(Last Updated on : 29/07/2015)
Jainism is one such religion in India which attempts to bring about a thorough explanation of the cosmology. The explanation of cosmology integrates the position of the human beings within the continuum of the universe. Jain Cosmology describes a storied universe in the shape of a male figure.
It has been said that the middle world or the manusya loka of the universe consists of three continents and two oceans. Animals including human beings are found in this part of the universe. Below the earth is placed the seven hells and above earth it is said lies the eight heavenly realms. It is believed that the pinnacle of the cosmology is the state of the liberation or the state of Siddhas. The position of the pinnacle is represented on the top of the head of the cosmic person. Jainism narrates that the state of the siddha lokas can only be achieved by the release of the Karmic bondage and such a state can be achieved only by living a spiritual life.
Every living being according to Jainism has a jiva within it. When a living being dies the jiva takes a new form and is reborn depending on the karma generated and acquired in the previous birth.
Jain Cosmology also describes the physical as well as the metaphysical functioning of the universe. The concept of cosmology also says that the universe is an uncreated entity without any beginning or end existing since infinity.
Some of the important aspects of Jain Philosophy are dravyas in Jain Philosophy
, Nature of God, Jain Concept of the Universe, the Nigodas, the Middle World, the Nether World, and Pushpottara
Dravyas in Jain Philosophy
Jainism says that the Universe is composed of six substances or dravyas. The six important substances of the universe are Jiva, Ajiva, Dharma-Tattwa, Adharma Tattva, Akasa and Space.
Madhyaloka, the Middle World
Madhyaloka or the Middle World is the centre of the universe. The middle world is inhabited by luminous gods, human beings, animals, plants and intermediary gods. The Middle world also consists of many continents and universe.
Nature of God in Jainism
Jainism does not believe that God is the creator and the destroyer of the Universe. On the other hand they believe that the state when the soul or the Jiva is in the emancipated stage that is the state of being God. Rather that is the state of ultimate bliss.
Jain Concept of Universe
According to Jain Philosophy the universe has been existing since eternity. It can neither be created nor destroyed. It may change form but cannot undergo complete transformation. It has also been said that the universe is made up of paramanu or atoms.
Nigodas, Inhabitants of the Jain Universe
Jainism states that the entire universe is filled up with living beings. Not a single space in the universe is left empty. They have also said that the different types and classes of the nigodas are not evenly distributed in the universe.
Nether World in Jain Philosophy
The nether world lies thousand yojnas below the middle world. There are seven subterranean regions in the nether world. Of these seven regions only the upper ones serve as an abode of the divine souls and the rest are shelters where the souls undergo tremendous torture for their bad deeds.
Pushpottara is one of classes of heaven according to the philosophy of the Jains.