Yogadrstisamuccaya of Haribhadra Suri (Study)

by Riddhi J. Shah | 2014 | 98,110 words

This page relates ‘Adhyatma, Bhavana, Dhyana, Svadhyaya and Samyama Yoga’ of the study on the Yogadrstisamuccaya: a 6th-century work on Jain Yoga authored by Haribhadra Suri consisting of 228 Sanskrit verses. The book draws from numerous sources on traditional Yoga. Three important topics are stipulated throughout this study: 1) nature of liberation, 2) a liberated soul, and 3) omniscience.—This section belongs to the series “The Jain Yoga Tradition—A Historical Review”.

Chapter 1.7 - Adhyātma, Bhāvanā, Dhyāna, Svādhyāya and Saṃyama Yoga

The sacred literature of Jainism uses words like adhyātmayoga [adhyātma-yoga], bhāvanāyoga [bhāvanā-yoga], dhyānayoga [dhyāna-yoga], svādhyāyayoga [svādhyāya-yoga], saṃyamayoga [saṃyama-yoga]. They are found as follow:

(i) Adhyātmayoga:

The jainācārya Haribhadrasūri has classified yoga in five. Adhyātma is first one among them [1] . Haribhadrasūri gives the following definition for Adhyātmayoga in Yogabindu.

The line says:

aucityādvṛttayuktasya, vacanāttattvacintanam |
maitryādibhāvasaṃyuktamadhyātmaṃ tadvido viduḥ ||
357 ||

In the cannon Sūtrakṛtāṅga adhyātmayoga is referred as follows.

The line says,

ajjhappajogasuddhādāṇe uvadiṭṭhie ṭhiappā |[2] .”

In 29,55, Uttarādhyayana we see the word adhyātmayoga is used.

The line is,

nivviyāreṇaṃ jīve vaigutte ajjhappajogajhāṇagutte yāvi bhavai |

The following two verses from Dvātriṃśad-dvātrimśikā of Upādhyāya Yaśovijaya mention the pre-requisites of practicing adhyātmayoga and the result obtained from it.

The verses are[3] :

1. sukhīrṣyāṃ duḥkhitopekṣāṃ puṇyadveṣamadharmiṣu |
rāgadveṣautyajennetā labdhvā'dhyātmaṃ samācaret ||
18.7 ||

2. ataḥ pāpakṣayaḥ sattvaṃ śīlaṃ jñānaṃ ca śāśvatam |
tathānubhavasaṃsiddhamamṛtaṃhṛda eva nu ||
18.8 || [4]

(ii) Bhāvanāyoga:

In Jainism four ways are shown to attain liberation they are:

  1. Dāna
  2. Śīla
  3. Tapa
  4. Bhāva.

The last and fourth one bhāva is the base for above three. Without it the rest three do not yield fruit. The starting point of bhāvanā is bhāva. When bhāva runs persistently, it turns into bhāvanā. In Jain scriptures a term aṇuvekkhā (anuprekṣā) is used for bhāvanā. Aṇuvekkhā means to think repeatedly. It is commonly translated as soteriological thinking.

The Jain cannon Sūtrakṛtānga sings glory of bhāvanāyoga as follows: The verse is:

bhāvaṇājoga suddhappā, jalo ṇāva va āhiyā |
ṇāvā va tīra sampannā
, savvadukkhā tiuṭṭaī || 1.15.5 ||

Bhāvanā comes second in Haribhadrasūri’s classification of yoga.

In Jainism vast literature is available on bhāvanā. It is of two types. [5] The auspicious one directs activities of body, mind and speech in a proper way. Hence it causes enhancement of dispassionate state and stoppage of inflow of karmans. There are various types of bhāvanā viz. four bhāvanās namely maitrī, pramoda, karuṇā and mādhyastha, five bhavanās namely jñāna, darśana, cāritra, tapa and vairāgya. Moreover, the explanation of twelve bhāvanās is found generally with reference to bhāvanāyoga.

(iii) Dhyānayoga:

In Jainism meditation (dhyāna) is enumerated as one among the six internal austerities, (abhyantara tapa). The concept of meditation is discussed and explained in various sacred texts of Jainism. The word dhyānayoga is explained as follows in Sūyagadaṅga.

The verse is:

jjhāṇajogaṃ samāhaṭṭu kāyaṃ viusejja savvaso |
titikkhaṃ paramaṃ naccā āmokkhāe parivaejjāsi ||
1.8.26 ||

While commenting upon this verse Śīlāṅkācārya has defined the word dhyānayoga as follows.

He says,

dhyānama-् cittanirodha lakṣaṇaṃ dhamardh yānādikaṃ tatra yogoviśiṣṭamanovākkāyavyāpārastaṃdhyānayogam|

In the fifth saṃvara dvāra of Praśnavyākaraṇa the following definition of meditation is found.

It says,

nivvāyasa rayaṇappadīpajjhāṇamiva nippakampe |

Haribhadrasūri’s definition of meditation which is found in his treatise Yogabindu, follows more or less the meaning of above mentioned definition.

Haribhadrasūri states that,

śubhaikālambanaṃ cittaṃdhyānamāhurmanīṣiṇaḥ |
sathira pradīpasadṛśaṃ sūkṣmābhogasamanvitam ||
362 ||

Moreover, dhyānayoga stands third in Haribhadrasūri’s classification of Yoga.

In Tattvārthsūtra Umāsvāti defines meditation as follows.

It is,

ekāgracintānirodho dhyānam | 9.27|

In Niyamasāra Kundakundācārya enlightened us with new perspective of meditation. He equates it with pratikramaṇa. The following verse explains it in a very fine manner.

It is:

mottūṇa addarūdde jhāṇaṃ jo jhādi dhamma sukkaṃ vā |
so paḍikamaṇaṃ uccai jiṇavaraṇiddiṭhasuttesu ||
89 || 
uttamaaṭṭha ādā tamhi ṭhidā haṇadi muṇivarā kammaṃ |
tamhā du jhāṇameva hi uttamaaṭṭhassa paḍikkamaṇaṃ ||
92 ||

The element of meditation is prescribed as a daily practice for ascetics in Uttarādhyayana Sūtra. [6] Some disciples of Lord Mahāvīra were given an adjective of dhyānakoṣṭhopagata.[7] This adjective is well explained in the treatise Abhidhāna Rajendra Kośa.[8] Usage of such an adjective for Jain ascetics reflects the deep rootedness and antiquity of meditation in Jainism.

Moreover, the idols of tīrthaṅkaras, in Jainism, are in postures namely padmāsana or khaḍagāsana. These postures are called dhyānamudrā.

The Jain sacred literature mentions four types of meditation. They are:

  1. Ārtadhyāna
  2. Roudradhyāna
  3. Dharmadhyāna /Dharmyadhyāna.
  4. Śukladhyāna.

The first two types are called inquspicious meditation (apraśastadhyāna). They are causes of transmigration. Hence, they should be avoided. The last two types are called auspicious meditation (praśastadhyāna). They are characterized by a predilection for truth and absolute detachment from the world. They are conducive to the complete destruction of karmans. Thus, they result into the obtainment of liberation.

The observance of great vows (mahāvratas) other penances such as fasting etc. is fruitful only if the practioner succeeds in achieving steadfastness of mind by the practice of meditation. And that is why meditation is considered to be the penance par excellence in Jainism. Through the meditation one can achieve in a moment what cannot be achieved in years through other penances. Hemacandrācārya has very clearly said the underlined idea of the doctrine of meditation in his Yogaśāstra. It is said, “meditation leads one to the knowledge of the self, and the knowledge of the self leads to the destruction of the karmans, which means liberation.[9]

(iv) Saṃyamayoga:

Generally a term saṃyama means control over sense organs, mind, speech and thoughts along with control over desires and passions. In Jainism saṃyama means to abide by five self-regulations and three self-restrains. The aṣṭapravacanamātā is the word used for five self-regulations[10] (samiti) and three self-restraints[11] (gupti) in Jainism. They are meant to stabilize and purify the great five vows (pañca mahāvrata). Their practice results in attaining spiritual diligence and wakefulness. In order to prevent a soul from idleness, spiritual lethargy and weak will-power, one practices five self-regulations and three self-restraints.

Gupti means spiritually beneficial control of the activities of mind, speech and body. Samiti means careful activities inspired by a sense of discrimination. Samiti is careful performance of activities with right attitude which results into abstinence from violence. Gupti is complete dissociation from inauspicious tendencies. It demands perserverant practice.

The aṣṭapravacanamātā’s[12] , practice come under the title of the jewel of conduct (cāritra) out of the three jewels. The five self-regulations and three self-restraints are constituents of the means to the stoppage (saṃvara) of inflow of new karmic mater.[13]

(v) Svādhyāyayoga:

Among twelve types of austerities (tapa) svādhyāya is one type of internal austerity (abhyantara tapa). The term svādhyāya is a compound of ‘sva’ and “adhyāya”. So, it means the study of the self. It also means to study wholesome literature with a view to acquire knowledge. The study of the self is of four types[14] . They help an aspirant to climb on to dharmadhyāna. In the treatise Jhāṇajjhayaṇaṃ it is said that, “a man climbs easily the deep (slope) by caching hold of a firm substance (like the rope) just like that the types of svādhyāya would help one to climb up to the state of dharmadhyāna without great effort.”[15]

Since svādhyāya is the study of spiritually elevating works, it is like a lamp that helps an aspirant to peep into the innermost recesses of the self. The study of the self helps to remove the perverted vision (mithyādṛṣṭi) and brings right faith to a soul. Therefore, Jainism has eulogized greatly the self-study.

In Mahāniśīthasūtra it is said,

bārasavihammi tave sabbhiṃtara, bāhire ku sala dinhe |
na vi atthi na vi ya hoī sajjhāya samaṃ tavo kammaṃ ||

The world seems non-existent to the aspirant who is deeply absorbed in the study of the self. His persistent engagement in the study of the self makes him steadfast from within. This is how the self-study strengthens dharmadhyāna and Śukladhyāna. In the treatise Paramātmaprakāśa composed by Yogindudeva it is said that the state of supreme soul (paramātmā) shines forth by exerting oneself in self-study and meditation.[16]

Moreover, svādhyāya and saṃyama are enumerated under six obligatory duties (Ṣaḍāvśyaka) of a layman in Jain scriptures.[17] They are:

  1. Devapūjā –worship of the supreme soul.
  2. Guru-upāsti –venerating and serving the elders
  3. Svādhyāya –study of the spiritually elevating works.
  4. Saṃyama –self-control
  5. Tapa –austirities.
  6. Dāna –charity

However, in Jain literature the scope of self-study is defined differently for both i.e. monks (śramaṇa) as well as laymen (śrāvaka). In scriptures it is said that monks and nuns have to study for six hours every day. The one who violates this rule has to expiate both time, morning and evening, to regain his composure. In the first three hours the text is to be studied and in the next three hours one is supposed to contemplate on the meaning of the texts.

We have seen that svādhyāyayoga and saṃyamayoga. Both in a way cause spiritual progress of an aspirant. However, in Jainism saṃyamayoga (i.e. practicing aṣṭapravacanamātā) is more emphasized. The self-regulation and self-restraint play a role of a fence in protecting an aspirant from grievous sins and the consequent fall. If an aspirant engrossed in self-study (svādhyāya) but is without self-control, his scholarship shall be of no avail. For a follower of self-regulation and self-restraint Śivārya says as follows. The lines are, “A self-regulated monk, even though living in the world is not defiled by it just as an armoured warrior fights fearlessly also because no arrows can pierce his armour.”

Thus, we may say that the self-study without practicing aṣṭapravacanamātā is of no use. Hence, though self-study is eulogized and emphasized a lot it is incomplete if it is not accompanied by the practices of five self-regulations and three self-restraints. Svādhyāya represents jñāna (samyakjñāna) and saṃyama represents kriyā (samyakcāritra).

Jainism says

jñānakriyābhyāṃ mokṣaḥ”.

Therefore both are complementary to each other:

An aspirant, who is self-regulated and self-restrained, engrossed in the self-study (svādhyāya) and deeply involved in soteriological thinking (bhāvanā), cleanses his soul and preapares it for dharmadhyāna. It is the dharmadhyāna which is of the nature of the stoppage of karmans (saṃvara)[18] by practicing dharmadhyāna and Śukladhyāna an aspirant obtains annihilation of karmans. It results into the state of total freedom (ayoga).

Thus at the end one can say that when the Yoga, i.e. mental, vocal and physical activities, becomes self-regulated and self-restrained, an aspirant gradually acquires the state of total freedom.

Footnotes and references:


adhyātmaṃ bhāvanādhyānaṃ samatā vṛttisaṃkṣayaḥ|
mokṣeṇa yojanādyogaḥ
, eṣa śreṣṭho yathottaram || 31 || 


16th adhyayana, 3rd sūtra.


See, pg: 1229 and 1231, Part: 4.


The same verse is found in the treatise Yogabindu of Haribhadra. See its 359th verse


(a) duvihāo bhāvaṇāo asaṃkiliṭṭhā ya saṃkiliṭṭhā ya |
muttūṇa saṃkiliṭṭhā
, asaṃkiliṭṭhāhi bhāvaṃti || 1291 || 
(b) kaṃ dappa devakivvisa, abhiogā āsurā ya sammoha|
esā ya saṃkiliṭṭhā
, paṃcavihā bhāvaṇā bhaṇiyā || 1293 || 


See 26.18, Uttarādhyayana


(a) ahosire jhāṇaṃ koṭṭhovagae saṃjameṇaṃ tavasā appāṇaṃ bhāvemāṇe viharai || 1.6.53)
   Bhagawai (Suttāgame)

(b) uḍḍhaṃ jāṇu ahocirassa dhammajjhāṇakoṭṭhovagayassa
suvakkajjhāṇaṃtariyāe vaṭṭamāṇassa nivvāṇe........ ||
2.15.1020 || 

(c) see pg: 24 of Ovavāiya Suttaṃ (Suttāgame).


jhāṇakoṭṭhovagaya-dhyānakoṣṭhopagata|dhyānaṃ dharmadhyānaṃ śukladhyānaṃ ca| tadeva koṣṭhaḥ ku śūlodhyānakoṣṭhaḥ tamupagato dhyānakoṣṭhopagataḥ| yathā hi koṣṭake dhānyaṃ prakṣiptaṃ viprasṛtaṃ bhavati|
Abhidhāna Rajendra Kośa, part-4, p. 1673.


mokṣaḥkamarkṣa yādeva sa cātmajñānato bhavet |
dhyānasādhyaḥ mataṃ tacca taddhyānaṃ hitāmātmanaḥ ||
IV.113 ||


paṃca samiio paṇṇattaṃ taṃ jahā–iriyāsamii bhāsā jāva pāriṭhāvaṇiyāsamii|
T hāṇe (Suttagame) 5.3.536


tao guttīo paṇṇattāo taṃ jahā - maṇaguttī, vayaguttī, kāyaguttī, -ibid 3.1.171


aṭṭha pavayaṇamāyāo samii guttī taheva|
paṃceva ya samiio tao guttīu āhi ā ||
24.1 || 


See, IX.2 of Tattvārthasūtra


ālaṃbaṇāī vāyaṇa-pucchaṇa pariyaṭṭaṇā-'ṇuciṃtāo|
sāmāiyāiyāiṃ saddhammāvassayāiṃ ca ||
42 || 


visamaṃmi samārohai daḍhadavvālaṃ baṇo jahā puriso|
suttāikayālaṃbo taha jhāṇavaraṃ samārūhai ||
43 ||


svādhyāyadhyānamādhyastā,ṃdhyānātsvādhyāya māmanet|
svādhyāyadhyāna sampatyā
, paramātmā prakāśate ||


deva pūjā gurūpāsti, svādhyāyaḥ saṃyamastathā|
dānaṃ ceti gṛhasthānāṃ
, ṣaṭkarmāṇi dine-dine ||


jhāṇasaṃvara joge ya| dhyānameva saṃvarayogodhyānasaṃvarayogaḥ || 
Abhidhāna Rajendra Kośa, part: 4, p. 1673

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: