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 3 - Time by comparison

Q. 115. Bhante! What is this time by comparison?

A. 115. Gautama! Time by comparison is of two types, which are, palyopama and sāgaropama.

Q. 116. What is palyopama? And what is sāgaropama?

A. 116. Molecule which cannot be pierced or divided
Even by the sharpest of weapons,
Such molecule, perfected souls call
Ādi pramāṇa
or Substance Original.

Conglomerations of an infinite number of molecules give one ucchalakṣṇaślakṣṇikā, ślakṣṇaślakṣṇikā, ūrdhvareṇu, trasareṇu, rathareṇu, bālāgra, likṣā, yūkā, yavamadhya and aṅgula.

Eight ucchalakṣṇaślakṣṇikās make one ślakṣṇaślakṣṇikā,
eight ślakṣṇaślakṣṇikās make one ūrdhvareṇu,
eight ūrdhvareṇus make one trasareṇu,
eight trasareṇus make one rathareṇu
and eight rathareṇus make the hair-tip of men in Devakuru-Uttarakuru,
eight such hair-tips of men in Devakuru-Uttarakuru make one hair-tip of men in Harivarṣa-Ramyakavarṣa,
eight such hair-tips of men in Harivarṣa-Ramyakavarṣa make one hair-tip of men in Haimavata-Airāvata,
eight such hair-tips of men in Haimavata-Airāvata make one hair-tip of men in eastern Videha,
eight such hair-tips of men in eastern Videha make one likṣā,
eight such likṣās make one yūkā,
eight such yūkās make one yavamadhya,
and eight such yavamadhyas make one aṅgula,
six aṅgulas make one pada,
12 aṅgulas make one vitasti,
24 aṅgulas make one hāta (hand),
48 aṅgulas make one kukṣī,
96 aṅgulas make one daṇḍa, dhanuṣa, yuga, nālikā, akṣa or mūsala,
2000 dhanuṣas make one gāu,
4 gāus make one yojana.

In terms of yojana, a palya is one yojana in length, one yojana in breadth, one yojana in depth and 3 yojanas in circumference. In that palya, hairs grown on the heads of men of Devakuru-Uttarakuru in one day, in two days, in three days, maximum in seven days, crores of such hair-tips are pressed into it in such a way that neither fire can burn them, nor wind can remove them, and the said hair-tips neither stink, nor are destroyed nor get rotten. If, after this, from that palya, filled to capacity with such hair-tips, one hair is taken out in a hundred years, and if this process is repeated, then a time comes when the palya becomes empty, without dust, without content, pure, vacant, without a smear, deprived (of hair-tips), and remains only itself. Such a time is called a palyopama.


When it is ten koṭākoṭi times of a palyopama
It becomes the measure of a sāgaropama13.

Notes (based on commentary of Abhayadeva Sūri):

13. Further divisions of palyopama are as follows:


[Picture transcription: Palyopama; uddhāra; addhā; kṣetra; vyavahāra uddhāra; sukṣma uddhāra; vyavahāra addhā; sukṣma addhā; vyavahāra kṣetra; sukṣma kṣetra]

Sāgaropama has similar divisions, but krores [crores] of time more in each case.

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