Jaina Sutras, Part II (SBE22), tr. by Hermann Jacobi, , at sacred-texts.com
'I shall not do (acts relating to plants) after having entered the order, having recognised (the truth about these acts), and having conceived that which is free from danger (i.e. control).'
He who does no acts (relating to plants), has ceased from works; he who has ceased from them is called 'houseless.' (1) Quality is the whirlpool (âvatta = samsâra), and the whirlpool is quality. Looking up, down, aside, eastward, he sees colours, hearing he hears sounds; (2) longing upwards, down, aside, eastward, he becomes attached to colours and sounds. That is called the world; not guarded against it, not obeying the law (of the Tîrthakaras), relishing the qualities, conducting himself wrongly, he will wantonly live in a house (i.e. belong to the world). (3)
See! there are men who control themselves; others pretend only to be houseless, for one destroys this (body of a plant) by bad and injurious doings, and many other
beings, besides, which he hurts by means of plants, through his doing acts relating to plants. (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 plants, 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 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 (body of a plant) by bad and injurious doings, and many other beings, besides, which he hurts by means of plants, through his doing acts relating to plants. Thus I say. (5)
As the nature of this (i.e. men) is to be born and to grow old, so is the nature of that (i.e. plants) to be born and to grow old; as this has reason, so that has reason 1; as this falls sick when cut, so that falls sick when cut; as this needs food, so that needs food; as this will decay, so that will decay; as this is not eternal, so that is not eternal; as this takes increment, so that takes increment; as this is changing, so that is changing. (6) He who injures these (plants) 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 plants, nor cause others to act so, nor allow others to act so. He who knows these causes of sin relating to plants, is called a reward-knowing sage. Thus I say. (7)
9:1 The discussion of the 'wind-bodies,' which should follow that of the fire-bodies, is postponed for two lessons in which the vegetable and animal world is treated of. The reason for this interruption of the line of exposition is, as the commentators state, that the nature of wind, because of its invisibleness, is open to doubts, whilst plants and animals are admitted by all to be living beings, and are, therefore, the best support of the hylozoistical theory. That wind was not readily admitted by the ancient Indians to be a peculiar substance may still be recognised in the philosophical Sûtras of the Brahmans. For there it was thought necessary to discuss at length the proofs for the existence of a peculiar substance, wind. It should be remarked that wind was never identified with air, and that the Gainas had not yet separated air from space.
10:1 The plants know the seasons, for they sprout at the proper time, the Asoka buds and blooms when touched by the foot of a well-attired girl, and the Vakula when watered with wine; the seed grows always upwards: all this would not happen if the plants had no knowledge of the circumstances about them. Such is the reasoning of the commentators.