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जीव  -----Jive                       


In Jainism, jïva means ãtma, i.e. soul. According to Jaina philosophy,

soul is eternal and beginning less. It has life, consciousness, Upyoga


(knowledge and perception) and is potent. The jïva is that which grows,


decays, fluctuates, varies, eats, sleeps, awakes, acts, fears, rests,


has knowledge and perception, attempts to self defend, and reproduces.


These and more qualities of the jïva are obvious through a physical body


when the soul is present in it but when the soul leaves these qualities cease.


These qualities are external features and consciousness (chetan/cetana) is the basic


inner feature of the soul. This also makes it clear for us that the body and


the soul are   separate entities.


Since the soul has a flexible size, pervades the entire body that it


occupies. For example, the same soul can occupy the body of an ant or


an elephant. Such bodies stay alive as long as there is a soul within.


A live body, or rather, a body with a soul is described  here as a

jïva The  Jïva or souls are infinite in number and--


Jïva or souls are  of two types:-


Liberated -------- Mukta Jïva or Siddha.


Non-liberated ----Mundane or embodied o( Sansari Jiva/samsarin).


Liberated souls have no karmas and therefore, they are no longer in the


cycle of birth and death. They are called Siddhas.


On the other side, non-liberated (worldly) jïvas have karmas, and are


continually going through the cycle of birth and death. They experience


happiness and pain and have passions, and experience the fruit of karmas.


Jïvas are found on earth, as well as in the water, air, and sky, and are


scattered all over the universe. Human beings, celestial beings,


infernal beings, animals, fish, birds, bugs, insects, plants, etc.


They are known by the senses they possess. There are five senses


in all, namely those of  touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing.


 Jïvas are classified into two categories:-

Based on mobility, all Jïvas are divided into two broad categories:-


A) Sthävar Jïva - those that can not move and have only one sense.


B) Trasa jïva - those that can move and have two to five senses.


A)  Sthävar Jïva,(non mobile) single sense being, or (ekendriya Jïva):


Jïvas having only one sense, the sense of touch are called Ekendriya.


EkendriyaJïva are further divided into the following five sub-categories.


 1)-  Jal-käya or water bodied:-The different types of living beings, e.g. dew, fog,


 iceberg, and rain, etc.

2)    Agnikäya or fire bodied:-The different types of living beings, e.g. Seemingly

3)     Prithvï-käya or earth bodied:-The different types of living beings.


 inanimate forms of different types of fires are living being i.e.  flames, blaze,


lightening, forest fire, and hot ash, etc. They have fire bodies.


4)     Väyukäya or air bodied:-The different types of living beings, e.g. wind,


whirlwinds, and cyclones, etc. They have gaseous bodies.


 5)   ( Vanaspatikäya or plant bodied:-The different types of living beings, e.g.


Trees, plants,  branches, flowers, leaves, and seeds, etc. are some examples


 of plant life.  A plant life can have one or more souls in a single body and,

 depending upon this, plant life is further divided into the following two 






Pratyek Vanaspatikäya and Sädhäran Vanaspatikäya


B) Mobile (Tras Jïva, multi sensed being, bahuindriya Jïva):-

These two, three, four or five sensed beings are divided into the


      following categories:


(i) Two sensed beings (Beindriya Jïva):


 Two sensed beings have the senses of touch, and taste. e.g. shells,


worms, insects, microbes in stale food, termites, etc.


(ii)  Three sensed beings (Treindriya Jïva):


Three sensed beings have the senses of  touch, taste, and smell, e.g.


bugs, lice, white ants, moths and insects in wheat and other grains,


centipedes, etc.


(iii) Four sensed beings (Chaurindriya Jïva):


 Four sensed beings have the senses of touch, taste, smell and sight,


e.g. scorpions, crickets, spiders, beetles, locusts, flies, etc.


(iv) Five sensed  beings (Pañchendriya Jïva):


Five sensed beings have all the five senses of touch, taste, smell,


sight and hearing e.g. human beings, cow, lions, fish, birds, etc.


The following are four sub-categories of the PañchendriyaJïvas


(Having five senses).or four Gaties 


a) Infernal (Näraki) - Jïvas living in hell,


b) Tiryancha - Non-human beings  i.e. elephants, lions, birds, fish,etc.


c) Celestial (Dev) - heavenly beings,


d) Manushya - Human beings.


Among the five sensed beings some have minds, while others do not. Those


having a mind are called  Saini Pañchendriya and those without a mind

are called Asaini Pañchendriya.


Among all of these the most happiness is found in the celestial


being, while the most suffering is found in the infernal beings.

Neither celestial nor infernal beings can perform any austerities and


cannot attain salvation during this life. Animals possess limited


restraint only and therefore, they also cannot attain salvation


directly. The human state of existence is the most preferable because


during this life one can use logic to the fullest extent, can perform


austerities, can live with restraint, and thus only through this human


phase  a Jïva can attain salvation or Moksha.


All Jïva have special attributes related to the body such as paryäpti


(power), pran (vitality).  The inert or ajïva substance does not


possess any such qualities. The following is the discussion relating to


paryapti and pran.



Paryapti means a special power through which the jïva takes in matter

(Pudgals) like food and converts it into separate kinds of energy.


There are six kinds of Paryaptis:


(1) Ahar (food)                        (2) Sharir (body)


(3) Indriya (senses)                  (4) Shwasoshwas (respiration)


(5) Bhasha (speech)     (6) Man (mind)


When the life of a  jïva is over, the soul along with tejas and karman


bodies leaves the current body and acquires a new body. As soon as a


jiva is born, the first thing it does is consume food. The jiva, with


the help of Tejas body, digests food. After this, the jiva gradually


attains the power of the body and the power of the senses.  The


activities of consuming food, developing the body, and forming and


strengthening the sense-organs go on continuously.  The body is formed


in a duration called the Antarmuhurt (within 48 minutes). Next, the


jiva receives the matter of respiration which allows it to acquire the


power of respiration and eventually the power of mind.


The Ekendriya, one sensed jivas have ----Ahar, Sharir, Indriya, and


         Shwasoshwas (breathing) Paryaptis.


Beindriya, Treindriya, Chaurindriya and Asamjni Panchendriya jivas also possess


(5) Bhashas paryapti in addition to the above four. Samjni Panchendriya jivas also possess


(6) Man paryapti in addition to above five. Depending upon the development

of paryaptis the jivas are also classified as (1) Paryapta Jiva, (2)


Aparyapta Jiva. Paryapta Jiva means that their corresponding paryaptis


have developed to full capacity. While, Aparyapta Jiva means that their


paryaptis are not developed to the full capacity.

Pran (Vitality):


Depending upon the development of the Jiva, there are up to ten kinds of

prans or vitalities present in each jiva. These vitalities are:


1) Sparsh-Indriya (Touch): The ability to feel the sensation of touch.


2) Ras-Indriya (Taste): the ability to taste.


3) Ghran-lndriya (Smell): the ability to smell.


4) Chakshu-lndriya (Vision): the ability to see.

5) Shravan-Indriya (Hearing): the ability to hear.


6) Mano-bal (Mind): the ability to think.


7) Vachan-bal (Speech): the ability to speak.


8) Kaya-bal (Body): the ability to move the body.


9) Shwasoshwas (Respiration): the ability to inhale and exhale.


10) Ayushya (Longivity): the ability to live.

The Ekendriya jivas possess only four prans:


(1) Touch                    (2) Respiration


        (3) Body         (4) Longevity-aayu


The Beindriya jivas possess six prans. They possess the taste and speech

vitalities in addition to the above four prans.


The Treindriya jivas possess seven prans. They possess the smell


vitality in addition to the above six prans.


The Chaurindriya jivas possess eight prans. They possess the vision


vitality in addition to the above seven prans.


The Panchendriya jivas are divided into two groups:

 (1) Asamjni (non-sentient) jivas, those whose minds are not developed and

(2) Samjni (Sentient) jivas, those whose minds are developed.

The Asamjni/Asaini (non-sentient) Panchendriya jivas possess nine prans.

They possess the hearing vitality in addition to the above eight prans.

The Samjni/Saini Panchendriya jivas possess ten pranas. They possess mind


vitality in addition to the above nine prans.

The reason we need to know these prans, because any injury no matter how


little it may be to anyone of these prans is considered himsa


(violence). When himsa occurs by us, our soul accumulates karmas. But,


one of our aims is to stop a new karmas coming in so that liberation of


the soul can happen faster. Therefore, to accomplish our aim we have to


observe Ahimsa (nonviolence) related to all of these ten prans and of


all categories of Jivas. The first vow of the householders, monks and


nuns is related to protect these ten prans. Now you may understand why


we say "Ahimsa Parmo Dharma", because by observing Ahimsa we are


protecting the vitalities of the soul.

Liberation:- The liberation of soul i.e. nivana, moksa is the absolute


freedom  from karmas, both bhava and dravya,. The Jaina philosophy, therefore,


asserts that real and everlasting happiness will be obtained by a person only when


the karmas are completely removed from the soul. Further, Jainism firmly believes


that even though man is imperfect at present, it is quite possible for him to rid himself


of the karmas associated with his soul by his own personal efforts without any help


from an outside agency. moreover it is quite clear that according to Jaina philosophy


the the highest happiness consists in securing final emancipation from the cycle of


birth and death and in attaining the state of librated soul, that is obtaining Moksa /


nirvana or salvation. Further more, the Jaina philosophy reiterates that as this world is full


of sorrow and trouble, it is quite necessary to achieve the aim of transcendental bliss


by following the path of salvation shown by the Arihantas.

 Ajiva:-Anything that does not have life or a conscious is Ajïva.

 Ajïva literally means without a soul and therefore, they cannot accumulate


any karmas.  They have no birth, death, pleasure, or pain; they are


achetan (inert). Examples of Ajïvas are: a box, car, fan, television,


photo frame, iron, watch, etc.


The Jaina Philosophy has divided Ajivas into the following five




                                (1)  Dharma---- (Medium of Motion).

                         (2)  Adharma---- (Medium of Rest).

                         (3)  äkäs'a- ----   (Space).

                         (4)  Pudgala----- ( Matter).

                         (5)  Käla ---------(Time)



Dharma is the principle of motion.  The term Dharma


here does not refer to religion, but instead it denotes the medium of


motion.  Just as water itself, being indifferent or neutral, is the condition of movement

of fishes., so dharma,itself nonmotive, is sine qua non of motion of jïvas and


pudgals. Hunce dharma is co- terminus with the universe,and is one substance


unlike jïva and pudgala which are infinite in number.




Adharma or the principle of rest has all the characteristics associated with Dharmq.


 But it is like the earth the sine non of rest for the things in motion.  Dharma does not


 refer to a lack of religion, but rather it means the medium of rest.


 In the absence of  this medium, jïvas and other things would continuously move.


This medium also prevails in Lok, but is absent in alok.


(3) Äkäsa


What contains or accomodatates completely all jïvas pudgalas and remaining


dravyas in the universe is termed as äkäsa or space It is very pertinent to note in


Jaina philosophy the term äkäsa means space and not the ether as it is very often


 interpreted in other systems of Indian philosophy and  so all the space in the


 universe is called Äkäsh.  In Jainism, Äkäsh is divided into two parts: Lokakash


(Lok) and Alokakash (Alok). jïva, Pudgal, Dharmästikäy, and Adharmästikäy


 exist only in Lokäkäsh. Alokakash is an empty space and does not contain


any jïva, PudgalDharmästikäy, and Adharmästikäy.




The word Pudgal is made up of two terms: Pud means supplement (addition)


and Gal means disintegration (division). In other words, what continuously changes


by supplementation and/or division is called or matter. All matter in the universe are


called Pudgals. Pudgal has form or shape. Pudgal can be experienced by touching,


tasting, smelling, or seeing. Like Jäva, Pudgal is also mobile. The karman particles that


attach to our souls are also Pudgal. Pudgal can only be divided and subdivided to a


certain extent that it is not possible to further subdivide it. This indivisible part of Pudgal,


which is separated from the main pudgal, is called Paramänu. A paramänu


is much more minute than even an atom. When a Paramänu is attached to


the main pudgal, it is called a Pradesh.  These sub-atomic Paramänus


are too minute to be detected by normal vision, but they can be


combined. Thus when a paramänu is combined with one or more other


paramänus, they are called a skandha which are more or less like a molecules.


Part of skandha is called desh. Such sknadhas may be large


or small. Small skandhas may be invisible to the eye, but they can be seen when the


combinations are large.


(5) KãLa


Käla means time, which brings forth changes. A child becomes a young


person, a young person becomes an old person, and the old person dies.


In other words, something which is new becomes old, worn, and torn with


time. All of these changes involve time. The past, present, and future


are the different modes of time and are measured in terms of years,


months, days, hours, minutes or seconds. For all practical purposes a


second happens to be the finest measurement of time. Jainism however,


recognizes a very small measurement of time known as samay  which is an


infinitely small part of a second.


The following are unit measurements of time as adopted by Jainism:


Indivisible time = 1 Samay


(finest units of measurement)


Countless Samayas       = 1 Ävalikä


16777216  Ävalikäs       = 1 Muhurt(48 minutes)


30 Muhurtas                = 1 Day and night


15  Days and nights      = 1 Paksha (fortnight)


2 Pakshas  (  2 fortnights)                      = 1 Month


12 Months                   = 1 Year


Countless years            = 1 Palyopam (( too noumerous to be counted)


10 Crores of Crores of Palyopams           = 1 Sägaropam


10 Crores of Crores of Sägaropams         = l Utsarpini or 1 Avasarpini.


1 Utsarpini + Avasarpini            = 1 Kälchakra (One time cycle).

Note:-The contents of this article Jïva  and Ajïva  are the extract from the books "Aspects of Jaina Religion" written by Dr Vilas A. Sangave and other Jaina books related to the subject..

The words shown in Italic are from Prakrit Language.


                                                    'The end'

"Man becomes great by humanly deeds not by birth"

                                                                      (Mahatma. Gandhi)

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