Jain Cosmology

Briefly About Jain Cosmology

Jain cosmology is the description of the shape and functioning of the Universe (loka) and its constituents (such as living beings, matter, space, time etc.) according to Jainism.

The universe for Jains is an elaborate system. Jain cosmology is very distinctive, although it shares some features with other Indian religious traditions. It is centred on the everlasting and non-originating nature of the universe, and thus excludes the notion of a creator-god.

Jain cosmology has several distinguishing features that mark it out from other Indian notions of the universe, time and the human place within it. The first is the timeless nature of the universe. Second, there are two kinds of space within the Jain universe – world space and non-world space. Next, repetition and symmetry are crucial elements to the patterns of the universe.

Jain cosmology considers the universe as an uncreated entity that has existed since infinity with neither beginning nor end. Jain texts describe the shape of the universe as similar to a man standing with legs apart and arm resting on his waist.

This Universe, according to Jainism, is broad at the top, narrow at the middle and once again becomes broad at the bottom.

According to Jains, the Universe is made up of six simple and eternal substances called dravya which are broadly categorised under Jiva (Living Substances) and Ajiva (Non Living Substances).

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