"Anekantvad" As A Physical Reality



By Dr. Narendra Bhandari


Anekantvad is a distinct Jain Concept. The Hindu thought developed the philosophical basis of Dwaitvad implying that in reality you need interaction of "two" to create the visible universe, and then realised that these "two" are, in fact, different aspects of "one" entity giving rise to the concept of Advaitvad.

The Jain thought went much beyond the concept of Dwaitvad & Advaitvad and developed the doctrine of Anekantvad. It is traditionally defined in a negative way as non-absolutism like many other Jain Concepts (e.g. non-violence, non- possessiveness etc). It has been variously described as many-folded ness, many faceted ness and non-equivocally. All these definitions imply that there is nothing like absolute truth or absolutely or unequivocally correct perspective and that there could be many perspectives or points of view of a thing or concept. Some of these views may ,even be contradictory to each other. In the social sphere, this concept forms the basis of tolerance, accomodation of other views and non-violence.

Here we make an attempt to describe Anekantvad in light of the current concepts of physics about the true nature of the physical universe. We try to show that Anekantvad is the only concept which describes the fundamental nature of the sub-atomic particles, which are the building blocks of the physical universe.

The physical matter can be broken into protons, electrons & neutrons, which are now thought of as being built from six quarks and six leptons. The current particle models of Gell-mann & others indicate three generation of quarks & leptons. The quarks come in three colours and gluons act as their carriers and there are eight of them. Adding the carriers of electromagnetic force & graviton, we ultimately get 61 distinct entities from which the whole universe has been created. Each of these particles have several, 'attributes' or quantum numbers. What these attribute are in the context of common sense is rather inexpressible. In the context of Anekantvad, it implies that as we go to finer and finer constituents of matter, new attributes come into play and the number of attributes of a single particle are many. It is impossible to comprehend all these attributes at once. Some of these may be even contradictory to each other. I n the micro world there is no distinction between one and many. One appears as many and many constitute the one.

Thus Anekantvad describes the true nature of the micro world and we can say that this is the basis of physical reality.



Source : Jain Doctors'  International Conference - 2004
Shree Mahavir Jain Aradhana Kendra- Koba
Gandhinagar - Gujarat


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