Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

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

This page describes Sermon on the Tattvas which is the eighteenth part of chapter IV of the English translation of the Anantanatha-caritra, contained within the “Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra”: a massive Jain narrative relgious text composed by Hemacandra in the 12th century. Anantanatha in jainism is one of the 63 illustrious beings or worthy persons.

Part 18: Sermon on the Tattvas

Śakra, Madhvari, and Sīrin became silent after this hymn of praise, and the Blessed Anantanātha delivered a sermon as follows:


“A creature ignorant of the principles, like a traveler who does not know the road, wanders in this wilderness of saṃsāra very hard to cross. Jīva (soul), ajīva (non-soul), āśrava (channels for acquiring karma), saṃvara (methods of impeding karma), nirjarā (destruction of karma), bandha (bondage) and mokṣa (emancipation) are said by wise men to be the seven tattvas (principles).[1]

Of these jīvas are known to be of two kinds by the division into those emancipated and those in wordly existence, all without beginning and end, characterized by knowledge and perception. The emancipated have one nature, free from the trouble of birth, et cetera; possessing infinite perception, knowledge, power, and bliss. The jīvas in worldly existence are of two kinds by the division into immovable and movable. In both they are of two kinds by the distinction of having or not having faculties to develop. The faculties to develop are six and are the source of development: eating and digesting food, body, senses, breath, speech and mind. There are four, five, or six faculties to develop respectively of creatures with one sense, two to four senses, and five senses.

The one-sensed are immovable: earth, water, fire, air and plants. The first four of these are both fine and gross. Plants are of two kinds: with one body and many bodies. The first of these are gross only; the second are fine and gross. The movable are of four kinds by reason of two, three, four, and five senses. Of these the five-sensed are of two kinds: rational and irrational. The ones who know how to study, teach and converse, are rational, possessing mind-vitality. The others are irrational. The skin, tongue, nose, eye, and ear are the sense-organs of which touch, taste, smell, form and sound are the respective spheres.

Numerous species, worms, conchs, earth-worms, leeches, cowries, oysters, et cetera, are considered two-sensed. Lice, bugs, termites, nits, et cetera, are considered three-sensed. Moths, flies, bees, gnats, et cetera, are four-sensed. The remainder that have animal birth-nuclei, belonging to water, land, and air, hell-inhabitants, men, and gods are all five-sensed.

The three powers—mind, speech, body, the five senses, term of life, and breathing are called the ten vitalities (prāṇa). In all jīvas the body, term of life, breathing, and senses are present.[2] The two-to-four sensed and the irrational have speech, and the fully rational have mind.

The gods and hell-inhabitants have spontaneous origin, but the ones with uterine birth are born from foetus with placenta, without placenta, and from eggs. The others are produced by coagulation. Souls arising from coagulation and hell-inhabitants—evil souls—are neuters; the gods are male and female; others are all three.

All jīvas are of two kinds with reference to being grasped from the practical point of view (vyavahārya), or not being grasped from the practical point of view. The fine many-bodied souls (nigoda) are the latter. The others are grasped by the senses.

There are nine divisions of birth-nuclei (yoni) of creatures: with living matter, covered, and cold; the opposites of these; and combinations[3] divided by other sub divisions. Of earth-, water-, fire-, and air-jīvas, there are seven lacs (of yonis) each; ten lacs of one-bodied (plants) and fourteen lacs of many-bodied (plants). There are six lacs of the two-to-four sensed (inclusive) jīvas and fourteen lacs of humans; four each of hell-inhabitants, animals, and gods. So there are eighty-four lacs of birth-nuclei, perceived by perfect knowledge, of all creatures.

The one-sensed, both fine and gross; the five-sensed, both rational and irrational; and the two-to-four sensed are both capable of development (paryāpta) and not capable of development.[4] These classes of jīvas which I have described are fourteen.

The same number of mārgaṇās[5] are known by the following names: condition of existence, senses, body, activity, sex, knowledge, anger, et cetera (the kaṣāyas), self-control, taking and digesting food, perception, soul-color, state of being capable of emancipation, right-belief, and intelligence.

Mithyādṛṣṭi, sāsvādanasaṃyagdṛṣṭi, saṃyagmithyādṛṣṭi, aviratasaṃyagdṛṣṭi, viratāvirata (=deśavirati), pramatta, apramatta, nivṛttibādara, anivṛttibādara, sūkṣmasamparāyaka, praśantamoha, kṣīnamoha, yogavat, and ayogavat are the fourteen guṇasthānas. It is mithyādṛṣṭi when there is rising of wrong belief. It constitutes a guṇasthāna with reference to good character, etc.[6] Sāsvādanasaṃyagdṛṣṭi is when wrong belief does not rise, but when the worst degree of passions arises. Its maximum is six āvalis.[7] Miśradarśana is from union of right and wrong belief for a muhūrta.[8] Aviratasamyagdṛṣṭi (right-belief without self-control) is at the rise of the passions which prevent partial vows. Viratāvirata (partial self-control) is at the rise of the passions which prevent complete vows. It is pramattasaṃyata when self-control exists but there is still negligence. It is apramattasaṃyata when there is self-control without negligence. Both last an antarmuhūrta with interchange.[9] It is apūrvakaraṇa because it makes unprecedented destruction of the duration of karma, et cetera, and has the ladders of both destruction and subsidence of karma. It is nivṛttibādara (gross passions with a difference)[10] because the evolution of persons with the gross passions, who have entered it together, differs. Because the evolution of those who have entered it together does not differ because of their efforts, it is anivṛttibādara and it has destruction and subsidence of karma. Because the fine passion, named greed, has been made very fine, it is sūkṣmasamparāya (fine passion) and has both the ladders of destruction and subsidence. Upaśāntamoha is at the subsidence of delusion. When the destruction of delusion has taken place, it is called kṣīṇamoha. When omniscience is produced from the destruction of the destructive karmas, it is sayogakevalin (omniscient with activity); when destruction of activities has taken place, it is ayogakevalin.[11]


Non-soul (ajīva) consists of the medium of motion (dharma), medium of rest (adharma), space (vihāyas), time (kāla), and matter (pudgala). These five and jīva are known as substances (dravya). Of these all, except time, are formed from an aggregate of indivisible units (pradeśa). They are all, except jīva, without consciousness and are not active agents. Except time, they are (all) embodied substances (astikāya) and are all without form (amūrta) except matter. But all have the nature of origination, perishing, and permanence.

Matter is characterized by touch, taste, smell, and color. It is two-fold with reference to atoms and aggregates. Of these atoms are not joined.[12] Aggregates are joined, characterized by union,[13] sound, fineness, coarseness, and shape; having the nature of darkness, heat, light, division, and shadow; producing karma, body, mind, speech, action, and breathing; furnishing the medium of pleasure, pain, life, and death.

The medium of motion, medium of rest, and space are each single substanced, formless, inactive, and always changeless. The medium of rest and the medium of motion are unchanging, consisting of innumerable pradeśas in the room of one soul, having penetrated the space of the universe. When soul and non-soul themselves have started to move, the medium of motion is everywhere a companion, like water of sea-monsters. The medium of rest is a companion of souls and matter which have themselves reached a location, like a shadow of people going along a road.

Space is all-pervading, self-supported, affording place, constantly penetrates the universe and non-universe,[14] and has infinite units.[15]

The atoms[16] of time, separated, occupying a unit of the world-space for modification of attributes, are called primary time (mūkhyakāla).[17] An instant (samaya), et cetera, whose measure is given in books on astronomy, that is considered time from a practical point of view by those knowing time. It is the work of that these objects in the womb of the world are evolved with a form, new, old, et cetera. Present objects become in the past, and future objects become present, transformed by the sport of time.

Āśrava, saṃvara, nirjarā:

Whatever action there is of mind, speech, and body that is āśrava (channel for acquiring karma). Good action is the cause of a good āśrava; bad action is the cause of a bad āśrava. The source of blocking of all channels is saṃvara. Nirjarā is the destruction here of karmas that are the sources of existence.[18]


When a soul takes matter suitable for karma, because of the state of passions, that is bondage, the cause of absence of free will on the part of the soul. Its divisions are nature, duration, intensity, and quantity. Nature (prakṛti) is inherently eight-fold, knowledge-obscuring, et cetera. Knowledge- and belief-obscuring, feeling, deluding, age, body-making, family, and obstructive are considered the primary kinds of nature.[19] Duration (sthiti) is the minimum and maximum time limit of karmas. Intensity (anubhāva) is the maturity; quantity (pradeśa) is the allotment of parts. Wrong belief, lack of self-control, negligence, anger, et cetera (the kaṣāyas), and activity—these five are recognized as sources of bondage. When the sources of bondage are absent because of the destruction of the ghātikarmas, when omniscience exists, emancipation takes place at the victory over the remaining karmas.

Whatever pleasure there may be in the three worlds of gods, asuras, and kings, that is an infinitesimal part of the wealth of happiness from emancipation. Persons in the world who know the principles as described certainly are not submerged in the ocean of worldly existence, like a swimmer in the ocean.

Many persons adopted mendicancy as the result of this sermon of the Lord. Hari adopted right-belief and Suprabha became a layman. The Lord stopped preaching at the end of the first division of the day and Yaśas, the gaṇabhṛt, delivered a sermon, occupying his foot-stool. This sermon being ended in the second watch, Śakra, Upendra, Bala, and others bowed to the Lord and went to their respective houses.

Footnotes and references:


See Vol. I, App. IV. Here Puṇya and Pāpa are not counted. It is more usual for the Śvetāmbaras to include them.


This statement that indriyāni are present in all jīvas is misleading in its wording. It sounds as if all the senses were present in all jīvas, whereas it really means that some sense is present in all jīvas. See 1, n. 32.


The ‘combinations’ are of the opposite pairs. For examples of different kinds of yonis, see Jaini’s Tattvārthasūtra 2.32.


This statement is correct, but ambiguous. All 14 classes are both paryāpta and aparyāpta, but not all the subdivisions. The asañjñin-manuṣya-pañcendriya are only aparyāpta. See I, n. 29.


I know of no word by which mārgaṇā can be translated. The J.G.D. defines it as ‘soul-quest,’ but that hardly conveys its meaning. It is further explained: ‘There are 14 special conditions or characteristics by means of which the mundane souls are sought, distinguished, and investigated.’ See Gommaṭasāra, 141-2 and Dravyasaṃgraha, p. 39.


I have seen nowhere else this distinction in the first guṇasthāna. Muni Jayantavijayaji says that a mithyātvin may have such virtues as mercy, charity, nobility of character and as such be placed in the first guṇasthāna.


An avali is an extremely small division of time. See II, n. 265.


Forty-eight minutes. The duration of the third guṇasthāna is usually described as an antarmuhūrta. See I, p. 204 and II, ṅ. 265.


That is, a person may fluctuate between the sixth and seventh guṇasthānas. See I, p. 433.


For nivṛtti see II, p. 348. Apūrvakaraṇa and nivṛtti-bādara are both the eighth guṇasthāna.


The yogavan and ayogavan of 251.


Atoms (aṇu or paramāṇu) are indivisible parts of skandha, separated from skandha (an aggregate, or object). Aṇu (unit of space) is practically the same as pradeśa, but pradeśa is an indivisible part of skandha joined to skandha, whereas aṇu is an indivisible part separated from skandha. A collection of pradeśas joined together makes a skandha.


I have read bandha here, though without MS. authority. The emendation is slight. Gandha has been mentioned above and bandha seems required here. Cf. T. 5.24.


Space is the only substance which extends beyond loka into aloka.


Ananta means without limit, whereas asaṅkhya means that there is a limit to the number of pradeśas, though they can not be counted.


Properly speaking kāla has no ‘atoms,’ nor pradeśas. It is, as Hemacandra himself says above, the one substance which does not have pradeśas. Muni Jayantavijayaji explains this inconsistency by the interpretation that kāla is believed to be an object (because of its usefulness), though not really an object.


E.g., ancient, modern.


These have already been treated in detail. See above, pp. 57f. and II, pp. 330, 343.


These are the eight kinds of karma. See I, App. II.

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