Tattvartha Sutra

Posted: 29.10.2008
Updated on: 11.12.2011

Alias

Moksh-Shastra, Tattvaarth Sutra, Tattvarthadhigama Sutra, Tattvārtha Sūtra, Tattvārthadhigama Sūtra, Tattvārthasūtra

That Which Is

Tattvartha Sutra (also known as Tattvarth-adhigama-sutra or Moksh-Shastra) is a Jaina text written by Acharya Umaswati (Acharya Umasvami). It was an attempt to bring together the different elements of the Jain Path, epistemological, metaphysical, cosmological, ethical and practical, otherwise unorganized around the scriptures in an unsystematic format. It is the first Jain text in sutra (aphoristic) form. The term Tattvartha is made of the Sanskrit words: Tattva (things or realities) and artha (true nature). Umaswati is accepted by all the sects of Jains and is said to have lived around the 2nd century BC.

Tattvartha-Sutra is regarded as the most authoritative book on Jainism. It has the largest number of commentaries in different Indian languages from the fifth century onward. The first verse, "Samyag darshan jnana charitrani moksha margah" summarizes Jainism by saying that right knowledge, right faith and right conduct collectively only are the path to liberation or moksha. The first chapter deals with the process of cognition and details about different types of knowledge. The next three chapters deal with the Soul. The fifth chapter discusses Non-soul (Ajiva). The next three chapters deal with the karmas and their manifestations and the inflow and the bondage of the karmas. The ninth chapter describes the blocking and shading of the karmas. The final chapter discusses liberation of the soul or the moksha.

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