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The Enigma Of The Universe : Theory Of Numbers In Jain Philosophy

Published: 25.03.2015
Updated: 02.07.2015

There is an elaborate deliberation over the topic of 'number' in the Jain philosophy.

There are eight kinds of saṃkhā pramaṇa[1] (standards of Saṃkhya).

1. Nāma Saṃkhya- Nominal: The Saṃkhya as name of a thing or a living being.

2. Sthapanā Saṃkhya -  Conventional: The arbitrary attribution of number.

3. Dravya Saṃkhya - Virtual: The person who is knower of number.

4. Aupmya-upamāna Saṃkhya -  Comparative: Number explained through comparison.

5. Parimāṇa Saṃkhya -  Quantitative: The extent in number (of letters, verses etc.) through which the canonical work is measured.

6. Jñāna Saṃkhya - Epistemological: What one knows.

7. Gaṇanā Saṃkhya - Mathematical: Numerical counting.

8. Bhāva Saṃkhya - Real: Here saṃkhā (Pkt.) stands for conch-shell and not number.

Here, we confine ourselves to the discussion of gaṇanā Saṃkhya (mathematical number),[2] for we have used the technical terms concerning mathematical numbers throughout this book.

The gaṇanā Saṃkhyās are of three kinds:

1. Saṃkhyāta (numerable or countable)

2. Asaṃkhyāta (innumerable or uncountable)

3. Ananta (infinite)


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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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  1. Ananta
  2. Asaṃkhyāta
  3. Bhāva
  4. Dravya
  5. Jain Philosophy
  6. Jñāna
  7. Nāma
  8. Sūtra
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