by Hermann Jacobi | 1895 | 52,880 words | ISBN-10: 8120801466 | ISBN-13: 9788120801462

The English translation of the Sutrakritanga, which represents one second the 12 Angas in Shevatambara Jainism. It is traditionally dated to the 4th-century BCE and consists of two parts (verse and prose) explaining various doctrinal aspects of Jainism. Alternative titles: Sūtrakṛtāṅga (सूत्रकृताङ्ग), Sūtrakṛta-aṅga (सूत्रकृत-अङ्ग), Prakrit: Sūyag...

Lecture 3, Chapter 4

Some say that in old times great men, rich in religious penance, have reached perfection though they drank (cold) water (and ate fruits and roots). Ignorant men (who hear such assertions) are led astray (by them). (1)

'Nami, the king of Videha, ate nothing, Rāmagupta did eat, Bāhuka drank (cold) water, and so did Tārāgaṇa[1], the seer. (2)

Āsila, Devala, the great sage Dvīpāyana, and Pārāśara did drink (cold) water, and did eat seeds and sprouts[2]. (3)

‘I have heard that in old times these renowned and well-known great men ate seeds and drank water, and have reached perfection.’ (4)

When weak (monks hear such assertions) they become disheartened, as donkeys break down under their burden; in case of danger they retreat (and perish) like men who walk on crutches[3]. (5)

Some[4] say: Pleasant things are produced from pleasant things[5]. (They are those who disdain) the noble path and the renowned highest good. (6)

Do not, by disdaining it, lose much for the sake of little. If you do not give up this (wrong law), you will repent of it as the man did who carried iron (a long way) believing it to be silver. (7)

(And so will) those who kill living beings, who do not abstain from untrue speech, who take what is not freely given them, who enjoy sexual pleasures, and who own property. (8) Some unworthy heretics[6], slaves of women, ignorant men who are averse to the Law of the Jinas, speak thus: (9)

'As the squeezing of a blister or boil (causes relief) for some time, (and has no dangerous consequences), so it is with (the enjoyment of) charming women. How could there be any sin in it? (10)

'As a ram drinks the quiet water[7], so, &c. (the rest as in verse 10). (11)

‘As the bird Piṅga[8] drinks the quiet water (flying), &c. (the rest as in verse 10).’ (12)

So say some unworthy heretics who entertain false doctrines, and who long for pleasures, as the ewe[9] for her kid. (13)

Those who do not think of the future, but only enjoy the present, will repent of it afterwards when their life or their youth is gone. (14)

But those who exert themselves at the proper time, feel no remorse afterwards; these heroes who have got rid of their fetters, do not long for life. (15)

As Vaitaraṇī, the river (of hell), is difficult to pass, so in this world women are to the unwise (a temptation) difficult to overcome. (16)

Those who have given up intercourse with women and have left off adorning themselves, are well established in control, because they have renounced everything. (17)

As merchants go over the sea, so they will cross the flood (of Saṃsāra), where living beings despond and suffer pains because of their own deeds. (18)

A monk who knows this, will live as a virtuous man guarded by the Samitis; he will abstain from untrue speech, and not take what is not freely given him. (19)

He should cease to injure living beings whether they move or not, on high, below, and on earth. For this has been called the Nirvāṇa, which consists in peace[10]. (20)

21, 22 = I, 3, 3, 20 and 21.

Thus I say.

Footnotes and references:


Concerning Nami, see above, p. 35, note 2. Rāmagupta may be another name of Rāma. Instead of Tārāgaṇa Śīlāṅka writes Nārāyaṇa.


Āsila is not known from other sources; perhaps Asita is meant, and Āsila Davila stands for Asita Devala. Concerning Dvīpāyana, the Pārāśara, compare Journal of the German Oriental Society, vol. 42, p. 495. But in the Aupapātika Sūtra (ed. Leumann, § 76) Pārāśara and Dvīpāyana are two distinct persons.


Pīḍhasappī = pīṭhasarpin. Śīlāṅka comments on the reading piṭṭhasappī, i.e. pṛṣṭasarpin; but he makes out no good meaning.


According to the commentators the Buddhists are intended. They quote some verses in illustration of the puṣṭimārga of the Buddhists, one of which is not yet known I believe. It runs thus: maṇuṇṇaṃ bhoyaṇaṃ bhuccā maṇuṇṇaṃ sayaṇāsaṇaṃ | maṇuṇṇaṃsi agāraṃsi maṇuṇṇaṃjhāyae muṇī || 'Having enjoyed a pleasant dinner, and a pleasant seat and bed, a muṇi in a pleasant house meditates on pleasant things.'


Viz. Mokṣa, a pleasant thing, is arrived at through a comfortable life, another pleasant thing.


Pāsattha = pārśvastha.


The meaning seems to be that by the ram’s drinking the water is not disturbed.


Explained by kapiñjala, the francoline partridge.


Pūyaṇā (pūtana, who is ever desirous of young), explained either by śākinī hog' or gaḍḍarikā 'ewe.' The commentators relate the following anecdote. In order to find out which animal loved its young ones best, their young ones were placed at the bottom of a well. Their mothers assembled round the brink and howled, but the ewe threw herself recklessly into the well. Therefore the ewe excels the other animals in maternal love.


See below, I, 11, 11.

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