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...

Chapter 4: Organs of senses

Q. 23. Bhante! How many have been stated to be the organs of senses21?

A. 23. Gautama! Organs of senses have beeṇ stated to be five. On these, refer to first chapter (of the Paṇṇavaṇā Sūtra) on ‘Organs of Senses’—their structure, shape, thickness, breadth,...till non-sphere. Chapter on ‘Organ of Senses’.

Chapter four ends.

Notes (based on commentary of Abhayadeva Sūri):

21. The following Sūtra is relevant for the purpose:

saṃṭhāṇam bāhallam pohattam kaipaesa ogāḍhe
appābahu puṭṭha-paviṭṭha visaya aṇagāra āhāre

On structure (shape), the ear is like the kadamba flower, the eye like a masur seed or the moon, the nose like atimuktaka flower, the tongue like the rajor, and the organ of touch of diverse shape.

On thickness, it is an innumerable fraction of the thickness of the finger.

On length, the organs of audition, vision and smell have a length which is an innumerable fraction of the thickness of the finger, the tongue has a length equal to 2 to 9 fingers, and the organ of touch has a length as much as the size of the body. All the five are made of innumerable space-units.

The organ of vision has the shortest socket; numerable times more than this is the socket of the organ of smell; numerable times more than the second is the socket of the organ of audition; numerable times more than the third is the socket of the organ of taste; numerable times more than the fourth is the socket of the organ of touch. All the organs, except the organ of vision, have direct contact with the object which they touch and allow entry into. Not so the organ of vision which neither touches aṇ object nor allows its entry (inside the eye). Hence the eye is a non-acquiring organ, whereas the other four are acquiring organs.

The minimum object the five organs of senses may take, (or are capable to hold), is equal to innumerable fractions of a finger. As to range, the organ of hearing has a range of 12 yojanas, that of vision exceeding 1,00,000 yojanas, and those of smell, taste and touch 9 yojanas each. Objects within the ranges as aforesaid come within the purview of different organs of senses.

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