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Jainism in Buddhist Literature
                                                                By Dr. Hiralal Jain

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JAINA EPISTEMOLOGY

1-Pratyaksa Pramana (Direct Knowledge) 

Logical discussions

Epistemology evolved as a result of logical discussions. Such discussions and debates as the sceptics and sophists engaged in, in ancient Greece, were prevalent in Ancient India. They aimed at defending their own theories while refuting those of their opponents.

The Sutta Nipata, which is supposed to be one of the earliest parts of the Pali Scripture, states that such debates took place among the Sramanas1 and Brahamanas2. Sometimes the Titthiyas (including Ajivikas and Niganthas)3, the so called Vadasilas (habituate in the debate), have also been associated with these debates.4

All these debates are named takki5 or takkika.6 In Pali literature the ten possible ways of claiming knowledge have been criticised by the Buddha in addressing Kalama.7 One of them is called "takka-hetu" which has been explained in the Commentary as "takka-gahena" (addhering to reason)8. This takki-hetu appears to be closely realated to pramana or epistemological or logical ground, which is perhaps used first by Umasvami, Jaina Acarya of about the 1st century A.D.9 The word hetu is also referred to in this sense in the Bhagwati Sutra (336) and the Thanangasutra (309-10).

Such discussions were held for the sake of gaining triumph in arguments or to defend religions. The debaters used the vada, jalpa and vitanda forms which are teh classifications of katha or discussion in the Nyaya tradition. Pali literature also makes similar references to this classification. The Sutta Nipata mentions the vada12, katha13 and vitanda.14 Buddhaghose associates this vitandasattha with the Brahmanas, while the Saddaniti refers to the Titthiyas. It shows the vitanda was utilized at that time by all schools of thought, since the term Titthiya was applied to both the samanas and the Brahamanas.

The discussion through which knowledge is gained about doctrines is called the Vada; that which is only for gaining victory over the opponents is Jalpa; the debate where the quibbles (chala) analogues (jati) and respondent's failures (nigrahasthana) are utilized to vanquish the opponent is called vitanda in Nyaya system and was used to defend their own views by right or wrong means.15

The Buddhist tradition also could not escape being influenced by this practice. The old logical compenda like the Upayahrdaya, Tarkasastra, etc. appear to have allowed the use of quibbles analogues etc. for the specific purpose of protecting the Buddhist order, but Dharmakirti, realising that it was not in keeping with the high standards of truth and non-violence, completely denied their usage in the Vadanyaya. Hence, Dharmakirti refers the qualities of the debater who speaks more or less than necessary. Therefore he acepts only the two Nigrahasthanas, Asadhananga and Adosodbhavana for vadi as well as prativadi.16

The Jainas, on the other hand, lay more stress on truth and non-violence. They think of the Vitanda as Vitandabhasa.17 Akalanka rejects even the Asadhananga and Adosodbhavana in view of the fact that they are themselves the subjects of discussion. He then says: a defendant should himself indicate the real defects in the established theory of a disputant and then set up his own theory.18 Thus he should consider each item from the point of view of truth and non-violence.

The above fact is supported by Pali literature which contains references to the logical discussions of that period. Some adherents of Jainism had also participated in such discussions. Saccaka, Abhaya and Asibandhakaputta Gamini are the main characters who took an active part in them.

Saccaka is described in the Nikayas as one who indulged in debate, a learned, controversialist, who was highly esteemed by the common people.19 He is said to have debated with all the six teachers, including even Mahavira (Nigantha Nataputta), although Saccaka was a staunch follower of Nigantha Nataputta. This may imply that he was a follower of the Parsvanatha tradition. But as Nigantha Nataputta became a Tirthankara of Jainism, Saccaka would have examined him through discussions and then accepted his religion, which was nothing but the refarmation of the Parsvanatha tradition. Saccaka boasts about his dialaectical skillin magniloquent language and speaks to the Licchavis at Vaisali: "To-day there will be a conversation between me and recluse Gautama. If Gautam takes up his stand against me, even as a powerful man, having taken hold of the fleece of a long fleeced ram, might tug it towards him," Further it has been mentioned there that the Buddha had asked a question which could not be replied by Saccaka. And the result was that he became a follower of the Buddha.20

Another reference is recorded in the Abhayrajakumara Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya21 to the effect that Abhayarajakumara was sent by Nigantha Nataputta to ask a question from the Buddha about his speech, as to whether the Tatha. gata utters unpleasant words and is unkind to others.

The statement that "Abhaya was sent by Nigantha Nataputta" is not supported by Jaina literature. Whatever its reason, the fact is evident that the Jainas participated actively in discussions and tried to indicate the defects of others religious utterence made about the future of Devadatta. Abhaya then went to inquire as to how far he was correct in his view. He does not appear to have questioned merely with the idea of imputing faults to his opponent's theory. This seems to be the first and most fundamental principle of Jaina conception of logical discussions of that period. The propositional question put by Abhaya Rajakumara to the Buddha is as follows:

(i) Would the Buddha make statements which are displeasing and unpleasant to others? (bhaseyya nu kho......Tathagato tam vacam ya sa vaca paresam appiya amanapa).

(ii) If so, how is he different from the ordinary individual who also makes statements which are displeasing and unpleasant to others? (atha kincarahi......puthujjanena nakaranam, puthujjano pi hi tam vacam bhaseyya, ya sa vaca paresam appiya amanapa).

(iii) The Buddha would not make statements which are displeasing and unpleasant to others (na Tathagato tam vacam bhasati ya sa vaca paresam appiya):

(iv) Then why has he pronounced about Devadatta that he is doomed to hell......that he is incorrigible (atha kincarahi.....Devadatto byakato: a payiko Devadatto vyakato; apayiko Devadatta atekicco Devadatto)?

Here Abhaya tried to show that the Buddha made a self-contradictory statement. Likewise, Asibandhakaputta Gamani22 a follower of Nigantha Nataputta made the following remarks about the Buddha as he understood him:

(i) The Buddha in various ways speaks showing compassion to people (Bhagava anekapariyayena kulanam anuddayam vanneti).

(ii) The Buddha during a famine......goes about with a large number of disciples and behaves in a way detrimental to the interest of people (Bhagava dubbhikkhe......mahata bhikkusanghena saddhim carikam carati, ucchedaya Bhagava kulanam patipanno).

The questions asked by Abhaya Rajakumara and Asibandhakaputta Gamani are based on such type of framed questions: If he qestioned thus and he answers thus, we shall join issue (vadam) with him thus."23 They are called "dupadam penham or "ubhayatokotikam panham" (dilemmas)24 As a matter of fact, these are the conditional questions, which would have been thought out or taught before embarking on a dispute.

The Jaina attitude to these debates and discussions was that they were meant only to investigate the real defects in opponents theories. There were not allowed to gain a victory through evil means, like quibbling, analogues, power and so on. That is why Vitanda is considered Vitandabhasa in Jainism.25 The Buddha himself appreciates the attitude of such Panditas and agrees with them on other matters.26 He called them Vinnu or intelligent persons who are supposed to be hypothetical rational critics.27 They used to make an impartial and intelligent assessment of the relative worth of conflicting theories.28 On the basis of the above view the later Jaina philosophers established the definition and means of debates. Akalanka is perhaps the first to point out clearly such definitions. He says that if one is capable of establishing his own view (paksa) through right devices, it is Jaya (victory) for him and Parajaya (defeat for the other.29

The Buddhist philosohical literature which developed later, has not mentioned any discussions and refutations of Jaina conception in this connection. This may be due to the fact that both philosophies had similar rules and regulations regarding such dabates, except for a few differences (especially in the case of Nigrahasthanas). 

Evolution of Epistemology

Epistemology and Logic are mainly concerned with the validity of knowledge and have been subjects of controversy among philosophers from time immemorial.

The Buddha classified such thinkers into three groups in a Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya. It is said there that a Brahmana student went to ask the Buddha "in which category he stands". The Buddha replied "there are some recluses and Brahamanas who profess their doctrines after finding a final and ultimate insight (ditthadhammabhin navosonaparamippatta) into this life. "where does the venerable Gorama stand among them?" The Buddha replied "I say that there is a distinction among those who profess their doctrines after finding a final and ultimate insight in this life. There are some recluses and Brahmanas who are traditionalists (anussavika), who profess their doctrines after finding a final and ultimate insight in this life, such as the Brahmanas of the three Vedas (tevijja). There are also some recluses and Brahamanas who profess their doctrines after finding a final and ultimate insight in this life on mere faith alone (kevalam saddha mattakena) such as the reasoners (takki) and metaphysicians (vimamsi, lit. speculators). There are some other recluses and Brahmanas who profess their dogmas after finding a final and ultimate insight in this life by assimilating a higher knowledge (ditthadhammabhinnavosanaparamippatta) personally (samam Yeva) of a doctrine (dhamam) among doctrines not traditionally heard of before. Now I am one of those who profess the basis of their doctrines after finding a final and ultimate insight in this life by gaining a higher knowledge personally of a doctrine among doctrines not traditionally heard of before"30.

This reference seeks to classify the pre-Buddhist and contemporary thinkers into three groups: (i) the Traditionalists (anussavika), who obtained knowledge on the basis of their scripture and interpreted it according to them. The Brahmanas or the followers of the Vedas are enumerated in this group. (ii) The Rationalists or Reasoners (takki) who gained knowledge through reasons. Sceptics, and Materialists come under this group, and (iii) Experientialists, who attained higher knowledge on the basis of personal experience (Samam Yeva). Jainas, Buddhists, and Ajivikas would fall into this category.

Like the Buddha, Nigantha Nataputta is said to have professed his doctrines after finding a final and ultimate insight by gaining a higher knowledge personally, not traditionally heard of before. That is why he emphasised more on knowledge rather than belief. (Saddhaya kho Gahapati jnanam yeva panitataram).31 It is reported that he claimed to have perfect knowledge (sabbannu) and vision (sabbadassabi). This insight can be obtained after attaining Right Vision (Samyagdarsana), Right-Knowledge (Samyagjnana), and Right Conduct (Samyagcaritra).32 Right view in the seven principles (Jiva or soul, Ajiva or matter, Asrava or inflow of karmas, Bandha or bondage of karmas, Samvara or checking of karmas, Nirjara or shedding of karmas, and Moksa or complete liberation from karmas) is the Samyagdarsana, which is the basis of Right knowledge (Samyagjnana). Purification of the attitude is regarded as the sine qua non of the purification of knowledge and conduct. While Darsanamoha (delusion of vision) destroys, immediately after Right Vision and Right Knowledge emerge. Then through Right Conduct one can attain the Perfect knowledge, the so-called Kevalajnana or Sarvajnatva in Jainism.33 

Knowledge and Vision (Jnana and Darsana)

In Jainism, knowledge and vision or jnana and darsana or omniscience are the result of penance (tapa) and contemplation (dhyana).33 That is why Nataputta is called Jnanavadin in the Anguttara Nikaya (aham anantena nanena anantam lokam janam passam viharami).34

According to Jaina literature, Jnana or cetana (consciousness) also called Upayoga, is the main characteristic of soul in Jainology.35 This upayoga is of two kinds, viz. sakara (determinate) and anakara (indeterminate). The former is called janana, while the latter is darsana. Sakara upayoga consists of five classes of knowledge, viz. Matjjnana (sensitive knowledge), Srutajnana (scriptural knowledge), Avadhi jnana (visual knowledge), Manahparyaya jnana (mental knowledge) and Kevalajnana (perfect knowledge). Anakara upayoga is divided into four classes, viz. Caksudarsanavarana (non-obscuring), Acaksudarsanavarana (non-ocular-obscuring), Avadhidarsanavarana (visual-obscuring), and the Kevaladarsanavarana (perfect-conation-obscuring). Consciousness develops into the two forms, knowledge and vision (jnanakara and Jneyakara).36 We can say that jnana is determinate knowledge (sakara jnana) and darsana is indeterminate knowledge (anakara jnana). This is the distinction between jnana and darsana. According to the Prajnapana Sutra also both upayoga and pasyatta can be sakara as well as anakara.

Acarya Kundakunda mentions the view of his predecessors that vision reveals the self (ditthi appapayasayaceva). Hence, he considers the problem from the empirical as well as the transcendental standpoint37 and concludes that the soul and its knowledge and vision are identical and hence each can reveal the self as well as non-self.

Virasena considers reality as a complex of universal-cum-particular and says in his commentary called Dhavala on the satkhandagama of Puspadanta that jnana comprehends external meaning of the nature of reality, while darsana is the comprehension of the true form of that nature.39 That means jnana reveals the external reality while darsana intuits its internal characteristics. Siddhasena Divakara defines vision (darsana) as an apprehension of samanya and knowledge (jnana) as an apprehension of visesa jam samannaggahanam damsanameyam visesiyam nanam).40 By this time the defination of darsana had been developed to mean the apprehension of samanya of an entity.

It is clear that vision or darsana was originally considered to be the revealer of self (atma-prakasaka). That is the reason why matijnana, srutajnana and the avadhijnana, which reveal external nature of reality, can be wrong if they are viewed from the wrong angle, whereas caksudarsana, acaksudarsana and avadhidarsana, which come prior to them, are not so. If Visesa (particular) had been considered as having a meaning of general observation of an entity, the Samsaya (doubt), viparayaya (perversion), and the anadhyavasaya (indecision) would have existed in its perception made earlier, and darsana would have been divided, like janan, into darsana-adarsana etc. This defect would not arise if we define vision as a revealer of self. For, it always exists prior to, as well as at the time of knowledge.41

This idea was expressed in logical terms by Pujyapada Devanandi in his Sarvartha Siddhi.42 No endeavours had been made upto that time to consider darsana as a valid standard of knowledge (pramana). Whether it should be regarded as pramana or not was the main problem for the logicians. Abhayadeva Suri, a commentator on the Sanmati Tarka, expressed his view that Darsana, like Jnana, could be pramana (valid)43 while Manikyanandi and Vadideva Suri45 considered it as a Pramanabhasa (falsely valid). It may be that Nirvikalpaka darsana of Buddhism and not Darsana of Jainism was in their minds when darsana was declared a pramanabhasa.

Pali literature makes reference to the fact that Nataputta possessed "infinite knowledge and vision". The Jaina Agamas46 confirm the ancient view and say janadi passadi and "Janamane pasamane". This indicates that the activities of both, knowledge and vision in an object can take place together and reveal its knowledge and vision simultaneously.

In the later period, some of the Svetambara Acaryas tried to explain this original idealogy in a different way. They said that Jnana and darsana were conscious activities, and the two conscious activities could not occur simultaneously. But there is a controversy among them with regard to the case of one who is omniscient (Kevalin). Some stick to the Agamas, while others do not and assert either that a Kevalin's Jnana and darsana are simultaneous or that they are mutually identical and have no separate identity. Siddhasena Divakara and Jinabhadra are the exponents of these views.47

On the other hand, the Digambara Acaryas unanimously hold that the jnana and darsana of a kevalin occur simultaneously Kundakunda, a great Digambara Acarya states that jnana and darsana of a kevalin occur simultaneously even as the light and heat of the sun occur simultaneously.48 Umasvami49 and his follower Pujyapada Akalanka51, Vidyananda52 ete. also support this view.

Later, for the first time in the Jaina logical tradition it is analysed that knowledge and vision of an entity reveal its knowledge and vision simultaneously. A further explanation is given that an entity has two forms, viz. Universal and Particular. The former is the subject of vision and the latter of knowledge. Here knowledge and vision become separate. That is why perhaps Abhayadeva Suri accepted both as valid.

Another point may be noted here. The etymology of Pramana (pramiyate yena tatpramanm) points out that jnana is the more important cause of right knowledge (pramana) since it is an attribute of soul. Sannikarsa (contact of an organ of senses with its effect) and sense-organs cannot be pramana.53 Akalanka made a great coutribution towards the development of the definition of pramana. He maintains non-discrepancy (avisamvadin) as a test of pramana which adds one more characteristic, namely, tht of anadhigatarthagrahi (knowledge which is not cognised).54 Akalanka, therefore, recognised only the validity of knowledge which is determinative (nirnayatmaka), non-discrepancy (avisamvadin) and useful in samvyavahara (empirical stand-point). In this way, the savikalpakajnana (conceptual knowledge), not the nirvikalpakajnana (non-conceptual knowledge) is considered as perception. The concept that nirvikalapaka jnana could be regarded as perception is successfully refuted by Santaraksit in the Tattvasangraha

Classification of Knowledge

Jainism classifies Knowledge in two wavs: (i) Canonical (Agamika), and (ii) Philosophical Darsanika. The five kinds of knowledge such as mati, sruta, avadhi, manahparyaya and kevalajnana are based on the former, while pratyaksa (direct knowledge) and paroksa (indirect knowledge) are developments of the latter. The Pratyaksa is defined as knowledge obtained by self without the assistance of an external instrument.55

It is only to the Jainas that "aksa" means "Soul."56 Thus Pratyaksa in Jaina Agamika tradition does not mean empirical perception, i.e. Knowledge obtained through sense organs. According to this definition the Avadhijnana (visual knowledge), Manahparayaya jnana (intuition of mental knowledge) and Kevaljnana (pure and perfect knowledge) are comprised Pretyaksa, and Matijnana (sensuous knowledge) and Srutajnana (scriptural Knowledge) in Paroksa.57

The Jaina definition of pratyaksa was quite different from those of other philosophical systems. According to the latter, pratyaksa is aknowledge gained through sense organs. It created a serious difficult for Jaina philosophers. The rivals began to question their standpoint. Having examined the arguments, the later Jaina philosophers accepted pratyaksa as the knowledge produced by the sense-organs also. Jinabhadra and Akalanka designated it as samvyavaharika pratyaksa (empirical perception), while the real pratyaksa of agamika tradition was called paramarthika pratyaksa (transcendental perception).58 Indriyapratyaksa and manasapratyaksa accepted by the Naiyayikas and Vaisesikas are included in the first category. Thus matijnana, which was put under paroksa in the Agamika tradition, came under the category of pratyaksa in philpsophical tradition. Likewise smrti, sanjna, Cinta and abhnibodha, which were synonymous with mati in the Agamic tradition59 are synonymous with smarana, pratyabhjnana, tarka, and anumana in the philosophical tradition. Therefore paroksa pramana, are five including sruta (agama). 

Pratyaksa Pramana or (direct knowledge)

As we have already observed Pratyaksa in Jainism is accepted as self-cognition. Umasvami60 presented this definition in the Tattvarthasutra. Samantabhadra.61 defined it as knowledge which is of self-revealing charactar. Siddhasena Divakara in his Pramana Mimamsa added to it one more characteristic, namely, "Badhavarjit" (admitting of no contradiction).

Akalanka developed the theory further by adding avisamvadi (non-discrepancy) and andhigatarthagrahi (knowledge of object which is not yet cognised) as characteristics of the validity of knowledge.62 This definition could remove several inner contradictions of the earlier definitions.

There are four sub-divisions of matijnana, viz avagraha (perception), iha (speculation), avaya (perceptual judgment) and dharana (retention)63.

They are dependent of their pre-knowlede, but the emerge from sense-organs and acknowledge the modes of a particular object. It is, therefore, considered Samvyavaharika pratyaksa.64

  Except Carvaka, all other systems65 have classified Janyapartyaksa (generated perception) as (i) Laukika (Empirical) and (2) Alaukika (transcendental). The nature of these perceptions is the same as the nature of Samvyavaharika and Parmarthika Pratyaksa of Jainas. Yogipratyaksa or Yogi-jnana of the Sankhya-Yogas,66 Nyaya-vaisesikas67, and the Buddhists68, Atmajnana of the Mimamsakas69, are synonymous with Transcendental perception (Parmarthika or Alaukika Pratyaksa which is the special competence of the soul visistatma sakti). According to Santaraksita in the Taitvasangraha, the Jainas70 called this knowledge name Yagi-pratyaksa or Yog-aja-pratyaksa.

The philosophers are not agreed on the question whether transcendental perception is determinate (Savikalpaka) or indeterminate (nirvikalpaka) or both determinate and indeterminate (ubhaya). The Buddhist tradition71 regards it as being only indeterminate, (Kalpanapodham), while the Nyaya Vaisesikas and Mimamsakas72 are of the view that it can be either determinate or indeterminata.

The Jainas, on the other hand, like the Sankhyas, think that determinate (savikal paka) is the only real perception73. Santaraksita74 refuted this idea. He referred to the view of Sumati who considered the Aksaja pratyaksa (sensory perception) as Samvyavaharika praiyaksa and Yogi pratyaksa (intuitive perception) as Parmarthika pratyaksa. He also added that according to the Jainas the determinate perception (savikalpaka pratyaksa) is the real perception.75 

Savikalpaka pratyaksa or determinate perception

Knowledge (Jnana) and vision. (Darsana), the two main characteristics of the soul which we had already discussed, are also called Darsanopayoga (indeterminate cognition) and Jnanopayoga (determinate cognition).76 The former is called the Nirvikalpaka while the latter is called Savikalpaka.77

Te Agamika tradition accepts both Savikalpaka and Nirvikalpaka as valid due to spiritual considerations. According to the real standpoint in this tradition, a man obtains Right knowledge, is right in his cognition and a man who holds a wrong view (mithyadrsti), is wrong in his cognition, while from a practical standpoint both views are right. Therefore in the Agamika tradition, both Savikalpaka and Nirvikalpaka are valid from relative stand-points. Acarya Umasvami divided cognitions into right and wrong ones. The Avadhidarsana, and Kevaldarsana are indeterminate transcendental perception, while Avadhijnana, Manahparyayajnana and Kevalajnana are determinate (transcedental perception).78

However, in the logical tradition the validity of pramana has been changed. To refute the opponents views, specially those of the buddhists, the Jaina Acaryas used in their respective definitions of pramana some words like nirnaya (detrmination) or jnana with a view to indicate that darsana or determinate cognition, which stands for cognition of the general (samanya-upayoga) falls outside the purview of these definitions.79

It may be noted here that the Buddhist philosophy accepts only the nirvikalpaka pratyaksa or indeterminate perception as valid knowledge. As regards the definiton of perception there are two Buddhist traditions, one is headed by Dinnaga who does not accept non-illusory (abhranta) nature of perception, and the otber headed by Dharmakirti who does so. Santraksita and his followers support the latter stating that Sense-perception is free from conceptual contents and hence not erroneous.80 We see a thing first; then realise its name. Thus the determinate knowledge (savikalpaka jnana) depends on indeterminate knowledge (nirvikalpaka Jnana) and, therefore, only indeterminate knowledge is perception.81

In connection with establishing his own view Santaraksita refuted the view of Acarya Sumati. According to Sumati, both nirvikalpaka and savikalpaka pratyaksa should be recognised as valid as the first reflects the general form of a thing or, in other words, its existence as an indefinite thing, while the second (savikalpaka) reflects the special characteristic of an entity thus perceived.82

This theory appears to be in conformity with the Jaina Agamika tradition, but not with the Logical point of view. Abhayadeva, the commentator of the Sanmatitarka also took up the same position83. As we have already seen, the process of general perception commencing from avagraha (mere apprehension) and ending with Dharana (retention) passes from the indeterminate (nirvikalpaka) state of knowledge to determinate (savikalpaka).84

Kamalasila has explained the view of Sumati that a thing is amenable to non-conceptual perception in the form of mere observation, or purely sub jective ideation.85 But the Jaina philosophy does not accept it. Jainism asserts that a thing is perceived by Darsan or cognition, not by Alocana or observation,86 The visesavasyakabhasya criticises the view, viz. "kei dihaloyanapubbaamoggaham venti" which means a thing can be apprehended by a purely subjective ideation. In his commentatery Hemacandra Maladharideva referred to a karika by Kumarila "asti alocana jnanam prathamam nirvikalpakam" It is possible that the commentator thought this view was that of Kumarila and it is also probable that kamalsila misunderstood the view of Sumati.

Kumarila, a Mimamsaka philosopher, asserted two kinds of sense-perception. According to him, non-conceptual perception is purely subjective ideation as apprehending the "specific individuality of the particular (alocana jnanam nirvikalpakam vyaktisvalaksanam), and the conceptual perception (savikalpaka pratyaksa) is the apprehension of the universal (samanyavisayam tu savikalpakam).87

Acarya Sumati does not agree with this definition. He question: is the thing before the eyes of the observer apprehended purely by itself, as characterised by its own form which is impossible anywhere else ? or is it not so apprehended ? If kumarila answers: there is non-apprehension of the thing in a form distinguished from other things, then Sumati states that in this position either there would be apprehension of the thing itself only, or there would be no perception of the thing at all. He illustrated his theory by reference to the perception of a Jar. The Jar should be either apprehended without having the form of others or it should not be apprehended. There could be no escape from these alternatives89.

Kumarila's view is based on the definition of perception given in the Jaiminiyasutra90. It is refuted by all non-Mimamsaka philosophers, Vedic91 as well as Buddhist92 and Sumati appears to be the first Jaina Acarya to join them in refuting this view.

Having criticised the view of Kumarila, Sumati proceeds to criticise the view of Buddhist Acaryas, especially, that of Santaraksita. As we have seen, Santarksita, a follower of Dharmakirit, defines perception as knowledge free from conceptual contents and not erroneous.93 He tires to prove his theory by means of inference and establishes that the nirvikalpaka pratyaksa (indeterminte preception) is the only real perception. Santaraksita further clarifies his own view by citing examples. He says: in case a thing has no particular form, it cannot be accepted as a particular thing. For instance, the white house owing to different charactristics cannot be mistaken for a cow. It is the same case with the perception.94

Here in this definition the kalpana is the main figure which has been defined in various ways by Buddhist Philosophers. Santaraksita defined it as visistavisayavabodhah (knowledge of qualified object.) Sumati is said to be against this view. He argues that a thing cannot be qualified without having a eonnection-with the qualifications, as in the case of a stick (danda) and the stick-holder (dandin). Hence the cognition which apprehends the qualifications (visesata) is conceptual (savikalpaka).95 He again draws our attention to this defect of self-contradiction in this theory pointing out that if there is always the apprehension of the things as distinguished from homogeneous (sajatiya) and heterogeneous (vijatiya) things, then the apprehension would becom determinate (savikalpaka) for it can be conveyed "this is different". Otherwise how does it apprehend the difference between things.96

Sumati pointed out another defect in the Buddhist theory. He asserts that there is no particular (vises a) without a touch of the universal (Samanya). It cannot be argued in his opinion that the universal or "being" is not touched at all by the sense-perception at the time of apprehension, because in this position the particular would be devoid of existence and thus it could become characterless; and as such could not be apprehended by sense-perception, because it would be devoid of "being" and become like the sky-flower (akasakusuma).97 Thus Sumati is of the view that the particular is perceived with the character of the universal.

All Jaina logicians have tried to refute the Buddhist theory of sense-perception following in the footsteps of Sumati. Akalanka is the main figure to raise the question in this respect. Adding the adjectives anadhigatarthagrahin, arisamvadin, and visada to the existing definition of perception98 he established that the Nirvikalpaka pratyksa gets transormed into the savikalpaka is the pramana.99 Later on most of the Jaina logicians such as Acarya prabhacandra,100 Anantavirya,101 Vadiraja, Vidyananda,102 imitated him and elaborated his ideas to refute the opponent's views.102 

Refutation of the Jaina conception of savikalpaka

Pratyaksa by Santraksita

The Jaina conception of Savikalpaka Pratyaksa has been refuted by the Buddhist philosophers. Santaraksita, even having defined perception as lucid knowledge without reflection (kalpana) criticised the view of Sumati on the ground that an entity does not have any particualr qualities by which it can be differentiated at the moment of apprehension. He thus sought to assert that there is no particular thing at all. But the particular characteristic of a thing is implicit in his classification of the universal (Samanya) into two types, viz. (i) distinguished by qualifications, and (ii) not distinguished by qualifications. The first is Nirvikalpaka, and next is Savikalpaka pratyksa (conceptual-preception). The former is the real pratyaksa while the latter is practical.

On this basis, Santaraksita presents two arguments to refute Sumati's theory. The first is that an entity does not possess any characters by which it can be differentiated. We see a thing first and then realise it as a pot or any particular thing. When the thing is apprehended, the nagation of all other things comes forth naturally. Hence, the non-conceptual perception (nirvikalpaka pratyaksa) in the specific form of colour, shape, etc. appears and then there follows the conceptual content (vikalpatmaka jnana) associated with the words it is different.103

Here the words do not lead to cognition. The reason behind this is that the specific individuality (svalaksanavastutva) itself is independent of the words. The perception generated by them also should be deprived of the words. The words do not have any relation with the meaning. In the absence of words a thing exists, and in the absence of a thing we use the words, which are dependent on gestures and intentions. There is, therefore, no possibility of words in the Nirvikalpaka pratyaksa. The second argument which Santaraksita puts forth is that in particular thing there should be no other characteristics except that of the "Particular".104

Thus, whatever cognition appears with regard to the "specific individuality" of things it beyond the range of words and is hence non-conceptual perception. In his opinion, the lucidity and determination in the savikalpaka pratyksa is not its own characteristic, but it really comes from nirvikalpaka pratpaksa. After a moment of nirvikalpaka pratyksa, the sarikalpaka pratyaksa is generated and the ascertainment and lucidity of a thing which comes from nirvikalpaka prataksa appears to be of savikalpaka pratyaksa. In this manner savikalpaka pratyaksa also determinates a thing and is called perception from a practical viewpoint (vyavahara), but the real perception is only the non-conceptual (nirvikalpaka) perception.

In the above criticism Santaraksita's Main arguments are that the nirvikalpaka pratyaksa is the real pratyaksa and a thing cannot be both universal and particular. Both these arguments are met by the later Jaina Acaryas. They say that the nirvikalpaka jnana of the Buddhists is the formless perception which is not capable of determinating the nature of a thing. Therofore, it is determinate (Sakara) and lucid (visada), and could be accepted as a pramana.

It appears that to refute the validity of the Veda, the Buddhist philosophers denied the real relation between the words and their meanings. All sorts of knowledge gernerated in connection with words which are not supported by the nirvikalpaka, are declared to be invalid. As a matter of fact Buddhism also acccepts Savikalpaka Pratyaksa. In the Vibhanga.105 Knowledge (jnana) is divided into two types Cognitative (Savitakka) and Non-cognitative (Avitakka). Both these types are similar to Savikalpaka and Nirvikalpaka Pratyksa

The object of perception

We have mentioned earlier that the pratyksa is of two kinds, viz. Samvyavaharika (knowledge obtained through the senses and mind) and Parmarthika pratyaksa (knowledge obtained by the sould itself, without the help of the senses and the mind). The object of perception is realted to both types of perception.

The validity of Pramana in Jain philosophy is based on the nature of things, It asserts that a reality is a multitude of atoms and possesses a characteristic of being substance-cum-mode (dravyaparyayatmakam). The permanence-in-change is its common nature, Out of six substances the jiva, dharma, adharma, akasa, and Kala are said to be perceived only by the omniscient who has the parmarthik pratyaksa while the mundane souls perceive the objects of inference, not of sense-generated perception. The rest pudgala dravya is a subject to be perceived by mundane souls through sense-generated perception (indriyajanya pratyaksa).

Jainism is absolutely realistic in nature. Each atom or reality, in its conception is quite indestructible and independent and always changes into different modes. This system is both natural and eternal. The whole universe continues in this way. There is no need to postulate a creator-god to explain the origin and evolution of the universe.

In connection with the examination of the external world, Santaraksita refers to the view of Sumati, He says the atoms have two qualities, General (Samanya) and Particular (Visesa.) The objects perceived by sense-organs possess the general character. These objects are conglomerations of atoms which appear as an entity with a shape and size. The true quality of atoms is known only by the emancipated one who attained the paramarthika Pratyaksa or Yogipratyaksa.106

This conception is made more clear in the Syadvadamanjari. It is said that atoms which are co-related generate paryayas. They have infinite and continuous changes which depend on the types of contact or relation with others. For instance, when the atoms of the soil come into contact with each other, they become compact and with their becoming compact produce a pot. This process does not come about due to external pressure but is the result of an internal connection with each other. Therefore Jaina philosophy does not assert the extra avayavidravyas.

As regards the existence of atoms, we have both, Pratyaksa and Anumana. We see the atoms in the form of a pot (ghata). The atoms, that cannot be perceived by ordinary men due to their minuteness, are perceived by the Yogins. By inference also the Jainas try to prove the existence of atoms. The body itself is a mass of atoms wherein they get combined by such forces as time and cause the gross body107.

This conception of object of perception has been a subject of criticism, especially with the Buddhist logicians. The Vijnanavada, an extreme form of idealism which is propounded by the Sautrantika and Yogacara schools, asserts that there is no causal (yadakaram jnanm) world of external (reality. In its opinion reality is only the Vijnana (idea).

Thus the Vijnanavada denies the external world by denying the atoms. It says that the heap of atoms or a single body cannot be said to be in the external world. Both the Pratyaksa and Anumana are unable to prove their existence because ordinary mortals have never seen atoms even in a dream. As regards the Pratyaksa of Yogi, it demands great faith. The Anumana also is not helpful in this respect; Because for want of pratyaksa of atoms now can we get at the hetu (reason) and the sadhya (to be proved). Nor does the external world consist of bodies. When the atom itself could not be proved, how can we hope to prove a body which consists of many atoms. It is thus nothing but only a superstition caused by a hypothesis of vasana due to avidya or ignorance.108

Acarya Santaraksita also denies the existence of atoms. He refutes the view of Sumati stating that one object cannot have two qualities. Otherwise the object also will be consideed as two. Another argument is raised that if the two qualities are not defferent from each other, why do you say that the special quality of the atoms is perceived by the emancipated only ?109 By denying the existence of two qualities in one object, Santaraksita tries to refute the view of Sumati.

The above criticism is based on the Vijnanavada, which asserts that there is no existence of the external world. We see it only on account of the hypothesis of vasana. This criticism is answered by Jaina philosophers in latter works. Hemachandra tries to reply that the existence of the world cannot be refused, since knowledge is the action (kriya) in which the object is supposed to be directed. Without the external object there can be no perception. Therefore, Jainism admits the existence of both, the atoms and the body (avayavi).

As regards the criticism that the atoms of the body would be conflicting with one another, Jaina philosophy admits this fact, but it tries to solve this problem through Anekantavada. As Hemachandra says, `criticism' of atoms, therefore, cannot affect those who believe in Syadvada,110 according to which a body is one and yet manifold. 

Paramarthika Pratyaksa (Trancsendental Perception)

The Paramarthika Pratyaksa is the outcome of the destruction of Jnanavaranakarma (knowledge obscuring karama). It springs forth from the purified soul itself without the assistance of sense-organs or any other external internal instruments. That is the reason why it is called the perfect lucid perception (visada pratyaksa). It is of two kinds: Sakala pratyaksa (complete direct knowledge) Kevalajnana (perfect knowledge or omniscience) comes under the former, and the Avadhijnana (visual knowledge), Manahparyayajnana (mental knowledge) under the latter.

Avadhi Jnana, as its name indicates, is limited by dravya (substance), Ksetra (place) Kala (time) and bhava (emotion). It is of three kinds--desavadhi (partial visual knowledge), paramavadhi (high visual knowledge), and sarvavadhi (full visual knowledge). Viewed from another aspect it is divided into Bhavapratyaya (birth-born visual knowledge) and gunapratyaya (acquired by merit). The former is possessed by those in heaven and hell by birth,111 while the latter can be secured by human beings as well as five-sensed sub-human beings after destruction-cum-subsidence of the relevant karmic veil (Ksayopasama-nimitta).112 Only the forms having shapes (rupin) can be known by avadhijnana.113 The formless, such as soul (jiva), dharma (principle of motion), adharma (principle of rest). akasa (space), and Kala (time) are not within its scope of perception. It can penet rate infinite, number of cycles, both past and furure.

Manahparyaya jnana reveals the thoughts of human beings. It is of two kinds, viz. rjumati (simple direct or mental knowledge) and vipulamati (complex direct or mental knowledge). Umasvami distinguishes them on the ground that the latter is purer and everlasting, while the former has less purity and infallibility.114 Pujyapada,115 and Akalanka116 support his view. But Jinabhadra is of somewhat different view viz. that manahparyaya jnana knows the states of mind directly by intuition, but the external objects thought of by the mind can be inferred.117 Later Acaryas followed both these views.

Umasvami makes a distinction between avadhi and manahparyaya. He says that (i) the former is less pure than the latter, (ii) the former can extend to the whole universe, while the latter is limited to the centre of the middle world. (iii) The first can be secured by all beings possessed of mind; while the other only by saints bhaving supernatural powers, and (iv) the subject matter of the first is gross, while that of the latter is very subtle. But Siddhasena Divakara does not recognise any distinction between avadhi and manahparyaya, since "subhuman organisms possessed of two or more sense-organs are also found to strive by means of attraction and repulsion, and thus are possessed of minds and as such it will be proper to extend the scope of manahparyaya to the minds or the objects of the minds of them as well, or otherwise it will be improper to postulate manahparyay as a separate category of knowledge.118 It can however, be considered a specific type of Avadhijnana.

Kevalajnana is perfect knowledge of all substance and their modifications. It is generated after complete destruction of the veil of the Mohaniya karma (delusing) which is the most powerful in the Karmic mater. Hence the soul comes to perceive all things past, present and future. When a person achieves perfect knowledge, he is called Omniscient.

According to Jainism, no one can be a teacher (Tirthankara) without being omniscient. This perfect knowledge can be obtained by the purified soul which has consiousness (cetana or upayoga) as its sole characteristic.119 The term Upayoga is used to denote the darsana the jnana which are the main features of the soul. Darsana is perception and jnana is knowledge.120 Soul, its knowledge, and its intution all these are identical and hence each can reveal the self as well as nonself.121 Akalanka is of the view that when the soul cognises the object, it is called Jnana; and when the soul perceives itself, it is called Darsana.122

It is apparent now that at the destruction of Jnanavarana, Darsanavarana; Mohaniya, and Antaraya, the soul obtains inner illumination and becomes omniscient.

According to Jaina philosophy, each and every entity is somehow related to all other entities in the univers. Such relations are called modes or paryayas of the entity. If one knows an entity completely, these modes will also be known completely. That is why it is said that one who knows one, knows all, and one who knows all, knows one. In the Pravacanasara, Kunda-kunda saya: One who does not know simultaneously the realities of past, present and future, and the three worlds, cannot know even a single object with its fnfinite modifications, if one does not know all objects, how will he be able to know one ? For instance, if one is inclined to have a knowledge of ghata, he should have knowledge of its intrinsic nature as well as ghata itself, since knowledge reveals all the objects. As the soul has infinite capacity to know all the objects, when one attains such power, he has to know all the objects.124 severe penance with Right vision, Right knowledge, and Right conduct is required to attain such purified stage of soul.

The early Pali Canon as well as the latter Buddhist philosophical literature criticised the view of Jainas that their Tirthankaras were omniscient. In the Majjhima Nikaya the Buddha says to Sandka Paribrajaka that "Some teacher, all-knowing (sabbanna), all seeing (sabbadassavi) claims all-embracing knowlledge and vision (apariseam nanadassanam), Saying whether I am walking or standing still or sleep or awake, knowledge and vision are constanly and perpetually (satatam samitam) before me." Further the Buddha says, "he enters an empty place, and he does not receive alms and a dog bites him, and he encounters a fierce elephant, and he encounters a fierce horse, and he encounters a fierce bullock, and he asks a woman and man their name and clan, and he asks the name of a village or market town and the way". So if any one asks him why he need question in this manner if he is omniscient, then he replies this: "I had to enter an empty place, therefore I entered.125"

At another place the buddha says to Mahanama that he had seen the Niganthas performing severe penance at rajagaha on the Isigili kalasila. He then asked them "why do you people do so ? They replied that the Nigantha Nataputta was omniscient and he had said that by severe penance all past deeds would be destroyed and the new deeds would be prevented. In this way, they would attain salvation. then the Buddha asked them "Do all of you know the past and the future of yourselves and your deeds. He went on to say "You do not know whether you did an evil deed like this or that. You do not know the getting rid of unskilled states of mind, the uprising of skilled states." Getting the reply "no" from them the Budha remarked "these beings, revered Niganthas, do those who are born again among men in the world, and are wrathful (luddha), blood handed (lohitapanino), dealing in cruelty (kururakammanta) do these go forth among the Naganthas."126 Likewise Udayi Paribrajaka says to Gotama the all-knowing omniscient (Nigantha Nataputta), on being asked a question by me concering the past, shelved the question by asking another, answered off the point and evinced temper and ill-will and sulkiness, (purimani, bhante, divasani purimatarani, sabbnnu sabbadassavi......so maya pubbantam arabbha panham puttho samano annenannam paticari, bahirddah katham apanamesi, kopam ca dosam ca appaccayam ca patvakasi).127

The Dhammapada Atthakatha presents a very interesting story regarding the dialogues that took place between Sirigutta and Garahadinna, the followers of the Buddha and the Nigantha Nataputta respectively. Garahadinna, a follower of the Nigantha Nataputta said to Sirigutta that the Niganthas are omniscient; they know the past, present and future. Afterwards, Sirigutta, a follower of the Buddha decided to try the boastful claim of the naked ascetics (Niganthas). He got a ditch dug between two houses and had it covered. Niganthas were then invited to alms. When the Niganthas came, they fell into the pit and their bodies were covered with mud and filth. Then it is said that he had beaten them with sticks and brought humiliation upon them. After a similar trial he proved that Buddhist monks were omniscient.128 It may be noted here that all the Niganthas are not said to be omniscient, but only a very few who could attain the perfect knowledge after performing the required duties. This story, however, refers to the Jaina tradition that its Tirthankaras and some prominent monks were omniscient.129

Likewise, later Buddhist philosophical literature also referred critically to the Jaina conception of omniscience or Kevalajnana. Dharmakirti, in the course of establishing the "Dharmajnatva" in the Buddha, points out the superfluity of Jaina view of omniscience and says that the anusthanagatajnana (a knowledge that has a bearing on life or practice is more importast, than having a knowledge of the number of bacteria (kitasankhya), which is of no use at all for human beings. The real tattvadrasta (knower of scripture) in the opinion of Dharmakirti is one who knows what is to be abandoned and what is to be accepted and not everything. It is immaterial whether one knows everything or not, but what matters is whether he knows the essentaial thing, that is what he ought to know. If the mere range of knowledge was valuable in itself, without its bearing on life, why not worship vultures who soar in to the atmosphere and thereby get a long range of sight.130 Thus he asserts the view that a absolute purity in life and not unlimited knowledge is the essential characteristic of a Teacher.

Prajnakaragupta, the commentater of Dharmakirti also supports Dharmakirti's view, but he goes one step further and establishes the omniscience of the Buddha. He also says that it can be attained by any spiritual aspirant, who masters the art of subduing passions.131

Thus it is only for the sake of argument that this conception of omniscience had been recorded in the Pali Canon as well as in later Buddhist philosophical literature, since no Jain view regarding this problem is correctly and completely mentioned. It was therefore not possible to give an accurate picture of the Jaina theory of omniscience. This much, however, we can say that the conception of omniscience in Jaina Tirthankaras is not a new one. It might belong to Parsvanatha or the period prior to that tradition, since the Niganthas, who the Buddha saw performing severe penance on Risigiri Kalasila at Rajagaha would be the followers of Parsvanatha or an earlier tradition.

The whole Jaina literature seeks to establish the fact that Jaina Tirthankaras are omniscient, while denying the omniscience of any other. The Bhagavati Sutra (9.32) says that the Nirgranthas who belonged to the Parsvanatha tradition did not accept the Nigantha Nataputta as a porphet or head of a Jaina sect unless it was proved that he was all-knowing and all-seeing.132

Later * caryas such as Kundakunda, Samantabhadra, Akalanka, Vidyananda try to establish omniscience on the basis of inference. We have already mentioned Kundakunda argument in this connection. Then Samantabhadra says that there are three kinds of entities, viz. the subtle (suhsma), proximate (antarita), and remote (duravarti). They must be perceived simulataneously by somebody, since all objects are to be perceived. Hence there must be some one omniscient.134

Virasena presents another argument in support of omniscience. He says that Kevalajnana (omniscience) is innate in the soul. Due to destruction-cum-subsidence of karmas, it functions as matijnana. The self-cognised mati implies the fractional kevala jnana, just as the observation of a part of a mountain leads us to the perception of the mountain itself.135

The Jaina philosophers did not emphasise Dharma jnatva like Dharmakirti or early Buddhist tradition, but they endeavoured to point out that a person is omniscient when he is both Dharmajna as well as Sarvajna, because Dharma jnatva depends on sarvajnatva.

Akalanka presents another argument which is also referred to by Dharmottara, a Buddhist philosopher in the Dharmottara-pradipa.136 His argument is that if we deny supersensorial knowledge, how can astrological divinations be made ? Hence, it must be accepted that there is a faculty of super-sensorial knowledge which is nothing but Kevalajnana or omniscience.137

After the destruction of the evil of karmic bondage one can attain the inherent capacity of his own soul, and perceive all things.138 They very progressive gradation of knowledge implies the highest magnitude of knowledge attained by man. If one has no capacity to know or perceie all things at once he will not be able to do so even by means of the Veda.139 Hence we have to accept that one can become omnisceint. Impossibility of omniscience cannot be established unless one has knowledge of persons of all times. Consequently, one who rejects omniscience for all times must himself be omui scient.140 Presenting the positive arguments in this way, Akalanka relies on the negative arguments that there is no contradictory pramana141 to reject the established omniscience and therefore it is certain. He then substantiates this argument by examining the various so-called contradictory pramanas.143

Dharmakirti and his commentator, Prajnakargupta, think that the Jaina conception of omniscience cannot be accepted for want of Sadhaka-badhakapramana145 (assisting and contradicting evidence). Akalanka replies this criticism by saying that one cannot establish the non-existence of omniscience without being omniscient. He further says that there is no badhaka pramana to refute omniscience in Jainism, and the absence of badhaka pramana is itself a sadhakapramana.145

As regards Anusthanagatajnana urged by Dharmakirti. Vadiraja, a commentator of Akalanka, questions "By which pramanas does the Buddha perceive the Anustheyagatavastu ? Neither can Pratyaksa Pramana be helpful in this respect, otherwise what will be the use of Anusthana ? Nor will be Anumana (inference) pramana will solve our problem, because it depends on the pratyaksa. Thus the Anustheyagata Jnana in itself has no importance.143

So far as Kitasankhya-parijnana and its purusathopayoga are concerned, he says that it is essential to include Kitasankhya-parijnana as an integral part of omniscience, as caturaryasatya implies the Duhkhasatya of creatures living around. If the Buddha has not grasped the Caturaryavedanatva, how could he preach to his disciples convincingly? He then remarks that if the Kitasankhya-parijnana serves no useful purpose, what then is the use of Bhiksu-sankhya-parijnana in Buddhism.146 ?

Thus the Jainas established the theory of omniscience, whereas the Buddhist refuted it in Nigantha Nataputta. According to Jainism its adherents could aspire to be omniscient. But it was only Nigantha Nataputta who attained this spiritual height at that time. However, the masses considered all Niganthas to be omniscient, because some of them gained various powers of insight. The Buddha, apparently under the impression that this was the actual claim of Jainism, criticised it. The later Buddhist philosophers also followed him. Latern, on the imitation of Jainism, the Buddha is also made an omniscient in Buddhist Literature.147

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