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By Swami Harshananda

Ajiva literally means ‘the non-living or inanimate’.

Jain metaphysics divides dravya or substance into two broad groups :

  • Astikāya - that which has a body and hence extended in space
  • Anastikāya - that which has no body

The astikāyas are again subdivided into two parts :

  • Jīva - animate
  • Ajīva - inanimate

Ajīva is further subdivided into four parts :

  • Dharma - the medium necessary for motion
  • Adharma - medium necessary for rest or immobility
  • Ākāśa - space
  • Pudgala - matter


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore