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Indus Script Deciphered 11

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11. The fourteen levels of spirituality

By following the 14-fold path of the Jina, an atma/soul or the spiritual Self can rise to become paramatma [the highest Self]; from an ordinary human being one can reach to the godhood by acquiring virtues. Nar se Narayan (godhood from manhood through spiritual upliftment) is a way of expressing it. Out of these 14 stages, steps 2,3, 6 and 11 represent spiritual downfall instead of progress. Initially all living beings including humans as a biped animal, stand on the first level. All abide merely as organisms that do not realize that they have a soul but regard their body as their self. Inferior life forms are acquired due to the appropriate degrading karmas while the human life form is the result of better deeds and aspirations. Realization of the truth and an attempt to self control is the first step upwards of the soul while skipping the 2nd and 3rd levels the soul jumps to the 4th level directly from the initial first level if it gets right vision. Even animals can rise to this 4th level. Then why not human beings? (Hermann Kuhn has discussed this in good detail in his book The Notion of Growth, Cross Wind Publishing, U.S.A;. P.O. Box 4010, Incline village, Nevada, 89450)

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Once on the 4th level then the path of the wise goes sequentially upwards to the 5th level in the case of women or even to the 7th level in the case of men becoming shraman, solely absorbed in soul with lesser and least involvement in worldly affairs even existing in a physical body. Animals also can rise to the 5th level of spirituality, when they tolerate peacefully whatever comes to them. A shraman, while performing worldly action with care and alertness when walking, taking food, sleeping or laying something aside also follow their vows and do not hurt any living entities, can, though fallen to the 6th level of practicality, return to the 7th virtuous level or gunasthana and then can rise further to the 8th, 9th and 10th level by continued practice and profound meditation under austerity. Further spiritual elevation leads them to the 12th level, thus becoming spiritually ‘lighter’ or free from the ghati karmas. so that it becomes easier for them to get rid of the burden of the four aghati karmas also. They are then blessed with the 2nd Shukla Dhyan or ominiscience. Then they progress to rise even further, never to fall back to lower stages again. They are known then as the arhatas. Following this “path” every soul can make progress on the path of spirituality. Only a limited and defined number of arhatas become Tirthankaras. All the arhatas reach the level of the 13th and then the 14th gunasthana of spiritual purity with continued austerity and they are the omniscients preaching the message of nonviolence with the sound of OM. Rising on the 13th level they gain the 3rd Shukla Dhyan and on the 14th level the 4th Shukla Dhyan with the white or pure shade of thoughts. From this 14th level all these ascetic souls achieve salvation, never to be born again. This 14 step of spirituality concept is depicted on several Indus seals.

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This phenomenon of salvation occurs only in the third and fourth phases of the downward and upward time belt (12 phases in total), not in the first two and the fifth and sixth. At present we are in the fifth phase and men can only emancipate up to the seventh stage of the spiritual ladder, women only to the fifth. But Jainism in all preaches nonviolence and compassion towards all living entities – hence vegetarianism as one of its expressions, shown with a leaf in the Indus texts.