The Nine Tattvas in Jainism

The religion and philosophy of Jainism revolve around the nine fundamental truths (nav tattva) which deals with the theory of karma, the basis for the path of liberation.

Name Description
1 Jiva Living matter or soul
2 Ajiva Non-living matter
3 Punya* Merit; actions which lead to good karma
4 Papa* Sin
5 Asrava The flow of karma
6 Samvara The impediment of the flow of karma
7 Bandh Bondage of the soul to karma
8 Nirjara Destruction of karma
9 Moksa Complete deliverance from karma


* Not considered separate tattvas by some exponents of Jainism.


Sinclair Stevenson, Mrs. The Heart of Jainism. London, New York: Humphrey Milford/Oxford University Press, 1915.














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