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Acharya
Acharya
Kundakunda
Kundakunda
is a revered Digambara
Digambara
Jain monk and philosopher. He authored many Jain texts
Jain texts
such as: Samayasara, Niyamasara, Pancastikayasara, Pravachanasara, Atthapahuda and Barasanuvekkha. He occupies the highest place in the tradition of the Digambara
Digambara
Jain acharyas, a position comparable to Christ in Christianity and Muhammad in Islam. All Digambara
Digambara
Jains say his name before starting to read the scripture. Modern scholarship has found it difficult to locate him chronologically, with a possible low date in the 2nd-3rd centuries CE and a late date in 8th century.[1][2]

Contents

1 Names 2 Biography 3 Thought 4 Works 5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 External links

Names[edit] His proper name was Padmanandin,[3] he is popularly referred to as Kundakunda
Kundakunda
possibly because the modern village of Kondakunde in Anantapur district
Anantapur district
of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
might represent his native home.[4][5] A.N. Upadhye
A.N. Upadhye
has shown that possibly apart from the name Elacarya, all the other names ascribed to Kundakunda
Kundakunda
(Vakragriva, Grdhrapiccha or Mahamati) go against the tradition of the early epigraphic records.[3] Biography[edit]

The Digambara
Digambara
Shruta tradition

Acharya
Acharya
Kundakunda
Kundakunda
belonged to the Mula Sangh
Mula Sangh
order of Digambara
Digambara
sect. He is dated to have flourished around second century CE.[4] For Digambaras, his name has auspicious significance and occupies third place after Lord Mahavira
Mahavira
and Gautama Ganadhara
Ganadhara
in the sacred litany. Kundakunda's singular contribution consists in his compiling a number of liturgical tracts and creating several masterly doctrinal works of his own, which provided a parallel canon for the Digambara tradition. This earned him the everlasting gratitude of the Digambaras, who have for centuries invoked his name together with that of Mahavira
Mahavira
and his Ganadhara, Gautama, placing him ahead even of Bhadrabahu, Visakha, and some forty other elders (sthaviras) in the lineage, thus making him virtually the founder of the Digambara sect.[6] Dr. A.N. Upadhye
A.N. Upadhye
in his critical edition of the Pravachansara has examined at great length the problems concerning the date and author-ship of these and other works attributed to Kundakunda
Kundakunda
and has placed him in the middle of the 2nd century AD.[7] This would make him the first significant and independent thinker of the post-canonical period whose views are accepted as representing the Jain thought.[8] Thought[edit] In texts such as Pravacanasāra (‘ The Essence
The Essence
of the Doctrine’) and Samayasāra
Samayasāra
(‘ The Essence
The Essence
of the Soul’), Kundakunda distinguishes between two perspectives of truth:

vyavahāranaya or ‘mundane perspective’, also delusion (moha) niścayanaya or ‘ultimate perspective’, also called “supreme” (paramārtha) and “pure” (śuddha)[9]

For Kundakunda, the mundane realm of truth is also the relative perspective of normal folk, where the workings of karma operate and where things emerge, last for a certain duration and perish. The mundane aspect is associated with the changing qualities of the soul mainly the influx of karmic particles. The ultimate perspective meanwhile, is that of the pure soul or atman, the jiva, which is "blissful, energetic, perceptive, and omniscient".[10] Delusion and bondage is caused by the confusion of the workings of karma with the true nature of the soul, which is always pure, in other words, it is caused by taking the view of vyavahāranaya, not the higher niścayanaya which is the absolute perspective of a Jina - Kevala Jnana. His view has become the mainstream view in Digambara Jainism.[11] Works[edit] The works attributed to Kundakunda, all of them in Prakrit,[5] can be divided in three groups. The first group comprises four original works described as "The Essence" (sara)— namely, the Niyamasara
Niyamasara
( The Essence
The Essence
of the Restraint, in 187 verses), the Pancastikayasara
Pancastikayasara
( The Essence
The Essence
of the Five Existents, in 153 verses), the Samayasara
Samayasara
( The Essence
The Essence
of the Self, in 439 verses), and the Pravachanasara
Pravachanasara
( The Essence
The Essence
of the Teaching, in 275 verses).[4] The second group is a collection of ten bhaktis (devotional prayers), short compositions in praise of the acharya (Acharyabhakti), the scriptures (Srutabhakti), the mendicant conduct (Charitrabhakti), and so forth. They form the standard liturgical texts used by the Digambara
Digambara
in their daily rituals and bear close resemblance to similar texts employed by the Śvētāmbara, suggesting the possibility of their origin in the canonical period prior to the division of the community.[citation needed] The last group consists of eight short texts called Prabhrta (Pkt. pahuda, i.e., a gift or a treatise), probably compilations from some older sources, on such topics as the right view (Darsanaprabhrta, in 36 verses), right conduct (Charitraprabhrta, in 44 verses), the scripture (Sutraprabhrta, in 27 verses), and so forth.

Pancastikayasara
Pancastikayasara
of Kundakunda

Niyamsara (The Perfect Law)

Various Jain texts
Jain texts
mention that Acharya
Acharya
Kundkunda wrote '84 Pahurs', and only some of them are available at present.[citation needed] See also[edit]

Simandhar Swami Kundadri Taran Svami

Notes[edit]

^ Dundas, Paul; The Jains, page 107. ^ Long, Jeffery; Jainism: An Introduction, page 66. ^ a b Balcerowicz 2003, p. 26. ^ a b c Natubhai Shah 2004, p. 48. ^ a b Upinder Singh
Upinder Singh
2008, p. 524. ^ Jaini 1991, p. 32. ^ Jaini 1991, p. 32–33. ^ Balcerowicz 2003, p. 25. ^ Long, Jeffery; Jainism: An Introduction, page 126. ^ Long, Jeffery; Jainism: An Introduction, page 126. ^ Long, Jeffery; Jainism: An Introduction, page 128.

References[edit]

Jain, Vijay K. (2012), Acharya
Acharya
Kundkund's Samayasara, Vikalp Printers, ISBN 978-81-903639-3-8  Singh, Upinder (2008), A history of ancient and early medieval India : from the Stone Age to the 12th century, New Delhi: Pearson Education, ISBN 978-81-317-1120-0  Balcerowicz, Piotr, ed. (2003) [2002], Essays in Jaina Philosophy and Religion, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1977-2  Cort, John E. (10 July 1998), Open Boundaries: Jain Communities and Cultures in Indian History, SUNY Press, ISBN 0-7914-3785-X  Jaini, Padmanabh (1991), Gender and Salvation: Jaina Debates on the Spiritual Liberation of Women, Berkeley: University of California Press  Shah, Natubhai (2004) [First published in 1998], Jainism: The World of Conquerors, I, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1938-1 

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