Tattvartha Sutra (with commentary)

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

This page describes thirteen types of questioning regarding liberated souls which is verse 10.9 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 9 of the chapter Liberation and includes an extensive commentary.

Verse 10.9 - Thirteen types of questioning regarding liberated souls

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation of Tattvartha sūtra 10.9:

क्षेत्रकालगतिलिंगतीर्थचारित्रप्रत्येकबुद्धबोधितज्ञानावगाहनान्तरसंख्याल्पबहुत्वतः साध्याः ॥ १०.९ ॥

kṣetrakālagatiliṃgatīrthacāritrapratyekabuddhabodhitajñānāvagāhanāntarasaṃkhyālpabahutvataḥ sādhyāḥ || 10.9 ||

The liberated souls can be differentiated with reference to the region–kṣetra, time–kāla, state–gati, sign–liṅga, the Tīrthaṅkaratīrtha, conduct–cāritra, self-enlightened–pratyekabuddha, enlightened by others–bodhitabuddha, knowledge–jñāna, stature–avagāhanā, interval–antara, number–saṃkhyā, and numerical comparison–alpabahutva. (9)

Hindi Anvayarth:

अन्वयार्थ: [क्षेत्रकालगतिलिंगतीर्थचारित्रप्रत्येकबुद्धबोधितज्ञानावगाहनान्तरसंख्याल्पबहुत्वतः] क्षेत्र, काल, गति, लिंग, तीर्थ, चारित्र, प्रत्येकबुद्धबोधित, ज्ञान, अवगाहना, अन्तर, संख्या और अल्पबहुत्व-इन बारह अनुयोगों से [साध्याः] मुक्त जीवों (सिद्धों) में भी भेद सिद्ध किये जा सकते हैं।

Anvayartha: [kshetrakalagatilimgatirthacaritrapratyekabuddhabodhitajnanavagahanantarasamkhyalpabahutvatah] kshetra, kala, gati, limga, tirtha, caritra, pratyekabuddhabodhita, jnana, avagahana, antara, samkhya aura alpabahutva-ina baraha anuyogom se [sadhyah] mukta jivom (siddhom) mem bhi bheda siddha kiye ja sakate haim |

Explanation in English from Ācārya Pūjyapāda’s Sarvārthasiddhi:

It is held that the liberated souls are without distinction, as there are no differentiating characteristics such as conditions of existence, birth, etc., among these. Still, there is distinction in some respects.

The liberated souls are (fit to be) differentiated by thirteen types of questioning with reference to the region (kṣetra), and so on.

(1) Kṣetra: This determines the region of attainment of liberation. The differentiation is on the basis of two standpoints, one is based on the present and the other on the past. It is as follows. From the standpoint of the present, liberation is attained in the abode of the liberated, in the region of liberation, one’s own spatial points or in space. From the standpoint of the past, liberation is attained on the basis of birth in fifteen continents of labour–karmabhūmi, or, from the point of view of those transported, in the human region.

(2) Kāla: With regard to time (kāla), in what period is liberation attained? From the standpoint of the present, the soul attains liberation in one instant. From the standpoint of the past, in general, one who is born in the ascending (utsarpiṇī) or descending (avasarpiṇī) cycles of time attains liberation. In particular, one who is born in the last part of the third period–suṣamaduṣṣamā–or in the fourth period–duṣṣama-suṣamā–of the descending (avasarpiṇī) cycle of time attains liberation. He who is born in the fifth–duṣṣamā–period of the cycle of time, does not attain liberation in the fifth period. One does not attain liberation at other times. Taking the universe together, liberation is attained at all times in the ascending and descending cycles of time.

(3) Gati: With regard to the state of existence, in what state is liberation attained? It is attained in the state of liberation or in the human state.

(4) Liṅga: By what sign is liberation attained? Liberation is attained in the stage without sign (aveda) or from the three signs (veda). This statement is on the basis of the psychical signs and not the physical ones. On the basis of the physical sign, liberation is attained from the male sex only. Or, it is attained from the without-attachment (nirgrantha) sign, or from the with-attachment (sagrantha) sign from the standpoint of the past.

(5) Tīrtha: With regard to Lordship (tīrtha), it is of two kinds, namely, by being a Tīrthaṅkara, and by not being a Tīrthaṅkara. The latter are of two kinds, those who attain liberation when there is the presence of a Tīrthaṅkara, and those who attain liberation when there is no Tīrthaṅkara.

(6) Cāritra: By what conduct is liberation attained? It is attained by the conduct with no name or by one, four and five kinds of conduct.

(7-8) Pratyekabuddha and bodhitabuddha: The self-enlightened (i.e., those who get enlightened or become true believers by their own inherent capacity) and those enlightened by the teachings of others, constitute the two kinds.

(9) Jñāna: By what knowledge? Liberation is attained by one, two, three and four kinds of knowledge.

(10) Avagāhanā: Stature is the pervasion of the space-points. It is of two kinds, the maximum and the minimum. The maximum is 525 bows–dhanuṣa–and the minimum a little less than three and a half cubits (aratni). In between, there are several degrees. Liberation is attained in any one of these degrees of stature.

(11) Antara: What is the interval? When the liberation of souls is continuous without an interval, the minimum of this duration is two instants–samaya–and the maximum is eight instants. The minimum interval (i.e., the time when no one attains liberation) is one instant and the maximum is six months.

(12) Saṃkhyā: At the minimum in one instant one soul attains liberation, and at the maximum one hundred and eight souls attain liberation.

(13) Alpabahutva: The difference in the numbers of the souls distinguished on the basis of place, and so on, is ‘more or less’ (alpabahutva). It is as follows. From the standpoint of the present, in the abode of the liberated, there is no ‘more or less’ in the case of the souls attaining liberation. Now it is considered from the standpoint of the past. The liberated souls on the regional basis are of two kinds, those liberated from their place of birth and those from that to which they have been transported. The souls liberated from the regions to which they are conveyed are less. Those liberated from the regions of their birth are numerable-fold. The regions are divided into the continents of labour, the lands of enjoyment, the oceans, the islets, the upper-world, the lower-world and the middle-world. The souls liberating from the upper world are the least. The souls liberating from the lower world are numerablefold. Those liberating from the middle world are numerablefold. Again, those liberating from the oceans constitute the smallest number. Those liberating from the islets are numerable-fold.

This has been described in general. The least of all are those liberating from the Lavaṇasamudra. Those liberating from the Kāloda ocean are numerablefold. Those liberating from Jambūdvīpa are numerable-fold. Those liberating from Dhātakikhaṇḍa are numerablefold. And those liberating from Puṣkaradvīpa are numerablefold. Similarly, the differences with regard to numerical comparison (alpabahutva) relating to time, and so on, must be understood in conformity with the Scripture.

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