Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions - Jain View of Life
INTRODUCTION
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 OR GODS
 

GENERAL INDEX


Chapter-4 : CRITIQUE OF KNOWLEDGE

 

I. The Jaina attitude is empritical and realistic. The Unpanisadic philosophers found the immutabel reality behig the world of experience. Fautama, the Buddha, denouced everything as fleeting and full of sorrow.mahaira stood on commonsese and experience and found no contradiction between permaence 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 intuitio right kowledge ad right conduct. Right knowledge is one of the major problems of Jaina philosophy. It is necessary to understand the Jaina theory of knowedge and experience for the proper understanding of Jaina thought. The Jaina epistemology is very complex and developed gradually in reponse to the demand of time.

      The problemof mid eludes the grasp of philosophers and psychologists because it can beanalyzed into both metaphysical and psychological problems. Metaphysicallyt it refers to mind as the principle of the universe stading in realation to the phenomenal world. This is the cosmic princple which is emphasized by the idealists as the primary principle. Psychologically, it is the individual mind, the individual�s system of psychic stated in realation to the worls of sense. Phgilosophers could not make a distinction between the two aspects of the problem.

      The Indian thinkers were gropig to grasp the itangible,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 Ttabecame the principle of order in the universe. It is the underlying dynami force at the basis of the universe.� Even the Gods cannot transgress it.� We see in the conception of Rta the development from the physichal to the dicie.2  it is by the force of Rta that human brains function.� Man kows by the divie force of the same immanent power which makes fire to burn and river to flow.3  The interpretatio of the famous Rgvedic hymn of creation. �nasad asin no sad asit tadanim� ad again of �kamas tad agre samavrtatadhi manaso retah prathamain yad asit . sato bandhumasti niravindahradi pratisya kavayo manisa�4  gives a description that for the first time there aswose kama which had the primeel germ of maas withi it. Similarly the word krtu is shown to be the antecedent of the word manas or prajna. In sat. bra 4.1.4.1. there a statemet 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 predominatly a realistic approach. The mind and its stares are analysed on the empirical level. The Jaina ideal is Moksa, freedom of the soul from the impurities of Karma. The purity and the divinty of the soul to the basic concepts of the Jaina philosophy, ad mind had to be linked with the soul ad interpreted in the metaphysical terms.

      The function of mind which is an inner organ, is knowing and thinking. Sthanaga described  it as samkalpa vyparavati. Anuvamisika gives the citta vijnana as equivalent of the manas: � Citta manoveijanaam it I paryayah� The Viseasvasyakabhasya  defines manas in terms of menta processes.6 It is taken in the subtanitive 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 preset day find it difficult to give a definition of mind without reference to the menta processess. Older psychologists meant by mind something that expresses its nature, powers and functions in the modes of individual experiences and of bodil activity. Mc Dougall also says that wr are boung to postulate that �something� ; ad �I do not thing�, he writes, �that we ca find a better word to denote something than the old fashioned word mind.� 7  Mcdougall defines mind as an orgaized system pre-scientific concept. It covers the whole field of interna experiece.8

      The Jainas did not merelu postulate the existaence of mind without any evidece. They found the evidence in the experiences fo 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 reevant experiences because there is the absence of manas something else is necessary for the coginition, and that is the mind. Agaain, the mind has the functional connotation which speaks for its nature. �just as speech signifies the function of burning and the lifht shows the light.�9

      Orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy postulate the existence of mind as an interna sense organ. In the evidence of cognition the contact of the soul with the sense organs in not sufficient. We must posit the existence of manas, some additional condition, which brings them together. For instance a man may not hear a sound or see an object when the mind is pre-ocupied when the mind is elsewhere as we read in the Upanisads. There is also the positive evidence in the facts of memeory ad of experiences like pleasure and pain.10  Asmind 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 writesthat we have to build up our description of the mind by gathering all possible facts of human experience and behabiour, and by inferring from these the nature and structure of mind. He thus makes a distinction between the facts of menta activities ad the facts of mental structure. It is comparable to the sturcture and the functions of the mechanical joy; ad one who wishes to ascertain the nature of the machinery within it, ca only watch it movemet under carious condiditons.11