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Jain Biology: Contents Of Jain Scriptures: A Detailed Discussion

Prajñāpanā Sūtra

As in Uttarādhyayana, the first to be dealt with amongst the Mundane (Saṃsārī) organisms ate the Earth-bodied organisms. The treatment is very much similar to that given in Uttarādhyayana. Using practically the same words, divisions of subtle and gross as well as under­developed and fully developed are indicated. The two kinds of the fully developed gross classes, viz., the smooth and the rough, are then described in details. Smooth ones are of seven kinds: [1]

Black, Blue, Red, Yellow, White, Pale dust, and Clay.

The rough ones are of 40 kinds; some of which are:

14 types of rocks and metal ores—Earth, gravel, stone, rock, etc., iron, copper, tin, lead, silver, gold, etc., are metal ores.

8 types of other minerals—orpiment (arsenious trisulphide), vermilion (mercuric sulphide), realgar (arsenic disulphide), etc.

18 types of precious and semi-precious stones—diamond, hyacinth, emerald, sapphire, etc., and medicinal earth—candana, red chalk, haṃsagarbha, kankuṣṭha, sulphur, candraprabhā, lapis lazuli, jalakānta, sūryakānta, which are again very much the same as in Uttarādhyayana, except that 40 varieties [2] in the Prajñāpanā are named instead of 36 in Uttarādhyayana.[3] It could be easily seen that these numbers indicate only popularly known varieties and has not much significance. In fact the varieties caused by difference of colour, smell, taste, touch, shape, and location are stated to be 700,000.

The distinction between the subtle and the gross is explained separately in the form of a query by the disciple: the distinction has definitely nothing to do with the fineness or grossness in size but is purely transcendental and caused by the fruition of different sub-species of the body-making (Nāma) karman, viz. sukṣma nāma karman, and bādara nama karman.


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Edited by:
Prof. Muni Mahendra Kumar

Ladnun-341 306 (Rajasthan, India)

First Edition: 2008 Printed at: Shree Vardhman Press, Naveen Shahdara, Delhi- 110032

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Karman
  2. Nama
  3. Nāma
  4. Sūtra
  5. Uttarādhyayana
  6. Uttarādhyayana Sūtra
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