Bhagavati-sutra (Viyaha-pannatti)

by K. C. Lalwani | 1973 | 107,351 words

The English translation of the Bhagavati-sutra which is the fifth Jaina Agama (canonical literature). It represents an encyclopedic work in the form of a dialogue between Mahavira replying to questions asked by his chief disciple Indrabhuti. Abhayadeva Suri wrote a vritti (commentary) on the Bhagavati in A.D. 1071. In his Jinaratnakosa H.D. Velank...

Chapter 6: On language

Q. 48. Bhante! Am I to take that language31 is the vehicle (of expression)?

A. 48. Refer to chapter on ‘Language’ (in the Paṇṇavaṇā Sūtra).

Chapter six ends.

Notes (based on commentary of Abhayadeva Sūri):

31. The relevant chapter in the Paṇṇavaṇā Sūtra discusses language from various facets. Language may be satya, asatya, satya-mṛṣā and asatya-amṛṣā. The main source of language is the soul. It arises in a physical body, gross, assimilative and caloric. Its shape is like that of a thunder. The matter let loose by language goes to the other extreme of the sphere. Matter-clusters with innumerable space-units are included in it; matter with innumerable vacuum units are included in it; matter with a life-span of one, two, till ten time-units, countable time-units, uncountable time-units are included in it; matter with colour, smell, substance and touch are included in it. As a rule, matter from six directions are included, and they may be included without break or with break.

The minimum lifespan of language is one time-unit, and the maximum less than 48 minutes. Matter constituting language is acquired by the activities of the physical body, and is thrown out in the form of words or speech. Asatya and satya-mṛṣā languages are spoken with the decline of karma enshrouding knowledge and vision, but with the rise of karma causing delusion, while satya and asatya-amṛṣā are spoken with the decline of karma enshrouding knowledge and vision. Smallest in number are those who speak satya; innumerable times more are those who speak asatya-mṛṣā; innumerable times more than the second are those who speak asatya; innumerable times more than the third are those speaking asatya-amṛṣā; but infinite times more are those who speak not. Included in the last category are inadequate (undeveloped) organisms, the liberated souls, the rocklike steadfast (would-be-liberated) beings, and all one-organ beings.

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