Anekanta : Philosophy of Co-existence: 01 Truth is Multidimensional

Published: 05.07.2010
Updated: 03.08.2010

Chapter 1

Truth is Multidimensional


Agam - canonical literature
Chattanyadwait - duality of consciousness
Kashaya - passions
Kevali - omniscient sacred
Shastras - text
Sadhak - the person who is engaged in spiritualism
Pramana Shastra - science of valid cognition
Padartha Shastra - material science
Sneh - affinity

The truth attained through right vision can only be witnessed and propagated. This visualisation does not come through logic, it gives indirect knowledge but not direct knowledge. When there is visualization the essence of truth comes before us. The whole approach has been formed on the basis of canonical literature which is capable of defining the material sciences and which makes the base for the development of philosophy. Let this be the base of our approach that may take us towards the truth.

Truth is Multidimensional

I have studied the canonical literature (Agams) of Jains. The study has given rise to the approach that the right vision and the right view are the two rudiments of Jain philosophy. There are many philosophies propounded by many philosophers. It all depends on one's approach. But the criterion I have adopted is that one who has overcome the passions (Kashaya) like anger, ego, worldly possessions, greed etc. can achieve right vision and right view. He does not see through his eyes but he sees through his inner eyes. Whatever is seen through the inner eyes is the truth. There are many philosophies before us. Many persons have gone through them. Unless we create our own vision we cannot reach even the threshold of philosophy. It has been taken for granted that whatever our ancestors have seen, the philosophy ended there. There was nothing beyond that. Majority of the philosophers are seen to have engaged themselves in translating the scriptures of the ancestors or writing new edition for them or interpreting their views only.

An important fact has emerged that there are several modes of substances. They cannot be expressed but known and the super sensuous can know them properly. Modes are innumerable. They cannot be propounded. Even they cannot be explained by the omniscient. The reason is obvious that the modes are innumerable and the span of life is very short. Even language has limited power. In such a short span of life one cannot propound the limitless. Whether he is omniscient or Kevali he has explained only a limited number of religions, has explained some parts of substances or numbered matters and has not enunciated even the innumerable. The question of knowing the limitless is unthinkable. That means the door for the quest of truth is ajar. If everything had been explained, then nothing had been left for us to explain. It would have been a repetition only. But the fact is that everything has not been said on known. It is our duty to explore what has not been explaining and what is unknown and form an approach. Whatever has not been explaining is much more than whatever has been saying or known. Uttaradhyana Sutra has supported this approach. It has been saying that 'Appana Sachchamesejja' i.e. makes search for the truth all by you. If everything would have been known then there was no need to make a search for the truth. Since all is not known neither explained therefore the door of quest for truth is open before us. There is a need for forming a right vision to make search for the truth.

Right vision can be attained easily and also it can be attained by practice and effort. There are many Rishis and Arhats who had never studied the Shastras (sacred text) but they have propounded great truths. How an illiterate can propound such a big truth? This can be a big question but this has been answered in a beautiful manner. It has been explained that there are ten tastes. The first taste among them is the taste of natural endowment (Nisarga Ruchi). A man who never reads the scriptures nor hears them but his passion is subdued; he can easily catch sight of the truth. There have been many such Rishis in the legacy of our philosophy. Whether the Rishis belong to the Upanishad or the Ishibhasian or belonging to the legacy of any other form they were visionary. The visionary Rishis have enunciated many truths and parts of truth.

A background has been created before us to form a broad vision. Our approach will only be narrow if we think through the limits of a single sect. If it is said that whatever has been said and seen in a particular sect was an absolute philosophy then this approach is narrow. If we think beyond the narrow limits of a sect then only our approach broadens. One whose soul is pure, passions abated, conscience purified, only his vision makes a strong base for an approach to the quest of truth.

The taste of natural endowment has become a base for a broader view for me. This is not bound by any sect. This taste of natural endowment is not limited to any sect whether, it is Nyaya Darshan, Vaisheshika Darshan or Jain Darshan. It can happen to any sect, space and time. A person whose soul has been purified to a certain extent and who has attained right vision through abatement of passions is a visionary. The ultimate truth is that philosophy cannot be enunciated without right vision.

The reason is obvious. When the feelings of attachment and jealousy are dominant, truth cannot be propounded. If truth is not propounded then element or transcendental elements cannot be enunciated. We cannot keep it in the category of philosophy because there may be partiality due to attachment to any sect or the truth may be neglected due to jealousy with other sect. Due to this attachment and jealousy truth disappears. When we go beyond these passions our vision becomes unattached and non-jealous. The unbiased and unattached vision is right vision. The truth propounded in a state of unattachment, is philosophy.

At present the scope of philosophy is far reaching. In the ancient times the studies of material science was within the bounds of philosophy. In the Middle Ages Pramana Shastra (science of valid cognition) was also taken at par with philosophy. Philosophy has two main parts namely Padartha Shastra (material science) and Pramana Shastra. Nyaya system of philosophy is a Pramana Shastra. Vaisheshika philosophy is material science. There is difference between the two. The Nyaya Shastra is also called philosophy as the Vaisheshika but in the ancient context the Vasheshika is a philosophy whereas Nyaya is a Shastra. Logic or Pramana Shastra is a criterion to testify philosophy. In the times of the Rishis and visionaries, there was no need for logic or valid cognition. Whatever they said was proof. The science of logic evolved when the Rishis and the super visionaries (Atindriya Drasta) did not exist. When the Rishis departed the people asked, "What will become of us?" The Rishis said, "Do not worry, we are leaving logic behind."

At present logic has become an important part of philosophy. Because of this, we are going far away from the truth. Logic cannot take us to the truth. If we could reach truth through logic, there would not have been any place for caste and deceit in Nyaya Shastra. Logic is mainly limited to victory and defeat. The person whose logic is strong wins and the person, whose logic is weak, is defeated. When there was a question of winning and defeat arguments went on among the philosophers. At that time logic and Pramāna Shāstra became important. It can be seen in logic as to how by saying Navakambal one can defeat the other. Navakambal has two meanings - nine Kambal and new Kambal. Some one said 'Nine Kambal' some other said 'New Kambal'. This deceit that entered philosophy and Pramana Shastra clearly showed our approach of increasing the number of sects and a basis for winning and defeat. Then the aim of making a search for truth went into the background.

The Jain philosophy has given utmost importance to unattachment with the worldliness. Therefore, there was no place for deceit and caste nor winning and defeat. Though I cannot say that in the middle ages our ancestor Acharya were not quite unattached, there was enough striving for unattachment. Our resolution should be to make a search for truth. Whatever is attainment through a search for truth is the real philosophy. It means that the philosopher and the Sadhak (one who is engaged in spiritual exercises) are one. The person who is engaged in spiritualism {Sadhak) is a philosopher and the philosopher is a Sadhak. One who is not a Sadhak will not be a philosopher. He will embark in deceit, caste and fraud. Therefore, I prefer the words - philosopher saint. One who is a philosopher and also a saint is philosopher saint.

The truth attained through the right vision can only be witnessed and propagated. This visualisation does not come through logic; it gives indirect knowledge but not direct knowledge. When there is visualization the essence of truth comes before us.

It has been said in Asthanang Sutra that whatever is there in this world is the combination of two words. They appear in two terms. One is the soul or sentient and the other non-sentient. These are visualized facts and these have also been propounded. There are two types of material substance - one is with form and the other is without form. The theory of abstract is an important theory of Jain philosophy. The four words are very important - transient and intransient, worldly and unworldly.

The Jain philosophy is based on dualism. In the philosophy of non-dualism, those who are believers of duality of consciousness {Chattanyadwait) accept that everything is born of consciousness. According to the school of non-sentientism, everything crops up from unconscious matter. Creation of unconscious objects from conscious and of conscious from unconscious both remained undual. In such a state there is a third option of dualism wherein both sentient and non-sentient matter has independent existence. None has been born from the other. In Jain philosophy ten rules have been propounded - one of them is that no sentient matter will ever be non-sentient and no non-sentient will be sentient. Both have independent existence. None will emerge from the other and will not dissolve into the other. The dualist have established that there are sentient and non-sentient matter both having independent existence.

This dualistic approach has given rise to a question. If the body is insentient and the soul of the body is sentient then how it can be said that it has independent existence. In fact, both are intertwined. This question was subject of argument in the Indian philosophy and more so in the western philosophy.

What is the relation between the two? Jain philosophy has tried to explain the same that the relationship is not artificial but natural. The sentient have the capability to adopt the physical substance. That capability is called affinity (Sneh). The sentient beings have the quality of Sneh that can absorb the physical substance. A relationship can be established between the two. The sentient has a relationship with the non-sentient but they are not the same. Both have independent existence. They live together but are not same. They are together like the sun and the shade but they are not one. They have no unison. Their independent existence is never lost. The physical substance makes some impression on the sentient and it is so forceful that it makes it equal to  the non-sentient but cannot totally dissolve into the sentient.

In the Nandi Sutra it has been beautifully explained that howsoever dense the cloud may be the separate existence of day and night will remain. Similarly, the physical substance covers the non-sentient substance and makes it close to  the non-sentient. Even then it cannot make it non-sentient. The existence of the non-sentient never dissolves. This is the sign of its independent existence. There is a special trait in it. This trait is perhaps never explained in philosophy. It is the existence of Agurulaghu (no big and no small). This helps in establishing its existence. It is always alert and remains as a watchdog. It does not stir a substance and always gives its own form to the substance. Had it not been so, the substance would have stirred a substance and the mode would have stirred a mode. There has been a big discovery of right vision and that is Agurulaghu trait and the mode of Agurulaghu. The trait of Agurulaghu is the main base of our existence. It maintains our existence. If we see the outer base of substance, we find many elements that can dissolve our existence but this is an inner power. Very few people are aware of this power. This power is the trait of Agurulaghu, which poses no danger to our existence.

The whole approach has been formed on the basis of canonical literature which is capable of defining the material sciences and which make the base for the development of philosophy. Let this be the base of our approach that may take us towards the truth.

To sum up and conclude it can be said that the attainment of right vision is an achievement of philosophy. The evolution of right vision is the evolution of philosophy. The manifestation of right vision is the manifestation of philosophy. We cannot talk of philosophy without having right vision. We talk of the Pramana Shastra but the means to reach the material science or real substance is only right vision. This fact needs to be realised.


Anekanta: Philosophy of Co-existence Publisher:  JainVishwa Bharati, Ladnun, Rajasthan, India Editor: Muni Akshay Prakash

Edition:  2010 (1. Edition)

ISBN:  817195140-6

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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Agam
  3. Agams
  4. Agurulaghu
  5. Anger
  6. Arhats
  7. Body
  8. Chattanyadwait
  9. Consciousness
  10. Darshan
  11. Deceit
  12. Greed
  13. Jain Philosophy
  14. Kashaya
  15. Kevali
  16. Nandi sutra
  17. Nyaya
  18. Omniscient
  19. Padartha Shastra
  20. Pramana
  21. Pramana Shastra
  22. Rishis
  23. Sadhak
  24. Science
  25. Shastra
  26. Shastras
  27. Sneh
  28. Soul
  29. Space
  30. Sutra
  31. Uttaradhyana Sutra
  32. Vaisheshika
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