Biological Intelligence and the Human Faculties

Published: 11.12.2012
Updated: 30.07.2015

National Symposium on Jain Philosophy, Science And Scriptures


Biological Intelligence and the Human Faculties


Many biological processes in organisms are said to take place intelligently. Modern biology now admits that living organisms are dynamically complex functional entities not reducible to simple mechanical-chemical descriptions. Barbara McClintock[1] showed that organisms can engineer their DNA. Shapiro[2] claims that the whole organism engineers the modification of its genetic structure in response to stress or to achieve a goal. He concludes that cognitive intelligence is necessary to properly explain the behavior of cellular and genetic processes. It can, therefore, be deduced philosophically from the Science of Logic that cognition, consciousness or sentience is the immediate existential Concept of life and intelligence is a necessary feature of organisms. Jainism distinguishes between the body of a living organism, called sachit, and the body of a dead organism, called achit, meaning thereby that the sachit body has consciousness or intelligence like features.

It is generally accepted by many scientists that matter does not possess intelligence. The question then is what is the source of intelligence in the body of an organism? Jainism propounds that intelligence is the property of soul (non-physical) and not the matter. The basic question is how the intelligence of soul is transferred to matter, the body?  We present a possible model in which the intelligence of soul is instituted in karma which then becomes an intelligent force and an agent for accomplishing the psychical, biological and physiological processes in the body intelligently. We propose the concept of soul faculties that facilitates study of the empirical soul scientifically. In dictionary faculty has been defined as psychical or soul capacity for any natural function. The soul activities as knowledge, feeling, volition, intelligent endowment or gift and power are recognized as faculties of the soul.

The biological structures are classified on the basis of applied intelligence and it is argued that all such structures, natural and artificial, is the results of application of soul intelligence to matter.

Empirical Soul in Jainism

Soul in Jainism is non-physical substance having two important properties consciousness and upayoga, manifestation of consciousness particularly in respect of cognition activity. The soul is eternal it can neither be created nor destroyed. The worldly or empirical soul is impure, it is associated with karma. Karma has two counterparts, dravya karma and bhava karma. The dravya karma is comprised of karman vargana which is supposed to be subtle matter, in the form of an energy field; it may exist as some kind of plasma like form in the body[3]. The bhava karma is impurity of the soul, which is some mode of the soul itself, and determines its state in worldly existence. It is supposed that the two counterparts of karma are always in equilibrium, that is, a change in one part is reflected as corresponding change in the other part instantaneously. This is the principle of interaction between the soul and karma. A change in the state of the soul appears as a change in the state of karma and vice versa.

The bhava karma and dravya karma being image of each other are mutually determined. It is because of this (mutual dependence) that the non-physical soul combines with physical karma without any direct contact and is imprisoned in the body. As the soul enjoys worldly pleasures through the gross body he is illusive and identifies with it. When the realization comes that he is different from the body then he also knows that his association with the body is due to karma. The soul now tries to eliminate karma and attain his natural true form which is non-corporeal and full of limitless bliss.

 There are two ways to describe the soul, the absolute way, or nischaya naya, and the empirical way, or vyavahara naya. In the absolute way in any empirical soul the pure soul is distinguished from the impurity as shown in figure 1. It is then supposed that during any soul transformation all changes take place in the impurity, the bhava karma, and the pure soul is unaffected. When all the karmas are eliminated the pure soul without impurity is said to be liberated, the cause of its empirical existence is now absent. In the empirical way no such distinction is made and the soul is supposed to exist in impure mode.

In its empirical existence the soul possesses three bodies, the karma body as described above, the tejas body, an electric type of body, and the gross material body. The non-physical soul occupies the space of the physical body and is the causal part of the system in the sense that it is because of the soul that other bodies exist. Being non-physical the soul has no physical contact with other bodies but still it is linked to all bodies so that together they constitute a system. The linkages between the various components of the system are shown in figure 1. The bhava karma of the soul and the karma body (dravya karma) in the subtle body are linked by the principle of parallelism described above. The karma body is linked to gross body through radiations known as adhyavasaya and lesya. In this system of three basic units, empirical soul, karma body (and tejas body), and the gross body, a change in any one affects the other units and the whole system. The soul and the matter, of gross body and karma body, possess individual particular properties which are important parameters for their change but they are also affected by changes in other units of the system. Therefore, in order to study performance of any one unit it is necessary to know the changes taking place in and the performance of other units. They are interdependent and cannot be studied in isolation. Their interrelations and interactions are important without which the study is incomplete. This is the reason that biological studies of organisms by scientists need to assume existence of intelligence to explain phenomena and processes in the body. In order to understand the performance of the gross body it is necessary to know about the soul and the karma processes. Similarly, to know about the transformations in the soul it is necessary to understand the biological processes and the actions of karma.

Figure 1:  Empirical Soul.



Soul (pure) 



Bhava karma



Dravya karma



Tejas body



Gross body

Jainism emphasizes the link between empirical soul and karma and only sparsely refers to the processes in the gross body. A scientific study of the system lacks the capability to deal with the non-physical soul directly. It is possible to deal with the sub system consisting of the karma body and the gross body scientifically as both is physical in nature though science has yet not discovered laws for subtle matter of the karma body, which at the present cannot be described by known laws of science.

The concept of faculty proposed in this paper establishes a link between the empirical soul and karma and with the gross body through karma. This enables us to integrate the system in a meaningful way and to study the system performance during any transition. The concept presented here can be expanded further to go in details of interactions between the components of the system and understand scientifically the role of each component in the system performance. We restrict our study to human souls having empirical and articulate knowledge that is having indirect perception.

Concept of Faculty

The changes in the state of the soul and that in karma are of different kinds. The soul experiences transformation and it is the main cause for its changes, the karma is the auxiliary cause. As soul possesses intelligence it responds to changes in karma intelligently. Karma either bonds or rises; these processes are physical and may follow some unknown laws of physical sciences without any element of natural intelligence. The activities of soul and karma take place continuously. Let at any instant the soul be in state S1 and karma in state K1 corresponding to S1 as shown in figure 2.  The changes in states S1 and K1 may be brought about by either a change in S1 or a change in K1. Change in S1 is caused by soul processes like annihilation, suppression, or annihilation-cum-suppression of bhava karma on the initiative of the soul. Change in K1 takes place either by bonding of new karma or rise of existing karma. In both cases yoga, activity of mind, speech and/or body, and kasaya, emotions and passions, participate in the process. In case of bonding these are the cause and in case of rise they are effects.

Figure 2  Soul - Karma system

We first consider the case in which the changes are initiated by bonding of new karma and the state of karma body changes from K1 to K2 by activities of yoga and kasaya. For balancing the karma the state of the soul changes from S1 to S2. Now soul responds intelligently to this change and changes its state from S2 to S3 say by the process of annihilation-cum-suppression, which is common in most souls. Corresponding to this change the karma state now becomes K3. The karma change from K2 to K3 will also be associated with some activity of yoga and kasaya but this will be marked by intelligence in the sense that this change has been brought about intelligently. In the process just described K2 and S2 are in fact intermediate stages. It can be assumed that in practice the karma state changes from K1 to K3 and the soul state from S1 to S3, meaning thereby that the two processes occur simultaneously and that the soul responds intelligently to changes in karma states so that the changes in the karma states has an element of intelligence of the soul associated with it. We thus see that the temporal transformations in the karma states are subjective and not objective. This also means that it is not possible to describe the temporal transformations in karma body by laws of physical sciences alone; it has a component of subjectivity that signifies intelligence which is not the natural property of karma matter. So the temporal karma processes are just not merely a physical principle but because of its association with the soul they are also an intelligent phenomenon and are different from other natural physical processes which are objective and devoid of intelligence.

The transformations taking place in the system in case of rise of karma are similar to that in the bonding of karma except that in this case the rise of karma causes activities of yoga and kasaya to take place in the body. In both these cases the changes in the system are supposed to be initiated by change in dravya karma and the changes in bhava karma follow. There are however some exceptions as given below. In case of soul processes of annihilation, suppression or annihilation - cum - suppression of karma the change starts with change in bhava karma and the change in dravya karma follows. The basic model presented above therefore applies to all cases of change in karma and hence to all transformations in the soul.

In the system shown in figure 1 the physical bodies like karma body and gross body work on two principles, one, the principle of physical sciences for the material of which they are made of, and two, the intelligence of the soul that flows through the temporal changes in karma. The intelligence is supposed to have the role of regulating the physical processes. It means that the work is done by the physical units, the direction is provided by faculties.  By this consideration the physical units are slaves and the soul through faculties is the master. The physical units, through genes, know ‘how to do’ and the master knows ‘what to do’. The two together accomplish the task. Both the soul and the physical units are essential for the system to function.

Another point which is obvious here is that the type and quality of work that is done depends on the skill of the slaves. For high quality of output high skill is required. This explains the role of genes in the gross body. Low quality genes produce a low level of structure and a high quality of genes produce a superior structure, which means that the genes in human beings are of superior quality than the genes in the animals. By the same logic the genes in one sense beings are of lowest quality. It also implies that genes of lower beings cannot accomplish the function in higher organisms. The intelligence required to direct the work of slaves depends on their skill.  Higher is the skill more intelligence is required to provide proper directions. The human soul therefore has more manifested intelligence as faculties than the animal souls. This points to the compatibility of the system components; all components of the system must maintain appropriate standards for the system to function in the desired way efficiently. The soul, master, and the physical units, slaves, together determine the performance of the system.

For successful operation of the system the directions have to be in real time. We mentioned earlier that the karma body is a form of energy field implying that its processes are likely to take place at the speed of light. The directions therefore should be at least as fast as the karma processes. This is a pointer to the level of intelligence of the soul. In Jainism the soul is supposed to possess infinite intelligence. All this intelligence is not manifested in normal human beings but still the level of manifested intelligence is seen to be mind boggling.

Eight types of karma are defined in Jainism and the karma undergoing change in the system could be any one of them. The consciousness of soul is one but it is supposed to manifest in eight different ways defining eight main qualities of the soul as kevaljnana (omniscience), keval darsana (pure and perfect intuition), atmika sukha (self-generated bliss), ananta virya (unfettered and unrestricted spiritual energy), ksayika samyaktva (possession of complete truth), atal-avagahana (eternal unchanging existence), amurtatva (total formlessness), and agurulaghutva (permanence and total parity with other pure souls). The karmas which veil these qualities of the soul have corresponding names as shown in Table 1. The qualities of the soul are not fully obscured by karma, a small fraction of it always manifests. The manifested quality represents the corresponding “intelligence” of the soul. For instance the manifested jnana is the knowing intelligence and the manifested darsana is the perceiving intelligence of the soul.  These intelligent qualities are reflected in the karma, by the method just described, which now represents ‘intelligent’ physical force that works in the physical body of the organism. This working intelligent physical force is described as the faculty of the soul.


 Quality of Soul


Faculty of Empirical Soul



Jnanavarniya karma

Faculty of knowing


Keval darsana

Darsanavarniya karma

Faculty of perceiving


Atmika sukha

Vedniya karma

Faculty of feeling


Ananta virya

Antaraya karma

Faculty of attitude (+ive or - ive)


Ksayika Samyaktva

Mohaniya karma

Faculty of equanimity, volition & desire


Atal avagahana

Ayusya karma

Faculty of life force



Naam karma

Faculty of organism design and creation



Gotra karma

Faculty of quality

Table 1 Faculties of Empirical Soul

Faculties of Soul

Aristotle [4] described five faculties (1) vegetative faculty concerned with the maintenance and development of organic life, (2) the appetite or the tendency to any good, (3) the faculty of sense perception, (4) the locomotive faculty which presides over the various bodily movements and (5) reason. In our case corresponding to eight qualities of the soul there are eight faculties of the empirical soul as shown in Table 1. These faculties are

  1. Faculty of knowing.
    By this faculty the soul acquires knowledge of an object. More are jnanavarniya karma less developed is the faculty of knowing and less is the ability of the soul.

  2. Faculty of perceiving.
    By this faculty the soul perceives the environment. More are darsanavarniya karma limited is the faculty of perceiving and vice versa.

  3. Faculty of feeling.
    The soul senses and experiences pleasure on rise of sata vedniya karma and pain on rise of asata vedniya karma; the intensity of pleasure and pain depends on the magnitude and rate of rising karma.

  4. Faculty of attitude.
    When antaraya karmas are on rise the soul has negative attitude in life. When antaraya karmas are not on rise the soul has positive attitude in life.

  5. Faculty of equanimity, volition and desire.
    This faculty can be divided in two varieties based on two sub types of mohaniya karma.

    1. False perception on rise of darsana mohaniya karma. The intelligence of soul is not able to perceive the truth and the perception is biased.

    2. Imperfect practice on rise of caritra mohaniya karma. The soul is not able to practice free of emotions and desires. His conduct is guided by desires and passions and such conduct is at variance with his knowledge and perception.
      Both these faculties affect equanimity of conduct, more karma are on rise more deviated is the conduct from equanimity.

  6. Faculty of life force. This faculty provides the life force for the being and it exists so long as ayusya karma is in balance. Without this faculty no life is possible in the organism.

  7. Faculty of organism design and creation. This faculty provides the intelligent physical force for designing and creating the structure of body of the organism just like an artist conceives and creates a painting or any other artifact. This faculty is the force and intelligence behind formation of organisms of various species and their body structures i.e. the force for biological and physiological processes in organic beings.

  8. Faculty of quality. This faculty controls the quality of the structure and the performance of the organism. When high gotra karma is on rise the quality and performance is high and when low gotra karma is on rise the quality and performance is low.

All the eight faculties work together and jointly determine the performance of the empirical soul. The eight faculties, their sub types and their grades, defined by similar divisions of karma, combine in a very large number of ways (innumerable?) so that each existence of soul is unique in practice.

The karmas are divided in two groups’ ghatin, psychical, and aghatin, biological and physiological. The ghatin karma are said to veil the basic nature of the soul whereas the aghatin karma embody and affect the pure nature of the soul but do not obstruct its basic characteristics. Accordingly, we can divide the faculties also in two groups.

  1. Psychical or external faculties.
    These faculties concern with the psychical performance of the soul and are the means to willfully interact with external objects. They include the faculty of knowing, faculty of perceiving, faculty of equanimity, volition and desire, and the faculty of attitude. These faculties are expressed externally and can be measured if suitable ways can be devised.  They operate through mind, which has a large bearing on their functioning. When the psychical karmas are annihilated these faculties cease to exist and the corresponding qualities of the soul manifest in their true form.

  2. Biological or internal faculties.
    These faculties concern with the biological and physiological functions of the empirical soul.  They include the faculty of feeling, faculty of life force, faculty of designing and creation, and the faculty of quality. These faculties are internal and we are not consciously aware of them. They work on voluntary basis and are not accessible to mind, which is a product of psychical faculties. These faculties remain in existence even after the psychical karmas are eliminated. They cease to exist on liberation.

The concept of faculties of soul has two advantages. One, instead of dealing with a system of non-physical soul and physical body, which is difficult to analyze, the task is reduced to dealing with physical faculty forces and the physical body to study the system of soul-mind-body. Two, the processes and phenomena in the revised system are amenable to scientific analysis. We must remember that the intelligence and subjectivity of the soul is accounted for in defining the faculties. The concept of psychical faculties can help in the study of psychology of human beings. The internal biological faculties offer explanation to the biological and physiological processes taking place in organisms. We study here only the second type of processes in some detail.

Figure 3: Operation of Life System

The sequence of activities in the operation of life system is shown in figure 3. Yoga, activity of mind, speech and body (senses), causes bonding of dravya karma at state K1. This action is reflected in bhava karma of the soul. The soul responds intelligently based on its constituent structure, including kasaya, and changes its state from S1 to S2.  This change in bhava karma changes the state of dravya karma to K2 and the concerned faculty forces direct the activity 2 in the body which at the same time also takes place by biological response of the gross body. So there are two determinants of activity 2, one, the biological response based on physical principles to activity 1, and, two, the directives of the soul through faculty forces. The resulting activity 2 is therefore is a complex subjective phenomena and may not be predicted by known rules of physical science. The process proceeds at a fast rate, almost instantaneously, and we experience the activities in a continuous manner. If the response of the soul and the biological response are similar the activity 2 may appear as a logical outcome of activity 1.  But if the soul response is not same as the biological response the activity 2 may be different from what is expected according to physical science. Thus the effect of subjectivity of the soul may not always be discernable although it always exists. The system performance is determined by two kinds of responses the physical, matter, and sentient, the soul. In case of match, order may be maintained in the system and a mismatch may produce a disorder.

We may distinguish between karma and faculty, note that karma is bi-directional in its operation; it is affected by activity of mind, speech and body and affects these activities. The faculty of soul is unidirectional it affects the activity of mind, speech and body and not vice versa.

Some Intelligent Biological Processes

All the four kinds of internal faculties are at work in organizing and coordinating the biological and physiological processes in organisms. The physical part of system of organism can be assumed to consist of two major constituents matter and faculties, and their interactions. Science has studied the matter part but it is still short of offering explanations of many of the phenomena which are supposed to take place intelligently in the body. We quote here some examples for the purpose of illustration and see how introduction of the concept of faculty helps in finding possible explanations of such intelligent biological processes.

There are examples when biologists have found the physical forces inadequate to explain the physiological processes and have speculated presence of some hidden intelligent force that seem to work to produce the biological structures. Some scientific findings corroborate the fact of existence of karma like forces to explain the processes taking place in cells

Scientists have been in search for the rules of ordered form of morphological structure like organs. This gave birth to the idea of morphogenetic field in 1920s. This field was defined as a collection of cells able to respond to discrete, localized biochemical signals leading to the development of specific morphological structures or organs. The fields had a definite boundary and the organ formed only from the interactions of cells within the field. The cells within this field could regulate.

Rupert Sheldrake[5] proposes that there is a field within and around a morphic unit which organizes its characteristics structure and patterns of activity. He says that we know what DNA does: it codes for the sequence of amino acids which form proteins. However, there is a big difference between coding for the structure of a protein and programming the development of an entire organism. It is the difference between making bricks and building a house out of the bricks. You need the bricks to build the house. If you have defective bricks, the house will be defective. But the plan of the house is not contained in the bricks, or the wires, or the beams, or cement. Analogously, DNA only codes for the materials from which the body is constructed: the enzymes, the structural proteins, and so forth. There is no evidence that it also codes for the plan, the cells of the body. DNA alone cannot explain the difference in form; something else is necessary to explain form.

Sheldrake is of the view that heredity depends not only on DNA, which enables organisms to build right chemical building blocks - the proteins, but also on morphic resonance. Heredity thus has two aspects: one a genetic heredity, which accounts for the inheritance of proteins through DNA's control of protein synthesis; the second a form of heredity based on morphic fields (implying gotra karma or faculty of quality) and morphic resonance, which is non genetic and which is inherited directly from past members of the species. This latter form of heredity deals with the organization of form and behaviour. 

The idea of morphogenetic field is clearly seen to be similar to naam karma of Jaina. The naam karmas contain the plan of form of all organisms as against the plan for just one species as believed by scientists in the theory of morphogenetic fields. The idea of fields within fields for a particular species for formation of organs starting from a cell is acceptable to Jaina as evinced by various types of naam karma. The scope of naam karma covers all the realms of existence, viz. animals, human beings, infernal beings and heavenly beings, and all species or organisms. The idea of cosmic morphic fields containing information about plans of forms as proposed by Rupert Sheldrake is not acceptable to Jaina.  Jaina holds that the plans are contained in the naam karma carried by each individual organism. In the scheme of naam karma there is no need for concept like morphic fields of Sheldrake, to derive the plans of forms of organisms from a source outside the body. 

Assuming that naam karmas contain plans of forms of all organisms how the body of an organism of a particular species is formed? The selection of plan is perhaps made by ayusya karma or the faculty of life force. It means that from a general pool of morphological plans carried by the organism the ayusya karma accesses the particular plan needed to form the structure of that particular species to which the organism belongs. The ayusya karma is bonded for next one birth only, that is the ayusya karma we bond in this life decides the form in the next birth and not thereafter. The ayusya karma has one-life use giving freedom to jiva to have the form of a different species in each birth. So the system of general morphological plans works successfully and the plan for particular species as per ayusya karma bound is applied by the jiva in any given birth.

In another example we consider an important scientific discovery of bio photons. It is now well established that all living systems emit a weak light current of some photons. Scientists found that the nature of this weak light emitted by living cells is different from the sunlight. They called these light photons as bio-photons.

The pioneering work done by Fritz - Albert Popp [6],[7] has given a deep insight into the phenomenon of bio photon emission. According to him the purely molecular aspect of life sciences may be only one necessary step in understanding biology and can never reach the significance of sufficient and complete explanation. Molecules have no intelligence, despite the manifold impressive functions that have been assigned to them. Even the enzymes or messenger molecules have to be triggered by external energy, i.e. photons which activate the diversion transition state complexes. The non-thermal photons provide the right quantum energies at the right place and right time for the millions of reactions per second per cell. Thus, one has to stress that (1) it is impossible that thermal photons may trigger the biochemical reactions in living systems, and (2) that theoretically only one photon per cell could be sufficient for activating 109 reactions per second, provided that it originates from a coherent photon field. If this field is coherent and non-thermal one, it is theoretically able to borrow the photon energy at the right time and take it to the right position of the reaction and to reabsorb it immediately after this event which, in general, takes no longer than about 10-9 seconds.

Popp found that a living organism in fact possesses a living aura, a virtual electromagnetic field that pervades the entire organism with a virtual photonic flux. In this field, virtual photons are stored. The field continually receives inputs (virtual) from the environment and is continually outputting bio photons, particularly in the near ultraviolet. This field, in which all cells are bathed and with which they all continually intercommunicate, tends to stabilize and cohere the organism. All this has been established by laboratory experiments.

The bio photon emission is indicative of an endogenous, innate, electromagnetic field pervading the entire organism, which may act as both sender and receiver of the bio photon that are "electromagnetic bio - information" used in regulating life processes. These observations, among others, suggest control within the living state that is non-local and possibly electromagnetic in nature. From the bio physical point of view bio photons are regulating the body in its rather complex functions. The bio photons appear to have many features common to adhyavasaya. There is a great similarity between adhyvasaya and bio photons[8]. It is now easy to understand what the source of intelligence in bio photons is. The intelligence comes from the soul through naam karma or the faculty of design and creation.

The genes carry all the instructions for making proteins. Only a part of the total instructions are used at any particular location of the body and a cell suitable to that location is made by the genes. Who makes this selection of the set of instructions to be employed? According to Jaina doctrine such decisions must be assigned to the faculty of design and creation. The DNA in every cell is identical but each cell performs differently and produces a variety of proteins in different parts of the body. This kind of selective function of DNA is possible due to karma. There is laboratory evidence that DNA is influenced and reprogrammed by radio and light frequencies[9]. The karma radiations in each gene are identical but they work selectively, they must regulate the non-protein making part of genes through a process of selection, and determine different function of cells suitable to their locations in the body. In this manner the performance of the body at the cell level must be regulated by the soul intelligence through faculty of design and creation.

Guenter Albrecht-Buehler[10] claims that 30 years of his research on cell has shown that mammalian cells possess intelligence. An intelligent cell contains a compartment, which is capable of collecting and integrating a variety of physically different and unforeseeable signals as the basis of problem solving decisions. Purucker[11] wrote many years ago about life atoms, centrosomes, and centrioles. He stated that “In each cell there is a central pranic nucleus which is the life-germ of a life-atom, and all the rest of the cell is merely the carpentry of the cell built around it by the forces flowing forth from the heart of this life-atom.” A life-atom is a consciousness-point. The intelligence, according to Jain philosophy, means presence of faculty forces in the cell. The faculties exercise control on the working of the genes and the cell functions. There is a central authority (the soul) that monitors, coordinates and controls the activities of individual cells as well as of a group of cells like tissue or organ or part, so that each cell, group of cells and organs perform according to plan contained in the karma body. It is obvious that the intelligence of soul manifested through faculties constructs the body according to the blue print contained in the karma body.

These are some examples how the intelligence of soul through faculties of design and life-force participate in the biological processes. The faculty of life force is also expected to be responsible for prana in the organism which is considered essential for life. Prana is supposed to have the properties of joining things; it joins atoms together[12]. Manah, prana, and vaka exist together but only prana has the property of joining. We know that when prana leaves the body on death the body decomposes implying that the prana was holding the material atoms bound together. Prana follows manah. Prana can be transferred from one body to another; it flows from high potency body to low potency body. One prana can do one function at a time and this is why, according to Jainism, there are ten pranas for ten different functions in the body. The faculty of quality may be associated with mutation of genes, a process by which a change in quality of the genes take place. However, all these propositions are speculations at present and further research is required to confirm them.

The above examples of intelligent biological processes do establish the proposition that the constituents of the physical body, though ‘skilled’, are slaves of the intelligent master, the soul.  This leads to some important inferences. (1) The slaves, assuming that they are being directed, have their individual existence. This means that the body components and constituents can also be manipulated independent of the soul. This in fact is the approach of medical science. (2) The soul responds intelligently to these changes in the body, including gene manipulations. The changes may or may not be accepted to the soul. (3) The response of the (life) system to the changes in the body cannot be predicted because of the subjective input from the soul.  The success of scientific experiments on the body, particularly pertaining to the fundamental changes in its structure, is therefore uncertain. These inferences have important implications on bio-medical science and research.

Biological Structures

Biological structures are physical structures, composed of organic compounds that form constituent support systems for life. The simplest types of structures are amino acids which form the polymeric building blocks of modern life. Advances in biology and medical sciences have made it possible to create artificial biological structures like cell, tissue, meat, organs and clones. Some scholars see this as a challenge to the doctrine of karma and hence to the existence of the soul. This is not correct. All these advancements have in fact been made by the power of the human mind which is embodiment of soul intelligence. The intelligence of the soul is ingeniously used to manipulate the organizing capacity of pudgala (matter) to create useful artificial biological structures which otherwise are created naturally by the faculties of the soul in development of bodies of the organisms. These structures, artificial or natural, are the consequences of intelligence of the soul and should not raise any doubt on the existence of the soul and doctrine of karma. The quality of the structures however is dependent on the efficiency of utilization of soul intelligence which is very high in the natural processes.

Based on the method of application of intelligence we can classify the biological structures in three categories.

1 Simple structure formed without human intelligence.

The amino acids formed spontaneously in the environment under appropriate conditions, as shown by Miller - Urey experiments[13], are structures formed without application of human intelligence. These are said to be essential conditions for development of life. These chemical compounds are the result of organizing capacity possessed by material molecules under specific conditions. This kind of organization of molecules is not termed as intelligent act as this does not require human intervention.

2 Biological structures obtained with the application of human mind.

All our mental acts are the creations of psychical faculty. Human mind is the carrier of psychical intelligence and it can be employed in various ways to produce complicated biological structures from simple structures.  These structures are of four kinds.

      1. Structures such as nucleic acids and proteins synthesized in laboratory starting from simple organic compounds. In the limit it is possible to synthesize a cell and produce agglomerates of cells in the form of artificial meat. We find that producing a synthesized cell has been a long journey for scientists because it requires a high order of intelligence that is not possible in one attempt, our mind functions in an incremental way improving a bit on the previous position each time.

      2. Structures produced externally starting from a cell. Living cells, which are part of a body, possess some biological intelligence (of the soul). Starting from this level more complicated structures can be produced with the application of psychical intelligence. All in-vitro stem cell research falls in this category. With further application of psychical intelligence the cells could be assembled to form organs and parts of life system. Note that a minimum biological intelligence contained in the stem cell is essential for this purpose; the psychical intelligence alone is not enough to produce the results.

      3. Biological structures produced internally from stem cells. Such structures are produced in - vivo employing stem cells. The structures developed inside a body for regeneration or repair purposes have input of biological intelligence of the soul in addition to psychical intelligence of the scientists employed in the process. By this process stem cells could be used to develop tissues, organs and parts of body systems in-vivo.

      4. Cloning. Clones of a particular species have been produced using various techniques. In this process the cells of the chosen species after necessary modifications are placed in the womb of females (or similar environment) for further development. According to Jain philosophy a soul must enter the object cell to produce the required body structure using its biological intelligence.  Note that the soul of the cloned organism is different from the soul of the parent organism and therefore it will have different psychical intelligence. It is obvious that as the two souls have different sets of karma it is not possible to produce clones having psychical personality exactly similar to the donor soul.

3 Biological structures produced naturally by biological intelligence alone.

These structures are bodies of organisms produced naturally by biological intelligence of the soul without any input from psychical intelligence as happens in all normal beings.  We find that such natural structures are far more superior to artificial structures produced by application of human mind indicating that the biological intelligence must be of very high order in comparison to the psychical intelligence, in respect of biological functions.  The body structure is maintained in the living state because of the intelligence of the soul. When death occurs the soul leaves the body, which is now without intelligence. In the absence of intelligence the structure disintegrates and the body decomposes.


An interactive model of empirical soul has been presented. The bhava karma of the soul is linked to dravya karma of the karman body by the principle of parallelism. The dravya karma is linked to the gross body through radiations, adhyvasaya and lesya. The three units behave as a system. The concept of faculty has been presented on the basis of interaction between soul and dravya karma and the manifested intelligence of the soul. The intelligence of the soul is reflected in dravya karma by temporal changes in karma states. The intelligent physical force expressed by karma radiations has been defined as faculty of the soul. Eight faculties, four psychical and four biological, have been defined based on eight types of karma. The biological faculties unaffected by mind work on voluntary basis to regulate the biological processes in the organism. Examples of intelligent biological processes claimed by scientists have been described in brief and these have been shown to be guided by the intelligence of the soul through biological faculties. The intelligence of the soul thus regulates the biological activity carried out by genes. Thus the soul and matter together manage and operate the organic system in life. The soul responds intelligently to artificial changes in the body.

Biological structures have been classified based on use of soul intelligence and it is shown that many possibilities of producing artificial biological structures employing human mind exist. All such structures are essentially product of human intelligence. The claims that modern science has advanced new understanding of nature and biological processes of organisms must be seen as outcome of application of human psychical faculties that represent manifestation of only a small fraction of total intelligence potential of the soul. [The full potential is realized in the omniscient state and it is not difficult to imagine now that the Omniscient possesses infinite knowledge and nothing in space and time is unknown to him.]


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  1. Adhyavasaya
  2. Agurulaghutva
  3. Ananta
  4. Ananta Virya
  5. Antaraya
  6. Antaraya Karma
  7. Aristotle
  8. Aura
  9. Ayusya Karma
  10. Bhava
  11. Body
  12. Caritra
  13. Concept of Soul
  14. Consciousness
  15. DNA
  16. Darsana
  17. Dravya
  18. Dravya karma
  19. Environment
  20. Equanimity
  21. Gene
  22. Genes
  23. Genome
  24. Gotra
  25. Gotra Karma
  26. JAINA
  27. Jain Metaphysics and Science
  28. Jain Philosophy
  29. Jaina
  30. Jainism
  31. Jiva
  32. Jnana
  33. Karma
  34. Karma Body
  35. Karman
  36. Karmas
  37. Kasaya
  38. Ksayika samyaktva
  39. Lesya
  40. Manah
  41. Mohaniya
  42. Mohaniya Karma
  43. Naam Karma
  44. National Symposium on Jain Philosophy, Science And Scriptures
  45. Naya
  46. Nischaya Naya
  47. Omniscient
  48. Prakrit
  49. Prakrit Bharati Academy
  50. Prana
  51. Pudgala
  52. Samyaktva
  53. Sata
  54. Science
  55. Soul
  56. Space
  57. Sukha
  58. Tejas body
  59. Upayoga
  60. Vargana
  61. Virya
  62. Vyavahara Naya
  63. Yoga
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