Some Distinctive Features of Pañcāstikāya

Posted: 04.11.2010
Updated on: 21.07.2015

Some Distinctive Features of Pañcāstikāya

A Research Paper presented in the Seminar on "Ancient Prakrit Texts" at Śravanabelagola by NIPSAR and BVP on 12th and 13th October 2010

1. Introduction

When we look at Jainism, as a philosophical system (Darśana) the available Jaina literature can be divided into four ages:

  1. Canonical Age
  2. Anekānta Age
  3. Nyāya Age
  4. Navya-nyāya Age.[1]

According to this division we can place Acārya Kundakunda on the border line of the first and second age. We can call it post-canonical period in which the topics like pramāṇa, naya, saptabhaṅgī, anekānta etc. entered in the philosophical thoughts of Jainas. Acārya Kundakunda and Vācaka Umasvāti are the self-illuminated stars of this age. There is no need to introduce Kundakunda, the literary giant and a saint with ultimate spiritual aspirations. I will prefer to throw light on some distinctive features of Pañcāstikāya[2] based on my humble observations.

2. Probable chronology of Kundakunda"s works (According to subject-wise focus):

If we try to fix the chronology of the works of Kundakunda, Aṣṭapāhuḍa, Dvādaśānuprekṣā and Daśabhakti belong to first group. Pravacanasāra and Pañcāstikāya belong to the second group. Samayasāra is no doubt the crest-jewel of the monumental literature. Though ratnatraya and nava-tattvas are discussed in each text, the focus of each treatise is separate. The focus of Pañcāstikāya is of course on five extended and extensive substances and of course the sixth dravya viz. kala (Time).

The words samaya and pravacana are very much favorite of Kundakunda. Therefore while describing five astikāyas, he says: समयमियं सुणह वोच्चामि।.[3] At the end of Pañcāstikāya, he declares: भणियं पवयणसारं पंचत्थियसंगहं सुत्तं।.[4]

In the initial benedictory verse, Kundakunda says: णमो जिणाणं जिदभवाणं।, which reminds Ardhamāgadhī text Āvaśyaka.[5]

3. Arbitrary usage of the terms indicating philosophical categories

It seems that in Pañcāstikāya some terms or expressions are used ambiguously and equivocally. These terms are dravya, padārtha, artha, bhāva and tattva. The term tattva (tacca) is used in Aṣṭapāhuḍa and others in Pañcāstikāya. In verse 16, Kundakunda says: भावा जीवादीया. The commentators explain that जीवादयः षट् पदार्थाः, but immediately they give the names of six dravyas. In Dvādaśānuprekṣā, Kundakunda says: जीवादि पदत्थाणं समवाओ सो णिरुच्चए लोगो।[6] - Here the term padārtha is used in the sense of dravyas. After completing the chapter of five astikāyas Kundakunda says: तेसिं पयत्थभंगं मोक्खस्स वोच्चामि।[7] - Here he means the nine categories. In verse 108, he mentions nine padārthas as हवंति ते अट्ठा. In Darśanapāhuda, he mentions: चहदव्व, णव पयत्था, पंचत्था सत्त णिद्दिट्ठा।.[8] In this particular context he is quite clear about the concepts of dravya, padārtha, astikāya and tattva. But still "bhāva" and "artha" remain unexplained. The terminology used in Pāhuḍa is not followed strictly in other places.

Dr. M. P. Marathe has pointed out the same difficulty in Tattvārtha in the Studies of Jainism.[9] Dr. S. S. Barlingay has tried to understand the difficulty in the perspective of the development of other philosophical systems. The Vaiśeṣikas use the term padārtha and dravya while Sārhkhyas use the term tattva.

In the course of time, the nine or seven ethical tenets of Jainism are generally called as tattvas. Six physical realities are dravyas. Five extended substances are astikāyas. The terms "padārtha", "artha" and "bhāva" are used while explaining these terms.

It is very interesting to note at the end that Sthānāñga uses the word "sadbhāvapadārtha" for nine tattvas[10] while Uttarādhyayana uses the word "tathya" (तहिय) for it.[11]

4. Concept of Kāla in Pañcāstikāya

According to Vaiśesikas, kāla is a dravya-padārtha, Kundakunda explains kāladravya in total 8 verses in Pañcāstikāya. This is not the place to describe kāla-dravya at length. We know that Śvetāmbaras and Digambaras differ about the concept of Time. One point is noteworthy that Kundakunda does not mention the count of pradeśas and kālāṇus in the text of Pañcāstikāya. Tātparyavṛtti adds all these details, which of course is the further development.

5. Analogy given for "Adharma" in Pañcāstikāya

The stock examples for dharma and adharma are generally given as that of "a fish and water" and "a traveler and shade of a tree" serially. In Pañcāstikāya, adharma is explained likewise.

"Moving things whether animate or inanimate are not arrested and brought to rest by the earth. But if there is no earth to support, there will be no possibility of rest for moving things."[12]

The example of "earth" given by Kundakunda is very much convincing than chāyā- pathika analogy. It reminds us the law of gravitation discovered by Newton while observing an apple falling on the ground.

6. References of Vaiśesika and Bauddha Views

Kundakunda has taken notice of the famous Vaiśesika-sūtra शब्दगुणकं आकाशं in Pañcāstikāya. He explains Jaina views about śabda and discusses the qualities of paramāṇu in verses 74 up to 82, with great enthusiasm. He says: "Sound is not a quality of ākaśa. It is paudgalika, but still sound is not contained in the paudgalas. If the skandhas constituted by primary atoms strike one another, there is sound". Vaiśeṣīkas are his chief opponents. The expressions in verse 50 are very eloquent in refuting "samavāya" as a separate "padārtha".

Likewise the terms like "uccheda", "śūnya" and "vijñāna" are used in verse 37, to refute the Buddhist view on Liberation.

7. Influences of Vaiśeṣīka Terminology

Kundakunda uses the word "Dhātucatuṣka" for the four famous elements viz. earth, water, fire and air.[13] In Dvādaśānuprekṣā, while enumerating the 84 lac yonis, he uses the expression णिच्चिदर - धादु - सत्त य - तरुदस etc.[14] Here, the word is not used for four elements but for the four kind of one-sensed beings. Otherwise they are known as ekendriyas or sthāvaras, still he prefers the word "Dhatu" which reminds "Ṃahābhūtas of Vaiśeṣīka and Saptaḍhāka of Caraka." Can we not say that this term occurs to his mind due to his close association with the Brahmanic terminology?

While describing similarities and dissimilarities in dravyas Umāsvāti uses the terms "rupī" and "arupī" but in Pañcāstikāya, the terms are "mūrta" and "amūrta", probably due to the influence of Vaiśeṣīka terminology.[15]

8. Explaining Jaina terminology in easy words

According to Sāmkhya philosophy, the sentient and insentient world is originated from Prakṛti by the combination of sattva, raja and tama. The Pañcamahābhūtas are jaḍa. Jainas hold totally different view about four of them. The ekendriya jīvas are mentioned as pṛtvīkāyīka (earth-bodied beings), apkāyika (water-bodied beings) etc. Kundakunda explains the difference in pṛtvikāya and pṛtvikāyika etc. in verse no. 121 of Pañcāstikāya, very elaborately. He says:

न हि इंदियाणि जीवा काया पुण चप्पयार पण्णत्ता।
जं हवदि तेसु णाणं जीवो त्ति य तं परूवंति॥

"The five senses and the six kinds of bodies mentioned above, these are not the essence of soul. Whatever in the midst of these manifests as consciousness that they call by the name Jīva".

These kinds of explanations occur in Pañcāstikāya at many places. The etymology of the term dravya is given in the 9th verse.[16] Kundakunda is aware of the fact that many concepts in Jaina philosophy are naive to the contemporary philosophers, so he tries to paraphrase those terms in easy words by using the colloquial language of that time viz. Śaurasenī. The concept of Jīva is elaborately explained in verse 30 and 33.

Thus Pañcāstikāya contributes Jaina thought by preparing the necessary background for the era of khaṇḍana-maṇḍana.

9. Application of sevenfold predication to Dravyas

Umasvāti presents Jīva-tattva in the second chapter of Tattvārtha very systematically. In a very unique way, Kundakunda summaries the characteristics of Jīva, in Pañcāstikāya. He says that when we apply different viewpoints to look at the jīva-tattva, it can be described in ten ways (i.e. from one to ten). Interested scholars may refer the concerned duet of verses (verses 71-72) in this matter. While explaining the number "seven", the commentators say that this term सत्तभंगसब्भावो denotes the seven-fold predication which is applicable to jīva. In the 14th verse of Pañcāstikāya, dravya is viewed from seven-fold aspects of predication. Pt. Dalasukhajī Ṃalvaṇiyā mentions emphatically that the methodology of Syādvāda and Saptabhañgī used by Kundakunda is followed by the later Jaina logicians. Panḍītajī opines that the application of syādvāda by Kundakunda is found in more developed form, than that of Umāsvāti"s Tattvārtha. One more thing is noteworthy that Kundakunda keeps avaktavya bhaṅga at third place in Pravacanasara (2.23) but at fourth place in Pañcāstikāya.[17]

10. Transcendental and Empirical Viewpoints

In each and every work of Kundakunda, he describes Jaina tenets from two major viewpoints, viz. niścaya and vyavahāra. In the first chapter of Tattvārtha, total seven nayas are mentioned. These nayas are not mentioned in the literature of Kundakunda. Kundakunda sticks to the above-mentioned two nayas and argued that the transcendental perspective is superior to the empirical one is assessing the essence of Jaina philosophy. However Svopañjna Bhāṣya of Tattvārtha does not specifically distinguish between transcendental and empirical viewpoint as did Kundakunda.

Dr. Nathamalajī Tatia has pointed out that the seven standpoints are endorsed in the ancient Ṣaṭkhaṇḍāgama and Kaṣāyapāhuḍa.[18] "Why Kundakunda prefers twofold viewpoints and avoids seven viewpoints?" is a valid subject for further research.

It is noteworthy that in the present context of Pañcāstikāya, Kundakunda mentions vyavahāra and niścaya only once and that too in the concluding verse while describing mokṣamārga.

11. The style of raising doubts and answering

This peculiar style is evidently seen in Vīrasena"s commentary on Ṣaṭkhaṇḍāgama. We can locate the seeds of the peculiar style in some of the verses of Pañcāstikāya. For example, this style is best seen in verses 92 upto 95. Kundakunda uses the words like जदि हवदि or जम्हा तम्हा in his reasoning. But the whole reasoning is based on the religious doctrines of Jaina scriptures and not on the inference based on pratyakṣa pramāṇa as Naiyāyīkas do. He says: "If space, in addition to accommodating other things, conditions their motion and rest, then why do these siddhas, whose tendency to go upwards come to stay at the summit of the world? If space be the condition of motion and rest of life and matter, then there would happen the disappearance of Aloka and the destruction and dissipation of Loka or world." At the end of the argument Kundakunda says: "So was the nature of the cosmos revealed by the great Jinas."

12. The concept of trasa and sthāvara as reflected in Pañcāstikāya

The final form of trasa-sthāvara concept is seen in the Dravyānuyoga texts like Brhaddravyasarhgraha of Nemicandra. He says:

पुढविजलतेयवाऊ वणप्फदी विविहथावरेइंदी।
विगतिगचदुपंचक्खा तसजीवा होंति संखादी॥[19]

In the finalized form of Jaina doctrines, all the five one-sensed beings are sthāvaras. But in the śastraparijñā-adhyayana of Ācārāñga, in the 36th adhyayana of Uttarādhyayana (verses 68, 68, 107), in the second adhyāya of Tattvārtha (2.12-2.14) and in verse 111 of Pañcāstikāya, it is mentioned clearly that the earth-bodied, water-bodied and plant-bodied beings are immobile, while fire-and air-bodied as well as those with two or more senses are mobile beings. The concerned verse of Pañcāstikāya runs likewise,

ति त्थावरतणुजोगा अणिलाणलकल्इया य तेसु तसा।

Kundakunda says: "Though there is the rise of sthāvara-nāma-karma in air and fire, mobility is seen in them so these two one-sensed beings are mobile".

Tattvārtha-svopajña-bhāṣya meets this controversy by the division of labdhi-trasa and gati-trasa while Sarvārthasiddhi varient of this sutra includes the fire-bodied and air-bodied as mobile beings.[20]

It is remarkable that in the manuscript of Pañcāstikāya used by Prof. A. Chakravartinayanar, the concerned verse is absent. The writer of the manuscript may have felt that the automatic movement of fire and air does not qualify a being as "mobile". This term refers to those that are capable of voluntary movement.

13. The position of "devotion" and "charity" in Pañcastikaya

In "Daśabhakti", Kundakunda mentions pañca-paramṣsthi, guru, nirvana, śruta etc. as the adorables. Kundakunda ascertains the position of bhakti in two verses viz. 137 and 166. He says: "The person who has reverence and devotion towards Arahanta etc. will invariably get bondage with puṇya-karma, hence he can never achieve absolute annihilation of karma."[21] Again he says: "The person who has not grasped the self through all his efforts associated with worship and reverence will only secure the happiness of devas. He qualified "devotion" as praśasta-rāga which leads to puṇya." In verse 137, the same status is given to pity, love and charity.

Thus, in Pañcāstikāya, Kundakunda designates devotion and charity as "puṇyāsrava" in the total framework of Jainism.

14. The atheist nature of Jainism

We do not get discussion about the creator God, its nature etc. separately in Pañcāstikāya, but the atheist nature of Jainism is clearly reflected in some of the verses of Pañcāstikāya. Kundakunda says: "The six dravyas are the constitutive elements of the world. These are uncreated and eternal."[22] He adds: "Just as several molecular arrangement in matter is seen in diverse forms though uncaused by alien agency so also the manifestations in the kārmic matter occur undetermined by alien cause."[23] Kundakunda states clearly that jīvas and kārmic materials are bound together strongly. But when the time for their separation comes they fall apart. Due to this aggregation and disintegration, Jīva experiences pleasure and pain.[24]

Thus Kundakunda has successfully prepared the background for the further Jaina logicians to present their arguments against the existence of God as the creator of universe and a giver of pleasure, pain etc. to beings.

15. The usage of the scriptural expressions "janadi-passadi"

The position of Jñāna and Darśana is unique in Jaina philosophy. These are the two among the triad of ratnas. These terms are used in the words like jñānopayoga- darśanopayoga, jñānāvaraṇīya-darśana varanīya etc. The verbs are of course जाण and पस्स (पच्छ or पास). These verbs are frequently used in Pañcāstikāya. Kundakunda says: (सव्वसंग मुक्को) जाणदि पस्सदि (verse 158). It means the jīva, free from all relations perceives and knows. Again he says: "Perception and understanding of objects are the functions of jīva or consciousness" (verse 122). In verse 163, he uses the verbal forms viz. विजाणादि and पेच्छदि. It is noteworthy that in Ācārāṅga (I) we come across the usage of these verbs frequently and in the same context.[25]

The influence of terminology of scriptures in many other places, can be seen in Pañcāstikāya because Kundakunda is aware that he is presenting the "essence" of Jinavacana. He is purposefully selected the titles of his works a Pravacanasāra, Samayasāra etc.

16. Rare usage of examples, analogies and metaphors:

Actually this is the distinctive feature of the whole Kundakunda literature but specially seen in Pañcāstikāya. The analogy of padmarāga jewel and milk is employed in verse 33 for explaining the characteristic of jīva. He gives examples to explain dharma and adharma in minimum words viz. उदय जह मच्छाणं and पुढवीव.[26] In verse 146, Kundakunda uses the expression "fire in the form of meditation" to emphasize the superiority of dhyāna over śubha and aśubha.

Barring these scanty instances, Pañcāstikāya is written in a lucid style without any poetic adornments which is suitable for dravyānuyoga.

It is noteworthy that since the focus and purpose of Aṣṭapāhuḍa is different, it is flooded with examples, analogies and metaphors.[27] These type of stylistic differences show the mastery of the writer over language.

17. Conclusive Remarks

It is actually impossible to enumerate the distinctive feature of Pañcāstikāya, since it is the overflow of spiritual experiences expressed in lucid style with inborn wisdom. But in nutshell we can say that Pañcāstikāya is an excellent example of dehali-dīpa-nyāya. It illuminates the nature of scriptural concepts of astikāyas and dravyas in the perspective of contemporary philosophies and at the same time, it is the whistle-blower of the forthcoming era of logic in the field of Jainism.

18. List of Reference Books:

  • अष्टपाहुड:  कुन्दकुन्दाचार्यविरचित,  स. डॉ. हुकुमचन्द भारिल्ल, श्री कुन्दकुन्द कहान दिगंबर जैन तीर्थ सुरक्षा टूस्ट, जयपुर
  • आगम-युग का जैनदर्शन: पं. दलसुख मालवणिया, सं. विजयमुनि, सन्मति ज्ञानपीठ, आगरा, 1966
  • आचारांग (आयारो):  वाचना प्रमुख-आ. तुलसी, जैन विश्वभारती प्रकाशन, लाडनूं (राजस्थान) वि. सं. 2031
  • उत्तराध्ययनसूत्र: सं. साध्वी चन्दना, सन्मति ज्ञानपीठ, जैन भवन, आगरा, 1997
  • तत्त्वार्थसूत्र: उमास्वातिविरचित, विवेचक - पं. सुखलाल संघवी, पार्श्वनाथ विद्याश्रम शोध संस्थान, वाराणसी, 1976
  • Tattvārtha Sūtra: Umāsvāti, Translated by Nathmal Tatia, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited, Delhi, 2007
  • पंचास्तिकायः: कुन्दकुन्दाचर्यविरचित, श्रीमद् राजचंद्र आश्रम, अगास (गुजरात), 1986
  • Pañcāstikāya: By Kundakundāchārya, Translated by Prof. Chakravartinayanar, The Central Jaina Publishing House, Arrah (India), 1920
  • बारसाणुपेक्खा: आ. कुन्दकुन्दविरचित, पद्मश्री सुमतिबाई शहा, सोलापुर, 1989
  • Studies in Jainism: Editor - Dr. M. P. Marathe, Gokhle, Department of Philosophy, University of Poona, 1984