Scientific Vision Of Lord Mahāvīra ► [06] Biological Issues In The Bh.S ► The Enjoyer And The Enjoyed

Posted: 03.09.2009

The Sankhya system maintains that puruṣa is not a doer but enjoyer.[108] The whole prakṛti (nature) manifests itself for his enjoyment.[109] The question found in the Bh.S. is wether the soul enjoys matter or matter enjoys soul? The reply that was given is—soul enjoys matter and not matter vice-versa.[110] Without taking the help of matter, soul in its worldly state cannot move even a single step. Whether it is breathing or thinking or anything else everything is regulated with the help of matter. The sentient principle has the mode of 'enjoyer ship', and the non-sentient has 'enjoyedness'. Because of these modes, relation is established between them. We eat, work, have sensual experience, respiration, speech, thought—all this is the influence of the non-sentient principle on the sentient. We have sensation and knowledge with the help of the brain. The non-sentient body becomes sentient due to the influence of the sentient upon it. The appreciation of the modus operandi, according to Acharya Mahapragya, of the relationship between the soul and matter has not only a philosophical value, but it also has a spiritual importance. It is only after the appreciation of this relationship the spiritual discipline, which transcends relation, is thought and mutual influence of objects is feasible.[111] Concluding the discussion it can be said that-

  1. From the non-absolutist viewpoint, the sentient and non-sentient principles are not absolutely different; so a relationship is possible between them.
  2. In worldly life, the existence of soul is not free from matter. The worldly soul is not pure, but a mixture of spirit and matter.
  3. The problem of relationship becomes complex and insolvable, if the sentient and non-sentient principles are regarded as absolutely incompatible, and the worldly soul as absolutely pure.
  4. The spiritual discipline that discriminates between the sentient and the non-sentient principles is possible only on the recognition of the relative relationship between the sentient and the non-sentient.

Thus, both the principles—soul and matter mind and body co-exist and are able to affect one another. If we do not agree with the dualism we have to face some problems, which have been indicated by Muni Mahendra Kumarji as follows[112]:

"Those who do not believe in the ultimately real dualism i.e., separate existence of the two systems—the (mechanical) physical system i.e., the body and psychical entity or system i.e. the soul—cannot find the connection which subsists, as an actual fact, between body and soul but are forced to invent a connection in keeping with the general scheme of physical and psychological hypotheses."

The same view is found in the following passage of Avenarius.

"Let an individual M denote a definite whole of 'perceived things' (trunk, arms and hands, legs and feet, speech movements, etc.) and of 'presented thoughts' as I,.......... then when M says 'I have a brain', this means that a brain belongs as part to the whole of perceived things and presented thoughts denoted as I. And when M says 'I have thoughts' this means that the thoughts themselves belong as a part to the whole of perceived things and presented thoughts denoted as I. But though thorough analysis of the denotation of I thus leads to the result that we have a brain and thought, it never leads to the result that the brain has the thoughts. The thought is no doubt, a thought of 'my ego' but not a thought of 'my brain' any more than my brain is the brain of 'my thought'. i.e., the brain has no habitation, seat, generator, instrument or organ, no support or substratum of thought. Thought is no indweller or commander, no other half or side, and also no product, indeed, not even a physiological function or so much as a state of a brain."

The Bh.S, thus, describes many important issues, which are thoughtprovoking from the biological, psychological and philosophical point of view. In this chapter only a few factors have been presented. There are a lot of things scattered in the Jain philosophy, which can be studied in the light of modern researches and are of paramount importance from biological point of view. In the short compass of this chapter all that could not be dealt with. They require one separate research thesis. Though J.S.Sikdar had thrown light on some of them in his book 'Jain Biology' yet, many subjects remain to be discussed such as, what is the primary undeveloped stage of the living being? How many birth-places (yoni) are there? How many kinds of births are there? If these problems are studied in the light of modern researches, there may emerge some surprising facts in the field of Biology, Botany etc. For example, the astonishing thing that is coming into light today is the 'cloning system'. The question posed before philosophy, is whether it is possible to create life by a single cell through artificial means? As far as the Jain Biology is concerned, Sthānāṅga Sūtra[113] mentions a kind of birth in which one can be a copy of someone as found under cloning system. Moreover, we cannot create life but we can create conditions in which life emerges.

Scientists only fulfill the required conditions for life to take birth. Thus by 'cloning' they are only creating the place of origination (birth-places) of life. The Jain scriptures mention for categories of three types, birth-places (yoni) viz; animate or inanimate, cold or hot, covered or uncovered as well as endowed with plausible combinations. Besides, the birth can be of three kinds such as vertebrate (garbhaja) spontaneous (upapāta) and accomplished or invertebrate (samūrcchima). As above the Bh.S describes other categories of living beings which are equally important.

Footnotes:
[108]
[109]
[110]
[111]
[112]
[113]
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