Jainism like other systems of Indian Philosophy aims not only at intellectual
explanation of truth but also at its realization. This involves the idea of the
Path of spiritual realization known variously such as Yoga (merging of the
finite with the infinite), Dhyana (Meditation), Samadhi (Concentration).
According to Patanjali, the author of the YogaSutra, Yoga means the `Cessation of the states
of mind' as written in the beginning of YogSutra .
The Jaina term for Yoga is Caritra (conduct). To them bondage is due
to the inflow of Karmic matter that is due to the actions of body, mind and
speech. Hence the process of emancipation will naturally start with the stoppage
of this inflow and liquidation of the already accumulated Karma
particles associated with. But all these require a practical discipline of all round
restraint of thought, speech and mind (Gupti), five fold, regulations
(Samiti) of five main vital functions, observances of ten fold moral virtues (Dharma), contemplation of the twelve fold objects (Anupreksa), Victory over 22 kinds of
troubles (Parisahjaya), and observances of five fold conducts Caritra. Besides,
practice of six fold external and internal austerities with their numerous
subdivision are essential. This long list of the rules and regulations of
conduct and their transgressions indicate that if physical austerity is an index
of self realization, moral life is a sine qua non for its achievement.
With this idea in view, the Jainas conceive of fourteen gradual stages of
spiritual development (Gunasthana). A detailed study will show a logical order
according to the principle of Gradual Evolution of soul from Decreasing
sinfulness to the Increasing Purity leading to the final unveiling of the soul. "As one goes ascending in the stages of self realization and the practice of
Yoga, one gradually develops the perspective of truth." . This Doctrine of
Gunasthana or Spiritual Development and Yoga are interconnected since the idea
of stages of spiritual development involves the idea of the means of liberation.
Yoga is the process eradication of the exterior and the interior to realize the
transcendental self by cutting the knot for self realization. But
self realization requires self concentration or Dhyana for our mind is always
restless. Like the two divisions of Yoga according to Patanjali, the Jainas also
divide into five stages such as Practice of Spiritual life (Adhyatma), Repeated
Practice (Bhavana), Equanimity (Samata), Final Annihilation of Residual Karmas
(Vrtti Sanksaya) and Concentration (Dhyana). Thus concentration is the immediate
cause of liberation and hence so much emphasis is laid down by the Jainas upon
this concept of Yoga.
The Doctrine of Lesyas or Colorations of the Embodied Souls
The association of the soul with Karma is beginningless. The soul when
associated with Karma forms the Subtle Body (Karma Sarira) comparable to subtle
bodies of Samkhya subtle Karmic matte in the soul throws a reflex producing
certain colorations concern only the embodied souls which are connected with the
atter. The passions determine the nature of the colorations since the infinite
power and energy of the soul is circumscribed by the power obscuring Karma being
defiled by the passions. The delimited energy as determined by coloration is
Yoga or activity.
The color index of the embodied souls is two fold; material (Dravya Lesya) and
mental (Bhava Lesya). Material colourations refer to the body or organism, which
are produced by Karma articles or by binding Karma or by mental activities. Mental colorations (Bhava Lesya) refers to the psychic conditions which result from the feelings and mental activities. Popularly six types of color
indexes have been suggested to fit in with all the moral and immoral kinds of beings such as wickedness and cruelty is represented by black (Krsna) anger and envy by
blue (Nila), dishonesty and meanness by gray (Kapota), discipline by pink
(Padma), subduing of Passions by Yellow (Pita) and meditation of virtue and truth by white colorations (Sveta). Similarly, the denizens of hell, the celestial beings and the human beings are different bodily colorations such as black, white etc.
In short, the doctrine of colorations is the tripe index of body, mind and heart. So the aura or radiation spreading round the gods and prophets like Jesus, Buddha, Mahavira, Zoraster etc., presenting a halo has got positive meanings. Just as every neurosis has got a psychosis, so every material color suggests a physico
psycho moral attribute. It is held that these colorations are perceptible only through extrasensory perception.
Corresponding to this Jaina Doctrine of colorations, we have similar references elsewhere also. In Mahabharata, there is a description about six types of colorations of souls. In Patanjali Yoga
Sutra, mental states have been classified into four kinds according to this coloration principle which is said to have been suggested having a Jaina influences.
In Buddhism, Karma is classified into the same four colors as in Yoga
Sutra. The theosophical view of the transcendental color in the individual may also have some resemblance to the Jaina Doctrine of colorations.
Acharya Haribhadra's contribution to the Yoga
The term Yoga symbolizes the core of Indian Spiritual Sadhana.
In life, theory and practice, knowledge and action, empirical and the transcendental require a synthesis. As a matter of fact, the real practice of one's knowledge is called Yoga.
Knowledge precedes, Yoga succeeds. But a knowledge without its practice or implementation is not only incomplete but also ambiguous. Thus Yoga is superior to the Tapas, Jnana and Karma. It is the best of all the three and includes devotion also. Yoga or union with God which is attained through bhakti is the highest spiritual goal.
Jnana is scriptural learning (Sastra panditya) and not spiritual realization. Truly wise man is the
Yogi. Without Yoga or concentration of mind, the human energies are frittered away in many directions and go waste. Hence, the spirit of man is the key for the success of all practical activities. A man versed only in scriptural learning but lacking in Yogic realization is called as `the friend of the learned' but not a Yogi.
Then there are two dimensions of Yoga the external and the internal. Even the process of concentration is regarded its outer frame, where as renunciation of all attachment and reducing oneself to zero is its inner spirit. The real Yoga, therefore, consists in the inner poise, self
mastery, its conquest of anger, sensitiveness, pride and ambition. So there are two types of Yoga
;the Yoga of knowledge and the Yoga of action. The former consists in the knowledge about the Self, its bondage, liberation and the path of liberation. But mere knowledge or
theoretical knowledge is no good. What is more important is the performance of work without any selfish attachment to results, with a view to securing the welfare of the world, with the realization that agency belongs to the modes of Prakrti or to God himself. In fact, Yoga consists in practical realization of the self.
There are three fold tradition of Yoga literature in Indo logical writings the Vedic, the Jaina and the Bauddha. Though the term `Yoga' has occurred many times in Rg
veda, it has always been used in the sense of `Union' only and never in the sense of meditation or concentration of mind. Even such key
words of the Yoga literature like meditation, non
attachment, breath control, withdrawal from external world etc. are absent in the Rg
veda. However, the Upanisads do abound in the mention of these concepts. There might be differences of opinion
regarding the nature or numbers of the ultimate reality but there is a remarkable unanimity regarding the acceptance of yogic sadhana for its realization. All the Vedic systems including the Nyaya
Vaisesika, Samkhya, Yoga and Vedanta accept the utility and relevance of Yoga in their respective systems. Purva
Mimamsa is the only exception which does not ever refer to Yoga.
It is interested in ritualistic action. The Gita and the Mahabharata, the Bhagavat, the
Yoga vasistha and the important works on Tantra including many works of Hatha
yoga accept the place and importance of Yoga. Many medieval saints and scholars like Jnanadeva, Ambeya, Kabira etc. have discussed the subject of Yoga with great seriousness.
The Jaina Agamas describing about the conduct of the Sadhus (Sadhucarya) refer to many yogic activities like the abstentions and observances (Yama and Niyama), study (svadhyaya), austerities (tapas), withdrawal of the senses (pratyahara) etc. Even the acts of volition
(Pravrtti) has to he surcharged by the spirit of volition in the negative sense (nivrtti), technically called as Asta
Pravacana Mala. Jaina Sadhus are directed to concentrate on study and meditation for the three
fourths of daily routine. In the Jaina Agamas and the Niryuktis, the term `Yoga' has been mostly used in the sense of concentration of mind with numerous classifications and sub
classifications. Even Tattvartha refers to dhyana and the Dhyana
Sataka of Jinabhadra Gani Ksama Sramana is only explication of the notion of dhyana. Hence, Yoga has been rooted in the Agamic tradition.
But it was Haribhadra who defined the term `Yoga' in the sense of `what leads one to emancipation' (mukhena, jayano savvo vi dhammovavaro). Thus he has ushered a new era in the Yoga
literature of the Jainas. He wrote important Yoga treatises like Yogabindu,
Yogadrsti sammuccaya, Yoga vimsika, Yoga sataka and Sodasaka. The term Yoga used in the general sense of subduing the senses and the mind the process of concentration and ecstasy even in the earlier stages of the Jaina thought as well as the early Buddhist thought. But the terms Jnana (dhyana) and Samadhi were more in vogue than the term Yoga. It is only in the Yoga;sutra of Patanjali that we find the proper location of dhyana in the eight
fold process of Yoga, for the first time. Haribhadra's in his characteristic catholic outlook did not discuss and interpret Yoga according to the Jaina tradition only but he made a comparative and
critical study of Patanjali's Yoga etc. The description of eight
fold standpoints in the Yogadrsti sammuccaya is altogether a new dimension in Yoga literature.
All spiritual and religious activities that lead towards emancipation are considered by
Haribhadra as Yoga. His ingenuity lies in the yogic interpretation of the Jaina doctrine of Spiritual development
(Gunasthana). The soul has inherent capacity for emancipation but this capacity remains dormant and inactive due to Karmic influences. But the soul can be roused to active spiritual
excretion which is nothing other than yogic activities. The Jainas do not believe either in the eternal revelation of the truth like the Mimamsakas and the Vedantins, or, in its revelation by a Supreme Divinity like the Nyaya
vaisesikas and the Patanjali yoga. Only rare souls known as
Tirthankaras, who have acquired potency of revealing the truth and preaching it to the world by their moral and virtuous activities can also help in arousing us from moral slumber. The centrifugal tendency of soul to run away from the fetters of world
existence is thwarted by a centripetal force of attachment (raga), repulsion (dvesa) and perverted attitude (mithyatva). However, the soul, when it achieves purification feel uneasiness with the worldly existence and shows manifestation of energy known as Yathapravrttakarana for the spiritual advancement. But the struggle between the two
fold processes, centrifugal and the centripetal continues unless the soul develops such spiritual strength as is destined to lead it to final emancipation by reducing the duration and intensity and also the mass of Karmic
matter through the triple processes of Yathapravrttakarana, apurva
karana and anivrttikarana. The soul then starts climbing up the spiritual ladders of Upasamasreni (ladder of subsidence) and Ksapakasreni (ladder of annihilation) up to the final fourteenth stage of absolute motionlessness.
Haribhadra's style of describing the fourteen stages of spiritual development through the process of Yoga is original and illuminating. While discussing, he has mentioned the names of many Yogis and treatises on Yoga. A crucial problem is posed by Haribhadra to know the real point of the beginning of the spiritual development of soul desiring salvation in the timeless world of attachment.
According to Haribhadra, when the influence of deluding Karma start decreasing, the process of spiritual development starts. The state prior to this beginning of the spiritual development is called `Acaram Pudgala Paravarta', while the posterior state is called `Caram Pudgala Paravarta'. Between these two poles of Acaram and Caram, we have the different stages of spiritual development. Here in the process of Yoga begins, which causes simplicity, humility, catholicity, benevolence and other virtues in the soul. The emergence of these ethical virtues are the outer signs of the spiritual development of the soul.
The special features of Haribhadra is his comparative studies in Yoga. For example, in Yoga
vimsika, wherein five kinds of activities (Sthana, Urna, Artha,Alambana and Analambana) divided into external activity (Karma
yoga) and internal spiritual activity (Jnana yoga), are discussed, Haribhadra has tried to correlate them with stages of spiritual development
(Guna sthana). For example, these activities can be properly practiced only by those who have attained the fifth or a still higher stage of Guna
sthana. In this way, Haribhadra correlates the different stages of Guna sthanas to the different stages of concentration (dhyana). Haribhadra compares analambana
yoga with samprajnata samadhi in
Patanjali's system, the final consummation of analambana concentration is Asamprajnata samadhi. Similarly, the fourteenth stage of spiritual development corresponds to the dharmamegha samadhi to bhavasatru of a third system, to amrtatman of yet another system, to bhavasatru of a third system, to Sivodaya of yet another school. Similarly, Haribhadra tries to show the unanimity of the conception of final self-realization of all the systems of thought. Haribhadra enumerates eight primary defects, from which the mind of a yogin must always be free. By practicing the concentration of mind the soul realizes itself. This is known as Supreme bliss (Paramananda) in the Vedanta, the extinguished lamp (vidhmatadipa) of the Buddhists, extinction of Animality (pasutvavigama), end of suffering
(dukkhanta), freedom from the specific qualities (Nyaya vaisesika), and detachment from the elements
(bhuta vigama). Like an impartial truth seeker,
Haribhadra asks the seekers to keep their minds open and investigate the truth with perfect detachment and freedom from prejudices.
Similarly, Haribhadra shows that there is a fundamental unity among all apparently conflicting systems of thought regarding the means to free from the worldly existence. He asks us to see unity in diversities. He lays down five steps as a complete course of Yoga, i.e., Contemplation of truth (adhyatma), Repeated practice (bhavana), Concentration of mind
(dhyana), Equanimity (samata) and Annihilation of all the traces of karman (Vrttisamksaya). The same principle, according to Haribhadra, is expressed by different terms. It is Purusa in the Vedanta as well as Jaina system, as Jnana in the Buddhist school, Ksetravit in the Samkhya system. Similarly, the fundamental ground of worldly existence is called Avidya (Vedanta and Buddhism), Prakrti (Samkhya), Karman (Jainas). Similarly, the relation between matter and spirit is known as Bharati (Vedanta and Buddhism), Pravrtti (Samkhya) and Bandha in Jaina system.
Haribhadra referring to Gopendra of the Samkhya System holds that the Purusa does not
even inquire about the path of realization unless the Prakrti has turned her face from it. In other words, it is the nature of the Spirit to get disentangled from matter. For this requisite
purification of the soul is very necessary. Then the soul becomes a boadhisattva or
Tirthankara. When a man becomes a boddhisattva, there is no mere spiritual degeneration to him. He does not commit evil or sin, on the contrary, he is taken exclusively in the well
being of others, acquires wisdom, treads upon right path and appreciates merit. Haribhadra compares the Jaina conception of Tirthankaras with the Bodhisattvas. He distinguishes three categories of souls destined to be emancipated
Tirthankaras, Ganadharas and Munda kevalins. Haribhadra's contribution also lies in suggesting five
fold stages of preliminary preparation for Yoga as we find in Patanjali's scheme of Yama and Niyama. As we have referred earlier, the stages of the soul are adhyatma, bhavana, dhyana, Samata and the last Vrttisamksaya. Here the accumulated and obscuring karmas are destroyed for ever and the soul attains omniscience and final emancipation.
In Yoga drsti samuccaya, Haribhadra presents a novel plan of classification of Yogic stages. The core of this scheme is the concept of Drsti which means attitude towards truth. The most important features of spiritual development is acquisition of love of truth
(Samyag drsti). The gradual purification of its love of truth takes place corresponding to the purification of soul. So long the soul has not cut the knot and attained purification, our attitude is bound to be wrong, and perverse called as avidya, mithyatva or darsana
moha. Without purification of the soul, we can have only common place attitude of the spiritually advanced soul (yoga
drsti). Haribhadra listed eight kinds of gradual development of love of truth (drsti) corresponding to the eight
fold stages of Patanjali's Yoga. Haribhadra refers to the consensus of opinion of a number of authors regarding the stages of Yoga in his Svopajnavrtti. His love of truth is so great that he can never be sectarian. Haribhadra asks us to realize the truth by means of all the three
organs scriptures, logic and practice of Yoga in keeping with best tried and trusted tradition of India. The truth is one. It cannot be many. There is only the difference of angles or
terminology. Yoga is not the monopoly of a particular sect or system. It is based on direct experience of the seers and lovers of truth. Differences in terminologies of
different system about the same concept is illustrated by Haribhadra. For example, the state of final realization is known as Sadasiva in one system, Parabrahmana in another, Siddhantatnam in the third and tathata in another system. Hence, there can be no conflict when the truth is realized.
Controversies take place only when the truth has not been realized as an empty pot sounds much. The various revelations have to be understood from various contexts and angles. The love of truth (drsti) give us the power to cultivate faith in spiritual revelations, Similarly,
referring to the seventh drsti (nrabha), Haribhadra compares it with Visabhaga
Pariksaya in the Buddhist School, Prasantavahita in the Samkhya and Sivavartman in the Saiva system, and as dhruvadhvan in the Mahavartikas.
Besides these eight ;fold drstis corresponding to the eight steps of Yogic
sadhana in Patanjali, Haribhadra refers to the three fold Yoga
The first stage is Iccha Yoga when inspite of knowledge and will, the Yogic practitioner falters in his practice on account of inertia
(Pramada). The second stage is called Sastra Yoga, wherein the practitioner does never falter in his yogic practices, strictly follows the scriptural injunctions and has developed penetrating insight. The third and the last stage of Yoga is Samrthya Yoga, when he has fully mastered the scriptural injunctions and has developed the power to transcend them. There are the three broad divisions of all the possible stages
of Yoga and the eight fold drstis are only the elaboration of these three.
Similarly, Haribhadra's four fold classification of Yogins, viz.,
gotra, kula, pravrttacakra and nispanna. The first are not incapable of emancipation while
the last have already achieved their final state. Hence, it is only the Kula and Pravrttacakra yogins who need yogic instruction.
In spite of these resemblances, there are fundamental differences also with the mystical way adopted by the Jaina monk. Yoga
system of Patanjali has not recognized the imperativeness of mystical conversion. Probably, it confuses moral with the mystical conversion , the importance of initiation by a Guru, and the necessity of seeking his guidance at every step, the possibility of fall from certain heights, i.e., dark
nights of the soul, the significance of Pratikramana and Pratyakhyana. Haribhadra knew these different systems of Indian thought. The process of spiritual development as traced in Yoga
drsti samuccaya is different from that we find in Yoga bindu. Yoga
vimsika does not describe the preliminary stages of spiritual development but it discuss adequately about the later stages. Altogether, Haribhadra's studies in Yoga
vidya is a landmark in Indian spiritual sadhana.