Jainism in Buddhist Literature
                                                                By Dr. Hiralal Jain

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2. Paroksa Pramana (Indirect Knowledge)

Non-distinct (avisada) knowledge is paroksa, and it unlike pratyaksa, dependent on others. It is of five kinds, namely, smarana, pratyabhijnana, tarka, anumana and agama. Out of these pramanas in Jaina logic, only the anumaua pramana has been discussed in Buddhist philosophical literature. Yet it is helpful to get a brief picture of other pramanas also, since the Jaina and the Buddhist philosophers vary in their attitudes to other pramanas in Jaina logic, only the anumaua pramana has been discussed in Buddhist philosophical literature. Yet it is helpful to get a brief picture of other pramanas also, since the Jaina and the buddhist philosophers vary in their attitudes to other pramanas on account of the different stand-points they had adopted. 

Smrti pramana

Smrti is the remembrance of a thing perceived or known before and it is a source of knowledge of a particular thing in association with earlier experiences. Therefore, it is regarded on Pramana by Jaina logicians. But the Vedic philosophers are not ready to accept it as an indeplendent pramana on the ground that it depends on the validity of earlier experience (grahitagrahitva).148 The Buddhists joined hands with the Vedic philosophers like Kumarila.149 and rejected the validity of smrtt.150 Their main argument, like that of the Mimansakas or the Vaisesikas, is that the validity of smrti is conditioned by previous experience and it is wholly dependent on experience.151 As a matter of fact, the question of memory being treated as a pramana does not arise in a system like Buddhism where all knowledge-involving-thought (vikalpa jnanamatra) is considered no pramana.152

On the other hand the Jaina logicians unanimously accept the validity of smrti pramana. Their main argument is that the Sam skaras recall for any particular purpose the things experienced in the past. The memory of such things is a source of knowledge gainend through senses. Therefore smrti is declared to be a Pramana, since it is true of facts samvadin just as perception. The validity of pramana cannot be ascertained merely by relation to its depedence or independence of experience. If this argument is accepted even pramaua will cease to be a pramana, for inference also depends on knowledge already acquired through direct emprical perception.135

While examining smrti pramana, we may also discuss Dharavahika pramana (continuous cognition). The Dharavahikajnana is accepted as a pramana by the Nyaya-Viaisesikas154 and the Mimamsakas.155 In Buddhist tradition only Aracata accepts it.156 He says that only the Yogin's dharavahika Jnana is pramana, because it involves awareness of Suksmakalakala (minute divisions of time), while ordinary man's continuous cognition is not a pramana, because it does not involve such awareness.

The Jain logicians have two traditions regarding dharavahika Pramana. According to the Digambara tradition,157 it is valid provided it produces a visista pramana (a knowledge of special objects), while the Svetambara tradition accepts the dharavahika jnana as a pramana without any conditions.158 


Pratyabhijnana (recognition) is the result of perception and recollection. Its nature is of tadevedam (that is definitely this), tatsadrasam (it is similar), tadvilaksanam (it is somewhat dissimilar), and tatpratiyogi (it is different from that), which are avisamvadin (non-discrepant) and therefore are pramanas themselves.159

Kumarila160 as well as Jayanta161 includes pratyabhijnana in pratyaksa. But the Buddhists do not accept it as a separate pramana. In support of their theory, they advocate the idea that pratyabhijnana is nothing, but only a combination or recollection or remembrance and perception. Further they urge that a thing is momentary (ksanika) if it dismisses the permanence of entities that are corelated with pratyabhijnana.162

The Jainas, on the other hand, uphold the view that because the pratyabhijnana presupposes an entity in its antecedent and subsequent model condition, it should be recognised as a separate pramana, like smrti.163 

Tarka pramana

Tarka or inductive reasoning is an essential feature to have the concomitance of an entity164 which is the instrument of inference. Partyaksa, smarana and pratyabhijnana are associative reasons to originate tarka. It decides the inseparabel connection (avinabhava sambandha) among the objects known through inference and agama. Akalanka is the first to fix the definition and subject of tarka in Jaina philosophy.

Mimamskas do not accept Tarka as a separate pramana. The word Uha used by them165 in the sense of reasoning is synonymous with the Iha of of matijnan of Jainas.166 The Buddhist, also deny its validity on the ground that tarka can only help one to know further on object which is already known through perception.167

Akalanka recognised tarka as a pramana, since concomitance cannot be known without tarks.168 If we do not accept the validity of tarka, we will not be able to accept either, as they both (inference and tarka) depend on the same basis for their validity as pramanas.169 

Agama Pramana :

The words of an Apta are called agama. Apta means a person of superior intellect and character, who is non-discrepant (avisamvadin) in his respective subjects.170 The Jainas believe that their prophets were Aptas and therefore they accepted agamas as an independent pramana. The Jainas did not restrict the definition of Apta to the field of spiritual experiences and attainments. An Apta may, according to Jaina logicians, be any authority on the subject even if it is only a secular subject.

The Vaisesikas and the buddists include agama in inference. But as a matter of fact, it should not be considered as a part of anumana, since, unlike anumana, it arises without having perceived signs and their concomitance. It may be noted here that the Jainas as well as the buddhists rejected the claim of the Vedic philosophers that the Vedas are apauruseya (not of human authorship but of devine origin).171

Thus smrti, pratyabhijnana, tarka, anumana and agama are accepted as separate pramanas in Jaina philosophy and included into paroksa pramana. That means, according to Jainas, there are two pramanas, viz. pratyaksa and paroksa, while the Buddhists assert the reality of pra-tyaksa and anumana.172 

Anumana Pramana

Anumana menas a cognition which takes place after some other cognition, specially perception (anu vyaptir nirnayasya pascadbhavi manam).173 The Vedic thinkers may have been the first to attempt a definition of anumana and their definition influenced both the Jainas and the Buddhists, although there was no unanimity among them as regard the exact nature of this pramana.

Dinnaga (5th A.D.) a great Buddhist philosopher, is among the earliest to oppose the Vedic tradition. He offered a new definition which was latter adopted by his disciples. This Buddhist definition influenced the Jaina logicians like Siddhasenadivakara (5th A. D.), Akalanka (8th A.D.), and Vidyananda (9th A. D.)

In the Jaina tradition Acarya Akalanka presents a comprehensive definition of anumana as follows :-

Cognition of Sadhya (what is to be proved) or major term produced by the Sadhana (the instruments to prove the sadhya) is called Anumana which follows linga-grahana (apprehension of the predicate of proposition) and vyapti-smarana (remembrance of invariable concomitance). He emphasises that because it is avisamvadin (non-discrepant) in its own subject and removes the defects arising due to doubt (sam saya), perversion (viparyaya) and indecision (anadhyavasaya), it should be recognised as a pramana.174

Vyapti (invariable concomitance) is the main feature of anumana. Avinabhava anyathauupapannatva, vipaksavyavrtti, and niyatasahacarya are well-known charactetistics, of vyapti. Sahabhavaniyama (having co-relation) and kramabhava-niyma (having successive relation) are the main factors of Vyapti.175 Sahabhava-niyama is understood as a character of the probandam (vyapakadharma) like rupa (form) and rasa (taste) and kramabhava-niyama is understood as a character of the probandam (vyapakadharma). This definition indicates that anumana is not restricated only to the tadatmya (identical nature) and tadutpatti (fdentical cause of origination) but it can also be applied to those thing which do not possess of the tadatymya and tadutpatti relation, For instance, we can make an inference about the taste of something looking at its form, which has no tadatmya relation. Likewise, the rise of Saketa can be inferred by looking at the rise of krttika.176

Sadhya and sudhana are also tow of the other main features of anumana. A thing which is to be perceived is called sadhya and a thing which is related positively with Sadhya, is called sadhana.177

Anumana is of two kinds, viz. Svarthanumana (inference by one's own self) and Pararthanumana (inference by others). The former is valid knowledge which arises in one's own mind from determinate sadhana, while the latter is a result of readsons standing in relation to invariable concomitance (vyapti) with sadhya.

The organs or Svarthanumana are said to be three in number, viz. dharma, sadhya, and sadhana. Paksa (minor term) and hetu middle term are also prescribed as its organs. Here, sadhya and sadhana are included in paksa. The remaining one is dharmi which is to be proved by pramanas (prasiddha).178

As regards the types of Hetu, the Vaisesika sutra (9.2.1) refers to fives kinds such as karya, karana, samyogi, samavai and virodhi. The Buddhists accept only three hetus, viz. svabhava, karya, and anuplabdhi. The Jainas, on the basis of definition of avinabhava, recognise svabhava, vyapaka, karya, karana, purvacara, uttaracara and Sahacara. Upalabdhirupa and anupalabdhirupa are also said to be the types of hetu.

Regarding the organs of pararthanumana, there is no unanimity among the philosophers. The Naiyaayikas have laid down five organs, viz. pratijna (proposition), hetu (reason) udaharana (example), upanaya (application) and nigamana (conculusion),179 The propositions, according to them, would be as follows :

(i) There is a fire on the mountain (pratijna).

(ii) Since there is smoke (hetu),

(iii) Wherever there is smoke, there is fire (udaharana).

(iv) There is smoke on the mountain (upanaya), and

(v) Therefore there is a fire on the mountain (nigamana).

The Sankhyas180 and the Mimamskas181 do not accept the last organs, viz. Upanaya and Nigamana.

In the field of Buddhist Logic, Acarya Dingnaga appears to have accepted three organs such as, Paksa, Hetu, and Drstanta,182 while Dharmakirti includes Paksa in Nigrahasthana, and divides Hetu into three types.183 According to him, the three Hetus are, (i) Paksadharmatva (its presence of the reason in the subjects totally), (ii) Sapaksasatva (its presence in similar instances, althugh not in their totality) (iii) Vipaksvayavrttatva (its absence in dissimilar instances in their totality). These reasons are also called the Ayogavyavaccheda, (impossibility of absence), (ii) Anyayogavyavaccheda, (imposibility of otherness in similars, but not in the totality of the similars), (iii) Atyantayogavyavaccheda (impossibility of others completely), i. e. absence of tatality of the dissimilar instances) : For instance.

(i) whatever is sat, is ksanika (Paksadharmatva).

(ii) the pot is sat, therefore it is ksanika (sapaksasatva).

(iii) because all entities are sat (vipaksavyavrtattva).

Thus, here the Paksa and Nigamana are denied and Drstanta and Upanaya are indirectly accepted. Hetu is the main feature according to the Buddhist view (vidusamvacyo hetureva hi kevalam).184

On the other hand, the Jainas accept only two organs, Pratijna (proposition) and Hetu (middle term-reason). They urge in support of this theory that without accepting the pratijna or paksa what is the use of the hetu, and for what would it be utilized.185 Hence, they say the Udaharana is necessary and deny that Upanaya and Nigamana are conclusive factors.186 For instance :

(i) there is a fire on the mountain (paksa).

(ii) since there is smoke (hetu).

The above view of the Jainas is recorded in Buddhist literature. Both Dharmakirti and Santaraksita criticised this theory. Dharmakirti examines the Jain propositions with the following example :

(i) trees are sentient beings--cetanas taravah (pratijna).

(ii) because they sleep (hetu).

He then refutes this theory stating that this instance is fallacious, since sleep which is manifested by closing of the leaves at night is found only is some trees, not in their totality.187 The smae thing is explained in the Darmottarapra-dipa by Dharmottarara.

Santaraksita referred to a view of Patrakesari with regard to the conception of types of hetu. He puts a number of examples to establish his own view showing that there are only two organs, Pratijna and hetu. For instnce :

1. (a) the hare-marked (sasa-lanchana) is the Moon (paksa or pratijan),

(b) because it is spoken of as the Moon (hetu). Likewise :

2. (a) the pain of mine has been caused by the falling insect (paksa).

(b) because its appearance was felt on the touch of the falling insect. (hetu).

3. (a) the soul, jar and other things are somehow essentially non-existent (pratijna).

(b) because they are somehow inpprehensible in any way, like the horns of the hare (hetu).

In the last case, there is no Corroborative Instance of dissrmilarity. The jar and other things include the entire group of Positive Entities and they have been mentioned in the Proposition as essentially non-existent. And the negative entity has been put forth as the Instance. Apart from the Positive and the Negative, there is no third category wherein it could be pointed out that the exclusion of the Probandun implies the exclusion of the Probans. Therefore, according to Patrasvamin, there are only two organs of hetu, wherein other organs can easily be merged. This is the shortest and most well-defined way of making inference.

As a matter of fact, the Janias are of the view that the number of steps in a proposition cannot be fixed as it depends entirely on the level of competence of the heare.191 manikyanandi recognizes pratijna and hetu as the minimum essential steps, but he concedes that other steps may also be required in dealing with certain types of hearers.192 Hemacandra193 is also of the same view. Vadideva's view, however, is somewhat different. He accepts, like the Buddists, one step for the particular type of hearers and two, three, four, and five for other general hearers.194 But Patrasvamin's view is more important in this respect as he does not go beyond the two steps of Pratijna and Hetu.

Santaraksita, following in the foot-steps of Dharmakirti criticises the theory of Patrasvamin. He says that being spoken of as the moon is present also in thihgs wher the Probandum (sapaksa) is known to be present. It is also smetimes present in the Man (who is spoken of as the moon) or in Camphor, Silver and such other things which are also called moon.195 Likewise, in the second instance Santaraksita points out as a defact that there is no distinction between the probans (the pain of mine has been caused by the falling insect), since the proban is a part of the Proposition itself. The same fact is asserted in different words in the Probans.196 Similarly, he indicates defects in other examples197 put forward by Patrasvamin and tries to prove the two steps of Pratijna and Hetu to be inadequate and incomplete.

This criticism is based on the conception that Jainas recognize only hetu. Dharmakirti includes Paksa in Nigrahas-thana and then divides hetu in three categories, viz. Paksadharmatva, Sapaksasatva, and Vipaksavyavrtti. These are called Trairupyahetu. Both, Drastanta and Upanaya are included in the Hetu of the Buddhists. But patrasvamin does not accept this view on the ground that the Trirupa can also be found in Hetvabhasa (fallacious middle term). Further he asserts Paksa and Hetu as steps of hetu. Since he establishes Anyathanupapatti as the definition of hetu, how could be include the Paksa or Pratijna into other organs as Dharmakirti did ? It was essential to him as well as other Jaina Acaryas, therefore, to recognise Pratijna as a separate organ of Hetu.198

As regards the aspects of the nature of a probans, the Buddhists, like the Vaisesikas199 and Sankhyas,200 assert that there are three aspects of a probans, vis. paksasattva (presence in the subject), sapaksasattva (presence in a homologues), and Vipaksasattva (absence from hetrologues). The naiyayikas accept, in addition to the above three, two more aspects of the nature of probans viz. abadhitavisaytva (absence of a counter-balancing probans). and asatpratipaksatva.201 both the Buddhists and the Jainsa criticise the view of the Naiyayikas.202 The Buddhists include the abadhitavisayatva in paksa and show the superfluity of asatpratipaksatva. The three aspects of the Buddhists are also called the Sadhananga, wherein the asiddha, viruddha and the anaikantika are all included.

On the other hand, the Jaina tradition admits that only the anyathanupapanntva, also called avinabhava, or vyapti, or vipaksavyavrtti, is the essential characteristic of a probans (hetu).

Paksadharmastadansena vyapto pyeti hetutam.

Anyathanupapannatvam na cettarkena laksyate.203

Jainas, however, are not so strict upon this view, and allow any number of aspects in particular places, even though these aspects are actually details. patrasvamin is the first to establish this view in Jaina tradition. The earliest mention of his position is found in Tattvasangraha of Santaraksita, where his view is mentioned and then refuted. The gist of Patrasvamin's theory is that anyathanupapannatva in only one feature of hetu since it is the shortest way of making an inference. It has capacity to absorb and assimilate all other aspects of probans.

This conception of Jainas is criticised by the Buddhist logicians, Dharmottara, a commentator of Dharmakirti, says that according to Anhrikas, the inference proceeds from one-feature hetu (ekalaksanajamanumanam)204 which is called ekasupya or anyathanupapannatva. It indicates that anyathanvpapannatva should not exist apart from the probans.

Santaraksita, the distinguished commentator of Dharmakirti, has also refuted this viw. He quotes a well-known karika205 of Patrakesarin which, though not extant, is mentioned in the works of other writers. He is first mentioned in the Tattaasangraha and the Pramanavartika Svavrttitika by the name of Patrasvamin. Acarya Anantavirya says that this karika belongs traditionally to Patrakesari who wrote a philosophical treatise named Trilaksanakadarthanam.206 The Sravanavelagola inscription also supports this view of Anantavirya,207

Santaraksita and his commentator explain the view of Patrasvamin with regard to the various aspects of proban. They say that according to patrasvamin, the probans is valid only when it is found to be otherwise impossible and not when it has the three features (anyathanupapannatva eva sobhano hetuna punastrilaksanah). This view is elaborated as follows: Patrasvamin justifies that anyathanupapannatva is the principal characteristic of a probans. Through presumption (arthapatya) the same characteristic implies three features, viz. Paksadharmatva, Sapaksasattva, and Vipaksavyavrattatva, but the Vipaksavyavrtti or anyathanupapatti can imply all other features which do not serve any useful purpose. As a matter of fact, the relation of invariable con-comitance (avinabhava), which is, the heart of hetu, is not present in the three-featured reasons (trairupya-hetu), but found in the one-featured (ekarupya hetu).208

Santaraksita then quotes a renowned karika of Patrasvamin from the Trilaksanakadarthana as follows :--

anyathanupannattvam yasya tasyaiva hetuta.

drastantau dvavapi stam va ma va tau hi na karanam

nanyathanupapannatvam yatra tatra trayena kim.

anyathanupapannatvam yatra tatra trayena kim.

It means anyathanupapannatva is the only probans. There may be three corroborative intstances, but really they cannot be depended upon. If the anyathauupapannatva is not there, what is the use of three features ? and if the anyathanupapannatva is there, what is the use of the three features (trairupya) ? He illustrates this point saying that the man who has three sons is called ekaputraka on account of having one good son (Suputratvat). Similarly in the case of the three featured probans only feature would be useful in making inferences.

Patrasvamin has tried to prove that there can be no anya-thanupapannatva hetu in the three-featured probans. For instance, "one must be dark (paksasatva), because one is the son of so and so (sapaksasatva), whose other sons are found to be dark (vipaksasatvavyavrtt)". This example contains the three-featured probans. Even then it cannot lead to any valid and definite knowledge and conclusion. For there is no avinabhava-sambandha (relation of invaribale con-comi-tance) between his son and his darkness. The climate and eating of vegetables by his mother during the pregnancy is real cause. Therefore, the Trairupya is not a corrrect theory.

Sa syamastasya putratvaddrasta syama yathetare.

Iti trilaksano heturna niscityai dravartate.209

Patrasvamin again pointed out that the one-featured probans has the requisite capacity of leading to valid knowledge. It has no external corroborative instances, either of similarity or of dissimimilarity, either in the form af statement or in the form of actual things, because all things have been included under the subject or paksa (minor term) Positive and Negative entities (bhavabhavatmakaera sarvapadarthasya paksikrtattvat), and there is nothing apart from these. As regards the character of "being present in the Minor term", this is the anyathanupapannatva hetu and noting apart from the latter. Hence the probans here is one-featured.210

But the Buddhist philosophers do not accept this view and they try to criticise it. For instance, Santraksita questions whether Patrasvamin's definition of hetu refers to the general position or to a particular subject on which knowledge is sought or to a particular instance. If the first alternative is accepted, then, what would be indicated, would be the existence of the probans in the object where the probandum is present; and it would not accomplish what is sought to be accomplished.211

If Patrasvamin's definition of the Probans is the Anyathanupapanntva hetu is found in the Minor term (dharmi) only, the same means of cognition, which has made the Probans known, would make know Probandum (sadhya), also. Both these depend on each other. If the Probandum does not become known, the Probans also cannot become known. Thus the probans would be useless, and the Probandum would be known by other means. There would be the incongruity of "mutual interdependence" (anyonyasrayadosa), if the definite cognition of the Probandum followed from the Probans. Hence, the cognition ot one would be dependent upon the cognition of the other.212

Regarding the third alternative, Santarasita says that if the probans were known as exisent in the corroborative Instance, that would not bring about the cognition of the probandum in the Minor term, since its invarible concomitance will not have been definitely cognised all over.213 He then refutes the instances214 put forward by Patrasvamin in the course of his arguments.

For instance, in regard to the first instance concerning Syamaputra, he says that "One is dark, because he is the son of so and so" is not the natural reason (svabhavahetu), as "being product" (krtakatvam) has a character of non-eternality. The Syamatva, in his opinion, is the aggregate of five ingredients (pancopadanaskandha). Nor is the probans based on the effect (karyahetu), as there is no causal relation between his son and darkness. Nor is it of the nature of the non-perception (anupalabdhi) is the probans cannot prove the negation of complexions other than darkness.215

Further Santaraksita criticises the theory of Patrasvamin on the gounds of other inferences and concludes that the one-featured probans iis really an importent theory (klibastenaikalaksanah). He then tries to prove that three-featured probans has no such defects.

This refutation of the theory of one-featured probans is based on the asiddha, viruddha and anaikantiak defects (hetvabhasas). However, the Jaina philosophers like Prabhacandra and Anantavirya say that these defects are really not on the side of the one-featured hetu of Jainas, but on the side of the three-featured hetu of they Buddhists, because it can be applied to even Hetvabhasas. They finally conclude that the one-featured hetu is the shortest and the simplest route to make an inference regarding anything.216

But as a matter of fact, the three-featured probans are more convenient for the middle-term (hetu). For, even without knowing the words homologue and hetrologue everybody can easily understand the major and the middle term.

With regard to the importance of this reference we are in a position to say that the earliest mention of Jaina conception of anythanupapannatva as an aspect of a probans has been made by Acarya Dharmakirti. Afterwards, Santaraksita referred to it and proceeded to examine it critically. There he mentioned Patrasvamin as the holder of this view. For the skae of Jaina philosophical history, this reference to Patrasvamin and his view is very important. 


Pramanasamplava is an application of more than one pramana to one object (prameya).217 jainas are appropritely called Pragmanasamplavavadin218 in the Hetubindu Tika This is because the theory of relativity of knowledge (anekantavada) is the basis of Jaina philosophy. It means that an entity is not in perpetual flux, but it is relatively eternal and having universal and particular characters (samanyavisesatmaka).

A thing consists of infinite attributes which cannot be apprehended by one by merely superficial knowledge. Other Pramanas, therefore, have clear scope to know the un apprehended elements of a particular thing. In the definition of pramana Acary Aklanka added a word anadhigatarthagrahi which itself indicates that pramanasam plava can be accepted provided there is upayoga-visesa to determine the definite or indefinite part of an entity.219 The Naiyayikas have on such term in their definitions of pramana. But they accept the pramanasamplava in each case.

But on the other hand, Buddhist philosophy does not recognise the validity of pramanasamplava. According to its theory, an object is in perpetual flux : it cannot last for more than a moment. One object cannot have two validities, simultaneously. On this ground the Buddhist logicians criticise the Jaina and other systems. These criticisms will be analysed in the next chapter where, Anekantavada of Jainism will be discussed. 


From this brief survey of the epistemological and logical concepts of Jainas as recorded in the Buddhist philosophical literature; we have seen that

(i) Among the ancient thinkers, the Jainas were classified as a group of philosophers who attained higher knowledge on the basis of personal experience.

(ii) Knowledge and vision were two characters of self. of these, vision (darasna) was originally considered to be the revealer of self (atmaprakasaka). This idea was developed in logical form and darsana, like Jnana, was considered to be valid knowledge.

(iii) Knowledge (jnana) was classified as Canonical or Agamic, and Philosophical or Darsanic. The five kinds of knowledge, namely, mati, sruti, avadhi, manahparyaya, and kevalajnana were based on the foremer, while Pratyaksa and Paroksa are devolopments of the latter Pratyksa was divided into samvyavaharika and paramarthika, while paroksa into smrti, tarka, pratyabhijna, anumana, and agama. Unlike Buddhism, paramarthika pratyaksa was savikalpaka (determinate). Summati's theory was referred to in the Tattvasangraha in his connection.

(iv) Pure self could attain omniscience. Hence Jaina Tirthankaras achieved this stage of complete purification and became omniscient.

(v) The idealogy of omniscience was gradually developed in Buddhism as a result of jaina influence.

(vi) Pratijna and hetu were the only organs of Pararthanumana. patrakesari's view was referred to by Santaraksita in the Tattvasangraha in this connection,

It was also mentioned there that anyathanvpapatti was the essential characteristic of Hetu, and

(vii) Apart fromthe knowledge of each other's epistemological theories, the Jainas and the Buddhists, through centuries mutual ciriticism, contributed substantially towards teh enrichment of philosophical speculation in India and added to the sum total of human experience in its quest for the Truth.

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