Classification of knowledge

102. Jainism classified the knowledge in two ways; I) Canonical (Agamika), and ii) Philosophical (Darsanika). The five kinds of knowledge based on the former are-I) Matijnana (sensitive knowledge, ii) Srutajnana (Scriptural knowledge), iii) Avadhijnana (Visual knowledge), IV) Manahparyayajnana (mental knowledge), and v) Kevalajnana (perfect knowledge). The Pratyaksa (direct knowledge) and Paroksa (indirect knowledge) are developments of the latter. The Pratyaksa is defined as knowledge obtained by self without the assistance of an external instrument. It is only to the Jainas that “aksa” means “soul”. Thus Pratyaksa in Jain Agamika tradition does not mean empirical perception, i.e. Knowledge obtained through sense organs. According to this definition, the Avadhijnana, Manahparyayajnana and Kevalajnana are comprised in Pratyaksa and Matijnana, and Srutajnana in Paroksa.

103. The Jain definition of Pratyaksa was quite different from those of other philosophical systems. According to the latter, Pratyaksa is an acknowledgement gained through sense organs. It created the serious difficulty for Jain philosophers. The rivals began to question their standpoint. Having examined their arguments, the later Jain philosophers accepted Pratyaksa as the knowledge produced by sense organs also. Jinabhadra and Akalanka however, analyzed it as Samvyavaharika Pratyaksa (empirical perception), while the real Pratyaksa of Agamika tradition was called Paramarthika Pratyaksa (transcendental perception). Thus Matijnana, which was put under Paroksa in the Agamika tradition, came under the category of Pratyaksa in philosophical tradition.