(Last Updated on : 15/03/2014)
Jain Philosophy states that all the Jivas
or living beings, whether they live in hells, in the world of animals and human beings or in heavens, are subject to suffering and under the pressure of desires, which can never be quenched and they fall a victim to pain and death. Jain teachers proclaim these truths again and again in their numerous writings and preaching, in stories and epigrams, and they become never tired of inculcating them most emphatically and repeatedly in the minds of the believers.
It has been said that Jivas suffer horrible torments. The sufferings of the animals are negligible in comparison with those of the dwellers of hells, but they are also horrible in their nature. Elementary beings with one sense are without any protection against any attack. Earthly beings are trampled by horses and elephants, torn to pieces by ploughs and drowned by floods; beings in water are scorched by the sun, stiffened by cold and devoured by the thirsty; the fiery beings are sucked up by water. The windy beings are a burden to one another when they belong to storms having different directions; breath coming out from the mouth of other harms them and the movement of things in space and the swinging of fans end their life.
The souls of plants are scorched by the sun, drowned by water injured by wind and trampled, uprooted and consumed by beings of different types. Animals with 2, 3, 4, 5 organs of sense are a victim of all sorts of suffering, hardship; worms are carelessly pounded and crushed; bugs , and lice are crushed; bees are killed by those lusting for honey; fish are caught and roasted on pikes; birds are killed by other birds. Among animals with five senses, the stronger kill the weaker; others are forced by human beings to do heavy work and are ill-treated with the help of whip and goads.
Man is luckier than animal because it is possible for him to give a goal to a new Karma and obtain redemption. Suffering prevails also even among gods. Of course, heavenly beings are free from the complaints of the earthly being and their days in glory and joy, but they are also never completely happy.
Thus all life is suffering, and each one of the endless souls which move from one existence to the other since the time without any beginning, is certain that it finds everywhere much suffering and little joy. But although the suffering in Samsara is so big like the Meru
mountain, and the joy so small like a grain of mustard, and although all happiness rocks like a wave and so quickly disappears like a lightning, each being hangs to life with all the threads of its heart and forgets over the little joy that is granted to it the whole horrible evil till which brings to it in eternal change birth, old age disease and death.
For there are Jivas which are not capable of salvation (Abhavya) in all the classes of beings; they never come out of their heterodoxy and they never try at all to attain salvation. Only the beings which are predestined by fate to have- the capability of redemption (Bhavyatva) recognize the truth of the religion of the Jainas, get tired of erring-around again and again in new forms of existence, practise self-discipline, asceticism and finally attain salvation.