An extract on #forzabeikta
In Jainism, "karma" conveys a totally different meaning from that commonly understood in Hindu philosophy and western civilization. Jain philosophy is the oldest Indian philosophy that completely separates body (matter) from the soul (pure consciousness). In Jainism, karma is referred to as karmic dirt, as it consists of very subtle particles of matter that pervade the entire universe. Karmas are attracted to the karmic field of a soul due to vibrations created by activities of mind, speech, and body as well as various mental dispositions. Hence the karmas are the subtle matter surrounding the consciousness of a soul. When these two components (consciousness and karma) interact, we experience the life we know at present. Jain texts expound that seven tattvas (truths or fundamentals) constitute reality. These are:
Jva- the soul which is characterized by consciousness
Ajva- the non-soul
srava- inflow of auspicious and evil karmic matter into the soul.
Bandha (bondage)- mutual intermingling of the soul and karmas.
Samvara (stoppage)- obstruction of the inflow of karmic matter into the soul.
Nirjara (gradual dissociation)- separation or falling off of part of karmic matter from the soul.
Mokha (liberation)- complete annihilation of all karmic matter (bound with any particular soul).
According to Padmanabh Jaini,
This emphasis on reaping the fruits only of one's own karma was not restricted to the Jainas; both Hindus and Buddhist writers have produced doctrinal materials stressing the same point. Each of the latter traditions, however, developed practices in basic contradiction to such belief. In addition to shrardha (the ritual Hindu offerings by the son of deceased), we find among Hindus widespread adherence to the notion of divine intervention in ones fate, while Buddhists eventually came to propound such theories like boon-granting bodhisattvas, transfer of merit and like. Only Jainas have been absolutely unwilling to allow such ideas to penetrate their community, despite the fact that there must have been tremendous amount of social pressure on them to do so.
The key points where the theory of karma in Jainism can be stated as follows:
Karma operates as a self-sustaining mechanism as natural universal law, without any need of an external entity to manage them. (absence of the exogenous "Divine Entity" in Jainism)
Jainism advocates that a soul attracts karmic matter even with the thoughts, and not just the actions. Thus, to even think evil of someone would endure a karma-bandha or an increment in bad karma. For this reason, Jainism emphasise on developing Ratnatraya (The Three Jewels): samyak darana (Right Faith), samyak jnna (Right Knowledge) and samyak charitra (Right Conduct).
In Jain theology, a soul is released of worldly affairs as soon as it is able to emancipate from the "karma-bandha". In Jainism, nirvana and moksha are used interchangeably. Nirvana represents annihilation of all karmas by an individual soul and moksha represents the perfect blissful state (free from all bondage). In the presence of a Tirthankara, a soul can attain Kevala Jnana (omniscience) and subsequently nirvana, without any need of intervention by the Tirthankara.
The karmic theory in Jainism operates endogenously. Even the Tirthankaras themselves have to go through the stages of emancipation, for attaining that state.
Jainism treats all souls equally, inasmuch as it advocates that all souls have the same potential of attaining nirvana. Only those who make effort, really attain it, but nonetheless, each soul is capable on its own to do so by gradually reducing its karma.