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 4 - Merit in bestowing food

Q. 8. Bhante! What merit does the follower of the śramaṇa path derive in bestowing pure and prescribed food, drink, dainties and delicacies to a worthy śramaṇa (monk) or a worthy māhaṇa (follower)?

A. 8. Gautama! In bestowing pure and prescribed food, till a worthy māhaṇa, be helps him to attain beatitude (samādhi) and, in doing so, he himself attains beatitude.

Q. 9. Bhante! In bestowing pure and prescribed food, till a worthy māhaṇa, what does the follower renounce?

A. 9. Gautama! Verily does he renounce the means to life (food), renounces something difficult to renounce, does something difficult to perform, renounces a rare object and attains right faith. Thereafter he is perfected, till ends all misery.

Notes (based on commentary of Abhayadeva Sūri):

Q/A. 9. In making an offer of food which is pure and without contamination of living objects, one attains equanimity. The offer of food is as good as the offer of life. The verb cayaī (चयई) has been translated as ‘to renounce’.

It may also mean to reduce the duration of karma, to reduce its intensity, etc. Thus equanimity is derived by making an offer of good and prescribed food to a worthy recipient.


aṇukampa akāmaṇijjara bālatave dāṇaviṇae |

(Compassion, exhaustion with detachment, penance, offer and humility impart equanimity.)

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