F4 4.1.1 Teachings of Agamas
Teaching at Patliputra :
According to Jain School of Thoughts, after 160 years of death of Lord Mahavir (i.e. around 367 B.C.) during the period of Chandra Gupta Maurya, there was a great famine in Magadha (Bihar). Due to this, a number of Jain monks, under the leadership of Acharya Bhadrabahu, migrated in the direction of sea i.e. down south. The remaining monks preferred to stay in Mogadh only under the leadership of Acharya Sthuli Bhadra after the famine was over, Acharya Sthulibhadra convened, a conference of Jain monks in Patliputra (Magadh – Bihar). In this conference, an effort was made to systematize the Jain scriptures, and 11 (eleven) Angās were well co-ordinated. But both the divisions of Drastivad and Antar Nihit literature could not be systematized, because the expect on both these divisions, Acharya Bhadra Bahu was at that time in Nepal. With the special request from the Sangha, he accepted to give teachings on pre-literature to Stuli Bhadra and other monks. Sthuli Bhadrajee, in this process of learning, could imbibe the study of only ten Purvās with their proper meanings. The remaining four Purvās could be studied limited to their verbal portion. Thus, in the process of teachings (Vānchanā) only 11 Angās could be well systematized and protected
Māthuri Vānchanā (Teaching at Mathura)
After about 827 or 840 years (i.e. between 300 to 313 A.D.) an another conference was convened at Mathurā to further systematize the Agamā scriptures, under the leadership of Acharya Skandil. During this period only there was a great famine, and it was difficult for monks to get alms. Due to this, even the Agamās were not studied and the literature was almost destroyed. After famine, the process of codification and systematization was attempted just by preparing notes on the topics remembered by monks. This kind of recollection of knowledge of literature was done in Kālik form no much authentic information is available on this. The whole phase is known as Māthuri Vānchanā.
First Vallabhi Vānchanā
Some people state that the scripture literature was not destroyed during famine; but a number of senior Anuyog personnels had left Acharya Skandil. During this period, under the leadership of Nagarjun Suriji, one more conference was held at Vallabhi. An effort was made again to systematize the scripture, recollecting and remembering those which were forgotten. This is known as first Vallabhi of Agamās
Second Vallabhi Vānchanā
After about 150 years, i.e. after about 980 or 993 years of death of Lord Mahavir (453 to 466 A.D.), the forth conference was held under the leadership of Devadhi Gani Kshama Sharaman at Vallabhi and interpretations of 45 Agāmas were discussed and properly competed on the basis of Mathuri teachings and they were properly codified. However, here too, Darstivad could not be availed for compilation, and therefore it was declared as lost.
F4 4.1.2 Introduction to Agamās
1. Tirth means Twelve Angās (Scriptures)
2. Lord Tirthankara, after obtaining Keval Gyana ( Ultimate Knowledge) for the first time seats on a specially designed throne (Samovasaran) by gods; and gives religious discourse among 12 “Parshadās”. He could seen by any body and every body from any direction, because his discourse is delivered through 4 faces.
3. Shri Gandhar Lords (the chief disciples) of Tirthankaras, listen carefully to what is presented in the discourse, and try to codified speech of Lord Tirthankaras by Gandharas.
4. Agamās provide complete knowledge of elements and materials. It provides true enlightenment. Through this, one gets special knowledge.
5. There is no knowledge in the world, no element in the world; no education in this world, there is nothing in this world, which does not exist in Agamās.
6. In order to know and understand the Jain Agamās, it is necessary learn about the logic and philosophy known in Jainism as Nay, Nikshep, Praman and Sapt Bhangi.
7. One who studies the Jain Agamās soon realizes that one who has shown such subtle forms of livings and non living elements with so minute details can be none else but the omni potent and one with total complete knowledge – Lord Tirthankaras.
8. Jain Agamās are like big oceans. They are big, wide, infinite meaningful, mysterious, fun with depth and very very serious.
9. Acharya Hari Bhadra Surijee, who has at his credit the authorship of 1444 great volumes has said “ What would have happened to us, who are orphans with the faults of this adverse period, had there not bears Jain – Agamās ?”
F4 4.1.3 Classification of Agamās
The air, water, light and food etc. are considered to be basis for life. Likewise, the basis for religion is its legacy of fundamental scriptures and wealth of sculptures etc.
Agamās were originally vocal sermons presented by Lord Mahavir in which he incorporated various principles, Philosophy and instructions to his followers. Later on this was codified as an extension to Tripadi.
Among Hindus, Vedas are their holy scriptures likewise Bible is for Christians, Quran is for Muslims, Tripatak for Baudhas etc. Likewise for Jains, the Agamās are original and holy scriptures. These are in all 45 Agamās and they are classified into 6 divisions.
1. ANG : There are 11 main scriptures such as Achar-ang, Tan-ang, etc.
There were in fact 12 such Angās but one of them, viz Dhrastivad has been lost or destroyed about 1500 years back. That is why, now they are 11. The Angās are also known as Dwadshangi i.e. a collection of 12 ANGĀS.
2. UPĀNGĀS : They are also 12 in number, such as Auppatik sutra,
Shri Rajprashniyā etc. The Upangās are extentions of Angās.
3. MUL SUTRA : They are four in number viz Dashvaikalik Sutra or
Shri Uttaradhyasan Sutra etc. Their text is originally derived from Anga and Upangās.
4. CHHED SUTRA: They are 6 in number viz Shri Nishith or Shri Maha Nishith etc.
Their text is serious portion of Agamās; and their study is restricted for Sadhus (monks)only.
5. PAYANNA : They are 10sutras in numbers such as Shri Chansaran,
Shri Devindthay, etc. They are coupused following the knowledge of Lord Mahavir
6. CHULIKA : There are two Chulikas viz Shri Nandisutra and Shri Anuyogdwar
Sutra. They are in form of commentary on types / sub types of Deavyannuyog etc. Actually, there are 5 types.
Now, these 45 Agamās are also divided into 4 ANUYOGĀS. They are
3. Charan – Karnanuyog
In Agamās, we do not fid a single original Agamā of Digambaras. According to them, all that has been destroyed. The Sthanakwasies accept on 32 Agamās. They do not recognize original 11 Agamās, Swetambaras not only recognized 45 Agamās but also believe that originally there were 84 Agamās.
F4 4.1.4 Uesful characteristic of Agamās
The Jain Agamās bring a new voice, new decoration and new _________in life. We see the detailed narration of universal power of the soul in it. The Jain order is established with the starting of Jin Agamās. If the Jain ordfer continues for 21,000 years, it will be the major contribution from Jin Agamās. For all Jain monks – the Agamās are their vision. For Jain order, the Agamās are their heat-bits, the soul, the life-live rather every thing,. Two major ways have been shown to go through this life-ocean-one is the idol of Lord Tirthankaras and other is Jain Agamās.
We find in these Jain Agamās the detailed description of many many subjects related to our life and beyond. The major topics covered in Jain Agamās are
The design of the Universe.
The unknown calculation of nature.
The mysteries of life.
Mathematics, Geography, Astronomy,
Very subtle form of the Kāla, (Time)
Basic principles of science.
Grammar, Sculpture, Music, Dance, Dramatics, Astrology, Medicines, Biology.
Very clear concept and philosophy of Karmās.
Code of Conduct for monks.
Code of conduct for followers (Shravakas)
Theory of Relativity / Anekantvad / Syadvad.
Nayā, Nikshepā, Pramān,
Bio-sketches o f great people.
Paths of total welfare of humanity and other species.
This is s basic stream of conduct thought process, behavior, movement etc. of Jain Religion and religious way of life. Here one finds best vision of Annuvrat (basic vows) Mahavrat (Big vows), very hard and harsh penance performance, philosophy of eight Karmās in details etc. Here one finds the scientific description of self performance and self realization. Here one finds detailed and phase-wise description of our mental get up. The Agamās also indicate the philosophical significance of mysticism and spiritual. Here we have hundreds of true stories of history. Thus, Agamās describe about culture, history, philosophy, literature, Art, Psychology, Biology, physics etc.