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

Posted: 25.05.2009

Bh.S has been written down in prose style. Somewhere, there is a mention of an independent discussion and somewhere just an offshoot of some incident. There is also a verse part available mainly in the form of verses (gāthās). It contains, besides, some literary flourishes in the form of legends, parables, similes, metaphors, analogies, descriptions of persons and things, emotive prose, etc.

Bh.S is a plethora of characters using different phrases and addressing with different words. The style used by the author of the work presenting different contents varies in character from place to place as reflected by its massive coverage.

The precautions taken by Devardhi Gaṇi, the last compiler, could not save the unity of the text from interpolations, insertions, abbreviations and omissions. Besides, there are repetitions, stereotyped descriptions and incorporation of extraneous materials into it, e.g. "Ṇamo Bhbhie Līvie",[96] "Ṇamo Suyassa", "Vaṇṇaao"[97] and the like. In sum total, the main style of the Bh.S offers a grand picture of continuity and thoroughness that makes us feel that we, the readers, are also the interlocutors.

The purpose is to explain the doctrinal concepts to the learned as well as the laity in a most natural style and certainly not in an artificial manner. In conclusion, it can be said that the Bh.S is of enormous significance for the understanding of the general and specific tenor of the Jain philosophical doctrines. Among the all the aṅgas and upāṅgas it has a unique place. The beauty of the doctrinal discussions is their being without polemic. The super-structure is simply staggering in its extension and equally inspiring in its contents. The analytical and sublime doctrines found in it are the proud possessions of the Jain community. Bh.S with its enormous size is equally profound and incisive in the presentation of Jain theories. All the theories have earned acceptability and credibility. It is massive without being tedious. A very precise and concise study of the Bh.S will be done within the compass of this thesis. However, as per conditions governing the thesis, I restrict myself to the investigation of such doctrines as are philosophical with scientific import.

Bh.S is a veritable mine of precious metaphysical, ethical theories explicit and implicit and of a huge number of suggestions in various branches of science. One cannot do justice to all the problems in the limited scope of this thesis. However, a humble and honest attempt has been made by it.

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