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...
In that period, at that time, there was a city named Rājagṛha. Description as before. There was a caitya named Guṇaśīla which was dedicated to a yakṣa, till there was a slab of stone in it. Within a short range of the said Guṇaśīla caitya, there lived many heretics, such as, Kālodāi, Śailodāi, Śaibalodāi, Udaya, Nāmodaya, Narmodaya, Anyapālaka, Śailapālaka, Śaṅkhapālaka and Suhasti.
One day, when all of them were seated together, they discussed among themselves as follows:—
“According to Śramaṇa Jñātaputra (Mahāvīra), there are five astikāyas, which are, dharmāstikāya, adharmāstikāya, ākāśāstikāya, pudgalāstikāya and jīvāstikāya. Of these five, Śramaṇa Jñātaputra has named the first four to be inanimate, and the last one, jīvāstikāya, as the only animate. Of the five, four are without form and only pudgalāstikāya though inanimate, is with form. How do we accept this position?”
In that period, at that time, Śramaṇa Bhagavān Mahāvīra came to camp at the Guṇaśīla caitya, till people went back. He had a senior disciple in Indrabhūti Gautama (description in S. 2. U. 5.) who, while wandering on a begging mission, on his way back through the streets of Rājaghṛa, at a slow pace, without hurry, without restlessness, without any lapse, very much alive and alert to the fulfilment of iriyā samiti, reached within a very narrow range of the heretics.
When the heretics saw Bhagavān Gautama near them, they said to one another,
“Oh beloved of the gods! We are really ignorant about the astikāyas. Here is Gautama. Let us approach him so that he may enlighten us about it.”
Having discussed thus among themselves, they came to Bhagavān Gautama and said as follows:
“Gautama? Your spiritual master and preceptor, Śramaṇa Mahāvīra, has said that there are five astikāyas, such as, dharmāstikāya, till with form, but inanimate. How is all that?”
Thereon Bhagavān Gautama gave the following reply:
“Oh beloved of the gods! What is existent we do not call non-existent, and what is non-existent we do not call existent. In other words, what exists we call astibhāva, and what does not exist we call nāstibhāva. This is how we feel. Now, oh beloved of the gods, you may consider the matter yourself.”
On hearing this, the heretics said, “That’s fine.”
Then he returned to the Guṇaśīla caītya, and as per the description contained in S. 2. U. 5., placed the food he had obtained before Mahāvīra. Then having paid his homage and obeisance, he took his seat neither too near nor too far from his spiritual master.
In that period, at that time, Śramaṇa Bhagavān Mahāvīra was in the midst of a sermon which was being delivered to a vast gathering.
Just then Kālodāi rushed in. Mahāvīra addressed him and said,
“Oh Kālodāi! Sometime ago, you people held a discussion about the five astikāyas, till you said, ‘How is all that?’ Is it right?”
—“Yes, sir, it is.”
—“Kālodāi! The whole description about the astikāyas is correct. I assert that there are five astikāyas, viz., dharmāstikāya, till ākāśāstikāya. Of these five, jīvāstikāya apart, four are inanimate, and pudgalāstikāya apart which has form, others are without form.”
Thereon Kālodāi said as follows:
—“Bhante! If that be so, then, does it happen that one can sit, prostrate, stand, sit underneath or roll this way or that on the three formless inanimate astikāyas.”
—“Kālodāi! This is not correct. Only pudgalāstikāya is inanimate with form. So anyone can sit, till roll this way or that on it.”
—“Bhante! Does pudgalāstikāya, which, as you say, is inanimate with form, acquire sinful karma giving unwholesome outcome to living beings?”
—“No, it does not. Only the formless jīvāstikāya which is animate is capable to acquire sinful karma giving unwholesome outcome to living beings.”
These words of Mahāvīra enlightened Kālodāi. He paid his homage and obeisance to him and said,
“Bhante! I would like very much to hear the Law from you.”
In that period, at that time, Bhagavān Mahāvīra closed his camp at the Guṇaśīla caitya and was wandering from village to village. After a gap of time, Bhagavān Mahāvīra came to the same place and put up his camp there. People went out to hear him. People withdrew.
Kālodāi, who was now a monk, came to him, paid his homage and obeisance and said,
“Bhante! Do living beings acquire sinful karma giving unwholesome outcome?”
—“Yes, Kālodāi, they do.”
—“Bhante! What is the nature of sinful karma giving unwholesome outcome?”
—“Kālodāi! Just think of a man who takes eighteen courses of well-cooked food, but all adulterated. It is tasty at the start but turns out to be harmful at the end. (Vide S. 6. U. 3.) In the same manner, one feels pleased in indulging in eighteen sinful areas like violence, till wrong faith, but when sinful karma acquired from these fructifies, then the outcome is unpleasant. Kālodāi! By entering into these eighteen sinful areas, living beings acquire sinful karma imparting unwholesome outcome,?
—“Bhante! Do living beings acquire pious karma giving wholesome outcome?”
—“Yes, Kālodāi, they do.”
—“Bhante! What is the nature of pious karma giving wholesome outcome?”
—“Kālodāi! Just think of a man who takes eighteen courses of food duly cooked and seasoned with useful herbs. It may not taste as good in the beginning, but when digested, it turns out to be good, and in no case harmful. In the same manner, Kālodāi, it may be difficult in the beginning to keep apart from the eighteen sinful areas, but if one can do so, the outcome is always wholesome, and never unwholesome. This is how living beings acquire pious karma giving wholesome outcome.”
—“Bhante! Suppose two persons of the same age and with the same equipment start playing with fire. Of these, one puts the fire bodies on fire and the other saves them by putting the fire out. Which of these two has great karma, great activity, great influx and great pain, and which one has little karma, little activity, little influx and little pain?”
—“Kālodāi! Apparently the person who ignites fire to burn the fire bodies has great karma, till great pain, and the person who helps extinguish it has little karma, till little pain.”
—“Bhante! Why is it so?”
—“Kālodāi! A man who ignites fire kills many earth bodies, many water bodies, few Are bodies, many air bodies, many plants and many moving organisms. In contrast, a man who extinguishes fire kills but few earth bodies, few water bodies, many fire bodies, few air bodies, few plants and few moving organisms. Hence it is so.
—“Bhante! Does inanimate matter shine, look bright, and Impart heat and glow?”
—“Yes, Kālodāi, it does.”
—“Bhante! Which items from inanimate matter do shine, till impart glow?”
—“Kālodāi! The fiery forces (tejo-leśya) of an angry monk fall at a distance, as well as in accessible regions. In whatever region they fall, inanimate matter there shiṇes, till acquires a glow.”
After this, Kālodāi paid his homage and obeisance to Bhagavān Mahāvīra, till lived on enriching his soul by fasts missing four, six or eight meals at a stretch, till ended all misery like Kālāsavesiputra. (Vide S. I.U.9)
—“Bhante! Right you are. It is truly so.”
Chapter Ten ends.
Book Seven ends.
Notes (based on commentary of Abhayadeva Sūri):
(There is no commentary available for this section).