Definitions And Pseudo Definitions
There have been many Jain literary
figures named Dharambhushan. To distinguish this writer from others 'Abhinav'
and 'Yati', additions to the name have been made. He was a follower of
Acharya Kundkund and his teacher was Vardhman. His existence is dated
between 1258 to 1418 A.D.
Whatever references of his influence
and personality are available indicate that he was an influential man of
letters. The first Devarai who was known as Rajadhiraj Parmeshwar, used to
bow before his feet.
It was his passion to spread Jain
faith. He has displayed wonderful logic and scholarship in his writings.
His only work 'Nyaya Dipika', which occupies an important place in Jain
logic, is available at present. This is a very small but very lucid and
important work of this master-mind. Praman and Perspectives are dealt with
logically in this book. Though the language of the logic treatises is
mostly quite difficult and serious, this writer has used simple and easily
comprehensible Sanskrit in the book.
The present lesson is based on this
Definitions And Pseudo Definitions
Speaker : It is very necessary to
know the definition of a thing for knowing it, because without knowing the
definition it is not possible to recognise it and decide what is true and
what is false. Without arriving at the nature of things, their description
is impossible; if an attempt is made to describe them, whatever is said
will be wrong. It is, therefore, necessary to know the definition of a
particular thing or feeling for knowing that thing very exactly.
Disciple : It is alright that
definitions are necessary, but what is a definition ? Please tell me
the nature thereof.
Speaker :You are correct. It is
necessary to know the significance of definition before defining any
object; for, if we do not know what definition is, how shall we determine
that the definition of a particular object arrived at- by us, is correct.
The attribute that distinguishes the
object in question from other mixed up substances, is called the
definition of that object.
Aklankdeo writes in his Rajwartik
"Whatever distinguishes an object from the mass of other substances is its
Disciple : What is object ?
Speaker : Whatever is defined is
the object of definition e.g. consciousness is the attribute of the soul.
In this soul' is the object and 'consciousness' is the definition.
Whatsoever is recognised by the definition is the object.
Definition is of two kinds :-1.
Intrinsic definition, and 2. Extrinsic definition
The attribute that is in the nature of
the object is the intrinsic definition e.g. warmth in fire. Warmth, being
the nature of fire, distinguishes it from water and other substances. As
such warmth is the intrinsic definition of fire. The attribute not in the
nature of the object and separate from it is the extrinsic definition of
the object e.g. stick of an old man. Though the stick is separate from the
man, it separates him from other men without such sticks. As such this is
Rajwartik also explains the situation by
the two examples of fire and warmth and stick and the man holding it.
Intrinsic definition, being the nature
of the object is the real definition. Externally existing things can be
recognised by this only. Extrinsic definition is from the point of view of
associations. It, therefore, serves the temporary purpose of the object
with the association as distinct from the objects without such
association. Intrinsic definition is fruitful in defining eternal objects
having no associations. The soul, without any such affiliations, can only
be defined by such a definition.
It is very necessary to be very careful
while arriving at the definition of particular objects, because the
definition becomes the basis of its analysis. If the definition is
defective it would not be able to stand the cannons of' its analysis and
examination and would be proved wrong.
Disciple : Are there defects in
definition also ?
Speaker : Definitions are always
without defects. Those with defects are called pseudo definitions. Three
kinds of defects are found in these :
1. Less pervasive , 2. Extra pervasive,
and 3. Impossible
When the definition covers only a part
of the object it is called less pervasive e.g., to say that cows are black
and animals have horns. All the cows are not black and all the animals are
not with horns. The two definitions, therefore, suffer from less pervasive
Disciple : If we accept horn as
the definition of a cow ?
Speaker : The definition then
will have extra pervasive defect, because it covers the object as well as
Disciple : What is this
Speaker : Things other
than the object of definition are non-objects. Though all the cows have
horns, but horns are also found in other animals. Here cow is the object
and the other animals are non-objects, and the given definition of horns
is found in cows as well as other animals. This definition is, therefore,
Definition should be such as is present
in the whole of the object and never in the non-object. Not to be
pervasive in the whole object is the less pervasive defect and to be
pervasive in the object as well as the non-object is the extra pervasive
Disciple : And impossible ?
Speaker : Impossibility of
definition in the object defined is the impossible defect e.g. to define
man as a creature with horns. Here man is the object and the presence of
horn is the definition. This defect is called the impossible. I understand
you have now followed the nature of definition and pseudo-definition
Disciple : Yes, very clearly.
Speaker : If that is so, let me
know if the soul can be defined as having omniscience. Is this definition
of the soul correct ?
Disciple : No, because here soul
is the object and omniscience is its definition. Definition should be in
the whole of the object, but omniscience is not present in all the souls.
As such this definition is less pervasive. If we accept this definition as
correct, we, with sensory and scriptural knowledge, will become inanimate
Speaker : Then accept sensory and
scriptural knowledge as the definition of the soul ?
Disciple : No, because if we
accept that, the Arahantas and the Siddhas will have to be accepted as
inanimate, for they do not have sensory or scriptural knowledge. This
example, therefore, has the defect of being less pervasive.
Speaker : You are correct. Some
other listener will now reply. Is it correct to say that that which is
formless is the soul substance ?
Disciple : Yes, for all the souls
are formless. This definition does not have the defect of being less
Speaker : This definition is also
not correct. It entails the defect of extra pervasiveness, because beside
the soul substance, space, ether, anti-ether and time substances are also
formless. In the above definition, soul is the object and substances,
other than the soul, that is, the non-soul substances, are non-objects.
Though all souls are formless, yet space and other substances, beside the
soul, are also formless. Matter alone has form. As such above definition
being pervasive in objects as well as non-objects is full of extra
pervasive defect. If all that is formless is soul is accepted, then we
shall have to regard space and other three substances as soul.
Disciple : If we define soul as
having colour, scent, taste and touch, what will be the result ?
Speaker : Wonderful, were you
sleeping ? This is impossible. Soul does not have colour etc. at all. This
comes under the impossible defect of definition.
Disciple : You have shown defects
of all these definitions. Please let me know the correct definition of the
Speaker : The correct definition
of the soul is operative consciousness. Tattvarthasutra says, "Upyogo
Lakshemu". It does not have the defect of less pervasiveness because
operative consciousness is found in all the souls. It does not also have
the defect of extra pervasiveness because operative consciousness is not
found in other substances except the soul. There is no question of the
defect impossible, because it is so clear that all the living beings are
possessed of operative consciousness.
Every definition should thus be tested
and you should keep in mind all these things before arriving at
definitions of substances.
Disciple : Please give one or two
Speaker : No, there is no time. I
have given one example of soul and the other of the cow and other animals.
Now you can apply the conditions to other examples. If you feel any hitch,
discuss amongst yourselves. Even then if you do not understand, 1 shall
explain the whole thing in more details, tomorrow.
Please remember that you can understand
things if you really try to understand yourself; others cannot make you
understand. You should, therefore, make attempts and concentrate over
Dr. H. C.
"So one who desires to have
happiness, who desires the good of self, who is keen for
liberation, he should know himself, get fully immersed
within himself. Your own pleasure is within you, not within somebody
else, not even in Parmeshwar (God). So it is useless to look upon
happiness as a grace from above. You are thy own master. You yourself
are the eternal fund of joy, a sort of happiness, happiness itself.
But why hanker after - happiness ? For, hankering is misery. There is
really no happiness in the objects covered by the senses. This man,
though commanding the wealth and affluence of a chakravarti is
not happy. In the eyes of the savants, all the treasures of
a chakravarti are useless. They throw them out as if a dry hay and are
immersed within. In the presence of the great thing within
which is eternal and full of joy, every external object
Dharma is not a word, but an
application. So one covetous of self should not merely memorise the
word but realise it in life; he must be all dharma."
Tirthankara Mahavira and his
Sarvodaya Tirtha, Page 31-32 : Dr. H. C.