Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

by Helen M. Johnson | 1931 | 742,503 words

This page describes Refutation of the Carvaka system which is the eighth part of chapter I of the English translation of the Adisvara-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Adisvara (or Rishabha) in jainism is the first Tirthankara (Jina) and one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 8: Refutation of the Cārvāka system

Then Svayambuddha said: “People, alas! are made to fall by the atheists who are enemies to themselves and others, dragged like blind men by blind. That the soul exists is known by its own perception, like pleasure and pain. From lack of superior proof, no one can deny it. ‘I am happy; I am unhappy,’ this unrefuted conviction could not arise to any one without a soul. When a soul has thus been proved in one’s own body from one’s own feeling, it is also present in other bodies from inference. It is deduced from the perception of action always accompanied by intelligence that consciousness is present in (one’s own) body and in other bodies. Whatever creature dies, he is born again. So there is undoubtedly another world of consciousness. One and the same consciousness passes from birth to another birth, just as from childhood to youth and from youth to maturity. For without the continued habits of former consciousness, how can a child, just born, untaught, direct its mouth to the breast? How can a conscious being be produced from unconscious elements? For in this world the result is seen to be similar to the cause. Is a conscious being derived from elements singly or all together? If the former is true, then why are there not so many conscious beings as elements? If the latter view is true, then how does a conscious being, having one particular nature, arise from elements having different particular natures? As for the earth, it has the qualities of sight, smell, taste, and touch; it is evident water has the qualities of sight, touch, and taste. Light has the qualities of sight and touch, air has the single quality of touch. The different natures peculiar to each of these elements are evident to every one from the ignorant up.

If (as you say), ‘A conscious being arises from unconscious elements,’ from the argument of the origin of pearls which are very different from water, etc., that is not relevant, since water appears in pearls, etc. There is one form composed of matter (to both). How is there (any) difference? Furthermore, the fact that the power of wine which is unconscious arises from flour, water, etc., which are unconscious—how is that an example in reference to a conscious being? The identity of body and soul can not be stated at any time, since consciousness is not perceived in the body even in that condition. The fact that one stone is worshipped and another defiled is irrelevant, for whence come happiness and pain in an unconscious object? Then this soul exists apart from the body, and exists after death; and there is another world depending on dharma and non-dharma. From women’s embraces men’s discernment melts away completely, like fresh ghee from the heat of fire. A man, who eats voraciously highly flavored food, does not know at all what is fitting, like a mad animal. From the smell of sandal, aloes, musk, camphor, etc., love at once overcomes a man, like a serpent. A man whose eyes are fastened here on beautiful women, etc., stumbles, just as if the border of his garment were caught on a hedge. Concerts do not serve in any way for one’s welfare, like the friendship of a rogue, infatuating again and again by the gift of momentary pleasure. So send far away the objects of the senses, only friends of vice, only enemies of virtue, snares for dragging you to hell. Good luck to that wise man who does not consider that there is great fruit of virtue and vice, even though seeing it here very clearly from such facts as: one becomes a servant, one becomes a master; one begs for alms, another gives them; one becomes an animal, another mounts him; one asks for safety, another grants it. Therefore, O Master, non-dharma, the cause of pain, must be avoided like the speech of a wicked man. Dharma, the only cause of happiness, must-be cultivated like the speech of a good man.”

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