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    Jai Mahavir ji

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     Lesson -5             

       THE UNIVERSE  

 

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 Jainism believes that universe is everlasting. It has no beginning and no end. On account of the intrinsic properties of its entities or substances that include the forces of nature, the universe continuously undergoes transformations. There are two kinds of entities in the universe--living beings and nonliving substances.  Each living being has a soul. In the universe, souls are of two kinds—the worldly souls and the librated souls. The worldly souls have bodies, senses, respiration, birth and rebirth. They decay and die. When the worldly soul is free all bondage of karmas, it becomes pure. Such pure souls are called librated souls.

  The non-living substances are of five kinds; the matter, medium of motion, medium of rest, space and time. The matters also called pudgala possess color, taste, smell and touch. It has the quality of fusion and fission. The medium of motion also known as Dharma assists in the movement of soul and matter. The medium of rest known as adharma assists the state of rest of soul and matter.  Further the space or Akasa is one that accommodates all the substances within it. The space is divided in two parts—one where all the substances are found is called the Lokakasa. The other one wherein only the space exists and none of the other five substances exist is called the Alokakasa. Kala or the time helps in maintaining and measuring the changeability of all substances.

  Without matter, all other four substances are immaterial. It is important to understand that the immaterial substances of Dharma, Adharma, Akasa and Kala, all behave in a passive manner. It is only by their presence that they make various functions possible. Active causative force is absent in them. This is the way of their functioning. Being immaterial they cannot be perceived with the senses. Their existence is deduced from the functions they perform in the universe.

                        Matter and material body of soul can be deducted by means of our senses and by using scientific instruments. No other entity of the universe including the soul can be detected by means of our senses or by using any device.

                  

 

                        Jaina views of universe preclude the necessity for a creator. It also affirms there is no supreme being who regulates the events of the world. Natural forces or intrinsic attributes of six substances ( Dravyas) govern events. Changeability with permanence is the nature of substance.

 

Universe is divided intothree regions: ADHO-LOK , MADYA- LOK and URDHAV-LOK.

  At the lowest of this universe( Adho-Lok) is the seventh hell. In the central region of this universe (Madhya- lok) there are innumerable continents and oceans. Human beings and all animals, plants, insects etc, are living in this region. The upper most part of the universe ( Urdhava- loka) is known as Heaven. On the top of universe is the abode of pure souls. This place is called Siddha-Sila’.

Glossary:-

Hell : abode of devils or condemned soul.

Heaven: abode of Devine souls.

 

                                                                                          The End.

 

 

Note:-The words shown in Italic are from Prakrit Language.

 

 

                  

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