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. 10. Bhante: Does a soul freed from the fetters of karma attain its goal?
A. 10. Yes, it does.
Q. 11. Bhante! How does it attain its goal?
A. 11. (It attains its goal) because of non-association, because of non-attachment, because of transmigration, because of cutting asunder the bondage; because of the absence of ignition, because of prior exertion—a soul is thus freed from the fetters of karma.
Q. 12. Bhante! How does a soul freed from the fetters of karma attain its goal because of non-association, non-attachment and transmigration?
A. 12. Gautama! Suppose there’s a dry gourd without a leak, without a crack. That gourd is wrapped carefully with kuśa and darva grass. Then it is given a coat of clay and dried in the sun, and the process is repeated eight times. Then it is thrown in uncrossable, one-man deep water. Tell me, Gautama, does that gourd, because of the weight due to eight coats of clay, due to its heaviness, due to its weight and heaviness, reach the bottom of the water and touch the earth underneath?
—Yes, it does.
—And then because of its remaining inside the water, as the eight coats of clay get diluted and separated, then, does the gourd leave the bottom and come to the surface of the water again?
—Yes, it does.
—Indeed, in the same manner, oh Gautama, a soul freed from the fetters of karma attains its own goal because of non-association, non-attachment and transmigration.
Q. 13. Bhante! How does a soul freed from the fetters of karma attain its goal for cutting a sounder the bondage?
A. 13. Like a pea, mug or uḍad, or a fruit of simula or eranḍa [eraṇḍa], dried up in the sun, throwing out its seeds to invisible nooks, oh Gautama.
Q. 14. Bhante! How does a soul freed from the fetters of karma attain its goal for lack of ignition?
A. 14. Like the smoke separated from fuel shooting up unobstructed in its natural course, oh Gautama!
Q. 15. Bhante! How does a soul freed from the fetters of karma attain its goal due to prior exertion?
A. 15. Like an arrow, released from the bow-string, rushing forth at its target without obstruction, oh Gautama! Thus it attains its goal due to prior exertion. In this manner, because of non-association, till prior exertion, a soul freed from the fetters of karma attains its goal.
Notes (based on commentary of Abhayadeva Sūri):
Q/A. 12. The eight-fold coat of grass and clay has been compared with eight-fold karma.
Q/A. 13-15. Six factors which help a soul freed from the karma bondage to attain its goal, i.e., liberation, are non-association, non-attachment, state of existence, exhaustion of bondage, non-ignition and prior exertion.