A study of the philosophy of Jainism

by Deepa Baruah | 2017 | 46,858 words

This page describes the Jaina theory of Knowledge from the study of the philosophy of Jainism: one of the oldest religions in India having its own metaphysics, philosophy and ethics. Jainism is regarded as an ethical system where non-violence features as an important ethical value.

Chapter II - Jaina theory of Knowledge

- Sub-Contents: (+ / -)

Every system of Indian philosophy is based on epistemology or the theory of knowledge. The Jainas also accept the theory of knowledge. According to the Jainas, knowledge can be attained in two ways, viz., pramāṇa and naya. The Jainas define pramāṇa as the knowledge which is svaparābhāsi, i.e., it is selfrevealing and object-revealing. It is also free from all kinds of obstacles. In other words, knowledge reveals both itself and the object. If knowledge is not known by itself, then it cannot also reveal its object. The Jainas also hold that knowledge is both the essence and quality of the self. The relation between the self and its knowledge is one of bhedābheda. That means, in one aspect, knowledge is nondifferent from the self and in another aspect it is different from the self. Knowledge is classified in two different ways, viz., (i) āgamic classification and (ii) logical classification. According to the āgamic classification, knowledge is divided into five categories, viz., (i) mati (ii) śruta, (iii) avadhi, (iv) manaḥparyāya and (v) kevala. From the logical point of view, knowledge is divided into two categories, viz., (i) pratyakṣa and (ii) parokṣa.

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