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Nirupadhi Jiva – A Jain Category Of Liberated Self

 Nirupadhi Jiva is the Jaina category of liberated self. As per Jainism, it is the liberated self which has reached the goal of emancipation. Jain religion asserts that the free selves have attained freedom from samsarika existence (cycle of birth and death). Such selves dwell in a state of supra-mundane perfection, untouched by worldly imperfections. They possess anantajnana (infinite knowledge), ananta darshana (infinite perception), ananta virya (infinite power) and anatasukha (infinite bliss). These intrinsic characters of the self are termed anantacatustaya.

Consciousness is the essence of the self (cetanalakshanaojivah). The self has perfect, infinite perception, paramartha pratyaksha, which is direct. Jaina thinkers refer to the terms darshana and jnana to represent the indeterminate and the determinate phases in the process of getting knowledge. By gaining perfect knowledge, the free selves have overcome the four types of karma, namely,

Jnanavarana or comprehension – obscuring karma – since knowledge is of five kinds, there are corresponding to them five types of knowledge – obscuring karmas, those that obscure perception through false mati (inferential knowledge), shruta (testimony), avadhi (clairvoyance), manahparyaya (telepathy) and kevalajnana (omniscience).

Darshanavarana, or apprehension-obscuring karma – it is of nine kinds. The first four correspond to five types of darshanas and the rest to five kinds of sleep.

Vedaniya or feeling producing karma: It is of two types, that which produces the feeling of pleasure (stavedaniya) and that which is responsible for the feeling of pain (astavedaniya).

Mohaniya, or deluding karma – it is 28 kinds. The general classification is into darshana mohaniya, which obscures the right vision of truth and caritra mohaniya, which obscures right conduct.

Nirupadhi jiva is eternal (uncreated and indestructible) and imperceptible, due to its formlessness. The self’s knowledge is perfect (paripurna), unique (asadharana), absolute (nirapeksha), all-comprehensive (sarva-bhava-jnapaka) and has for its object both the world and the non-world (lokalokavishaya). In realizing its true spiritual nature, it attains transcendent bliss.