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Foreword

 

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Section -1 Page 01 To 35


 

Jain Metaphysics :

Jeinism has contributed much to the field of metaphysics and ontology. Jain metaphysics starts with the scientific axiom that �nothing is destructible� that is, nothing can be created out of nothing or out of something which does not at all exist in one form or the other. Thus it means that the cosmos or universe is eternal, everlasting, without a beginning, and without an end. Ontologically, Jainism does not accept creation of the world by anyone. The cosmic constituents are themselves capable of explaining the diverse phenomena by their respective functioning and interaction. These cosmic constituents primarily fail under two categories, Jiva ( life or animate objects ) and Ajiva ( non-life or inanimate objects ). So Jaina ontology may be described as a realistic dualism. The Jiva category comprises an infinite number of Independent spirit-units ( souls ) and the Ajiva, the five categories including pudgala which is composed of an infinite number of atomic units, the system may be described as a pluralistic realism. The five ajiva categories are pudgala or matter, Dharma or medium of motion, Adharma or medium of rest, Akasha or space and kala or time.

The Jiva is the very antithesis of matter and cannot be perceived by the senses. It is essentially constituted of sentiency and its differential is the manifestation of consciousness which takes the form of Dharshana arid Jnana and flows at a time any one of the three channels, inauspicious, auspicious and pure indicating impiety, piety and purity respectively. The development of the soul�s sentiency is also three fold, that is soul is either the knower ( Jnata ) the doer ( karta ) and the enjoyer

( Bhokta ). The souls are infinite in number and some are pure, liberated ones that is mukta and the rest mundane that is Samsarin living a bodily or embodied existence. Each soul is one complete whole in itself. It is eternal, immortal and retains its individuality even in liberation. It is not all-pervasive and in the embodied state is of the same size as the body it happens to occupy. It has no definable shape. All souls are equal and alike in their inherent, essential qualities, intrinsic characteristics and potentialities. They all are capable of attaining liberation.

The pudgala, so called because it is amenable to constant composition or decomposition, is inanimate matter, concrete, gross, perceptible by the sense and possessed of sensory qualities to its last unit paramanu. The world is full of material bodies in which the aggregatory process goes on because of their inherent qualities of cohesion and avidness.

Dharma and Adharma are described as substances because they exist as neutral and conditional causes respectively of motion and rest and are non-corporeal but homogenous whole in their constitution. They are simply passive, inactive agents or media for the other substances to move or stop as the case may be. In no other philosophical systems of the world are these terms used in this sense and merely convey ethico-religious ideas. Dr. Jacobi holds this peculiarity of Jainism as mark of its antiquity.

The characteristic of Akasha is to give space. It is its nature to accommodate everything. The part of it which accommodate or inhabited by the other five substance that is Jiva. Pudgala, Dharma, Adharma and Kala is designated as lokakasha, whereas the empty space which extends infinitely beyond the physical world ( Lokakasha ) is called alokakasha. The Akasha is thus all pervading and eternal but Jainism does not hold sound to be the quality of akasha.

The Kala or time is not one and all pervading but has a sort of automatic constitution and is therefore, not included in the panchastikays, the five categories of indivisible composite and homogenous-whole substance which the others are. It helps the substances to undergo changes and transformations which they are doing all the time. The practical dimensions of time like second, hours, months, years etc. are mere deduction of the real substance that Kala is. The ultimate, smallest, indivisible unit of Akasha is called pradesha of pudgala, anu or paramanu and of Kala samaya. Pradesha is defined as the space occupied by one indivisible particle of matter and capable of being occupied by even an infinite number of such particles under abnormal condensations. Paramanu is the smallest indivisible particle of matter, samaya is the time required for a paramanu to traverse one space point.

Jaina Cosmology :

According to Jaina cosmology the universe comprises six Dravyas, substances or Realities. A Dravya or reality has been defined as any substantiality, which has the important characteristic of persistence through changes, that is, it undergoes a transformation and re-appears in a new form while the original substantiality still abides. Also a reality is the basis in which attributes rest and modifications take place. The six realities or Dravyas are the Soul ( Jiva ), Matter ( Ajiva ), Space ( Akasha ), Time ( Kala ), a Non-Material medium for the motion of souls and the propagation of matter and engergy ( Dharma ), The field through which the gravitational and electromagnetic forces operate for maintaining the unity of the microscopics as well as the microscopic world ( Adharma ). The number of substances is fixed as six, it can never be seven or five. These substances are eternal and unchanging in their characteristic leaving aside the substance matter all others are nonmaterial and formless and hence devoid of all properties associated with matter. Thus Jain cosmology clearly states that the cosmos or universe with its six basic constituents, the dravyas is a veritable reality by virtue of its very existence. It is uncreated, self existent, beginningless, endless, eternal and infinite. The six categories, that is, Jiva, Pudgaia, Dharma, Adharma, Akasha and Kala are called Dravyas and the differential of a dravya is sat, that is existentialism. These dravyas being themselves existential give an existential character to the universe. They are not the fragments of somebody�s imaginations but are the outcome of a comprehensive analysis of the subjective and objective existence. The sat ( reality ) is characterised by the trio of origination ( Utpada ), destruction

( Vyaya ) and permanence ( Dhrauvya ). Thus it is both permanent ( Nitya ) and impermanent ( Anitya ) at one and the same time. Dravya is made up of Gunas or qualities and Paryayas or modes or modifications. It is the substratum of qualities and modes which are its determinates and on which its own intelligibility depends. Divested of its qualities and modes the substances would become merely an abstraction a void. Moreover the Dravya is not immutable but is subject to constant, incessant changes in the qualities and modes with which it is endowed or of which it is made. Origination and destruction refers to modification of qualities on the permanent bedrock of substance. It is only the permanent that changes, for in the absence of permanence change is absolutely meaningless. At the same time, no amount of change in the qualities or modes of a substance can ever convert it into another substance, that is, soul can never become Non-soul and vice versa. The same being true of all other dravyas. Dr. Upadhye calls it a peculiarly common sense view, which is deduced from such patent and handy illustrations of that of a ring coming into existence after a bangle is melted and reshaped, the gold remaining there all the time as permanent substance. Thus the real or dravya is both permanent and impermanent accordingly as it is looked upon from the point of view of the qualities which constitute it or from Mat of the modes or modification which are constantly occurring in those qualities.

Jaina Cosmography:

Jain cosmography states that the loka, the part of the unbounded, unlimited akasha in which all the six dravyas are found existing side by side, has a definite shape and size. It is three dimensional. In shape it resembles the figure of a man standing akimbo with feet apart. The cylindrical section is the trasanali, which alone is inhabited by mobile ( trasa ) living bodies. The trasanali is divided into three parts, the central, the upper and the lower. Right at the top is the crescent-shaped abode of the Siddhas or liberated souls. Below it and above the central part are located the heavens where celestial beings reside. The lower region constitutes neither world nor hills. In the central or middle hemispherical space is accommodated the human and animal world which is made up of circular belts of land and sea alternating each other. The very central expanse of land is Jambudvipa with Mount Sumeru at its center and ocean surrounding it on all sides. This Jambudvipa corresponds to our earth. To the south of Mount Sumeru lies the Bharatakshetra the mid-region of which include Bharatavarsha or India, watered by Ganga and Sindhu.


Classification of Jiva :

The Jiva or soul has various characteristics. There are infinite number of souls and the whole world is literally filled with them. The souls are substances and are eternal. The intelligence of soul can never be destroyed. Soul is ever all perfect and powerful, but by ignorance it identifies itself with the matter and hence its degradation and troubles start. The Jiva or soul are of two categories, Mukta or liberated soul and Samsari or mundane or embodied soul. The samsari Jivas or mandane souls are the embodied souls of living beings in the world and are still subject to the cycle of births and deaths. Mukta Jivas or the liberated souls who are not to be embodied in future, have accomplished absolute purity, dwell in the state of perfection, no more to do with worldly affairs have reached Mukti or Moksha having four enjoyments that is, Ananta darshana, Ananta Jnana, Ananta Virya, Ananta Sukha. The mundane souls ( samsari Jiva ) are divided into two groups that is samanaska Jivas, that is those who have a mind and amanaska Jivas that is those who have no mind. Embodied souls or samsari Jivas are divided into the immobile ( Sthavara ) and the mobile ( Trasa ). Souls embodied in earth, water, fire, air and vegetation comprise the five classes of the immobile living beings ( Sthavara Jivas ) which are endowed with only one-sense organ, that of touch. Among mobile living beings ( Trasa-Jivas ) are the two-sensed, three-sensed, four-sensed and five-sensed ones accordingly as they are endowed with the faculty of touch and taste, touch, taste and smell, touch, taste, smell and sight and touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing respectively. Some of the five sensed beings are equipped with mind or intelligence, while others are devoid of this facility. The former again falls under four categories, the human, subhuman

( animal kingdom ) hellish and celestial beings. These are the four conditions or gaits in one or the other of which the mundane embodied souls are found living. These mundane souls are called Samsari Jivas because they have been for ever ceaselessly undergoing the round of births that is samsara.


Concept of Samsara and Transmigration :

The Jiva and Ajiva are thus not mere philosophical postulates but reals as spirit and matter, which are pluralistic, eternal and not liable to lose and interchange their nature. With the simple dogma that the soul has been associated with matter from times immemorial, Jainism explains the samsara ( the round of rebirths ) as a remedy against which religion is needed. According to Jainism samsara is a fact and transmigration is dogma. The ball of rebirth is already set in motion and for every individual embodied mundane soul it has been going on since beginningless time and will-continue to do so till that soul attains liberation ( Moksha ). The cause of samsara or rebirth is karma.


Doctrine of Karma :

The doctrine of karma, as expounded in the Jaina philosophy, is a peculiarity of its own, nothing substantially similar to it being found in any other system. This doctrine is a direct corollary of the Jain conception of matter which is described as being amenable to multifarious modifications. One of these a particular and specific type of five matter molecules is known as Karma Skandha or Karmavargana. When these Karma molecules come in contact with the passional development of the soul, they are transformed into the karma related to that soul. The karma is a subtle matter which flows into the soul when latter has become receptive for it, under the influence of attachment ( raga ) or aversion ( dvesha ), the two modes of spiritual delusion ( moha ). The samsarin soul has continued to be held in the bondage of karma since beginningless time and being associated, with this karmic matter. It has never been without a concrete embodiment. The association with karmic matter causes emotional and passional developments in the soul which in their turn result in attaching further karmic bondage of the soul. In its embodied state, the soul comes to possess many material adjuncts, which together with the various grades and conditions of existence to which such n soul is subjected are due to the karma that holds it in bondage.

The soul is not the direct agent of these material karmas, but only of its own psychic conditions and states of consciousness which find expression in the vibration ( yogas ) caused by its mental, vocal and bodily activities. These vibrations of the mundane soul being already tinged with emotions and passions cause the karmic influx. Thus the soul when in conjunction with matter, develops a sort of susceptibility which finds expression in the soul�s passional states. The latter, in their turn, cause the soul to establish a relationship with matter and let itself be held in bondage. The actual spring of our action are the psychic activities, feeling, emotion, passions etc. of the soul itself which are called the Bhava-Karma, as distinct from the dravya karmas which are material or matter forms. The former leads to the latter and the latter to the former. The process goes on unless the soul of its own conscious effort attains total liberation from both the forms of Karma, Bhava and Dravya, subjective and objective.

The Dravya and Bhava karma is divided into eight primary classes and one hundred and forty-eight subclasses. The Primary or principal classes of karma obstruct, cover, obscure, distort, pervert or prevent the full expression of the eight cardinal qualities and attributes of the soul. These karmas are as follows:


1 ) Jnanavarana : Which covers or obstructs comprehension or knowledge.

2 ) Darshanavarana : Which covers intuition, apprehension or perception.

3 ) Vedaniya : Which causes feelings of pleasure and pains.

4 ) Mohaniya : Which affects delusion, entological and moral theoretical and practical.

5 ) Ayu : Which determines the nature or mortal existence and its duration in contravention of the immortal continuity of the pure soul.

6 ) Nama : Which causes the bodiless soul to be embodied endowing it with the various adjuncts of physical and corporeal existence.

7 ) Gotra : Which causes differences in genealogical, racial and social status; thus producing gradation in what is otherwise unguarded.

8 ) Antaraya : Which obstructs and hampers the full play of the infinite energy and capacity of soul in giving away, in obtaining or acquiring, in enjoying and in exerting or making efforts.

Of these eight classes, the Jnanavarana, Darshanavarana, Mohaniya and Antaraya are called Ghatis because they affect main spiritual faculties and capacities and so long as they remain, the soul cannot attain godhood or become an Arhat-Kevalin. The remaining four are known as Aghatis since they do not obstruct spiritual qualities but have their effect only in states of the subordinate forms.

Doctrine of karma is founded on simple law of cause and effect. No effect is without a cause. One has to bear sooner or later the consequences of his or her acts of commission or omission, good and bad if not possible: to escape them. Since the consequences of all the acts done cannot be worked out in one and same life-time, there may positively follow a future birth to enable their fruition, mid the process goes on. The obvious disparity and diversity in the mental, physical, hereditary, environmental and sundry other conditions of individuals at and since birth, which cannot be explained away as being caused by one�s efforts or by chance, fully substantiate the doctrine of karma. With its help transmigration of souls becomes a proven fact and through it their continuity and immortality can be established beyond doubt. It provides a scientific nod rational explanation for the diverse phenomena and experiences of one�s own life as well as of others. The Karma doctrine also does away with the necessity of any outside agency, a supreme being creator, destroyer and preserver, for punishing or rewarding living beings. They and they alone are responsible for their own actions and themselves benefit by or suffer from the consequences good or bad as they may be. The theory inspires the individual to fight and annihilate the Karmic forces by developing will-power and putting in his own personal effort. In ordinary course the chain of Karmic bondage goes on ceaselessly developing, the older karmas dropping off after fruition and the new ones coming in and binding the soul. But as soon as one realises the truth and with due faith and requisite right knowledge brings his free will into play, puts on adequate effort, begins to struggle against the current, he can succeed in loosening the bonds even in converting the bad Karmas into good ones and in ultimately freeing himself completely from their thralldom. Thus by no implication does the Jain theory of Karma lead to a belief in determinism, fatalism or blind destiny. The entire emphasis is on the development of strong will - power and conscious personal efforts. In order to thwart and annihilate the various adverse influences internal and external and in this way to affect a gradual spiritual evolution leading to the ultimate goal-the very godhood, whence there is no return to the samsara. This transformation of man into God is the ultimate aim and realisable goal for a man. He is the master of his destiny and can make it according to his wills. This optimism, based on a rational conviction and profound faith in the intrinsic purity and perfection of the self ( soul ). Its capacity and capability to realise, recover and retain for ever its essential nature ( Dharma ) that is Godhood, through philosophical enlightenment and a rigorous course of moral and spiritual self discipline is the keynote of Jainism. This idea of Karma is not unknown to other religions or philosophical systems, but in no Brahmanical, Buddhist or Western works, has this term been so extensively used, nor in the same peculiar and specific sense as in the Jain philosophy.