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Here arises the question as to how karmas are eternal because matter-particles (atoms) turn into karmic matter owing to the instrumental cause (Nimitta) of attachment (Raag) etc.?

Answer: Attributing instrumentality is possible only when there is a new modification; there is no role of Nimitta in beginningless state. As the bondage of fresh matter-particles (atoms) occurs only due to (difference in) the degrees of smoothness-roughness. But in the molecules of Mountain Merugiri, etc. the bondage of matter-particles (atoms) is from beginningless time. So what is the purpose (function) of Nimitta there? Similarly, changing of fresh matter-particles (atoms) into karmic matter results only due to attachment etc. (impure) dispositions of the soul. But the matter particles which are (already existing) in the form of karmic matter from beginningless time, what is the purpose (function) of Nimitta there? Moreover, if in the beginningless state also Nimitta is accepted then 'beginninglessness' is not established. Hence, the bondage ofkarmic matter is to be accepted from beginningless time. In TattavaPradeepika commentary of Pravachansara Shastra, there is a Samanya Jneyaadhikar; therein it is stated that 'The associating (instrumental) cause of attachment (Raag) etc. is karmic matter (Dravya-Karma) and the associating cause of karmic matter is attachment (Raag) etc. There, a question is raised that in believing so the inter-dependence-fault (Itaretarashraya Dosha) arises, i.e., that depends on it and it depends on that; there is no stoppage anywhere. There the following reply is given :-

"Neivam anadi prsidh drvyakrm smbandhsya tetr haitutvainopadanat"
"naOvaM Anaaid p`isaw d`vyakma- sambanQasya t~ hotu%vaonaaopadanaat\."

Meaning: In this way there is no fault of interdependence because the association of karmic matter is axiomatic from beginningless time, there it has been accepted as an instrumental cause.

This is what is stated in scripture and logically also this alone is possible that if without the instrumental cause of karmas ab-initio Jiva gets entangled in attachment, etc. then attachment etc. would become the nature of Jiva, because that which is found without any other associating cause, same is called the nature (Swabhava). Hence, the association with the karmic matter is established from eternity.

Here again the question arises: 'When the two substances are distinctly separate, how could such relationship between them be possible from eternity?'

Explanation: As from the origin itself, the bondage of water and milk, gold and stone, husk and seed and oil and sesame is found, these are not intermingled newly. Similarly, the bondage of soul and karmic matter be known from beginningless time. They are not intermingled newly. As from beginningless time many substances are quite separate and in the same way many substances are in bonded form (intermingled state); thus in the possibility of being so, there appears to be no contradiction.

Question: Asserting the state of bondage or association is possible then only when the (two distinct) things are firstly separate and then get intermingled. How is here the bondage of soul and karmic matter asserted to be existing from beginningless time?

Answer: These were in intermingled state from eternity but later on got separated, then it was known that they were separate, so got separated. Therefore, formerly also they were separate; thus by inference as well as by omniscience these clearly appear separate. On account of this, their separateness exists in spite of their being in bonded state. And from that separateness point of view only their bondage or association is asserted because in intermingled state of different substances, irrespective of their intermingling afresh or already being in intermingled state, asserting in this way only is possible. Thus, the bondage of this soul and karmas is from beginningless time.