Jain Dualism ► Jain Dualism [0] Preface

Posted: 24.03.2009


http://www.herenow4u.net/fileadmin/v3media/pics/persons/Dr._N.L._Kachhara/Dr._N.L._Kachhara.jpgOmniscient Lord Mahavira with his spiritual powers saw the reality in its true form and described it for the benefit of others. He did not need any medium and had the direct perception of all objects as small as a paramanu. The secrets of life revealed to him, he observed the subtle realities and explained the system of bodies both visible and invisible and propounded the Doctrine of Karma, the universal law governing the lives of all organisms. Physical facilities to observe the finer details of the material body, discovered by science now, did not exist at that time, but this did not impose any limitation on his direct observations.  

The knowledge revealed by Lord Mahavira was committed to memory and was passed on orally for about thousand years after which it was recollected and complied by Acharyas in the form of written scriptures. The style, language, methodology and the approach of scriptural presentation is at variance with the modern language, style, precept and methods in both contents and concepts. On account of this many of the scriptural facts do not easily appeal to modern mind.  The modern science, philosophy, psychology and other epistemological branches, particularly developed in the west, differ from scriptures and reconciliation between them can be very productive. This is the need of the hour so that the benefits of the scriptural truths percolate to modern thinkers particularly in the west. My attempt through these articles is a step in this direction.

Modern science has provided us minute details of the structure and functioning of the physical body and the material world, all other branches of knowledge, be it philosophy or psychology, cannot ignore these findings, and therefore we see a heavy dependence of these streams on science. One of the basic questions is to understand our own existence and in this respect the scientific discoveries, howsoever powerful, are insufficient to fully appreciate the reality, which involves subtle realms that are beyond the reach of science as yet. It is because of this subtle nature of reality that the philosophies also tend to be short in their approach to facts. An amalgamation of scriptural knowledge, scientific findings and philosophical thinking can provide us deeper insight of the reality hitherto not possible by either of them individually. Particularly, clear understandings of the concepts of soul and mind, which are central to our existence, have eluded the philosophers and scientists equally. Many western philosophers have accepted Dualism but due to lack of proper insight it has not reached a stage of general acceptance. A proper understanding of dualism provides a solid background against which all-scientific findings and philosophical and psychological theories can be evaluated and tested.

In this series of four articles (chatustaya) I have attempted to present dualism in the light of Jain philosophy and science by clearly defining soul, mind and body and the interactions between them and the external world. The entire exposition centers on the Doctrine of Karma propounded by omniscient. This is only a humble attempt to understand and correlate the deeper facts of Jain philosophy, modern philosophy and science and there may be explanatory gaps, which are not unlikely in a work of this kind; but not presenting an excuse for it I expect it to trigger further thinking in the minds of the readers so that a generally accepted model of the reality is arrived at.

10th March 2009
Narayan Lal Kachhara

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1st Edition
probably available in 2010