Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions
Publisher's Note
Authorĺs Note
Mahavira: A Non-Violent Revolutionary
Transfer of Embryo
  Socio-political Conditions
  Vajji's Democracy
  Magadha and Srenika
  Ajatasatru Vajjis
  Princely following of Mahavira
  Social Conditions
  Intellectual Fervour
  Revolutionary push by Mahavira
  Significant Events
  Indra's Offer of Protection
  Five Resolves at Morak Hermitage
  Education Rather than Exposure
  Poisonous Fangs of Canda Kausika
  States of a Digambara
  Association with Gosala
  Candanabala : First Head of Women Disciples
  Final Act of Nirjara
  Attainment of Kaivalya
  First Ganadharas
  Actions follow the Doer
  Search for Responsibilty and Sramana Line
  Mahavira's Synthesis
  Psychological Approach of Mahavira
  Categories of Karmas
  Duration of Karmic Bondage
  Nature of Bondage
  Mitigation of Bondage
  Fresh Karmas
  Life's activities
  Even good actions bind, if motivated
  Consequences of Karma Theory
  Process of Change and Nine Tattvas
  Essential Tendency of Jiva
  Papa' and ĹPunya' : Both of Binding Nature
  Asrava (Influx)
  Bandha (Bondage)
  Nirjara (Shedding of Accumulated Karmas)
  Moksa (Final Liberation)
  Enlightened Consciousness
  Self, the starting point
  Will and Eagerness
  Bhavana or Anupreksa (Reflection)
  Twelve Vratas of House-holder
  Dhyana (Meditation)
  Lesya (Disposition)
  Code of Conduct for Monks - Modus Operandi
  Austerities (Tapascarya)
  Appendix - A
  Appendix - B
  Appendix - C
  Appendix - D
  Appendix - E


Justice T.U.Mehta

Paryayarthika Naya (Aspect of Modification or change) and Dravyarthika Naya (Aspect of substratum) , Seven classes of Nayas , Utility of Naya theory .

"The distinctive feature of an unintelligent man is the hastiness and absoluteness of his opinions. The scientist is slow to believe and never speaks without modification always ready to concede that it may be wrong."

Bertand Russel

The greatest contribution which the Jainas have made to the world of thought is by their theories of Nayavada and Syadvada. The word ´┐ŻSyad' in Samskrta means ´┐Żperhaps' but in Jainism it is used to show the relativity of a judgement and the word ´┐ŻNyaya' means ´┐ŻStandpoint'. Truth or reality is always complex and has many aspects. If one is impressed by one of the aspects of a complex reality and begins to identify the reality only by that aspect he is bound to make a wrong judgement about the reality. Therefore, the Jaina seers exhort us to look at the complexities of life and knowledge, from every standpoint and from positive as well as negative aspects. They recognise that the apprehension of an ordinary human being is partial and hence valid only from a particular point of view which cannot give a correct or even a nearly correct comprehension of the whole. The complex reality has not only infinite number of qualities but also infinite number of relations. Again, it may be looked at differently by different persons and under their different circumstances. It assumes different forms and appearances for which due allowance ought to be made. All this makes it difficult to form a correct judgement about it unless a systematic and logical method is found to identify it. This method is called Nayavada. As Dr.S.Radhakrishnan observes --

"The doctrine of Nayas of Standpoint is a peculiar feature of Jaina logic. A Naya is a standpoint from which we make a statement about a thing - What is true from one standpoint may not be true from another. Particular aspects are never adequate to the whole reality. The relative solutions are abstractions under which reality may be regarded, but do not give us a full and sufficient account of it. Jainism makes basic and fundamental principle that truth is relative to our standpoint."

Thus ´┐ŻNaya' can be defined as a particular view point-a view point which gives only a partial idea about an object or view which cannot over rule the existence of another or even a contrary view about the same object. If an object or theory is judged only from one standpoint, the judgement is one sided and it is termed as ´┐ŻEkanta'. ´┐ŻEka' means ´┐Żone' and ´┐ŻAnta' means ´┐Żend', thus Ekanta means one-sidedness. The Jainas therefore ask us to judge from all aspects which is called ´┐ŻAnekanta'. This is the basic principle of Jaina philosophy. Every fundamental principle of Jaina philosophy is based on Anekanta. Throughout, its approach Anekanta has been to accept the different aspects or even contradictory aspects of the reality and to evolve a synthesis between the contradictory philosophical theories. For instance, some of the Vedantic teachers have said that every visible form has an unchangeable substance. From a lump of clay many forms can be made but clay-substance remains the same. So, only that substance which remains unchanged and permanent is real, the forms are unreal as they are ever changing. From this point of view, only ´┐ŻBrahma', which pervades the universe, is true and the rest which is tangible is unreal and untrue called ´┐ŻMaya'. On the contrary, the Buddhists contend that everything in the universe is constantly changing and the change is so rapid that the apparent continuity gives the appearance of some unchanging entity, which is not there. It is, according to Buddhist belief, just like a flowing river which gives the appearance of continuity but every drop of water which flows is different. What we perceive in clay is only a particular quality but even qualities are changing and hence there is nothing permanent which can be received besides changing qualities of an object. Thus according to Buddhists even Atman (soul) is not permanent.

A Jaina seer would say, both are correct from the stand point from which they look at the problem, but both make their statements which do not conform to the principle of Anekanta and hence do not give a correct judgement of the reality. Jainas say that changes are as real as the original substance. A jug made of a clay substance cannot be used as anything except as a jug and since the use is real, the form of a jug which clay has assumed, cannot be unreal. If the clay substance assumes some other form of an earthen vessel meant for cooking, that vessel cannot be used as a jug even though clay substance remains the same. If this is so, how can we say that the form which the substance assumes at a particular time is unreal and only the substance is real. The substance of clay appears to be the only real thing to those who concentrate on substance and ignores the form. It is not correct to say that because there is a change in the form, the changing form is unreal. If it is real even for a moment, its reality must be accepted and recognised, if a comprehensive view of the whole reality is to be taken. If one wants a jug he would not ask you to bring a lump of clay because what he wants is a jug and not clay. Thus according to Jainism the Vedantist view is Ekanta and does not give a complete idea of the reality.

Similarly even the Buddhist view does not give the comprehensive idea because it concentrates its attention only on change and ignores the fact, that behind every change there is a constant substance, which remains the same. Analogy of rivers is fallacious because though it may be true that the apparent flow is made of different drops, water substance remains the same. Moreover, it would not be correct to say that the intrinsic quality substances are changing though their outward form may not be changing. For instance water may change the form and become ice or vapour but its intrinsic elements namely H2O remain the same. Thus the Jainas would contend that the Buddhists ignore to take into account that substance which is permanent.


Paryayarthika and Dravyarthika Naya

According to the Jainas, in order to have a complete and comprehensive judgement of reality one has to take into account the main substance which has the element to permanence and goes under the changes in various forms. In this process of change the previous form dies away and new form comes into existence. The birth of the new form is called Utpada, the death of the old form is called Vyaya and the substance which remains constant during this process of birth and death is called Dhrauvya. When one is able to comprehend all these three, one can arrive at a proper judgement about the thing in question. When the self takes the form of a human being you can know it as a ´┐Żman' or a ´┐Żwoman'. When it takes a form of the vegetable, you can describe it as ´┐Żgrass'. All these descriptions are true from the standpoint of the forms which the self has assumed. So, when we recognise a thing from the point of view of the modification or change, it is called ´┐ŻParyayarthika Naya'. Paryaya means modification, change. But when we recognise that thing from the point of view of substance. The former consider changing aspect of reality while the later considers its permanent aspect. A correct and comprehensive perception of a thing is possible when its permanent substance (Dravya) is taken into account along with its existing mode (Paryaya). As Acarya Siddhasena puts it : "Anekantatmakam Vastu Gocarah", i.e., we can understand a thing properly by perceiving its various aspects.