By Pravin K. Shah
Jain Study Center of North Carolina
Appendix – Summary of Swetambar Jain Agams
Chhed Sutra Aagams:
The subject matter described in the Chhed‑sutras is for ascetics and not for lay people. It provides the rule of conduct, punishment, and repentance for ascetics. It also explains how they can repent for their sins and mistakes.
- Nisheetha Sutra (Nisiha):
This agam explains the procedure of repentance (Prayashchitta) in the form of punishment for the monks and nuns who have violated the rules of ascetics.
- Vrahat Kalpa SutraThis agam explains which of the ten kinds of repentance (Prayashchittas) is appropriate for a particular wrongdoing done by monks and nuns. It also defines the acceptable conduct of monks and nuns.
- Vyavahara Sutra: *
This agam describes the system of confession for monks and nuns who fall from proper conduct. It explains the qualifications of the listening monk or nun and with what sort of feeling the confession should be made. It also explains what sort of repentance (Prayashchitta) the monk should perform. There are several other indications of the limits of ascetic life.
- Dasha Shruta Skandha Sutra (Achardasha):There are ten chapters in this Sutra. It contains the following information:
- 20 places of Asamadhi
- 21 major faults bringing weakness in conduct
- 33 Ashatanas of Guru
- 8 Sampadas of Acharyas and their kinds
- 10 places of Chitta Samadhi
- 11 Pratimas of layperson
- Pratimas of ascetics (monks and nuns)
- KALPASUTRA ‑ (recited during the Paryushanas)
- 30 places of bondage of Mohniya karma
- 9 Nida nas (Niyane)
- Panch Kalpa Sutra: *This sutra explains the daily rituals the monks and nuns have to perform. Only scattered chapters of this agam are now available. However, the commentaries (Bhashya and Churni) written about this agam by some elder monks are available.
- Mahanisheetha Sutra:
This agam explains the process of confession and repentance (Prayashchitta) for monks and nuns. It explains the magnitude of pain one has to suffer if he or she breaks the fourth vow (chastity). It also describes and explains the conduct of good and bad monks.