Jai Mahavir ji

   Fundamental Features of Jainism.

   Jainism is absolutely Scientific  

“Science is a fairy child of creation"

Author :-Upadhyaya Munishri Kamakumar Nandi Ji




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“Modern science is a strange paradox. On one side it has opened up a vista of celestial blessings and comforts on earth- having conquered Time, Distance and space, thereby translating ‘Impossibility’ into ‘possibility’ While one the other hand, it has degraded man to the basest degree-having made him a brute of the formidable type.”- H.G.Wells           

  In this age of Science and confluence of various cultured people old shabby religion and its irrational dogmas or fanatic ideals cant capture the minds of educated. In fact, neither science nor religion, but only scientific religion can solve the world problems, which are agitating the minds of well- wishers of humanity. Once Einstein had said, “ Without religion science can not walk; and without science we not only do not stand in conflict but actually complete each other.’ Like wise Tagore’s remarks are worthy of note. “When infatuation in the grab of religion enters into a soul, he blindly persecutes others and dupes himself. Oh Lord! Protect the perverted religionists.”

In the quest of peace the modern man appears to be deeply engrossed in restless race of piling up life-less material possession and life taking armaments. The clouds of atomic war and carnage looming large on the horizon bear apparent testimony to the fact that he has built his so called peaceful palace of pleasure on the submit of the silent looking volcano, which will annihilate all the priceless treasures bestowed by the economic and pragmatist mind in the twinkling of an eye. The soulless civilization of materialism, nourishing the brute-in-man, has led humanity to stand at a crossroad, where it has to make a definite choice. It has to choose between body and soul, between limbs and life, between war and peace, between the rational doctrine of fraternal coexistence propounded by rational religion and the jungle Law of brute- strife advertised by the modern materialist; and over and above all between transient satisfactions and perennial peace.

  The modern age of science has lost its faith in ‘Religion’ as the harbinger of individual and social harmony, because the much talked of ‘Religion’ itself has lost its scientific foundation. It has today degenerated into short –sighted merciless sectarianism and perverted into cruel fanaticism. It has become a warehouse of superstitions and an adobe of dead ritual and obsolete horrible, ridiculous and terrifying customs. The need of the hour, thus, is that Scientific religion to invoked again to come to our rescue, and to quote Tagore: ‘where the clear steam of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit.” 

  “Jainism is purely a scientific system, and the Jain Tirthankars were the greatest Scientists hence Jainism is the greatest subject for the study of modern science.”

  In this modern age of science we should neither be amazed at the miraculous achievements of science nor on the testimony of scriptures regarding the scientific inventions and discoveries mere creations of fancy. It is a matter of regret that we neither possess up -to –date and thorough knowledge of science, nor have made a deep, vivid and proper study of our ancient holy books. A right understanding of facts demands that we should make an intense, searching and intelligent study both of our sacred books and science, ponder and ruminate overall the facts calmly without being prejudiced so that we may realize the real truth on finding a proper and right solution of the mystery.

  To the Greeks, science was knowledge, not merely of the material and physical world, but of all that concerned man. The feeling of wonder in men originally gave rise to philosophy. Their interest was first exited by obvious problems and then advanced little by little to the phenomena of the moon and the sun, the stars and genesis of the universe.

  Today science is much talked of, popular topic in the world. It is science that has revealed the futility and hollow ness of various dogmas and rituals prevalent in the modern world in the name of religion. It is why many religions proclaim that there is a vast contradiction between religion and the science and the two are at loggerheads with each other. But Jainism's a scientific religion throwing ample light on the real nature of substance or matter as propounded by the omniscient, enlightened, fully non- attached and benefactor of all, Lord Jinendra and the great Jain scholars and thinkers from time to time. Hence Jainism welcomes the findings and discoveries of science.

In Jainism the word ‘Religion’ has two fold connotations: Primarily it means ‘The essential’, inherent nature of every existing thing, animate or inanimate; and secondly, it connotes the ways and means to realize that essential or inherent nature

Jain metaphysics approves of the scientific maxim that ‘nothing is destructible’ i.e. nothing can be created out of nothing, or out of some thing which does not at all exist in one form or the other. The Jain thought is pertinent when it advocates that the cosmos or universe, conglomeration of all existing objects is uncreated and real by virtue of its being existential and is, therefore, eternal, infinite with no beginning and end. The modern science has confirmed that the universe has an automatic working process. The cosmic constituents cause diverse phenomena by their respective functioning and in traction. In short, the Jain cosmology clearly states that the cosmos or universe, with its six basic constituents, the dravyas (substances) is a veritable reality by virtue of its very existence. It is uncreated, self-existent, beginning less, endless, eternal and infinite. It is the confirmed belief of Jain philosophers that matter is never destroyed; it only undergoes changes into different states. Nothing is ever created nor destroyed. All things change states; for change is the law of Nature. Today science also asserts the fact that fundamentally no substance is destroyed at any time, but simply its states go on changing from time to time.

The Jain Acharyas have divided   ‘Jivas’ souls in two categories-the mobile and immobile. Souls embodied in earth, water, fire, air and vegetables come under the second category of immobile living beings, which are endowed with only one sense organ of touch. The Jain Acharyas have discussed this issue very vividly. Lately the renowned Indian Scientist Late Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose had clearly proved through his scientific experiment beyond doubt that plants and all green vegetations also have life like human beings, and also experience feelings of joy, sorrow and fear like us. Later on, he proved life in stones, which also have growth. By and by the scientists are coming to this viewpoint of Jainism.

Some philosophical systems regard an independent existence of Earth, Water and Air etc. But the Jain Acharyas have pointed to an element known as matter and stated earth, water and air as the special states of matter. The scientists tell water is compound of two gases-Hydrogen and Oxygen i.e. H2O and by the disintegration of water they have made clear the properties of these two gases, Likewise, by assigning separate identity of water and air etc. to the different substances existing in the universe they have confirmed that in truth these are not independent elements but are special states of matter.

Many philosophers and thinkers have stated sound or word to be abstract and a characteristic of the space. Thus they have created many misunderstandings and spread a network of many false theories. But the jain religious teachers and Acharyas have told sound or word to be lifeless but concrete. To-day like Jain thinkers, the scientists also have obviously proved sound or word to be concrete on the basis of sound implements like gramophone, Radio and T.V. cassettes etc. Like the Jains, the European mathematicians Cantor Piano and Fridge have accepted the reality of space and time. Jainism and Nayaya Vaiseshika agree in holding Akash as all pervading and eternal, but Jainism does not accept that sound is a quality of Akash, but it is produced only when molecules strike against one another. This view is now moved by the modern science also.

 Modern scientists had to assume an invisible element called ‘ether’ as a medium to transmit sounds and words across thousands of miles. But the jain thinkers had pointed thousands of years ago to the existence of an omnipresent Mahaskandha (great Molecule). With the help of this molecule the message of the birth and salvation etc., of lord Jinendra flashed throughout the universe in the twinkling of an eye. It seems that this great molecule helps in automatic transmission of the messages of auspicious and inauspicious incidents likely to occur through the eye stir and hand stir, or itching palm etc. Despite being omnipresent this molecule is stated to be very minute.

  Atomic Theory

Atomic theory- the most remarkable contribution of Jains related to their analysis of atomic linking or the mutual attraction of atoms in the formation of molecule.

Jainism ordains its followers to drink water after proper distillation, because besides making water more compatible for consumption, it avoids the killing of germs of water. Scientists have found through microscopes that it contains innumerous tiny germs invisible to the naked eye moving to and fro in water. It is why the modern scientists and medical experts advise the use of filtered water. How strange it is that that the great Jain Acharyas knew about this fact through their absolute knowledge and perception without the aid of any implement.

  The modern science is yet in progressing stage, Many European scholars have rightly remarked that as the modern science advances more and more, the appropriateness and utility of Jain thoughts will be universally acknowledged by and by.

“Jainism is the only non- allegorical religion-the only creed that is purely scientific system, which insists upon and displays a thorough understanding of the problem of life and soul. It was founded by omniscient men. No other religion can lay claim to this distinction”

                                                                       -Miss. Elizabeth Frazer

  Jainism is the only religious system that recognizes clearly the truth that religion is a science. It is the only man made religion, the only one that reduces every thing to the iron laws of Nature and with modern science.

  The pursuit of science by looking at facts alone and ignoring the ultimate purpose of life has resulted in a lop sided growth. Science has made the world a wonderland, built up a glittering human civilization, opened up innumerable avenues for the growth of mental and physical powers, added to the power of man to such an extent that man has become almost a supreme power to triumph over and shape his physical environment- a geological force changing the face of the planet earth chemically, physically and in many other ways. However, under all this pomp and show, some vital element is found missing. Science has failed to impart man knowledge of ultimate purpose and even an understanding of any immediate purpose in life.

It is wrong to suppose, as science does that the world is a mere mechanical movement and man a purposeless force. Life is not the product of mechanical laws. The current of life drives man onward and upward on the path of evolution and the driving power lies not outside him but within him. But the scientist does not comprehend the real nature of this driving power. His electrons and protons do not resolve the mystery of soul. Besides, God and soul cannot be treated as mathematical equations. Our deepest convictions, for which we are sometimes ready to die, are not the results of cold rational calculations. What makes man a man is not his physical and material richness but his sense of eternal, immortal voice within him for the sake of which even kings and multimillionaires have abandoned their empires, renounced the world and become wandering mendicants.

  Science deals with the domain of positive knowledge but the temper, which it should produce, goes beyond that domain. The ultimate purpose of man may be said to be to gain knowledge, to realize truth, to appreciate goodness and beauty. But the scientists proclaims the world of truth, beauty and Goodness to be no more than a product of accidental combination of atoms destined to end as it began in a cloud of hydrogen gas. For him life is not the designed plan of a divine artist, but an outcome of the peculiar combination and collusion of whirling atoms. Infect, men of science believe in nothing but what they can prove by scientific methods.  But science alone cannot explain the mysteries of life and existence. It is with the temper and approach of science allied to philosophy and with reverence for all that lies beyond that we must try to understand all life and universe.

  Hence, a co-ordination between science and religion both is essential for smooth sailing of life in the universe. Indeed, nature preaches the lesson of mutual co-existence in every sphere. It has to be admitted beyond doubt that science can give us comforts and articles of luxury but it cannot give happiness. Our material achievements, our control of physical forces have not added to the peace of mind or brought laughter back to life, or answered any question about here and hereafter. Religion comes to our rescue to provide us real peace and happiness, and guide us on the path of salvation-the ultimate goal of life.

  In this age of science and confluence of various cultured people old shabby religion and its irrational dogmas or fanatic ideals cannot capture the minds of the educated. In fact, neither science nor religion, but scientific religion can only solve the world problems, which are agitating the minds of the well wishers of humanity. Once walk; Einstein had said,” without religion science cannot walk; and without science not only do not stand in conflict but actually complete each other.” Likewise Tagore’s remarks are worthy of note. ”When infatuation in the garb of religion enters into a soul, it blindly persecutes others and deceives himself. Oh Lord! Protect the perverted religionists.

Infect, “Science" is the noblest attribute of nature; it is a gift of God to man. The Kingdom of God is within our hearts.” Let science purify and sanctify this kingdom with its creative and peaceful contribution. Science teaches us how to gain a deeper insight into the harmony and beauty of creation.

  Science Exercises an ennobling influence on the baser and meaner instincts and predilections of man. It frees his soul from the bondage of custom, convention, superstition, bigotry, intolerance and selfishness, and makes man see the entire world community as a big brotherhood. Modern science re-enlivens our faith in the divine-without insisting on rituals and ceremonies. Thus, the functions of science and religion are complementary, not contradictory; and this is the unique message of Jainism to the entire world community.


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