Jainism in Buddhist Literature
                                                                By Dr. Hiralal Jain

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3. The Theory of Syadvada

We have observed in our discussion on Nayavada that it is not an absolute means of knowing the nature of relaity. The further examination of truth is attempted by the theory oi Condtional Dialecitc or Syadvada. The Nayavada is analytical in character, while the Syadvada is a synthetical in metho. The latter investigates the various standpoints of th truth made possible by naya and integrates them into a constent and comprehensive synthesis. Dasgupta describes the relation between these two methods as follows: "There is no universal or absolute position or negation, and all judgements are valid only conditionally. The relation of the naya doctrine with the syadvada doctrine is, therefore, this, that for any judgement according to any and every naya there are as many alternatives as are indicated by Syadvada..69"

The prefix Syat in the Syadvada represents the existence of those characters which, though not perceived at the moment, are present in reality (nirdisyamanadharmavyatirikta' sesadharmantarasamsucakena Syat yukto vado bhipretadharma-vacanam Syadvadah). Syadvada reveals the certainty regarding any problem and not merely the possibility or probability. It is a unique contribution of Jainism of Indian Philosophy. Syadvadin is a popular appellation given by later philosophers to Jainas. Dharmakirti, Arcata and Santaraksita used this term for the Jainas in their respective works.

Syat is generally rendered into English as "may be" or "perhaps" which is far from appropriate. As a matter of fact, there is no appropriate word for Syat in English, but we can translate it with the term relatively which is closer and more suitable to convey the significance of the theory. The Concise Oxford Dictionary gives the meaning of relatively as "having mutual relations, corresponding in some way, related to each other".70 H,G.A.71 Van Zeyst writes: "When a function indicates some difinite relationship in which the object stands to some other object, the term must be described as "relative". There is a word Kathancit in Sanskrit literature which is used as a substitute for Syat by Jaina as well as non-Jaina philosophers. These connotations tally with the inner meaning of Syat.

Further Syadvada makes an effort to respect other doctrines by warning us against allowing the use of eva or only to proceed beyond its prescribed limits and penetrates the truth patiently and non-voilently. The uniqueness of Syadvada as the most peaceful and non-violent means of arriving at the Truth through argumentation is emphasised by Tatiya in his assessmetn of Syadvada in Jaina Philosophy: "It is the attitude of tolerance and justice that was responsibel for the origin of the doctrine of non-absolutlsm (anekantavada). Out of universal tolerance and peace-loving nature was born cautiousness of speech. OUt of cautiousnes of speech was born the habit of explaining a problem with the help of Siyavaya (syadvada) or Vibhajjavaya. This habit again developed into a non-absolutistic attitude towards reality."72

It would be helpful to remember that the nature of reality is determined in Jainism by refering to the dravya (matter), Ksetra (place), kala (time) and bhava (state). This is the positive factor. The negative factor is that of refering to the negative counterpart (nisedha-pratimukha) or a particular object such as the absence of ghatatva (jarness) in cloth and vice versa. This negative factor constitutes the full-fledged nature of the Jar as the positive one.

According to the conception of Syadvada, both identity and difference must exist in reality. But opponents categorically deny this claim on the ground that a dual character can never exist in an entity. The critics of Syadvada object to it on the basis that Syadvada gives rise to the following erroneous results73 : (i) Virodha or self-contradiction, like hot and cold, (ii) Vaiyadhikaranya or absence of a common abode, (iii) Anavastha or regressus ad infinitum, (iv) Sankara or confusion, (v) Vyatikara or exchange of natures, (vi) Samsaya or doubt, (vii) Apratipatti or non-apprehension, and (viii) Uvayadosa or fallacies on both sides. Out of these defects Virodhadosa is considered by them to be the most glaring. The Jainas do not accept that there is any self-contradiction in Syadvada. They put forth three possible forms in which virodha can occur :

(i) Vadhyaghatakabhava or destructive opposition, like mongoose (nakula) and the serpent (ahi).

(ii) Sahanavasthanabhava or the non-congruent opposition, like syama and pita in a ripe mango.

(iii) Pratibadhyapratibandhakabhava or the obstructive opposition, like the moonstone which protects the sun's rays. And they maintain that these forms of virodhas cannot effect their theories of reality. They also say that an entity is anantadharmatmaka (having innumerable characters) which cannot be perceived at once by ordinary men until and unless, we conceive the problem through negative and positive aspects (bhavabhavatmakatattvena), identity-in-difference (bhedabhedena) eternality-in-non-eternality (nityanityatmakena), universal-cum-particular elements (samanyavisesatmakena), or substance-in-modes (dravyaparyayatmakena). Each and everything is related to the four-fold nature of itself (svadrayacatustaya) and is not related to the fourfold nature of the other-than-itself (paradravyacatustaya). For instance, the jar is the jar in itself, but it is not the jar in relation to others, as cloth, fruit, etc. No one can deny this dual characteristic of a thing, otherwise its negative aspects or non-existing characteristics would disappear and their modes would commingle.74

According to the Jainas, the non-existences (abhavas) are of four kinds, viz. Pragabhava, Pradhvamsabhava, Itaretarabhava and Anyonyabhava.

(i) Pragabhava means the non-existence of an effect in the cause.75 The substance is eternal which can neither be newly created nor completely destroyed.76 The effect accordingly does not exist before its own existence, which is a result of causes. The substance in itself is an effect and the modes are the causes. That means the pre-modes are the pragabhava of post-modes. The clay or the curd is the Pragabhava of jar (ghata) and butter (ghrta). If this previous negation were not there, the product clay or curd would always exist in their effects jar or butter.

(ii) Pradhvamsabhavr means the non-existence of an effect after destruction.77 Pragabhava is the Nimitta (determining cause). The first destroys then the other originates. If this negation were not in an entity, milk would still be there in curd.

(iii) Itaretarabhava or Anyonyabhava means mutual non-existence. Each entity exists in its nature which cannot be transferred to others. The cow cannot possess the form of the horse.78 If this mutual negation were not in entities, the horse would become every other thing.

(iv) Atyantabhava means the absolute non-existence of an entity. As for instance, the sky-flower (akasa-kusuma) or Sasa-visana (horns to the hares), which have no existence at all.79

On the basis of above exposition, the Jainas endeavour to answer the objections raised by opponents through the different aspects of the nature of reality. They are dealt with below : 

The Identity-in-difference (bhedabhedatmaka)

The identity-in-differnece is the main figure which guards the Jaina standpoint against the attacks of opponents. The exposition of this central idea has been a necessary talk to the Jaina Acaryas. They postulate a theory that a substance is neither absolutely different than other things, nor absolutely alike. Otherwise how could the quality (guna) and qualified (guni) be distinguished ?

An entity is charactersied by birth (utpada), death (vyaya) and permanence (dhrauvya). All entities are included in this definition. Sat or substance is abheda and gunas are bheda. Apart from gunas or paryayas, there is no existence. There-fore, reality is called the identity-in-difference. 

Eternal-cum-non-eternal aspects (nityanitatmaka)

In the same way the substance can be nither absolutely eternal nor absolutely non-eternal, but it is eternal-cum-non-eternal. If we do not accept this, causal efficiency (arthakriya) would not be possible with an entity and all the transaction would fail due to the static or perpetual fluxive character of thing. Pre-existence would be dis-connected with the post-existence. How then could the doer and enjoyer be recognized ?

Likewise, reality is universalized-cum-particularised, one-cum-innumerable, etc. from real and practical standpoints. There is no self-contradiction in this recognition, since the nature of reality is conceived relatively. 

Saptabhangi or a theory of Sevenfold prediction

Saptabhangi or the theory of sevenfold predication is a method of cognition to apprehend the correct nature of reality-through a sevenfold relativist dialectic method. It is treated as complementary to the Syadvada doctrine. Akalanka thinks of it as a way which considers the modes of a thing in a positive (vidhimukhena) and negative (nisedhamukhena) manner without incompatibility in a certain context. The sevenfold predications are as follows :

(i) syadasti or relatively it is.

(ii) syannasti or relatively it is not.

(iii) syadasti nasti or relatively it is and is not.

(iv) syadavaktavya or relatively is is inexpressible.

(v) syadastyavaktavya or relatively it is and is inexpressible.

(vi) syannastyavaktavya or relatively it is not and is inexpressible.

(vii) syadastinastyavaktavya or it is, is not, and is inexpressible.

Here the radical modes of predication are only three in number-syadasti, spayannasti and syadavaktavya which contruct other predications by combining themselves. The first two modes represent the affirmative or being (astitva), and the negative or non-being (nastitiva) characters of an entity. The third is a combination of both being and non-being. The fourth is inexpressible in its predicate. The remaining three modes are the combined forms of the first, second, and the third. The first two and the fourth predications are consequently the assertions of simple judgments, and the remaining four of complex judgments. According to the mathematical formula, the three fundamental predications make seven modes and not more than that.

The first mode represents the existence of the jar (ghata) and the non-existence of cloth (pata) in the jar. The second predication shows the negative aspect of jar that it does not exist as cloth or anything else. There is no contradication here, since the predication asserts the relative and determinate abstraction. The third mode offers a successive presentation (kramarpana) of negative and positive aspects of an entity, while the fourth one offers a simultaneous presentation (saharpana) of the two concepts. According to Jaina conception, one word represents one meaning. The relation between a word and its meaning is described by Jainas as Vacyavacakaniyama. The characters of being and non-being in the jar cannot be expressed at once (yugapat). Therefore this predication is designated as inexpressible (avaktavya). The remaining are the combined modes derived from bringing together the first, second and the third with the fourth one, which express the complex judgments.

Each of these modes contains one alternative truth while altogether contain the complete truth. Observing the importance of this method Padmarajiah says : "The whole mehtod, therefore, may be said to be one which helps a patient inquiring mind in its adventure of mapping out the winding paths running into the faintly known or unknown regions or reality and bringing them within the bounds of human knowledge."80


Syadvada conception in Buddhist literature

The rudiments of the Syadvada conception are found in Vedic and Buddhist literature. It appears to have originally belonged to the Jainas, if we accept Jainism as pre-Vedic religion, and all the subsequent thinkers adopted it as a common approach to the nature of reality. That is the reason why various forms of Syadvada are found in the different philosophical shcools.

Vedic literature records negative and positive attitudes towards problems. The Rgveda which is supposed to be of the earliest period, preserves the rudiments of this doctrine in the Nasadiya Sukta. It manifests the spiritual experience, of the great sage, who describes the nature of the universe as :

Nasadasinno sadasit tadanim nasidrajo no vyomaparo yat. Kimabaribah kuha kasya sarmannambhah kimasidgahanam gabhiram. Na mrtyurasidamrtam na tarhi na ratrya abhna asit praketah. Anidavatam svadhaya tadekam tasmaddhanyanna parah kim canasa.

"There was not the non-existent nor the existent : there was not the air nor the heaven which is beyond. What did it contain ? where ? In whose protection ? Was there water, unfathomable, profound ? There was not the becon of night, nor of day. That one breathed, windness by its own power. Other than that there was not anything beyond".81 This indicates inexpressibility (anirvacaniyatva) about the nature of the universe.

The Upanisadic period presents this speculation in a more concrete form by taking positive steps. The Chandogyopanisad82 represents the idea that Being (sat) is the ultimate source of existence, while some Upanisads uphold the view that Non-being is the source of Being (asad va idamagra asit. tato vai sat ajayato).83 On the other hand, some Upanisads assert that it is both, Being and Non-being (sadasadavarenyam),84 and some later Upanisads maintain that Non-being cannot be expressed by using a particular name and form ( asad avyakrta namarupam ).85

Thus the concept or Syadvada found in Vedic literature commences from polytheism and goes on to monotheism and is later replaced by monism. This indicates that the theory was not rigid. The later developed Vedic philosophical systems were also influenced by this idea and they concived the problems from different standpoints with the exception of that of complete relativism.

The Naiyayikas,86 though they used the word anekanta,87 could not support the Anekantavada entirely and they accepted the atoms, soul, etc. as having absolute unchangeable characters. The Vedanta philosophical attitude also runs on the same lines. Even considering a thing through empirical ( vyavaharika ) and real ( paramarthika ) standpoints, it asserts that all standpoints are inferior to the standpoint of Brahman.88

The Syadvada conception is found in a more developed form in Buddhist literature. The Brahmajalasutta refers to sixty-two Wrong-views ( micchaditthis ) of which four belong to the Sceptics. They are known as Amaravikkhepika (who being questioned resort to verbal jugglery and eelwriggling) on four grounds.89 The Commentary of the Dighanikaya present its two alternative explanations. According to first, Amaravikkhepika are those who are confused by their endless beliefs and words. The second explanation gives meaning that like a fish named amara, the theory of Amaravikkhepika runs hither and thither without arriving at a definite conclusion.90

The first of these schools is defined thus: "Herein a certain recluse or brahmin does not understand, as it really is, that this is good (kusalam) or this is evil (akusalam). It occurs to him: I do not understand what is good or veil as it really is. Not understanding what is good or evil, as it really is, if I were to assert that this is good and this is evil, that will be due to my likes, desires, aversions or resentments,it would be wrong. And if I wete wrong, It would cause me worry (vighato) and worry would be a moral danger to me (antarayo). Thus, through feat of lying (musavadabhaya), and the abhorrence of being lying, he does not assert anything to be good or ebil and on verbal jugglery and eel-wriggling, otherwise, I do not say no, I deny the denials (I do not say, "no no"). 91

According to this school, it is inpossible to achieve knowledge which is a hinderance to heavan or salvation (Saggassa c'eva maggassa ca antarayo). 92 The second and the third school of sciotics do not assert anything to be good or evil through feat of involvement (upadanabhaya) and a fear of interrogation in debate (anuyogabgaya).

The fourth school of Sceptics followed the philosophy of Sanhaya Belatthiputta who fails to give a definite answer to any metaphysical question tut to him. His foutfold scheme or the five-fold formula of denial is based on the negative aspects which ate as follows: 93

(i) evam pi me no (I do not say so).

(ii) tathapi me no (I do not say thus).

(iii) annathapi me no (i do not say otherwise).

(iv) no ti pi me no (I do not say no).

(v) no no ti pi me no (I do not deny it).

This formula is applied with regard to the answering of several questions as : 94

(i) atthi paro loki (there is another world).

(ii) antthe paro koko (there is not another world).

(iii) atthi ca natthi ca paro loko (there is and is not another world).

(iv) Natthi na natthi paro loko (there is not another world).

The commentaty offers two explanations of the meaning of this formula. According to the first explanation, proposition (1) is an indefinite rejection or denial (aniyamitavikkhepo). Prorposition (2) is the denial of a specific proposition, e.g. the eternalism (sassatavada) when asked whether the world and the soul are eternal. Proposition (3) is the denial of a variant of (3) e.g. the rejection of the semi-eternal theory (ekaccasassatam), which is said to be somewthat diggerent from (annatha). Proposition (4) is the denial of the contrary of (2) e.g. the denial of the nitilist theory (ucchedavadam) when asked whether a being (tathagato) does not exist after death. Proposition (5) is the rejection of the dialectian's view (takkivadam) of a double denial. e. g. denying the position if asked whether a being neither exists nor does not exist after death.

According to the second explanation, Proposition (1) is the denial of an assertion e.g. if asked whether this is good, fh denies it. Proposition (2) is the denial of a simple negation, e.g. it asked whether this is not good, he denies it. Proposition (3) is a denial that what uou are stating is different from both (1) and (2) (ubhaya annatha) he denies it.Proposition (4) is a denial that uou are stationg a point of view defferent from the above e.g. it asked whether his thesis (laddhi) is different from the three eaflier points of view (tividhena pi na hoti), he denies, it. Proposition (5) is a denial of the denials, e.g. if asked whether his thesis is to deny everything (no no te ladhhi ti) he denies it. Thus he does not take his stand (na titthati) on any of the lpgical alternatives (ekasmim pi pakkhe).

Both these explanations show that the fifth proposition of Sanjaya's philositions of the theory remain. They can be compared with the first fout predications of the Syadvada theory of Jainas:

(i) Syadasti (relatively it is).

(ii) Syannasti (relatively it is not).

(iii) Syadasti nasti (relatively it is and is not).

(iv) Syadavaktavya (relatively it is inexpressible).

Observing this similarity, several scholars like Keith 96 are ready to give the credit to Sanhaya for initiating this four-fold predication to solve the logca problems. On the other hand, some savants like Jacobi think that in opposition to the Agnosticism of sanjaya, Mahavira has established Syadvada. Miyamoto asserts in his article "The Logic of Reality as the Common Ground for the development of the Middle Way" that Sanjaya's" system is quite close to the Buddhist standpoint of the indescribable or inexpressible."97

These views ate not quite correct. As a matter of tact, the credit should not go only to Sanjaya for the adoption of the four-fold scheme, since there were other schools of sceptics who also accepted a similar scheme. Silanka referred to four groups of such schools Kriyavadins. Akriyavadins, Ajnanavadins, and Vaineyikas. These are further sub-divided into 363 schools based on purely the nine categories (nava padarthas) of Jainism. 98 These schools were mainly concerned with four quesitions. They areas foolws:

(i) Who knows whether there is an arising of psychological states? (Sati bhavotpattih ko vetti)?

(ii) Whp known whether there is no arising of psychological states? (Asati bhavotpattih ko vettih).

(iii) Who knows whether there is and there is no atising of psychological states? (Sadasati bhavotpattih ko vettih)?

(iv) Who knows whether the arising of psycholotical states is inexpressible? (Avaktavyo bhavotpattih ko vettih)?

These questions are similar to first four Syadvada predications. The main difference between the Predications of Sceptics and Jainas was that the former doubts or denies the logical problems altogether whereas the latter asserts that they ate true to a certain extent,

Makkhali Gasala and Syadvada

Makkhal Gosala, the founder of the Ajivika sect and an earlier companion of Nigantha Nataputta, has contributed to the development of the Syadvada conception. He considered problems thrugh the three-fold standpoints, called Tritasis, 99 a short version of sapta-bhangi.

On the basis of the Nandisutra commentary, Basham observes: "The Ajivika heretics founded by Gosala are likewise called Trairasikas, since they declare everytimg to be of triple character, viz. : liviing, not living, and both living and not living: world, not world, and both world and not world; real, unreat, and both rreal and unreal, in considering standpoints (naya) regarding the nature of substance, of mode, or of both. Thus since they maintain three heaps (rasi) or categories they are called Traitaiskas". Further he says "the Ajivikas thus seem to have accepted the basic principal of Jaina epistemologi, as in the orthodox Jaina Syadvada and nayavada. "100

This reference indicates that the Ajivikas were aware of the Saptabhangi of the Jaina logic and they reduced them to three. Dr. Jayatilleka remarks on this reference: "But Judged by the fact that the three-fold scheme of predication is simpler than the four-fold scheme of the Sceptics and Buddhists and the corresponding seven- fold schene of the Jainas, it would appeat to be earlier than both the Buddhist and the Jain schemes, with which the Ajivikas could not bave been acquainted when they evolved theirs," Further he says, "In fact, it can be shown that in the earliest Buddhist and jaina tests the very doctrine of the Trairasikas, which seems to have necessitated the three-fold scheme, is mentioned, thus making it highly probable that it was atleast earlier than the Jain scheme". He accounts for this view by saying that "while the earliest stratum of the Pali Nikayas knows of the four-fold scheme, one of the earliest Books of the Jain canon, the Sutrakkrtanga, which  makes an independent reference to this Trairasika doctrine, does not mention the seven-fold scheme, although it is aware of the basic principles of Syadvada.101

Here Jayatilleke tries to prove that that thtee-fold schame appears to be earlier than the jaina scheme. He gives a reason in support of his view that the Satrakrtanga does not mention the Seven-fold scheme. I too hold the thtee-fold scheme. Dighanakha pribrajaka, who seems to be a follower of the parsvanatha tradition, also maintains, as we have already found, this scheme.

As regards the absence of the refernce in the Sutrakrtanga, it should be remenbered that it is not totally unaware of the basic princioles of Syadvada, as Jayatilleke himselg accepts. It is said that "the wise nan should not joke or explain without conditional propositions."102 He should "expound the analytical theory (vibhajjavayaym ca vyagrejja) and use the two Kinds of speech, living among virtuous men, impartial and wise. 103 Gurther it does not deal with the Jaina philosophy. It is a concise compilation of the Jaina doctrines as well as oters of that time. It was, therefore, not essential to deal with Syadvada in detail. Kundakunda, who flourished in the first century B.c.or in the beginning of the Christian ere, described to the Saptabhangi, himselg in the Pancastikayasara, He says that "Dravya can be described by the seven-fold predication: (1) siya atthi or syadasti, (ii) siya naya nathi, or syannasti, (iii) siya uhayam or syadastimasti, (iv) siya-avvattavva or syadvvaktavya (v) siya atthi avvatavua or syadastyavaktavya, (vi) siya atthi natthi avvattavva or Syadstinastyavaktavaya, amd (vii) siya atthi natthi avvattavva or Syadstinastyavakktavaya:

Siya atthi antthi uhayam avvattavvam puno ya tattadayam.

Davvam khu satta bhangam adesavasena sambhavadi. 104

This means that the Syadvada and its predications were well known at the time of the Buddha, and upto the time of Kundakunda they were developed still further.

This Buddhe and Syadvada

During the Buddha's time there were certain philosophical points which became the subjects of violent debate. Having realised the futility of such debates the Buddha became an analyist, like the Jainas. 105 In the Dighanikaya the Buddha is reported to have said that he had taught and laid down his (anekamsika) assertions. =106 The thory of Four-Noble-Truths is an example of the former, and the theory of Avyakatas is of the latter.

Here the term ekamsika and anekamsika are very similar to ekantavada and anekantavada. The former is concerned with the non-Jaina philosophies and the latter with the Jaina philosophy. The differemce between the Buddha's and Nigantha Natputta's standpoints is that according to the former's conception the non-categorical assertions are not true or false, from some standpoint or another, unless we analyse them; while the latter upholds the view that all the statements are relatively (syat) correct,i.e.they contain some aspect of the truth. The theory of avyakata dose not consist of any such quality.

The buddha adopted the four-fold scheme to answer the logical questions of that time as outlined below:

(1) atthi (it is).

(ii) nattha (it is not).

(iii) atthe ca natthi ca (it is and it is not). and

(iv) n've' atthi na ca natthi (it neither is, nor is not).

 This four-fold scheme has been used in several places of the Pali Canon. For instance:

(i) Channam phassayatananam asesaviraganirodha atth'annam, kinci ti? (is there anything else after complete detachment from and cessation of the six spheres of experience?).

(ii) Channam...natth'annam kinci ti?

(iii) Channam...atthi ca n'athi c'annam kinci ti?

(iv) Channam...n'ev' atthi na n'atth'annam kinci ti?

Miyamoto observes that the seven-fold scheme of the jainas is equivalent to the four-fold scheme of Buddhists in the following manner:

(i) Syadasti     =I

(ii) Syannasti   =II

(iii) Syadastionasti  =III

(iv) Syadavaktavya

(v) Syadastyavaktavya

(vi) Syannastyavaktavua   =IV

(vii) Syadastinastyavaktavya

But this obsrvation is not perfectly right, since the jainas pondered over the prblems nore profoundly than the Buddhists. It woule be more appropriate it we think of the first four propositions of th Buddhists, But there are differences between the Jaina and the Buddhist schemes. According to the Jaina scheme, all the seven prpopsitions could be true from relative standpoints, while in the Buddhist scheme only one proposition could be true the propositions are not considered logical alternatives in Jainism as considered in Buddhism.

It is nore probable that the Buddha's Catuskoti formula has been influenced by the four-fold formula of Sanjaya, although there are also traces of the influence of the seven-fold formula of the Jainas. Such formylas, it must be remenbered, were commonly accpted at that time by teachers with differaent attitudes.

Nigantha Nataputta and Syadvada in pali Literature

The pali Canon considers Anekantavada or Syadvada a combination of bothe Uccedavada and Sassatavada. As we have already mentioned, Buddhaghosa was of the opinion that Nigantha Nataputta presented his views in contradictory ways. 108 We have seen how this was due to the fact that Buddhaghosa could not understand the real nature of Syadvada.

We know that Jaina Philosophy considers problems neither by absolute eternalism not absolute nihilism, but erernalismcum- nihilism. Apart from the confusion regarding Sassatavada and Uccedavada, there are no explict references to Syadvada in the pali Canon. The absence of direct references does not mean that the Syadvada conception was not a part and parcel of the doctrines of the Nataputta at that time. This conclusion is further strengthened by the fact that Buddhist books appear to be aware of some characteristics of Syadvada, which might have belonged to the tradition of Parsvanatha.

In the course of a discussion, the Buddha says to Saccaka, who was a follower of the Parsvanatha tradition and converted later to the Nataputta's religion, that his former statement is not keeping with the latter, nor the latter with the former (na kho te sandhiyati purimena pacchimena va purimani).109 Here attention is drawn to self-contradictions in Saccaka's statements. This might have been an early instance of adducing self-contradiction (svaimavirodha) as an argument against Sydvada. This has been an oft-repeated criticism against Syadvada by opponents of different times.

Likewise in the course of a conversation held between Nigantha Nataputta and Citta Gahapati, the latter blames the former for his self-Contradictory comception. He says; If your former statement is true, latter statement is false, and if your latter statement is true, your primer statement is false. (sace purimani saccani, pacchimam te miccha, sace pacchimam saccam purimam te miccha).110

Another reference found in Pali literature helps us to understand the position of Syadvada. The Dighanahha of the Majjhima Nikaya mentions the three kinds of theories upheld by Dighanakha Paribbajaka. They are as follows:111

(i) Sabbam me khamati (I agree with all (views),

(ii) Svbbam ma na khanati (I agree with no (views),

(iii) Ekhaccom me khamati, ekaccam me ma khamati (I agree with some (views) and disagree with other (views).

The Buddha criticises Dighanakha's views in various ways, and expresses his own views towards the problem. Dighanakha's views are similar to the predications of Syadvada, and represent its first three bhangis as follows:

(i) Sabbam me khamati =Syadasti

(ii) Sabbam me na khamati =Syannasti

(iii) Ekaccam me khamati; ekaccam me na khamati   =Syadastinasti...

Now the problem is to consider to which school of thought Dighanakha belonged. According to the commentary on the Majjhima Nikaya, he is said to be a holder of the view of Ucchedavada, 112 which is a part of Syadvada school in the opinion of Buddhaghosa. He might have belonged to Sanjaya's of Paribbajakas who were followere of Parsvanatha tradition converted later to Nataputta's religion before he joined the Buddha's order. 113  Dighanakha was a nephew or Sanjaya. It seems, therefore, that he was a follower of Jainism. This inference may be confirmed if Dighanakha can be identified with Dighatapassi of the Upalisutta of Majjhima Nikaya, who was a follower of Nigantha Nataputta.

In the above propositions of Saccaka Citta Gahapati and Dighanakha Paribbajaka, we can trace the first four predications (including Syadavaktavaya) of Syadvada conception of Jainism.

It is not impossible that the term Syat had been used by Jainas in the beginning of each predication Justify correctly the others' views on the basis of non-absolutism. The word Syat (Siya in pali), which indicates the definite standpoint towards the probelems, is also used in the Cula Rahulovadasutta of the Majjhima Nikaya, where the two types of the Tejodhatu are pointed out in definite way. 114 It seems that the word Syat originally belonged to the Jainas and was later used by the Buddhists in a particular sense. The defect of self-contradiction in Syadvada conception of the jainas is a criticism levelled against it by the Buddhists. It happened so, only because of ignorance of the meaning of Syat. As a matter of fact, the Jainas had concentrated their attention on the controversial points in different theories of then philosophers and had tried to examine their views from different standpoints. By this method the Jainas could figure out the real nature of reality and consider the problem in a non-violent way.

The refutation of Syadvada in Buddhist literature

The Buddhist Acaryas at different times criticised the Syadvada conception of the Jainas on the grounds of self-contradiction, commingling, doubt, etc. The main arguments of the foremost Buddhist logicians were as follows:

Nagarjuna and Syadvada

Acarya Kundakunda and Umasvati were among the earliest who established clearly the theory of the triple character (produchion, destruction, and permanence) of reality in Jainism. Nagarjuna (about 150-250 A.D.), the propounder of Sunyavada made the charge that the theory of triple character is itselg a self-contradictoy formula, as it cannot be associated with reality, since such a thesis is faulty on account be associated with reality, since such a thesis is faulty on account of anavasthadosa (regressus ad infinitum).=115

Dharmakirti and Syadvada

In the Pramana-Vartika (svavrtti) Dharmakirti remarksthat the Anekantavada is mere non-sensical talk (pralapamatra). He asys in the course of refuting the Bhedabhedavada theory that the Digambaras (Jainas-Anhrikas), who present their doctrines in a fantastic way, could be refuted in the same way as the Sankhya philosophy, which thinks of the nature of reality as sbsolute difference (atyantabheda). He then mentions that the Jainas hold a view: "All is one, and all is not one (sarvam sarvatmakam na saram sarvatmakam).116

Dharmakirti tries to clarify his remark by presenting a traditional example of the Jainas. The Jainas explain their theory of the nature of reality with the illustration of a golden jar (svarnaghata), where gold is considered the general, and not the particular, character. Here Dharmakirti points out why the jainas do not recognize the jar or pot itselg as a general character, since Dravyatva is in all of them according to Jainism

Dharmakirti is of the view that the Jaina theory of dual character, viz universal and particular, is so formulated that the character of particularity is relegated to the background and made less significant. He explains this with reference to the famous example of camel and curd. If the particularity which disting camel from curd or vice verse is not an important factor, he says one may as well eat a camel when he wants to eat curd. He tries by this argument to demolish the Jaina theory as he understood that cure is not only curd by itselg (Svarupena) but also camel in a relative sense (pararupena) According to Dharmakirti, there cannot be a universal character between camel and cure and even if such a character exists, theit mutual difference or particularity is all that matters for both identification and use.117

Againat the Jaina conception of the universal character of a thing, he says: if all realities are sat (being or isness), there would be no difference between knowledge and word (dhi and dhvai) that imparts a Knowledge, which is quite impossible. Therefore Syadvada conception in Dharmakirti's opinion is defective. 118

Prajnakaragupta and Syadvada:

prajnakaragupta(660-720 A.D.), the well known commentator and a pupil of Dharmakirti, also refutes the Jain theory of reality. His criticism is very similar to the criticism of Nagarjuna. Prjnakara says: origination, destruction, and permanence cannot exist together. If is destroyed how can it be a reality; if it is permanent, If is destroyed and if it is permanent, it should always be in mind. He then argues that the reality cannot be realised as both eternal and non-eternal. It should be accpeted as either eternal or non-eternal.119 Here Prajnakara pointed out that the triole character of a thing is a self-contradictory theory.

Arcata and Syadvada:

Samantabhadra's view mentioned in the "dravyaparyayayoraikyam" and "samjnasamkhyavisesasca" has not been refuted by Dharmakirti. Whatever may be its reason, it is criticised by his commentator Arcata (about the seventh century A.D.) who follwoed the arugments of Nagarjuna 120 He says: origination and destruction cannot exist together in one dharmi, since they ate contradictory in character. The argument "they take place relatively" would not solve the question, because in the course of origingation and destruction, permanence would be there, and likewise in the presence of a permanent character the other two would be absent Therfore, a triple-charactered nature of reality as the Jainas assert, is not possible accoble according to Arcata's way of thinking. 121

An another place he tries to refute the Bhedabhedavada (identity-in-difference) conception which means the substance and its modes cannot be separated from a realistic stendpoing, but they ate different in name, number, nature, place, etc from a practical viewpoint. It appears as if he does not see much difference between ubhayavada of Vaisesikas bhedabheda of jainas, That is the reason why he conceives the substance as being completely defferent from its modes.

He refutes the view first in prose under the heading "Anhrikadisammatasya dravyaparyayah bhedabhedapaksasyanirasah"

and then the same arguments are repeated in fourty-five stanzas, The gist of them is as follows:

The difference between substance and its modes by the name, number, etc and unity of them into one by place, time, and nature, is not possible as the nature of reality, since an entity cannot assume more than one character. 122

He further points out that samjna is the cause of an intimation (sanketa) which depends on desites. How then can one differentiate it by name, since it is also one, not two? Words are fictitious, the difference therefore, would be imaginative Sankhyabheda also is not possible as there is a difference between vacya (to be spoken) and vacaka (speaker), which is also kalpita .(imaginative).

Further he points out that without the destruction of a substance there would be no destruction of its modes. Hence, they can be identified neither as bheda nor as abheda. If the modes are different from the substance, words would not be connected with them. If they are accepted as non-different, their natures would be one. How then could the Laksanabheda be applied? Karyabheda is also not possible as there is no difference in nature. 124

The theory "substance and its mondes are not different (abheda) in place, time, nature" is also defective in Prajnakara' sviews. He saya: "position, the form, smell, juice, touch etc. are different in modifications. If the nature stays with substance and nodes in the form of destruction and otherwise, the substance would be two as ghata and pata, not one which removes abhedatva with them. Further he says, if the bhedabheda is accepted, the bheda (dfference) would be fictitious due to not leaving the abheda (identity), would be abheda would be proved as false in character. Here Arcata thinks in terms of ubhayavada that if the substaance and mode ate completely defferent, all the evils of both the "identityview and difference-view" will lay upon this conception.124

Arcata refers to the jaina's view that they analyse reality through sui-generis (Jatyantara) which exposes the combination of identity and difference, although it makes a distinction between the particular and general character of reality. For instance, Narasimha is a combination of man and lion, which is not self-contradictory because of the theoty of sui-generis.

Opposing this theory, Arcata points out that Narasimha is a compendium of atoms which cannot be transtormed into narasimha. Due to a combination of the forms which is called sabalarupa, a place of existence of diverse naturas. How then could a unity in nature be proved/ Arcata finally remakrs that this is the philosophy of block-heads (darsanakrto'yam viprayaso mudhamatinam):

This criticism is based on the understanding that the nature of reality is completely in two different forms. This is the view of vaisesikas, not Jainas. This criticism nade by Aranyakas is answered by the later Jaina philosphers such as Vadirajasuri, Anantavirya, Prabhacandre.

Santaraksita and Syadvada

Santaraksita examined the Syadvada doctrine of the Jainas in a separate chapter of his Tattvasangraha. The main defects, according to him, are as follows:

if the oneness between substance and modes is real (agauna), then the substance also should be destructive like the form of the successive factors or those successive factors themselves should be comprehensive (anugatatmaka) in their character, like the nubstance. Therefore it should be admitted that either there is absolute destruction of all characters or it consists of the elments of permanence, exclusiveness and inclusiveness, which can-not exist in any single thing.126

Hence he turns to the wuniversal and the particular character of an entity. He says: there would be a comingling (sankarya) and a confusion (Sandeha) in the dual nature of teality, the result of which would not be helpul to decide which is general and which is particuloar (parasparsvabhavatve syatsamanyavisesayoh sankaryatattvato nedam dvaiupyamupapadyate) 127

If the generat and the particular are regarded as non-different from one and the sane thing, how could there be any difference in the nature of these two characters? And being non-different why should it not be regarded as one? 127

The diversity of properties (dharmabheda) also cannot be accepted there, since the diversity or plurality cannoto be one. As regards the potencies (saktnam), their diversity is merely a creation of the speakers' desire to speak. As it is crystal clear that both, affirmation and denial, cannot exist in one thing. we hava to regard the self-contradiction between unty and plurality. Hence, he observes that any diversity of properties of a single entity can only be a creation of fancy (kalpita) 128

In diversity (stage of an entity which is excluded from several like and unlike things to this and that) even a single thing may be assumed to have numberless diverse forms; but in reality no single thing thing thing can reasonably have two forms.

Santaraksita further gives a traditional example of Narasimha. He says; such entities as narasimha nad others which have been described as possessing dual characters are also not real but conceptual (kalpita). These arguments of Santaraksita resemble those of Arcata. 129

Thus he arrives at the conclusion that duel character of a thing is figment of mere inagination.

Karnakago min and Syadvada

Karnakatomin in the Pramanavartikasvavrttitika refers to the Digambaras' theory of relativity, according to which they accept the mutuual negation (anyanyabhava) to distinguish the realities, so that they should not be confused. He then starts to criticise the view that the distinction among things, cannot be inentifedn by mutual negation, which is possible in entities produced by non-different causes. If they originate from different causes, how does anyonabhava come into existence? 130

Further he tried to show the defects in the Jaina's theory of universal-cum-particular character of urdhvatasamanyatmaka and tiryakaamanyatmaka vastu. He then rejects the theory saying that there should be either abhheda or dyantabheda.Both characters cannot co-exist in the same substance. Hence the urdhvatasamanya could be destroued because thing are not permanent.

As regards tiryaksamanya, that is also defective in character in his opinion. He says: if the unicersality were in the substance, the ghata (pot) and pata (pata (linen) or dadhi (cure) and ustra (camel) would be identical, Hence a shape or a water-pot should be found in cloth and a curdeater should consume a camel 131 Therefore Syadvada doctrine is false (mithyavada) in his opinion.

Thus Karnakatomin makes his refutation following Dharm. akIrti's arguments, and tries to prove that the dual characteristic of an entity is not possible as it invites serious defects in the theory.

Jitari and Shadvada

Jitari, another Buddhist logician wrote a complete book Anekantavadamirasa to refute the Anekantavada. Padmaraja summarizes its arguments as follows;-

When the Anekantavadin maintains that dravya and paryaya are identical, owing to the identity of their nature, it means that he affirms nothing short of their total identity (ekarupataiva) Difference, based on (the secondary consideration) number etc (sankhyadi), will then be fictitious (Kalpanamatrakalpitah syat). For, a real difference (paramarthikobhedah) between the two cannot proceed from the identity of theit nature (na hi yayoh svabhavabhedah tayoh anyatha paramarthiko bhedah sambhavati). 132

Or conversely, when the anekantavadin pleads that dravya and paryaya are different, it means that he affirms their unqualified differnce. Identity will then be ictitious. for real identity (svabhavabhedah) cannot proceed from the differencc which is their basic and total nature. The truth about the whole position, according to Jitare, is that one cannot have identity as well as difference by the same nature (na ca tenaiva svabhavena bhedascabhedasca).

Padmarajan then says: "the entire argument, from the Buddhist side, may be said to have been grounded on the basic truth of the fundamental Buddhist dictum: "It cannot be right to affrm and deny a thing at once, affirmation and denial being mutually contradictout,"133

Likewise the same arguments are fund in the Vijnaptimatratasiddhitika According to that both the affirmative and negative aspects cannot exist in one thing.134


To sum up in very ancient days there was a three-fold or four-fold common predication to satify the burning philosopical questions of mind. Pali as well as Jain Prakrt literature, mention them as Scepticism of agnosticism. The Anekantavada (non-absolustic standpoint) which strives to incorpoate the truth of all systems, has  two main organs that of Nayavada (the doctrine of standpoints), and Syadvada (the dialectic of conditional predication). The whole theory is more renowned by the name of Syadvada and its apprehenders ate called Syadvadimah or Jainas.

The nature of reality is the main problem of philosophy. On the basis of Syadvada the Jainas established the dual character of reality. In the medieval period of logic the non-jaina philosophers, especially the Byddhists, such as Nagarjuna, Dharmakirti, Prajnakara, Arcata, Santaraksita and Jitari attacked the theory and blamed the Janinas for several defects and ultimately called their theory Mithyavada and Jalmakalpita.

The jaina philosphers tried their best to explain the theories which these critics held to be defective. Akalanka (720-780 A.D.), wjp can be hailed as the propunder of the Jaina tradition appeats to have more or less followed him in their Jaina tradition appears to have more or less followe him in their endeavaurs to refute the objection brought against Jaina conceptions

The main arguments of the Buddhists to reject the Syadvada doctrine, as we have already mentioned is that the two characters cannot exist rotether in one reality. Otherwise there would be a self-contradiction of affirmative and negative characters. Other defects to be mentioned are confusion adn commingling that follw self-contradiction.

As a matter of fact, the Buddhist philosophers misunderstood the theory of Syadvada, since they treated the dual characteristic of the nature of reality as absolutely different from each ofther. This theory originally belonged to the vaisesikas, anhd not the Jainas. The theory of the vaisesikas, called Ubhayavada is criticised by the Jaines themselves, who observed in it the defects of selg-contradiction commingling, doubt, etc. The Buddhist philosophers have found the very same defects in the Jainas' theory of Syadvada.

The foremost afgunent against this doctrine is the violation of the Law of Contradiction, which means that "be" and "not be" cannot exist together. But the Jainas do not accept this formula in toto. They say that the validity of of experience (samvedana) and not by pre-conception. Experence certifies that the dual chatacter of entities  exists in respect of its own individuality and does not exist apart from and outsitde this nature (sarvamasti svarupena pararupena nasti ca), as we have already seen. In relativistic standpoint both, being and non-being, can exist together. Everything is real only in relation to and distinction from every other thing. The Law of Contradiction is denied absolutely in this respect. The point is only that the absolute distinction is not a correct view of things, according to Jainism.

As regards the triple character (origination, destruction, and permanence) of reality, the Jainas support it through anyathanupapannatvahetu as explained before. The Buddhists themselves are of the view that a thing perishes immediately after its origination, and this continuitynevger ends. The continuity of moments or similar moments (sajatiyaksanas) is considered the material cause (upadana karana).This is in fact nothing but only dhrauvya or a permanent feature of the jainas and the Santana (continuity of the Buddhists.Without accepting dhrauvya or santana, memory (Smrti), recognition (pratyabhijnana), bondage-salvation (bandhamoksa), etc wpi;d dosappear frpm fidle of experience. Therefore, the permanent element is essential for the circulation into the modes.

The permanent element possesses the character of indentity in-difference (dhedabhedavada) Identity is used in the sense that the substance and its modes cannot be separated from a realistic standpoint, and difference in the sense that they ate different in name, number, etc from a practical viewpoint.135 In other words, the modes are not absolutely different from substance as in that case, the modes would not belong to the substance. with past reflections the substance is transformed into present moeeds and proves itselg as a cause of tuture modes that are necessary for the understanding of the permanent character of an entity. To understand the difference between Gunas and paryayas, the terms sankhya, laksana, etc are used. From a realistic standpoint there is no such difference which could indicate the separation between them. After refuting the objections of Arcata, Vadiraja comments that the latter is not capable of finding defects in the Syadvada by his powerful voice. 136

To preserve the unity of terms in relation to different characters, the Jainas assert an element which is called Jatyantary (sui generis or unque). They maintain that a reality is a synthesis of identity-in-difference and each syntheses is Jatyantary.137 This is illustrated by the instance of Narasimha which is criticised by the Buddhist philosophers. Prabhacandra says in response to the Buddhist criticism about narasimha that it is neither nara nor simha, but becausof their similarities they are called Narasimha. While having mutual separation they exist non-differently in relation to substance and like waves in water they emerge and sink in eavh other.138 Thus there is no self-contradiction in dual charactars of an entity in relative sense, as the Jainas assert.

Dharmakirti urged with regard to the universal-cumparticular character of reality that this theory compelled one to recognize the curd and camel as one entity. In connection with the fallacious middle term (hetvabhasa) Akalanka points out that the Buddhist philosophers discover defects to censure the Jainas on the basis of invalid argumaents (Mithyajati).139 For instance, Dharmakirti ignores the form ula sarvobhavastadatatsvabhavah and tries to establish equality between curd and camel. Hence he questions why one who intends to eat curd, does not go to eat a camel in place of curd, since according to Jainism, bth have the universal character, 140

Akalanka tries to disarm critics like Dharmakirti by ponting out the deffinition of samanya and visesa. Vadiraja, a commentaror of Akalanka, explains that the similar transtormation of a thing into its modes (sadrasaparinamo hi samanyam) is called Samanya 141 According to this definition, the modes of curd and camel ate not similar, they are really completly different, as well as similaf. How is it then possible that these elements are mixed?

Another argument used for the refutation of the Buddhist standpoint is that the identity is only among the modes of curd, as hard, harder, hardest, etc. but they have never any sort of relation with the nodes of camel. Hence, they can never be mixed with each other. Vadiraja refers to a traditional fiction that Dharmakirti proved himself as a Vidusaka (jester) because he did not possess a good knowledge of the opponents theory. 142

Akalanka again crticises the view of Dharmakirti saying that if the argument that "the atoms of curd and camel may have been mixed sometimes before and the atoms of curd have still the capacity to be transfered into the modes of camel" is to be raised, it would not be advisable. For the past and the future modes of an entity are different, and all transactions and transformations run according to present modes. The curd is for the purpose of eating, while the camel is for riding. The words for them are also completely different from each other. The word "curd" can be applied only to curd, not camel. It is the same case with the word "camel" too.

Akalanka further points out if in relation to past modes the unity between curd and camel is derived, then Sugata was mrga (deer) in his previous birth and the same Mrga became Sugata. Why then should Sugata only worshipped and Mrga be considered edible? 143

1. sugato'pi mrgo jato mrgo'pi Sugatah smrtah,

Tathapi Sugato vandyo mrgah khadyo yathesyata.

Tatha Vastubaladeva bhedabhedavyavasthiteh

Codito dadhi khadeti kimustramabhidhavati

Thus he tries to prove that as the transformations of sugata and Mrga are quite different, and their being worshipped and eaten are related to theit modes, all substamces have the capacity to be transformed only to their possible modes, not to others. Therefore the identity between the modes of cure and camel cannot laead to the truth. Their transformations do not have the Tadatmyasambandha and Niyatasambandha.

In fact, Akalanka and other Jaona Acaryas tried to meet the arguments of the Buddhist philosophers in forceful words. The innumerable examples of scathimg attacks against Buddhists can be seen in Akalanksa's and other Jaina Scaryas' works. The caustic remerks' such asJadyahetavah, ahnikalakaanam, pasulaksanam, etc made by Dharmakirti himselg on opponents' views ate criticised by Akalanka in tbe Pramana-sangrath. 145

Thus the Jaina Acaryas do not accept any self-contradiction in the Syadvada conception. Likewise, the which are based on the selgcontradiction, are also proved as "mithyadosaropana". And according to them. the criticism made by the buddhists or others is not effective in this ccontext. As a matter of fact, in their opinion, Syadvada has no defects provided it is clearly understood.


From these comments we mey conclude that:-

(i) The rudiments of syadvada conception of Jainas can be gleaned from early Pali literature.

(ii) Syadvada conception originally belonged to Jainas and all the subsequent thinkers adopted it in a somewhat different way as a common approach to conceive the mature of reality.

(iii) Syadvada is neither Ucchedavada nor Sassatavada as Buddhaghosa understands, but is permanence-in-change. According to this theory, the triple characters, viz, origination, destruction and permanence, can abide with a substance at one and the same time.

(iv) Arthakriya (causal efficiency) is the essence of Syadvada conception. According to the Jainas. the arthakriya is possible in only the dynamic (parinami) substance.

(v) The nature of relity is universal-cum-particular; and the nature of relation of an entity is deliverance of the direct and objective experience.

(vi) There is neither self-contradiction nor any other defect which the Bubbhist Acaryas tried to point out.

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