Jain philosophy simplified

  • By Shri Narottamdas Kapasi
  • July 2002

44. The Jainism does not rest at expounding the merit of the soul only.  It extols the merits of inanimate objects, too.
45. Inanimate objects have got infinite ability. A word uttered can travel the universe in less than a second. A ray of light can pierce through the darkness in the universe. A small particle can travel a great distance in a second.
46. Inanimate objects have their demerits too; a chemical object can spread various decreases. An atom can destroy a country. A nuclear bomb can destroy a great part of the world.
47. As per Jainism, these are five kinds of lifeless objects. They are;
(i) Dharmastikaya
(ii) Adharmastikaya
(iii) Akashastikaya
(iv) Pudgatastikaya
(v) Kala

48. Dharmastikaya
This is a unique object, propounded in Jain philosophy.
It is spread out in the whole universal.
It is invisible.  It is indivisible.
49. Just as air helps a word to travel, ether helps light to travel; this Dharmastikaya helps objects, including souls, to move.  No article can move in its absence.
50. Dharmastikaya covers the entire field of the universe.
51. As per Jainism, the sky is there even beyond the universe. But Dharmastikaya does not extend to sky, which is spread out everywhere even beyond the universe.
52. When a soul gets free from the bondage of ‘Karma’ i.e. free from this world, it travels to the highest peak or the point at the top of the universe.  Journey of such a free soul comes to an end at the highest point or peak.  Though there is sky beyond, the soul cannot travel there, as there is no Dharmastikaya in the sky beyond the universe.
53. Adharmastikaya: 
Like Dharmastikaya, it is invisible and indivisible. It spreads through out the universe, but does not extend to the sky, beyond the universe.
54. When a soul gets free from the bondage of ‘Karma’ i.e. free from this world, it travels to the highest peak or the point at the top of the universe. Journey of such a free soul comes to and at the highest point or peak.  Though the sky is beyond, the soul cannot travel there, as there is no Dharmastikaya in the sky beyond the universe.
55. The function of the Adharmastikaya is to help objects, including souls, to keep static. Since, the Adharmastikaya does not exist beyond the sky, the free soul gets static at the peak of the universal or at the end of the universe.
56. An object does not travel beyond the peak of the universe, because there does not exist the presence of Dharmastikaya.  An object becomes static at the top of the universe, because, Adharmastikaya does not exist beyond.
57. Dharmastikaya does not induce the objects to move.  It only renders help to the object in moving.  So also, Adharmastikaya does not induce objects to stop.  It only helps in stopping.
58. Movement means ‘Gati’ i.e. going, moving. Absence of movement means ‘sthiti’. I.e. becoming static..
59. Therefore, ‘Gati’ and ‘Sthiti’ are independent of each other.
60. One may compare the above principle with light and darkness. According to Jain philosophy, the light is not absence of darkness and darkness is not absence of light. Both are independent of each other.  They may not co-exist is not material.
61. One may note that for some time before sunrise though there is no sun there is light.  Similarly, after sunset, there is light even after sun is set.
62. Akashstikaya:
The sky is everywhere.  It exists eyes beyond the universe. No one can paint out a place where there is no sky.
63. Like Dharmastikaya and Adharmastikaya, sky is one and indivisible. It is also invisible.  Its invisibility does not prevent it from existing. Like, ‘Time’, no proof is required for the existence of the sky.
64. The sky is very generous. It gives room to every one, living or dead. All objects take shelter under its cover.
65. The sky has one peculiar feature.  It accommodates several objects at a time, at one point of place only. For instance, the point, where the sky accommodates a particle of air, it also accommodates at that very point, a ray or point of light.  At the same point in the sky the ‘word’ also takes its place.  At the same point, electricity is also accommodated.
66. There being no object beyond the universe, the question of accommodating, does not arise.

67. Pudgalstikaya
A pudgal is a matter. There is no limit to the number of objects or pudgalass.  The objects are infinite.
68. Every object has its own quality or qualities.  It has its own characteristics.
69. An object may be visible or invisible.  A particle of air is not visible.  A word is not visible. An ‘Anu’ is not visible. The objects visible are infinite
70. Matter is divisible.  It can be cut into pieces.
71. A smallest particle, severed from the other mass of ‘matter’ is known as ‘paramanu’.  It is the smallest part of the matter.
72. The matter has ‘weight’. It can be weighed.
73. Kala
Kala is ‘time’.  Infinite years have rolled by and will roll by. There is no limit.
74. Divisions of kala into seconds, minutes, hours, years etc. are only notional, based on the movements of sun or moon.
75. There are several regions in the world where there is neither sun nor moon.  So there are no divisions of ‘time’ in these regions.
76. The present moment is reality the only ‘time’. Jain scripture call it ‘VARTMAN’ i.e. what exists now.
77. One refers to ‘Time’ every now and then.  A seed is sown.  It reaps later. The period or duration taken during the process is called ‘Time’.
78. ‘Time’, being eternal, Jain philosophy notionally classifies it in ‘Palyopams and Sagaropams’. A Palyopam consist of innumerate years. Ten kotakali Palyopams make one ‘Sagaropam’. Ten kotakali Sagaropams make one ‘Utsarpini’ or ‘Avasarpini’. One Utsarpini and one Avasarpani together constitute a ‘Kata-chakra’. One crore multiplied by one crore makes a ‘Kota-Koli’.
79.  Utsarpini is a period, when every good thing progresses. For instance, the happiness, the handsomeness, the strength, the physical form and height, the span of life etc. goes on progressing.
80. In ‘Avasarpini’, it is reverse.
81. One kalchakra ends and another begins.
82. The way of life, the mode of happiness, good or bad things of the time go on reporting. A kalchakra is called a chakra, because it moves like a cycle.  The six ‘aras’ of a cycle move up and down. So the six ‘Aras’ of a ‘kalchankra’ move similarly.  The journey of ‘Time’ is a systematic one.
83. An object is called a ‘Dravya’ in Jainism.
84. Every Dravya has an attribute, called ‘Guna’.
85. Every Dravya has a form and shape, called ‘Paryaya’.
86. ‘Guna’ is am attribute of a ‘Dravya’.  It ever remains with the object.  For instance, a soul cannot be without knowledge.  They go together. Milk and its taste remain together.  Taste of the milk cannot be separated from milk.
87 But form and shape of an object are liable to change. A golden bangle may change to a gold necklace.  But gold will continue to exist.

In the same way, the ‘Human Form’ will cease to exist but not the ‘soul’. The journey of the soul will continue until the soul attains salvation.

88. Bhagwan Mahavir, on attaining omniscience, in three words only, preached the principle that every object is permanent.  Its attribute is also permanent.  What is ever changing is its form. On the change, the previous form disappears and a new form takes its place.
89. The universe is eternal.  It had no beginning and will have no end.  Being eternal, it is not a creation.  Not being a creation, there is no creator.
90. The permanent nature of the objects in universe, leads Jainism to preach that there is no creation.
91. Without resorting to a superpower, Jainism answers all questions about the universe.  Jainism, therefore, does not have to imagine the existence of a super-power.
92. A superpower is seen by none.  It is only an imaginary thing.
93. Once you imagine a superpower, you cannot make it subject to creation and extinction. If you do so, it will cease to be a super power, you have to imagine eternal super-power. You will have to accept the principle of eternality.  The difference will be only that you accept the eternality of a super-power and not of the universe.
94. The super-power, being a product of man’s imagination, diverse questions arise.  Some of them are stated below: -
(a) The super-power was in existence for an infinite period prior to the creation of the universe, by him. Why was he inactive for an infinite period, prior to the creation?
(b) What made the super-power rise suddenly and create the universe?
What was the reason, which impelled the super-power to act?
(c) Did the super-power create the various units or objects simultaneously or step by step? If simultaneously, why? It is step by step, why?
(d) Was the super-power a compassionate power? If yes, why did he create a terribly miserable world? Will you call him a cruel super-power?
(e) Is super-power just or unjust?  If just, why is it that an innocent is punished and a guilty escaped?
(f) Why the super-power did not create all equals? Why did he make one a master and another a slave?
(g) Why did the super-power give pangs of birth to a woman and not to a man?
(h) Why did the super-power give riches to a few and poverty to others? Why does he permit riches to be misused? Why does he not shower food upon poor, unfed persons?
(i) Why does the super-power give an instinct to commit sin and to another an instinct of performing good acts?
(j) Why does the super-power confer upon one a great intent and upon another a silly mind?

These are only a few questions, needing rational answers. Since Jainism does not believe in the existence of a super-power, it gives rational answers to all questions.

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