Jain Science and Spirituality

by Medhavi Jain | 2020 | 61,419 words

This essay studies the elements of Jainism and investigates how Jain science and philosophy can give the world answers to through science and spirituality. Instead of interpreting it as a confined, strict philosophy, it is shown that Jainism represents a path towards self-awakening through self-improvement....

2.1. Concept of Space (Introduction)

  —(Tattvarthasutra 5.12)

‘All four substances (jiva, ajiva, dharma and adharma) are contained in cosmic space.’[1]

In Jain philosophy space is divided into two parts: lokakasha i.e. Cosmic space that accommodates all other substances within and alokakasha i.e. Supracosmic space i.e. beyond the cosmic space, in which no substance resides.

‘Space is the boundless three-dimensional extent in which objects and events have relative position and direction.’[2]

In context of the definition of space, science and Jain philosophy tally.

Akashastikaya or akasha is defined as–the substance, which acts as a container of other substances.’[3]

Akasha is also considers as astikaya i.e. that has an existence and extension.

Akasha is a genuine substance, so all the six universal characteristics are found in it. From substantial perspective, being a homogenous continuum, it is one and, in the meantime, indivisible entity. From spatial perspective, it is ubiquitous, all infesting and interminable in degree. Thus, its pradesha are endless in number. From worldly perspective, it is everlasting for example beginning less and interminable. From the perspective of nature, it is non-bodily (amurta) and being without touch, taste, scent, and color and non-physical. Being without movement, it is unmoving. Being without awareness, it is ajiva, for example non-living.’[4]

This description defines space in all its aspects.

Still contemplating more may present some other queries in one’s mind as:

‘Is space genuine, or is it some sort of mental buildup, or antiquity of our methods for seeing and considering? Is it 'substantival' or simply 'relational'? As indicated by substantialism, space is an objective thing included points or regions at which, or in which, things are located. Restricted to this is relationalism, as per which the main thing that is genuine about space are the spatial (and worldly) relations between physical articles.’[5]

Both points of view are right in their own way.

Footnotes and references:


TWI. pp. 126


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space (retrieved on 23/05/2017 @ 9:40 am)


TETU. pp. 117


TETU. pp. 118


TETU. pp. 42

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