The Enigma Of The Universe : Comparison with Jain View

Published: 03.12.2014

If we examine Eddington’s classification in light of Jain view, we find that there is a good deal of agreement between them. First of all we consider the term “external world” used by Eddington. This would denote the objective world of pudgala (matter) in which the independent paramāṇus (the ultimate atoms) and the skandhas (the aggregates of atoms or molecules) exist objectively and the process of their fusion and fission goes on continuously. Secondly, we consider the term “physical world” used by Eddington. As we have seen, Jain epistemology divides cognition into two types-sensory and extra-sensory. In the sensory cognition there are two stages-(i) Darśana (Cakṣu and acakṣu) i.e. indeterminate cognition or apprehension through eyes or other sense-organs. (ii) Jñāna (Mati and Śruta ) i.e. determinate cognition or comprehension-perceptive cognition and articulate knowledge.

In the stage of apprehension, we become aware merely of the “existence” of the object. Here, the “quality of existence of the object is cognized by soul “as it is”; it is totally unaffected by the sensory and intellectual equipment. Hence, the world in our apprehension is “wholly objective”. In the case of determinate cognition, śruta-jñāna (verbal comprehension) is necessarily preceded by mati-jñāna (non-verbal comprehension) which itself is obtained in four stages-avagraha (sensation), ihā (speculation), avāya (perception) and dhāraṇā (retention).[1] In the first stage of mati-jñāna i.e., avagraha the sensory equipment comes in contact with the object (the external world) and there is a selective effect due to the sensory equipment. In the latter stages, the intellectual equipment is used and it has its further selective effect. The world in our comprehension (existing in our consciousness), therefore, may differ from the “external world” because of the selective effects of the sensory and intellectual equipments. Thus, according to the Jain view, the world in our comprehension is partly objective and partly subjective-the objective element is due to the original object and the subjective element is due to the selective effects of the sensory and intellectual equipment.[2] In this way, the Jain view agrees with Eddington’s view that “the  physical universe” (as defined by Eddington) is partly objective, partly subjective.

Thirdly, we consider “physical knowledge”. According to the Jain view, the “physical knowledge” (as defined by Eddington) is classified under the sensory cognition (mostly determinate and verbal) and is, therefore, partly objective and partly subjective. According to Eddington, a large part of our physical knowledge-special facts-is partly objective, partly subjective. So far, both the views agree with each other.


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Title: The Enigma Of The Universe Publisher: JVB University Ladnun English Edition: 2010 HN4U Online Edition: 2014

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Avagraha
  2. Avāya
  3. Consciousness
  4. Darśana
  5. Dhāraṇā
  6. Eddington
  7. Ihā
  8. JAINA
  9. Jaina
  10. Jñāna
  11. Paramāṇus
  12. Pudgala
  13. Soul
  14. Śruta
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