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Unknown Worlds of Living Beings

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Last class, we completed classifying living beings based on their senses. In that, all one to four sensed beings belonged to the earlier defined category of tiriyanch. However, the five sensed beings included humans, celestial beings, hellish beings, and tiriyanch – the animals.

“So does that mean, all who are not tiriyanch, are five sensed?”, asked Danḋak.

Yes. And in tiriyanch also there are five types of five sensed beings.

Yes, yes – you told us in the previous class.

I just told some examples. However, they can also be further classified into five, viz jalchar (creatures living in water like crocodiles, fish, …), sthalchar (creatures walking on land like elephants, horses, cows, …), urparisarp (creatures creeping using their chest like snakes, …), bhujparisarp (creatures creeping using arms like rats, …), khechar (creatures flying in the air like birds, bats, …)

Do we need to remember these names?

Not necessarily. But, knowing them helps you relate & understand things better, when you come across such names. Anyways, today, we would further explore the scientifically unknown world of vanaspatikāy, celestial and hellish beings.

“Isn’t vanaspatikāy the biological plant kingdom?”, clarified Rāshi.

All plant kingdom as in biology is definitely included in vanaspatikāy. But there are infinitely many beings in vanaspatikāy way beyond the plant kingdom.

Yes, even biology accepts that there would be a whole lot more of unknown species of plant kingdom.

I am not talking of the unknown species of observable visible plant kingdom, which may be known one day using our sense organs & instruments – but the observable invisibles, which couldn’t be known using our sense organs, even with the help of instruments.

Why not, when they are observable?

Because they are infinitesimally tiny, way smaller than the observable lower space limit of science, forget about our sense organs. Vanaspatikāy could be classified into two: avyavahār rāshi, vyavahār rāshi – the invisibles and visibles. Vyavahār rāshi includes all plants what we know, use, and usually talk about – also the unknown species, we talk about. In fact, all beings other than vanaspatikāy are also vyavahār rāshi. Avyavahār rāshi is the scientifically unknown world of vanaspatikāy.

So then, would science ever be able to observe avyavahār rāshi beings?

May not be, unless it goes beyond sensing based instruments. However we may, using our inner knowledge. Avyavahār rāshi beings constitute the biggest infinite population of worldly beings. One can imagine – as even after being so tiny, complete lok is filled up by them. They are sādhāraṅ, i.e. infinity of them in a single body. Contrast that with pratyek, i.e. one body with one being. Moreover, their bodies are further invisible and there are infinity of such invisible bodies.

“Wow! They are all here, around us. I can smash them”, exclaimed Leshyā along with action of her hands.

Not really. By the nature of their tininess, they can’t be killed or even hurt by our movement or say even fire – for that matter, by anything visible. However, they themselves die and gets reborn 35 times by the time we take two breaths.

That’s too small a life to live.

Not only small but spatially too constrained and painful. In fact, there is a variety of mindless humans – so called asanjyni manuṡya, which are also equivalently tiny and having a similar life style, so as to say.

Where do we find such humans?

“I guess, we’ll find many around”, naughty Bhāngā answered in a lighter vein.

“Yes you may. But mind that, we are not referring to we humans without mind”, the prof added to the fun. “These humans are too tiny to find, but they do get born in many of the excreta of ‘mindful’ humans in 48 minutes of their excretion”.

Is it the bacteria in there?

No. They are even tinier and five-sensed humans. I know it sounds odd. But that’s what reality is way weirder than what we see. So, let’s get more weird. There are seven hells, where the hellish beings live, viz ratnaprabhā, sharkarāprabhā, bālukāprabhā, pankaprabhā, dhūmaprabhā, tamahprabhā, mahātamahprabhā – each more merkier, darker, painful than the previous. Painful due to harshest of climate, continuous fights, extreme hunger and thirst – to list some.

Can we go and check them out?

Ya sure. But not in this life; by taking a rebirth in a hell.

Why not in this birth?

As the hells are too far away, beyond human reach. Same is the case with the heavens. Why else do you think, they are still the unknown worlds from the scientific perspective. However, unlike the hellish beings, the celestial beings can visit other places including ours. In fact, there are many celestial beings which reside not very far away from us.

Okay, so I’d be able to see the celestial beings, in case they come down to meet me.

That might still not be possible as hellish & celestial beings have vaikriya bodies, which are not visible through naked eyes. Though you may feel them. In a broader sense, the celestial beings may be further categorized into four: bhavanpati, vyantar, jyotiṡ, vaimānik. bhavanpati beings reside in bhavans or palaces quite far away, though nearer than the hells. vyantar beings typically reside on trees, in jungles, in isolated places, and the likes, not very far away from us.

“By vyantar, are you referring to ghosts? Don’t tell me, they do exist”, asked Chāritra.

They do exist, though not as shown in movies. And they are not visible to our naked eyes, due to their vaikriya bodies. They are just one of the vyantar beings. Broadly speaking, there are eight varieties of vyantar beings: pishāch, bhūt, yakṡ, rākṡas, kinnar, kinpuruṡ, mahorag, gandharv. jyotiṡ beings reside on various celestial bodies like suns, moons, planets, stars, …

“Does it mean that the bhavans of bhavanpati beings, these celestial bodies, etc are the heavens, we have been talking about?”, quizzed Danḋak.

Not really the 26 heavens, we earlier talked about. These are all just the living places of the close by celestial beings. The far away heavens we typically refer to, are the places where the vaimānik beings reside. There are first 12 of them, viz soudharm, īshān, sanatkumār, māhendra, brahmalok, lāntak, mahāshukra, sahasrār, ānat, prāṅat, āraṅ, achyut – each one above the previous one. Above them are 9 more, in a neck-like formation for graiveyak beings (a category of vaimānik beings). And finally 5 more, viz vijay, vaijayant, jayant, aparājit, sarvārthasiddh for anuttar beings – the topmost category of vaimānik beings – thus a total of 12 + 9 + 5 = 26 heavens.

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