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Moksa (Jainism) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Moka (Sanskrit: , liberation) or Mokkha (Prakrit : ) means liberation, salvation or emancipation of soul. It is a blissful state of existence of a soul, completely free from the karmic bondage, free from samsara, the cycle of birth and death. A liberated soul is said to have attained its true and pristine nature of infinite bliss, infinite knowledge and infinite perception. Such a soul is called siddha or paramatman and considered as supreme soul or God. In Jainism, it is the highest and the noblest objective that a soul should strive to achieve. It fact, it is the only objective that a person should have; other objectives are contrary to the true nature of soul. With right faith, knowledge and efforts all souls can attain this state. That is why, Jainism is also known as mokamrga or the path to liberation.


This article is part of a series on Jainism

Jain Prayers amkra mantra Micchami Dukkadam Philosophy Anekntavda Sydvda Nayavda Cosmology Ahimsa Karma Dharma Nirvana Kevala Jna Moka Dravya Navatattva Asteya Aparigraha Gunasthana Samsara Major figures The 24 Tirthankaras Rishabha Mahavira Acharya Ganadhara Siddhasena Divakara Haribhadra Sects Digambara vtmbara Texts Kalpa Stra gama Tattvartha Sutra Naaladiyar Sanmatti Prakaran Other Parasparopagraho_Jivanam Jain symbol Jain flag Timeline Topics list Festivals

1 The concept 1.1 Description in Jain texts 1.2 Bhavyata 1.3 The concept of individuality 1.4 Siddhasila 1.5 Human Birth 2 Milestones towards moka 2.1 Samyaktva 2.2 Kevala Jnana 2.3 Nirva 3 See also 4 References

The concept of moka, presupposes an existence of infinite Mahavir Jayanti Paryushana Diwali eternal souls, who alone are doer, enjoyer and responsible for their action. Thus, all souls are entangled in the mundane worldly Jainism Portal activities, bound to karmas since beginningless time and transmigrating and reincarnating from one existence to another. According to Jainism, all souls can bring an end to this repeated cycle of births and deaths and attain liberation, that is moka.

Description in Jain texts

Sama Sutta[1] contains the following description of Nirva Where there is neither pain nor pleasure, neither suffering nor obstacle, neither birth nor death, there is emancipation.(617) Where there are neither sense organs, nor surprise, nor sleep, nor thirst, nor hunger, there is emancipation.(618)
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Moksa (Jainism) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Where there is neither Karma, nor quasi-Karma nor the worry, nor any type of thinking which is technically called Artta, Raudra, Dharma and Sukla, there is Nirva. (619) Uttaradhyana Sutra[2] provides an account of Gautama explaining the meaning of moka to Kesi, a disciple of Parsva. There is a safe place in view of all, but difficult of approach, where there is no old age nor death, no pain nor disease. It is what is called Nirvna, or freedom from pain, or perfection, which is in view of all; it is the safe, happy, and quiet place which the great sages reach. That is the eternal place, in view of all, but difficult of approach. Those sages who reach it are free from sorrows, they have put an end to the stream of existence. (81-4)

However, from the point of view of potentiality of moka, Jain texts bifurcates the souls in two categoriesbhavya and abhavya. Bhavya souls are those souls who have faith in moka and hence will make some efforts to achieve liberation. This potentiality or quality is called bhavyata.[3] However, bhavyata itself does not guarantee moka, as the soul needs to expend necessary efforts to attain it. On the other hand abhavya souls are those souls who cannot attain liberation as they do not have faith in moka and hence never make any efforts to attain it.

The concept of individuality

Jainism upholds the concept of individuality of souls, even after liberation. There are infinite living beings who have attained moksa and infinite living who have not attained moka, The soul continues to maintain distinct individuality even after moka. Hence, there are infinite siddhas or liberated beings existing in eternal infinite bliss.

According to Jain cosmology, Siddhasila is the place where all the siddhas i.e. the liberated beings reside. It is at the apex of the universe.

Mahavira's Nirvana or Moksa depicted in Kalpasutra. Note the crescent shaped Siddhashila.

Human Birth

Moksa or liberation can be attained only in the human birth. Even the demi-gods and heavenly beings have to re-incarnate as humans and practice right faith, knowledge and conduct to achieve liberation. According to Jainism, human birth is quite rare and invaluable and hence one should make wise choices.

Depiction of Siddha Shila as per Jain cosmology wihich is abode of infinite Siddhas.

A soul is bound by the karmas since beginningless time. The first step to achieve moka is to inculcate Samyaktva or rational faith or perception.

According to Jainism, Samyak darsana (Rational Perception), Samyak Jnana (Rational Knowledge) and

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Moksa (Jainism) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Samyak Caritra (Rational Conduct) collectively also known as Ratnatraya or the three Jewels of Jainism constitute true Dharma. According to Umasvati, Samyak Darsana, Jnana Caritra together constitutes mokamarga or the path to liberation. [4] Samyak Darsana or rational perception is the rational faith in the true nature of every substance of the universe. [5] Samyak Jnana or rational knowledge is the right knowledge of true and relevant knowledge of the reality, the tattvas. It incorporates the two principles of Anekantvada or non-absolutism and Syadvada or relativity of truth. Right knowledge must be free from three main defects: doubt, delusion, and indefiniteness
Image of a Siddha: the soul who attains Moksa; although the Siddhas (the liberated beings) are formless and without a body, this is how the Jain temples often depict the Siddhas.

Samyak Caritra or rational conduct is the natural conduct of a (soul) living being. It consists in following austerities, engaging in right activities and observance of vows, carefulness and controls. [6] Once a soul secures samyaktva, moka is assured within a few lifetimes.

Kevala Jnana
Main article: Kevala Jnana

Kevala Jna, the highest form of transcendental knowledge that a samyakdristi soul can attain, also means absolute knowledge, Enlightenment and Omniscience . Kevala is the state of isolation of the jva from the ajva attained through ascetic practices which burn off one's karmic residues, releasing one from bondage to the cycle of death and rebirth. Kevala Jna, thus means infinite knowledge of self and non-self, attained by a soul after annihilation of the all ghtiy karmas. Such is person who has attained Kevala Jna is called a Kevali. He is also known as Jina (the victor) or Arhat (the worthy one) and worshipped as a god by the Jains. The soul who has reached this stage achieves moka at the end of his life span, after annihilation of the aghtiy karmas.

Main article: Nirvana (Jainism) Nirva means final release from the karmic bondage. When an enlightened human, such as, an Arhat or a Tirthankara extinguishes his remaining aghatiya karmas and thus ends his worldly existence, it is called nirva. Technically, the death of an Arhat is called nirva of Arhat, as he has ended his wordly existence and attained liberation. Moksa, that is to say, liberation follows nirva. However, the terms moksa and nirvana are often used interchangeably in the Jain texts.[7][8] An Arhat becomes a siddha, the liberated one, after attaining nirvana.

Jainism Nirvana (Jainism) Moksa kevala Jnana Gunasthana

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1. ^ Varni, Jinendra; Ed. Prof. Sagarmal Jain, Translated Justice T.K. Tukol and Dr. K.K. Dixit (1993). Sama Sutta. New Delhi: Bhagwan Mahavir memorial Samiti. 2. ^ Jacobi, Hermann; Ed. F. Max Mller (1895). Uttaradhyayana Sutra, Jain Sutras Part II, Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 45 (http://www.sacred-texts.com/jai/sbe45/index.htm) . Oxford: The Clarendon Press. http://www.sacred-texts.com/jai/sbe45/index.htm. 3. ^ Jaini, Padmanabh (2000). "Chapter 5. Bhavyata and Abhavyata : A Jaina Doctrine of 'Predestination'". Collected Papers on Jaina Studies. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. ISBN 81-208-1691-9. 4. ^ Kuhn, Hermann (2001). Karma, The Mechanism : Create Your Own Fate. Wunstorf, Germany: Crosswind Publishing. ISBN 3-9806211-4-6. 5. ^ Jaini, Padmanabh (1998). The Jaina Path of Purification. New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 81-208-1578-5. 6. ^ *Varni, Jinendra; Ed. Prof. Sagarmal Jain, Translated Justice T.K. Tukol and Dr. K.K. Dixit (1993). Sama Sutta. New Delhi: Bhagwan Mahavir memorial Samiti. Verse 262 - 4 7. ^ Jaini, Padmanabh (2000). Collected Papers on Jaina Studies. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. ISBN 81-208-1691-9.: "Moksa and Nirvana are synonymous in Jainism". p.168 8. ^ Michael Carrithers, Caroline Humphrey (1991) The Assembly of listeners: Jains in society Cambridge University Press. ISBN-0521365058: "Nirvana: A synonym for liberation, release, moksa." p.297

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