(The) soul, (the) non-soul, influx, bondage, stoppage, gradual dissociation and liberation constitute reality.- Tattvārthsūtra (1–4)

There are seven essential objects of knowledge called tattvas.

These are :

  1. jīva- the living or conscious substance, i.e., the soul ;
  2. ajīva- the non-living, i.e., the unconscious substance ;
  3. asrava, i.e., inflow of matter into the soul ;
  4. bandha, i.e., bondage ;
  5. samvara, or the checking of the inflow, that is, asrava ;
  6. nirjara, the removal of matter from the soul ; and
  7. moksha, i.e., freedom.

A example can be used to explain the above principle intuitively. Suppose, a man rides a wooden boat to reach the other side of the river. Now the man is jīva, the boat is ajīva. Now the boat has a leak and water flows in. That incoming of water is Asrava and accumulating there is Bandha, Now the man tries to save the boat by blocking the hole. That blockage is Samvara and throwing the water outside is Nirjara. Now the man crosses the river and reaches his destination, Moksha.

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