death with equanimity



(Chapter I, cont.)

1.23 – 1.2336

1.23 Śaurasenī Canonical Literature

As has been pointed out earlier, the Digambara tradition holds the view that only a part of the canonical knowledge, inherited from tradition and imparted by Lord Mahāvīra, was retained by the monks through their monastic Śruta–tradition and the Śaurasenī canonical works were composed by the learned masters based on this remnant knowledge. The Śaurasenī canonical works are as under –

1.231 Chakkhanḍāgama “Śaṭkhanḍāgama” –

This most revered and the most voluminous of the Śaursenī canonical works, in six parts,i was composed by two Digambara monks – Puṣpadanta and Bhūtabali – under the auspices of Ācārya Dharasena. By various considerations and available evidence it has been surmised that this work was composed in the first century of the Śaka Era. The details of its six parts are as under:–

1. Jīvaṭṭhāṇa –

In the first part, ‘Jīvaṭṭhāṇa’, various attributes, nature and conditions of the living beings have been described in relation to eight considerations. These eight considerations are – 1. Reality “Sat”, 2. Number “Saṅkhyā”, 3. Area “Kṣetra”, 4. Touch “Sparśan”, 5. Time “Kāla”, 6. Difference “Antar”, 7. State or mode “Bhāva” and 8. “Maximum–Minimum” Limit “Alpa–bahutva”.

2. Khuddābandha –

In the thirteen chapters of second part, ‘Kṣudrakabandha’, the karmic bonding ability “bandhatva” or otherwise “Abandhatva” of any living being has been analysed in accordance to his station in the journey towards spiritual emancipation “Mārgaṇā–sthāna or way–station”. This part is very important from the point of view of ‘Theory of karma “Karma–Siddhānta”’. This analysis has been undertaken in eleven fields, each deals with a particular aspect of the subject. The name of this part, ‘Kṣudrakabandha “Minor study of bondage”’ only indicates that this part is smaller than the sixth part called ‘Mahā–bandha “Major study of bondage”.

3. Bandhasāmitta–vicaya –

This third part, ‘Bandhasvāmitva–vicaya’ deals with the eligibility of various types of karmic bondage in various stages of spiritual development “Guṇa–sthāna” and various stations in the journey towards spiritual emancipation “Mārgaṇā–Sthāna”. This part is also very important for the study of theory of karma.

4. Vedanākhaṇḍa –

The first two parts of the Karma–prābhṛtaKṛti and Vedanā – are, together known as Vedanā–khaṇḍa. This shows that this part is quoted from the Fore–canons “Pūrvas”. The first of these two, Kṛti, is mainly devoted to benediction and supplemented by stating various types of Kṛti. The second, Vedanā, has been analysed in sixteen chapters called –

        1. Nikṣepa “Attribution”,

        2. Naya “Stand–point”,

        3. Nāma “Designation”,

        4. Dravya “matter”,

        5. Kṣetra “Area”,

        6. Kāla “Time”,

        7. Bhāva “Mode”,

        8. Pratyaya “Declension”,

        9. Svāmitva “Eligibility”,

        10. Vedanā–vidhāna “Definition of feeling”,

        11. Gati “Speed”,

        12. Anantar “Invariability”,

        13. Sannikarṣa “Rise”,

        14. Parimāṇa “Quantity”,

        15. Bhāgābhāga “Whole and parts”, and

        16. Alpa–bahutva “Maximum–minimum”.

5. Vargaṇā Khaṇḍa –

This part deals with the types of material particles that constitute Karma Vargaṇā or karmic material particles capable of bonding with the soul. The analysis is in three parts called – 1. Sparśa “Touch”, 2. Karma and 3. Prakṛti “Nature”.

6. Mahābandha –

After the bonding ability study “Bandhanīya adhikāra” in the Vargaṇā Khaṇḍa, this sixth part of ṣaṭ<<khaṇḍāgama deals with the four aspects of bondage – 1. Nature of bondage “Prakṛti Bandha”, 2. Quantum of bondage “Pradeśa Bandha”, 3. Duration of bondage “Sthiti Bandha” and 4. Intensity of bondage “Anubhāga Bandha” – in such great detail and it is so voluminous that it has been named as Mahābandha.

1.232 Kasāyapāhuḍa “Kaṣāya Prābhṛta” –

This important Śaurasenī canonical work, which basically deals with the subject of attachment “Rāga” and aversion “Dveṣa” was composed by Ācārya Guṇadhara. Conversion of these two basic attributes of the living beings into four great passions “Kaṣāya” and their nature, duration, intensity and incidence constitute the subject–matter of this work. According to Dr. Nemicandra Shastri, this work is of an earlier origin than the ṣaṭkhaṇḍāgama and much earlier than the works of Ācārya Kundakunda. Its period of composition might be as early as the first century AD.ii The linguistic evidence also supports this inference on the linguistic basis, as its language is more ancient than the language of the ṣaṭkhanḍāgama.

Kaṣāya Prābhṛta has a total of sixteen chapters “Adhikāra” as follows:–

  1. Pejjadosavibhatti Adhikāra,

  2. Prakṛti Vibhakti Adhikāra,

  3. Sthiti Vibhakti Adhikāra

  4. Anubhāga Vibhakti Adhikāra,

  5. Pradeśa Vibhakti Adhikāra,

  6. Bandhaka Adhikāra,

  7. Vedaka Adhikāra,

  8. Upayoga Adhikāra,

  9. Catuh<sthāna Adhikāra,

  10. Vyañjana Adhikāra,

  11. Darśanamohopaśamanā Adhikāra,

  12. Darśanamohakṣapaṇā Adhikāra,

  13. Saṁyamāsaṁyama Labdhi Adhikāra,

  14. Saṁyama Labdhi Adhikāra,

  15. Cāritramohopaśamanā Adhikāra, and

  16. Cāritramohakṣapaṇā Adhikāra.

The first eight of its chapters vividly describe the nature of deluding “Mohanīya” karma that is primarily responsible for the worldly wandering of the living beings. The remaining eight chapters are devoted to the analyses of spiritual upliftment effected by gradually decaying deluding karma and its various conditions under various circumstances of spiritual awakening. The aspects of karmic influx, bondage, duration, fruition, separation, etc have been lucidly dealt with in great detail. In a nutshell this treatise presents a vivid analysis of attachment and aversion wrought by delusion; karmic influx, bondage, etc due to activities guided by such delusion and karmic separation when deluding karma is checked.

1.233 Canon–Equivalent Śaurasenī Literature –

The following are some of the Śaurasenī works that are considered to be equivalent to the canonical literature:–

1.2331 Ācārya Kundakunda’s Works –

The important works of Ācārya Kundakunda are –

  1. Pravacanasāra,

  2. Samayasāra,

  3. Pañcāstikāya,

  4. Niyamasāra,

  5. Bārasāṇuvekkhā,

  6. Aṣṭapāhuḍa comprising i. Darśaṇapāhuḍa, ii. Sūtrapāhuḍa, iii. Cāritra– pāhuḍa, iv. Bodhapāhuḍa, v. Bhāvapāhuḍa, vi. Mokṣa–pāhuḍa, vii. Liṅgapāhuḍa and viii. Sīlapāhuḍa.

  7. Rayaṇasāra, etc.

1.2332 Tiloyapaṇṇatti by Yativṛṣabha –

This work is the Śaurasenī version of the Jaina cosmology that has some differences from the descriptions contained in the three prajñaptis – Sūrya–prajñapti, Candra–prajñapti and Jambūdvīpa–prajñapti – on the subject, under the Ardha– māgadhī canonical works.

1.2333 Mūlācāra by Vaṭṭakera –

This is a valuable treatise that describes, in great detail, the rules and regulations of monastic conduct. Many of its verses are also found in the Ardhamāgadhī works like Āvaśyakaniryukti, Piṇḍaniryukti, Bhattapaiṇṇā, Maraṇasamādhi, etc. Its chapter entitled Vṛhatpryākhyānādhikāra is important from the point of view of the study of ‘Voluntary Peaceful Death’.

1.2334 Bhagavatī Ārādhanā By Śivārya –

This is yet another ancient Śaurasenī treatise by Ācārya Śivakoṭi “Circa 3rd Century Vikramī Era” that is divided in four parts – Samyagdarśana Adhikāra, Samyagjñāna Adhikāra, Samyakcāritra Adhikāra and Samyaktapa Adhikāra. Thogh this work is more or less completely devoted to the subject of Samādhimaraṇa, two of its chapters – Samyakcāritrādhikāra and Samyaktapādhikāra are specially so and contain valuable information of the precept and practice of Samādhimaraṇa.

1.2335 Kārtikeyānuprekṣā by Svāmi Kārtikeya –

It is a treatise devoted to twelve types of reflections like the contemplation of Anitya, Aśaraṇa, Saṁsāra, Ekatva, Anyatva, Aśuci, Āsrava, Saṁvara, Nirjarā, Loka, Dharma and Bodhi–durlabha bhāvanā that promote spiritual well–being.

1.2336 Ācārya Nemicandra’s Literature –

Ācārya Nemicandra Siddhāntacakravartī, an erudite scholar monk of the 11th century AD, wrote a number of works that are famous to date. They are:–

  1. Gommaṭasāra,

  2. Trilokasāra,

  3. Labdhisāra,

  4. Kṣapaṇāsāra, and

  5. Dravyasaṁgraha.

Of these, Gommaṭasāra contains valuable information on the form and practice of Samādhimaraṇa.

i The six parts are – 1. Jīvaṭṭhāṇa ‘Jīva–sthāna or Animate Universe’, 2. Khuddābandha ‘Kṣudraka–bandha or Bonding beings’, 3. Bandhasāmittavicaya ‘Bandha–svāmitva–vicaya or Analysis of the process of bonding’, 4. Vedanā ‘Feeling’, 5. Vargaṇā ‘Karmic class – of matter’, and 6. Mahābandha ‘Great bondage’.

ii Prakṛta Bhāṣā Aur Sāhitya Kā Ālocanātmaka Itihasa, Ibid, p. 213.

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