Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions - Jain View of Life






Chapter- 8 : MEN OR GODS


1.Nature of Divinity in Jaina Philosophy: Religion as a way of life and not merely as an institution, has been natural to man. It is man�s reaction to the totality of things as he apprehends it. It implies an interpretation of nature and the meaning of the universe. It seeks to go beyond the veil of visible things and finds an inexhaustible fund of spiritual power to help him in life�s struggle in this life. The ways of god to ma and man I his struggles in this life. The ways of the gods have been rich and varied. It may be, as Prof. Leuba pointed out, that fear was the first of the emotions to become organised in human life, and out of this fear God was born. Perhaps love and gratitude are just as natural, as much integral parts of the constitution of man, as fear; and gods were friendly beings it is still possible that men have looked at gods with leaving sense of kinship and not with the vague fear of the unknown powers.1  We do not know. But o etching is certain that in higher religions fear is sublimated by love into an adoring reverence.2  From the fear of the Lord in the old Testament to the worship  of God� with godly fear ad awe� is not a far cry.

          In the Vedic period , we find a movement of thought from polytheism to monotheism and then to monism. The poetic souls contemplated the beauties of nature and the Indo-Iraia gods, like Deus, Varuna, Usas and Mitra were products of this age. Other gods like Indra were Created to meet the needs of the social ad political adjustments. Many gods were worshipped. Then a weariness towards the many gods began to  be felt as they didi not know to what god they should offer oblations. Then  a theistic conception of God as a creator of the universe was developed out of this struggle for the search of a divine being. In ancient Greece, Xenophanes was against the polytheism of his time. Socrates had to drink hemlock as he was charged of denying the national gods. He distinguished between many gods and the one God who is the creator of the universe.

          2. The Jaina Arguments against God: but the Jaias were against gods in general and even the God as creator. They presented several arguments against the theistic conception of God. They deny the existence of a creator God and refute the theistic arguments of the Naiyayikas.

3. i)It is difficult to understand the nature of the world as an effect:

a)    if effect is to mean that which is made of parts (sacayva) then    even space is to be regarded as effect;

b)    if it means coherence of a cause of a thing which was previously nonexistent, in that case one cannot speak of the world as effect as atoms are eternal;

c)     if it means that which is liable to change, then God would also    be liable to change� and he would need a creator to create him and another and so on and infinitum. This leads to infinite regress.

ii) Even supposing that the world as a whole is an effect ad eeds a cause, the cause need not Abe ans. intelligent one God because:

a)    if he is intelligent as the huma being is then he would be full of inperfectios, as human intelligence is not perfect;

b)    if his intelligence is not of the type of human intelligence but similar to it, then it would not guarantee inference of the existence of God on similarity, as we cannot infer the existence of fire o the ground of seeing steam which is simulate to smoke;

c)   we are led to a vicious circle of argument if we can  say that the word is such that we have a sense that some one made it, as we have to infer the sense for the fact of being created by God.

iii) If an agent had created the world, he must have a body. For we have never seen an intelligent agent without a body If a god is to produce an intelligence and will this is also not possible without embodied intelligence.4

iv) Even supposing a non-embodied being were to create the world by his intelligence, will and activity, there must be some motivation:

a)    if the motive is just a personal whim, then there would be no natural law or order in the world;

b)    if it is according to the moral actions of me, then he is governed by moral order and is not independent;

c)     if it is through mercy, there should have been a perfect world full  of happiness;

d)    if men are to suffer by the effects of past actions(adesta ) the adrsta would take the place of God but, if God were to create the world without any motive but only for sport it would be �moviveless malignity. 5