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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Are technically called naya Footnote ref 2


style="text-align: justify;">[Footnote 1: See Chandogya, VI. 1.]


another form. It is by virtue of these unchanged qualities that a thing is said to be permanent though undergoing change. Thus when a lump of gold is turned into a rod or a ring, all the specific qualities which come under the connotation of the word "gold" are seen to continue, though the forms are successively changed, and with each such change some of its qualities are lost and some new ones are acquired. Such being the case, the truth comes to this, that there is always a permanent entity as represented by the permanence of such qualities as lead us to call it a substance in spite of all its diverse changes. The nature of being (_sat_) then is neither the absolutely unchangeable, nor the momentary changing qualities or existences, but involves them both. Being then, as is testified by experience, is that which involves a permanent unit, which is incessantly every moment losing some qualities and gaining new ones. The notion of being involves a permanent (_dhruva_) accession of some new qualities (_utpada_) and loss of some old qualities (_vyaya_) [Footnote ref.1]. The solution of Jainism is thus a reconciliation of the two extremes of Vedantism and Buddhism on grounds of common-sense experience.

The Doctrine of Relative Pluralism (anekantavada).

This conception of being

as the union of the permanent and change brings us naturally to the doctrine of Anekantavada or what we may call relative pluralism as against the extreme absolutism of the Upani@sads and the pluralism of the Buddhists. The Jains regarded all things as _anekanta_ (_na-ekanta_), or in other words they held that nothing could be affirmed absolutely, as all affirmations were true only under certain conditions and limitations. Thus speaking of a gold jug, we see that its existence as a substance (_dravya_) is of the nature of a collocation of atoms and not as any other substance such as space (_akas'a_), i.e. a gold jug is a _dravya_ only in one sense of the term and not in every sense; so it is a _dravya_ in the sense that it is a collocation of atoms and not a _dravya_ in the sense of space or time (_kala_). It is thus both a dravya and not a dravya at one and the same time. Again it is atomic in the sense that it is a composite of earth-atoms and not atomic in the sense that it is


[Footnote: 1: See _Tattvarthadhigamasutra_, and Gu@naratna's treatment of Jainism in _@Sa@ddars'anasamuccaya_.]


not a composite of water-atoms. Again it is a composite of earth-atoms only in the sense that gold is a metallic modification of earth, and not any other modification of earth as clay or stone. Its being constituted of metal-atoms is again true in the sense that it is made up of gold-atoms and not of iron-atoms. It is made up again of gold-atoms in the sense of melted and unsullied gold and not as gold in the natural condition. It is again made up of such unsullied and melted gold as has been hammered and shaped by the goldsmith Devadatta and not by Yajnadatta. Its being made up of atoms conditioned as above is again only true in the sense that the collocation has been shaped as a jug and not as a pot and so on. Thus proceeding in a similar manner the Jains say that all affirmations are true of a thing only in a certain limited sense. All things (_vastu_) thus possess an infinite number of qualities (_anantadharmatmaka@m vastu_), each of which can only be affirmed in a particular sense. Such an ordinary thing as a jug will be found to be the object of an infinite number of affirmations and the possessor of an infinite number of qualities from infinite points of view, which are all true in certain restricted senses and not absolutely [Footnote ref l]. Thus in the positive relation riches cannot be affirmed of poverty but in the negative relation such an affirmation is possible as when we say "the poor man has no riches." The poor man possesses riches not in a positive but in a negative way. Thus in some relation or other anything may be affirmed of any other thing, and again in other relations the very same thing cannot be affirmed of it. The different standpoints from which things (though possessed of infinite determinations) can be spoken of as possessing this or that quality or as appearing in relation to this or that, are technically called _naya_ [Footnote ref 2].

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