Tattvartha Sutra: 09.07

Published: 20.07.2017

09.07 Anityāsharansansaraikatvanyatvāshuchitvāsrav-samvarnirjarālokbodhidurlabhdharmaswākhyātattvānuc-hintanamanuprekshāh




अनित्य, अशरण, संसार, एकत्व, अन्यत्व, अशुचि, आश्रव, संवर, निर्जराः, लोक, बोधि दुर्लभ, धर्म स्वाख्यातत्व इनका अनुचिंतन ही अनुप्रेक्षा है।



Contemplating about the evanescence, helplessness, worldliness, aloneness, otherness, impurity, incoming of Karma, its prevention, eradication, nature of universe, rarity of right guidance and the tenets of Lord constitute Anuprekshā.)

This sutra deals with Anuprekshā, which means reflection or contemplation at length. It is also termed as Bhāvanā. They are differently presented in different contexts. For instance, there are four Bhāvanās of Maitri (amity), Pramod (adoration), Kārunya (compassion) and Mādhyastha (objectivity), which are helpful in preventing Āsrav (incoming of Karma). Here, the sutra mentions twelve other Bhāvanās. Contemplating over them at length can help in overcoming the sense of attachment for the worldly aspects.

  1. Anityānuprekhsā: Anitya means temporary, transitory, momentary etc. Everything that we come across in the worldly life, inclusive of the body and its relations, happens to be evanescent. Nothing stays forever. Change and impermanence are the laws of nature. We, however, hardly realize that and remain too closely attached to the body, relatives, physical belongings etc. as if they were going to stay with us forever. If one ponders over a little, he can easily make out that every phenomenon stays for some time and then disappears. Such reflection can lead to the sense of detachment towards the worldly aspects.
  2. Asharanānuprekhsā; Asharan means unsheltered, helpless. When we come across some problem, we may expect help from our friends, relatives etc. and mostly spouse, parents, children and friends would extend the help. There are, however, problems like aging, incurable diseases, death etc. where no one, even the closest ones, can help. In such cases one can realize that he cannot expect help from anyone, that he is helpless and without any shelter. Pondering over such helpless state is called Asharanānuprekshā
  3. Sansārānuprekhsā: Sansār means the worldly order. If one contemplates about the worldly life, he can make out that most living beings have been continually undergoing pain and misery. If he goes deeper, he can also make out that he has been undergoing birth after birth since the time immemorial. During that time he must have entered into lot of relations. It is conceivable that his current spouse could have been his mother or sister in some incarnation. Moreover, he would have taken birth in different species and borne the pain, misery, unhappiness etc. of the bestial and infernal life as well. As such, he would realize that the worldly life is full of misery and unhappiness. That would instill in him the sense of detachment and he would be inclined to explore the ways and means for terminating the unhappiness.
  4. Ekatvānuprekhsā: Ekatva means aloneness. When one contemplates about the worldly life, he can make out that he was born alone and would die alone. If he deeply thinks, he can also make out that he has to bear the impact of diseases and such other painful situations without help from anyone. Others may sympathize with him, but no one can take over the pain. That contemplation can free him from the sense of attachment.
  5. Anyatvānuprekshā: Anyatva means otherness, different from everything else. As such, this reflection is a corollary of the previous one. When one thinks over the worldly life, he can also make out that no worldly connection stays with him. The friends turn into foes and the relatives turn away their faces at times. Even if such situations do not arise, everyone is mortal and dies sooner or later. No one can prevent the death. One can thus realize" that every person and every situation is different and away from the Self.
  6. Ashuchitvānuprekhsa: Ashuchi means impurity. One of the ways to avoid attachment for the body is to ponder over its contents and composition. The body is made up of fat, meat, bones, blood, etc. These are the objects that we do not even like to look at. We take food and drinks for replenishing the loss caused by voluntary and involuntary activities, but the residues thereof are invariably turned into the despicable matter like stool, urine etc. This does not mean that the body is the storehouse of stool and urine. It is, however, a fact that its contents are in no way adorable or pleasing. However much we may clean the body, it continues to get dirty. It would therefore be wrong to consider it pure or pretty. That sort of contemplation can lead to averting undue attachment for the body. A more subtle way to avert attachment is to make out that every incarnation results in inhibiting the inherent capabilities of soul. That can lead to detachment for the body as well as for the incarnation.
  7. Āsravanuprekhsā: Āsrav means inflow, incoming. The misery and unhappiness of the worldly life arise on account of impact of Karma. This reflection relates to considering that every indulgence in the sense objects leads to Āsrav.
  8. Samvarānuprekhsā: Samvar means prevention. Contemplating about Āsrav would also lead to thinking about the ways to prevent the inflow of Karma. That is called Samvarānuprekshā.
  9. Nirjarānuprekhsā: Nirjarā means eradication of bondage. When one contemplates about Samvar, he is induced to contemplate about eradicating the existing bondage of Karma. That can be done by observing austerities and by peacefully bearing the hardships and discomforts that one comes across by virtue of Karma. That is called Nirjarānuprekshā.
  10. Lokānuprekhsā: Lok means cosmos. It would be pertinent to note that Jainism considers cosmos as human-shaped. This Anuprekshā therefore pertains to thinking about the cosmos as well as the body. The cosmos is made up of five elements, viz. soul, lifeless matter, Dharmāstikāy, Adharmāstikāy and Akāsh, which are collectively known as Panchāstikay. All these five elements stay within their nature. The worldly soul, however, does not remain conscious of its true nature and goes beyond its nature. That contemplation can lead it to think about its true nature. One can also contemplate that soul abides in the entire body and pervades it.
    That contemplation can lead to experiencing it as different from the body.
  11. Bodhidurlabhatvānuprekshā: Bodhi means right guidance, Durlabhatva means rarity. This reflection therefore relates to contemplating that during its infinite wandering the worldly soul has hardly come across the right guidance. Thereby one can make out that if he comes in contact with the right person, he should follow his advice without losing time. He would then be prompted to cast aside his laxity and indolence.
  12. Dharmaswākhyātattvānuprekshā: Dharma is religion and Swākhyatatva means lucid exposition. This Anupreksha therefore relates to contemplating about the detached Lords, who have gracefully laid the tenets that are helpful in leading towards liberation. Adoring the spiritual aspects laid by the Lords amounts to Dharmaswākhāyātattvanuprekshā. That is helpful in staying firm on the spiritual path. In simple terms this Anupreksha can be called Dharma Bhāvanā.

By now we have considered Gupti, Samiti, Dharma and Anupreksha as the factors, which help in preventing the incoming of Karma. The next one is termed as Parishahjay. Parishah denotes hardship, discomfort, etc. To face them boldly, to bear them patiently is known as Parishahjay. That is dealt with in sutras 8 to 17.

Title: Tattvartha Sutra
Manu Doshi
Manu Doshi
Federation of Jain Associations in North America & Shrut Ratnakar
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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Adharmāstikāy
  2. Anitya
  3. Anyatva
  4. Asharan
  5. Ashuchi
  6. Bhāvanā
  7. Bhāvanās
  8. Body
  9. Contemplation
  10. Dharma
  11. Dharmāstikāy
  12. Ekatva
  13. Gupti
  14. Jainism
  15. Karma
  16. Maitri
  17. Nirjarā
  18. Objectivity
  19. Samiti
  20. Samvar
  21. Sanskrit
  22. Soul
  23. Sutra
  24. Āsrav
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