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Anekāntavāda And Syādvāda: Unity And Plurality Or One And Many

Published: 23.02.2012

From the above analysis of the real into being and becoming, it follows that it is also unity and plurality, or one and many. If the real as being is self-identical unity, i.e., one, the real as becoming is plurality, i.e., many. A positive entity (bhāva) - e.g., the self - is ipso facto plural, unlike negation (अभाव) which, being homogeneous, does not brook distinction or plurality within itself, and at least six distinct stages - viz. origination, continuity, transformation, growth, decay and lapse - can be distinguished in its process.[1] Plurality, in fact, is plurality of aspects, and the multitude of concepts and the corresponding linguistic expressions, related to a single fact, is a proof of the reality of these aspects.[2] The unitary real ought to be regarded as plural also on account of its being an integration of numerous energies[3]. Its temporal continuity and ever emerging novelty also argue its manifold character. "Strictly speaking." as has been observed by Professor Mookerjee, "a thing is neither an absolute unity nor split up into an irreconcilable plurality. It is both unity and plurality all the time. There is no opposition between unity of being and plurality of aspects. The opposition would have been inevitable if the unity of a real varied with each aspect. But the varying aspects are affirmed of the self-identical subject and this proves that the unity is not affected by such predication. A thing is one and many at the same time - a unity and a plurality rolled into one."[4]


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Published by:
Jain Vishwa Bharati Institute
Ladnun - 341 306 (Rajasthan) General Editor:
Sreechand Rampuria
Edited by:
Rai Ashwini Kumar
T.M. Dak
Anil Dutta Mishra

First Edition:1996
© by the Authors

Printed by:
Pawan Printers
J-9, Naveen Shahdara, Delhi-110032

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  1. Bhāva
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