Concepts of Space, Time and God Particle in Jainism and in Science

Posted: 06.06.2014
Updated on: 02.07.2015

Bhagwan Mahavir in 560 B.C. and Albert Einstein in 1905 A.D. said, ‘the universe has no creator’. Mahavir called the universe as Akashastikaya and Einstein named it Cosmic Space. Both believed that the universe consists of finite size material space and infinite empty space. Mahavir named the material space as Panchastikaya Loka and infinite empty space as Aloka. Einstein used exactly the same terminology as used by Mahavir. He called the material Loka as - Observable Space and Aloka as infinite empty space.

Loka and aloka are not two separate entities. The two, together constitute a single entity called Akashastikaya or Cosmic space. No rigid boundaries exist between Loka and Aloka. The shape of the Loka is merely a symbolic representation of distribution of its constituents according to their density (Pramayetwa). The Madhya Loka being the centre of gravity contains dense matter. As we move away from this centre, lower density dravyas having no physical shape like Narak, Dev, Siddha, Ruksha Parmanu (Ions) occupy the space. The density tends towards zero at the boundaries but is never zero. Hence Loka does not have rigid boundaries but its matter appears to have a distribution of a man standing on his feet drawn apart, with hands on the waist.

‘The Observable Space contains material particles, energy, stars, planets, galaxies etc. Time does not have independent existence but it is integrated with space’ said Einstein. On the other hand Mahavir announced that the Observable Space consists of five Astikaya Dravyas, which appear to human observer as space, state of motion, state of rest, living matter and nonliving matter. ‘Changes occurring in the five constituents of Loka are conceived as Time by Jiva, but it is not a dravya or one of the eternal constituents of Panchastikaya Loka’ said Mahavir.  Thus Jain concept of time is also similar to that of science.

According to Jain concept, Loka contains five distinct Astikaya dravyas. In the scientific language Astikaya dravya means material quantum fields.Human beings cannot perceive Astikaya form of the space.  The material quantum fields appear to the observer (Jiva or Atman) as five constituent materials namely Akash (space), Dharma (State of motion), Adharma (state of rest), Pudgal (mass energy) and Jiva (living being) with reference to the Ksetra (Space), Kaal (Time), Dravya (Mass) and Bhav (Modes or Phase). Mahavir.named this physical reality as Asat’, or ‘Maya’. In 1905 Einstein called this physical reality (Asat)as ‘Relativity Truth’. Einstein also said that human beings can perceive only the ‘Relative Truth’ in ‘space-time’ reference system.

Thus Loka is material universe we live in and is a subject of Theory of Relativity. On the other hand the empty space is absolute infinity and a subject of General Theory of Relativity.  There is no expansion, no shrinkage and no time variation in this vast infinity. Mahavir called this space as Aloka and physicists call this as vacuum quantum field. The material universe-Loka, is finite and also constitutes the part of the infinite space-time continuum.

According to Jain Agamas the infinite space Aloka contains only Akash, a dravya with gravitation property (Avagahan Guna) and nothing else. Einstein assumes this space as gravitation field consisting of dark matter and dark energyAkash dravaya is also a constituent of Aloka. Thus according to Jain Concept Space is Akash dravya which cannot be sensed by smell, taste, color, feel or touch. But it can be sensed as physical reality by human consciousness (Jiva) in inertial system of reference as distance, length, area, volume or by movement.

Like Mahavir, Einstein also defined the cosmic space is an infinite gravitation field having dimensions in Space and Time. In fact knowingly or unknowingly he used this Jain concept of space for formulating his famous Theory of General Relativity according to which light waves suffer bending in space gravity giving the universe a curved shape. In order to ensure conservation of momentum Einstein also assumed that 97% of the space contains dark matter and dark energy.  Mahavir conveyed the same massage when he said finite Loka cannot expand to infinity and become Aloka and vice versa.

There is hardly any difference of opinion between Einstein and Mahavir on the definition and contents of the cosmic space. Mahavir believed in continuum as well as quantum nature of space while Einstein considered it as space- time continuum only. ‘Though space is continuous, it behaves as if it is made of infinite numbers of space element-‘Pradesh’ said Mahavir. Regarding time, both had the same opinion. Both considered time as parameter of measurement of change. The space element Akash Pradesh is now referred by the scientists as Graviton, Higgs Boson or God Particle.

Mahavir, the omniscient master said, space gravitation gives rise to space potentials. He named the accelerating potential as Dharmastikaya and the retarding potential as Adhamastikaya. The induced motion in Parmanu and Jiva is called Dharma and retardation as Adharma. Motion of material particles and light quanta under the influence of space potential is named by Einstein as Theory of General Relativity. 

Einstein like Mahavir believed that gravitation was the only existing force in the universe. Using the concept of space gravitation, Einstein arrived at a dynamic model of the universe, but he made it static by forcing a constant in the solution of his set of equations. It is not known why he made this correction. Einstein was aware that Buddha and other Hindu religious leaders believed that the universe was static and resembled ahomogenous, static curved surface. Perhaps Einstein was influenced by this false notion of static Loka and committed the biggest blunder of his life, which he corrected later in 1937 when other scientists discovered that the universe is not static but expanding. It is also obvious that the basic Jaina concept of space as gravitation field yields a dynamic model but the Jain scholars falsely interpreted it as static.   

Contrary to the Jain concept of quantum space, Einstein considered the universe as a space time continuum and vehemently opposed its Astikaya or quantum form for very long time. He was also not comfortable with the idea of field element. Later the quantum physicists proved him wrong by saying ‘empty space is never empty but contains wavelike field that fluctuates continuously producing virtual particles which arise from nowhere and disappear in to nowhere. 

The twenty first century physicists fully agree with Jain Concept of Astikaya form of space and believe that the universe is a quantum field which continuously produces virtual particles. In quantum model, concept of space-time continuum makes no sense. In this model the space element is called Graviton, Higgs Boson or God Particle. Thus Mahavir’s Akash Prades is today’s God Particle.  

There is absolutely no difference in the Swetamber Jain Concept of time and that of modern science. According to Swetamber Jain Agamas, time is not a dravya but human perception of changes that take place in the universe. Therefore time has existence only in human habitats or Aadhai Dwipa.

On the other hand Digamber Jains believe that Time is a dravya but it is not astikaya. Like Pudgal Dravya, the Kaal dravya consists of Kalanu. This is not only against science concept but it also defies common sense and Jain scriptures. Digamber Acharya Kund Kund in Pravachansara (Gatha 43, 47 & 52) writes that ‘kaal is Apradeshi. It is produced when a Parmanu moves from one place to another. But the Bhattarakas interpreted and still insist that  Apradeshi should not be read as without Pradesh but it should be read as one Pradeshi kalanu.

Swetambers Jains are of the firm opinion that Space and Time are only modes of conscious perceptions (paryaya) of reality and not Sat or absolute truth. Panchastikaya Loka and Aloka alone are Sat. This basic Jaina concept is also accepted by the scientific world.

According to science, space and time are the co-ordinates of the information system with which our consciousness perceive physical reality. All scientific statements are relative to space and time and devoid of absolutism. But Mahavir goes a step further and says, it is possible for the human being to enter in to timeless region and observe the Absolute truth. This is the state of Moksha, a state of zero entropy or a state of infinite stability.

Mahavir like a scientist answered the question why we are here? He said all living and non living constituents of the observable space are made of finite or infinite numbers of ‘Pradesh’ which may be or may not be separable from the parent dravya. If separated, the Pradesha is perceived by human consciousness as Parmanu.  Thus Akash Pradesh is the fundamental unit of everything physical. Without it neither the universe nor we could have existence. Similar to this Jain ‘Theory of Everything’, the twenty first century scientists also say ‘everything physical in the universe comes from a single source - the Higgs Boson or God Particle.    

Einstein in 1950 independently developed ‘Unified Field Theory’ to explain that everything physical has a single source of origin.  Modern String Theory also suggests that an element of space has smallest possible size and space expands by cloning each of its elements. Peter Higgs in 1964 named Akashastikaya as Higgs field and the field element as Higgs Boson or God Particle. It is well known that earth’s gravity imparts weight to everything. Similarly Higgs suggested that fundamental particles gain mass when they encounter with this Plank Length size Higgs Boson. Mahavir used the word ‘Atomic size’ instead of Plank Length for the field element. Existence of the God particle (read-Akash Pradesh) was confirmed experimentally and Higgs was decorated with Nobel Prize in 2013.

Mahavir gave scientific explanation for the existence and evolution of the universe (cosmic Space). He said God is not essential for its existence and in true scientific temper he announced that, the universe is energetically closed system in which nothing is created and nothing is destroyed. His tweet ‘Upneiva-Vigneiva-Druveiva’, today, has become one of the fundamental principles of physics known as conservation law of matter. Mahavir used the word Pudgala for matter which includes mass and all forms of energy except consciousness. 

Mahavir made scientific analysis (study) of the origin, evolution and the ultimate fate of the universe. Regarding the origin of the universe, Mahavir says the universe neither has beginning nor end. It undergoes periodic changes over a cyclic path of millions of years. But the scientists believe that the universe suddenly sprang into existence 13.7 billion years ago when infinitely dense material exploded and expanded outwards creating stars, galaxies, sun, planets, earth etc.  This explosion is called Big Bang. The scientists do not know what was before the Big Bang.

Mahavir does not believe in the violent process of Big Bang by which the matter got distributed as Observable Space. He describes the universe as dynamic and evolutionary system in which the matter appears to undergo creation, destruction and redistribution in accordance with natural laws. He said centuries ago that ‘existence of the universe is a physical reality but existence of Panchastikaya Loka and infinite Aloka is ‘Sat’ or Absolute Truth. What science describes today is the physical 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 Siddhatma is universal observer of the Absolute Truth who can also see atoms building the universe and consciousness embedding the matter.

Jain Agamas in particular Bhagavati Sutra, Dravyanuyoga, Uttaradhayana Sutra and Tattwarth Sutra are like encyclopedia covering all aspects of Jainism and one will find therein Mahavira, the omniscient answering questions on diverse topics giving the impression of the true master. He rejected the idea of ‘Creation and The Creator God’.  Yet he talked about God, heaven, hell, Karmic sufferings and religious rituals.  This has led to sectarian approach and misinterpretation of Sutras/ Gathas which are like modern time Tweets. Therefore Books, treatise, critical reviews written by eminent saints, scholars and critics in recent past appear imperfect and irrelevant to modern times.

Scientific ignorance and lack of contextual understanding made interpretations of the old verses imperfect and highly questionable. The interpreters were hardly able to differentiate between Panchastikaya Loka and Loka having six constituents. Interpretation of Dharmastikaya as ether like fluid is another instance of wrong interpretation. Failure to appreciate the importance of Akash Pradesh as basic building unit of the universe has also contributed to under esttimatation of Mahavir;s Omniscience his theory of everything.

We have presented above the results of our four years research work on Jain Agamas and other Jain scriptures Readers may like to refer  our three books namely - Jain Vigyan, Vaigyanik Mahavir and Jaina Spiritualism & Material Science (in Press) for details.

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