Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

Jainism  -  Respect For All Life

The birth of Jainism
Mahavira the Path-Maker
The Enlightenment
The Rise of Jainism
  The Two Sects
  The Scriptures
  Rise and Fall
  Jain Beliefs-The Universe
  The Soul
  Karma and Rebirth
  The way of Salvation
  The Everyday Life of a Jain
  The Life of an Ascetic
  Ways of Worship
  Temples and Domestic Shrines
  Ninian Smart

The Soul



The soul�s essential character is consciousness and knowing.  In its original state , the soul knows everything :  nothing is hidden from it, it commands the knowledge of existence in all its various aspects, and at all times, past, present and future.  In its present state in this world, ensconced in a material body, the soul�s knowledge is made imperfect and incomplete by the limitations matter places on it.

The soul is graded into five levels according to which form it takes in its earthly existence.

At the lowest level are the souls possessing only one sense-touch; these include the elements themselves, earth, water, air and fire, and the vast vegetable kingdom.

At the second level are the souls possessing two senses:  touch and taste - including worms and shell creatures.

At the third level are the souls possessing three senses:  those of touch, taste and smell-including ants, bugs and moths.

At the fourth level are the souls possessing four senses:

touch, taste, smell and sight; these include, for example, wasps, locusts and butterflies.

At the fifth and highest level are the souls possessing all five senses - touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing.  These include four types of creatures:  infernal beings, the higher animals, humans, and heavenly beings.

The soul�s journey from one level of consciousness to another, and from one grade to another, up or down the scale, depends on the inexorable law of Karma.