The Acarangu uses the terms cittavat, jiva, atman etc. for the animate, sentient, living or conscious substance, i. e. soul. The inanimate substance is signi- fied by the terms acitta, acetana, etc. The words prana, bhuta and sattva have also been used to indicate the living being. In the course of time the terms jiva and ajiva were generally adopted to denote the living and non-living substances respectively.
The Acaranga defines soul (atman) as knower. Souls are of two types: worldly and liberated. The libarated souls are devoid of all material forms, quali ties and associations. The worldly souls or living beings are of two kinds: mobile- bodied (trasa) and immobile-bodied (sthavara). The immobile-bodied souls are of five rypes: earth-bodied, water-bodied, fire-bodied, air-bodied and plant-bodied. These six varieties of living beings are known as Sadjivanikavas in the Acaranga. etc. Since the living beings transmigrate from one body to the next, it is implied that they are body-sized, i. e. equal in extent to the bodies they occupy. In other words, they undergo contraction and expansion. This is the position of the cons- cious substance in the Acaranga as well in the Sutrakrtanga.
The Bhagavati defines soul as the sole possessor of cognition (upayoga). It classified the world of living beings into five types: one-sensed, two-sensed, three- sensed, four-sensed and five-sensed. The immobile-bodied souls constitute the first type, whereas the mobile-bodied beings form the remaining four types. To give an exhaustive account of soul, the Bhagavati resorts to a number of points of investigation, such as cognition, activity, belief, Karma, body, region, class, subs- tance. mode, time, temperature, instinct, indeterminate congnition, dete- minate congition, vice, virtue, endeavour, etc. They appear in so many forms on so many occasions. No arguments are advanced to carroborate the contentions.
The prajnapana gives a comrehensive account of the nature of soul. Almost all general information concerning the living beings is offered in the first five cha- pters of this connonical text. The first chapter presents an elaborate classification of the animate world. The second chapter gives information as to which parts of the world are inhabited by which classes of living beings. The third chapter deals with the relative numerical starength of the different classes of living beings. The life-duration of these classes is given in the fourth chapter. The fifth chapter makes an enumeration of the counts on which two worldly souls may be compared with each other. All these and similar other details are mostly dogmatic.
The Prajnapana devoted several chapters to the problems related to body and bodily activities Similarly, it devotes a number of chapters to the problem related to cognitive, affective, and conative activities. Some of the chapters are exclusively devoted to the treatment of Karma which is at the root of all worldly life.
The Jivajivabhigama classifies the world of living brings variously in its different chapters. These may be called natural classifications. In the case of each
classification the following questions are discussed
3. Period of continuous existence 4 Period of continuous non-existen
5. Relative numerical strength
Much of the subject-matter of the Jivajivabhigama is common with the Prajnapana.
The Jivajivavibhakti chapter of the Uttaradhyayana offers a most basic account of the living beings. Whereas the prajnapana describes the classes of living beings in the simple order of one-sensed, two-sensed, three-sensed, four-sensed and five-sensed, the Uttaradhyayana first divides the living beings into two broad classes viz. immobile and mobile, and then sub-divides the former into three classes, viz. earthbodied, water-bodied and plant-bodied, and the latter into three, vir, re- bodied, air-bodied and gross-bodied. The gross-bodied class consists of the two- sensed beings etc. This procedure is adopted in the Jivajivabhigama also (chapter 1) and in later times Umasvati also supported it, but it was foreign to all old canonical texts and Digambara works except Parichastikaya of Acharya Kunda Kunda.
The Rajaprasniya is the first Jaina work to advance arguments for the in- dependant existence of soul. It adduces a number of arguments to convince us that soul is something different from body. Even if imperceptible (by the sense organs) soul is a real entity just as so many physical things are real even if imperceptible. The omniscient has a direct perception (extra-sensory perception) of this entity. The same soul can occupy an elephant’s body in one life and an ant’s in another. It is capable of contraction and expansion just like the light of a lamp.
The Tattvarthasutra on the whole reproduces in a more systematic way the traditional material relating to the problem of soul. It deals with the following questions in this connection:
1 Different states of soul
2 Cognition as the defining characteristic of soul
3 Souls in bondage and liberation
4. Souls with mind and without mind
5. Mobile-bodied and immobile-bodied souls
6. Sense-organs and their objects
7 Process of transmigration
8. Different birth-places and births
9 five kinds of bodies
10. Sexual urge
11 Premature death
12. Contraction and expansion of soul
13. Function of souls.
Later Jaina philosophers vindicated the nature of (worldly) soul as essen- tially conscious, changing, doer, direct enjoyer, equal in extent to its body, diff- erent in each body and possessor of material Karmas. The existence of soul is proved by direct experience etc. It attains emancipation, which consists in the annihilation of all the Karmas through right knowledge and right conduct.