THE PROBLEM OF ETHICAL SUMMUM BONUM : THE SOPHISTS:
It is said that, "The Sophists brought philosophy down from heaven to the dwellings of men, and turned the attention from external nature to man himself; for them the proper study of mankind was man.", Hitherto the chief concern of the Greek philosophers was to ascertain the origin of the world. The Sophists not only evinced a negative attitude towards current ontological speculation, but also protested against the enigmatic conclusions of their predecessors, and consequently propounded subjectivity in knowledge by affirming that `Man is the measure of all things' and that truth is `relative to the subjective make up of the individual enunciating the statement.'2 Epistemological subjectivism and relativism ended in ethical subjectivism and relativism. The good is entirely subjective and relative to the individual who achieves it. There are as many ethical ends as there are individuals. This reflects a state of moral anarchy. And yet notwithstanding the subjectivists trend of Protagoras in the field of knowledge and morals, the contribution made by him to the entire philosophy should not be underestimated. Man as such was considered to be of supreme importance. The realization of ethical good was made personal, which is tantamount to saying that morality, in its historical beginning, assumed an egoistic form. Now not egoism in
1 History of Philosophy, p. 61. 2Ibid. p. 57.
general but only exclusive egoism is detrimental.1 Besides, ‘the great value of the entire Sophistic movement consisted in this: it awakened thought and challenged philosophy, religion, customs morals and the institutions based on them, to justify themselves to reason.2 Now the age in which Mahavira was born resembled that of the Sophists in a great measure. In contrast to Protagoras, Mahavira did not depreciate metaphysical speculation, but denounced absolutism. He reconstructed metaphysic with epistemological objectives as its basis, and thus became an exponent of the multiple nature of reality, technically known as Anekantavada. This attitude exercised its influence on ethical; inquiry too. The good is not subjective but objective, though individuals relish it. Thus according to Jainism, Ahimsa is the objective good, the complete realization of which is possible in the plenitude of mystical experience. This is the moral and the spiritual egoism, which distinguishes itself from the narrow, and the selfish egoism of Protagoras. The former gives an impetus to the formulation of an ethical theory, while the latter leader, us only to chaos.
SOCRATHES: Socrates combated the intellectual and moral chaos of the age, and protested against the subjectivity and relativity of the Sophists who reduced all morality to a matter of private caprice. Socrates conformed with the view of Protagboras that the good we seek is human well being, but differed from him by saying that it is independent of the fluctuating choice of the individuals. It is not subjective, but objective, because it is capable of being made intelligible by means of general conceptions, which are the products of reason, the universal element in man. Thus according to Socrates knowledge in the highest good and it is further identified with goodness. The corollary of this view is that no one is voluntarily bad. “By this ‘knowledge’ he did not mean of course of purely theoretical; knowledge which needed only to be leant, but an unshakable conviction based on the deepest insight into and realization of what is really valuable in life deepest insight into and realization of what is really valuable in life, a conviction such as he himself possessed,3 Besides, the knowledge with which true goodness is to be identified is knowledge of what is good the human soul.4 “The only real harm is spiritual and produced only by one’s own wrong doing.”5
1 Short History of Ethics, p.345 2 History of Philosophy, pp. 61-62.
3 Outlines of the History of Greek Philosophy, p. 102.
4 Greek Philosophy, p. 176.
5 Outlines of History of Greek Philosophy,. 102.
Janis would subscribe to the view of Socrates that right knowledge and true belief arrow essential to right action, but denies that they necessarily issue in goodness. The irrational parts of the soul, namely, passions, cannot be lost sight of and very often these passions prevent a man from doing that which contributes to the well-being of the soul. The Socratic axiom of knowledge as goodness can only be justified by one who has ascended the mystical; heights, but we have little evidence to show that Socrates meant this. That the real good is the good of the human soul is in conformity with the Jaina view. The highest good is spiritual and wrong actions obstruct spiritual progress.
THE SOCRATIC SCHOOLS; The many-sidedness of the Socratic ethics gave rise to diametrically opposed schools of ethical thought, namely, those of the Cynics and the Cryonics founded by Antisthenes and Airstrips respectively. These two founders endeavored in their own way to represent the chief constituents of a life of well-being. Both agreed regarding human well being as the highest good, but the they differed enormously in point of the content that the life of well being must include. The ideal; of life advocated by the Cynics consists in the eradication of all desires,. In the freedom from all wants,. And in being completely independent of all possessions. It enjoins absolute asceticism and rigorous self-mortification. In contrast to the above-mentioned negative content as constituting. In contrast to the above-mentioned; negative content as constituting the inner core of the life of well being, the Cryonics laid stress on the positive attainment of the greatest amount of pleasure. They no doubt extolled; bodily pleasures, but they escaped sensuality and bestiality, inasmuch as the need of prudence in the pursuit of pleasures was emphasized and advocated. The prudent cultivates self-control, postpones a more urgent to a less urgent desire in order to get more pleasure and less pain. “ The Cyrenaic and Cynic doctrines tend towards exclusive egoism, whether as a pursuit of self-dependence or of pleasurable feeling.”1 In the view of the Jaina, the Cynic ideal will remain unrealizable so long as the Almanac stredfastness is not arrived at. Mere negation will lead us nowhere. The internal; and the external Aparigraha is incapable of being practiced without spiritual possession. Aparigraha is incapable of being practiced without spiritual possession. The Cynic failed to reconcile individual goodness withholds the social one. In conformity with the views of the Jana, the of householder and that of the Mini can properly attune the individual; with social uplift-
Short History of Ethics, p. 41.
Meat. Exclusive egoism is suicidal, but spiritual egoism exemplified in the life of Acaryas and Arahantas is compatible with social goodness. The Cymics could not bring forth the concept of social Aparigraha but went to the other extreme of mere individual; Aparigraha and thus destroyed the social foundation and imperiled social living. The Anuvratas proscribed for the layman strike a balance between asceticism and sensualist, and between absolute independence and complete dependence. The life of Mahavratas, through individualistic in trend, is not incompatible with social goodness. The Cryonics moved in the direction of egoistic hedonism that is totally unacceptable to the Jaina. Egoistic hedonism does not go beyond bodily consciousness, it tends towards narrow selfishness and looks upon with contempt the philanthropists sacrificing their lives for social; good. "Crude hedonism contains within itself the germ of pessimism: The attainment of a preponderance of pleasure over pain seems impossible, and the exclusive pursuit of pleasure leads over pain seems impossible, and the exclusive pursuit of pleasures leads to boredom and frustration.”1 The most common argument that may be advanced against egoistic hedonism is that we desire objects and not pleasure; pleasurable state is simply an accompaniment. That is why Jainism has laid stress on the pursuance of noble ends so that lasting pleasures may displace transitory ones.
PLATO AND ARISTOTLE: As advocated by Plato, the transcendental world of ideas constitutes reality, and reason is the most characteristic aspect of the soul. The empirical objects of the world are but fleeting shadows of the objects, the body and the senses are foreign to the soul’s innate nature. The true life of the individual, therefore, consists in the freedom of the soul from the body and in contemplating the world of ideas. The veritable end of life finds expression in bringing into clear consciousness the latent memories of the past when the soul possessed the knowledge of the ideas. “The true art of living is really an “art of dying” as far as possible to mere sense, in order more fully to exist in intimate union with absolute goodness and beauty.”2 “This ascetic tendency of the Platonic philosophy culminates in mysticism.”3 We are confronted with another view of the ethical ideal which emerged on account of the ascription of some value to the would of sense by virtue of the fact that the objects of the world
1 History of Philosophy, p. 72. 2 Outlines of the History of Ethics, p. 41.
3 History of Philosophy, p.91.
participate in ideas. The imprisonment of soul; into body meant the mingling of the rational part with the irrational; part known as the spirited part and the appetites. In view of this, the ethical idea consists in the achievement of the harmony among the various parts of the soul. The irrational parts are not wiped off but subordinated under reason. This is what goes to form justice. “Such a man would not repudiate a deposit, commit sacrilege or theft, be false to friends, a traitor to his country or commit similar misdeeds.”1 Happiness results from such a life. By virtue of this trend Plato escapes narrow asceticism and makes room for social goodness. In view however of the fact that Aristotle rejected the transcendentalism of Plato and expounded the immanence of forms into things, the ethical Summum Bonum according to him, consists in the realization of the form as inherent in man, namely, a rational; life. It is the life of ‘theoria’ which means a life spent in the unimpeded apprehension and discovery of the truth.2 The irrational parts which are organically related to the soul need be harnessed to the service of reason. For when properly controlled by reason they may be directed towards the social well being. Thus individual good and social well being are not incompatible. The ethical speculation of the Jaina and that of Plato and Aristotle resemble each other to a great extent. The life of reason can be compared with the life of Suddhopayoga as explained by Jainism, with this difference that the irrational parts which are retained in some form or the other by Aristotle, must be removed in view of the Jaina. The difficulty is due to the fact that Aristotle could not reconcile the life of pure reason with that of social well-being. In view of Jainism the greatest mystics are as well the greatest social reformers. Though asceticism which flows from the observance of Mahavratas is the ideal of life, though it can only be attained by a selected few, the concept of Anuvratas is capable enough to bring harmony; between the rational and irrational parts of the soul. Platonic asceticism is inconsistent with social goodness; hence it is insalubrious, but the Jaina asceticism embraces social goodness within its fold along with individual goodness. The Jaina concept of Anuvrats is a mean between asceticism and sensualist. It completely; makes possible the achievement of social goodness but it imperfectly brings about individual goodness, since the irrational parts cannot be completely subdued in the life of Anuvratas. Their extrication is essential for complete individual goodness.
1 History of Philosophy, p.90. 2 Short History of Ethics, p. 80.
Short History of Ethics, p. 80.
UTILITARANISM: The chief exponents of this School are Bentham. J.
S. Mill, and Henry Sidgwick. According to them the Summum Bonum or the ultimate ethical standard consists in the “greatest happiness of the greatest number.” These three thinkers claim to have made a transition from mere egoism to universals. Their claim is warrantable to a great extent, but they could not universalism. Their claim is warrantable to a great extent, but they could not deliver themselves from the snares of egoism. Besides, they exhibited divergence on the grounds of transition from egoism to Altruism. Bantam’s utilitarianism derives its validity from purely egoistic considerations and evinces strong leanings towards sensualist by formulating quantity as the measure of the value of pleasures. For him, “Push-pin is as good as poetry.” The following quotation. Shows his egoistic trend: “Dream not that men will move their finger to serve you, unless their own advantage in so doing be obvious to them. Men never did so and never and will, while human nature is made of the present materials. But they will desire to serve, when by so doing they can serve themselves, and the occasions on which they can serve themselves by serve themselves, and the occasions on which they can serve themselves by serving you are multitudinous.”1 Thus we may call his utilitarianism. The Jaina would think that this should not be overemphasized. On many occasions in life one can serve others at the cost of conspicuous losses. Besides, a psychological fact should not be elevated to the rank of ethical; design. Jaina ethics gives approbation only to those altruistic actions which are performed without ;any Nidana (future mundane expectation). Actions constituting other man’s goodness need not be done with any hope of return or personal benefit. Again, all pleasures cannot be on par. The life of sensualist cannot find favor with Jainism. The pleasures of the senses are of the worst sort and should be gradually overcome by self-control. Bentham’s view seems to denounce the value of self-control. The pleasure of drinking cannot be abandoned by Bentham. Mill’s utilitarianism is called “Sympathetic utilitarianism”, since, according to him, man is induced to altruistic conduct by internal felling of the happiness of mankind, by the consciousness possessed by every one that he is an integral part of society. By regarding that pleasures are intrinsically heterogeneous, Mill abandons hedonism. The distinction between higher and lower pleasures may be brought by the “native sense of dignity” which a man possesses. Jainism
Deontology, II. P. 133.
agrees with Mill as regards the heterogeneity of pleasures, but introduces the principle of internal and external Ahimsa for differentiating different pleasure. This principle is far more comprehensive than that of “native sense of dignity.” The man who performs a good act out of social feeling shall not be able to do it at the risk of his own pleasure. The principle of Ahimsa which is more in tune with the man’s inner nature pre-eminently possesses altruistic note, and is in conformity with self-sacrifice for the good of others. Sidgwick’s utilitarianism is called “Intentional utilitarianism”, inasmuch as his theory is based on certain principles known intuitively by practical reason. The pleasures of others are to be regarded as of equal weight with our own. Sidgwick could not reconcile national self-love with benevolence, and he is confronted with a difficulty known as dualism of the Practical Reason. Above all, we may say that the ethical idea, “greatest happiness of the greatest number”, will be modified by Jainism as the greatest happiness of all. Jainism speaks with the vulgar in pronouncing the highest good in terms of happiness or pleasure, but in fact the highest good is the realization of Ahimsa or self, and happiness is a compliment. Thus Jainism thinks with the learned. Utilitarian writers on the other hand think with the vulgar exclusively, and emphasize felling as against the cognitive and cognitive aspects of life. Mere feeling is an abstraction. “Feeling is a quality of a mental state which cannot exist apart from other elements any more than color or shape can exist without matter.”1 “Our ends are our happiness, not merely means to happiness.”2
KANT: The highest good, according to Kant, consists in the performance of actions out of respect for the moral law which commands categorically or unconditionally, and irrespective of circumstances, consequences and inclinations. “There is nothing in the world or even out of if” says he, “that can be called good without qualification except a good will.” The good will is a rational will willing in obedience to moral imperative which is the expression of man’s real self, of the very principle of his being.”3 The categorical imperative inherent in reason itself lays down ‘Act only on the maxim which thou can’t at the same time will to become a universal law,’ and entails a society of rational beings, a kingdom of ends. There is no queer of Jainism with Kantian formulations.
1 Short History of Ethics, p.251. 2 Fundamentals of Ethics, p.90. 3 History of Philosophy, p. 443.
So far as the highest good is concerned, inasmuch as the perfected mystic or a Tirthankara presents himself to be a member of the kingdom of ends. His actions are not limited by circumstances, consequences, ends, and selfish and sympathetic feelings. He is, according to Jainism, the only being acting in accordance with the commands of his inner being. The conviction of the Jaina is that the actions of such a being will always result in happiness. The mistake of Kant according to the Jaina is that he confounds supermoralism with moralist and, that from his a priori philosophy, he deduces a principle which cannot be applied to special circumstances and to positive rules, for instance, continence, charity to the poor etc. The principle according to Jainism should be at once universal and particular, i.e., universal in nature and particular in practice. The principle of Ahimsa, e.g., in its comprehensive meaning satisfies the universal demands of reason and the particular demands of society. Ahimsa with the Jaina doctrine of Nayavada can very well serve as the supreme principle of morality. Hence there is nothing is the would or even out of it that can be called good without qualification except a good will willing the principle of Ahimsa of all beings. It is a form and can be validly applied to all the particular cases. Besides, the absence of auspicious and inauspicious Bhavas has relevancy in the life of supermoralism, but the life of morality presupposes will combined with auspicious Bhavas. Along with the inauspicious Bhavas or intense passions, Kant overthrew auspicious Bhavas as will without thinking about the loss to moral life. The transcendental will is capable of dispensing with all types of Bhavas, but the empirical will, particularly moral will can not be against auspicious Bhavas; of sympathy, compassion and the like.
VIRTURES: SOPHISTS, SOCRATES, PLATO AND ARISTOTLE: The Sophists identified virtue with self-interest. The Socratic view finds expression in the formula: “Knowledge is virtue.” “Knowledge is both the necessary and the sufficient condition of virtue: without knowledge virtue is impossible and its possession ensures virtuous action.”1 This conception led Socrates to regard that virtue is teachable and that it is one. The different virtues like temperance, benevolence emanates from the supreme virtue, namely, wisdom. The systematic approach to, and the exposition of virtues may be ascribed to Plato and Aristotle. Their theory of virtues of based on their psychology of soul. In the Platonic system, the
1 History of Philosophy, p. 70.
Soul occupies a position between the two worlds, namely, would of ideas and would of becoming. Consequently it must possess the traits of both the worlds, rational and irrational, the latter comprises within its fold spirited and appetite parts. Desire for pleasure, desire for wealth, desire for food, shelter and other bodily satisfactions are included in the appositive part,1 while the spirited part includes anger, love of honor, shame, arsine to disgrace,2 and gentleness, humility and reverence are the traits of rational part. “The moral rank of these two elements is very different; the spirited element is the natural ally of reason in the conflicts of the soul;, and under due training is capable of manifesting a special excellence of its own; the appositive element is naturally baser and capable of no virtue except submission to reason.”3 This triple division of soul led Plato to recognize four cardinal virtues. The virtue of reason is wisdom, of the spirited part, courage, of the appositive part, temperance, and the fourths virtue is called justice which is the presence of all these virtues ;in the soul and consists in the free harmonious exercise of intellect, emotion and desire under the guidance of reasion.4 Thus justice is the highest virtue. Aristotle regarded man as an epitome of the different levels in the development of living beings. Thus man possesses three different souls, a vegetative, an animal and a rational soul. Corresponding to the national and irrational (passions and appetites) parts of the soul, there are two kinds of virtues, namely the intellectual (diabetic) and the moral. The diabetic virtues represent the life of pure reason. Moral virtues spring from the subordination of irrational elements to reason. They are not naturally implanted in man but denote a developed and settled habit formed by taking recourse to the mean between two extremes and thus avoid the vicious excess and defect. The middle path or the happy mean is not given by mechanical or a priori rule as in Arithmetic, it is known by the reasoning and judgement of man of practical wisdom, “Moral virtues are not ends in themselves.”5 Aristotle illustrates the doctrine of means by giving certain examples. Courage, for example, is a mean between rashness and cowardice, temperance between licentiousness and apathy; generosity between extravagance and miserliness. He does not apply this theory to certain vices like adultery, murder, theft,
1 History of Philosophy, p.70. 2 Ibid.p.86. 3 Outlines of the History of Ethics, p.44. 4 Short History of Ethics, p. 47 5 Ibid. p,80.
Etc, inasmuch as, according to him, these are bad in themselves. Jainism also forms its theory of ethics on the ground of its psychological analysis of the soul. The intrinsic excellence of the self is obstructed by the passions in their most comprehensive extent including virtues and vices. Intense passion is vice and mild passion is virtue. Aristotle’s mean from the Jaina point of view may be recognized as the expression of mild Poisson. Jainism analyses passions more deeply and recognizes six degrees of passions, bringing the first three under vices and the last three under virtues! Spiritually speaking virtues and vices differ in degree and not in kind. But this difference should not be regarded as insignificant. The movement towards virtuous living is a movement towards a life of reason in Aristotelian sense and a life of supermodel is in the Jainistic sense. By leading the life of supermoralisms the virtuous life is not annihilated, but it reconciles the life of the spirit with the life of virtues, as also the individual consummation with the social goodness. The divine man is the measure of virtuous living. Thus the guidance of Arahantas, Acrayas, Upadhyay; as and Sadhaus will determine those acts which are virtuous, the expression of mild passions. Aristotle stops at the verdict of wise man, but Jainism gives a practical criterion of internal and external Ahimsa for judging the rightness of actions. The conviction of the Jaina is that the Platonic virtues like courage, temperance, householder can only partially observe these virtues. In other words, though the Anuvratas are potent enough to evolve perfect social order, they are incapable of bringing about individual salvation or his culminate progress. In view of the Jaina, Aristotle’s life of Theoria, the Platonic contemplation of Ideas cannot be translated into action without the life of Mahavratas. Absolute social and individual goodness emanates from the observance of Mahavratas, but it can be achieved only by a few.
CLASSFICATION OF VIRTUES: The cardinal virtues, according to Jainism may be enumerated as follows: 1) Spiritual conversion, 2) Spiritual study, 3) Ahimsa, 4) Satya, 5) Asteya, 6) Brahmacarya, 7) Aparigraha, 8) Meditation and 9) Devotion. We now propose to give a detailed classification of virtues after following the scheme, which Professor RANADE has adopted in his ‘Pathway to God in Hindi literature,’2
1 These are called Lesyas. We have already dealt with these earlier.
2 Pathway to God in Hindi literature, p. 88.
Namely, the Scheme of classifying Virtues into the Individual, the social and the Spiritual.
INDIVIDUAL VIRTUES: 1. Self-control (Saraga-Samyama)1; 2. Greedlessness (sauna)2; 3. Humility (Mardava) 3; 4. Straightforwardness (Arjava)4; 5. Truthfulness (Satya)5; 6. Non-stealing (Asteya)6; 7. Continence (Brahmacaraya)7; 8. Doubtlessness (Nihsanka)8; 9. Desirelessness (Nihkanksa): ; 10. Non-stupidity (Amudhata)10; 11. Abandonment of Frivolous actions (Anarthadandayaga)11; and 12, Avoidance of eight kinds of pride.12
SOCIAL VIRTUES: 1. Universal compassion and friendship (Bhutan Anukampa13 and Mairti); 2. Charity (Dana) 14; 3. Non-hatred towards the diseased (Nirvicikitsa)15; 4. Commendation of the meritorious (Pramoda)16; and 5. Active compassion for the distressed (Karuana)17 or helping those who are miserable, thirsty and hungry,18 6. Indifference towards the arrogant (Madhyastha) 19; 7. Non-acquisition (Aparigraha)20; 8. Non-injury (Ahimsa) 21; 9. Forgiveness (Ksama) 22; and 10. Propagation of moral and Spiritual values through23 adequate means (Prabhavana).
SPIRITUAL VIRTUES: 1. Penance (Bodily Tapss) 24; 2. Endurance of Parisahas or suffering (Parisahajaya) 25; 3. Spiritual study (Svadyaya) 26; 4. Meditation (Dhyana) 27; 5. Devotion to Deva, Sastra and Guru28; 6. Avoidance of seven Kinds of fear29; 7. Pessimism (Vairagya) 30; 8. Service of Saints (Vaiyavrttya) 31; 9. Spiritual conversion (Samyagdarsana) 32; 10. Unattachment to body (Akincana) 33; 11. Self-condemnation (Prayascitta) 34; 12. Affection towards spiritual brethren (Vatsalya) 35; 13. Conquest of sleep, posture, and the desire for food36; 14. Purity of food37; 15. Spiritual welcome to death (Sallekhana) 38; 16. Re-establishment of the aspirants on the right path39; (Sthitikarana).
1 Sarvartha, VI.12. 2 Ibid.IX-6. 3. Ibid, 4, Ibid..
5 Ibid. 6 Ibid.VII.1. 7 Ibid. 8 Bhava. Pa. 7. 9 Ibid. 10.Ibid. 11 Sarvartha. VII.21
12 Mula.53 13 Sarvartha. VI. 12; VII. 11. 14 Ibid.
15 Bhava.Pa.7. 16 Sarvartha.VII.11 17 Ibid
18 Panca.137 19 Sarvartha.VII.11 20Sarvartha VII.1 21Ibid. 22 Sarvartha.IX.6.
23 Bhava. P5. 7. 24 Sarvartha IX.19 25 Saravartha, IX,9
26 Ibid.20 27. Ibid. 28 Sarvartha. VI.24
29 Mula.53. 30 Sarvartha.VII, 12. IX-7 31 Ibid IX 20.
32 Ibid, IX-24. 33 Ibid. IX-6 34 Ibid. IX-20
35 Bhava. Pa. 7. 36.Mo.Pa.63 37 Mula.421.
38 Sarvartha. VII 22 39 Bhava. Pa. 7.
Jaina Ethics and the Present-day Problems
At the outset we have to acknowledge that the man of today is living in a world which is much more complex than that of an ancient or mediaeval man. Interdependence among nations has increased; and this has brought an ever widening and deepening impact on the economic, intellectual and social conditions of our existence. The scientific advancement has made countries one another’s neighbors. Divergent races, divergent cultures, and divergent out-looks have come in close relations. In the present chapter we shall endeavor to put forth a view of state and society emanating from the ethical; considerations of the Jaina and shall strive to solve the problems of the social, national and international importance which encounter the present man.
INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIETY: It is generally alleged that Jaina ethics aims merely at self-purification and self-evolution. Professor MAITRA remarks,” The Jaina list does not include the other-regarding virtues of Benevolence, succour, and social service. This shows that the Jaina virtues aim more at self-culture than at social service. “1 But in the light of our previous classification and enumeration of virtues the above statement is untenable; and we can say that Jaina ethics has both the eyes of the individual as well as the social betterment. It envisages individual as a social being, inasmuch as the individual’s dependence upon society for his intellectual, moral and material gains is incontrovertible and cannot be gainsaid. Even an ascetic is incapable of transgressing this basic assumption of social dependence, although the concept of dependence in case of an ascetic undergoes radical change. True asceticism is not an act of ingratitude but an act of highest gratitude, returning golden coins for silver pieces to society. The ascetic by virtue of his practices accumulates Punya which in some form or the other is a social debt. This social debt is responsible for his repeated births till its full payment. This proves his dignified dependence upon society. The Tirthakara or the divine man who has transcended social dependence also pays the social debt in the form of preaching and spiritual guidance to the suffering humanity and in such a fashion as will not produce
1 The Ethics of the Hindus, p. 203.
fresh Karmas necessitating future birth. This sort of payment of social debt is unique, without any parallel. Thus we see that social dependence gradually decreases and ends in absolute independence. It is only at this stage that we are capable of saying that individuality or the individual stands completely aloof from the social debt. As a consequence of this fact, Jainism alleges that the individual is not like an organ absolutely dependent for its sustenance on social organism. Social dependence cannot rob the individual of his freedom to achieve his spiritual individuality. An individual is not a mere cog in the social machine. Jainism no doubt declines to accept the unrestricted individualism that ignores social obligation. Thus the true view recognises that the individual and society influence each other. The individual moulds and in mounded by society.
CONCEPT AND FUNCTIONS OF THE STATE: The strict observance of the Anuverate sand the Silvratgas by the human beings at large will result in the evolution of stateless society. The political power will be needless on account of the emergence of such individuals as have a self regulated life. The householder’s vows of Aparigraha, Satya, Asteya; and Digvrata, Desavrata, Bhopgopabhoga-parimanavrata are pregnant with the capability of unrevealing all the economic problems; the house-holder’s vows of Brahmacarya, Samayika and Prosadhopavasa are sufficient for educating the individual in the art of self-control on its positive side, and Anarthadandtyaga-vrata, on its negative side; the spirit of social service is capable of being nourished by the vow of Vaiyavrtya; and lastly, the householder’s vow of Ahimsa will serve as the guiding and pervasive principle throughout. The State as the outward garb of society must needs be abandoned and renounced when the society as a whole moulds its life in consonance with the prescription of vows. The existence of an enlightened social order can dispense with the state altogether. But this is an ideal condition and we feel that it cannot be materialized. Probably there will come no time when all the individuals will be self-regulating. Hence state in some form or the other will exist.
Thus Human imperfection will necessitate the continuation of state control and authority. The state is no doubt an evil but a necessary evil. It should contrive to manage its affairs in a way which will assist the development of perfect social order. Its national and international activities should be guided by the principle of non-violence and Anekanta. In order that the state may function properly without encroaching upon the inherent spiritual nature of man it must identify itself with Samyagdarsana, Samyagjnana, Samyakcaritra. The Policy of the State must exhibit unflinbing faith in , and tenacious adherence to the principle of non-violence. This will crown the state with Samyagdarsana which will ipso facto bring enlightenment to it, and the result will be the emergence of Samyagjnana. In other words, the adoption and the assimilation of Anekanta is Samyagjnana. The resolute and astute application of the policy of non-violence and Anekanta in the national and international spheres for solving all sorts of problems will credit the state with Samyakcaritra. The passions of fear, hatred towards any class of man and towards any other state, the passion of deception, greed to expand its territory and to usurp other-state’s wealth and freedom, the passions of pride of wealth, power, achievement and heritage-all these should be banished from the state, because they arrow corruptive of the veritable spirit of progress. On the positive side, the state should pursue the discipline which flows from Samyagdarsana, Samyagjnana and Samyakcaritra. The eight virtues emanate from Samyadarsana, the one from samyagjana, and the five from Samyakcaritra. We shall dwell upon them one by one along with their implications.
VIRTUES OF THE STATE : As regards the virtues issuing from Samyagdarsana, first, the state not only one, but all states should not have any iota of doubt in the efficacy of non-violence for solving and problems which arise in the national and international fields. Fewer which obstructs the germination of the living faith in, and rational adherence to, the principle of Ahimsa must be brushed aside. It will not be amiss to point out here that non-violence should not be counted as a virtue of necessity and a cloak of cowardice. To use it as weapon of expediency is to defile the Nihsankita virtue of the state. Consequently, an unshakable conviction in regarding it as a life-principle will infuse the state with a type of immutability even in testing situations. Secondly,. The state in no circumstance should exhibit tendency to dominate other countries not with standing its multifarious achievements. Even help should not end In domination. This is Nihkkanksita virtue of the State. Thirdly, the virtue of Nirvicikitsa which is required to be associated with the state prescribes not to condemn the poor. Fourthly, the virtue styled Amudhadrasti obliges the state to refuse to join any military pace on account of its being overwhelmed by fear, inferiority and greed for profit. Fifthly, when the state engages itself in enhancing it's productive capacity along with proper distribution, it may be said to have possessed Upabrmhana characteristic. Sixthly, when other states , being oppressed by the passion of fear, greed and the like seem to go astray from the path of righteousness and peace, to try for their re-establishment by reminding them of their humanitarian purpose may; be called Sthitikarana virtue. Seventhly, to have affection for all the members of the state irrespective of caste, colour, creed and sex is to adhere to the prescription of the virtue known as Vatsalya. Eighthly, it is imperative for the state to strive toss educate its members in a way; which may bring a bout the progress of the State. It is required as well to attain its ends by non-violent means, so that other states may be influenced by its policy. This will bring about the dissemination and propagation of its principles and policies among other states. This is known an Prabhavana virtue of the state.
The virtue which springs from Samyagjanana is Anekanta, which aims at comprehending the multiple approaches and diverse outlooks with a view to reconciling their claims. When the state imbibes the spirit of Anekanta, it is sure toss become tolerant in spirit, and to attend to its various aspects. The principle of Anekanta strives to cut the roots of onesidedsness in theory and practice. On account of the absolutistic approach the state is obliged to take a negative attitude towards other states which follow a different pattern of living. But Anekanta broadens the outlook and curbs down the absoluteness of one view. Consequently it helps in fostering international feelings, and in presenting humanitarian solutions of the various problems arising from the lack of sympathetic understanding of other-state views and considerations. It will not be insignificant to point out here that a war is the outcome of one-sided clinging, while peace results from the many-sided outlook. The latter should not make the state irresolute; on the contrary it should give credence to a synthetic approach, and properly attune the demands of different perspectives.
Lastly, Samyakcaritra credits the state with five other virtues known an non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence and non-acquisition. We shall now deal with them one by one. First, consummation of non-violence in a state as in the case of a householder is a contradiction in terms. So long as the state exists violence in some form or the other is inevitable. Joust as a householder is incapable of eschewing Himsa to an ascetic level, so also the state cannot dissociate itself from violence to an absolute degree, inasmuch as anti-state and anti-social tendencies may continue, and order to resist the disturbances, the presence of extraneous control is indispensable. Violence will not be intentional but it will be a defensive weapon. Notwithstanding the compelled use of force, it is an imperative function of the state to create an atmosphere of nonviolence. We may mention here that the application ;of this virtue should not be merely confined to human beings, but the sub-human existence is also required to be brought under its purview. Consequently, hunting and slaughtering of animals for any purpose whatsoever should be announced as unlawful. It is against the spirit of non-violence, and sounds as inhuman. Besides, the use of intoxicants, specially wine, should be banned, and a social consciousness is to be developed against the use of these derogatory things. The deeper significance of non-violence consists in the elimination of war, which has harassed mankind since the dawn of civilization. War need not be considered a necessity just as Nietzsche, Mussolim and others had thought. Nietzsche says: “For nations that are growing week and contemptible, war may; be prescribed as remedy, if indeed they really want to go on living.” He declares: “Man shall be trained for war and woman for the recreation of the warrior, all else is folly1.” “We alone, “Mussolini affirms “brings up to the highest tension all human energy, and puts the stamp of nobility upon the people who have the courage to meet it2.” The two world wars have causes huge devastation's and are sufficient evidences to prove that the international problems are incapable of being solved by the institution of war. The establishment of intonation orginisation and the tendency towards disarmament are the symptoms of the inefficacy of force, war and violence to act as arbiters among international disputes. The easing of tensions and cessation's of conflicts among states, the maintenance of universal peace, and the promotion of human welfare can only be effected by suffusing world’s atmosphere whitish the spirit of nonviolence. “Thus the principle of non-violence really implies that life should be elevated altogether from the plane of force to that of reason, persuasion, accommodation, tolerance, and mutual service3.” Secondly, the inter-relations among states should be nourished upon truthfulness. Fraud or deception defiles the spirit of co-existence. The use of slander-
1 Religion and Society, p. 199. 2 Ibid. p. 200.
3 World problems and Jaina ethics, p. 9.
ing and ridiculous speech, and of words which arouse uneasiness, engender fear, excite repugnance and hostility, inflame dolour and intoxicate brawl, should be banished from the conduct of the state. Thirdly, the respect shown by the state for the rights of others constitutes its nonstealing. Colonisation is stealing; hence it should be condemned as unwholesome. Aggression and domination are robbery. Hence they must stop. Fourthly, Brahmacary or continence implies that the state should not dissipate its energies for military organisations and in the manufacturing of nuclear weapons. The wealth and labor of the state should be directed for the upliftment of mankind at large. Fifthly, the virtue of Aparigraha declines to hanker after other State’s wealth and territory. The surplus production should be left for the use of other states without any ill-motive. Imperialistic tendencies should be regarded as baneful by the state. The virtue of Aparigraha is a mean between capitalism and communism.
The above treatment of the virtues as applied to the state will oblige up to admit that the state is required for the development of human personality. The individual contributes its share to the state and the latter in turn reciprocates with manifold energy and strength, and affords opportunities for the material and spiritual development of man. Just as material backwardness hampers the progress of the individual, so also the state becomes impotent without material possessions. But the reins of the horses of materialism should be in the hands of spiritualism. The above mentioned virtues suffice to evolve a balanced outlook in the state. The virtues of non-violence and Aparigraha are capable of establishing universal peace. Non-violence cannot be materialised in the life of the state without extirpating the passion of greed. The root cause of violence is material goods. If the importance of the virtue of Aparigraha is understood at the international level, the attitude of non-violence will synchronies.
After dwelling upon the Jaina conniption of the individual and society, the possibility of stateless society, and the virtues of the state which are capable of affording solution to the problems of national and international importance, we now propose to deal with the attitude of Jainism towards casteism. Jainism looks at casteism with an eye of contempt. The superiority of one caste over the other is foreign to Jaina ethics. Casteism is an evil and is based on the passions of hatred and pride. These two are intense passions, hence they bring about sin to their victims. We find references in the Jaina scriptures which go to propre that merit and not mere birth should be regarded as the real judge of castes. The caste has nothing to do with the realisation of spirit. The Uttradhyayana says that Harikesa who was born in a family of untouchables attained saintly character owing to the performance of austerities. Good conduct and not caste is the object of reverence. Casteism is grounded in falsity and is purely imaginary. Acarya Amitagati expresses that mere caste is incapable of leading us to any meritorious attainment. Merit accrues from the pursuance of the virtues of truth, purity, austerity, Sila, meditation and spiritual study. Differences in conduct have resulted in the distinctions of caste. There is only one caste, namely, manhood. Merit is the basis of caste and the pride of caste destroys right living. If the modern democratic set up is to be made successful, casteism must go. Casteism and democracy are a contradiction in terms.
The commencement of Jaina philosophy, and consequently of Jaina ethical speculation, in the present state of our knowledge can be historically traced to the divine personality of Paravanatha, although the Jaina tradition corroborated by the Vedic tradition of the Yajurveda and the Bhagavata ascribes its origin to Rsabha, the first among the twenty-four Tirthakaras. Mahavira who succeeded Parsvanatha reinterpreted the religion of his precursor and acted more as a reformer of religion already in existence than the founder of a new faith. Though Mahavira had a magnetic personality, yet he had to encounter schism in his own life time. Some archaisms originated after his Nirvana. But most of the schisms ultimately agreed with their original source. Only Digambara-Svetambara schism resulted in a sharp division of the church, each sect claiming greater authenticity than the other. The Yapaniyas may be regarded as the reconcilers of these two major sects. The origin of Jaina monarchism, and therefore of Jaina ethics, should not be attributed to the Brahmanical idea of sammyasa. It grew up among the imperfectly Aryanised communities of the east. It is Magadhan in origin.
Jaina ethics is grounded in Jaina metaphysics. The recognition of the nature of realties either as mere permanence or as mere change has been regarded by Jainism as subversive of ethical speculation, and a based on a prioristc and absolutistic tendency of thought. In consonance with the speculation of the Jaina, permanence is as much onto logically real as change on the verdict of ‘experience’. This metaphysical perspective reconciles the threefold definitions of substance as that which exists, or that which is characterised by simultaneous origination, destruction and continuance, or that which is the substratum of attributes and modes. In other words, substance as inherently and essentially associated with endless qualities and modifications, is out and out inconceivable without at the same time implying existence which in turn in is endowed with the trio of simultaneous origination, destruction and continuance. Every quality transmutes its state every moment, though the quality as such is never abrogated. Substance along with localities possesses mode of existence. Mutability and mode of existence constitute the meaning of Paryaya. Existence is an all-embracing characteristic. The relation between substance and quality, between substance and modification, and between substance and existence is one of identity-indifference.
Pramana and Naya are the sources of cognising the Anekantatmaka reality. The former grasps the reality in its wholeness, while the latter takes into consideration only a fragment of the totality, and keeps in view the proper regard for the other aspects. In order that the Anekantic reality may be rendered fit for communication without any distortion, Jainism invented the doctrine, of Syadvada which instructs to affix the word sight as a prefix to every predicate in order to allow room for the predication of other attributes inherent in the object. The word sysat should not be calculated to evince the skeptical outlook of the Jaina but to serve as a beacon light to enlighten the other persisting attributes which have not been expressed by the proposition in question.
Jainism traces the whole universe of being to two everlasting, uncreated, co-existing but independent categories of Jiva and Ajiva. The latter if further classified into Pudgala, Dharma, Adharma, Akasa and Kala. Hence reality is dualistic as well as pluralistic. Plurality though, an ontological fact entails unity also, considered especially from the synthetic objective point of view of one existence. The six substances never part with their original eternal nature. Pudgala from the atomic to the Skandha state possesses the sense qualities of touch, taste, smell and colour. Though an atom is devoid of sound, yet the combination of atoms can produce sound when's they come in contact with other aggregates of atoms. Thus sound is material. The distinguishing feature op Akasa is to provide accommodation to all the Dravyas. Dharma and Adharma are the indifferent conditions of movement and rest respectively. These two principles of Dharma and Adharma are also responsible for the demarcation of Lokakasa and Alokakasa. Kala expresses the condition of change in substances. The self which possesses consciousness as its essence has been regarded as having supreme significance among the substances and as having the highest value among the Tattvas. The empirical selves which vary from the one sensed to the five sensed are bound by Karnas from an indefinite past. They re conceived to be the enjoyers of self-performed good and bad actions, and to the knowers and seers. They extend up to the limit of bodily dimensions, possess the narrowing and dilating characteristics, are associated with the triple nature of origination, destruction and continuance and own the specific characteristic of consciousness. The transcendental self is free from all Karmas and manifests infinite knowledge, bliss and the like.
We encounter various expressions of the ethical idea. They converge and culminate in identical implication. The ethical Summum Bonum may be regarded as the deliverance of self, the attainment of Paramatman state, the achievement of Sva-samaya or Svayambhu state of existence, the realisation of self’s Svarupasatta, the achievement of know ledge consciousness, the realisation of Ahimsa, the accomplishment of pure Bhavas transcending auspicious and inauspicious Bhavas, the realisation of self’s true agency and enjoyability and the attainment of super empirical death. These culminate in the one objective of the fullest realisation of the cognitive, cognitive and affective potencies of self.
The question how the self got into defilement and corruption is avoided by the Jaina by affirming and admitting it to be a beginningless proess. The principle of Mithyatva which vitiates our outlook, know ledge and conduct offers a great resistance to the realisation of the sublime end. Consequently Samyagdarasana is to be attained which in turn will make knowledge and conduct conducive to liberation. Unflinching faith in the pristine purity of the self constitutes Niscaya Samyagdrasana, while the belief in seven Tattvas is styled Vyavahara Samyagdarsana. Without Samyagdarsana conduct is incapable of surpassing the provinces of morality, and spiritualism gets shrouded in mystery. The emphasis on Samyagdarsana or spiritual conversion proves that the Jaina ethics is grounded in spiritualism.
With the light of right knowledge which enables the aspirant to look into his infirmities, the pursuit of right conduct sweeps away the obstructing elements which thwart the manifestation of uninterrupted happiness, infinite knowledge etc. In addition to right belief and right knowledge emancipation presupposes right conduct as well. He who observes partial conduct being not able to renounce the commitment of sins to the full claims the title of ‘layman’. The minimum of conduct for the householder consists in the observance of five Anyratas, and in the abandonment of meat, wine and honey. The Salivates educate the individual for the exalted life of renunciation. The Pratimas are the systematic stages of advancement towards the life of asceticism. The exposition of the householder’s ethical discipline on the basis of Paksa, Carya and Sadhana is the all-inclusive way of describing the conduct of the householder. If one is encountered with the causes which terminate the present life,. One should resort to the performance of Sallekhana which is not other than the spiritual welcome to death. This is not yielding to death but a way of meeting the challenge of death undauntedly and adequately. Hence it should be distinguished from suicide.
The life of complete renunciation makes possible the extirpation of inauspicious Bhava which remains unrealised in the householder’s life of partial renunciation. The life of asceticism is not to recoil from the world of action but from the world of Himsa. The ascension towards a higher and nobler path results on account of being motivated by certain incentives to spiritual lie traditionally known as twelve Anupreksas. If they posses the potency of pushing ahead the layman into the realm of complete renunciation, they profess to serve as the guides for the monk who is pursuing the path of complete renunciation. The aspirant being actuated by these incentives comes to have a negative attitude towards worldly actions and acquisitions, and an enlightened positive, tenacious and resolute attitude towards the life of the spirit. After adopting the internal and external emblems at the sacred hands of an excellent Guru and after paying obeisance to him and after going through the course of discipline which is prescribed, he wins the credit of bring styled Sramana.
The Saint adheres to the observance of five great vows (Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Aparigraha, and Brahmacarya), of five-fold Semites (Irya, Bhasa, Esana, Adana-Niksepana, and Utsarga), of three guptis (Manas, Vacana and Kaya); of six-fold essentials (Samayika, Stuti, Vandana, Paratimkramana, Pratyakhyana, and Kayotsarga). Besides, he controls the five senses, and pulls out the hair, takes only one meal a day, does not take bath, and does not cleanse his teeth. So much is common between a Svetambara and a Digambara saint. Nudity, to sleep on the ground, to take meals in a standing posture in the palm of one’s own hand-all these are peculiar to Digambara monks.
The saint whose life is an example of the dedication of his integral energies to the cessation and shedding of Karmas regards the subjugation of twenty-two kinds of Parisahas and the practice of twelve kinds of austerities as falling within the compass of his obligations. The former occurs against the will of the saint who has to endure them or rather who turns them to good account by compelling them to become the means for spiritual conquest, while the latter are in consonance with the aspirant’s will to spiritual triumph. The performance of external austerities does not merely aim at the physical renunciation but also at the overthrow of the attachment to the body and senses. Of the six kinds of internal austerities, Dhyana is of supreme importance. All the disciplinary practices form an essential background for the performance of Dhyana. It is the indispensable, integral constituent of right conduct, and is directly related to the actualisation of the divine potentialities.
Broadly speaking, Dhyana is of two types namely 1) Prasasta and 2) Aprasasta. The former category is divided into two types, namely, 1) Dharmadhyna, and 2) Sukladhyana; and the latter, also into two types namely 1) Artadhyna and 2) Raudradhyana. The above-mentioned description refers to the former category. In other words, in dealing with Dhyana as Tapas, we are completely concerned with the Prasasta types of Dhyana, since they are singularly relevant to the auspicious and transcendental living. On the contrary the Apresasta types of Dhyana bring about worldly sufferings.
The saint who is confronted with incurable disease, intolerable old age, formidable famine, great weakness, of hearing and sight, infirmity of legs, violent animals in the forests, etc. adopts Sallekhana (spiritual welcome to death). The whole of the ethical discipline prescribed for the layman and the monk has been deemed as a way for translating Ahimsa in practice, the actual realisation of which can only be effected in the plenitude of mystical experience. Thus if the fountain-head of ethics is metaphysics, mysticism will be its culmination. The equivalent expression in Jainism for the word ‘Mysticism’ is ‘Suddhopayoga’. Mysticism consists in realising the transcendental self through the internal self by renouncing the external self. The journey from the internal self to the transcendental self is traversed through the medium of moral and intellectual preparations which purge everything obstructing the emergence of potential divinity. Before the final accomplishment is made, a stage of vision and fall may intervene.
In metaphysical terms we may say that mysticism is the realisation of self’s capacity for original origination, destruction, and continuance. It amounts to the realisation of self’s Svarupa-satta. Mysticism and metaphysics connote differences of approach to the problem of reality. If the qualification of the mystic is realisation and intuition, the qualification of metaphysician is merely intellection.
The fourteen stages of spiritual evolution, technically known as Gunasthanas, may be subsumed under the following heads, namely, 1) Dark period of the self prior to its awakening (1st Dark night of the soul), 2) Awakening of the self, 3) Purgation , 4) I11umination, 5) Dark period post-illumination (2nd Dark night of the soul), and 6) Transcendental life. There is also a state beyond these stages, known as Siddha State.
1) The darkest period in the history of the self is one when the self beset with Mithyatva. The plight of the self in the first stage namely, Mithyatva Gunasthana resembles that of a totally eclipsed moon or a completely clouded sky. It is a stage of spiritual slumber and the self itself is not cognisant of this drowsyds state of spirit. Such an ignorant man may be an astute intellectualism, or a resolute moralist, but he will lack that mystical quality by virtue of which he may be designated as a real saint. Thus the spiritual conversion is to be sharply distinguished from the moral conversion and from the intellectual accomplishments.
2) The occurrence of conversion spiritual is consequent upon the instructions-either in the present birth or in some previous birth-of those who have realised the divine within themselves or are on the path of divine realisation. The Arahanta is the supreme Guru. Acrayas, Upadhyayas, and Sadhus re on the path of divine realisation. Only Acaryas enjoy the privilege of initiating persons in the mystical life, hence they are the Gurus in the technical sense. The five Labdhis are presupposed before spiritual conversion may be deemed to occur. The self is now in the fourth Gunasthana. The second and third stages are the stages of fall from spiritual conversion.
3) The self has now been metamorphosed into an awakened self. Mystical adventure will now consist in eliminating the horrible contrast between the first enlightenment and the final one. The aspirant will now dedicate himself to the study of spiritual literature and to the observance of self-denial. In short, he adheres to the purgative way which is not merely a negatives process but comprises positive attainments also. Scriptural study and devotion constitute the integral parts of the mystic’s moral and spiritual discipline. The self, according to its moral level, occupies the fifth, or the sixth or the lst part of the seventh Gunasthana.
4) By this time, the self has developed a deep habit of introversion, a power of spiritual attention, of self-merging, and of gazing into the ground of the soul. Through deep meditation the mystic advances upon the second part of seventh Gunasthana, and the rest higher Gunasthanas upto the twelfth are purely meditational stages or the stages of illumination and ecstasy.
5) The self which arrives at the eleventh Gunasthana falls down either in the first stage or in the fourth one on account of the rise of suppressed passions, and thus experiences the Dark-night of the soul. All the mystics do not experience this dark-night. Those mystics who ascend the ladder of annihilation escapes this tragic period and forthwith succeed in materialising final accomplishments in comparison to those who ascend the ladder of subsidence. The latter type of mystics no doubt will also reach the same heights but only when they climb up the ladder of annihilation. Souls, though not every one, are confronted with the darkness of three types in their life career, firstly, before conversion, secondly, after conversion, and thirdly, after the ascension of the ladder of subsidence.
6) Slumbering and unawakened soul after passing through the stages of spiritual conversion, moral and intellectual preparation now arrives at the sublime destination by means of ascending the rungs of mediational ladder. This is transcendental life, a supplemental state of existence. It is the final triumph of the spirit, the flower of mysticism. The soul is now ‘Arahanta’ and is staying in the thirteenth and fourteenth Gunasthanas.
The fourteenth Gunasthana is immediately followed by disembodied liberation, which is a state of self beyond Gunasthanas. This state of self is the termination of mystic’s journey.
The Vedic, the Jaina and the Buddhist speculations concur remarkably with one another on the psychological, ethical and religious planes of existence. The cardinal virtues according to Jainism are: 1) Spiritual conversion, 2) Spiritual study, 3) Ahimsa, 4) Satya, 5) Asteya, 6) Brahmacarya, 7) Aarigraha, 8) Meditation, and 9) Devotion. Jaina Ethics is capable of bringing about the individual, the social, the national and the international progress.