Consciousness: 1 definition


Consciousness means something in Jainism, Prakrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Consciousness in Jainism glossary
Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Consciousness is present in one’s own body and in other bodies, according to chapter 1.1 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra: an ancient Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three illustrious persons in Jainism.

Accordingly, as Svayambuddha refuted Materialism in the presence of king Mahābala (i.e., previous incarnation of Ṛṣabha):—

“It is deduced from the perception of action always accompanied by intelligence that consciousness is present in (one’s own) body and in other bodies. Whatever creature dies, he is born again. So there is undoubtedly another world of consciousness. One and the same consciousness passes from birth to another birth, just as from childhood to youth and from youth to maturity. For without the continued habits of former consciousness, how can a child, just born, untaught, direct its mouth to the breast? How can a conscious being be produced from unconscious elements? For in this world the result is seen to be similar to the cause. Is a conscious being derived from elements singly or all together?”.

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context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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