Gunasthanak very simply is a state of mind, or level, or degrees in spiritual development of a living being. These not being a part of original sutras are deduced as an indicator of spiritual progress. The story of prasannachandra is the best pointer. Refer to saga stories. It explains the state of mind of a person, when in agitation and when calm and completely awakened, irrespective of vows taken and outward appearance of clothes.
The following are the 14 names and explanation.
- Mithyatva(delusion)- This is also considered as a gunasthan as a living being possesses conciousness and has a potential to uplift spiritually. In this gunasthanak the living being is in a state of delusion, immersed in worldly activities. There is a thick veil of karma bondage and delusion of both darshan mohiniya and charitra mohiniya karma. All his activities of mind, speech and body is in contradiction to the declaration of the omniscient(kevali).
- Mishra- This is a momentary stage when a soul is falling from 4th to 1st stage like the time when the falling fruit is neither on the tree nor on the ground. Sasadana means one who has tasted the glory of samyaktva. Sa means “with” and Asadhan means “intense passions” like anantanubandhi kashay. This state is similar to the story of a tortoise which had a peek at the beautiful sky from the small opening of a pond covered with algae, but it had covered up by the time it brought its family also to take a peek. This story is in acharang sutra 6th chapter 1st udhesak.
- Samyaktva- This is where the process of liberation starts. The 1st step of real spiritual developments. Perception is clear but unable to act. Vows are partial.
- Deshvirati- Beginning of perception and observation of partial vows.
- Sarvavirat- 5th and 6th is observation of vows with negligence (pramath).
- Sarvavirati- Without negligence (apramath). In this, maximum level is upto 6th or 7th. Tiriyanch (animal bodied) being can go only upto 5th. Dev and Narki can go upto 4th gunasthan.
- Apoorvakaran- This is the state where 1st time extraordinary things happen (one which did not occur previously). There is also shreni means beginning. From 8th to 12th there is intense subsidence or destruction (upshant or kshay) of remaining passions. In these stages (8 to 11) soul remains for a period of one samaya to antarmuhurtha
If Subsidence: 8-9-10-11- fall (upsham shreni or ladder of subsidence)
If destruction: 8-9-10-11-12- no fall (upsham shreni or ladder of destruction)
One can’t go from 11 to 12 but to go from 11 to 12, the soul on 11th has to fall and take another birth and then ladder of destruction. Come back on 8th.
From 2nd to 11th fall is inevitable.
- Anivriti badar.In this state there are subtle passions of deceipt etc. called sanjvalana,but gone beyond gender differences.
- sukshma samparayik.In this state ,there is very subtle passion of greed,but gone beyond all other three passions of anger,pride and deceipt.
- Upshanth moha.This a state where there is desire but in a dormant state.Since the desire is in a dormant state,there is the danger of slipping down.
- Kshina mohaniya.In this state there is annihilation of desire.
- Sayog kevali.In this state the four gathi karmas are annihilated, and attains keval gyan, keval darshan,or omniscience.
- Ayog kevali.This state is of a small duration when ayush karma is exhausted, performs kevali samudghat and attains nirvana.
Explanations.samparay means passions,vrithi means vows,anivrithi means partial vows,nir -vrithi means without vows,badar means visible,sukshma means subtle or non visible to others and to oneself.
If soul does not fall from samyaktva (4th Stage) it shall be liberated in maximum 15th birth but if it falls to Mithyatva (1st stage) it will need Ardha Pudgal Paravartan for liberation. This means duration of time compared to a large banyan tree with numerable leaves (that many birth maximum yet numerable).
12th Gunasthanak kshina mohaniya is actually moksh = moham kshayam. And the result is nirvan. Nirvan means nir = without, vaan = without body or Asariri = sidhgati.