Bhagavati-sutra (Viyaha-pannatti)

by K. C. Lalwani | 1973 | 75,670 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. The text is also known as Bhagavatisutra, Bhagavatī Sūtra (भगवती सूत्र), Bhagavatīsūtra (भगवतीसूत्र), Viaha...

Part 1 - On astikāyas

Q. 53. Bhante! How many have been stated to be the astikāyas41?

A. 53. Gautama! Astikāyas have been stated to be five, which are, dharmāstikāya, adharmāstikāya, ākāśāstikāya, jīvāstikāya and pudgalāstikāya.

Q. 54. Bhante! In dharmāstikāya, how many colours are there, how many smells, how many tastes and how many touches?

A. 54. Gautama! No colour, no smell, no taste, no touch, no shape, non-living, eternal, ever-existent object in spheres.

55. In brief, dharmāstikāya has been stated from five angles, which are, substance, place, time, bhāva and trait. As to substance, dharmāstikāya is one. As to place, it is as extensive as the spheres. As to time, it never was that it did not exist, it never is that it does not exist, nor will it ever be that it will not exist; it existed, it exists, it will exist,...till it is ever-existent object in spheres. As to bhāva, it has no colour, no smell, no taste, no touch. As to trait, it is motion. Likewise, adharmāstikāya except that in its trait, it is rest. Likewise, ākāśāstikāya, except that as to place, it is stated to be as big as spheres and non-sphere, and as to its trait, it is all-enveloping.

Q. 56. Bhante! In jīvāstikāya, how many colours are there, how many smells, how many tastes and how many touches?

A. 56. Gautama! Without colour,...till without shape, the soul is eternal ever-existent in spheres. In brief, jīvāstikāya has been stated from five angles, which are, substance,...till trait. As to substaṇce, jīvāstikāya is live object. As to place, it is as expansive as the spheres. As to time, it never was that it did not exist,...till it is ever-existent. As to bhāva, no colour, no smell, no taste, no touch. As to trait, it is characterised by upayoga or ability to perceive.

Q. 57. Bhante! In pudgalāstikāya, how many colours are there, how many smells, how many tastes and how many touches?

A. 57. Gautama! Five colours, five tastes, two smells, eight touches, with shape, non-live, eternal, ever-existent object in spheres. In brief, pudgalāstikāya has been stated from five angles, which are, substance, plate, time, bhāva and trait. As to substance, they are infinite (non-live) objects. As to place, as much expansive as the spheres. As to time, it was not that it did not exist...till ever-existent object in spheres. As to bhāva, with colours, smells, tastes and touches. As to trait, all-adhering.

Q. 58. Bhante! Can it be said that one pradeśa of dharmāstikāya is (the whole of) dharmāstikāya?

A. 58. Gautama! That’s not correct. Not even two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten pradeśas are (the whole of) dharmāstikāya.

Q. 59. Bhante! Can it be said that innumerable pradeśas of dharmāstikāya constitute (the whole of) dharmāstikāya?

A. 59. No, Gautama, that (also) is not correct.

Q. 60. Bhante! If dharmāstikāya is less than a pradeśa, can it be said to be dharmāstikāya?

A. 60. Gautama! That (also) is not correct.

Q. 61. Bhante! Why do you say that one pradeśa of dharmāstikāya is not (the whole of) dharmāstikāya,...till less than one pradeśa is not dharmāstikāya?

A. 61. Gautama! Is a part of the wheel the whole wheel?

—No, it is not the whole wheel?

—The same with an umbrella, a cushion, a stick, cloth, a weapon and a sweet. Hence so. For this reason, it is said that a pradeśa of dharmāstikāya is not dharmāstikāya,... till less than a pradeśa of dharmāstikāya. is not dharmāstikāya.

Q. 62. Bhante! Then what is to be called dharmāstikāya?

A. 62. Gautama! Dharmāstikāya has innumerable pradeśas; all of them, the sum-total, leaving none out, the whole in one expression, such is dharmāstikāya, oh Gautama! And like this too of adharmāstikāya, ākāśāstikāya, jīvāstikāya and puāgalāstikāya, difference being that (last) three are with infinite pradeśas; the rest as before42.

Notes (based on commentary of Abhayadeva Sūri):

41. The minute part of a substance is called aṇu and when these anus are combined inseparably, the substance constituted of them is called astikāya or extended substance by the Jainas. Jīva, pudgala, ākāśa, dharma and adharma are astikāyas or extended substances because their minutest constituents are mixed up and inseparably combined with one another. Such is, however, not the case with kāla. Though there are kālāṇus or ultimate time units, each of these is separate.

42. Sum-total of innumerable pradeśas of dharmāstikāya is dharmāstikāya;
Sum-total of innumerable pradeśas of adharmāstikāya is adharmāstikāya;
Sum-total of innumerable pradeśas of ākāśāstikāya is ākāśāstikāya;
Sum-total of innumerable pradeśas of jīvāstikāya is jīvāstikāya;
Sum-total of innumerable pradeśas of pudgalāstikāya is pudgalāstikāya.

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