The Jain diagram of the universe (click to return to survey)

The Jain diagram of the universe

"The shape of the universe resembles the figure of a man standing with his feet apart. This is a three-dimensional shape. The central, cylindrical part is the home or abode of all 'mobile' life. The top part of the universe is the home or abode of liberated souls and is called siddhashila. Below the siddhashila lies the abode of celestial beings. Humans and animals live in the central hemisphere, at the centre of which is a mountain called Meru. The lower part is inhabited by hellish beings."* Ö "According to the Jain literature this universe is always in existence and will exist forever. (in one form or the other). There is no divine force behind this. Every matter has itís own quality and this quality will undergo innumerable changes."* Ö "Jainism says that everything that happens is governed by physics and mathematics. Things take place because every matter, atom or minute particle (be it a million times smaller than the atom) has the quality of transformation. Man's own thoughts are also made up of karma particles which change man's density."