Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Jain Cosmology revisited

(Disclaimer: Read only if you're Jain. You may not get this post otherwise.)

I have always wondered about how Jain cosmology was so wrong. Everything else I have read in the Jain scriptures seemed to be in consonance with science. Why then was there so much difference between Jain cosmology and what modern science says about the universe?

I have been searching for explanations for this difference. I never found any. Then yesterday, I suddenly found this article by Amit Jain titled "A Reevaluation Of Space And Time Descriptions In Jain Annals". This article offers a series of very rational hypotheses on the Jina's teachings on cosmology and how these could correlate to what modern science says.

The trouble is in the misinterpretation of the Jina's teachings. Over-enthusiastic sadhus down the ages have corrupted these teachings and many other teachings of the Jinas so much that the current form of the religion is very, very different from what the Jinas preached.

Coming back to the article, the author provides a good summary in the following lines:

This paper is an attempt to introspect the annals and introduce an alternate model that is based on the Sutras of Jina, and is also in sync with modern science and its findings. This model tends to convey that the current interpretation of Jain Sutras on cosmology is wrong on below points:
  • Interpreting Bharat-Kshetra[1] as India is wrong and not in sync with Jain annals.
  • Interpreting Jambudvipa[2] with Earth is wrong and not in sync with Jain annals.
This paper tends to conclude that
  • Jambudvipa is actually this entire multiverse of which our planet earth is a part off.
  • There may exist two suns and moons, but the second set is not in our part of the universe.
  • Mt Meru is the central axis of cosmos on which our multi-verse revolves around and thus is not on planet earth.
  • The revolving of our part of world (Bharat-Kshetra) around Mt Meru leads to Kala-Chakra[3].
  • This universe is revolving in nature that leads to self-repeating epochs.
When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. For those who are well-versed with the Jain version of the universe and the scientific version, these hypotheses make a lot of sense. Of course, none of this can be proved. Who can prove such things though? But this did put my mind at ease.

Namo jinanam!

1 comment:

amit jain said...

Hi Kamal
Thanks for referring my article at your blog.
Its greatly appreciated.