This is a case of multi-faceted truths. Jainism has a remarkable philosophy of the multifaceted nature of truth, called Anekāntavāda. This means avoidance of one point of view only, and accepting that multiple facets of the truth might not add up to a conclusion in one binary dimension – like true/false or good/bad. From my first writings of the SN saga, I have emphasized that the matter involves multiple aspects, and these cannot be collapsed by reductionism. Syādvāda is a highly developed Jaina methodology that systematically applies this principle. It requires the observer to maintain healthy skepticism, reasonable doubt, pluralistic outcomes, and hold on to even what might appear to be contradictions. One should always be open to new data that might provide fresh insights. It would be good for those trying to rush to judgment on such episodes to examine this philosophy with an open mind. Unfortunately, some self-appointed journalists operating as “Hindu authorities” have used Semitic methods of reductionism and dogmatic approaches to box in the dharma.
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