Jainism believes that universe and all its substances or entities are eternal. It has no beginning or end with respect to time. Universe runs own its own accord by its own cosmic laws. All the substances change or modify their forms continuously. Nothing can be destroyed or created in the universe. There is no need of some one to create or manage the affairs of the universe. Hence Jainism does not believe in God as a creator, survivor, and destroyer of the universe.
However Jainism does believe in God, not as a creator, but as a perfect being. When a person destroys all his karmas, he becomes a liberated soul. He resides in a perfect blissful state in Moksha. He possesses infinite knowledge, infinite vision, infinite power, and infinite bliss. This living being is a God of Jain religion.
Every living being has a potential to become God. Hence Jains do not have one God, but Jain Gods are innumerable and their number is continuously increasing as more living beings attain liberation.
Jains believe that since the beginning of the time every living being (soul) because of its ignorance, is associated with karmas. The main purpose of the religion is to remove these karmas which are attached to the soul and become liberated soul.
There are many types of karmas. However they are broadly classified into the following eight categories:
It generates delusion in the soul in regard to its own true nature, and makes it identify itself with other external substances.
It covers the soul’s power of perfect knowledge.
It covers the soul’s power of perfect visions.
It obstructs the natural quality or energy of the soul such as charity and will power. This prevents the soul from attaining liberation. It also prevents a living being from doing something good and enjoyable.
It obscures the blissful nature of the soul, and thereby produces pleasure and pain.
It obscures the non-corporeal existence of the soul, and produces the body with its limitations, qualities, faculties, etc.
It obscures the soul’s characteristics of equanimity, and determines the caste, family, social standing, and personality.
It determines the span of life in one birth, thus obscuring soul’s nature of eternal existence.
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