Jain Biology ► [02] Scriptural View Of Life ► Jīvājīvābhigam Sūtra

Posted: 07.10.2009

The treatise in this scripture is quite different from the others. Here the dissertation is rather of a specialized nature. It deals with twenty-three characteristic features of living organisms, describing the association of each feature with different classes of living organisms. The classification itself is conventional and the organisms are dealt with in an ascending order of sequence, as in Uttarādhyayana Sūtra, i.e., starting with the earth-bodied organisms and ending with devas. The sūtras are in prose and in the form of question-answer—Gautama, the chief disciple and gaṇadhara being the querist and Bhagavān Mahāvīra himself giving the answers.

The twenty-three characteristic features are:[1]

1. Number and types of Bodies

śarīra

2. Extension in space

avagāhanā

3. Physical structure

saṃhanana

4. Configuration

saṃsthāna

5. Passions

kaṣāya

6. Unlearned Instincts

saṃjñā

7. Aural colouration

leśyā

8. Number of sense-organs

indriya

9. Expansion of soul-units (beyond the body)

samudghāta

10. Possession of brain

saṃjñī-asaṃjñī

11. Sex 

veda

12. Number of bio-potentials

- paryāpti

13. World-view 

dṛṣti

14. Intuition

darśana

15. Knowledge  

jñāna

16. Activity (of Body, Speech, Mind)  

yoga

17. Activity of Consciousness

upayoga

18. Appropriation of material objects

āhāra

19. Metempsychosis    

upapāta

20. Life-span

stithi

21. Expansion of soul-units out-side the body

Māraṇāntika samudghāta

22. Departure from past life 

cyavana

23. Transmigration (to and from)

gatyāgata

The Jīvājīvābhigam Sūtra disseminates detailed information about the association of each class of living organisms with the above twenty-three characteristic features.

Footnotes:
[1]
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