Ashrav – Why You Need to Know How A Soul Attracts New Karma?

In the previous post Laws of Karma -2 – Physics we have read what actually the Karma is and characteristics of Karma. We have also read why knowing about karma is the most important thing in the post The Laws of Karma – 1 – Basics.

Now in this post, we will see why a soul attracts Karma which makes the soul its bondage. Just to re-emphasise the importance of Karma, knowing the definition of Moksha is important.

Definition of Moksha is:

Karmaless Soul. I.e. when a soul sheds all Karma, it need not take a new birth as a body and attain omniscience status of the soul i.e. Kewal Gyan (Omniscience).   

As per the Jain Literature Tattvarthadhigam Sutras by Upadhyaya Umaswatiji Soul attracts Karma because of Yoga that means Mental, Physical and Verbal Activities.

A good deed attracts good Karma. A bad deed attracts bad Karma.

This attraction of Karma, good or bad is known as Aashrav. When Moksha or Salvation means Karmaless Soul, all kinds of Karmas whether good or bad is Aahrav and must be shed to attain Moksha. In short, whatever attracts new Karma to the soul is known as Aashrav.

Before I elaborate on Aashrav it is pertinent to know about Ratnatraya i.e.

  • Samyak Darshan – Right View about the Self (Body and Soul are different)
  • Samyak Charitra – Right Conduct (Without rage, greed, attachment, conceit)
  • Samyak Gyan – Right Knowledge (Knowledge of right laws governing our souls)

We have also read in one of the post The Real Maths who we really are. We all living beings are Souls, but almost every one of us believes self as a body. Therefore, we all lack the basic understanding of the self, i.e. not having Samyak Darshan.

As per the Karma Granth,

One of the fundamental reasons for Aashrav is Mithyatva i.e. not having the right view of the self. Therefore, not believing self as a soul is the first and foremost reason for attracting new Karma to the soul i.e. Aashrav.

Handpicked related post: Do you know the 1st Step on the Moksha Path?

Over and above Mithyatva, Karma is also attracted by;

  • Non-observance of codes of conduct, i.e. Yama. These are nonviolence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence & possessiveness. This is known as Avirti.
  • Kashaya

This Granth further defined Kashaya as:

Things which enhance cycles of life and death for the soul.

There are four kinds of Kashaya:

  • Kroadh: Anger, rage, insult, hatred, excitement, passion
  • Maan : Arrogance, Self Pride, Conceit
  • Maya: Deceit (See all synonyms)
  • Lobh: Greed (See all synonyms)

These four Kashayas have four degrees of intensity.

  • High Intensity
  • Intense
  • Low Intensity
  • Very low intensity

This intensity decides how long a Karma will remain with the soul.

These are all bad Aashrav.

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Similarly, a soul attracts new Karma by its good deeds also. These are known as Satavedniya Karma:

  • Respect and at service for teachers, elders, parents
  • Forgiveness
  • Empathy towards others
  • Practicing proper personal code of conduct – Yama
  • Religious reading and thinking
  • Not succumb to Kashayas
  • Charity & Personal Sacrifice
  • Right religious conduct

All these are the causes of good Aashrav.

These bad and good Karmas can be done by following nine ways:

  • Done by the self by thought, body or words
  • Inspire others doing it by thought, body or words
  • Praising others doing it by thought, body, and words

To summarise:

A soul considering the self as a body; (Mithyatva)

  • By not observing codes of conduct ie. Yama (Avirti)
  • By indulging in Kashaya (Kashaya)
  • By doing good deeds (Satavdeniya)
  • By thought, word or body action (Yoga)

Attracts New Karma to the Soul. This attraction of new Karma to the soul is known as Aashrav.

As long as a soul believes the self as a body – whether it is a good Karma or bad Karma it is Aashrav and Karma is attracted to the body.

In the next post on the subject, we will see how a soul can stop attracting new Karma and even shed existing Karmas.

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