Tattvartha Sutra (with commentary)

by Vijay K. Jain | 2018 | 130,587 words | ISBN-10: 8193272625 | ISBN-13: 9788193272626

This page describes further means of ascertaining knowledge (of seven categories) which is verse 1.8 of the English translation of the Tattvartha Sutra which represents the essentials of Jainism and Jain dharma and deals with the basics on Karma, Cosmology, Ethics, Celestial beings and Liberation. The Tattvarthasutra is authorative among both Digambara and Shvetambara. This is verse 8 of the chapter Right Faith and Knowledge and includes an extensive commentary.

Verse 1.8 - Further means of ascertaining knowledge (of seven categories)

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation of Tattvartha sūtra 1.8:

सत्संख्याक्षेत्रस्पर्शनकालान्तरभावाल्पबहुत्वैश्च ॥ १.८ ॥

satsaṃkhyākṣetrasparśanakālāntarabhāvālpabahutvaiśca || 1.8 ||

The seven categories are known also by existence–sat, number–saṃkhyā, place or abode–kṣetra, extent of space–sparśana, time–kāla, interval of time–antara, thought-activity–bhāva, and reciprocal comparison–alpabahutva. (8)

Hindi Anvayarth:

अन्वयार्थ: [च] और [सत् संख्या क्षेत्र स्पर्शन काल अन्तर भावाल्पबहुत्वैः] सत्, संख्या, क्षेत्र, स्पर्शन, काल, अन्तर, भाव और अल्पबहुत्व इन आठ अनुयोगों के द्वारा भी पदार्थ का ज्ञान होता है।

Anvayartha: [ca] aura [sat samkhya kshetra sparshana kala antara bhavalpabahutvaih] sat, samkhya, kshetra, sparshana, kala, antara, bhava aura alpabahutva ina atha anuyogom ke dvara bhi padartha ka jnana hota hai |

Explanation in English from Ācārya Pūjyapāda’s Sarvārthasiddhi:

Are there further means of ascertaining the nature of right faith, the soul and the rest? Yes, there are.

‘Sat’ indicates existence. ‘Saṃkhyā’ is enumeration of divisions or classes. ‘Kṣetra’ is the present abode. ‘Sparśana’ is the extent of space or pervasion relating to the three times–the past, the present and the future. ‘Kāla’–time–is of two kinds: real and conventional. These are described elsewhere. ‘Antara’ is interval of time. ‘Bhāva’ is thought-activity like subsidential (aupaśamika). ‘Alpabahutva’–reciprocal comparison–is distinction based on comparison–less or more–between one another. By these are known the three jewels of right faith and also the seven realities, like the soul.

Now description (nirdeśa) implies existence (sat), division (vidhāna) implies number (saṃkhyā), substratum (adhikaraṇa) implies abode (kṣetra) and extent of space (sparśana), duration (sthiti) implies time (kāla), and name (nāma), etc., imply thought-activity (bhāva). Why have these been mentioned again, separately? Of course, it is a valid argument. But the several ways of exposition of reality depend on the nature of the disciples. Some disciples prefer brief expositions, some others elaborate ones and yet others a balance between these two extremes. The effort of the sages is directed towards the good of all living beings. Hence the different ways of attaining knowledge are described here. Otherwise, it would have been enough to say that knowledge is attained by pramāṇa and naya, without the need for describing any other means.

The rest of the commentary on this sūtra is highly technical in nature; those interested in it can read ‘Sarvārthasiddhi’, p. 22-67. Two concepts that are employed to describe the substance of soul (jīva) need mention here. One is the concept of ‘guṇasthāna’ and the other of ‘margaṇāsthāna’.

Guṇasthāna–fourteen stages of spiritual development:

1. mithyādṛṣṭi–deluded;

2. sāsādanasamyagdṛṣṭi–downfall;

3. samyagmithyādṛṣṭi–mixed right and wrong believer;

4. asaṃyatasamyagdṛṣṭi–vowless right believer;

5. saṃyatāsaṃyata–partial vows;

6. pramattasaṃyata–major vows (saṃyama) but with occasional deviation due to fifteen faults of negligence (pramāda). The fifteen faults due to negligence (pramāda) are indulging in four passions (kaṣāya), five senses (indriya), four kinds of narratives (vikathā)–pertaining to monarch, woman, thief and food, sleep (nidrā) and fondness (sneh);

7. apramattasaṃyata–perfect vows (saṃyama) without negligence (pramāda);

8. apūrvakaraṇa (upaśamaka and kṣapaka)–unprecedented purity [rises further in step (śreṇī) with either subsidence or destruction of mohanīya karmas];

9. anivṛttibādarasāmparāya (upaśamaka and kṣapaka)–checking of gross-passions [rises further in step (śreṇī) with either subsidence or destruction of mohanīya karmas];

10. sūkṣmasāmparāya (upaśamaka and kṣapaka)–checking of even minute passions [rises further in step (śreṇī) with either subsidence or destruction of mohanīya karmas];

11. upaśāntakaṣāya (vītarāga chadmastha)–subsided delusion;

12. kṣīṇakaṣāya (vītarāga chadmastha)–destroyed delusion;

13. sayogakevalī–Omniscient-with-vibration;

14. ayogakevalī–non-vibratory Omniscient.

Souls released from the cycle of wandering are the emancipated souls–the Siddha.

Margaṇāsthāna–fourteen methods of inquiry into the nature of the soul (jīva):

1. gati–the state of existence according to the ‘gati’ name-karma (nāmakarma);

2. indriya–the senses;

3. kāya–the material body;

4. yoga–the activities of the mind, the speech and the body;

5. veda–sex-inclination (male, female, neuter);

6. kaṣāya–passions (anger, pride, deceitfulness, greed);

7. jñāna–the power to know;

8. saṃyama–restraint;

9. darśana–general perception of substances;

10. leśyā–colouration of the activities of the mind, the speech and the body on rise of passions. There are six leśyā: black (kṛṣṇa), blue (nīla), grey (kāpota), yellow (pīta), pink (padma) and white (śukla);

11. bhavya–the soul having potential to acquire right faith that leads to liberation;

12. samyaktva–right faith in the nature of substances;

13. saṃjñā–endowed with mind;

14. āhāraka–the taking in of the matter fit for the three kinds of bodies (śarīra) and six kinds of completion (paryāpti). The three kinds of bodies are gross physical (audārika) body, the transformable (vaikriyika) body, and the projectable (āhāraka) body emanating from a saint. The six kinds of completion are taking in of the molecules of matter (āhāra), development of the body (śarīra), development of the senses (indriya), development of the respiratory organ (śvāsocchvāsa), development of the organ of speech (bhāṣā), and development of the mind (mana).

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