Concept of Time Cycle in Jainism
Concept of Time Cycle in Jainism is one of the most distinctive elements of Jain cosmological thought.
Concept of Time Cycle in Jainism is popularly known as "Kala Chakra". According to Jain Scriptures, time can be imagined as a wheel moving in a clockwise direction. Jains believe that time is infinite, without any beginning or end. The Jain concept of time is one of the most distinctive elements of Jain cosmological thought. It also demonstrates the repetitive and mathematical nature of Jain cosmology.
Division of Time Cycle in Jainism
Time is divided into cycles each of 2 equal parts -
Avasarpini Kala, the descending cycle of time
Utsarpini Kala, the ascending cycle of time
Each of the 2 half cycles, Avasarpini and Utsarpini are further divided into 6 Aras.
The 6 Aras of Avasarpini Kala (Descending Cycle of time) are:
Susama Susama - An era of Absolute Happiness
Susama - An era of Some Happiness
Susama Dusama - An era of Tremendous Joy mingled with Slight Sorrow
Dusama Susama - An era of Extreme Sorrow and Very Little Happiness
Dusama - An era of Sorrow
Dusama Dusama - An era of Absolute (complete) Sorrow
The 6 Aras of Utsarpini Kala (Ascending Cycle of time) are:
1. Dusama Dusama - An era of Absolute (complete) Sorrow
2. Dusama - An era of Sorrow
3. Dusama Susama - An era of Extreme Sorrow and Very Little Happiness
4. Susama Dusama - An era of Tremendous Joy mingled with Slight Sorrow
5. Susama - An era of Some Happiness
6. Susama Susama - An era of Absolute Happiness
During the Utsarpini Kala, progress, development, happiness, strength, age, body, religious trends, etc., go from the worst conditions to the best. Conversely, during the Avasarpini Kala, progress, development, happiness, strength, age, body, religious trends, etc. go from the best conditions to the worst. When the Avasarpini phase ends the Utsarpini phase begins. This Kala Chakra repeats again and continues forever.
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Concept of Time Cycle in Jainism