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03 - Jaina Psychology

from PART I - SYSTEMS AND SCHOOLS

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 October 2011

Jagdish Prasad Jain
Affiliation:
Jawaharlal Nehru University
K. Ramakrishna Rao
Affiliation:
Chairman, Indian Council for Philosophical Research (ICPR)
Anand Paranjpe
Affiliation:
Chairman, Indian Council for Philosophical Research (ICPR)
Ajit K. Dalal
Affiliation:
Chairman, Indian Council for Philosophical Research (ICPR)
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Summary

The central concept of Jaina psychology is jīva (self), a living organism, a biological being, a conjoint psycho-somatic, psycho-physical, conscious entity. Every organism is an organic unity of two distinct entities jīva and pudgal (matter), soul and body. The two are distinct entities because the nature of consciousness or soul is radically different from matter and the two entities have opposite qualities. Jīva or soul is sentient, non-corporeal, conscious entity, possessing subjective attributes of cognition, feeling and volition, while matter or body is non-sentient, corporeal, inanimate entity possessing characteristic sense qualities of touch, taste, smell and colour.

Although quite a number of scientists in the West tend to make a distinction between self and non-self based on body/non-body distinction, their framework and conception differ in important respects from Jaina thought. Thus, Gerald Edelman's “biological individuality” and Antonio Damasio's “conscious self” are not quite the same as Jaina conscious entity. Damasio's so-called “conscious self” or “core consciousness” is merely “the critical biological function” or “organism's private mind” which together with its external behaviour is said to be “closely correlated with the functions….of the brain” (Damasio, 1999, pp. 12–13,15,347). According to Jainism, the nature of Jīva is chetanā (sentiency or consciousness). Life and consciousness are co-extensive. Wherever there is life, there is consciousness. Even in the lowest class of organisms, we have to posit existence of a certain degree of consciousness, howsoever latent or implicit it might be. The inner, subjective, qualitative, spiritual reality of jīva is consciousness, also called soul, while the physical, objective, external manifestations of jīva are known as dravya praṇas (the physical insignia of life).

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Publisher: Foundation Books
Print publication year: 2008

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  • Jaina Psychology
  • Edited by K. Ramakrishna Rao, Chairman, Indian Council for Philosophical Research (ICPR), Anand Paranjpe, Chairman, Indian Council for Philosophical Research (ICPR), Ajit K. Dalal, Chairman, Indian Council for Philosophical Research (ICPR)
  • Book: Handbook of Indian Psychology
  • Online publication: 26 October 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/UPO9788175968448.004
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  • Jaina Psychology
  • Edited by K. Ramakrishna Rao, Chairman, Indian Council for Philosophical Research (ICPR), Anand Paranjpe, Chairman, Indian Council for Philosophical Research (ICPR), Ajit K. Dalal, Chairman, Indian Council for Philosophical Research (ICPR)
  • Book: Handbook of Indian Psychology
  • Online publication: 26 October 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/UPO9788175968448.004
Available formats
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To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Jaina Psychology
  • Edited by K. Ramakrishna Rao, Chairman, Indian Council for Philosophical Research (ICPR), Anand Paranjpe, Chairman, Indian Council for Philosophical Research (ICPR), Ajit K. Dalal, Chairman, Indian Council for Philosophical Research (ICPR)
  • Book: Handbook of Indian Psychology
  • Online publication: 26 October 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/UPO9788175968448.004
Available formats
×