Pristine Jainism ► Other Salient Features Of Jainism ► Parapsychological Studies About Soul

Posted: 22.06.2012

There have been numerous attempts and parapsychological studies on rebirth etc. from time to time and about existence of soul in India, U.S.A., U.K. etc. Every now and then rumours and stories circulate about evil and benevolent spirits (Souls). Hallucinations or inexplicable events, generally taken as actions of spirits have never been substantiated by scientific scrutiny. Almost all manifestations, perceptions and attributes of soul can be explained by understanding the functions of brain and sensory nerves in highly evolved life-forms as humans and of sensory mechanisms in lower life forms such as plants. A very simple example is that of a person whose some part say a leg is paralysed i.e. his sensory system, controlling part of brain and nerves are damaged. He will not feel any sensation etc. in that part though soul is spread all over the today including paralysed part. Effect of anaesthesia also puts question mark on cognitive attributes of soul. The recent development of computer science and studies of brain functions like that of computers and development of metallic, electronic sensors have put a question mark on existence of soul. In sixties a full-fledged department of parapsychology was started with much fanfare in the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur. Inquisitive students from India and abroad wasted their valuable year in quest of proofs for rebirth and soul. All the cases from India and outside including Arab Countries, documented, studied and propagated with much ado by Banerji (I/C of the Department) came out to be concocted and false and he was thrown out of the University most disgracefully with string of shoes on his neck.

Except a few counted atheist, rationalists and scientists most people of almost all religions, faiths subscribe to existence of unique substance with unique potentials, termed 'soul' some believing and some not believing in its corollary of rebirth. So far, none of the postulates, anecdotes, attributes or manifestations about soul could stand the scientific scrutiny. Of course there are indirect proofs for the existence of soul. Everyone sometimes or other gets benefits, gains, achievements, pleasures which he does not deserve or expect on account of any effort and also suffers losses, pains for no apparent fault on his part or any other reason. This is obviously because of past deeds (Karmas) in previous lives and manifesting in present life, an event in the chain of births and rebirths from time without beginning and shall continue till salvation is achieved by personal endeavour and effort. However, efforts should continue to establish entity of soul on scientific basis.

The concept of soul, heaven and hell, graded rebirth in inferior and superior life forms according to bad and good deeds (Karmas), miracles at places of worship and idols have been instrumental to motivate people to follow the prescribed code of conduct which is for the benefit of one and all. Vedic philosophers have argued that even if there is no god, it should be created to discipline people in general. In all religions and faith, the followers are attracted more because of allurements of material gains, heavenly pleasures and miracles than the pure logic of symbiotic good deeds. Fear of hell, doom and incompetence to progress are also inculcated to attract rather enslave devotees. Even most of the educated scientists succumb to temptations of miracles and fear of bad fate. Instead of one god concept, Jainism subscribes to more logical concept of soul, rebirth and principle of cause and effect (Karma-Siddhant) as a logical terminus. Human nature as it is, truth in pure form is not generally accepted and digested without palliatives of rituals, temptations and false promises of miracles. Jain saints and scholars have tried to enact anectodes, stories and rituals to reconcile with powerful external impacts and in the process have thus obliterated the very identity of Jainism. This has done more harm than good. It has only kept to very little extent the followers in number (quantity) only and not in quality.

However there may be soul or not, heaven or hell are real or imaginary yet by all logical, rational and scientific considerations, there is no doubt that the world can have everlasting peace with sustained happiness for all life forms if forest (Kalpavriksha) based symbiotic, rational, disciplined, simple, nonviolent, non-consumerist, not promiscuous life style as ordained in Jainism is followed instead of predatory, individualistic and selfish irrational, undisciplined, hypocritic, violent, exploitative, consumerist and promiscuous life styles as in vogue increasingly with every passing hour, day and year, which is cause of the miseries, wars, epidemics and all other calamities. It is immoral degraded human behaviour that triggers change of happy-happy (Sukhma-Sukhma) era, to less and less happy eras ending in most miserable unhappy (Dukhma-Dukhma) era. If people unanimously, unequivocally and individually and collectively resolve to follow tenets of Jainism, the retrogratory process can certainly be reversed back to Sukhma and even Sukhma-Sukhma happiness. If the prescribed practices and vows are not relaxed, slackened and abandoned, the time will stand still with no retrogratory change as is the case in some planets Videha Kshetras mentioned in Tilloypannati by Yati Vrishabhocharya. Let wisdom down on people and all problems and miseries will vanish.

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