Jain Anekantavada in Buddhism?

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AnCatDubh
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Jain Anekantavada in Buddhism?

Post by AnCatDubh » Thu May 25, 2017 8:43 pm

I was wondering about something: after Gotama Buddha talks to Malunkya about the futility of his questions, he answers that the world is both finite and infinite as well as neither and both, and actually answers all of his questions in a way that combines all possible answers.
Could this be the influence of the Jain Anekantavada?

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Javierfv1212
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Re: Jain Anekantavada in Buddhism?

Post by Javierfv1212 » Sat Jul 08, 2017 3:32 pm

See this thread in dhammawheel that has some quotes from scholarly articles on this topic:

https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?t=28565
It is quite impossible to find the Buddha anywhere other than in one's own mind.
~Padmasambhava

Amid those who are self-constrained, the Stable One would not posit as categorically true or false
anything seen, heard, or sensed, clung to and considered truth by others.
Since they have already seen this dart to which people cling and adhere,
saying “I know, I see, it is just so,”
the Tathāgatas cling to nothing.
-Kalaka sutta

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aflatun
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Re: Jain Anekantavada in Buddhism?

Post by aflatun » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:27 pm

AnCatDubh wrote:I was wondering about something: after Gotama Buddha talks to Malunkya about the futility of his questions, he answers that the world is both finite and infinite as well as neither and both, and actually answers all of his questions in a way that combines all possible answers.
Could this be the influence of the Jain Anekantavada?
Are you referring to MN 63?
Mālunkyāputta, if there is the view ‘the world is eternal,’ the holy life cannot be lived; and if there is the view ‘the world is not eternal,’ the holy life cannot be lived. Whether there is the view ‘the world is eternal’ or the view ‘the world is not eternal,’ there is birth, there is ageing, there is death, there are sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair, the destruction of which I prescribe here and now.

...

“Therefore, Mālunkyāputta, remember what I have left undeclared as undeclared, and remember what I have declared as declared. And what have I left undeclared? ‘The world is eternal’—I have left undeclared. ‘The world is not eternal’—I have left undeclared. ‘The world is finite’—I have left undeclared. ‘The world is infinite’—I have left undeclared. ‘The soul is the same as the body’—I have left undeclared. ‘The soul is one thing and the body another’—I have left undeclared. ‘After death a Tathāgata exists’—I have left undeclared. ‘After death a Tathāgata does not exist’—I have left undeclared. ‘After death a Tathāgata both exists and does not exist’—I have left undeclared. ‘After death a Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist’—I have left undeclared.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

Bakmoon
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Re: Jain Anekantavada in Buddhism?

Post by Bakmoon » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:31 pm

Jain Anekantavada is a bit different. In Anekantavada, the response would be that all of these possibilities are in some sense partially true. The Buddha's response is that all of these positions are wrong because they are based on false assumptions, not that they are all partially correct parts of a higher truth.

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aflatun
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Re: Jain Anekantavada in Buddhism?

Post by aflatun » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:37 pm

Bakmoon wrote:Jain Anekantavada is a bit different. In Anekantavada, the response would be that all of these possibilities are in some sense partially true. The Buddha's response is that all of these positions are wrong because they are based on false assumptions, not that they are all partially correct parts of a higher truth.
That's my understanding too :reading:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Javierfv1212
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Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: Jain Anekantavada in Buddhism?

Post by Javierfv1212 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:39 pm

aflatun wrote:
Bakmoon wrote:Jain Anekantavada is a bit different. In Anekantavada, the response would be that all of these possibilities are in some sense partially true. The Buddha's response is that all of these positions are wrong because they are based on false assumptions, not that they are all partially correct parts of a higher truth.
That's my understanding too :reading:
Actually, its a bit more subtle than "all these positions are wrong". As pointed out by K.N. Jayatilleke's "Early Buddhist theory of Knowledge", Chapter 4, the Buddha referred to anekamsika propositions in a dual sense, questions that need further analysis and qualification and questions which are unanswerable:
In the face of a critical audience, those who wished to propagate their doctrines, had to be critical themselves. It is not surprising therefore that the leader of the Jains recommends the importance of 'analysis' or 'vibhajyaväda' (v. supra, 233) in the exposition of doctrines and the Buddha himself claims to be 'an analyst and not (a dogmatist), who makes categorical assertions' (vibhajjavädo .. . ahani. . . näham .. . ekamsavädo, M. II. 197).

What is meant by this claim is clear from the context. The Buddha is asked for his opinion as to the truth of the two propositions: 'The householder succeeds in attaining what is right, just and good' (gahattho ärädhako hoti näyam dhammam kusalam, loc. cit.); 'the monk does not succeed in attaining what is right, just and good' (na pabbajito ärädhako hoti näyam dhammam kusalam, loc. cit.). The Buddha says that one cannot make a categorical assertion (na . . .ekamsavädo) as to the truth or falsity of propositions of this sort.

In the case of the first of the above propositions, if the subject had the characteristic, micchä-patipanna- (of bad conduct), then the proposition is false, but if the subject had the opposite characteristic (i.e. sammä-patipanna-, 'of good conduct'), the proposition would be true (loc. cit.). It is implied that there are certain propositions of which it is not possible to say whether they are true or false, without clearing up ambiguities and making certain qualifications and the Buddha is an analyst in so far as he analyses such propositions and makes the requisite qualifications without asserting that they are categorically true or false.

This is similar to though not identical with the Jain point of view, which advocates the attitude of non-absolutism or anekäntaväda with regard to the truth-value of propositions. Propositions according to Jainism are true or false only in respect of certain standpoints or nayas (v. supra, 228) and not in any absolute or categorical sense. This means that certain qualifications have to be made or the naya (standpoint) in respect of which the proposition is asserted has to be specified before we can ascertain its truth or falsity.

While in the case of Jainism no proposition could in theory be asserted to be categorically true or false, irrespective of the standpoint from which it was made, in Buddhism such categorical assertions were considered possible in the case of some propositions. But the fact that the Buddha did not make a categorical assertion as to the truth-value of some propositions (e.g. the avyakata-s or unanswered questions),1 the truth of which was being hotly debated at this time (y. supra, 378) seemed to have earned him the reputation in certain circles of being one who did not make any categorical assertions at all. The wandering ascetic Potthapäda says 'we do not know of any categorical doctrine preached by the recluse Gotama' (na kho pana mayam kind samanassa Gotamassa ekamsikam dhammam desitam äjän-äma, D. I.189) supporting this statement of his, by referring to the fact that the Buddha has not categorically declared that any of the avyäkatatheses were either true or false. The Buddha in reply says, I have taught and laid down doctrines (of which it is possible to make) categorical (assertions) and I have taught and laid down doctrines (of which it is not possible to make) categorical (assertions)' (ekamsikä pi. . . mayä dhammä desitä pannattä, anekamsikä pi. .. mayä dhammä desitä pannattä, D. I.191). The former are illustrated by the example of the four noble truths2 and the latter by the avyäkata-theses.3 Prof. Rhys Davids translates ekamsika- here as 'certain' (SBB., Vol. II, p. 256) and anekamsika- as 'uncertain' (Joe. cit.) but this is a strictly incorrect rendering of ekamsika- and anekamsika-. The PTS. Dictionary also supports this translation; it explains ekamsika- as 'certain' and anekamsika- as 'uncertain, indefinite' in referring to this context (s.v. ekamsika-). Indefinite is certainly better than 'uncertain' in bringing out the epistemological import of the word, if it could mean a proposition of which 'one cannot definitely say that it is true or false' not because of any uncertainty on the part of the knowing subject but on the very nature of the proposition itself (v. infra, 477). In the contexts of ekamsa- (M. I.393) and ekamsa-väda- (M. II.197, A. V.190) the word clearly means a categorical assertion as opposed to a conditional assertion (vibhajja-väda-). Here a conditional assertion (vibhajja-väda-) would be an anekamsa- (or anekamsika-) väda. In Jainism the two classes coincided. For according to the anekäntaväda, only conditional assertions (note, vibhajjaväyam ca viyägarejjä, v. supra, 233) were possible. The obvious similarity of the etymology and meaning of the two words, anekamsika- and anekänta- may also be noted. Anekamsika = an + ek(a) + ams(d) -f- ika and anekänta- = an -f ek(a) -f anta and while amsa means 'part, corner or edge' (s.v. amsa, PTS. Dictionary) anta means 'end or edge'.

But in Buddhism it is necessary to note that while not all propositions were anekamsika; those which were, fell into at least two categories, (1) those which after analysis (vibhajja-) could be known to be true or false (v. supa, 447), and (2) those like the avyäkata-theses, which could not be thus known. Besides, in the Pali Canon there was nothing strictly corresponding to the naya-doctrine of the Äjivakas and the Jains, although the theory of double truth (v. infra, 615, 618) functions in a way essentially like the naya-theory. In Jainism all statements would be relative (anaikäntika-) because of the relativity of the standpoints. In Buddhism one could not say of all non-categorical statements (anekamsika-) that they were true or false from some standpoint or another. In a sense we may say this of the propositions, which it was considered necessary to analyse further before determining their truth or falsity. Thus we could say that the proposition,
'gahattho äradhako hoti näyam dhammam kusalam' (v. supra, 447) is true from one point of view, namely if 'gahattho' is qualified by 'sammä-patipanno' but is false from another point of view namely if 'gahattho' is qualified by 'micchä-patipanno'. But in the case of the avyäkata-theses it was not possible to determine their truth or falsehood even after analysis or from any point of view (however, v. infra, 814).

So while the analytic approach appears to be partly inspired by the Jain example, it takes a different turn in Buddhism, when we consider the epistemology of the two systems.
It is quite impossible to find the Buddha anywhere other than in one's own mind.
~Padmasambhava

Amid those who are self-constrained, the Stable One would not posit as categorically true or false
anything seen, heard, or sensed, clung to and considered truth by others.
Since they have already seen this dart to which people cling and adhere,
saying “I know, I see, it is just so,”
the Tathāgatas cling to nothing.
-Kalaka sutta

Bakmoon
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Re: Jain Anekantavada in Buddhism?

Post by Bakmoon » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:43 pm

Javierfv1212 wrote:Actually, its a bit more subtle than "all these positions are wrong"
Agreed, but sometimes it is useful to use simplification for the sake of contrast.

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Javierfv1212
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Re: Jain Anekantavada in Buddhism?

Post by Javierfv1212 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:25 am

Bakmoon wrote:
Javierfv1212 wrote:Actually, its a bit more subtle than "all these positions are wrong"
Agreed, but sometimes it is useful to use simplification for the sake of contrast.
Yea but keep in mind that for the Buddha some anekamsika propositions might be "true, with qualifications"
It is quite impossible to find the Buddha anywhere other than in one's own mind.
~Padmasambhava

Amid those who are self-constrained, the Stable One would not posit as categorically true or false
anything seen, heard, or sensed, clung to and considered truth by others.
Since they have already seen this dart to which people cling and adhere,
saying “I know, I see, it is just so,”
the Tathāgatas cling to nothing.
-Kalaka sutta

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