Tattvartha Sutra (with commentary)

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

This page describes definition substances (dravya) which is verse 5.38 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 38 of the chapter The Non-living Substances and includes an extensive commentary.

Verse 5.38 - Definition substances (dravya)

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation of Tattvartha sūtra 5.38:

गुणपर्ययवत् द्रव्यम् ॥ ५.३८ ॥

guṇaparyayavat dravyam || 5.38 ||

That which has qualities (guṇa) and modes (paryāya) is a substance (dravya). (38)

Hindi Anvayarth:

अन्वयार्थ: [गुणपर्ययवत्] गुण-पर्याय वाला [द्रव्यम्] द्रव्य है।

Anvayartha: [gunaparyayavat] guna-paryaya vala [dravyam] dravya hai |

Explanation in English from Ācārya Pūjyapāda’s Sarvārthasiddhi:

Existence (sat) is characterized by origination (utpāda), destruction (vyaya) and permanence (dhrauvya) (see sūtra 5-30). Now substance (dravya) is defined in another way.

The one which has qualities (guṇa) and modes (paryāya) is said to be one with qualities and modes. That in which qualities (guṇa) and modes (paryāya) exist is a substance (dravya). It has already been explained (sūtra 5-30) that from the point of view of modes–paryāyārthika naya–three is difference between the attributes and the substance (dravya). From the point of view of the substance–dravyārthika naya–three is no difference. Hence it is appropriate to consider these–qualities (guṇa) and modes (paryāya)–as marks (lakṣaṇa) of the substance (dravya) under consideration (lakṣya). What are qualities (guṇa) and what are modes (paryāya)? Those characteristics which exhibit association (anvaya) with the substance are qualities (guṇa). Those characteristics which exhibit distinction or exclusion (vyatireka)–logical discontinuity, ‘when the pot is not, the clay is,’–are modes (paryāya). The substance (dravya) possesses both.

In essence, that which makes distinction between one substance and another is called the quality (guṇa), and the modification of the substance is called its mode (paryāya). The substance (dravya) is inseparable (residing in the same substratum–ayutasiddha) from its qualities (guṇa), and permanent (nitya). That which distinguishes one substance from other substances is its distinctive (bhedaka) quality (guṇa). The presence of this quality proves its existence. The absence of distinctive qualities would lead to intermixture or confusion between substances. For instance, the substance of soul (jīva) is distinguished from the matter (pudgala) and other substances by the presence of its distinctive qualities, such as knowledge. The matter (pudgala) is distinguished from the souls (jīva) by the presence of its distinctive qualities, such as form (colour), etc. Without such distinguishing characteristics, there can be no distinction between the souls and the matter. Therefore, from the general (sāmānya) point of view, knowledge, etc., are qualities always associated with the soul, and qualities like form, etc., are always associated with the matter. Their modifications, which are known from particular (viśeṣa) point of view, are modes (paryāya). For instance, in the souls (jīva), the modes (paryāya) are knowledge of the pitcher, knowledge of the cloth, anger, pride, etc., and in the matter (pudgala) these are intense or mild odour, colour, etc. The collection or aggregate of qualities (guṇa) and modes (paryāya), which somehow is considered different from these, is called the substance (dravya).

If the aggregate were completely (from all points of view) the same, it would lead to negation of all–the substance (dravya), the qualities (guṇa) and the modes (paryāya). This is explained thus: if the aggregate of mutually different qualities be considered one and the same as qualities, the aggregate itself would become non-existent, as these are mutually different. The form (colour) is different from the taste, etc. If the aggregate is same as the colour, and the colour being different from the taste, etc., the aggregate is bound to be different from the taste, etc. Therefore, the conclusion would be that colour alone is the aggregate. But one colour is not fit to become an aggregate or a collection. Hence it leads to the negation of the aggregate. And, with negation of the aggregate, its constituents too are negated. It would lead to negation of the substance (dravya) and the qualities (guṇa). Similarly, it must be considered in case of taste, etc. Therefore, the aggregate of qualities must be admitted to be somehow–from particular point of view–same as the qualities.

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