The substance, the modes and the attributes – substance

Jain Siddhant Praveshika (Q and A)
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The substance, the modes and the attributes

The attributes

  1.     What are the specific attributes (Vishesh guna) in a substance?
  • The following attributes are the specific attributes in a substance:

    • Soul – Consciousness (Chetna), righteousness (Samyaktva), conduct (Charitra), or dynamic nature (Kriyavati Shakti).
    • Matter – Touch, taste, smell, sight, dynamic nature.
    • Medium of motion – to help other substances to move.
    • Medium of rest – to help moving substances to stop.
    • Space – to give accommodation.
    • Time – an essential instrument in a change
  1. How many different types of ‘space’ (Akash) are there?
  • Space is one whole unit of a substance.
  1. Where is the space?
  • The space is omnipresent.  It is everywhere.
  1. What is a cosmic space (Lokakash)?
  • The amount of space occupied by all souls, matters, time, medium of motion, and medium of rest, is called cosmic space.
  1. What is a trans-cosmic space (Alokakash)?
  • The amount of infinite space beyond the cosmic space is known as trans-cosmic space.
  1. What are the dimensions of cosmic space?
  • The magnitude of the cosmic space from north to south is defined as seven rajus (a unit of a measure) above the ground and 7 rajus below the ground.  The width from east to west is seven rajus at the bottom below the ground. Then there is a gradual decline of width up to one raju as the height increases to seven rajus.  Thereafter the width gradually increases to five rajus as the height increases to ten and one half rajus.  Thereafter the width starts decreasing gradually again and it becomes one raju at the height of fourteen rajus from the base.  The total height of the cosmic space is fourteen rajus.# According to Colebrook, Raju is defined as follows. It is the distance, which a celestial being flies in six months at the rate of 2,057,152 yojans in one Kshan (One minute has 540,000 Kshans) One yojan means 454,545 miles.According to C.R. Jain, one Raju equals 145 x 1021 miles.# Jain Sidhdhant Kosh by Jinendra Varni part 3 page no. 401.A Graphic Illustration of Cosmic Space
  1. The medium of motion and the medium of rest – are they one indivisible, distinct whole unit? Or, are they divisible into several units?  How far are both of them spread?
  • The medium of motion and medium of rest, may each be defined as a distinct whole unit.  They are each homogeneous wholes.  They are present in the whole of cosmic space as one unit each.  The medium of motion, the medium of rest, and cosmic space are co-existent and co-extensive.
  1.     Define the smallest unit of space (Pradesh).
  • The area of the space occupied by a single indivisible atom of a matter is called a smallest space unit (Pradesh).
  1. How many subunits of time are there?
  • The cosmic space has innumerable (Ashankhyat) space units.  Each space unit occupies one subunit of ‘time’.  Thus there are innumerable subunits of time.
  1. How many numbers of matters are there?  Where are they located?
  • Matters are infinitely infinite (Ananta anant). Matters as such are infinitely times more frequent than the total number of the souls.  They are located in the cosmic space.
  1. How many living substances are there?  Where are they located?
  • Living substances are infinitely infinite.  They reside in the cosmic space.
  1. How large is a living substance?
  • If one considers from a space units point of view, the soul has innumerable   (Ashankhyat) space units.  These soul space units have the capacity to occupy the whole cosmic space.  But if one considers from contraction/expansion point of view, then the transmigratory soul is a size of the individual body that it has acquired.  The size of ultimate free soul of sidhdha is directly proportional to the last body it had occupied.
  1. What kind of soul occupies the whole cosmic space?
  • The omniscient soul prior to obtaining emancipation can occupy the whole cosmic space.
  1. What is meant by ‘expansion of space units by soul’ (Samudghat)?
  • Without leaving the original body, the omniscient soul can momentarily expand soul’s space units (Atma pradesh) to occupy the whole cosmic space prior its ultimate liberation from all karma.
  1.       What does one mean by ‘extended real’ (Astikaya)?
  • The substance that has multiple subunits is known as ‘extended real’.
  1.       How many ‘extended reals’ are there?
  • Soul, matter, medium of motion, medium of rest, and space are the five extended reals.   Since time can only occupy one space unit, it is not an extended real.
  1. Since the smallest unit of matter known as an atom, occupies only one space unit, then why is matter classified as an ‘extended real’?
  • The matter has touch as one of its qualities. By virtue of this quality; the matter exists as an aggregate (Skandha).  Therefore by attribution (Upchar) it is called the extended real.
  1. What are the ‘affirmative attributes’ (Anujivi guna) in a substance?
  • The positive attributes, which constitute the inherent nature of the substance, are called ‘affirmative attributes’.  For example, right faith, right conduct, happiness, and vitality in the soul; and touch, taste, smell, and color, in the matter cosnititute affirmative attributes.
  1.       What are the ‘non affirmative attributes’ (Pratijivi guna)?
  • The attributes, found in the negative sense in a substance, are called its ‘non affirmative attributes’, e.g., non-existence (Nastitva), non-materiality (Amurtatva), and inanimate (Achetanatva).
  1.  What is the meaning of the word ‘non-existence’ (Abhava)?
  • The absence of one entity within another one is known as ‘non-existence’.
  1. How many different types of ‘non-existences’ are there?
  • There are four types:

    1. Prior non-existence (Prag-abhava)
    2. Annihilative non-existence (Pradhvans-abhava)
    3. Reciprocal non-existence (Anyonya-abhava)
    4. Absolute non-existence (Atyanta-abhava)
  1. What is meant by ‘prior non-existence’ (Prag-abhava)?
  • The absence of the present mode in the past mode is called the prior non-existence.
  1. What is the meaning of ‘annihilative non-existence’ (Pradhvans-abhava)?
  • The absence of the present mode in the future mode is called annihilative non-existence.
  1. What is meant by ‘reciprocal non-existence’ (Anyonya-abhava)?
  • The absense of the present mode of a matter in the present mode of another matter is called reciprocal non-existence.
  1. What is meant by the word absolute non-existence (Atyanta-abhava)?
  • The absence of a substance (Dravya) in another substance is known as absolute non- existence.

       Affirmative Attributes (Anujivi Guna)

  1. What are some of the affirmative attributes (Anujivi guna) in the soul?
  • Consciousness (Chetna), faith (Shradhadha), right conduct (Charitra), happiness (Shukh), vitality (Virya), capability of obtaining salvation (Bhavyatva), non-capacity of obtaining salvation (Abhavyatva), soul-hood (Jjivatva), special interactive capacity (Vaibhavik shakti), act of doing (Kartutva), and the act of enjoying (Bhoktrutva), are infinite attributes present in the soul, called the soul’s affirmative attributes.
  1. What are some of the non-affirmative attributes (Pratijivi guna) of the soul?
  • Unobstructiveness (Avyabadh), accomodativeness (Avgah), constancy of individuality (Agurulaghutva), and subtleness (Sukshmatva), are some of the non-affirmative attributes of the soul.
  1. What is ‘consciousness’ (Chetna)?
  • The attribute by which a substance is perceived is called ‘consciousness’.
  1. How many different types of consciousness are there?
  • There are two types:

    1. Perception consciousness (Darshan chetna)
    2. Knowledge consciousness (Gnan chetna)
  1. What is perception consciousness (Darshan chetna)?
  • The consciousness in which the perception of the substance is of a general nature, i.e. without any differentiation and distinction is called perception consciousness.
  1. What is meant by the ‘general nature of a substance’ (maha satta)?
  • When the consciousness is dealing with the eternal existence attribute of all the substances then it is known as ‘general nature of a substance’ (maha satta).
  1. What is meant by knowledge consciousness (Gnan chenta)?
  • When the consciousness deals with the knowledge of both the subsidiary as well as the specific nature of a substance, (Avantar satta) it is known as knowledge consciousness (Gnan chetna).
  1. What is meant by ‘subsidiary and specific nature of a substance’ (Avantar satta)?
  • Every substance has specific and special characteristics.  These are the substance’s subsidiary attributes called ‘avantar satta’.
  1. How many subtypes of perception consciousness are there?
  • There are four subtypes:

    1. Vision Perception (Chakshu darshan)
    2. Non-Vision Perception (Achakshu darshan)
    3. Clairvoyance Perception (Avadhi darshan)
    4. Omniscience Perception (Keval darshan)
  1. How many subtypes of knowledge consciousness are there?
  • There are five types:

    1. Cognitive / Perceptual Knowledge (Mati gnan)
    2. Scripture knowledge (Shrut gnan)
    3. Clairvoyance Knowledge (Avadhi gnan)
    4. Telepathy Knowledge (Manah paryah gnan)
    5. Omniscience Knowledge (Keval gnan)
    6. What is the meaning of cognitive / perceptual knowledge (Mati gnan)?

    The knowledge acquiring process of the soul through the medium of senses and mind is called cognitive / perceptual knowledge.

  1. What are the two types of cognitive / perceptual knowledge?
  • They are as follow:

    • Direct perception in the conventional sense (Samvyavaharik pratyaksha)
    • Indirect perception accompanied by sense  (Paroksha)
  1. How many different types of indirect perception are there (Paroksha mati gnan)?
  • There are four types:

    1. Memory (Smruti)
    2. Recognition (Pratyabhi gnan)
    3. Logic (Tark)
    4. Inference (Anuman)
    5. What are the four subtypes of cognitive knowledge?

    They are as follow:

    1. Perception (Avagraha)
    2. Conception (Iha)
    3. Judgment (Avaya)
    4. Retention (Dharna)
    5. Define ‘perception’ (Avagraha) in cognitive knowledge.

    The first stage in a perception consists of general knowledge of the object when it is brought into the contact with a sense organ.First, there is an excitation in the sense organ by the stimulus (e.g., the object in the outside world).  Then there is excitation in the consciousness.  Therefore in the first stage of perception a person is barely conscious of the existence of an object, e.g., this is a human being.

  1. Define ‘conception’ (Iha) in cognitive knowledge.
  • In the conception stage there is a desire to know the particulars of an object – a desire to know whether it is ‘this’ or ‘that’.  Thus, similarities and differences of the object with other objects become the subject of consciousness in this stage. In ‘conception’ the doubt about an object created by ‘perception’ becomes clarified, e.g. this person is Mr. Thakurdas.This stage in the ‘conception’part of knowledge is weak; and, if it does not progress to the next level of knowledge, then at a later time period it may promotes doubt or may eventually be forgotten.
  1. Define ‘judgment’ (Avay) in the cognitive knowledge.
  • In the judgment stage there is definite finding of the particulars, which may be further examined in the second stage of conception.  The second stage is merely an attempt to define the particulars while the judgment stage examines the assertiveness of these particulars. The cognitive knowledge of ‘conception’ becomes solidified in the ‘judgment’, e.g., he can be nobody else but Mr. Thakurdas.In the final ‘judgement’ of knowledge, there are no remaining doubts; however, later, the knowledge may be forgotten.
  1. Define ‘retention’ (Dharna) in cognitive knowledge.
  • In the fourth stage ‘retention’ consists of lasting impressions that result after the object with its particulars is definitely ascertained.  It is this impression (Sanskar), which enables us to remember the object afterwards.  Memory therefore is the result of four successive stages of perception, conception, judgement and retention of the cognitive knowledge.In the ‘retention’ type of cognitive knowledge there is an absence of doubt. The object cannot now be forgotten.
  1. How many different types of cognitive knowledge are there from an object’s point of view?
  • There are two types:

    1. Expressed (Vyakt)
    2. Non-expressed (Avyakt)
  1. How does cognitive knowledge occur in both of the above types?
  • All four subtypes of cognitive knowledge to include like perception, conception, judgment, and retention, are present in the expressed object.  In a non-expressed object, only perception knowledge is present.
  1. Is the perception knowledge of the ‘things comprehended’ type (Arth avagraha)?
  • The perception knowledge is the first type of cognitive knowledge.There are two subtypes in perception.

    1. Things barely contacted (Vyanjan avagraha)
    2. Things comprehended (Arth avagraha)

    The perception of an expressed object is called ‘things comprehended’ (Arth avagraha).

  1. What is called the perception knowledge of ‘things barely contacted’ (Vyanjan avagraha)?
  • Initial bare contact with an object takes place at the moment it reaches the senses.  This is the stage of perception that is known as ‘things barely contacted’ (Vyanjan avagraha).  This contact awareness gradually proceeds towards the plane of consciousness. This is known as artha vagraha.Suppose a man is awakened by a call.  The sound atoms reach the man’s ear in succession.  In time the ears become sufficiently saturated with sound atoms.  Now he awakens.  The awakening of consciousness is followed by the other three stages of cognitive knowledge, conception, judgment, and retention.  All of which are concerned with the object. The perception part relates to both, the contact with the object and the object itself.  In other words, there are two phases of the object: its initial appearance and its continued existence.  Through perception both are noticed.  The latter three stages recognize only the continued existence.
  1. ‘Arth avagraha’ is perceived by all senses and mind.  Is ‘vyanjan avagraha’ perceived the same way?
  • ‘Vyanjan avagraha’ is perceived directly by all senses except for eyes and mind.  The knowledge of an object occurs with senses coming in direct contact with an object.  In the mind and in the eyes such close contact does not occur.  They both perceive only non-contacted objects.  Thus in ‘vyanjan avagraha’ the mind and eyes are not involved.  The knowledge that occurs with the help of the eyes and mind is of the expressed object only.  The rest of the four senses, e.g., hearing, smell, touch, and taste can perceive expressed (Vyakt) as well as non-expressed (Avyakt) objects.
  1. How many different types of expressed (Vyakt) and non-expressed (Avyakt) objects are there?
  • There are twelve types:

    1. Multiple (Bahu) – To know multiple examples of an object at a time, e.g., as to know people in a gathering.
    2. Few (Ek) – To know one or a few things at a time, e.g., to know a person.
    3. Complex (Bahuvidh) – To know many different objects at a time, e.g., to know men or dogs in a crowd
    4. Simple (Ekvidh) – To know only one type of an object only, e.g., to have knowledge of a specific person in a crowd.
    5. Quick comprehension (Kshipra) – To know an object quickly.
    6. Slow comprehension (Akshipra) – To come to know an object slowly over time.
    7. Partially exposed (Anihshrut) – To know an object fully although it is only partially expressed, e.g., by seeing a trunk in the water, to know that an elephant is there.
    8. Completely exposed (Nihshrut) – To know the object once it is fully expressed / visible.
    9. Unspoken (Anukta) – To know an object without being aware of its description.
    10. Spoken (Ukta) – To know an object after knowing its description.
    11. Constant (Dhruv) – Long lasting stable knowledge of an object.
    12. Nonconstant (Adhruv) – The knowledge of an object, which can increase or decrease with time.
  1. What is the scripture knowledge / articulate knowledge (Shrut gnan)?
  • An object is first known through perception knowledge. The knowledge of this object which enables one to know another object is called scripture knowledge / articulate knowledge, e.g., to know a word such as ‘pot’ and then to know different types of pots, such as water pots or flower pots, is called scripture knowledge / articulate knowledge.
  1. When does perception (Darshan) occur?
  • The soul obtains knowledge of an object.  Prior to the knowledge, the perception occurs in the soul.  In mundane soul the knowledge (Gnan) does not occur without perception. (Darshan)  To the omniscient lord, the perception and knowledge occur together.
  1. What is vision perception (Chakshu darshan)?
  • In cognitive knowledge involving the eyes (Netra janya mati gnan), the perception occurring – ordinary impression, which occurs prior to the knowledge, is called vision perception (Chakshu darshan).
  1. What is the non-vision perception (Achakshu darshan)?
  • There are five senses plus mind.  Non-vision encompasses all the senses and mind except for eyes.  The perception – the ordinary impression- occuring in these senses, prior to the knowledge is called non-vision perception (achakshu darshan).
  1. What is the clairvoyance perception (Avadhi darshan)?
  • In clairvoyance, the ordinary perception – ordinary impression- which occurs prior to the knowledge, is called clairvoyance perception (Avadhi darshan).
  1. What is the omniscience perception (Keval darshan)?
  1. What is the ‘right belief’ attribute of the soul (Shradhdha guna)?
  • The pure attribute of the soul in which one now has conviction (Yatharth pratiti) of the perfect soul (Sudhdha atma) is called the right belief attribute (Shradhdha guna) of the soul.
  1. What is a ‘right conduct’ attribute (Charitraguna) of the soul?
  • When the cessation of external and internal impure activities of the soul occurs, then the soul becomes purified.  The reason for this purity is the right conduct attribute of the soul.
  1. What are the external activities of the soul?
  • Violence, stealing, lying, non-celibacy, and possessiveness are called the external activities of the soul.
  1. What are the internal activities of the soul?
  • The passions (Kashay) and psychophysical activities (Yog) are called the internal activities of the soul.
  1. What are the psychophysical activities (Yog)?
  • When the soul’s space units vibrate with the concomitant activities of the body, speech, and mind it is called psychophysical activities.
  1. What is meant by passions (Kashay)?
  • The deluded states of the soul such as anger, ego, deceit, and greed are called passions.
  1. How many different types of ‘right conduct’ (Charitra) are there?
  • There are four types:

    1. Self-absorption conduct (Swarupacharan charitra)
    2. Partial pure conduct with self restraint (Desh charitra)
    3. Complete pure conduct with self restraint (Sakal charitra)
    4. Passionless perfect conduct (Yathakhyat charitra)
    5. What is the ‘self absorption conduct’ of the soul (Swarupacharan charitra)?

    In the process of purifying a soul, the first stage is self-realization.  Here one first begins to experience his own pure soul.  This is called the self-absorption conduct.

  1. What is the ‘partial pure conduct with self restraint’ (Desh charitra)?
  • The householder (Sravak) obtains self-realization, and then progresses to take partial vows.  This stage is called ‘partial pure conduct with self restraint’ (Desh charitra).
  1. What is  ‘complete pure conduct with self restraint’ (Sakal charitra)?
  • The self-realized soul now progresses further to accept monkhood.  Here the householder follows vows completely. This stage is called ‘complete pure conduct with self restraint’ (Sakal charitra).
  1. What is the ‘passionless perfect conduct’ (Yathakhyat charitra)?
  • Passionless perfect conduct is the purified state of the soul, after the self-realized soul has shed off all his passion karma.
  1. Describe the soul’s attribute ‘bliss’ (Sukh guna).
  • The pure manifestation of stoical blissful nature of the self is called ‘bliss’. This mode derives from the ‘bliss attribute’ (Sukh guna) of the soul.
  1. What is meant by soul’s ‘power’attribute(Virya shakti)?
  • The potency, the spiritual energy, of the soul is called ‘power’. (Virya) The effort making of the soul (Purushartha) is the mode of the power attribute.
  1. What is the attribute of the soul called ‘Capability of obtaining salvation’    (Bhavyatva)?
  • This is the potentiality of the soul. When it becomes expressed then the soul has the capacity to obtain enlightened faith, knowledge, and conduct.  As a result the soul may progress and ultimately achieve salvation. The ‘capability of obtaining salvation’ is present in most of the souls, called ‘Bhavya.’
  1. Define ‘noncapacity to obtain salvation’ (Abhavyatva).
  • There are some souls, which have no potentiality of ever obtaining enlightened faith, knowledge, and conduct.  Thus these souls will unfortunately never ever achieve salvation. The noncapacity to obtain salvation is present in some souls. They are called ‘Abhavya.’
  1. What is the ‘living hood’ attribute of the soul (Jivatva)?
  • This is the attribute of the soul in which the soul remains as a living being.  Because of the presence of vitality (Pran), the soul is a living being.
  1. What is the ‘vitality’ (Pran)?
  • The soul comes in association with vitality and as a result, the soul gets a body, and birth occurs.  When there is dissociation of vitality, the body and soul separate. This is called death.
  1. How many different types of vitality are there?
  • There are two types of vitalities:

    1. External vitality (Dravya pran)
    2. Internal vitality (Bhav pran).
    3. How many types of external vitality are there (Dravya pran)?

    There are ten types:

    1. Ability to think (Mano Bal)
    2. Ability to speak (Vachan Bal)
    3. Ability to have body (Kaya Bal)
    4. Ability to feel the sensation of touch (Sparsh Indriya)
    5. Ability to taste (Ras Indriya)
    6. Ability to smell (Ghran Indriya)
    7. Ability to see (Chakshu Indriya)
    8. Ability to hear (Shravan Indriya)
    9. Ability to inhale and exhale (Swashoswash)
    10. Ability to live life (Ayushya)
  1. What are the internal vitalities (Bhav Pran)?
  • This power, which resides within the soul, becomes the instrumental cause (Nimitt) for external vitalities enabling them to perform their functions.
  1. How many different vitalities exist in different living organisms?
  • One-sense organisms have four vitalities:

    1. Ability to touch
    2. Ability to have body
    3. Ability to inhale and exhale
    4. Ability to live life

    Two sense organisms have six vitalities:1 to 4 as above, plus 2 more as follow:

    • Ability to taste
    • Ability to speak

    Three sense organisms have seven vitalities:1 to 6 as above, plus 1 more as follow:

    • Ability to smell.

    Four sense living organisms have eight vitalities:1 to 7 as above, plus 1 more as follow:

    • Ability to see.

    Five sense non-sentient living organisms (Asangni Panchendriya) have nine vitalities:1 to 8 as above plus 1 more as follow:

    • Ability to hear.

    Five sense sentient living beings (Sangni Panchendriya) have all ten vitalities 1 to 9   as above plus 1 more as follow:

    • Ability to think.
  1. (a). How many different internal vitalities are there?
  • There are two types:

    1. Internal senses (Bhavendriya).
    2. Internal vibration of soul (Bal pran)

    (b). How many different types of internal senses (Bhavendriya) are there?There are five types.

    1. Internal touch.
    2. Internal taste.
    3. Internal smell.
    4. Internal seeing
    5. Internal sound.
  1. How many different types of internal vibrations (Bal pran) are there?
  • There are three types:

    1. Internal vibrations due to mind.
    2. Internal vibration due to speech.
    3. Internal vibration due to external body actions.
  1. What is called the soul’s “interactive capacity” (Vaibhavik shakti)?
  • This is the capacity in the soul, which enables the soul to interact with matter. Because of this relationship, the mundane soul can expresses himself into his deluding state (Vibhav).


  1. What is the “un-interruption” non-affirmative attribute (Avayabadh pratijivi guna) of the soul?
  • When the soul obtains self-realization, then internal happiness is perceived. But this state is only partial and still can be interrupted. The feeling karma are the instrumental in the interruption of the soul’s happiness. When feeling karma are all shed, then the feeling of pleasure and pain aspects will also totally disappear and this soul now has internal happiness un-interrupted forever.

    What is the “Accommodative” non-affirmative attribute (Avagahan pratijivi guna)?Due to the accommodative attribute of the soul, every living being has height, length and width. In the absence of any age determining karma the true pure modes of this accommodative attribute shine and the soul now has no dependency on any karma. Now this pure soul- Sidhdha’s soul-can accommodate himself with other pure infinite souls within the same space units.

  1.    What is “Not too heavy – Not too light” non-affirmative attribute of the soul (Aguru laghutva pratijivi guna)?
  • With status determining karma, (Gotra karma) the soul obtains status – high status and low status. In the soul, the absence of status determining karma makes high and low status invalid and the soul is neither too heavy nor too light. If the sidhdha’s soul is too heavy then it will fall lower down and if it is too light it will be wandering in the space like a piece of cotton. But because of not too heavy – not too light attribute, this doesn’t happen to sidhdha’s soul.
  1. What are “Subtleness” non-affirmative attributes (Sukhshmatvapratijiviguna).?
  • The absence of body determining karma in the soul enables the subtleness attribute of the soul to shine. Any coarseness- grossness is now absent. Any thing that can be perceived by senses is called coarse – gross- (Badar) and any thing that cannot be perceived by senses is called subtle (Shukshma).