Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

Jivaraja Jaina Granthmala, No. 20

General Editorial
Preface to The First Edition
Preface to The Second Edition
Synoptic Philosophy
  Approach to Reality
  The Jaina Theory of the Soul
  Critique of Knowledge
  The Doctrine of Karma in Jaina Philosophy
  The Pathway to Perfection
  In this Our Life
  Men and Gods

PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION

 

 

Man is 'homo sapiens'. He has built civilizations and destroyed them too. Magnificent empires were built, mighty in their day. It was difficult to doubt their power. But their day is done and their courts 'the lion and the lizard keep'. We have seen the phenomenal advancement of science in our own day. As we gaze at the incredible rapidity of scientific progress we are losing touch with the spiritual side of man. We are on cross-roads of life, between two worlds; ' one dead and the powerless to be born' . We see everywhere social and political chaos. There is distrust and frustration, and for a decade or more we have lived on the brink of another world war more disastrous than the earlier too, which would mean total destruction of human race. Whether it would mean pralaya we do not know. But when it comes we can only see the broken bits of civilization, if we are to survive this catastrophe. And all this is due to a wrong approach to the understanding of the problems of life and experience.A new kind of a materialism is being emphasised today where in we pay exclusive attention to material comforts and ignore the higher values.  But to understand life and nature we have to transcend the narrow partial points of view and adopt a synoptic view of life. We have to realize that others' points of view have also to be considered and respected.  Dogmatic approach of looking at the problems leads to intolerance and then to violence. Jainas have preached the synoptic view of life in their theory of Anekanta. It emphasises the catholic outlook towards life. Intellectual nonviolence, respect for other points of view are the key-note of this doctrine, and that would be a panacea for all the ills of our social 

and political life today.  Jainism is an ancient religion which prevailed even before Vardhamana Mahavira, the twenty-fourth and Parsva the twentythird Tirthamkaras.  It is a pre-Aryan religion coming from the Sramana current of thought, and sramana thought was prevailing in India long before the Aryans came to this country The antiquity of Jainism as reflecting the Pre-Aryan thought of the upper class of North-Eastern India has now been established beyond dispute. Jaina tradition is unanimous in making Rsabha the first Tirthamkara as the founder of Jainism. Long before the Aryans reached the Ganges or even Sarasvati. Jainism had been taught by prominent saints or Tirthamkaras, prior to the historical twentythird Parsva of the eighth or ninth century B. C.  Many Western scholars like Jacobi Vincent Smith Forlong and Zimmer have accepted the Pre-Aryan prevalence of Jainism.  Radhakrishnanaccepts the view that Jainism prevailed in India even before Parsva and Vardhamana, the last two Tlrthamkaras.  Hiralal Jain has interpreted the mention of Kesi and Kesi Rsabha in the Rgveda as referring to the first Tirthamkara. When Buddhism arose Jainism was already an ancient sect with its stronghold near about Vaisali which was visited and admired by Buddha.

The Anekanta outlook of the Jainas pervades their entire philosophy and life. The whole texture of Jaina philosophy and ethics is woven in the Anekanta attitude. We have accordingly analyse in this treatise some of the conceptions in Jaina philosophy and ethics as rejecting the Anekanta outlook. Jiva has been considered from the noumenal and the phenomenal points of view. From the noumenal point of view, it is pure and perfect, and from the phenomenal it is the agent and the enjoyer of fruits of Karma. Our experience can be graded into levels as the sense and the supersensuous experience. Jiva in its empirical existence is involved in the wheel of Samsara through the Yoga (activity). This involvement is beginningless, though it has an end. The end is freedom from the wheel of life and the attainment of Moksa.  For this we have to remove the Karma that has accrued to the soul. The Jainas have worked out an elaborate theory of Karma almost making it a science. The Anekanta view pervades the analysis of Karma. Karma is a substantive force. It is material in nature.  It consists of fine particles of matter which are glued to the soul as soot to the surface of the mirror. The influx of Karma leads to bondage of Jiva to the wheel of life. This bondage of soul to Karma is determined by the i) nature (prakrti), duration (sthiti), intensity (anubhagha) and quantity ( pradesa) of Karma. Karma has its psychological aspect also in the Bhava karma.

Moksa is to be achieved through the triple path of right intuition, right knowledge and right conduct. The belief in the Tattvas is the right faith, knowledge of the real is right knowledge and freedom from attachment and aversion is right conduct. The path of virtue is the path which leads to self-realization. The five Vratas are fundamental for the Jainas. However, the practice of the Vratas and the ethical life have been graded in two levels as duty of a muni (ascetic) and the life of sravaka (lay follower). 'The purpose is to realize the highest gradually and with ease. In this analysis of ethical concepts we find the application of the spirit of Anekanta.

The same can be found in their interpretation of Ahimsa as an ethical principle. The Jaina attitude to the conception of God expresses the spirit of Anekanta. The Jainas are against the Theistic conception of God. But each soul in its pure and perfect form, is divine. Still the 'Tirthamkaras are worshipped not because they are gods but because they are human, yet divine -- to be kept before us as ideals for emulation. Apart from the worship of the Tirthamkaras, we find a pantheon of gods as a social survival and a psychological necessity.

Life is to be considered as a struggle for prefection. We do not get ready made views. We have to look at life through many coloured glasses and as a �vale of soul making". This is the picture of Jaina outlook on life as presented in this book. It may,  perhaps, give a discrete picture. The purpose has been to see some of the problems in the light of synoptic point of view as expressed in the Anekanta.

The metaphysical elements of Jainism have not been discussed in detail as the main object of this work has been to present the Jaina view of life. However, principle of asrava, bandha, samvara and nirjara have been incidentally woven in the texture of the scheme while describing the entanglement of the soul in samsara and the efforts to attain Moksa. Jiva and Moksa are the prius and the end of the noumenal world. We have studied them at length.

This problem has been engaging my attention for some time past, and it has developed in the form of this book at the inspiration and guidance of Dr. A.N. Upadhye of Kolhapur. I gave a  synopsis of this work in my talk at the Jaina Boarding at Kolhapur during the Paryusana festival in 1963. I have made use of two chapters from my earlier book Some Problems in Jaina Psychology. I am grateful to the Registrar, Karnatak University, Dharwar for permitting me to use this material from my previous book I have incorporated in this book some of my articles already published in different philosophical Journal by retouching them here and there to form a part of this book.

I am grateful to the Editors and Publishers of these Journals for their permission to use my articles in the book. I must express my gratitude to the late Professor Charles A. Moore, of the University of Hawaii, Honolulu (U. S. A.) for permitting me to use my article Thc Doctrine of Karma in Jaina Philosophy published in Philosophy East and West, a Journal of Oriental and Comparative Thought, Volume XI, Numbers 3 and 4 July,October-1965. I have intended, in this book, to weave out some of my papers published earlier so as to bring out a coherent picture of the Jaina view of life as expressing the Anekanta outlook. I must express my sense of profound gratitude to Dr.  A. N. Upadhye for all the encouragement and guidance he has given me. I thank the authorities of the Jaina Samskrti Samraksaka Sangha, Sholapur, for publishing this work. I thank my colleague Shri S. R. Gunjal, M.A., M.Lib.Sc. for assisting me in going through the proofs.

Dharwar

31.3 69.

T. G. KALGHATGI