Comparision of Prasamratiprakarana With Jaina Agamas101 and some Non-Jaina Works

Comparision of Prasamratiprakarana With Jaina Agamas101 and some Non-Jaina Works

Umasvati Vacakas Prasamaratiprakarana is one of the most important religo-philosophical works in the field of Jaina philosophical literature.  Umasvati was a learned Brahmin before conversion to Jaina faith.102 Thus it is quite natural, that he was very familiar with the Brahmanical literature.  A Study of Prasamaratiprakarana reveals that Umasvati was not only influenced by Jainagamas, but some of the non-Jaina works have profound impact on him.

Umasvati was a profound scholar of Jaina Agamas.  The main theme of Prasamarati is taken from these Agamas only.  In the beginning of the work itself the author makes it very clear by saying that, he is not going to preach any new idea, but repeating the same ideas taught in Jainagamas (Pr. 2).  Teachings of Prasamarati are mainly drawn from major Agamas, viz, Acaranga, Uttaradhyayana, Sthananga, Bhagavatisutra, Samavayanga, and Prajnapana.

This work is ethical in nature.  Most of the teachings are therefore taken from Acaranga.  The author clearly instructs the monk to follow the conduct described in Acarangasutra.103 The definition and classification of Jivas, substances, Kasayas, Karmas, Lesyas, Dharmas, Caritra, Jnana, Process of Kevali Samudghata and Yoganirodha which are found in these main Agamas are accepted by Prasamaratikara, without any modification and change.

It is said in Bhagavatisutra and Uttaradhyayana that consciousness is the special characteristic of Jiva, which (consciousness) is of two kinds-determinate and indeterminate.104 According to Prajnapana the former is of eight kinds and the latter is of four kinds.105 Uttaradhyayana and Sthananga, classify souls into samsari (mundane) and muktas (liberated) and the former into mobile and immobile, the immobile are of five kinds and so on.106

The same definition and classification of Jivas are accepted by Prasamaratikara.  (Pr. 194-5, 190-92).  Again the definition, classification and functions of six substances (Pr. 207, 210, 213-218) are mainly drawn from Uttaradhyayana, Sthananga, Anuyogadvara and vyakhyaprajnapati.107 Nine fundamental tattvas are mentioned in Uttaradhyayana and Sthananga, which are accepted by our present author,108 making no philosophical modification as done in Tattvarthasutra.109 Classification of knowledge into direct and indirect ant their sub-divisions (Pr.  224-5) are taken from Sthananga, Bhagavati, Anuyogadvara and Nandisutra.110 Bhavas, i.e. characteristic conditions of the soul are counted as six in Sthananga and Anuyogadvara,111 which are the basis of six kinds of bhavas of Prasamarati (Pr. 196-97).  Samavayanga, Bhagavati, Prajnapana and Uttaradhyayana are the main sources of conception of four types of Karmabandha, eight kinds of karmas and their sub-divisions.112 Again, conception of four main Kasayas, eight kind of prides (mada), six kinds of Lesyas, ten kinds of Dharma and five types of Caritra, are found in Bhagavati and Sthananga, Prajnapana, Uttaradhyayana and Samavayanga.  113 Twelve kinds of Bhavanas or Anupreksas scattered in various Agamas are collectively taken together, by our present author.114 Three jewels are considered as the main path of liberation by almost all Agamas.115

Process of Kevalisamudghata (Pr. 272-74) is found in Sthananga, Samavayanga, Bhagavati and Prajnapana.116 Yoganirodha (Pr. 277-83) is given in Prajnapana.  These comparative points clearly prove the profound influence of Agamas on Prasamaratiprakarana.

Umasvati was also influenced by some non-Jaina works.  The characteristic modesty of the author, expressed in the beginning of this work (Pr. 3-7) reminds us of Kalidasas modesty, expressed in the beginning of Raghuvamsa, where he says that though possessed of scanty powers of speech, I shall describe the family of Raghus, driven as I am, by their virtues to an inconsiderable undertaking.117 Again, Umasvatis request to the right-minded scholars to welcome his work by judging its merits that can be compared with the idea of Kalidasa expressed in Raghuvamsa, in which he calls upon the connoisseurs to scrutinize his work, for, its goodness and badness is to be judged by their word of commendation or condemanation.118 Again, Umasvatis statement that it is the very nature of right-minded scholars to appreciate the quality of the work, ignoring its defects (9), reminds us of Kalidasas statement in Malavikagnimitra, in which he says that sound critics welcome the one (old) or other (new), after proper examination, while a blockhead is guided by anothers judgement.119

The ten kinds of religious vritues (167) which are to be cultivated by a monk can be compared with ten kinds of Samanyadharma (general rules), viz., steadfastness, forgiveness, self-restraint, non-stealing, purity, self-control, wisdom, learning, truthfulness and restraint of anger as described in the Manusmrti.120

The code of conduct for aspirants of moksa, prescribed in prasamarati (58-63; 74, 89, 104, 112-120, 130-148 etc.), reminds us of code of conduct for munis, described in santiparva of Mahabharata, where it is said that the aspirant of emancipation retiring from ones home, regarding gain and loss in the same light, restraining the senses and disregarding all objects of desire even when they are ready for enjoyment, one should adopt a life of renunciation.  One should not disparage another, neither with eye nor with speech, nor in thought.  One should not speak evil of any person either in or out of his hearing.  The aspirant after moksa should abstain from injuring any creature and should not stay in one place, should not confine ones self to one spot, but roam or wander over the world without owning a fixed habitation.  He should behave friendly previous invitation to dinner.  He should content himself with only as much as is barely necessary for keeping his body and soul together.  Even that much of food which produces gratification should not be coveted by him.  He should not earn either merit or demerit by means of acts.  He should be always well-contended, fearless, always engaged in mental recitation of sacred mantras, silent and wedded to a life of renunciation.  He should control the rising impulses of works, of mind of wrath, of hunger and of lust.  Devoted to penances for cleansing his heart he should never allow the censures (of others) to afflict his heart.  One should live, having assumed a status of neutrality with respect to all creatures and regard praise and blame as equal.  The muni should restrain his senses from all things and keep himself aloof from all attachments.  This indeed is the holiest and the highest path of samnyasa mode of life121.  Mahabharata asks us to give up attachment and aversion, greed, anger, deceit, pride, violence and to observe truthfulness, non-injury, modesty, forgiveness, straightforwardness, penance, meditation etc., for obtaining the highest good.122 Even punya and papa, both are considered to be the causes of bondage of the soul and the aspirant can obtain liberation only after exhaustion of both merit and demerit.123 The style of narrating passions and their consequences in Prasamarati reminds us of narration of Bhisma in Santiparva of Mahabharata.  The description (Pr. 121) of ever changing momentary nature of union with worldly prosperity, pleasures and riches, which ends in separation, cause of untold misery is very much similar to the statements made by Rama and Bhisma in Ramayana124 and Mahabharata125 respectively.  Some of the verses in this work (Pr. 89, 127, 240) which emphasize the equanimity of mind and sense-control, remind us of some of the verses of Bhagavadgita.126

The treatment of philosophical principles such as six dravyas and plurality of souls may be compared to the Vaisesika and Sankhya systems.127 The difference between these systems and Jaina view is that, according to Nyayavaisesikas and Sankhyas although the souls are many, they are without parts and qualities, while Jainism mentions that soul has qualities of infinite knowledge, power and bliss.128

The theory of Pudgala(matter) which embraces both Arambhavada and Parinamavada, may be called a synthetic representation of the atomic theory of the Vaisesikadarsana and Prakrtiparinamavada of the Sankhyas (Pr. 209).  Process of Yoganirodha, Samvara and Nirjara (Pr. 277-280) remind us of astanga-Yoga of Patanjali in Yogasutra.129 The characteristic of Kala as defined in Prasamarati (218) has great resemblance with that mentioned in the Vaisesika darsana.130 The definition of Sat of Substance (Pr. 204-6) can be compared with Parinaminitya of the Sankhya and with substance of Vaisesika.131 The characteristic of the soul in liberated state which is possessed of infinite perception, infinite knowledge, infinite power and bliss (Pr. 289) can be compared with the Vedantic Brahman which is Existence, Consciousness and Bliss.132