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Nine Tattvas (Principles)

The nine tattvas, or principles, are the single most important
subject of Jain philosophy. It eals !ith the "arma theory of
Jainism, !hich provies the basis for the path of liberation.
#ithout the proper "no!lege of this subject, a person can not
progress spiritually. The true faith an unerstaning of this
subject brings about right faith (samya"$arshana), right
"no!lege (samya"$jnana), an right conuct in an iniviual.
Nine Tattvas (Principles)%
&. Jiva $ soul or living being ('onsciousness)
(. )jiva $ non$living substances
*. )srava $ cause of the influ+ of "arma
,. -anh $ bonage of "arma
../Punya $ virtue
0./Papa $ sin
1. 2amvara $ arrest of the influ+ of "arma
3. Nirjara $ e+haustion of the accumulate "arma
4. 5o"sha $ total liberation from "arma
/ Punya an Papa are the iverse results of )srava an -anh. 2ome
e+ponents of Jains o not treat them as separate tattvas.
)ccoring to them, there are only seven principles instea of
&. Jiva (soul) 2ubstance%
6+plaine in The 2i+ 7niversal 2ubstances chapter.
(. )jiva (Non$living) 2ubstances%
6+plaine in The 2i+ 7niversal 2ubstances chapter.
*. )srava ('ause of the influ+ of "arma) $
)srava is the cause !hich leas to the influ+ of goo an evil
"arma !hich lea to the bonage of the soul.
)srava may be escribe as attraction in the soul to!ar sense
The follo!ing are causes of influ+ of goo an evil "arma%
5ithyatva $ ignorance
)virati $ lac" of self restraint
8asaya $ passions li"e anger, conceit, eceit, an lust
Pramaa $ una!areness or unminfulness
9oga $ activities of min, speech, an boy
In aition to the above causes, the five great sins: violence,
untruth, stealing, sensual inulgence, an attachment to !orlly
objects are also the cause of the influ+ of "armas.
,. -anha (-onage of "arma)$
-anha is the attachment of "armic matter ("arma pugala) to the
soul. The soul has ha this "armic matter bonage from eternity.
This "armic boy is "no!n as the "armana boy or causal boy.
8armic matter is a particular type of matter !hich is attracte to
the soul because of its ignorance, lac" of self restraint,
passions, unminfulness, activities of boy, min, an speech.
The soul, !hich is covere by "armic matter, continues ac;uiring
ne! "arma from the universe an e+hausting ol "arma into the
universe through the above mentione actions at every moment.
-ecause of this continual process of ac;uiring an e+hausting "arma
particles, the soul has to pass through the cycles of births an
eaths, an e+periencing pleasure an pain. 2o uner normal
circumstances the soul can not attain freeom from "arma, an hence
8armic matter attaching to the soul assumes four forms%
Pra"riti banha $ Type of "arma
2thiti banha $ <uration of "arma
)nubhava banha $ Intensity of attachment of "arma
Praesa banha $ =uantity of "arma
Pra"riti -anha%
#hen "armic matter attaches to the soul, "arma !ill obscure its
essential nature of%
perfect "no!lege, vision, bliss, po!er, eternal e+istence,
non$corporeal, an e;uanimity.
Pra"riti banha is classifie into eight categories, accoring to
the particular attribute of the soul that it obscures.
It covers the soul>s po!er of perfect "no!lege.
It covers the soul>s po!er of perfect visions.
It obscures the blissful nature of the soul, an thereby
prouces pleasure an pain.
It generates elusion in the soul in regar to its o!n true
nature, an ma"es it ientify itself !ith other substances.
It etermines the span of life in one birth, thus obscuring
its nature of eternal e+istence.
It obscures the non$corporeal e+istence of the soul, an
prouces the boy !ith its limitations, ;ualities, faculties,
It obscures the souls characteristics of e;uanimity, an
etermines the caste, family, social staning, etc.
It obstructs the natural energy of the soul an prevents it
from attaining liberation. It also prevents a living being
from oing something goo an enjoyable.
@hati an )ghati "armas%
The above eight "armas are also categoriAe into t!o groups,
"no!n as ghati an aghati "armas.
@hati 8armas
Jnana$varaniya, <arasna$varaniya, 5ohaniya, an )ntaraya
"armas are calle @hati "armas (angerous "armas) because
they obscure the true nature of the soul.
)ghati 8armas
)yu, Nama, @otra, an ?eniya "armas are calle )ghati
"armas. They o not obscure the original nature of
the soul. Bo!ever, they associate !ith the boy of the
soul. Bence they can not estroye by the soul so long as
it possesses a boy.
#hen a person estroys all of his ghati "armas, at that time he
attains "eval$jnana. Bo!ever, he continues to live as a human
being because none of his aghati "armas are estroye. Be can
only attain liberation after all of his aghati "armas are
estroye. Bence he attains liberation after his eath.
#hen a person attains "eval$jnana, he is "no!n as an )rihant.
If an )rihant establishes the four fol orer of 5on"s, Nuns,
2rava"a, (male layperson), an 2ravi"a (female layperson) then
the )rihant is calle a Tirthan"ara. Cther )rihantas are "no!n
as orinary 8evali. )fter Nirvana (eath) both Tirthan"aras an
orinary 8evalis are calle 2ihas.
)ll 2ihas are uni;ue iniviuals, but they all possess perfect
"no!lege, vision, po!er, an bliss. Bence from the ;ualities
an attributes point of vie! all 2ihas are same.
2thiti -anha
#hen "armic matter attaches to the soul the uration of the
attachment is etermine at that time accoring to the intensity
or ullness of the soul>s passions.
)nubhava -anha or Dasa -anha
#hat fruits the "armic matter !ill prouce is etermine at the
time of attachment by varying egrees of passions.
Praesa -anha
The ;uantum of "armic matter that is ra!n to!ars the soul for
attachment is etermine by the intensity or ullness of the
soul>s action.
.. Punya (?irtue)
The influ+ of "armic matter ue to goo activities of the min,
boy, an speech !ith the potential of proucing pleasant
sensations is calle punya or virtue.
)ctivities such as offering foo, rin", shelter, purifying
thought, physical an mental happiness, etc. result in
proucing punya "armic matter.
0. P)P) (2in)
The influ+ of "armic matter ue to evil activities of the min,
boy, an speech !ith the potential of proucing unpleasant
sensations is calle papa or sin.
)ctivities such as violence, untruth, theft, unchastity,
attachment to objects, anger, conceit, eceit, lust, etc.
result in proucing papa "armic matter.
1. 2amvara ()rrest of 8arma)
The metho !hich arrests fresh "arma from coming into the soul
is samvara. This process is a reverse of asrava.
It can be accomplishe by constant practice of%
$ restraint of min, boy, an speech
$ religious meitation
$ con;uest of esire
$ forgiveness, tenerness, purity, truth, austerity,
renunciation, unattachment, an chastity
3. Nirjara $
Nirjara is the e+haustion of "armic matter alreay ac;uire.
$ The "armas e+haust themselves by proucing their results !hen
it is time for them to o so.
$ 7nless they are e+hauste before they are mature an
start proucing results, it becomes ifficult to be free.
-y that time, ne! "armic matter begins to pour in.
$ Therefore, it becomes necessary for one !ho esires final
liberation to e+haust all "armas before maturity. This is
calle nirjara.
Nirjara is to be one by rigorous austerities.
6+ternal Nirjara%
)nasan $ complete abstinence of eating an rin"ing
)lpahara $ reuction in the ;uantity of foo one
normally eats
Ichhaniroha $ control of esire for foo an material things
Dasatyaga $ complete abstinence of eating or rin"ing juicy
an tasty foos such as honey, alcohol,
butter, mil", tea, s!eets, juice etc.
(no attachments to the taste of the foos)
8aya"lesa $ control of passions by iscipline
2amlinata $ sitting in a lonely place in ue posture
!ith senses !ithra!n
Internal Nirjara%
Prayaschita $ repentance for the breach of vo!s
?inaya $ appropriate behavior to!ars a teacher
?aiyavrata $ selfless service to the suffering an
2vahyaya $ stuyingElistening of religious scriptures
-hutsarga $ non$attachment to the boy
2ubha$hyana $ religious meitation
4. 5o"sha $
5o"sha is the liberation of the living being (soul) after
complete e+haustion or elimination of all "armas.
) liberate soul regains totally its original attributes of
perfect "no!lege, vision, po!er, an bliss. It climbs to the
top of Fo"a"as an remains there forever in its blissful an
unconitional e+istence.
It never returns again into the cycles of birth, life, an eath.
This state of the soul is the liberate or perfect state, an
this is calle GNirvana.G