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Published: 01.10.2009
Updated: 11.12.2011
Niyamasara: Salvation Through Self-Discipline, Niyamasāra


Author: Acharya Kundakunda

Original Text: Prakrit.

Niyamasara is a 1st Century CE spiritual treatise described by its commentators as the Bhagavat Shastra. It expounds the path of liberation.

Subject matter:

Niyamasara deals with the three ethico-spiritual standpoints of understanding ultimate Reality:

  • the Nishcaya Naya
  • the Vyavahara Naya
  • the Shuddha Naya.

Niyamasara effectively removes doubts related to Parayayarthika naya and Dravyarthika nayas and elaborates on Vyavahara caritra. He stresses that Vyavahara caritra is based on samyama (self-restraint) and hence rooted in appropriate psychic disposition. He places great stress on cleansing the soul of vibhavas, internal impurities,through self-discipline.

A unique feature of the Niyamasara is that Kundakunda characterises both Nichcaya caritra and Vyavahara caritra as tapa, or practice of austerity from their respective nayas. This characterization is based on psychological and pragmatic considerations and if put in practice properly it would lead to internal and external purity and annihilation of the four passions. Kundakunda concludes that Vyavahara caritra and Nishcaya caritra together constitute Samyak caritra. Another unique feature of this text is its description of parama samadhi, not found elsewhere in Jain literature.


Title: Salvation Through Self-Discipline
Niyamasara of KundaKunda

Acharya Kundakunda

Publisher: Radiant Publishers, New Delhi, India
Translation: J. P. Jain 'Sadhak'
Introduction: J. P. Jain 'Sadhak'
Edition: 2005
Read online:
Pages: 221
Dimensions: 225 x 145 mm

Contents: Preface; Contents of Introduction;: 1. Introduction; A General Appreciation of Kundakunda; Niyamsara; Non-Natural Modification; Ethico-Spiritual or Axiological Viewpoints; Why Jiva, etc.; Path to Salvation; Enlightened Knowledge; Necessity of Both Vyavahara and Nishchaya Charitra; Shuddha Upayoga; Path of Salvation; Different Conceptions of Salvation; Various Paths of Salvation; Misunderstandings in Regard to Niyamsara; 2. Summary and Remarks on Niyamsara; 3. Niyamsara: Text and Commentary; 4. Niyamsara in Prakrit; Index of Niyamsara Gathas; Index of Samayasara Gathas; Index.


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Page glossary
Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Kundakunda
  3. Bhagavat
  4. Caritra
  5. Charitra
  6. Delhi
  7. Dravyarthika
  8. Enlightened Knowledge
  9. Jiva
  10. Kundakunda
  11. Naya
  12. Nayas
  13. New Delhi
  14. Nishcaya Naya
  15. Prakrit
  16. Samadhi
  17. Samayasara
  18. Samyama
  19. Shastra
  20. Soul
  21. Tapa
  22. Upayoga
  23. Vyavahara Naya
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