Jain tattvas – the true nature of our world
According to the timeless Jain tradition, the nine tattvas describe the mechanics of how we are caught up in the ups and downs of worldly life, and how to free ourselves from this suffering, thereby attaining true peace and happiness.
These foundational truths consist of:
- Jeev – the soul, the majestic core of who we are.
- Ajeev – everything other than the soul, including matter, space, time, motion and rest.
- Ashrav – the inflow of karmic clusters that conceal the greatness of the soul.
- Bandha – the binding of these karmic clusters around the soul, with a defined quantity and duration.
- Paap – harmful karma caused by bad actions; brings rise to terrible situations in our life.
- Punya – beneficial karma caused by good actions; brings rise to conducive situations in our life.
- Samvar – the antidote to ashrav; reduces or stops the inflow of karma.
- Nirjara – shedding of bound karma, either naturally when the karma wears off, or through acts of penence.
- Moksha – the ultimate destination for you and I; completely free of karma; residing in a state of abundant, infinite, eternal bliss.
Since time immemorial, we have been caught up in the whirlwind roller-coaster of worldly life, always seeking happiness in all we do, but naively looking outward for it.
However, although that pleasure is found, it’s still of the material world (ajeev) and therefore temporary. Mostly, our lives have been filled with suffering. It’s time to free ourselves from that.
It’s time to escape the rat race by experiencing our true state (the soul), seeing the world around us for what it is (temporary and mundane), halt all the debilitating karma, clear away the backlog and completely uncover our awesomeness.
That’s the work of a Jain aspirant.