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Jainism in Buddhist Literature
                                                                By Dr. Hiralal Jain

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2. The Theory of Nayavada

Nayavada or the theory of partial truth is an integral part of the conception of Anekantavada, Which is essential to concieve the sole nature of reality (vastu nayati prapayati samved-anakotimarohati). It provides for the acceptance of different viewpoints on the basis that each reveals a partial truth about an object. Naya investigates analytically a particular standpoint of the problem.55 But if the problem is treated as the complete truth, it is not Naya, but Durnaya or Nayabhasa or Kunaya. For instance, it is is Naya, and it is and is only is durnaya, while "it is relatively (syat)" is an example of Syadvada56.

Nayas can be as many as there are ways of speaking about a thing. This infinite number of nayas has been reduced to seven, viz. Naigama (figurative), (ii) Sangrha (general or common), (iii) Vyavahare (distributive), (iv) Rijusutra (the actual condition at a particular instant for a long time), (v) Sabda (descriptive), (vi) Samabhirudha (specific), and (vii) evansbhuta (active). The first four nayas are Sabdanayas and the rest are the Artha Nayas, for thoughts and words are the only means by which the mind can approach reality. These seven Nayas have been also divided into two categories, Dravyarthika or Samanya (noumenallor intellectual intuition relating to the substance), and Paryayarthika or Visesa (phenomenal view relating to the modifications of substances). The first three nayas are connected with the former division and the rest with the latter. In the scriptural language these are named the Niscayanaya (real standpoint) and the Vyavharanaya (prartical standpoint). The Tattvarthavartika (1.33) mentions the Drvyastika and the Paryayastika in place of drvyarthika and paryayarthika.

As regards nayabhasa, the Nyaya-Vaisesika systems are called in Naigamabhasa, as they hold the absolute distincition in the characters of a thing. The Sankhya and the Advaita schools are enumerated under the Sangrahabhasa, the Carvaka under the Vyavharnayabhasa, the Buddhist conception of Ksanabhangavada in the Rjusutranayabhasa, the Samabhirudhanayabhasa and so on. 

The theory of Naya in Buddhist literature

Pali literature indicates some of the characteristics of Nayavada, The Buddha mentions ten possible ways of claiming knowledge in the course of addressing the Kalamas. The ten (i) anussavena, (ii) paramparaya, (iii) itikiraya, (iv) pitakasampadaya (v) bhavyarupataya (vi) samano na guru, (vii) takkihetu, (viii) nayahetu, (ix) akaraparivitakkena, and (x) ditthinijjhanakkhantiya.58 Out of these, the eighth way, viz. Nayahetu is more important for our study. Here Naya is a method of statement which leads a meaning to a particular judgment.59 The Jataka says that the wise man draws a particular standpoint.60 In about the same meaning. Naya is used in Jaina philosophy, as we have already seen. This Nayahetu of Buddhism appears to indicate the Jaina influence of Naya, and it would have been made a part of its own in the form of two types of Saccas, viz. Sammutisacca and the Paramatthasacca,61 which are used in about the same sense as Paryayarthikanaya and Dravyarthikanaya or Vyavaharanaya and Niscayanaya. The words Sunaya and Dunnaya are also found in Buddhism used in identical way.62

The Suttanipata indicates that the Sammutisacca was accepted as a common theory of Recluses and the Brahamanas,63 and the Paramatthasacca was treated as the highest goal.64 These two Saccas are characterised as Nitattha (having a a direct meaning) and Neyyattha (having an indirect meaning).65 The Commentary on the Anguttara Nikaya says that there is no third truth (tatiyam n'upalabbhti). Sammuti (conventional statement) is true because of convention and Paramattha is true because of indicating the true characteristics of realties :

Duve saccani akkhasi Sambuddho vadatam varo.

Sammutim paramatthanca tatiyam n' upalabbhati.

Paramatthavavanam saccam dhammanam tathalakkhanam.66

On the other hand, it is also said that there is only one truth, not second (ekam hi saccam na dutiyamatthi).67 This contradictory statement appears to give the impression that even in Buddhism the nature of things is considered through some sort of relativistic standpoint which is similar to the theory of Nayavada of Jainism,

Buddhlsm was aware of the conception of the Nayavada of Jainism, since the Anguttara Nikaya refers to the several Paccekasaccas (individual truths) of the several recluses and Brahmanas. If it is so, the conception of Paccekasacca (Partial truth) of Buddhism is definitely influenced by the Nayavada of Jainism. There is no doubt that Jainism founded this theory earlier than Buddhism. 


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