Tattvartha Sutra ► 03 Madhyalok - Jain Concept Of Geography

Posted: 07.04.2017

Now we come to the third chapter, which is relatively a small one. Shwetāmbar version has only 18 sutras. The first six of them deal with Nārak (the infernal world) and the remaining 12 with Madhyalok (the middle world) that covers the area where we live. Digambar version has 21 additional sutras inserted after Sutra 11, which are numbered 12 to 32. They mainly deal with mountains, rivers, lakes, etc. of Jamboodweep, the central area of the middle world.

Every religion has its concept of universe. Jainism also has its concept. It states that the shape of the universe resembles the figure of a man standing with hands fixed on the waist, elbows projecting out and feet wide apart. The portion of the waist constitutes the middle world. The portion above that area constitutes the heavenly abodes and the portion below the waist constitutes the infernal abodes. (Refer to figure 1)