What is Ajiva Tattva?

According to the Jainas, the second element is Ajiva. Ajiva is of five kinds viz., Merit (Dharma), Demerit (Adharma), Ether (Akasa), Matter (Pudgala) and time (Kala). Out of these five ajivas, the first four have many bodies. Therefore, they are called embodied (astikaya). Kala has only one Pradesh and is therefore not astikaya. All the Ajiva elements are dravya.

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They never perish. All these elements, save pudgala, have no form, taste, touch or smell. Pudgala, of course, has all these four attributes. Each of the first three ajivas i.e., dharma, adharma and akash is only one, while pudgala and Jiva are many. Unlike the first three ajivas, the last two ajivas have mention also. The attributes of pudgala are also found in anu and samghata. These Ajiva tattvas now be considered one by one.



Dharmastikaya is neither active nor can it produce action in others. But it helps the active pudgals and Jivas in their actions. It pervades the lokanasa. It is bereft of form, taste, touch, smell and sound. Dharma and Adharma are the causes of motion and status respectively.


It helps Jiva and pudgala, when they are at rest. Though the an tithesis of dharma, it lacks form, taste etc. Dharma and Adharma coexist in Lokanasa. Both are eternal, shapeless and motionless.



Akasa is that which accommodates Jiva, Ajiva, Adharma, Kala and pudgala. This is also termed as Lokakasa. A lokakasa is where these dravyas find no accommodation. The former has numberless pradesas, while the letter has limitless pradesas. Akasa is not visible. it is the object of inference. but for Akasa, the astikaya dravyas can have no expansion. Alokakasa is beyond lokakasa. Lokakasa is the dwelling place of Jiva and other dravyas.


That which can accommodate Jiva, or that which attains Parinama through combination or disintegration is known as pudgala. According to Amrit Chandra Suri, Pudgala has many Parinamas like sound, bodega, subtle, gross, shape, distinction, darkness, shadow, light and heat etc. By the contact of pudgals, Jivas acquire motion. Pudgala has touch, color, taste, and smell, while shapeless dravyas lack these qualities.



According to Umaswami, the change, result, motion, newness and oldness of dravyas are possible due to Kala only. Kala is the cause of the products of pudgala and other dravyas. It is eternal. Hence the perpetual motion, which characterizes the pudgala. Kala is invisible. So its existence is proved only by inference. Kala is also known as Samaya. Hour, minute, day, night etc. are the different forms of samaya (time). Samaya is parinamabhava and Ksanika and is also termed as Kala Anu.

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