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The Quest For Truth: [01.08] Bhagvan Mahavira: Life And Philosophy - Expressible Truth

Published: 31.12.2006
Updated: 06.08.2008

"Lord, what is expressible truth?"

"From the perspective of identity, existence (alone) is truth and from the perspective of differences, substance and its modes are the truth.

  • Substance is permanent.
  • Modes are impermanent.

The balance of the permanent and the impermanent is truth.

When we look at the world as our object of learning, then the existence and changes of sentient and insentient beings in the three time zones is truth.

Its division is untruth."

Mahavira's senior disciple Gautam once asked him:

"Lord! What is truth?"

"It cannot be told."

"Then how do we know it?"

"You search for it yourself."

"But how to search for it?"

"Give up karma, do not fill your mind with thoughts, keep silent and keep the body still."

"Lord, but how will there be life then?"

"Restrain your activities. Speak only if you have to but with restraint. Walk only if you have to but with restraint. Eat if you have to but with restraint. Do everything but with restraint."

"Lord, if the path to truth can be told then why can truth not be told?"

"This is partial truth. Partial truth can be worded. I express relative truth. Complete truth can never be given expression to. Therefore I say that truth cannot be expressed. Truth is expressible and inexpressible and a relative understanding of the two is right knowledge."

  • The Quest For Truth: In the context of Anekanta by Acharya Mahaprajna
  • Edited by Muni Dulahraj
  • Translated by Sudhamahi Regunathan
  • under the guidance of Revered Munishree Mahendra Kumar.
  • Published 2003 by Jain Vishva Bharati Institute (Deemed University), Ladnun, Rajasthan, India

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