Acharanga Bhasyam: (11) The Authorship And The Period Of Compilation of the Ācārāṅga

Published: 17.09.2010

The Jain tradition believes the Ācārāṅga has been composed by Gaṇadhara Sudharmā Svāmi, when Lord Mahāvῑra established his tῑrtha i.e. religious order. Historically, and also from the linguistic point of view, it is evident that the Ācārāṅga Sūῑtra is the oldest among the Āgama literature, and also in style of presentation of the doctrine. Dr. Hermann Jacobi has compared it with the style adopted in the sacred books of brāhmiṇika sūtras. According to him, the syntex of brāhmiṇika sūtras are inter-related, but it is not so in the Ācārāṅga. Dr. Jacobi feels that the Ācārāṅga has accomodated quotations from prominent religious treatises of that time. He has based his view on poetic stanzas, which intercept prose in between. These verses can be compared with the verses of Sūtrakṛtāṅga, the Uttarādhyayana and the Daśavaikālika.[1]

It seems Dr. Jacobi's view is not without any substance. Dvādasāṅgi and Daśavaikālika both are congregated from the Pūrvas, and, therefore, there is a strong possibility that the contents of same wordings have the same sources.

The non-relativity of sentences in the Ācārāṅga can, to some extent, be understood, as what we have today as the Ācārāṅga is a fragmented piece of the original. The other reason could be the difference in the styles that used to be adopted by the earlier acharyas in the commentaries on the original texts.


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Jain Vishwa Bharati

Ladnun- 341 306 (Raj.) India © Jain Vishva Bharti

ISBNS 1-7195-74-4

First Edition:2001

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Shree Chhotulal Sethia Charitable Trust Sethia House, 23/24,
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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Acharyas
  2. Daśavaikālika
  3. Gaṇadhara
  4. Hermann Jacobi
  5. Jacobi
  6. Lord Mahāvῑra
  7. Sacred Books of the East
  8. Sūtrakṛtāṅga
  9. Uttarādhyayana
  10. Ācārāṅga
  11. Āgama
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