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...

Part 3 - On the sky

Q. 65. Bhante! How many have been stated to be the sky types?

A. 65. Gautama! The sky types have been stated to be two, which ate, sky of the spheres and sky of the non-sphere.

Q. 66. Bhante! Does the sky of the spheres shelter the souls? The deśas of the souls? The pradeśas of the soul? Non-souls? The deśas of the non-souls? The pradeśas of the non-souls45?

A. 66. Gautama! The sky of the spheres shelters souls, their deśas, their pradeśas; it shelters non-souls, their deśas, their pradeśas. Of these, souls are, as a rule, with one organ of sense, with two, three, four and five organs, and those without any sense organ. The jīva-deśas are, as a rule, with one organ of sense...till without any sense organ. The jīva-pradeśas are, with one organ of sense...till without any sense organ. Non-souls are of two types, which are, those with shape, and those without shape. Those with shape,. again, are of four types, which are, skandha, skandha-deśa, skandha-pradeśa and paramāṇu-pudgala46. Those without shape are of five types47, which are, dharmāstikāya but not the deśas of dharmāstikāya, pradeśas of dharmāstikāya, adharmāstikāya but not the deśas of adharmāstikāya, pradeśas of adharmāstikāya, and time called addhā-samaya48.

Q. 67. Bhante! Does the sky of the non-sphere shelter souls...(repeat as before)?

A. 67. Gautama! It does not...till no pradeśas of non-souls (are to be found there). It is a deśa of non-live object, nonheavy-light, endowed with infinite non-heavy-light traits, and is total sky minus its infinite portions.

Notes (based on commentary of Abhayadeva Sūri):

45. Deśa is conceived as division unto units such as two, three and so on. Pradeśa is division into sub-units which are not divisible further.

46. A cluster of atoms is called skanda, which may be divided into deśa and pradeśa. Matter-particles which are not clusterised are called paramāṇu.

47. Elsewhere, these are stated to have 10 types as follows: dharmāstikāya, deśa of dharmāstikāya, pradeśa of dharmāstikāya, adharmāstikāya, deśa of adharmāstikāya, pradeśa of adharmāstikāya, ākāśāstikāya, deśa of ākāśāstikāya, pradeśa of ākāśāstikāya, and addhā-samaya. But there is no basic contradiction. The three ākāśa types are counted here as one and the deśas of dharmāstikāya and adharmāstikāya are not shown as separate categories.

48. Addhā is kāla or time; samaya is time unit. So the word literally means one time unit or simply ‘now’. The past and future are unreal.

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