Jain World
Sub-Categories of English Books
Jainism : as a Religion
An Antiquity of Jain Asceticism
Jain Asceticism in Vedic literature
Rsabhadeva and Other Tirthankaras
  Tirthankara Parsvanatha
  Jain Ascetic Sects and Schools
  Jain Scriptures
  Ecology and spirituality in Jain tradition
  Theory of Anekantavada
  Conception of soul (Jiva)
  Ajiva Tattva
  The Theory of Karma
  Classification of knowledge
  Jain Ethics and Asceticism
  The Categories of Jain Ascetics
  The Lay Adherent (Sravaka)
  Vegetarian Diet
  Jain Mendicant
  Meditation (Dyane)
  Rites and Rituals
  Jain as a Community
  Status of Women
  Spread of Jainism
  Art and Architecture
  Jainism and Science

Classification of knowledge


102. Jainism classified the knowledge in two ways; I) Canonical (Agamika), and ii) Philosophical (Darsanika). The five kinds of knowledge based on the former are-I) Matijnana (sensitive knowledge, ii) Srutajnana (Scriptural knowledge), iii) Avadhijnana (Visual knowledge), IV) Manahparyayajnana (mental knowledge), and v) Kevalajnana (perfect knowledge). The Pratyaksa (direct knowledge) and Paroksa (indirect knowledge) are developments of the latter. The Pratyaksa is defined as knowledge obtained by self without the assistance of an external instrument. It is only to the Jainas that "aksa" means "soul". Thus Pratyaksa in Jain Agamika tradition does not mean empirical perception, i.e. Knowledge obtained through sense organs. According to this definition, the Avadhijnana, Manahparyayajnana and Kevalajnana are comprised in Pratyaksa and Matijnana, and Srutajnana in Paroksa.

 103. The Jain definition of Pratyaksa was quite different from those of other philosophical systems. According to the latter, Pratyaksa is an acknowledgement gained through sense organs. It created the serious difficulty for Jain philosophers. The rivals began to question their standpoint. Having examined their arguments, the later Jain philosophers accepted Pratyaksa as the knowledge produced by sense organs also. Jinabhadra and Akalanka however, analyzed it as Samvyavaharika Pratyaksa (empirical perception), while the real Pratyaksa of Agamika tradition was called Paramarthika Pratyaksa (transcendental perception). Thus Matijnana, which was put under Paroksa in the Agamika tradition, came under the category of Pratyaksa in philosophical tradition.