Nov 24, 2007

what is 'dharm' in jainism?

by:- Dr Amit Prakash Jain (ref:- Samaysar, mahavir-vaani)

Dharma in jainism is not "mazhab" of Islam, it is not 'religion'-which is taken from the word'regan' meaning to unite or to have a congression.

Also it is not as the dharma of Hinduism which says' the one which could be held'(jise dharan kiya ja sake)


Two definations OF dharma in jainism I would like to discuss:-
1-Dhammo mangal mukkithham,
Ahinsa sanjmo tavo

2- Vastu swabhavo iti khalu dhammo

Now, let us 1st see the 1st defination, it says that dharm is mangal i.e the best & the happiness or the 'sukh'

But, our question still persists , what is dharm?

For this take the 2nd definition which says the dharma of each vastu(including the aatma or soul) is its swabhav ( nature)

So now we can say that the swabhav is dharma i.e to be sabhav will give mangal (happiness or sukh)

Then comes an obvious quetion - what is then "swabhav"
swabhav is the real nature of the vastu(including aatma)
Let us concentrate only to jeev-dravya i.e aatma(soul). The swabhav of aatma is to know & see ( jaanna aur dekhna)


so as long as the aatma is knowing & seeing till then it is happy(sukhi) & as soon as the aatma even a little bit also comes out of the knowing & seeing , it expiriences the sorrow
So, the reason of sorrow is vibhav i.e which is other than the swabhav
Swabhav is to be within the 'self' - this is mangal but we all are away from our swabhav & therefore we are unhappy(dukhi)

Actually the reason for sorrow is our misconcepts, .We believe that the source of sorrow is outside, the sorrow comes from somebody else- it can be any person, or any thing but it is the other, somebody else not ourself Saatra has said that "the other is hell"-now this is very important but not exactly correct,. Saatra is stressin g on 'the other' as the source of sorrow, but Mahavir or jainism, do not agree with this in the same way.

Mahavir do not say that the other is hell because in saying this much also will show that the other can also be the source of happiness Mahavir is saying that the dharm or the swabhav is mangal or happiness. In this there is no condemnation of 'the other' is not there
If we condemn the other for our sorrow then it clearly indicates that we expected it to be a source of happiness- these both points go side by side.

We had expected happiness from the other & when it failed , we got sorrow.
Have we ever thought that whatever sorrow we gets comes from others not from within ourselfs? it comes or not is another thing but it appears to be like this.

Also, sometimes happiness also seems to be coming from the other - and this is the main thing. We regard the other as the souce of our sorrow & our happiness- & this is the misconcept which is the real cause of our sorrow.It doesn't allow us to be in our swabhav.

Suppose you think that when u'll by the pink shirt from the Koutons showroom u will be happy.Then u bought the shirt- then? what happened? have u got the happiness u thought would come by this shirt? Has any change appeared in you?

No, no change has appeared u are like that only - the only change which has come is that now your plan is to buy a Peterengland shirt from the shop- now your happiness is again in the shop - but to a different one.

We happens to find happines in different 'the others'- but don't get happiness- no we can 't ever get happiness from 'the other', in the same way we can;t get sorrow from the other - they are our believes but are not correct


Actually, there is sukh or happiness , if ever we have expirienced, then it is only when we are static in our swabhav(nature) may be for a few time only.How? Let us take an example:-

I went to the river Narmada at the famous dhuan-dhar fall, the river is white & falls with such a speed that it takes the fosm of smoke(dhuan). The scene was very nice & I was so happy to experience those moments-the fall of Narmada, the sunset, the smoke & the beautiful marble rocks-that I thought that time that this is the heaven , this is the real happiness or sukh.
I went next day also, then I again went there the 3rd day-the happiness experienced by me on 3rd day was not as much as it was on 1st day

I again went the next day-I was not at all elated by it & still on next day the same site bored me, I thought I am doing voilence/hinsa to my own self.

Now let us dissect the above eg.When I went 1st time to the river-fall it was totally a new experience to me or we can say that it was a time of a small state of transition from my monotonous sort of life & the same old scenes to a new scene.

Whenever we change astate of mind then for a little time we are in phase of transition-when leaving a home & going to another home , we r for a sort while in a place where there is no home ,niether the initial nor the dsetined we r some where in the jouney.

NOW when the mind is changing from one setting to the other , it is also for a very short while at a state which is neither the initial state{i.e that of before change} nor has reached the final state- at this phase the mind is in its swabhav, we are within ourself, & in our swabhav{ i.e of the knower & seear} & this moment gives us the so-called happiness or sukh which we regard as to be because of the new site( the Narmada fall in above eg).

If it was due to the site then this would have given me happiness everyday.

You go to see your a superhit movie, you can be happy.U go again to see the same & then again-then??? Will it give the happiness? No it will become a punishment for U .
What happened? the same movie was regarded by U as the source happiness, why is it now a punishment?

Think yourself & find the answer.
No the water fall is not the source of my happiness on the 1st day, nor it is the source of punishment on the days following.It was my mind's transition state which unknowingly took me for some time into my within self- my swabhav & after a few time only the mind came out & adjusted itself into the new scene & I was out of my swabhav & as soon as I was out of my swabhav I started having sorrow.

There is nothing done by that scene or site - neither it gave me happiness nor did it mad me sad.

The site can be called as "nimmitt" as it is frequently used in our jain scriptures.
So we see that the happiness came when I was in my swabhav & as soon as I came out of the swabhav I got the sorrow.

Now, if knowingly-unknowingly even for some time when we are in our swabhav then we are so happy, then it should be a measure for us to take the dimension of the sukh(happiness) of the kevalis who are forever always in their swabhav.



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