Nature of self as reflected in the Jaina philosophy: A critical exposition
Author(s): Dr. Purboshri Borpujari
Abstract: The philosophical schools of India, may be grouped as Brähmaëic and non- Brähmaëic. Buddhist literature appears to speak of all the non-Brähmaëic systems as Çramaëas. Of these Çramaëa sects, Buddhism and Jainism occupy the foremost rank. Among those who believe that there are infinite numbers of independent souls which are all pure and perfect in their original nature, the Jaina tradition is first and foremost. Indian philosophy has discussed about the self or soul in an ordered form since the Upaniñadic period. The three common terms jéva, ätman and brahman are used to denote the idea of the self. According to the Jainas, the soul, by itself, is imperceptible, but its presence can be found out by the presence of its characteristic qualities in a material body. Its chief characteristic is consciousness, which is accompanied by sense activity, respiration, and a certain period of existence in a particular body. Thus, this paper is a critical explanation on the nature of self from the viewpoint of Jainism.