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Bhagavatī Ārādhanā

Published: 12.06.2009
Updated: 30.07.2015

The whole of the Jaina exegetical literature is comprised in the dvadasangi. The Ganadharas of tirthankara Mahavira who heard his divine sound, passed on this knowledge to their disciples. The srutjnana of Lord Mahavira passed on in this fashion for almost 683 years. Due the diminishing power of the memory and lack of concentration this oral tradition could not continue. This led to the loss of the knowledge. The need to procure the knowledge in writing that is in script arose. Those acaryas who did this work were known as srutadharacaryas. Those acaryas who followed the tradition and composed the works; their works were kept in the category of the agamas.

Bhagavatī Ārādhanā

Sivarya is the author of this important work. This work can be kept in the category of agamas. This literary work is a mainly about and on the code of conduct of the monks. Acaranga is an important part of the dvadasangi. This anga is comprised of 18000 padas. Sivarya has asserted that he being a person of a little less knowledge has written his work of 2263 sutras keeping this important work in mind. This aradhana is one of the work which is has very vast content in it and this can be known from its content.

From the above mentioned aphorisms it can be said that this literary work is composed by Sivarya. There is hardly any mention of Sivarya in other works, genealogies, inscriptions etc. Bhagavatī Ārādhanā is written in Maharashtri Prakrta. From the linguistic point of view, from the context and the content it is established that this work is composed in around 2nd or 3rd century A.D.

Though the original work in lost or is unavailable to us till date; there are many commentaries written on it. Through the commentaries the original work can undisputedly restored back. Bhagavatī Ārādhanā has the following commentaries on it:

    1. Vijaodaya Tika- Aparajitasuri has written a commentary in Sanskrit in the 7th century.
    2. Mularadhana Darpana- Pandit Asadhara has written a commentary in Sanskrit in the 13th century.
    3. Aradhana Pancika- The author is unknown. This is written in the 14th century.
    4. Bhavartha Dipika Tika- Pandit Sivajilal wrote a commentary in 1818 A.D.
    5. Aradhana - Acarya Amitgati (2nd) has written this commentary in the 16th century.
    6. A commentary written by Sadasukhdasa.

The content of Bhagavatī Ārādhanā

The main content of this work is the four aradhanas; Samyak Jnana, Samyak Darsana, Samyak caritra, Samyak Tapa. The central point of discussion is the monk and his conduct. The main task of whose is Moksa. To walk on the part of the salvation one has to take refuge in these four aradhanas.

What is Aradhana? To have knowledge of something or to have faith is incomplete when one does not put in to affect that into conduct. For this self effort (purusartha) is a must. Without conduct, knowledge and faith are unproductive or rather ineffective. The one who desires to attain something; he desires to achieve it; and hence sees to it that he finds the correct way of achieving it. In such a manner liberation from the worldly affairs is possible by achieving moksa. To attain moksa therefore one has to do self–effort of these four aradhanas. The knowledge of these aradhanas and its nature is available from the words of the Jinagamas. There is a mention of four types of aradhanas.

Like Pujya, Pujaka, Puja, Pujafala are mentioned. In the similar manner Aradhya, Aradhaka, Aradhana and Aradhana fhala is mentioned.

Types of Aradhana

There is a mention of two types. Faith based and conduct based aradhanas. (Gatha No:3) The one who does the aradhana of Faith automatically the aradhana of the knowledge follows. But it may be the case that one who does the aradhana of knowledge the aradhana of faith may happen or may not happen.(Gatha No:4) For example, one who faith in a particular thing and yet may be ignorant of its nature yet it does not mean he is faithless. Intellectually one has grasped the nature of the subject and hence faith follows. Knowledge is the integrated part of Faith. But without knowledge Samyak Darsana is possible. Even in Mithyadrsti has knowledge. Therefore knowledge does not have any connection with Samyak Darsana. (Gatha No:5)

Within samyak Caritra (conduct) Samyak tapa is inherited. (Gatha No: 6) Restraint is to follow the 13 fold part of conduct. This conduct is followed when outer and inner tapa (austerities) confine to each other. When they are correlated to each other a perfect conduct is followed and this will lead to the development of a refined character.

Likewise one who does the aradhana of Samyak Caritra; Tapa automatically follows it. But it may not be the case the one who does tapa, caritra follows it.

Even though shortly two types of aradhanas are mentioned but yet there is in detailed discussion of the four types of aradhanas.

1) Samyak Darsana:

Amongst the four, this one is the most important and is worth acquiring first and foremost. Sivarya says; try to acquire this one first. It is so because even if one dies while acquiring this it is fruitful because only with Samyak Darsana moksa is achievable. Once Samyak Darsana is achieved Samyak Jnana, Caritra, tapa is correctly grasped.

Without Samyak Darsana, the jiva is ignorant and not restrained. Without Samyak Darsana, the knowledge of 11 Angas is fruitless.

The one who has faith in the six dravyas; Dharma, Adharma, Akasa, Pudgala, Kala, and Jiva is one who is follower of Samyak Darsana. (Gatha No: 35)

A detailed discussion of the flaws, the qualities, the degrees of Samyak Darsana, classification etc are discussed in detailed.

2) Samyak Jnana:

That knowledge which has confined to the development of soul is right Knowledge. (Gatha No: 99) With the right knowledge the knowledge of the tattvas(jiva, ajiva, asrava, etc) is grasped properly. (Gatha No 100) To know the subject of these tattvas one needs to read the scriptures continuously. What is the type of knowledge that one has to acquire? Sivarya answers that, 1) which has in its base the nayas and Pramanas. 2) Free from the contradictions and free from 32 defaults, 3) which are based on niksepas, anuyogdvaras, nayas, 4)that which has in it the deeper meaning, 5)that which is the highest, 6) which is useful for all Jivas, 7) that which destroys the bad karmas.

One has to such agamas and acquires such knowledge, is what Sivarya tends to say. (Gatha No: 98) That which is conducive to the development of the soul is necessarily worth acquiring from the scriptures or from the discourses. A person who is without right knowledge takes lacs of years to free from karmic bondages than a person who has this right knowledge requires only a time less than 48 minutes (antarmuhurata). (Gatha No: 107) A person with right knowledge refines himself far better than an ignorant one who does fasting for days together.(Gatha No: 108)

3) Samyak Caritra:

This work is mainly for the monks, the importance is hence given to Samyak Caritra and samyak Tapa. The importance and other details of Samyak Caritra is expressed in 403 Gathas(Nos 775to 1178). In the gatha no 9 it has been expressed that “the knowledge that this is duty and this is non-duty; non-is hence left; this is Samyak Caritra”. With mind, body and speech one has to engage oneself in the auspicious actions. (Gatha No: 9)

Caritra is of 13 types:

i. Five Mahavrats Non-violence, truth, non-stealing, Celibacy, and non-possession.
ii. Five attitudes of carefulness
iii. Three Restraints- Mind, body and speech

5 carefulness and 3 restraint are also known as 8 Pravacanamatas.(Gatha No 1199) They are like the mother who guards the children from the bad things. These 8 Pravacanamatas are the guardians of Samyak Jnana, Darsana and Caritra. The one who is engaged in the 13 types of caritra really is one who is one who is doing the sadhana of caritra.

Each of the Mahavratas have five types of mental thoughts (bhavanas). They help the seeker to remain stable during their inward journey.

4) Samyak Tapa:

That which is helpful to remove non-duty is the real tapa. That what is conducive for devopment of caritra is the real tapa.(Gatha No: 10). There is a mention of 12 types of Tapas- 6 internal and 6 external. To work with efforts for the growth of caritra is the external tapa. The inner tapa helps the seeker to refrain from the inauspicious mental modifications. Tapa is not different from Caritra. The efflux of the previous or past karmas is Tapa. (Gatha 1444) There is a detailed description of the 12 tapas in this book.

Within the internal tapa, Dhyana (Meditation) which is an internal form of tapa is discussed in detailed. It is because that a seeker always aspires for the highest kind of meditation, that is Sukla dhyana. Attaining sukla dhyana is the zenith of the character.

To follow the 4 aradhanas undoubtedly is udhyotana. To constantly engage oneself in them is udhyavan. To bear any hardships during the journey is nirvadan. To restore oneself in these aradhanas when deviated is known as sadhana. To die with samyak darsana is known as niyarana.

To have faith on the tattvas is samyak darsana. To distinguish self and non-self is samyak Jnana. To refrain from inauspicious action is samyak caritra. To restraint 5 senses and mind is called samyak tapa.

Other important aspect of Bhagavatī Ārādhanā

Death is the main topic dealt in this text. Since the concentration of the text is on monks the issue of Prsasta death is dealt in detail and the other types are dealt shortly. This text discusses in detail the concept of spiritual death than other text of the age.

Every aspirant seeks to attain Moksa from the cycle of death and birth. To tread the path of moksa one has to seek refuge in the four aradhanas. Every aspirant therefore seeks a spiritual death. The tranquil death is one which is done under the guidance of these four aradhanas. There are 17 types of deaths mentioned in the scriptures. Sivarya has discussed 5 of them in detail. (Gatha No: 25) They are as follows:

  4. BALA

The discussion is as follows:

1. Pandit Pandit Death:

Those whose passions are very less and have reached the state of fourteenth gunasthana. One who crossed the three yogas (activities of mind, speech and body)and one who is about to overcome four aghatiya Karmas with the highest character meets this kind of death.

2. Pandit Death:

This type of death is achieved by the sadhus who are perfected in character. This death is of three types:1) padopagamana, 2) Bhaktapratijna, 3) Inginimarana.

3. Bala Pandit Marana:

One who fails to be fully restraint who yet partly follows the vratas attains this type of death.

4. Bala Marana:

One who has not taken any vows attains this type of death.

5. Bala Bala Marana:

One one has complete wrong knowledge and has disrespect in the words of the tirthankara meets such a death.

Miscellaneous topics covered in the text:

Apart from the above topics there are various topics mentioned shortly. The famous Namokara Mahamantra and its importance, description of the four gatis (states of existence), meditation, description of vows, etc. are discussed.

Other Topics:

1. The Stories:

Sivarya has described interestingly philosophical things through stories. There are around 150 stories and parables found in this text. These stories are made interesting and inspire to attain the goal of life. It can be taken into account that stories were an important means in the discourses that were given.

2. Physiology:

Sivarya must have had the knowledge of ayurveda. In this text refernces to anatomy, disease, process of body cleansing, gynecology, food habits, diet etc are mentioned.

3. Warfare:

Sivarya must have been a king. It can be asserted that the way he has described the mechanism of warfare is remarkable. To prepare for war, its mechanism, the instruments, the psychology of the fighters etc are all well discussed.

4. Social Conditions:

There is a detailed description of the social conditions around which he was living. He has also mentioned about the killing of cows, Brahmana, women etc. Drinking wine, playing cards, and other bad habits are also mentioned in the text. Injustice on women, the law and justice, robbery has been mentioned by the author.
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          Page glossary
          Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
          1. Acaranga
          2. Acarya
          3. Acaryas
          4. Adharma
          5. Agamas
          6. Aghatiya
          7. Ajiva
          8. Akasa
          9. Anga
          10. Angas
          11. Aradhana
          12. Asrava
          13. Ayurveda
          14. Bhagavatī Ārādhanā
          15. Bhavanas
          16. Body
          17. Caritra
          18. Celibacy
          19. Concentration
          20. Darsana
          21. Dharma
          22. Dhyana
          23. Dravyas
          24. Fasting
          25. Four Gatis
          26. Ganadharas
          27. Gunasthana
          28. International School for Jain Studies
          29. JAINA
          30. Jaina
          31. Jiva
          32. Jnana
          33. Kala
          34. Karmas
          35. Mahavira
          36. Mahavratas
          37. Mahavrats
          38. Meditation
          39. Moksa
          40. Nayas
          41. Non-violence
          42. Pandit
          43. Pudgala
          44. Puja
          45. Purusartha
          46. Sadhana
          47. Sadhus
          48. Sanskrit
          49. Soul
          50. Tapa
          51. Tapas
          52. Tattvas
          53. Tirthankara
          54. Ārādhanā
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