Digambar Literature

By Pravin K. Shah
Jain Study Center of North Carolina

Digambar Literature

The Digambar sect believes that there were 26 Agam‑sutras (12 Ang‑agams + 14 Ang‑bahya‑agams).  However, they were gradually lost starting from one hundred fifty years after Lord Mahavir’s nirvana.  Hence, they do not recognize the existing Agam-sutras (which are recognized by the Swetambar sects) as their authentic scriptures.

In the absence of authentic scriptures, Digambars follow two main texts, three commentaries on main texts, and four Anuyogs consisting of more than 20 texts as the basis for their religious philosophy and practices.  These scriptures were written by great Acharyas (scholars) from 100 to 1000 AD.  They have used the original Agam Sutras as the basis for their work.


The Shatkhand‑agam is also known as Maha‑kammapayadi‑pahuda or Maha‑karma‑prabhrut.  Two Acharyas; Pushpadant and Bhutabali around 160 AD wrote it.  The second Purva‑agam named Agraya‑niya was used as the basis for this text.  The text contains six volumes.  Acharya Virsen wrote two commentary texts, known as Dhaval‑tika on the first five volumes and Maha‑dhaval‑tika on the sixth volume of this scripture, around 780 AD.

Kashay‑pahud or Kashay-prabhrut:

Acharya Gunadhara wrote the Kasay-pahud.  The fifth Purva‑agam named Jnan‑pravad was used as a basis for this scripture.  Acharya Virsen and his disciple, Jinsen, wrote a commentary text known as Jaya‑dhaval‑tika around 780 AD.

Digambar Main Texts:

  • Shatkhand‑agam or Maha‑kammapayadi‑pahuda or Maha‑karma‑prabhrut
  • Acharya Pushapdant and Bhutabali
  • 160 AD
  • Kashay‑pahud or Kashay Prabhrut
  • Acharya Gunadhara
  • Dhaval-tika
  • Commentary on Shatkhand-agam Vol 1 to 5
  • Virsen
  • 780 AD
  • Maha-dhaval-tika
  • Commentary on Shatkhand-agam Vol 6
  • Virsen
  • Jaya-dhaval-tika
  • Commentary on Kashay-pahud
  • Virsen and Jinsen