Jiva is the central conception of Jaina system. Its nature is chetana or
consciousness. Jiva and chetana, life and
consciousness, are co-extensive. Wherever there is life
there is consciousness. Even in the lowest
class of organisms we
have to posit existence of consciousness.
But this does not imply that in every living organism there
is explicit consciousness. In very many cases
consciousness may be latent and implicit, and in certain
exceptional cases of men having higher
spiritual development consciousness may be supernormal.
Jiva with its characteristic of
chetana is entirely distinct from pudgala or matter. It cannot be
apprehended by sense perception; hence it is Amurta. The qualities which are generally
associated with matter such as colour, taste,
have no relevancy in the case of chetana. Jaina psychology is thus based upon the
metaphysical assumption of jiva which is of the nature
of chetana. It is not a "psychology
without a soul." This general
nature of chetana or consciousness manifests in two
ways, darsana and jnana, perception and
understanding. These two modes of consciousness are mainly cognitive or thought
elements. Consciousness includes also emotion and will. The effective and co native elements are also
recognized by Jaina system. Effective states
or emotions are
the general characteristic of samsari jiva or
living beings in our ordinary sense. Conduct or behavior is also assumed to be the
natural manifestation of life. Charitra or conduct is also
associated with all samsari jivas. Thus from the
point of view of
modern psychology consciousness has a threefold function and this is also assummed in Jaina system.
This tripartite division of consciousness is expressed
in another way also. In describing the characteristics of jiva, its chetana
character is said to manifest not only in
jnana-darsana, understanding and perception, but also in karma chetana and karmaphala
chetana, awareness of action and awareness of pleasure-pain. The
recognition of the threefold aspect of consciousness may be illustrated
even from the conception of a perfect being. The characteristics of a perfect
being are anantajnana, anantadar'sana, anantavirya
and ananta sukha infinite Knowledge, infinite Perception, infinite Power and
infinite Bliss.The other characteristics are irrelevant to our purpose. The
first two of the enumerated qualities, infinite knowledge and infinite
perception, are distinctly cognitive. Infinite power
implies activity or conation and infinite bliss the hedonic experience.
Thus throughout the Jaina account of life, the three aspects of consciousness are assumed.
Every organism or a samsari
jiva is an organic unity of two distinct entities jiva and pudgala, soul and
body. Naturally therefore there crops up the problem of the relation between the
two. Soul is chetana (consciousness), amurta (non-corporeal), arupa (non-sentient)
whereas body has the opposite qualities in each case. One may be said to be the
contradiction of other. The Dualism is so emphatically expressed here as in Cartesianism.
The term body implies two
different things. The gross body that we actually perceive through our senses, is constituted and
nourished by mater taken in the form of food,
etc. This body is every
moment changing and will be
given up by the soul after a
certain period. Besides this gross body,
there is for every jiva a subtle body
as karmana sarira. This body is constituted by subtle material molecules
known as Karma Pudgala. This subtle
body may also be changing. But still it is a necessary and
inalienable appendage of samsari jiva. This is transcended only in the perfect state. In discussing
the relation between the states of this karma sarira and the states
of jiva, Jainism makes an important distinction between
upadana karta and nimitta karta, substantial
cause and external cause. Mental states are the modification of the mind and Physical states are the modification of matter. Mind is the upadana karta of physical states and
matter is the upadana karta of physical change, and
yet Physical state
and physical states may be mutually
external conditions. The causal activity contemplated here is a bit obscure. One
physical state is due to the immediately
antecedent physical state and similarly
one physical state is the result of its own antecedent. Thus
mental series in a way is independent of physical series.
But still a mental change may be externally determined by a physical
change, and the physical conversely by the mental change. the
relation between the physical and the mental is purely external.
In the technical language of the system, one is the nimitta karta of the
other. So far as we are able to make out, the meaning seems to be this: a mental change is due
to two conditions one an upadana karta, a physical antecedent.
The mental change is the result of both these antecedent conditions, physical
and mental. Similarly a change in the body is to be traced to two
conditions: an upadana condition, a
physical antecedent in this case, and
a nimitta conditions, a mantel antecedent. The
system emphasizes the casual interrelation between mind
and matter, even though the
interrelation is one of external condition. The reason given for accepting this interrelation is the reality of moral
responsibility. If there is no causal interrelation
between mind and matter, why should a person be taken responsible for his conduct? If moral
responsibility is real, if moral evaluation of conduct is
genuine, then conduct must be the intimate expression of the personality.
Though the discussion is about
jiva and its karmana sarira, the discussion and its conclusion may very well be taken
as relevant to our problem of the
relation between soul and body.
The whole discussion may be taken
as expressing the views in regard to the
wider problem. Soul and body are capable of causal interrelation and a
change in one always involves two antecedents, one physical and the
other physical. If causal interrelation is not admitted,
certainly ethical values will remain unexplained and unintelligible.
The sense organs recognized in
the system are the usual five. But sometimes manas or mind is also spoken of as an indriya.
Indriyas in general are of two kinds: dravya indriya or the
physical sense organ and bhava indriya the psychical counterpart.
Sensory awareness is the result of the contact between
dravya indriya and the physical object sensed. It is assumed of course that only
physical objects or pudgala can be apprehended by sensation. This contact may be direct or indirect. In
case of sight the contact is indirect. The object perceived by vision is not brought in
contact with the eyes. The objects in space are revealed to us by light or jyoti. It is through
being illuminated that they are apprehended by vision.
The exact operation of light on the eyes is not
further explained. In the case of the other senses, we have direct contact. But the
direct contact may be sthula, or sukshma, gross or subtle. In the case of touch and taste we have
the direct contact with the gross object. But in the case
of small we have contact with minute particles of the object smelt.
In the case of sound also we have sukshma contact. But in this
case what the ears come in contact with, is merely
a kind of motion. Unlike the
other Indian systems of thought which associate sound with akasa, Jaina system explains the sound as due to the violent contact of one
physical object with the other. It is said to
be generated by one skandha knocking against another skandha. Sound is the agitation set up by this
knock. It is on account of this theory of sound that the system speaks of an
atom or paramanu as un sounding by itself.
Thus in all these cases, the environmental stimulus is either directly or
indirectly a physical object. Sense perception is the result of the contact between two
physical things dravyendriya on the hand and the
stimulus from the object on the other hand. The next interesting point is the
analysis of the different sensations obtained through different sense organs. Through the eyes we have
the apprehension of five colours. Visual sensations consist of the five elements or pancha varna. But we have to note here
that sensation of white is also included as one of
the colours. In this respect the term varna or colour is used in its
popular scenes and not in the scientific sense. Similarly taste is of five kinds pungent,
bitter, sweet, sour and saline. These five tastes are obtained
through the tongue which is rasanendriya. Skin is sparsanendriya
and through it the following eight kinds of coetaneous sensations are obtained: light and heavy,
soft and hard, rough and smooth, cold
and hot sensations four pairs of opposite senses. These
coetaneous include sensations of
temperature contract, pressure and muscular or kinesthetic
sensations. Sensations of smell is only of
two kinds, sugandha and durgandha. Sound sensations are of infinite variety.
The different kinds of sound natural and artificial, purposive and non-purposive,
articulate and inarticulate,
musical and non-musical are spoken of. What we directly apprehend
through a sense organ is not
merely particular sensation but the
object. Sense perception is known as darsana. Darsana is the perception of a physical
object. Darsana may be chaksu darsana and achaksu darsana.
Chaksu darsana means perception of an object through visual
sensation. Achaksu darsana means perception through
the other senses. Darsana or senses
perception not only implies the passive receptivity of
the mind but also the active interpretation of the received stimulus, i.e. Darsana
means the complication between the datum
and mental construction. This is implied in the description given of "knowledge by
acquaintance". Mati, avagraha iha, avaya
different stages of sense perception. Avagraha refers to roughly the datum. But the datum does
note mean anything. It is merely the un understood patch of colour, e.g. in
the case of visual sensation. At the presentation of this visual
patch there is the questioning attitude of mind which is represented by the term
iha. As a result of this examination we may interpret the object.This
interpretation is avaya. In the case of visual perception these three different stages
may not be clearly distinguishable. But in
the case of auditory perception we may clearly recognize the different
stages. Darsana then includes all these three stage, then only is the thing known to us.
These three stage together with darsana or
recollection constitute the different forms of mati jnana. But recollection is connected with
memory and need not be brought under sense perception. In this connection we have to notice one important point. The term
darsana is not confined to sense
perception. It is a general term including the sense perception as well as the supernormal
perception of other kinds. Two kinds of supernormal perception
are generally mentioned by Jaina thinkers avadhi
darsana and kevala darsana. Avadhi darsana refers to the peculiar kind of clairvoyant capacity
which is able to perceive things and events in distant places and also in
distant times, either past or future. Objects and events not evident to the
normal sense perception are obvious to avadhi
darsana. But the object of avadhi perception appear as if they are perceived normally close at
It is said that avadhi darsana is
concerned with only rupa dravyas or perceptual objects. The other
darsana known as kevala darsana is perception par excellence. It is associated
with perfect consciousness. This faculty is acquired after complete emancipation from
karmic bondage. To this perception
the whole reality is obvious. In short it refers to the all-perceiving faculty of paramatma. What
we are justified in speaking of in connection with Jaina psychology are the normal
sense perception, chaksu darsana and achaksu
darsana, the supernormal clairvoyant perception or avadhi darsana.
Jaina account of cognition is also interesting. Jnana or understanding
is said to be different kinds according to means employed in cognition.
(1) Mati jnana is knowledge obtained
through the normal means of sense perception and memory based upon the same. This is the common
inheritance of all persons.
(2) Sruta jnana is knowledge obtained
through testimony of books. This corresponds to knowledge by description. It is acquired by
study. Therefore it is possessed by only
the learned men. Besides these two means of knowledge
there are three other supernormal means of understanding.
These are avadhi jnana, mana paryaya jnana and kevala jnana. Avadhi jnana is
understanding of the nature of the objects obvious to avadhi darsana.
Mana paryaya jnana refers to a peculiar kind
of telepathic knowledge acquired by
persons of certain stage of spiritual development. It is a means by
which knowledge of alien minds is obtained.
The last one of course refers to the perfect understanding or the omniscience
of the Perfect Being or Purushottama. Treating this as the metaphysical ideal, we have to recognize the other four
kinds of cognition as
relevant to our psychological interest.
plays a very important part in Jaina metaphysics. The whole religious
discipline is directly secured by a stoic
freedom from the affective influence of environmental objects. Experience
of pleasure, pain is assumed to be the specific characteristic of organized
beings or samsari jivas. In one of
the descriptions given of jiva, it is mentioned that jiva has the tendency to continue beneficial
activity from which pleasure result and to discontinue the harmful
activity from which pain results. This is so very
analogous to biological description of the instinct of self-preservation.
with this quality naturally desires pleasant things and avoids unpleasant things.
Since the psychological analysis
is subordinate to the metaphysical system, several
facts of psychological interest are thrown into
the background of the philosophical scheme. Nevertheless there is no
mistake about the striking psychological
analysis exhibited by Jaina thinkers. Experience of pleasure and pain, is
generally referred to as karmaphala chetana or consciousness
of the fruits of
action. Pleasure and pain are always viewed in relation to action. Bhava or
affective consciousness is o three kinds,
-subha bhava, asubha bhava and suddha bhava feeling of pleasant
nature, feeling of an unpleasant nature, and feeling or pure
nature. The last one refers to the enjoyment of Self by Self. As such it
may be taken to mean the spiritual experience of the pure Self. The other two kinds of the
feeling are relevant to the point. These are corresponding
to the normal feelings generally recognized
by students of psychology. These feelings are
generally related to certain objects
in the environment to
which there may be attraction or aversion in the jiva. Thus on the
one hand feelings manifest as the result of karma or
action, and on the other hand they are determined by objects in the environment.
A very interesting classification of
emotions is given in connection with the conditions of karmic bondage.
These emotions are generally divided into two main classes
sakashaya and akashaya, those that have
the tendency to colour or stain the purity of the soul
and those that have not that tendency. The sakashaya ones are
krodha or anger, mana or pride, maya or deceitfulness or dissembling
and lobha or greed. The akashaya emotions are
Hasya - laughter.
Rati - feeling of attraction.
Arati - feeling of repulsion.
Soka - sorrow.
Bhaya - fear.
Jugupsa - feeling of disgust which
may manifest in hiding ones own weaknesses.
Striveda - peculiar sex feeling of women.
Pumsaveda - peculiar sex feeling of men.
Napumsaka Veda - The corrupt sex feeling of eunuchs.
Again certain instinctive tendencies are also referred
to as samjnas. These are ahara, bhaya, maithuna and
parigraha- hunger, fear, sexual appetite and acquisitive instincts. There
are corresponding feelings to these instinctive appetites which may colour the consciousness of a jiva.
The feeling aspect of sensations is implied in the very
classification of the sense elements. The feeling aspect is predominant
in the case of smell and taste whereas it is indirectly associated with auditory and
visual sensations. The rest of the reference
to feeling of pleasure and pain are purely metaphysical and therefore they are
more of religious interest than
of scientific interest.
Atma is not only jnani and bhokta, the knower and the
enjoyer but is also a karta or the agent. This may
be considered as the central idea of Jaina system. Soul by its own activity is able to make or mar its
own destiny. The theory of karma is intimately associated with the causal agency of
atma. As a result of this metaphysical assumption, we
have several facts of
psychological importance mentioned in the system. Even in the lowest organism there is the tendency to
continue pleasurable activity and to discontinue painful activity. This primitive
tendency of life or jiva is just the co native activity which develops into
conscious choice of an end or purpose which is characteristic of volitional
activity. In human beings this co native tendency is naturally associated with raga and dvesha,
desire and aversion.
Co native activity in general is
denoted by the term karmachetana. This karmachetana or
activity is to be associated with the zoological kingdom trasa jiva. The plant
the world of ekendriya sthavara jivas is devoid of this karma chetana. They have karma phala chetana alone whereas the other jivas have both and also jnana chetana to
boot. The importance of volitional activity is clearly testified by the part it
plays in the Jaina system of ethics. The psychology of
will is also connected with another doctrine of
psychological importance. Mohaniya karma which is considered to
be the root of all evil has
two aspects, cognitive and co native. What is
known as darsana mohaniya interferes with the faculty of perception and
belief. Charitra mohaniya is a sort of corruption of the will; it misleads the will and thus leads the jiva
towards evil. We shall consider the relation between
karma and atma when we go to consider the ethical aspect of Jaina system. In the meanwhile
let us see what Jaina logic is.