Comparison Between Tattvarthadhigamasutra and Prasamaratiprakrana

Comparison Between Tattvarthadhigamasutra and Prasamaratiprakrana

Umasvati Vacaka is one of the outstanding religio-philosophical personalities in the History of Jaina thought.  His works viz., Tattvarthadhigamasutra and Prasamarati are mile-stones in the development of Jaina philosophy.  T. S. is purely a philosophical work while Prasamarati is a religio-philosophical treatise of more popular nature and it addresses monks and common men.  Prasamarati is undoubtely a post T. S. work which is mainly written for the benefit of lay man.  Contents of this work is the same as T.  S., but certain improvements are made on T. S. to suit his practical purpose.  The author of Prasamarati, using preciselyworded verses, does not feel it necessary to give elaborate accounts of many points which are already exhaustively described in T. S. and Svopajna-Bhasya.  There is not only ideological similarity between these two works but certain sutras of T. S. are bodily lifted and inserted in to the body of the verses.  Comparison between some of the important topics of these two works will reveal the remarkable similarity between the two.

In the Tattvarthasutra and Bhasya it is said that Right faith, Right knowledge and Right conduct together constitute the path of liberation.65 All these three aspects must be present in an aspirant, if he is to reach his spiritual goal.  If one of them is absent, the path is imperfect.  The three together form one path and are to be simultaneously pursued.  In Prasamarati, Umasvati repeats it in the same manner, with little change of words to suit his metrical need (Pr. 230).  Again firm faith in the nine fundamental principles (tattvas) in called Samyagdarsana which can be a natural outcome of Scriptural study.66 Prasamarati not only states the same thing but, bodily lifts up the sutra of the T. S. as it is (Pr. 222).  It is said in T. S. that consciousness is the  chief characteristic of Jiva and this consciousness is classified into determinate (sakara) and indeterminate (anakara) and each is subdivided into eight and four kinds respectively.67 These ideas are explained in two sutras.  These two sutras are summarized in one verse in the Prasamarati (Pr. 194).  In T. S. knowledge is classified into direct and indirect.  The former is of three kinds and the latter is of two types68.  The same classification is accepted by Prasamaratikara (Pr. 224-5).  Instead of the word matijnana it uses abhinibodha, which is also used in T. S. as a synonym of matijnana.69 The soul is classified into worldly and liberated and wordly souls are divided and subdivided into many kinds by T. S. and Bhasya70, which are described I three verses of Prasamarati in the same manner (Pr. 202).  Bhava which constitutes the nature of the soul (or aupasamika, ksayika, misra, audayika and parinamika and they are subdivided into 2, 9, 18, 21 and 3 by T. S. and Bhasya71) while Prasmarati in addition to the five accepts one more Bhava which is known as sannipatika (Pr. 196-97)

  1. S. defines the substance or Sat as that which possesses the three characteristics of production, destruction and permanence72.  The same definition is beautifully explained in Prasamarati (Pr. 204).  T. S. accepts seven fundamental principles73 (tattvas).  Punya and papa are included in bandha itself74.  While in Prasamarati papa and punya are accepted as independent tattvas and hence making tattavas totally nine (Pr. 189), six substances are accepted by both T. S. and Prasamarati.75 According to T. S. matter (pudgala) has form and other substances are formless, imperceptible76.  Matter (Pudgala) is possessed of touch, taste, smell and color77. It consists of numerable, innumerable and infinite parts78 and it is divided into atomic (any), imperceptible and molecules (Skandha), perceptible.  Atom does not consist of parts and hence it is indivisible.  Skandha is composed of atoms and forms, the basis of body, speech, mind and vital force and cause of wordly enjoyment, pain and pleasures, life and death79.  Dharma and Adharma are principle of motion and rest, respectively which help the movement of Jiva and Pudgala80.  Dharma, Adharma, Akasa have one substance each81.  All of them are motionless82.  Dharma and Adharma occupy asankhya units of space83.  Akasa occupies unlimited units84.  The function space is to give room to all substance85.  Kala is the auxiliary condition of the continuance, modification, activity now and then86 The same line of thought is found in Prasamarati (207-8, 213-218).

Ten kinds of Dharmas87, twelve bhavanas88 (anupreksa) of T. S. are enumerated by Prasamaratikara with little change of order to suit his metrical needs (Pr. 167, 149-62).  Four types of karma bandha89 and their subdivisions 90 of T. S. are accepted by the author of Prasamarati (Pr. 35-6).  Definition of tattvas is common to both T. S. an Prasamarati.  According to T. S. the auspicious activities of mind, speech and body are the cause of inflow of good karmas and inauspicious activities are the cause of inflow of bad karmas91 (asrava).  Control of inflow of karma is samvara 92.  Stock of karma can be annihilated through penance93.  Destruction of all types of karma is moksa or liberation94.  These tattvas are defined and explained in the Prasamarati, using similar terms as used in T. S. (Pr. 220-221).  Parallel lines are found between T. S. and Prasamarati at several places.95

Though there is a remarkable similarity of line of thought between T. S. and Prasamarati, the present work differs from T. S. in certain respects.  Jivalaksanas (Characteristic of Jiva) are explained in Prasamarati as not only consciousness, but Right faith, Right knowledge, Right conduct, Power and virtue of learning (Pr. 218) as against T. S.  which defines soul as having the characteristic of Consciousness96. T. S. mentions only five characteristic conditions (bhavas) of the soul97, whereas Prasamarati adds one more bhava, I. e., sannipatika (product of mixed five bhavas), making total six bhavas of the soul (Pr. 196-197).  Order of Anupreksas and ten kinds of Dharmas are slightly modified to suit his metrical need.  (Pr. 196, 149-162).  Again the sthavaras (immobile souls) are counted in T. S. as of three kinds 98, whereas in Prasamarati they are counted as of five kinds-those living in the bodies of earth, water, fire, air and vegetable (Pr. 192).  Umasvati in this work had made certain improvements on T. s., though the content of it does not go much beyond what is contained in T. S. Instead of seven tattvas, nine tattvas are accepted and explained in detail for the benefit of lay-man.  Papa and punya are two more additional tattvas which are most important from the practical point of view (Pr. 189).  Introducing these two more tattvas, it induces laymen to observe good conduct to obtain Svargaloka, in reward of their good conduct (Pr. 301).  Again in T. S. only five substances are directly mentioned.99 The substance Kala is separately mentioned as accepted by others100.  But in Prasamarati, Kala is included in the list of Ajivas (Pr. 207).  Another very important improvement on T. S. is that while Prasamarati gives the processes of Kevalisamudghata and Yoganirodha, (272-274, 277-280), these are untouched by T.  S.