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JAINISM
A Religion Of Non-Violence : "Ahimsa Parmo Dharam"

ANEKANTVADA - Difference of opinion and view

 
Every religion accepts non-violence, but Jainism strictly follows it. Similarly, every religion states the importance of right vision and judgment on its basis. The importance that has been granted to faith is fully matched by the emphasis that has been laid on logic in Jainism. Where basis of religion conduct is laid on non-violence, its origin is provided by Anekantavada – the doctrine of many-sided reality. No other religion other than Jainism has given the detailed explanation as well as importance to this concept.
Jainism deeply believes in non-violence. non-violence through mind, body, speech, conduct, thought. Because Jainism believes in the equality of souls. All the living beings on this earth, no matter how big or small, wants to be happy and no body wants to suffer.
So Jainism follows the principle of ‘Anekantavada’.  ‘Anekantavada’ stands for a philosophical concept about looking and understanding any object from different directions and different view points. It believes that to view any object from a single point of view generates only partial truth about the object. Any object might seem very ugly from one angle but the same object might seem very beautiful from some other angle. So, is the object good or bad depends upon from where it is seen. Poison is very bad for everybody because it can kill, but for a medicine manufacturer it can be very good because he uses it in his medicines that save life. Another example can be of a fruit. This fruit is stuffed, tasty, aromatic, soft to touch, beautiful color, nice shaped etc., as well it might also have a good capacity to please hunger. It could also posses some kind of medicinal values. So, in this way this fruit becomes multifaceted. So it is important to judge any thing from all its aspects to access its real value.
Let us imagine a person who is a father, husband, son, brother, friend, uncle, boss or employee; so, if his son calls his ‘Dad’, he is not wrong. If his wife calls him husband then she is not incorrect, if his niece calls him uncle that he is correct, if his mother calls him son then is also right. So this explains what exactly I am trying to say.
‘Anekantavada’ means a wider vision of the space around any object before passing any judgment against it because every object possesses many characteristics.
 
Seven fold judgment
 
The object has been described as the possessor of infinite characteristics. When we select one of the characteristics with its contrary aspect and judge it, this kind of judgment has seven forms; hence, it is called seven-fold judgment. If the object is considered to be as a glass then:
The glass exists – it has its own individuality and its uniqueness (exists).
The glass does not exist – the same glass from the point of view of another might be non-existent (non-existence).
The glass exists and does not exist – when it is thought about the two aspects gradually that the thing can be existent as well as non-existent.
The glass is indescribable – when we think of two aspects together as to the object exists or not then the object becomes indescribable.
The glass exists and it is indescribable – under this judgment the thing cannot be spoken about generally. It might be ‘this’ or ‘that’. So it exists but is not explainable.
 The glass does not exists and it is indescribable – here the thing that is indescribable because it does not exists yet be spoken from a certain point of view.
The glass exists, does not exists and is indescribable – this is when the thing  from a certain point of view is ‘this’ from another ‘not this’ may be in a general sense indescribable also.
 
The foundation of Anekantvada or the whole fundamental of it is that when the truth of a particular aspect of a thing is to be judged, then it should be done from all aspects, keeping all views of different directions in mind.


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