Shri Suvidhinath Bhagwan is the ninth Tirthankara of the present time cycle. His mother’s name was Rama Devi and father’s name was King Sugriv. He was born in Kakandi Nagri in Bharat Kshetra. His symbol is crocodile. Ajit Dev is His Yaksh Dev and Goddess Sutara is His Yakshini Devi.
Let’s now go through the life stories of the Lord’s past two births, prior to His birth as Tirthankara. Finally, we will go through His final birth story.
In the previous birth, he was King Mahapadma, ruling the city of Pundarikini in the Pushkalavati Vijay region in Purva Mahavideh Kshetra. He was a highly esteemed King, as he performed his duties with great devotion and religious principles. At the same time, he also kept the inner spiritual awareness so that spiritual indolence does not strike him at any point in time. This is how he ran his kingdom and lived his life.
After some time, he realized that he would need to break all his worldly intents (sarva virti) and become free of all worldly possessions as well as possessiveness to progress on the spiritual path. Thus, he took Diksha after which he practiced meditation, performed severe penances, and worshipped the Tirthankaras with great devotion, following which he bound the auspicious Tirthankara-naam-gotra-karma.
Later, he reincarnated as a celestial being in the Vijayant anuttar heaven.
From the Vijayant anuttar heaven, the Soul of King Mahapadma descended into the womb of Queen Rama Devi, the wife of King Sugriv of Kakandi Nagri (currently in Bihar) in Bharat Kshetra. Rama Devi was very pious and religious. Because the teeth of Suvidhinath were like a flower, He was also called Pushpadant. His complexion was white.
As Suvidhinath grew young, He got married and was coronated as a King. He ruled the kingdom for some years. Later, He took Diksha and, in only four months, attained Keval Gnan (Absolute Knowledge).
After attaining Keval Gnan, Suvidhinath Bhagwan gave Deshna on Ashrav Bhavna. He nicely explained the Ashrav (influx) of karma, Nirjara (discharge) of karma, and Samvar (freedom) from karma.
To understand these spiritual concepts, there is a nice analogy of a well. In summer, if you have noticed, the well is empty. Still, some water is seen as accumulated, as it comes from within the Earth. This denotes ‘Ashrav’ of water. Similarly, there is Ashrav of karmas, referring to a constant build-up of karmas within, a constant binding of karmas at a subtle level inside. When karmas get charged meaning new karmas keep ushering in, that’s called ‘Ashrav’.
Thereafter, when the water from the well is pulled out and used, it is called Nirjara of water. Similarly, when the karmas charged at a subtle level in the past life gets discharged through mind, body, and speech (at gross level) in this life, it is called ‘Nirjara’ of karmas.
However, since the place of Ashrav from where the groundwater comes inside the well stays as it is, new water keeps coming into the well. Likewise, as the Ashrav of karmas stays as it is, new karma is constantly being bound.
When the well becomes totally empty? It is when the place from where the Ashrav happens is blocked or bunged so that no new water can enter inside the well. Bunging the source of Ashrav is called ‘Samvar’.
How is it become possible to stop the Ashrav of karmas (ensure Samvar)? Nirjara of karmas keeps happening on its own; one cannot bring any change to it; it is discharge of karmas. The action (kriya) of bunging or blocking the karmas from happening is possible through the knowledge of the Self attained through Self-realization.
How do karmas get charged? Through ignorance! Ignorance of what? Ignorance of ‘who am I?’!
Generally, the belief is, “I am John (please insert your name here).” However, really, are you John? Or, is it that your name is John? Obviously, your name is John. You were not born with this name. The name was given later; you existed even before that. Yet, when given the name from childhood, you start believing, “I am John.” Truly speaking, “My name is John; I am not John.” My and I are two different entities, yet they seem as one.
‘My’ is all temporary; it is relative. ‘I’ is permanent; it is real. The two entities are altogether different. ‘I’ is the element of Soul and ‘My’ is made up of the jad element (the subtlest and indivisible sub-atomic particles also called parmanus). Within us, there are two elements – the Soul and the infinite parmanus. The two are very close to each other. Since they are very close, it seems that the two are one, although they are really separate. This is an illusion that has occurred. Just like in an ornament, there is gold as well as copper. However, as they are in a mixture form, they seem to be one. Similarly, here also, we feel that the Soul and parmanus are one.
According to a scientific rule, when two elements come together, a third element seems to arise. Based on this rule, when Soul and parmanus come close to each other, the third element seems to arise, which is called ego (aham). Instead of “I am Soul”, one believes, “I am these parmanus” - this is only the wrong belief; this is referred to as illusion in scriptures.
The action (kriya) is of the parmanus, and knowledge (Gnan) is the nature of the Soul. The influx and outflux of parmanus keep resulting in their alterations due to which a variety of actions and a variety of phases seem to occur. Owing to the illusion, the ego seems to believe, “I am doing it. This is because of the effect of both elements in the mixture form; the actions are of the parmanus but are believed as “I am doing it”, while the knowledge property is of the Soul but is believed as “I am knowing it.”
The wrong belief of “I am doing it” has made one the doer and this is called egoism. When one becomes the doer, one inevitably has to become the sufferer. This is because by law, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Karma is bound owing to doership and doership is due to egoism. Egoism means to believe oneself to be what one is not. One is really a Pure Soul, yet one believes, “I am John.” This is called egoism! Where there is realization of “I am a Pure Soul,” there is no egoism. Hence, there is no doership, and thus, no karma binds. This is a scientific principle at the subtlest level.
When Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan attained Self-Realization, awareness of this subtlest level arose within Him. When He gives the same Gnan (Self-realization knowledge), we also attain the same awareness of ‘I am a Pure Soul.’ Thereafter, this awareness does not leave. Hence, after Self-Realization, binding of karma stops as one comes into this awareness, “I am a Pure Soul. I am only the knower and seer and am full of eternal bliss. The power to take any action in this world is just not my virtue; it is of the prakruti, the non-Self.” By going beyond all the virtues of the non-Self and remaining in the nature of the Soul, no karma of any kind is bound. Whatever old karmas one has charged in the past life, they get discharged automatically in this life (Nirjara). Charging happens at subtle level, while discharging happens at gross level, which is tangible through five senses. Thus, the charging or binding of karma is a set of subtle actions, which we do not come to know. If known, then we would not charge any bad karma and would adopt the path to get rid of karmas. However, this is impossible without Gnan, the shelter of Gnani (self-realized), and without the worship or grace of the Tirthankaras.
In the karmas that are bound, there are eight main types of karmas, which are:
The first four karmas are ghati karmas or Self-destructive karmas, meaning they veil the knowledge of the pure Self. The remaining four karmas are aghati karmas or non-destructive karmas, which are there in the form of the effect. One has to go through them, no matter what, by letting them discharge.
All these eight karmas are subtle and are known as eight types of dravyakarma. Dravyakarma means subtle discharging karma experienced through the mind, speech, and body. The charged karma is called bhavkarma. The charged karmas that veil the true Self are in the form of parmanus. They get carry forward in the next life wherein they are in subtle form. When dravya (physical matter), kshetra (place), kaal (time), and bhaav (intent) come together in the next life, these karmas get discharged (Nirjara). These gross discharging karmas are called nokarmas. Thus, the actions of mind, speech, and body are only discharge. Sitting, standing, eating, and drinking are all nokarmas. The nokarmas come from dravyakarmas and get discharged.
Of all eight types of dravyakarma, gnanavarniya and darshanavarniya tend to veil the knowledge and vision of the Soul. A wrong belief, at the subtlest level, arises as the vision gets slanted a bit and falls on the third element (egoism). This vision then becomes engrossed and it seems that I am this non-Self (physical body made up of parmanus). Both the Soul and the parmanus are in extreme proximity due to which this engrossment and illusion arise.
The wrong belief of “I am this non-Self; I am only doing it” arising out of illusion results in the veils of karma. In this, first, the real knowledge and vision / conviction (of the Self) are missed. Based on this, gnanavarniya and darshanavarniya karmas are bound, which are incessant. They do not go until the karma veils get shed. To break these veils, a Gnani Purush (Self-realized master who enlightens others) is required, who changes our vision (our belief) from wrong to right, which is from “I am John” to “I am pure Soul.”
Moh or illusory attachment arises for worldly things, which is evident from the belief of “This is mine.” This binds Mohaniya karma. Herein, a false attribution or accusation is made, “This is me and this is mine.” From these wrong beliefs of I and My, anger, pride, deceit and greed arise. Mohaniya karmas triggers an entranced state or state of unawareness. They make one entranced in the non-Self; they do not let one come out of it.
One also binds antray karmas (karmas that obstruct the vigour of the Self) of various types. However, the biggest of all is the obstruction for attaining the real knowledge and knowing the Soul. Whenever one goes against a Gnani who is Self-realized, tremendous gnanantaray and darshanantaray karmas are bound.
Then, there are 5 types of antray karmas in this world namely, daan (charity) antray, labh (profits) antray, bhog (things of enjoyment) antray, upbhog (things to be enjoyed repeatedly) antray and virya (Self energy) antray. For example, if someone is willing to donate and you stop that person from doing so (may be by saying that the receiver is a thief), you bind daan antray karma. Due to this bondage, you will be unable to donate in next life even though you may wish or intend to give. Similarly, if you stop someone, let’s say a diabetic person, from eating sweets, you bind obstruction for sweet dishes.
The remaining aghati karmas come into effect as per the merit and demerit karmas. Hurting others in any way result in demerit karmas, while giving happiness to others result in merit karmas.
By hearing the aforementioned knowledge on karmas from the Lord in His Deshna, many people in that period experienced vairagya, meaning dispassion for worldly life and moved further on the path of ultimate liberation.
Suvidhinath Bhagwan had 88 Gandharas (Chief Disciples). After completing His lifespan, He attained Nirvana from the Sammed Shikharji Mountain.
After Lord Suvidhinath attained Nirvana, terrible time came, known as Hunda Avsarpini Kaal. This period saw an adverse effect on religion. The ascetic organization was disintegrated. There were no Sadhus left on Earth. The Shravaks (devout followers) internally became Gurus of each other and misguided people using their wrong understanding. This resulted in binding more worldly, demerit karmas. The places of pilgrimage (Tirths) also became extinct. One could not find a single Tirth. Sadhus became cheaters and ruined religion. In this way, unrighteousness pervaded for a long time until the next Tirthankara was born.