The Info List - God In Jainism

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In Jainism
, godliness is said to be the inherent quality of every soul . This quality however is subdued by the soul's association with karmic matter. All souls who have achieved the natural state of infinite bliss, infinite knowledge (_kevala jnana _), infinite power and infinite perception are regarded as ' God
in Jainism'. Jainism rejects the idea of a creator deity responsible for the manifestation, creation, or maintenance of this universe. According to Jain doctrine, the universe and its constituents (soul, matter, space, time, and principles of motion) have always existed . All the constituents and actions are governed by universal natural laws and perfect soul, an immaterial entity cannot create or affect a material entity like the universe.


* 1 Definition * 2 Godliness * 3 Five supreme beings * 4 Arihant * 5 Tīrthaṅkara * 6 Siddhas * 7 Heavenly beings * 8 Jain opposition to creationism * 9 See also * 10 Notes * 11 References * 12 External links


From the essential perspective, the soul of every living organism is perfect in every way, is independent of any actions of the organism, and is considered God
or to have godliness. But the epithet of God
is given to the soul in whom its properties manifest in accordance with its inherent nature. There are countably infinite souls in the universe.

According to _ Ratnakaranda śrāvakācāra
Ratnakaranda śrāvakācāra
_ (a major Jain text): आप्तेनो च्छिनदोषेण सर्वज्ञेनागमेशिना। भवितव्यं नियोगेन नान्यथा ह्याप्तता भवेत्।।५। In the nature of things the true God
should be free from the faults and weaknesses of the lower nature; the knower of all things and the revealer of dharma; in no other way can divinity be constituted. क्षुत्पिपासाजराजरातक्ड जन्मान्तकभयस्मयाः। न रागद्वेषमोहाश्च यस्याप्तः स प्रकीर्त्यते ।।६।। He alone who is free from hunger, thirst, senility, disease, birth, death, fear, pride, attachment, aversion, infatuation, worry, conceit, hatred, uneasiness, sweat, sleep and surprise is called a God.


In Jainism, godliness is said to be the inherent quality of every soul (or every living organism) characterizing infinite bliss, infinite power, _ Kevala Jnana_ (pure infinite knowledge), infinite perception, and perfect manifestations of (countably) infinite other attributes. There are two possible views after this point. One is to look at the soul from the perspective of the soul itself. This entails explanations of the properties of the soul, its exact structure, composition and nature, the nature of various states that arise from it and their source attributes as is done in the deep and arcane texts of Samayasāra
, Niyamasaraand Pravachanasara. Another view is to consider things apart from the soul and its relationships with the soul. According to this view, the qualities of a soul are subdued due to karmas of the soul. _Karmas_ are the fundamental particles of nature in Jainism. One who achieves this state of soul through right belief, right knowledge and right conduct can be termed a god. This perfection of soul is called _Kevalin_. A god thus becomes a liberated soul – liberated of miseries, cycles of rebirth, world, _karmas_ and finally liberated of body as well. This is called _nirvana_ or _moksha _.

does not teach the dependency on any supreme being for enlightenment. The Tirthankara
is a guide and teacher who points the way to enlightenment, but the struggle for enlightenment is one's own. Moral rewards and sufferings are not the work of a divine being, but a result of an innate moral order in the cosmos ; a self-regulating mechanism whereby the individual reaps the fruits of his own actions through the workings of the karmas.

Jains believe that to attain enlightenment and ultimately liberation from all karmic bonding, one must practice the ethical principles not only in thought, but also in words (speech) and action. Such a practice through lifelong work towards oneself is regarded as observing the _ Mahavrata_ ("Great Vows").

Gods can be thus categorized into embodied gods also known as _arihantas_ and non-embodied formless gods who are called _Siddhas_. Jainism
considers the _devīs_ and _devas_ to be souls who dwell in heavens owing to meritorious deeds in their past lives. These souls are in heavens for a fixed lifespan and even they have to undergo reincarnation as humans to achieve _moksha_.

Thus, there are infinite gods in Jainism, all equivalent, liberated, and infinite in the manifestation of all attributes. The Self and karmas are separate substances in Jainism, the former living and the latter non-living. The attainment of enlightenment and the one who exists in such a state, then those who have achieved such a state can be termed gods. Therefore, beings (Arihant ) who've attained omniscience (_kevala jnana_) are worshipped as gods. The quality of godliness is one and the same in all of them. Jainism
is sometimes regarded as a transtheistic religion, though it can be atheistic or polytheistic based on the way one defines "God".


Main article: Pañca-Parameṣṭhi _ Stella depicting Pañca-Parameṣṭhi_ (five supreme beings) worthy of veneration as per Jainism

In Jainism, the _Pañca-Parameṣṭhi_ (Sanskrit for "five supreme beings") are a fivefold hierarchy of religious authorities worthy of veneration. The five supreme beings are:

* _Arihant _ * _ Siddha
_ * _Acharya _ (Head of the monastic order) * _Upadhyaya _ ("Preceptor of less advanced ascetics") * _Muni_ or _Jain monks _


Main article: Arihant (Jainism)
Arihant (Jainism)

A human being who conquers all inner passions and possesses infinite right knowledge (_ Kevala Jnana_) is revered as an _arihant _ in Jainism
. They are also called _Jinas_ (conquerors) or _Kevalin_ (omniscient beings). An arihant is a soul who has destroyed all passions, is totally unattached and without any desire and hence is able to destroy the four _ghātiyā karmas _ and attain _kevala jñāna_, or omniscience. Such a soul still has a body and four _aghātiyā karmas _. _Arihantas_, at the end of their human life-span, destroys all remaining _aghātiyā karmas_ and attain Siddhahood. There are two kinds of _kevalin_ or _arihant_:

* _Sāmānya Kevalin_–Ordinary victors, who are concerned with their own salvation. * _ Tirthankara
Kevalin_–Twenty-four human spiritual guides (teaching gods), who show the true path to salvation.


Main article: Tirthankara
Image of Vardhamana Mahavira, the 24th and last Tirthankara
(Photo: Samanar Hills)

The word _Tīrthaṅkara_ signifies the founder of a _tirtha_ which means a fordable passage across a sea. The _Tirthankara_ show the 'fordable path' across the sea of interminable births and deaths. _ Rishabhanatha
_ was the first _Tirthankara_ and Mahavira
was the last _Tirthankara_ of _avasarpani_ (present half of the Jain cosmic time cycle ).

_Tirthankara_ revive the fourfold order of _Shraman, Shramani, Śrāvaka , and Śrāvika_ called _sangha_. As per Jain literature, exactly 24 _Tirthankara_ grace each half of the cosmic time cycle. _ Tirthankara
_ can be called teaching gods who teach the Jain philosophy . However it would be a mistake to regard the _tirthankara_ as gods analogous to the gods of the Hindu
pantheon despite the superficial resemblances between Jain and Hindu
ways of worship. _Tirthankara_, being liberated, are beyond any kind of transactions with the rest of the universe. They are _not_ the beings who exercise any sort of creative activity or who have the capacity or ability to intervene in answers to prayers.

_Tirthamkara-nama-karma_ is a special type of _karma_, bondage of which raises a soul to the supreme status of a _tirthankara_.


Main article: Siddha
_ Although the siddhas_ (the liberated beings) are formless and without a body, this is how the Jain temples often depict them.

Ultimately all _arihantas_ become _siddhas_, or liberated souls, at the time of their nirvana . A _siddha_ is a soul who is permanently liberated from the transmigratory cycle of birth and death . Such a soul, having realized its true self, is free from all the _Karmas_ and embodiment. They are formless and dwell in _ Siddhashila_ (the realm of the liberated beings) at the apex of the universe in infinite bliss, infinite perception, infinite knowledge and infinite energy.

The Acharanga Sutra
Acharanga Sutra
1.197 describes _siddhas_ in this way:

The liberated soul is not long nor small nor round nor triangular nor quadrangular nor circular; it is not black nor blue nor red nor green nor white; neither of good nor bad smell; not bitter nor pungent nor astringent nor sweet; neither rough nor soft; neither heavy nor light; neither cold nor hot; neither harsh nor smooth; it is without body, without resurrection, without contact (of matter), it is not feminine nor masculine nor neuter. The siddha perceives and knows all, yet is beyond comparison. Its essence is without form; there is no condition of the unconditioned. It is not sound, not colour, not smell, not taste, not touch or anything of that kind. Thus I say. Siddhashilaas per the Jain cosmology
Jain cosmology

Siddhahood is the ultimate goal of all souls. There are infinite souls who have become _siddhas_ and infinite more who will attain this state of liberation. According to Jainism, Godhood is not a monopoly of some omnipotent and powerful being(s). All souls, with right perception, knowledge and conduct can achieve self-realisation and attain this state. Once achieving this state of infinite bliss and having destroyed all desires, the soul is not concerned with worldly matters and does not interfere in the working of the universe, as any activity or desire to interfere will once again result in influx of karmas and thus loss of liberation.

Jains pray to these passionless Gods not for any favors or rewards but rather pray to the qualities of the God
with the objective of destroying the _karmas_ and achieving the Godhood. This is best understood by the term _vandetadgunalabhdhaye_ – i.e. "we pray to the attributes of such Gods to acquire such attributes"

According to Anne Vallely:

is not a religion of coming down. In Jainism
it is we who must go up. We only have to help ourselves. In Jainism
we have to become God. That is the only thing.


Main article: Deva (Jainism) _ Idol of Padmāvatī devī, śāsanadevī of Lord Parshvanatha
at Walkeshwar Temple. She is one of the most popular demi-goddess amongst the Jains. Worship
of such persons is considered as mithyātva_ or wrong belief and many jains unknowingly get involved in such worship.

Jain cosmology
Jain cosmology
offers an elaborate description of heavenly beings (_devas_), but these beings are neither viewed as creators nor as Gods; they are subject to suffering and change like all other living beings, and must eventually die.

describes existence of _śāsanadevatās_ and _śāsanadevīs_, the attendants of a _Tirthankara_, who create the _samavasarana _ or the divine preaching assembly of a _Tirthankara_. Such heavenly beings are classified as:-

* _Bhavanapatis_ – Deva dwelling in abodes * _Vyantaras_ – Intermediary devas * _Jyotiṣkas_ – Luminaries * _Vaimānikas_ – Astral devas

The souls on account of accumulation of meritorious _karmas_ reincarnate in heavens as devas. Although their life span is quite long, after their merit _karmas _ are exhausted, they once again have to reincarnate back into the realms of humans, animals or hells depending on their karmas. As these devas themselves are not liberated, they have attachments and passions and hence not worthy of worship.

Ācārya Hemachandra
decries the worship of such devas:

These heavenly beings (devas above) tainted with attachment and passion; having women and weapons by their side, favour some and disfavour some; Such heavenly beings (devas) should not be worshipped by those who desire emancipation

of such devas is considered as _mithyatva _ or wrong belief leading to bondage of karmas.


Main article: Jainism
and non-creationism

Jain scriptures reject God
as the creator of the universe. Further, it asserts that no God
is responsible or causal for actions in the life of any living organism. Ācārya Hemacandra in the 12th century put forth the Jain view of the universe in the _ Yogaśāstra_:

This universe is not created nor sustained by anyone;

It is self-sustaining, without any base or support

Besides scriptural authority, Jains also resorted to syllogism and deductive reasoning to refute the creationist theories. Various views on divinity and the universe held by the Vedics , samkhyas , mīmāṃsās , Buddhists
and other schools of thought were analyzed, debated and repudiated by various Jain Ācāryas. However, the most eloquent refutation of this view is provided by Ācārya Jinasena
in Mahāpurāna , which was quoted by Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan
in his book _Cosmos _.

Some foolish men declare that creator made the world. The doctrine that the world was created is ill advised and should be rejected.

If God
created the world, where was he before the creation? If you say he was transcendent then and needed no support, where is he now? How could God
have made this world without any raw material? If you say that he made this first, and then the world, you are faced with an endless regression.

If you declare that this raw material arose naturally you fall into another fallacy, for the whole universe might thus have been its own creator, and have arisen quite naturally.

If God
created the world by an act of his own will, without any raw material, then it is just his will and nothing else — and who will believe this silly nonsense?

If he is ever perfect and complete, how could the will to create have arisen in him? If, on the other hand, he is not perfect, he could no more create the universe than a potter could.

If he is form-less, action-less and all-embracing, how could he have created the world? Such a soul, devoid of all modality, would have no desire to create anything.

If he is perfect, he does not strive for the three aims of man, so what advantage would he gain by creating the universe?

If you say that he created to no purpose because it was his nature to do so, then God
is pointless. If he created in some kind of sport, it was the sport of a foolish child, leading to trouble.

If he created because of the karma of embodied beings (acquired in a previous creation), then he is not the Almighty Lord, but subordinate to something else.

If out of love for living beings and need of them he made the world, why did he not make creation wholly blissful free from misfortune?

If he were transcendent he would not create, for he would be free: Nor if involved in transmigration, for then he would not be almighty. Thus the doctrine that the world was created by God
makes no sense at all.

And God
commits great sin in slaying the children whom he himself created. If you say that he slays only to destroy evil beings, why did he create such beings in the first place?

Good men should combat the believer in divine creation, maddened by an evil doctrine. Know that the world is uncreated, as time itself is, without beginning or end, and is based on the principles, life and rest. Uncreated and indestructible, it endures under the compulsion of its own nature.


* Nontheistic religions


* ^ _The Perfect Law_ Jainworld.org * ^ Jain, Champat Rai (1917), _The Ratna Karanda Sravakachara_, The Central Jaina Publishing House, p. 3, archived from the original on 2015 * ^ Sangave 2001 , p. 164. * ^ Zimmer 1953 , p. 182. * ^ Sangave 2001 , p. 15. * ^ Sangave 2001 , p. 16. * ^ Rankin 2013 , p. 40. * ^ Jain, Champat Rai (1930), _Jainism, Christianity and Science_, The Indian Press, Allahabad, archived from the original on 2015 * ^ _A_ _B_ Sangave 2001 , p. 16-17. * ^ Thrower (1980), p.93 * ^ Jain 1917 , p. 48. * ^ Jacobi (1884) Retrieved on : 25 May 2007 * ^ Nayanar (2005b), p.35 Gāthā 1.29 * ^ Vallely, Anne (1980). In: _Guardians of the Transcendent: An Ethnology of a Jain Ascetic Community_. University of Toronto Press: Toronto .p.182 * ^ Gopani (1989), emended * ^ http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/002500819 * ^ _Afterword on Jinasena_, D. Lakey, _ The Philosophical Forum_, Volume 33 Issue 3 Page 343-344 - Fall 2002 * ^ _Primal Myths: Creating the World_, Barbara Sproul, http://www.abebooks.com/book-search/isbn/0060675004/ * ^ PDF of the text - http://www.jaina.org/?page=jainbooks * ^ http://www.angelfire.com/blog2/endovelico/CarlSagan-Cosmos.pdf on page 140


* Sangave, Vilas Adinath (2001), _Aspects of Jaina religion_ (3rd ed.), Bharatiya Jnanpith, ISBN 81-263-0626-2 * Rankin, Aidan (2013), "Chapter 1. Jains Jainism
and Jainness", _Living Jainism: An Ethical Science_, John Hunt Publishing, ISBN 978-1780999111 * Zimmer, Heinrich (1953) , Campbell, Joseph , ed., _Philosophies Of India_, London
, E.C. 4: Routledge
& Kegan Paul Ltd, ISBN 978-81-208-0739-6 , _ This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain ._ * Jain, Champat Rai (1917), _The Practical Path_


* Jaina Atheism, Surendranath Dasgupta, 1940

* v * t * e

in Jainism

Arihant ; Siddha
; Pañca-Parameṣṭhi


* Rishabhanatha
* Ajitanatha * Sambhavanatha * Abhinandananatha
* Sumatinatha
* Padmaprabha * Suparshvanatha * Chandraprabha
* Pushpadanta * Shitalanatha * Shreyansanatha *