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Indus Script Deciphered 26

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6. Karma, vegetarianism and nonviolence depicted in the Indus script

The seal collected from Harappa by M.S. Vats suggests that human beings to do their duty and hanker not for the fruits of the work for themselves. The Author, Vyasa, in the Hindu Mahabharata has modified the Jain text of the Mahapuran in his own way, personifying the soul as Krishna, Gyan (= jñana, knowledge) as Arjuna, and the karmas as the Kauravas, the opposite party. Most of the religions say so, but the Jain school defines duty as religion or re-ligation of self to the real self only – the eternal soul. This is also known as samaya. Because the nature of the soul is peaceful, Hence religion is peace and nonviolence. The soul never is at ease if under tension. Its normal situation is peace. Doing work alone is not karma, as it is often misunderstood. Every mental involvement with work, whether done or not, draws dravya karma as well as bhaava karma to the soul. Even when no work is done but only planning or thinking of it (for example, a passionate event with selfish interests) draws the equivalent karma to the soul. Then how to survive without drawing karmas? Indus seals define both dravya and bhaava karma through signs. Dravya karmas attach to the soul with identity shown as a linga. Hence celibacy and purity of food and actions are indispensable for progress on the path of salvation.

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The Indus belief shows that one has to drop all passions that tighten the soul even mentally, which is known as bhaav karma. This is shown by means of a bhaav linga; the people avoided violence such as hurting, killing and depriving others from their right to live and survival. The Indus people followed nonviolence and supported it by their vegetarian way of life. They also protected the hoofed animals. Their philosophy may be

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unintelligible to non-vegetarians who apply all possible means of violence, domestic, social, religious, political, racial, and psychological etc. over and above just for the lust to kill. They kill cohabiting non-human creatures to fill their stomachs and satisfy their tastes, in spite of the availability of plenty of grains, vegetables, fruits, milk and dairy products. There is no need to kill any form of life. Killing any living feature of Nature is the most heinous crime, may it be even of insects or of plants. It is most painful for those living entities who lose their innocent lives. Hence the damage is utterly reflected towards and into the soul of the killers. To convey their message Indus artists used the sign of a standing fish very often in Indus seals, denoting a person as the worldly oriented beginner-ascetic and a human sign for the true kayotsargi ascetic.

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In the seals here the fish has no relation with the Hindu Mahamatsya (Great Fish), but denotes a shrawaka who holds a spear as symbol of self-control and also a pestle-mortar for his living.

The first fish (house-holder) here, is shown with four drops denoting the dropping down the four kashayas or passions: anger, ego, deceit and greed dominating any creature in the world. The involved individuals do not care for the health of their own soul. In seal # 22 he is shown as a self-restrictor having pierced ISD 26 4 jpg himself. The Shrawaka believes in six eternal dravyas or components and seven tattwas shown as dots or lines. Such a wise person intentionally takes up self-restriction, denoted by a spear, as most of the Indus seals show. With a double bow of adamya purusharth in practice he is shown having entered in to panchachar or penance with renunciation and rise spiritually while gaining shukla dhyans. All this runs in full agreement with the Jain metaphysics in sequential steps. A crocodile (karma) is shown holding a fish which is a worldly involved person shown in many of the seals, caught by karma to face its results. There is nothing stronger than karma in this world.

How can one ignore all the above-mentioned features while deciphering the Indus script and texts? The observations of Indus texts tally with the ancient Jain scriptural texts in totality. Hence, to help the ardent scholars of Indus Valley culture this vision of the Jain school is now made available to compare the results of various approaches by themselves.

The so far unexplained Indus geometric signs ISD 26 5 jpgshown below can only be understood by applying the Jain logic of chauvis thana, 24 ways of analyzing the location of the soul in the universe, in either of the four gatis and in which type of being it has taken form. (ignored by the Indus scholars because they were unacquainted with it) and of the swastika culture.

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Even a pundit in this life may become an insect and lower creature in next births for his violence and ill thoughts and karma getting no help from his so-called creative gods and an animal may become a celestial or even a prince in next life for his peaceful tolerance, bearing the cause-effect phenomenon ruling in Nature indicated by swastika. The same is the specific belief of the Jain school of approach also.

Geometric signs depict the transmigrating of the soul and can be explained through the four gatis of a swastika, as also shown in the above shown geometric signs. They can go from hells to non-human life-forms or to the human life-form, and the whole happens within the confines of a cross, as shown by these geometric signs.

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Indus people have very neatly dealt with the fundamental concept of karma, as they also did with the Jain logic. The swastika belief also gets in circles of questions, like the logic concerning salvation by the ignorant people, those  who believe in a Creator-God. The concepts of karma, swastika and nirvana have different meanings in Jainism than in the other religions including the meaning given in the Bhagavad Gita. hence, these should be approached strictly according to the Jain concept only when transliterating the Indus texts. Indus people realized well the dominance of violence in Nature and how the soul became thereby entrapped by karma. Hence, to progress on the path of salvation they practiced vegetarianism, advocating and supporting nonviolence, not only towards human beings but ALSO towards all other living creatures. The first seal of hunters is put under a twin capsule of abhavya: killing an animal for fun or for food. Indus people were vegetarians. The leaf shows vegetarianism and the pichhi shows compassion as well. No compassionate person can be a non-vegetarian. Vegetarianism is depicted by the symbol of a leaf in the Indus texts.

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 Leaf in Indus script                                                                            Pichhi attached to linga

The crocodile has been interpreted as a Dravid deity by Dr. Narayan Genesan, but through the Jain approach the crocodile represents karma, fetching or swallowing a fish which symbolizes the soul. But the crocodile as a field animal does also represents the symbol for the 9th Tirthankara, Pushpadantanath. As one text begins with a ratnatraya it could impossibly signify a killer. In seal #133 the crocodile is shown as holding an ascetic, but not swallowing him.

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The crocodile is holding the ‘fish’ by his hand

The last seal shows the leg of an animal which needs protection between two poles with no killing under the rule of Rishabhdeo, who is symbolized by his field animal, a bull.

A non-vegetarian, while enjoying his dish, does not realize the sufferings of other creatures when killed for their flesh. The ignorance of these people leads them to do so and behave in ignorance, but ignorance is not excused by karma. Wise men are always strict vegetarians and are compassionate towards all living entities .

Reading one or two signs from the seal texts is not enough to understand the message of the total Indus texts therein. A full lexicon will be given at the end of this series which applies uniformly to read any Indus text. All details of applied Jain metaphysics can be found and are detailed in my book The Guidebook to Decipher the Indus Script. It is a totally new and unique approach of great importance and has been developed independently and with great success. Many people have approached me in the past five years to edit my book which I have very humbly refused. However I do entertain and welcome independent comments on my book as well as on my approach. To confirm the pictures of seals and symbols readers are advised to refer the Indus catalogues made by M.S.Vats; E. Mackay and Sir John Marshall of the signs found in Harappa and Mohenjo-daro.


Next issue: 27. The Indus way of living