Friday, January 4, 2008

NayaDarpan Chapter 1

NayaDarpan Chapter 1:


  1. Poison of Biased Knowledge
  2. Reflection of internal thoughts in words
  3. Reason for Biases
  4. There is something more
  5. Be a scientist
  6. There is not everything in 'AGAMS'
  7. No religion is completely false
  8. Birth of Anekantavada

1. Poison of Biases:

Oh Supreme Guru! You are past all biases because you observe the entire world at once with unmatchable inner knowledge. Please expunge biases from my heart too, because of which my heart has become so rigid that I do not have the strength to even listen to others, because of which I end up harming myself, even after aiming for the good. Because of these biases, I have made my knowledge so obstinate, and I have made it so limited and narrow that there is no place for any new thing, even though it may be in my interest. Even a single word that does not match or is contrary to my ideology puts me in rage. These biases have washed off my inquisitiveness to listen to new things, and I am riding the horse of ego and going in a direction, which I do not know myself - possibly to some dark place, where I cannot see anything beyond my own beliefs. Oh God! Even when yearning for unparalleled light, I am losing myself in the dark instead of walking the well lit path of yours. Please protect me,
please illuminate my heart, please take away my narrow-mindedness and give me a broadened perspective, please break the rudeness of my heart and sow the seed of simpleness and politeness in my heart. Instead of being a big tree, I now wish to become a small plant which bows with the slightest of the wind but does not break with the strongest of the cyclones. It behooves me to remain a simple human being. On the strength of ego and pride, I had falsely put myself on a pedestal and forgotten to be polite. Lord! Please teach me to be polite. Give me enough knowledge and courage so that I don't get filled with rage while listening to others and try to understand that person's view.

Sigh! See the poisonous fruit of this biasness. It has filled my mind with prejudice and I don’t even understand what is right and wrong for me. Until I listen to anybody, how can I understand it and without understanding how could I progress and prosper? Perhaps by listening to others or reading some books or by thinking as per my prejudice, I think that I know enough, I have learnt everything and nothing is left to learn more. But till today I did not come to know how poisonous my biased thinking is.

The affliction is that I couldn’t understand my fault though I am following your path. I have heard your preaching from many (monks or Wiseman) but not for listening or learning but only to demean and humiliate the person propounding your teachings.

Whatever has been told to me for my own welfare, I visualized the opposite meanings and also started idle carping on the same. The most astonishing part is that I named this idle carping as DHARMA CHARCHA. And like this I have always studied wrongs from rights, corruption from honesty (poison from nectar), biases from fairness and agitation from calmness. O God! Please save me from all these evils.

My lord! I never make mistakes in the harmful worldly matters and daily business. There this intolerance does not reflect in me. There I do not show my vast knowledge to others; Instead of exhibiting my skills and knowledge, I strive to learn the knowledge and skills from others. But, here on the way of self upliftment, all this is reverse. Here instead of learning from others, I always try to teach others. In this world, I enjoy my own earnings and try to save it from any evil fate but here I try to impose my thoughts over others without knowing whether they are willing to listen to me or not. If I had done this with the intention of welfare then it was ok but when I see within, it is totally different. Where is the intention of welfare of others in me? Here only lies my ego, pride, showoff of my knowledge, my righteousness, selfishness and the number game – the sense of increasing the number of disciples. Due to this any talks of welfare by me, becomes harmful for both me and my listeners.

2. Reflection of internal thoughts in words:

They(these words) are harmful to me, because I exhibit my selfishness through them. These words may be benedictory, but do I ever make any efforts to perceive them that way? All I see in them is plain didacticism and nurture of biases. As long as one worships ego, how can he become honest? These words become harmful to others because how can a person, who hears words coloured with ego, see anything beyond ego? Words, are lifeless; the meaning that they convey is hidden in the emotions from which these words emanate. A word never comes out from the mouth in isolation; it brings with itself a few other things. These other things may be unspoken or not directly visible, but a listener can certainly feel them. For instance, if I tell the following words with anger or hatred in heart: "Even after taking shelter of Vitraag, you engage yourself in arguments and debates; don't you feel ashamed?" And if I tell the same sentence with equanimity or with the intention of your well-being in heart "Oh Bhavya!! Even after taking shelter of Vitraag, you engage yourself in arguments and debates; doesn't it feel apologetic?",then you will definitely be able infer two different meanings out of above single sentence. Even though it is impossible to bring out such emotions in writing, they can still be imagined. Will not the facial expressions and the harshness or the calmness, that can be seen and heard along with these words stemming from the two different emotions, have different impact on you? You will have a feeling of anger upon hearing the first sentence, while you will feel remorseful upon hearing the second sentence.

Words that come out with anger conveys the meaning of anger and words came out with calmness/politeness conveys the meaning of calmness/politeness. It is observed that harsh words can be beneficial and soft spoken words can be lethal, reason for this lies in the emotions of the speaker. Therefore the 'talk', which I call Dharam Charcha, actually stems out of sheer ego. And in this way I am misleading the people in the name of DHARMA, and poisoning their innocent lives. The funniest thing is that I am talking about welfare. My lord! the roads of welfare passes from the city of simplicity, politeness and self understanding and not from the forest of the cruelty and biasness If there was a real intention of welfare than the entire scenario of argument and understanding will be changed. I don’t need to ask others to know whether my talks are biased or unbiased, or am I listening to the others with equanimity or with egotism, my heart is the witness of it. It is enough to say that this chats are for the welfare and not for the nurture of egotism. So hey Soul! Suppress all your egotism and preoccupied knowledge. Now Listen to the preachings - to not to teach others, but for your own good.

Though you think that you understand the things much better, though you are a scholar but in reality you have been unable to understand the hidden meanings. If you are able understand than this 'tug of words' would not have existed and biases are replaced by simplicity/fairness.

3. Reason for biases:

There are many reasons for the orgin of biases. It is necessary to know these reasons as without knowing it we could not take precautions against biasness and without precautions we could not remove biasness/partialism.

I am just saying that "Biasness is not good, it must be removed" and will continue to say like this. Till today I have not accepted my mistakes/errors/faults and have never tried to correct it and will never do so. Then? How biasness will be removed/avoided. Talks/conversations can never correct the errors without finding it in life. It requires a great deal of effort and courage to correct our mistakes/errors/faults. But before doing efforts it is must that you should first find out your faults/errors/mistakes. So please listen, Gurudev is showing you your mistakes which are responsible for the origin of biasness.

First reason is not listening to the conversation fully and satisfying your self without listening to the full concept. For example A knowledgeable person, who has got many things to tell and he is preaching. I heard his sermons today but was not able to go (to listen his sermons) on second day. You have heard his sermons and we both liked it and thought that we have learnt everything about welfare of life and this is enough. What more that person can tell us than this?

I felt proud that I have learnt new thing which simple man doesn’t know. I started proclaiming my knowledge. After listening to new things obviously people started praising me which has increased my worldly desires and has also increased my ego /pride. As a result knowledge became rigid. I forgot to bow down in front of others therefore the initial feeling of understanding others has been ceased because as per my ideology I know everything or you may say that I started feeling that I am omniscient without knowing that this poison (of biasness) is destroying my desires for doing good (benevolence).

I and you, we both with our prejudiced ideology started blaiming each others views and started forcing people to accept views of anyone of us. (Thus by creating two sectors in a religion) The fan circle of both is increasing equally. Suddenly one day the King of death put his icy hands on us and we left our pupils/followers fighting with each other on the views given by us. Our views have become weapon for them to do idle carping but they do not know that this is not Dharma but they are just spoiling their own life. Oh! How poor their condition is! Who else is capable of saving them other than God(Tirthankar)?

The second reason behind the origin of the biasness is, by self-understanding discovering new things and due to egotism I may follow the first step (i.e. the path of first reason of biasness) or else I wont become egoistic but after listening to my sermons, my followers may become egoistic or I may longe for learning new things and I may not complete my learning in this life and the king of death may send his summons. In a nut shell, the main reason of biasness is HALF –KNOWLEDGE.

4.There is something more

There are only two ways to remove this biasness. Either know a thing in its entirety or know a thing partially bearing in mind that whatever I have known is not even an infinitesimal part of its complete knowledge and that there is a lot more to know besides what I already know. The first option doesn't seem feasible in the present, even though it may be possible in the future. And thus, the second option becomes all the more important for us. Until now, in your account book, you had accounts only for things that you knew, but there wasn't any account for things that you did not know. How is it even possible for to have an account for something that you did know? And so, my fellow being, add a new account to your books titled "There is something more". If you are able to do even this, there will be a marked difference in your attitude. Because you will keep making efforts to add entries to that empty account, and as part of doing that, you will build up the inquisitiveness to know and search for new things. And now, instead of criticizing others' views, you will try to understand their views and fit them appropriately, and in this way, new entries will keep adding to the account, thereby leading to an increase in your knowledge. Prepossession is the biggest hindrance in acquiring and increasing knowledge, while inquisitiveness is the biggest supporter in acquiring knowledge.

5.Be a scientist.

Worldly or spiritually- nothing can be learnt with biases, because such view is narrow. 'My views are right and other are false'- this kind of intention is hidden inside, which does not let us listen to others. Like a scientist, it is possible to understand new things only with a free, open, broad and curious attitude. If you observe a scientist, you would have never heard of him rejecting any body's opinions. "I will not read this book, Or I will not listen to this person, because this is not written by my advisor or it does not comply with my beliefs"- does this thought ever come to a scientist, or would science have ever progressed with such an attitude? The essence of science in this era is broadmindedness. Every scientist, in order to discover something new, reads all possible available literature on that particular topic; whether written by any body of any country. He discusses matters related to his research with every other scientist in that area and makes efforts to extract principles out of these discussions rather than deplore his opinions. He thinks critically to understand his viewpoint. Never even in his dreams he thinks: "What would he know, since he has not gained knowledge from my advisor and so it is futile to listen to him". Please introspect your beliefs for a moment to find out if your outlook is like him or not.

If not until now, then develop this kind of thinking now. Only then you could be called a true worshipper of Sarvagyata(Omniscience). And Only then you will be able to learn and discover something new, not otherwise. The goal with which you have come to the shelter of God, is in itself a science. The only the difference is that the present day science is materialistic while this is spiritual, that is intangible, while this is tangible, that deals with the matter present in this universe, while this deals with the life, search for that is conducted outiside, while search for this is conducted inside the conscious inner self, elements such as iron and electricity are used in its labs, while thinking and experience of the self are used here. So, listen with a free mind, listen with politeness, think simply and try to search for the facts. Rather than getting stuck on words, look for what they are trying to convey. The universe lays there. Words do not have the power to fully represent this entire universe.

6. There is not everything in scriptures.

Can you ever call a literary work to be fully complete scientifically; that is, is it possible that no one else will ever have any new thoughts besides what is already written? Today, we see that scientists keep coming up with new theories, which weren't written down hitherto. New facts that come to light become part of the existing literature, and this is how the scientific literature keeps on increasing.

So, you should apply a similar understanding in the path of spiritual science that whatever literature and Agamas are available now are not complete. They are not even an infinitesimal part of the complete science. In addition to them, there is something more which may possibly come to the fore in the thinking of the spiritual seekers of this path. It is seen that if you come across something new that wasn't written in Agamas, you view it with a sense of doubt. This only stems from the narrow mindedness of your biases. It just shows that you have not been able to become a scientist. Can even the greatest of scientists claim that that he has mastered the subject and there is nothing left to be known? Possibly, even a one year kid may accidentally say something that would be put you in disbelief. Admittedly, he may not know the things that you know, but that one thing which he said is certainly something that you did not know about. Thus, there is no such rule that only intellectuals can discover new things. Sometimes, even a dim-witted person may bring forth facts that were unknown to the mankind until now. Thus, even though you or me, in this mere mortal state, may be not be able to comprehend the essence of our Agamas, it is still possible that a new thought may come to our mind that was not there in the available Agamas. It is not possible to scrutinize every single thing with Agamas. In reality, intellect is the only instrument, but it should be used scientifically and should not be influenced by established practices.

This may sound uninteresting, but what else can be done as the truth always feels bitter in the beginning. If you think upon the matter with patience, then it won't be uninteresting, but it will wash away your narrow-mindedness. You may be thinking that "The scientific literature mentioned in the analogy may be incomplete because it was written by scientists with limited knowledge, but our Agamas can't be incomplete because they are the product of the all-knowing God. There is no scope for anything new in this arena, and if something new comes up, it is bound to be wrong." However, it is not like that. If they were written by Gandhardev, then this could possibly be true in some way, but they were not written by them. They were written by the Acharyas, who despite being scholarly and intelligent, were not all-knowing. Only those things have been written in the Agamas that they knew, where else could have they come from? And it is not even that everything they knew was scripted. It is written:

Only an infinitesimal part of the indescribable knowledge of the Sarvagya (all-knower) is expressable in the Divya Dhvani and only an infinitesimal part of his Divya Dhvani is available as Shrut Jnana. Additionally, if we look at the history, we will find that a lot of calamities have struck these scriptures. Consider it be your good fortune that some literature is still available. The point is that a majority of the scripted literature was burnt to ashes in the fire of communal hatred. Bathing tubs of peoples were kept warm by burning these scriptures. How can you say that there can be nothing outside these Agams? Please give you your prepossessions and awaken the desire to do something in life.

By above statements, one should not interpret that the Agams are being refuted; which is not possible in past, present and future. This is gratitude of Agams that i am able to talk about such 'Svatantra Vision'. Because the theory which is told here, is to nurture the freedom, refute the biasness, and inspire being a thinker. To make a decision on anything, Agams are the only reference for people with less wisdom. Without them, there is dark all around. The intention here is that one should use logic and experience to make a decision on things which are not stated in AGAMAS, and should not leave those things considering them meaningless or fruitless. This is how one should keep adding to the literature of spiritual science. Without experience, and only on the basis of imagination or on the biases, it is right to write anything, because it may be bad for the Bhavya Jeeva.

7. No religion is completely false

After one is able to generate that kind of attitude, one will not be able to find anything in world to be completely wrong. AGAMAS described 363 kinds of schools of thought, which we define as wrong dharmas. But for a scientist no dharma is absolutely wrong, every thing in this world has some truth in it self. Every person in this world has some intention, when he states something. If one tries to read his intentions, without getting hindered by the words he uses, the truth hidden behind his words can be understood.

There is no possibility of any word to be completely wrong. For all the words, there exist some meaning in this world. And therefore the analogies which are usually given like- "horns of donkey", or "flowers in sky" are also not entirely wrong. They may be wrong because of not having their existence together by nature, however their separate existence is definitely there; in this manner sating "horns of donkey" is also true from some perspective. For example if I own a pen I call it "My pen", or if there is oil in metal container- I call it "oil container"- similarly if artificial horns are kept on donkey to decorate him, there is no problem in calling it "horns of donkey". However this is fine, only when we think that particular donkey when we hear the word "horns of donkey". And only if we consider those horns to be artificial and not original. If intellect is used, the meaning of the speaker can understood from his words. However if one gets stuck in words, then "horns of donkey" was never true and will never be. In worldly things we understand the things correctly, and never misinterpret things. My the words - "My pen" or " oil container", we understand its correct meaning. However in this spiritual world, the words are misinterpreted many times. And the reason of this interpretation is bias, and nothing else.

If there are no biases, then we will find some truth in all 363 school of thoughts. Their speakers were not fools, they were intelligent and logical. Who accepts imaginary and entirely wrong thing? Only after having some experience, one can speak something about it. This is how many thinkers thought about things around and told us according to their thinking. The facts are definitely there in the object, that is why they could tell us those facts, otherwise how could they have done that? Therefore whatever they are saying, is all truth. However it is still called wrong? The reason for calling it wrong is that their truth is partial. While they preach their truth, they negate others experiences. This explains their biases/partiality. Because of these biases they are wrong. If they are all considered and reconciled, then they are all truth. In Gommat Saar, these 363 school of thoughts are told to be wrong:

<sanskirt stanzas>

The intention is not to prove the false to be truth, however the intention which is lying inside you, to disprove others, is depicted to be wrong here.

Now this is your duty to find out whether you such kind of intentions in your heart. This thing can not be decided on words. In words, I believe in Anekantvaad, I am disciple of Anekantvadi. Jain school of thought is anekanti, and I am Jain, therefore all my things are true. Hey! do not try to misinterpret things. There is no room for sampradayikta here. Jain Sampradyaa is not Jain school of thought. Anekantik belief is Jain school of thought. School of thought definitely follows Anekantvad, but I have to decide whether I follow anekantvad or not. Actually you do not follow anekantvad, if it were so, then you would not have negated others, but would have accepted them from the view point they are saying. Here it is not preached to follow blindly, but it is preached to find the truth in those 363 school of thoughts. And not just 363, there could be infinite school of thoughts. All school of thoughts have some truth in it. If you try to find, you will definitely get it. If you negate before finding, then you wont find anything. If you make a flower pot of those 363 flowers, only then you can see the truth. If you pick one flower out, you would definitely not be able to view the truth. Therefore, even if you negate just one school of thought and accepts countless school of thoughts- it will called Ekanta (partial) school of thought. Even after being Jain, if I negate something and does not try to understand it, then I am not true Jain and does not follow Anekantvad. In this state why I won't be called Ekanti (person who thinks his partial knowledge in the entire truth.)

8. Birth of Anekantavada:

Because of partial knowledge, we have always been fighting. Till now, we never developed the right vision, using which we can discover the right path for us. Even being on the path of detachment, we only satisfied hatred. When Mahavira Swami came into contact of people, and got to know this Ekanta, his heart cried. Hey Bhavya souls!! In the worldly area you always do bad to yourself, why you are doing the same in this spiritual world? In the materialistic world you always do bad to yourself; why are you doing the same in this spiritual world? As you find the right meaning of words in worldly matters, why do not you do the same in spiritual world? Who are you doing this biases for by making your knowledge hard as rock? Remember, you are only doing yours harm in this way.

Worldly subjects can be seen, and that why you understood things in the right manner; even for the wrong language you figure out the right meaning. But thew spiritual world is not seen, and this is the reason why understanding its meaning seems like impossible. Therefore I am providing you a KEY, with the help of which you could unlock the meaning behind the sayings, practise with that key for some days, and after some time when you feel confident, you will be able to catch the meaning automatically. The name of the key is Anekantavaad, Samyavaad or Syadvaad

NayaDarpan Project

The project to translate the scripture - NayaDarpan started around August 2007. Here is the project webpage:

And I will be posting the translated chapters in this blog here. Please feel free to post the comments- as this project is run by Volunteers - Sidhharth, Payal and Kunal.

Starting the blog

This blog will contain translated chapters from the scripture 'NayaDarpan' authored by Pujya Jinendra Varni Ji.

This book has given me a new dimension of thinking, and helped me understand Anekantavad.
I started studying the book around June of 2006, and read on an average of 1 chapter a day. It talks about a systematic process of understanding something, and how to not create biases in your heart, and appreciate others' views. Also how to recognize biases in others heart and your heart, so you can remove them. And how to reconcile seemingly contradictory views. And also to recognize what is right and what is wrong.

The scripture also talks about our process of learning from set of words to its meaning.

The whole world, which we can see right now, has some biases or the other in general. If we see West, they have biases towards Science and believing only in things which can be scientifically proven (Please see- ). The reincarnation evidences, astrology etc do follow patterns which can be proved by a 'Scientific method'.

The East has his own biases- for its religion, and also for its long inherited culture, which has taken a different form in recent decades, as compared to what it was thousands years back in the time of Lord Mahaveer or Raama.

There is a reconciliation in scientific reasoning, and religion too. The same has been explained very well in the scripture Moksha Marag prakashak chapter 7, subtopic- 'Samyakta Sanmukh Mithyadrishti'

Among this world, there come rare saints who analyse the world, and seek for the truth, and succeed in their pursuit. And one of them is Pujya Jinendra Varni Ji, who brought a revolution in himself by purifying himself with his findings.

Varni Ji chose pearls from the sea of truth that he discovered, and given to us in the form of discourses. The truth was same what Mahaveer Swami preached, and also told us later by many Acharyas, but it was too difficult to understand for a person like me. And these discourses are pure nectar, and I am putting a small effort in bringing it in English language here. The scripture is originally written in Hindi.