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 5 - On knowledge-as-power, etc.

Q. 126. Bhante! How many types of power (lābdhi) are there?

A. 126. Gautama! There are ten types, viz., knowledge-as-power, faith-as-power, conduct-as-power, part-renunciation (caritrācaritra)-as-power, gift-as-power, gain-as-power, enjoyment (short)-as-power, enjoyment(continuous)-as-power, energy-as-power and sense-organ-as-power.

Q. 127. Bhante! How many types of knowledge-as-power are there?

A. 127. Gautama! Five types, viz., perception, till supreme knowledge.

Q. 128. Bhante! How many types of non-knowledge-as-power are there?

A. 128. Gautama! Three types, viz,, perceptual non-knowledge, scriptural non-knowledge and distorted knowledge.

Q. 129. Bhante! How many types of faith-as-power are there?

A. 129. Gautama! Three types, viz., right, wrong and right-wrong, (i. e., mixed).

Q. 130. Bhante! How many types of conduct-as-power are there?

A. 130. Gautama! Five types, viz., state of equanimity (sāmāika-chāritra), termination of past karma and transplantation of vows (chedopasthāniya), purification through special penance (parihāra-visuddhi), steady reduction of remnant passions (sukṣma-samparāya) and best and passion-free conduct as prescribed (yathākhyāta).

Q. 131. Bhante! How many types of part-renunciation (caritrācaritrā)-as-power are there?

A. 131. Gautama! Only one type and the same about others, till enjoyment (continuous).

Q. 132. Bhante! How many types of energy-as-power are there?

A. 132s Gautama! Three types, viz., energy of the fool, energy of the prudent, and energy of the prudent-fool, i.e., part-prudent.

Q. 133. Bhante! How many types of sense-organ-as-power are there?

A. 133 Gautama! Five types, from organ of hearing, till organ of touch.

Q. 134. Bhante! Are the living beings with the power of knowledge endowed with knowledge, or with non-knowledge?

A. 134, Gautama! With knowledge, not with non-knowledge, some with two, till upto five types of knowledge.

Q. 135. Bhante! Are the living beings without this power endowed with knowledge, or with non-knowledge?

A. 135. Gautama! Not with knowledge, but with non-knowledge, some with two types of non-knowledge, others with three.

Q. 136. Bhante! Are the living beings with the power of perception endowed with knowledge, or with non-knowledge?

A. 136. Gautama! Endowed with knowledge, not with non-knowledge, some with two, till upto four types.

Q. 137. Bhante! Are the living beings who do not have this power endowed with knowledge, or with non-knowledge?

A. 137. Gautama! They may be with or without knowledge. Those who are endowed with knowledge have, as a rule, one, viz., supreme knowledge. Those who are endowed with non-knowledge, some have two, till upto three. The same holds of scriptural knowledge. When they are without power, they are similar to those who do not have the power of perceptual knowledge.

Q. 138. What about those who have the power of extrasensory knowledge?

A. 138 Gautama! (They are) endowed with knowledge, not with non-knowledge, some with three, viz., perceptual, scriptural and extra-sensory, and some with four, viz., perceptual, scriptural, extra-sensory and psychological.

Q. 139. And those who do not have this power, pray ?

A. 1 9. Gautama! (They may be) either. They may have upto four types of knowledge except extra-sensory knowledge, and three of non-knowledge.

Q. 140. Bhante! What about those Who have the power to know the psychology of others?

A. 140. Gautama! They are endowed with knowledge not with non-knowledge, some with three types, some with four, the former having perceptual, scriptural and extrasensory knowledge, and the latter these three plus knowledge of the psychology of others,

Q. 141. And what about those who do not have this power?

A. 141. Gautama (They may be) either, with upto four types of knowledge, except psychological, and with three types of non-knowledge.

Q. 142. Bhante! Are those with the power of supreme knowledge endowed with knowledge, or with non-knowledge?

A. 142. Gautama! With knowledge, not with nonknowledge, and, as a rule, with one knowledge, which is the supreme knowledge.

Q. 143. And in case they don’t have this power?

A. 143. Gautama! They may be with or without knowledge. When the former, upto four types of knowledge, except supreme knowledge, and when the latter, upto three.

Q. 144. And what about those who have the power of non-knowledge?

A. 144. Gautama! (They are) not endowed with knowledge, but with non-knowledge, upto three.

Q. 145. And those who do not have this power, pray?

A. 145. Gautama! (They are) endowed with knowledge, not with non-knowledge, and upto five types of knowledge. What has been said of the power or no-power of non-knowledge also holds in the case of power or no-power of perceptual non-knowledge and scriptural non-knowledge. Those endowed with the power of distorted (vibhaṅga) knowledge have, as a rule, three types of non-knowledge, and those who do not have this power may have upto five types of knowledge, but, as a rule, two types of non-knowledge.

Q. 146. Bhante! Are the living beings with the power of faith endowed with knowledge, or with non-knowledge?

A. 146. Gautama! (They maybe) either, with upto five types of knowledge and three of non-knowledge.

Q. 147. Bhante! In the absence of this power, are the living beings endowed with knowledge, or with nonknowledge?

A. 147. Gautama! There is no absence of this power in them. Those with the power of right faith may have upto five types of knowledge and those without this power may have upto three types of non-knowledge.

Q. 148. Bhante! what about those with the power of wrong faith?

A. 148. They may have upto three types of non-knowledge. In the absence of this power, upto five types of knowledge and three of non-knowledge. Those with or without the power of mixed faith are similar to those with or without the power of wrong faith.

Q. 149. Bhante! Are the living beings with the power of conduct endowed with knowledge, or with non-knowledge?

A. 149. Gautama! (They may have) upto five types of knowledge. In the case of absence of this power, upto four types of knowledge, except phychological, and three of non-knowledge.

Q. 150. Bhante! Are the living beings with the power of equanimity of conduct endowed with knowledge, or with non-knowledge?

A. 150. Gautama! (They are endowed) with knowledge, and with four types of knowledge, except supreme knowledge. In the absence of this power, upto five types of knowledge and three of non-knowledge. And what has been said of the power and its absence in the case of equanimity of conduct will hold for the remaining four, till best conduct except that in the case of power of the best conduct they may have upto five types of knowledge.

Q. 151. Bhante! Are the living beings with the power of part conduct (renunciation) endowed with knowledge, or with non-knowledge?

A. 151. Gautama! They are with knowledge, not with non-knowledge, some with two, viz., perceptual and scriptural, and some with three, viz., perceptual, scriptural and extra-sensory. In the absence of this power, upto five types of knowledge, and three of non-knowledge.

Those living beings who have the power of making gift have upto five types of knowledge, and three of non-know-ledge.

Q. 152. And when this power is absent, pray?

A. 152. Gautama! They are with knowledge, not with non-knowledge, and, as a rule, with one knowledge, which is the supreme knowledge. And like this, till the power or no-power of energy. Those with the power of the energy of the fool may have upto three types of knowledge, and three of non-knowledge. Without this power, upto five types of knowledge. Those with the power of the energy of the prudent may have upto five types of knowledge. In the absence of this power, upto four types of knowledge, except psychological, and upto three of non-knowledge. Those with the power of mixed energy (of the prudent and of the fool) may have upto three types of knowledge In the absence of this power, upto five types of knowledge and three of non-knowledge.

Q. 153. Bhante! Are the living beings with the power of sense organs endowed with knowledge, or with non-knowledge?

A. 153. Gautama! Upto four types of knowledge, and -three of non-knowledge.

Q. 154. And in the absence of this power, pray?

A. 154. Gautama! With knowledge, not without knowledge, and, as a rule, with one type of knowledge, which is the supreme knowledge. Those with the power of hearing are similar to those with the power of sense organs.

Q. 155. And in the absence of this power of heating,pray?

A. 155. Gautama! They may be either. Those who are endowed with knowledge may have either two, viz., perceptual and scriptural, or only one which is the supreme knowledge. Those who are endowed with non-knowledge have, as a rule, two, which are perceptual and scriptural. The power and no-power of vision and smell are similar to those of hearing. In the case of the power of taste, upto four types of knowledge, and three of non-knowledge.

Q. 156, And in the absence of this power, pray?

A. 156. Gautama! They may be either. Those who are endowed with knowledge have, as a rule, one type which is the supreme knowledge. Those who are endowed with non-knowledge have, as a rule, two, viz., perceptual ai d scriptural. The power or no-power of touch is similar to the power or no-power of sense organs.

Q. 157. Bhante! Are the living beings with the capacity for knowledge (sāgāropayoga=jñānopayoga) endowed with knowledge, or with non-knowledge?

A. 157. Gautama! Upto five types of knowledge and three cf non-knowledge.

Q. 158. And, bhante, what about those with the capacity for perception?

A. 158. Upto four types of knowledge. So also those with the capacity for scriptural knowledge. Those with the capacity for extra-sensory knowledge are similar to those who are endowed with the power of extra-sensory knowledge. Those with the capacity of knowing the psychology of others are similar to those who are equipped with such power. Those with the capacity for supreme knowledge are similar to those with the power of supreme knowledge. These with the capacity for perceptual non-knowledge may have upto three types of non-knowledge. So also these with the capacity for scriptural non-knowledge. Those with the capacity for vibhaṅga knowledge may have, as a rule, upto three types of non-knowledge.

Q. 159. Bhante! Are the living beings with the capacity for faith (anāgāropayoga=darśaṇopayoga) endowed with knowledge, or with non-knowledge?

A. 159. Upto five types of knowledge and three of nonknowledge. The same holds of seen perception and of unseen perception, speciality being that in these cases, upto four types of knowledge and three of non-knowledge.

Q. 160. What about these with capacity for extra-sensory faith?

A. 160. They may be endowed either with knowledge, or with non-knowledge. Of those endowed with knowledge, some have three types of knowledge and some have four. Those with three types have perception, scriptural and extra-sensory varieties, and those with four have the aforesaid three plus knowledge of psychology. Those who are endowed with non-knowledge, have, as a rule, three types of non-knowledge, viz., perceptual non-knowledge scriptural non-knowledge and vibhaṅga knowledge. Those having the capacity for supreme faith are similar to those with the power of supreme faith.

Q. 161. Bhante! Are the living beings with activity (yoga) endowed with knowledge, etc.?

A. 161. (They are) similar to those who have a body. This holds of the activity of mind, of speech and of body. Those who are without activity are like the perfected beings.

Q. 162. Bhante! What about those with tinges?

A. 162. (They are) similar to those who have a body.

Q. 163. Bhante! What about those with a black tinge?

A. 163. (They are) similar to those who have sense organs. And like this, till pink tinge. Those with a white tinge are similar to those with a tinge. Those without a tinge are like the perfected beings.

Q. 164. Bhante! What about those with passions?

A. 164. (They are) similar to those with sense organs, till those having the passion of greed.

Q. 165. Bhante! Are those without passions endowed with knowledge, etc.?

A. 165. (They may have) upto five types of knowledge.

Q. 166. Bhante! What about those with sex?

A. 166. They are similar to those with sense organs. So of women, so of men, so of eunuchs. Those without a sex are like the perfected beings.

Q. 167. Bhante! What about those who take food?

A. 167. They are similar to those who have passions, speciality being that some among them may have even supreme knowledge.

Q. 168. Bhante! Are those who do not take food endowed with knowledge, or with non-knowledge?

A. 168. (They may have) upto four types of knowledge, except psychological, and upto three of non-knowledge.

Q. 169. Bhante! What is the range / sphere of perceptual knowledge?

A. 169. Gautama! In brief, it is stated to have four facets, viz., as object, space, time and cognition (bhāva). As to object, one with perception easily knows and sees all objects as simple objects, and so also as to space, time and cognition.

Q. 170. Bhante! What is the range / sphere of scriptural knowledge. [?]

A. 170. In brief, four, viz., as object, space, time and cognition. As to object, one with scriptural knowledge appropriately knows and sees all objects, and so also as to space, time and cognition.

Q. 171. Bhante! What is the range / sphere of extra-sensory knowledge?

A. 171. Gautama! In brief, four, viz., as object, space, time and cognition. As to object, one with extra-sensory knowledge knows and sees all tangible objects, as stated in the Nandi Sūtra, till cognition.

Q. 172. Bhante! What is the range / sphere of psychological knowledge?

A. 172. Gautama! In brief, four, viz., as object, space, time and cognition. As to object, a simple-hearted person endowed with psychological knowledge knows and sees an infinite number of atom-clusters over infinite regions rendered into psychological terms, as stated in the Nandi Sūtra, till cognitios.

Q. 173. Bhante! What is the range / sphere of supreme knowledge?

A. 173. Gautama! In brief, four, viz., as object, space, time and cognition. As to object, one endowed with supreme knowledge knows and sees all objects, and like this, till cognition.

Q. 174. Bhante! What is the range / sphere of perceptual non-knowledge?

A. 174. Gautama! In brief, four, viz., as object, space, time and cognition. As to object, one endowed with perceptual nonknowledge knows and sees all objects within its scope, and like this, till cognition.

Q. 175. Bhante! What is the range / sphere of scriptural non-knowledge?

A. 175. Gautama! In brief, four, viz., as object, space, time and cognition. As to object, one endowed with scriptural non-knowledge speaks of, narrates and establishes all objects within its scope, and like this, till cognition.

Q. 176. Bhante! What is the range / sphere of vibhaṅga knowledge?

A. 176. Gautama! In brief, four, viz., as object, space, time and cognition. As to object, one endowed with vibhaṅga knowledge knows and sees all objects within its scope, and like this, till cognition.

Q. 177. Bhante! How long does the knowledge of those endowed with knowledge last?

A. 177. Gautama! Those endowed with knowledge are of two types, viz., with knowledge which has a beginning but no end, and with knowledge which has a beginning as well as an end. Knowledge with a beginning and an end lasts minimum for less than a muhurta (48 minutes) and maximum for slightly more than sixty-six sāgaras.

Q. 178, Bhante! What about those with perceptual knowledge?

A. 178. The duration of knowledge, perception, till supreme knowledge, non-knowledge, perceptual non-knowledge, scriptural non-knowledge and vibhaṅga knowledge,—of these ten items, is as slated in the Prajñāpaṇā Sūtra, Pada 18; their relative difference is stated in the Jīvābhigama Sūtra,; and their being less, more, etc., is stated in the Prajñāpaṇā Sūtra, Pada 3.

Q. 179. Bhante! How many are the categories of perceptual knowledge?

A. 179. Gautama! They are infinite.

Q. 180. Bhante! How many are the categories of scriptural knowledge?

A. 180. Gautama! As aforesaid, till those of supreme knowledge. Also of perceptual non-knowledge and scriptural non-knowledge.

Q. 181. Bhante! How many are the categories of vibhaṅga knowledge?

A. 181. Gautama! They are also infinite.

Q. 182. Bhante! Of the categories, as aforesaid, of perceptual knowledge, scriptural knowledge, extra-sensory knowledge, psychological knowledge and supreme knowledge, which ones are less, which ones more, equal or especially more?

A. 182. Gautama! Smallest in number are the categories of psychological knowledge. An infinite times more than these are the categories of extra-sensory knowledge. An infinite times more than the second are the categories of scriptural knowledge. An infinite times more than the third are the categories of perceptual knowledge. An infinite times more than the fourth are the categories of supreme knowledge.

Q. 183. Bhante! Of the categories of perceptual non-knowledge, scriptural non-knowledge and vibhaṅga knowledge, which ones are less, which ones more, equal or especially more?

A. 183. Gautama! Smallest in number are the categories of vibhaṅga knowledge. An infinite times more than these are the categories of scriptural non-knowledge. An infinite times more than the second are the categories of perceptual non-knowledge.

Q. 184. Bhante! Of the categories of perceptual knowledge, till supreme knowledge, perceptual non-knowledge, scriptural non-knowledge and vibhaṅga knowledge, which ones are less, which ones more, equal or especially more?

A. 184. Gautama! Smallest in number are the categories of psychological knowledge. An infinite times more than these are the categories of vibhaṅga knowledge. An infinite times more than the second are the categories of extra-sensory knowledge. An infinite times more than the third are the categories of scriptural non-knowledge. Expecially more than the fourth are the categories of scriptural knowledge. An infinite times more than the fifth are the categories of perceptual non-knowledge. Especially more than the sixth are the categories of perceptual knowledge. An infinite times more than the seventh are the categories of supreme knowledge.

Bhante! So they are. You are right in what you have said.

Chapter Two ends.

Notes (based on commentary of Abhayadeva Sūri):

Q. 126. Labdhi is a special power or capacity derived through the spiritual process when karma of sundry types is either exhausted or tranquilised. Noticed in the discussion are ten types of labdhi which are: knowledge, faith, conduct, part-conduct, gift, gain, enjoyment, continuous enjoyment, energy and sense organs. Knowledge as labdhi has its counterpart in non-knowledge as labdhi. There are five types of knowledge and three of non-knowledge. Faith as labdhi may be right, wrong and mixed. Conduct as labdhi has five items, viz., state of equanimity, termination of previous karma and its replacement by great vows, special penances for the termination of karma, conduct cutting out greed and conduct free from passions and excesses and shining in purity. Energy as labdhi has three types, viz., energy of the fool, that of the prudent and mixed. Sense organs are five. Other items of labdhi take only one variety, and no distinction has been introduced here between their mulaguṇa and uttaraguṇa.

Q. 177-78. For the respective duration of knowledge and non-knowledge, reference has been made to Pada 18 of the Prajñāpaṇā Sūtra. The duration of perception and śruta knowledge has been stated to be less than a muhūrta in the minimum and slightly more than sixty-six sāgaras in the maximum. So is extra-sensory knowledge, except that it’s minimum duration is one unit of indivisible time called samaya. For psychological knowledge, the minimum duration is one samaya and the maximum slightly less than ten million purvas [pūrvas?]. The supreme knowledge has a beginning, but once acquired, it never goes.

Perceptual non-knowledge and śruta non-knowledge have three types of duration, viz., without a beginning and without an end, without a beginning but with an end and with a beginning and with an end. For the last one, the minimum is less than a muhūrta, though the maximum is an infinite time. For vibhaṅga knowledge, the minimum is one samaya and maximum is slightly less than ten million pūrvas added to thirty-three sāgaras.

For the time-gap of each type, reference has been made to the Jīvābhigama Sūtra where it is stated as follows:

For the first four types of knowledge, minimum time-gap is less than a muhūrta and maximum slightly less than half of a pudgala-parāvartarā. The supreme knowledge takes no time-gap. For perceptual and śruta non-knowledge, the time-gap is stated to be less than a muhūrta and slightly more than sixty-six sāgaras respectively. For the vibhaṅga knowledge, they are less than a muhūrta and an infinite time.

Q. 180. Difference between one state and another has been called category or paryāya. It may be within the same class called svaparyāya, or as between one class and another called paraparyāya. Thus different states of perceptual knowledge belong to the svaparyāya group while one state under perceptual knowledge and another under scriptural knowledge belongs to the paraparyāya group. The state of things in paraparyāya helps one to clearly identify the state of things in svaparyāya. The categories are infinite for all the five types of knowledge. The discussion on the respective size, being more, less or especially more, is, however, relevant of svaparyāya only.

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