Yogadrstisamuccaya of Haribhadra Suri (Study)

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

This page relates ‘Yogadrishtisamuccaya (Benedictory Verse)’ 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 “Introduction to the Yogadrishtisamuccaya”.

Chapter 3.1 - Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya (Benedictory Verse)

An auspicious introduction at the beginning of a literary composition in the form of a prayer is the practice of wise men.[1] It is done with an intention to accomplish the composition without any obstacles. It is said that wise men always seek blessings from their God/Guru before embarking on an auspicious activity, in order to either stall the incoming obstacles or find solutions to the obstacles that might cause hindrance in completion the envisioned auspicious activity.[2] The act of composing a text like Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya is a very auspicious act. It is so because the composition Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya is made with a motive of spreading right knowledge (samyagjñāna). Hence, in order to complete an act of composing Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya without any obstacles, Haribhadrasūri–its author, auspiciously begins the text (maṅgalācarṇa [maṅgalācaraṇa?]).[3] This is how Haribhadrasūri, being a wise man, follows the practice of wise men before commencing an activity by writing an auspicious introduction.[4]

The benedictory verse of the Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya is divided into two parts by Haribhadrasūri in the auto-commentary on it. The first part is dedicated to an auspicious introduction in the form of a prayer to his favorite God (iṣṭa-devatā),[5] while the second part deals with the purpose and subject of the Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya.[6] The traditional concept of anubandha-catuṣṭaya comprises of the auspicious introduction (maṅgala), purpose (prayojana), subject (abhidheya) and relation (saṃbandha).[7]

In the auspicious introduction of the Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya Haribhadrasūri expresses his admiration for Lord Mahāvīra as follows:

natvecchā yogato'yogaṃ yogigamyaṃ jinottamaṃ vīraṃ”.

It means: Taking recourse to what is technically called “yoga by intension” I bow to Vīra[8] (Mahāvīra), the supreme victor, one who is rid of all bodily, mental and vocal activity, and one who is accessible only to the yogins. Haribhadrasūri adores Lord Mahāvīra (i.e. Vīra) with three adjectives. The first one is the supreme victor (jinottamaṃ). Lord Vīra is the supreme among those, who have gained victory over the spiritual afflictions like attachment, aversion etc. śrutjina,avadhijina, manaḥparyāyajñānajina and kevalijina are four types of victors (jina) in Jainism. Among them the kevalijina is the one who has reached the highest level. Lord Mahāvīra is also a kevalijina. Moreover, from all kevalijinas, Lord Mahāvīra is superior because he is a tīrthaṅkara. This is how Lord Mahāvīra is the supreme victor.[9] The adjective jinottamaṃ highlights Lord Mahāvīra’s personality as a tīrthaṅkara. According to Jainism a tīrthaṅkara is the founder of ford (tīrtha), which helps people to cross the ocean of mundane existence. The word tīrtha depicts the establishment of fourfold order of a monk, nun, layman and laywoman. Tīrtha is also designated to the group of twelve aṅga works (i.e. dvādaśāṅgī) authored by a tīrthaṅkara.[10] He is considered to be the best among sixty-three great personages (Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣa) in Jainism. As we know that the tīrthaṅkara is an establisher of a fourfold order of religion, the adjective jinottamaṃ stands for the dharmakāya state of Lord Mahāvīra.[11] The second adjective of Lord Mahāvīra is the one who is rid of all bodily, mental and vocal activity (ayogaṃ). This adjective depicts the liberated state of Lord Mahāvīra. Where his soul has destroyed the destructive (ghāti) as well as non-destructive (aghāti) karmans. This state shows the nature of the eternal bliss He is experiencing.

When Mahāvīra attains nirvāṇa, it is the tattvakāya state of his soul. Therefore, the adjective ayogaṃ for Lord Mahāvīra is indicative of his tattvakāya state.[12] The third adjective for him is that he is the one who is only accessible by the yogins.

When Haribhadrasūri describes Lord Mahāvīra as who is accessible only by the yogins, he means to say that Lord Mahāvīra’s greatness can be properly grasped only by a yogin. According to Haribhadrasūri yogin means a śrutajina etc.[13] Haribhadrasūri states that a mithyādṛṣṭi soul, who has not yet undergone the process of the last yathāpravṛttakaraṇa, is uninterested in grasping the experience of the inner-self, which is preached by the supreme yogin, Lord Mahāvīra.[14] The wrong belief (mithyātva) is so intense in such a mithyādṛṣṭi soul, that he does not fall into the category of a yogin. Therefore, Haribhadrasūri says that Mahāvīra is the one whose form can be understood only by yogins.

The afore-mentioned three adjectives are uncommon characteristics of Lord Mahāvīra. He possesses them in the real sense. Hence Haribhadrasūri’s act of describing Lord Mahāvīra with three adjectives becomes a devotion filled genuine prayer (bhāvastava).[15] In the matter of qualities, Lord Mahāvīra is superior to all other deities. Therefore he is the favorite (iṣṭa) to Haribhadrasūri.[16] Moreover, Lord Mahāvīra has attained liberation (mokṣa), therefore; He is the God (deva) for Haribhadrasūri.[17] This is how Haribhadrasūri concludes the auspicious introduction.

While doing the auspicious introduction Haribhadrasūri says that “I, who possesses “yoga by intention (iccāyoga), bow down to Lord Mahāvīra”. Haribhadrasūri in his treatise the Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya would explain three-fold yoga. The yoga by intention is the first one among them. Haribhadrasūri is very honest and humble in his saying. He says that I neither possess yoga by scripture nor yoga by self-exertion. In order to avoid an untrue speech and to project appropriateness of behavior, Haribhadrasūri has clearly mentioned that my bow down to Lord Mahāvīra is characterized by “yoga by intention”. The definition and nature of three-fold yoga will be explained by Haribhadrasūri later in the Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya.[18]

In the benedictory verse of the Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya Haribhadrasūri does an auspicious introduction for two major reasons.

They are:

  1. To follow the practice of wise.
  2. To accomplish the task of composing, the Yogaḍṛṣṭisamuccaya without obstacles.

Unless the purpose of a treatise is mentioned, no learned man exerts himself to read or learn it. As it is said,

sarvasyaiva hi śāstrasya, karmaṇo vā'pi kasyacit|
yāvatprayojanaṃ noktaṃ
, tāvattatke na gṛhayate? || [19]

The purpose of the treatise can be mentioned only when it has a valid subject. It is just like to examine a tooth of a crow. The purpose to examine its tooth becomes possible only when the crow has a tooth. In reality a crow does not have tooth. Hence its examination is not possible.[20] Similar is the case with the purpose of the treatise and its subject.

The purpose, subject and relation of the treatise Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya is as follow:

vakṣye samāsena yogaṃ taddṛṣṭibhedata

It means: I (Haribhadrasūri) proceed on to briefly narrate yoga as viewed from different view-points.

The direct purpose of the author Haribhadrasūri is to narrate the yoga concisely. His indirect purpose is to attain liberation. His act of composing the treatise Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya is beneficial to himself as well as to others. He has undertaken this act with pure inner intention. Hence his act becomes an unfailing seed of liberation.[21] Haribhadrasūri emphasizes on concise narration of yoga. For it he says that the elaborated discussion on Yoga is done by his predecessors in treatises namely Dhyānādhyayana, Yoganirṇaya[22] and others.[23]

Scholars interpret the treatise Dhyānādhyayana as Uttarādhyayana. However it seems to be the Sanskrit name of the treatise Jhāṇajjhayaṇa of Jinabhadragaṇi Kṣamāśramaṇa.

Moreover, the direct purpose of an aspirant (a listener or a reader) is to gain knowledge of the text Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya. The indirect purpose of him is to attain liberation. After gaining knowledge from this text the aspirant undertakes activities that are conducive to liberation.[24] This is how the study of this treatise results into the cause of liberation for an aspirant.

The subject of the treatise Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya is Yoga.[25] This text discusses the subject of Yoga. Hence, those who are desirous of knowing about Yoga must study this treatise. The relation (sambandha) in this treatise is the well-known sādhyasādhana relation.[26]

Footnotes and references:


tatra -(1) śiṣṭānāmayaṃ samayo yadatu “ śiṣṭāḥkvacidiṣṭe vastuni pravatarmānāḥ santa iṣṭadevatānamaskārapūrvaṃ pravatarn te|... || 1 || 
–Auto-commentary on Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya. (2010)


(2) tathā śreyāṃsi bahuvighnāni bhavanti iti| uktaṃ ca
śreyāṃsi bahuvighnāni, bhavanti mahatāmapi|
aśreyasi pravṛttānāṃ
, kvā'pi yānti vināyakāḥ || iti... || 1 || 


idaṃ ca prakaraṇaṃ samyagjñānahetutvācchreyobhūtama,् ato “ mā bhūd vighnaiti vighnavināyakopaśāntaye|... || 1 ||


|ayamapyācāryo na hi na śiṣṭa ityatastatsamayapratipālanāya,... || 1 ||


tatra - - “natvecchāyogato'yogaṃ yogigamyaṃ jinottamaṃ vīramityaneneṣṭadevatāstavamāha|... || 1 ||


|vakṣye samāsena yoga taddṛṣṭibhedataityanena tu prayojanāditrayamitiślokasūtrasamudāyārthaḥ|... || 1 ||


The vācya-vācaka relation is also known as upeya-upāya relation or sādhya-sādhana relation. It is considered to be a part of text by some authors. Hence they do not mention it individually as a fourth constituent of anubandhacataṣṭaya.


| vīramiti cā'nvatharsaṃjñeyaṃ, mahāvīryi varājanāt tapaḥ karmi vadāraṇena kaṣāyādiśatrujayāt ke valaśrīsvayaṃgrahaṇena ca vikrānto vīraḥ, tam|... || 1 ||


jinottamamiti vastuviśeṣaṇam| iha rāgādijetatृ vāt savar eva viśiṣṭa śrutadharādayo jinā ucyante| tadyathā - - śruta jināḥ, avadhijināḥ, manaḥparyāyajñānajināḥ, ke valijināśca| teṣāmuttamaḥ ke valitvāt tītharkaṃ ratvācca|... || 1 ||


titthaṃ cāuvaṇṇo samaṇasaṃgho davuाlasaṃgaṃ vā gaṇipiḍagaṃ|–Pg: 122, Part: 1, Niśīthacūrṇi.


tīrthakaranāmakarmaphalavipākarūpāṃ parāṃ parārthasampādanīṃ dharmakāyāvasthāmāha|... || 1 ||
   –Auto-commentary on Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya. (2010)


kṛ takṛtyatayā niṣṭhitārthāṃ paramaphalarūpāṃ tattvakāyāvasthāmiti|... || 1 ||


|ata evā''ha - yogigamyamiti| yogināṃ gamyo yogigamyaḥ, tam| yogino'tra śrutajinodayo gahṛ yante|... || 1 ||


|anenā'pi bhagavato'yogimithyādṛṣṭigamyatvavyavacchedamāha, etajjijñāsāyā api caramayathāpravṛttakaraṇabhāvitvādanyadā tadanu papatteriti|... || 1 ||


| itthamanena yathābhūtānyāsādhāraṇaguṇotkīrtanarūpatvādbhāvastavamāheti|.... || 1 ||


| iṣṭatvaṃ ca guṇataḥ, guṇaprakarṣarūpatvād bhagavataḥ,... || 1 ||


|... devatātvaṃ ca paramagatyavāptyeti|.... || 1 ||
–Ibid 122


| kathamityāha-icchāyogata iti, kriyāviśeṣaṇamadaḥ, icchāyogena| śāstrayogasāmarthyayoga-vyavacchedātharmetat| iṣṭavyavacchedaścā'yaṃ tadanadhikāritvena prakaraṇārambhe mṛṣāvādaparihāreṇa sarvatraucityārambhapravṛttipradarśanārthaḥ| eteṣāṃ ca trayāṇāmapi yogānāṃsvarūpamanantarameva vakṣyati|... || 1 ||


See Pg: 1, line: 17-18, V. 1, Auto-commentary on Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya. (2010)


na cā'pyaviṣayasyeha, śakyaṃ vaktuṃ prayojanam|
kākadantaparīkṣāde -statprayogāprasiddhitaḥ ||

   –Pg: 1, line: 19-20, verse: 1, Auto-commentary on Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya. (2010)


| tadatra samāsato yogābhidhānaṃ katurra nantaraprayojanama,् paramparāprayojanaṃ tu nirvāṇameva, śuddhāśayatastathāsattvahita - pravṛtterasyāścā'vanthyanirvāṇabījatvāditi|... || 1 ||
   –Auto-commentary on Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya. (2010)


“From this one may be inclined to infer that Yoganirṇaya is a Jain work. Further, one may be tempted to believe that the subject of eight dṛṣṭis must have been treated in Uttarājjhayaṇa though, in it (as it is available today) this subject is not dealt with. But this view is not correct; for, there is no gound to infer that this work has not remained intact. So the word yoga may be interpreted as one associated with 5 samitis and 3 guptis, a topic dealt with in Uttarājjhayaṇa.”

–See, pg: CI, introduction of vol. II, Anekāntajayapatakā.


vakṣye-abhidhāsye yogaṃ-mitrādilakṣaṇaṃ samāsena-saṃkṣepeṇa, vistareṇa tu pūrvācāryairevā'yamukto dhyānādhyayana-yoganirṇayādiṣu, taddṛṣṭibhedataḥ iti yogadṛṣṭibhedena|... || 1 ||
   –Auto-commentary on Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya. (2010)


| śrotṛṇāṃtvanantaraprayojanaṃ prakaraṇārthaparijñānaṃ, paramparāprayojanaṃtvamīṣāmapi nirvāṇameva, prakaraṇārthaparijñānādaucityenā'traiva pravṛtterasyāścā'pyavandhyanirvāṇabījatvāditi || 1 ||


| abhidheyaṃ yoga eva|... || 1 ||


| sādhyasādhanalakṣaṇaśca sambandha iti kṣuṇṇo'yaṃ mārgaḥ|... || 1 ||
   –Ibid 123

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