Influential Jaina Ācāryas

Posted: 28.06.2008
Updated on: 02.07.2015

Influential Jaina Ācāryas

1.0 Introduction

The purpose of dealing with the above topic is to acquaint you with the prominent, Influential Jaina ācāryas who contributed to logic, ethics metaphysic and spiritualism (mysticism) as propounded by Jaina Thinkers. It is not a detailed treatment of the topic but only a simple presentation of some of the great ācāryas of Jaina Philosophy. I have not taken into account the contemporary ācāryas. We propose to classify the ācāryas in the following way.

    1. Canonical ācāryas (Āgama ācāryas)
    2. Creative ācāryas (Sarjanātmaka ācāryas )

1. Canonical ācāryas (Āgama ācāryas):

After the attainment of omniscience (Kevala-jňāna) in 557 B.C. at the age of 42, Indrabhūti Gautama and Sudharmā Svāmi converted into Jaina canon (Āgama), the deliverances of Mahāvīra. The language of the canon is Prākŗta.

After two hundred years of the Nirvāņa (emancipation) of Mahāvīra (527 B.C.) there was a terrible feminine in Magadha (4th Cent. B.C.) which lasted for twelve years. The result was that the knowledge of the Jaina canon started to suffer losses. Consequently Sthūlabhadra (4th Century BC) convened a council at Pātliputra (Patna) and the canon was fixed to some extent. In spite of the great other councils, the canon was in danger of being lost. Finally the credit of saving the Jaina canon goes to Devarddhi Kşamāśramaņa (5th cent. A.D.) The present canon comes to us because of this great ācārya.

The important names for writing commentaries on the Jaina canon are:

    1. Bhadrabāhu II 6th cent. A.D.
    2. Samghadāsagaņī7th cent. A.D.
    3. Jinabhadragaņī 7th cent. A.D.
    4. Jinadāsa Mahatara 7th cent. A.D.
    5. Śīlańka 9th cent. A.D.
    6. Abhayadeva 12th cent. A.D.

In addition to the above canonical ācāryas , there is known to us a great ācārya, namely, Gūņadhara (1st cent. A.D.) who wrote Kaşāya Pāhuda (Discussion on attachment and aversion) in 233 verses. Apart from this, Puşpadanta and Bhūtabali composed şaŧkhańdāgama in Prākŗta after learning the Jaina doctrines from Dharasen ācārya of 1st cent. A.D. The Acarya who commented upon some portions of şaŧkhańdāgama is Vīrasena and the commentary in known as Dhavlā. He also wrote an incomplete commentary on Kaşāya Pāhuda known as Jayadhavlā. Here the significant point to be noted is that Vīrasen ācārya by measurement composed 92 thousand ślokas. It is something unique in the history of Indian literature.

2. Creative ācāryas (Sarjanātmaka ācāryas)

2.0     Umāsvāti/Umāsvāmi:

Both the traditions of Jaina Sańgha regard Umāsvāti/Umāsvāmi as a celebrated creative ācārya who composed in Sańskŗta Sūtra style, Tattvārthasūtra. It is a compendium of Jaina Philosophy, which includes Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ethics and Spiritualism. The number of Sūtras in Tattvārthasutra differs in the two traditions in the following way.

    1. Number of Sūtras commented upon by Pūjyapāda, (6th cent. A.D.), Akalańka (8th cent. A.D.) and Vidyānandi (9th cent. A.D.) are 357.
    2. Number of Sūtras commented upon by Siddhasenagaņī and Haribhadra are 344.

2.1     Kundakunda (1st cent. A.D) The important works in Prākŗta are:

  • Pravacanasāra. (Epistemology, Metaphysics and Śramaņācāra)
  • Samayasāra (Doctrine of empirical and transcendental self)
  • Pańcāstikāya (Six substances and Nine Padarthas)
  • Niyamasāra (spiritual awakening, value knowledge and ethico-spiritual conduct)

2.2    Vaŧŧekara (1st cent. A.D.) His important work is

  • Mūlācāra in Prākŗta. It dwells upon the Śramaņācāra in1252 gāthās.

2.3      Śivārya (1st cent A.D.) His important work is

  • Bhagavatī Ārādhanā in Prākŗta consisting of 2166 verses. This work is very famous for understanding the types of Death.

2.4      Samantabhadra (2nd cent. A.D.) He was a great logician, profound devotee and a writer of householders ethics.

  • Āpta Mīmāńsā - Critical examination of Āpta (Perfect Personality) in 115 verses
  • Yuktyanuśāsana - Devotion to Mahavira. The ācārya regards the Tīrtha of Mahāvīra as Sarvodaya Tīrtha (Development of all without any distinction) Verses 64
  • Ratnakarańda śrāvakācāra - Treatise on householder’s ethical living. 150 Verses.
  • Svayambhūstotra - Devotion to 24th T ī rthańkaras in 143 Verses. 2.5 Kārtikeya (3rd cent. A.D.) His work is: Kārtikeyanūprekşā in Prākŗta 489 verses.

2.5     Kārtikeya (3rd cent. A.D.) His work is:

  • Kārtikeyanūprekşā in Prākŗta 489 verses.

2.6      Siddhasena (6th cent. A.D.) Writer of

  • Sanmati Tarka in Prākŗta dealing with the doctrine of Nayas (Stand points) in 166 Verses.
  • Kalyāņa Mandira Stotra in 44 verses (Devotional Verses) in praise of Pārsvanātha.

2.7      Siddhasena Divākara (6th cent. A.D.) writer of a work on logic known as

  • Nyāyāvatāra. (32 verses).

2.8     Pūjyapāda (6th cent. A.D.) The following are his works.

  • Dasabhakti (Ten types of devotion)
  • Samādhitantra (Spiritual delineations) 105 verses.
  • Işŧopadeśa (Description of self) 151 verses.
  • Commentary on Tattvārthasūtra known as Sarvārtha Siddhi.

2.9     Joindu or Yogindu (6th cent. A.D.) 
The ācārya writes in Apabhrańşa language. He is known for mystical exposition.

  • Paramātma Prakāśa 
  • Yogasāra
    are his two mystical writings.

2.9.1   Mallavādī (6th cent. A.D.) His important work is

  • Dvādasa Nayacakra (Doctrine of stand-points.)

2.10    Haribhadra (7th cent. A.D.): His important works are

  • Anekānta Jayapatākā (Doctrine of Anekānta)
  • (b) şaŧdarśan Samuccya (Six Philosophies)
  • Yoga-Bindu (New Trends in Yoga)
  • Śrāvaka Prajňapati (Householder’s way of life)

2.11    Mānatuńga (7th cent. A.D.):

  • Bhaktāmara Stotra in 48 verses. It expresses devotion to Ŕşabha, the first Tīrthańkara.

2.13    Akalańka (8th cent. A.D.): Father of Jaina Logic. His works are:

  • Nyāya Viniścaya - (Perception, Inference and Authority)
  • Siddhi Viniścaya - (Pramāņa, Naya & Nikşepa)
  • Tattvārthavārttika - (Commentary on Tattvārthasūtra of Umā svāti)
  • Aşŧaśatī - (Commentary on Āpta Mīmāńsā of Samantabhadra)

2.14    Vidyānandi (9th cent. A.D.) - His important works are:

  • Aşŧasahaśrī: Detailed commentary on Samantabhadra’s Āpta Mīmāńsā.
  • Tattvārtha ślokavārttika - Commentary on Tattvārthasūtra of Umā svāti.

2.15    Śubhacandra (9th cent. A.D.) - Only work is:

  • Jňāņārava (Work Predominantly on Dhyāna)

2.16    Amŗtacandra (10th cent. A.D.) - His important works are:

  • Puruşārthasiddhupāya (Unprecedented work on Ahińsā)
  • Commentaries on Samayasāra, Pravacanasāra & Pańcāstikāya of Kundakunda.

2.17    Nemicandra Siddhānta Cakravarti (10th cent. A.D.) - His important works are:

  • Gommaŧŧasāra (Jivakāńda) 734 verses.
  • Gommaŧŧasāra (Karmakāńda) 962 verses.

2.18    Devasena (10th cent. A.D.) - His important work is:

  • Nayacakra (423 verses) - Doctrina of Naya & Nikşepa.

2.19    Nemicandra Muni (11th cent. A.D.) - His important work is:

  • Dravyasańgraha (58 verses) (Pointed presentation of Tattavas and Dravyas)

2.20    Māņikyanandi (11th cent. A.D.) - His only work is:

  • Parikşāmukha Sūtra (Work on Jaina logic in S¦tra style.)

2.21    Prabhācandra (11th cent. A.D.) - His important work is:

  • Prameyakamalamārtańda (commentary on Parikśāmukha Sutra)

2.22    Rāmasena (11th cent. A.D.) - His work is

  • Tattvānuśāsana (Detailed treatment of Dhyāna)

2.23    Vādidevasuri (12th cent. A.D.) - His important work is:

  • Pramāņanayatattvālokālańkāra (Work on Jaina Logic)

2.24    Anantavīrya (12th cent. A.D.) - His important work is:

  • Prameyaratnamāla (Commentary on Parikşāmukha Sūtra)

2.25    Vasunandi (12th cent. A.D.) - His important work is:

  • Śrāvakācāra (Householders way of life)

2.26    Hemacandra (13th cent. A.D.) - His important works are:

  • Pramāņa Mīmāńsā: (Dissuasion on Jaina epistemology & Logic)
  • Anyayogayavachedika (critical examination of other Indian Philosophies)
  • Yoga Sutra (Work on Jaina ācāra & dhyāna)

2.27    Malliseņa (13th cent. A.D.) - His important work is:

  • Syādvādamańjarī (Commentary on Hemacandra's Anyayogayavachedikā)
  • (Critical examination of other systems of Indian Philosophy.)

2.28    Pt. Āśādhara (14th cent. A.D.) - His Important works are:

  • Sāgāradharmāmŗta (Householder’s way of life.)
  • Anagāradharmāmŗta (Muni’s way of life.)

2.29    Dharmabhūşana (15th cent. A.D.) - His important work is:

  • Nyāyadīpikā (work on Jaina logic)

2.30    Yaśovijaya (18th cent. A.D.) - His important work is:

  • Jaina Tarka Bhāşā (Discussion on Jaina Theory of Knowledge)


Subjectwise Classification of ācāryas:

(a) Āgama ācāryas

 

Indrabhūti Gautama and Sudharmā Svāmi

6th cent. B.C.

 

Sthūlabhadra

4th cent. B.C.

 

Devarddhi Kşamāśramaņa

5th cent. A.D.

 

Bhadrabahu II

6th cent. A.D.

 

Samghadāsagaņī

7th cent. A.D.

 

Jinabhadragaņī

7th cent. A.D.

 

Jinadāsa Mahatara

7th cent. A.D.

 

Śīlańka

9th cent. A.D.

 

Abhayadeva

12th cent. A.D.

 

Gūņadhara

1st cent. A.D.

 

Puşpadanta and Bhūtabali

1st cent. A.D.

 

Vīrasen ācārya

9th cent. A.D.

(b) Logistic ācāryas

 

Samantabhadra

2nd cent. A.D.

 

Siddhasena

6th cent. A.D.

 

Siddhasena Divākara

6th cent. A.D.

 

Mallavādi

6th cent. A.D.

 

Haribhadra

7th cent. A.D.

 

Akalańka

8th cent. A.D.

 

Vidyānandi

9th cent. A.D.

 

Devasena

10th cent. A.D.

 

Māņikyanandi

11th cent. A.D.

 

Prabhācandra

11th cent. A.D.

 

Anantavīrya

12th cent. A.D.

 

Vadidevasuri

12th cent. A.D.

 

Hemacandra

13th cent. A.D.

 

Malli şeņa

13th cent. A.D.

 

Dharmabhūşana

15th cent. A.D.

 

Yaśovijaya

18th cent. A.D.

(c) Spiritualistic ācāryas

 

Kundakunda

1st cent. A.D

 

Śivārya

1st cent A.D.

 

Kārtikeya

3rd cent. A.D.

 

Pūjyapāda

6th cent. A.D.

 

Joindu or Yogindu

6th cent. A.D.

 

Haribhadra

7th cent. A.D.

 

Śubhacandra

9th cent. A.D.

 

Amŗtacandra

10th cent. A.D.

 

Rāmasena

11th cent. A.D.

 

Nemicandra Muni

11th cent. A.D.

 

Hemacandra

(13th cent. A.D.

(d) Ethical ācāryas

 

Vaŧŧekara

1st cent. A.D.

 

Samantabhadra

2nd cent. A.D.

 

Haribhadra

7th cent. A.D.

 

Vasunańdi

12th cent. A.D.

 

Pt. Āśā dhara

(14th cent. A.D.

(e) Devotional ācāryas

 

Samantabhadra

2nd cent. A.D.

 

Siddhasena

6th cent. A.D.

 

Pūjyapāda

6th cent. A.D.

 

Mānatuńga

7th cent. A.D.

Tattvārthasūtra of Umāsvāti/Umāsvāmi (2nd cent. A.D.) is a compendium of Jaina Philosophy which includes Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ethics and Spiritualism.     (All inclusive ācārya)

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