This subject and the following one are given in some
detail in Pandit H. L. Jhaveri's "First Principles of the Jain
Philosophy", Luzac & Co., 1910, 1s. 4d. or Jaina Publishing House, ARRAH.
In the analysis of an object or idea, consideration is
given to the aspects, and in considering one of the innumerable qualities
of a thing the rest must not be denied. There are two classes of aspects
namely, the aspects of a thing regarded as permanent and the aspects of a
thing regarded as perishable. For instance, this book, regarded as a book,
is perishable, it has come into and will go out of existence; but looked
upon as atoms of matter it is permanent, neither having come into
existence nor being capable of going out of existence. From one point of
view (the dravyarthika naya) the universe is without beginning and
without end; from the other point of view (the prayayarthika naya)
we have creation and destruction at every moment. These two aspects are
found in analysis. After analysis comes the synthesis mentioned above and
this introduces the next subject, modes of expression (syadvada),
or the doctrine of the inexpugnability of the inextricable combined
properties and relations of things.
MODES OF EXPRESSION
Synthesis is the putting together of aspects in thought
to realize that the truth consists in the irresolvable combination of all
the possible aspects; and to speak the truth correctly all the seven modes
of expression must be accepted. The subject is now how we should express
ourselves when we make a statement about a thing. It is an important
subject and the doctrine is found only in the Jain Philosophy. It is the
doctrine of the non-isolation of the parts, elements, properties, or
aspects of things; it is the method of knowing or speaking of a thing
There are seven modes of expressing the is-ness or
is-not-ness of a thing; and these modes are all interrelated, and each
pre-supposes the others, each implies the others. In accepting all these
seven modes and so speaking correctly we do not mislead the person spoken
to. These modes are set out in detail in the book just mentioned "First
Principles of the Jain Philosophy", but it may be said here that to speak
correctly under this doctrine the statement is commenced with an adverb (syat)
to indicate that there are six other implied ways of speaking about the
subject. For instance, the negative statement (that we are not dust, for
example) is tacit when making a positive statement (that we are immortal
souls, for example). And in addition to this one kind there are five more
kinds of tacit expressions implied by the one positive statement. The
innumerable qualities of a thing cannot all be predicated in one
statement, but they are all implied by any statement which predicates one
of the qualities of a thing.
To repeat the words of Mr. V. R. Gandhi, when the
struggle for existence is followed by its enjoyment, man may begin to
engage himself in reflection. Reflection is the moving spirit of
philosophy. Early philosophical reflection engages itself with searching
for the origin of the world; and it attempts to formulate the law of
causation. After a certain amount of analytical thought, many stop by
postulating some one being, or some one homogeneous substance and call it
the cause or origin of the world. In these early attempts at philosophy,
then we see two attitudes towards reality. The first attitude is seen to
be assumption that the world had an origin; the second attitude towards
reality is seen to be the assumption that the one being or primal
substance had no origin; for these early philosophies give no cause or
origin for this one being or for this primal substance.
By further philosophical reflection it is seen that
both these attitudes may rightly to taken towards reality, but in a
different sense. Mature philosophy does not apply one attitude to the
present world only, and the other attitude only to a substance or to a
being postulated as the original or first cause; but it recognizes that
both attitudes can always be taken towards anything real; that any reality
past, present, or future, can be looked upon these two way. This has
already been mentioned under Aspects of Substance.
Everything that there is, was, or ever will be, has
been classified as either a loving being or an inanimate thing; and has
been defined as that in which there is origination, destruction, and
permanence. So in regarding space, time, ether matter, and every
individual souls as permanent, the Jain Philosophy takes this attitude
towards all, and not merely towards one living being, or one primal
With regard to the other attitude towards reality,
namely, that it had an origin, the question very naturally arises as to
how in a world that is everlasting there can be any cause or origin. And
the answer is that each change of the way in which a being or thing
manifests itself has its origin in time, as well as its cause. And this
applies not only to each thing in the present world, but also to every
thing or being in the past and in the future. The qualities (guna)
of the ultimate atoms of matter and the qualities of each individual being
are perpetually changing the mode of their manifestation I(paryaya),
and the relation between things and between being are perpetually
changing; thus new thing and being are continually coming into existence.
Thus in a permanent universe is there origination its modes of
manifestation, The snow on the mountain becomes melted into water; thus
there is the origin of the water and the destruction of the snow. But the
substance (H2O) has remained in existence. Or, a banquet is
over and a dance has begun, there is the origin of the dance, and the
banquet has gone out of existence, but the same individuals are present in
new relations to each other. Or, if a nebula cools down and becomes a
solar system and the destruction of the nebula; the identical substance
remaining in existence.
Now we come to causation. What causes these changes to
take place ?
Causation is a relationship between two different
things, or between two aspects of one identical thing.
The snow melts because the sun is warm. There is the
relation of cause between the sun and the melting snow. And there is the
relation of cause between the snow and the water; the snow was the cause
of the water.
Thus in this particular event there are two causes :
(1) the snow, which is the substantial cause; and (2) the sun, which is
the instrumental, circumstantial, or determining cause of the event.
The first or substantial cause (upadana) is
always identical with itself in its previous condition; and the
determining cause (nimitta) is always a different thing, not the
In the substantial cause of anything, substance and
manifestation, cause and effect are really identical. The substantial
cause of the present universe would be the universe in its previous
condition. The substantial cause of the soul would be the identical soul
in its previous condition. The substantial cause of the water (in the
foregoing example) was the water in its previous condition, snow.
Thus the law of causation as formulated by the Jain
philosophy recognizes two causes or classes of causes for every event, and
both causes are equally necessary, equally present, and equally real; the
determining cause is operative in shaping the other substance, and the
substance is active in its reaction. As this is an important subject it
may be applied to the old example of a watch. If you find a watch, you
argue, not merely to its maker but to the pieces of metal it was made of.
The pieces of metal react in the bands of the watch maker, and exhibit
themselves in a new way and assume changed relations to each other. They
were previously not a watch; now they are a watch. If one being in any way
shapes another being, this latter was already in existence, and cooperates
in reacting to become whatever he is, whether sinner or saint. Nothing is
created in the sense of not having, from any point of view, previously
existed. When a child is conceived it comes from somewhere else.
Thus is the early vague idea of origin and causation
developed into a clear and definite understanding.
This is the end of the first part of the subject. The
universe is seen to be a system of five different real substances two of
which, viz., the material and the spiritual, are a mass of interrelated
ultimate units, each unit being a complexity of irresolvable qualities.
These units are permanent, the relations between them are always changing,
and the units or elements of the universe are ceaselessly active in a
perpetual change of the mode of manifestation of their qualities. The
universe is, therefore, not one homogeneous substance, it is not one
individual being splitting itself up into many. Knowledge is the final
ground, and the individual soul has knowledge that the rest of the
universe is not identical with himself. At least those who are claimed to
have reached omniscience in the flesh and to have freed themselves from
all infatuating elements teach that it is the nature of each soul to have
in its being the non-existence (nastitva) of all other souls and
things. One soul does not become another. Neither is the universe created
by one being out of nothing; neither is the universe a soulless mechanism.
The next part of the subject of the book is man; he
being the part of the universe that religious doctrine concerns. Man can
be regarded as he actually is, or as he is potentially. Thus we get the
next three parts of the subject, the third being the means by which he can
become what he is potentially.