A ‘shravak’ is endowed with Right Faith, Right Knowledge, and Right Conduct. The question is how do we know that one has attained ‘samyaktva’ (right faith)? What are the parameters and defining characteristics of samyaktva’? Five essential characteristics of ‘samyaktva’ have been expounded in the Aagams. Acharya Tulsi has explained these in Shravak Sambodh as:
sham-ho kashaay ka sahaj shaman, samveg-mumuksha vritti sabal,
nirved –badhe bhav se viraag, anukampa-karuna bhaav amal.
aastikya-karm aatmaadik mein, janmaantar mein vishvaas prabal,
yeh lakshan samyak darshandarshan ke, jeevan yaatra mein hai sambal.
It means the five characteristics inherent in a shravak should be:
1. Sham (Equanimity)
2. Samveg (Intense desire for salvation)
3. Nirved (Detachment from the world)
4. Anukampa (Non-violent compassion)
5. Aastikya (Strong faith in soul, law of karma and re-birth)
The first defining characteristic of right faith is sham (equanimity). Right faith occurs when kashaay (passion) is pacified and the mind is at peace. Right faith is not possible in a person who is always ready to quarrel and fight for every minor issue and is not at peace. It is a matter to reflect upon if a shravak feels that his mind is unsteady or stressed. Why is his mind puzzled if he has right faith? He may be confronting adverse circumstances or have difficulties and problems in his life. Nonetheless, a shravak’s mind should remain steady. His mind must stay in equanimity.
Kashaay : The Cause of Restlessness Anger, Ego, Deceit and Greed are the four types of kashaay. In an extreme state they create immense stress. When they are subdued, a person feels peaceful. Weak kashaay and strong will power never lets the mind experience stress.
The greater the intensity of anger, the greater is the unrestful mind. Intense anger can make our hormones poisonous. Science has also proved change in body-chemistry during the state of anger and its harmful effects on our health. Thus, it is evident that we should remain calm and refrain ourselves from getting angry.
Ego causes conflicts. A man full of ego thinks that he is the most important person in the entire world. Today he may be a very successful businessman, but what happens when circumstances change? He may be Prime Minister of the country today, but nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. We have seen many instances of people attaining utmost success and falling abysmally. Situations can turn so drastically that it is difficult to predict what is going to happen next. So, why should one have ego when we are not even sure about tomorrow? In this unstable world, ego reflects nothing but foolishness, ignorance and intense passion. Where there is ego, there will be restlessness.
Deceit leads to an unstable mind. Law of nature is such that one who tries to entangle others in a web of deceit, himself gets caught in it. One who tells a lie deceitfully has to create a web of conspiracy around him. It is said – purvamchintaprayogasy asamye jaayate bhayam. It means, a person lives in anxiety before telling a lie and is fearful of being exposed while telling a lie. The extremity of deceit gives birth to a restless mind.
Though greed exists in each and every person, an intense state of greed causes agitation. It can be in the form of an excessive desire to possess or acquire more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth. Ignorance gives birth to restlessness. To be sorrowful is ignorance. Restlessness of mind and confronting the problems is not one and the same. In the absence of kashaay and ignorance mind remains restful. The stronger the kashaay, the greater the level of restlessness will be. The weaker the intensity of kashaay, mind will be more peaceful.