Jainism is a religion of purely human origin. In ancient times, it was known by many names such as the Saman tradition, the religion of Nirgrantha, or the religion of Jina. It is propagated by self-realized individuals who have attained total self-control, perfect knowledge, and omniscience by personal effort. They have been liberated from the bondage of attachment, aversion, and of worldly existence, thus ending the cycles of life and death. These individuals are popularly viewed as Gods in Jainism.They are also recognized by various names such as Arihanta, Arhat, Tirthankar, Jina, Nirgrantha or Kevali. All these words depict various qualities of a Jain God.Jina is one who has conquered the inner enemies of worldly passions such as desire, hatred, anger, ego, deceit, lust, and greed by personal effort. Nirgrantha is one, who has removed all bondages of prejudices in life. Tirthankar is one who has out of total compassion showed the path of liberation from our misery and established the four fold religious order of Sädhus (monks), Sädhvis (nuns), Shrävaks (laymen), and Shrävikäs (laywomen). He has revived the Jain philosophy at various times in the history of humankind. Arihanta is one who has destroyed the inner enemies.The Arihantas or Tirthankars are not Gods in the sense of being the creators of the universe, but rather as those who have accomplished the ultimate goal of liberation from suffering and desire through personal efforts. In the past, these individuals were human beings like us. They were not supernatural immortal beings or an incarnation of an almighty God. Many such individuals existed in the past and many will achieve such a spiritual stage in the future. All human beings have the potential to reach such a spiritual stage.The concept of God as a creator, protector, and destroyer of the universe does not exist in Jainism. The concept of God’s descentinto a human form to destroy evil is also not applicable in Jain philosophy.When a person destroys all of his karma which subdues the true nature of the soul (known as Ghäti karma – see sec.
4.3), he attains infinite knowledge (Keval-jnän), infinite perception (Keval-darshana), perfect faith and conduct (happiness), and unlimited energy. At that time, he is known as Arihanta (Tirthankar), or Sämänya (simple) Kevali. However, he continues to live his human life until all his other karma which are responsible for physical body, mind, and life span are destroyed (known as Aghäti karma – see also sec. 4.3), which occurs at the time of death.A Tirthankar or Arihanta establishes a religious order but Sämänya Kevalis do not establish religious order. They remain in a meditative state as a part of the existing order established by the Arihanta of that time.At the end of life, both Arihanta and Sämänya Kevalis attain liberation or Nirvana and all of them are known as Siddhas. All Siddhas are unique individual souls. They are pure consciousness. They possess infinite knowledge, infinite perception, unobstructed bliss, unlimited energy, and they do not possess a physical body. Hence, from the qualities and attributes point of view all Siddhas are the same.All Arihantas and Siddhas of the past and present are Gods in Jainism.In summary:Jain God is not a creator God. He possesses the qualities of a knower and observer but not doer.Jain God is not ONE. Infinite numbers of Gods (pure souls or Siddhas) exist in the universe and the number continuously increases as more souls attain state of perfection.Jain God is a pure soul of an individual. Its size and shape is determined by its last human birth and is not spread across the entire universe like Brahmana in HinduismTo become a Jain God (pure soul) is the final destination of all worldly souls