A study of the philosophy of Jainism

by Deepa Baruah | 2017 | 46,858 words

This page describes the Division of jaina categories or substances from the study of the philosophy of Jainism: one of the oldest religions in India having its own metaphysics, philosophy and ethics. Jainism is regarded as an ethical system where non-violence features as an important ethical value.

Chapter III.d - Division of jaina categories or substances

The Jaina categories or substances are broadly divided into two classes, viz., (a) extensive and (b) non-extensive. The extensive substances are known as astikāya. That means which possesses many pradeśas (places). The non-extensive substance is known as anastikāya. That which has only one pradeśa is called anastikāya. Time or kāla is the only one substance, which is devoid of extension.

The extensive substances are again divided into two classes, viz., (i) jīva (living) and (ii) ajīva (non-living). Again, these two types of substances are known as cetanatattva and acetanatattva. The Cārvākas identifies the self with the body endowed with consciousness. According to them, consciousness is manifested from earth, water, fire and air. By the conjunctions of these four bhūtas, the indṛiya, śarīra etc. are manifested, and then consciousness is manifested from the combination of indṛiya, śarīra etc., just as intoxication is manifested from the combination of flour, water and molasses. So, consciousness is manifested from material elements (bhūtas). But the Jainas do not agree with the Cārvākas. Prabhācandra says that consciousness cannot be manifested from the four bhūtas. It is always found in the jīva or self. To refute Cārvāka views, Prabhācandra asks whether this consciousness which is manifested from the elements is sat (existent) or asat (non-existent) or sadasat (both existent and non-existent). If consciousness is accepted as existent, then it must be anādi (beginningless) and ananta (endless). If it is said that previous non-existent consciousness is manifested, then that will be contradictory to our perception, since that which is totally non-existent is not perceived to be manifested later on. If on the other hand, it is accepted that consciousness which is somewhat existent and non-existent, then this will amount to accept the view of the Jainas themselves.

Some other Cārvākas say that consciousness is not manifested but it is produced from these elements. The Jainas including Prabhācandra refute this view also. Here the question is: what type of causality is accepted in case of the elements; is it material causality or efficient causality? It cannot be material causality. Material cause generally follows in the effect. As such the elements will follow in consciousness, just as gold follows in golden ornaments. But that is not possible. The elements possess qualities like colour etc. and have the nature of supporting, moving, flowing and warming, while consciousness possesses not of these. If, on the other hand, elements are the efficient cause, then there must some other material; cause. But there is no other thing from which consciousness can be produced. Hence, the view of Cārvākas cannot be accepted.

Hence, jīva is identical with the self. It is the conscious spirit. The self or jīva is again divided into two classes, baddha and mukta. Baddhas are again subdivided into trasa and sthāvara. Ajīva or non-living substance means the unconscious non-spirit. It is divided into five categories, viz., pudgala, ākāśa, dharma, adharma and kāla. These ajīva dravyas are firstly divided into two categories, viz., rūpiṇ and arūpiṇ. Rūpiṇ means those which have form, such as pudgala. Arūpiṇ means those which have no form, such as ākāśa, dharma, adharma and kāla. The first four ajīva substances, i.e. pudgala, ākāśa, dharma and adharma are called astikāya. Actually astikāya substances are sub-divided into five classes, viz., jīva (self), pudgala (matter), ākāśa (space), dharma (motion) and adharma (rest). These are called pañcāstikāya, which possess constituent parts extending in space; while time or kāla is the only anastikāya-dravya which does not have any extension in space.

According to another classification, dravya is of three kinds, viz., sakṛiya, niṣkṛiya and sakṛiya-niṣkriya. Sakṛiya dravyas are those which have the capacity of moving from place to place, such as pudgala and jīva. Niṣkṛiya-dravya possesses the opposite nature of sakṛiya-dravya, such as ākāśa and time. Sakṛiya-niṣkṛiya dravyas are those which move about themselves undergoing changes. Dharma and adharma are sakṛiya-niskṛiya-dravya. Again, according to some, categories are of seven types, viz., jīva, ajīva, āsrava, bandha, samvara, nirjarā and mokṣa. Some others hold nine categories, by adding puṇya and pāpa to the foregoing seven. These nine categories are—jīva, ajīva, puṇya, pāpa, āsrava, samvara, nirjarā, bandha and mokṣa. All of these categories are elaborately discussed in a latter chapter. Thus, substances are broadly divided into three categories: 1. First of all that which is purely conscious, such as jīva. 2. Secondly that which are unconscious and has some form, such as pudgala. 3. Thirdly that which is unconscious and has no form, such as ākāśa, dharma, adharma and kāla. In the following lines, the extensive and non-extensive substances except the jīva are discussed one by one.

Concept of jiva or self is discussed in another chapter. Here, only the non-living substances, i.e., ākāśa, dharma, adharma, pudgala and kāla are discussed briefly:

(i) Ākāśa:

Ākāśa is an astikāya or extensive substance. Ākāśa has been accepted as space container of all other substances. That means, ākāśa is that substance, which is capable of allowing space or avakāśa for all the things that enter into it; all the things have avagāha or entrance into ākāśa. As a matter of fact, jīva, pudgala, dharma, adharma and kāla all exist in space. For an example, while a swan enters into the water of a pond, then the swan has avagāha into the water and the water gives him avakāśa or space. That means, ākāśa is the ādhāra of all the dravyas. Ākāśa includes dik in its category, because ākāśa gives avakāśa to all the things. Space in form of east, west etc. is based on the rise of the sun. For instance, the east is in the direction of sunrise. Hence direction like east etc. is produced by ākāśa and is cognized therein. So, the Jainas hold that dik also comes under ākāśa. They do not agree with the Naiyāyikas and the Vaiśeṣikas who maintain that dik is a separate substance. Prabhācandra categorically says that there is no need to accept dik as a separate substance.

Ākāśa is non-conscious, all-pervasive, eternal and formless. It has infinite number of pradeśas. Pradeśa means part where ākāśa is surrounded by many paramāṇus. Each pradeśa has the capacity to give space to one smallest particle of each dravya, i.e., jīva, pudgala etc.

According to the Vaiśeṣikas, ākāśa is regarded as a material substance. Śabda or sound is the quality of ākāśa, through which ākāśa is known. It is one, allpervading and eternal. But the Jainas do not agree with the Vaiśeṣikas. They hold that avagāha is the quality of ākāśa and not śabda. According to them, sound is a substance and not a quality. The Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa offers inference to show that sound is a substance. The inference runs thus: sound is a substance, because the qualities of touch, alpatva-mahattva-parimāṇa, saṃkhyā, saṃyoga etc. are found to stay in śabda. All the things which possess qualities are known as dravyas. So, sound is also a substance.

Prabhācandra, in his Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa has clearly discussed these qualities of sound or śabda in detail for the establishment of sound as a substance not as a quality of ākāśa.

1. Firstly, Prabhācandra says that the quality of sound is touch, because sound is the cause of abhighāta (beat) of other substances which is related with it like a staff. It is well-known fact that the sound of a vessel of brass being related with sound in general becomes the cause of abhighāta of ear. If it is not the quality of sound, then the abhighāta of ear is not possible. He also says that the substances which do not have the quality of touch, cannot have any relation of that substance with others, just as the kāla which is devoid of touch, has no relation with any substance. So, sound or śabda is a substance. It is not the quality of ākāśa.

2. Secondly, Prabhācandra argues that sound is a substance, because it is the locus of the quality of size like alpatva (smallness), mahattva (largeness) etc. Just as, smallness is found in the fruits like berry etc., similarly there is largeness and smallness in sound. So, śabda is not the quality of ākāśa.

3. Thirdly, he says that as saṃkhyā is a quality of sound, so it is a substance. Sound possesses number like one, two, many etc., just like ghaṭa, paṭa etc. So, it is a substance not the quality of ākāśa.

4. Fourthly, saṃyoga is the quality of sound, because it is seen that sound is obstructed by air just as sand, paper etc. are obstructed by air. When sand, paper etc. are connected with hand, air etc., then only these are seen to be obstructed. Similarly sound becomes obstructed by air, only when it comes in contact with air. Hence, conjunction is a quality of śabda and as such śabda is a substance.

5. Fifthly, Prabhācandra argues that if śabda is accepted as the quality of ākāśa, then it will be something which is mediate (parokṣa). Ākasa is a parokṣa substance, whereas sound is known by perception and as such is immediate (pratyakṣa). It is a fact that the qualities of parokṣa-dravya cannot be pratyakṣa, like the colour etc. of atoms. Hence, sound is only a substance and not a quality of ākāśa.

6. Sixthly, the Vaiśeṣikas hold that ākāśa which is partless is the inherent cause of śabda. Prabhācandra here argues that if such is the case then śabda will also be allpervasive and eternal, being the quality of ākāśa, which is all-pervasive and eternal. But this is in contradiction to the view of the Vaiśeṣikas who hold that sound is momentary and remains in one part of ākāśa. In that case ākāśa will be required to have various parts. In this way the view of the Jainas that ākāśa is composed of parts is established.

7. Prabhācandra also argues, if sound is the quality of ākāśa, then it will be not destroyed. But destruction of sound is admitted by the Vaiśeṣikas. Hence, śabda is not a quality but a substance. By inference also, the Jainas hold that śabda or sound comes under pudgala. Prabhācandra says that śabda is a pudgala since it is perceived by us, is non-conscious and possesses action like arrow etc.

In this way, establishing that sound is a substance and not a quality of ākāśa. Prabhācandra proceeds to establish that avagāha is the quality of ākāśa, where all the things got space or avakāśa. But, the Vaiśeṣikas do not agree with Prabhācandra. They argue that if all the things get avagāha into ākāśa, then where does ākāśa get avagāha? Prabhācandra here replies that as ākāśa is also an allpervasive substance, so the cause of avagāha of it is ākāśa itself. The substances which are not all-pervasive cannot have avagāha in itself. Light (prakāśa) and darkness (andhakāra) are not all-pervasive, so these cannot have own avagāha.

Ākāśa is the cause of avagāha of prakāśa and andhakāra. So, avagāha or entrance is the quality of ākāśa not śabda or sound.

Ākāśa is of two types, viz., lokākāśa and alokākāśa. Lokākāśa is that where jīva, pudgala, dharma, adharma and kāla are exists; while, alokākāśa is that which is beyond of this lokākāśa.

(ii) Dharma:

Dharmāstikāya is the principle of motion. It is devoid of the qualities of taste, colour, smell, sound etc., which are the attributes of matter. Therefore, it is non-material. It is also non-conscious, like ākāśa; so, it is non-psychical.

Dharma is also all-pervasive. It is said to pervade the whole of the lokākāśa. It is an inactive substance. It is also formless. Though it is inactive, yet it helps the selves and the pudgalas for their movement from one place to another place. As a matter of fact, although the selves and matter have got the capacity of movement, yet they cannot move unless the medium of motion can help them for their movement. Dharma does not create motion, it only helps them. Just like, a fish swims in the river, but water does not create swimming, it only helps the fish to develop the tendency of swimming.

Dharma is of three kinds, viz., skandha, deśa and pradeśa. Dharma as a whole is known as skandha. A largest fraction of skandha is called deśa and a smallest fraction of deśa is called pradeśa.

(iii) Adharma:

Adharmāstikāya is the principle of rest. Like dharma, it is also devoid of taste, colour, touch, smell etc., which are the attributes of matter. So, it is nonmaterial. It is also non-conscious like ākāśa, dharma etc.;so, it is non-psychical.

Adharmāstikāya is all-pervasive. It is an inactive entity. It is also formless. It is also said to pervade the whole of the lokākāśa, i.e., both dharma and adharma pervade the lokākāśa, just as oil pervades the whole of a mustard seed. Adharma helps the substances to take a rest. As a matter of fact, though it is an inactive entity, yet it helps the selves and the pudgalas when they take rest. The matter and the selves are stopped by themselves, but adharma or rest simply helps them in this act of stopping or resting, just as a tree is helpful to a person who comes from far distance in the hot sun, and wants to take some rest under it.

Like dharma, adharma is also of three kinds, viz., skandha, deśa and pradeśa. Adharma as a whole is called skandha. A largest fraction of skandha is known as deśa and a smallest fraction of deśa is called pradeśa.

(iv) Kāla:

Kāla is the only anastikāya or non-extensive substance. Time or kāla is an eternal, inactive and formless substance like ākāśa, dharma and adharma. Time is not perceived but only inferred. Continuance is the characteristics of time or kāla. Continuance, modification, movement, newness and oldness of substances are the functions or characteristics of time. Without time the continuance existension of a thing is not possible. The modification of a thing is created by time. Their movements also occur in time. The newness and oldness of a thing also depend on time. Hence, these are the functions or characteristics of time. So, it can be said that the existent of time can be inferred.

Kāla or time is of two types, viz., (i) paramārthakāla and (ii) vyavahārakāla. Paramārthakāla is also known as mukhyakāla. Paramārthakāla is the auxiliary cause of continuance of substances, i.e., continuance is the function of mukhya or paramārthakāla. While, vyavahārakāla is the auxiliary cause of changes or modifications of substances, i.e., modifications, movements, newness and oldness are the functions of vyavahārakāla.

Mukhya or paramārthakāla is the material cause of vyavahārakāla, because, vyavahārakāla has a beginning and an end. It is also consists of varieties of moments, such as, days, weeks, months, seconds, minutes, hours etc. All of these are not possible without the mukhyakāla, i.e., mukhyakāla produce the vyavahārakāla, just like, without the existence of mukhya, the existence of gauṇa is not possible. Paramārthakāla is of various kinds. It consists of minute particles. The universe is full of these particles of time. Every space-unit contains time-unit. No space-unit is devoid of it. So, it can be said that the particles of time are indivisible, innumerable and formless. In Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa, Prabhācandra has quoted a line from Bṛhaddravyasaṃgraha of Nemicandra, where Nemicandra says that the particles of time exist one by one in each pradeśa of lokākāśa, just as the heaps of jewels exist one by one in jewels. Hence, time is not one, but it is an eternal and innumerable substance.

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