Jainism

Shrut Panchami Mahaparva (Jyeshtha Shukla Panchami)

The day of completion of first written text (Agama) of Jainism Named – ‘SHATKHANDAGAMA’, two thousands years ago. Authors were great ‘Acharya Pushpadanta’ & ‘Bhootbali’.

Origin of Shrut: – Sequence of Teerthankaras is immortal and Bhagwan Mahaveer are the last Teerthankar of present Hundavasarpini Kala (Up to the end of Chaturtha Kala – Era).

After attaining Kevalgyan (the power of seeing whole of Universe & its happening of present, past & future simultaneously) his preaches were delivered in the form of Divya Dhwani (a sound understandable by each and every living being present in the Samavsharan).

The mater of Divya Dhwani is divided / classified under twelve headings called Anga. Thus the preaches of Bhagwan are called Dwadashanga Shrut (Shrut – the knowledge gained by hearing).

At that time of Bhagwan Mahaveer, the memory of many persons was too high to learn the total of Divya Dhwani. Ganadharas were main among them. But after the salvation of Mahaveer, as the fourth era ended & fifth ere started, with the time the memory started decreasing, resulted the knowledge of Dwadashanga Shrut also started diminishing. While at the time of Bhagwan Mahaveer so many Acharyas were possessing the knowledge of Dwadashanga Shrut, after 600 Yrs. the knowledge was shrinked only up to one Anga or part of one Anga too. Up to the period of 683 yrs. after salvation of Bhagwan Mahaveer, knowledge was transferred only by hearing (Shruti). The need of written text was not felt up to that time. If a person is able to learn only by hearing, there is no need to preserve the mater in written.

Efforts: – (The story of Acharya Dharsen & two munies – Pushpadant & Bhootbali). After 683 yrs. of Bhagwan Mahaveer, there lived an Acharya called Dharsen in Chandra Gufa (cave) of Girnar Hill. He was possessing the knowledge of a part of one Anga. One day, a thought stroked his mind, “my period of life is short now and if my knowledge is not transferred to some capable munies and if not kept safe in written form, it will be vanished in some sort of time”. So Acharya Dharsen decided to teach & transfer his knowledge to some capable munies, so that they may preserve it in the form of written text.

At that time a huge conference was organized in Mahimanagari of south, under the headship of Mahasenacharya. Acharya Dharsen send a message to Mahasenacharya to select & send two munies possessing high level of memory, dedication & ability. Mahasenacharya understanding the intension of Dharsen, send two munies named Narwahan & Subuddhi near Dharsen. Both munies were possessing high level of intelligence and abilities regarding the purpose of Acharya Dharsen.

One night Acharya Dharsen saw two young & white bullocks standing before him in a dream. Next morning Acharya Dharsen found two munies standing before him, while he opened the eyes after meditation. Both munies bowed before Acharya with full respect & devotion. After greeting, Acharya gave them two mantras, one to each muni and ordered them to verify. Acharya also added that they must come to Acharya after verifying the mantra, if there is some problem, they will solve it at their own, not to approach Acharya for solution.

Both munies getting the instructions of Acharya started to recite the mantra with full faith. After some time two goddesses appeared before munies. Both were in unnatural and none beautiful look. Actually the mantras were not in perfect form. One mantra having one word less and other having a word extra in it, so one goddess was one eyed and another with extra large teeth coming out of her mouth. Munies saw goddesses and felt in deep thought, where was the mistake. They thought to ask the Acharya, but soon they remembered the strict instructions of Acharya, so they decided to see the wordings of mantras, corrected them and again engaged in their job. This time the goddesses appeared again, but they were all around beautiful.

Both the goddesses asked munies to ask for some boon, but what may be demanded by ascetic saints. Both munies denied demanding any thing. They said that they were verifying mantras by the order of Acharya. Then one goddess corrected the series of teeth of muni Narwahan which was not in order and gave the name Pushpadanta, Muni Subuddhi was worshiped by gods of heaven called Bhoota so he was named Bhootbali.

After verifying the mantras both munies went near the Acharya and started to tell him about the happenings, but Acharya stopped them and said that he is well known about the series of events and their success.

Thus after testing the abilities of two munies and getting satisfied, Acharya Dharsen started to teach both munies. Soon both munies learned each & every thing what Acharya Dharsen taught them. After completion of teaching, knowing the time of death nearer, Acharya Dharsen ordered both munies to leave the place and keep the knowledge safe in written form, so that it may be useful for next generations. Teaching work by Acharya Dharsen was completed on the day Asharh Shukla – 11.

Muni Pushpadanta & Bhootbali obeying the order of Acharya Dharsen and keeping their mission in mind left the Girnar and settled their Chaturmas (Four months of rainy season) in Ankaleshvar in Gujarat. After Chaturmas Muni Pushpadanta went to Vanvas (Karnataka) & Muni Bhootbali went to Dravirdesh (Tamilnadu).

Writing of Shatkhandagama: – During stay at Vanvas, Muni Pushpadanta wrote a text ‘Sat Prarupana’ on basis of his knowledge gained from Acharya Dharsen. This was the abstract of his knowledge. This text (Shastra) was sent by him to Muni Bhootbali by his scholar Muni Jinpalit.

‘Sat Prarupana’ contented only 177 sutras Muni Bhootbali extended & completed the text (Shastra or Grantha). After completion there were five parts of Grantha containing 6000 sutras and 6th part of the Grantha was written by Bhootbali in detail named ‘Mahabandha’ containing 30000 Shlokas / Sutras.

This entire Grantha / text being divided in 6 parts is called ‘Shatkhandagama’. Writing work of this ‘Shatkhandagama’ on Tadpatra (Leaves of a tree) was completed on the day Jyeshtha Shukla – 5. Because at this day, the first successful attempt to write the preaches of Bhagwan Mahaveer was completed in the form of text ‘Shatkhandagama’ this day was celebrated as ‘Shrut Panchami’. A worship of ‘Shatkhandagama’ was organized in presence of Chaturvidh Samgha (Muni – Aryika – Shravak – Shravika) and this Grantha was established as first written text of Jains.

Six parts of ‘Shatkhandagama’: –

  1. Jeevatthan
  2. Khuddabandha
  3. Bandha Swamitva Vichay
  4. Vedana
  5. Vargana
  6. Mahabandha.

The famous ‘Namokar Mantra’ is the Mangalacharana (Benedictory prologue) of ‘Shatkhandagama’. Each Jain recites ‘Namokar Mantra’ so many times in a day.

Commentaries on ‘Shatkhandagama’: – Shatkhandagama being the first written text – Agama, this is called ‘Pratham Shrutskandha’. This has the significant importance, on the basis of Shatkhandagama, later on many Acharyas & saints wrote their commentaries, Granthas and much more. It mainly describes the Karma Siddhanta (Theory), which is the unique fundamental of Jainism.

Acharya Kund Kund also wrote a commentary (Teeka) on first three parts of Shatkhandagama, called ‘Parikarma’, size of ‘Parikarma’ was equivalent to 12000 Shloka. Acharya Swami Samantbhadra also wrote a commentary on this glorious text and many other Acharyas also wrote Choorni Sootras on the basis of Shatkhandagama. But unluckily all these texts & Sootras are not available now.

At present, a commentary of Acharya Veersen of 8th century is available called ‘Dhawala Teeka or Dhawal’. Acharya Veersen wrote his commentary on first five parts of Shatkhandagama equivalent to 72000 Shlokas and 6th part Mahabandha is available in original form – 30000 Shlokas in size. Dhawala Teeka was completed on 8th of Oct. of year 0816 AD (Shaka 738).

Kashaya Pahud & its Teeka: – Contemprary to Acharya Pushpadanta & Bhootbali, Acharya Gundhar was also present there. Acharya Gundhar had the knowledge of some part of ‘Gyan Pravad’. He also decided to keep the knowledge safe in written form. So he wrote ‘Kashaya Pahud’. This text describes the types of Kashaya (Emotion) and path to overcome (Types of Kashaya – Anger, Proud, Cheat and Greed).

Acharya Veersen also wrote a commentary on Kashaya Pahud. Veersen wrote up to 20000 Shlokas and after the death of Veersen, his successor & scholar Acharya Jinsen wrote 40000 Shlokas on the remaining part of ‘Kashaya Pahud’. Thus the commentary on Kashaya Pahud is heavily detailed having the size up to 60000 Shlokas. This commentary on Kashaya Pahud is called ‘Jai Dhawal’.

Both Shatkhandagama & Kashaya Pahud and their commentaries Dhawal & Jai Dhawal are wrote in ‘Prakrit’ language and are the part of Karananuyoga describes the Karma Siddhanta (Theory of Karma), types of emotions & sentiments of soul and their rewards.

These texts are called Siddhanta Grantha.

This benefited the Acharyas & devotees of future. So many secrets became open and many doubts were cleared with the help of these great texts.

Shatkhandagama, Kashaya Paud & Dhawal – Jai Dhawal are available today with Hindi translation in 41 books.

Contents of Shatkhandagama & Kashaya Pahud: – These great texts not only describe the theory of Karma in detail, but also describe the various theories of Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Nyaya-Tarka, Geography, Astrology etc. Modern science is proving the properties (Chemical & Physical) of mater as described in these texts.

How to Celebrate

Jain Samaj celebrates this ‘Shrut Panchami’ by organizing functions, seminars, meetings. Shrut Yatras, Shrut Pooja (Worship of Shastras – Texts) is the main function of this day. Mainly Shatkhandagama, Kashaya Pahud & commentaries – Dhawal, Jai Dhawal other texts are worshiped & displayed before devotees.

Swadhyaya (reading of Shastra – Texts) being the part of Shat Aavashyakas is the main duty of devotees wherever they live either at home or in forest i.e. family man or muni both. Every temple has its library where religious books (printed or old hand written) are kept in collection for general use. At this occasion these books are cared cleaned and their covers are being changed. These books are also given as gift to friends & relatives.

Seminar & meetings are organized where discussions regarding the importance of Shrut- Texts took place to develop the awareness towards the preservation of Shastras & to make popular. Ratha Yatras & Shrut Yatras are also organized this day.

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