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Anekāntavāda And Syādvāda: Confluence Of Religious Thoughts

Published: 27.06.2012

The Jaina tradition is very instructive in this respect. We learn from it that some people approached Lord Mahāvīra, who was a contemporary of Śākyamuni Gautama and was called Sarvajña (omniscient) Sarvadarśī (All-seeing) Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta by the Buddhists, when He was staying on Mt. Vipula at Rājagṛha and questioned him on the utility of religious discussion. The purport of the Lord's reply was that they are always welcome in order to realise the whole truth, but the condition is that they should be carried on in a friendly spirit simply to realise the truth of reality. It is indeed bad to strive for the glory of one's religion and try to belittle the religions of others. The Jains have never spread their religion at the point of sword. Those who did so never realised the truth. The best method of discussion according to the teachings of Mahāvīra, is to consider a problem in its three aspects, viz. (1) sva-samaya-vaktavyatā to establish one's own viewpoint, (2) para-samaya-vaktavyatā to establish the opposite viewpoint; and (3) tadubhaya vaktavyatā to synthesise and establish the viewpoints of both on a rational basis.

Here I would like to refer to the opening proceedings of this seminar. We have the great Āchārya Tulsi amidst us, who gave us to understand that Jainism could not be spread all over the world owing to some restrictions on the movements of Jain monks. While on the other hand our learned friends Dr. Nag and Prof. Harimohan Bhattāchārya gave us to understand that Jainism once reached beyond the borders of India. Here if we apply Tadubhaya Vaktavyatā: We can reconcile these viewpoints. Certainly it is difficult for Jain monk to move about easily; but since the Jain monk is inspired by the उत्साह गुण enthusiasm of the soul, he is ever enthusiastic to do a right effort श्रम for his own good and for the good of all. Āchārya Tulsi himself have set on example of it by covering a distance of 200 miles in a few days only in order to bless us with his learned discourse. Moreover we remember also that there is a rule for Jain monks which restricts their stay at a place for longer period: the Jain monks should remain moving for the sake of Dharma. Our Purāṇas are full of examples in which Jain monks are mentioned to have gone all over the world. It is the reason that we find some evidence of the prevalence of Jainism beyond India, in Ceylon, Afghanistan, China and Greece. We, the Digambara Jaina, on the day of Kṣamāvanī, read Phoolmālā which mentions that Jains came from China and Mahāchina to take part in it. In such cases the Anekānta logic is of great help. But we must also remember that this principle can only be applied to those thoughts which are based on any aspect of Truth and it will reconcile them only.

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. Dharma
  3. Digambara
  4. Gautama
  5. JAINA
  6. Jaina
  7. Jainism
  8. Mahāvīra
  9. Nigaṇṭha
  10. Omniscient
  11. Purāṇas
  12. Rājagṛha
  13. Soul
  14. Tadubhaya
  15. Tulsi
  16. Āchārya
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