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Jaina Sutras, Part II (SBE22), tr. by Hermann Jacobi, [1884], at


'Frequently (I have been born) in a high family, frequently in a low one; I am not mean, nor noble, nor do I desire (social preferment).' Thus reflecting, who would brag about his family or about his glory, or for what should he long? (1)

Therefore a wise man should neither be glad nor angry (about his lot): thou shouldst know and consider the happiness of living creatures. Carefully conducting himself, he should mind this: blindness, deafness, dumbness, one-eyedness,

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hunchbackedness 1, blackness, variety of colour (he will always experience); because of his carelessness he is born in many births, he experiences various feelings. (2)

Not enlightened (about the cause of these ills) he is afflicted (by them), always turns round (in the whirl of) birth and death. Life is dear to many who own fields and houses. Having acquired dyed and coloured (clothes), jewels, earrings, gold, and women, they become attached to these things. And a fool who longs for life, and worldly-minded 2, laments that (for these worldly goods) penance, self-restraint, and control do not avail, will ignorantly come to grief. (3)

Those who are of a steady conduct do not desire this (wealth). Knowing birth and death, one should firmly walk the path (i.e. right conduct), (and not wait for old age to commence a religious life),

For there is nothing inaccessible for death. All beings are fond of life 3, like pleasure, hate pain, shun destruction, like life, long to live. To all life is dear 4. (4)

Having acquired it (i.e. wealth), employing bipeds and quadrupeds, gathering riches in the three ways 5,

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whatever his portion will be, small or great, he will desire to enjoy it. Then at one time, his manifold savings are a large treasure. Then at another time, his heirs divide it, or those who are without a living steal it, or the king takes it away, or it is ruined in some way or other, or it is consumed by the conflagration of the house. Thus a fool doing cruel deeds which benefit another, will ignorantly come thereby to grief. (5)

This certainly has been declared by the sage 1. They do not cross the flood 2, nor can they cross it; they do not go to the next shore, nor can they go to it; they do not go to the opposite shore, nor can they go to it.

And though hearing the doctrine, he does not stand in the right place; but the clever one who adopts the true (faith), stands in the right place (i.e. control) 3.

He who sees by himself, needs no instruction. But the miserable, afflicted fool who delights in pleasures, and whose miseries do not cease, is turned round in the whirl of pains. Thus I say. (6)


19:1 Hereafter vadabhattam explained by vinirgataprithivi vadabha-lakshanam.

19:2 Sampunnam = sampûrnam, lit. complete, i.e. the complete end of human existence is enjoyment of the world.

19:3 Another reading mentioned by the commentator is piyâyayâ, fond of themselves.

19:4 The original of this paragraph reads partly metrical; after the verse marked in my edition there follow three final pâdas of a sloka.

19:5 According to the commentators, the three modes of activity (yoga), action, order, consent, or the three organs of activity (karana), mind, speech, body, are meant.

20:1 I.e. the Tîrthakara.

20:2 I.e. the Samsâra, represented under the idea of a lake or slough, in the mud of which the worldly are sinking without being able to reach the shore.

20:3 Ayâniggam ka âdâya tammi thâne na kitthai | avitaham pappa kheyanne tammi thânammi kitthai || These words form a regular sloka, which has not been noticed by any commentator. Sîlâṅka seems to have read vitaham pappa akheyanne, but I consider the reading of our MSS. better, for if we adopt it, thâna retains the same meaning (viz. control) in both parts of the couplet, while if we adopt Sîlâṅka's reading, thâna must in the one place denote the contrary of what it means in the other; âdânîya, doctrine, lit. to be adopted.

Next: Book I, Lecture 2, Lesson 4