The Enigma Of The Universe ► 4 ►A Critique ► I. What is Universe ► (A) Philosophical Idealism & Jain View ► 2. Theism, Pantheism & Jainism

Posted: 23.11.2014

Now, if we compare the views of idealism with that of Jain philosophy, we find that there are similarities as well as dissimilarities between them. Jainism is a spiritualistic philosophy. Soul (or consciousness) is considered as an independent objective reality in Jain metaphysics. Soul is a reality, possessing consciousness as its main characteristic, and therefore, knowledge is its fundamental attribute. A soul, when it attains its pure form free from the bondages of matter, becomes omniscient. In this form, it itself takes the form of supreme soul.

Though Jainism is a spiritualistic philosophy, it cannot be called as an idealistic philosophy. From metaphysical point of view, Jainism is clearly a realistic philosophy. For, it believes in the objective existence of the universe besides soul. In the concept of ‘astikāyas’, the five ‘astikāyas’ are explained as wholly independent objective realities. Out of these five, the ‘pudgalāstikāya’ (matter) and the ‘Jīvāstikāya’ (soul) are not single entities, but many in numbers. Each of the infinite number of souls as well as each of the infinite number of ultimate atoms constitutes a single objective reality. The first three of the ‘astikāyas’ - the mediums of motion and rest and space - also exist objectively.

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