The Enigma Of The Universe ► 3 ►Jain Cosmology ► (1) What is Universe? ► Persistence-through-Modes

Posted: 27.10.2014

It follows from the above mentioned definition of reality that the Jain view neither propounds absolute nihilism nor absolute eternalism, but it adheres to non-absolutistic doctrine of persistence-through-modes which accepts both ‘being’ and ‘becoming’ as real. According to this doctrine, all realities are possessed of dual properties-one transitory and the other eternal. Due to the first, all things are in a state of flux, and they undergo transformation constantly, they cease to be and they become. But due to the second property, they do not lose their existence throughout the transformations - the substance persists through modes. If there was no persistence of existence through transformation, we would not experience continuity -”this is it.” On the other hand, if there was no transformation but absolute eternalism, we would not experience the ever changing pattern of the universe.

“While the absolutists find self-contradiction in asserting both staticity and change in the same reality with reference to identical space and time, the non-absolutist Jain maintains that one need not be afraid of accepting this as a truth as the very nature of things-  since our common experience-gives  this as a fact.”[1] Thus, Jain metaphysics asserts that all substances (realities) are characterised by the trio of permanence (i.e., continuous existence), creation and cessation.

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