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Jain cosmology


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Jains (see Jainism) believe in a three-part cosmos comprised of upper, middle, and lower worlds. At the bottom are seven hells for people whose lives were marked by bad karman (see Karman). Divinites live in the upper world. The middle world is a place where the individual can learn to be awakened and liberated. At the center of the Middle World is Mount Mandara or Meru (see Meru). Like the Brahmanic (see Brāhmaṇas) cosmology, which it generally resembles, the Jain system recognizes a cosmic cyclical time made up of kalpas or recurring ages.

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