Scientific Vision Of Lord Mahāvīra ► [02] The Model of the Universe in Bh.S & Its Scientific Assessment ► Foreword

Posted: 26.05.2009

We are living in a universe without knowing much about its origin, vastness and complexities. But the curiosity to know about these attributes is irrepressible and disturbing the human mind since the beginning of the human-race. Philosophy, whether it is Eastern or Western, has been engaged to answer these querries yet, the mystery of the universe remains unsolved. Each system of philosophy accepts the change posed by the universe but interprets it in its own way. The querries raised about the universe or cosmos are in the nature of; Has the universe a beginning? Where did the universe originate? What would happen to it ultimately? Is there any order in the universe? What are the building blocks of the universe, if any? Is the universe finite or infinite? And so on. The answers given by the different philosophies are either mythological or mystical or expressed in highly abstruse philosophical terms. As such they are beyond the understanding of the common man. Hence, it is necessary to study these questions in the light of modern researches in the field of philosophy and science.

In this chapter, an attempt has been made to examine the theories of the universe found in the Jain philosophy in a scientific manner. There are a number of theories regarding the cosmological and cosmogonical view of Jain seers as well as thinkers. The most amazing thing is that whatever facts have been presented in the Jain scriptures before 2600 years ago are finding their parallels in the modern scientific researches and discoveries. Here some of the theories have been discussed on the basis of the scripture Bhagavatī Sūtra (Bh.S) in the context of questions raised above.

According to the Jain Physics, the Universe is very vast. From a geometrical point of view it is very surprising because of its immesurability in the terms of science. (See figure-1) The geometrical figure an description of the cosmos are still the subject of scientific research. Discussed below are only a few important aspects related to the jain view of cosmos and beyond.