An Introduction To Jainism ► [12] 1. & 2. Jīva and Ajīva

Posted: 07.12.2008

Jīva and ajīva are the two ultimate principles. The rest are consequential events, which occur through the interaction between these two. Aśrava is the cause of influx of karma. The Yoga Āśrava may be auspicious as well as inauspicious. When it is auspicious, it results in bondage of puṇya and when it is inauspicious it results in bondage of pāpa. The result of puṇya is to provide the soul with favourable and beneficial material conditions such as happiness and the like. Pāpa has two forms - one in the form of Ghāti Karma and the other in form of Aghāti Karma. The former results in unfavourable spiritual conditions, while the latter in unfavourable material conditions. When the Saṃvara occurs, there is stoppage of influx of karma, which results in our awakening and developing consciousness. Nirjarā is a partial purification of the soul on the expulsion of karmic matter from the soul. Saṃvara and nirjarā both are the essential conditions for attainment of mokṣa i.e., emancipation. Mokṣa is the most important of all, which is the ultimate goal of one's life. In this state, one becomes free from all kinds of bondage, external as well as internal.

Jīva and ajīva are the fundamental elements. Rest of the elements come under them. The states of jīva and ajīva keep changing but the qualities of consciousness and unconsciousness remain constant. For e.g., gold can be moulded into different shapes and sizes like bangles, rings etc. but its basic component (i.e., gold) remains the same.

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