Sacred Books - Jain Religion

 

 

By Mr. P. L. Jain

 

Jinvani Project - Dr. J. P. Jain, Series Editor : In the first half of the 20th century, a group of dedicated souls (J. L. Jaini, A. Chakravarty, A. N. Upadhye, S. C. Ghoshal, Ajit Prasada, Brahmachari Sital Prasadji, etc.) made a systematic attempt to translate the sacred works of the Jainas, which resulted in the publication of about a dozen "Sacred Books of the Jains" in English. A number of other authentic works were also translated by other scholars. Most of these publications are out of print and not easily available. The editor of the present series was somehow able to procure them and these are now being made accessible to all the people of the world, so that they can derive a first-hand knowledge of Jinvani. It will help dispel the misconceptions and doubts which the people may have in their minds about the Jain tenets.

Ashta Pahuda (Eight Presents or Sections) Acharya Kundkund. Translation by Jagat Prasad, Delhi. The book contains a brief exposition of Jaina doctrine. It has 502 verses in eight sections dealing with Faith (Darshan), Scripture (Sutra), Conduct (Charitra), Enlightenment (Bodha), Realization or Internal Feelings, Thoughts, Dispositions (Bhava), Emancipation or Liberation (Moksha), Insignia (Linga), and Virtue (Sheel).

Atmanushasana (Discourse to the Soul) : Acharaya Guna-Bhadra, Translation and commentary by J. L. Jaini. Assisted by Brahmachari Sital Prasadji, Lucknow, 1928. Each and every one of the 270 verses in this work exhorts the soul to separate its own self from the non-self. This supreme separation is the complete victory of the soul over Sin, Sorrow, and Death, and is Moksha, Freedom or Liberation, absolute, perfect, eternal, and everlasting.

Barasa Anuvekkha (Twelve Contemplations) : Acharya Kundkund. Translation and explanation by M. K. Dharmaraja, New Delhi, 1990. The topics of reflections serve as potent factors leading to spiritual progress. When one is impressed by the transient nature of worldly objects and relations, one directs his attention from the outward to the inward; the attachment to the world is reduced giving place to liking for the religious life which alone can save the soul from miseries of the world and lead it on to liberation.

Bhadrabahu Samhita (Jaina Law of Inheritance and Partition) : Bhadrabahu Svami. Translation by J. L. Jaini, Arrah, 1916. Although it consists of 12,000 verses, only the chapters on Inheritance and Partition are translated here. The book is written to determine quarrels among members of the same family. Quarrels lead to passionate and hostile feelings and Jainism aims at the suppression and eradication of these, chiefly of Anger, Pride, Deceit, and Greed as they imprison the soul in matter and retard its evolution on to freedom and liberation from mundane misery.

Chhahadhala : Six Faceted Shield to Fight the Karmas and Attain Liberation Pandit Daulat Ram. Translation by Sumer Chandra Divakar, Jain Gazette, Lucknow, October 1939-October 1940.

Dravya Samgraha (Expositions of Substances) : Nemichandra Siddhanta Chakravarti. Translation and commentary by Sarat Chandra Ghoshal, Arrah, 1917. It deals with both the living and non-living substances existing and comprising the universe. A person must have knowledge of substances (Dravyas) existing in this universe and only then can he proceed to regulate his conduct accordingly. Consisting of 58 verses in five parts, the book is a brief and but exhaustive work which is very useful to the beginner in his study of Jainism.

Gommatsara Jivakanda : Compilation of the Essence of the Doctrine dealing with the Soul by Nemichandra Siddhanta Chakravarti. Translation and commentary by J. L. Jaini, assisted by Brahmachari Sital Prasad Ji, Lucknow, 1927. Consisting of twenty chapters and 734 verses, it deals primarily with the soul (Jiva) or consciousness - the natural characteristics of jivas and the means and stages of their development.

It describes the 14 spiritual stages of souls in various conditions of life (gunasthana), 14 soul classes (jiva samasa), 6 capacities to develop (Paryapti), 10 vital forces (Prana), 4 instincts or impulses (Sangya), 14 soul quests (Margana), and 12 kinds of conscious attentiveness (Upayoga). The classification is also often expressed as the 20 Prarupanas (expositions), which really exhaust
the standpoints from which souls in the universe may be viewed.

Gommatsara Karma Kanda Part I : Compilation of the Essence of the Doctrine dealing with the Karmas by Nemichandra Siddhanta Chakravarti. Translation and commentary by J. L. Jaini, Lucknow, 1927.

Gommatsara Karma Kanda Part II : Nemichandra Siddhanta Chakravarti. Translation and commentary by Brahmachari Sital Prasadji, assisted by Ajit Prasada, Lucknow, 1937. These volumes, which have 972 verses, deal with the non-living karmic matter, the attributes and modifications of the substances, the conditions in which the embodied souls are found and the rules which regulate the combination of Soul and Matter. It describes the obstacles producing bondage of karma and the ways and means of obtaining deliverance, moksha, liberation from karmic contact.

Gyanarnava (Ocean of Knowledge) : Acharya Shubhchandra. Translation and commentary by Ajit Prasada, Jain Gazette, Lucknow, April 1940-February 1941.

Ishtopadesh (Discourse Divine) : Acharya Pujyapad Swami. Translation by Champat Rai Jain/ Edited with an introduction by J. P. Jain. It is a charming composition about the glorious divinity of the Inner Self, that signifies a sort of direct appeal to the experience of self-realization rather than a metaphysical study of the soul nature through the intellectual faculty.

Niyamasara (The Perfect Law) : Acharya Kundkund. Translation and commentary by Uggar Sain Jain, assisted by Brahmachari Sital Prasad Ji, Lucknow, 1931. It deals with the path of liberation, which is Right Vision, or Faith, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct, which necessarily (niyamena) form the path of liberation.

Nyaya-Karnika (Primer of Jain Philosophy of Standpoints : Vinay Vijay Maharaj. Translation and explanation by Mohanlal B. Desai, Arrah, 1915. A work on logic, it means a flower which has for its pericarp, or central point, the thing to be viewed; and for its petals the various standpoints (nayas) from which it is to tbe viewed.

Nyaya-Avatara : The Earliest Jaina Work on Pure Logic by Siddhasena Divakar. Translation and commentary by Satish Chandra Vidyabhushana, Arrah, 1915. It is the earliest known Jaina treatise on Pure Logic, as it distinguishes logic from the cognate branches of learning.

Panchastikayasara : The Building of the Cosmos by Acharya Kundkund. Translation and commentary by A. Chakravarti, Arrah, 1920.It is a fine exposition of Jaina metaphysics. It discusses 5 magnitudes (Astikayas), i.e. those entities that manifest through numerous qualities and modes, their existence with extensive spatial points, viz. soul (Jiva), matter (Pudgal), principles of motion and rest (Dharma and Adharma), and space (Akash). These five together with time (kal) are called
substances (dravyas), which are the constituent elements of the universe.

Parikshamukham : Manikyanandi, Translation and commentary by Sarat Chandra Ghoshal, Calcutta, 1940. It is a standard work on Jaina Nyaya philosophy and deals with Praman (valid knowledge), Anuman (inference), and fallacies. It contains 212 aphorisms divided unevenly in six sections as 13, 12, 101, 9, 3 and 74 aphorisms respectively.

Parmatma Prakash : Yogindu Deva, Detailed summary of contents by A. N. Upadhye, Agas, 1988.

Pravachanasara : Acharya Kundkund. Translation by A. N. Upadhye, Agas, 1984. It discusses Jaina philosophy, particularly knowledge and the object of (inauspicious, auspicious, and pure) and the Jaina theory of omniscience. Book Two deals with substances, which are characterized by and endowed with various qualities and modifications and which are all the while coupled with origination, destruction and permanence without leaving their existential nature. It also deals with the nature of the soul and the matter and the theory of non-absolutism, viewpoints and predications. Book Three describes ascetic conduct.

Purushartha Siddhyupaya : Jaina Pravachana Rahasya-kosh by Acharya Amrit Chandra Suri. Translation and commentary by Ajit Prasada, Lucknow, 1933. It treats of Ahimsa (non-injury), a basic rule of conduct, in all its varying aspects. Himsa is defined as injury to the vitalities caused through want of care and caution.

Ratna-Karanda Shravakachara (The Householder's Dharma) : Acharya Samantabhadra. Translation and explanation by Champat Rai Jain. It is a systematic exposition of the duties of a pious layman. It testifies to the fact that Jainism is not only metaphysically a sound system, but also a practical way of living as well. The book is called a Casket of Gems because it is a systematic exposition of the three gems, viz. Right Faith, Right Knowledge, and Right Conduct, which constitute the path of liberation.

Samadhi Shatak : A Century of Verses on Concentration or Self-Absorption by Acharya Pujyapad Swami. Translation and Commentary by Raoji Nemchand Shah, Aliganj, 1956. It mainly deals with the nature of the pure Self. Emphasis is laid on the abandonment of the external self, concentration on the internal self and contemplation of the pure self. This is the correct method of meditation and of realizing the nature of pure Self. It thus provides consolation to an afflicted mind and an inspiring vision of the divine life to a seeker after truth.

Samyasara (The Soul Essence) : Acharya Kundkund. Translation and commentary by J. L. Jaini, assisted by Brahmachari Sital Prasad Ji, Lucknow, 1930. It describes the pure nature of the Soul. The word Samaya is used in the sense of Self-absorption or realisation, which is the central goal to be aimed at. It deals with the soul's Identity with Itself being the only living Conscious Reality. All Truth, Goodness, Beauty, Reality, Morality, Freedom, is in this pure all conscious Self-absorbed Soul, which is God. Any connection, Causal or Effectual, with the non-self is a delusion, limitation, imperfection, bondage, caused by impure thought activity or passions. To obtain Liberation or Deification, this connection must be destroyed.

Sarvarthasiddhi : Acharya Pujyapad Swami. A commentary on Tattvarthasutra by Acharya Pujyapad Swami. Translation by S. A. Jain, Madras, 1992. It is the oldest extant commentary available on Tattvarthasutra, which contains the quintessence of Jain philosophy. There is no Jaina doctrine or principle left unexplained in this book.

Tattvartha Sutra (Moksha Sutra) : Umaswami or Umasvati. Translation and commentary by J. L. Jaini, Arrah, 1920. It is rightly termed and known as Jain Bible and enjoys the unique distinction of being regarded as an authoritative work by all sections of the Jains. There is no Jain doctrine or dogma, which is not expressed or implied in the 357 aphorisms (Sutras) divided into 10 chapters.

 

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