By Bimal Krishna Matilal
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Extra resources for The Central Philosophy of Jainism (anekanta-vada)
Hence change has to be ruled out as only appearance. Now we can consider the Jaina resolution of this dispute about causality with the help of their anekänta method and anekânta philosophy. The anekänta doctrine says that reality is both unchanging and everchanging, for reality has manifold nature, infinitefold complexity. To use the philosophical terminology of A. N. Whitehead, it is both a process and a reality. Thus, what Whitehead says about the ‘chief task of meta physics’ will certainly be welcòme to the Jainas : “That ‘all things flow’ is the first vague generalization which the unsystematized, barely analysed, intuition of men has produced.
If Sugata (the Buddha) is omniscient, how do we know that Kapila is not (also omniscient) ? ” This verse quoted in Tattvasamgraha (verse 3148) was apparently used to refute the Jaina doctrine of omniscience. But the same statement can be used, perhaps with a shift in the emphasis or intonation, by a Jaina to defend his anekänta doctrine. In fact, the anekänta doctrine can be vindicated if we assume the omniscience of Mahävira. Thus, Samantabhadra has said : 35 “ Since the doctrines of all ‘non-Jaina’ (tlrthakrt) philosophers contradict each other, none of them is trustworthy.
Org 46 The Central Philosophy o f Jainism Samabhirüdha (the ‘subtle’) : This standpoint asks us to make a subtle distinction in the meanings of words which are supposed to denote the same object. Such distinction can be based upon the etymological derivations of words concerned. Words üke “ râjan", “nrpa", and '*bhüpa” refer to the same person, the king, but each has different etymological formation and hence different meanings, i. , different cognitive meanings. These cognitive meanings appear when we consider their etymology : “ râjan” means one with the royal insignia, “nrpa” means one who protects men, and “ bhüpa” means one who protects the earth.