The True Nature Of Anekant

Posted: 18.02.2009
Updated on: 28.08.2010

Today, the whole world is in search of a new hypothesis. Let us not take any one-sided or unilateral view, but integrate all views through anekant and thus conceive the new man and the new world - Acharya Mahaprajna

How does one purify and develop consciousness? How does one acquire self-restraint? Desires have a strong urge, so how does one curb them? The first way is self-restraint and the second is practice. The former cannot be cultivated without the latter. The mind and its fickleness weaken the restraint.

We should practise in such a manner that unsteadiness of the mind is reduced and instinctual urges are curbed. The practice of Preksha Dhyan helps us achieve it. The mind is cleansed and self-restraint follows as a natural corollary.

Strengthening restraint is like turning wheat into bread. Anuvrat can be regarded as wheat; it cannot be eaten without turning it into bread. The raw material has to be changed into finished goods. Anuvrat is the main basis of self-restraint. The process of maturing it, of changing wheat into bread is Preksha Dhyan. The benefits of the practice should reach out to wide sections of the population. This could be ensured by involving schools for carrying out the practice. That is why Jeevan Vigyan); was introduced in the schools.

A strong foundation enables a secure edifice. Likewise by cleansing individual consciousness, collective consciousness can be developed. Anuvrat, Preksha Dhyan and Jeevan Vigyan first act as principles of individual consciousness, but later they become principles of collective consciousness. The three together awaken sensitivity and compassion and strengthen the principle of reciprocity. As a result, our behaviour towards one another becomes honest, sweet and courteous. People with humility have collective consciousness awakened in them. Neither socialism nor communism can be successful without collective consciousness.

The western thinker Tripling was an accomplished person. One newspaper published the news of his death. He read it and wrote to the newspaper's editor, "You are an authentic person and your newspaper is a prestigious publication. It publishes news only after a thorough investigation. You have published the news of Tripling's death only on the basis of correct information. Please strike off my name from the list of your subscribers, since I am no longer alive." The editor felt ashamed to read the letter. He admired the politeness of the writer of the letter, who completely abstained from hurling words of abuse, displaying anger and holding out the threat of a lawsuit.

The above polite behaviour is the outcome of a pure individual consciousness. Such an individual is bound to affect collective consciousness. Behaviour implies collectivity. It would not be possible if there were only a single individual. It is our behaviour with another person that relates us to the world. Talking about an individual gives us the theme of man and the world, while talking about collective consciousness changes the terms of reasoning as also the nature of language and as a result, what emerges is the cosmopolitan man. The world precedes man. The cosmopolitan man is the outcome of collective consciousness. No man will first see himself as cosmopolitan. He will first see the world and then see himself. It is obvious that collective consciousness can develop reciprocity, organization, a social or political system, but not purity. A system based on cosmopolitan man will be pure only when it is based on the purity of individual consciousness. History bears witness to it. All collective endeavour has led to distortions in the absence of individual consciousness. Even communist states had to yield to the demand of individual proprietorship.

Howsoever grudgingly and partially, communists and socialists had to concede the truth that no talk of collectivity can be successful without granting the right to individual proprietorship. The capitalist nations marched ahead of the communist states in the economic field. They realized their mistake. Collectivity was given the sole recognition and individuality was totally denied. Now a second mistake is going to be made. Sheer consumerism is being stressed at the cost of the purity of the individual. Capitalism also is therefore tottering and is in its present shape equally dangerous. You might wonder about the choice left if both individuality and collectivity pose danger to mankind. The solution to the dilemma lies in anekant.

The philosophy of anekant can be called the third option, neither nityavad (eternalism) nor anityavad (non-eternalism) but Nityanityavad (eternalism and non-enternalism). Neither Vaiya-ktikta (individuality) nor Samudayikta (collectivity) but a combination of both, Vaiyaktiktayukta Samudayikta and Samudayiktayukta Vaiyaktikta. If we think of building a new society on the above basis, I believe we shall be quite close to the truth.

The student who says that the cow has three legs is closer to the truth than the one who says that it has only two legs. We have to first approximate the truth before we actually attain it. This truth will belong to Anekant, neither communism nor capitalism, neither collectivity nor individuality, but a combination of both. By combining the good points of both, a third form will evolve. Neither existence nor non-existence, but a combination of both is the third hypothesis. Today, the whole world is in search of a new hypothesis. Let us not take any one-sided or unilateral view, but integrate all views through anekant and thus conceive the new man and the new world.

Only the new man and the new world can be the solution of the present problem.

Author

Source/Info

Central Chronicle - by the efforts of Mr. Lalit Garg

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