As Angel said, perception is a synthetic process, and the combination of the new and the old is an essential part of the synthesis. This process of combining was often called, by early psychologists, ‘apperception’. This problem will be referred to later. Structural psychologists like Wound and Titchner analysed perception into sensations. They said that perceptions combine and fuse together a number of sensory elements as in the process of forming H20. It is not merely a sum of sensations. It gives a new psychological product, a creative synthesis, like the mental chemistry of J. S. Mill. Later, the Gestalt psychologists gave a new turn to the psychology of perception. They hold that every perceptual experience is an unanalysed whole; it has a quality of its own. Thus, we find that perceptual experience is not a simple unit although it is a whole and unanalysed experience. In the Pramanamimansa there is a statement that different stages of perceptual experience are essentially of the same nature. The Jaina philosophers were concerned with giving a logical and epistemological analysis of the perceptual experience. Therefore, they were more interested in giving the conditions and the stages of knowledge. However, their discussion of the problem has given a psychological picture of perception in terms of logical analysis. It is difficult to find the acumen of present-day psychological analysis in the writings of the ancient philosophers. Moreover, we may remember that their knowledge and equipment of psychology were very meager. They had no experimental basis. Their analysis was more on the basis of logic, of common sense and on insight; and yet, the stages of perception mentioned by the Jaina philosophers very much correspond to the analysis of perception given by the traditional psychology and the structuralist school.
Avagraha is the first stage of sense experience. It may be said to be analogous to sensation. It is the level of sensation in which perceptual experience can be analysed. Umasvati defines avagraha as implicit awareness of the object of sense. He says that grahana (grasping), alocana (holding), and avadharana (pretending), are synonyms of avagraha. It is indeterminate. The object presented through sense stimulation is cognized in an undefined and indeterminate way. In this stage, we are merely aware of the presence of the object without any associations, without cognizing the specific features, and in fact without even being aware of its association and name. In the Avasyaka-Niryukti, avagraha has been defined as awareness of the sense data. Jinabhadra insists that avagraha is indeterminate in its character. He is not prepared to consider that it has reference to any specific features of the object, because even relative reference is enough to promote the experience to the stage of avaya. Then avaya becomes a higher stage, and the stage of avaya will not be necessary or possible once the cognition of specific features is admitted in the case of avagraha. It would lead to an endless series, because cognition of the particular is relative to the state of knowledge, and it would increase as knowledge increases. It is not possible to ascertain all the particulars of an object even i n a long time. It is, therefore, more appropriate to say that avagraha is mere awareness, mere cognition of an object without the knowledge of the specific nature of the object nor of its name. Naudisutra does not define avagraha. It gives the implications of the definition of avagraha as given in the Avasyaka-Niryukti and describes it as cognition of sense-data. It gives illustrations. It also gives avagrahanata, upadharanata, sravanata, avalambanata and medha as its synonyms. But some Jaina logicians, like Pujyapada Devanandi, Akalanka, Vidyanandi and Hemacandra, have said that avagraha is determinate cognition. Pujyapada Devanapdi says that, when the sense organ comes in contact with an object, there is intuitive apprehension (darsana). After that, we get cognition of the object, which is of specific nature. This is avagraha. For instance, we cognize white colour with our eyes: ‘it is white’. In this sense, the intuitive apprehension (darsana), becomes the first stage of sense experience. It will be indeterminate. It will be a species of jiiana. It has already been mentioned in this connection that dar;;ana cannot be identified with the primitive and early stages of sense experience. In that case, we could not have the highest stage of darsana, like kevala darsana. Akalaiika defines avagraha as a determinate cognition of the distinctive nature of the object. It comes after the intuitive apprehension which is due to the contact of the sense organs with the object. With the contact of the sense organs with the object, there arises ‘intuition of the bare existence’ of the object, sanmatra darsanarn. This intuitive apprehension develops into the determinate cognition of the object. That is avagraha. According to Hernacandra avugra.ha is a determinate perception which follows the indeterminate intuition through the contact of the sense organs with the object. Indeterminate intuitive experience is darsana. It does not grasp
the specific characteristics of the object. This darsana transforms itself into a determinate cognition, which is avagraha. But this avagraha is not a mental construction,a because it depends on the active exercise of the sense organs like the visual, and also because it cannot be corrected by discursive thought. Therefore, it is still immediate and direct experience based on the contact of the sense organs with the object. Similarly, Vidyanandi and Vadi-devasuri make avagraha determinate cognition.
However, it would be difficult to make avagraha determinate cognition as coming after darsana, which is indeterminate and due to the contact of the sense organs and the object, as these logicians have describedIn that case, as we have said earlier, darsana will become a mere species of jirana and will be reduced to the level of mere sensation. The higher forms of darsana, like kevala darsana, would be meaningless because there would be no higher form of darsnna. All darsana will be reduced to the sensational level. But we find that the higher forms of darsana have been accepted. It would, therefore, be more appropriate to treat darsana as a separate type of experience, in the sense of intuitive experience, and avagraha as the first stage of jizana. It is really the sensational stage, where there is mere awareness of the existence, without the cognition of the specific features, of the object.
Sensations, as William James said, are the first things in consciousness. This does not mean that all our experience is only fusing and compounding of sensations. Our experience can be analysed into sensations, and these form the elements of our sensory experience. As Stout says, sensations are of the nature of immediate experience, like the experience of cold and warm, a specific tinge of pain, or a touch located in the body or at the surface of the body. The term sensation is also extended to cover the visual data, sound, taste, and smell which may enter into immediate experience. Sensations vary not only with the variations in the presented objects but also in accordance with the state of the bodily organs. They are private and immediate experiences of the individual. Sensations are aboriginal and without precedent; a mental first cause, uncaused by antecedent mental events and inexplicable in strictly psychological terms. They are a first beginning of the knowledge, and the ultimate source upon which all empirical cognition rests. Further, sensations are simply given rather than made. They are ‘impressions’ which the mind passively receives. They constitute, as Lewis says, a content of experience “which we do not invent and cannot have as we will, but merely find”. During the period of two hundred years between the publication of Lock’s Essay and of James’s Principles, two further characteristics, now largely of antiquarian interest, were gradually attributed to sensation. Sensations were held to be the simple elements of which complex ideas are formed, as well as the matter or crude stuff out of which the associative machinery fashions the organized and meaningful world of everyday experience.
In this sense we can say that avagraha is the stage of sensation. It is the first stage of experience. It is the given. It does not involve the stage of darsana, which is qualitatively different from j”nana. Avagraha is a species of jnana. Therefore, we describe avagraha as the immediate experience. It is sensation.
Stages in Avagraha
Avagraha has been identified by us with sensation, the immediacy of experience. It is bare awareness of the existence of the object without any determination of its specific features. This fact becomes clear if we remember that avagraha has been further distinguished into two stages: (i) vyanjanavagraha and arthavagraha. Vyanjanavagraha is the earlier stage. It is a physiological stimulus condition of the sensation, of the immediate experience. In the Visesavasyaka Bhasya we get a description of vyanjanavagraha. There it is said that what reveals an object, as a lamp reveals a jar, is vyanjanavagraha. It is only the relation of the sense organ and the object in the form of sense stimulation such as sound. In the _Nandisutra, we get an example of the earthen pot and drops of water, mallaka drstanta. It gives a description of the stage of vyanjanavagraha. A clay pot is to be filled with water. In the beginning, when a person pours out one drop of water, it is absorbed and there is no sign of existence of water. He goes on pouring drops of water and at a certain stage a drop of water will be visible. Then the water begins to accumulate. We may call this stage when the water becomes visible the ‘threshold of saturation’. The drops of water below the threshold are all absorbed. Similarly, a person who is asleep receives sound stimulation successively for sometime. The sound atoms reach the ears. Innumerable instances have to occur before the ears become full of sound atoms. At a particular stage, the person becomes conscious of the sound. So far he was not aware of the sound although the auditory stimulation was pouring in. We may call this stage of first awareness the threshold of awareness’. The sensation of sound starts the moment the threshold is crossed and we become aware of the sound. That is the immediate experience of sound, arthavagraha. So far there was no awareness of the sound although the conditions of stimulation for such awareness were operating below the threshold. The stimulus was pouring in constantly although no awareness of sound was possible up to a particular stage. Such a preparatory stage of sensation presents physiological and stimulus conditions for the sensational stage. It is indeterminate and undefined. In fact, it is sometimes contended that it is not consciousness at all. Yasovijaya says that vyanjanavagraha is cognition only in name. It is only a condition of arthavagraha, which is cognition. However, the presence of consciousness in vyanjanavagraha may be admitted, although it is not explicit because of its undeveloped existence.a In this, the awareness is implicit. It may be referred to as potentiality of awareness. In this sense vyanjanavagraha is not totally unconscious, because it is this that develops into consciousness. It is not possible for man to be clearly aware of all the contents in his mind even when he is wide awake. Countless points of consciousness emerge in the course of a single day. Vyai~janavagraha has been just described as implicit awareness, the physiological and stimulus condition of awareness. It gradually develops into awareness and gives the sensation. It is very often described as ‘contact awareness’. However, it would not be appropriate to call this ‘awareness’ although there is the stimulation flowing in. Awareness gradually emerges later, through the accumulation of stimulation. It is merely potentiality of awareness, or implicit awareness. Such a stage of potential consciousness may be compared to the unconcious experiences described by Stout. The question of unconscious mental states relates to the possibility of there being experiences which may be ours but of which we cannot become aware directly. There are feelings and sensations which do not enter into the stream of our mental life so as to be open to direct observation at the time at which they occur. Leibnitz has also spoken of unconscious mental states, ‘petites perceptions’. Leibnitz’s doctrine of ‘petites perceptions’ enables him to understand how things may be in the mind in an undeveloped way even when we do not seem to be conscious of it. He agrees with Locke that sensations come first. But the unconscious mental states and the ‘petites perceptions’ imply the presence of a certain experience of which we are not directly aware. If we can know of them at all, as Stout says, we can only do so in the way in which we can come to know the mental dispositions, or as we come to know of mental states in the lower animals. In this sense, although we have compared vyaizjanavagraha to the unconscious mental states of Stout and Leibnitz, we cannot say that they are identical. It is true that there is a remote likeness, but they cannot be similar to each other, because the unconscious mental states of Stout do not accumulate and gradually emerge into consciousness. They are there but cannot be directly observed.
We may take the analogy of the psychological investigations of the Western psychologists in their attempt to measure the intensity of felt sensation. Weber carried on experiments in the direction of measuring the felt difference in the intensity of the sensation. He found that in comparing objects and observing the distinction between them, ‘we perceive not the difference between the objects but the ratio of this difference to the magnitude of the object compared’. If we are comparing by touch two weights, the one of thirty and other of twenty-nine and a half ounces, the difference is not more easily perceived than that between weights of thirty and twenty-nine drachmas. Similar observations can be made about the sense of sight. The difference in the intensity of light is discernible when the ratio of the original stimulus to the increased stimulus is 100:101. Weber said that, in addition, not the absolute difference between the vibration of two tones but the relative difference compared with the number of vibrations of the tones, is discriminated. The original stimulus, whatever its absolute intensity may be, must be increased by a certain constant fraction of its own amount, before any unlikeness in the sensation is discernible, before ‘the threshold of discernment’ is passed. The constant fraction is different for different kinds of sensation. The basis of the stimulus consists in the fact that the awareness of sense experience is possible after ‘the threshold of awareness is reached’. This is possible when the stimulus units are accumulated and produce the awareness after the particular stage. Mallaka drstanta gives a picture of such a mental process, although quantitative measurement and the experimental basis were not possible.
As soon as a person becomes conscious, the stage of vyaiajanavagra/ia is over and it transforms itself into arthavagraha. This may be called the stage of sensation proper. It is awareness of the object. In the Nandisutra, there is a statement that, in this stage, we are aware of the sound as ‘this is sound’ or ‘colour’ or ‘touch’, but not exactly cognize the nature of the sound, colour or touch. But in the Visesavasyalcabhasya, this kind of determinate awareness, as ‘this is sound’ is denied in the stage of sensation. It is merely awareness of the occurrence of the cognition, because it lasts only for one moment. It is, therefore, indeterminate and indefinite. It does not reach the stage of cognition of specific content. In the Visesavasyakabhasya, there is a discussion of an opinion of the Jaina thinkers who define arthsvagraha with reference to the development of personality. It is said that the awareness of a new-born infant is confined to cognition of the general nature only. But, as i t gradually grows, it gets sufficient experience and acquaintance with the object, and cognizes specific features of the object even in one instant. This view is criticized in the Visesava.syakabhasya on the ground that it will lead to an indefinite series of cognitions and that cognition would vary with the extent of the individual’s knowledge.
On the basis of such a distinction regarding the two stages of avagraha, it is stated that vyanjanavagraha lasts for indefinite moments, gradually proceeding towards the level of consciousness. The physio logical and stimulus conditions of awareness in the form of sensation continue to accumulate for a number of moments till the threshold of awareness is reached. But once the stage of awareness in the form of sensation is reached, it lasts only for an instant, which is an indivisible point of time and is infinitesimal.
We have seen that Western psychologists, like Stout, describe sensations as something of the nature of immediately experienced warm or cold, a specific tinge of pain, touch located in or at the surface of the body, rather than anything outside. Psychologists have extended the term to cover the visual data, the sounds and the smells that may enter into immediate experience. Stout further says that all recognition of sensation as of a certain kind, and all apprehension of it as continuing to be of the same nature or as changing in nature at different moments, involves a reference beyond this experience. For, sensation is immediate experience and nothing more. At any one moment there is no other immediate experience except just the experience itself at the moment. Sensations are genuine and factual, while mental constructs are spurious and artificial. Sensations are new, uncontaminated and untouched by those mental processes which render ideas suspect. They are not structured by perception, dimmed and blurred through detention, abridged through forgetting or artificially arranged as a result of fortuitous associations. From Hume to Russell, modern empiricism has tended to regard the inchoate beginnings of knowledge in unformed sensation as more authentic than the cognitive refinement which recent inquiry provides.
The Jainas have raised another problem regarding the subdivision of the stages in avagraha, sensational experience. This is based on the problem of contact of the sense organs with the object, the prapyakaritva and aprapyakaritva. This problem has been discussed in the last chapter. According to the Jainas, the visual sense organ is aprapyakari, because there is no contact of the sense organ with the object. Other sense organs are prapyakari. Vyaiijanavagraha, it is maintained, is essentially concerned with the contact of the sense organs with the stimulus coming from the object, gradually giving rise to awareness of the object. In this sense, according to the Jainas, there are four types of vyaiajanavagraha there being no vyanjanavagraha for the sense of sight. The visual sense organ is incompetent to establish direct contact with objects of the external world through the stimulation. But, arthavagraha is awareness itself. It is of six types - due to the five sense organs and due to the mind which is a quasi-sense organ. Thus, according to the Jainas, the visual sensation does not require accumulation of the sense stimulus coming from the object. It would’mean thcre is no mental state below the ‘threshold of awareness’.
But it would be difficult to justify the view regarding the visual sense in the light of modern science. It may be said that even in the case of the visual sense organ, the light rays have to pass through the lens of the eyes and reach the retina. In this sense, there is contact between the sense organ, the eye, and its object, which is illuminated by light. This problem has been discussed in the last chapter. It would, however, not be inappropriate to say that, even in the case of the sense of sight, the physiological and the stimulus conditions are required. Vyailjanavagraha is a necessary stage of arthnvagraha. All sensations emerge from the accumulation of the stimulation up to the stage of ‘threshold of awareness’. ‘Sensation is aroused by the messages which are transmitted through the nerves from the sense organ to the brain; and this is the description of the nature of the sensory message and the way in which it can be recorded and analysed’. If the message from the sense organs is crowded closely, the sensation is intense; and if the message is separated by long intervals, the sensation is feeble. Sensations have an upper and a lower limit. They are ‘thresholds’. If the stimuli are not sufficient and fall below the threshold, they do not evoke sense experience. They are called sub-liminal stimuli. The sub-liminal stimuli may accumulate and produce the experience. Western psychologists say that sensations have a latency period. This is the time taken by bodily tissues, physiological factors, before they produce their effect. For instance, it takes a certain length of time to arouse a sense organ and to excite the nerve fibres that lead to the brain. The brain connections, the motor nerves and also the muscles take time.
Arthavagraha, then, is the real sensational stage, the immediacy of experience, while vyanjanayagraha is a latency stage and the stimulus condition which gradually gives rise to the awareness. However, arthavagraha is also indefinite and not determinate. According to Jinabhadra the consciousness of a person just awakened from sleep and hearing the sound does not take the form ‘this is sound’; because ‘this is sound’ is determinate and discursive and requires more than one moment for developing. But, the arthavagraha is awareness of the sound, and it is instantaneous. The cognition ‘this is sound’ is possible at a later stage, called avaya.
Cognition of objects in empirical experience is not complete with mere awareness at the sensational stage. In fact, pure sensations are not possible. As Stout says, we have hardly any pure sensations, absolutely devoid of meaning, either original or acquired, except perhaps in the case of children. Therefore, though sensations are not selfsubsistent, they do involve mental factors. They have derivative meaning. All recognition of a sensation as of certain kind involves a reference beyond immediate experience. ‘Its identity in nature or difference in nature in relation to the past or possible future experiences can only be an object of thought transcending the immediacy of sense. Sensations transcend the immediacy of experience also because they are inseparably connected with thought. They have reference to external objects. They mean something beyond themselves. For instance, a sensation of red refers to something red or to something which appears red. Thus, absolutely pure sensation is not possible. It is only an abstraction. It always involves some element of meaning or association which makes the experience concrete. Sensations have always a derivative meaning. In this sense, our empirical experience will not be complete with avagraha. Avagraha is not self-subsistent. It involves meaning and has reference to object. Arthavagraha, mere awareness of sensation, lasts only for one instant, and it immediately transforms itself into more specific cognition. It brings in iha, a factor involving meaning. The next stage in experience, then, is iha. In avagraha, there is mere awareness of the object. In iha, the nature of the object is cognized. In avagraha, a person simply hears a sound. In iha, he cognizes the nature of the sound also. In Tattvarthasutra Bhasya, we get a description of the factors of experience. Sensation cognizes only a part of the object, while iha strives to cognize specific features. It strives for cognition of the nature of the object. The process of iha continues for a certain period of time, although it never exceeds one rnuhatrta. Naudisutra gives five synonyms of iha: abhogayata, margauatn, gavesanata and vimarsa. Umasvati gives synonyms of ihd as uha, tarka, vi cararra and jijnasa. Pujyapada Devanandi defines iha as striving for understanding the specific character of the object which has been cognized by crvagraha. Jinabhadra says that it is inquiry for the distinctive features of the object. Akala?ika defines iha similarly. Hemacandra says that iha strives for the cognition of the specific details of the object apprehended by sensation. Vyaiajanavagraha is the potential condition of awareness. Arthavagraha is the dawning of awareness. Iha is the tendency towards cognizing the specific features of the object. Ihi-t has been very often translated as ‘speculation’. But it would be more appropriate to use the phrase ‘associative integration’. However, it would be difficult to find out an appropriate phrase for ‘iha’, because the synonyms, like cinta and virnarsa, mentioned in Nar.disutra and, like pariksu and vicarana, mentioned by Umasvati lead to attribute discursive thinking at this early stage of perceptual cognition. What Umasvati and Nandisutra meant by using such terms with the content of discursive thinking as synonyms of iha, it is difficult to know. We may only say that iha is the first mental association which gives content and coherence to the immediacy of experience in the sensational stage. Mere awareness of the sensation is followed by the cognition of specific features of the object. It is a striving of the mind towards coherence and integration of the sense impressions. In this stage, we get the nature of the object, although it is still in. the semi-conceptual stage. Thus, iha is a stage in the formation of perceptual experience. It brings in associative integration of sensory elements experienced in the stage of sensation. It is very often said that perceptual experience involves factors like association and selection of the sense data. Perception involves implicit comparison, assimilation, discrimination and integration. It involves association. We perceive a red rose. In this experience, we get the experience of the sensation of red. Other characteristics are associated and integrated and then we perceive the object, the red flower. At least, that is what the earlier psychologists, especially the Associationists, believed. In fact, the Associationists believed that all complex experience can be looked upon as reproduction and association of elementary sensations.
The Jainas thought that, as iha is striving for determinate and specific cognition, it is possible to confuse it with doubt, (sarhsaya). But, iha is not to be confused with doubt, although it does involve an element of striving for finding the specific nature of the object. Jinabhadra says that the mental state which refers to many conflicting alternatives where it is difficult to make choice, is the state of doubt. It is a state which is really nescience, (ajnana). But Tha is the mental state in which there is striving for the ascertainment of truth. It leads to the acceptance of the true and the avoidance of the untrue.’ Siddhasena Divakara also draws the same line of distinction between iha and samsaya. For instance, on receiving a sense impression of sound, there arises a doubt whether the sound comes from a conch or a horn. The mind is driven to consider the specific points of agreement and difference. It is perceived as sweet and agreeable. This quality is attributed to the sound of the conch and not of the horn. This associative integration, and the striving for cognition of the specific nature of the object, is iha. According to this interpretation, it appears that doubt is the beginning of iha. It arises just before iha takes form. In the Pramanamimamsa, it is said that doubt crops up in the interval between sensation (avagraha), and associative integration (iha), even when the object is a matter of habitual perception. But the existence of the state of doubt is not easily detected owing to the rapidity of succession of mental events. But with the introduction of doubt as a stage in the process of perceptual experience before Ma, the associative integration becomes more difficult to understand from the psychological point of view. This has been very often responsible for terming iha as speculation. However, we may say that the doubt which intervenes between sensation and !h1i, which we have called associative integration, is more a logical expediency than a psychological fact. The Jaina logicians are concerned with finding a logical sequence and consistency in the problem of the theory of the knowledge, rather than in psychological analysis. It is difficult to maintain that iha, in the sense of speculation, is a stage which culminates from doubt or from the comparison of various alternative presentations. In this sense, doubt (samsaya) and speculation (iha) involve an element of discursive thinking which is not possible at this early stage of perceptual experience. It would be more appropriate to say that iha is the associative factor. It integrates impressions to form a concrete psychosis. In the language of the structural psychologists like Wouldn’t and Titchner, such a process of association and integration is a necessary element in perceptual experience, which is a complex experience.
From the stage of associative integration (iha), we come to the stage of interpretation. Sensations are interpreted and a meaning assigned to the sensation. That would be perception. Sensation is the first impression of something the meaning of which is not cognized. Perception is the interpretation of the sensation, in which the meaning is known. William James says it is ‘knowledge about’. This involves perceptual judgment. When we perceive a red rose, our perception involves the cognition, ‘this is red rose’. The Jainas said that this stage of perceptual judgment is avaya, although it is still in the non-verbal stage. Avaya follows in the wake of iha, associative integration. In this stage, we reach a determinate experience. The striving for a cognition of the specific nature of the object results in the definite perception of the object. Avasyakaniryukti defines avaya as determinate cognition. In the Sarvarthasiddhi we get a description of avaya as cognition of the true nature of the object through cognition of its particular characteristics. so Umasvati says that upagama, upanoda, apavyadha, apeta and apagata are synonyms of avaya. They mean determinate cognition. Nandisutra gives avartanata, pratyavartanata, buddhi, vijnana as synonyms. Tattvarthasutra Bhasya describes avaya as the stage of ascertainment of right and exclusion of wrong. For instance, on hearing a sound, a person determines that this sound must be of a conch and not of a horn, since it is sweet and not harsh. Harshness is the quality of the sound of a horn. This type of ascertainment of the existing specific feature of the object is called avaya. It is perceptual judgment. It is expressed in the form of a judgment, as ‘this is a sound of a conch’, or ‘this is a red rose.’
Some Jaina logicians say that avaya has only a negative function. In this stage of experience there is merely the exclusion of non-existing qualities. They ascribe cognition of the existing quality to a later stage of experience called dharana. Jinabhadra says that such a view is not correct. He says that, whether a cognition merely does the negative function of excluding the non-existing qualities, or also does the determination of the existing characteristics, or whether it does both, it is still avaya (perceptual judgment). Umasvati seems to hold the view mentioned by Jinabhadra. Pujayapada says that crvUya cognizes the specific features of the object. Therefore, it is determinate cognition. Akalanka holds a similar view. Vadi-Deva describes avcrya as a determination of specific features of the object cognized in the stage of 7115.85 Hemacandra holds a similar view. He says that avaya is the final determination of the specific nature of the object cognized by iha. Avaya has been described in this treatise as perceptual judgment.
Avuyu may be compared to the apperception involved in perceptual experience. Perception is a complex experience. The older psychologists analysed perception as involving apperception. Apper ception is assimilation of new experiences to old. It is involved in all distinct perceptions, and usually in all attentive perceptions. When we hear the footsteps of someone coming up the stairs, we are only aware through the sense organ of hearing of a sound of a certain type. But that sound is of a particular person who is coming up the stairs, is interpretation based on our previous experience. We then get the experience that we hear the footsteps of a person coming up the stairs. In this stage, what is fragmentary in our experience is supplemented and expanded, and fitted into a system to form a completed picture.
Now we come to the stage of retention, dharana, in perceptual experience. Nandisutra defines retention as the act of retaining a perceptual judgment for a number of instants or innumerable instants. It gives sthnpana and pratistha as synonyms of dharana.g6 Umasvati defines dharana as final determination of the object, retention of the cognition thus formed, and recognition of the object on future occasions. According to Umasvati, retention develops through three stages: (i) the nature of the object is finally cognized; (ii) the cognition so formed is retained; and (iii) the object is recognized on future occasions. Avasyakaniryukti defines dharana as retention.,”, Jinabhadra says that retention is the absence of the lapse of perceptual cognition. Like Umasvati, he also mentions three stages: (i) the absence of the lapse of perceptual judgment; (ii) the formation of the mental trace; and (iii) the recollection of the cognition on future occasions. In this description, the absence of the lapse, aviccuti, (mental trace), vasana, and recollection (smrti), are three stages included in the conception of dhararra. Pujyapada Devanandi defines dharatra as the condition of the absence of forgetting, in future, of that which has been cognized by avaya. Akalanka says that it is absence of forgetting what has been cognized by perceptual judgment. But some logicians like Vadideva do not accept dharana as a condition of recall in future. Dharana is a stage of perceptual cognition and cannot last up to the moment of recall. They say it is only establishing perception for a certain length of time.
Thus, we find that some logicians make dharana mere retention of perceptual experience, while some others would make it also a condition of recall of that experience at a future time. Those who deny that it is a condition of recall say flat it cannot be a cause of recall although it is a remote condition of recall, because recall does require retention of an experience. Vridideva says that the recollection of an experience is due to a special capacity of the soul, which may be called saraskara. Hemacandra entirely agrees with Vadideva’s interpretation, although he tries to reconcile the two views. He says that retention is also a condition of recall. Hemacandra says that the condition is only the causal stuff capable of effecting recollection of past experience. It is only a mental trace, scrrizskara. It is the continued existence of a cognition for a definite or indefinite length of time. He further says that the mental trace, or samskara, is a species of cognition, and not different as the Vaisesikas have stated. If it were not cognition, it would not produce recollection, which is cognitive in nature. Hemacandra reconciles his view of retention as the condition of recall with the view of retention as the absence of the lapse mentioned in Yisesavasyakabhasya. He says that retention is the absence of the lapse of perception. But it is included in the perceptual judgment (avaya). That is why it has not been separately mentioned by him. Avaya, when it continues for some length of time, may be called retention in the sense of absence of the lapse of experience. It may also be said that absence of the lapse is also a condition of recall in the sense in which he defines dharana. Mere perception without the absence of the lapse cannot give rise to recollection. Perceptual judgments which are not attended by the reflective mental stage are almost on the level of unattended perception, like a person touching grass in hurried motion. And such perceptions are not capable of giving rise to recollection.
Hemacandra’s description of avaya and his analysis of dharana come nearer to the psychological analysis of perception, specially of the Structuralist school. Perception is a concrete experience in which sensations are organized and interpreted. Meaning is assigned to sensations. Without the factor of meaning or interpretation of the impressions, perception would be impossible. Hemacandra’s example of the person touching grass in hurried motion shows that ‘selective interest’ is a necessary condition of perceptual judgment. Such experiences would be on the fringe of consciousness, and they would enter into the focus of consciousness only if forced by factors like nearness or selective interest. Retention is an important condition of perception. In fact, as Stout says, retentiveness is in some form an indispensable condition of mental development. Mental development would be impossible unless previous experience left behind its persistent after-effects to influence the mental state in the course of subsequent experience. These after-effects are called traces or dispositions. Hemacandra called them samskara. They are the latent conditions of subsequent experience. However, Hemacandra makes them special capacities of the soul. Mental traces or dispositions brinS us to the problem of memory.
However, the analysis of perceptual experience shows that the concrete psychosis involves the accumulation of sense stimuli to produce a cumulative effect. It gradually gives rise to awareness, that is, the physiological and stimulus condition of sense awareness. That is
vyaimjanavagraha. It gives rise to awareness of the object. It is a sensation. It is arthavagraha. Thus, avagraha is a stage of sensation. It is a stage of immediate experience in which we are merely aware of the object of stimulation without knowing anything more of the object. Avagraha, on the whole, is a stage of sensation. But, avagraha is not without the thought element. There can be no pure sensation. Sensations always have a derivative meaning for retentiveness and association operate from the very beginning of life. A sense impression or image has meaning in so far as it refers to something other than itself, in so far as it enables us to think of the object. In experiencing a sensation, an object is brought before the mind. The sensation of yellow carries with it the thought of something yellow. This leads us to the next stage called iha. It is associative integration. In this stage of integrati~e experience, we do not get the full experience of the object in the form of cognition of the determinate nature of the object in its fullness. In this we do not form a judgment. In the stage of avaya, we get the perceptual judgment. In this stage, sense impressions are interpreted, and meaning is attached to the experience. We get perceptual judgment in the form: ‘this is a red rose’. The implicit presence of the thought element in sensation gets expression and a concrete experience is formed. According to the Jainas, the perceptual experience which they sometimes call avagraha in general, needs to be retained. Otherwise, it would not be complete. Retentiveness is, in some form, an indispenesable condition of mental development. Our subsequent experience depends on the capacity to retain the perceptual cognition. This capacity of retention differs with different individuals. A completed perceptual experience would be possible with all the four stages co-operating. This is the concrete psychosis called perception. As it was pointed out earlier, it is sometimes referred to as avagraha. Iha, avaya and dharana have already been shown to be cases of avagraha. But such identification of the other processes with avagraha was not universally accepted. Jinabhadra says that they are cases of avagraha only by courtesy, repacarena.
The Jainas have given an exhaustive description of the four stages of avagraha, perceptual experience, so far discussed. Each of them is of six types, as they arise from the five sense organs and the mind. Again, vya-ijunavagraha is of four types only. Thus there would be twenty-eight forms of perceptual cognition. Each of the twenty-eight forms, again, is of twelve types according to the nature of the object they can have. Therefore, the Jainas have mentioned that there are three-hundred and thirty-six types of sense experience, mati jnana or abhinibodhika-jnarra. This elaborate classification has no psychological significance, although it has logical and mathematical interest. The Jaina logicians were fond of fabulous mathematical calculations. This is found in their elaborate classification of karma as given in the Gorrtmatasara: Karma Kanda. Glasenapp in his Doctrine of Karma in Jainisna, has given a detailed analysis of this division. The same tendency must have inspired the Jaina logicians to give such an elaborate classification of avagraha.
OTHER SOURCES OF EMPIRICAL KNOWLEDGE
It was seen in the last chapter that the concept of dharana has occupied the attention of the Jaina logicians and that they are not entirely agreed on its function. Dharana has been considered as a condition of recollection. The psychological analysis of memory shows that retention is a condition of memory, and recollection and recognition are the forms in which memory expresses itself. We are, therefore, concerned here with analysing the concept of memory. We shall study retention, recollection, and recognition as factors involved in memory.
The Jaina philosophers are not agreed on the function of dharana, retention. Nandisirtra has mentioned three stages of dharana. Umasvati has also accepted the three stages. They make dharana a condition of recollection, although some logicians, like Vadi-Deva, do not accept this. It was mentioned in the last chapter that Hemaeandra reconciles the two views regarding the function of retention. He makes it both a factor in perceptual cognition and a condition of recall. This raises the problem of the analysis of memory and the function of retention in memory.
Psychological analysis of memory is representative. It is the process of remembering objects of past experience. Perception, on the other hand, is a preventative experience-the interpretation of sense impressions produced by external stimuli. Sometimes, the word memory is used as synonymous with retentiveness in general. But Stout says that this application of the term is inconvenient. Retention is a factor involved in memory. It is, as was stated, a condition of memory. “Memory is ideal revival, so far as ideal revival is merely reproductive and does not involve transformation of what is revived in accordance with present conditions.”‘ Hume has said that, when an impression has been present with the mind, it again makes its appearance as an idea; and this it may do in two different ways. In its new appearance it retains a considerable degree of its first vivacity. This he calls memory. Retention is a condition of memory. In retention, the past experience is retained in the form of mental traces or mental dispositions, (sanskaras). In physiological terms, it leaves a structural modification in the brain owing to the plasticity of the brain. However, retention is more mental. It is a sanskara which is more cognitive in nature, as Hemacandra stated. The brain cannot be the repository of past experience, as Mill and William James have said. Bain says that the faculty called memory is “almost exclusively found in the retentive power although sometimes aided by similarity.” Thus, retention implies the power of preserving in the form of mental dispositions, past perception.
In this sense, the Jaina philosophers called dharana a condition of recollection. Hemacandra mentions it as a condition of memory. In this sense also we can interpret the description of the three stages of retention given in the Nandi. sutra and the Tattvartha. sutra Bhasya. The three stages describe stages in the development of memory. The first, perceptual experience, should continue to remain in the mind in some form. Without this, recollection would not be possible. Retention is also a condition of recall. The absence of lapse of experience is necessary for the revival of the experience at a later stage. In the analysis of dharana in the second stage, the cognition formed by avaya is retained. This later leads to recognition. Jinabhadra describes the three stages of dharana as (i) the absence of lapse of perception, (ii) the formation of a mental trace, and (iii) the recollection of the cognition on future occasions. Hemacandra points out that perceptual judgment, when protracted for some time, would become retention; and that is the absence of the lapse of perception. But the absence of the lapse of perception is also a condition of recall, because without the absence of the lapse there would be no mental trace and there would be no recollection. Retention, then, is not memory itself although it is a necessary condition of memory, because recollection would not be possible without retention. Formation of a mental trace is an important factor in retention. We have seen that Hemacandra showed that, in a sense, retention can be described as a mental trace, a samskara. It is a continued existence of a cognition for a definite or indefinite length of time. He says that the mental trace, or samskara, is cognitive in character. It is a species of cognition. The mental trace, or sarhskara, may be compared to the mental disposition of the modern psychologists. Some of these give a physiological picture of the mental disposition. They say that past experiences are retained in the form of physiological dispositions. They are not mental traces or mental dispositions. They are only structural modifications of the brain. They are unconscious cerebration’s. In this sense, retention would become merely physiological in nature. It would be merely a neural habit. But this view is not adequate. Past experiences are retained in five form of mental dispositions, although physiological traces may also be there. Mere physiological disposition cannot take the place of mental disposition. Mellone says that they exist in the form of psychological (mental) dispositions, and not merely in the form of physiological dispositions. Stout also maintains that past experiences are retained in the form of mental dispositions which constitute the mental structure. We have seen that 1-Iemacandra has made the mental trace, or sanskara, of the nature of cognition and not different from cognition as some philosophers, like the Vaisesikas, suppose. If it were not cognition it would not produce recollection, which is cognitive in nature, nor would it be an attribute of the self.
Retention, then, can be described as the mental trace, or sanskara by which experiences cognized in a definite form by avsya are retained in the mind and they do not lapse. Such retention of past experiences will form a condition of the recall of the experience on a future occasion. Hunter writes, “retaining is a necessary condition for remembering, for without it there would be nothing to remember. Forgetting and retaining are related, for if there is failure to retain then there must be forgetting.”
The second factor in memory is recollection. Very often, recollection is considered to be a condition of memory, but it would be more appropriate to say that recollection is a form in which memory expresses itself. There is a distinction between recall and recollection. Hunter makes this distinction very clear. For instance, if we remember a poem learnt earlier, it would be recall. But, sometimes, in recalling the poem we remember our personal experiences in learning it. We also remember the page on which the poem was printed and the room in which we learned the poem. That would be recollection. However, such a distinction is not necessary for our discussion. We may take the word recollection in a broad sense as including recall. We may sometimes term it as recall. Recollection may be termed as reproduction of past experiences. It is the ideal revival of past cognitions which have been retained in the form of mental dispositions. It is the revival of the original experience. It is ideal revival, as Stout says, so far as it is merely reproductive. Retention alone is not, therefore, a sufficient condition of memory. Experiences retained have to be recalled before they become memory. Every psychic process leaves behind some engram complexes which are conserved in the mental structure of the individual and bring about changes in it. The conserved elements are not the mere mass, but are organized wholes through cohesion, as Drever writes. Such cohesion brings about force and facilitates recall. Perceptual experiences are retained in the form of mental dispositions. This is also Spearman’s Law of Retention. Thus, retention is a necessary condition of recall. However, it is not itself recall and should not be identified with recall. We have seen that in the Pramanamimarnsa also there is a description of retention as a condition of recall.
Hemacandra describes the process of recollection. According to him, it is smrti. It arises from the stimulation of mental dispositions, vasana, which may be considered to be equivalent to samskara. Perception, once experienced continues to remain in the mind in the form of an unconscious mental trace, or an unconscious mental disposition. This is a latent condition of memory. But when they are stimulated, they come to the surface of consciousness and we recall the experiences which we once cognized and which femained so far in the form of mental traces. Therefore, Hemacandra says that the stimulation of the mental trace gives rise to recollection. The emergence of the latent mental trace by stimulation then, constitutes a necessary condition of recall. Unless the stimulation is present, recall is not possible.
According to the Naiyayikas, smrti is a form of qualified perception and has reference to the direct presentation of some object, although it involves an element of representation. In memory, there is a revival of past experience in the form of ideas and images, in the same order in which they were actually experienced by us and were retained by the soul.
The emergence of the mental trace to the conscious level is, as seen, due to its stimulation. This stimulation is determined by different conditions. The conditions for the emergence of the mental trace to the conscious level may be classed into two types: (i) external conditions, and (ii) internal conditions. The external conditions refer to environmental factors. Observation of similar objects, for instance, is an external condition necessary to arouse the mental trace to the level of conscious state. Mohanlal Mehta, in his Jaina Ps vchology, has mentioned that external conditions necessary for the fact of recalling may be classed into three types, which represent the three laws of association: the law of contiguity, the law of similarity, and the law of contrast.” The recollection of an object experienced in the past refers to the object as “that”, “that jar”, “that cloth”. Perception always refers to the present datum, while recollection has a reference to the content as it existed in the past.