Jain Science of Six Dravyas and Nav Tattvas vs. Quantum State of Matter, Epigenetics and Gene Editing

Posted: 15.09.2017

Jain religion seeks spirituality in nature, science and in self. Hundreds of years ago, when science was not in existence, Jain Shramans used spiritual wisdom, logic and mathematics to understand God, Universe and Truth. In the process they developed science of Six Dravyas and Nav Tattavas that made God irrelevant for existence of the universe. They proposed eternal existence of space, motion (time), life and matter as spatially extended non physical Astikay Dravyas that constitute the universe- Panchastikay Loka[1], which is a non physical virtual state of existence of matter and life.

There are five types of Astikaya Dravyas which respectively resemble following five types of energy fields.

  • Akashastikaya - Space Gravitation
  • Dharmastikaya - Accelerating Space Potential
  • Adharmastikaya - Retarding Space Potential
  • Jivastikaya - Electromagnetic Energy Field
  • Pudagalastika - Plasma like material state consisting of free atomic and subatomic particles

Jain scriptures describe that Astikay Dravyas exist in superimposed[2] state without occupying any space. They continuously undergo Suddha Parinman (virtual transformation) producing Paryayas (mode) of their own kind. This means Dravyas are like vibrating quantum fields which produce and absorb virtual particles. Observation of these modes by conscious Jiva (Living being) produce physical reality called Visible Loka designated by Einstein as Observable Space.

Time has no role as far as existence of the universe, matter and life is concerned. Time is transformation process in which different modes of existence are generated[3]. Motion and Parinman are perceived as time events. Therefore Jain scriptures describe that time is neither Astikaya (spread over entire universe) nor a Dravya, nor energy nor matter and nor Pudagal. It is only human perception of change and therefore time is said to exist as a measurement parameter in human habitats only. Because of its importance in human life, time is treated as sixth Dravya in practice or in Vyavaha Nay. In 1905 Einstein like Jains said Time has no independent existence. Time is integrated with space as Space-Time or as motion.

Mind boggling similarities exist between Einstein’s concepts of Observable Space, Empty Space, Space-Time, Special and General Relativity and respective Jain Concepts of Lok, Alok, Astikaya, Satyasat, and Akash Dravya having Awagahan Guna[4]. They are quantum concepts and have no parallels in Newtonian Mechanics. Jain Agamas describe their science both in Nichay Nay and Vyavahar Nay which remind a scientific mind of Quantum Phenomena and Classical Phenomena respectively. Jain Agamas also describe infinite empty space Aloka as Akash Dravya (Space energy) which is continuous yet behave like made of discrete space elements Akash Pradesh[5]. Thus concept of Quantum Space is unique to Jainism which even Einstein missed and committed a blunder of his life.

When asked to summarise General Theory of Relativity in one sentence, Einstein said Space, Time and Gravitation are not separate from Matter. Scientists initially found it hard to digest such an idea and denied Einstein credit and Nobel Prise, even though they later recognised it as the greatest discovery of the century. The same incredible and unbelievable concept was developed by Jains as back as 560B.C. when they visualised the universe that contains billions of star galaxies and infinite numbers of physical objects, as spatially extended material field- Akash Dravya with Awagahan Guna.

It is said that Bhagwan Mahavir in his first sermon after attainment of Kewal Gyana, simply uttered three words -‘Upaneiva- Vigneive- Druveiva[6] and his disciples could learn how Paryayas are formed and how the visible universe consisting of Jiva and Ajivas was created. It was Eureka event in the lives of Gandharas who could script fourteen Purvas which Jains consider as original holy books. Two thousand years later, scientists in Europe rediscovered Mahavir’s above law of creation as ‘Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy’. Because of this law Jiva and Ajiva are recycled which we observe as rebirths and reproduction. 

Recycling or conservation is the law of nature by which the process of creation and destructions continue without disruption and without anything leaving or entering the universe, describe Jain scriptures. Scientists therefore call the universe as a closed system. However biologists believe only in recycling of inanimate energy and matter but not of animate Jiva. At the same time they believe that a single body cell has no death. The cell divides or mutates and gives rise to a pair of living cells. What keeps the cell alive? Biologists are still searching the answer.

In Jain concept cell division is rebirth as Ugalia or as a pair of male and female or a pair of brother and sister. Jiva carries Karmic codes for rebirth similar to body cells carrying genetic codes for division.  Karmic code has no death. Either it fructifies or passed on to new body as rebirth which biologists call off springs. Since biologists link life with a set of body activities which die with death of the body, they do not use the word rebirth but call it cell division or mutation. Thus biologists link past life with present birth through mutation and inheritance. Jains establish the link between past and present through Karmas and Karman Sharira.

Jain science of Nav Tattavas[7], which is based on the principles of quantum physics xplains adequately the origin and evolution of life on earth.  First of all ancient Jains defined life as body consciousness (Jiva) and declared that consciousness is not produced by body metabolism or any other body activities such as breathing, eating, digestion, blood circulation and reproduction. Jain Agamas refer these body activities as Prana and Sangya, which are essential for keeping the inanimate body in functional conditions. Consciousness is inbuilt in the basic structure of the universe as Jivastikaya.Lifeless body becomes alive if and only if consciousness in the form of Jiva permeates the entire body.

Jainism believes that we live in this world as body consciousness or Karmic Chetanaand in timeless realm we live without body[8] in quantum dimensions as Jivastikay or soul.  Quantum consciousness takes physical forms as Sansari Jiva due to Karmic bindings[9].  Jain Agamas describe how Karma (action/motion), a flow of Karman Paramanu (phonons) created first life element Jiva[10] by binding with the soul. Calling action as flow of particles is considered to be exclusive domain of quantum physics. But this exclusive domain seems to have been breached long ago by Jain Shramans. On finding a way to a womb (Yoni) by sexual or asexual process, Jiva absorbs atoms from mother’s food and organise them in different types of Sanstans or three dimensional structures, which we call bodies.

Obviously Karmic bonds behave like genetic codes and Karman Sharira is like DNA expressions. Karma represents Kinetic Energy which is converted in to Potential Energy and stored as Karmic bonds. Spiritually it means storage of physical mental and vocal actions, emotions and personality traits as energy bonds or Karma Bandh, which program our body and species of our births. There are eight types of Karmas divided in to two categories- Ghati Karma and Aghati Karma. The former influences behaviour and psychology of the species and the later determines body structures, species type, sub-species and life span (Nam, Jati, Gotra, Aay1. Thus Jain concept of life and its origin establishes a link between biology, psychology and spirituality[11], [12].

It is obvious that Jainism treats body as a Sanstan or atomic structure programmed by  Karma and Dharma (Behaviour)[13]. This means it is possible to edit the body software and bring changes in body structures by following right Karma and Dharma traditionally defined as Samyag Achar[14].  One can even achieve eternity by editing and erasing Karmic codes to escape the cycle of births and deaths[15]. Recent developments made in cell biology prove this Jain concept and cell researchers are now able to edit gene expressions and cure genetic defects by bringing changes in life styles, behaviour, attitude and environment or by epigenetic methods.  ng branch of science is called Epigenetics. Jain Agamas can be a potential source of information for pursuing research in genetic engineering and genomics.



Jainism is not so much a religion or a philosophy as it is science. Its basic philosophy is - God and Truth are not subjects of ‘faith’ but subjects of knowledge. Jain Tirthankars were seekers of truth and not faith soothers. They linked spirituality with Samyag Gyana and Samyag Achar and not with God. They preached the forces and laws of nature, which created the universe and all types of living (Jiva) and nonliving (Ajiva) beings without assistance of god. Jain Agamas are world’s first written records that prove that ancient Jains used quantum concepts and genetic traits to explain creation of animate and inanimate objects.

Existence of non physical but virtual Panchastikaya Loka is Sat or Absolute Truth known only to Arihants. Parinman (Vibrations) in Panchastikaya creates Physical Reality (Paryayas), which human beings in space time domain observe as visible Loka. In Spiritual language Parinman represents Karma. Like quantum physics, Jain scriptures describe Karma as flow of Karman Particles (phonons). Karma as vibration represents Kinetic Energy and Karmic bonds represent its storage as potential energy. Thus Karma creates physical reality, which is Maya, an illusion and Asat.

Binding of two or more Paramanu creates Ajiv Scandha (molecule) and aggregates of Skandhas create inanimate physical objects. Binding of quantum consciousness (Jivastikaya) and Karma produces Jiva which like genetic codes can organise Paramanu in various types of Sansthans (Geometrical Shapes) as bodies. Jain science of Karman Sharira and Jiva contains many traits of cell biology, genetic inheritance and emerging science of epigenetics. It is possible to reprogram (Savarn), break and even erase (Nirjara) Karmic bonds or genetic codes by Purusharth and Samyag Achar that includes controlling thoughts and emotions.


For details readers are advised to refer to this author’s two books- Vaigyanik Mahavir and Jain Vigyan.  This paper is scheduled for presentation in 5th international conference to be held on 14-15th Oct. 20017. 

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