Friday, August 26, 2011


Only Arihanta, the conquer of love and hatred can achieve the height of ultimate truth

According to Jainism the cosmos is made of six substances and all the substances are eternal. Nobody has created them and nobody can destroy them. The six substances are described below:

Jeev (Soul): According to Jain philosophy, this universe consists of infinite Jivas or souls that are uncreated and always existing.  There are two main categories of souls: unliberated mundane embodied souls that are still subject to transmigration and rebirths in this samsara due to karmic bondage and the liberated souls that are free from birth and death. All souls are intrinsically pure but are found in bondage with karma since beginning-less time. A soul has to make efforts to eradicate the karmas attain its true and pure form. The sentient substance (soul) is characterized by the function of understanding, is incorporeal, performs actions (doer), is co-extensive with its own body. It is the enjoyer (of its actions), located in the world of rebirth (samsara) (or) emancipated (moksa) (and) has the intrinsic movement upwards. The qualities of the soul are cetana (consciousness) and upyoga (knowledge and perception). Though the soul experiences both birth and death, it is neither really destroyed nor created. Decay and origin refer respectively to the disappearing of one state and appearing of another state and these are merely the modes of the soul. Thus Jiva with its attributes and modes, roaming in samsara (universe), may lose its particular form and assume a new one. Again this form may be lost and the original acquired.

Pudgala (Material Atoms): Matter is classified as solid, liquid, gaseous, energy, fine Karmic materials and extra-fine matter i.e. ultimate particles. Paramāṇu or ultimate particle (atoms or sub-atomic particles) is the basic building block of all matter. One of the qualities of the paramāṇu and pudgala is that of permanence and indestructibility. It combines and changes its modes but its basic qualities remain the same. It cannot be created nor destroyed and the total amount of matter in the universe remains the same.

Dharma-Dravya (Medium of Motion): Dharma and Adharma are peculiar to the Jain system of thought, depicting the principles of Motion and Rest. They are said to pervade the entire universe. Dharma and Adharma are by themselves not motion or rest but mediate motion and rest in other bodies. Without Dharma motion is not possible. The medium of motion helps matter and the sentient that are prone to motion to move, like water (helps) fish. However, it does not set in motion those that do not move.

Adharma-Dravya (Medium of Rest): Without Adharma, rest and stability is not possible in the universe. The principle of rest helps matter and the sentient that are liable to stay to stay without moving, like the shade helps travelers. It does not stabilize those that move.

Ākāśa (Space): Space is a substance that accommodates the living souls, the matter, the principle of motion, the principle of rest and time. It is all-pervading, infinite and made of infinite space-points.

Kaal (Time): Kāal is a real entity according to Jainism and all activities, changes or modifications can be achieved only through the progress of time.
Only souls are living and has consciousness, the rest of five has no consciousness. The five substances other than Matter are formless and cannot be perceived by both the senses and the sensors.

Now the Principle of Freedom of Substance is as below:

Now there is an important principle in Jainism called the PRINCIPLE OF FREEDOM OF SUBSTANCE taught by the enlightened masters. This principle states that each of the six substances is independent. None depends on another. None can harm, alter, affect or influence the other substance. Each soul is independent and cannot harm, alter, affect or influence the other soul. Every soul is the doer and enjoyer of its own attributes. Each atomic particle being substance is also independent. Each substance remains in boundary of its own attributes and modifications. All matters absorbed in own substance, touches their own circle of infinite virtues, yet they do not mutually touch each other. Even one soul cannot interfere in the activity of other soul. Activity of two substances is different only. Consciousness is not doing activity of inanimate; an inanimate is not doing activity of consciousness. Man who believes doing two activities of one substance is of illusory sight.

In this world, many have great illusion that by karma (karma atoms), soul’s pure state is spoiled. In other words, inanimate karma atoms is doer of soul’s spoiled state, but it is not so, because it is against the Principle of Freedom of Substance. Here we can take an example to understand this. A soul resides in a body but from the absolute view point both are different substances. The soul is consciousness and the body is inanimate (made of innumerable particles). Now as we walk, run or stop the body also walks, runs and stops. So anyone can say that in this case the animate (soul) is doing the work of inanimate (the body) but it is not so. Because the ability (the energy for movement) is an attribute of matter also, so in real case it is not us who causes this body to move. We are the Instrumental Cause (Nimitta) but the Real Cause (Upadaan) is within each atoms of this body.

Suppose, an atomic particle (an electron etc) is in space, here again a particle and space are two different substances. So a particle, despite being in space never touches any attribute of space. Space is absorbed in its own attributes and a particle is absorbed in its own. Same thing can be considered for soul.

People who are in illusory state believe that, * this world cannot be made without a doer (God or something like that). * One soul can do other soul’s life, death, happiness, misery. * By inspiration of soul body can move here, there and can speak. * Karma (Matter) can trouble the soul. * Somebody’s blessings become welfare of others. * A potter makes a pot or a goldsmith shapes ornaments.

Ignorant believes that God will rescue him/her. If we think that way then it does mean that there is no spirit and power in us. Thus we become dependent on someone else, something fantasy. To get rid of such ideas one has to develop faith that one’s freedom is in one’s own hands. When a soul destroys the bondage of karma then it attains the state of perfection and that state is called God or Siddha. Every soul is doing own feeling and suffering – cannot become doer or sufferer of other things. In the time of intense disease, soul does not feel suffering of inanimate disease but experiences hatred feeling because of its wrong belief and ignorance. In the experience of pure soul with spiritual knowledge and faith – soul is not doer or sufferer of attachment and resentment – but is doer of pure state of modification and enjoys its bliss. This is the stage of self-realization.

From this we conclude the independence of each substance, its attributes and its modification. This is the most important principle of Jain philosophy. One can attain state of self-realization by complete understanding and faith of this great principle of Jain philosophy.