The Info List - Tattvartha Sutra

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TATTVARTHA SUTRA (also known as TATTVARTH-ADHIGAMA-SUTRA) is an ancient Jain text written by _Acharya _ Umaswati , sometime between the 2nd- and 5th-century AD. It is the one of the Jain scripture written in the Sanskrit language. _Tattvartha Sutra_ is also known in Jainism as the _Moksha-shastra_ (Scripture describing the path of liberation).

The Tattvartha Sutra is regarded as one of the earliest, most authoritative books on Jainism, and the only text authoritative in both the _ Digambara _ and _ Śvētāmbara _ sects (prior to the Saman Suttam ). Its importance in Jainism is comparable with that of the Brahma Sutras and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali in Hinduism . It is a text in sutra or aphorisms, and presents the complete Jainism philosophy in 350 sutras over 10 chapters. The term _Tattvartha_ is composed of the Sanskrit words _tattva _ which means "reality, truth" and _artha_ which means "nature, meaning", together meaning "nature of reality".

One of its sutra, _ Parasparopagraho Jivanam _ is the motto of Jainism. Its meaning is interpreted as "(The function) of souls is to help one another", or "Souls render service to one another".


* 1 Names

* 2 Content

* 2.1 Seven categories of truth * 2.2 Ethics * 2.3 Karma and rebirths * 2.4 Shedding karma and liberation

* 3 Importance

* 4 Commentaries and Translations

* 4.1 Commentaries * 4.2 Translations

* 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 References * 8 Further reading * 9 External links


_Tattvartha Sutra_ is also known in Jainism as the _Moksha-shastra_ (Scripture describing the path of liberation).


The text written in Sanskrit , begins with an invocation:

I bow to the Lord, the promulgator of the path to liberation, the destroyer of mountains of karmas and the knower of the whole of reality, so that I may realize these qualities.

The first verse of _Tattvārthsūtra_, "सम्यग्दर्शनज्ञानचारित्राणि मोक्षमार्ग:" summarizes the Jaina path to liberation. It means that the Ratnatraya (three jewels: right view, right knowledge and right conduct) collectively constitutes the path to liberation or moksha .

Its ten chapters are: -

* Faith and Knowledge * The Category of the Living * The Lower World and the Middle World * The Celestial Beings * The Category of the Non-Living * Influx of Karma * The Five Vows * Bondage of Karma * Stoppage and Shedding of Karma * Liberation

Chart showing Samyak Darsana as per Tattvarthasutra

The first chapter deals with the process of cognition and details about different types of knowledge. The next three chapters deal with the Jīva (soul), lower worlds, _naraka_, and celestial abodes, _deva _. The fifth chapter discusses the Non-soul (_ajīva _). The next three chapters deal with the _karmas _ and their manifestations and the influx, _asrava _, good and bad _karma_, _shubha-ashubha karma_ and the bondage of the karmas . The ninth chapter describes the blocking, _samvara _ and shedding of the karmas, _nirjara _. The final chapter discusses _moksha_ or the liberation of the soul.


The theology in _Tattvartha Sutra_ presents seven categories of truth in sutra 1.4:

* Souls exist(Jeeva) * Non-sentient matter exists (Ajeeva) * Karmic particles exist that inflow to each soul (Aasrava) * Karmic particles bind to the soul {which transmigrate with rebirth} (Band) * Karmic particles inflow can be stopped (Samvar) * Karmic particles can fall away from soul (Nirjara) * Complete release of karmic particles leads to liberation from worldly bondage (Moksha)

Umaswami categorizes the types of knowledge to be empirical, attained through one's sense of perception. He adds that knowledge is also acquired through literature, clairvoyance, and omniscience. In chapter 2, Umaswati presents sutras on soul. He asserts that soul is distinguished by suppression of deluding karma, or elimination of eight types of karmas, or partial presence of destructive karmas, or arising of eight types of new karmas, or those that are innate to the soul, or a combination of these. In chapter 3 through 6, Umaswati presents sutras for his first three categories of truth.


Main article: Ethics in Jainism

In chapter 7, Umaswati presents the Jaina vows and explains their value in stopping karmic particle inflow to the soul. The vows, translates Nathmal Tatia, are _ahimsa _ (abstinence from violence), _anirta_ (abstinence from falsehood), asteya (abstinence from stealing), brahmacharya (abstinence from carnality), and aparigraha (abstinence from possessiveness).


Main article: Karma in Jainism

Umaswati, in chapter 8 of _Tattvartha Sutra_ presents his sutras on how karma affects rebirths. He asserts that accumulated karma in life determine the length of life and realm of rebirth for each soul in each of four states – infernal beings, plants and animals, human beings and as gods. Further, states Umaswati, karma also affects the body, the shape, the characteristics as well as the status of the soul within the same species, such as _Ucchi_ (upper) or _Nicchi_ (lower) status. The accumulated and new karma are material particles, states Umaswati, which stick to the soul and these travel with the soul from one life to the next as bondage, where each ripens. Once ripened, the karmic particles fall off, states Umaswati.


Main article: Moksha (Jainism)

The chapter 9 of _Tattvartha Sutra_ by Umaswati describe how karmic particles can be stopped from attaching to the soul and how these can be shed. He asserts that _gupti_ (curbing activity), _dharma _ (virtues such as forbearance, modesty, purity, truthfulness, self-restraint, austerity, renunciation), contemplation, endurance in hardship (he lists twenty two hardships including hunger, thirst, cold, heat, nakedness, injury, lack of gain, illness, praise, disrespect), and with good character towards others (he lists five – equanimity, reinitiation, non-injury ( Ahimsa ), slight passion and fair conduct), a soul stops karmic accumulations. External austerities such as fasting, reduced diet and isolated habitation, while internal austerities such as expiation, reverence, service, renunciation and meditation, according to Umaswati, along with respectful service to teachers and ailing ascetics help shed karma.

The state of liberation is presented in Chapter 10 by Umaswati. It is achieved when deluding and obstructive karmas have been destroyed. This leads to the state of quietism and potentiality, and the soul then moves to the end of the universe, states Umaswati.


The Tattvartha Sutra is regarded as one of the earliest, most authoritative book on Jainism , and the only text authoritative in both the Digambara and Śvētāmbara sects, and its importance in Jainism is comparable with that of the Brahma Sutras and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali in Hinduism .



It has the largest number of Jaina bhashyas or commentaries in different Indian languages from the fifth century onward. The total number of commentaries and translations of _Tattvartha Sutra_ goes beyond 25.

The most famous and oldest commentary on the _Tattvārthasūtra_ is _ Sarvārthasiddhi _ of _Ācārya Pujyapada _ (sixth century CE). _Sarvārthasiddhi_ along with Akalanka 's c. 780 CE _Rajavartika_ and Vijayananda's _Slokavarttika_ (9th century) form the central texts of Digambara monastic students.


The text is in _sutra_ form. The word _Sutra_ ( Sanskrit : सूत्र) means "string, thread". The root of the word is _siv_, that which sews and holds things together. In the context of Indian literature, _Sutra_ means a distilled collection of syllables and words, any form or manual of "aphorism, rule, direction" hanging together like threads with which the "teachings of ritual, philosophy, grammar or any field of knowledge" can be woven.

The distilled nature of sutra texts leave them open to varying interpretations. The Tattvartha sutra have been variously translated. The first verse of _Tattvartha Sutra_ has been translated as follows, for example:

"The enlightened darsana (world view), enlightened knowledge and enlightened conduct are the path to liberation" – Translated by Nathmal Tatia

"Right faith, right knowledge and right conduct constitute the path to liberation" – Translated by Vijay Jain — Umaswati, _Tattvartha Sutra_ 1.1

The text has been translated into many languages including English and German, latest being English translation in 1993.


* Samayasāra * Jain literature * Tattva (Jainism)


* ^ _A_ _B_ Paul Dundas (2006). Patrick Olivelle, ed. _Between the Empires : Society in India 300 BCE to 400 CE_. Oxford University Press. pp. 395–396. ISBN 978-0-19-977507-1 . * ^ Walter Slaje (2008), _Śāstrārambha: Inquiries Into the Preamble in Sanskrit_, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag, pp. 35 with footnote 23, ISBN 978-3-447-05645-8 * ^ "Tattvārtha Sūtra". _encyclopedia.com_. * ^ Dundas 2002 , p. 86. * ^ Vijay K. Jain 2011 , p. vi. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Jaini 1998 , p. 82. * ^ K. V. Mardia (1990). _The Scientific Foundations of Jainism_. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 103. ISBN 978-81-208-0658-0 . QUOTE: Thus, there is a vast literature available but it seems that Tattvartha Sutra of Umasvati can be regarded as the main philosophical text of the religion and is recognized as authoritative by all Jains." * ^ Hemacandra; R. C. C. Fynes (1998). _The Lives of the Jain Elders_. Oxford University Press. p. xxxix. ISBN 978-0-19-283227-6 . * ^ Sir Monier Monier-Williams; Ernst Leumann; Carl Cappeller (2002). _A Sanskrit-English Dictionary: Etymologically and Philologically Arranged_. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-3105-6 . * ^ Vijay K. Jain 2011 , p. 72. * ^ Umāsvāti 1994 , p. 131. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Cort 2001 , p. 16-17. * ^ _A_ _B_ S.A. Jain 1992 . * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Natubhai Shah 2004 , p. 48. * ^ Vijay K. Jain 2011 , p. 1. * ^ _A_ _B_ Vijay K. Jain 2011 , p. 2. * ^ Vijay K. Jain 2011 , p. xi. * ^ Umāsvāti 1994 , p. xviii-xx, 2-3, 6. * ^ Umāsvāti 1994 , pp. 12-15. * ^ Umāsvāti 1994 , pp. 33-62. * ^ Umāsvāti 1994 , pp. 7-168. * ^ Umāsvāti 1994 , pp. 169-170. * ^ _A_ _B_ Umāsvāti 1994 , pp. 195-199. * ^ _A_ _B_ Vijay K. Jain 2011 , p. 118-119. * ^ _A_ _B_ Umāsvāti 1994 , pp. 200-203. * ^ _A_ _B_ Vijay K. Jain 2011 , p. 121-124. * ^ Umāsvāti 1994 , pp. 213-248. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Vijay K. Jain 2011 , p. 126-145. * ^ _A_ _B_ Umāsvāti 1994 , pp. 250-263. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Vijay K. Jain 2011 , p. 146-151. * ^ Jaini 1998 , p. 81. * ^ Jones & Ryan 2007 , pp. 439-440. * ^ Banerjee, Satya Ranjan (2005). _Prolegomena to Prakritica et Jainica_. p. 151. * ^ _A_ _B_ M Winternitz (2010 Reprint), A History of Indian Literature, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120802643 , pages 249 * ^ _A_ _B_ Monier Williams, Sanskrit English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, Entry for _Sutra_, page 1241 * ^ MacGregor, Geddes (1989). _Dictionary of Religion and Philosophy_ (1st ed.). New York: Paragon House. ISBN 1557780196 . * ^ Umāsvāti 1994 , pp. 5-6.


* Cort, John E. (2001), _Jains in the World : Religious Values and Ideology in India_, Oxford University Press , ISBN 0-19-513234-3 * Dasti, Matthew R. ; Bryant, Edwin F. , eds. (2014), _Free Will, Agency, and Selfhood in Indian Philosophy_, Oxford University Press , ISBN 978-0-19-992274-1 * Dundas, Paul (2002) , _The Jains_ (Second ed.), London and New York : Routledge , ISBN 0-415-26605-X * Jain, Prof. S.A. (1992) , _Reality (English Translation of Srimat Pujyapadacharya\'s Sarvarthasiddhi)_ (Second ed.), Jwalamalini Trust, _ This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain ._ * Jain, Vijay K. (2011), _Acharya Umasvami\'s Tattvarthsutra_ (1st ed.), Uttarakhand : Vikalp Printers , ISBN 81-903639-2-1 , _ This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain ._ * Jaini, Padmanabh S. (1998) , _The Jaina Path of Purification_, Delhi : Motilal Banarsidass , ISBN 81-208-1578-5 * Jones, Constance; Ryan, James D. (2007), _Encyclopedia of Hinduism_, Infobase Publishing, ISBN 978-0816054589 * Oldmeadow, Harry , ed. (2007), _Light from the East: Eastern Wisdom for the Modern West_, World Wisodm, ISBN 978-1-933316-22-2 * Shah, Natubhai (2004) , _Jainism: The World of Conquerors_, I, Motilal Banarsidass , ISBN 81-208-1938-1 * Umāsvāti, Umaswami (1994), _That which is (Translator: Nathmal Tatia)_, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 978-0-06-068985-8


* Umāsvāti; Devanandī; Siddhasenagaṇi (1994). Nathmal Tatia, ed. _That which is: Tattvārtha Sūtra_. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-06-068985-8 . Retrieved 27 December 2012.


* Tattvarthasutra, with Hindi and English translation on crossasia repository * Selections from the sutra on harvard.edu *