1.                 Syad asti asserts the existence of the thing.  The word syat is difficult to translate.  It is very often said that it connotes ‘perhaps’ or probability.  But it would be more appropriate to say that it refers to the special context.  Syat would then mean ‘in the context’.  From the point of view of the substance, place, time and nature, we may say that a thing is.  For instance, the jar exists, as it is made of clay in a particular place and time.  Thus substance (dravya), attribute (bhaya), time (kala), and space (ksetra)—from the context of these relations existence and other attributes are predicated.  A house exists, i.e., it is a house as builtup and as long as it is occupied for the purpose of residence.

2.                 But the affirmation of an attribute necessarily involves the negation of its opposite; and such a negation is a logical necessity.  Then we get the predication syad nasti.  It means in the (other) context the thing does not exist.  The jar does not exist if it is to mean that it is made of metal.  The house is no longer a house if it be used as a godown.  The existence of the house is denied in different contexts.  Thus, if existence and non-existence are to be understood in different relations and contexts, there would be no opposition between them.  One in a necessary concomitant of the other.  These predictions are necessary and compatible in another sense.  The affirmation of existence and denial of non-existence are meant to rebut the possibility of unqualified and absolute existence and non-existence.  Thus the predications are logically necessary.

The importance of this predications lies in the irrefutable statement of the non-existence of a thing in the other context.  ‘Non-existence or non-bing is a determinate fact with a content and not a void’.

It would not be correct to say that one first and the second predications involve contradiction, because i) they are mutually complementary and ii) the two predications are not absolute assertions.  The definition itself includes the clause ‘avirodhena’.

It is very often contended that the contradictions, absolute existence and non-existence, are not objective facts, as no existence is known to have absolute existence and absolute non-existence as its characteristics.  The opposition is unreal and the predication of the unreal opposition is not necessary.  But, as Prof. Mukerji points out, it cannot be denied that it is possible to conceive the existence and non-existence of a thing though not ontologically real.  The predications are therefore logically necessary to rebut such a conception of absolute existence and absolute non-existence.  The Vedantist believes in the absolute existence of the one reality.  The Sunyavadin does not believe in the existence of the absolute.  The Jainas contend that the two may be predicated in different contexts.  The first two predications are logically valid and psychologically necessary, as they serve to exclude absolute existence and absolute non-existence.  The mention of the word syad function as a necessary condition and work as a corrective against the absolute way of thought.  We may here refer to the logical opposition of Hegel, who said that affirmation and negation are ultimately reconciled by a higher unity, for they are the aspects of the same reality.  However, the reference would be limited to the dialectical process, because the Jaina is realist and believes in the validity of empirical experience.

3.                 The third predication is syad asti nasti: ‘It is, it is not’.  This refers to different contexts simultaneously.  For instance, in a certain sense the jar exists and in a certain other sense the jar does not exist.  The building is a house in so far as the purpose of the construction was for residence.  But it is not a house as it is actually used as a godown.  It is very often maintained that the predication is a mere summation of the first two.  But the Jainas would appeal to experience and say that it gives a separate and necessary predication.  It refers to a separate entity arising from the two but not the summation of the two.  For instance, a garland of flowers may be said to be flowers, as it contains flowers, and also not merely flowers at the same time, because the flowers enter into a new relation with each other to form a whole.  Similarly, in the description of the soul and the ultimate reality contradictory predicates have been made.

4.                 The fourth is a new predications.  It expresses the indescribability of a thing.  It is syad abaktavyam.  It is possible that the real nature of the thing is beyond predication, or expression in the form of words.  For instance, in the case of the jar, it exists in the svadravya, svarupa, svakala and svaksetra and no existence is predicated in the para-dravya, para-rupa, para-ksetra and para-kala.  Yet its nature may be such that it cannot be easily described.

It is contended that the fourth predication is only an abbreviated form of affirmation and negation.  The third predication shows the successive presentation, while the fourth gives the simultaneous presentation of the two.  But, as Prof. Mukerji points out, it is still logically necessary, because it presents the facts of experience, that existence and non-existence are equally possible to be predicated in the same degree.  Moreover, experience shows that the inexpressible asserts that the attributes are existing together, and a new element has arisen due to the synthesis.  For instance, intoxicating liquor may be formed due to the combination of jaggery and ghataki flowers.  But it is not a mere combination of the elements.  It has in itself as identity of its own which cannot be described easily.  In metaphysical speculation, the ‘unknowable’ of Herbert Spencer may be likened to predication of this type.  Prof. Bhattacharya writes, ‘The given indefinite’ –‘the unspeakable’ or avaktavya as it has been called, as distinct from the definite existence, presents something other than consecutive togetherness: it implies saharpana or co-presentation, which amounts to non-distinction or indeterminate distinction of being and negation.  The common sense principle implied in its recognition is that what is given cannot be rejected simply because it is inexpressible by a single positive concept.

          The primary modes of predication are three: syad asti, syad nasti and syad avaktavyam.  The other four are obtained by combining the three.

          The third predicate asti nasti offers successive presentation.  In the fourth predication ‘inexpressible’ (avaktavyam) we get the expression of simultaneous predication.  Dr. Padmarajiah discusses the four stages through which the concept or ‘inexpressible’ has developed : i)  The naïve negative attitude in the Rgveda as expressed in the song of creation (BOOK V, 129) ii) A positive attitude as expressed in ‘sadasadvarenyam’ in the Mundaka Upanisad.  It conceives with being and non-being as inherent in reality, owing to the positive character, this tendency has been discussed as the ubhaya phase of the concept.  iii) The third phase is the logically sophisticated phase of the ‘negative tendency’ as shown in the expression like sa esa neti neti (Br. Up. 5-15).  In this phase here is the clear awareness of the inexpressible nature of the ultimate as efforts to express the reality would be beset with contradictions.  The Vedanta conception of anirvacaniya, the Buddha’s avyakrta and Nagarjuna’s conception of the ultimate as being catuskoti-vinirmukta came under this stage.  iv) The last phase in ‘the dialectical evolution’ of the idea of the inexpressible is expressed in the avaktavya of the Syadvada.  It is a relativistic (sapeksa) view and not the absolute view as presented in anirvacaniya.  The Jaina states that sat and asat, in these combinations, are inevitable and distinctive feature of our objective experience.  Again the avaktavya may show the inability to embody, within one symbol, the two fundamental aspects of reality with equal prominence.  But this limitation is itself a necessary step in the dialectual movement of Syadvada.

          K. C. Bhattacharya states ‘….If the inexpressible is objective as given, it cannot be said to be not a particular position nor to be non-existent.  At the same time it is not the definite distinction of position and existence.  It is a category by itself.

5.                 The fifth predication is formulated as syad asti avaktavyam.  From the point of view of its own contexts (dravya, rupa, kala and ksetra) a thing is and indescribable.  It asserts the co-presence of the two attributes, existence and inexpressibility.  Both are real and necessary attributes.  Existence relates to an object in the context of substance in respect of its internal determinations.  Inexpressibility is an attribute which relates substance, in relation of identity and distinction, to its changing modes.

6.                 The sixth proposition expresses the negative aspect together with inexpressibility.  It is syad nasti avaktavyam.  In the context, it is not and is indescribable.  In relation to the para-dravya, para-rupa, para-ksetra and para-kala it is not :- it is indescribable.

7.                 The seventh proposition asserts existence, non-existence and inexpressibility.  It reads : syad asti nasti avaktavyam.  In the contexts, it is, is not and is inexpressible.  With reference to the sva-rupa, sva-dravya, sva-ksetra and sva-kala it exists, and with reference to the para-dravya, para-rupa, para-ksetra, para-kala non-existence can be predicated.  Yet, in its real nature it may be such that it cannot be easily described.  As Prof. Mukerji says, this predication gives a fuller and a more comprehensive picture of the thing than the earlier ones.  The predicated attribute is a synthesis  of the three attributes; still, it is not a mere summation of the attributes.  It brings out the inexpressibility of a thing as well as what it is and what it is not.   

Affirmation and negation inexpressibility are the three fundamental predications.  This implies that all negation has a positive basis.  Even imaginary concepts like the sky-flower possess a positive basis in the two reals, the sky and flower, although the combination is unreal.  All things which are objects of thought are in one sense, and are not in another sense.

I.                  The doctrine of Syadvada has been criticised in various ways :-

          1.          it is said that the theory of sevenfold predication can only be the cause of doubt and not of certainty, the assertion of contradictory predicates implies that the present predication is in doubt.  Belvalkar says that Syadvada is sceptical and non-committal in its attitude. With this agnostic and negative attitude one cannot have any dogma; and samkaracarya lays his finger accurately on the weakest point in the system when he says- “As thus the means of knowledge, the knowing subject, and the act of knowledge, are all alike, indefinite, how can the Tirthamkara (Jina) teach with any claim to authority and how can his followers act on a doctrine the matter of which is altogether indeterminate. Prof. Hiriyanna makes Syadvada a variety of skepticism. If all our Knowledge concerning reality is relative, they say (the old Indian critics like samkara, Ramanuja etc.), the Jaina view must also be relative. To deny this conclusion would be to admit, at least, one absolute truth; and to admit it would leave the doctrine with no settled view of reality, and thus turn it into a variety of scepticism.

          But it may be pointed out that the conditions of doubt are not present in this assertion. For instance, a man sees a tree in the dusk and doubts whether it is a man or a branchless tree. This is due to the lack of determination between the specific features of the object as the perception is faulty. But in the case of the sevenfold presentation the attributes of existence and non-existence are each defined by their specific determinations. The condition of these determinations makes doubts impossible.

          2.          It is said that the sevenfold predication of the Jainas is beset with contradictions. Affirmation and denial of the attribute in the same object is not logically possible. It would be a self- contradiction. In this context we may refer to the criticism of samkara and Ramanuja. samkara’s criticism can be analysed into three stages. 1) He tries to point out the intrinsic impossibility of the prediction because of the inherent contradictions involved in it. Mutually contradictory and conflicting attributes cannot exist together. But if we take into consideration the different contexts referred to, we may say that the contradictions can be easily reconciled. In Experience in we get examples of co-existing conflicting attributes. For instance, the branches may be in motion but the tree does not move. The same individual may be father in relation to X and son in relation to Y. 2) He points out the futility of the doctrine because the doctrine is indefinite. The unlimited assertion that all things are of non-exclusive nature gives indefinite assertion like syad asti and syad nasti. Hence a man who holds such a doctrine of indefinite context does not deserve to be listened to any more than a drunken man or a mad man.

          Recent writers on Indian philosophy have re-iterated the entire charge  made by samkara and Ramanuja and have shown that it is a kind of eclecticism, ‘a putting together of several partial truths’ without a proper synthesis. It is therefore characterised as a sort of compromise philosophy. The halfhearted attempt of Jaina enquiry as expressed in Saptabhangi stops at giving partial truth together and does not attempt to overcome the opposition implied in them by a proper synthesis.

          But if we mean by definiteness unconditional and absolute assertion, then the ‘indefiniteness’ of the doctrine is a logical necessity. As a Radhakrishnan points out the criticism of the Saptabhangi doctrine as of on practical utility is an expression of personal opinion and as such need not be considered.

          Samkara also saya that the Saptabhangi doctrine is inconsistent with the other views of Jaina philosophy. The assertions of existence, non-existence and indescribability are alike applicable to the doctrine of the soul and the categories. Similarly, the final release may exist and not exist and may be indescribable.

          The dialectic of Syadvada is inconsistent with the Jaina philosophy. It could not have sprung from the same teacher and the same philosophical background. “AS a mere ‘anaikantika’ (sic) theory of prediction, the Syadvada must return upon itself and end in doubting the doubter himself. Prof. Radhakrishnan after mentioning the strong points of syadvada says  “Yet in our opinion the Jaina logic leads to a monistic idealism (by which he means ‘the hypothesis of absolute’) and so far as the Jainas shrink from it they are untrue to their own logic”. But in the Saptaabhiangi tarangini we read a counter argument: If the final release and heavenly bliss are eternal and existing, where is the chance for samsara and the attempt to obtain moksa? If the other alternative the only truth, what is the purpose of preaching such an ideal which impossible to attain? Radhakrishanan points out that the Saptabhangi doctrine is not inconsistent with the other views of the Jainas. It is logical corollary of the Anekantavada. All that the Jainas say is that everything is of a complex nature and the real reconciles the difference in itself. Attributes which are contradictory in the abstract co-exist in the world of experience.

          Ramanuja also pinked out that contradictory attributes such as existence and non-existence cannot at the same time belong to one thing any more than light and darkness. However, he seems to accept the distinction between dravya and paryaya, substance and modes. He also sees that the substance has permanence; parayaya implied change.

But the predications give severally partial truths. The truths presented by them are alternative truths from different points of view; and the seven predications would present a complete comprehensive picture of reality. It is neither skepticism not agnosticism, for each individual truth is valid It is supplemented and harmonised by the other predication into a signal comprehensive picture of reality, as we get a harmony in orchestra by the combination of different notes.


With all their criticisms, Belvalkar makes Syadvada a most searching characteristic. Radhakrishnan observes “ Samkara and Ramanuja critisse the Saptabhangi view on the ground of the impossibility of contradictory attributes co-existing in the same thing”. After quoting the relevant passage from Ramanuja he proceeds to say: “The Jainas admit that a thing cannot have self-contradictory attributes at the same time and in the same sense. All the they say is that everything is of a complex ature, reconciles differences in itself. Attributes which are contradictory in abstract co-exist in life and experience. The tree is moving in that its branches are moving and it is not moving since it is fixed to its place in the ground”.

VI. In Western thought, at the time of the Greeks, when there was intellectual confusion due to the conflicting theories presented by the different philosophers, several approaches to problems were possible. Promenades had emphasized ‘Being; Heraclitus had talked of change; Empedocles and Anaxagoras had thought that the reality consists of a plurality of substance. The atomizes left the infinite atoms floating in the air. Thus there was intellectual confusion. It was difficult to reconcile these conflicting views. Protagoras escaped the problem and said, Homo measure. The Sophists left the wise to wrangle with them and the quarrel of the universe let be.

But the Jainas did not accept such an escapist attitude. They faced facts squarely and tried to find out what was common between the conflicting views of the philosophers. This was the Anekanta attitude of the Jainas.

The Jainas appeal to experience and say the a priori reasoning independent of experience is incompetent to yield insight into the nature of the rea. The Jainas steer clear of conflicting views of reality. They make us aware of the fact that intellectual dogmatism is not healthy and a many-sided approach to the problem will develop in us a sense of tolerance and respect for others. Intellectual Animas is most necessary especially in an age when conflicting ideologies are trying to claim the monopoly of truth for themselves and give rise to intolerance and hatred. We live in a world of fear, distrust. It is time we tried to understand each other in an atmosphere of give ad take. We must find out what is common between us rather than emphasize the differences. The Anekanta view is not skepticism because it is not founded on doubt and distrust; it is not solipsism, because it is based on an objective determination of things; but it presents catholic approach to the problems of life. Bernard Russell has mentioned that truth or falsity refers to propositions and this is based on facts: it is to be true. Similarly, a negative proposition must have a corresponding objective fact if it is to be true. He mentions this as ‘negative fact’. Thus we find that contradictory predications are not merely subjective, but they have an objective basis.

Thus we find that Anekantacada manifests itself as the most consistent form of realism in Indian philosophy. it has allowed the principle of distinction to run its full course until it reaches its logical terminus, the theory of manifoldness of reality and knowledge. It postulates the multiplicity of the ultimate release constituting the cosmos. The Anekanata view of reality permeates every aspect of life and experience.

Whitehead’s theory of coherence comes nearer to Anekanta attitude of the Jainas. He elucidates his attitude to reality by presenting the complete problem of the metaphysics, of substance and of flux as a ‘full expression of the union of two notions’. Substance expresses permanence and flux emphasizes impermanence and change. Reality is to be found in the synthesis of the two. He interprets the lines:

‘Abide with me;

Fast falls the eventide’

By showing that the two lines cannot be torn apart in this way and we find that a wearing Balinese between the two is a characteristic of the greater number of philosophers. Whitehead shows that reality can be best understood by the integral viewpoints in which the ultimate postulates of permanence and flux are harmoniously blended. Heraclitus emphasized the partial truth of change and flux. Promenades presented permanence and being as the reality. Reality is to be found in the blinding with the two viewpoints into a comprehensive whole.

          For Whitehead, coherence would mean that the fundament ideas presuppose each other. In isolation they are meaningless. It does not mean they are definable in terms of each other, though they are relevant to each other. No entity’ can be conceived in complete abstraction from the system of the universe, and that it is the business of speculative philosophy to exhibit this truth. This character is its coherence.

          He also says: ‘The systematisation of knowledge cannot be conducted in watertight compartments. All genera truths condition each other; and the limits of the application cannot be adequately defined apart from their correlation by yet wider generalities.

          This is the attitude of the Jainas also. The Jaina emphasis on the material and spiritual as a synthesis of opposites leads to a concrete universal involving unity in diversity. It is comparable to Jasper’s unfanatical absoluteness’ Jainas in their theory of Anekanta illustrate a ‘non-attachment of partial truths; and they have made creative use of the contradictions by removing the sting out of them, Headgear presents a similar point of view.

          In our political life, Pancasila, as our late Prime Minister has pointed out, is the paced for the ills of our present-day life. And Pancasila expresses the spirit of Anekanta.

Right Understanding – Some Hurdles

I. Right understanding (Samyagcarira) constitute the triple path towards self- realisation. There is need to a harmonious blending of the three paths. Right understanding is the basis; it leads to right knowledge. This is faith rooted in intuitive rasp of the truth and not related to superstitious uncritical acceptance of truth. It is looking inward and it may be referred to as the “menta set” in the psychological sense.

          46 Acarya Samantabhadra has mentioned 8 characteristics of Samyagdarsana:

1.     Nihsankita is the deep-rooted faith in the persons who are authorities and in the validity of the sacred texts.

2.     Nihkaniksita spirit of non-attachment towards the fruits of Nihkanksa. It should be purely spiritual craving.

3.     Nirvicikitsa: it to be free from illusions and stupor.

4.     Amudhadrsti is to be grew from the perversity of beliefs, which may be called amudhatva.

5.     Upaguhana refers to the emphasis on the right aspect of the Samyagdrsti in the sense that we should discourage to aim at patria and half-hearted right- mindedness,

6.     Sthitikarana is to secure steadfastness and to lead towards rightness of understanding. The fallen angel’s in the path have to be restored to the path of right direction.

7.     Vatsalya emphasis’s that we should have love and kindness towards those leading the path of righteousness without of course showing ill- will towards the fallen. Those “who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled.” 47

8.     Pravavaba is to kindle the light of right understanding by removing many misconceptions, inadequacies and deficiencies. The hurdles in the path of right understanding are many and varied. Some of the difficulties are psychological. Acarya  Samantabhadra has give an enlightened ad able descriptions of the psychological and sociological impediments in the acquisition of rightness of outlook and right understanding.

II. Acafya Samantabhadra says that right understanding and right faith would be vitiated by the two psychological and sociological processes: 48

1. Eight types of city (Arrogance) and 2 three types of folly. We may also class them as forms rooted in ignorance. The first distinction refers to the 8 forms of Mada (vanity) and the second has reference to the 3 types of mudhata.

          The 8 types of vanity are primarily psychological. They vitiate the working of the mind and create perversity of out look, which becomes an obstacle in the development of right understanding. We lose the balance of understanding and are strayed away from the right path of grasping the truth. We live in the world of self- verged illusions about ability and achievements. We are lost in the jungle of subjective fantasies The 8 types of verity are:

(i)                jnana mada: In this we live in the world of our own creation that we are the wisest me on the earth. It is the Vanity of knowledge. Vanity (arrogance) of knowledge is born out of the immaturity of mind. We gloat over out own intellectual achievements and suffer from the illusion of vanity of knowledge.

(ii)            Pujaniyata mada: In this we become blind to our short comings and failures because some people respect us Respect and admiration for whatever little we have achieved, sometimes takes us off the rails of the right perspective of our personality. We gloat in our glory and we move with half open eyes in the illusion of superiority. This is the vanity of superiority.

(iii)           Kula mada refers to the arrogance of the status of the family and birth. A person born in a high family and endowed richly with the emanates of life is likely to lose the balance of his mind in the matter of estimating his personality in the right perspective. He thinks no end of himself and he develops an attitude of conceit for his way of life and diced for the lower round of society, He looks at the lowliest and the lose with sneering disdain. He is far away from the path of rightness of understanding and righteousness.

(iv)           Jatimada  is the arrogance of birth in a particular ‘higher’ society and community. This also makes him lose the balance of the perspective of life and society. It leads him towards the disdain of the lowly in society and exploits them to his advantage.

(v)              Bala mada In this, one develops the sense of superiority for strength and valour. He may become a tyrant and maniac. Adolf Hitler is an example of a person who suffered from the illusion of racial superiority and of the need for the extermination of the Jewish people. He was so full of arrogance of power and authority,  that when, once, it is reported, Lord chamberlain asked him how he was so confident of winning the war for which he was so greatly clambering. Adolf Hitler called a few of his guards of the suicide squad and ordered them to jump from the 4th floor and die. The Guards did jump and die. They had to sacrifice their lives for the sake of glorifying the power of Adolf Hitler. This is the arrogance of strength and power.

(vi)          Rddhimada This is the vanity of the possession of some extra-ordinary power. The possession of miracles and supernormal powers through the tapas and yougic practices may bring some powers. But one, purshing the path of spiritual perfection, should desist from using them. Otherwise, one is likely to lose the balance of mind and become arrogant towards the fellow mortals. There are numerous instances Rsis who have fallen from the height of spirituality because of their arrogance of the attainment of certai power, and possession of wealth.

(vii)   Tapo mada refers to the vanity of ascetic practices. One feels superior because he unlike the lowly fellow mortals’ practises penance, that gives arrogance of  tapas, and he strays away from the true path of perfection.

(viii)      Sarira mada is the arrogance of having a beautiful body. We forget that the form and the physical beauty ar temporary. They fade. We forget that we get old and that in old and that in old age and in accidents. Defocoemcoes and deformities are formed. To gorged this and to love and admire one’s beautiful body creates an illusion of superiority and a disdain for the less fortunate fellow mortals.

The 8 types cavity vitiate the mind , make us forget the real nature of the pursuit of truth. We do not get back the perspective of life and personality and we ‘lose the soul’


2.                 we now turn our attention towards understanding the 3 types of folly (Mudhata). They are 49

(i)               Loka-mudhata: It refers to the superstitious practices in social and religious matters. These practices are based on blind irrational foundations generations. These refer to the customs and mores which are not directly recant to the purpose of achieving the personal social and spiritual excellence. For take the holy dips in the river and in sea for the sake washing off our sins . If taking bath in the holy rives were to wash away our sins, the Buddha asked, then the fish and crocodiles living permanently in the river would have washed all their sins ans. would have been assured of a seat in heaven. Similarly, practices like jumping from the top of the mountain for the same reason would be blind practice. men worship all sorts of deities made of sand and stone. Going ‘sati’ after the death of the husband is also irrational. All these practices are rooted in ignorance and blind superstitious beliefs regarding the good of man. They constitute the ignorance of the populace Lokamudhata.

(ii)     Devamudhata 50  refers top the worship of the fierce and benevolent deities from whom we expect protection, punishment or rewards. We worship the deities for the sake of propitiating them so that the fierce deities may not harm us and benevolent may reward us with prosperity. We forget the fact that the god is a spiritual force. He neither rewards punishes. If he or she were to indulge in such tasks of rewarding and punishment, they would be steeped in the baser impulses and emotions of the animal world. Such gods are no gods. We should free ourselves from such superstitious practices. They are rooted in the practices of the primitive ma handed down to us for centuries on end. This is an anthropological problem for study.

(ii)            Gurumudhata 50  is the following a guru ( teacher or preceptor) who  does not possess the requisite excellence of a guru. A true teacher is one who has mental, moral and spiritual excellence. He must have knowledge and wisdom. He is selfless and compassionate. He is a seeker after truth. But very often we run after persons who do not possess these qualities and who are not fit to be called guru. They indulge in all sorts of unseemly activities. To follow such gurus constitutes Gurumudhata. This type of analysis of the folly has great social significance. In our age, we find we run agter those mediocre men who profess to have knowledge and power and who dote on authorities. In our academic institutions like colleges and the Universities, we rarely find real scholars who are devoted to their studies, pursuit of knowledge and teaching. They are more interested in their personal benefit and they run after administrative and political power. They indulge in unacademic and unseemly activities. They are the teacher politicians. Such men should be avoided and be kept away from the young impressive minds. However, it is not to be said that this type of intellectual and social climate is to be found in our time only. Socrates railed against the sophists and the academic and political brigands. He crusaded against hypocrisy. And he had to drink hemelok.

III.           We are, here, reminded of similar attempts made by eminent philosophers in the Middle Ages and in the modern period in the west to clear the cobwebs of thought for the sake of establishing the truth. Socrates aimed at defining terms. Some the logins in the middle ages sought to give the guidelines for thought. But we should note that til the beginning of the era, philosophy was tied down to the apron stings of Aristotle’s philosophy. One who deviated was condemned. There is a story of a serious attempt made by eminent philosophers to find out the number of teeth a horse has. They refereed to the Classical texts and the books of Aristotle. But when a young scientist, imbued with the modern sprit of investigation, humbly suggested that a horse be brought to the Conference hall to count the teeth instead of pouring in the ancient classical texts, the elderly scholars looked at him with surprise and derision, because “Aristotle never did that”.

          It was against this type of stagnation of knowledge and academic slavery that Francis Bacon protested. He said that if we have to pursue truth, we have per force to be free from the follies arising out of the fallacies I thought and due to the purely deductive approach towards the seeking of truth. Truth needs to be sought in the world outside and not merely I the deduction of conclusions from the premises in the Aristotelian syllogisms. Francis Baconstartead the movement of induction in the scientific investigation as a methodology of investigation.

                    Francis Bacon wanted to remove the cobwebs of thought in order to get the correct picture of reality. Bacaon put more life into logic. Making induction an epic adventure and a conquest. Philosophy needed a new method. In order to seek the truth in the real sense of the term, Bacon urged us to free ourselves from the traditional stagnation’s and the fallacies of thought. “Expurgation of thought is the step” we must become, as little children, innocent of ‘isms’ and abstractions, washed clear of prejudices and preconceptions. We must destroy the Idols of the mind. Idol is a picture taken for a reality, a thought mistaken for a thing. Becon mentions 4 Idols of the mind we should scrupulously avoid in seeking truth.

                    The 4 Idols of the mind are:  

(i)                Idols of the tribe,

(ii)             Idols of the Cave,

(iii)           Idols of the market place and

(iv)           Idols of the Theatre.


(i)             The idols of the tribe constitute the fallacious nature to humanity in general. “For man’s sense is falsely asserted to be standard of thing- Our thoughts are pictures rather of ourselves than of their objects. For instance human understanding, from its peculiar nature, easily supposes a greater degree of order in the Universe than it really finds. Hence, the fiction that the celestial bodies move in perfect circle .52 “ All superstition is much the same, whether it be that of Astrology, dreams , omens, retributive judgement or the like, in all of which the deluded believers observe events which are fulfilled, but neglect and pass over their failure, though it be much more common” 53

(ii)             The Idols of the cave are errors peculiar to the individual man. “ For every one. . has a cave or den of his own, which refracts or discolors the light of nature” 54  The  judgements are vitiated by individual moods and the personal factor in the constitution of the mind. Some minds are synthetic, and some analytic. Some show unbounded enthusiasm for antiquity, some others eagerly embrace novelty. Only a few can have a just perspective. Truth has no parties.55

(iii)           The Idols of the Market place  arise from the commerce and       associatio of ment with one another. They use language as the medium , but they forget that words are sometimes misleading, as they are imposed according to the understanding of the crowd. We I the present day have used the word ‘socialism’ without understanding the connotation of the word. Philosophers have used the phrases like “the infinite” or  The first mover unmoved” but these are Fig-leaf phrases used to cover naked ignorance and perhaps indicative of a guilty conscience  in the user. 56

(iv)           The Idls of the Theatre  have migrated into men’s minds from the various dogmas of  philosophers and also from the wrog lowas demonstration. All the systems of philosophy are so many stage plays representing worlds of their creation after an unreal and scenic fashion. And in the plays of this philosophic theatre you may observe the same thing which is found in the theatre of poets, -- that stogies invented for the stage are more compact and elegant, and more as we would wish them to be, than true stories out of history. The world as Plato, ad pictures of Plato rather than the world. 57

We shall never get far along the path of truth if these idols are still tied to us. We should free ourselves from the subjective elements in the pursuit of truth. Truth is to any man’s monopoly. It is universal as objective. The philosophers and the seers from times immemorial have striven to reach the highest through the means of reason and intuition. Reasion leads us to the understanding of empirical reality, while it is the highest experience, which leads us to the Truth. Francis Bacon had the limited objective of providing the methodology of scientific investigation. Acarya Samantabhadra has taken the perspective of spiritual reality and has shown the pitfalls in the path to self-realisation. It is the seers; the Rsis light they lead us on. Such enlighten ones or the ‘sages are the first hand exponents of philosophy. 58




          The problem of the soul has been a perennial problem in religion and speculative philosophy. Primate man had made a distinction between body and soul. The burial of the death with their belongings and even the mummification of the Egyptians are based o such a distinction between body and spirit. The philosophical concept of the soul has developed from such primitive distinctions.

          Anthropological evidence shows that the notion of soul and spirit was first formed by primitive man as an explanation of certain features of his experience like dream and sleep. For him soul is an ethereal image of the body. It is ethereal, tenuous or filmy; ad it possesses the power of flashing quickly from one place to another. Yet it was not conceived as purely immaterial. In Plato we find the emphatic primacy of the psyche or soul I the dialogues from the Apology onwards to the Lows.

In the Homeric thought psyche appears as a shadowy double of the body. But Socrates and plato recognised the soul as man’s real self. Socrates said that we should aim at the perfection of our souls. Plato shows that of all the things that man has, next to the gods, his soul is the most diva and most truly his own. Body in fact is the shadow of the soul. Jowett says that Plato was concerned with emphasiing the priority of soul to the body, towards the end of his ife, as he gave importance to the idea of good in the Repulic and of beauty in the symposium. Plato said that the soul is immortal because its very idea ad essence is the self-moved and self-moving, that which is the fountain and the beginning of motion to all that moves besodes.

          Plato reversed the primitive conception of the soul as a shadowy double of the body and identified the true as the soul, but he pressers and accentuates the origin animistic dualism. Approaching the question with the scientific spirit, Aristotle started with the living organism and defined the psyche as the principle of life. He distinguished the different levels of psychical functions, from the vegetative to the ration.  The soul is the actualitstion of the potentiality of life, and therefore defined as the ‘entelechy’, as the fulfillment of the body’. The idea of the soul is intrinsically independent of the body implies the conception of its substantiality. Conceiving the soul as a simple and indestructible substance its immortaitlty. So did plato emphasize the simple ad unitary nature of the soul.

In modern psychology, the idea of the soul is no longer important. In its place has come notion self or ‘the centers of interest’. The word soul is ambiguous. Sometimes it stands for MD, sometimes for self and sometimes for both. The English world points to an entity as the cause or vehicle of physical or psychical activities of the individual person. The soul is a spiritual substance. In Indian though the word atman has undergone various changes. It is little used in the vedas. It primarily meant breath. In the Upaisads another word, praa, is used for breath, ad atma stands for the innermost part of ma man was atmmavat.  For the Upanisadic seers, the soul was a propositio for a experiences. Indian philosophies, with the exception of Mayavada of samkara and Ksanikavada of Buddihists, fundamentally agree about the nature of the soul as a permanent, eternal and imperishable substance. But the primitive Aryans believed that the essence of ma is continued after death in a shadowy existence in some subtle bodily form. This is not the soul of the later philosophers. Jacobi cas it psyche.  This is the development of the primitive notion of life agter death lingering in some form. It is found eve today in the practice of sraddha. The psyche is frequently spoken of as purusa of the size of the thumb ( agustha-matra). At the time of death it departs from the body. In the oldest Upanisads the psyche is described as costituted by the praas, psycho-phyciscal factors. Still, these factors were not regarded as principles of personality.

II.      The idea of the soul has occupied an important position in Jaina philosophy. Jainism aims at the liberation of the soul from the cycle of birth and death. The saving of the soul is the Christia ideal. In the Apology, plato makes socrates say that his mission was to get men to care for their souls and to make them as good as they can be.

          Jainism is dualistic. There is a dichotomous decision of categories. All things are divided into living and non-living, souls and non-souls. In the first verse of the Dracyasamgraha, we read,” the ancient amonf: the great Jainas have described the dracyas as jiva and ajiva Jiva is a category, and jiva personalised becomes atman. Jainism believes in the plurality of souls. Souls are substances distinct from matter. Souls influence one another. But they are quite distance from one another and not connected in any higher unity. They may be called spiritual monads. Jainism emphasizes the diversity of souls. Amongst the Muslim theologians, Nazam and his Scholl maintained that the soul is a spiritual substance.

          Janism considers the soul from two points of view: the noumental (niscaya naya) and the phenomenal (vyavahar) Dravyanuyougatarkana of Bhoja describes the distinction as motioned in the viseasvasyakabhasya by saying that the niscaya narrated the real things and the vyavahara narrates things in a populate way. In the samayasara, kaundakundacaraya points out that the practical standpoint I essential for the exposition of the inner reality of thigs, as a non- Arya is never capable of understanding without the non-Arya tongue.6

          The existence of the soul is a presupposition in the Jaina philosophy. Proofs are not necessary. If there are any existence of the soul. “Oh Gautama, the soul is pratyakasa” said Mahavira,” for that in which your knowledge consists is itself soul”. What is pratyaksa need not be prove like the pleasure and pain of the body. It is prartyaksa owig to the ahampratyaksa, the realization of the I, which is associated with the functions pertaining t all the three tenses. William James and James word present self- consciousness in this form. Ward talks of the internal perception’ or self – consciousness. The last order of knowledge of the duality of subject ad object is an indispensable condition of all acute experience. It is the subject of experience that we call the pure ego or self.7 William James says, “for this central part of the self is felt. It is something by which we also have direct sensible consciousness in which it is present, as in the whole life-time of such moments.8 thus , one who ignores the self-accidence of the soul is like one who says that sound is inaudible and the moon is devoid of the moon. The existence of the soul can be inferred from the behavior of others. Similarly, the soul exists because “it is my word, O Gautama.” 9

          The jiva is described from the nominee and phenomenal points of view. From the oumenal point of view, the soul is described in the pure form. The phenomenal describes the empirical qualities of the soul.   From the pure point of view, it is not associated with body or any physical or mental qualities. Mahavira points out the third Ganadhara that the soul is different from the body it sees; just as Ddevadatta recollect san object perceived through the five widows of the palace, which is different from the palace and the five windows, so also a person recolecting an object perceive through the if senses of the body is different from the sense as the body 10

          The  Buddhist impermanence of the soul is also refuted. Buddhistas had said that there was no self except the khandas kundakundacaraya points out that from the noumea point of view the soul and the body are not one, also though in worldly practice the soul having a beautiful body is called beauriful ad fair like the beautiful body of the living Arhati. 11 In the Chanadogyopanisad, in the dialogue between yajanavakaya and Janaka, the idea of the self is progressively brought out by showing that it is not a physical entity nor a dream –state.

From the nominal pint of view, the soul pure and perfect. It is pure consciousness. From the real point of view, the soul is unbound, untouched and not other than itself. The soul is one and not composite. In the Sthananga we get a description of the soul as one(ege atta). The commentator describes it as ekavidhah a tmanaah. 12 Samasara kundakaundacaraya describes the absolute oneness of the soul “On the strength of my self- realisation”. 13 This does not contradict the plurality of souls in Jainism. It only emphasizes the essential identity of souls. Jivas in al their individual characteristics are essentially the same. If the souls were one, then, “O Gautama, there would not be sukha duhkha, bhandha mosksa, etc” Individual souls are different like the kumbhas.14

          The nature of jiva has been well described by Nemicandra in his Dravyasamgradha. He describes the foul both from the nominee and phenomenal points of view. He says that jiva  is characterised by upayoga, is formless and is an agent. It has the same extent as its body. It is the enjoyer of the fruits of Karma. It exists in samasara. It is siddha and has a characteristic of upward motion. 15  We get a similar description in  the pancastikayasara of kundakundacaraya. Jiva is formless. It characterised by upayoga. It is attached to karama. It is the Lord, the agent and the ejoyer of the fruits of karama. It pervades bodies large or small. It has a tendency to go upward to the end of loka being freed from the impurities of kiarama.16  The  Tattavarthasutra describes the nature of the soul as possess ing upayoga as its essential characteristic: