Bhagavan Mahavira Life and Philosophy : [07.07] Doctrine Of Naya

Published: 08.09.2005
Updated: 02.07.2015

Chapter 7

The Relevance Of The Jaina Religion To Modern Problems

here may be a hundred and one forms of synthesis Bhagavan Mahavira classified them into seven categories:

1. Naigama The view, which accepts both identity and difference.
2. Samgraha The view, which posits only identity.
3. Vyavahara The view, which posits only difference.
4. Rjusutra The view, which posits only the present moment
5. Sabda The view, which assigns different mean ings to a word according to different categories of time, etc.
6. Samabhirudha The view, which assigns different mean ings to the synonymous words according to their etymology.
7. Evambhuta The view, which assigns a meaning to a word only according to the present action.
  • Some seers maintained the identity of a thing by looking at it from the synthetical point of view.
  • Others maintained its plurality by looking at it from the analytical point of view.
Bhagavan Mahavira accepted the truth of both the views.

Somila asked Bhagavan Mahavira whether he was one or many.

Bhagavan Mahavira replied that he was one as well as many and added that from the point of view of substance (synthetic entity), he was one. From the point of view of transformations of substance (analytic characteris tics), he was many also.

Bhagavan Mahavira, said,

"Both unity and diversity are real. But they are real only in relation to each other, not abso lutely. Once this underlying relativity is abandoned, we enter into falsity."

This relativism is the Nayavada theory of Bhagavan Mahavira. The term syat in the theory of syadvada relates one aspect of truth to its remaining aspects. The relativism of Nayavada also does so. A non-relativistic one-sided view cannot be true.

There can be no ahimsa without truth and there can be no truth without ahimsa. They are inseparable. Bhagavan Mahavira admitted the reality of substance, existing in all the three times - past, present and future, as well as of the present mode. He admitted the reality of both the word as well as its meaning. He never told anybody that the latter was not true or that his statement was false. He simply insisted the people on understanding the relativistic point of view, the truth of the point of view of others and that if they did not do so, they might be proved to be untrue and what they understood to be truth might also become falsehood. The principle of synthesis of the truths of different points of view as propounded by the statement of Bhagavan Mahavira is an expression of his ahimsa, his genius and his equanimity.

This principle can make the present and the future of entire mankind bright.

Title: Bhagavan Mahavira Life and Philosophy
Translated & Edited: Muni Mahendra Kumar


Edition 1995
Publisher: Jain Vishva Bharati, Ladnun, India

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Ahimsa
  2. Equanimity
  3. Evambhuta
  4. JAINA
  5. Jaina
  6. Mahavira
  7. Nayavada
  8. Syadvada
  9. Syat
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