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The Philosophy of Karma

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The Philosophy of Karma

- Pt. Sumer Chand Jain Diwakar

Almost all believers in the transmigration of soul attach great importance to the Karma theory. The adage, `as you sow, so you reap' is significant enough to show the universality and popularity of this doctrine. The treatment of this topic is unique in Jain philosophy in as much as it is rational, scientific, and elaborate. Our critical examination of the universe brings out the fact that there are sentient and non-sentient substances in the world. The soul is sentient and other objects devoid of this faculty are matter, time, space media of motion and rest. The special characteristic of matter is taste, smell, touch and colour. All that is comprehended by the senses is material. Like the conscious soul, matter is also indestructible. These objects are eternal, therefore, they are not created by any agency whether super-natural or superhuman. The whole panorama of nature is the outcome of the union or the chemical action of atoms due to their inherent property of smoothness and aridity. The variegated forms and appearances are evolved out of these material atoms. This has driven many a thinker to the conclusion that some Intelligent and Supreme Being is at the helm of affairs. He creates, destroys and recreates. The entire world dances attendance to His sweet wishes. He is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Enjoyer of transcendental bliss. Jain thinkers do not agree with this idea. The rational mind is at a loss to understand why Good, Happy, Great, Omnipotent and Omniscient God created the world which is full of sufferings, inequalities and barbarities as the lot of the majority of its creatures ?

The argument that every object has

The argument that every object has a creator is not of universal application. When the world-creator is believed to be self-existent, why not the same logic be applicable to other objects as well ? If the world was looked after by Benevolent, Merciful, Omniscient and Omni-potent Lord of the Universe, the harrowing and horrifying calamities like earthquake, destruction by flood and similar catastro-phies involving the loss of innumerable innocent and poor beings should have been easily averted. In view of the occurrence of such tragic incidents, the rational mind has to admit that this sort of working of the universe does not depend upon the sweet wishes or directives of the Supereme, Benevolent and Merciful Lord. Therefore, we have to accept the self-existent nature of the universe.

This does not mean that the Jains do not believe in the existence of God or Parmatman. They do believe in the existence of God or Parmatman—The Pure and Passionless Soul, who is Perfect and Blissful and who has no hand in the making or destruction of this world. It is a matter of regret that the Jains are called Atheists by some people. The Chambers Dictionary meaning of the word is ``one who disbelieves in the existence of God (Gr. a. neg., and theos, God). Theist is ``one who believes in God. Therefore, the appropriate nomenclature for a Jain would be a ``Theist rather than ``Atheist, because Jains believe in God and worship the Lord in their own way. Worship of God is an essential daily duty enjoined upon a votary of Jainism. He is also expected to practice these fourfold virtues, that is he must be just, `Affectionate', Introspective and `Noble.' The word `Jain' stands for these rules of good conduct, which are universal and nonsectarian.

Jains worship perfect

Jains worship perfect and passionless God for the sake of mental purity and spiritual advancement. This worship is, in fact, the `Ideal worship' rather than `Idol worship'. The concentration and meditation towards the passionless and peaceful idol assist the common man in getting release from the clutches of baser and evil propensities. The Jain view of worship is a purely psychological process, whereby the aspirant develops himself and gradually attains the status of omniscience and bliss, the characteristics of God-hood.

The observation of Vivekanand are illminating, ``The Buddhists or the Jains do not depend upon God but the whole force of their religion is directed to the great central truth in every religion, to evolve a God out of man. (Essentials of Hindusm, P. 36). The embodied mundane Jiva can rise to the highest Status of Godhood. The reputed Jain scholar C. R. Jain's elucidation is illuminating. ``The difference between an unevolved Jiva and a fully evolved one is exactly the same as that between a dirty mirror and a clean one. Both are alike in respect of their reflecting power, but not in reference to the actual functioning thereof. The ordinary Jiva is like a dirty mirror, which has to be rubbed and polished before it can be expected to rake its place by the side of the finest specimens of that class. (Introduction to The Parmatma Prakasha p. 6).

It is argued

It is argued that the soul will not be punished or rewarded if we do not accept any universal ruler of this world. According to the Jain theory, the mundane soul acquires karmas, which are the causes for the happiness or misery of the individual. No one can escape from the cluthes of karmas. A burglar or a criminal can befool a magistrate and move about scotfree; on the other hand, an innocent poor-fellow may be punished by the dispenser of justice. Such practices are utterly absent under the just and exact working of the karma, which is based upon the in violable law of cause and effect. The manifold conditions of sentient beings are due to the fruition of karmas acquired by the Jiva in the past. In fact, `I am the captain of my soul and the architect of my bright or dismal future.' This message of Self-reliance is the corner-stone of Jain philosphy. The nature of karma has been thus explained. The mundane soul has got vibrations through body, mind or speech. The molecules, which assume the form of mind, body or speech. The molecules, which assume the form of mind, body or speech engender, vibrations in the Jiva, whereby an infinite number of subtitle atoms is attracted and assimilated by the Jiva. The assimilated group of atoms is termed as `Karma'. In Sanskrit literature the word karma ordinarily stands for action, but in Jain philosophical terminology it has a different connotation. The effect of karma is visible in the multifarious conditions of the mundane soul. As a red-hot iron ball when dipped into water attracts and assimilates its particles or as a magnet draws iron filings towards itself due to the magnetic force, in the like manner the soul propelled by its psychic experiences of infatuation, anger, pride, deceit and avarice attracts karmic molecules and becomes polluted by these karmas. The psychic experience is the instrumental cause of this transformation of matter into a karma; as the clouds are instrumental in the change of sun's rays into a rainbow. When the material karmas come in contact with the soul, fusion occurs; whereby a new condition springs up, which is endowed with marvellous potentialities and is more powerful than the atom-bombs. One can easily imagine this awe-inspiring power of karmas, which has covered infinite knowledge, infinite power, infinite bliss of the soul and has made a beggar of this soul, which is intrinsically no less than a Parmatmana-Pure and Perfect Soul. Psychic experiences of anger etc. cause the fusion of karmas and these karmas again produce feelings of attachment, aversion or anger etc. thus the chain of karmic bondage continues ad infinitum.

The world is teeming with infinite souls

The world is teeming with infinite souls, who by their dispositions are instrumental in transforming non-sentient matter into karmas, which become possessed of indescribable potentialities. After the termination of their operation-period the karmas no longer act as a clog on the spiritual progress. The entire world is active with karmic molecules. It appears that this fact is now acknowledged by our modern scientists also, when they observe, ``The world is radio-active. It always has been and always will be. Its natural radio-activities evidently are not dangerous and we can conclude from this fact that contamination from atomic bombs, if of the same mangnitude as these natural radiations, is not likely to be at all dangerous.

Acharya Pujyapada says

Acharya Pujyapada in his Sarvartha Siddhi throws valuable light in this matter. ``Just as the digestive fire of the stomach (the gastric fluid or juice) absorbs food suitable to it, so also the self attracts karmas with duration and fruition corre-sponding to the virulent, mild or moderate nature of passions. Just as the mixing of severai juices of barley, flowers and fruits in a vessel produces intoxicating liquor, so also matter present coextensive with the self becomes transformed into karmic matter owing to the presence of activities and passions. (Reality p. 218).

When the husk of paddy is removed from it, the rice loses its power of sprouting; like wise when the husk of karmic molecules is severed from the mundane soul, the resulting Perfect Jiva can not be enchained by the regermination of karmas. The nature of soul, entangled in the cob-web of transmigration can be understood easily, when we divert our attention to the impure gold found in a mine. The association of filth with golden ore is without beginning, but when the foreign matter is burnt by fire with various chemicals the resulting pure gold glitters; in the like manner the fire of right belief, right knowledge and right conduct destroys the karmic bondage in no time. If the fire of Self-absorption is intense the work of destruction of karmas can be completed within a span of 48 minutes. This point is made clear by the example of sun's rays, which when converged on one point ignite fire, but when they diverge they do not exhibit the power of burning. The destruction of karmas in the fire of self-absorption does not mean entire annihilation of the atoms, but it denotes the dissociation of karmic molecules from the soul. Democritus said, ``Ex-nihilo nihil et in nihilum nihil potest re verti. Nothing can ever become something nor can something become nothing. This principle is corroborated by the Hindu scripture Gita also (2—16).

The contact of Karmas

The contact of karmas with the soul has no beginning. As the relation of seed and tree has no beginning because every seed is got from a tree, which comes out of some other seed; thus the connection of seed and tree is without beginning. When the seed is burnt in fire it will never regerminate into a tree. In the like manner when the seed of dispositonal impurities, attachment and aversion is burnt by right type of penances and austerities, the karmas are completely destroyed. There is no logical connection between infinity and endlessness. The state of Nirvana or liberation has a beginning, but no end.

When the jiva has noble thoughts of love, sympathy, compassion and the like, auspicious or agreeable karmic matter clings to the soul. When the period of fruition of karmas arrives the soul is placed in favourable circumstances and it enjoys superb pleasures of the world; on the other hand a person possessed of callous heart derives pleasures in the distress and agony of the miserable soul. He is not moved by the pitiable plight of the sick, disabled, hungry, decrepit or the distressed, whereby inauspicious karmic matter is accumultated and consequently the Jiva suffers pain and untold miseries and does not obtain desired peace and happiness. The pleasure or pain obtained by means of auspicious or inauspicious karmas lasts for a limited period. Its duration and intensity depend upon the pitch of our dispositions, when our soul had accumulated the karmic molecules by mental or vocal or physical activities or vibrations. These karmas have been classified into eight kinds.

Gyanavarniya Karma

(1) Gyanavarniya Karma is that which obstructs knowledge. It acts as a hindrance in the attainment of Omniscient knowledge, the inherent and natural right of every soul. It has been compared to a curtain, which obstructs the vision of our desired objects enveloped thereby Due to this very karma we come across innumerable differences in the faculty of comprehension amongst the mundane souls. This karma explains why one is a brilliant genius and the other is an idiot. This karma is accumulated by such activities or mental dispositions, which are associated with the sinful habit of directly or indirectly obstructing the light of knowledge.

Darshnavarniya Karma

(2) Darshnavaraniye Karma obstructs that form of consciousness, which precedes knowledge. It is accumulated by the soul if evil practices referred to as the knowledge-obstructive karma obstruct the per+ception feculty of the soul, e.g., a gatekeeper hinders the entrance of a visitor to the residence of a dignitary, similarly this Karma obstructs the perception of objects.

Vedaniya Karma

(3) Vedaniya Karma enables the soul to have sensations of pleasure or pain through senses, The sensation of pleasure is not the experience of spiritual happiness, for the pleasure obtained by the operation of this karma is artificial, spurious as well as deceptive e.g., a person enjoys the sweetness of the small quanity of honey applied to the sharp edge of a sword and ultimately meets the tragedy of his tongu being chopped or severly wounded. The enjoyment of carnal pleasures is like the taste of honey-drop. The reactions of this karma produce the sensation of indescribable agony when a person is deeply injured or wounded. If the soul is interested in noble and pious practices and leads the life of renunciation and self-control, keeps the company of the good and helps the troubled people, It accumulates the Sata Vedaniya Karma; on the other hand the cruel activities and the life of lust lead to distress producing Asata Vedaniya Karma, whereby the soul passes its time in deep anguish and agony.

Mohaniya Karma

(4) Mohaniya Karma is the ring-leader of Karmas and causes delusion and perverts the view of self and non-self. It is the root of all miseries. It has been compared to an intoxicant or liquor whereby the drunkard loses all senses and discriminating faculties between right and wrong. This faculty of judging between beneficient and pernicious path is paralysed and so he appears like a spiritually insane and mentally sick fellow. This karma cripples the discriminating faculty of the soul and so the person caught in the cob-web of deceptive objects of the world roams about like a deer running after a mirage in some desert to quench its thurst but to no purpose.

The mundane soul really needs few objects, but out of greed it wants to amass more and more. It leaves them behind while departing from this world. This perverted, pernicious and wrong attitude is the result of this Mohaniya Karma. As long as this Mohaniya karma exists the soul is unable to make desired progress on the spritual path of Nirvana.

Ayu Karma

(5) Ayu Karma determines the length of life in a particular body. This karma makes the soul captive in a particular body for a limited period in the four conditions of life. Due to this karma a person enjoys long lease of life or prematurely dies. This karma is like a clock. When we wind a clock it moves on and indicates correct time, but if it is disturbed, and its winding screw gets affected, the clock stops all of a sudden. Similarly, a soul inhabits a particular body in accordance with this karma but if one disturbs the operation of this karma, the soul soon departs to occupy another body which has been pre-arranged by this very Jiva due to his dispositions. Premature death occurs when a person is poisoned or is afflicted by serious sickness without necessary medicallaid etc. Thus the span of life is cut short. This premature death has been termed as Akala-Maran. Jain view is that life can be cut short but it cannot be prolonged beyond the limit fixed in the previous birth. The pious souls are born as heavenly beings or happy persons. One devoted to mammon-worship and in inordinate greed becomes a brute or a hellish being and suffers untold miseries-Socrates had said, ``The sensual soul...... goes to the body of an ass; the unjust or tyrannical soul into the body of a wolf or a like....only the souls of philosopher go and live with God. That is why philosophy abstains from bodily pleasures... The soul goes to place that is glorious. (Trial and Death of Socrates).

Nam Karma

(6) Nama Karma is responsible for physi cal forms, complexion, constitution etc. of the body. This Karma predetermines the constitution of physical frame which is to be occupied by the soul after death. When a person dies his gross body is left here but his subtle bodies named Tejas and Karamana follow the Jiva till liberation is attained In Hindu scriptures the subtle body is known as Linga Sharira. The infinit varieties of living beings and their manifold forms are due to this karma which is like a painter, who with the aid of his brush and colour paints ugly or lovely designs. Similarly this karma is responsible for the multiplicity of physical forms put on by the Jiva. This karma is an extermely interesting principle alomost anticipating many elements of modern biological theory. Theory of Nama Karma tries to explain many of the biological problems (The Religion of Ahimsa P 90).

Ordinarily people hold God responsible for this variegated world, but Jain philosophers hold this Nama Karma as the cause of bringing out manifold forms and physical changes. The soul puts on the size of the body that is provided to it by this karma. Some thinkers suppose that the soul lile the body must be also impermanent. Jain logicians have refuted this illogical stand which is contradicted by our experiences as well. Since the experiences of pleasure and pain do not exist outside the body, the natural conclusion will be, the soul does not exist outside its habitation. As long as the soule is wandering in the world it has to remain in the body that is provided to it by this Nama Karma. After Nirvana the physical body does not imprison the soul and so the liberated soul's size does not undergo any further change. Its size remains almost like the last human body which was abandoned prior to the attainment of emancipation.

Gotra Karma

(7) Gotra Karma causes birth in high or low family. As the potter by means of wheel shapes the clod of earth into small or big earthen-wares in the like manner a Jiva is placed in a high or low status as is determined by this karma. A person engaged in the vicious habit of speaking ill of others and flattering himself is reborn in a low and down-trodden family. On the other hand the gentle, humble noble and meek person obtains high status in life and brilliant surroundings which are favourable for supreme spiritual advancement.

Antaraya Karma

(8) Antaraya Karma acts as an impediment in the attainment of desired objects. Its function is to mechanically put up obstacles in the enjoyment of the fruits of the various favourable karmas e.g., a man patronised by the beldame fickle fortune and all the treasures of the world is not able to enjoy the sweet fruits of his agreeable surroundings because of this karma. If this karma operates one cannot enjoy best health in spite of all efforts to keep himself fit. This karma is a accumulated by evil practices such as butchery of animals, maliciously injuring or hurting others, putting impediments in the pious practices of the noble souls and doing other evil activities.

Several times thousands of people accumulate the similar type of karmas under common circumstances and when the time of fruition arrives all are affected thereby. This gives us some idea of such common freaks of it which amaze all the world e.g., earth-quake shocks, death of multitudes in some epidemic or incendiarism and the like. It is to be noted that due to their past accumulated karmas the wise and the pious suffer in the present period of their life and the wicked enjoy the fruits of their past good karmas. The present life reaps the harvest of the seeds of karmas sown in the past but the karmas that are being sown at present will produce their result in due course of time.

The Relation Of The Soul With The Karmas

The relation of the soul with the karmas is visualised from different points. From the practical or `Vyavahara' point of view the soul is made captive by the karmic forces till final liberation is attained. From the realistic or `Nishchaya' point of view the soul is always pure and free from karmic contamination. Truth comprises of both the view-points. The aspirant should ascertain the point that his soul is in no way inforior to the soul of Parmatman, but he ought to bear in mind also his present condition of karmic contamination. One who forgets this practical aspect and wronglty thinks himself free and liberated meets the tragic fate of a sick and foolish person who goes against medical guidance mistaking himself as quite hale and hearty. The word hod and the pronoun `I' are written in capital letter. This appears to suggest that the mundane soul is intrinisically adorned with Divine attributes, which can be manifested by destroying the hindering karmas.

The wise persons should concentrate their attention upon the valuable sermon of saint Kunda-kunda to get rid of the karmic thraldom and attain everlasting Bliss and Immortality. ``The Jiva with attachment gets himself bound by karmas but one adorned with detachment becomes free from the bondage of karmas. This is the message of Lord Jina-the victor. Therefore, do not evince attachment for karmas. We should never lie prostrate before the forces of evil and temptations. We should remember the memorable words of Washington; `Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above it. Every soul should resolve to get rid of karmic shackles and attain the goal of diberation and immortality.

We should not forget that this body is in reality a prison-house for the embodied soul. The awakened man should try to destroy the karmas by the fire of Supreme Concentration to attain Gohood and become Parmatma. The aspirant for Nirvana should meditate upon this Central Truth, ``My self is ever one, Eternal, pure and all-knowing in its essence; the rest are all outside me, non-eternal and the consequences of my past karmas.

This point should be borne in mind that our soul accumulates karmas and experiences pleasure or pain on fruition. The same soul can destroy the karmic filth in the fire of right faith, right knowledge and right conduct.

The Philosophy Of Syadvada

The Philosophy of Syadvada is a valuable contribution of Jainism to the world thought.This doctrine is also termed as ' Anekantacada'. In fact, every substance consists of infinite attributes. The philosophy which, deals with the consistent and complimentary description of these attributes is known as the doctrine of Syadvada or Anekantvada.

The word 'Anekantvada' consists of three words; 'Anek(Deveskeâ) 'Anta' (Devle) 'Vada' (Jeeo) 'Anek' means many , 'Anta' signifies attributes and `voda' means description. Therefore, etymologically the whole word means the description of mani-fold attributes. In Syacvada we have also the similar idea. It consists of two words; 'Syat' and 'Vada' This 'Syat' suggests the existence of infinite attributes, although the expression asserts about a particular attribute 'Syat' suggests that from a particular stand point the truth reveals it self in a particular form. From other view-points the same substratum appears to possess other attributes. Thus Syadvada deals with Truth having manifold aspects. With regard to the description of the substratum or its attributes, it deals with particulars aspects, but dues not deny the existence of other attributes or qualities. Therefore, this doctrine is knoen as the philosophy of non-absolutism or relative pluralism. Dr. F.W. Thomas calls this as " Quo-dammodo doctrine" (Academic-Verlag. Berlin)

In Fact

In fact , in the world of philosophy this doctrine adopts the policy of ' co-existence'. As in Ahimsa we have the practice of `live and lct live' ideal, similoaly. in the domain of philosophy the entelleetus aspect of impartility and concord upholds the similer treatment of attributes. It treads and describes ------------ of a substratum in a friendly way. Syadvada has not the outlook of a tyrant, who, due to short-sighted motive, wants to destroy others and enjay peace upon the pyre of other's happiness. This is not the case of gentleman and a cultured person.As a cultured person, taking care of his own rights, dose not infringe upon the legtmetr righs of others, in the like manner in the intellectual world syadvada ordains us to adopt the policy of a cultured man, whose out-look is not blurred by shortsightedness. If this judicious attitude is kept in view while treating philosophical subjects, discord will disappear; on the other hand real concord and harmony will be established. Some writers erroneously explain Syadvada as perhaps philosophy' But really speaking this doctrine banishes all confusion and gives a definite, precise, clear and correct perspective of Truth. It is indispensable to acqurie full knowledge of truth.It is wrong to think of this doctrine as a form of scepticism because it gives us most precise, exact and definite guidance and there is not an iota of doubt orsuspicion. In suspicion the mind oscillates, moves to and fro and no definite decision is arrived at. Here in Syadvada we have a definite predication from the particular view-point e.g., a substance is perishable from the point of view of its ever-changing modifications. This assertion is definite. The same objects is without change and is also permanent, If observed from the stand-point of the material, out of which it is compsed. This view also is definit. A piece of paper catches fire. Form the view-point of paper it is destroyed , for we don't see its existence but the particles, rather the matter, which was present in the form of parper is not at all destroyed. It has changed its form and it exists in another form. Everybody feels that what is existent cannot be non existent. This statement avers partial truth, because from the stand-point of modification the conditions are undergoing changes. The ocean from the point of view of water appears the same alugys; but from the view-point of its ever changing waves it cannot be escribed as without any change.

Thus in Syadvada every predication is definite and precise.The seemingly contrary statement will appear true if they are viewed in the light of this doctrine of conciliation and concord. With the help of Syadvada we can comprehend the true nature of reality. Substances are characterised by an infinite number of attributes but for the sake of use or need prominence is given to certain characteristics of the substance from one point of view and prominence is not given to other characteristices, as these are of no us or need at that time. Thus even the existing attributes are noot expressed as these are of secondary importance. There is no contradiction in what is established by these two points of views. (Reality P.157).

Some Thinkers

Some thinkers like Shanker and Ramanuja see contradicion in the above statement. Jain logician Ananta Virya has refuted the charges asserting that reality consists of positive abd Negative assertions, therefore, we should be honest and faithful to reality. We cannot change the nature of object, according to our conjectures . Our duty is to describe reality. We cannot change the nature of objects , according to our conjectures.Our duty is to describe realty as we experience it. Our thinking cannot affect the nature of the objects. Supposing the Parliament passes a resolution that the Sun has no right to always rise in the East, other directions also should have the blessings of having the Sun's rise; do you think that this sort of suggestion or desire of the members will change the Sun-rise from the East to other directions? Certainly not ; therefore, it is fair on our part to describe reality in its naked majesty without fear or favour.

Einstein's theory of 'Relativity, helps us to comprehend the rationality and soundness of this philosophy of syadvada. Einstein's remarks are illuminating, "If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare me that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue , France will say that I am a German and Germony will declore that, I am a Jew" He explains his theory in these word, "when a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it is longer than an hour. This is relativity" (Hitavada, 8th march 1970).

We must owe our allegiance to unmasked truth. In " Freedom at Mid-Night" the following elucidation about truth is explained in these words, "Gandhi's truth however had two faces, The absolute and the relative. Man as long as, he was in the flesh had only fleeting intimations of absolute truth. He had to deal with relative truth in his daily existence" (P-92). Here relative truth stands for Syadvada doctrine. Blind faith in the perverted stand of our ancestors will put hurdles in the way of our intellcctual as well as material advancement. Reality has no relationship with ancestors or antiquity or the views of the majority. The crucification of the idol of love and goodness-jesus christ, clearly proves that the majority view should not always be supposed to reflect truth or justice. Reality is in fact related to Truth and Justice. It is associated with head and not counting of hands.The forgetfulness of this basic point has brought about tragedy of huge errors resulting in horrifying incidents in human history.

The Remarks Of James Froude Are Illuminating

The remarks of James Froude are illuminating, "We cannot make true things false or false things true by choosing to think them so. We cannot vote right into wrong or wrong into right. The enternal truths and rights and things exist fortunately independent of our thoughts or wishes, fixed as mathematics inherent in the nature of man and the world".

Truth is not one-sided, therefore one-sided view is sure to go against truth and reality. You cannot describe that your pencil five inches long is small or big. It can equally be predicated big as well as small . when compared with three inches long object the pencil is longer, but the same pencil is smaller when described from the view-point of the object which is six inches long. We feel that one thing cannot possess the quality of smallness and otherwise, but we can't help it. Our experience shows the hollowness of the onslaughts made upon this invincible philosophy of harmony and concord basded upon the sound bed-rock of our exprience.We should not try to reason against our experience. Fire is hot as is known from common experience. If somebodfy begins to argue that fire must be cold since its luster is like that of the moon which is not hot, such jugglery does not serve the purpose of truth.

This point must be borne in mind that different predications are not made form one and the same point of view.truth perceived from different angles appears eontradictory, but in reality those partial visions are complimentary. Professor Hajima Nakamura of Tokyo talking about the dilemma of East and West has made interesting observations, which show that truth is relative, ``If East is East and West is West, which is East and which is West ? India, which is East to the Americans has always been and will remain West to the Chinese and Japanese. Hiuen Tsang has entitled the diary of his Indian sojourn as the travel records in the West (Amrit Bazar Patrika, Calcutta, 27-9-1966).

Take Another Example

Take another example. Suppose one John dips his right hand into a bucket full of hot water and the left one in the icy cold water. Soon after he dips his both hands into a basin containing luke-warm water. What is the result ? The right hand experiences cold, whereas the left hand gets the sensation of heat. The lukewarm water have rise to two contradictary sensations. This simple example gives us a clue to appreciate the philosophy which opposes absolute and onesided predications.

Philosopher Hegel seems to support this system of thought when he says, ``Every thing contains within itself its opposite. It is impossible to conceive of anything without conceiving anything of its opposite. A cow is a cow and is at the same time not a car. A thing is itself only, because at the same time it is not something else. Every thesis for an argument has its antithesis. Truth lies on both sides of every question. The truth is either-sided. All nature is a reconcillation of opposites. In the parable of seven blind-born persons it is said that they were describing various limbs of an elephant as the whole elephant. This made them quarrel. One who had touched the feet thought it like a pillar and who had touched his ears affirmed him like a winnowing fan. The passer-by found out the real cause of their quarrel and he said to them, ``Friends, every oue of you is correct. The mistake is that you have the knowledge of partial truth which you suppose to be the whole truth about the elepahant. If all your statements are properly combine we get the complete description of the elephant. In the like manner various philosophies have cropped up due to the partial visions of truth. This harbinger of harmony suggests rational reconciliation among the warring concepts and thus the whole truth is revealed.

These remarks of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan are illuminating, ``Individual freedom and social justice are both essential for human welfare. We may exaggerate the one or underestimate the other, but he who follows the Jain concept of Anekantavada, Saptabha ginaya or Syadvada will not adopt that kind of cultural regimentation. He will have the spirit to discriminate between the right and wrong in his own and in the opposite views and try to work for a greater synthesis. That should be the attitude, which we should adopt. So the necessity for selfcontrol. The practice of Ahimsa and also tolerance and appreciation of other's point of view-these are some of the lessons, which we can acquire from the great life of Mahavira. (Mahavira Jayanti Speech 1955, New Delhi, India Govt. Publication).

Syadavada Suggests Us

Syadvada suggests us to see reality from digfferent angles. From the generic view-point of mere existence all are one, be they substratum, attributes or modes. There is no Dualism or Pluralism. But there is other view-point also. From the stand-point of substratum, attributes or modes there is no Monism but Pluralism. Therefore, reality would be described both ways From the view-point of existence or `Sata'. Monism represents the truth; whereas from the stand-point of details and diversities, Pluralism is equally true. When we have the sense-of-class without its component parts, we adopt the generic view, but when we have the individual sense instead of the class-view, we speak of reality which denies the generic-sense. The class-view is different from the particular view; e. g., the word `European' comprises of the English, Germans, French etc. When we have the idea of different nationalities the nomenclature `European' would not serve our purpose, in that case we will be inclined to distribute the word into different nations of Europe only. If we use a wider term `mankind, the entire human race will be convered by this general term. The widest term is `Sata' or Existence. This term has no divisions.

This doctrine of Syadavada always adopts a friendly and rational approach to reality. As positive and negative wires of electricity when joined together produce brilliant light similarly seemingly—opposite approaches of truth like positive and negative aspects of thought when coordinated produce light as well as delight. Gandhiji once told me in 1934 that he had very high regard for the doctrine of Syadvada or Anekantvada. He practised it in his life. Gandhiji in his letter to Boyd Jucher on 23-3-35 wrote, ``I have a profound faith in the Jain doctrine of Anekantavada. It is the many-sidedness as opposed to onesidedness (Collected works of Mahatma Gandhi Govt. of India Publications 170, Volume 54). The Presindent of Indian Republic Dr. Rajendra Prasad.