Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

by Helen M. Johnson | 1931 | 742,503 words

This is the English translation of the Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Charita (literally “The lives of the sixty-three illustrious People”), a Sanskrit epic poem written by Hemachandra in the twelfth century. The work relates the history and legends of important figures in the Jain faith. These 63 persons include: the twenty four tirthankaras , the t...

A brief summary of the classification of jīvas

For convenient reference I append a brief summary of the classification of the jīvas of saṃsāra from the standpoints mentioned in the text. For other classifications see App. IV.

This is only a bare outline and could be greatly elaborated. The classification of jīvas and their characteristics are discussed in great detail in the Jīv., Pra. (pada I), Lp., and throughout the Karma Granthas. For a briefer treatment see Uttar, Chap. 36, and T. Chap. 2. There are various points of disagreements Hemacandra’s division into sthāvara and trasa is also given in the KG, but the other sources I have seen consider only bhūmi, ap, and mahīruh as sthāvara, and tejas and vāyu as trasa. But this inconsistency is explained by the fact that trasas are of two kinds: labdhi-trasa and gati-trasa (Lp. 4. 27). Tejas and vāyu are only labdhi-trasa, i.e., they have the power of motion, but they can not have trasa-nāmakarma, which rises only in those jīvas with more than one sense.

The division into sañjñin and asañjñin is on the basis of birth. Those that are garbhaja, born from the womb (which includes egg-birth), are sañjñin. Those that are sammūrchin, produced by coagulation, like cells, are asañjñin (Ep. 6. 106 ff. T. 2. 34 ff). Nārakas and devas do not belong to either of these classes, but have a spontaneous origin called upapāda. It is difficult to understand how they can be asañjñin; and it is curious that most of the sources treat at inordinate length one-sensed jīvas and give comparatively little space to the five-sensed, in most cases ignoring the question of whether nārakas and devas are sañjñin or asañjñin, and whether they are paryāpta or aparyāpta. However, the Pra. (sū. 315, p. 533) discusses the question, and I based my outline on it. Nārakas are asañjñin, if they originate from asañjñin, i.e., if they were asañjñin in their last birth. Malayagiri, who also wrote the com. to the Pra., says in his commentary to the Jīv. (32, p. 35a) that they are born only in Ratnaprabhā, which is the first hell. The Bhavanapatis and Vyantaras may be either sañjñin or asañjñin on the same principle as the nārakas.

It requires an antarmuhūrta for the paryāptis to develop. If a jīva dies before they are developed, it is classed as aparyāpta. Each jīva has to complete āhāra-, śarīra-, and indriya-paryāpti. These three are necessary for determining āyurbandha for the next birth, and it cannot die before that is done. Lp. 3. 32.

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