Acarya Amrtacandra was a great mystic saint who commented, for the first time, on Kundakunda's phiosophical spiritual and mystic works like the Samayasara. He was the person who was philosopher, a mystic, a poet and a saint at a time. Like Kundakund Acarya, he too laid more emphasis on paramarthikadrsti/nlicayanaya, i.e. transcendental point of view.
There are a number of works on Jaina ethicsdealing with householder's discipline. Most of them analyse the ethical doctrines by emphasizing the empirical point of view, i.e. Vyavahari Kadrsti. It is a unique feature of the present text, i.e. the Purusarthasiddhyu-payah that for the first time, it has dealt with householder's discipline in the light of transcendental standpoint, and, thereby, ethical doctrines are raised on and merged in mystic experience for self-realization. The of the present book has critically studied such an important work on Jaina ethics for the first time, and has paved the way for further critical and comparative studies of Jaina spiritualism in ethical works.
Post-graduate from Utkal University (1985), Or. Madhusudan Mishra, the author of the book, had his M.Phil (1987) and Ph.D.(1993) from University of Poona. A regular contributor to leading research journals in India and abroad, he continues to write on Indian Folk Culture, Puranic Mythology and traditional Archaeology. He has already published three books and a dozen of research papers. His forthcoming publications include: (1) Vedic Scholars from the west (2) Ganesa: Facts and facets. At present Dr. Mishra is serving as a lecturer in the Post- graduate Department of Sanskrit of Gangadhar Meher (Autotornous) College, Samibalpur, (Orissa).
The present work is the outcome of the research I did in the University of Poona during 1986-87. Initially it was published under the title : A Critical Study of Amrtacandra's Purusarthasiddhyupayab (Punthi Pustak, Calcutta, 1992). In that edition the text of the Purusarthasiddhyupayab was trans-iterated into Roman script with a view to help foreign scholars study the text. In the mean time I received a number of requests from Indian scholars to go for another edition of the work with the text in Devanagari script. Moreover, a number of printing errors noticed in the first edition were to be corrected. The study-portion of the text also needed certain changes. This second edition takes care of all this. While presenting it to the world of scholars, I deem it a duty to speak a few words as a prologue to the study proper, as it involves a highly important aspect of Indian culture i.e. the purusartha-s.
Traditionally, purusartha-s are categorised as dharma, artha, Willa and moksa. It is the argument of scholars that it was initially the trivarga theory which constituted the essential feature of Hindu system of thought, moksa having been added to later on. Since no detailed and coherent account of this four-fold goals of human life is found in any religio-philosophical literature, it is indeed extremcly difficult to ascertain their exact nature. However, this much is clear that while the first three objectives i.e. artha, Ulna and dharma are essentially related to the empirical world, the fourth one, moksa, is related to the transcendental one.
The concept of purusartha has been traditionally explained as : "yasmin krte purusasya pritir bhavati sah purusarthah padarthah (Scirirabhcisya on Manusmrti 4.1.2) R.N. Dandekar ("The theory of Purusartha-s: A Rethinking," Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Vol. LXVIII, Poona, 1987, p.663) defines the puruseirtha-s as "motivations of human needs or desires to be satisfied", or "the ingredients of experience conducive to human fulfilment", or "human values consciously pursued by man". Literally, the word denotes the sense "objects of human life". Recapitulaling the general view on these ends Dandekar (ibid, p. 664) writes that through the proper coordination of these four, "one is expected to build up a truly integrated personality, and to realize a truly full life—a life which is materially rich (artha), aesthetically beautiful (kama), ethically sound (dharma) and spiritually emancipated (moksa)." However, moksa always falls out of the orbit due to its intimate relation with the transcendental world; quite opposite to the first three's with the empirical one. While the first three are intensely engrossed in this world of action, moksa implies the transcending of the phenomenal world.
Just like the concept of four-fold human ends, the idea of four-fold drama is also unique to Indian tradition. If the whole human life is taken as a pilgrimage, the four drama-s may well be conceived as four resting places. The four agramas are brahmacarya, garhasthya, vanaprastha and yativrata. Even though each one of them has its own significance, still the second one i.e. garhasthya is first among all its equals. It is the pivot around which the whole social order revolves. The prestige is commands for its unique role in imparting training to the novices (to enter into householder's life), fulfilling the desires of the child and old alike, and preparing for the journey to be undertaken by itself in future (i.e. preparation for vanaprastha and yativrata days) is to be noted down. Thus it occupies a central position in our social fabric. Probably for this unique position it holds, Hinduism-nay, Brahmanic Culture, lays emphasis on it.
Jaina tradition also shares the concept of four-fold purusartha-s, but divides human life into two major disciplines, namely, monk's discipline and householder's discipline. Since Jainism constitutes a part and parcel of the ancient Sramanic culture, it lays more emphasis on ascetic life. The reason is that since a householder's life is bound by so many limitations, it is not so easy to practise the religion in its true spirit in comparison to that of an ascetic. Thus, the status of being the most ideal discipline has always been given to monkhood. However, householder's discipline also runs parallel, only next to it. Even though both the ways are equally competent to achieve the ultimate goal, in monk's discipline one gets a speedy progress and in househonder's it is slow and gradual.
The present work aims at critically studying D. Amrtacandra's PS, a treatise on the rules of conduct for Jaina laymen. The work belongs to the Carancinuyoga section of Jaina literature which deals xi with householders' and monks' discipline. The Jaina Sravakacara-s are one of the important sources of information regarding Jaina lay community. They xv have been composed not only in Sanskrit and Prakrit but also in Modern Indo-Aryan languages 15 like Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, etc. There are some Sravakciceira-s which are composed in Dravidian .24 languages such as, Tamil, Kanarese also. The study 67 of Jaina Sravakacara literature is very valuable for understanding Jaina community with its socio-.71 religious aspects. Scholars like Mrs. Stevenson, R. Williams, and Dr. Vilas Sangave etc. have attempted to present such survey of Jaina householders' life with a historical and sociological perspective. There are works studying individual Sravakacara-s independently also. For example, in India a group of Digambara scholars like J.L. Jaini, Champatray Jain, Nathuram Premi, Hiralal Jain, A.N. Upadhye have produced editions of works such as Ratnakarandasravakacara, PS, Dvadasanupreksa, Vasunandi's Snivalcacara etc. However,, the critical study of the contents of some of the Srtivakacara-s is still a desideratum. Amrtacandra's PS is one of such works which await a critical analysis of their contents. Hence an attempt has been made here for the first time to present a critical and comparative study of householders' discipline as reflected in the PS.
Though the text of the PS has been edited and translated by Ajit Prasad in English, by Nathuram Premi and Saranaram Jain in Hindi, none of them has tried to evaluate the contents of this work with a comparative and critical approach, which constitute the main thrust of the present study.
As we have already mentioned Amttacandra is the author of this work. We know nothing about from hi his personal life. He gives no information about close a himself in his works. Asadhara while quoting a verse from PS addresses him as Thakkura which might be either Amrtacandra's surname or another name. Except that nothing at all is known of the life of this Acarya.
Without any direct historical evidence it will be very difficult to settle his date too. Scholars like As Dr. A.N. Upadhye,' Nathuram Premi place him duties o somewhere between 10th century A.D.
Apart from the PS which is also know as with the Jinapravacanarahasyakoga, Amrtacandra has composed Tattvarthasara (a metrical exposition of the Tattvarthasutra of Umasvati), commentaries on Kundakundacarya's Pravacanasara, Pancastikaya and Samayasara and Samayasarakalasa, which is often treated as an independent work.
As a commentator, Amrtacandra's position is really unique because, so far as we know, he is the first commentator on the authoritative works of Kundakunda. He does not aim at verbal explanation, but to simply propound the philosophical contents of the original texts. His zeal for anekanta logic is remarkable. That is quite clear from his commentaries and other works. He shows close acquaintance with Digambara as well as Svetambara works. His mastery over Sanskrit idioms is remarkable. According to Dr. A.N. Upadhye Amrtacandra is more a poet than a prose writer.' As a spiritual poet his position is simply unique and unequalled by any Jaina author before or after him.
Brahma Sutras (81)
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend