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Anekanta : Philosophy of Co-existence: 05.07 The Axioms of Anekānta - The Concomitance of the Permanent and the Impermanent

Published: 20.07.2010
Updated: 24.07.2010

Chapter 5

The Axioms of Anekānta

The Concomitance of the Permanent and the Impermanent

'Is it true, O Lord!' asked Gautama, 'that the unstable changes while the stable does not change, the unstable breaks whereas the stable does not break?

'Yes, Gautama! This is exactly so.'

A substance is the co-existence of the unwavering and the wavering, the stable and the unstable. It is immutable and mutable both. The soul is immutable and as such it never changes into non-soul. It is also mutable and as such it passes through various forms of existence. This is explained in the following dialogue between Manditaputra and the Lord.


'Is is true, O Lord! That the soul is constantly subject to wavering and as a result it passes through various states?'


'Yes, Manditaputra! This is true.'

The same has been said to be true of a material atom which has been regarded as an ever-changing entity in Jainism. The permanence of the substance is due to its unwavering character (the attribute of immutability), while its impermanence is due to its wavering character (origination and cessation). This is manifest from the following dialogue -


'Is the soul permanent or impermanent, O Lord?'


'The soul is permanent in some respect and impermanent in another respect. It is permanent in respect of its substance (which is eternal) and it is impermanent in respect of modes which originate and vanish.'

This is true not only of the soul but of all other substances which are neither absolutely permanent nor absolutely impermanent, but both permanent and impermanent.


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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  1. Gautama
  2. Jainism
  3. Manditaputra
  4. Soul
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