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With form or formless

With form or formless

नो इन्दियग्गेज्झ अमुत्तभावा,
अमुत्तभावा वि य होइ निच्चं

Formless realities like soul etc. cannot be apprehended by senses and those which are formless are eternal

Knowers of realities know that substances are of two kinds – formless and with form, with body or without body, can be seen or unseen.

Substances with sound, form, smell, taste and touch are experienced and seen through ears, eyes, nose, tongue and skin respectively. Seeing is not only through eyes but also through each sense. Therefore, we say, ‘experience through hearing, experience through smelling, experience through eating and experience through touching etc. Substances, which are experienced by the senses, are called corporeal and all of them are temporary, perishable.

On the contrary, soul, moksa, God (Ishvara) etc. are formless. It is not possible to know them through senses. They can be experienced but cannot be seen directly. All such substances are permanent, eternal.

We should not depend on impermanent substances; but depend on permanent, formless substances.

- Uttaradhyayana Sutra 14/16

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