Wednesday, September 11, 2013

karma, god, karma-bandha

karma: skt "deed." 1- a mental or physical action, 2- the consequence of a mental or physical action, 3- the sum of all consequences of the actions of an individual in this or a previous life, 4- the chain of cause and effect in the realm of morality. in buddhism, is known as pali kamma. the deed falls upon the one responsible. the deed leaves a physical/volitional trace in the mind of the doer, and informs his/her future actions (positively or negatively). what matters here is the intention of the action. generally deeds that contain "himsa" are bound to a negative karmic effect.

GOD/karma: in jainism, karma operates as a self-sustaining mechanism, a sort of physical universal law. there's no need of external causation to keep it going (thus the absence of an exogenous GOD in jainism).

jain theology advocates the idea that a soul's karma changes even with the thoughts, and not just the actions. thinking evil endures a karma-bandha, i.e., increment in "bad" karma ("bad" here is a debit, seen from the universal law... which? the regulating principle of ahimsa = no-harming).

this is why the ratnatraya (right c, right f, right k)  gives a very strong emphasis to samyak dhyan (rationality in thoughts) and samyak darshan (rationality in perception) and not just samyak charitra (rationality in conduct).

in jain theology, a soul is released of worldly affairs as soon as it is able to emancipate from the karm-bandha. the idea being that there's an "ascetism" of the mind (not just the body) it consists in fighting mind-violence. letting the mind inhabit ahimsa. fighting himsa in the mind is of great importance.

a question was asked in class related to free will, is moksha possible as a result of free will? YES.

the karmic theory in jainism operates endogenously. even tirthankaras (such as mahavira) are not attributed "godhood". tirthankaras themselves have to go through the stages of emancipation, for attaining that state. jainism treats all souls equally. all souls have the same potential of attaining nirvana. only those who make effort, really attain it (of course, here comes the accumulated karma, i.e., karma-bandha (or papa)  liabilities that have to be paid back. no more credit once one moves on! but nonetheless, each soul is capable on its own to do attain perfection by gradually reducing its karma.