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Anisvaravada In Jainism – Does Not Believe In Existence Of God

Anisvaravada in Jainism is a system of thought does not have God as an ontological category. Although Jaina thinkers criticized the materialism of Charvakas and established the domain of the atma (conscious self), they agreed with them that there was no God, the creator. Like the Charvakas, they also argue that God is not perceptible and can only be inferred.

Nyaya philosophers produce the logic that to materialize every effect (karya) an efficient cause (nimitta karana), a creator, coupled with a material cause (upadana karana), is necessary. The world or universe is built of atoms (paramanus) and is therefore an effect (karya) and needs a creator to give it a form in accordance with the adrishta of the souls. This task has been performed by God. The Jainas say that there is no proof of the world being an effect of an efficient cause because it takes shape automatically due to the properties of the constituent substances and no one has ever seen it being built by anyone. There is no role for a God in it. Moreover, every doer that we know acts by his organs, but God, as conceived by the theists, does not have any organ to act. Then how can God create anything?

The Jainas also refute the logic that god-like entity must necessarily be one, because the existence of more than one absolute being delimits the absoluteness or infiniteness of one another, and hence the proposition is self-contradictory. They counter-argue that if several sculptures and masons can build a palace, thousands of honeybees build and maintain one hive; then why can’t several god-like personalities co-exist in harmony? Actually, Jainas believe in Tirthankaras as the supreme ideal who are understood to be twenty-four in number.