or picture of the real thing or which is conventionally made to stand for this real thing is what signifies meaning of the type called sthäpanä‑nikshepa . Establishing in things made of wood and clay, painting, dice, etc., that  'this is that'  is representation, sthäpanä‑nikshepa.  For example, the picture, photograph or statue of a sevaka. Second example, an object, for instance a statue or painting, may be treated as if it were a soul though it is a soul only symbolically, sthäpanä‑nikshepa.

(iii)            The thing which is an earlier or a later form ‑ that is, an earlier or a later condition of the thing signifying bhäva‑nikshepa is what signifies meaning of the type called dravya‑nikshepa . That, which will be attained by qualities or that which will attain qualities, is a substance, potentiality, potency, dravya‑nikshepa. For example, a person who, though not performing a sevä (Sanskrit for service). For the present, has done so in the past or is going to do so in the future. Another example, a human soul may be called a celestial soul if it occupied a celestial body in a past life or is likely to occupy such a body in future life.

(iv)            The thing which properly satisfies the ground of etymology or the ground of usage of the corresponding word is what signifies meaning of the type called bhäva‑nikshepa . Substance characterized by its actual condition is present state, actual state, actuality, bhäva‑nikshepa. For example, a person who is performing acts appropriate to a sevaka. Another example, a living thing may be called a soul, pointing to its actual state now.


Also in the case of the words standing for samyak-darshana etc. that constitute the pathway to moksha and for jiva etc. that constitute the fundamental  categories it is possible to discover four nikshepas for each item. But in the present context they are to be taken in their bhäva‑form (i.e. as yielding meaning that corresponds to bhävanikshepa).


The means of knowing the fundamental categories are:


pramäna-nayair-adhigamah (6)


Things can be known through the instrumentality of pramäna and naya .


Knowledge (of the seven categories) is attained by means of pramäma (comprehensive knowledge) and naya (standpoint).


The categories can be understood with greater accuracy through the approved means of knowledge, pramäma and the philosophical standpoints, nayas


The true nature of the soul etc. (categories of truth) described in detail through the rule of installation as name etc. (four nikshepa) can be ascertained through pramäna and naya


Pramäna (comprehensive knowledge) is of two kinds, namely for oneself and for others.  All kinds of knowledge except scriptural constitute pramäna for oneself.  But scriptural knowledge is of two kinds, namely for oneself and for others.  The scriptural in the form of knowledge constitute pramäna for oneself, and in the form of words constitute pramäna for others. 


The nayas are the divisions of pramänasPramäna is the source or origin of naya.  Accepting knowledge derived from pramäna, ascertaining one particular state or mode of a substance is naya.  Secondly, the range of pramäna comprises all attributes.  Pramäna is a comprehensive view, whereas naya is a partial view.  In other words, the philosophical standpoint gives a limited view of what is presented in its unlimited character by the approved means of knowledge.


Naya in of two kinds, dravyärthika and paryäyärthika .  The former refers to the general attributes of a substance, and the latter to the constantly changing conditions or modes of a substance.  Bhäva-nikshepa must be ascertained by the standpoint of modes, and the other three by the standpoint of substance.  For the latter refers to general characteristics.  That which has the substance as its object is the standpoint of substance.  That which has the mode as its object is the standpoint of modes.  Both the substance and the modes are ascertained by pramäna (comprehensive knowledge).


Both a naya and a pramäna are certainly of the form of knowledge but they differ from each other inasmuch as the former acquaints us with but one aspect of a thing while the latter with a number of them.


One method of understanding the nature of the soul etc. by pramäna and naya has been explained.  Now another method of ascertaining the soul etc- is mentioned next.


The mention of certain 'gateways to consideration' conducive to a detailed knowledge of the fundamental categories :


nirdesa-svämitva-säidhanq-dhikarana-sthiti-vidhänatah (7)

sat-samkhyä-ksetra-sparsana-kälän-tara-bhävä-lpabahutvaia ca (8)


     The categories of truth, its attributes and things like samyak-darshana etc. are understood on the basis of (questions relating to) nirdesa or mention, svämitva or possessiveness, sädhana or instrument, adhikarana or location, sthiti or duration and vidhäna or classification; again, on the basis of (questions relating to) sat or existence, sankhyä or number, kshetra or field of occupation, sparshana or field of touch, käla or time, antara or interval, bhäva or condition resulting from the presence or otherwise of karma and alpabahutva or relative numerical strength. 7‑8.


Sutra 7  provides a set of six gateways of investigation and Sutra 8 provides a set of eight gateways, in addition to four provided in Sutra 5.


Whenever a person, big or small, who is eager to gain knowledge, sees or hears about a new thing ‑ say, an airplane ‑ his curiosity is aroused and he raises various questions regarding this thing until now unseen or unheard of. Thus he raises questions as to the name of this thing, its color and form, its owner, its means of construction, its seating quarter, its maximum durability, its types. By receiving answers to his questions, he enhances his knowledge. Similarly a spiritually oriented person, when he hears about the pathway to moksha or about the spiritual categories that are worthy of rejection or acceptance raises various questions regarding these all and through them augments his stock of knowledge. It is this idea that is expressed in the present two aphorisms. For example, the following is a brief consideration of samyak-darshana made on the basis of the fourteen questions ‑ i.e. questions relating to nirdesa etc. catalogued in these two aphorisms:


(1)   Nirdesa or mention ‑ i.e. svarupa or nature ‑ Nirdesa is the description of the true nature of anything. Samyak-darshana is of the nature which is inclination towards truth. Soul as a substance modified by various states such as the suppression, elimination, or partial suppression and partial elimination of karmic particles.

(2)   Svämitva or possessor ‑ i.e. adhikäkäran or ownership: Svämitvam is ownership or lordship. Soul is the possessor or capable of attaining samyak-darshana.  Non‑soul, Ajiva is not owner of samyak-darshana.

(3)   Sädhana or instrument ‑ i.e. kärana or cause: Sädhanam is the cause of origin. The suppressed, the elimination cum suppression and the elimination of the darshana-mohaniya karma (darshan-saptak) ‑ these three are the internal causes of samyak-darshana. On the other hand, its external causes are numerous ‑ e.g. the scriptural knowledge, the recall of a past birth, the sight of an image, the company of saintly personages. The samyak-darshana arises spontaneously (naturally, by intuition) or through learning (by acquiring knowledge) – Sutra 1-3.

(4)   Adhikarana or location ‑ i.e. ädhära or substratum: Ädhikaranam is location. The samyak-darshana is located in soul as its undeniable attribute.

(5)   Sthiti or duration i.e. kälamaryädä or temporal limit: Sthiti is duration. The minimum duration of samyak-darshana is a period measuring less than a muhurta (48 minutes)  . The maximum duration is without an end (it does have a beginning). All the three types of samyakta (=samyak-darshana) originate at a particular time and so they all have a beginning. However, the aupashamika  and the kshäyopashamika  types (i.e. the first two types) do not endure for ever. These two types have an end. On the other hand, the kshäyika  type (i.e. the third type) has a beginning but it is without an end.  Thus, in some souls it is short-lived, having a beginning and an end, while in others it has a beginning, but no end.

(6)   Vidhäna or classification ‑ i.e. prakära or type. Vidhänam is division. Samyaktva (=samyak-darshana) is of three types: (1) aupashamika, that which is achieved by merely suppressing the darshan-saptak that obscures samyak-darshana.  (2) kshäyopasamika, that which is achieved by partially eliminating and partially suppressing the darshan-saptak; (3) kshäyika, that which is achieved by completely eliminating the darshan-saptak.

(7)   Sat or existence : Sat indicates existence. It is accepted that the samyak-darshana is a real and constant attribute of the soul.  The samyaktva is existent in all the souls but its manifestation is possible only in the 'worthy' souls (i.e. souls destined to attain moksha) not in the unworthy ones (i.e. souls destined not to attain moksha). (Sutra 2-3).

(8)   Sankhyä  or number; Numerical determination: Samkhyä is enumeration of divisions or classes. To determine the number of souls with the samyak-darshana, it is necessary to distinguish between the souls that enjoy the aupashamika  and the kshäyopashamika  samyak-darshana, and those souls that have , the kshäyika  type. The number of the souls in the former category is only innumerable (asankhyätaI) whereas the number of souls in the latter is infinite, including the infinite number of liberated souls.  The latter category also includes souls that have eliminated their destructive karma and are waiting for liberation.  (In future ananta of them will attain samyak-darshana. Numbers are classified as numerable, innumerable and infinite.  Numerable numbers are those which can be named / counted.  Innumerable are beyond naming and fall into three categories: minimum, intermediate and maximum.  Beyond the innumerable are the infinite numbers which fall into the same three categories.)

(9)     Kshetra or field of occupation :  Ksetra is the present abode.  The field of occupation of samyak-darshana is not the total lokäkasha (cosmic space, is a portion of total space in the universe; a portion of universe in which all six substances are found). The field of occupation of souls with samyak-darshana is and will be equivalent to the total loka divided by asankhyäta (innumerable).

(10) Sparshanä or field touched: Only a asankhyäta  part of cosmic space (Lokäkäsha) is touched by an ordinary soul with the samyak-darshana.  However, the omniscient soul touches all parts of the cosmic space for the purpose of exhausting the residue of the karmic particles before attaining final liberation (this one is called Samud-ghät).

(11)     Käla  or Continuity (time): Kshäyopashamika samyak-darshana may endure in a soul minimum of antar-muhurta (less than 48 minutes) and maximum of 66 Sagaropam (ocean-measured time units). Minimum and maximum periods of aupashamika samyak-darshana are less than antar-muhurta.  However, for souls which attain the kshäyika samyak-darshana, there is a beginning but no end to their samyak-darshana.  The samyak-darshana of all souls taken together has neither beginning nor end because there was no period in the past without some soul possessing the samyak-darshana, nor will there be any in the future. That is to say, samyak-darshana has been making its appearance since a beginning-less time and it will continue to do so till an endless time.

(12)     Antara  or interval, Time-lapse: Antaram is time-lapse (interval).  When the empty interval ‑ i.e. interval devoid of samyak-darshana is calculated in the case of one particular soul it turns out to be minimum of  antarmuhurta (less than 48 minutes) and maximum of ardha-pudgala‑parävarta at the most. For samyaktva, when vomited  ‑that is, lost once, can be regained after an antarmuhurta at the earliest; and if that does not happen it must necessarily be regained by the end of an ardha‑pudgala-paravarta. However, when calculation is made in the case of all the souls taken together then there is no empty interval at all so far as samyak-darshana is concerned, for amongst the so many souls there must always be some that are possessed of samyak-darshana.

(13) Bhäva  or condition or state: There are only three states in which the samyak-darshana is possible: those resulting from (1) the suppression (aupshamika), (2) the elimination (Kshäyika) and (3) the partial elimination and partial suppression (Kshäyopshamik) of the karmic particles responsible for deluded world-view (darshan-saptak) (Sutra 2-1). These are the states (conditions) that are indicative of the relative purity of the different cases of samyaktva. Thus samyaktva resulting from the suppression‑cum‑elimination (Kshäyopshamik) of the darshan-saptak karma in question is purer than that resulting from its suppression  (aupshamika) while that resulting from its elimination (Kshäyika) is purer than the former. Besides the above three there are two more conditions ‑ viz. that resulting from the manifestation of a Karma and that which is natural (i.e. that which has nothing to do with Karma). But samyaktva is not to be found under either of these conditions.

(14) Alpabahutva or the relative numerical strength: Regarding the numbers of souls in the three states of the samyak-darshana, it is said that fewest are in the state resulting from suppression (aupshamika); a larger number are in the state resulting from partial elimination and partial suppression (Kshäyopshamik) of darshan-saptak; and the largest number are in the state which results from the complete elimination (Kshäyika) of darshan-saptak because this is the state which accommodates the infinite number of liberated souls.


Footnotes: 1. In Jain thought, space is infinite but divided into two parts: cosmic and trans-cosmic.  The part occupied by souls and single atoms and clusters of matter is called cosmic space.  The part beyond this is called trans-cosmic.  Cosmic space is understood to be made up of innumerable space units.  There are souls in all these space units.  2. The field touched by a soul is somewhat larger than the field occupied by it; with the former, the space units that surround the locus of the soul are also taken into account. 3.  Antar-muhurtar is any time between two time units and forty-eight minutes less one time unit.  One time unit is the smallest measurement of time; it is the time it takes for an atom to travel from one space unit (the smallest measurement of space) to another.)


Chart 6 : Methods  of analyzing, knowing & understanding  Samyak-darshan, Categories of truth (Tattva), etc.