Justice T.U.Mehta

Bandha (Bondage)

This is next stage, when the inflowing karmas actually stick to and permeate the self, just as water permeates milk. When this happens the self gets perfectly polluted and is bound to reap the fruits of the karmas which pollute it. These karmas are of eight types which we have already discussed in the foregoing chapter.

Since the karmic flow which results in Bandha-Bondage has to be suffered, it is necessary to consider the time duration and intensity of the bondage. While considering this aspect, the Jainas have classified these Bandhas into four types, namely, 1.Prakrti-bandha (Nature of the Bondage), 2.Sthiti-bandha (Duration of the bondage), 3. Anubhaga-bandha (Intensity of the bondage), 4. Pradesa-bandha (Space-dimensions of the bondage). The first suggests the quality or nature such as Jnanavaraniya or Darsanavaraniya, etc. The second one determines the time-duration for which the fruits of karmas are to be enjoyed. The third, showing the intensity of the result, depends upon the intensity of the passions with which the karma is performed. In other words intensity of the result is reflected by the intensity of the cause. The fourth occupies different space dimensions of the self in accordance with the temperamental disposition of the self in accordance with the temperamental disposition of each individual and binds each individual soul in different manners. All these four types of bondages are determined at the very time when the deeds are done or intention to do them is entertained.

What are the causes of Bandha ? According to Umasvati, they are five in number, i.e., wrong belief, non-restraint, passions, unawareness and activity. Among these five passions (kasayas) and activity (yoga) are more important. Kasayas are, as already noticed, anger, pride, deceit and greed. Yoga, in Jainism means the activity of body, speech and mind. Among the remaining causes Mithyatva means false attitude. Avirati means non-cessation from enjoyment of sensual objects and Pramada means want of consant awaremess. If these are the causes of Bandha, their opposite elements would be the causes of its absence.

Thus the four Tattvas namely Papa, Asrava and Bandha show how the self gets bound and polluted by karmic forces. Since life is constantly going on with good or bad activities, the karmic bondage is also a continuous process. The self also earns further karmas even while experiencing the fruits of previous karmas. If this is so, it appears that the self would never be free from karmic bondages and all efforts to achieve freedom would be in vain. Then what is the way out ?