Tattvartha Sutra (with commentary)

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

This page describes the functions of time (kala) which is verse 5.22 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 22 of the chapter The Non-living Substances and includes an extensive commentary.

Verse 5.22 - The functions of time (kāla)

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation of Tattvartha sūtra 5.22:

वर्तनापरिणामक्रियाः परत्वापरत्वे च कालस्य ॥ ५.२२ ॥

vartanāpariṇāmakriyāḥ paratvāparatve ca kālasya || 5.22 ||

Assisting substances in their continuity of being through gradual changes (vartanā), in their modification (pariṇāma), in their movement (kriyā), in their endurance (paratva) and in their non-endurance (aparatva), are the functions of time (kāla). (22)

Hindi Anvayarth:

अन्वयार्थ: [वर्तनापरिणामक्रियाः परत्वापरत्वे च] वर्तना, परिणाम, क्रिया, परत्व और अपरत्व [कालस्य] काल द्रव्य के उपकार

Anvayartha: [vartanaparinamakriyah paratvaparatve ca] vartana, parinama, kriya, paratva aura aparatva [kalasya] kala dravya ke upakara

Explanation in English from Ācārya Pūjyapāda’s Sarvārthasiddhi:

If every existing thing must be of help, what is the help rendered by the time (kāla) which is also existent?

Although substances, like the medium of motion (dharma), incessantly attain new modes (paryāya) due to own inherent capacity, still external instrumental cause–bāhya sahakārī kāraṇa–is required for this attainment. The external instrumental cause–bāhya sahakārī kāraṇa–which helps the substances attain new modes (paryāya) incessantly–termed ‘vartana’–is the time (kāla)[1]. Hence, assistance in the continuity of being through gradual changes–‘vartanā’–is the function of the time (kāla). The mode (paryāya) of the substance changes and the time (kāla) is the causal agent in this activity. If it is like this, is the time (kāla) with-activity (kriyāvāna)? For instance we say, ‘The disciple studies and the preceptor helps him study’. Here the preceptor too is with-activity (kriyāvāna). But there is nothing wrong in this. Even an auxiliary cause is spoken of as a causal agent. For instance, we say that the dried cowdung-fire is the cause of study (in cold weather). Here the dried cowdung-fire is only an auxiliary cause. Similarly the time (kāla) is a causal agent in the change of mode (paryāya). How is it ascertained as the time (kāla)? There are particular activities, namely, instant, etc., and cooking, etc., which are referred to as an instant of time, cooking time, and so on, by convention. But, in this conventional usage as an instant of time, cooking time, and so on, the term (saṃjñā) ‘time’ (kāla) is superimposed. And this term ‘time’ (kāla) signifies the existence of ‘real’ (mukhya) time (kāla), which is the basis of the conventional or secondary (vyavahāra or gauṇa) time. How? This is because the secondary must imply the real.

The mode (paryāya), without vibration, of a substance attained on annihilation of a particular quality, and on origination of another quality is its modification (pariṇāma). The modifications (pariṇāma) of the soul (jīva) are anger (krodha), etc. The modifications (pariṇāma) Thus, ‘vartanā’ refers to the imperceptible, minute changes that go on incessantly, every instant, in all substances. of matter (pudgala) are colour, etc. In the same way, modifications (pariṇāma) take place in the medium of motion (dharma), the medium of rest (adharma), the space (ākāśa) and the time (kāla). This modification (pariṇāma) is due to the rhythmic rise (vṛddhi) and fall (hāni)–ṣaṭguṇahānivṛddhi–in their ‘avibhāga-praticcheda’ as all these substances have intrinsic ‘agurulaghuguṇa’. The intrinsic ‘agurulaghuguṇa’ is the general (sādhāraṇa) quality-mode (guṇa-paryāya) of these substances.

Movement (kriyā) is characterized by vibration. It is of two kinds, causal (prāyogika) and natural (vaisrasika). The motion of the cart, etc., is causal, and that of the clouds, etc., is natural.

Endurance (paratva) and non-endurance (aparatva) are of two kinds: with respect to place (kṣetra) and with respect to time (kāla). As this section deals with time, only the latter is considered. The substance that is enduring in respect of time (kāla) is termed ‘paratva’, and the one which is not so enduring is termed ‘aparatva’.

The help rendered to substances in their continuity of being (vartanā), etc., proves the existence of time (kāla). It is contended that continuity of being (vartanā) should be sufficient as modification (pariṇāma), etc., are secondary, being its subdivisions. But modification, etc., are not unnecessary. The amplification is intended to indicate the two kinds of time (kāla), the real-time (mukhya-kāla or paramārtha-kāla or niṣcaya-kāla) and the conventional-time (vyavahāra-kāla). The real-time has its mark (lakṣaṇa) as continuity of being (vartanā), and the conventional-time has its marks (lakṣaṇa) as modification (pariṇāma), etc. The conventional-time is determined (recognized) by modification in other substances, which are ascertained by others. It is threefold, the past (bhūta), the present (vartamāna) and the future (bhaviṣyat). In the real-time the conception of time is of primary importance, and the idea of the past, the present and the future is secondary. In the conventional-time, the idea of the past, the present and the future is of prime importance, and the idea of real-time is subordinate. This is because the conventional-time depends on the substances endowed with-activity (kriyāvāna), and on the real-time.

Footnotes and references:


The incessant origination (utpāda), destruction (vyaya), and permanence (dhrauvya) that all substances (dravya) undergo in their state of being–sattā–is called ‘vartanā’. (see ‘Ṇayacakko’, verses 135-136).

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