The Jain theory of causation holds that a cause and its effect are always identical in nature and hence a conscious and immaterial entity like God cannot create a material entity like the universe. Furthermore, according to the Jain concept of divinity, any soul who destroys its karmas and desires achieves liberation (nirvana ). A soul who destroys all its passions and desires has no desire to interfere in the working of the universe. 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.
Through the ages, Jain philosophers have rejected and opposed the
concept of creator and omnipotent God and this has resulted in Jainism
being labeled as nastika darsana or atheist philosophy by the rival
religious philosophies . The theme of non-creationism and absence of
omnipotent God and divine grace runs strongly in all the philosophical
dimensions of Jainism, including its cosmology , karma , moksa and its
moral code of conduct.
* 1 Jaina conception of the
* 1.1 Wheel of time * 1.2 Concept of reality * 1.3 Material cause and effect * 1.4 The soul
* 2 Jaina conception of divinity
* 2.1 Arhats * 2.2 Tīrthankaras * 2.3 Siddhas * 2.4 Heavenly beings – Demi-gods and demi-goddesses
* 3 Nature of Karmas * 4 Jain opposition to creationism * 5 Criticisms of Jain non-creationist theory * 6 See also * 7 Notes * 8 Citations * 9 References
JAINA CONCEPTION OF THE UNIVERSE
Jain scriptures reject God as the creator of universe.
According to Jains, this loka or universe is an entity, always existing in varying forms with no beginning or end. Jain texts describe the shape of the universe as similar to a man standing with legs apart and arms resting on his waist. Thus, the universe is narrow at top, widens above the middle, narrows towards the middle, and once again becomes broad at the bottom.
WHEEL OF TIME
Jain Cosmic Wheel of
According to Jainism, time is beginningless and eternal. The cosmic wheel of time rotates ceaselessly. This cyclic nature eliminates the need for a creator, destroyer or external deity to maintain the universe.
The wheel of time is divided into two half-rotations, Utsarpiṇī or ascending time cycle and Avasarpiṇī, the descending time cycle, occurring continuously after each other. Utsarpiṇī is a period of progressive prosperity and happiness where the time spans and ages are at an increasing scale, while Avsarpiṇī is a period of increasing sorrow and immorality.
CONCEPT OF REALITY
This universe is made up of what Jainas call the six dravyas or substances classified as follows –
* JīVA - THE LIVING SUBSTANCES
Jains believe that souls (Jīva) exist as a reality, with a separate existence from the body that houses it. It is characterised by cetana (consciousness) and upayoga (knowledge and perception). Though the soul experiences both birth and death, it is neither destroyed nor created. Decay and origin refer respectively to the disappearance of one state of soul and appearance of another, both merely various modes of the soul.
* AJīVA - NON-LIVING SUBSTANCES
* PUDGALA or MATTER -
These uncreated constituents of the universe impart dynamics upon the
universe by interacting with each other. These constituents behave
according to natural laws without interference from external entities.
Dharma or true religion according to
MATERIAL CAUSE AND EFFECT
According to Jainism, causes are of two types – Upādanā kārana (substantial or material cause) and Nimitta kārana (instrumental cause). Upādanā kārana is always identical with its effect. For example, out of clay, you can only produce a clay pot; hence the clay is the upādanā kārana or material cause and clay pot its effect. Wherever the effect is present, the cause is present and vice versa. The effect is always present in latent form in the material cause. For transforming the clay to pot, the potter, the wheel, the stick and other operating agents are required that are merely nimitta or instrumental cause or catalysts in transformation. The material cause always remains the clay. Hence the cause and effect are always entirely identical in nature. Potter cannot be the material cause of pot. If this were the case, then Potter might as well prepare the pot without any clay. But this is not so. Thus a clay pot can only be made from clay; gold ornaments can be made only from gold. Similarly the different modes of existence of a soul are a result of activities of soul itself. There cannot be any contradiction or exceptions.
In such a scenario, Jains argue that the material cause of a living soul with cetana (conscious entity) is always the soul itself and cause of dead inert matter (non-cetana i.e. without any consciousness) is always the matter itself. If God is indeed the creator, then this is an impossible predication as the same cause will be responsible for two contradictory effects of cetana (life) and acetana (matter). This logically precludes an immaterial God (a conscious entity) from creating this Universe, which is made up of material substances.
According to Jainism,
Jains frequently assert that “we are alone” in this world. Amongst the Twelve Contemplations (anupreksas ) of Jains, one of them is the loneliness of one's soul and nature of the universe and transmigration. Hence only by cleansing our soul by our own actions can we help ourselves.
JAINA CONCEPTION OF DIVINITY
Main article: God in
According to Jainism, gods can be categorized into Tīrthankaras ,
Arihants or ordinary Kevalins and Siddhas .
ARIHANTS, also known as Kevalins, are "Gods" (supreme souls) in embodied states who ultimately become Siddhas, or liberated souls, at the time of their nirvana . An Arihant is a soul who has destroyed all passions, is totally unattached and without any desire and hence has destroyed the four ghātiyā karmas and attain kevala Jñāna , or omniscience. Such a soul still has a body and four aghātiyā karmas . An Arhata, at the end of his lifespan, destroys his remaining aghātiyā karma and becomes a Siddha.
TīRTHANKARAS (also known as "Jinas") are Arihants who are teachers
and revivers of the Jain philosophy. There are 24 Tīrthankaras in
each time cycle; Mahāvīra was the 24th and last Tīrthankara of the
current time cycle. Tīrthankaras are literally the ford makers who
have shown the way to cross the ocean of rebirth and transmigration
and hence have become a focus of reverence and worship amongst Jains.
However it would be a mistake to regard the Tīrthankaras as gods
analogous to the gods of
Ultimately all Arihants and Tīrthankaras become Siddhas. 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. Siddhahood is the ultimate goal of all souls.
Jains pray to these passionless Gods not for any favours 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”
HEAVENLY BEINGS – DEMI-GODS AND DEMI-GODDESSES
Main article: God in
“ These Gods tainted with attachment and passion;
having women and weapons by their side, favour some and disfavour some; such Gods should not be worshipped by those who desire emancipation” ”
Worship of such gods is considered as mithyātva or wrong belief leading to bondage of karmas. However, many Jains are known to worship to such gods for material gains.
NATURE OF KARMAS
Main article: Karma in
Robert Zydendos , karma in
Hence in accordance with the natural karmic laws, consequences occur when one utters a lie, steals something, commits acts of senseless violence or leads the life of a debauchee. Rather than assume that moral rewards and retribution are the work of a divine judge, the Jains believe that there is an innate moral order to the cosmos , self-regulating through the workings of karma. Morality and ethics are important, not because of the personal whim of a fictional god, but because a life that is led in agreement with moral and ethical principles is beneficial: it leads to a decrease and finally to the total loss of karma, which means: to ever increasing happiness.
Karmas are often wrongly interpreted as a method for reward and punishment of a soul for its good and bad deeds. In Jainism, there is no question of there being any reward or punishment, as each soul is the master of its own destiny. The karmas can be said to represent a sum total of all unfulfilled desires of a soul. They enable the soul to experience the various themes of the lives that it desires to experience. They ultimately mature when the necessary supportive conditions required for maturity are fulfilled. Hence a soul may transmigrate from one life form to another for countless of years, taking with it the karmas that it has earned, until it finds conditions that bring about the fruits.
Hence whatever suffering or pleasure that a soul may be experiencing
now is on account of choices that it has made in past. That is why
The karmic theory in
The following quote in Bhagavatī Ārādhanā (1616) sums up the predominance of karmas in Jain doctrine:-
“ There is nothing mightier in the world than karma;
karma tramples down all powers, as an elephant a clump of lotuses. ”
Thus it is not the so-called all embracing omnipotent God, but the law of karma that is the all governing force responsible for the manifest differences in the status, attainments and happiness of all life forms. It operates as a self-sustaining mechanism as natural universal law, without any need of an external entity to manage them.
JAIN OPPOSITION TO CREATIONISM
Jain scriptures reject God as the creator of universe. 12th century Ācārya Hemacandra puts forth the Jain view of universe in the Yogaśāstra as thus –
“ 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 universe held by the vedics , sāmkhyas , mimimsas,
Buddhists and other school of thoughts were analysed, debated and
repudiated by the various Jain Ācāryas. However the most eloquent
refutation of this view is provided by Ācārya
“ 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 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. ”
CRITICISMS OF JAIN NON-CREATIONIST THEORY
Mrs. Sinclair Stevenson, an Irish missionary , declared that “the
If atheism is defined as disbelief in existence of a God, then
The Jaina position on God and religion from a perspective of a non-Jain can be summed up in the words of Anne Vallely.
A. ^ Self is not an effect as it is not produced by anything nor it is a cause as it does not produce anything. Samayasāra Gāthā 10.310 See Nayanara (2005b)
B. ^ See Vācaka Umāsvāti's description of the
C. ^ See Kārtikeyānupreksā, 478 - Dharma is nothing but the real nature of an object. Just as the nature of fire is to burn and the nature of water is to produce a cooling effect, in the same manner, the essential nature of the soul is to seek self-realization and spiritual elevation .
D. ^ Vamdittu savvasiddhe .... See Samaysara of Ācārya
Kundakunda, Tr. By Prof A. Chakaravarti, page 1 of main text –
E. ^ See Tattvārthasūtra 1.1 "samyagdarśanajñānacāritrānimoksamārgah" - Translated as "Rational Perception, Rational Knowledge and Rational Conduct constitutes the path to liberation."
F. ^ See Sarvārthasiddhi "Moksa mārgasya netāram bhettāram karmabhubrutām jnātāram vishva tatvānām vande tadguna labhdhaye." Translated as "We pray to those who have led the path to salvation,who have destroyed the mountains of karma, and who know the reality of the universe. We pray to them to acquire their attributes."
G. ^ See Samayasāra 3.99-100] "If soul were indeed the producer of alien substances, then he must be of that nature; as it is not so, he cannot be their creator"
H. ^ See Hemcandrācārya, Yogaśāstra. "eik utpadyate janturek eiv vipadyate" Translated as "each one is born alone and dies alone."
I. ^ "Nishpaadito Na Kenaapi Na Dhritah Kenachichch Sah Swayamsiddho Niradhaaro Gagane Kimtvavasthitah". see Ācārya Hemacandra, (1989). In: S. Bothara (ed.),Dr. A. S. Gopani (Tr.), Yogaśāstra(Sanskrit). Jaipur: Prakrit Bharti Academy. Sutra 4.106
J. ^ This quote from Mahapurana finds a mention in “Salters Horners Advanced Physics” by Jonathan Allda, which contains various scientific theories on Universe. The author quotes this extract from Mahapurana to show that Cosmology (the study of Universe) is an ancient science, which today is still probing some of the deepest questions about the origins and future of the Universe. (P 268)
* ^ Nayanar (2005b), p.190, Gāthā 10.310 * ^ Soni, Jayandra (1998). E. Craig, ed. "Jain Philosophy". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. * ^ Gopani (1989), Gāthā 4.103-6 * ^ Schubring, Walther (1995), pp. 204–246 * ^ Jaini (1998) * ^ Nayanar (2005a), Gāthā 16 * ^ Nayanar(2005a), Gāthā 18 * ^ James (1969) p. 45 * ^ Nayanar (2005b), p.107 * ^ Nayanar (2005b), p. 189, Gāthā 10.308-9 * ^ Nayanar (2005b), p. 73, Gāthā 2.85 * ^ Nayanar (2005a), Gatha 27 * ^ Nayanar (2005a), Gāthā 29 * ^ Ācārya Amrtacandra Sūri, Laghutattvasphota, Sūtra 156 * ^ Vallely (1980), p.182 * ^ Thrower (1980), p.93 * ^ Nayanar (2005b), p.35 Gāthā 1.29 * ^ Gopani (1989), emended * ^ A B Zydenbos (2006) * ^ Kuhn (2001) * ^ Acharya Umasvati, Tattvartha Sutra, Ch VIII, Sutra 21 * ^ Stevenson (1999) (Original 1915) p. 289 * ^ Dundas (2002) p.111 * ^ Vallely, Anne (1980). In: Guardians of the Transcendent: An Ethnology of a Jain Ascetic Community. University of Toronto Press: Toronto .p.182
* Dundas, Paul; John Hinnels ed. (2002). The Jains. London:
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* Gopani, A. S.; Surendra Bothara ed. (1989). Yogaśāstra
(Sanskrit) of Ācārya Hemacandra. Jaipur: Prakrit Bharti Academy. CS1
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* Jacobi, Hermann (1884). "Ācāranga Sūtra, Jain Sutras Part I".
Sacred Books of the East , Vol. 22.
* James, Edwin Oliver (1969). Creation and Cosmology: A Historical
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