Tag Archives: non-observable

Philosophy Quiz

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Today we come to a closure of our philosophical journey together. I hope you enjoyed it.

“Noooooo”, came a chorus.

“Don’t say closure. It was so much fun, and we hope we continue with it”, echoed Ātmā.

“Yes sirrrrrrr”, again came a chorus.

I too hope, you continue with it in your life, as I guess it had opened a lot of doors of possibilities for you. So, to make it a memorable closure with me, I thought, we would run a quiz today, by asking each one of twenty five of you, some questions. You may add extra info in your answers, though.

“Wow! a quiz”, exclaimed Gati.

Ok. Let’s start with you. How many types of sense organs?

Gati: Five.

What are the further divisions of each of the sense organs? (pointing to Jāti)

Jāti: Dravyendriya (Observable Organ made of pudgal) and Bhāvendriya (Non-observable Organ made of soul)

What are the divisions of dravyendriya?

Kāy: Dravyendriya is divided into the matter and energy components. The materialistic form & structure (nirvritti), and the organ energy (upkaraṅ) needed to drive a sense organ. The form & structure could be further divided into internal & external sense organs.

How do we understand the bhāvendriya?

Indriya: Bhāvendriya is the aspect of a sense organ because of its being driven by life / soul. It also has two aspects: labdhi (organ’s soul power) and upyog (organ in live action).

As, even a sense organ is fundamentally driven by two types – observable dravyendriya and non-observable bhāvendriya, wouldn’t the whole of a living being be so driven?

Paryāpti: Yes. We living beings are also driven by the observable paryāpti, and the non-observable prāṅ.

What are the varieties of paryāpti (matter & energy) needed to live a life?

Paryāpti: There are six varieties. Food, body, sense organ(s), breath, speech, mind, and they are acquired in that order, for taking birth.

What are the corresponding prāṅ (life support due to soul)?

Prāṅ: They are actually ten. 5 indriya (prāṅ) for organs, manobal for mind, vachanbal for speech, kāybal for body, shwāsochchhwās for breath, āyuṡ for food, and they go away in that order, while dying.

Excellent. And if you know, as both dravyendriya and bhāvendriya are required for the proper functioning of any sense organ, similarly both paryāpti and prāṅ are required for the proper functioning of the corresponding aspect of any living being. Next, minimum how many bodies does a worldy being possess?

Sharīr: Two (tejas & kārmaṅ) during transition from one life form to another.

What are the different types of (soul initiated) activities aka yog?

Yog: They are three – activities of body (physical), speech (verbal), mind (mental).

What is the philosophy of multi-perspective called?

Upyog: Anekāntvād

What are the two types of karm particles at broad level?

Karm: Ghāti (Hindering) & Aghāti (Non-hindering).

In which all guṅasthān do you not die, or are you immortal?

Guṅasthān: Third, Twelfth, Thirteenth. Third because it is a doubtful state. Twelfth and Thirteenth as from these you are destined to go the the next state.

What are the subjects of the sense organs?

Viṡay: 3 (types of) sounds, 5 colours, 2 smells, 5 tastes, 8 touches.

Which karm particles get accumulated on using sense organs?

Mitthyātva: Good ones if used without any bias of anger, ego, deceit, greed. Otherwise, bad karm particles.

What are the ways of stopping the karm particles?

Tatva: 5 sanvar (opposite of āshrav), viz right faith, right conduct, alertness of right conduct, no-kaṡāy, non-activity.

What are the types of ātmā?

Ātmā: As such all are same – the substance ātmā. But based on its worldly state, it could be infinite, but could be broadly classified into 7 more apart from dravya (substance): kaṡāy (anger, ego, deceit, greed), yog (activity), upyog (business), knowledge, faith, conduct, power.

Our hormones trigger our thoughts. Our thoughts trigger our behaviour. But what trigger our hormones?

Danḋak: Leshyā, types of which are typically represented by six enhancing colours of black, blue, gray, red, yellow, white.

And what triggers the leshyā?

Leshyā: Vibrations of the karmic body or karm particles.

What are the types of faith?

Driṡṫi: Right, Wrong & Mixed.

What are the types of meditation?

Dhyān: Four: ārtt (continuous focus on unfavourables & desirables), roudra (concentration in ruthless thoughts), dharm (philosophical concentration), shukla (thought to thoughtlessness). Obviously the first two are not the good forms of meditation.

What is the relation between the three faiths with guṅasthān?

Dravya: First guṅasthān is the stage of wrong faith, third one of mixed, and the rest are of right faith.

Which all forms of living beings can go to mokṡ?

Rāsi: As such any. But directly only from human being form. So, others also will have to come into human form to go to mokṡ.

So, ultimately can all living beings attain mokṡ?

Vrat: No. There are two varieties of all living beings: bhavi and abhavi. Only bhavi are capable of going to mokṡ.

Would all bhavi go to mokṡ?

Mahāvrat: Not really. They are just capable – doesn’t mean they will go. And moreover they are infinite.

In what different ways can the activities (yog) be executed?

Bhāngā: Each of the three activities (body, speech, mind) can be executed in three ways: by oneself, or can be gotten executed by someone else, or can be executed by supporting someone else. (In terms of karm accumulation, all three of them are equivalent.) Hence in detail, there becomes 3 x 3 = 9 varieties of activity execution.

And finally, in how many ways can the level of an ascetic be classified?

Chāritra: Five, viz sāmāyik, chhedopsthāpya, parihār vishuddhi, sūkṡm sanprāy, yathākhyāt.

On a closing note:

As a scientist does lot of experiments trying to unravel the mysteries of observables. In the same way, a philosopher need to do a lot of experiments to unravel the mystery of everything.

In fact, philosophy had been studied, experimented with, and being explored since ages.

Moreover, in the past there have been humans, who have decoded the mysteries of everything. And based on their knowledge, they had conveyed the secrets as the various philosophies. Hence, we do not have to reinvent the wheel, from the scratch. Rather, study these philosophies, and get to know, where to start from. Though finally, everyone has to know on its own.

In fact, even students of science, should use these for inputs to their studies and experiments, providing them a deeper insight to discoveries.

However, as philosophy also deals with the unobservables, the experiments go beyond the usual physical types. To be specific, they need to start with diving into the closest non-observable – the self – the soul.

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Philosophy and Science

“Om Arham”, chanted the philosopher before starting his session.

“Why do you say this every time before starting your lecture?”, asked the curious Gati.

Both the words represent encompassing all sounds, thus representing everything. And so I start remembering everyone, as that is what philosophy is all about everyone and everything.

That’s quite of philosophy, but how does the two words encompass all sounds?

Both ॐ (Om) and अर्हम (Arham) sounds start with the first letter अ (a) and ends with the last letter म (m).

You mean letters of Indian languages, or Sanskrit?

Not only Sanskrit, but even its predecessor Prākrit – one of the oldest known languages. Both of them have the first letter as अ (a) and the last letter म (m) of their major alphabet set.

“Okay. But how can philosophy talk about everything, when even science is not yet able to do it?”, interrupted Jāti.

Let me ask you few questions. What is science?

Science is a study to know about the universe i.e. everything – using observations as the basis of that knowledge.

And how old has been this science around there?

It might have existed in some form or other, since long. But, based on what we have studied, there has been dedicated efforts to understand the universe only since these last few centuries.

Exactly. Science, as we know of today, is a study based on observations. And if you define or assume, only what can be observed in the universe, as everything, then primarily science has been only few centuries old. But, if you accept even for a moment that there could be things, which can never be observed – you open up a whole new range of possibilities, which even science cannot talk about, as they cannot be observed.

You mean things beyond everything observable.


That’s absurd.

Why? There are so many things which you do not know and hence you have not observed. Does that mean, it doesn’t exist? I am just asking for a possibility of things non-observable by the five senses (touch, taste, smell, light, sound), directly or indirectly using any kind of instruments.

Okay. So, then what?

Nothing special. Just wanted to let you know that since time memorial, humans have believed in this possibility and have been studying and exploring on “everything”, which includes both observable and non-observable things. And, that study is what exactly called philosophy. Just that in the last few centuries, the focus have become more on the observable stuff, leading specifically to a branch of philosophy called science. And leaving the non-observables alone to philosophy, making us believe that philosophy is all but science.

So science is a branch of philosophy?!


And there are things beyond science – things which science can’t answer?!

Exactly yes. And going to roots, “All science is philosophy but all philosophy is not science”. In fact, science is just a very tiny fraction of the complete world of philosophy.

I don’t believe!

Yes because, we have been brought up only with the mindset that only what science says, exists. And that’s why, before I go further, I request you all, to at the least open up your mind for other possibilities. Otherwise, no point in discussing further. However, after we discuss, you still have the option to reject everything we discussed, if your conscience doesn’t accept it.

“That’s fine. But how do we proof that any non-observable thing exists?”, asked Kāy.

Note that, many theories even in science doesn’t have any proof, but we believe in them as no observations as yet contradicted with them. The day there is a contradiction, we would start looking out for another more fitting theories. Einstein’s theory did the same to Newton’s theory. So, in the same line, why can’t we believe in a theory of non-observables, at least till it finds any contradiction. FYI, towards the end of his life, even Einstein believed that there are things beyond science.

So, is there a theory about non-observables too?

Yes. Not just one, but many. Same as we have many in science. And they are not just about non-observables, but about everything both observables and non-observables. That’s why if we want to study and know about everything, we’d have to go beyond science and study these theories. But as these may not be tied to observations, they are referred to as philosophical theories, or simply philosophies. And that is what we study in a class like this.

“But before we get into any specific theory, I mean philosophy, just wanted to know, is there any possibility of knowing the non-observables?”, intervened the jolted Jāti.

That’s an apt question. Knowing is different from observing. And yes, we can know about the non-observables. In fact, knowing about them itself would be a proof of their existence.

But how do we know about them?

“For that, you have to continue attending these classes”, smiled the professor, as the bell rang.

Next Class >>

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