The Enigma Of The Universe ► 4 ►A Critique ► IV. Concluding Remarks

Posted: 04.03.2015

We have tried to churn various theories of universe from pre-historic times up to the modern times, presented in both the fields of philosophy and science. Every reader is free to draw his own conclusion. Nevertheless, the following remarks would assist them to do so:

  1. At present, there is not a single scientific theory of Universe, which is unanimously acceptable to all scientists. We may state that even today the issue of the universe remains enigmatic for the scientists. On the other hand, as we have shown, the Jain Theory of Lokāloka presents a very systematic and complete view of the universe, which would go a long way in solving this enigmatic issue.

  2. In the field of science, the terms 'universe' and 'space' have been used synonymically. There are two views regarding it:
    (a) The universe (space) is finite.
    (b) The universe (space) is infinite.
    On the other hand, the Jain Philosophy does not consider the universe and the space as the same thing.         
    Thus, according to the Jain view-
    (a) The space (Ākāśa) is infinite.
    (b) The universe (Lokākāśa) is finite.
    (c) The supra-universe (Alokākāśa) is infinite.[1]

  3. The scientists have conceived of curvature of space for solving the problem of finiteness of universe; to the question whether the universe is finite or infinite, the scientific answer is the space is curved; hence, the universe is finite, but without end.

    This problem is solved by the Jain philosophy by propounding the existence of dharmāstikāya (+ve ether) and adharmāstikāya (-ve ether) to exist only in lokākāśa which is finite, and the twin ethers working as the dividing boundary between finite lokākāśa (universal space) and infinite alokākāśa (supra-universal space).

  4. The theory of expanding universe, based on the redshift has almost been unanimously accepted by the scientists; yet it is not beyond all questions. According to the Jain view, such concept is not possible, because there is no scope of the expansion of space. The only possibility is that in the certain part of the lokākāśa, there may be the receding motion of the galaxies. However, we do not come across any reference to such phenomenon in the Jain works.

  5. In spite of diverse interpretations of the cosmological theories, ultimately the scientists have accepted that the universe (i.e., the ultimate existence of the universe) is beginningless and endless with respect to time.
    This is also propounded by the Jain philosophy.

  6. The scientific theory of Cyclic Universe has striking similarities with the theory of kālacakra in the Jain philosophy.

  7. The principle of conservation of mass and energy in modern physics and the theory of persistence-through-modes in the Jain philosophy are propounding the same truth that the reality is ultimately eternal (although the scientific principle is related only with the physical reality, the Jain philosophy applies to all fundamental substances including the pudgalāstikāya (physical reality).

We have seen that in spite of all efforts made by the scientists, they have not been able to find out an unanimously acceptable solution to the intricate enigma of the universe. The concepts of the Jain cosmology and cosmogony present a very consistent model of the universe, which deserves to be studied by the scientists. It is hoped that it may be useful in finding out solutions to the various aspects of the enigma of the universe.

Once, again we summarize the special concepts of the Jain theory of universe:

  1. Space (ākāśāstikāya) is an objective reality, but it is independent of the pudgalāstikāya (matter) or Jīvāstikāya (soul).

  2. Ākāśāstikāya is a single entity, infinite in extension; conceptually, we divide it into lokākāśa and alokākāśa.

  3. The shape of the lokākāśa (cosmic space) is described as "triśarāvasampuṭākāra" which tends to show that it is curved.

  4. The volume of the cosmic space is not less than 1010196 cubic miles.

  5. The alokākāśa (supra-cosmic space) is infinite but it is not asat (unreal).

  6. There exist in the lokākāśa the universal media of motion and rest (viz., dharmāstikāya and adharmāstikāya); the alokākāśa is devoid of them, and hence, no substance (soul or matter) can travel or stay in it.

  7. Space itself is immobile.

  8. Reality (sat) i.e., every real substance is eternal with respect to the substancehood; hence, the universe is also eternal-without beginning and without end with respect to time.

  9. Time is also a substance (dravya); the kālacakra in the form of ascending and descending semi-cycles affect the natural phenomena in the particular region (samaya kṣetra).

If in today's age of gigantic telescopes and fine spectrometers the enigma of the universe remains unsolved, how did the Jain seers, unperturbed by the absence of assistance from laboratories and observatories, study, discuss and soberly and boldly assert the finiteness of the universe, the infiniteness of time and space, the principle of positive and negative ethers, the exact size and shape of the universe, the principle of persistence through modes and the theory of cyclic-universe? This question alone is sufficient incentive to the inquisitive mind to leave the tiny pond of knowledge attainable by sensuous cognition and make him gaze eagerly towards the ocean of perfect knowledge attainable by spiritual intuition.

Footnotes:
[1]
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Title: The Enigma Of The Universe

Publisher: JVB University Ladnun

English Edition: 2010

HN4U Online Edition: 2014

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