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...
Q. 90. Bhante! How do living beings acquire karma giving life a short span?
A. 90. Gautama! For three reasons, which are, for causing injury to living beings, for making false utterances, and for giving prohibited and unwholesome food, drink, dainties and delicacies to śramaṇas and māhaṇas. Thus do living beings acquire karma giving life a short span22.
Q. 91. Bhante! How do living beings acquire karma giving life a long span?
A. 91. Gautama! For three reasons, which are, for not causing injury to life, for not making false utterances, and for giving permitted and wholesome food, drink, dainties and delicacies to śramaṇas and māhaṇas23.
Q. 92. Bhante! How do living beings acquire karma giving a long and unwholesome life?
A. 92. Gautama! For three reasons, which are, for causing injury to life, for uttering falsehood, and for insulting a śramaṇa or a māhaṇa by calling his caste, by abusing him in his own mind, by talking ill of him in the presence of others, by decrying him, and by giving him unwholesome and unpleasant food, drink, dainties and delicacies. Thus do living beings acquire karma giving a long and unwholesome life24.
Q. 93. Bhante! How do living beings acquire karma giving a long and wholesome life?
A. 93. Gautama! For three reasons, which are, for not causing injury to life, for not uttering falsehood, and for paying homage and obeisance,...till by worshipping a śramaṇa or a māhaṇa, by giving him food, drink, dainties and delicacies which are wholesome and pleasant. Thus do living beings acquire karma giving a long and wholesome life25.
Notes (based on commentary of Abhayadeva Sūri):
22. According to the Sthānāṅga, causing injury to life and uttering falsehood both arise from, and are linked with, the process of preparing unwholesome food, drink, etc., and offering them to a monk.
tathāhi prāṇātipātyādhākarmādi karaṇato mṛṣoktaṃ vā yathā aho sādho! svārtha-siddhamidaṃ bhaktādi kalpanīyaṃ vo nāśaṃkā kāryyā
[Injury to life caused in the preparation of unwholesome food and telling a lie to induce a monk to accept the same saying, ‘Oh monk! I have prepared this food for my own use. You may accept it without hesitation. Apprehend no lapse in its acceptance’,—these are vices which become the cause of a short life.]
aṇuvvaya mahāvvaehiṃ ya bālatavo akāma ṇijjarāe ya devāuyaṃ nibaṃdhai sammadiṭṭhī ya jo jīvo
Life in heaven is relatively long. The above idea is continued further as follows:
Goyamā! egaṃtaso ṇijjarā kajjai
[Bhante! What does a śramaṇa devotee gain in offering wholesome and prescribed food, drink, dainty and delicacy to a śramaṇa or to a māhaṇa?
Gautama! He has total exhaustion of karma bondage.]
That which helps exhaustion of karma bondage may also help the acquisition of a long life.
24. The point under consideration is long and unwholesome life which is the outcome of offering food to a monk with disrespect. Even if pure food is offered with disrespect, it does not give good result.
Some texts have used the adjective aphāsueṇaṃ aṇesaṇijjeṇaṃ for food.
This may be interpreted as follows:
micchadiṭṭhī mahāraṃbha-pariggaho tivva lobha-nissīlo
nirayāuyaṃ nibaṃdhai pāvamaī rodda-pariṇāmo
[One whose wit is steeped in vice which has a violent outcome, in great endeavour, great possession, profound greed, who is devoid of conduct, who has a wrong outlook, acquires life in hell. Life in hell has usually a very long span, apart from being very unwholesome.]
25. Some texts use the adjectives prāsuka (free from live objects) and aprāsuka (not free from live objects) for food, while others do not.