Âkârâṅga Sûtra, Unknown
Âkârâṅga Sûtra
Unknown
5:27 h Jainism
The Acharanga Sutra (IAST: Ācārāṅga Sūtra; First book c. 5th–4th century BCE; Second book c. 2nd–1st century BCE) is the first of the twelve Angas, part of the agamas (religious texts) which were compiled based on the teachings of Mahavira. The existing text of the Acharanga Sutra which is used by the Svetambara sect of Jainism was recompiled and edited by KshamaShraman Devardhigani.
Âkârâṅga Sûtra
FIRST BOOK
FIRST LECTURE

CALLED

KNOWLEDGE OF THE WEAPON.

FIRST LESSON

O long-lived (Gambûsvâmin)! I (Sudharman) have heard the following discourse from the venerable (Mahâvîra):(1)

Here many do not remember whether they have descended in an eastern direction (when they were born in this world), or in a southern, or in a western, or in a northern direction, or in the direction from above, or in the direction from below, or in a direction intermediate (between the cardinal points), or in a direction intermediate between these (and the cardinal points).(2) Similarly, some do not know whether their soul is born again and again or not; nor what they were formerly, nor what they will become after having died and left this world.(3) Now this is what one should know, either by one’s own knowledge or through the instruction of the highest (i.e. a Tîrthakara), or having heard it from others: that he descended in an eastern direction, or in any other direction (particularised above). Similarly, some know that their soul is born again and again, that it arrives in this or that direction, whatever direction that may be.(4) He believes in soul, believes in the world, believes in reward, believes in action (acknowledged to be our own doing in such judgments as these): ‘I did it;’ ‘I shall cause another to do it;’ ‘I shall allow another to do it.’ In the world, these are all the causes of sin, which must be comprehended and renounced.(5) A man that does not comprehend and renounce the causes of sin, descends in a cardinal or intermediate direction, wanders to all cardinal or intermediate directions, is born again and again in manifold births, experiences all painful feelings.(6) About this the Revered One has taught the truth (comprehension and renunciation). For the sake of the splendour, honour, and glory of this life, for the sake of birth, death, and final liberation, for the removal of pain, all these causes of sin are at work, which are to be comprehended and renounced in this world. He who, in the world, comprehends and renounces these causes of sin, is called a reward-knowing sage (muni). Thus I say.(7)

SECOND LESSON.

The (living) world is afflicted, miserable, difficult to instruct, and without discrimination. In this world full of pain, suffering by their different acts, see the benighted ones cause great pain.(1) See! there are beings individually embodied (in earth; not one all-soul). See! there are men who pg 4 control themselves,(whilst others only) pretend to be houseless (i.e. monks, such as the Bauddhas, whose conduct differs not from that of householders), because one destroys this (earth-body) by bad and injurious doings, and many other beings, besides, which he hurts by means of earth, through his doing acts relating to earth.(2) About this the Revered One has taught the truth: for the sake of the splendour, honour, and glory of this life, for the sake of birth, death, and final liberation, for the removal of pain, man acts sinfully towards earth, or causes others to act so, or allows others to act so. This deprives him of happiness and perfect wisdom. About this he is informed when he has understood or heard, either from the Revered One or from the monks, the faith to be coveted.(3) There are some who, of a truth, know this (i.e. injuring) to be the bondage, the delusion, the death, the hell. For this a man is longing when he destroys this (earth-body) by bad, injurious doings, and many other beings, besides, which he hurts by means of earth, through his doing acts relating to earth. Thus I say.(4)

As somebody may cut or strike a blind man (who cannot see the wound), as somebody may cut or strike the foot, the ankle, the knee, the thigh, the hip, the navel, the belly, the flank, the back, the bosom, the heart, the breast, the neck, the arm, the finger, the nail, the eye, the brow, the forehead, the head, as some kill (openly), as some extirpate pg 5 (secretly),(thus the earth-bodies are cut, struck, and killed though their feeling is not manifest).(5) He who injures these (earth-bodies) does not comprehend and renounce the sinful acts; he who does not injure these, comprehends and renounces the sinful acts. Knowing them, a wise man should not act sinfully towards earth, nor cause others to act so, nor allow others to act so. He who knows these causes of sin relating to earth, is called a reward-knowing sage. Thus I say.(6)

THIRD LESSON.

(Thus I say): He who acts rightly, who does pious work, who practises no deceit, is called houseless.(1) One should, conquering the world, persevere in that (vigour of) faith which one had on the entrance in the order; the heroes (of faith), humbly bent,(should retain their belief in) the illustrious road (to final liberation) and in the world (of water-bodies); having rightly comprehended them through the instruction (of Mahâvîra),(they should retain) that which causes no danger (i.e. self-control). Thus I say.(2) A man should not (himself) deny the world of (water-bodies), nor should he deny the self. He who denies the world (of water-bodies), denies the self; and he who denies the self, denies the world of (water-bodies).(3)

See! there are men who control themselves; others pretend only to be houseless; for one destroys this (water-body) by bad, injurious doings, and many other beings, besides, which he hurts by means of water, through his doing acts relating to water.(4) About this the Revered One has taught the truth: for the sake of the splendour, honour, and glory of this life, for the sake of birth, death, and final liberation, for the removal of pain, man acts sinfully towards water, or causes others to act so, or allows others to act so.(5) This deprives him of happiness and perfect wisdom. About this he is informed when he has understood and heard from the Revered One, or from the monks, the faith to be coveted. There are some who, of a truth, know this (i.e. injuring) to be the bondage, the delusion, the death, the hell. For this a man is longing when he destroys this (water-body) by bad and injurious doings, and many other beings, besides, which he hurts by means of water, through his doing acts relating to water. Thus I say.(6)

There are beings living in water, many lives; of a truth, to the monks water has been declared to be living matter. See! considering the injuries (done to water-bodies), those acts (which are injuries, but must be done before the use of water, eg. straining) have been distinctly declared. Moreover he (who uses water which is not strained) takes away what has not been given (i.e. the bodies of water-lives).(A Bauddha will object): ‘We have permission, we have permission to drink it, or (to take it) for toilet purposes.’ Thus they destroy by various injuries (the water-bodies). But in this their doctrine is of no authority.

He who injures these (water-bodies) does not comprehend and renounce the sinful acts; he who does not injure these, comprehends and renounces the sinful acts.(7) Knowing them, a wise man should not act sinfully towards water, nor cause others to act so, nor allow others to act so. He who knows these causes of sin relating to water, is called a reward-knowing sage. Thus I say.(8)

FOURTH LESSON.

(Thus I say): A man should not, of his own accord, deny the world (of fire-bodies), nor should he deny the self. He who denies the world (of fire-bodies), denies the self; and he who denies the self, denies the world (of fire-bodies).(1) He who knows that (viz. fire) through which injury is done to the long-living bodies (i.e. plants), knows also that which does no injury (i.e. control); and he who knows that which does no injury, knows also that through which no injury is done to the long-living bodies.(2) This has been seen by the heroes (of faith) who conquered ignorance; for they control themselves, always exert themselves, always mind their duty. He who is unmindful of duty, and desiring of the qualities (i.e. of the pleasure and profit which may be derived from the elements) is called the torment (of living being). Knowing this, a wise man (resolves): ‘Now (I shall do) no more what I used to do wantonly before.’ (3) See! there are men who control themselves; others pretend only to be houseless; for one destroys this (fire-body) by bad and injurious doings, and many other beings, besides, which he hurts by means of fire, through his doing acts relating to fire. About this the Revered One has taught the truth: for the sake of the splendour, honour, and glory of this life, for the sake of birth, death, and final liberation, for the removal of pain, man acts sinfully towards fire, or causes others to act so, or allows others to act so.(4) This deprives him of happiness and perfect wisdom. About this he is informed when he has understood, or heard from the Revered One or from the monks, the faith to be coveted. There are some who, of a truth, know this (i.e. injuring) to be the bondage, the delusion, the death, the hell. For this a man is longing, when he destroys this (fire-body) by bad and injurious doings, and many other beings, besides, which he hurts by means of fire, through his doing acts relating to fire. Thus I say.(5)

There are beings living in the earth, living in grass, living on leaves, living in wood, living in cowdung, living in dust-heaps, jumping beings which coming near (fire) fall into it. Some, certainly, touched by fire, shrivel up; those which shrivel up there, lose their sense there; those which lose their sense there, die there.(6)

He who injures these (fire-bodies) does not comprehend and renounce the sinful acts; he who does not injure these, comprehends and renounces the sinful acts. Knowing them, a wise man should not act sinfully towards fire, nor cause others to act so, nor allow others to act so. He who knows the causes of sin relating to fire, is called a reward-knowing sage. Thus I say.(7)

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