Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

Jivaraja Jaina Granthmala, No. 20

General Editorial
Preface to The First Edition
Preface to The Second Edition
Synoptic Philosophy
  Approach to Reality
  The Jaina Theory of the Soul
  Critique of Knowledge
  The Doctrine of Karma in Jaina Philosophy
  The Pathway to Perfection
  In this Our Life
  Men and Gods

THE JAINA  THEORY OF THE SOUL

 

 

But the process of entanglement in activity and enjoyment is beginningless. The soul gets entangled in the samsara and embodied through the operation of karmas. It assumes various forms due to the materially caused conditions (upadhi), and is involved in the cycle of birth and death. It is subjected to the forces of Karmas which express themselves, first through the feelings and emotions and secondly in the chains of very subtle kinds of matter, invisible to the eye and the ordinary instruments of science.  When the soul is embodied, is affected by the environmental-physical, social and spiritual, in different ways. Thus we get the various types of soul existence. The soul embodies itself and identifies itself with the various functions of the bodily and social environment. Willaim James distinguishes between the self as known or the me, the empirical ego as it is sometimes called, and the self as knower or the I, pure ego.  The constituents of the me may be divided into three classes: the material me, the social me and the spiritual me.  The body is the innermost part of the material me. Then come the clothes, our home and property. They become parts of our empirical ego with different degrees of intimacy. A man's social me is the recognition that he gets from his fellowmen.  A man has as many self as there are individuals and groups who recognize him. The spiritual me also belongs to the empirical me. It consists of the entire collection of con-sciousness, my psyche faculties and dispositmll taken concreate." But the pure self, the sell as the knower, is very different from the empirical sell. It is the thinker, that which thinks. This is permanent, what the philosophers call the soul or the transcendental ego.[34] James Ward also makes a distinction between the self known or the empirical ego, and the pure self. For him, the empirical ego is extremely complex. It is the presented self. ' The earlies element is the presented self, the bodily or the somatic consciousness.  But they never have the same inwardness as "the sense of embodiment." We also find a certain measure of individual permanence and inwardness that belongs to the self.  We may call this 'the sensitive and the appetitive self.  With the development of ideation there arises what we call the inner one, having still greater unity and permanence. This is the imaging and desiring self. At the level of interaction, we come to the concept that every intelligent person is a person having character and history and his aim in life through social interaction.  This gives conscience, a social product as Adam Smith has said. At this stage a contrast between the thinker and the object of thought is clearly formed.
 

This is the thinking and willing self. At this stage, even the -inner ideation and desire become outer, no longer strictly self. The duality of subject and object is the last order of knowledge and is the indispensable condition of all actual experience. It is the subject of experience that we call pure 'ego or self.[35]

 

The Jaina thinkers made a distinction between the states of the soul as bahiratman, antaratman and paramatman.  Bahiratman consists in the identification of the sell with body and external belongings. It is the bodily,self. In this we say, "I am the body, I am lean etc." This identification is due to ignorance. The same soul is in the karmavastha and is characterized by suddha caitanya and bliss. It is free from all sense of other ness. It has discriminative knowledge. This conscious self is antaratman in the samyagdrsti gunasthana. The pure and perfect self which is free from that impurities of Karma is the paramatman.  It is characterized by perfect cognition and knowledge. It is freed and is a Siddha. This Paramatman is jnanamaya and is pure consciousness. It cannot be known by the sense. It has no indriyas and no manas. From the noumenal point of view, these are the attributes of the soul.[36] The Jaina approach to the problem is metaphysical. It contains elements of psychological investigation; but the language is the language of metaphysics. modern psychologists, especially the rational psyshoiogists, stopped at psychological analysis and explained the process of realizing the pure nature of the self from the empirical stage to the stage of pure ego. But the transcendental self is not the subject of psychology. William James has said that states of consciousness are all that psychology needs to do her work with. 'Metaphysics or theology may prove the existence of the soul; but for psychology the hypothesis of such a substantial principle of unity is superfluous.[37]

 

Jainism refers to the size of the soul. Although so are not of any definite size, they contract and expand according to the size of the body in which they are incorporate for the time being. The soul is capable of adjusting its to the physical body, as the lamp placed in a large or small room illuminates the whole space of the room. Nemicanc describes it as the phenomenal characteristic of the soul From the noumenal point of view it is said to exist in innmerable pradesas.[38]  In respect of the elasticity of the so Jainism differs from the other schools of Indian thought as Jacobi says, the Jainas have a tenet of the size of the so which is not shared by other philosophers.[39]

 

Some philosophers like the Vaisesikas, Democritus; the atomists, thought of the soul as atomic. Some others talked of the omnipresence of the soul. Jacobi says that original Vaisesika was not clear on this point. Some Samki writers preferred the soul to be infinitely small, while Isvara Krsna and later writers characterized it as allpervading.[40] The spatial view of the habitation of the soul had occupied the minds of the Upanisadic philosophers.

 

Upanisadic psychology agrees with the Aristotelian localizing the soul in the heart. It was later thought that was in the brain. Yogic and Tantric books recognized the cerebro-chemical processes, and consciousness was traced, to the brain.  In the Taittirlyopanisad (1. 6. 1. 2) were that the soul in the heart moves by a passage through the bones of the palate, right up to the skull, where the hair are made to part.  The soul in the heart is called manomay, In the Kausltaki Upanisad the soul is described as the master of all bodily functions. The sense depends on the soul a 'relatives on the rich'. The self is immanent in the whole body, and is hidden in it. This passage leads to the view like the Jaina view, that the soul fills the body. Different other accounts are given in the Upanisads. In the Brhadaranyaka the self is described as small as a grain of rice or barley.  In the Kathopanisad we find that the soul is of the size of the thumb.[41] It dwells in the centrer of the heart.  In the Chandogya, it is said to be of the measure of the span between the head and the chin. William James traces the-feeling of self to the cephalic movements. He says that the self of selves when carefully examined is found to consist mainly in the collection of these peculiar motions in the head or between the head and the heart.[42] Descartes maintains that the seat of the soul is the pineal gland. Fichte holds that the soul is a space filling principle. Lotze says that the soul must be located somewhere in the matrix of the arterial brain events. These accounts tend to make us believe that the soul is something material which occupies space. It is sometimes pointed out that the idea of the spatial attributes of the soul constitutes a contradiction.  If the soul has no form it cannot occupy space, even the infinite pradesas; and if it is immaterial, it cannot have form. However, this contradiction is due to the difficulties of expressing the immaterial in terms of the material. This has been the perennial problem of philosophy, because the immaterial has no vocabulary of its own. The Greeks had the same difficulty. Plato had to resort to allegories and myths for expressing the immaterial. In Jainism, although the description of the soul is not metaphorical, it is just an attempt to come nearest to immaterialism. It may be that the difficulty is due to the complexity of substance in Jainism.  Jainism gives the cross division of substances as spiritual and non spiritual, and again as corporeal and non-corporeal substance like Dharma and Adharma; and there is the corpo real which is called Pudgala. From the phenomenal point of view, jiva comes under the spiritual but corporeal. The corporeal need not necessarily be material. The classification is as follows:-

 

                Substance

          ________|___________

          |                                             |

        spiritual                    non-spiritual

          |                                             |

        corporeal         ______________________

          |                       |                                                   |

          Jiva            corporeal                              n-corporeal

                                  |                                               |

                              matter                                   1. Akasa

                                                                           2.  Dharma

                                                                            3.  Kala

 

If this division is accepted, there need be no contradiction.  Again, when size is attributed to the soul, it is possible that it refers to the sphere or extent of the influence that is intended.  In the Pancastikayasara we read that just as a lotus hued ruby, when placed in a cup of milk, imparts its lustre to the milk, the soul imparts its lustre to the whole body. [43]

 

Jiva is characterized by upward motion. Nemicandra describes the pure soul as possessing urdhvagati. In the Pancastikayasara it is said, when the soul is freed from all impurities it moves upwards to the end of Loka.[44] For Plato, the soul was, above all, the source of motion. It is only the self that moves. In the Phaedrus, Socrates says in his second speech, "The soul is immortal for that which is ever in motion is lmmortal." The self r ever ceases to move and it is the fountain and the beginning to motion to all that moves.  the movement of the soul in samsara is due to its association with Karman; but by nature it has the upward motion which it adopts beyond which no movement is possible in pure space which is devoid of the medium tormotion. The Jaina conception of the soul as possessing urdhvagani appears to be more an ethical expediency than a metaphysical principle or a psychological fact. 

 

All these attributes belong to the nature of every soul and they are clearly seen if the Jivas are pure and free. However, most of the Jivas are not pure and free. They are contaminated by some foreign elements which veil their purity and perfection. The foreign element is karman, very fine matter, imperceptible to the senses, and which enters in the soul and causes great changes. The souls are then involved in the wheel of samsara. They become samsarins.

 

III. The samsari jivas are classified on the basis of various principles, like the status and the number of sense organs possessed by them. They are sthavara jivas, immovable souls. This is the vegetable kingdom. Sir J.C. BOSE has pointed out that the vegetable world has capacity for experince. They are one-sensed organisms. Earth, water, fire and plants

are such jivas. They possess the sense

of touch. This view is peculiar to Jainism. Trasa jivas, (moving souls) have two to five senses. Worms, oysters. conches etc., possess taste and touch. Ants, bugs and lice have three sensestaste, touch, smell and sight. And birds, beasts and men have all the five senses. Again, five sensed organisms may possess mind. They are called samanaka. They may be bereft of mind (amanaska).

 

Plato talked of a determined number of souls. 'The souls that exist must always be the same. They cannot become fewer, nor yet cant hey become more numerous'.[45] In the Timaneus he said that the number of souls is equal to the number of the stars.[46]