Jai Mahavir ji
Fundamental Features of Jainism
Soul- An Eternal Reality & True Pilgrimage
Source religious books written by Upadhaya Munishri Kamakumar Nandi ji in excerpt form.
Man is mortal immortal soul Life is like a
'horse race goal'.
"The self is different from matter, Matter from the self-this is the quintessence of all the compilations of wisdom; all the rest of knowledge is but an amplification of this! I am not subject to death; then, what for should I fear death? Nor I am subject to disease; then, what can cause me pain? I am not a child; I am not an old man; nor am I a youth- all these appertain to the flesh (matter)"
Jain philosophy has a special significance in the field of philosophy. Jain principle of soul-living and matter-non-living is very important. Jain philosophy is a scientific philosophy . It believes in the concept that consciousness is Soul. Consciousness is the characteristic of every living Soul.
soul constitutes the most important theme of the Jain Philosophy. The
soul is central theme in the Jain system. Different parts of the system
appear to be woven round the central theme. The soul is neither created
nor is any body created by the soul. It is essentially a unite of
soul is eternal but not of a definite size, since it contracts or
expands according to the dimension of the body in which it is
incorporated for the time being. According to Jain theory of substance
not only the Soul but all the substances must also have some extension,
finite infinite or atomic. Variability of a Soul’s magnitude, which is
perceived through the variability of the organism of the living beings.
Can be explained only by affirming extension of the Soul.
soul is independent in everybody. This conception of the Jain philosophy
is in conformity with
Samkhyas, Naiyayikas and
still the opinion of Advaitvada is different, because it regards that by
nature Soul is one, but due to the characteristics of the body it seems
of different natures.
accordance with the Jaina theory of substance the soul possesses a
multiplicity of attributes. In respect of some other attributes both the
soul and non-soul (body) agree with each other. The special attributes
of the soul like conation, knowledge and bliss etc. distinguish it from
the non-soul (body) and the general implication of such attributes is
termed as consciousness. Besides, many other attributes of the soul are
Jains are of the opinion that Soul is linked with karmas. Just as the
link between the earth and gold is eternal and c; likewise the union
between Soul and Karma is also beginning less. Just as the food eaten is
automatically converted into the shape of seven elements, similarly the
karmic matter adopted by the soul is automatically converted in the
shape of Karmas.
sum up, according to Jain Philosophy soul is conscious and despite being
transformed into different states it is eternal, the doer of pious and
evil karmas and the sufferer of their auspicious and inauspicious
fruits; it is self-sizes, neither psychical nor cerebral but
Jains have compared Soul with sun. Life exists only with Soul; otherwise
it is death. In bondage the power of Soul becomes limited. Soul is
living; and the existence of Soul is self-evident by the word life. Soul
is different from body and is all pervading. It does not mean that it
expands like the non- living substances but the experience of the
different organs of the body exist in it. Like light soul pervades every
part of the body through consciousness. It is the moving force of the
body and senses are its medium. The relationship of cause and effect
cannot be established between body and consciousness. The co-working
with body is not everlasting; for the Soul performs its functions and
during sleep and unconsciousness as well.
the Soul moves on from one state to another state of existence every
moment, it is dynamic. Just as gold remains gold even when crowns and
different types of ornaments are manufactured with it, likewise while
moving in all the four conditions of existence of the state of Soul
changes, still the Soul remains as it is.
observes: “The appearance is just the appearance of
reality and the reality cannot exist apart from and independent of its
appearance which is but its manifestation. The contradiction between
reality and existence is but the result of mental abstraction, and as
such has no basis in a genuine metaphysics.”
followers of the omniscient-Jinas, do not rely upon anything like the
so-called creator or the father-god of heavens, or supreme Soul. On the
other hand, the Jains have their own ontology of religion and Theism,
doctrine of purity of Souls, concept of mundane creatures and the school
to cognize other phenomena in the universe. It is the firm conviction of
the Jainas that the Soul is the supreme knower and knowable too.
Knowledge is the fundamental virtue attribute to the Soul.
teaches that soul is immortal and in its pure nature is full of absolute
knowledge and infinite bliss. It is only when Soul is drawn low by the
body and the senses that it is held in bondage with karmas. To mediate
for only a few minutes daily on the pure nature of the Soul is path of
liberation and salvation.
Soul endowed with the characteristics of pure and perfect knowledge by
nature and capable of sailing us across the vast ocean of the world is
the real place of pilgrimage. The mundane Soul who bathes in the
celestial pond of his Soul gets rid of all blemishes of karmic matters
in the world. For this
purpose mundane Souls should observe the religious vows day and night
and should become purified with Right Belief.
Acharya kundkund Swami
stated this fact in the 26th couplets of ‘Bodh Prabharta’.
Non-violence, Truth, Non-stealing, Celibacy and Non-possession are five
vows or great vows. To have faith in the ultimate sanctified principles
bereft of twenty five infirmities, i.e.- eight blemishes, eight type of
prides, three follies and six forbidden acts is called Right Belief.
Right Belief means true and firm conviction in seven
principles of Jainism as they are and without any perverse notion. The
belief that the Jain
are the true Gods, the Jain
i.e. sacred books, the true scripture, and the Jain saints the true
preceptors, is called the Right Belief. The ascetic who has been made
sanctified with Right Belief and vow with the above characteristics, who
is not governed by the five senses, and not ambitious for the external
objects, gets initiated into the holy path of pure inner self (Soul) and
bathes in the pure stream of knowledge.
Acharyas have termed the pure, unblemished and spotless holy religion
free from all type of excesses, as moral character is the true
pilgrimage. Right-Belief with full faith in the Jain principles is also
a pilgrimage. To subdue the senses and control the mind is
self-restraint. This self-restraint being capable to sail us across the
ocean of the world is also pilgrimage. The characteristic of penance is
the negation of desires. This penance is also a pilgrimage. Besides,
acquisition of knowledge is also pilgrimage. In Jainism all these are
called pilgrimage from the substantial point of view. We should
undertake these pilgrimages with calm and peaceful mind. When these
feelings of Right-Belief etc. are accompanied with anger, they are not
the conventional and relative point of view visiting the world renowned
Jain holy places like
Sammed Shikker, Champapuri and Pawanpur etc, which
have been rendered sacred by the foot prints of the liberated Souls who
are instrumental in attainment of salvation, and offering prayers at
these bliss-full spot is also a pilgrimage.
as in the world an edible article gains greater sweetness with the
addition of molasses,
or sugar, likewise the holy places,
which are the permanent abobes of liberated Souls, make the world a
sacred place. Only the holy places mentioned in the Jain scriptures have
been regarded true places of pilgrimage. To regard taking dips in some
rivers or ponds or taking jumps from the hilltops or passing through
some caves in the hills as pilgrimage is simply ignorance.
who embark whole-heartedly on the pilgrimages mentioned in the Jain
scriptures getting rid of wrong belief; anger, pride, deceit and greed
etc. can attain liberation on becoming endowed with Right- Belief.
journey into the eternal land of bliss (Soul) is a true pilgrimage. It
is only by going on this pilgrimage that the noble souls swim across the
ocean of the world. It has also been said in Jains scriptures that’
the three jewels namely ‘Right-
belief, Right knowledge and Right- conduct’ are the superb type of
pilgrimage. A living being endowed with the three jewels performs the
superb type of pilgrimage; for the three jewels are the attributes of
the Soul. The three jewels are not found in the other substances except
the Soul. Therefore, a living being adorned with the three jewels has
been stated to perform the sublimes pilgrimage. In ‘Aadi Puran’ one
of the Jains scripture ‘Right- belief, Right knowledge and Right-
conduct’ which pave
path of Salvation have been called pilgrimage
From the above illustration we come to the conclusion that Soul is the true pilgrimage. Therefore, all human beings should undertake the pilgrimage of Soul (from the substantial point of view) along with the practical pilgrimages. Only by doing so the migration of Soul from world to world can be put to a stop.
Note:-The words shown in italics and green color are from prakart/sanskrit language.
In case any mistake is noticed it may be either informed to us or the contents may be read after correction.
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