Anekant: Reflections And Clarifications ► [02] The Doctrine of Anekānta In Its Right Perspective ► The Meaning Of The Term Anekānta

Posted: 21.12.2009

Anekānta is lexically a negative term, but substantially it is not negative. Anekānta conveys the relativity of substance and mode. It is not possible to have existence of only substance or only mode,[3] that is to say, substance and mode cannot exist without each other. The very nature of reality being anekāntika, the term ekānta cannot be used to comprehend it. Aneka does not mean 'indefinite' or 'infinite', but it means 'more than one'. Reality is having three characteristics: 'aneka' does not mean indefinite, it does not designate only the infinity of modes, it does not mean only 'infinite'.

Modes are successive attributes. Infinite modes are not possible in a single substance simultaneously. For they do not originate simultaneously.[4]

The statement that an object has infinite attributes is available. This means that an object is capable of undergoing infinite modifications. It is only on account of this capability that without giving up its own nature, it goes on transforming itself into various forms.

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