Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions
PREFACE
FORWARD
INTRODUCTION
SAPTABHANGI SYSTEM
THE TATTVAS
  THE NATURE OF KARMA (Karma ka swroop)
  ASRAVA
  BANDHA
  SAMVARA
  NIRJARA
  MOKSHA
  STAGES ON THE PATH - GUNASTHANAS
  DHARMA IN PRACTICE
  COMPARATIVE ANTIQUITY OF JAINISM
  SOUL-SUBSTANCE
  Vairagya Bhavana

SAPTABHANGI SYSTEM


 

 

For the above reason the Jaina Siddhanta insists on the employment of the word Syat (somehow or from a particular point of view) before every judgment or statement of fact, though in ordinary parlance and composition it is generally dispensed with. There are three kinds of judgment, the affirmative, the negative and the one, which gives expression to the idea of indescribability. Of these, the first kind affirms and the second denies the existence of a quality, property or thing, but the third declares an object to be indescribable. A thing is said to be indescribable when both existence and non-existence are to be attributed to it at one and the same time. These three forms of judgment give rise to seven possible modes of predication, which are set out below:

 

(1) Syadasti (somehow, i.e., from some particular point of view, a thing may be said to exist),

 

(2) Syannasti (somehow the thing does not exist),

 

(3) Syad asti nasty (affirmation of existence from one point of view and of non-existence from another),

 

(4) Syadavaktavya (somehow the thing is indescribable),

 

(5) Syadasti avaktavya (a combination of the first and the fourth forms of predication),

 

(6) yannasti avaktavya (a combination of the second and the fourth forms), and

 

(7) Syadasti nasty avaktavya (a combination of the first, second and fourth forms of judgment).

 

This sevenfold system of predication is called the Saptabhangi (literally, the seven-branched), and stands in the same relation to philosophy as grammar does to speech.

 

We shall now proceed to describe the fallacies of the seven kinds of Naya (stand- points) enumerated above. These are also seven in number, that is to say one for each Naya. Taken in the same order as their corresponding Naya, they may be described as follows:

 

(1) Naigamabhasa, the fallacy of the Naigama Naya, consists in making an actual division in thought between the general and special properties of things, as for instance to speak of the existence and consciousness of a soul as if they were two separate things.

 

(2) Sangrahabhasa occurs when we describe the general properties of a thing as constituting it solely. For instance it is incorrect to maintain that a tree can be constituted by the general qualities common to all trees, since an actual tree will have to be a particular kind of tree, and not the idea of tree-ness in general.

 

(3) Vyavaharabhasi consists in making a wrong division of species.

 

(4) Rijusutrabhasa arises when we deny the permanence of things altogether. Those philosophers who hold that there is no "being" but only "becoming" in the world have fallen into this kind of error.

 

 

(5) Sabdabhasa occurs when we deal with words without regard to their number, gender, tense, etc. For instance, to take the Hebrew Elohim, which is pluralistic in form, as representing one individual Being would be an error of the Sabdabhasa type.

 

(6) Sambhirudabhasa lies in treating apparently synonymous words, which possess nice distinctions of meaning as if they all meant exactly the same thing. Pride and conceit may be taken to be fairly good instances of words, which if taken to mean exactly the same mental trait, would give rise to this fallacy.

 

(7) Evambhutabhasa lies in asserting that the existence of a thing depends on its performance of the particular function with reference to which alone it has been described, as for instance to say that a devotee is non-existent because he is no longer engaged in devotion.

 

The nature of the Naya and the Saptabhangi system of predication having been shown, we now proceed to a general consideration of the Tattvas.