Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions

Jivaraja Jaina Granthmala, No. 20

General Editorial
Preface to The First Edition
Preface to The Second Edition
Synoptic Philosophy
  Approach to Reality
  The Jaina Theory of the Soul
  Critique of Knowledge
  The Doctrine of Karma in Jaina Philosophy
  The Pathway to Perfection
  In this Our Life
  Men and Gods

CRITIQUE OF KNOWLEDGE

 

 

Each Jiva has its own mind, although the Internal nature of mind is one: mano laksanatvena sarvamanasam ekatvat" because the essential nature of mind is the expression of the mental stales. In the Sthananga we read, ege jivanam mane."[24] In this way and according to the situation, the Gods, men and Asuras have each his own mind. In the Tattvarthasutra, the classification of the souls, five sensed organisms with minds is mentioned : sanjninah samanaskah [25]. In the five-sensed organisms only some possess minds. Comparative psychologists like Kohler and Alverdes have shown that mind in the developed form is possible in the case o higher animal having insight. Naiyayikas also believe that each organism possesses a mind and sensitive organs in order that it may be in a position to cognize the objects and to experience self has one mind, because a single mind of atomic magnitude cannot be shared by all. This mind in each self can function only inside the organism with which the self is connected.[26] If there was one common mind for all, there would be simultaneity of cognition. A similar argument was presented by the Jaina thinkers in favor of the Jiva being bhavamanorupa. If the Jiva was sarvagata, there would be cognition of everything by everyone.[27] Their arguments were metaphysical and epistemological than psychological. But modern psychology as analyzed the same problem from the psychological point of view. McDougall writes, "It seems probable that mind has the same nature wherever and whenever it exists or manifests itself, whether in animals, men or superhuman beings, whether in the new-born infant, the fool other wise man. On the other hand, the structure of the mind seems to be peculiar to each individual;" not only is it different in the various species of animals (if they have minds) and in man; but eh structure of the mind of one man at each stage of his career of life-history, it is not quite the same as at any other stage. [28]

 

The ancient Indian philosophers were faced with problems concerning the insumental nature of the mind. It was generally believed that, like other sense organs, mind was also a sense organ, and the instrument of the soul. In the Upanisads we find references to the mind as one of the organs along with he other sense and motor organs (jnanendriyas and karmendriyas)[29] Prasna Upanisad mentions manas as a central organ. Reference to the manas as the driver of the ten organs in the Maitri Upanisad may also be noted. Orthodox Hindu philosophy accepts mind as the internal organ.  Similarly, Vidyanandi maintains that buddhi and ahamkara cannot be regarded as sense organs. The Nyaya-Vaisesika philosophers who make buddhi, ahamkara and manas together to constitute the internal organ anthakarana. But Jayanta believes that mind is an internal organ. Similarly, Vidyanandi maintains that buddhi and ahamkara cannot be regarded as sense organs. The Nyaya-Vaisesika philosophers regarded min as the internal organ. But Gautama did not include it in the list of the sense organs. Kanada is also silent. Vatsyayana includes manas under the senses. He calls it the inner sense by which we apprehend the inner states by the instrument of the manas. Vatsyayana believes that mind is as good a sense organ as the eye and the like, though there are certain differences. But the Jainas believed that the minds is a no-indriya in the sense that it is different from the five sense organs. Its sense contents and functions are not entirely identical with those of indriyas. The prefix no here does not mean not, but is at times rendered as isad. it is a quasi sense organ.

 

Still they accept the instumental function of the mind. In the Gommatasara: Jivakanda, we get a description of mind as the no-indriya. It is though the mind that mental knowledge and mental activity arise. But in the case of the mind there is no external minifestation as in the case of the other sense organs. The function of mind is assimilative.[30] The Pramanamimansa describes mind as the thing which grasps everything. In the vrtti of the same it is said, "mano'nindriyam iti no indriyam iti ca ucyate''.[31] In the Tattvarthasutra, the function of mind, which is anzndriya, is described as the sruta cognition. The second function is the mati and its modifications.[32]  It is called the organ of apprehension of all objects because all sense experiences are apprehended by the mind. The Jainas accepted the instrumental nature (karanatva) of the mind.  But it is said that the karana is of two types bafiya karana and antafikarana, and even the dravya manas is described as the antahkaraba, the internal organ. Being the internal organ, it is different from the other sense organs.[33] However, such a description of mind need not be interpeted in the sense that, according to the Jaina view, mind is not a sense organ; in fact, it is more than a sense organ. Its function is not specific like that of the other sense organs. It is sarvartha-grahanam, as it is stated in the Pramanamimamsa.

 

II. In the Dravyasamgraha, Nemicandra says that soul in its pure form has the quality of consciousness. Brahma-deva, in his commentary, writes that from the ultimate point of view, Jiva is distinguished by its quality of consciousness.[34] It is the most direct and nearest reality of which any one who has introspected is most immediately aware.

 

Consciousness has been the most important of discussion for philosophers, psychologists as well as scientists.  Attempts have been made to solve the problem from various angles. In the Aitareya Aranyaka, an effort is made to understand the different stages of the development of consciousness in the universe. In the evolution of herbs, trees and all that is animal, the dtman is gradually developing.  In the herbs, only sap is seen; in the animated beings, citta is seen, in man, there is gradual development of atman, for he is now endowed with prajna.[35] Similarly, in the Chandogyopanisad, Prajapati describes the progressive identification of atman with body consciousness. The psycho-physiological method is adopted in the Taittiriya. [36] Finally, the atman as Jnanamaya and anandamaya is emphasized.  The Jaina classification of the Jivas places the problem of the evolution of consciousness on a scientific basis. Jivas have been classified into one, two, three, four and five-sensed according to the number of the sense organs possesed by them. Jivas possessing the five senses are divided into those having mind and those without mind. It is now realized that the rise of consciousness is late in the evolution of life from physical evolution to the evolution of life, mind and consciousness .

 

Cetana as a fundamental quality of the soul is pure consciousness, a kind of flame without smoke. This consciousness is eternal although it gets manifested in the course of the evolutionary process of life in the empirical sense. This empirical consciousness arises from the contact of the sense organs with the objects. Cetana in its pure form gets embodied with the Atrnan and comes into contact with the empirical life, with the sense organs and objects. It manifests itself in the form of jnana and darsana. Jnana and Darsana are, therefore, aspects of cetana and cetana is the spring-board from which they arise. It is like the flood of light in which objects are illuminated. It is the psychic background and the psychic halo of cognition in its two aspects, jnana and darsana. Cetana, therefore, is the light of consciousness that the soul possesses and through this light the cognition of objects arises.

 

The anaiysis of the states of consciousness has been important problem for philosophers as well as the psychologists. Consciousness has three aspects the cognitive, the effective and the conative. They are modes of consciousness In perceiving, believing or otherwise apprehending that such and such a thing exists and has characteristics, one's attitude is cognitive. In the effective attitude one is either please or displeased about it. But one is also active about it, tries to know more about it, and tries to alter it in some respect.  This attitude is conative.[37] But Stout says that though these three modes of consciousness are abstractly and analytically distinct phases in a concrete psychosis, they are not separable.  They do not occur in isolation from each other. Mind is an organic unity and its activities have the closest degree of organic inter action. However, in every psychosis one of the aspects may be predominant. In the pleasure of pursuit, feeling presupposes conation. Sometimes, feeling is dependent on certain conative attitudes involved in the Ferceptual process. Similar reciprocity is found in conation and cognition .

 

Indian thinkers were aware of the distinction of states in consciousness. The Jainas recognize three forms of consciousness. They make a distinction between consciousness as knowing, as feeling and as experiencing the fruits of Karma (karma-phala-cetana), and willing.[38] Conation and feeling are closely allied. As a rule we have first feeling, next conation and then knowledge.[39] McDougall has emphasized that feeling is the core of all instinctive activity.  In fact, in all experience there is a core of feeling, while the cognitive and conative aspects are varying factors. In the Aitareya Upanisad there is mention of different modes of experience. Sensation, perception and ideation are different modes of intellection. It recognizes feeling and volition as the other two forms of experience. The seers of Upanisads give a classification of seven mental functions.[40] At the basii is intellection. The Chandogyopanisad emphasizes the primacy of the will. The Buddhists also recognized such a distinction. We have perception and conception, feeling and affection, and conation or will. In the Buddhist theory, will is the most dominant aspect of conscious experience, the basal element of human life. RADHAKRISHNAN in his lndian Philosophy suggests that vijnana, vedana and samskdra roughly correspond to knowledge, feeling and will.[41] Childers in his dictionary brings the concept of conation under samskara. Mrs. Rhys Davids believes that, although there is no clear distinction between conation in the psychological sense and will in the ethical sense, still in the Pitakas there is consistent discrimination between psychological importance and ethical implication.[42] Professor Stout has given up old tripartite classification of mental states and reverts to the ancient bipartite analysis of mind bringing the effective and conative elements together under the name of interest. RADHAKRISHNANsays that, if we discard the separation of cognition and make it the theoretical aspect of conation, we get to the Buddhist emphasis on conation as the central fact of mental life.

 

In the Nyaya-Vaisesika theory also there is a description of the manifestation of the three aspects of self as knowledge, desire and volition. We have to know a thing before we feel the want of it. In order to satisfy the want, we act. Thus, as HIRNANNA says, feeling mediates between cognition and conation. Thus, the modes of consciousness have been the problem of philosophers and psychologists. There is a general agreement regarding the division of consciousness into three modes, although different philosophers have emphasized different aspects in the concrete psychosis.  Buddhists have emphasized conation. In the Upanisads all the aspects have received their due prominence, The primacy of the intellect is emphasized in the Chandogya and Maitri Upanzsads.[43] In the Chdndogya, again, we get a description of the primacy of the will. But this has reference to the cosmic will rather than to its psychological aspect. The Jainas emphasize the close relation between conation and feeling. The Nyaya theory describes the function of feeling as a mediating factor between cognition and conation.

 

III. Self-consciousness: The term self-consciousness is very ambiguous. It may mean consciousness of the self as an object given in introspection. In this sense, the self, the empirical ego, becomes both an aspect of experience an also an object of experience. Self-consciousness may mean transcendental and pure self consciousness. It is not a object of knowledge. It is the ultimate subject presupposed in acts of knowledge. Again, consciousness may mean the ultimate eternal consciousness, which is a metaphysical concept. It is also used in the empirical sense as consciousness which is changing-' Some of the earlier philosophers have not made a clear distinction between the metaphysical and the psychological sense of consciousness. In the Upanisads, the atman is described as the basis and the ultimate presupposltion in all knowledge. It is the absolute knower, and how can the knower itself be known?[48] It cannot be comprehended by intellect. It is the serr and the knower.[49] Yet, the atman can be known by higher intutition. It is knowable as the pratyagatmanam apprehended by adjyatmayoga.[50] The Buddhists recognize the distinction between subject and object within the consciousness. They do not believe in the transcendental self. Their view of consciousness is like the stream of consciousness of William James. Yogacaras believe that self is a series of cognition or ideas. There is no self apart from cognition. They reveal neither the self nor the non-self.

 

Some Nyaya philosophers, specially the Neonaiyayikas, believed that the self is an object of internal perception manasapratyaksa. The Vaisesikas also maintain that, although the self is not an object of perception but of inference, it can be apprehended by Yogic intuition. The Samkhya philosophers maintain that consciousness is the essence of self.  It is self-intuition. Self is inferred through its reflection in  buddhi. But Patanjali accepts the supernormal intuition of the self through the power of concentration. The self can know itself through its reflection in its pure sattva and also -when mixed with rajas and tamas by supernormal intuition (Pratibha-jnana). So, the pure self can know the empirical self, but the empirical self cannot know the pure self. There is the contradiction involved in the self being both subject and object and the reflection theory does not much improve the situation. Vacaspati tries to avoid the contradiction by saying that transcendental self is the subject, and the empirical self the object, of self-apprehension.