Kiyokuni Shiga

Arcaṭa’s description and criticism of the Jaina theory of manifoldness (anekānta-vāda)

  • Time: Wed 8 March 2017, 13:00-17:00
  • Venue: Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia, 1st floor, seminar room 50
  • Organisation: Yasutaka Muroya


The purpose of my presentation is to examine how Arcaṭa and other Buddhist logicians introduce and criticize Jaina ontology and epistemology. The Jainas claim that every entity exists as a substance (dravya) and as a mode (paryāya) at the same time. According to Arcaṭa, Jitāri, and others, the Jainas state that the substance (e.g. gold as a material) and the mode (a bracelet, a pot etc.) of an entity are mutually different due to the differences in their numbers, names, characteristics and purposes. Yet, the substance and the mode are not different because their place, time and essential nature are one and the same. This view of the Jainas is called anekāntavāda (the theory of manifoldness). Arcaṭa, following Dharmakīrti’s philosophy, criticizes the Jainas and states that it is impossible for one and the same entity to have more than two different properties simultaneously, and that the differences due to the numbers, names etc. are not impossible when there is no difference between dravya and paryāya at the level of their essential nature. Arcaṭa’s criticism of anekāntavāda is debated by later Jaina logicians such as Vādirājasūri (in Nyāyaviniścayavivaraṇa) and Vādidevasūri (in Syādvādaratnākara).

Workshop following the lecture

We will be reading a portion of Arcaṭa’s Hetubinduṭīkā on the criticism of the Jaina’s anekāntavāda (HBṬ 104,19–107,23).


Kiyokuni Shiga is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Cultural Studies, Department of Intercultural Studies, of the Kyoto Sangyo University since 2011. His recent publications include the articles "antarvyāpti and bahirvyāpti re-examined" (Religion and Logic in Buddhist Philosophical Analysis, Proceedings of the Fourth International Dharmakīrti Conference 2011, eds. Helmut Krasser, Horst Lasic, Eli Franco, Birgit Kellner), "Conflicts and Interactions between Jaina Logicians and Arcata" (Journal of Jaina Studies 19, 2013), and "Jainakyōto ni yoru setsunametsu hihan" (Indian and Buddhist studies in honor of president Dr. Shōō (Kiyoaki) Okuda in recognition of his lifelong scholarship, 2014).