Samyak Dsrshan
Happiness, Spiritual

Do you know the 1st Step on the Moksha Path?

Jain Agamas & scriptures have shown the Moksha Path with a distinct clarity. These scriptures have laid down the prerequisites for attaining Moksha.

In the Jain terminology, this prerequisite is known as Ratnatraya. Which means the Three Gems.

Ratna means Gem & Traya means Three.

These are;

  1. Samyak Darshan
  2. Samyak Gyan
  3. Samyak Charitra

The word Samyak means Right or True.

  • Samyak Darshan means the Right Beliefs
  • Samyak Gyan means the Right Knowledge
  • Samyak Charitra means the Right Conduct

In order to know what is Samyak, it is vital to know what is not Samyak. There is a word called Mithyatva for everything that is Non-Samyak.

Mithyatva means wrong, untrue. Mithya Darshan is the opposite of Samyak Darshan.

Therefore Samyak Darshan is about two things.

  • Non-Believing in the untrue (Mithyatva) and
  • Believing in the right, eternal truth (Samyak).

Unless these two are concepts are clear beyond doubt. Unless there is a complete belief in these concepts, Samyak Darshan is not possible.

We will discuss Mithyatva later in detail.

Here are a few quotes about Mithyatva and Samyak Darshan in select Jain scriptures:

Samaya Saar by Swami Kundkundacharya:

Samaya Saar I

Samaya Saar 2

Which means: Samyak Darshan, Samyak Gyan, and Samyak Charitra are the Moksha Marg. The right belief in Jiva and Ajiva is Samyak Darshan, Right knowledge about Jiva and Ajiva is Samyak Gyan and Raga less conduct is Samyak Charitra.

Kartikeyanupreksha by Swami Kartikeya:

Kartikeyanupreksha

Which means: In all the three Raytatraya, Samyak Darshan is the most precious because Samyak Darshan is the beginning of the Moksha Path. It leads to Moksha.

Moksha Marga Prakashak by Pandit Todermalji:

Mithya Darshan is the root cause of all suffering.

Ratnakaranda Shravakachar by Swami Sammatbhadra:

On the Moksha Path, Samyak Darshan is like Steersman.

Tattavarthasutra by Swami Umaswati:

Real Moksha starts when one achieves Samyak Darshan and ends with Omniscient i.e. Keval Gyan state.

Atma Siddhi Shastra by Shrimad Rajchandra:

Vairägyädi Safal To, Jo Sah Ätamjnän; Temaj Ätamjnänani, Präpti Tanä Nidän.

Which means: Detachment, etc. are meaningful if accompanied by the knowledge of Self. Moreover, they can serve as the means for attaining the Self-realization.

Like Samyak Darshan is the precondition to entering the Moksha Path, firm and unwavering beliefs in 9 elements, 6 eternal truth, and real Gods, real Guru and real religious scriptures are the prerequisite to achieve Samyak Darshan.

As Mithyatva is the opposite of Samyak Darshan, it is pertinent to understand what Mithyatva is. Unless we understand Mithyatva in all its forms and disbelieve in it, we will remain Mithya Drishti and Samyak Darshan will elude us.

(A person having Samyak Darshan is called Samyak Drashti and a person with Mithyatva is called Mithya Drashti)

For the aspirants of Moksha, it is fundamentally necessary to understand about Mithyatva. Why it is so elementary to know is explained below after the explanation of all kinds of Mithyatva.

What are the types of Mithyatva?

  1. Non-belief or inadequate belief or Ignorance about 9 elements is Mithyatva:

9 Elements according to Samaya Saar and Tattavarthasutra are;

  • Jiva i.e. soul or living being (Consciousness)

Believing self as Jiva/Soul is the right belief. Believing body as self/Soul is the wrong belief. Unless this is clear whose Moksha the aspirant is trying to achieve?

  • Ajiva i.e. non-living substances

Believing all non-living beings as Ajiva is the right belief. Body is also Ajiva.

  • Asrava i.e. cause of the influx of karma

Knowing and believing in how Karma is attached to the body is the right belief.

  • Bandh i.e. bondage of karma

Knowing and believing in how Soul gets bondage of Karma is bandh.

  • Punya i.e. virtue

Knowing and believing in what is Punya.

  • Papa i.e. sin

Knowing and believing in what is Papa.

  • Samvara i.e. arrest of the influx of karma

Knowing and believing in how to arrest influx of Karma is the right belief.

  • Nirjara i.e. exhaustion of the accumulated karma

Knowing and believing in how Karma is exhausted is the right belief.

  • Moksha i.e. total liberation from karma

Knowing and believing in how Moksha is achieved by totally exhausting all the Karmas is the right belief.

Samyak Darshi has complete understanding and firm and unwavering belief in these 9 elements. Kundakundacharya in ‘Samaya Saar’ has explained these 9 elements in detail. Read with the commentary for better understanding.

  1. Belief in unreal Gods, Gurus and Religious Scriptures is Mithyatva.
    • Believing in non-Vitraga as a God. Vitraga means without Raga or Dwesha. Non-attached. Keval Gyani who have achieved Moksha.
    • Believing non-Atmagyani as Guru. Atmagyani is someone with self-knowledge. Self-means Soul.

Mohbhäv Kshay Hoy Jyän, Athavä Hoy Prashänt;

Te Kahie Jnäni Dashä, Bäki Kahie Bhränt.

Which means: The state, where the sense of attachment is either eradicated or is calmed down, is called the enlightened one; all else is a delusion. (Atma Siddhi Shastra)

Ratnakaranda Shravakachar; “Believing a person as a Guru, who is indulging in Parigraha, Projects, and activities where even minute violence is a possibility is Mithyatva.”

  • Believing in non-Agamas as religious scriptures are Mithyatva.

According to Ratnakaranda Shravakachar; Real believable scriptures are told by Vitaraga, cannot be contradicted by anyone, there is no contradiction in the scriptures, explains the real truth which can help every Soul. It does not propagate Mithyatva and thrashes Mithya Path.

Believing in religious scriptures which do not qualify in the above qualities is Mithyatva.

Samyak Darshi does not believe in all the above 3.

  1. Believing in Eternal Truths

Belief in 6 eternal truths. These are;

  • The soul exists.

Element Jiva above. Jiva is about knowing who is a Soul and this is about believing in the existence of a Soul.

  • The soul is eternal (immortal).

A soul never dies. It’s either with a body or without it (Moksha).

  • Only the soul is the agent of karma.

Which means no one else can do any harm/good to the Soul. Elements Punya and Papa above.

  • Only the soul is the endurer and enjoyer of fruits.

Which means the Soul endures and enjoys its own Karma. Whatever good or bad happens is as per Soul’s own Karma and no one else is responsible. Which also means no one and even Gods can do any change in Karma. Believing anyone or Gods can benefit the Soul from getting rid of Karma is Mithyatva. This also means believing that you can’t do any good or bad for any other Souls. Believing otherwise is Mithyatva.

  • The soul is bound by karma.

Which means believing in the theory of Karma. This is also about believing in elements Bandha and Asrava mentioned above.

  • The soul gets liberated after getting rid of karma.

This is about elements Samvara, Nirjara, and Moksha above.

Non-believing in these 6 eternal truths is Mithyatva. Samyak Darshi has a complete understanding and a resolute belief in these 6 elements.

  1. Belief in real Gods, Gurus and Religious Scriptures:
  • Gods – Vitaraga

Believing only in Vitaraga who have achieved Moksha as Gods. Not believing (even worshipping) in anyone else as Gods.

  • Guru – Atmagyani

Ätmajnän Tyän Munipanun, Te Sächä Guru Hoy; Bäki Kulguru Kalpanä, Ätmärthi Nahin Joy.

Which means: Gurus with self-realization are the only true Gurus; a truth seeker does not have any fancy about the family priests. (Atma Siddhi Shastra)

  • Scriptures – Agamas

According to Ratnakaranda Shravakachar; Real believable scriptures are told by Vitaraga, cannot be contradicted by anyone, there is no contradiction in the scriptures, explains the real truth which can help every Soul. It does not propagate Mithyatva and thrashes Mithya Path.

Believing in these scriptures only and non-believing in any other scriptures.

Other aspects of Mithyatva:

In Karma Granth II, Mithyatva is defined in various ways. This will give a different perspective on Mithyatva. This is important to understand as any kind of Mithyatva is an obstacle in Samyak Darshan.

  • Laukik and Lokottar Mithyatva: Laukik Mithyatva is praying unreal Gods to get and preserve wealth / Parigraha or for any other benefits whatsoever. Lokottar Mithyatva means praying the real Gods to get and preserve wealth / Parigraha or for any other benefits other than Moksha.
  • The Anabhogik Mithyatva (Total ignorance): This is a state of ignorance in which one cannot distinguish between good and bad, or true and false doctrines. This state is also present in all the Jivas that do not have a mind. Such Jivas range from the Ekendriya up to the Asamjni Panchendriya (do not possess a mind).
  • The Abhigrahik Mithyatva (Fanatic false faith): This refers to those having a fanatic faith and interest in a false dharma (religion). In such a state one believes that their dharma is the only right one, even though its propagator may have derogation like attachments, hatred, and violence, etc.
  • The Anabhigrahik Mithyatva (Accepting other faiths without comparing their qualities): In this state people are simple; they are not extremists. People in this state believe that all religions are equal even though other religions may not be observing principles like Ahimsa and truthfulness. They do not completely accept celibacy, non-possessiveness, or anything which is not offered, etc. How can we consider them equal when they do not follow these principles to the full extent?
  • The Abhiniveshik Mithyatva (Insistence on false faith): State in which one knows that his or her religion is not right, but continues to live in accord with that faith.
  • The Samshayik Mithyatva (Skepticism): State in which there is doubt or skepticism about the dharma expounded by the Jina i.e. Vitaraga Gods.

Jain scholar Hemachandracharya has defined Mithyatva as “belief in false divinities, false gurus and false scriptures.”

In Moksha Marga Prakashak, Pandit Todermalji has defined Mithyatva as;

  • Grahit which means acquired after the human birth like believing in unreal Gods, unreal Gurus, and unreal Scriptures as real.
  • Agrahit which means existed even before the birth like believing self as a body not a soul, non-believing and lack of complete understanding of 9 elements.

Knowing different perspective of Mithyatva will bring Jiva closer to Samyak Darshan. Knowing is important for disbelieving the wrong, untruth and believing in right and truth.

A person with firm and unwavering belief in the believable and firm and unwavering non-belief in the non-believable achieves Samayaka Darshan.

It is a seed for Moksha Path. Till that time all good (including religious activities, penance etc.) and bad deeds are attached to the Soul as Karma known as Ashrav (Influx of Karma).

Remember slightest of belief in any kinds of Mithyatva and slightest of doubt in Samyak eternal truth is not Samyaka Darshan. & Non-Samayaka Darshan means the existence of Mithyatva or Mithya Darshan or Mithya Drishti.

There are 8 qualities of Samyak Darshan and Samyak Darshan is destroyed by 8 types of Arrogance. These are mentioned below in brief.

8 Qualities of Samyak Drashti:

  • Sanvega : Likes religious people, religious talks and scriptures.
  • Nirveda : Does not like worldly pleasures.
  • Atma Ninda : Self-critic about the non-indulgence in Self-knowledge.
  • Ghuha : Expresses his mistakes to his Guru.
  • Upashama : Has mild Kashaya (anger, greed, attachment, and egotism), mild Raga Dwesha. Not aggressive in these Sins. Does not like Kashaya, Raga, and Dwesha.
  • Bhakti : Likes Bhakti, engages in Bhakti.
  • Vatsalya : Likes Guru and his talks.
  • Anukampa : Has compassion for all living beings. Tries to help living beings in pain.

8 arrogance which destroys Samayaka Darshan:

  • Knowledge: Arrogance about the knowledge
  • Worshipping: Expecting others to worship him
  • Family: Superiority mindset about his family
  • Caste: Superiority mindset about his caste
  • Strength: Arrogance about his physical strength
  • Fame: Either expectation or superiority about any fame or money
  • Penance: Superiority mindset about his ability to do Penance
  • Body: Superiority mindset about his body or looks.

Usually, Samyak Drashti Soul does not indulge in such arrogance or superiority mindset, however, these kinds of arrogance destroy Samyak Darshan.

In Tattavarthasutra it is mentioned that any doubt about whatever is said in the right scriptures i.e. Agamas, duel mind about the right principles and praising/keeping company of wrong Gurus are also destroyers of Samyak Darshan.

Having understood the Importance of Samyak Darshan and types of Mithyatva now let’s understand why Samyak Darshan is the first step on the Moksha Path.

Why is Samyak Darshan an essential prerequisite for Moksha Aspirants?

According to the Jain philosophy, there are 14 stages of achieving Moksha. There are known as 14 Gunasthanak.

  • Guna means Qualities
  • Sthanak means Stage

Which means gradually stage by stage a soul achieves these qualities of the 14th stage as it progresses on this Moksha Path.

1st Stage is known as Mithyatva Gunasthanak

4th Stage is known as Samyak Gunasthanak

14th Stage is Ayogi Kewali (Arihant) Gunasthanak

A Mithya Drishti moves from 1st to 4th stage once he achieves Samayaka Darshan. (A soul may descend to 2 and 3rd Gunasthanak from the higher Gunasthanak, in ascending stage a Soul moves from 1st to the 4th stage).

Now imagine all your so-called religious activities without Samyak Darshan. Where will you move in this progression ladder without Samyak Darshan?

Most of the human beings are in stage 1 and that is Mithyatva Stage. We have to move to stage 4 and that is Samyak Stage in order to move up to the 14th stage.

What is the prerequisite to moving to the stage 4? A complete Mithyatva-less state.

Dr. Hukamchand Bharill has mentioned in the preface to the revered book Ratnakaranda Shravakachar, ”Today’s religious practitioners are ignorant about this fact and are busy in external Kriyakanda (activities). Samyak Darshan is the root of Shravaka (disciple) Dharma but they are somehow missing this fact.”

Shrimad Rajchandra in Atma Siddhi Shastra,

Koi Kriyäjad Thai Rahyä, Shushka Jnänamän Koi;Mäne Märag Mokshano, Karunä Upaje Joi.

Which means people are busy with lifeless rituals, while some resort to bare knowledge; both of them believe their path to be the path of liberation. I feel sorry to notice it.

In all original Jain religious scriptures Samyak Darshan is given the utmost importance. It is called the 1st step in the Moksha path. Without Samyak Darshan, all Mithya Drashti Souls will remain in the 1st stage of the 14 stage Moksha Path.

The 1st step is not about doing anything but it’s about the unwavering right belief system.

Doing penance (are of 12 types) without Samyak Darshan is good but it’s all Punya i.e. virtue but Asrava. All good Karmas will get attached to the Soul. It will give its fruits and Soul will remain in the cycle of life and death of the body. It will not move in the ladder of Moksha.

Tyäg Viräg Na Chittamän, Thäy Na Tene Jnän; Atake Tyäg Virägamän, To Bhoole Nij Bhän.

Which means: Enlightenment is unattainable without having renouncement and detachment at heart; if however, one gets stuck with them, he would miss the Self. (Atma Siddhi Shastra)

Penance, detachment all are necessary but If one misses the Soul in doing all penance and detachment, it again becomes Punya i.e. Bandh and not the cause of Nirjara.

Doing penance with Samyak Darshan is Nirjara. It will extinguish Karma from the Soul. It will push the Soul further on the Moksha Path.

As mentioned by Dr. Bharill above, we are so obsessed with DOING part of our religious activities that we miss the RIGHT BELIEF part completely. Doing comes after believing.

Penance and detachment all are means and not the end. The end is achieved through Samyak Darshan, Samyak Gyan, and Samyak Charitra i.e. Ratnatrayi. Penance and detachment all are meant for the end result Moksha only after attaining Samyak Darshan.

This is why Samyak Darshan is the fundamentally an important prerequisite for the aspirants of Moksha Path. Knowing about this with extreme clarity is crucial as even the slightest of ignorance and misbelief are hurdles in achieving Samyak Darshan.

As we learn from the various scriptures mentioned at the beginning, Samyak Darshan is the first step on the Moksha Path.

Conclusion:

  • Samyak Darshan is the belief in Eternal Truths and real Gods, Guru and Scriptures, and non-belief in all kinds of Mithyatva – both with 100% conviction. The slightest of doubt in either keeps the Moksha Path away from us.
  • The 1st stage of Moksha Path is Samyak Darshan. All daily rituals, endless pilgrimage, and inconsiderate penance without the Samyak Darshan are the bogies of an engineless train. Everything without the Samyak Darshan is Mithya Darshan. Attach the engine of Samyak Darshan to all your religious activities to make it Samyak. This is the first step on the Moksha Path.

Hope this piece on Samyak Darshan helps the reader in getting some clarity about the subject. The purpose is to emphasise the importance of Samyak Darshan and to enlighten the readers about Mithya religious beliefs and activities.

There are several aspects of Mithyatva. It is pertinent to know about it to make our belief Samyak. The following scriptures will help.

The content is based on the scriptures; Ratnakaranda Shravakachar, Moksha Marg Prakashak, Samaya Saar, Atma Siddhi Shashtra, Kartikeyanupreksha, Karma Granth II and Tattavarthasutra. For further clarity, readers are requested to read these original scriptures. (All can be downloaded for free from https://jainelibrary.org/ )

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