Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions


The Antiquity of Jainism
Jain Heroes
Jaina Order and Literature
Fundamental Beliefs
  The Human Predicament
  The Doctrine of Karma
  The Doctrine of Man
  The Denial of God
  Jaina Ethics and Morality
  Three Spiritual Paths
  Response to Contemporary Issue
  Social Issues
  The Economic Order
  The Idea of Ahimsa and Vegetarianism

Fundamental Beliefs



The Universe

Jainism has a unique view of the universe.  It believes the universe is uncreated, self-existent, beginningless, eternal, and infinite.  It is an aggregation of six substances (Dravyas):

Soul (Jiva), Matter (Pudgala), Principle of Motion ( Dharma), principle of Rest (Adharma), Space (Akasa), Time (Kala).  Substance consists of attributes and modes.  Attributes are the essential features of the substance and always occupy the substance, whereas modes are the changing features of the substance.  If substance is characterized in terms of its attributes, it is nonchanging and eternal.  But if viewed from the perspective of its modes, it is regarded as changing and transitory.

Jain cosmology refers to our limited world as Loka.  Beyond this there is the unlimited world of Aloka.  The principles of Dharma and adharma only operate in Loka where the Soul and Matter are located.  Loka is divided into three parts; the upper universe where celestial beings dwell, the middle universe occupied by humans and animals, and the lower universe in which the wicked reside.

The fundamental substance of Soul and Matter are thought of as interdependent.  This connection eventuates in the creation of pleasure and pain for the soul as a result of its involvement in Karmic matter.  This can be clarified by describing the human predicament and the role of Karma.