Applied Philosophy Of Anekanta ► 3. Epistemological Analysis of Anekāntavāda ► 3.3 The Jain Doctrine of Naya: Its Implications ► 3.3.2 Seven Types of Nayavāda

Posted: 21.05.2014

3.3.2 Seven Types of Nayavāda

The Jaina thinkers have been led to the formulation of the methodological scheme consisting of seven ways of looking at reality. They are enumerated in the following order of decreasing denotation[1]: naigama, saṅgraha, vyavahāra, rjusūtra, śabda, samabhirūḍha, and evambhūta.[2] Generally among these, the first three are considered to be dravyanayas or substantive standpoints and the other four paryāyanayas or modal standpoints.[3] We may now proceed to point out, with illustrations, the nature and function of these seven viewpoints.

(i) Naigama Naya

Naigama is that naya, where the general (sāmānya) and the specific (viśeṣa) features of the things are judged.[4] For example, conscious man is a jīva (soul). Here the general and the specific nature of jīva is described. This naya is also recognized by the Nyāya and the Vaiśeṣika schools of Indian philosophy.So, it is a method of referring to an entity,where its generic and specific characteristics are not distinguished from each other. It is an imprecise statement, but not an incorrect one, for it is conventionally accepted. For e.g., when we use the word, 'the bamboo' we mean thereby, that it possesses both general properties (which are shared by other trees) and specific properties (confined to the bamboo alone). Thus the two attributes of a particular substance when uttered by keeping one in focus and the other in margin is called naigama naya.[5]

This truth is also attested in ordinary assertions of work a day life. Asked about his residence a man may observe that his residence is in Asia or India or Bengal or Calcutta or a particular house with a particular number. Ultimately, he may observe for the sake of exactitude that as a soul, he lives with in his own body. Now all these observations are true though the first statement presents a broadly generalized concept and the last the most specific one, the intermediate locations representing graduated scale of specification. This way of approach has been called naigama. It takes both the aspects of the truth i.e. universal and particular into consideration but emphasizing on either of the two at a time.

(ii) Saṁgraha Naya

Saṁgraha Naya is the collective or class point of view. Saṃgraha is a naya in which the general qualities of the things are taken into consideration, without ignoring the specific qualities of the thing, but the emphasis is given on the general qualities alone.[6] This naya is also recognized by the Sāṁkhya and the Advaita schools of Indian philosophy. For example, when the word substance or dravya is used for it as a class which signifies all types of substances. Such a view is only partially correct but does not give the idea of the whole. For it ignores the specific characteristics of that thing. Jains cite vedŒnta as suffering from this fallacy, when it extracts only one class characteristic saying that everything is 'sat' and whatsoever is 'sat' is Brahman and rest is mŒya. While explaining nayas, he said: ‘sarvekam sadviśeāt’, [7] that is, all is one because they are sat and have equal existence. In the Sthānāṅgasūtra, we get sūtras such as these: there is one soul, there is one loka (universe). For compatibility of these sūtras, we have to depend on saṇgraha naya, this naya regards, all soul as one. So, according to it, ‘ege āyā[8] sūtra can be accepted. Here, it is to be noted that with the help of saṇgraha naya, above-mentioned sūtras can be co-related without crossing the limits of āgamaic principles. It is a generic or synthetic view. It seeks for the unity in diversity.

(iii) Vyavahāranaya

In contrast with the saṅgraha standpoint, the vyavahāra standpoint specializes itself in being concerned with the specific features[9] of the object concerned, without, of course, losing sight of the fact that they cannot stand by themselves without the support of the generic properties in the larger setting of concrete reality. Vyavahāra is that naya by which the specific qualities of a thing are taken into consideration, not completely ignoring the general qualities of a thing, but by by-passing the general qualities of a thing.[10] This naya is recognized by the Cārvāka school of Indian philosophy. It is analytic and particularistic in its approach.It is concerned with the actual present state of an object perceived. For example, when a person is asked to bring a mango fruit, he attempts to bring mango fruit only, but not any other fruit, although he is aware of the fact, that mango is only a species in the genus of fruit.[11]

(iv) Ṛjusūtra Naya

ju-sūtra is that naya by which a thing is to be judged as it is, without looking into the past and future nature of the thing.[12] As past is already lost and the future is not born yet.This naya does not refer to the past and future of the thing. The past is defunct and the future is unborn. And if experience be the proof of the existence of a thing, the past and future existence of a fact must be rejected as the real traits of the individuals. What we perceive is the present and so it is the present that can be real. Further more, the past has no causal efficiency and so also the future. The real, tree does not serve any purpose or give any advantage or disadvantage. So logical consistency demands that we should regard only that as real, which is existent in the present moment. This line of approach has been pursued by the Buddhist fluxist who declares all reals to be momentary in duration. This approach has been called ṛjusūtra naya, that is, the approach which gives the straight and direct glimpse of the thing. The present is the real character of the individual. The past and future determinations are as alien to it as the character of other entities. Ācārya Mahāprajña has aptly remarked thus: "The method of ṛjusūtra recognizes the entity itself (bhŒva), but does not consider its name (nŒma) or image (sthŒpanŒ), or the causes which constituted it.

The advocate of the next nayas goes one step further in the process of particularization. It agrees with the advocate of the previous approach in the assertion that the present alone is real. But as the real is expressed and characterized by work, and words are significant and not meaningless symbols, the real must be understood in the light of the connotation of the term that stands for it.

(v) Śabda Naya

Sabda is that naya by which a thing is recognized simply by hearing the name of a thing.[13] Sabda naya includes all grammatical aspects of a word or of a sentence. For example, ‘There was a city named Pataliputra.’ The word 'was' in the sentence indicates that it is different from the present one.Thus, this view also maintains that the connotation of the terms is bound to differ if they differ in gender and number. The terms with different number and gender cannot be identical. They are as different as their antonyms. The verbal expression is not an external label, but has a definite connotation, which is bound to differ when the number or gender differs. Man and woman are different because they differ in gender. It is expressive of an entitative difference, which is worth useful in our day-to-day life affairs. This is called śabdanaya,the verbalistic approach.

(vi) Samabhirūdha Naya

The next naya is called 'samabhirūdha', which goes another step further in the process of specification by identifying the etymological meaning (vyutpattinimitta) with the real meaning (pravṛtti nimitta). The advocate of this line of approach maintains that the meanings of words must differ with the difference of words. Each word has got a distinctive connotation of its own, so there can be no synonyms in the true sense of the term. Samabhirūḍha is that naya by which the meaning of a word is judged on the basis of its different etymological meanings. This naya is deeper than the śabda naya.[14] Well, the Jar is called ghata kuta, and also kuṁbha in Sanskrit. They are derived from different radicals and each of them has got a distinctive meaning. Thus the 'ghata', stands for a particular action, 'kuta' stands for crookedness, and 'kumbha' which is, derived from ku + uṁbha, stands for this action of filling. The derivative words should therefore be properly affixed to facts, which have these acts as their connotation. It is not consistent to maintain that the words with different connotations do stand for a self-identical denotation.

(vii) Evambhūta Naya

Evambhūta naya is a further specialized form of the application of the verbal method. When the meaning of a word is established on the basis of its relevane to the present context, it is called evambhūta naya.[15] For example, there is a difference between a RŒjŒ when he is not shining and a RŒjŒ when he is shining with his royal glory. Grammarians accept this naya. Purandara, for instance, should be accordingly to this naya, designated as such only when he is actually engaged in the act of destroying his enemies. Similarly the designation śakra is appropriate only when he is actually manifesting his prowess.[16] The fallacy in regard to evambhūta-naya consists in refusing to give the object its usual name when it is not functioning.[17] It should be noted here that in the Tattvārtha Sūtra[18],the samabhirūḍha and the evambhūta nayas are considered under the sabdanaya, as they are the variety of the sabdanaya, and therefore, according to Umāsvāti, the nayas are five in number.

Now the treatment of the four paryāyayas or the modal standpoints may be resumed. The śabda naya is the method of correct nomenclature. This also takes into account grammatical correctness and propriety of expression. In fact, the last three nayas, namely, sabda, samabhirūḍha and evambhūta nayas are concerned with proper and appropriate use of words. Broadly speaking all these three are different kinds of the śabda naya.It is quite clear from the above explanation that śabda, samabhirūḍha and evabhūta are but the gradual subtler distinction of a thing viewed from the standpoint of time i.e. present. All these three therefore, are but the ramifications of ṛjusūtra, which may be compared to a tree. As per Siddhasena, śabda is a branch of the tree, while samabhirūḍha is a twig upon the branch śabda, and evaṁbhūta is a smaller twig upon the small twig-samabhirūḍha.[19] Western Post Modern philosopher's notion, in the tradition of philosophy of Language, is also in tune with the nayās.

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Title: Applied Philosophy Of Anekanta
Edition: 2012
ISBN: 978-81910633-8-7
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