Two doctrines were prevalent in the whole world of philosophy—dualism and monism. The former posited two elements, the animate and inanimate. Both are independent. The latter posited only one element, viz. the animate. The other does not exist. In reality, the two doctrines cannot be separated. Anekantvad (the doctrine of non-absolutism or manifold aspects) has viewed them together and that is why it has properly explained both man and the world. If we interpret man for our own convenience, for making right individuals and the right world, for making conduct and behaviour right, it implies the development of individual consciousness. If we interpret the world, it will imply the development of group or collective consciousness.
Every man's consciousness needs two dimensions. Anuvrat is the principle of the development of individual consciousness. Fraud and deceit prevail and many problems arise where group consciousness is sought to be developed without first developing individual consciousness.
Development of individual consciousness is vitally important. Anuvrat's code of conduct is a code to develop individual consciousness. It is said that anuvrat does not address itself to the development of group or social consciousness. Particularly people in western countries keep telling that while they are working for the good of society, we are doing it for the good of individuals. They wonder how the entire world can improve in a finite period of time of attention is directed to individuals. According to them, each individual would reform in one stroke once social consciousness wad developed. It is a nice thought but impossible to translate into reality. Social consciousness will not awaken without being based on the purity of individual consciousness.
— Acharya Mahaprajna —
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