Shri Amar Muni

The doubt regarding the existence of the soul

Bhagavan Shri Mahavir Paramatma, the Lord of the three worlds, lived his final life in this world two thousand five hundred years ago. He embodied the spirit of renunciation even from his birth and he also knew for certain that in this last birth he would attain salvation (Moksa) at the end; yet, he renounced worldly life and accepted life-long vows of non- violence etc. He became an Anagar (Ascetic) at the age of thirty on the 10th day of the dark fortnight of Margashirsh (Kartik according to the Gujarati calculations). On that day he adopted Sadhu-dharma and became a Muni, impelled by his extraordinary spiritual awareness. But what was the reason for this? The foremost duty of any human being is to adopt the path of sinless conduct (Charitra-dharma) and only this path can lead human beings to 'Moksa.' As soon as he became a Muni, he attained the fourth knowledge (Atma Pratyaksha = direct perception of others' minds) Manah-paryay-Jnan (an extraordinary power of perceiving the mental processes of other Panchendriya Jivas i.e. jivas with five senses). As a rule every Tirthankar even while in the mother's womb possesses three kinds of knowledge, namely Mati-jnan (perception by senses); Shruta-jnan (knowledge of scriptures and Avadhi-jnan (extrasensory perception). The fourth kind of perception Manah-paryay-jnan, arises in him when he renounces wordly relations and possessions and accepts the vows of asceticism.

After accepting the Charitra-dharma, Lord Mahavir carried out the severest spiritual austerities and penances for twelve and a half years. Moreover, he always used to remain in Kayotsarg (a standing, steady posture of the body for deep meditation). During that period he endured terrible impediments caused by human beings, animals and celestial beings, the severe hardships of cold and heat etc. How long did he sleep during those twelve and a half years? Not a minute of lying down on the ground but simply drowsing,

that too, during the whole period of twelve years only for one Muhurt, i.e. for 48 minutes. Oh! What an extraordinary kind of awareness!

What an extraordinary spiritual yearning! The poet says:

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"Throughout the twelve and a half years the loftiest Lord Mahavir did not at all lie down on the ground (earth). (The poet) Padmavijay bows to the feet of Lord Mahavir, the greatest of the Vitarags (those who have conquered all internal enemies like attachments, hatred, etc.,) who attained Kevaljnan (infinite perception) by means of severe penances.

The Lord whose pure and perfect soul had attained absolute purity, possessed such virtues as complete freedom from illusion, total indifference to dependence on and relation with animate and inanimate objects, complete non-indulgence in worldly pleasures, absolute purity, total absence of bondage. He had an absolute restraint over the senses and the mind, total freedom from all attachments and hatred. Owing to the absence of even the least affection, his senses turned inwards to the absolute, unadulterated form of the soul, and he developed extreme spiritual awareness and equanimity. He attained Kevaljnan (i.e. omniscience) on the evening of the 10th day of the bright fortnight of Vaishakh on the bank of the river Rijuvaluka; and thus he attained a complete perception of the entire cosmos comprising Lokakash and Alokakash and all other objects.

What are the objects that can be perceived by one who has attained omniscience (Kevaljnan) ? Now, the Lord became omniscient and he therefore, could clearly and directly see all souls and all Pudgals (inanimate material substances); and all their infinite modifications (transformations), recurring through all the three phases of time. He could perceive the whole cosmos, of the past, the present, and the future, simultaneously. He could see and know directly just as one can see myrobalan fruit, placed on his palm, all the infinite souls that attained salvation in the beginningless past and all the countless souls that will attain salvation in the infinite future which are outnumbered by the existing souls in a Nigod (the Sadharan Vanaspatya-Kay), infinite times. Although souls attaining salvation are countless and infinite in number, they are very few in comparison with the Nigod souls. The souls in the Nigod will ever remain infinite- fold more in proportion to the liberated souls. In each and every soul there exist countless subtle molecular parts (pradeshas) and on each of them infinite Karmic multitudes (Karma-skandhas) are stuck. In each of these Karma-skandhas there are infinite number of Karmic subtle atoms (Paramanus). Each such atom has undergone an infinite number of Bhavas (modifications) in the infinite time. The modifications exist in all states and in all times. According to this mathematical calculation all souls (conscious animate beings) and Ajivas (inert, inanimate substances) possess such infinite number of modifications. The omniscience Bhagavan Lord Mahavir Paramatma visualizes and knows all these modifications and transformations in their forms both, common and uncommon (individual). The omniscients (Kevaljnanis) perceive directly the distinctive nature of the minutest karmas and also of the pure and liberated formless souls as well as the peculiar and polluted natures of the souls bound by subtle karma. Only those who firmly believe in these peculiarities, as visualized by the omniscients can have deep interest in carrying out His commands and in rendering worship and devotion to Him.

What the poet says about this is quite proper:

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After attaining omniscience of the above-mentioned nature, Bhagavan Lord Mahavir Swami arrived at the Mahasen Garden, near the City of Apapa. The divine beings constructed a magnificent Samavasaran (a preaching platform) with three castles. The divine beings, human beings and animals arrived there. Indra himself entreats the Paramatman to deliver a religious sermon.

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Indra, the King of gods arrived at the Samavasaran; offered his heartfelt salutations to Him and worshipped Him with overflowing devotion. He said, "O Lord! You have crossed the ocean of world. Guide us also to cross that boundless ocean; lift us out of it. Kindly bestow upon us the benefaction of being delighted and elevated spiritually by your enlightened and nectarlike utterances that can bring us the supreme serenity and felicity."

Visualize this situation as if it existed before you, with a devout heart. Imagine that we have reached this samavasaran. Imagine that we are also witnessing that magnificent spectacle, that Almighty Lord, and that we are also bathing in that boundless ocean of felicity and serenity. If we imagine ourselves there, we can visualize all that as if it is occurring before our eyes, and we are thus benefitted immensely. We can destroy our Karmas and our souls will attain purity and elevation.

The Eleven Brahmins -- The future Ganadhars- A certain wealthy brahmin by name Somil had arranged a Yajna (a sacrifice) in the city of Apapa. He had invited eleven learned brahmins who had mastered the Vedas and who were well-versed in fourteen Vidyas or intellectual accomplishments. Each of them had hundreds of pupils with him. Everyone of the brahmins presumed himself to be an omniscient but their knowledge was incomplete since each of them had doubts regarding different doctrines which arose from the contradictory statements in the Vedas. However, strangely enough they committed the mistake of presuming themselves to be omniscients. What was the cause for this blunder? They had acquired knowledge of various Vidyas with extraordinary industry and diligence. They had attained mastery over many Shastras (Scriptural Texts). They had a profound self-confidence. Yet they had not understood the derivation and the full meaning of the word Sarvajnata or omniscience or they had only a vague idea of what it meant; so, they believed that they were omniscient.

The Eleven Doubts of the eleven brahmins:

  1. Indrabhuti Gautam had a doubt regarding the soul. His doubt was this: "In this universe, is there an entity called Atma (the Soul) which is independent and eternal?"
  2. Agnibhuti Gautam, another scholar, had a doubt regarding Karma His doubt was whether everything that happened was only the soul's doing or according to karma Is there such an entity as Karma?
  3. Vayubhuti Gautam had this doubt: "Is this body itself the soul or is the soul different from the body?" These three Brahmins were brothers and each of them had five hundred pupils.
  4. The scholar by name Vyakta had a doubt regarding the five elements. His doubt was this: "There are the five material elements, namely Prithvi (earth), Ap (water), Tejas (fire), Vayu (air) and Akash (Vacuum-space). Are these real or unreal and illusory like a dream?"
  5. Sudharma's doubt was this: "Is the soul in the next birth the same kind as in this birth or different?" These two scholars had five hundred pupils each.
  6. Mandit, another brahmin, had a doubt regarding bondage. His doubt was this: "Is the soul for ever pure, enlightened and free from that bondage by means of proper endeavours?"
  7. Mauryaputra had a doubt regarding celestial beings. His doubt was this: "Is there a place called Heaven at all?" Each of these two scholars had three hundred and fifty pupils.
  8. In the same manner, Akampit had a doubt regarding the existence of hell.
  9. Achalbhrata had a doubt regarding punya or good actions. His doubt was this: "Why should we believe in both good d luck and bad luck? Let there be one."
  10. Metarya had a doubt regarding the existence of the next birth and
  11. The scholar by name Prabhas had a doubt regarding salvation, Moksa His doubt was this: "Is there a definite state called Moksa? Does the soul attain a state of eternal, boundless and pure happiness? Is the jiva completely destroyed or annihilated after its samsar is completed?"


Each of these scholars had three hundred pupils. The Eleven Ganadars and their Doubts:

No. Name of the Ganadhar

His doubt



Indrabhuti His doubt was regarding the existence of soul.


Agnibhuti His doubt was regarding Karmas.


Vayubhuti His doubt was whether the body itself is the jiva or whether it is different from jiva.


Vyakta His doubt was whether the five elements were real or unreal like a dream.


Sudharma His doubt was whether the jiva will be of the same kind or of a different kind in the next birth.


Mandit His doubt was regarding bondage.


Mauryaputra His doubt was regarding the existence of Heaven.


Akampit His doubt was whether hell was real.


Achalbhrata His doubt was regarding the existence of good luck and bad luck.


Metarya His doubt was regarding the existence of the next birth.


Prabhas His doubt was regarding Moksa

These eleven Brahmins and their pupils numbering 4400 were participating in the Yajna (ceremony). From what people were saying and from their movements, they understood that some omniscient one had arrived there.

The Pride of Indrabhuti: On the other side, the brahmins noticed celestial beings descending from the sky to earth. They could not contain their joy and elation. They exclaimed triumphantly, "Oh! Look up! How tremendously efficacious our Yajna is. It has compelled even deities to come down to earth." But when Indrabhuti noticed that those deities were not coming to the Yajna and that they were proceeding in the sky further without stopping and descending there, he was greatly disappointed. He thought with disappointment "Ah! these heavenly beings are ignorant. Why have they fallen into this illusion? Neglecting the sacred waters of the Ganga, like crows, they are proceeding to drink foul and polluted water somewhere else! Who has become a new Sarvajna?" Note the strangeness of this situation: It is surprising that Indrabhuti who did not even know who had become a new omniscient presumed himself to be a Sarvajna, i.e. an omniscient one. Not only this; when we cannot attain something that is good and beneficial we condemn it just as the fox who could not reach the grapes saying, "The grapes are sour." Jealousy is a bugbear. Indrabhuti thinks, "Oh! only a fool can be deceived by hypocrites but these are celestial beings. They are called Vibudhs (those who have attained awakening) and even they have been deceived. But no! These deities may not be really heavenly beings. They must be pretenders like that false sarvajna " They are false deities just as he is a false sarvajna He tried to explain the situation to himself thus and yet he could not forget the new omniscient one. He could not bear to hear the name of another Sarvajna apart from himself. It is astonishing that he forgot the ten Brahmin sarvajnas accompanying him.

That was an age in which great scholars had scriptural knowledge at the tip of their tongue. Here, by means of strenuous efforts, Indrabhuti had attained mastery over various branches of Vidyas, knowledge, and had defeated reputed scholars. In spite of that, under the pride born of Mithyatva (false faith) he became angry and thought: "Only one sun exists in the world. Only one sword can exist in a scabbard. Only one lion can stay in a cave. In the same manner, there can be only one sarvajna i.e. one omniscient in the world. I cannot bear with the idea that there can be another Sarvajna." How full of resentment he was! What a pitiable intolerance! He did not tolerate even the existence of another omniscient one. Of course, he was aware of the fact that there were with him ten learned Brahmins who deemed themselves to be omniscient, but he did not give them any importance. Why did he ignore them? Say, those ten brahmins deemed Indrabhuti to be superior to them and venerable. They used to follow him as their leader. So it means that man thirsts only for prestige and honour. After a person falls into the snares of honour and prestige, if he himself cannot get honour, he will be greatly disappointed; and even if the opponent possesses infinite virtues, he would not feel happy; and he would not treat him with friendliness or love. On the contrary, he would be troubled by jealousy and hatred.

The glorification of the Lord by the people: Preparation for a debate by Indrabhuti.

People were returning from the Samavasaran after having offered their salutations to Lord Mahavir. Indrabhuti sarcastically asks them: "Have you come after seeing that sarvajna? What kind of sarvajna is he?" The Lord was countless times more radiant and more beautiful than the heavenly beings residing in the heaven called Anuttarviman (the uppermost heaven). The trumpets called Devdundubhis blown by the divine beings, the shower of divine flowers, the whisks, Ashta-Pratiharya i.e. the eight splendid paraphernalia such as the sublime and radiant halo of light-- all had been witnessed by the people. The Lord's voice possessed the thirty-five sublime virtues. They were returning after being delighted with the sight of those splendid things. Therefore, their hearts were over-flowing with joy, and they had been fascinated by the sight. How could they describe in words all that splendour? So the people said: "Even if all the inhabitants in the three worlds keep enumerating the infinite virtues of the supreme Lord for countless millennia, his virtues will ever remain beyond comprehension. If mathematical calculation could go beyond parardha, and if the life span (of one who takes up such calculation) is endless, then only all the virtues of the Lord can be completely enumerated." How could Indrabhuti tolerate this praise of the Lord? He felt shocked and said: "Oh! He has deceived these people also. I will not delay even a moment. I will at once go to Him and expose his arrogance and deception by defeating him in a debate with him. The wind which has blown away mighty elephants will not find it difficult to blow away a small flake of cotton. When I have routed the greatest scholars of the world, how could he escape from me? When I have crushed the oil out of every grain of sesame, how could this grain escape my notice? No worry, it is a very easy thing for me to defeat him. When I have defeated countless scholars and created a famine (scarcity) of scholars, in which village had this scholar hidden himself all these days? Whatever it may be, I shall have to go there."

Thinking thus, he made preparations to see the Lord. But Agnibhuti came to know of it and said, "where is the need for your going there? Is it necessary to send the 'Airavat', i.e. the elephant of Indra to pull out a lotus strand? Kindly remain here. I will go and defeat him. "Indrabhuti said, "Oh! Not only you, but any pupil of mine can defeat him but I cannot bear to hear another person being glorified as an omnicient one. Therefore, I myself will go. I cannot have peace of mind until I defeat him. A woman might have safeguarded her chastity for one hundred years but if she loses her chastity once, she is no more chaste. In the same manner, if there exists even one single disputant who is not conquered by me, it is a blow to my honour and prestige."

Indrabhuti got ready to meet the Lord. He marked a dozen 'Tilaks, auspicious marks on his body, head and forehead etc. He put on radiant silk garments and also wore a sacred thread made of pure gold. He set off followed by his five hundred pupils. Some carried a mendicant's bowl in their hands; some carried holy 'Durva' grass in their hands. Indrabhuti was bubbling with self-confidence. "Is there any branch of vidya (knowledge) which I have not mastered? I have studied and mastered grammar, literature, logic, the Vedas, astrology etc. In all these branches of knowledge I have worked indefatigably. The scholars of the territory of Lat Desh ran away defeated by me. I heaped disgrace on the Dravidian scholars. The scholars of Telang were utterly crushed like sesame by me. I simply crushed the scholars of Gurjara beyond recognition". What is all this? Was it a sort of self- assessment or a preparation to submit to the unexpected show of the omnicients genius? Indrabhuti went thinking thus and he reached the divine samavasaran and stood before the Lord.

Indrabhuti is shocked at the sight of the Lord:

When he looked up, what did he see? He saw unrivalled, unparalleled, extra-ordinary, peerless, matchless, inestimable, incomputable supreme Lord Mahavir, the last Tirthankar and the supreme spiritual head of the three worlds shining resplendent with his incomparable, unique and indescribable and unimaginable beauty and splendour. Indras were waving 'Chamars' (a sort of whisks). The heavenly nymphs kept watching him with unwinking eyes. Indrabhuti was astonished at the very sight of this Lord He thought, "Who is he?" He tried to recognise him. "Can he be Lord Vishnu? No, Lord Vishnu has a blue complexion but this one has a radiant and golden complexion. His body is shining like gold. Can he be Brahma? But Brahma is old while this one is young. Can he be Lord Shankar? But Shankar smears his body with holy ash; and has a cobra around his hand and neck. But this one does not have those things. Can he be the Meru mountain? No: The Meru mountain is hard whereas his body is tender and soft like butter-mass. He cannot be even the sun because the sun burns the eyes of those who see it whereas the sight of this one brings coolness to the eyes of the beholders. Perhaps this may be the moon. Of course, the light of the moon is pleasant and bright but he cannot be the moon. The moon has a black spot on it while he is utterly spotless. Then who can he be?" Indrabhuti tried his best to find out who the man was and for this purpose he reviewed mentally all the religions, philosophies and scriptures he had mastered. Then he at once found out that he must be the twenty-fourth Tirthankar glorified by the Jains, one who was free from all vices and defects and one who embodied infinite virtues. Of course, he did find out who he was; but he was confounded. "Oh! Have I to carry out a debate with him?"

Mithyatva or False Faith is a Common Thing:--

Indrabhuti of course recognised the Lord. So it was time for him to accept him as an authority. Then why delay? What was the cause for a delay in getting rid of false faith? By good luck, he met the Lord Tirthankar but he could not understand him fully until his mind acquired the proper mental attitude. If a man owing to any error of the previous birth is bound by the Mithyatva mohaniya karma, what would be his condition when that karma ripens and produces its effects? When does a man have to go far to gather this Mithyatva mohaniya karma? If one doubts the words of the omniscient one, if one disbelieves the unshakeable words of the Paramatma under the pretext of the change of place and time and scientific developments, the Mithyatva will at once cling to the soul. We should not lose faith in our dharma, and comdemn it, fascinated by the apparent attraction of Mithyatva, and its arguments. If we condemn or undermine the Sangha or sadhus or the fellow- members of our faith and if we condemn and criticise adversely austerities and the spirit of renunciation, we gather this karma.

Indrabhuti had been till then in the snares of Mithyatva. Therefore though he was in the presence of the supreme Lord possessing infinite virtues, he could not seek his shelter and accept his refuge. He entertained fears. He experienced repentance: "I think I have fallen into some snares. I have come to carry out a debate with this Supreme Lord who is seated on a golden throne studded with diamonds, and who is honoured and worshipped by countless heavenly beings. What would I lose if I can not defeat him? This is nothing but foolishness on my part. I am going to lose the previous place of my honour and prestige; just as a foolish person tries to destroy his palace for the sake of a nail." Think over this. Though Indrabhuti was haughty, he had the wisdom to recognise the abilities and merits of the opponent. Indrabhuti himself says, "He is the last Thirthankar, the one who is absolutely spotless. Oh! What a fool I am in thinking of defeating the incarnation of Lord Ishvar?" Indrabhuti had not yet attained the Jin-Shasan. He had not yet understood the Jain doctrines. He had not yet developed faith in the Jain Dharma, still he understood the circumstances properly and had the power of self criticism and realising his own foolishness, Why? He had the power of discrimination. Yet, it is wonderful that he did not seek the refuge of such a Lord. What kind of heart had he? He thought "What has happened? What can be done? Where shall I go? May god Shiva safeguard my fame and prestige". This is the effect of Mithyatva. Though he was in the presence of the supreme world-preceptor, the incarnation of God, yet, he could not seek his refuge, but thought of finding his refuge in Shiva! His prayer for refuge goes to Shiva.

Again he began building castles in the air like a foolish Shekhchilli. There is a proverb: 'God helps those who help themselves'. So, he thought 'If I can defeat him using my vast scriptural knowledge, I will become famous in the three worlds. Oh! and then what will be my status, prestige and my greatness? They are indescribable.' What kind of a whim is this?

Yet, this thinking is true. Indrabhuti was going to achieve such a marvellous victory over illusion and ignorance at the hands of the Lord and was going to attain prestige in the three worlds, but all that would happen only when once he was defeated at the hands of the Lord. Where does our victory lie? Does it lie in our defeat at the hands of the enlightened preceptor or does it lie in our defeating the preceptor? "I am not at all defeated. He has fooled me only in his own castle and in the presence of his own followers. Can any importance be attached to such a victory?" If he had thought like this, and feigned baselessly he could not have attained a real victory over his illusion. Therefore; specially in this modern age of decline (kaliyuga) we should refrain from revealing our external prudence in the presence of spiritual heads. We should admit our defects in the presence of elderly people and even if we do not have defects, we should say, "I have forgotten the right path. I have gone astray. So kindly pardon me. Oh! Lord". In this kind of humbleness lies the fruitfulness of this valuable human birth.

Meanwhile, the omniscient Shri Vardhaman Svami, said with a voice which was solemn like an ocean and sweet like nectar: "O Indrabhuti Gautam! You have come, I believe, without any trouble". The Lord possessing infinite knowledge knew what effect this first medicine, namely, these assuring words, would produce on the soul of Indrabhuti and what sort of second medicine would be necessary. Indrabhuti thought, "Ah! He even knows my name. Why not? In the three worlds, is there anyone who does not know my name and calls me by my name. If he mentions the doubt lying in my heart, I would deem him a true omniscient one." The supreme Lord Shraman Bhagavan Mahavir Parmatma possesses infinite knowledge. Nothing is unknown to him. Then what to talk of this doubt? So suddenly he said "Oh Indrabhuti Gautam! Why do you doubt the existence of the jivas in this world thinking 'Is there in this world any substance like jiva or not?' But, why don't you think and rightly understand the statements in the Vedas." The Lord recited the actual wording of the Vedic sentences.

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Ah! How sublime was the voice of the Lord when he recited the statements from the Vedas. His voice was like the voice produced by the churning of the ocean. It was like the voice of the mighty floods of the Ganga. It was like the first voice of the creator Brahma. What a charming, solemn, elevated and piercing voice was his! Indrabhuti felt:

'Oh! Have I come to some other world? Or what is this? How splendid this samavasaran is! How have all these heavenly beings become the servants of the Lord? How his radiant form is beyond all comparison. How superhuman, sublime and incomparable his voice is! Only on hearing this voice the three kinds of afflictions disappear and we feel that all sorrows subside. We wish that we could go on listening to this voice. The doctrines expounded by this voice must be extraordinary. It is true that the world preceptor's infinite knowledge, incomparable form, sublime voice, his unique dignity and his excellent expositions of invaluable doctrines are beyond description. Therefore, when a worldly soul hears that voice how can he retain its ego? The poet says: "I have pondered over many subjects in my life but all in vain . Now meditate solely upon the word Arihant."

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(Meditate upon the holy Arihant who possesses 34 transcendent qualities and who is the master of 35 merits of speech. "Even after attaining the Jineshvar Dev (Tirthankar) if we do not appreciate heartily his doctrines and if we do not have a deep yearning for the knowledge of true doctrines all our endeavours are futile".)

gada some words Indian in next paragraph

If even on seeing Jineshvar Dev one does not experience a feeling of approval and veneration and an intense desire to know the metaphysical truth, then all is futile. Indrabhuti did have this, therefore, the Lord tries to explain the Vedic statement thus. "You have understood the meaning of the Vedic statement thus: indian writing ~ = consciousness; ~ indian writing from among these five basic elements; ~ emerged, disintegration of the elements, consciousness also is destroyed; lindian writing, this does not go elsewhere, it is destroyed. In the same Veda you get this contradicting statement indian writing ; Those who desire attainment to heaven must perform the sacrifice called Agnihotra From this statement, you get the doubt: "If consciousness does not go anywhere, what is that entity which goes to heaven after performing Agnihotra? If nothing remains of this life, what can go to the other world? Is there any entity called jiva (soul)?"

The Excellent way of explaining the truth

What an excellent method this is of the supremely compassionate Lord to explain the truth even to opponents in a convincing manner! First of all, he discloses the thoughts and doubts concealed in the heart of the opponent. In other words, he states them in clear terms. Even for this, he employs very affectionate words. This is an extraordinary method because it convinces even opponents of the truth. On account of this, the opponent becomes a friend and is interested with and by this method, his prejudices disappear and he begins to think of the right arguments. Otherwise, as long as he has his prejudices, he refuses to be carried away by the force of logical arguments.

In the great grantha entitled Sri Visheshavashyak Bhashya, Jinabhadragani Kshamashraman, the revered ocean of scriptural knowledge, describes fully and in detail Ganadharavad. The great grantha contains a clear account of the way in which Shri Mahavir Bhagavan by means of logical arguments cleared the doubts of eleven Ganadharas relating to such entities as jivas and Karmas etc.

The arguments in support of the theory "jiva does not exist" and the arguments in support of the theory "jiva exists are briefly propounded here:

The proof for the non-existence of soul. Soul cannot be accepted without evidence:

Here the Lord states the arguments of those who do not believe in the existence of soul as an independent entity. We do not have the necessary evidence to prove that soul is different from 'Panch Bhutas' i.e. the five basic elements like earth, water etc., and without evidence or proof we cannot believe in anything. Big debaters, controversies confront one another with logical arguments. If the evidence presented by anyone is proved to be unsound then the conclusion based upon that evidence and the subject of that evidence cannot be considered sound. There are many kinds of Pramanas (evidences) such as Pratyaksha (direct evidence through the senses), Anumana (Inference), Upamana (comparison), Arthapatti (presumption), Sambhava (inclusion), Agama (Scriptural testimony) etc. If we can prove that jiva (soul) is different from the five elements on the basis of any one of these evidences, then we can conclude logically that "jiva exists", but we cannot find such evidence:

The existence of atma (soul) cannot be proved by menas of Pratyaksha pramana. To have perceptible evidence, we should be able to perceive it at least by one of our five senses, but none of our five senses can perceive the existence of soul. A soul is not visible like a pot. It cannot be heard with the ear like a sound. It cannot be tasted with the tongue. Thus, the existence of soul cannot be seen, smelt, tasted, heard or touched.

Question: If a jiva cannot be perceived by our senses, how can we believe in its existence? Though a Paramanu (atom) cannot be perceived with the senses, we can see its effect in the form of the pot. Therefore, we cannot negate its existence, whereas a soul cannot be perceived with the senses and the effect of the soul also cannot be seen in any form. When that is so, how can we believe in its existence?

Answer In this world, though the soul may not be outwardly perceptible in the form of a substance, we can recognise its existence by means of Anumana (inference ). For instance, the fire burning inside a cottage may not be visible outwardly yet on the basis of the smoke emerging from its roof, we can infer the existence of fire in it. In this manner, we can infer the existence of soul on the basis of such evidence as the scriptures etc. You set forth a proof on the basis of inference, but, we cannot realise the existence of soul even on the basis of Anumana (inference). Anumana is of three kinds.

1. Karana-Karya Anumana (Inference of effect from the cause): The feet of ants, the play of 'the ruddy goose in the dust storm etc, seen with dark dense clouds, are indicative of the imminence of rain. On the basis of these things, the farmer infers that rain (the effect) will fall; in the same manner, when we see rice mixed in water being boiled on a stove, we infer that food (of cooked rice) will be ready. When we see on a battlefield two hostile armies, we infer the possibility of a war and when we see the sun declining to the west, we infer that sun-set will take place soon.

2. Karya-Karana-Anumana (infering the cause from the effect): For example smoke emerging from fire is the effect of fire. It is the effect from which we infer the cause which is the fire. The cause is the fire and the effect is the smoke. Seeing the smoke. that is, the effect, we infer the cause, that is, the fire. Similarly, when we see a child (the effect) we infer the cause, namely, the father.

3. 'Samanyato-drishta Anumana': The first two kinds of inferences are based on a relation of succession. Now, samanyato-drishta (commonly seen together) is based on a relation of two things simultaneously present (coexistence). Each is connected with the other. In such a case, we infer the presence of one entity, on seeing a second entity. For instance, taste and smell or colour co-exist. In the case of a mango put into dry grass to be ripened, we infer in darkness also, by the sweet taste of it, that the mango has become ripe. In the same manner, the noise of the barking of dogs etc. makes us infer from a distance the existence of a village.

All these are inferences drawn on the basis of the connection between the Linga (sign) and the Lingi (the signified ) or the Hetu (reason) and Sadhya, (major term). What we infer from smoke is called the Hetu and the thing inferred e.g. fire is called the sadhya. Whenever there is the Hetu, there must exist the Sadhya. The Hetu is said to be dependent; and the Sadhya is said to be that on which it depends. Between the two (Hetu and Sadhya) there is Vyapti (the relation) of invariable concomitance. In the case of the fire and the smoke in the cottage, there should be a determined relationship (Vyapti) between the Hetu and the Sadhya i.e. the smoke and the fire. The dependence (relation) of the two should have been known formerly. We have seen this Vyapti or relationship in the kitchen. Therefore, when we see smoke emerging from a cottage we infer the existence of fire there.

Now, what is such a thing which is coexistent with a soul, on the basis of which we can infer its existence? As far as the Atma (soul) is concerned we do not have any such thing . It means, no one of these inferential basis (succession or coexistence) is seen because soul has no cause; no effect and no co-existential entity on the basis of which we can make inferences.

The existence of soul cannot be proved or inferred on the basis of Upamana (comparison) and Arthapatti (presumption from an apparent inexplicability).

Upamana implies knowing the unknown through the known which is similar to it. After having known a certain entity on the basis of Upamana, if we happen to see it we can easily recognise it. But we do not have any known things which can be compared to soul. Therefore, the evidence called Upamana is not available to prove the existence of soul.

Arthapatti: If a certain entity seen and heard cannot occur without a certain other entity unseen and unheard, then the existence of the unseen and the unheard is established from the inexplicability of the seen and the heard. For instance, when we see a well-fed and well-grown person, and hear if somebody says that he does not at all eat food during day- time, it is clear that he must be eating food at night. But relating to the soul we do not find any such object which can be seen and heard but which, without the existence of soul, cannot be explained and on the basis of which we can presume the existence of soul.

Sambhava Pramana (Inclusion): Even on the basis of sambhava, the existence of the soul cannot be proved. Sambhava Pramana means inferring the existence of one thing contained within another thing. For instance, if we know that a person has one lakh rupees, then we can say for certain, that he has one thousand rupees. We say that an old man has seen youth because youth is a part of the long human life. But there is no such entity as comprises the soul, hence there is no such entity by looking at which we can assert that soul exists because that entity exists. We do not find such an entity.

Aitihiya Pramana (Historical proof): The historical evidence consists of such things as legends according to which for generations people believe, for example, that a ghost dwells in a certain ruined house. This kind of belief runs through generation on the basis of historical truth, but regarding the existence of soul no such legends or sayings are current, because no such legend about the dwelling of the soul in a body is current uptil now through generations.

Question: Among those who believe in the existence of soul there is a traditional belief that the soul dwells in the body, but is different from it. Why so?

Answer: This traditional belief cannot be treated as Pramana (Authority) since it is not prevalent among all people. Moreover, many legends and sayings which are current in a certain section of people are not an evidence: and can also be false and unauthentic. Therefore, on the basis of historical evidence, Aitihiya Pramana, the existence of soul cannot be indisputably established.

The remaining ones are:

Agama Pramana and Shabda Pramana (The evidence of scriptural words):

If the existence of a thing cannot be proved on the basis of any one of the 'Pramanas' considered above, then we can establish the existence of even a thing on the basis of 'Agama Pramana'-'Shabda Pramana'. 'Agama means the words of an 'Aapta'--person i.e. a trustworthy and truthful man. Just as a son can know on the basis of the words of his father that a certain person is his grand-father, so we can know from the science of astrology the time of such things as the lunar eclipse, the rising of the moon and the solar eclipse etc., Regarding these timings the fore-going evidences like Pratyaksha (direct perception), Anumana (inference) etc., do not help us. Now, regarding soul, of course, we have enough testimony in the 'Shastras', i.e. Scriptures but the Shastras contain many mutually contradictory statements regarding soul. For instance, some say that soul is only one while others say that souls are infinite in number, whereas some believe that soul is momentary (i.e. transient) and perishing within a moment while others assert that it is eternal and imperishable. When such is the case which shastra should be trusted as the authority? And what sort of a soul can be proved?

So far we have tried to present the arguments in support of the theory that soul does not exist. Now, we shall consider the arguments in support of the theory that the soul exists as an independent entity.

The evidence in support of the view that the soul exists.

The pratyaksha pramana (perceptible proof) in support of the theory that the soul exists.

1. The Omniscient ones directly perceive the soul. Just as a particular man's inner doubts and reflections are directly perceived and visualized by him, who has such doubts, in the same manner, the soul is directly perceived, observed and visualized by those omniscients, which must be accepted and must be believed in.

2. Even by our direct perception the soul is really proved. The doubts, decisions, arguments, joys and sorrows which are directly perceived by us, are direct experiences of the soul itself since soul itself is these qualities incarnate, i.e. these qualities are not different from soul. Whereas the body is not these qualities incarnate.

3. "I am doing; I did; I will do; I am speaking; I spoke; I will speak" etc. In these experiences of the three phases of time, the experience of 'I' is the direct unobstructed self experienced by perception of the very soul, because in the present, the past, and the future the soul remains as it is, while the body goes on changing. It is not said; 'If I eat more I might be spoiled', but is said, 'If I eat more, my body might be spoiled'. Such is our experience. In this, 'I' means the soul and so its existence is established.

4. Who is the one that experiences a dream? It is the soul. In dense darkness, where you cannot see your body there the experience occurs as "I am" This unobstructed direct experience is that of the soul only, and not of the body.

5. When the body sometimes suddenly changes its colour or grows weak to a great extent, the doubt arises, 'Is this my body?' At any time, we do not get a doubt regarding 'I' even in that darkness. Such a doubt regarding 'I' never arises, "Am I existing or not"? The 'I' is always determined. This determination regarding 'I' is really the determination of the soul.

6. On the basis of the direct perception of a quality, the possesser of the quality also is styled as "Directly perceived". For instance, if the colour of a pot is seen through a hole of a curtain behind which the pot is placed, it is asserted that the pot is directly seen. In this manner by the direct perception of the soul as memory, curiosity understanding, desire, happiness etc., it is believed that the soul also is perceived directly, because the quality is not different from the possessor of the quality, rather the possessor of the quality is himself qualities incarnate.

Question: Are not the qualities like memory etc. the qualities of the body? What need is there to treat them as the qualities of the soul?

Answer The body is gross an object of visual perception, inert. Its qualities are whiteness, blackness, weakness, fatness etc. but not memory etc. which are formless, colourless and shapeless as well as of the nature of consciousness. The sweetness of the water with which sugar has been mixed, lies not in the water but in the sugar i.e., sweetness does not belong to water but to sugar. In the same manner, knowledge, happiness etc. that are experienced in the body, do not belong to the body, but belong only to the soul. The relation of quality and possessor of quality can occur only between things of homogeneous nature. For instance, the quality of ash is not greasiness but dryness. In the same manner, the qualities like memory belong to the soul.

In this manner, the soul is partially perceptible. But the soul in its totality is perceived only by an omniscient person. He only can see it and if one likes to become omniscient, he must practise severe spiritual austerities. The ghee lying concealed in milk also can be extracted only by processes like converting milk into curds, churning it, by separating the butter from it and by heating the butter. Similarly for the direct perception of the soul we have to undergo spiritual austerities. In this manner the existence of the soul is proved by:

1. The Sarvajna's Kevalajnan-- Omniscient's direct perception:

2. self-perception of doubts etc.:

3. the experience of one and the same entity "I" in the three phases of time;

4. the experience of "1" in the dream state.

5. the absence of doubt regarding the soul as "I" and

6. direct perception of the qualities of the soul.

The Anumana Pramana (inferential proof of the existence of the soul:

Question: Doubt, deliberation, judgement etc. are inner experiences and they are the direct evidences of the existence of soul. If so, where is the need for using Anumana or inference?

Answer: The nihilists negate all realities and assert that all our doubts, judgements etc. are illusory, unreal false and non-existent. For refuting them, it is necessary to use Anumana (inference) Pramana to prove the existence of the soul. The inferences are:

1. In order to establish the truth that in one's body a different entity like the soul is residing, we have to use Anumana. Just as in our body, so in another's body also when we observe the activity or withdrawal from activity, we infer that there dwells in the body soul which causes bodily activity or withdrawal therefrom. Just as a cart moves because of the horse, so the body also acts, moves, speaks, etc. because of the soul in it. Moreover the body's activities can be withdrawn only owing to soul leaving the body after death, which means that when soul leaves the body, the body like a cart without a horse cannot have activity aimed at the attainments of a desired object nor withdrawal of activity at all from an undesired object.

Question: Just as a living snake can of its own accord contract itself, in the same manner, can the body of its own accord not be active or cease to be active ? Where is the need of soul in this matter?

Answer: Even a snake can contract when it is alive, not when it is dead. Even this example illustrates the truth that in it resides some entity which produces these effects. Whenever we like, we cast our eyes at something; we can stop seeing; we can reason and can stop reasoning, we can move our hands and legs; we can stop moving them. How can these capacities be styled as possessed by the body which is inanimate? It is the soul that causes activity or refrainment from activity.

Two sorts of vyapti

It has already been said that if we like to use inference, we should know previously the relationship of dependence between 'sadhya' and 'hetu' (major term and reason). Now it is necessary to state clearly that there are two kinds of Vyapti-Sambandhas:

1. the relationship of agreement in presence viz. Anvaya--vyapti (relationship through co-existence of two,

2. vyatireka vyapti (the relationship of agreement of the two in absence ).

Anvayavyapti (Agreement in presence): This is the statement of the presence of the hetu and sadhya Where there is the hetu (reason) there is the sadhya (major); as in the case of smoke and fire.

Vyatireka--Vyapti:- (Agreement in absence): This is said to be present in a situation where the relationship is opposite to Anvaya e.g. where there is no sadhya there is no hetu as where there is no fire as in a lake, there can be no smoke. Another example, if other philosophers do not believe in the omniscient Jinendradeva as the reverend Supreme Lord, then there is no Jainatva (Jainhood) in them.

1. Where there is no Anvyavyapti but where there is only Vyatireka-Vyapti we cannot make any inference, just as when we see a man doing strange abnormal actions, we infer that he is possessed by a ghost. But here when we have not seen a ghost, how can we find Anvayavyapti e.g "Wherever there are abnormal actions, there is ghost's possession." We have not seen such a thing previously because a ghost is not a thing that can be seen. Yet where there is no possession by a ghost there is no abnormal action. This kind of Vyatirekavyapti is found, and if this is found, we infer possession by ghost. Absolutely in the same manner, activity and refrainment from activity are seen in a living body and not in a dead body; so, as in the case of possession by ghosts, we can make an inference about possession of the body by the soul. We can say: "Wherever there is no soul's contact, there are no independent activities".

2. A machine manifests a regular and particular kind of working, but the body as opposed to the machine manifests many strange activities. Therefore, we have to infer the existence of some entity dwelling inside the body as in the case of a body possessed by a ghost.

3. The body is like a beautiful mansion supported by two pillars; therefore there must be somebody as its creator and a governor of its actions just as in the case of a house or a cottage in a forest. The body is a machine-like system. All the activities in the body are mechanical. In the head there is the brain which functions like a highly sophisticated computer or a telegraphic office. It is the centre of such activities as receiving messages, communicating them, formation of concepts by associating meanings to perceptions by means of sensitive nerves and under that office there are for the enjoyment of soul the sense-organs, the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue and the skin which are media through which the sovereign soul is overwhelmed with joy on seeing the glories and gracefulness of creation. They are like five windows through which the soul perceives the world around by the intervening medium of the senses. The soul as the proprietor-sovereign, by means of these five senses, enjoys such things as dreams, music, gardens, flowers, sweets and soft objects, that are presented to him. In the same manner, musical instruments are fitted in the throat of this mansion of the human body, the heart contains power, below it there is a store and a kitchen and still below urinal and latrine. Who has built this amazing factory? Who governs, controls and organises all these things? The answer has to be that it is the Soul. If we say that God is the creator of those things, he is proved to be an engineer with imperfect knowledge and abilities because he has created a body which is greedy of food and drinks and which has to move about carrying the burden of such foul things as urine and faeces. Why did God create such an imperfect body? See the pitiable condition of man. He can look ahead but cannot see what is lying and happening behind! Why did He create such an imperfect eye? In this world, some are beautiful; some are ugly: some are healthy and some are unhealthy; some possess eye-sight and some are blind. Why did He create such differences? If you say that all these things occur according to their karmas (luck) here the question arises "Whose Karmas are they?" If you say that they are the soul's karmas then the existence of the soul (jiva) is proved.

4. The body, the senses and the limbs are the objects of enjoyment. If so, who is the one who is the enjoyer? Just as there is somebody who takes delight in wearing fine dress, there is an entity which takes delight in possessing a beautiful body. Who is this entity enjoying pleasures? The two legs and two hands are like servants. Who makes use of them? The answer is that it is the soul or the sovereign Atmavam that extracts work from them. The jiva is like a sovereign king ruling over the body and residing in it. As long as the king lives in the palace, the palace is kept clean and all its parts also have a new look but if the king leaves the palace, it becomes desolate and ruined because without the householder the house is void and vacuum. If the gardener in the form of 'soul' (jiva) is not there, the body withers away like an uncared for garden. Who can take care of the body and can enjoy it if there is no soul?

5. The five senses are merely instruments. If that is so, who is the controller of the senses, whose purposes do they serve? Naturally, it is the soul that gets them to do work. Pincers and forceps cannot work by themselves. Someone must be there who uses them and gets work done by them.

6. If the body, the senses and the limbs carry out their work in obedience to the orders of some independent governing entity, then who is that independent governing entity? The answer is clear. It is the soul. It itself moves the pupils of the eyes here and there to see as desired, and makes the hands and legs move according to its own desire. It can also, as desired, keep them still. The body cannot be considered the owner controlling these various activities, because it is a form of a combination of all those various senses and organs. The body is not an independent entity. We cannot consider even the mind as the ordering entity because even that is dependent. It does not like to drink bitter medicine; yet it has to drink such medicine. Who makes it drink such medicine? When a person is sick, the mind hankers after eating unwholesome food; still who restricts this mind and stops it from eating what it likes to eat? It is the soul that does this. The soul is an independent proprietor. The mind is the manager. The mind sends waves to the various senses according to the inner tastes, likes and dislikes of the lord and owner dwelling in the body; and impels the various senses and organs to engage themselves in violent or non-violent activities etc. Those who utilise rightly this very valuable independence in giving the mind a good direction, in impelling the senses and organs to be of the pure soul, in the right way, and who engage themselves in auspicious activities, can cross the ocean of samsar.

7. Who controls and regulates the various activities of the body, limbs and senses? Who checks the sneeze? Who makes the eyes close to stop seeing something undesirable? Who makes the feet stop in the middle, while walking? Who impels the organ, on seeing the danger, at once, to stop passing urine? In the same manner, who is the one that saves us from speaking reproaching words intended to be spoken due to anger. Who is the independent controller of such actions an-l activities? Who organizes all these activities? Naturally, we must admit that the soul does all these things.

8. When a quarrel arises among the senses, who functions as the judge to settle the dispute? As for example, the eyes inform us that a certain article is made of silver, while the touch reveals that it is tin-coated. The entity that thinks about it and gives an undoubted judgement is the soul; not the hand or the mind; because they are merely instruments. When the eyes see a green mango they inform us that it is sour. But when soul makes the tongue taste it, and it gives a sweet taste it disproves the idea given by the eyes. Without the soul as the interpretor and judge, how can the dispute between the tongue and the eyes be compromised, since their objects are utterly different and individually independent and since their perceptions are contradictory? Who says, "By sight I find that the mango is sour and unripe; and by taste, I find that it is ripe and sweet?" Here we have to admit that the sayer 'I' is the soul.

9. This body like a house or money is an object of attachment. If so, who develops attachment for the body? The house, money, iron-safe, furniture and other such objects cannot exercise any attachment by themselves because they are inanimate. The one who develops attachment for all these is an independent, individual, animate entity. "My body is tired. Now it cannot walk around as ordered by you". Who says this? The body itself cannot say this. The one who has such attachment for the body is the soul. Now you see that attachment arises from practice, hence how can a new-born child have attachment for his own body? Since it is new born, it has no practice. Therefore, we have to believe that becaue it has attachment even from birth, it has inherited impressions of attachments from its previous births. Thus, the independent existence of soul as the link between the two births is proved.

10. Who experiences the joys and sorrows of the mind? A man eating delicious food is in a happy mood; but suddenly, if he receives a telegram which says that he has incurred a loss of thousands of rupees, he becomes sad on hearing this news. Who experiences mental agony? The joy of having eaten delicious food exists in the body; and no harm has been done otherwise; so, we have to believe that the soul experiences that agony. In the same manner, when we get a festering finger cut off, the body seems to have been freed from pain because it is saved from further festering and pain. But who worries throughout life by thinking "Alas! I have lost my finger?" It is the soul which experiences this life-long sorrow.

11. The body of a child acquires its shape from its parents; still, at times the child is seen possessing different qualities and nature which are dissimilar to those of its parents. Why so? By nature, the mother may be irritable, while the child may be calm, cool and peaceful. Why So? It has to be admitted here that in the two bodies, there are two independent and different souls which have brought into this world, the different impressions of their experiences of their past (janmas) births. Therefore, the two persons differ from each other in nature and possess different qualities. The impressions or impact of both are different.

12. The potter knows that form soft clay, an excellent pot can be made, so he works on the soft clay to get desired pot. This signifies that for the activity or the withdrawal of an activity, we should have prior knowledge of the means of the desired ones and the hated ones. Then only can we move toward the means of the liked ones and withdraw from the means of the hated ones. A new born child has to suck its mother's breast for the satisfaction of its hunger. From where did the child get the knowledge that the sucking of the mother's breast is the means to satisfy its hunger. You may say that the mother makes him aware of it but that is not the case. She can place the tip of her breast in the mouth of the child. That is all. But who taught the child the process of sucking? The mouth of a child is not like a blotting-paper which can naturally suck the milk of its mother; nor is it a magnet which naturally attracts and absorbs milk. If this is so, why does the child give up sucking of its own accord, after it is satisfied? Consequently, we have to admit that the child engages itself in sucking because of the knowledge of the means and its desire. This knowledge that sucking breast-milk satisfies its desire is derived from the impact of the experience of its previous birth. We have to believe that the child's soul had experiences in its previous birth and those experiences created the impressions, otherwise who is the container (supporter) of the Samskar (past impressions)? The body of a newly born child is inert. So, it cannot be the container. What relation does it have with impressions of the previous body, since it did not exist in the previous birth? How can this inanimate body know what is liked and what is hated?

Knowledge is not a quality of the body. If the knowledge is not a quality of the body, then is it worthwhile that it should eat Kheer, a sweet milk-pudding first; and take curry afterwards and gather both in the stomach? The body has no consciousness. Are there separate compartments in the stomach? No, but there the soul is incapable of keeping them separate; therefore, it has to bear with all this. It is capable of placing them separately in the mouth and of chewing them separately. All this is the work not of the body, but of the conscious soul; and therefore when soul gives up the body, the activity of eating ceases, even if the body exists. This proves that the activity is of soul; not of the body.

13. In the same manner, in the twins born to the same parents, we find differences in respect of nature, fondness, habits, tastes, desires, attachments, etc. Why so? The parents are the same. In the same manner, one of the twins learns with a little teaching, while the other does not. Why so? One experiences great delight in carrying out religious and spiritual activities like worshipping God etc. while the other has less interest in them. Both grow up in the same environment but why this difference? It must be admitted here that those sufficiencies and deficiencies. and inabilities arise on account of the varied impressions of previous births. This implies the existence of the soul.

  1. In the lives of persons, we see the psychophysical activities of the mind, voice and the body; the desire for carrying out the four endeavours (purusharthas, (Prana) breathing, or consciousness of (jnana-Darshan) knowledge and precept, the sentiments of anger, pride, deception, avarice, passions and the various leshyas (mental states) like the Krishna (Black) Leshya etc. the instincts, (Samjnas) relating to food, sensual pleasures, possessions and fear, the inauspicious tendencies like attachment, hatred, joy, lamentation, sorrow and agitation, perturbation etc. the inauscipious tendencies like pardon, forbearance, tolerance, politeness, and non-violence, truth and self-discipline etc. Who is the possessor of all these qualities? The inanimate body cannot be the possessor of these qualities because though the body remains in the same condition, these tendencies keep on changing. Sometimes, man exercises direct perception, sometimes through inference; sometimes
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  3. world-creatorship in the Vitrag god which creatorship lies in causes like Karmas, etc.

Question: Well, if it is said that there is no god, then this negation itself proves the existence of God. Doesn't it?

Answer: Let it be so. By the name of Ishwar, the wealthy people of that name "Ishwar", or those who possess royal prosperity and splendour, and even the Paramatma who possesses supreme prosperity are proved to exist.

20. The word that is pure (not a compound word) and etymologically derive-i denotes a reality. For instance, the word, "Ashwa", which means a horse is derived from the world 'Ashu', which means that which runs swiftly. In the same manner, the word Jiva', denotes an entity that lives. One who is living-is a Jiva. The Atma is that which moves through different modifications.

21. The entity which has other words and modifications is real and is independent by existence. The body is called by various names such as Sharir, Kaya, Deha, Kalevar. These various names of the body denote the existence of the body. Similarly, the words Jiva (the living being), Chetana (consciousness), atma (the soul), Jnanawan (the enlightened one) is the other independent word denoting the Jiva. Therefore they prove the existence of the soul or Jivaraja. Imaginary words do not indicate any existing reality; e.g. a peasant's Ta Ra Ra Ra faltering sounds do not: have any similar other- word. Such imaginary words do not denote any substantial and real object.

22. The thing finally liked. It often happens in life that we discard a thing which we like less to secure a thing which we like more. People discard their rest to carry out business, because they like business more than rest, but people discard also a harmful business if they can get more money by some other more beneficial source; because they love money. But a man possessing wealth spends it to secure medical aid for his sick son because he loves his son more than money. Since he loves his wife more than his son, if some grief is caused to his wife by his son or his daughter-in-law, he will advise his son and daughter-in-law to live separately. If a fire breaks out in his house, and if at that time, he is on the ground floor and if his wife is upstairs, and if there is fear of her being burnt to ashes within a second, will the husband go upstairs to save his wife's life? No, he will simply jump out of his house because, although he loves his wife, he loves his own body more than his wife. There is a further step. If the daughter-in-law is tired of the tortures of her mother-in-law and finds the heartlessness of her mother-in-law, she burns her body and commits suicide. She sacrifices even her body. For whose sake? What is more loveable than the body? The answer is that it is the soul. The daughter-in-law thinks, "I can't bear this agony. Let me die (viz. sacrifice) my body in fire and let me by death go to the other world, so that I may not have to bear tortures". Who is this 'I' here? It is the soul. It is the soul which sacrifices the body to get rid of the endless agony and anguish.

23. The amity, regard and goodness shown by others are liked whereas quarrels, grief, agitation, the superiority complex of others are not liked. By whom? By the soul, not by the body. Here one that is actually pleased or displeased by these things, is not the body, but the soul, because the body does not gain or lose weight or beauty by seeing other's amity or agitation. It is the soul that experiences either elation or depression, either loss or gain, in terms of emotion. If somebody is laughing or smiling, seeing that physical gesture, we say, that this is a mere show. In fact, he is inwardly unhappy. How can we use the word inwardly, if there is only the body and no substance like soul? What do we mean by saying 'inwardly?' It means that the soul of that person is inwardly really unhappy, though outwardly he seems to be cheerful.

24. At times we come across some persons who remember a previous birth. Such things do happen. Such a person remembers that in his previous birth, he lived at a certain shop, house and children etc. These experiences are authenticated by the relatives. These things may be still existent. He may say "I was doing business here: I was living here etc". Who is this 'I' and 'my' and 'me' etc. You may say that the 'I refers to that man's soul who has come here from that previous life and that soul remembers its past experiences. The body of the present life which is quite new has no contact with the body of the previous birth. The previous body is totally destroyed and the previous life is completely ended. Then who is here that remembers the past events. It is soul that remembers, the soul being eternal and imperishable was living in the past life.


A brief classifcation of the inferences relating to the soul:

1. Activity and refraining from activity.

2. Entrance of a ghost: the possession of a body by a ghost.

3. The creator of the mansion in the form of human body.

4. The one who organises and controls the bodily functions and enjoys the experiences relating to the body.

5. The handling of the senses as instruments.

6. The one who directs the limbs, senses, tongue, utterances and the mind in proceeding or retreating.

7. The one who controls the movements of limbs.

8. The arbitrator of the dissensions (disputes) among the senses.

9. One who experiences that the body is "Mine" and functions likewise.

10. The qualities of children differing from those of their parents.

11. The one who knows and experiences the joys and sorrows.

12. The knowledge of liked and disliked things.

13. The difference between twin children regarding their taste, likes and dislikes.

14. Yoga (Activities of mind, body and voice); Upayoga (concentration of mind, consciousness of the soul); The psycho-physical activities and propriety, Bhava (mood): mental attitudes, tendencies and instincts like `leshyas', (mental state) and samajnas (instincts).

15. The supporting basis of the qualities like knowledge.

16. Doubt. If the soul is doubted, it is real.

17. Illusion (wrong knowledge).

18. The opposite entity.

19. Negation. What is negated here, lies surely elsewhere.

20. The basically and etymologically derived un-combined world `jiva.

21. The alternative words, the other words.

22. The thing that is loved finally, that is most beloved.

23. Loved and hated.

24. The recollection (remembrance) of previous life (birth). What does soul mean? We must not forget that after we realize the existence of the soul, we must treat soul as more important and more lovable than our body and the perceptible world. We should be very willingly and strongly determined in our mind that:

(a) `I' means the eternal and the never-perishing soul:

(b) `I' means the soul dependent on the karmas bound in the previous births.

(c) `I' means the soul that is often untiringly committing on inauspicious activities of the mind, voice and body; and thereby gathering and heaping newer and newer burdens of karmas upon itself;

(d)`I' means `my' soul that is afflicted with and distressed by the disease on account of the very body which is created, protected and nourished by the self.

(e)`I' means `my' soul that will be dismissed at an unknown time on an untimely occasion:

(f) Soul that is wandering through the varied yonis (that is the place of being born in the samsar).