Jain Biology: Characteristic Features II

Published: 19.10.2009
Updated: 02.07.2015

Under certain conditions, the phenomenon of samudghāta takes place in the soul. When the soul is experiencing intense pain and the like, expansion of the soul-units takes place through the projection of the pradeśas of the soul in diverse directions. This is called samudghāta. There are seven types of samudghāta, which respectively are—

  1. Vedanā—Expansion of soul-units due to intense pain.
  2. Kaṣāya—Expansion of soul-units due to intense passions (anger etc.).
  3. Māraṇātika—Expansion of soul-units due to impounding death.
  4. Vaikriya—Expansion of soul-units related with the operation of protean body.
  5. Āhāraka—Expansion of soul-units related with the operation of conveyance-body.
  6. Taijasa—Expansion of soul-units related with the operation of bio-electrical body.
  7. Kevala—Expansion of soul-units of an omniscient soul pervading the whole cosmos.

The lower organisms do not possess mind/brain and hence, are called asaṃjñī. Only some five-sensed living beings can have mind/brain. They are saṃjñī. Some humans in their higher stage of spiritual practice transcend the functioning of mental cognition (on account of supercognition) and hence, are called "nosaṃjñī-noasaṃjñī".


There are three kinds—

  1. Masculine—Man's sexual passions.
  2. Feminine—Woman's sexual passions.
  3. Dual—Beings possessed of dual sexual passions (hermo-phrodite).

The souls in the higher stages of spiritual development (above the 9th guṇasthāna) transcend the sexual passions—become avedī.


Bio-potential (paryāpti) means the building up of material forces at the very beginning of rebirth.

The paryāpti is six-fold, viz., 1. aliment, 2. body, 3. sense-organ, 4. inhaling-exhaling, 6. speech, and 6. mind.

The alimentary bio-potential (āhāra-paryāpti) means the production of material capacity functioning as appropriation, transformation and elimination of alimentary matter. The bio-potentials of body etc. are also to be understood similarly. All the six bio-potentials come into existence at the time of rebirth, but the development of the alimentary bio-potential takes place in one instant and of the rest within one muhūrta gradually. An organism born in a particular state of existence is developed or under­developed in respect of bio-potentials according as the development of its relevant bio-potentials has reached completion or remains incomplete.


The view of the soul concerning the metaphysical truth is called dṛṣṭi. There are three types—

  1. Samyag-dṛṣṭi—enlightened world-view.
  2. Samyag-mithyā-dṛṣṭi—enlightened-cum-deluded world-view.
  3. Mithyā-dṛṣṭi—deluded world-view. Every soul must have one of these dṛṣṭis.

14.  DARŚANA—INTUITION (i.e., The first phase of the process of knowledge, in which only the generic attribute of the object to be known are aprehended. It is a sort of indeterminate knowledge)

Every soul is possessed of consciousness. There arc two types of sentience—

  1. Darśana (apprehension of generic attribute)
  2. Jñāna (cognition of the particular attribute)

There are four types of darśana -

  1. Ocular—intuition through sense-organ of vision.
  2. Non-ocular—intuition through sense-organs other than eyes.
  3. Clairvoyant intuition—extra-sensory intuition.
  4. Omniscient intuition—intuition quâ omniscience.

The non-ocular intuition is the minimum possible intuition, and hence, every living being is at least possessed of it.


There are five types of jñāna

  1. Perception—Knowledge through senses and mind.
  2. Articulate—Communicating knowledge.
  3. Clairvoyance—Extra-sensory knowledge.
  4. Mind-reading—Knowledge of what others think.
  5. Omniscience—Knowledge of omniscient soul.

Every soul is equipped with minimum two types of knowledge - first, second.

Knowledge is classified with respect to the owner. If the owner (soul) has enlightened world-view, his knowledge is jñāna, which is indicated by + (plus), and the knowledge of one with deluded or enlightened-cum-deluded world-view is ajñāna, which is indicated by - (minus).

The'+ knowledge' is of five types, while the '- knowledge' is of three types..


The operation of mind, speech and body is called yoga. There are three types of yoga

  1. Activity of body
  2. Activity of speech
  3. Activity of mind.

In the highest stage of spiritual development (in the 14th guṇasthāna) the soul transcends all activity and becomes free from it. (i.e., ayogī).


Consciousness is the characteristic attribute of soul. Its activity is called upayoga (i.e., cognitive activity). It is of two types—

  1. Jñāna or Sākāra Upayoga—Cognition or knowledge.
  2. Darśana or Anākāra Upayoga—Intuition.

Every soul has both types of upayoga.


Āhāra does not mean only food, but it includes every material object which is taken in by the soul. All the living beings from no. 1 to no. 19 appropriate the material objects (as food etc.) almost according to the following rules:

  1. Āhāra from substance-point of view: Those material aggregates (skandhas) which are made of infinite number of indivisible units (pradeśas) are appropriated. The skandhas which consist of numerable or innumerable pradeśas can not be appropriated as āhāra by the living beings.
  2. Āhāra from space-point of view: Those skandhas are appropriated which occupy innumerable space-units.
  3. Āhāra from time-point of view: The skandhas of any duration - minimum, medium or maximum—can be appropriated as āhāra.
  4. Āhāra from mode-point of view: The skandhas possessed of colour, smell, taste and touch can be appropriated as āhāra. The details of colour, smell, taste and touch are as follows:
    1. Colour - The skandhas possessed of one, two, three, four or five colours (with respect to generalised concept) can be appropriated as āhāra; (with respect to classified concept), they can be black, blue, red, yellow or white. (This statement is made only from an empirical standpoint; with respect to the transcendental standpoint, they must be of all the five colours (as they are skandhas consisting of infinite number of pradeśas). Again, in the same class of colour, the intensity may vary from one unit to infinite units of blackness up to whiteness.
    2. Smell and
    3. Taste - The same rule holds good in case of two types of smell viz., good and bad; and five types of taste, viz., sour, sweet, bitter, astringent and acrid.
    4. Touch : The skandhas possessed of one, two or three types of touch (with respect to generalised concept) cannot be appropriated as āhāra, but those possessed of four, five, six, seven or eight can be (With respect to classified concept), the skandhas possessed of hard or soft, heavy or light, hot or cold, gluey (negative electricity) or dry (positive electricity) can be appropriated as āhāra. (Again, here also this is only empirically true; transcendentally, they should be of four or eight touches). Again, in the same class of touch, the intensity may vary from one unit to infinite units.

    There are some other rules concerning the above-mentioned skandhas:

    1. They should be in touch with the soul-units.
    2. They should occupy the same space-units as the soul.
    3. They should occupy the same space-units without any gap.
    4. They may be consisting of a few pradeśas as well as many.
    5. They may be situated either in upward direction, downward direction or lateral directions.
    6. They may be in the beginning, or in middle, or in the end of the duration of their existence (which is of an antara-muhūrta[1] time-unit).
    7. The souls of the living beings appropriate only those skandhas which are suitable for them to become their āhāra; they cannot be unsuitable ones.
    8. Even among the suitable skandhas, the beings appropriate them only through the sequence (or order) and not out of sequence. (By sequence is meant, those which are nearer to the souls).
    9. As far as the directions are concerned, the souls of the beings would necessarily appropriate the skandhas from all the six directions (viz., east, west, south, north, above and below), if there is no obstruction. In case of obstruction, they may be from three, four or five directions. (The obstruction is due to the supra-cosmic space-units which may be either in three directions or two or one direction; this is on account of the configuration of the cosmic space which is of the shape of three pyramids placed one above the other, with the lowest one facing downwards, the middle one facing upwards and the third one facing downwards). When the living beings are situated at the borderline of cosmic and supracosmic spaces, such obstruction would occur; otherwise for other beings there would be no such obstruction).
    10. All the above rules apply only generally.

(It would mean that statistically, the probability is that they would apply).


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Edited by:
Prof. Muni Mahendra Kumar

Ladnun-341 306 (Rajasthan, India)

First Edition: 2008 Printed at: Shree Vardhman Press, Naveen Shahdara, Delhi- 110032

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Ajñāna
  2. Anger
  3. Anākāra upayoga
  4. Asaṃjñī
  5. Body
  6. Brain
  7. Consciousness
  8. Darśana
  9. Dṛṣṭi
  10. Electrical body
  11. Guṇasthāna
  12. Jñāna
  13. Omniscient
  14. Paryāpti
  15. Pradeśas
  16. Protean Body
  17. Samudghāta
  18. Soul
  19. Space
  20. Sākāra upayoga
  21. Upayoga
  22. Yoga
  23. Āhāra
  24. āhāra
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