Critical Remarks on Prasamaratiprakrana
The distinctive value of this work is that it is by a person in whom saintliness is combined with profound scholarship and insight. The whole work is instinct with the prophetic vision of a seer and the expression, too, is so lucid and poetical that a new life has been breathed into the dry bones of philosophical and ethical discussion. Umasvati, here, looks no more a dialectical metaphysician. He realized that not all were qualified to study philosophy which requires higher level of intellect combined with profound knowledge of different branches of sciences. It is beyond the reach of common men. This book is written with the intention to inform common people about the truth of life, as preached by the Jinas. The main object of this work is to point out the practical and scientific path of self-realization is laid down in the Jinagamas by the Tirthankaras who rose to the highest height of perfection with its aid. This work is not only limited to preach philosophical and moral principles, but also shows true away of life which must inevitably lead to a vision in which individual realizes his own pure, perfect, blissful self-luminous Atman. It teaches that if deliverance is to be achieved, certain moral codes are to be followed and it requires firm faith in the Jinavacana, knowledge of Jaina doctrines and Right conduct.
This work has a significant title which substantially indicates the main theme of the subject-matte. THE AUTHOR HIMSELF EXPLAINS THE TERM ï¿½Prasamaï¿½ occuring in the title of the present work as a synonym of vairagya-non-attachment. It mainly deals with cause of bondage in mundane life and process of attaining absolutely an un-perturbed state of spiritual calmness through complete non-attachment to wordly objects.
Though the central topic is vairagya, there is scope for side-topics which are subordinate, complementary to central topic. This is not a philosophical treatise, but the learned author steeped in Jaina doctrines has stuffed this work with manifold details, whereby this work has become a variable compendium of Jainism. He deals with these philosophical topics like a moralist poet. Nowehere does the author try to show his profound scholarship and throughout the work he takes the reader into his confidence and sincerely preaches in a homely manner without entering into the dry field of Logical argumentation. The nature of the work is such that, the author never feels the necessity of logical defense of the principles that he is enunciating. The exposition of the subject-matter is very systematic and some times he takes recourse to similies to make his teaching effective.
His style is very simple, but the current of his expression is very forceful. His explanation of Jaina philosophical and ethical conceptions in simple terms is a special feature of this work. He handle the Jaina technical terms and conceptions in a natural and easy manner. Some of the important doctrines of Jainism such as, substance, soul, syadvada, house-holders duties etc., are so precisely told that, the reader feels that many verses are really sutras pregnant with significance. The subject-matter is discussed with such a remarkable dignity, in suitable Arya metre, in lucid and simple manner, that this composition is enough to commemorate the poetic talents of Umasvati. The speciality of this work of the learned author is that, the verses are precisely worded; throughout the work, there is an ease about discussions, simplicity in style, direct appealing nature, spontaneous outcome of thought which are possible only from an author who has tasted the nectar of direct spiritual experience. This work is undoubtedly, an outstanding contribution to Jaina philosophy and Religion.