ANEKANTA, The Philosophy Of Non-absolutism [ 0 ] Introduction

Published: 18.01.2006
Updated: 02.07.2015
In all corners of the world one hears a common voice of people visualizing a new man, a new society and a new world. Efforts are also afoot to realize the above vision.

How meaningful is the above voice? Will the efforts succeed? The quest for meaning and success cannot be based on the basis of the permanent. The permanent does not undergo any change, and the vision of a new man, a new society and a new world cannot be realized without effecting a change.

From the viewpoint of Anekanta the permanent is real, but so is the impermanent or the changeable. Being can be explained in terms of the permanent for it is unchangeable. One of the intrinsic parts of the unchangeable is change, for change and changelessness are not two different things. Both co-exist.

Since change is possible, the vision of a new man, a new society and a new world is not unattainable or impossible.

The basic cause of change is the viewpoint. On its basis is built a theory and implementation of the theory results in change. We do want to bring about a change but lack the right faith; nor do we want to develop it. The biggest obstacle between change and right faith is personal belief(s). Each individual or organization has its own beliefs. A new man, a new society or a new world cannot be visualized on the basis of these beliefs.

A belief is based on selfishness and the concern for personal gain as a result of which one disregards the good or gain of the others. Concentration on a caste or a sect is rooted in the individual beliefs. The same root is responsible for the growth of conflicts, disputes and wars.

With the growth of right faith, belief changes into a quest for the truth and the opposition between conflicting interests also comes to an end. It is commonly believed that the interests of any two castes, sects and classes are mutually antagonistic. Though in reality they are not antagonistic, they are regarded so because of perverted faith or what we call mithyatva. Once the right faith develops the antagonism disappears and even the conflicting interests become complementary instead of being antagonistic.

Right faith implies non-absolutism. Perverted faith means absolutism or the assertion that nothing but what one thinks is right. To treat a mode or thought as absolute or inclusive is absolutism; to treat it as relative and incomplete is non-absolutism. To determine a real, one should have a non-absolutist view. Anekanta has two basic viewpoints: absolute and non-absolute or relative. For determining the substance one should use the absolute viewpoint; for determining the relations one should use the non-absolute viewpoint.

© by Acharya Mahaprajna
Translated by Muni Mahendra Kumar

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Mahaprajna
  3. Anekanta
  4. Concentration
  5. Mithyatva
  6. Muni
  7. Non-absolutism
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