Ācārya Kundakunda’s (circa 1st century BCE) ‘Samayasāra’ is among the most profound and sacred expositions in the Jaina religious tradition; it is perhaps the finest spiritual texts that we are able to lay our hands on in the present era. The original text is in Prakrit language and contains a total of 415 verses (gāthā). ‘Samayasāra’ is the exposition of the Pure (śuddha) ‘Self’ or ‘Soul’. It is the exposition, from the transcendental point-of-view (niścaya naya), of the ‘Real Self’ or (...) it is the ‘Essence of the Soul’. The assertions that the soul (jīva) gets bound to the karmic matter (dravya-karma) or that it does not get bound to the karmic matter are made from different points-of-view (naya). But that which transcends all points-of-view is the ultimate truth, the ‘samayasāra’, absolute and pure soul-substance. (shrink)
This blog post begins by showing the pejorative connotations inherent in the term 'Hindu' and goes on to lay bare the differences between Hinduism and other religions including Jainism and the Abrahamic religions. So that this necessary project of dialogues is not hijacked by celibates of various traditions; the post ends with these reflections: "The Hare Krishna movement, and all other prominent movements within the Sanatana Dharma including the various well known cults of hero-worship are all structured around centralised superstructures (...) which we acquired during our long history of colonisation. Many of these movements appeal to the Western mind because they are authoritarian with strict rules. But these rules have been negated within the Sanatana Dharma by thinkers ranging from Sri Utpaladeva to Sri Abhinavagupta to Sri Kshemraja. The Sanatana Dharma stresses marriage over celibacy not because it is akin to Protestantism. There is none to protest against. Nor is it better to marry than to burn. It is simply this; marriage is not a lower state than other choices in life. It is a first step towards recognising that one can indeed be two who form a monad.". (shrink)
The problem of determinism and free will has occupied the minds of human beings since time immemorial. Philosophers have dwelt on it at great length. The problem is alike for both those who support determinism and those who do not. From one side, it is argued that since all the actions are causally determined, the belief that we are free is an illusion; from the other side, it is argued that since we know that we are free, universal determinism is (...) false. Some others argue for both – truth of determinism as well as that of free will but then the question of morality is left aside. The paper attempts to deal with the problem in the light of Jaina philosophy. It is further aggravated when one takes into account one of the central theme of Jaina philosophy – omniscience. Determinism then becomes a necessary corollary of the doctrine that there is a person who knows everything – past, present and future. But, if determinism is true, how does Jainism account for free will? What would be the Jaina position when one talks of moral obligation / responsibility? Is the Jaina position on determinism absolutistic or non-absolutistic? If it is absolutistic, then how does it affect anekāntavāda? The paper seeks to address these issues with some plausible solutions. (shrink)
This paper reflects on the current Covid-19 crisis and the emotional stress that it leads to from the Jaina perspective. It demonstrates that any pandemic like situation is concomitant with a pandemic of emotions as well; fear and stress being prominent of them. The problem of fear is grave and must be dealt with equal measures. The concept of fear is thus analysed from various perspectives as gleaned from the diverse range of Jaina texts. The paper attempts to make the (...) philosophical texts come alive into the current situation and shows how a samyagdṛṣṭi remains unaffected (though, not absolutely) and mithyādṛṣṭi goes through constant turmoil despite facing the same circumstances. This can be further seen as a case of applied philosophy and ethics. (shrink)
Bimal Krishna Matilal (1935-1991) was a Harvard-educated Indian philosopher best known for his contributions to logic, but who also wrote on wide variety of topics, including metaethics. Unfortunately, the latter contributions have been overlooked. Engaging with Anglo-American figures such as Gilbert Harman and Bernard Williams, Matilal defends a view he dubs ‘pluralism.’ In defending this view he draws on a wide range of classical Indian sources: the Bhagavad-Gītā, Buddhist thinkers like Nāgārjuna, and classical Jaina concepts. This pluralist position is somewhere (...) between relativism and absolutist realism. Unlike the relativist, he argues that there is a genuinely universal morality; unlike the absolutist, he argues that there are multiple, but often conflicting and incommensurable, moral frameworks and ideals. This paper will explain his objections to relativism, as well as flesh out his suggestive remarks about his own pluralistic account. (shrink)
This paper encapsulates the debate as to whether or not tarka is an additional source of knowledge. In this regard, Jaina thinkers opine that they are, unlike Buddhists and Nyāya thinkers, an additional source of knowledge, for what we come to know through tarka is not known through any other means of knowledge. En route, Jaina’s understanding of tarka is put forth, thereafter their criticism of others’ understanding is supplied. Eventually, some recent discussions over this debate are intimated that seem (...) to go in support of Jaina understanding of tarka. These recent discussions hint at the direction in which Jaina thinkers need to advance their stand. (shrink)
With the present study an analysis in three parts is provided of the Buddhist reception of two Cārvāka/Lokāyata stanzas, abbreviated as "wolf's footprint" and the "beautiful lady". These stanzas seem to be conceptually related to each other, having the common aim to emphasize the idea that one should rely only upon what is or can be perceived. Consequently, from here it is concluded that any perspective concerning the existence of an afterlife or of a moral retribution of our actions, since (...) these things cannot be directly perceived, should be abandoned. The first part of the article is a study of the occurrences of the two stanzas in the Buddhist sources, taking into account also new material, recently discovered, together with a comparison with the Jain sources. The second and third parts discuss respectively Avalokitavrata's and Jayānanda's interpretations of the stanzas, offering also for the first time to the reader a translation and analysis of their versions of the "wolf's footprint" tale, so far studied only from Jain sources. (shrink)
This chapter presents an overview of the Jain philosophico-religious tradition in relation to its views on animal ethics, followed by an examination of ascetic Jain, orthodox lay Jain, and diaspora Jain attitudes regarding treatment of animals.
Eating meat can be ethical, but only when it does not violate rights. This requires that the ways in which meat is produced and prepared for human consumption satisfies certain standards. While many current practices may fall short of this standard, this does not justify the position that eating meat cannot be ethical under any circumstances and there should be no principled objection to its possibility.
In this paper, I critically develop the Jain concept of nonharm as a feminist philosophical concept that calls for a change in our relation to living beings, specifically to animals. I build on the work of Josephine Donovan, Carol J. Adams, Jacques Derrida, Kelly Oliver, and Lori Gruen to argue for a change from an ethic of care and dialogue to an ethic of carefulness and nonpossession. I expand these discussions by considering the Jain philosophy of nonharm in relation to (...) feminist and other theories that advocate noneating of animals, “humane killing,” and “less harm.” Finally, I propose that a feminist appropriation of the Jain concept of nonharm helps us develop a feminist ethic of nonharm to all living beings. (shrink)
Jaina philosophy provides a very distinctive account of logic, based on the theory of ?sevenfold predication?. This paper provides a modern formalisation of the logic, using the techniques of many-valued and modal logic. The formalisation is applied, in turn, to some of the more problematic aspects of Jaina philosophy, especially its relativism.
Description: Jain Philosophy : Historical Outline interprets the fundamentals of Jain philosophy from the viewpoint of their historical genesis and development and shows that the incipient stage of the Jain thought-complex agreed totally with the pythagorean approach to philosophy which was based on observed realities and was quite in harmony with the existing socio-political conditions of the time of Lord Mahavira while the sophisticated stage marked by the a priori doctrines and dogmas it had generated in course of its development (...) and by the traditionally floating ideas in regard to the belief in a eternal moral order in the universe, the law of karma, ignorance as the cause of bondage and knowledge as that of liberation, the efficacy of meditation, and so forth, was a persistent juxtaposition in the evolutionary stages of the former. Since no system of Indian philosophy allows a purely isolated treatment, a comparative study of all the philosophical systems has been made here to determine the real nature of the Jain standpoint with more emphasis on the original dynamism of Jainism which had contributed to the growth of various natural sciences, including those of biology and astronomy, on the total rejection of the concept of a supernatural agent in the form of God, on the theories of valid knowledge and on the unique logical system based on the principles of relativity. Contents Preface of the Second Edition Preface of the First Edition Chap. I : INTRODUCTION : 1. The Jains as they are 2. Researches on Jainism 3. Literary Sources 4. Archaeological Sources : Architecture and Sculpture 5. Archaeological Sources : The Epigraphs 6. Parsva and Mahavira 7. Ecclesiastical History Chap. II : THE INCIPIENT STAGE : 1. The Prehistory of Jainism 2. The Historical Background 3. Material Basis of the Great Intellectual Movement 4. The Conflicts in the History of Indian thought 5. Contemporary Philosophical Schools 6. Purana Kassapa 7. Pakudha Kaccayana 8. Makkhali Gosala 9. Sanjaya Belatthiputta 10. Ajita Kesakambalin 11. Social Experiences of Mahavira 12. The Social Basis of Jain Ethics Chap. III : THE SOPHISTICATED STAGE : 1. Jainism and Indian Philosophical Tradition 2. Jain Atheism 3. Jain Logic 4. Scientific Enquiries : Cosmology 5. Scientific Enquiries : Classification of Jiva 6. Scientific Enquiries : Biology, Physiology, Etc 7. Scientific Enquiries : Diseases and Medicines 8. Scientific Enquiries : Astronomy 9. Scientific Enquiries : Atomism 10. Jain Cosmography 11. The Unfounded Speculations and their Ethical Considerations 12. The Nine Fundamentals and the Doctrine of Karma 13. Classification of Karma and the Gunasthanas 14. A Review of the Jain Metaphysics 15. Theory of Knowledge 16. Psychological Ingredients 17. The Non-Absolutist Standpoint Chap. IV : A COMPARATIVE STUDY : 1. Jainism and Vedic Tradition 2. Jainism and Buddhism 3. Jainism and Ajivikism 4. Jainism and Materialism 5. Jainism and Samkhya 6. Jainism and Yoga 7. Jainism and Mimamsa 8. Jainism and Nyaya-Vaisesika 9. Jainism and Vedanta 10. A Subjectwise Comparative Study of the Systems. (shrink)
Annotated translation of the final chapter of the Tattvārthasūtra with commentary by Umāsvāti, the foremost philosophical text in Jainism on the topic of mokṣa or liberation from rebirth. (Master’s thesis, University of Utrecht.).
They also describe how one rids oneself of the karmic particles already accumulated, thus attaining liberation. The Karma-granthas form the basis of the present book, the only book in English on this subject of fundamental importance.
Sankaraachaarya popularized the advaita thought among students of philosophy and seekers of knowledge of the Self or Brahman or Atman. But he is criticized by Indian theistic schools like Visistaadvaita and dvaita philosophies as “prachchnna bouddha – follower of the Buddha in disguise”. This comment of theistic schools makes it worthy of comparing the advaitic and Buddhist schools of thought in relation to consciousness, world, Soonya, and other expressions between the two thought systems. This paper does such a comparison from (...) cognitive science point of view and how the elements of Buddhism and Advaita thought enrich the modern scientific field of cognitive science. Also, a brief analysis is presented how the supplementary and complementary nature of the Upanishads, the Buddhism, the Jainism and the Shaddarsanas of Indian philosophic systems can be used to further the understanding of form, structure and function of human consciousness, mind and their functions. (shrink)