Apr 1, 2010

Syadvada Epistemology

Syādvāda is the Doctrine of Postulation of Jainism. In other words, Syādvāda provides the body of teachings or instruction which one uses to derive a postulate or axiom. The starting assumption or postulate is given as saptabhanginaya, from which other statements are logically derived. By using saptabhanginaya the theory of relativity encompasses the truths about one system or thought which are the same in one system as in another system in uniform motion relative to it. It is henceforth impossible to determine the truth of a system within its own thought structure, and such development or furtherance of various claims of truth can be observed only in relation to other systems in uniform motion resulting in a qualified prediction as shown in the theory of Manifold Predictions. Therefore each truth is valid within its one system, various truths are synthesized and are mutually exclusive. Amongst several truths about a particular thing, one or the other or both may in fact be valid.

From Jain Epistemology describes the saptabhanginaya or sevenfold predication.

1.Syād-asti — "in some ways it is"
2.Syād-nāsti — "in some ways it is not"
3.Syād-asti-nāsti — "in some ways it is and it is not"
4.Syād-asti-avaktavyaḥ — "in some ways it is and it is indescribable"
5.Syād-nāsti-avaktavyaḥ — "in some ways it is not and it is indescribable"
6.Syād-asti-nāsti-avaktavyaḥ — "in some ways it is, it is not and it is indescribable"
7.Syād-avaktavyaḥ — "in some ways it is indescribable"
The word syadvada comes from two roots. Syat means "may be", whereas vada means "assertion". Placed together syādvāda becomes the assertion of what may be, the assertion of possibilities.

Syadvada Tentativeness (my own musings on the topic)
"Syadvada Quick Lube" (a po:em - a piece of pattern interruption poetry)

1.If you can see the reality in at least seven ways

You can be at peace with it.

And one with it too.

2.The essence of any War is:

“I think This” vs. “I think This.”

(from the side it looks like it's just two people arguing about “This” and “That” and there is a point to it)

But from inside the seven-fold Syadvada you know there ain't.

They are fighting for the exact same thing.


3.And the name of this “This” is

The Nameless.

4.Truth be told: truth is silent.

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