Yogadrstisamuccaya of Haribhadra Suri (Study)

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

This page relates ‘Conclusion’ 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.

It is well know that Haribhadrasūri defined the term Yoga for the first time in the Jain Yoga tradition and his definition has been accepted as authentic almost by all jainācāryas. Though Haribhadrasūri defined Yoga for the first time, it is not the case that he is the first propagator of Yoga in Jainism. He collected scattered yogic concepts of Jainism and presented them in a unique way in his Yoga-works. He developed a highly non-technical terminology for the Jain traditional concepts. For example the usage of the term vedyasaṃvedyapada for samyagdarśana and avedyasaṃvedyapada for mithyātva, in the Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya. Haribhadrasūri’s Yoga-works compare the Jain Yoga and its terminology with the Pātañjala Yoga and the Buddhist Yoga and bring out thereby very ably and clearly the unity that underlies all these divergent traditions of Yoga.

The first chapter presents the historical review of the Jain Yoga Tradition. It narrates the development of Yoga in Jainism in a comprehensive manner. The historical review of Jain Yoga tradition informs us that in Jainism there are three different sets of stages of spiritual development. They are: fourteen stages of spiritual development (guṇasthānas) four types of meditation (dhyāna) viz. ārta dhyāna, raudra dhyāna etc. and three categories of a soul namely extrovert soul, introvert soul and supreme soul. In the first chapter we have dealt with these three sets of stages of spiritual development. We also have presented eight yogadṛṣṭis, as stages pf spiritual development, mentioned by Haribhadrasūri in his Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya. The first chapter tries to give an overview of Jain Yoga tradition from the time of Lord Mahāvīra (5th century B.C.) to the modern times. In this chapter we have presented a note on definition of Yoga given by Haribhadrasūri and how does it match with the traditional concepts of Jainism.

The analytical study of the Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya would be incomplete without presenting the life sketch of its author-Haribhadrasūri. The second chapter tries to give us information regarding life story, date and works of Haribhadrasūri-the author of the Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya. In this chapter we are told how an erudite Brahmin and a staunch shaivaite Paṇḍita Haribhadra became a jainācārya Haribhadrasūri. This chapter talks about the connection between Haribhadrasūri’s non-sectarian approach and the events of his life. In this chapter we are told how Haribhadrasūri is associated with the word viraha. Here, we are provided detail pertaining to the time period of Haribhadrasūri. In the third chapter we have also discussed an issue regarding Haribhadrasūri, being anterior or posterior to Śaṅkarācārya. This chapter tries to justify Haribhadrasūri’s act of composing 1400 or more number works in one life. We have presented a brief account of works of Haribhadrasūri.

The third chapter introduces the treatise Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya. The third chapter opens with the benedictory verse of the Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya. In this chapter we have presented Haribhadrasūri’s purpose behind writing the Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya. The description of four types of yogins is very important. The narration of threefold Yoga is like a foundation for the eight yogadṛṣṭis, which Haribhadrasūri is going to discuss in the Yogadṣṭisamuccaya. The third chapter explains the relevance of the title Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya, the definition of the term dṛṣṭi, meaning of the term oghadṛṣṭi and the complete architectonic of the eight yogadṛṣṭis. This is how the third chapter is an introduction to the treatise Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya.

The fourth chapter elaborately explains each of the eight yogadṛṣṭis. The fourth chapter analyzes characteristics marks of each yogadṛṣṭi and nature of a beholder of each yogadṛṣṭi. Moreover, we also have discussed how an aspirant grows spiritually while passing through eight yogadṛṣṭis. The eight yogadṛṣṭis depicts the spiritual journey of a seeker from apunarbandhaka state acquired in the last round of matter reception to the state of total freedom (ayoga). This chapter contains a discussion pertaining to the nature of a liberated soul. Haribhadrasūri refutes the belief of Sāṅkhyas who consider a soul to be eternally unchangeable. Haribhadrasūri also refutes the belief of the Buddhists who accept a soul to be absolutely momentary. Haribhadrasūri establishes a pariṇāmi nityatva of a soul as per accepted in Jainism.

The fifth chapter deals with eighty seven verses of the Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya. Haribhadrasūri has placed these verses between the fourth and fifth yogadṛṣṭis. These verses mainly deal with nature and characteristics of vedyasaṃvedyapada and avedyasaṃvedyapada. In these verses Haribhadrasūri has discussed two main characteristics of a beholder of avedyasaṃvedyapada. They are: crave for worldly existence and adherence to fallacious argument. On the contrary Haribhadrasūri also mentions the characteristic features of the subtle understanding which is owned by a beholder of vedyasaṃvedyapada. These verses mainly inform a seeker about what he should do to obtain right faith (samyagdarśana). Therefore the placement of these verses is most appropriate in the text Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya. These verses are guideline for an aspirant who is very near to the right faith. The end of the fourth yogadṛṣṭi is highest position of first guṇasthāna and the fifth yogadṛṣṭi is the state of right faith (samyagdarśana). These eighty seven verses placed in between these two yogadṛṣṭis helps an aspirant to attain the right faith. Moreover, Haribhadrasūri claims that though various schools use different terms to define the state of emancipation (nirvāṇa), they all mean the same. The same is the case with the omniscience and omniscient. This is how haribhadrasūri synthesizes these two concepts, which instigate highest debate among various philosophical schools.

The sixth chapter tries to present the influence of the Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya upon successor’s of Haribhadrasūri. This chapter refers three treatises from Jain Yoga tradition, which are much influenced by the Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya. The treatises are: Yogasāraprābhṛta, Dvātriṃśad-dvātriṃśikā and Adhytmasāra. We have tried to refer verses, which match with the verses of the Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya either by words or by meanings. This chapter shows us the reputation gained by the Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya in the post Hāribhadrīya period.

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