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 2 - On pregnancy

Q. 25. Bhante! How long does pregnancy of water-bodies22 last in that state as water-bodies?

A. 25. Gautama! Minimum one time-unit and maximum six months.

Q. 26. Bhante! How long does pregnancy in animal bodies last in animal state?

A. 26. Gautama! Minimum less than 48 minutes and maximum eight whole years.

Q. 27. Bhante! How long does pregnancy in human bodies last in that state?

A. 27. Gautama! Minimum less than 48 minutes and maximum 12 years.

Q. 28. Bhante! How long does a kāyā-bhava23 remain in that state?

A, 28. Gautama! Minimum less than 48 minutes and maximum 24 years.

Q. 29. Bhante! How long does the semen of a human being, and that of a five-organ animal, after it has been in the uteras, remain fresh (i.e., have potentiality to form an embryo)?

A. 29. Gautama! Minimum less than 48 minutes and maximum twelve-times forty-eighty minutes.

Notes (based on commentary of Abhayadeva Sūri):

22. Its speciality has been stated as follows:

pauṣe samārgaśīrṣe sandhyā-rāgo’mbudāḥ sapariveṣāḥ
nātyartham mārgaśire sītam pauṣe’tihimapātaḥ

[In the months of Mārgaśīrṣa and Pauṣa, the evening sky is red and there are curly clouds. In the former month, it is not very cold, but in Pauṣa, there is snow-fall.]

These are the signs of pregnancy of the water-bodies.

23. Kāyabhava—The body of the embryo in the mother’s womb is the kāya of that embryo. To take or renew birth in the womb is to become a kāyabhava. In other words, one becomes a kāyabhava when he has stayed in the mother’s womb for a full span of 12 years, and thereafter, by dint of another body created by him, (alternative reading: by the interpolation of fresh semen, getting an extended stay in the same body) he adds another 12 years, thus making a total of 24 years in the mother’s womb.

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