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"Anekantavad" as a physical reality

Narendra Bhandari

(bhandari@prl.ernet.in)

Concluding remarks

Thus we have seen that according to Anekantvad, one can not give rise to many but many can combine to give rise to one. The question naturally arises that these "many" must comprise of many individual "ones". According to simple logic then, "one" must be the a basic constituent of the physical world. This is not true. At the ultra-micro level, one and many are indistinguishable. If it defies logic, let it, but such is the nature of reality. This in essence is Anekantavad. We may try to understand this in the following way. Any thing is perceived by its attributes and therefore "one" which has many attributes is actually "many".

In this article we have made an attempt to see if Anekantavad can be treated as a physical law. To establish it, we have to first define it more rigorously and possibly quantitatively, make predictions and experimentally test them. It is for this reason that we have pointed out above at various places whether some scientific concepts are consistent or inconsistent with Anekantavad. If Anekanatavad can be treated as a physical principle, as profound as the principle of symmetry or complementarity, it will help us understand the nature better. This has been the motivation for writing this article. To Pursue it further will require more clarity and efforts.

Before we end this discussion, it is pertinent to ask "what benefit will accrue by seeing a common ground between Anekantavad and Quantum mechanics. Anekantavad thus becomes a testable hypothesis. Beyond academics and the pursuit of truth, it has a vital role to play in society which must be explicitly stated. Firstly if the religious principles are based on physics then the intra-religion contradictions can be dispensed with. Every one believes in physical laws because they are experienced in daily life. So since complementarity is an accepted principle of modern physics, Anekantvad also get scientific validity. One may say that this is not needed, but I beg to differ. Secondly, in the modern age we must be able to view, test and verify religious concepts from the point of view of science. So that if religious principles have a basis in the well established physical laws then there is no need to compartmentalize various religions. The apparent contradictions between various religions and religion and science may be simply due to different emphasis on different aspects of physical laws. When they are complete or integrated, they will probably all become the same and bring about a universal harmony of thought and action.

References:

Close F. The Cosmic Onion , Heinmann Educational
Goldstein, S., Lebowitz, J.L., Quantum mechanics in The Physical review : The first 100 years (H. Henristroke, eds).
Gribbin John (1993) In search of Schrodinger's cat, Corgi Books.
Kothari D.S. The Complementarity Principle and Eastern philosophy, Neils Bohr Centenary volume (A.P. French and P.J. Kennedy, eds) Harvard University Press, Cambridge, USA 1985, 325-331.
Matilal B.K. The Central Philosophy of Jainism (Anekāntavāda) L.D. Series 79, (D. Malvania and N.J.Shah (Gen. Eds) L.D. Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad.
Mookerjee, S.,The Jaina Philosophy of Non-Absolutism 1944, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi.
Padamarajiah Y.J., A Comparative study of the Jaina Theory of Reality and Knowledge,1963, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi.

Fig. 1. Macro to the micro universe showing the sequence from the gross to the subtle components of nature. Sixty Elementary Particles (Quarks, Leptons and the Force carriers, together with their antiparticles), known to be the building blocks of matter are arranged in the box according to their attributes.


Fig.2. The two slit experiment showing that photons (or electrons) act as particles when they are observed by particle detectors (D) , giving the characteristic spots on the photographic plate (above). and waves when they go unobserved (below) giving rise to the well known interference pattern due to waves.


Fig. 3. The Chinese concept of Yin and Yang: indicating that opposites are complementary (Contraria Sunt Complementa), used by Neils Bohr as coat of arms for the quantum physics to explain the complementarity principle.

Fig. 4. Evolutionary symmetry: A sculpture from the Ranakpur Jain Temple (ca 11th century).This exquisite Fractal representation of the idea that a part of nature contains the full beauty, elegance and complexity of the whole.

Fig.5. The interaction between knower (Gyata), object (Gyeya) via k knowledge (Gyan)  indicating that an observation affects both the knower and the object, making it impossible to know their "state" completely by any observation.