Soul Substance (jīva dravya) – As Expounded In Dravyasamgraha

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Soul substance (jīva dravya) is ubiquitous but unseen. Driving force within each one of us, it has been, since time immemorial, a subject matter of research by philosophers, religious leaders and laity. Still, ambiguity and misconceptions prevail as regard its real nature. Some negate the existence of soul and attribute consciousness to the union of four basic substances – earth (prthvī), water (jala), fire (agni), and air (vāyu); death leads to its annihilation. Some believe it to be momentary, devoid of self-existence. Still others consider it a product of illusion (māyā) or ignorance (avidyā) as all objects are manifestations of Brahma; only the one eternally undivided Brahma exists. All such conceptions are based on absolutism like: existence (bhāvaikānta) and non-existence (abhāvaikānta), non-dualism (advaita-ekānta) and separateness (prthaktva-ekānta), and permanence (nityatva-ekānta) and momentariness (ksanika-ekānta). Jaina epistemology goes beyond the superficial and examines objects of knowledge from all possible points of view. It asserts that the entity (dharmī) and its attributes (dharma) are neither absolutely dependent (āpeksika) nor absolutely independent (anāpeksika). Only an entity which has general (sāmānya – concerning the substance, dravya) and particular (viśesa – concerning the mode, paryāya) attributes can be the subject of knowledge. Substance without its modification and modification without its substance cannot be the subject of valid knowledge; only their combination can be the subject of knowledge.
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Archival date: 2017-05-21
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