Everything in the universe is either
animate or inanimate. Animation denotes Chaitanya or consciousness while
inanimate is Jada or lifeless. These two concepts are described
differently by different schools of thought. Vedanta calls them Ishwar and
Maya; Sankhyas call them Purush and Prakriti; we call them Jiva and Ajiva.
We however consider Ajiva as made up of five different substances. They
are Pudgala or matter; Dharma, which is an ethereal substance that is
instrumental in making movement; Adharma, an other ethereal substance that
is instrumental in maintaining stability; Akash or space and Kaal or time.
It should be noted that the terms Dharma and Adharma in this context do
not denote religion or absence of religion. Here, they are to be taken
simply as two natural substances that pervade the universe. In order to
avoid confusion and for the reason that would be clear later, we will use
the terms Dharmastikaya and Adharmastikaya instead of Dharma and Adharma.
Concepts of consciousness, lifeless
matter, space and time are acceptable to other schools as well. Those of
Dharmastikaya and Adharmastikaya however are exclusively Jain concepts. It
is generally accepted that soul and matter are endowed with mobility. T
hey are not stationary. Motion is one of their characteristics. As such
they make movements on their own. Every action however has some
instrumental cause. There has therefore to be some medium that could be
instrumental in their making movements. We call that medium as
Dharmastikaya. Similarly there has to be some medium that could be
instrumental in maintaining stability. We call that medium as
Most of the people can easily accept
the necessity of a medium for making movement. Justification for a medium
to help stability may not be so obvious. It is however not very hard to
understand it. Since Dharmastikaya pervades the entire universe, soul an d
matter, being capable of making movements, would for ever continue to move
in absence of another medium that would be instrumental in their staying
stable as well. In Jain terminology that medium is known as Adharmastikaya.
So we believe in six basic substances.
This is known as Shaddrayas. Shat (which is changed to Shad) means six and
Dravya means substance or basic element. There are infinite number of
Jivas(souls). They are categorized as worldly souls and liberated soul s.
Worldly souls are embodied, while liberated ones are unembodied. Each soul
is a separate entity. They never combine with each other or with any other
matter, even though they may be found habiting the same abode.
Everything having some semblance of
life is an embodied soul. Touch, taste, smell, sight and sound are the
five senses. Number of senses that a being may possess is variable.
Depending upon their sense faculties, living beings are categorized as
Akendriya or one sensed organism that possesses only the sense of touch;
Dweendriya or two sensed organism that possesses the senses of touch and
Treendriya or three sensed organism
that possesses the senses of touch, taste and smell; Chaturendriya or four
sensed organism that possesses senses of touch, taste, smell and sight and
Panchendriya which means five sensed organism that possesses all the five
senses. Most of the seemingly lifeless objects and the plant life
constitute Akendriyas. Earth worms, leac hes etc. are Dweendriya. Ants,
bugs etc. are Treendriyas. Flies, bees etc. are Chaturendriyas. Most of
the animals, human beings and heavenly as well as infernal beings are
Panchendriyas. We shall give more details about Jiva in the next chapter.
Pudgals are infinite particles of
matter pervading the universe. These particles called Paramanus are too
minute to be visible. Our scriptures have described them as being more
microscopic than atoms. They have however the capacity to combine with
each ot her. When they so combine, they are called Skandhas or molecules.
Depending upon their combination, these Skandhas can be visible and can
also be experienced by other senses. Color, smell, taste and touch are the
principal properties of Pudgal and are kno wn as its Gunas. Soulless
bodies and everything in the environment that is lifeless, constitute
Pudgal. Pudgals do undergo change. Their changing states are known as
their Paryayas. Paramanus and their Skandhas have capacity to give scope
to other Paraman us and Skandhas. As such, any number of them can
simultaneously occupy the same space. Infinitesimal minute space occupied
by a single Paramanu is called a Pradesh.
There is one indivisible Dharmastikaya
pervading the Lokakash part of the universe and is instrumental to Jiva
and Pudgal in making movements. Similarly there is Adharmastikaya that is
instrumental in maintaining stability. They have the capacity to give
space to other substances.
There is one all pervading.
indivisible, universal space or Akash. Its property is to accommodate or
give space. The above mentioned four substances however habitate only a
part of Akash. That part is known as Lokakash. Other part is simply space
not havi ng anything within it and is called Alokakash.
It would be clear from the above
definition of Pradesh that Jivas, Skandhas of Pudgals, Dharmastikaya,
Adharmastikaya and Akash occupy more than one Pradesh. In fact, Pradesh is
so minute that each of the souls and Skandhas are said to be occupying
countl ess number of Pradeshas. Anything occupying more than one Pradesh
is termed as Astikaya. Therefore these five substances together are known
as Panchastikaya comprising Jivastikaya, Pudgalastikaya, Dharmastikaya,
Adharmastikaya and Akashastikaya.
The last substance is Kaal, the Time.
It may not seem appropriate to treat Kaal as a separate substance. Jain
scholars have different views about Kaal. Digambaras generally treat it as
an independent substance; Shwetambaras generally treat it as an instru
mental substance useful for comprehending changing states of the other
five substances. Usually we measure time in terms of hours, minutes,
seconds etc. Our scriptures have however conceived of an infinitesimal
part of time which is called Samaya that is infinitely shorter than a
second. People who accept time as an independent substance, believe that
Samayas are strewn all over the Lokakash. Every Samaya is supposed to
occupy one Pradesh. As such, even if time is admitted as an independent
substance, it is not an Astikaya. There is therefore no term as