Bhagavati-sutra (Viyaha-pannatti)

by K. C. Lalwani | 1973 | 185,989 words

The English translation of the Bhagavati-sutra which is the fifth Jaina Agama (canonical literature). It is a large encyclopedic work in the form of a dialogue where Mahavira replies to various question. The present form of the Sutra dates to the fifth century A.D. Abhayadeva Suri wrote a vritti (commentary) on the Bhagavati in A.D. 1071. In his J...

Part 1 - Obeisances

[Note 1: We pay obeisance to the five advanced souls, viz., arihantas (victors), siddhas (liberated souls), āyariyas (preceptors), uvajjhāyas (teachers) and sāhus (monks) in all the spheres, because they show us the way.]

ṇamo arahaṃtāṇaṃ | ṇamo siddhāṇaṃ
ṇamo āyariyāṇaṃ | ṇamo uvajjhāyāṇaṃ
namo loe savvasāhūṇaṃ
namo baṃbhīe livīe | ṇamo suyassa

Obeisance to the Victors.
Obeisance to the Liberated Souls.
Obeisance to the Preceptors.
Obeisance to the Teachers.
Obeisance to the Monks in all Spheres.
Obeisance to the Brāhmī Script2.
Obeisance to the Scriptures3.

rāyagiha calaṇa dukkhe kaṃkhapaose ya pagai puḍhavīo |
jāvale ṇeraie bāle gurue ye calaṇāo ||

Rājagṛha, Movement (of karma), Suffering,
Karma deluding faith, Nature, Worlds, Distance,
Infernal beings, Fools, Weight, Movement again.
(These are, in brief, the contents of what follows.)

Notes (based on commentary of Abhayadeva Sūri):

2. The script given by the first tīrthaṅkara Ṛṣabha to his daughter Brāhmī, from whom the script derives its name. This is considered by the Jainas to be the original script, parent of all subsequent scripts. As the words of the Jinas are preserved and transmitted through this script, it is deserving of obeisance. Besides, obeisance to the script is obeisance to its giver too.

3. The word ‘śruta’ (scriptures) includes canonical literature of the Jainas and has a broader coverage than the Hindu word ‘śruti’. Starting with the three words of Mahāvīra, utpāda (formation), dhrauvya (permanence) and vyaya (decay), the leading-most of his immediate disciples called gaṇadharas produced canonical works as per their own understanding of the three words. Initially preserved through memory, the first compilation took place at a gap of 160 years after the death of Mahāvīra at Pāṭaliputra. The process of compilation passed through a few stages till it was stopped with the preparation of the final redaction of the canons at the council of Valabhī under the presidency of Ācārya Devardhi Gaṇi in 454 (467?) A. D. The casual references to the books representing various divisions of the said canons suggest a stratification of the Aṅgas, Upāṅgas and the rest, and a chronology of their gradual development. The process of growth is comparable to that of an embryo in the womb, the various parts and limbs manifesting themselves one after the other, till the organism reaches its final form.

Total Āgamas number 45 (94, if other works like Kalpasūtra, etc., are included) which are as follows:

Aṅga (11) viz., Āyāra, Sūyagaḍa, Ṭhāṇa, Samavāya, Viyāhapaṇṇatti (Bhagavatī), Nāyādhammakahā, Uvāsagadasā, Aṃtagaḍadosā, Aṇuttarovavāiyadasā, Paṇhāvāgaraṇa, Vivāgasūya.

Upāṅga (12) viz., Uvavāia, Rāyapaseṇaiya, Jīvājīvābhigama, Paṇṇavaṇā, Jaṃbūddvīvapaṇṇatti, Candapaṇṇatti, Sūrapaṇṇatti, Ṇirayāvaliyā, Kappiyā/Kappavadaṃsiyā, Pupphiyā, Pupphacūliyā, Vaṇhidasā.

Cheya Sūtta (6) viz., Ṇisīha, Mahāṇisīha, Vavahāra, Dasāsūyakkhaṃdha, Vihatkappa, Jīakappa/Pañcakappa.

Mūla Sūtta (4) viz., Uttarajjhayaṇa, Āvassaya, Piṃḍaṇijjutti, Dasaveyāliya.

Cūliyā Sūtta (2) viz., Naṃdī Sūtta, Aṇuogaddāra.

Paiṇṇaga (10) viz., Causaraṇa, Āurapaccākkhāṇa, Bhattapariṇṇā, Taṃḍulaveyāliya, Caṃdavijjaya, Gaṇivijjā, Deviṃdathava, Mahāpaccākkhāṇa, Vīrathava, Saṃthāraga.

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