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September 20 , 2009

Six Universal Substances


Six Universal Substances (Dravyas)
by Pravin K. Shah

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Jain Philosophy does not give credence to the theory that the God is a creator, survivor, or destroyer of the universe. On the contrary, it asserts that the universe has always existed and will always exist in exact adherence to the laws of the cosmos. There is nothing but infinity both in the past and in the future.

The world of reality or universe consists of two classes of objects:

Living beings (conscious, chetan, jiva) and Non-living objects (unconscious, achetan, ajiva)

Non-living objects are further classified into five categoriesmatter (Pudgal)

medium of motion   (Dharmastikay)
medium of rest     (Adharmastikay)
time (Kaal or Samay)

The five nonliving entities together with the living beings, totaling six are aspects of reality in Jainism. They are also known as six universal entities, substances or dravyas.

These six entities of the universe however do undergo countless changes, but nothing is lost or destroyed. Everything is recycled in another form.

The six universal substances:
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

As explained above Jainism believes that the universe is made from the combination of the six universal substances. All of the six substances are indestructible, imperishable, immortal, eternal and continuously go through countless changes.

Soul/Consciousness  - Jiva     (Living being)
Matter  - Pudgala  (Nonliving being)
Medium of motion    - Dharma   (Nonliving being)
Medium of rest      - Adharma  (Nonliving being)
Space   - Akasa    (Nonliving being)
Time    - Kaal     (Nonliving being)

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