(2) Dravya (Substance)

That thing which possesses the characters (positive and negative) is Dravya. There are two kinds of characters found in every substance : essential and accidental. Essential ones or Gunas are attribues/qualities which have permanent essence while accidental substances are Modes which are Prayaya which are changing.
A substance or Dravya can thus be defined as something which possesses both attributes and modes or Gunas and Prayayas.
The Jainas view both change and permanence as Real. Every substance has combination of essential qualities called attributes and accidental qualities called Modes. In so far as substance has attributes, it is permanent and from its modes perspective it undergoes origin and decay.
Thus, to emphasise only on one aspect (ekanta) to the exclusion of other aspects would lead to commitment of Fallacy of Ekantavada. Both Buddhism which talks about Ksankivada and Vedatins which talk about Nityavad (change being absolutely unchanging) fall to this fallacy of Ekantavada.
Thus, both Vedantins and Buddhists commit the fallacy of Ekantavad (Leading to exclusive predication). As Jainism takes into account all partial views, their philosophical doctrine is Anekantavad. Change and Permanence both are real. The contradiction vanishes when we remember that any predication is relative and conditional.
Classification of Substance 
Substance are broadly classified into extended and non-extended substance. There is only one substance namely time which is devoid of extension. All other substances posses extension. They are called by the name Astikaya (which possess extension) and the one (Time) which doesn’t possess extension is Anastikaya.
Substances possessing extension (Astikaya) are subdivided into two kinds namely, the living (Jiva) and the non-living (Ajiva).
Souls/Jiva can again be classified into those that are emancipated and those that are in bondage. The souls in bondage are again of two kinds : those that are capable of movement and those that are immobile.
  • Examples of immobile living substances/astikaya jivas : earth, water, fire, air and plants. (They have only sense of touch)


  • The mobile living substances/astikaya jivas have different degress of perfection and variously possess two, three, four or five senses. Example : beasts, birds and men.
Non-living substance or Astikaya Ajiva possess extension which are Pudgala, Akasha, Dharma, Adharma.
  • Dharma and Adharma are the forces that cause movement and rest respectively.
  • Space or Akasha : The function of this Space is to accomodate all the Extended (astikaya) substances. It consists of Loka and Aloka. (Essentially different from that used in other schools of Philosophy)
  • Matter or Pudgal : It is an Astikaya Ajiva (has extension but is non living). Something which is liable of integration or disintegration (Just like the matter of Charavaka). While Jainas use it to define matter, Buddhists use it in the sense of a soul. Pudagala can further be subdivided into anu(atoms) which combine together to form compounds. Pudgala possess the four qualities of smell, taste, touch and color. Sound is not an original quality but a modification of air itself. (Along with light, heat, shape etc which are produced by accidental modifications/characteristics/prayayas of matter.) It is matter in subtle form, that constitutes Karma, infiltrates the soul, and binds it into Samsara.
Time : It is the only Anastikaya or Non extended substance. It doesn’t extend in space and is indivisible. It is not perceived, but inferred. They can be divided into real and empirical time.

Doctrine of Jiva
Jiva is conscious and Astikaya Dravya.
  • It is a conscious Pudgala.
  • Consciousness is the very essence of Jiva.
  • Like Monads of Leibnitz, Purush of Sankhya, Jivas of Jainism are qualitatively alike but quantitatively differ, i.e all are conscious but the degree of consciousness varies.
  • Their inherent nature is anantachatustaya, i.e Jiva has infinite knowledge, faith, bliss and power (F, K, B, P). It is Astikaya because it extends like Light but not like Matter (Astikaya Ajiva).
  • It is coextensive with body. (For Charavaka, so called “Soul” is nothing but consciousness in body)
Jainas give direct and indirect proofs for the existence of JIVA.
Proofs for existence of soul/Jiva :
  • Direct Proof : Through observation of its attributes/gunas (Consciousness) and modes/prayaya (happiness, sorrow, pain, pleasure etc.)
  • Indirect Proof : We can move own body at will, this proves there is a mover or soul, as matter is immobile by nature. Soul is fundamental truth that needs no proof.
Comparison :
  • N.V : Consciousness is accidental quality of soul (while for Jainas, consciousness is essential quality)
  • Shankara : Soul is Vibhu (all pervasive)
Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of Jivas :
a) Those who are liberated or emancipated (Mukta)
b) Those who are bound (Baddha).
The souls in bondage are two, i.e those which are capable of moving or those which are immobile.
  • Examples of immobile living substances/astikaya jivas : earth, water, fire, air and plants. (They have only sense of touch)
  • The mobile living substances/astikaya jivas have different degress of perfection and variously possess two, three, four or five senses. Example : beasts, birds and men.
BONDAGE : In Jainas philosophy, bondage means union of Karma Pugala with Jiva. Due to beginningless ignorance, Jiva loses faith in Teerthankaras and becomes vulnerable to passion known as Kasaya which are sticky substance being four in number : ANGER, GREED, PRIDE & DELUSION.
These Kasaya attract the flow of Karmic Pudagala towards Jiva, this flow is Asrava.
  • Asrava is of 42 kinds.
  • Asrava maybe Bhavasrava i.e it refers to changes in Bhava before the entrance of Karma Pudgala. It is just like body massaged with oil.
  • Dravyaashrava i.e changes after the entrance of Karma Pudgala, i.e sticking of karma pudgala with Jiva.
Liberation is separation of Karmic Pudgala with Jiva.
By possessing and practicing Tri-ratna i.e RIGHT FAITH, RIGHT KNOWLEDGE AND RIGHT CONDUCT, the flow of KARMA pudgala is stopped and this is SAMVARA.
Then already existing Karmic Pudgala are eliminated or exhausted. This is NIRJARA.
When the last of last particle is exhausted, Jiva regains its true nature of Anantachatustaya i.e JIVA has infinite Knowledge, Faith, Bliss and Power . It attains MOKSHA or KEVALAYA.
Liberated soul transcends this SANSAR and goes straight into SIDHHA SHILA and dwells there in eternal knowledge and bliss.
TRI RATNAS or three JEWELS together form the path of liberation.

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