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A History of Indian Philosophy, Volume 1

Infinite knowledge ananta jnana


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style="text-align: justify;">in us is generated by the external world, but there is in us the rise of knowledge and of certain objects made known to us by it. The rise of knowledge is thus only parallel to certain objective collocations of things which somehow have the special fitness that they and they alone are perceived at that particular moment. Looked at from this point of view all our experiences are centred in ourselves, for determined somehow, our experiences come to us as modifications of our own self. Knowledge being a character of the self, it shows itself as manifestations of the self independent of the senses. No distinction should be made between a conscious and an unconscious element in knowledge as Sa@mkhya does. Nor should knowledge be regarded as a copy of the objects which it reveals, as the Sautrantikas think, for then by copying the materiality of the object, knowledge would itself become material. Knowledge should thus be regarded as a formless quality of the self revealing all objects by itself. But the Mima@msa view that the validity (_prama@nya_) of all knowledge is proved by knowledge itself _svata@hprama@nya_) is wrong. Both logically and psychologically the validity of knowledge depends upon outward correspondence (sa@mvada) with facts. But in those cases where by previous knowledge of correspondence a right belief has been produced there may be a psychological ascertainment of validity without reference to objective facts (_prama@nyamutpattau parata
eva jnaptau svakarye ca svata@h paratas'ca. abhyasanabhyasapek@saya_) [Footnote ref 1]. The objective world exists as it is certified by experience. But that it generates knowledge in us is an unwarrantable hypothesis, for knowledge appears as a revelation of our own self. This brings us to a consideration of Jaina metaphysics.

The Jivas.

The Jains say that experience shows that all things may be divided into the living (_jiva_) and the non-living (_ajiva_). The principle of life is entirely distinct from the body, and it is most erroneous to think that life is either the product or the property of the body [Footnote ref 2] It is on account of this life-principle that the body appears to be living This principle is the soul. The soul is directly perceived (by introspection) just as the external things are. It is not a mere symbolical object indicated by a phrase or

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[Footnote 1: _Prameyakamalamarta@n@da,_ pp. 38-43.]

[Footnote 2: See _Jaina Varttika,_ p. 60.]

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a description. This is directly against the view of the great Mima@msa authority Prabhakara [Footnote ref 1]. The soul in its pure state is possessed of infinite perception (_ananta-dars'ana_), infinite knowledge (_ananta-jnana_), infinite bliss (_ananta-sukha_) and infinite power (_ananta-virya_) [Footnote ref 2]. It is all perfect. Ordinarily however, with the exception of a few released pure souls (_mukta-jiva_) all the other jivas (_sa@msarin_) have all their purity and power covered with a thin veil of karma matter which has been accumulating in them from beginningless time. These souls


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