Categories of Ajiva ( Pudgala, Dharma, Adharma,
Akasa, Kala )
"Jiva and Ajiva together constitute universe. If they
are separate, nothing more is needed. If united, as usually is the case,
the stoppage, the gradual and then ultimate destruction of the union is
the only possible course of considering them."
Really the bondage is nothing but the union of Jiva and
Ajiva. This union is from the time immemorial, hence there is endless
effort on the part of every Jiva to break this union to achieve real
freedom. That is why, the study of the nature and character of Ajiva is
Lay meaning of Ajiva is the thing not moving. But in
Jaina metaphysics this term does not connote that sense because, here,
some specific Jivas also are immobile - those found in earth and other
Categories of Ajiva
In short, Ajivas are those who are not Jivas. The
categorization of Ajivas would give us proper understanding of the
expression. There are five categories of Ajiva, namely - 1, Fudgala, 2.
Dharma, 3. Adharma, 4. Akasa and 5. Kala. The Jainas have bestowed upon
these terms the special meanings, distinct from those ordinarily attached
to them in day to day language. These are called Sad-dravyas. Their
interplay with Jiva constitutes and explains all the movements of the
universe. A brief description of the five types of Ajivas are as follows -
(1) Pudgala -- The most important of all the
five Ajivas is Pudgala. Etymology of this expression clarifies its
meaning. The term ï¿½Pud' connotes the process of combination and the term
ï¿½gal' signifies dissociation. So the expression ï¿½Pudgala' means one in the
constant process of combination and dissociation. In other words, Pudgala
is that which undergoes constant outward change in form.
The Pudgalas are substances both tangible as well as
intangible. They can, however, be perceived by senses. The Jaina
philosophers have divided that the ï¿½Pudgala' dravyas upto the stage where
further division is not possible. This is called ï¿½Anu', meaning atom.
Pudgalas are of variegated types with innumerable atoms. Different atoms
of different types of Pudgalas combine, dissolve and again combine in
different and variegated forms. This process of combination gives rise to
different and variegated molecules, referred to as ï¿½Skandha'. Thus,
innumerable varieties of ï¿½Skandhas' with different varying qualities are
found in the universe. Sri, Pujyapada Devanadi's classic
ï¿½Sarvartha-siddhi' says that, some ï¿½Skandhas' are visible and some
invisible. There are six forms of recognised ï¿½Skandhas'. Of these
extremely subtle and beyond sense-perception are the ï¿½Skandhas' formed by
particles of Karma. When the self (Jiva) enjoys sensual objects, it gets
smeared with these Karma particles and this results in further journey of
birth and rebirth of the self.
In short ï¿½Pudgala' may be defined as ï¿½that which can be
experienced by sense-organs'.
According to Jaina view, the existence of Pudgala is
real. It is distinct and separate from self. It has no beginning and no
end. It is indestructible, though it is constantly changing in form. From
time immemorial it is associated with self and gives its own colour to the
self. Self works through it so long as it enjoys the sensations conveyed
by it. But the effort of the aspiring self is to dissociate itself from
the company of Pudgala and thus to gain its real luster and form.
This Jaina realism is quite distinct from the Sankara
Vedanta considering Pudgala as ï¿½Maya', and illusion. The root ï¿½Ma' in
Samskrta means ï¿½to form' and it is believed that the word ï¿½Magic' is
derived from this root. So ï¿½Maya' means a formation which is not real.
Sankhya philosophers think greatly in lines with Jainas. According to
them, the universe is made up of two elements -ï¿½Purusa', the Atman and ï¿½Prakrti',
the matter. According to Sankhyas, however, Purusa, the Atman, remains ï¿½Kutastha',
i.e., at the summit, isolated, and does not participate in any way in
human pains, passions and feelings, though it ï¿½appears' to be involved in
life because of apparent association with conditioning attributes of
ï¿½Prakrti' (matter) which manifests itself in three aspects (Gunas), namely
Satva, Rajas and Tamas (good, active and dark).
(2) Dharma - Here the word Dharma is not used in
its popular sense that is religion. Dharma here means the principle of
motion. It is a necessary condition and medium of motion. Conscious
objects and other matters have their own motion but the medium through
which they gain their motion is called Dharma. For example fish has its
own motion but that motion is possible only through the medium of water.
This medium which makes the motion possible, is Dharma. It is said that
the nature of every object is its Dharma ï¿½Dhammo Vatthu Sahavo'. Word
ï¿½Sahavo' means ï¿½Svabhava', i.e., one's own nature. Every object express
itself and moves in the universe and progresses through the medium of its
own nature. This medium itself is unconscious and is therefore Ajiva. In
application of this theory to Atman (soul), it is important to note that
so long as the soul moves through the medium of its ï¿½own nature' (Sva-bhava)
it is moving in Dharma. ï¿½Sva-bhava of soul is its own consciousness. But
when the soul is smeared by Kasayas, i.e., passions such as attachment,
hatred, greed, etc. It moves in Para-bhava, i.e., in the field which is
alien to it and hence, it is not moving in Dharma.
(3) Adharma : If Dharma signifies the principle
of motion, Adharma in Jainism signifies the principle of non-motion, i.e.,
rest. It is also unconscious and so does not interfere with the motion of
an object. It is just like earth which enables the moving object to take
rest and stop the motion.
These concepts of Dharma and Adharma constitute the
systematic dynamism of Universe, as without them, there would be chaos. If
things of the Universe are moving according to their nature smoothly, the
universe would function smoothly but not otherwise.
(4) Akasa (Space) - It is eternal and uncreated.
Without space Dharma and Adharma cannot exist and pudgalas as well as
Jivas cannot move. Space is also unconscious and is inseparable
constituent of universe.
It is divided into two parts- Lokakasa and Alokakasa.
ï¿½Lokakasa' means space for the functioning of six Dravyas and ï¿½Alokakasa'
means space beyond Lokakasa, where nothing exists.
All these Dravyas except Kala namely Pudgala, Dharma,
Adharma and Akasa move and form their own collections, called ï¿½Astikaya'
meaning collectives in space.
(5) Kala (Time) - It does not require any space
and has, therefore, no Asti-kaya. It is beginning-less, unconscious and
helpful in measuring the changes in Pudgalas. Just as space is infinite,
time is eternal and an unavoidable component of universe. It is in
coordination of time, space and motion that Jiva (self) function in the
universe in union with Pudgalas. It is Jivas's motivation which make
Pudgalas active and the activity created thereby is manifested through
space and time. This is how the universe functions.
This analytical concept of universe is peculiar only to
the Jainas. It gives us a comprehensive idea of the whole mechanism of the
functioning of universe and helps us in further understanding the life and
Here, it would not be out of place if we revert back to
some of the queries, posed in the beginning of the first chapter. "Whence
has it all proceeded and whether is it tending ?" "Is it all without
purpose, without aim and without a scheme ? Or, is all this created,
guided and controlled by some super power, beyond human comprehension ?"
These are the consequential questions, which may be replied, on the basis
of discussion contained in the foregoing chapters, in the following manner
(1) This Universe, is uncreated, is existent from
eternity and will exist till eternity, having no beginning, no end.
(2) It is controlled and guided by its own force and
not by any outside super power. Its motivating force is generated by one
of its own principal elements, namely, spirit or soul.
(3) It is tending nowhere, but it supplies proper
medium for its elements to function.
(4) The real ï¿½purpose', of all the strains and
struggles and all the phenomenal happenings in the universe is to enable
different Jivas (souls) to achieve final liberation through their own
endeavour and obtain Godhood (State of Siddha).
(5) There is a recognizable and systematized scheme
under which this universe is functioning, the main key being the theory of
Karma and transmigration. It is not a super imposed scheme of any outside
force. We may now proceed to consider how the main ï¿½purpose', that is,
emancipation referred to in item no. 4 above, is fulfilled and what is the
modus operandi thereof.