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Anekāntavāda And Syādvāda: Kundakunda On Primary And Secondary Meanings

Published: 12.04.2012
Updated: 02.07.2015

Kundakunda in his monumental philosophical work Samayasāra elucidates the empirical self from the empirical standpoint and the transcendental self from the transcendental standpoint. Since the empirical standpoint deals with the impure, accidental, pervert, superimposed and unreal condition of the mundane self, its statement may yield the figurative, metaphorical and secondary meaning. Again, since this accidental impurity is caused by the material body, the material qualities like colour, smell, touch, taste etc. are superimposed on or transferred to the self. And consequently, all non-self properties are figuratively affirmed of the self.[1] Thus, for example Kundakunda says that from the empirical standpoint soul and body are certainly one and by lauding this material body which is really separate from the soul, one may think that the soul occupying it is lauded and adored. But, from the real standpoint the qualities of body are not found in the perfect soul. He who lauds the attributes of the perfect soul, really lauds the perfect soul,[2] for just as admiring the city can never become admiration of the king, so by lauding the qualities of body the attributes of the perfect soul are never lauded.[3] Again, from the practical standpoint the remark is made of (king's) military forces; "The king has gone out'' (although not) the king only but also his military forces are gone out with him.[4] Common people, seeing someone looted in the way, say, "The way is looted", but no way whatsoever is really looted.[5] Similarly, seeing the karmic matter in the soul it has.been said from the empirical standpoint, "This colour is of the soul".[6]

From the  few example cited above it is  obvious that Kundakunda's statement of a practical standpoint may suggest the secondary meaning while his statement of transcendental or real standpoint may convey the primary meaning. It is needless to say that Kundakunda's doctrine of standpoint is a corollary of the theory of Anekānta or indeterminateness of reality, knowledge and meaning.


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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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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anekānta
  2. Body
  3. Karmic matter
  4. Kundakunda
  5. Samayasāra
  6. Soul
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