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Ocean Of Problems - The Boat to Non Violence: 55 ►The Sensitivity of Subtle Creatures

Published: 29.06.2020

There are two kinds of living creatures—जंगम Jangam (mobile) and स्थविर Sthavir (non-active). Those creatures which try to indulge in happiness and escape from sadness and in their effort of doing so, move from one place to another are called mobile creatures (Jangam). Such mobile creatures are also called ‘Tras’. To prove their existence one doesn’t need to be an erudite. Creatures having two senses to five senses fall under this category. One may easily understand the expression of their happiness and misery.

Non-active creatures are not mobile i.e., they lack movement. Even if some creatures move, their movement is not replete with any specific purpose. Creatures dwelling in earth, water, fire, air and plants are incorporated in non-active creatures (Sthavir). The question arises whether these subtle creatures feel pain and pleasure. The way Jaina Tirthankaras have subtly defined this subject perhaps no one has ever done it. They can see and perceive visible and non-visible facts. They have accepted the presence of life in soil and all subtle and gross creatures. It may be a subject of research for science. Much probing has been done on plant kingdom. But to understand the definition laid forward by Tirthankaras-, the researchers must go on at considerable length.

Development of the Souls of Women

There are still many people found who do not approve insects as living creatures. They do not even approve the existence of life in some animals. According to their perspective they even feel that the souls of women are not fully developed. In ancient Greece this notion had been persisting for thousands of years that woman has less numbers of teeth than their male counterparts. To examine this notion was far cry lather on the contrary some scholars depicted it in their writings. For this reason this notion went on becoming more strengthened. A gross matter like teeth that is visible can give rise to such superstitions then what to say about such a subtle and complicated factor like soul and how on earth can people make advancement in realizing it.

Principle of Co-existence

I have an existence, I am, this is the voice of ego and a language of approving one’s self. Other than I also there are other living creatures on this earth is a very strong perspective of approving other’s existence. At the plane of the behaviour one may argue that he cannot accept the existence of any other creature or cannot even bear the sight of it, but in the words of justice every creature, including big or small, has an independent existence.

A battle broke out between Rama and Ravana. The sole cause of the battle was Sita’s abduction. Sita was captivated in ‘Ashok Vatika’. Hanuman went in search of her. The well-wishers of Ravana tried to make him realize his fault and return Sita with honour. But Ravana did not leave his ground. The situation compelled Rama to fight the battle. Even after a considerable period of time the battle failed to show any result. Every moment was getting heavy on Rama. He took a vow—'अरावणमरामं वा जगद्दय करोम्यहम्'—either Rama or Ravana, anyone of these two-would be there in the world.

Bhavani and Rekhchanda (Rekhla) were classmates. Bhavani was a princess whereas Rakhchanda was the only lad of a poor mother. Bhavani heard this. She hated even the name Rekhchanda, to depict clearly. The social difference between both of them that existed was enough to trigger anger in her. Shewent back to her place and slept in Kopa-Bhavan. When she was asked the cause of her being angry she said in reply—“Either Rekhla would stay or I would in this world.”

Such other incidents may also follow. Its relation is not in principles. He would stay or I would cannot become a principle. The principle says—“l would also stay let him survive along with me. This is an ideal principle of co-existence or living together in harmony. Religious texts or scriptures always advocate and spread this principle.

Everyone has the Right to Live

Some people feel that whatever they say is truth. This statement itself distorts the truth. Someone else’s statement may also be true with this statement. Whatever is judged or stated is truth in the real sense of the term.

Wherever the sunlight falls it is light only. The light in my house only is sunlight, this is certain obstinacy. Where there is obstinacy the light and truth also become controversial.

It is equally true that all living creatures of this world are not equal. Everyone’s consciousness cannot grow equally. Some creatures are bestowed only with the sense of touch whereas some creatures get all fine senses. Based on the development of senses also the difference in terms of development of living creatures can be assessed. But due to less growth or development of some living creatures, their existence cannot be denied. Does a poor person have no fight to live? Based on the consciousness 'जिसकी लाठी उसकी भैंस' (One who is powerful only has the right to rule) this principle doesn’t apply.

Human beings, animals and birds are all living creatures. They have the right to live. Similarly all suitable creatures also have the equal right to live.

Comparison between Human Beings and Plants

Lord Mahavira established the presence of sensitivity in subtle creatures. Science was not prevalent or not so developed then. As long as science had not developed devices used to catch the sensitivity, the feeling of joy and sorrow experienced by such subtle creatures could not be caught. The people resting their faith on Tirthankaras and their words of advice and on the basis of that they experience the truth, they materialize the truth of scriptures into the truth of life. The Tirthankaras have said, “Soil is a living creature because it grows and sometimes reduces. As long as some instruments are not used it remains alive. In similar way water, fire, air and plants are also alive. The presence of life in plants becomes clearer compared to other non-active creatures. In this context there is a vivid description found in the first chapter of Ayaro.”

Plants are akin to inborn physically deformed human beings. The way a physically deformed human being feels the pain, if he is hurt, in as much the same way plants also feel the pain if they are hurt. The way human beings suffer at having stripped off their life, in a similar fashion plants also suffer. Having compared between plants and human beings Lord Mahavira has said-

इमंपि जाइधम्मयं, एयंपि जाइधम्मयं

इमंपि वुडिढधम्मयं, एयंपि वुडिढधम्मयं

इमंपि चित्तमंतयं, एयंपि चित्तमंतयं

इमंपि छिन्नं मिलाति, एयंपि छिन्नं मिलाति,

इमंपि आहारगं, एयंपि आहारगं

इमंपि अणिच्चयं, एयंपि अणिच्चयं

इमंपि असासयं, एयंपि असासयं

इमंपि चयावचइयं, एयंपि चयावचइयं

इमंपि विपरिणामधम्मयं, एयंपि विपरिणामधम्मयं

Human beings are born, grow, have consciousness, feel pain if hurt, take food, are transitory, non-enteral, digest and move through various states of life. Similarly plants are also born, grow, have consciousness, feel pain if hurt, take food, are transitory non-enteral, digest and move through various phases of life. If the subtlest emotions are detected then passion, fear, shame, shedding tears, laughing and such other human emotions would also be found.

If a seedling is kept in an environment of positive vibrations and pleasant music then it grows at a rapid pace. For this the difference in height and shape of foliage can also be discovered. Contrary to this if someone enters with a feeling and causing harm to the plant the inner state of it immediately changes.

The graphs have been recorded to prove the fact.

What kind a Jaina Person is?

Jainism believes and accepts the existence of creatures with six senses liven if a person belonging to Jaina community suspects this truth, it is difficult to acknowledge him as a Jaina. One who fails to understand the creatures with six senses how on earth he would refrain from causing violence to them?

A family person has to get involved with violent activities in spite of being aware of the knowledge of creatures with senses but it is a useful evil for him and the lifestyle he leads. To realize it as an obligation and try to minimize violence as per his capacity is a right way to approach religion. He must put an effort to save himself from unnecessary violence, to realize indispensable violence also a form of violence and to acknowledge the presence of life in all living creatures is a short introduction of Jainism.

On the basis of all these factors even in practical life, certain virtues like non-violence, equality, friendship, keeping parity, and co-existence and so on be developed.


Title: Ocean Of Problems
Author: Acharya Tulsi
Publisher: Jain Vishwa Bharati, Ladnun
Digital Publishing:
Amit Kumar Jain
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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anger
  2. Ayaro
  3. Consciousness
  4. Environment
  5. Fear
  6. JAINA
  7. Jaina
  8. Jainism
  9. Mahavira
  10. Non-violence
  11. Rama
  12. Science
  13. Soul
  14. Tirthankaras
  15. Truth Of Life
  16. Violence
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