Tattvartha Sutra (with commentary)

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

This page describes the votary is free from stings (shalya) which is verse 7.18 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 18 of the chapter The Five Vows and includes an extensive commentary.

Verse 7.18 - The votary is free from stings (śalya)

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation of Tattvartha sūtra 7.18:

निश्शल्यो व्रती ॥ ७.१८ ॥

niśśalyo vratī || 7.18 ||

The votary (vratī) is free from stings (śalya). (18)

Hindi Anvayarth:

अन्वयार्थ: [व्रती] व्रती जीव [निःशल्यः] शल्य रहित ही होता है।

Anvayartha: [vrati] vrati jiva [nihshalyah] shalya rahita hi hota hai |

Explanation in English from Ācārya Pūjyapāda’s Sarvārthasiddhi:

He, who realizes thus the evils of injury (hiṃsā), etc., and the merits of non-injury (ahiṃsā), etc., is vigilant in observing the vows (vrata). He gets to what stage?

The thing that causes pain is called ‘śalya’. A thorn, a sting or similar sharp thing that causes pain to the body, is called a ‘śalya’. In this sūtra, the word ‘śalya’ refers to dispositions that cause bodily and mental agony. Just as the sting causes pain to the body, the karma-generated harmful dispositions cause bodily and mental pain and, therefore, called ‘śalya’, figuratively. This is of three kinds, the sting of deceit–māyā, the sting of desire for enjoyment or pleasure–nidāna, and the sting of perverse attitude or wrong belief–mithyādarśana. He who is free from these three kinds of stings is called a votary without stings–niḥśalya vratī.

Now it is contended thus.

‘A person who is free from stings is niḥśalya and one who observes vows is called a votary (vratī). But a person free from stings is not fit to be called a votary. For instance, a man who is carrying a staff cannot be said to carry an umbrella.’

The reply is this. The votary (vratī) is one who is characterized by both the attributes, namely, being free from stings, and observing vows. The one who has not renounced the stings (śalya) but observes vows (vrata) cannot be called a votary (vratī). What is meant is that the votary (vratī) is the one who observes vows (vrata) after first renouncing the stings (śalya). For instance, a person is said to be rich in cows when he has plenty of milk and ghee (clarified butter). He cannot be said to be rich in cows in the absence of milk and ghee, even if he has several cows. So also, even if a person observes vows, he cannot be called a votary if he is not free from stings.

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