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तत्त्वार्थसूत्र: Tattvarth Sutra


Foreword

Acharya Umaswami's Tattvarthsutra with Hindi and English literature translation is of great value to every human being. Right Faith , Right Faith knowledge, and Right Conduct shall give us true and everlasting happiness.

"Live and let other live" should be our motto. The True character of our soul is to help one another Imparting knowledge to others leads to the influx of virtuous karmas. Humility and modesty determine high status. One should make efforts to give up anger, greed pride and fearfulness. Violence leads to calamity in this life and thereafter. Charity is the giving of one's wealth to another for mutual benefit. Giving up external and internal attachment shall liberate our soul.

All my blessings to this great work, which is deep in though and simple in expression.

 

Preface

Acharya Umasvami was the Chief Disciple of Acharya Kundkund - the most revered Acharya in the dussama division of the present descending cycle of time, whose works have been possible to document and preserve. Acharya Umasvami lived in the second century AD.

The above cited work states that a special feature of Acharya Umasvami's Tattvarthsutra is that it is the first Jaina scripture written in the Sanskrit language. Most learned and venerable Acharyas including Shri Pujyapadasvami, Shri Akalankasvami, and Shri Vidhyanandisvami have written extensive commentaries on Tattvarthsutra. Sarvarthasiddhi, Rajavartika, Slokavartika, and Arthaprakasika are all commentaries on this scripture. The work is of great value for the beginner as well as for the learned. Its composition has great charm. Each Sutra is composed in least possible words and can easily be memorized. Many Jains recite these Sutras.

In his Foreword to Reality Professor A. Chakravarti writes:

Sarvarthasiddhi by Shri Pujyapada is the oldest extant commentary on Tattvarthadhigama Sutra by Shri Umasvami.

It is noted for its depth of thought and simplicity of expression. This famous work is a compendium of all aspects of Jaina Religion and Philosophy. The author's literary skill is evident in the charm and beauty of his style.

His mastery of philosophic thought is clear from his lucid exposition of the complex reality. The greatness of the work can be realized from the fact that the great logician, Shri Akalanka Deva, thought it fit to base his well-known commentary of Rajavartika on Sarvarthasiddhi.

Professor S.A. Jain's comments on the subject matter are equally illuminating:

Shri Pujyapada's Sarvarthasiddhi has exercised a great fascination on my mind ever since I commenced the study of this great work. Very few works of the world's literature have inspired me to the same extent or have provided equally satisfactory answers to the world's riddles, which have perplexed the greatest thinkers of all ages. No philosophical work that I know of treats of the great issues that confront humanity with the same simplicity, charm, ease and freedom.

My endeavour to make a study of Tattvarthsutra has helped me immensely in my quest for understanding life, and pursuit of happiness. The hardships and afflictions that we have to endure are of our own making. Our deeds, driven by passions, lead to sufferings and reproach in this world and in the next. Virtuous activity alone, which is the cause of merit (punya), leads to joyous feeling, auspicious life, charming and lustrous physique, and high status. Bread-winning and career-building can at best be tasks in life and not the sole purpose of it. Our ultimate goal is the attainment of the divine attributes, in fullness and perfection, of our souls. We can reach our goal only through the three-fold path of right faith, right knowledge and right conduct.

A small effort in the right direction at this stage of our existence as human beings - which is absolutely invaluable - can lead to innumerable years of life endowed with happiness and glory, and ultimately to infinite faith, knowledge, perception, and perfection.

There are several authoritative works on the subject which are available in various Jaina temples and libraries. The present book can be a useful starting point for those who would like to delve into the complex issues dealt in Tatttvarthsutra.

I make obeisance humble at the worshipful feet of the perfect souls embodied, possessed of infinite knowledge, happiness and power; the perfect souls in nirvana, formless and bodiless, free from all karmic attachment; the masters of adepts in spirituality; the adepts guiding the scholar-ascetics; and the ascetics devoted to the contemplation of self.

The Ultimate Contribution

As the present work was nearing completion, an apprehension started to kindle within me given my status as a mundane householder, and limited knowledge -like a drop in the ocean - of the issues covered in Tattvarthsutra, many learned individuals may not find themselves sufficiently enthused to go through the work with right earnest.

I thought of showing the final proofs to the Most Learned, Teacher of Teachers, Acharya 108 Vidyanandji Muniraj at Kundkund Bharti, New Delhi. On a cold December afternoon, I reached Kundkund Bharti and waited on its sprawling lawns for the Muniraj to come out after his routine Samayika (periodical concentration, equanimity). Just before 3.0 p.m., the Muniraj walked out majestically with a white 'pichchi' in his hand. While the others were beset by shivering cold wind, the Muniraj seemed to have conquered the nature by dwelling in the warm house of inner knowledge.

 



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