A study of the philosophy of Jainism

by Deepa Baruah | 2017 | 46,858 words

This page describes the Time of Prabhacandra (Jaina philosopher) from the study of the philosophy of Jainism: one of the oldest religions in India having its own metaphysics, philosophy and ethics. Jainism is regarded as an ethical system where non-violence features as an important ethical value.

Chapter I.f - Time of Prabhācandra (Jaina philosopher)

Prabhācandra was a Jaina philosopher. He is also a grammarian. But no detail information is found about his life and time. From his book Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa, it is known about the name of his guru and the place where he has written his work. Padmanandisaiddhānta was his guru. From his work, it can also be known that Prabhācandra written this book in Dhārānagarīwhere ruled Bhojadeva.

Though his time has not been mentioned in his work, yet his date can be approximately fixed from internal and external sources. Jinasena, the author of Ādipurāṇa stated the name and time of a Prabhācandra, who wrote Candrodaya. From the name of Candrodaya, it is presumed that the work is Nyāyakumudacandra of Prabhācandra. But this view is not accepted by all. The original name of the work is Nyāyakumudacandra not Candrodaya. Hence, these scholars say that the author of Nyāyakumudacandra and Candrodaya are not the same. Jinasena completed the commentary of Jayadhavalā of his guru Vīrasena in 759 A.D. and after that he completed Ādipurāṇa in 840A.D. For that reason, every scholar accepted the time of Prabhācandra between 8 century and 9 century A.D. But there are some doubts about this time. Firstly some arguments are put below for this reason:

1. One of the most famous Purāṇa, i.e., Harivaṃśapurāṇa was written by Jinasena in 783 A.D. It was earlier than the Ādipurāṇa. In that Purāṇa he mentioned the name of one Prabhācandra who was a pupil of Kumārasena and also described him as the author of Candrodaya like the Ādipurāṇa. From this description, it can be presumed that these two Prabhācandras of Harivaṃśapurāṇa and Ādipurāṇa are the same person and a pupil of Kumārasena. So, Prabhācandra, the greatest philosophical author of Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa and Nyāyakumudacandra is different from that Prabhācandra, found in the two Purāṇas, because the name of his guru is Padmanandisaiddhānta and not of Kumārasena.

2. The writers who followed Akalaṅka such as Vidyānanda and Anantavīrya are mentioned by Prabhācandra in his work. But the author of Ādipurāṇa, i.e., Jinasena does not mention the name of Vidyānanda and Anantavīrya in his work. These two writers also do not belong earlier than 9 century A.D. If Prabhācandra belonged earlier than 9 century A.D., and then it is not possible for him to mention the name of Vidyānanda and Anantavīrya in his work. So, Prabhācandra does not belong earlier than 9 century A.D.

From the above arguments, it can be said that the author of Candrodaya, i.e., Prabhācandra is not the Prabhācandra of Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa, and the time of Prabhācandra that is mentioned in the Ādipurāṇa is not acceptable for the present author.

3. Vyomavatīṭikā of Vyomaśiva is one of the important works of Vaiśeṣika philosophy. The nature of liberation and its refutation as found in the Vyomavatīṭikā of Vyomaśiva are also found in the Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa of Prabhācandra.Vyomaśiva belonged to 7 century A.D. So, Prabhācandra belongs later.

4. Śākaṭāyana, a follower of Jainism is the author of Śākaṭāyanavyākaraṇa, Kevalibhukti and Śtrīmuktiprakaraṇa. He wrote a commentary on Śākaṭāyanavyākaraṇa by the name of Amoghvṛtti. This commentary was written in the time of the king Amoghavarṣa. The time of king Amoghavarṣa was between 814 A.D. to 877 A.D. Prabhācandra mentioned Śtrīmuktiprakaraṇa of Śākaṭāyana in his famous logical works Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa and Nyāyakumudacandra. From that point, it can be said that Prabhācandra cannot belong earlier than 9 century A.D.

5. One of the most famous works on Nyāya philosophy is Nyāyamañjarī of Jayantabhaṭṭa. In Nyāyamañjarī, Jayantabhaṭṭa explains Kārakasākalyavāda. This Kārakasākalyavāda is refuted by Prabhācandra in his Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa. Jayantabhaṭṭa mentioned the name of Vācaspati Miśra, the author of Tātparyaṭīkā and Nyāyasūcīnibandha in his work. Vācaspati Miśra completed Nyāyasūcīnibandha in 841 A.D. For that reason, Jayantabhaṭṭa must belong to 9 century A.D. So, Prabhācandra’s date must be later than 9 century A.D.

6. Devasena is one of the great historical authors or followers of Jainism. He was the writer of famous work called Darśanasāra. He completed this work in 933 A.D. After that he wrote another work Bhāvasaṃgraha in 940 A.D. In Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa, Prabhācandra mentioned a śloka from Bhāvasaṃgraha in connection with explaining the Kevalāhāravicāra. If Prabhācandra’s date is taken to be earlier than 9 century A.D., then this reference to Bhāvasaṃgraha will not possible.

7. Abhayanandi, one of the famous authors of Jainism has written Jainendramahāvṛtti, which is a work on Jainendravyākaraṇa in 960 A.D. Śabdāmbhojabhāskara (a work on Jainendravyākaraṇa) was written by Prabhācandra. On this ground, Prabhācandra was later than 960 A.D.

8. Śrīdhara is one of the famous authors of Vaiśeṣika philosophy. He wrote a commentary on Praśastapādabhāṣya called Nyāyakandalī in 991 A.D. In Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa, Prabhācandra mentioned the Vaiśeṣika work Nyāyakandalī while explaining the nature of liberation. So, Prabhācandra cannot be earlier than Śrīdhara.

9. Vādirāja, the famous author and follower of Jainism was the writer of Pārśvacarita. Vādirāja completed this work in 1025 A.D. He composed a commentary Nyāyaviniścayavivaraṇa on Nyāyaviniścayaprakaraṇa of Akalaṅka. Vādirāja does not mention Prabhācandra and his work Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa in his Pārśvacarita. This implies that Prabhācandra was later than Vādirāja. Hence, Prabhācandra’s date must be later than 1025 A.D.

10. Syādvādaratnākara, the famous work of Jainism was written by Vādidevasūri in 1118 A.D. He mentioned this famous logical work Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa in his work. Hence, Prabhācandra was earlier than Vādidevasūri.

11. Malliṣeṇa is one of the Jaina philosophers. He was the author of Syādvādamañjarī, which was completed in 1293 A.D. In Syādvādamañjarī, he mentioned Prabhācandra and his work Nyāyakumudacandra. So, Prabhācandra was earlier than Malliṣeṇa.

12. Hemacandra is the most versatile Jaina writer. He belonged to 12th century. The Pramāṇamīmāṃsā is a valuable work on Jaina logic by Hemacandra. Hemacandra mentioned Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa and his author Prabhācandra in his work. From that point of view Prabhācandra was earlier than Hemacandra.

13. Another author of Nyāya philosophy is Abhinavadharmabhūṣaṇa. He has written Nyāyadīpikā in 1384 A.D. He mentioned Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa and his author Prabhācandra in his work. Hence, Prabhācandra’s date cannot be later than that of Abhinavadharmabhūṣaṇa.

From foregoing discussions, it is evident that Prabhācandra does not belong earlier than 11 century A.D. and later than 12 century A.D. In the absence of more definite information it be surmised that Prabhācandra belonged to the later part of 11 century A.D. or earlier part of 12 century A.D.

Works of Prabhācandra:

Prabhācandra is the author of Prameyakamalamārtaṇḍa which is one of the most important works on Jaina philosophy. Prabhācandra wrote a book called Prabhavakacarita, in which the life histories of the Jaina philosophers are discussed.

It contains a biography of twenty-two Jaina philosophers starting from Vajrasvāmi (4 century A.D.), Siddhasena Divākara (5 century A.D.) to Hemacandra (12 century A.D.) Another important work of Prabhācandra is Nyāyakumudacandra which is a commentary on Loghīyastraya of Akalaṅka. Other works of Prabhācandra’s are: Ārādhanākathākośa (a commentary on Ārādhanāsatkathāprabandha), Ārādhanāpañjikā (a commentary on Bhagavatīārādhanā), Tattvārthavṛttipadavivaraṇa (a commentary on Sarvārthasiddhi of Pujyapāda), Śākaṭāyananyāsa (a commentary on Śākaṭāyanavyākaraṇa of Śākaṭāyana), Śabdāmbhojabhāskara (a work on Jainendravyākaraṇa), Pravacanasārasarojabhāskara (a commentary on Pravacanasāra of Kundakunda) and Gadyakathākośa. These commentaries are very voluminous and deal with the Jaina system in details.

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