Abstract Thinking: [29.06] - Anupreksha of Co-Existence - Interdependence is The Law of Life

Published: 10.08.2007
Updated: 06.08.2008

If we rightly understand the principle of co-existence, no room is left for conflict. An important maxim of Tatparya Sutra is - "Interdependence is the law of life."

It is the law of nature, the eternal principle behind the creation of living beings. In mutual dependence there can be no conflict or contradiction. The conflict arises because the principle of co-existence is forgotten. Pairs of opposites can subsist together. When this rule is lost sight of, conflict arises. The individual then looks at things from one, exclusive point-of-view.

The social scientists declared that struggle, conflict, is necessary for life because they failed to grasp the doctrine of contraries or the possibility of co-existence of two opposing truths. Those who understood the doctrine of co-existence, of the pairs of opposites subsisting together, were able to get to the essence of the anekantic vision. They proclaimed that every voice serves as a support for another voice serves as a support for another voice; one object supports another. Conflict is not the law of nature; it is an imposition.

The soul of the religion, which Lord Mahavira expounded after having achieved ultimate realization is - equanimity.

The religion preached by him originated from equanimity; also, it had its consummation in equanimity. Non-violence, non-possession, co-existence, harmony, relativity, and anekanta - all these comprise equanimity, equality. There is no room for inequality or inequity in the non-violence of Mahavira. 2500 years ago, people were rated as ‘high’ or ‘low’ on the basis of wealth and possessions or on the basis of caste, or on the basis of learning or knowledge of scriptures. However, Lord Mahavira set aside these criteria as unreal, and said, "Mankind is fundamentally one; all men are equal." The unity of mankind should not be disturbed by imaginary values created by the mind. Mere wealth does not make a man great; really great is he who has the capacity to renounce. The so-called high birth does not confer greatness on a man; really great is he who owns a good character. The learned man is not necessarily great; really great is he who is modest and self-disciplined. The 'high' and the 'low' are relative terms. Only he is great in the true sense of the word, who has the capacity to renounce, owns a good character and is sober and self-controlled.

Mahavira's doctrine of equality and equanimity has greatly influenced the Indian mind. During the course of 2500 years, its impact has only increased: there has been no diminution. 2500 years ago, people did not attach as much importance to the principle of equality as today's man gives to it. It is an eternal doctrine. That which is eternal has contemporary significance as well. The doctrines propounded by Lord Mahavira continue to be as original and beneficial for the present age as for earlier ages.

The chief foundation of Mahavira's non-violence is - coexistence. According to him, apparently contradictory elements can exist together.

  • Abstract Thinking
    by Acharya Mahaprajna, © 1988
  • Edited by  Muni Dulheraj
  • Translated by Muni Mahendra Kumar
  • Published by Jain Vishva Barati
  • Edition 1999 compiled by Samani Stith Pragya

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anekanta
  2. Anekantic
  3. Equanimity
  4. Mahavira
  5. Non-violence
  6. Soul
  7. Sutra
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