Tattvartha Sutra (with commentary)

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

This page describes the regions of labour (karmabhumi) which is verse 3.37 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 37 of the chapter The Lower World and the Middle World and includes an extensive commentary.

Verse 3.37 - The regions of labour (karmabhūmi)

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation of Tattvartha sūtra 3.37:

भरतैरावतविदेहाः कर्मभूमयोऽन्यत्रदेवकुरूत्तरकुरुभ्यः ॥ ३.३७ ॥

bharatairāvatavidehāḥ karmabhūmayo'nyatradevakurūttarakurubhyaḥ || 3.37 ||

Bharata, Airāvata, and Videha, excluding Devakuru and Uttarakuru, are the regions of labour–karmabhūmi. (37)

Hindi Anvayarth:

अन्वयार्थ: पाँच मेरु सम्बन्धी पाँच भरत, पाँच ऐरावत, देवकुरु तथा उत्तरकुरु ये दोनों छोड़कर पाँच विदेह, इस प्रकार अढाई द्वीप में कुल पन्द्रह कर्मभूमियाँ हैं।

Anvayartha: pamca meru sambandhi pamca bharata, pamca airavata, devakuru tatha uttarakuru ye donom choda़kara pamca videha, isa prakara adhai dvipa mem kula pandraha karmabhumiyam haim |

Explanation in English from Ācārya Pūjyapāda’s Sarvārthasiddhi:

Which are the regions of labour?

Bharata, Airāvata, and Videha are five each. All these are described as the regions of labour–karmabhūmi. The inclusion of Videha would imply the inclusion of Devakuru and Uttarakuru. In order to exclude these, it is mentioned ‘excluding Devakuru and Uttarakuru’. Devakuru, Uttarakuru, Haimavata, Harivarṣa, Ramyaka, Hairaṇya- vata and the mid-isles (antardvīpa) are called the regions of enjoyment bhogabhūmi.

Why are the ‘regions of labour’–karmabhūmi–so called? This is because these are the seats of good (śubha) and evil (aśubha) deeds. Although the three worlds constitute the seat of activity, still these regions are the seats of intense karmic activity. For instance, demerit capable of plunging a being in the seventh infernal region is acquired only in these regions–Bharata, etc. Merit which leads to the highest celestial state such as Sarvārthasiddhi deva is also acquired in these regions only. Also, the six kinds of occupations, such as agriculture, and the opportunity to give gifts to the worthy–pātradāna–are obtained in these regions only. Hence these are called the regions of labour. The others are called the ‘regions of enjoyment’–bhogabhūmi as the objects of enjoyment are provided by the ten kinds of desire-fulfilling trees (kalpavṛkṣa).

The lifetime of the human beings in these regions is indicated in the next sūtra.

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