Synthesis of Science & Religion in Jainism

Posted: 08.04.2014

This flyer is being published for free distribution on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti by Shri Arinjaya Jain, 3E. Green Park, Delhi. Readers are requested to please email/distribute this flyer to friends, media, students and Intellectuals, so that the world knows the contribution of Jain Shramans to development of science long before it was discovered in the west.

This flyer logically and unambiguously establishes that Mahavir knew ‘the universe and evolution of life’ as we know today.  

We live in the age of science, the age of logic and the age of reasons.

The feeling that ‘God is dead and the religion is a myth’ is growing fast among the present generation.

They find their future secure in science and technology.

Simultaneously there is also a general decline in personal character and social life.

Disconnect from the past and alienation from the old values is leading to confusion about the purpose of existence.

Consequently the youngsters are excessively exposed to hard core pornography on the internet, alcoholism and drug abuse.

If the youngsters were in touch with their inner self, natural happiness and excitement, they would have not been so vulnerable to manipulation from the media, fashion industry and unhealthy environment.

Therefore there is urgent requirement of blending science with spirituality.

We need to teach young people about the scientific evidence for the existence of soul and other dimensions of existence.

Youngsters are not aware that Bhagwan Mahavir did synthesize science into religion long before science was born in the west.

This blend of science and religion is known as ‘Jainism’ or science of spirituality.

This blend holds great promise for those who seek spirituality in science, in nature and in self rather than in God and superstition.

Moksha according to Jainism is not proximity to God or entry to heaven but a state of Kewalgyana- state of omniscience.   

 

 


Synthesis of Science & Spirituality in Jainism

Jain religion seeks to give a sense of meaning and direction to human existence by providing the understanding of who and what we are. 

Our identity as individuals, spouses, members of families, communities and nations, each has its place and value but what the Jain religion emphasizes is our accountability to self.

Bhagwan Mahavir said Knowledge (Science) is essential for spiritual growth.                                               

According to Jain doctrine soul is knowledge and knowledge is soul. All living beings have basic knowledge of their existence and therefore all living beings are soul.

The human being has supremacy over all other creatures in the universe including the illusive God.

Man has all the potential to achieve omniscience; while God is a living creature with long life that carves for rebirth as human being2.

‘God and Truth are not subjects of faith but subjects of knowledge. Science and spiritual wisdom play major role in understanding God and Truth’, said Bhagwan Mahavir.

Unlike Buddhism and other religious faiths, Mahavir believed in eternal existence of material atoms and non material universal consciousness. He described in detail the forces and laws of nature which created the universe of today.

He believed in biological process of creation and evolution but rejected the concept of biological origin of consciousness. 

Like the modern scientist, he said the universe is energetically closed system in which matter is neither created nor destroyed.

Mahavir used the word Pudgala for matter which also includes all forms of energy except the consciousness. Mahavir believed that consciousness has independent existence as quantum field and he called it as Jivastikaya.

He said the soul is Jiva ora conscious observer, who is central to the creation.

Modern scientists are now echoing this statement of Mahavir in the form of Biocentrism.  Scientists are now searching consciousness in the cosmic space because they have failed to find its origin in biosystms. 

Mahavir was more spiritual than religious. His simple but highly effective ‘science of the creation and spiritual evolution’ brings about inner transformation while performing worldly duties.

He emphasized on harmonious balance that exists between the material and spiritual worlds.

He was a walking soul who could visualize the past, present and future of the living and nonliving worlds.

In the scientific language he was the ‘Universal Observer’ because he could perceive Absolute Truth which is impossible for the human being.

He preached the art of achieving omniscience or godliness by human beings while alive and not after death.

Jainism is the science of absolutism as well as science of reality. The modern science is only the science of reality and attempts to get information on Absolute Truth by method of deduction in which the velocity of light is taken as the standard.
In Jainism, the evolved and liberated soul known as Siddhatma is universal observer of the Absolute Truth who can see atoms building the universe and consciousness embedding the matter.

Bhagwan Mahavir said centuries ago that existence of the universe is a reality but eternity of Panchastikaya Loka and infinite Aloka is Sat or Absolute Truth.

Eternity of material atom and non material soul is also a universal truth.
He further said that the Panchastikaya Loka represents five distinct material quantum fields, transformation of which is perceived as Kaal or Time by human consciousness.    

Jain philosophy is scientific and practical, which can be realized in day today life.
Jainism talks of evolution and elevation of universal consciousness to omniscience and advises shedding of superstition, pessimism and rituals.

Modern science believes that space and time can be conquered by technology. 

Jainism believes that understanding the ‘Self’ and the ‘Universe’ (Nature) enables to break the boundaries existing between mortality and immortality, between absolutism and relativity.

The path of right knowledge, right vision and right conduct is a gateway for liberation of the soul from all types of atomic bonds and the cycle of birth and rebirth.

Jainism seeks to know Truth not as an instrument of faith but as a subject of knowledge. 

Truth has Dual Nature and is realized by animal consciousness as Jad (materialism) and Chetan Drava. There is also a higher state of consciousness where this Duality disappears and oneness appears in the form of Panchastikya or five quantum fields.

In this state there are no opposites, no division, and no fragmentations. There is complete oneness where there is no beginning and no end. 

This is the state of Nirwana or Moksha.  

Mahavir’s religion is not about superstition or rituals but it is about self realization, evolution and elevation of human being to omniscience.

‘Human beings though supreme, are not evolved enough to perceive Absolute Truth.

We can evolve further and achieve the ‘State of Zero Entropy’ (Absolutely Motionless State) or a ‘State of Total Bliss (Anand) and Omniscience (Kewal Gyana)’ and directly observe the Absolute Truth’, said Mahavir.

He also said, ‘Kewalgyana is achieved by Samyag Gyana, Samyag Darshan and Samyag Charitrya, which means rational knowledge, rational vision and rational conduct’.

Jainism can therefore, be defined as ‘science of zero entropy state’ or an art of achieving total stability from instability and total bliss from chaos.

Jaina principles combine logic and rationality with intuitive wisdom.

It is a science of human evolution starting from primitive Nigod, a single cell microbe to plants, animals, humans, God and finally ending as liberated omniscient soul, lying in the state of total bliss and knowledge.

The process of evolution is similar to that proposed by Darwin and other biologists with a difference of purpose.

 The biologists think that ‘survival instinct’ is the cause of the evolution while according to Jainism desire of getting free from the ‘Karmic Bonds’ is the driving force for evolution.

Darwin’s evolution is concerned only with the evolution of the body but the

Jaina evolution goes a step further and talks of spiritual evolution as a result of increase in complexity of body, mind and soul.

Mahavir is perhaps, world’s first scientist who synthesized science into religion and spirituality.

Therefore Jainism is more relevant today than it was 2600 years ago.

Jainism developed by twenty four Jain seers known as Tirthankars, is a blend of culture, human development, philosophy and science of evolution spread over a periods of thousands of years.

Jainism presents a dynamic and practical philosophy, which expounds the techniques of successful and peaceful life.

In philosophical sense, Jainism may be defined as atheistic spiritualism.

 It is the science of evolution of the universe and evolution of the soul to the level of omniscience.

 


The fundamental principles of Jaina doctrine are summarized below:

  1. From the material point of view, the universe is eternal. The universe undergoes evolution in cyclic form having time period of millions of years.
    The first half cycle is progressive while in the second half cycle, things and values decline gradually. The progressive half cycle is called Avasarpini and the second half as Uttasarpini.

  2. The Universe contains only two types of materials- ‘Living (Jiva) and Non Living (Ajiva)’, which can neither be created nor destroyed.
    This means the universe does not have a creator or a destroyer.
    The existence of God is therefore, neither logical nor essential.
    Ceation and destruction which we observe in daily life are in fact, basic properties of the material.

  3. The eternal existence of the universe is Sat or the absolute truth. Changes occurring in the universe are of temporary nature and are Asat or perceived reality which is also known as Relative Truth is modern science.
    Religious people call it as Maya.

  4. The universe consists of material world of finite size and infinite empty space.
    The former is visible and is called Loka and the invisible infinite empty space is called Aloka.
    Einstein in 1917 used exactly the same terminology for the two parts of the universe and named them as ‘Observable Space’ and Infinite Empty Space’ respectively.

  5. Like the modern scientist, Mahavir said the universe is a closed system in which the total quantity of matter is conserved.
    Nothing can enter the Loka from outside and nothing can leave it. The distribution of matter imparts a shape to Loka which looks like a man standing on his feet stretched apart and his hands on his waist.
    Cosmologists call this shape as Hyperbolic Universe.

  6. Living beings could be found in the entire Loka.
    Beings with light Vaikrik Sharira or formless bodies also called as God live in the upper part of the universe known as Urdhwa Loka.
    Absolutely motionless non material Siddha occupy the uppermost part of the Loka.
    Living creatures with Audarik Sharira or biological bodies resides in the middle part of Loka.
    Microbes and other creatures with heavy Vaikrik Sharira are inhabitants of lower part of the universe known as Adholoka.

  7. It is worth noting that the concept of Triloka is not based on the concept of Earth, Heaven and Hell but on the basis of the Dravya Pramyatwaa (Density).
    This distribution of dravya also determines the shape and boundaries of Loka.
    Distribution of matter in space according to material density and space gravitation is also a scientific fact.  The shape and dimensions of Loka given in Jain scriptures merely represent the distribution of matter symbolically.
      

  8. Loka contains five Astikaya Dravya and therefore it is also called Panchastikaya.
    This form of the universe is visible only to the universal observer or Siddhatman.
    Scientists call the Astikaya form of the universe as Space Quantum Fields.

  9. Panchastikaya Loka is Absolute Truth which cannot be comprehended by the human consciousness because the humans can perceive truth only in space-time domain, which is a Relative Truth
    The five Astikaya Dravyas are seen by us as five distinct materials namely- Akash (Space), Dharma (State of Motion), Adharma (State of Rest), Jiva (Living Matter)and Pudgala (Mass+ Energy).
    The changes taking place in these dravya is sensed as time or Kaal.

  10. The boundless, infinite Aloka is devoid of matter, yet it is not a vacuum but it is Akash  Dravya having Awagahan Guna (Gravitation).
    Einstein also assumed the cosmic space as infinite gravitation field and developed the General Theory of Relativity.
    He also believed that the empty space contains dark energy and dark mass.

  11. Mahavir believed in the quantum nature of space and said though space has no physical dimensions, yet it behaves as if it is made of infinite numbers of atomic size field elements, which he named as Akash Pradesh.
    On the other hand Einstein saw the space as an infinite space-time continuum and refused to accept its quantum nature.
    Now the quantum physicists agree with Mahavir and say the empty space is never empty but contains energy quantum field that fluctuates continuously producing virtual particles that arise from nowhere and disappear in to nowhere again. 

  12. The fundamental unit of everything physical is Akash Pradesh or space element’, says Mahavir.  An atom is equivalent to one Akash Pradesh.
    All other matter whether living or non living is made of finite numbers of Akash Pradesh.
    Peter Higgs in 1964 proposed similar theory in which he called Akahsastikya as Higg’s Field and Akash Pradesh as Higg’s Boson or God Particle.
    Higgs received Nobel Prize in 2013 for this discovery now called as Theory of Everything.

  13. Modern cosmology and quantum field theory now endorse Mahavir’s views of Akashastikaya and confirm beyond doubt that, what was once thought as empty space is in fact an active participant in molding the activities of our world and is the primary source of everything in the universe.

  14. Panchastikaya Loka has built in consciousness called as Jivastikaya.
    Mahavir said the soul is a conscious observer, who is central to the creation.
    Modern scientists are now echoing this statement of Mahavir in the form of Biocentrism. Panchastikaya also has built in material field Pudgalastikaya.
    A Pudgal Parmanu beinga material particle is always in motion due to the presence of field potential called Dharmastikaya.
    The retarding field potential is Adharmastikaya. The induced motion is referred in Agamas as Dharm Dravya and position of rest (potential energy) as Adharma Dravya

  15. A Pudgal Parmanu or material quanta moving in the Field of Jivastikaya produces bound state called Jiva, which is a living matter. The conscious element in Jiva is called soul and the material part is called Karman Sharira.
    It is not known when and how the first Jiva was formed, say Jain Agamas.
    Modern science also believes that life was created accidently. 

  16. The total quantity of Jiva and Pudgal Parmanu is a universal constant.
    These basic elements can manifest in infinite numbers of physical forms, which appear to human consciousness as living and non living beings.
      In the process of physical manifestation, the elements are neither created nor destroyed.
    Only innumerable types of association and dissociation take place, producing countless numbers of living and non living species.
    Mahavir treated this fact as ‘Utpad-Vyay- Druyva’ and the scientists call it as law of conservation of Mass and energy. 

  17. ‘The above conservation law proves the continuity of life and rebirths. It is impossible to convert living matter into non living matter and vice versa’ say the Agamas.
    Mahavir believed in biological process of creation and evolution but rejected the concept of biological origin of consciousness.
    Mahavir says Jiva with Karman Sharira takes rebirth and not the soul which is free from birth and death.
    The physical death is not an end of life but cessation of an individuality.
    Life flows on till the soul sheds off all the Karmic atoms bound with it.

  18. Animate (living) and inanimate (nonliving) substances are formed in accordance with the conservation law Upneiva- Vigneiva-Druveiva or Production –Destruction - Conservation.
    Intelligence present in Jivastikaya guides the creation. 
    The apparent universal harmony need not be traced back to God.

  19. Non living compounds (Skandhas) are produced when two or more atoms combine in accordance with the above conservation law.
    The numbers of combing atoms depend on atomic charges (Ruksha & Snigdha Sparshas) and atomic energy states (Hot or Cold Sparshas).
    Laws of chemical combinations similar to those accepted by modern chemists are listed in Bhagvati Sutra.

  20. All types of actions viz. physical, mental, emotional or vocal are atomic in nature.  
    Strong actions modulate the soul and bind with the consciousness as Karmic Code similar to DNA code which determines the species, size and cultural aspects of the living being.
    The particle nature of energy (Action /Karma) proposed by Mahavir is today considered as the back bone of all revolutionary scientific discoveries.

  21. Biologists say the DNA seals our destiny but Mahavir says, we are not mere puppets of our DNA but we can override our destiny, and by controlling our feelings, habits and desires, we can change the ‘soul-body’system and destiny.
    Recent advances made in genome research support Mahavir’s thoughts.
    Now the biologists say our decisions, life style and environment does affect the cellular activity leading to physiological choice and destiny. 
    Scientific research is in progress to determine the depth and life period of the changes and how much control we have over them and how much can be passed on to future generation. 
    Is it not a great tribute to Mahavir by scientists world over?

  22. Mahavir said Yoga, Meditation, Tap, Sadhana, balanced diet can trigger the genetic activity.
    When one is in the highest level of consciousness viz. Kewalgyana, all physical forms disappear and only a flow of atoms and consciousness is perceived.  
    The spiritual ladder to Kewalgyana has fourteen steps. We have to climb one step at a time.
    In the last step or Gunasthana, the Kevali sees the body as ensemble of Parmanu and the soul as flowing consciousness.

  23. Birth is a biological phenomenon in which the Jiva acquires physical form. Birth may be sexual or asexual.
      In either case the Jiva with Karaman Sharira gets entry into a womb where it grows into a full body by absorbing food.
      Different living species like human being, animals, plants, microbes, birds etc represents different modes of Karmic Bonds (genetic codes).

  24. ‘Death is not an end of life. It is the end of the physical form of the body.
    There is no natural death of life (Jiva)’, say the Agamas.
    ‘A unicellular organism which is the lowest form of Jiva has no natural death’, say the biologists.
    ‘Consciousness with Karmic code is like a unicellular organism which undergoes mutation as Uglia (Twins)’, says Bhagwati Sutra.
     
  25. Jains believe that Consciousness is a source of life and hot bodies like fire, sun, burning lamp are living beings. 
    But modern science says heat energy is the source of life and consciousness is one of its variants.

  26. Presently our consciousness is such that we see our body made of flesh, blood and bones. We do not realize that our body is made of particles.
    We need to evolve further so that we become aware of being constituted of particles and soul.
    We need to raise the level of our consciousness to unlimited reality of quantum field. 
    Mahavir calls this state of consciousness as Moksha. 
    Quantum mechanics say it is a state of vacuum and the third law of thermodynamics says it is the state of zero entropy.

  27. Truth has many aspects, which appear as ‘Reality’ in space time domain to human mind. The means available for knowing the Truth are innumerable.
    Because of multifaceted nature of Truth, one should adopt broader outlook or Anekant Vision and analyze the truth with respect to Kshetra (space), Kaal (time), Dravya (matter) and Bhav (modes). 
    Jainism is thus against fundamentalism (Ekantwad) and promotes pluralistic views known as Anekantwad.

  28. We encounter sufferings because of false apprehension of truth and happiness.
    Knowledge has power to liberate soul.
    The Jains emphasizes on gaining knowledge of self and the universe. 
    We are biological objects governed by the biological laws.
    The belief that the soul is there before I was born and will continue after I die, is a belief in permanence.
    The physical death is not an end of life but cessation of individuality. Life flows on till it sheds of all the Karmic atoms bound with it.

  29. According to the Jain Theory of Karma, ‘Intention, Attention and Manifestation’ get bounded with atman as Karman Sharira’, which is the cause of birth and rebirth of all living beings.
    Purusharth or ‘Self Directed Biological Transformations’ scientifically known as ‘EpiGenetics’ helps in Shedding of the Karman Sharira and achievement of salvation.

  30. Mokhsa is the highest level of spiritual evolution which can be achieved by human beings while alive and not after death.
    Mokhsa or Nirwana does not mean proximity to God or gateway to heaven but achieving sate of Kewalgyana.
    Only the awakened individual can slowly and steadily move towards realizing the goal of Mokhsa

 

The five tenets of Jainism namely -non violence, truth, integrity, celibacy and non-hoarding are based on the scientific knowledge of ‘self and the universe’.

Jainism is in fact nectar for world peace and harmony.

Those who followed this path rigorously became Arihants and people like Mohandas Karmchand Gandhi, who had uncompromising attitude towards truth were called mahatma and saints.

Those who did not know the truth, called the Mahatma as ‘Half Naked Fakir’ and saints as ‘Mythical Characters’.

But it is a historical fact that, this lion clothed fakir was more powerful than battalions of armed men dressed in uniforms.

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