ACHARYA UMA SWAMI
The Jain community is
not acquainted with the life story, as with the famous Tattvartha Sutra of
Uma Swami, who attained great fame even with a very small volume of
He was the chief
disciple of Kundkund Acharya and blessed this land in the last days of the
first Vikram century and the first part of the second century.
Acharya Urna Swami is
one of those glorious acharyas, who enjoy complete reliability and respect
in the line of the acharyas. In Jain tradition, Tattwartha Sutra enjoys
the same dignity as Gita amongst the followers of Yedic religion, Bible
amongst the Christians and Quran amongst the Mohammedans.
Another name given to
this holy book is Moksha Shastra. The importance of this work can be
measured from the fact that during the last two thousand . years, more
than a hundred commentaries in different languages have been written on
this. Sarvartha Siddhi of Acharya Pujyapad, Tattvartha Wartik of
Bhattaklank and Slok Wartik of Vidyanandi are the famous commentaries on
this book. Tattvarthasar of Amritchandra Suri is, in a way, a poetic
translation thereof. Swami Samantbhadra's Gandhahasti Mahabhasya
containing eighty-four thousand verses was also a commentary on this book,
but it is not available.
Artha Prakashika of the
old Hindi scholar Pandit Sadasukhji is also its commentary. Modern
scholars have also written many commentaries in Khari Boli. It is the
first Jain scripture in the Sanskrit language.
Present lesson has been
written on the basis of Tattvartha Sutra.
Brother Gyanchand, I donít understand from where father has chosen
Don't you know that both these names are meaningful, from the
religious point of view. The nature of our soul is all consciousness and
perception (Gyan and Darshan). Moksha Shastra says, "operative
consciousness is the nature of the soul". The activities of consciousness
and perception are called their operation.
Is it like that ? To me these names appear to be strange.
You are correct, brother. As long as we do not know and hear things, they
appear like that. Kundkund Swami writes, "This being has heard talks of
sensual pleasures and passions many a time, has acquired acquaintance with
these and experienced them. As such they appear to be easy, but has
neither heard anything about the soul, till today, nor developed
acquaintance with it. Therefore, it appears to be strange to him."
Brother Gyanchand, please explain this operative consciousness more
clearly, so that I may understand the mystery of my name.
Alright, hear. Inclinations of the soul connected with life-force are
called operative consciousness. i.e. sentience and perception. These are
found in all living beings and are not found in other substances. As such
these are the essential characteristics of the soul, which is recognised
thereby. There are two important parts thereof : (1) Perception and (2)
Please explain the difference between perception and sentience.
That which gives a common
impression (formless image) is called perception and that which
differentiates -between the self and the non-self and gets detailed
impressions is sentience.
Is consciousness of all living
beings alike ?
Yes, from the . point of view of inherent potentiality all have the
same consciousness. However, from the point of present development
consciousness is of eight kinds : (1) Sensory knowledge(2) Scriptural
knowledge (3) Clairvoyance (4) Telepathy (5) Omniscience (6) Perverted
sensory knowledge (7) Perverted scriptural knowledge and (8) Perverted
What do you mean by sensory
and scriptural and other knowledges ?
Discarding the tendency of
depending on others, the knowledge of objects in a general manner is
called sensory knowledge, or knowledge with senses and mind as its
indifferent causes is called sensory knowledge. The consciousness that
knows other objects in connection with objects known with the help of
sensory knowledge is called scriptural knowledge.
The direct and crystal
clear knowledge of material objects with limitations of matter, place,
time and mode without the help of senses and mind, is called clairvoyance.
And telepathy ?
I shall let you know everything. Spiritual minded monks, without the
help of senses and mind, know material objects thought of or located in
the minds of others, subject to limitations of matter, place, time and
mode and that knowledge is called telepathy.
Omniscience is the
perfect, supersensitive direct and clear knowledge, in which all
substances are known together and at once, as they really exist with their
infinite attributes and modifications of all the three vast measures of
Is perverted knowledge also included in consciousness?
Persons having wrong faith, do not understand the nature of their souls.
Their sensory and scriptural knowledge and clairvoyance are called
perverted sensory knowledge, perverted scriptural knowledge and perverted
clairvoyance, because, having wrong faith in the fundamentals, their
consciousness is false, even when their worldly knowledge is correct.
Since they do not have knowledge of the elements, all their consciousness
Are there kinds of perception
Yes, perception is of four kinds :
Ocular perception means seeing with eyes. What is non-ocular
It is not like that. The ordinary awareness of existence which is
experienced with the eyes is ocular perception, and the non-ocular
perception is the ordinary awareness with the help of the mind and the
rest of the four senses, except the eyes.
And what about clairvoyant
Likewise the perception of
the objects which occurs just before the clairvoyance knowledge is called
clairvoyant perception, but there is some speciality in omniscient
What is that ?
The direct perception of the
whole cosmos, which occurs together with omniscience is called omniscient
perception. There is no gap of time in omniscient perception and
Thank you. Very well explained.
Dr. H.C. Bharill