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

CRITIQUE OF KNOWLEDGE

 

 

The Jaina attitude as empiricist and realistic concept of mind -- mind as a quasi-sense organ -- the phases of mind.  Dravya-manas and Bhava-manas -- instrumental nature of mind -- consciousness -- cetana � self-consciousness -- nature of knowledge -- sense and supersense experience -- nature of sense perception -- stages of sense perception -- supersense experience and Avadhi, Manah-paryaya and Kevala as supersense experiences -- some observations on the basis of modern researches in Parapsychology.

 

I. The Jaina attitude is empirical and realistic. The Upanisadic philosophers found the immutable reality behind the world of experience. Gautama, the Buddha, denounced everything as fleeting and full of sorrow. Mahavira stood on common sense and experience and found no contradiction between permanence and change. The Jaina philosophy is based on logic and experience. Moksa is the ultimate aim of life. It is realised by the three-fold path of right intuition, right knowledge and right conduct.[1] Right knowledge is one of the major problems of Jaina philosophy. It is necessary to understand the Jaina theory of knowledge and experience for the proper understanding of Jaina thought. The Jaina epistemology is very complex and developed gradually in response to the demand of time.

 

The problem of mind eludes the grasp of philosophers and psychologists because it can be analyzed into both metaphysical and psychological problems. Metaphysically, it refers to mind as the principle of the universe standing in relation to the phenomenal world. This is the cosmic principle which is emphasized by the idealists as the primary principle. Psychologically, it is the individual mind, the individual's system of psychic states in relation to the world of sense. Philosophers could not make a distinction between the two aspects of the problem.

 

The Indian thinkers were groping to grasp the intangible, the ineffable and the immaterial. The distinction between mind and matter, the mental and the physical, was vague and unclear. In the pre-Upanisadic thought, the principle of Rta became the principle of order in the universe. It is the underlying dynamic force at the basis of the universe. "Even the Gods cannot transgress it." We see in the conception of Rta the development from the physical to the divine.2 It is by the force of Rta that human vrains function". Man knows by the divine force of the same immanent power which makes fire to burn and river to flow. [3] The interpretation of the famous Rgvedic hymn of creation. : 'nasad asin no sad asit tadanim" and again of "kamans tad agre samavartatadhi manaso retah prathamam yad asit. Sato bandhumasati niravindahrdi pratisya kavayo manisa"[4] gives a description that for the first time there arose kama which ahad the preimeval germ of manas within it. Similarly the word krtu is shown to be the antecedent of the word manas or prjana. In Sat. Bra. 4.1.4.1. there is a statement that when a man wishes, "may I do that, may I have that," that is Krtu, when he attains it, that is Daksa. The same term later changed its meaning to manas and prajna.[5]

 

 

The analysis of the Jaina theory of mind shows that there has been a conflict between the metaphysical and the psychological approaches to the problem. It is predominantly: realistic approach. The mind and its states are analyzed to the empirical level. The Jaina ideal is Moksa, freedom of the soul from the impurities to Karma. The purity and the divinity of the soul are the basic concepts of the Jaina philosophy, and mind had to be linked with the soul and interpreted in the metaphysical terms.

 

The function of mind, which is an inner organ, is knowing and thinking. Sthananga described it as samkalpa vyapdravati. Anuvamsika gives the citta vijnana as equivalent of the manas: "Citta manovijnanam iti paryayah." The Visesavasyakabhasya defines manas in terms of mental processes.[6] It is taken in the substantive sense. The Nyayakosa defines manas in the sense of the inner organ which controls the mental functions.

 

It is difficult to define mind. If at all it is to be defined it is always in terms of its own processes. Even the psychologists of the present day find it difficult to give a definition of mind without reference to the mental processes. Older psychologists meant by mind something that expresses its-nature, powers and functions in the modes of individual experiences and of bodily activity. McDougall also says that we are bound to postulate that "something"; and "I do notthink", he writes, "that we can find a better word to denote something than the old fashioned word mind ." ' McDougall defines mind as an organized system of mental and purposive forces. Wundt says that mind is a pre-scientific concept.  It covers the whole field of internal experience.[8]

 

The Jainas did not merely postulate the existence of mind without any evidence. They found the evidence in theexperiences of the world. They also give the empirical proof for the operation of the mind. The contact of the sense organ with the soul alone does not give cognition in the relevant experiences because there is the absence of manas. Something else is necessary for the cognition, and that is the mind. Again, the mind has the functional connotation which speaks for its nature "Just as speech signifies the function of speaking, fire express the function of burning and the light shows the light." [9]

 

Orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy postulate the existence of mind as an internal sense organ. In the evidence of cognition the contact of the soul with the sense organs is not sufficient. We must posit the existence of a manas, some additional condition which brings them together. For in  stance, a man may not hear a sound or see an object when the mind is pre-occupied. when the mind is elsewhere, as we read in the Upanisads. There is also the positive evidence in the

facts of memory and of experiences like pleasure and pain.[10] As mind is not tangible, the proof of mind has always to be indirect, and not direct. McDougall infers the structure of the mind from its functions. He writes that we have to build up our description of the mind by gathering all possible facts of human experience and behavior, and by inferring from these the nature and structure of mind. He thus makes a distinction between the facts of mental activities and the facts of mental structure. It is comparable to the structure and the functions of the mechanical joy; and one who wishes to ascertain the nature of the machiner within it, can only watch its movement under various conditions . [11]

 

Mind is characterized by mental processes like doubting imagining, dreaming and expecting. It is also characterized by pleasure and pain and desires. 'These are the distinguishing marks of mind.[12]  The Nandisutra describes mind a that which grasps everything sarvartha-grahanam manah.[13]. In the Tattvarthastitra, we are told that cognition of what is stated on authority, as in scriptures is the object of mind srutam anindrlyasya.[14] In Maitrt Upanisad mind is described in its reflective aspect as source of all mental modifications.  He sees by mind, by mind he hears, and by mind too, he experiences all that we call desire, will and belief, re-solution, irresolution. All this is but mind itself.[15] In modern psychology also, Wundt says that mind will be the subject "to which we attribute all the separate facts of internal experience." Mind, in the popular thought, is no simply a subject in the logical sense, but a substance in real being, and the various activities of the mind are its expressions or notions. But this involves, he says, some metaphysical presuppositions. For him, mind is a logical concept of internal experience.[16] The Abhidhanarajendra mention that the word manas has a functional significance, because it describes the functions of the mind like thinking, imagining, and expecting.[17] And from this functional significance of the mind the structure of the mind is inferred. The Jaina thinkers make a distinction between two phases of the mind dravya manas and bhava manas (manah dvividham dravya-manah bhava.manas ca). In the Visesavasyakabhasya, we get a description of the two phases of the manas. The material mind, which may be called the mental structure, is composed of infinite, fine and coherent particles of matter meant for the function of mind dravyatah dravyamanah. It is further described as a collection of fine particles which are meant for exciting thought processes due to the yoga arising out of the contact of the jiva with the body.[18] in the Gommatasara: Jiva-kanda also there is a description of the material mind as produced in the heart from the coming of mind molecules like a full blown lotus with eight petals.[19]

 

Such a description of mind as dravya manas and bhava manas,

the structural and the psychical aspect, can be compared to the description of mind given by some modern philosophers. C. D. Broad, in his Mind and its Place in Nature presents a similar view. It is a modification of the instrumental theory according to which mind is a substance that is existentialy independent of the body. For Broad, mind is composed of two factors neither of which is and for itself has the property of mind, but which when combined exhibits mental properties. The factors are the bodily and the psychic factors. It is comparable to a chemical compound like NaCI and H2O in which the individual components lose their individual identity when composed of living body possessed of i) the nervous system and something else and ii) the psychic factor, which possesses some feeling like mental.[20] The bodily factor is described as "the living brain and the nervous system". About the psychic factor Broad seems to be vague.[21] neither mental characteristic normental events seem to belong to it. It is likely to be sentience only. However, the psychic factor must be capable of persisting for a period at least after the death of the body and it must be capable, when separated from the body, of carrying 'traces' of experience which happen to the mind a which it was formerly a constituent. In other words, it must comprise the 'mnemic mass'. Broad's view comes nearer to, the Buddhist vinnana rather to the Jaina view of bhava manas corresponds with all the psychic factors in the Buddhist view, vinnana has a more permanent nature. In the Digha-Nikaya it is mentioned that after death the body is dissolved, mind ceases but vinnana, the coefficient of the desire to enjoy, clings to produce its effects in some other embryo waking elsewhere.[22]  With this difference of the psychic factor, the Jaina distinction between the dravya manas and the bhava manas corresponds with Broad's theory of the composition of mind. I speaking of the mental structure, McDougall has likened it to the structure of a machine.  However, McDougall also warns us that it should not be taken in the sense of material structure or arrangement of parts.  He likens it more to the composition of a poem of music. "The structure of the mind is a conceptual system that we have to build up by inference from the date of the two orders, facts of behavior and the facts of introspection." [23] The same can be said of the composition of the manas.