Sunday, May 29, 2011


There are eight main types of Karma which are categorized into the ‘Destructive’ and ‘Non-Destructive’; each divided into four types. The destructive karmas (ghātiyā karmas) directly affect the soul powers by impeding its perception, knowledge and energy, and also bring about delusion. These harming karmas are: Darshnavarniya (perception obscuring karma), Gyanavarniya (knowledge obscuring karma), Antarāya (obstacles creating karma) and Mohanīya (deluding karma). The non-destructive category (aghātiyā karmas) is responsible for the re-born soul's physical and mental circumstances, longevity, spiritual potential and experience of pleasant and unpleasant sensations. These non-destructive karmas are: Nama (body determining karma), Ayu (life span determining karma), Gotra (status determining karma) and Vedanīya (feeling producing karma) respectively. Different types of karmas thus affect the soul in different ways as per their nature. Each of these types has various sub-types.
Tattvārthasūtra generally speaks of 148 sub-types of karmas in all. These are: 5 of Gyanavarniya, 9 of Darshnavarniya, 2 of Vedanīya, 28 of Mohanīya 4 of Ayu, 93 of Nāma, 2 of Gotra, and 5 of Antarāya.


Destructive Karmas directly affect the attributes of the soul. These are…

1.        Knowledge Obscuring Karma (Gyanavarniya Karma) - These Karmas obscures the knowledge attribute of the soul.
2.        Perception Obscuring Karma (Darshnavarniya Karma) - These karmas diminish the powers of Perception of a soul.
3.        Deluding Karma (Mohanīya Karma) - These karmas are an instrumental cause of destruction the soul's right belief and right conduct. Of all karmas, deluding karma is the most difficult to overcome. Once this is eradicated, liberation is ensured within a few lifetimes.
4.        Obstructing Karma (Antarāya Karma) - The fruition of these karmas creates obstructions to giving donations, obtaining gains, and enjoying things.

When Destructive Karmas are totally destroyed, the soul attains Omniscience (Keval Gyaan). Thus, in the same lifetime the soul attains liberation as soon the aghātiyā karmas are exhausted in the due course.

1. KNOWLEDGE OBSCURING KARMA (GYANAVARNIYA KARMA): The knowledge-obscuring karma are of five types:

1.        Empirical-cognition knowledge obscuring (Mati Gyanavarniya Karma) - which causes the obscuration of the knowledge, transmitted through the senses.
2.        Articulate knowledge - scripture knowledge obscuring (Sruta Gyanavarniya Karma) - which produces the obscuration of knowledge acquired by interpreting signs (i.e. words, writings, gestures).
3.        Clairvoyance knowledge obscuring (Avadhi Gyanavarniya Karma) - which hinders transcendental knowledge of material things.
4.        Telepathy knowledge obscuring (Manahaparyaya Gyanavarniya Karma) - which hinders transcendental knowledge of the thoughts of others.
5.        Omniscient knowledge obscuring (Keval Gyanavarniya Karma) - which obscures the omniscience inherent in the Jiva (Soul) by natural disposition.

Of these, the last mentioned karma hinders Omniscience altogether; the four others do not result in complete destruction of the corresponding faculties of knowledge, but often produce only greater or less disturbances.

2. PERCEPTION OBSCURING KARMA (DARSHNAVARNIYA KARMA): The perception-obscuring karma are of four types:

Sight perception obscuring Karma (Chakshu Darshnavarniya Karma) - which produces the obscuration of the Darshan conditional upon the eye. 
Non-sight perception obscuring Karma (Achakshu Darshnavarniya Karma) - which causes the obscuration of the undifferentiated cognition, conditional upon the other senses and the organ of thinking.
Remote Perception obscuring Karma (Avadhi Darshnavarniya Karma) - which causes the obscuration of the transcendental undifferentiated cognition of material things.
Perfect perception obscuring Karma (Keval Darshnavarniya Karma) - which hinders the absolute undifferentiated cognition (the counterpart of the omniscience).

The last mentioned karma hinders completely; the three others produce under certain circumstances only a disturbance of the respective cognition faculties.

In addition to these four Darshnavarniya karmas there are five others which produce physio-psychological conditions in which the sense organs are not active, and which, therefore, exclude all possibility of perception. These are the five Nidra karmas, (sleep karmas), namely:

Nidra Karma- which produces a light, pleasant slumber, out of which the sleeper is already aroused by the clicking of finger nails.
Nidra Nidra Karma- which produces a deep slumber, out of which the sleeper can only be awakened by being shaken violently.
Prachala Karma- which sitting or standing upright.
Prachala Prachala karma- which produces an exceedingly intensive sleep, that overcomes a person while walking.
Styänarddhi Darshnavarniya Karma which causes somnambulism, acting an unconscious state.

3. MOHANIYA KARMA: Mohaniya is derived from Moha which means attachment. Mohaniya karma (deluding karma) is the most dangerous, out of all the eight karmas because `moha' (attachment) is the root cause of all Kasayas (passions). It is also most difficult karma to destroy. If mohaniya karma is destroyed fully, the self becomes free from all Kasayas and liberation is assured. Two main categories of Mohaniya karma are—

Faith Deluding Karma (Darshan mohaniya) and
Conduct Deluding Karma (Charitra mohaniya karma).

With their subtypes there are 28 sub-types of mohaniya karma.

1.       Faith Deluding Karma (Darshan mohaniya): The Darshan mohaniya-karma causes a disturbance of the knowledge of the religious truth inherent in the Jiva (Soul) by natural disposition. These are further divided into three types according as to whether the disturbance is an absolute or a partial one:

·         False Faith Deluding Karma (Mithyatva Mohaniya Karma): This causes complete unbelief or heterodoxy. If it realizes itself, the Jiva (Soul) does not believe in the truths as proclaimed by Mahavira; he believes false prophets to be saints and enjoins false doctrines.   
·         Mixed Deluding Karma (Mishra Mohaniya): This produces a mixed belief, i.e., if it operates the soul waves to and for betwixt true and false; it is indifferent to the religion of the Jina and has no predilection for, nor hatred against it.  
·         Right Faith Deluding Karma (Samyaktva Mohaniya): This induces the correct belief. This Samyaktva is, however, not the correct faith in its completeness, but only in a preliminary degree; it is a so called Mithyatva, from which the Mithyatva quality has been abstracted a Mithyatva free from poison.   

2.       Conduct Deluding Karma (Charitra Mohaniya):  The Charitra mohaniya-karma disturbs the right conduct possessed innately by the Jiva; it hinders the soul from acting according to the religious prescriptions. The disturbance of the conduct is produced through the sixteen passions (kashaya), the six emotions with are categorized as non-passions (nokashaya) and the three sexes.

The four main passions are Anger, Deceitfulness, Pride and Greed. The Karma are literally bound on account of the stickiness of the soul due to existence of various passions or mental dispositions. Each of these is separated into 4 sub divisions, according to the intensity of their manifestation. The first one is “anantanubandhin” (of life long duration) which completely hinders belief and conduct. The second one is “apratyakhyanavarana” (hindering and non-renunciation) It makes impossible every renunciation, but allows the existence of true belief and lasts for one year. The third one of still milder intensity is “pratyakhyanavarana” (hindering with renunciation). It hinders the beginning of complete self discipline, but does not prevent the existence of true belief and partial self discipline (desavirati). Its effect lasts for 4 months. The last one is samjvalana (flaming up). It allows complete self discipline, yet works against the attainment of complete right conduct (yathakhyata caritra). It lasts a fortnight.

The nokashayas or six non-passions are: Hasya (laughing, joking or making fun of), Rati (prejudicial liking or impartiality), Arati (improper conduct) Shoka (sorrow), Bhaya (fear), and Jugupsa (disgust). All these six emotions are caritra Mohaniyas, because the soul which is subjected to them is hindered through them in the practice of right conduct.

The vedas or the sex passion hinders the Jiva (Soul) from obeying the laws and from practicing self discipline. It is of threefold variety, according to the three species of sexes:

·         Purusa veda (the male sex and corresponding sex passion) - Through this, in the man the desire for union with a female is produced. Also man has at first an exceedingly strong desire, which disappears as soon as his lust is satisfied.
·         Stri veda (the female sex and corresponding sex passion) – Through this, in a woman the desire for union with a man is excited. Also the desire in the woman is weak so long as she is untouched, but grows into immensity through the enjoyment of intercourse.
·         Napumsaka veda (the third sex and corresponding sex passion) – Effects the third sex belong all those beings who have no sexual organs. The sexual desire is with them exceedingly strong because it is directed towards men and women. It is to be compared to the burning of a town, which lasts long and finds no satisfaction.

4. ANTARAYA KARMA: This type of Karma obstructs the soul’s ability to acquire infinite energy. Even though many of us desire to donate, we cannot do so. A rich person can afford any dinner of his or her choice but cannot necessarily enjoy it if he or she has diabetes. You might have had the experience in which everything was set 100% right to complete the project but for some reason you could not even start the project. Situations of this nature occur because of the influence of this Karma. This Karma also causes obstruction in the worship of Jina and in the performance of the spiritual activities. Consequently, Obstructing Karma is responsible for all the obstacles we face in our lives.

This Karma obstructs the adoption of a desirable course or attainment of one’s objectives or equipments and is of five subdivisions. It is compared to a "Storekeeper” who does not permit issue from the store.

·         Obstructing Charity (Dana Antaraya Karma) - hinders dispensing alms. When it operates a person who knows the merit in giving and who has something to give away, is not capable to give it, although there is someone worthy of the gift.
·         Obstructing Profit (Labha Antaraya Karma) - hinders receiving. When it operates, a person is not capable of receiving a present, although a friendly giver and a suitable present are present.
·         Obstructing Enjoyment (Bhoga Antaraya Karma) - hinders the enjoyment of something which can only be taken once (such as eating drinking).
·         Obstructing Repeated Enjoyment (Upabhoga Antaraya Karma) - hinders the enjoyment of something which can be repeatedly used (such as a dwelling, clothing, and women).
·         Obstructing Power (Virya Antaraya Karma) - hinders the will power. When it operates, even a strong, full grown man is incapable of bending a blade of grass.

Obstructing Karma is accumulated due to the obstruction of the worship of the Jinas (Tirthankars) and other spiritual activities, obstructing others from doing penance, service, practicing devotion or giving charity, not giving the charity, causing loss to others, and obstructing others’ food, water etc. Some of the effects of Obstructing Karma include the inability to perform penance, laziness, and weakness. Even if one has the desire to travel on the right path, on account of excessive Obstructing Karma, one would not be able to do so.

Obstructing Karma can be shed off by giving charity, sharing knowledge, helping monks and nuns, encouraging others to give charity, and encouraging and helping others to do penance and service and by showing benevolence. When we get rid of Obstructing Karma completely, we attain infinite power (Anant-shakti). The soul will have no disability or weakness.


These do not affect the soul directly; rather, they have an effect on the body that houses the soul. These are:

Lifespan Determining Karma (Ayu Karma) - These karmas determine the subsequent states of existence and lifespan therein after death. The soul gets locked either into animal (tiryancha), infernal (nāraki), human (manuṣya), or celestial (deva) bodies for its next birth.
Body Determining Karma (Nam Karma) - these karmas determine the type of body occupied by the soul.
Status Determining Karma (Gotra Karma) - The fruition of these karmas gives one high status or low status in society.
Feeling Producing Karma (Vedaniya Karma) - These karmas become an instrumental cause of the interruption of the soul's uninterrupted happiness. As a result of this, the soul remains agitated.

           As soon as the Non-Destructive Karma gets exhausted the Soul attains    Liberation (Moksha).  

1. LIFESPAN DETERMINING KARMA (AYU KARMA) – The Lifespan Determining Karma confers on a being a certain quantum of life in one of the four states of existence. Therefore there are four types of Ayu Karmas; Dev Ayu (The Celestial Lifespan), Manushya Ayu (The Human Lifespan), Tiryancha Ayu (The Animal Lifespan) and Naraka Ayu (The Infernal Lifespan). The Ayu-karma bestows a certain quantity of life, but not a definite number of years of life. For, as with a sponge, the quantity of water that it absorbs is determined, but not the time it takes to leave it, so also the quantum of life is determined, but not the time occupied in its consumption. The word Ayu would, therefore, be approximately interpreted by "quantity of life" or "quantity of vitality"). The Ayu (Lifespan) of the new existence is always bound during the life immediately preceding it, especially in the 3rd, 9th, or 27th part or within the last 48 minutes of life.
           Engaging in violent activities and taking the lives of others result in one acquiring Hellish or Animal age determining Karma. Human or celestial Age determining Karma is acquired by living honest righteous life, low passions and rendering selfless service to others. Showing compassion towards everybody can shed off age determining Karma. Once all of the age determining Karma has been shed off completely, the soul attains immortality (Akshaya-sthiti). In this state, the soul is never reborn.

2. BODY DETERMINING KARMA (NAM KARMA) – The Body Determining Karma causes the individual diversities of the Jivas (Souls). It is divided into 93 sub-types, which are mostly quoted in a definitely fixed succession in 4 groups (Pinda prakrtis, Pratyeka prakrtis, Trasadasaka, Sthavara dasaka). They are the following:

Four states of existence:
·         Dev Gati Nam Karma - bestows the celestial state of existence
·         Manushya Gati Nam Karma - bestows the human state of existence
·         Tiryanch Gati Nam Karma - bestows the animal state of existence, and
·         Naraka Gati Nam Karma - which bestows the infernal state of existence

     Five Classes of Beings:
·         Ekendriya jati nama karma causes birth as a being with one sense
·         Dvindriya jati nama karma causes birth as a being with two senses.
·         Trindriya jati nama karma causes birth as a being with three senses.
·         Caturindriya jati nama karma causes birth as being with four senses
·         Pancendriya jati nama karma causes birth as a being with five senses.

     Five Types of Bodies:
·         Audarika sarira nama karma gives a gross physical body peculiar to animals and men.
·         aikriya sarira nama karma gives the transformational body which consists of fine matter that changes in form and dimension. This body exists by nature in gods, infernal beings and certain animals; men can attain it through higher perfection.
·         Aharaka sarira nama karma gives the translocation body. This body consists of good and pure substance and is without active and passive resistance. It is created for a short time by anapramatta samyata ascetic (ascetic with some carelessness), in order to seek for information concerning intricate dogmatic questions from an arhat who is in another part of the world, while his own physical body remains in its original place.
·         Taijasa sarira nama karma gives the fiery body. This body consists of fire pudgalas and serves for the digestion of swallowed food. It can also be used by ascetics to burn other beings or things.
·         Karmana sarira nama karma gives the karman body which is possessed by all worldly souls. This body is the receptacle for karman matter. It changes every moment, because new karman is continually assimilated by the soul and the already existing one consumed. Accompanied by it, the jiva at death leaves his other bodies and betakes himself to the place of his new birth, where the karman body then forms the basis of the newly produced other bodies. This body is destroyed only when all the karma are destroyed.

Of these 5 bodies each succeeding one is finer than the one preceding it, but contains more material points than it; it is therefore denser. Every worldly soul (that is, soul not yet liberated) is always connected with a fiery and a karman body, but can, in addition, still possess one or two other bodies. At any given point of time four bodies can co-exist with a soul. For example, humans normally have three bodies simultaneously—audarika sarira (normal visible gross physical body), taijasa sarira (fiery body), and karmana sarira (karmic body). Some higher spiritual ascetics may possessvaikriya sarira (transformational body).

·         Corresponding to these five bodies there are thirteen more karmas to make the bodies operative. There are three types of angopanga nama karma for body parts—audarika angopanga nama-karma, vaikriya angopanga nama-karma and aharaka angopanga nama-karma. Fiery and the karman body are subtle and have no body parts. Each body requires specific binding to operate that is enabled by its respective karma. Hence there are five types of bandhana or bindings for these body parts—audarika bandana nama-karma, vaikriya bandana nama-karma, aharaka bandana nama-karma, taijasa bandana nama-karma and karmana bandana nama karma which procures the binding of physical, transformational, translocational, fiery and karmic body respectively. At the same time, combination of molecules (samghatanas) is required for binding of bodies, which are—audarika samghatana nama-karma, vaikriya samghatana nama-karma adharaka samghatana nama-karma, taijasa samghatana nama-karma, and karmana samghatana nama-karma.

●     Six Karmas related to joints:

1.     Vajra rsabha naraca samhanana nama-karma gives an excellent joining. The two bones are hooked into one another, through the joining, a nail (vajra) is hammered and the whole joint is surrounded by a bandage.
2.     Rsabha naraca samhanana nama-karma gives a joining not so firm as the preceding one, because the nail is missing.
3.     Naraca samhanan nama-karma gives a joining which is still weaker, because the bandage is missing.
4.     Ardha naraca samhanana nama-karma gives a joining which is on one side like the preceding one, while on the other the bones are simply pressed together and nailed.
5.     Kilika samhanana nama-karma gives a weak joining, by which the bones are merely pressed together and nailed.
6.     Sevarta (chedaprstha) samhanana nama-karma gives quite a weak joining, by which the ends of the bones only touch one another. The humans in this era as per Jain cosmology have this type of joint structure.

The samhananas play a great role in Jain doctrine. Only the first four make a meditation possible and only the best structure, the 1st joining of the joints, permits the highest kind of concentration which precedes salvation.

 ● The six samsthana nama-karmas related to body symmetry are:

1.     Samacaturasra samsthana nama-karma, which causes the entire body to be symmetrically built.
2.     Nyagrodhaparimandala samsthana nama-karma, which causes the upper part of the body to be symmetrical, but not the lower.
3.     Sadi samsthana nama-karma, which makes the body below the navel symmetrical and above it unsymmetrical.
4.     Kubja samsthana nama-karma makes the body hunchbacked, i.e. hands, feet, head and neck symmetrical, breast and belly unsymmetrical.
5.     Vamana samsthana nama-karma dwarf like, i.e. breast and belly symmetrical, hands, feet etc. unsymmetrical.
6.     Hunda samsthana nama-karma makes the entire body unsymmetrical.

The conception of symmetry is explained in the following way: One imagines a man sitting in the paryanka posture, i.e. crossing the legs and placing the hands over the navel. If one imagines that the two knees are joined by a line, and from the right shoulder to the left knee, and from the left shoulder to the right knee, and from the forehead to the hands, a straight line is drawn, one gets four lines. If these are equal to one another, symmetry is apparent; if they are not so, one of the other 5 samsthanas results. Gods have only the first symmetry, infernal beings and Jivas (Souls) who have been produced through coagulation only the 6th figure; in the case of animals and men (also of Kevalis) all six samsthanas are to be found.

● The following karmas provide different types colors to the bodies:

1.     krsna varna nama-karma (black), 2. nila varna nama-karma (dark, blue green, like an emerald), 3. lohita varna nama-karma (colour which is red, like vermillion), 4. haridra varna nama-karma (yellow, like turmeric) and 5. sita varna nama ( white, like a shell). Other colors, such as brown etc., are produced by mixing. Black and green are considered as being pleasant, the others as unpleasant colors.

● The following karmas provide different types of odors to the bodies: 1. surabhi      gandha nama-karma produces pleasant odors (e.g., that of camphor) and 2. durabhi gandha nama-karma produces unpleasant odors (e.g., that of garlic).

● The following karmas provide different abilities of tastes to the bodies:  1. tikta rasa nama-karma gives a bitter taste (like that of the nimba fruit), 2. kasaya rasa nama-karma gives an astringent taste (like that of bibhitaka), 3. amla rasa nama-karma gives a sour taste (like that of tamarind) and 4. madhura rasa nama-karma gives a sweet taste (like that of sugar). The salt taste is produced by a combination of the sweet taste with another. Bitter and biting tastes are considered unpleasant, the others pleasant.

Eight karmas related to different type of touches are:

·         Guru sparsa nama-karma which causes a thing to be heavy, like an iron ball.
·         Laghu sparsa nama-karma which causes a thing to be light, like particles in a sunbeam.
·         Mrdu sparsa nama-karma causes a thing to be smooth, like a tinisa tendril.
·         Khara sparsa nama-karma which causes a thing to be rough, like stone.
·         Sita sparsa nama-karma causes a thing to be cold, like snow.
·         Usna sparsa nama-karma causes a thing to be warm, like fire.
·         Snigdha sparsa nama-karma causes a thing to be adhesive, like oil.
·         Ruksa sparsa nama-karma cases a thing to be dry like ashes.

Heavy, hard, dry, cold are considered to be unpleasant touches, the others pleasant.

The anupurvi nama-karma causes that the Jiva, when one existence is finished, goes from the place of death in the proper direction to the place of his new birth. According to the 4 states of existence (celestial, human, animal, infernal) there are 4 anupurvi karmas, namely: 1. dev (Celestial) anupurvi nama karma, 2. manusya (Human) anupurvi nama karma, 3. tiryanch (Animal) anupurvi nama karma, and 4. naraka (Hellish) anupurvi nama karma.

Karma that bestows different gaits to souls are: prasasta vihayogati nama-karma which causes a being to move in a pleasant manner, as e.g. oxen, elephants and geese do and aprasasta vihayogati nama-karma which causes an ugly manner of motion, as, e.g. one finds with camels and asses.

Following are the eight karmas related to eight pratyeka prakrtis:

1.      Paraghata nama karma– It gives superiority over others. It endows the capability of injuring or vanquishing others; on the other hand, it prevents one from being injured or overcome by others.
2.      Ucchvasa nama karma – It bestows the capability of breathing.
3.      Atapa nama karma – It causes the body of a being not in itself hot to emit a warm splendour.
4.      Uddyota nama karma– It causes the transformation body of the gods and ascetics, as well as moon, stars, precious stones, herbs and shining insects to emit a cold lustre.
5.      Agurulaghu nama karma– It makes a being neither heavy nor light, i.e., causes it to possess neither absolute weight nor absolute lack of it.
6.      Tirthankara nama karma– It procures the position of a ford-maker of the Jain religion.
7.      Nirmana nama karma – It causes the formation of the body, i.e., it causes the members of a being to be in their right place.
8.      Upaghata nama karma – It causes self annihilation. It produces that the parts of the body of a being (e.g. the uvula in the throat) cause its death.

The ten karmas related to trasa prakrtis (positive karmas) are:

1.     Trasa nama karma, which gives a voluntarily movable body.
2.     Badara nama karma, which gives a gross body
3.     Paryapta nama karma, which causes the complete development of the organs (karana) and capacities (labdhi) of nourishment, of the body, of the senses, of breathing, of speech, and of thought.
4.     Pratyeka nama karma, which causes the being to possess an individual body.
5.     Sthira nama karma, which causes the teeth, bones, etc., to be firm.
6.     Subha nama karma, which causes the parts of the body above the navel to be beautiful.
7.     Subhaga nama karma, which causes some one to whom is not under an obligation to be sympathetic to one.
8.     Susvara nama karma, which bestows a voice which is melodious.
9.     Adeya nama karma, which causes that some one is suggestive, so that his speech meets with approbation and belief.
10. Yasahkirti nama karma, which grants honour and glory.

       ● The ten karmas related to sthavara prakrtis (opposite of trasa prakrtis) are:

1.     Sthavara nama karma, which, causes a body (of plants and elementary beings) that cannot be moved voluntarily.
2.     Suksma nama karma gives (to elementary beings) a subtle body, imperceptible to our senses.
3.     Aparyapta nama karma causes that the organs or faculties of a being do not attain full development, but remain undeveloped.
4.     Sadharana nama karma gives (to plants etc.) a body in common with others of their species.
5.     Asthira nama karma causes that ears, brows, tongue, etc. are flexible.
6.     Asubha nama karma causes at all parts of the body, below the navel are considered to be ugly, so that somebody who is touched by the foot feels this to be unpleasaant.
7.     Durbhaga nama karma makes the jiva unsympathetic.
8.     Duhsvara nama karma makes the voice ill sounding.
9.     Anadeya nama karma makes the jiva unsuggestive.
10. Ayasahkirti nama karma causes dishonor and shame.


     This Karma determines whether the living being will be born in a restrained and respected family or otherwise. (It is divided into two categories viz., (a) High (Uchcha) status Karma and (b) Low (Neech) Status Karma, which are further divided into eight subcategories each. Some scholars states that this karma is not simply with mundane aspects of birth environment, but rather with whether that environment is more or less conducive to the pursuit of the spiritual life.

·         High Status (Uchcha Gotra) Karma
·         Low Status (Neech Gotra) Karma

High Status (Uchcha Gotra) Karma: It involves a high and respectful status in respect to (I) family; (ii) community (iii) learning (iv) power (v) profit (vi) penance (vii) looks and (viii) luxury. These eight form its subdivisions. This Karma results from non-exhibition of and non-exultation in one’s qualities, knowledge, wealth and other attainments and admiring such attributes of others.

Low Status (Neech Gotra) Karma: It results in the opposite equipment and attainments like low and not respectable family, connections etc, and are earned by exhibition and exultation in one’s knowledge and wealth etc. and deprecating such qualities in others. Lower status determining Karma causes us to be low and not respected in society. Higher status determining karma causes us to be high and well respected in society. Disrespecting people, being egoistic, proud, indulging in self aggrandizement and making fun of others acquire low status determining karma. Higher status determining karma is acquired by having devotion and faith in the Jain congregation, not looking down upon anyone, being free from pride, respecting and honoring all, and treating everyone with love. Being respectful towards those who have status and also towards those who do not have status can shed status determining karma. Once our status determining karma is shed completely, our soul becomes stable, not too heavy, not too light (aghuru-laghu).


The vedaniya karma or feeling producing karmas are of two types:

·         Pleasure Producing Karma (Shata Vedniya Karma) - The Karma related to pleasure or happiness are called Pleasure Producing (Shätä Vedaniya) Karma
·         Pain Producing Karma (Ashata Vedniya Karma) – The karma related to displeasure, unhappiness or pain, are called Pain Producing (Ashata Vedniya) Karma

         As such no external object or event makes one happy or unhappy, as it has no inherent pleasantness or unpleasantness, but serves simply as a prop which reinforces whatever feeling is being karmically produced at that moment. So it is appropriate to say that it is feeling pertaining karma.

As a corollary to the feeling of pleasure or pain, this Karma provides all means and equipment leading to pleasure or pain. This is compared with a sharp knife or dagger covered with honey, which is sweet to taste but can also, cut or harm the tongue.

Pain Pertaining (Ashätä Vedaniya) Karma is acquired by causing pain to others, harassing others, killing others, causing others to worry, and by making others miserable. Pleasure Pertaining (Shätä Vedaniya) Karma is acquired by being compassionate towards all living beings, not causing pain to anybody, making others happy, helping others, giving others protection and peace, and sharing with and comforting others.

Offering comfort, kindness, help, protection, and peace to others can shed Feeling Pertaining (Vedaniya) Karma. It may be clarified again that this Karma concerns worldly pleasure (or pain) only and not the ultimate infinite happiness and bliss of the soul which comes from complete destruction of all Karma (including this Karma) on attainment of liberation or Moksha.

"There is nothing mightier in the world than karma;

karma tramples down all powers, as an elephant a clump of lotuses."

-Bhagwati Aradhna


  1. According to Atmasiddhi:
    The bondage has infinite forms,
    The chief are eight, with one foremost,
    'Deluding Karma' the name adorns,
    To cut it off, take pains utmost. 102
    So for simplicity I would concentrate on removing Deluding Karma.

    Can any one share their thoughts on:

    If you are after money – which kind of karma is that?
    How do you get rid of that karma?

  2. if we are after money then it is also because of Mohaniya Karma (deluding karma). The deluding karma is the root of misery and is the root of all karma. It requires true and doubtless knowledge of soul and then higher engrossment in the real self (soul) leads to destruction of deluding karma. When deluding karma sheds away the rest of three ghatiya karmas sheds away within 48 minutes and this results in Omniscience.

  3. So who was the first to commit karma?
    And why did they do that?
    And the first person to bear the brunt of the karma- well what did he do to deserve the brunt?
    Also if ou hit someone- and then someone else has to hit you to make you pay the price for the karma you committed then isn't it unfair on the one who is the instrument for delivering the karma to you because he has to unfairly accept more paap?

    1. Nobody was the first to commit karma. The cosmos is eternal and everything (from the substantial perspective) was always existed. What was before the big bang? The cosmologists have no genuine answer. Our mind is such that it doesn't accept the eternalism, because we always see things are emerging and ceasing but we don't see that they maintain their basic attributes beneath the changes.

      Now, your second question was, isn’t it unfair for the person to take more paap because he has hit me back? Well, I would say yes. But if he/she is enlightened and realizes that such act is pushing them down deeper in the cycle of rebirths then their vengeance gets exhausted or gets lower. But the former will still have to bear his/her karma. So in this case the other person or circumstances will be the instrumental cause. The other person will be the one who has vengeance but the person on whom he has vengeance has attained liberation.

  4. I have a question, what type of Karma was the saying given to What goes around comes around?

  5. In my understanding the universe is eternal, Jainism states that there is no beginning and there is no ending, Infinite number of times the 24 Tirthankars have been born to spread true religious knowledge.
    And Jainism is the only religion in the world which does not propose Vyakti Puja (particular soul) to be worshipped, Tirthankars preach that each and every form of life has the same soul which has all the virtues (gunas) and it is up each soul to decide the future course of action.

  6. is there mala jap to reduce karam

  7. Is there a good children book into to subject?