An Introduction To Jainism ► [07] God

Posted: 02.12.2008

Jain philosophy believes in the existence of 'God'. But the concept of God in Jainism is quite different. According to Jainism, God is not one. There are infinite number of Gods. Some of the philosophers say that Jain philosophy is an atheist philosophy, because it does not believe in 'God'. According to them, atheist philosophy is that which does not believe in 'God' and as Jain philosophy does not accept the existence of God, it is atheist. But this is not true. Jain philosophy believes in soul, karma and rebirth and also 'God' but not as a creator, protector and destroyer.

According to Jainism, God has infinite knowledge, infinite power and infinite bliss. The Jain philosophy believes that the 'ātmā' (soul) in its purest form is God. We all have the potential to become God.

God is not a separate entity from us. We have Him within us. We make an endeavour to realize Him and thus we attain the state of God.
The Jain philosophy believes that there are infinite number of souls in this world and all of them are independent of each other. All have the potential to develop themselves into God. This postulation of Jainism is different from the belief of many other religions in the sense that a 'believer' as per Jain terminology does not try to reach a particular 'God' treating him as a different entity than his own. It is through 'purusārtha' that each soul can attain the highest state of perfection which is signified by the term God. Also, after the attainment of one's Godhood, one does not become absorbed in some other grand entity, but Itself becomes God equivalent to other Gods (i.e., Siddhātmās).

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