Pravin K. Shah
Jain Study Center of
Appendix - Summary of
Swetambar Jain Agams
Ang-agams are the oldest religious scriptures and the backbone of Jain
1. Acharang Sutra (Aayarang):
This agam describes the conduct and behavior of ascetic life. It also
describes the penance of Lord Mahavir. This is the oldest agam from a
linguistic point of view.
2. Sutrakratang Sutra (Suyagdang):
This agam describes nonviolence, Jain metaphysics, and the refutation of
other religious theories such as Kriyavada, Akriyavada, Ajnanavada, and
3. Sthananga Sutra (Thanang):
This agam defines and catalogues the main substances of the Jain
4. Samavayanga Sutra:
This agam defines and catalogues the main substances of the Jain religion
from a different perspective than the Sthananga Sutra.
5. Vhakhya Prajnapti or Bhagavati Sutra (Viyah
This agam explains the subtle knowledge of soul, matter, and other related
subjects. Thirty-six thousands (36000) questions and answers are presented
in discussion form. It is the largest of the eleven Ang‑agams.
6. Jnata Dharma Kathanga Sutra (Nayadhammakahao):
This agam explains Jain principles through examples and stories. This text
is very useful in understanding the mode of Lord Mahavir's religious
7. Upasaka Dashanga Sutra (Uvasagdasao):
This agam explains the code of conduct of the ten lay followers (Shravaks)
of Lord Mahavir. This agam is very useful for understanding the code and
conduct of ordinary people (Shravaka Dharma) in the Jain religion.
8. Antah Kradashanga Sutra (Anatagaddasao):
This agam tells the stories of ten sacred monks attaining liberation (Moksha)
by destroying their karmas.
9. Anuttaroupa Patika Dashanga Sutra (Anuttarov
This agam contains the stories of additional ten sacred monks who attained
the top-most heaven, known as Anuttara heaven.
10. Prashna Vyakrana Sutra (Panha Vagarnai):
This agam describes the five great vows (mahavratas) and the five worst
sins defined in the Jain religion.
11. Vipaka Sutra (Vivagsuyam):
This agam explains the results of good and bad karmas through several
12. Drastivada Sutra:
The twelfth Ang-agam Drastivad is considered lost by all Jain Sects. The
description, which is found in the other Jain Sutras relating to
Drashtivada, indicates that this Ang-agam was the largest of all Agam
Sutras. It was classified in five parts;
(l) Parikarma (2) Sutra (3) Purvagata (4) Pratham-anuyoga and (5) Chulika.
The third part, Purvagata contained 14 purvas.
They contain the Jain religion's endless treasure of knowledge on every
subject. Some scholars believe that it was so named, the knowledge, which
existed before Lord Mahavira was called 'Purva'.