Anekanta: The Third Eye: [03.05] Relativity - The Primary Is Only One

Published: 17.03.2007
Updated: 06.10.2008

One of the most dominant rules of this world is that the primary is always one, never two otherwise problems crop up. The theists have accepted God. They had to add an adjective:

Kartumkartum anyathakartum samarthaha ishwaraha.

The Nyayasastra asks why we should consider Ishwar or God as one. Giving a meaningful answer to the question it says: If we were to think of God as many, then there would be many problems at the beginning of creation. One God would want creation in a certain way and another in another way. There would be argument between the two. And creation would never take place. Where there are many, there arguments are inevitable. When there is one, there can be no argument, no discussion. With two, arguments begin. In Sanskrit the word for two is dwand. Dwand has two meanings. One is the noun denoting the number two and the other means struggle, war, conflict. Being two means conflict.

People ask: Husband and wife are two. If they are two, that implies disagreements and possibilities of fights. This is the world order. If there are two and there is no fight, then it is viewed with surprise. That is why the theists believe in only one God, where there can be no fight, no discussion.

In the pursuit of truth also it is important to follow the norm of one. In a given situation when objects may have infinite attributes, one of them will be primary and the rest secondary. One attribute will be manifest while all the others will be unmanifest. A very beautiful state.
In nature also a similar situation exists. When a man walks do both his feet rise together? No, this never happens. It is not possible to raise both feet and walk. The rule is that one foot goes ahead and the other follows. This is the order of movement.
Till today nobody has been able to break this order. If there is to be movement, then this has to be the order, or else the situation is different. One can continue to stand on one leg, but with both legs in the air, one cannot stand.

Acharya Arnritchandra wrote a beautiful verse:

Ekena akarshanti slathayanti vastu tattva mitrenna Anantena jayati jaini nitirmanthannetramiva gopi.

When a milkmaid churns for butter, one hand is outstretched and the other is behind it. Then the hand behind comes in front and the one in front moves back. Following this order, she is able to extract butter. If both the hands were to go ahead together and go back also together, then the process of churning will not happen and no butter can ever be got.

The development of democracy also works on the same principle of the primary and the secondary. If one man is the primary one, the others become secondary and follow him. If anybody else comes ahead, then the one who has been in front moves back. This is the ideal situation. When a hundred people want to occupy the same chair, democracy becomes helpless.

A significant sutra or rule of anekanta is that one will be pre-dominant while all the rest will be secondary. It is on this basis that relativity has developed. The one who is important will move ahead with reference to the others. They can never progress independently or in the absolute. They are connected to the leader and the leader keeps them connected to him. Nobody can be independent in the sense of the absolute.
In a Sangha, a religious community, one man becomes the Acharya, the others remain his disciples.

Can the one who becomes the Acharya be independent? Never. Respected Kalugani used to say that the Acharya's position makes him more relative. At every step he has to keep connection with others. A sadhu, (monk) is not in a position that is as relative. He is able to do many things independently. But the Acharya... waking up, sitting, sleeping, talking, eating, moving about, everything happens in dependency... he has to take the help of some monk. His independence is limited.

Once Acharya Shri Tulsi told me, "Sometimes I feel like quietly going and doing my work”. I said, "If you do that it will be more troublesome for others. For the word will inevitably spread and, anguished that you have gone alone, five or ten monks will go running hither and thither and nothing would be achieved."

During meditation I say, “Close your eyes." Do not consider even this as absolutist. In the field of meditation, anekanta is used to the full. We have to make use of relativity to its hilt. Close your eyes. Why? The objective behind this is that you do not influence the one who is training you. That the one who trains is saved from the influence of your meditation.

Can meditation be done with open eyes too? Indeed yes, meditation can be done with open eyes too. And very well at that. When many thoughts, rop up then meditating with open eyes is a very good option. All the thoughts wi1l immediately disappear.

Then one wants to know why not meditate with eyes open. It is wise to understand the loophole also. When the eyes are closed the view of the outside world is closed and so the ability to look within is created in greater measure. When we meditate with open eyes then we tend to get distracted by the outside world and so move away from the inner.

That is why Bhagvan Mahavir advised that the eyes be half closed, neither fully open nor fully closed.

This has a major advantage. This makes us aware that there is an inner world and an outer one. Eyes half closed means breaking your links with the outside world. Eyes half open means establishing links with the outer world. We should keep both these goals in sight. We should accept the outer and the inner world. The outer and the inner world are relative. Bhagvan Mahavir has said, like the outer the inner and like the inner, the outer. The one who meditates should accept both.

Sources

  • Anekanta: The Third Eye by Acharya Mahaprajna, © 2002
  • Translated by Sudhamahi Regunathan
  • Published by Jain Vishva Bharati Institute (Deemed University), Ladnun, Rajasthan, India

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Shri Tulsi
  3. Anekanta
  4. Ishwar
  5. Kalugani
  6. Mahavir
  7. Meditation
  8. Sadhu
  9. Sangha
  10. Sanskrit
  11. Sutra
  12. Tattva
  13. Tulsi
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