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...

Chapter 1: Life in Utpala

In that period, at that time, in the city of Rājagṛha, till made the following submission:

Q. 1. Bhante! Has an Utpala, a lotus with a single petal, one soul or many souls?

A. 1. Gautama! When with a single petal an Utpala has a single soul, not many; when later it acquires more souls (with the blossoming of more petals), it has not one soul, but many.

Q. 2. Bhante! Wherefrom does this soul come to be born in an Utpala,—from an infernal, a subhuman, a human or from a divine being?

A. 2. Gautama! It does not come from the infernal region, but it comes from the sub-human, human or divine state Refer on this the relevant chapter in the Prajñāpaṇā Sūtra, till divine beings from upto the heaven named Īśāna may come down in Utpala.

Q. 3. Bhante! How many souls may be born in an Utpala during a single time unit?

A. 3. Gautama! Their number may be one, two or three in the minimum and many or innumerable in the maximum.

Q. 4. Bhante! If innumerable, suppose one soul is taken out during a time unit, then how much time it will take to remove all the souls from it?

A. 4. Gautama! In doing so, innumerable up and down phases of the time cycle may elapse, and yet the process may not be complete. But no one has ever done it and no one can ever do it.

Q. 5. Bhante! What is the length of the souls in an Utpala?

A. 5. Gautama! The smaller length may be as big as the smallest fraction of a finger and the biggest length may be slightly more than a thousand yojanas.

Q. 6. Bhante! Do these souls acquire karma enshrouding: knowledge, or do they not acquire it?

A. 6. Gautama! They do acquire karma enshrouding knowledge: they are not free from it. When there is one soul, it has a single bondage; but when there are many, there are many bondages. Likewise with all types of karma, till one causing obstruction and karma giving life-span being: excepted.

Q. 7. Bhante! Do these souls in an Utpala acquire karma giving a life-span, or do they not acquire it?

A. 7, Gautama! One soul may acquire this bondage, another soul may not acquire this; many souls may acquire this bondage, many souls may not acquire this; or, one soul may acquire this bondage and another may not acquire this; or one soul may acquire this bondage and many may not acquire this; or many souls may acquire this bondage and one soul may not acquire this; or many souls may acquire this bondage and many souls may not acquire this—eight forms in all.

Q. 8. Bhante! Do these souls in an Utpala experience karma obstructing knowledge, or do they not experience it?

A. 8. Gautama! They do experience it and do not go without experience. When there is a single soul, the experience comes to one; when there are many souls, it comes to many. Like this, till karma causing obstruction.

Q, 9. Bhante! Is this experience wholesome in nature or unwholesome?

A. 9. Gautama! For one soul, it may be wholesome; for another soul, it may be unwholesome, the same eight forms as stated before.

Q. 10. Bhante! Does karma enshrouding knowledge in the case of the souls in an Utpala come up, or does it not come up?

A. 10. Gautama! Verily it comes up and does not remain dormant,—for one soul when there is one, and for many souls when there are many. And like this till karma causing obstruction.

Q. 11. Bhante! Does karma enshrouding knowledge in the case of the souls in an Utpala fructify, or does it go’without fructification?

A. 11. Gautama! It does fructify and does not go without fructification,—for one soul when there is one, and for many souls when there are many. And like this, again, till karma causing obstruction. For karma giving experience and for karma giving a life-span, always state the eight forms given above.

Q. 12. Bhante! Are these souls in an Utpala with a black tinge, blue tinge, grey tinge or red tinge?

A. 12. Gautama! One soul may have black tinge, till one soul may have red tinge. Or, many souls may have black tinge, or many may have blue tinge, or many may have grey tinge, or many may have red tinge, or one may have black tinge and another may have blue tinge. State these by two’s, three’s, four’s giving in all eighty forms.

Q. 13. Bhante! Are these souls in an Utpala endowed with a right outlook, or with a wrong outlook, or with an outlook which is neither right nor wrong?

A. 13. Gautama! They are not endowed with a right outlook not with an outlook which is neither right nor wrong, and no matter whether one sould [soul,?] or many, all are endowed with a wrong outlook.

Q. 14. Bhante! Are these souls in an Utpala endowed with knowledge or with non-knowledge?

A. 14. Gautama! They are not endowed with knowledge and no matter whether one soul or many, all are endowed with non-knowledge.

Q. 15. Bhante! Are these souls in an Utpala endowed with the activity of the mind, the activity of the speech and the activity of the body?

A. 15. Gautama! They are not endowed with the activity of the mind nor with the activity of the speech, and no matter whether one or many, all are endowed with the activity of the body.

Q. 16. Bhante! Are the souls in an Utpala endowed with faculty of knowledge or of faith?

A. 16. Gautama! One of them may be endowed with the faculty of knowledge, or one of them may be endowed with the faculty of faith, et seq., eight forms as before.

Q. 17. Bhante! How many are the colours of the bodies of these souls in an Utpala, bow many smells, how many tastes and how many touches?

A. 17. Gautama! Five colours, five tastes, two smells, and eight touches, but the souls themselves do not have any colour, smell, taste or touch.

Q. 18. Bhante! Are these souls in an Utpala endowed with the faculty of uśvāsa (a form of respiration), are they endowed with the faculty of niśvāsa (normal respiration) or are they endowed with the faculty of no-uśvāsa-niśvāsa (when the souls are not endowed with full attainments)?

A. 18. Gautama! One may be endowed with the faculty of uśvāsa, or one may be endowed with the faculty niśvāsa, or one may be endowed with the faculty of no-uśvāsa-niśvāsa; or many may be endowed with the faculty of uśvāsa, or many may be endowed with the faculty of nisvāsa, or many may be endowed with the faculty of no-uśvāsa-niśvāsa; or one with uśvāsa and one with niśvāsa, and so on (four forms), or one with uśvāsa and one with no-uśvāsa-niśvāsa, so on (four forms), or one with uśvāsa and one with no-uśvāsa-niśvāsa, and so oṇ (four forms) or one with uśvāsa, one with niśvāsa and one with no-uśvāsa-niśvasa, and so on (eight forms) in all 26 forms.

Q. 19. Bhante! Do those souls in an Utpala have an intake of food, or do they have no intake of food?

A. 19. Gautama! All the souls are not without an intake of food. Some of those have intake and some of those do not have it, and so on, eight forms.

Q. 20. Bhante! Are those souls in an Utpala all desisted, non-desisted or part desisted?

A. 20. Gautama! They are not all desisted, nor part desisted, but one or many are non-desisted.

Q. 21. Bhante! Are these souls in an Utpala active or passive?

A. 21. Gautama! No matter whether one or many, they are not passive, but active.

Q. 22. Bhante! Do these souls in an Utpala take seven types of bondage or eight types?

A. 22. Gautama! They may be either one or the other, eight forms, as aforesaid.

Q. 23. Bhante! Do they take food, have fear, sex and acquisition?

A. 23. Gautama! They take food, etc., eighty forms as in the case of gateway of tinges (leśyā dvāra).

Q. 24. Bhante! Do they have passions, anger, pride, attachment and greed?

A. 24. Gautama! The same eighty forms as before.

Q. 25. Bhante! Are they women, are they men, are they eunuchs?

A. 25. Gautama! They are neither women, nor men, but one or many, all are eunuchs.

Q. 26. Bhante! Do they acquire the experiences of a woman, of a man or of an eunuch?

A. 26. Gautama! They acquire the experiences of a woman, of a man as well as of an eunuch, 26 forms as in the case of uśvāsa dvāra.

Q. 27. Bhante! Are they endowed with a mind or with no mind?

A. 27. Gautama! They are not endowed with a mind, and no matter whether one or many, they are without mind.

Q. 28. Bhante! Are these souls in an Utpala endowed with sense organs or not so endowed with?

A. 28. Gautama! They are not without sense organs. When one it is endowed with sense organs; when many, they are endowed with sense organs.

Q. 29. Bhante! How long does a soul in an Utpala remain in that state?

A. 29. Gautama! Minimum for less than a muhūrta and maximum, for a very long time.

Q. 30. Bhante! Suppose a soul in an Utpala is reborn as an earth body and then reverts to Utpala. How long can it move back and forth like this?

A. 30. Gautama! As per transmigration, minimum, two times, and maximum innumerable times. As per time, minimum, less than two muhūrtas, and maximum, a very long time.

Q. 31. Bhante! If the soul of an Utpala is reborn as water body and then reverts to Utpala, how long can it move back and forth like this?

A. 31. Gautama! This is similar to migration to the earth body, till air body.

Q. 32. Bhante! When the soul of an Utpala is reborn in some other plant life, then reverts to Utpala, how long can it move back and forth like this?

A. 32. Gautama! As per transmigration, minimum, two times and maximum, innumerable times. As per time, minimum, less than two muhūrtas and maximum, an infinite time.

Q. 33. Bhante! When the soul of an Utpala Is reborn as a two organ being and then reverts to Utpala, how long can it move back and forth like this?

A. 33. Gautama! As per transmigration minimum, twice and maximum, a countable number of times. As per time, minimum, less than two muhūrtas and maximum, for a limited period of time. Likewise with three and four organ beings.

Q. 34. Bhante! When the soul of an Utpala is reborn in the subhuman world of animals and then reverts to Utpala, how long can it move back and forth like this?

A. 34. Gautama! As per transmigration, minimum, twice and maximum, eight times. As per time, minimum, less than two muhūrtas, and maximum, for an infinite time. Likewise with transmigration to the world of men and reverting back and forth.

Q. 35. Bhante! What food is taken by the soul in an Utpala?

A. 35. Gautama! It collects food from an infinite number of regions, as stated in the Prajñāpaṇā Sūtra chapter on Food for Plants, till collects food from all regions but as a rule, it collects food from six directions.

Q. 36. Bhante! How long is the span of existance of the soul in an Utpala?

A, 36. Gautama! Minimum, less than a muhūtra, and maximum, ten thousand years.

Q. 37. Bhante! How many samudghātas do it experience?

A. 37. Gautama! Three, viz., pains, passions and death.

Q. 38. Bhante! Does it die a samohaya death or an asamohaya death?

A. 38. Gautama! It may be either one or the other.

Q. 39. Bhante! Immediately after death, where does the soul in an Utpala go, where is it reborn? Is it reborn in the hells, or in the sub-human world of animals, or in the world of men, or in the heavens?

A. 39. Gautama! On this, refer to Prajñāpaṇā Sutra Chapter Six.

Q. 40. Bhante! For the root, trunk, stalk, leaf, pollen, karṇikā and thibhuga (the point where the leaf sprouts) of an Utpala, are all the prāṇas, bhūtas, jīvas, sattvas (for their meaning, refer to vol. 1) born for the first time?

A. 40. Gautama! They have been born many times, may be an infinite number of times in these very forms (i.e., as root, trunk, etc.)

Bhante! So they are. You are right.

Chapter One ends.

[Here conclude the thirty-three gateways for an Utpala]

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