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01 OCTOBER, 2017 (MAINS)


Q1. Critically evaluate Jaina doctrine of relative pluralism or Anekantvada? (2012/15)


Please write the answer in comments section

  • Akshay

    Anekantavada is a doctrine of manyness of realities. This states that there are innumerable realities having innumerable qualities. These reality Jainism called dravya or substance.
    But being a human we are definite and thus can know some of the characters of the dravya like
    3. Guna or attribute – these are permanent, unchangeable and essential. For eg. Consciousness
    4. Paryaya or modes – these are not permanent, changeable and non-essential. For eg. Pain, pleasure, desire, etc.
    From this theory of anekantavada, the syadvada has been derived. Syadvada is an Epistemological outcome of anekantavada.

    However it has been criticised severely:
    • Shankaracharya – Brahman is the only reality and the world is mithya. This is called as brahman ekantavada.
    • Buddha’s ksanikvada – nothing is permanent in the world. Thus guna cannot be accepted as permanent.
    • Also if we cannot know the innumerable qualities then it is absurd to say that they exists.
    Although this theory has been criticised but it has its own importance. It promotes individual freedom. In the practical world we can see the different objects if not all objects. It makes the life easier and give scope for the development.