Jain Philosophy (2) 13 – Tripadi (Three Pronouncements)

Jain Philosophy (2) 13 – Tripadi (Three Pronouncements)

Jain Philosophy (2) 13 – Tripadi (Three Pronouncements)

Utpäd, Vyaya, and Dhrauvya

Shraman Bhagawän Mahävir expounded and established the Jain philosophy and communicated it to his first disciple, Indrabhuti Gautam and ten other Ganadhars (Chief disciples), in three phrases, which constitute the foundation of the Jain philosophy; and lays down its essentials. These three phrases are known as Tripadi.

  • Uppannei Vä –

There emerges a new phase of the substance.  This is called Utpäd or Utpatti, which denotes emergence of a new mode.

  • Vigamei Vä –

Old mode of the substance vanishes.  This is called Vyaya or Laya, which denotes disappearance of the old mode.

  • Dhuvei Vä –

Original qualities of the substance remain constant. This is called Dhrauvya, which denotes the permanence of the substance.

Though the substance may assume different forms at different times, it never loses its own essential qualities (Guna). The Jain term for substance is Sat (existence, being). This term denotes a substance that has three aspects: substance (Dravya), quality (Guna), and mode (Paryäya).

Dravya, Guna, and Paryäya

The substance and attributes are inseparable and the attributes being the permanent essence of the substance cannot remain without it.  Modes, on the other hand, are changing. The matter (Dravya), while retaining its own qualities, undergoes modifications (Parinäm) in the form of acquiring (Utpäd) new modes (Paryäya or Bhäva) and losing (Vyaya) old modes at each moment.  Production (acquiring new modes) and destruction (losing old modes) are endless processes. On account of these changes, the substance does not experience any loss in its original qualities (Guna).

Substance as Dravya remains permanent and is not destroyable. Nevertheless, changes occur; old forms are destroyed and new ones come into being.  For this reason, Jainism does not consider any substance either as always permanent or as always transitory. The destruction of any thing that we notice is not the destruction of the substance. It is only a change of mode, a transformation.

In fact, Jainism points out that both permanence and the change are the two sides of the same thing. Considering on one side the human limitations to acquire the knowledge of a thing with all its the infinite attributes and on the other side three characteristics of knowledge possessing the three characteristics of production, destruction and permanence, nothing could be affirmed absolutely as all affirmations could be relatively true under certain aspects or points of view only. The affirmations are true of a thing only in a certain limited sense and not absolutely. Thus a thing or the conception of being as the union of permanent and change brings us naturally to the doctrine of Anekäntaväda or what we may call relative pluralism. The claim that Anekäntaväda is the most consistent form of realism lies in the fact that Jainism has allowed the principle of distinction to run its full course until it reaches its logical terminus, the theory of manifoldness of reality and knowledge. The theory of non_absolutism clears that reality, as stated according to Jainism, is not merely multiple but each real, in its turn, is manifold or complex to its core. Reality is thus a complex web of manyness (Aneka) and manifolds (Anekänta).

Examples of Dravya, Guna, and Paryäya

A bar of gold has its own original qualities.  That bar can be converted into a chain. In that case, the shape of the bar is destroyed and a new shape (chain) has been produced. However, the qualities of gold remain unchanged.  Now if we melt the chain and make a bangle out of it then 

we destroy the chain (an old form) and produce a bangle (a new form). Again, the inherent qualities of the gold remain unchanged.  Therefore, the bar, the chain and the bangle are transient forms (Paryäya) while gold is the matter (Dravya), which remains constant.

A living being through the process of growth undergoes various changes such as childhood, youth, and old age. These changes are the natural modifications of the living being. Childhood, youth, and old age are transient forms (Paryäya) of a living being. The soul of the living being is a permanent substance (Dravya).  Similarly, when we die, we will be born in another body. Therefore, the body is also a transient form while our soul is the permanent substance (Dravya).

A soul is a substance (Dravya) that has innumerable qualities such as knowledge (Jnän), bliss (Änand) and energy (Virya).  The knowledge quality, for example, may increase or decrease but there is never a time when the soul is without knowledge; otherwise, it would become, by definition, a non_soul, a lifeless material.

According to Jainism, the number of various substances existing at present existed in the past and will continue to exist in future.  There cannot be any increase or decrease in that number. All the transformations take place according to their properties and potentialities; and in course of time, one form may get destroyed and cease to exist and another form may emerge. However, Dravya remains constant.



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