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Kevala Jnana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Jainism, Kevala Jna (Sanskrit: ) or Kevala a (Jain Prakrit: ), "Perfect or Absolute Knowledge", is the highest form of knowledge that a soul can attain. A person who has attained Kevala Jna is called a Kevalin, which is synonymous with Jina "victor" and Arihant "the worthy one". A Tirthankara is a kevalin who preaches the Jain doctrine and establishes the Jaina order. In Jain thought, 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. [1] The soul who has reached this stage achieves moksa or liberation at the end of his lifespan.


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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

1 Jna Knowledge 2 Two aspects of Kevala Jna 3 The Kevala Jna of Mahavira 4 Kevala Jna and Moksa 5 Supreme Non-attachment or Vtarga 6 References

According to Jainism, pure and absolute knowledge is an intrinsic and indestructible quality of all souls. However, because of the accumulation of different types Jnvaraya karmas, this quality of soul loses potency and becomes obscured. Following are the types of knowledge: [2]

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Kevala Jnana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Type of Knowledge Mati-Jna

Description The knowledge through the medium of the five senses

Obscured by Mati Jnvaraya karma

Sruta Jna

The knowledge which is based on the interpretation of Sruta signs, the understanding of Jnvaraya speech, words, writings, karma gestures, etc. Clairvoyance, the transcendental knowledge of Avadhi corporeal things, occurring Jnvaraya without the medium of karma organs. Extrasensory perception, the transcendental knowledge of Manahparyaya the thoughts of others, Jnvaraya occurring without the karma medium of organs. Unlimited, absolute, direct Omniscience, perfect and highest form of knowledge and perception Kevala Jnvaraya karma

Avadhi Jna

Manahparyaya Jna

Kevala Jna

While other types of knowledge are prone to error on account of delusion, only Kevala Jna is perfect and free from all errors.

There are two aspects to Kevala Jna : complete realisation of self and omniscience, complete knowledge of non-self. A person who attains Kevala Jna realises the true nature of his soul. He remains engrossed in his true self. He is free from all desires and detached from all worldly activities, as he has achieved the highest objective that can be achieved by the soul. Secondly, Kevala Jna also means complete knowledge of all the activities and objects in the universe. Jain texts describe the omniscience of Mahavira in this way: [3] When the Venerable Ascetic Mahavira had become a Jina and Arhat(Arihant), he was a Kevali, omniscient and comprehending all objects; he knew and saw all conditions of the world, of gods, men, and demons: whence they come, whither they go, whether they are born as men or animals or become gods or hell-beings (upapada), the ideas, the thoughts of their minds, the food, doings, desires, the open and secret deeds of all the living beings in the whole world; he the Arhat (Arihant), for whom there is no secret, knew and saw all conditions of all living beings in the world, what they thought, spoke, or did at any moment.(121)

Mahavira is said to have practised rigorous austerities for 12 years before he attained enlightenment: [4]
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Kevala Jnana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


"During the thirteenth year, in the second month of summer, in the fourth fortnight, the light (fortnight) of Vaisakha, on its tenth day, when the shadow had turned towards the east and the first wake was over, on the day called Suvrata, in the Muhurta called Vigaya, outside of the town Grimbhikagrama (Jrumbak gram) on the bank of the river Rjupalika (Rujuvalika), not far from an old temple, in the field of the householder Samaga(shyamak), under a Sal tree, when the moon was in conjunction with the asterism Uttaraphalguni, (the Venerable One) in a squatting position with joined heels, exposing himself to the heat of the sun, after fasting two and a half days without drinking water, being engaged in deep meditation, reached the highest knowledge and intuition, called Kevala, which is infinite, supreme, unobstructed, unimpeded, complete, and full. (120)

Kevala Jna of Mahavira

Kevala Jna is one of the five major events in life of a Tirthankara and is known as Jna Kalyanaka and celebrated by all gods. Mahaviras Kaivalya was celebrated by the demi-gods, who constructed the Samosarana or a grand preaching assembly for him.

Kevala Jna and Moksa are intricately related. Moksa, or liberation, can only be attained by the enlightened beings who have attained Kevala Jna. After the death or nirvana of a Kevalin, he becomes a Siddha, a liberated soul in a state of infinite bliss, knowledge, perception and power. It is a permanent and irreversible state, free from sufferings, births and death. It is a state of permanent untrammeled bliss.

There is a direct relationship between Supreme Non-attachment and Omniscience. In the higher stages of meditation or dhyna, one first attains the state of Vtarga wherein one is completely freed of all feelings of attachment to all else other than one's soul. Once a permanent state of Vtarga is achieved, omniscience follows. This is because omniscience is the basic nature of the soul and it is merely clogged by the presence of the 8 types of karmas in the soul. The attainment of Vtarga ensures that the 4 types of destructive karmas known as ghatiya karmas are dissociated from the soul permanently. Hence, since the destructive karmas are not present in the soul any more, the soul attains omniscience, its natural attribute.

1. ^ Ed. John Bowker (2000). "Kevala" ( entry=t101.e3952) . The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 2. ^ Glasenapp, Helmuth Von (1942) (in English. Trans. From German by G. Barry Gifford). The Doctrine of Karman in Jain Philosophy. Bombay: Vijibai Jivanlal Panalal Charity Fund. 3. ^ Jacobi, Hermann; Ed. F. Max Mller (1884). Kalpa Sutra, Jain Sutras Part I, Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 22 ( . Oxford: The Clarendon Press. 4. ^ Jacobi, Hermann; Ed. F. Max Mller (1884). Kalpa Sutra, Jain Sutras Part I, Sacred Books of the East, Vol. 22 ( . Oxford: The Clarendon Press.

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