Concept of Substance in Jainism

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According to the Jaina’s substance is defined as the substratum of qualities and modes. It is divided into two broad categories namely astikaya (extended) and anastikaya (non-extended). Time or Kal is the anastikaya dravya. The astikaya dravyas are subdivided into two namely- jiva and ajiva. There are again four ajivas namely- dharma, adharma, akash and pudgala. Together they are called the pancastikaya.

Consciousness is the essence or the essential characteristics of the Jiva. Every soul from the lowest to the highest possesses consciousness. The degree of consciousness may depend according to the obstacles of the karma. Pure consciousness is to be found in the emancipated souls where there is no shred of karma. The soul in its intrinsic nature possesses infinite faith, infinite bliss, infinite knowledge and infinite power.

Jivas are further divided into those who are liberated (mukta) and those who are bound (baddha). A mukta Jiva is one who possesses pure consciousness and is a liberated soul who has exhausted all karma. It is also called Siddha. All Siddha’s are considered as God in Jainism. They don’t possess a body but possesses perfect vision, knowledge, power and bliss. All Tirthankaras and Kevaljnanis become siddha at the end of their life. They never return again to the cycle of pain, pleasure, life and death. The bound souls are further divided into mobile (trasa) and immobile (sthavara). Sthvara lives in the atoms of earth, water, fire and air and in the vegetable kingdom and have only one sense- that of touch. The mobile souls are again classified as those who are having two senses(worms), three senses(ants), four senses(bees) and five senses(higher animals and men).

Dharma is the principle of motion and helps in the movement of matter and soul. For example: Water providing the medium for fish to move. It doesn’t have consciousness or knowledge and doesn’t possess colour or body or senses. Dharma itself...
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