NAV TATTVA : Jiva and Ajiva
It was stated in chapter 3 that Jiva,
Ajiva, Punya, Paap, Asrava, Bandha, Samvar, Nirjara and Moksha are the
nine fundamentals or Nav Tattva that every one should know. Some
description of Jiva has been given in the last chapter while dealing with
Shaddra ya. It would however be clear from the discussion so far that the
knowledge of these fundamentals or of anything else is meant for knowing
the Self. This Self is variously known as Jiva, Atma, Paramatma, Chaitanya,
Brahma, consciousness, etc, Thus soul be ing the focal point and ultimate
objective of all knowledge, it would be useful to discuss it here at some
A question may arise, �What is this
soul after all?� No one has ever seen it. Therefore the atheists, who
refuse to believe in anything that cannot be perceived or grasped by
senses, deny the existence of soul. Most of the scientists contribute to
this v iew. They think that the body is a biochemical composition arising
from a peculiar combination of productive genes of the parents. As long as
the composition is active, it is said to be living organism; and when the
activity comes to an end, it is conside red to be dead. But science does
not clarify what exactly makes it active and why does the activity come to
an end. This is not the place to enter into pros and cons of the genetic
theory. It is however, a fact that when a person dies, his heart, kidneys
and other limbs may still be active but that body is unable to use them
and therefore they cease to function. If however they are removed from
that body in time, they can be transplanted in other body and they happen
to function effectively in the new bod y. Does it not mean that there was
some sort of invisible energy that was activating different limbs of the
body, while it was alive? That energy happens to disappear at the time of
death and the presence or loss of that energy makes the difference betwee
n life and death. Spiritual science calls that energy as soul.
There are infinite number of souls and
every living body has a soul. It is invisible and has no form or shape. It
cannot therefore be experienced by the senses. It is an element on its own
and cannot be produced by any sort of combination or composition. As such
it is stable and can never be decomposed. It is eternal and lasts for
ever. From time to time, worldly soul has been abiding in different
organisms through which it manifests itself. It leaves the body of one
organism when it is rendered useless and assumes other body suitable for
its manifestation. This type of transmigration and new embodiment birth
after birth, has been going on since the time without beginning. Even
though a particular body happens to be its temporary residence, soul tends
to take it as its permanent abode and gets happy or unhappy depending upon
the type of that body and its environments. Forgetful of its true nature,
it aspires to get maximum happiness within the framework of given
embodiment and surrounding situations. Whe n one body becomes useless for
fulfilling its purpose, it gains a new one in tune with its yearnings and
degree of attachment during its earlier embodiment. This attachment
results from delusion of soul about its true nature. Attachment gives rise
to the disposition of craving for the desirables and of aversion for the
undesirables. These craving and aversion are the causes of the bondage of
Karmas that have been described in earlier chapters.
Every living being longs to be happy.
The deluded sense of being one with the body however causes soul to feel
happy or unhappy depending upon the conditions obtained as consequence of
its previous Karmas. Our ancient Seers have dwelt deep in search of tr ue
happiness. They tried to explore the Self by raising the question �Koham�,
which means �Who am I�. The appropriate answer that they could obtain was
�Soham� which means that I am that(soul). They could also perceive that
the �I� or the true Self is th e source of true happiness and abode of
perfect bliss. They realized that the lifeless matter does not have the
property to make any one happy or unhappy and that happiness is the
inherent property of soul.
We however do not experience the
lasting happiness, because we do not realize the true properties of soul.
After thoroughly exploring the nature of soul, the Seers have concluded
that the principal property of soul that distinguishes it from lifeless
matt er, is knowability or capability of being aware. None of the five
lifeless substances that we have described in the last chapter possesses
that property. This property can enable soul to observe and know anything
and everything. Scriptures have described this as Upayoga Lakshano Jivo.
It means that knowability is the characteristic of soul. That attribute is
inseparable from consciousness and therefore forms its basic property. As
such, soul should simply stay aware of any given situation without any way
reacting to it, because none of the situations really belongs to it. This
would generate the sense of detachment; and absence of attachment to any
extraneous influence can enable soul to abide forever in bliss which is
beyond description. No wonder that the Seers, while describing the
properties of soul, have preferred to call the same as indescribable.
To sum up, soul is pure consciousness.
Infinite awareness and eternal bliss are its principal properties.
Sanskrit words for eternity, consciousness and bliss are respectively Sat,
Chit and Ananda. Therefore perfected soul is variously known as Sacchidana
nda, Chidanand or Sahajanand. Negatively speaking, it is intangible,
invisible, colorless, odorless, tasteless, formless and shapeless. It is
therefore described in the scriptures by Neti, Neti(Not this, not that).
It is beyond the reach of senses and min d. It can however be experienced
by dwelling deep within oneself.
Vaidic and other schools of thought
consider soul as immutable. Jainism disagrees. It believes in changing
states of soul which are known as its Paryayas. On the basis of two major
Paryayas souls are categorized as worldly souls and liberated ones. Depend
ing upon the sense organs that they possess, five categories of worldly
souls have been described in the last chapter. Of these, Akendriyas are
further classified in five sub-categories. They are known as Prithwikaya
or earthly bodies, Apkaya or aquatic b odies, Teukaya or fire bodies,
Vaukaya or gaseous bodies and Vanaspatikaya or plant life. These five
sub-categories are collectively known as Sthavar meaning immobile.
Remaining embodied souls are known as Trasa meaning mobile, because those
that can move in face of danger are treated as Trasa and others as Sthavar.
Sometimes, those five categories of Sthavar together with Trasa category
are mentioned as six major categories and are known as Chhakaya Jiva.
Description of Ajiva and of its five
categories has been given in the last chapter. Jiva and these five Ajivas
are not any way dependent on one another. Each of these six substances has
potentialities to undergo changes in its own states. Other substances
however play the role of being instrumental in effecting those changes.
For instance, Dharmastikaya, Adharmastikaya, Akash and Kaal play the role
of being instrumental in locationwise and timewise changes. Worldly soul
does not try to identify itself wit h these foursubstances. It therefore
hardly has any misunderstanding or delusion in such respect and views the
role of those four Ajivas more or less dispassionately. Role of Pudgal on
Jiva and of Jiva on Pudgal has however been the source of lot of misun
derstanding. Worldly soul does not realize that its embodiment and all its
surroundings have resulted from its past Karmas. It tends to identify
itself with all those situations ignoring the fact that they are
ephemeral. This has been the root cause of it s continuing bondage of
Karma and resulting transmigration. The discussion of Nav Tattvas has been
undertaken for analysing the state of worldly soul and the factors that
inhibit and those that help in attaining liberation. Therefore Pudgal and
particular ly Karma Pudgal, would be attracting our major attention in the