Applied Philosophy Of Anekanta ► 3. Epistemological Analysis of Anekāntavāda ► 3.2 The Doctrine of Conditional Dialectics (Syādvāda) and Sevenfold Predication (Saptabhaṅgī) ► 3.2.3 The Conceptual Analysis of Philosophy of Co-existence

Posted: 02.05.2014

Anekānta took birth on the basis of inter-dependence of two nayas i.e. substantial and modal viewpoint. Syādvāda expresses that very inter-dependence. Anekānta has two aspects: permanent and temporary, existence and non-existence, general and particular, one and many, expressible and inexpressible. In this case, śāśvata and aśāśvata, in ordinary or common sense knowledge, refer to one logical subject. We do not start with a sort of Cartesian dualism. To do so would be to raise the dust and then complaining the invisibility. It is the jīva-ajīva independent existence that appears as the subject, which is logical and epistemological. Now how could this one subject be attributed with the contradictory predicates, śāśvata and asŒ aśāśvata? Jain thinkers say that in the phenomenological world of objects, the law of contradiction as law of either thought or things cannot be sustained. Object can only differ from each other. So, no logical predicate or epistemological attribute can exclude the other by applying a law of contradiction and excluded middle.

In this context, the absolute view regarding the substance and mode is not reasonable, as both are inter-related to each other. To regard one as true and another as untrue is as meaningless as to breath without air. Substance is the uniting force through which paradoxical nature of the Reality merges into unity. Contrary to it, mode is the dividing force through which unity of Reality undergoes change and diversity. The interdependence and co-existence of substance and mode implies that mode is nothing but the changing property of a substance. When a substance passes through one condition to another and from one moment to another without losing its essence, it is recognized as mode.[1] This is confirmed by Umāsvāti in Sabhāṣya Tattvārthādhigam Sūtrā, which says an entity is a single whole and it has the dual aspect of change and permanence. The SBT, then discusses the law of contradiction and shows the absence of any opposition between permanence and impermanence, existence and non-existence as attributes of the same entity. What unites these aspects is proved through syādvāda. Contradictoriness works only in the formal logic and in the mind of a common man. What works in nature, is the law of complementary. The law of contradiction is in vogue now-a-days. Ācārya Hemachandra answering the problem of contradiction states, 'No contradiction, when conditioned by difference of conditions. It is repeatedly asserted that existence and non-existence are always determinate. Existence is determined by the specific nature or individuality of the subject (svarūpa) and non-existence is in its turn determined by the nature or individuality of things which are different from the subject (pararūpa).[2] Thus it proves that the combination of opposites involves no contradiction. Jaina logicians firmly believe that the three contradictions namely, sahanavasthana virodha, vadhyaghātaka virodha, pratibandhya-pratibandhaka virodha[3] are widely accepted by almost all the philosophical systems do not apply to the doctrine of non-absolutism. Opposition (virodha), according to Jain Philosophy, none of which can be shown to obtain between being and non-being and so forth.

1. Vadhyaghātaka Virodha:

The first type of oppositional relation is represented by the relation of destruction, which obtains between the destroyable and the destroyer. For example, between snake and mongoose, or fire and water. The destruction in such cases is possible only when two co-existent positive facts come together into collision and the one overpowers the other. There is not such destruction between being and non-being as the two, according to the opponents itself, they do not co-exist in a common substratum even for a moment. If, however, the two are admitted to co-exist in a common substratum, none would destroy the other, because both are equally powerful on account of their independent and equally powerful origin.

2. Sahanavasthana Virodha:

The second type is represented by the relation of non-co-existence, which obtains between characteristics originating at different moments of time. For example, between greenness and yellowness of the self-same mango at different moments of its existence. Yellowness in this context can only succeed greenness and can never co-exist with it. This type of opposition also does not hold good between being and non-being. Non-being cannot inherit the locus of being, because the locus of being has ceased to exist along with the cessation of being. And non-being without a locus is as un-understandable as square-circle. So it becomes clear that pure being and pure non-being has many logical difficulties.

3. Pratibandhya-pratibandhaka Virodha:

The third type of oppositional relation is represented by the relation of obstruction, which obtains between the obstructed and the obstructer. For example, the conjunction of a fruit with its stalk obstructs the gravitation of the fruit towards the earth. This type of opposition also is not possible between being and non-being. Being is not an obstruct or of non-being, because the existence of being does not obstruct the existence of non-being. We have already seen how the object of our experience is a synthesis of being and non-being.

None of these three types of opposition can be discovered in the assertion of opposing attributes in the substratum. Contradiction or opposition, in fact arises when there is mere conjunction and no real synthesis, but the Jain doctrine of anekānt, emphasizes on the opposites which occur without mutual separation and not contrary to it.

Ācārya Mahāprajña remarks that there is no contradiction between the positum and the negatum. This is the implication or pre-supposition of the doctrine of conditional dialectics (syādvāda ). It would be relevant to quote Mahaveer Raj Galera’s contention that Mahapragya has stipulated a few postulates in order to expand his ‘theory of opposites’.[4]

    1. Co-opposites represent two mutually different directions.
    2. Existence of co-opposites is a self-proven axiom. It is the very nature of every object to possess the co-opposites simultaneously.
    3. Co-opposites’ do not cancel each other but reinforce each other.

There exists a definite co-ordination even in absolute conflict. Conversely, there exists conflict in apparent cases of harmony. This is the very basis of co-existent evolution. Mahapragya has established the practical utility of above postulates which can be put to good use in resolving our every day conflicts of life. The duality of apparently contrary attributes enjoys mutual concomitance. It is on this finding that the doctrine of non-absolutism as a synthesis of infinite number of such dualities is established.[5]

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