Jain Skit Skits (Jaina Education Series Book 104)

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Thus there is a marked difference in the purity of the two. Of these, pramana is a process of knowing a thing in its entirety or in a holistic manner.

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The process may involve knowing a tiling through just one attribute but with the help of that one attribute it knows that entire thing. Nava is one part of pramana. A thing that is known through pramana in holistic manner is broken into parts and a single part or condition is known through naya. Thus ihe process of knowing a thing in its composite form is pramana and to know just a constituent part of it is naya.

I he term naya has also been defined many other ways. I he intent of a speaker is also called naya. Alternatives of inferences arrived at through pramana are also called naya. There are two categories of pramana!

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Generally speaking to perceive and know a thing with Ihe help of sense organs and mind is called pratyaksa jiulna or direct knowledge. The knowledge of things that are beyond the reach ol these organs is called paroksa jharta or indirect knowledge. But in Jain philosophy pratyaksa jhana is that lor which soul is not dependent on sense organs, mind, or any other outside factor like light. Thus the knowledge that is independent ol' any outside factor is pratyaksa or direct and that which is dependent on these is paroksa or indirect. Everything is its own cause in its transformation. Although the ability to transform develops with the help of motive cause, but transformations through motive cause are not considered worthy and.

All transformations eventuated by outside motive cause are mundane or of the physical realm. Only those that are independant are spiritual. The defining and division of pratyaksa and paroksa follow this viewpoint. However, Jain philosophers have recognized and accepted the general definition of pratyaksa by catling it samvydvaharika pratyaksa or physically direct.

Knowledge is said to be of five kinds - 1 mati-jndna , 2 sruta- jhdna , 3 avadhi-jndna , 4 manahparyaya-jndna, and 5 Kevala- jndna. Of these mati-jndna and sruta-jndna are subjects of indirect perception as they are dependent on outside factors like sense organs and mind. The remaining three are subjects of direct perception. Avadhi-jndna and manahparyava-jndna are acquired with the ksyopasama of the related karnias and Kevala-jhana is acquired with the ksaya of jndnavaranlya karma knowledge-obscuring karma.

These three are acquired by soul without any outside help. Besides sruia all the other four jhdnas are seif-acquired and without alternatives. Therefore, they are said to be pramdna or holistic. On the other hand sruta-jndna is mental as well as verbal; it also has alternatives and therefore it is said to bo pramdna absolutely valid and nay a partially valid both. In other words sruta-jndna is self- oriented as well as other-oriented. The mental sruia is self-oriented and can be acquired by a seeker or scholar. The verbal sruia is other- oriented.

Through this the scholar imparts knowledge to others. Pramdna validity or authenticity and naya standpoint or parameters of examination are alternative means of acquiring knowledge. When the aspirant intends to know in entirety, his knowledge is pramdna valid. When he intends to know a portion of what he has acquired through pramdna, it is called naya. Naya is not complete validity but, as it is a fraction of pramdna, it cannot be called invalid also.

A substance has infinite qualities, attributes, and distinctive features. Word or language does not have the capacity to express these infinite attributes and distinctive features. When someone describes some particular quality or distinctive feature of a thing he, in fact, magnifies that particular feature and minimizes other features. For this reason unrelated nay as are called false and related novas are called right nayas.

No naya is absolutely true or absolutely false. Many different categories of nay as have been defined. Besides these there are other innumerable types of nayas. As many words there are, so many are nayas.

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Knowing a thing from its existent material aspect as well as transformational or variant aspects is called pramdna absolute validity. Knowing it from either existent material aspect or transformational aspects is called naya partial validity. Based on this, two categories of nayas have been made - dravyarthika existent material aspect and parydydrthika transformational aspect. Every thing has the duality of ordinary and special qualities. Ordinary means seeing as a whole and special means seeing in parts. In its overall form a thing is complete or an unbroken unit. It is seen many ways through its numerous attributes, variations, and qualities.

Seeing a thing in its holistic aspect is called dravya drsti or existent material viewpoint and seeing it by breaking it into its constituent components is called parydya drsti or transformational viewpoint. The naya that mainly considers the existent material is called dravyarthika naya and that which mainly considers the transformations is called parvdvdrthika naya.

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It is not that existent material aspect completely ignores the transformational aspect and vice versa. This categorization is based on the emphasis laid. In absence of this correlation the other aspect will be completely ignored and such unrelated viewpoint wit! Absolutistic viewpoint is always false. The dravyarthika naya has three sub-categories - naigatna, samgraha, and vyavahdra.

The parydydrthika naya has four sub- categories - rjusutra , sabda , samabhiriidha, and evambhuta. Of these seven nayas the first three are also called artha-naya standpoint of meaning and the remaining four are called sabda-naya standpoint of word. This is because in assessment of things these have predominance of meaning and word respectively.


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Brief definitions of these are as follows - Naigamaa naya - Standpoint that accepts a desire or decision that has not been acted upon. Samgraha naya - The standpoint that accepts many modes or variants as one substance, or many substances with similar attributes as one in a collective expression. Vyavahara naya - The standpoint that examines information acquired through samgraha-naya using a continuous process of logical division in order to enhance any acquired information. For example dividing substance into being and non-being.

Then further dividing the two. Without such divisions knowledge of reality remains elusive. Rjusutra naya - In the aforesaid nayas the concept of division is limited to collective things or groups of many things. But even in a single substance or a thing there are variations with passage of time.

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The standpoint that examines the form of a thing only at the present moment is called rjusutra naya. Here there is no significance of the variants of the thing in the past or future moments. Sabda naya - The standpoint that examines different meanings of words or statements depending upon various grammatical parts of speech like tense, case, gender, number, etc.

Samabhirudha naya — The standpoint that examines different etymological meanings even of synonyms. For example Indra, Shakra, and Purandar being names of the king of gods are synonymous but there etymological meanings are different. Indra is one who has grandeur, Shakra is one who has power, and Purandar is one who destroys cities. Evambhuta naya - The standpoint that calls for use of right word for right action and not otherwise.

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For example the term Indra should be used only when the context is of grandeur and not when he is worshiping. Of these every preceding naya is the cause of the following one. Employed in this primary and secondary relationship they lead to right perception. Niscaya naya noumenal or unconventional standpoint conveys the sublime form of soul expressing infinite attributes of soul collectively. Vyavahara naya phenomenal or conventional standpoint describes each of these attributes separately and individually.

Niscaya naya is dependent on the self or soul and vyavahara naya is dependent on things other than soul.


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  • According to niscaya naya soul is untouched by and free of karmas, it is singular, it is stable, it is not unique, and it is not combined. According to vyavahara naya soul is touched by and is in bondage of karmas. Under the influence of karmas it takes different forms including human and infernal beings. With reduction and increase in intensity of its energy components it remains unstable. It appears unique due to various qualities including knowledge, perception, and conduct; and because of karmas it has perversions like fondness, attachment, and aversion which in turn make it appear happy or miserable.

    These two nayas are relative in nature. When we look at or talk about the sentient substance or sublime soul the niscaya naya becomes preponderant and vyavahara naya insignificant.

    In that context from the absolute standpoint the conventional standpoint is called unreal or false. When we look from transformational angle and describe the impure state caused by karmas, the conventional standpoint becomes preponderant and absolute standpoint insignificant.

    In that context from the conventional standpoint the absolute standpoint is called unreal or false and conventional standpoint is real and true. This system is called nayavada or nrryn-methodology. The application of niscaya naya is advised for those who are at the lofty spiritual level sublime state of soul , whereas that of vyavahdra-naya is advised for those who are still striving for that lofty spiritual level the laymen who have spiritual bent and the ascetics who partially dwell in the three-jewels or ratnatraya or right perception- knowledge-conduct. In the Jain canon niscaya naya is called goal and vyavahdra-naya the means, and the two are interdependent.

    However, it is not that niscaya naya is the sublime state of soul or the vyavahdra- naya is the means to attain that pure state. These two are names of the styles describing the two. Nayas are right only when they coexist and are complementary.

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