Scientific Vision Of Lord Mahāvīra ► [01] Bhagavatī Sūtra: As An Encyclopedic Work ► Arrangement Of The Work

Posted: 21.05.2009

As regards its composition the Bh.S has been casted into 41 Satakas, each comprising 10 Uddeśaka, which may be designated as Books and Chapters respectively. According to Abhayadevasūri,[90] a commentator of the Bh.S, the work consists of 10,000 Uddeśaka, 36,000 questions and 2,88,000 padas, while the Samavāyāṇga [91] and Nandī canons [92] furnish the number of padas as 84,000 and 2,88,000 respectively. The text, according to K.C. Lalwani, follows the uddeśa and niddeśa methods, the first implying the presentation of thesis and the second their elucidation.[93] A Sataka begins with a couplet which gives in a precise form the contents of the following ten chapters, takes note of the time, place and occasion of the dialogue/ discourse and mentions participants and points out to their inner cohesion so that it would seem that a single thread runs not only through the Uddeśaka but also through Śatakas themselves. Apart from Lord Mahāvīra, the most dominant personality in the text is Indrabhuti Gautama, the first Gaṇadhara, a profound scholar and master of four types of knowledge. Indrabhuti asks questions in all humility and curiosity, while the Lord provides answers with extreme patience, affectionately addressing him as "Goyamā". At times, other personalities also appear like Ārya Roha, Kālāsavesiyaputra, a follower of 23rd Lord Parshva, the celebrated Skandaka and the lay followers in the city Tungikā, etc.

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