Yogadrstisamuccaya of Haribhadra Suri (Study)

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

This page relates ‘Liberation (nirvana)’ 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 “A Line of Demarcation between the first four and last four Yogadrishtis”.

Before coming to the point where Haribhadrasūri establishes oneness of the state of emancipation, he says following lines very emphatically.

The lines are:

eka eva tu mārgo'pi, teṣāṃ śamaparāyaṇaḥ |
avasthābhodabhoda'pi, jaladhau tīramārgavat ||128||

eka eva tu mārgo'pi cittaviśuddhilakṣaṇaḥ teṣāṃ-bhavātīdhvayāyināṃ śamaparāyaṇaḥ-śamamaniṣṭhaḥ avasthābhodabhode'pi guṇasthānakabhodāpekṣayā |....
   –Auto-commentary of Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya.

Our author announces the fact in the above mentioned verse that there is only one way for a person who is desirous of transcending the transmigration. Haribhadrasūri uses a word ‘eva’ to emphasis the fact that there is no way other than this way which is characterized by a purity of mind and a predominance of calm. This emphatic assertion made by Haribhadrasūri has found many supports from other jainācāryas.

Yogasāraprābhṛta mentions that the way shown by omniscient person is that which is the gateway of liberation [i.e., nirvāṇa]. The verse is as follows:

sarvasona yato dṛṣṭo mārgo muktipraveśakaḥ |
prāñjalo'yaṃ tato bhodaḥ kadācinnā'tra vidyate ||8.93||

In Yogaśāstra of Hemacandrācārya the following verse is written. The verse is:

dīpikā khalvanirvāṇā nirvāṇapathadaśinī |
ekaiva manasaḥ śuddhiṃ samāmnātā manīṣibhiḥ ||4.40 ||

Upādhyāya Yaśovijaya has mentioned similar type of concept in his treatise Adhyātmasāra. It says:

upāyaḥ samataivekā mukteranyaḥ kriyābharaḥ |
tattatpuruṣabhodena tasyā eva prasiddhaye ||9.27 ||”

There are many souls who walk on the path of transcending the worldly existence. Our author says that even though they differ from one another regarding the stage occupied by them (guṇasthānakas), they all are on one and same path namely liberation [i.e., nirvāṇa]. It is characterized by predominance of calm and purity of mind. Haribhadrasūri compares the difference among the aspirants with people who are trying to reach sea-shore[1] . To reach the sea-shore is a common destination for all. They may stand more of less distant from their destination. They all are called as people desirous to reach the sea-shore.

The example given in verse 107 of Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya and the example presented in verse 128 have similar concepts. The one is for devotees of different omniscient individuals and the later one is to exemplify aspirants who are attempting to obtain the liberation [i.e., nirvāṇa].

Haribhadrasūri says that the state of emancipation (saṃsārātītatattva), which is known by the word nirvāṇa, is essentially and necessarily one even if designated by different names[2] . It is called differently by different schools of philosophy. The following are the words used by different schools of philosophy to define the state of emancipation.

They are[3] :

  1. Sadāśiva,
  2. Parabrahma,
  3. Siddhātman,
  4. Thatātā.

These four words’ etymology is given by our author in his auto-commentary on Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya. Their etymological meaning derive the same sense let as see each one in detail.

(1) Sadāśiva:

sadāśiva kati sarvakālaṃ śivo, na kadācidapyaśivaḥ trikālapariśuddheḥ sarvāśivābhāvāt,......

Sadāśīva is an everauspicious state. It is so because this state is always pure ( from complete bondage of karman)

(2) Parabrahma:

.., paraṃpradhānaṃ brahma tathābṛhattva-bṛṃhakatvābhyāṃ sadbhāvālambanatvāt... |

Parabrahma is the completely grown up (i.e. fully expanded and not covered or restricted with any veils of māyā) state of a soul. It is worth resorting by people in the world. Hence this state is called the best/chief (pradhāna).

(3) Siddhātmā:

...siddhātmā-kṛtakṛtyātmā, niṣṭhitārtha katyarthaḥ,...

Siddhātmā (emancipated souls) are those who have accomplished everything. They have achieved the state where nothing remains to be done.

(4) Thatātā:

....., tathāteti ca ākāle tathābhāvāt | yathoktam
upādānanimittābhyā-mavikāritvatā dhruvā |
sarvakālaṃ tathābhāvāt, tathātetyabhidhīyate ||1||
ḍavasaṃyogātmikā comaṃ, triduḥkhaparivarjitā |
bhūtakoṭiḥ parā'tyantaṃ, bhūtārthakaladeti ca ||2||” katyāti |...

Thatātā is called so because a soul who attains it holds the same state forever. Once a soul achieves complete annihilation of karmans, he would never bind his soul with karmans again. Such stagnant state of a soul is nothing but tathātā.

The word sadāśiva is commonly used by Shaivates. Parabrahma is in vogue among Vedāntins.The word siddhātma popular in Jains and thatātā with Buddhists (one section of Buddhism).

All these words including nirvāṇa convey the meaning of total freedom of a soul from the bondage of karmans. It is the state of ultimate bliss where all causes of miseries are destroyed completely. A soul, who attains this state, does not have to go through pain of birth as well as death. Due to complete annihilation of karmans, in this state, a soul is no more affected by vices viz. attachment, aversion and delusion. Therefore this state is known as the best.

There are two reasons given by our author which support the fact that though the state of emancipation is named differently by different schools of philosophy, it is necessarily the same in essence.

The reasons are:

(1) Though the state of emancipation is defined as nirvāṇa, sadāśiva, thatātā and so on, all these words convey the same meaning.

(2) Though different people identify the state of emancipation with different words, everyone attributes the three important characteristics to this state. Haribhadrasūri says that since this state of emancipation, does not undergo birth, old age and death, it is said to be: (a) free form all disturbances (b) free from all ailments (c) free from all activity[4] .

Hence our author concludes that the thoughtful persons who have comprehended the essential nature of the truth called nirvāṇa, by the asaṃmoha type of understanding, would never involve themselves in the dispute pertaining to the worship of this truth namely nirvāṇa[5] .

Footnotes and references:


J jaladhau tīramārgavaditi nidarśanam |
avasthābhodaśceha tad dūrāsannatādibhodena ||128||
   –Auto-commentary of Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya.


saṃsārātītatattvaṃ tu, paraṃ nirvāṇasaṃjñitam |
taddhyekamova niyamā-cchbdabhode'pi tattvataḥ ||129||


sadāśivaḥ paraṃ brahma, siddhātmā tathāteti ca |
śabdaistaducyate'nvarthā — dekamovaivamādibhiḥ ||130||


tallkṣaṇāvisaṃvādā-nnirābādhāmanāmayam |
niṣkriyaṃ ca paraṃ tattvaṃ, yato janmādyayogataḥ ||131||

.........|........ — nirābādhaṃ-nirgatamābādhābhyaḥ, anāyam-avidyamānadravyabhāvarogaṃ, niṣkriyaṃ ca kartavyābhāvānnibandhanābhāvena, ..... janmādyayogato-janmajarāmaraṇāyogona ||131||

- Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya and its auto-commentary.


jñāte nirvāṇatattve'smi-nnasaṃmohena tattvataḥ |
prekṣāvatāṃ na tajktau, vivāda upapadyate ||132||

..............., na tajktau- na nirvāṇatattvasovāyām, kimityāha-vivāda upapadyate tattattvajñānābhodāt, anyathā prekṣāvattvavirodhāditi ||132||

- Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya and its auto-commentary.

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: