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A Treatise On Jainism
                                                            By - Shri Jayatilal S. Sanghvi

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THE SIX DRAVYAS (SUBSTANCES) 

We now look at the Six Dravyas, or fundamental substances, their attributes and modifications.

The universe consists mainly of two substances, living (jiva) and nonliving (ajiva). 

The living alone has consciousness, and the power to attend and to know. 

The nonliving has neither consciousness, attention, nor knowledge. This nonliving is of five kinds: 

(1) Matter (Pudgala) i.e. table, chair, brick, stone, etc. Matter is of many kinds, but the most mighty kind is karmic matter, which the mundane soul wears and which is the self wound matter to keep the soul moving in "Samsara." (2) Principle of Motion (Dharma) is an essential auxiliary of the motion of souls and matter. (3) Principle of Rest (Adharma) is a similar auxiliary of the cessation of the movements of souls and matter. (4) Time (Kala) in virtue of which things become old, new, or continue in their existence. (5) Space (Akasha) which gives their place or location to all substances. 

Space consists of the universe (Loka) and the non-universe (Aloka). Space and time are both extensive and infinite. These six, Jiva, Pudgala, Dharma, Adharma, Kala, and Akasha, are called the six substances or Dravyas. Dravya literally means flowing, or continuing. It is called so because it flows or continues the same through all its modifications. It is called "sat" or existence also. Existence or substance is a collective name for a trinity unity of birth (utpada), decay (vyaya), and continuance (dhrauvya). Further, a substance is a group of attributes (guna) and modifications (paryaya).

Some attributes are general or common for all six substances, others are special. Common attributes are necessary for the existence of the group as a group or substance. These are infinite but six are principal:

1) Astitva - Indestructibility; permanence; the capacity by which a substance cannot be destroyed. (2) Vastutva - Functionality; capacity by which a substance has function. (3) Dravyatva - Changeability; capacity by which it is always changing in modifications. (4) Prameyatva - Knowability; capacity by which it is known by someone, or of being the subject matter of knowledge. (5) Agurulaghutva - Individuality; capacity by which one attribute or substance does not become another and the substance does not lose the attributes whose grouping forms the substance itself. (6) Pradeshatva - Spatiality; capacity of having some kind of location in space.

Chetanatva, consciousness, amurtavta, and immateriality - are common attributes of the class of substance, or group of attributes, called soul.

Achetanatva, unconsciousness, murtatva, and materiality - are common to motion, rest, time and space.

Achetanatva, unconsciousness, amurtatva, and immaterially - are common to matter.

Vishesha Gunas are special attributes of a particular substance. These distinguish one group from the others, and are:

1. Jiva - Soul (1) Knowledge. In its full form it arises only in the absence of knowledge obscuring karma. (2) Conation. In its full form it arises only in the absence of conation obscuring karma. (3) Bliss. In its full form it arises only in the absence of all the four destructive karmas, etc. (4) Power. In its full form it arises only in the absence of obstructive karmas, etc. (5) Right Belief. In its full form it arises only in the absence of deluding karma. (6) Right Conduct. In its full form it arises only in the absence of deluding karma. (7) Avyavadha. Undisturbable, due to the absence of Vedaniya or feeling karma, neither pleasure nor pain. (8) Avagaha. Penetrability, due to the absence of age karma. (9) Agurulaghutva. Due to the absence of family determining karma. (10) Sukshmatva. Fineness due to the absence of body making karma.

The first six are Anujivi attributes, which coexist in and constitute the substance. They arise fully only on the destruction (kshya) of the four destructive (ghatiya) karmas, i.e. Conation and knowledge-obscuring, deluding and obstructive karmas.

The last four are pratijivi attributes, which merely indicate the absence of their opposites. They arise fully on the destruction (kshya) of the four nondestructive (aghatiya) karmas, i.e. feeling, age, family determining, and body making karmas,

II. Pudgala matter has special attributes: (1) touch (2) taste (3) smell (4) color III. Dharma has for its special attribute the quality of being the medium of motion. IV. Adharma is the medium of rest. V. Akasha or space's special attribute is to give place to all substances. VI. Kala or time's special attribute is to bring about modifications (paryaya).

Modifications occur only with reference to attributes. This alone is what is meant by birth and decay. Modifications or conditions change, i.e. a new condition is born, i.e, comes into existence (utpada) and the old one decays, i.e. goes out of existence (vyaya).

The essential attributes of the substance always persist through all these modifications. It must be clearly understood and constantly remembered that substance is one; the birth and decay in its modifications, and the continuance of the substance (dhrauvya) itself are only three aspects of viewing one and the same thing.

Also substance (dravya), attribute (guna), and modification (paryaya) are three mutually interpervasive aspects of the trinity. Attribute is nothing different from substance and modification. So for all the three. When we talk or think of one, we necessarily talk or think of the remaining two. The soul with omniscience sees the whole trinity in its entirety at one and the same time.

In the universe, the jiva dravya or soul, is found mixed with nonliving matter. Death is a most universal and eternal phenomenon. The body is living; when death intervenes, the body becomes lifeless, or dies. Life has left the body. This, life is the soul; the body represents the grossest and most visible form of matter, with which the life was clothed, and which was "living" only so long as life or soul was united with it. The soul is a self existing entity and its existence is well proved. Since it is formless, it is not perceptible to our eyes. We do not see wind, but its effect is felt. Because of the effect the cause exists. The effect (actions) of atma i.e. soul is perceptible in a living man because a living man moves, walks, plays, does work, and even thinks in various ways. All this is not perceptible in a dead man.

A moment before death movements are perceptible in a living man but the moment after death nothing is perceived in the dead body. Death does not mean annihilation of anything, soul or matter. It is only a separation of the outer body from the soul, which is still combined with two material but fine bodies, i.e. electric and karmic. It is only when the soul obtains liberation, that it becomes permanently pure and completely rid of all combination with matter. By careful comparison we can find a trace to the characteristic features of life and its differences from lifelessness.

The first thing we notice in one, who was living but is dead now, is that his senses do not act. He cannot touch, taste, smell, see, or hear. He has no vitality of the senses. Also he is powerless. He cannot act, speak, or think. He has no force, no vitality of body, speech, or mind. Many of these things may be absent also in a living man who is asleep, in a trance, or otherwise unconscious. Therefore, all over the world we examine the man's respiration. If it is there, we say, he still lives. If not, we say, "He has breathed his last." This respiration is a sure sign of life.

To sum up the distinction between the living and nonliving substances we may say that a nonliving substance does not have

(1) the vitality of the five senses, (2) the power of body, speech, and mind, (3) respiration, and (4) age.

These four may be called the four (or with their sub-divisions ten) vitalities of living beings. It is noticeable that all these four or ten are also a manifestation of one underlying real fact, that of consciousness.

In a dead body the sensory organs are there and the eye may be impressed with color and form as before, but there is no consciousness behind it which in life received, recorded, and responded to the ocular stimulus. The four or ten vitalities are sure signs to distinguish the living from the nonliving, but in reality it is consciousness which distinguishes life from lifelessness. All this goes to prove that body and soul are two different things. Body is the abode of the soul.

When the duration of time of the existence of soul in the body comes to an end, the body is left and the soul according to the Ayu Karma (its deeds in this birth by which he earns the life span of the next birth) goes away to another place, takes a new birth, and there lives in a new body. When the duration in that birth comes to an end, it goes away to a third birth. There he puts on a third body. In this way from the eternal past, the line of births and deaths continues according to karma (deeds of each soul).

The matter (pudgala) referred to above is of six kinds: (1) Gross-gross matter (solid) e.g. a mountain, pillar of iron etc. (2) Gross (liquid), e.g. water, oil etc. (3) Gross-fine, e,g. shade, sunshine. (4) Fine-gross, e.g. fragrance, sound, sweetness etc. (5) Fine, matter capable of becoming karmic matter. It cannot be perceived by the senses. (6) Fine-fine, matter which has for its atoms the combinations of two or more ultimate atoms (parmanu). According to some saints it is the ultimate atom itself.

The inflow of the above said karmic matter towards the soul is caused by the vibratory activity of mind, speech, and body. Colored by passions (kashaya) of anger, pride, deceit, and greed mainly. The inflow leads to bondage of soul by karmic matter. The vibrations determine the kind (prakriti) and the quantity (pradesha) of the karmic matter to be drawn towards and bound to the soul. The passions determine the duration (sthiti) of the bondage, and the mild or intense fruition (anubhaga) of the karma at its maturity.

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