આજ નો દિવસ : વિક્રમ સંવત   ૨૦૭૪  ( નેમિસૂરિ સંવત  ૬૯ )  માગશર સુદ બીજ સોમવાર   Dt: 20-11-2017



તલવાર કી કિંમત મ્યાન સે નહિ ધાર સે હોતી હૈ, કપડો કી કિંમત રંગ સે નહિ તાર સે હોતી હૈ, કહી ભી દેખો મહત્વ મૂલકા હોતા હૈ છીલકે કા નહિ, આદમી કી કિંમત પૈસે સે નહિ સદાચાર સે હોતી હૈ…

The term Anekäntaväda consists of three terms: ‘aneka’, ‘anta’, and ‘Väda’, The term ‘Aneka’, means ‘many’, ‘Ànta’, means ‘aspects’, or ‘attributes’ and ‘Väda’ means ‘ism’ or ‘theory’. In its simple sense, it is a philosophy or a doctrine. It is a theory of manyfold aspects. It has been described and translated by modern scholars variously. Prof. S.N. Dasgupta expresses it as ‘relative pluralism’ against the ‘extreme absolutism’ Dr. Chandradhar Sharma translates it as ‘‘doctrine of manyness of reality’’. Dr. Satkari Mookerjee expresses it as a doctrine of ‘non-absolutism’. Closely associated to ‘Anekäntaväda’ is Syädväda. This is also expressed as a theory of ‘conditional predication’ or ‘‘theory of relativity of propositions.’’ Since the doctrine of ‘Anekäntaväda’ is opposed to absolutism or monism, (Ekänta-väda) we would prefer ‘‘doctrine of ’non-absolutism’’ to convey the meaning of Anekäntaväda.

Let us now understand what, the theory of non-absolutism is the Jain theory of reality from its metaphysical point of view. The Jain approach to ultimate reality can be expressed in two words: realistic and relativistic. The universe is full of innumerable material atoms and innumerable individual souls. They are separately and independently real. Again, each thing and each soul possesses innumerable aspects of its own. A thing has got an infinite number of characteristics of its own. Thus according to the metaphysical presupposition of Jainism, a thing exists with infinite characters.

The Jain term for existent is Sat. It designates an entity comprised of substance (Dravya), attributes (Guna) and mode (Paryäya). The attributes are free from attributes of their own and they invariably and continuously undergo modifications or changes. The substance and attributes are inseparable and the attributes being the permanent essence of the substance cannot remain without it. Modes, on the other side, are changing. There are modifications ‘‘in the form of acquiring (Utpäd) new modes (Paryäya or Bhäv) and losing (Vyaya) old modes at each moment.’’ Thus, the conception of being as the union of permanent and change brings us naturally to the doctrine of Anekäntaväda.

In view of the fact, Jainism points out that both: the permanent and ‘the changing, are the two sides of the same thing. Considering on one side the human limitations to acquire the knowledge of a thing with its all the infinite attributes and on the other side three characteristics of knowledge' possessing the three characteristics of origination, destruction and permanence, nothing could be affirmed absolutely, as all affirmations could be relatively true under certain aspects or point of view only. The affirmations are true of a thing only in a certain limited sense, and not absolutely. The claim that Anekäntaväda is the most consistent form of realism lies in the fact that Jainism has allowed the principle of distinction to run its full course until it reaches its logical terminus, the theory of manifoldness of reality and knowledge. The theory of non-absolutism clears that ‘‘reality, according to Jainism is not merely multiple but each real, in its turn, is manifold or complex to its core. Reality is thus complex web of manyness (Aneka) and manifoldness (Anekänta).

 

Syädväda

The theory of Anekäntaväda is the metaphysical theory of reality. Then Jainism brings out another aspect of reality and that is its relativistic pluralism. While Anekäntaväda explains the reality metaphysically, Syädväda explains it epistemologically. Both are the two aspects of the same reality. We have already seen how human knowledge is relative and limited which ultimately makes all our judgments relatively or partially true, and not absolute. Syädväda is also called Sapta-bhangi Naya (seven- fold judgment) Syädväda is known as the theory of relativity of propositions or theory of relativity of judgments. Some critics call it theory of relativity of knowledge. We can say that Syädväda is the epistemological explanation of reality; Sapta-bhangi Naya is the method or the dialectic of the theory of seven-fold judgment. It is the logical side of the theory.

‘‘The doctrine of Syädväda holds that since a thing is full of most contrary characteristics of infinite variety, affirmation made is only from a particular standpoint or point of view, and therefore it may be correct or true. However, the same assertion may be wrong or false from some other standpoint or point of view. Thus, assertion made cannot be regarded as absolute. All affirmations in some sense, are true, and, in some sense are false. Similarly, all assertions are indefinite and true in some sense, as well as indefinite and false in some other sense. Assertions could be true, and false and indefinite. Thus, Jainism proposes to grant the non-absolute nature of reality and relativistic pluralism of the object of knowledge by using the word ‘Syät’ (or Syäd) before the assertion or Judgment.

The word ‘Syät’ literally means ‘may be’ It is also translated as ‘perhaps’, ‘some how’, ‘relatively’ or ‘in a certain sense’. The word ‘Syät’ or its equivalent in English, used before the assertion makes the proposition true but only under certain conditions i.e. hypothetically. What is to be noted is that the word ‘Syät’ is not used in the sense of probability leading to uncertainty. Probability again hints at skepticism and Jainism is not skepticism. Since reality has infinite aspects, our judgments are bound to be conditional. Thus, Syädväda is the theory of relativity of knowledge. The Jains quoted quite a good number of parables, which are conventionally used by Jain writers to explain the theory. The most famous one for the grip over the core of the theory is the famous parable of six blind men who happened to come across an elephant. Each one was sure and asserting about one’s own description alone to be correct. However, each one was correct, though contrary to each other, from his point of view. Thus the Jains hold that no affirmation or judgment is absolute in its nature, each is true in its own limited sense only. The affirmations will tell either about the existence, or non-existence or about the existence and non-existence, or about the inexpressible. Combining these again the first three with the fourth we derive the seven alternatives technically known as Sapta-bhang-Naya or the seven-fold Judgments.

 

Theory of Seven Predications (Sapta Bhanga)

To clarify the above approach of ascertaining the truth by the process of Syädväda (Anekänta) the Jain philosophers have evolved a formula of seven predications, which are known as Sapta-bhang. ‘Sapta' means ‘seven' and ‘Bhanga' means ‘mode'. These seven modes of ascertaining the truth are able to be exact in exploring all possibilities and aspects. For any proposition, there are three main modes of assessment, namely, (1) A positive assertion, (2) A negative assertion, (3) Not describable. However, for greater clarity four more permutations of these three are added as under: ‘Asti Nästi', ‘Asti Avaktavya', ‘Nästi Avaktavya' and ‘Asti Nästi Avaktavya'. The word ‘Syät' is prefixed to each of these seven predications to prevent the proposition from being absolute.

All these seven predications are explained with reference to an ethical proposition that ‘It is sin to commit violence'. With regard to this proposition, the seven predications noted above can be made as under:

 

Asti

It is sin to commit violence with an intention to commit the same

Nästi

It is not a sin to commit violence on an aggressor who molests an innocent and helpless woman

Asti Nästi

It is sin to commit violence in breach of moral and social laws, but it is not sin if violence is required to be committed in performance of moral or social duties

Avaktavya

It is not possible to say whether violence is sin or virtue without knowing the circumstances under which it is required to be committed

Asti-Avaktavya

Violence is indeed sinful under certain circumstances, but no positive statement of this type can be made for all times and under all circumstances.

Nästi Avaktavya

Violence is not indeed sinful under certain circumstances, but no positive statement of this type can be made for all times and under all circumstances

Asti Nästi Avaktavya

Violence is sinful, but there are circumstances where it is not so. In fact no statement in affirmation or negation can be made for all time and all circumstances

 

All these seven modes can be expressed with regard to every proposition. The Jain philosophers have applied them with reference to self, its eternality, non eternality, identity and character. In fact, this approach of Anekänta permeates almost every doctrine, which is basic to Jain philosophy. S.Gopalan quotes Eliot in this connection, as saying:

'The essence of the doctrine (of Syädväda): So far as one can disentangle it from scholastic terminology, seems just, for it amounts to this, that as to matters of experience it is impossible to formulate the whole and the complete truth, and as to matters which transcend experience, language is inadequate.'

At no time in the history of mankind, this principle of Syädväda (Anekänta) was more necessary than in the present.

This is the general view of the method of the Jain dialectic. Only this type of dialectical method can represent Syädväda. The theory of sevenfold predication, is treated as synonymous with Syädväda owing to the fact that, the number of possible or alternative truths under the conditional method of Syädväda are seven only.’’

 

Page 1


Syädväda: Critical Evaluation

Jains admit that thing cannot have self- contrary attributes at the same time and at the same place. What Jainism emphasizes is the manyness and manifoldness of a thing the complex nature of reality. Dr. Rädhäkrishnan says, 'Since reality is multiform and ever-changing, nothing can be considered to be existing everywhere and at all times and in all ways and places and it is impossible to pledge us to an inflexible creed.'

A.N. Upadhhye writes that Syädväda has supplied the philosopher the catholicity of thought. It also convinces that Truth is not anybody’s monopoly with tariff walls of denominational religion, while furnishing the religious aspirant with the virtue of intellectual toleration, which is the part of that Ahinsä which is one of the fundamental tenets of Jainism.’’ Lastly in the words of Dr. Y. J. Padmarajiah ‘‘Anekäntaväda is the heart of Jain metaphysics and Nayaväd and Syädväda (or Sapta-Bhangi) are its main arteries. Or, to use a happier metaphor, the bird of Anekäntaväda flies on its wings of Nayaväd and Syädväda.’’

Through Anekäntaväda and Syädväda, Jains bring a solution to the age-old controversy between the absolutism and nihilism or between the one and the many or the real and the unreal.

 

Theistic Implication of Syädväda

Thus, the spirit to understand the other and other’s standpoint and to learn to tolerate the conflicting or contrary situation helps a lot towards the higher development of right conduct. It broadens the mind and makes person quite objective and open in his thinking. Such a person, like Jain monks, read extensively the treatises of other schools. It proves to be a good training ‘‘to identify extreme views and to apply the proper corrections. Thus, here also, we find Syädväda a great help towards right knowledge, and right conduct. Syädväda by molding a person towards better conduct and higher knowledge proves to be of great theistic significance.

One of the aims of life is to make the earth, a better and worthier world, Syädväda in spite of 'its dry dialectic and forbidding use of logic is not without a lesson for the practical men of the world.

Pt. Dalsukhbhai Malvania, an authority on Jainism in one of his essays on Anekäntaväda explains that the most of Anekäntaväda is Ahinsä and that is the prime reason that Jain philosophy is based on Anekäntaväda. The very idea of not to hurt the others but to be kind sympathetic towards others’ views and thus to be friendly, is the logical outcome of Ahinsä. Ahinsä in its positive concept becomes love and compassion. A perfect theism, not in its narrow rigid sense, but in the sense where broad religiousness, deep spirituality and high knowledge are thought of for the soul’s ultimate liberation from the bondage, required Syädväda as its valid approach to have an objective vision of truth, to be tolerant, to be synthetic and to have an attitude of impartiality. Without all these, no theism in its actual practice is possible. Syädväda shapes a personality into a theistic one.

Moreover, subjective attitude and past recollections towards the same of similar objects play a decisive role in judgment. At the same time prejudices and predilections, social upbringing, environmental necessities and politico social taboos also play a very decisive role, in a judgment about an idea.

In fact, every object and every idea has infinite characteristics and is required to be judged from varieties of standpoints. What should be our reaction towards a thing if we are convinced that everything in this universe has infinite characteristics and with limited knowledge, a human being is not capable of apprehending all these characteristics? Certainly, if our approach were objective and unbiased, we would not rush to take an absolute view of that thing or thought, keeping in mind the limitations of our knowledge. Our judgment based on limited data is likely to be wrong. We would, however, not have actual perception. Therefore, in our prudence, we would say that the judgment, formed about actually perceived things is ‘likely' to be true. While saying so, we would not rule out the possibility that it may turn out to be untrue if looked at from any other perspective. This is the approach of Syädväda, which implies that each and all knowledge is relative. What we know by the analytical process of Nayaväd, we express by the synthesis of Syädväda. As already noticed the etymological meaning of the word ‘Syäd' is ‘Perhaps'. However, it is used to suggest a relative truth. The theory of Syädväda is based on the premise that every proposition is only relatively true. It all depends upon the particular aspect from which we appreciate that proposition. Since all propositions are related to many circumstances, our assertions about them depend entirely upon the particular circumstances through which we are viewing them. Since our view has a limited aperture, we cannot see everything, and hence it is appropriate to avoid our absolute assertion.

For instance, when we say that a particular thing weighs 5 lb., our statement about the weight is related to the magnetic force exerted on that thing by our planet, the earth. The same thing may not weigh anything if removed out of this magnetic field or may weigh differently in a different planet. The same can be said about our statements relating to time and space and about every human experience. It is the matter of our daily experience that the same object, which gives pleasure to us under certain circumstances, becomes boring under different circumstances. Scientific truths are, therefore, relative in the sense that they do not give complete and exhaustive knowledge of the objects under study and contain elements that may be changed with further advance in knowledge. Nonetheless, relative truth is undoubtedly useful as it is a stepping -stone to the ultimate truth.

 

Is Self-Permanent or Transitory?

In the field of metaphysics, there has been serious controversy about the real nature of ‘Self'. While Vedantists believe that everything that is found in this universe is ‘Brahma', the super self, permanent, and the material things, which are found, have no reality as they are transitory in nature, the Buddhists would say that everything in this universe including the super self is transitory and constantly changing. These are the two extreme views as they concentrate only on particular aspects to the exclusion of other aspects. The Jains say that both are relatively correct from the viewpoint through which they see the thing, but both are incorrect in as much as they fail to take the comprehensive view of all the aspects involved. The Jains would say that from the point of view of substance, self is permanent, but from the point of view of modifications, it is transitory. Since substance and its modes should be taken as an integrated whole in order to comprehend it properly, both the attributes of permanence and transitoriness should be taken into account. Both to the Vedantists as well as to the Buddhists the Jain seer would say ‘Syäd Asti', i.e., 'From one aspect you are right' and applying his ‘Anekänta Naya', i.e., looking at the problem from different angles, would come to the above conclusion. Thus the doctrine of relativity, which is the practical application of the theory of multifold aspects (Naya Väda), is nothing but the doctrine of metaphysical synthesis. This doctrine has a great value in our day- to- day individual and social life

 

Importance of Anekäntaväda

The importance of this comprehensive synthesis of ‘Syädväda' and ‘Anekänta Naya' in day- to- day life is immense in as much as these doctrines supply a rational unification and synthesis of the manifold and rejects the assertions of bare absolutes.

Mahatma Gandhi's views about the Jain theory of Anekänta are as under:

It has been my experience, wrote Gandhi in 1926, 'that I am always true (correct) from my point of view, and often wrong from the point of view of my critics. I know that we are both (myself and my critics) right from our respective points of view.'

'I very much like this doctrine of the manyness of reality. It is this doctrine that has taught me to judge a Mussulman from his standpoint and a Christian from his...From the platform of the Jains, I prove the non creative aspect of God, and from that of Ramanuja the creative aspect. As a matter of fact we are all thinking of the unthinkable describing the Indescribable, seeking to know the unknown, and that is why our speech falters, is inadequate and been often contradictory.'

History of all conflicts and confrontations in the world is the history of intolerance born out of ignorance. Difficulty with the man is his egocentric existence. If only the man becomes conscious of his own limitations! Anekänta or Syädväda tries to make the man conscious of his limitation by pointing to his narrow vision and limited knowledge of the manifold aspects of things, and asks him not be hasty in forming absolute judgments before examining various other aspects both positive and negative. Obviously, much of the bloodshed, and much of tribulations of mankind would have been saved if the man had shown the wisdom of understanding the contrary viewpoints.

The doctrine of Syädväda also clarifies the metaphysical doctrine of ‘Self' -envisaged by the Jains. The proposition ‘Syäd Asti' is positive in character and points out to the positive attributes of the thing in question. These are individual attributes, which belong to and inhere in the thing in question. Therefore, when the proposition ‘Syäd Asti' is applied to ‘Self', it conveys that ‘Self' is justified in its existence only from the point of view of its own individual attributes, modes, space and time. However, when the other proposition of the doctrine namely ‘Syät Nästi' is applied to it, it means the ‘Self' does not possess the attributes, modes, etc. which do not belong to it. It is just like a pot that can be identified as a ‘pot’ only if it carries the attributes of a ‘pot' but it cannot be identified as a pot if it carries the attributes, which are foreign to it. So the negative identification of ‘Syät Nästi' when applied to ‘Self' would mean that if the self tries to adopt the attributes of Pudgal (matter) which are foreign to it, it is not the ‘self'. In other words, Syädväda teaches us that ‘Self' can be identified positively as ‘Syäd Asti' only if it is viewed from its own attributes, and negatively as ‘Syäd Nästi' to show that it is not Pudgal, etc., if it is viewed from the attributes, foreign to it.

Thus, the doctrine of Syädväda gives clarity to the real character of the ‘Self' and by the same process of reasoning, the real character of ‘Pudgal', i.e., non sentient things.

 

Anekäntaväda and Ahinsä

However, the important aspect of Syädväda is, , the subtlety with which it introduces the practice of Ahinsä (non violence) even in the realm of thought. The moment one begins to consider the angle from which a contrary viewpoint is put forward, one begins to develop tolerance, which is the basic requirement of the practice of ‘Ahinsä'. Origin of all bloody war fought on the surface of this earth can be traced to the war of ideas and beliefs. Syädväda puts a healing touch at the root of human psyche and tries to stop the war of beliefs, which lead to the war of nerves and then to the war of bloodshed. It makes all absolutes in the field of thought quite irrelevant and naive imparts maturity to the thought process and supplies flexibility and originality to human mind. If the man kind will properly understand and adopt this doctrine of Syädväda, it will realize that real revolution was not the French or the Russian; the real revolution was the one, which taught the man to develop his power of understanding from all possible aspects.

 

Page 2


Five Samaväya- (Five Causes)

Introduction: Who is responsible for the actions taking place in this world? Hegel said it is history. Marx said it is system. Freud said it is sensual feelings and teachings of parents.

Believers in God’s grace think that whatever happens, is as per God’s wish. They think that a) God has created the universe, b) God manages the universe and c) God decides who gets what.

While Jains believe that:

  • Nobody has created the universe. Six basic substances of the universe are: soul (Jivästikäya), material atoms (Pudgalästikäya), the medium of motion (Dharmästikäya), the medium of rest (Adharmästikäya), space (Äkäshästikäya) and time (Käl)]. They are indestructible and cannot be created. As such, soul also is indestructible. Therefore, it cannot be created. If, God has created the universe, he has to have a desire to create. The desire makes the God imperfect and he cannot be imperfect. Therefore, he could not have created the universe.

  • Nobody manages the universe. Everything in the universe takes place in accordance with the laws of nature.

  • Nobody decides who gets what. Every individual gets appropriate consequences (or retribution) in accordance with his/her own Karma.

Samväya: Samaväy is the name given to the connection between action and causes. Without a cause, no action can take place. There are five causes that have a deep connection with everything taking place. According to the Jain philosophy, there are five Samaväys (group of factors functioning simultaneously):

  1. Time (Käl),

  2. Own-nature (Svabhäva),

  3. Fate (Niyati)

  4. Nimitta (External Substances and Karma)

  5. Self-effort (Purushärtha)

These all are responsible for all events (changes – positive or negative) in the universe. Only by means of these five, every event in the universe takes place.

Some give importance to one of them and ignore others. From the multiplicity of view- points (Anekäntaväda), the comprehensive vision of the Jain philosophy rejects this absolutely one-sided view or the way of viewing things from a single angle. The Jain philosophy views and reveals the importance of every Samaväy from the multiplicity of viewpoints (Anekäntaväda); and considers these five Samaväys as the causes for any action or reaction. Without these five, nothing can take place.

 

Käl – (Time):

Time gives the sequence to whatever happens in universe. If we sow seeds today, they do not give fruits right away. It requires some time. It takes certain amount of time before sprouts, buds, branches, leaves and fruits appear. We were born on a certain date. In summer, we have hot weather. In winter, we have cold weather. The fruit of Karma also appears at the destined time.

 

Svabhäva- (Own-Nature):

Time is not everything. Even if the right time arrives, certain seeds do not sprout. Why are the thorns sharp? Why most flowers have beautiful colors? Why some animals are cruel? Why some of the animals are clever and capable of rapid movement? Why does a dog bark? A single answer to all these questions is, it is their nature (Svabhäva). For example, to bark is dog’s nature. The chain of gold will not have the characteristics of silver. You will not be able to grow mangoes on a lemon tree. In matters like these, own-nature is considered as the main cause.

 

Niyati – (Fate or Destiny):

This means destiny or fate. Everything is pre-determined. Whatever has been destined will take place. In this matter, neither time nor nature has any effect or influence. Whatever has to happen keeps happening. In this process, change cannot be made despite the best efforts. For example, even if we make all possible efforts, we cannot prevent the aging process or may not be able to save some one’s life. If someone were going to hit our car from behind, he/she would do, despite our best efforts.