(Last Updated on : 06/12/2011)
The whole world is filled up by living beings; not even a space equal to a breadth of a hair is free. But the different types and classes of the Jivas are not evenly distributed over the universe. They are distributed in a quick definite manner.
Everywhere there are Nigodas. They are quite tiny, fine beings, not perceivable by our senses, having one sense. They do not also possess a body which can be voluntarily moved (like plants and elementary being). The Nigodas are divided into 2 classes, in
1. Nityanigodas, i. e. those which never leave this lowest state of the life and
2. Itara-nigodas, i.e those which had reached a higher stage of existence, but demoted again into this stage on account of their Karma.
Beings with their own, voluntary movement are found only in a definite part of the universe, namely in the so-called "region of the mobile".
The Jivas are distributed within the Transcendental, corresponding to their stages of existence, as under:
Animals (plants and elementary beings are also included in them) are found everywhere.
Human beings live only in the middle world, and besides only on 2'/2 of its continents.
Beings in hells are present only in the hells of the under world.
God lives in the heaven, in the middle world and in the three upper worlds of the nether world.
The total living beings of the world are divided into 14 classes (jiva-sthana). The number of the organs of senses and other characteristics serve in this as a principle of classification. The classes are: 1. fine with one sense, 2. crude with one sense, 3. those having two senses, 4. those having three senses, 5. those having four senses, 6. those who are insensible and do not have five senses, 7. sensible animals with five senses, as also human beings, beings from the hell and gods having five senses.
Jaina-religion also teaches that there are 84 lakhs of life-forms in which a soul can be incarnated. There are each 7,00,000 Nitya- and Itara-Nigodas, beings on earth, in water, fire and air, each 10,00,000 of plants, each 2,00,000 of beings with two, three and four senses, each 4,00,000 of animals with five senses, beings in the hell, gods and 1,400,000 of human beings.
Jaina philosophers indicate exactly what characteristics each class of the beings have, what types of knowledge, activity, colour of the soul, of the faith and conduct they show, which stage of virtue they reach and which karma can be present in them when they bind it, produce it or could have it potentially.
Animals with one, two, three or four senses are reborn only as animals and human beings; fire-and wind beings only as animals. Animals with five senses can obtain a new life in all the stages of existence. Gods become human beings developed crude beings from the earth and water or animals having five senses. Human beings get any from of. Existence; they are the only ones among the beings who can attain salvation.