Tattvartha Sutra (with commentary)

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

This page describes definition of steya (stealing) which is verse 7.15 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 15 of the chapter The Five Vows and includes an extensive commentary.

Verse 7.15 - Definition of steya (stealing)

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation of Tattvartha sūtra 7.15:

अदत्तादानं स्तेयम् ॥ ७.१५ ॥

adattādānaṃ steyam || 7.15 ||

Taking anything that is not given is stealing (steya). (15)

Hindi Anvayarth:

अन्वयार्थ: प्रमाद के योग से [अदत्तादानं] बिना दी हुई किसी भी वस्तु को ग्रहण करना सो [स्तेयम्] चोरी है।

Anvayartha: pramada ke yoga se [adattadanam] bina di hui kisi bhi vastu ko grahana karana so [steyam] cori hai |

Explanation in English from Ācārya Pūjyapāda’s Sarvārthasiddhi:

Stealing (steya), which is mentioned next to falsehood (anṛta), is now defined.

Ādāna’ means ‘to take’. Taking anything which is not given is ‘adattādana’. This has been called stealing or ‘steya’. If so, the letting in or taking in of karmic and quasi-karmic particles would tantamount to stealing, as these are not given by anybody. No, it is not the case. The convention regarding stealing is that it refers only to things in which ‘giving’ or ‘taking’ apply. How does it follow? It is implied by the use of the term ‘adatta’ or ‘not given’. Even then, when the ascetic moves about for food, he enters roads and gateways; that should constitute stealing. No. That does not constitute stealing as these are left free for anyone to pass through. The ascetic does not enter private roads and gateways which are closed and are not left free. Further, ‘pramatta-yogāt’–‘out of passion’–is supplied from the earlier sūtra. It implies that taking of anything ‘out of passion’ is stealing. And there is no passion in the ascetic who passes through the streets. It follows that activity actuated by impure dispositions is stealing (steya), whether external objects are taken or not.

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