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Browsing: Kalpa-sūtra and Kālakācārya-kathā (Tod MS 34)

Title: Fourfold community

Source:
Royal Asiatic Society
Shelfmark:
Tod MS 34
Author:
unknown author / Bhavadeva-sūri
Date of creation:
1404
Folio number:
102 recto
Total number of folios:
97 folios, numbered 16 to 112, with 1–15 missing
Place of creation:
western India
Language:
Prakrit and Sanskrit
Medium:
ink and watercolour on paper
Size:
32.5 x 9.4 cm
Copyright:
Royal Asiatic Society Images/RAS, London
JAINpedia Copyright Information

Description

Twelve kneeling figures are arranged over three levels, all facing the same direction. Ascetics occupy the second row and can be identified by their robes and monastic equipment. They include monks and nuns, although they are difficult to distinguish. The other people shown are lay Jains, with four men at the top and four women at the bottom. All of them have their hands folded in respect and face a person who is outside the picture.

This is a standard image at the end of Kalpa-sūtra manuscripts. It shows members of the fourfold community – caturvidha-saṅgha – of Mahāvīra listening to his teaching with hands folded in respect. Here the monastic community is represented by a nun and two monks wearing characteristic Śvetāmbara robes and holding the mouth-cloth in front of them. The lay community – śrāvakas and śrāvikās – is represented by various men and women. Note how the men have beards and long hair, in contrast to the monks.

Other visual elements

In many Kalpa-sūtra manuscripts, there is a clear intention to make the manuscript a valuable and remarkable object in itself. Here this is achieved in a rather modest manner. This aim is signalled by the:

  • ornamental motif in the central margin
  • calligraphic script.

This manuscript belongs to a rather early phase of Kalpa-sūtra paper manuscripts, the beginning of the 15th century. This is evidenced by the:

  • format of the paper, which is rather narrow
  • old system of folio numbering, using 'letter-numerals', which is found in the left-hand margins of the verso sides.
Script

The elaborate script is the Jaina Devanāgarī script, in a form which recalls calligraphy. It is used for writing numerous Indian languages, here for Ardhamāgadhī Prakrit and Sanskrit.

This manuscript was read after it was copied and this page shows additions in smaller script. They are Sanskrit equivalents of some Prakrit words in the original. Examples are:

  • at the beginning of line 4, where the Sanskrit word vigrahaḥ is above the Prakrit vuggaha – ‘dispute’
  • in the middle of line 5, where the Sanskrit word kṣamitavyaṃ is above the Prakrit khamiyavvaṃ – ‘should be forgiven’
  • in the first part of line 6, where the Sanskrit word upaśamayitavyaḥ is above the Prakrit uvasamiyavvaṃ – ‘should be appeased’.

The lines in smaller script above and below the main text and in the margins are explanations in Sanskrit of phrases found in the central part. The two small parallel lines like slanted = after the words are meant to separate the explanations in the margins. The parallel lines around words in the text indicate which words are glossed.

Background

The Kalpa-sūtra is the most frequently illustrated Jain text of the Śvetāmbara sect. It is read and recited by monks in the Śvetāmbara festival of Paryuṣaṇ, which takes place in August to September each year.

The third part of the Kalpa-sūtra – Sāmācārī – deals with particular monastic rules to be followed during the rainy season.

The author, or authors, of the Kalpa-sūtra is unknown, although it is attributed to Bhadrabāhu. Manuscripts of the Kalpa-sūtra frequently contain a related text at the end, called the Kālakācārya-kathā. The Story of the Monk Kalaka provides an explanation of the date of the festival of Paryuṣaṇ, in which the Kalpa-sūtra features. The version in this manuscript is by Bhāvadeva-sūri.

Translation

A monk or a nun using harsh words after the Paryuṣaṇā has to be turned out of the church. Having practised Paryuṣaṇā during the monsoon sojourn, a monk as well as a nun should at once give up contemptuous exchange of words. The disciple should forgive the senior, as the senior should forgive the disciple. It is necessary to forgive, to be forgiven, to appease, to be appeased, [to ask often very many] pleasant questions.

Lalwani’s translation 1979: 181

Transcription

1. vadittae / je ṇaṃ niggaṃtho vā 2 paraṃ pajjosavaṇāo ahi-
2. garaṇaṃ vadati / se ṇaṃ nijjūhiyavve / siyā / vāsā-vāsaṃ
3. pa° khaluniggaṃthāṇa vā 2 ajj’ eva kakkhaḍe kaḍue
4. vuggahe suppajjejjā / sehe rāiṇiyaṃ khāmijjā / rā-
5. yaṇie vi sehaṃ khāmijjā / 1200 khamiyavvaṃ / khamāve-
6. yavvaṃ / uvasamiyavvaṃ / uvasamāveyavvaṃ / sammui-saṃpuccha
[On folio 102 verso: ṇā-bahuleṇa hoyavvaṃ...]

Glossary

Caturvidha-saṅgha
The ‘fourfold society’ of Jain tradition, which is made up of ascetics and the laity, and of males and females.
Kalpa-sūtra
The Book of Ritual attributed to Bhadrabāhu. It has three sections:
  1. 'Jina-caritra' – 'Lives of the Jinas'
  2. 'Sthavirāvalī' – 'String of Elders'
  3. 'Sāmācārī' – 'Right Monastic Conduct'.
A significant sacred text for Śvetāmbara Jains, the Kalpa-sūtra has a central role in the annual Paryuṣaṇ festival.
Muhpattī
Modern Indo-aryan language term from the Sanskrit ‘mukhavastrikā'. The small rectangular piece of cloth permanently fixed over the mouth by some mendicant orders. This is to avoid being violent accidentally, either by inhaling tiny creatures or killing them by breathing over them unexpectedly.This is not the same as the mouth-cover used on some occasions by other mendicants and by laypeople when they perform certain rites.
Paryuṣaṇ
An eight-day festival in August / September, which is the most important event of the religious calendar for Śvetāmbara lay Jains. They fast, read, spend time with monks and meditate. The last day is the occasion for public repentance. Reading the Kalpa-sūtra and sponsoring new manuscripts or editions of this canonical book are associated with this festival.
Śrāvaka
'Hearer’ of the teaching. This commonly refers to the Jain lay man, who follows the teachings of the 24 Jinas and is not a member of the clergy or a religious order. The feminine form is śrāvikā.
Śvetāmbara
'White-clad’ in Sanskrit, the title of one of the two main divisions of Jainism, in which both male and female mendicants wear white robes. There are some differences of doctrine or belief between these two sects and to some extent their followers consider themselves as belonging to distinct branches. Divisions can be fierce in practical matters, for example, over the ownership of pilgrimage places, but all sects see themselves as Jains.
Ascetic
Someone who withdraws from ordinary life to meditate and practise physical hardships in order to advance spiritually. Jain ascetics or mendicants beg for food from devout lay followers and wander the land. Also used as an adjective to describe the practice of rigorous, even extreme, physical hardships in the belief that it leads to a higher spiritual condition.
Disciple
An active follower of a religion, especially one who passes on teachings to others.
Laity
Believers in a religion who are ordinary worshippers, not clergy or members of religious orders. In Jainism, lay people are often called 'householders', indicating that they live in houses and have domestic responsibilities, unlike ascetics.
Monk
A man who has taken a public vow to withdraw from ordinary life to formally enter religious life and advance spiritually. Frequently, monks perform physical austerities or undergo physical hardships in order to progress spiritually.
Nun
A woman who has taken a public vow to withdraw from ordinary life to enter religious life and advance spiritually. Frequently, nuns perform physical austerities or undergo physical hardships in order to progress spiritually.
Rainy season
The annual four-month rainy period in India, lasting roughly from June / July to October / November. Heavy rain, strong storms and gale-force winds are very common during this period. Mendicants cannot travel around and must stay in one place to avoid breaking their vow of non-violence and because the monsoon makes travelling on foot difficult and dangerous. It is known as cāturmāsa in Sanskrit, comāsa in Hindi and comāsu in Gujarati.
Sanskrit
A classical language of India, originally used by priests and nobility. Sanskrit has a rich literary and religious tradition. With only a few thousand native speakers nowadays, it is predominantly used in Hindu religious ceremonies and by scholars.
Prākrit
A term for any of the dead vernacular languages of ancient and medieval India. It may be contrasted with classical Sanskrit, the language used by priests and the aristocracy. The Jains used a large variety of Prakrits, with the Jain canon written chiefly in Ardhamāgadhī Prākrit.
Ardhamāgadhī Prākrit
A dialect of the Prākrit language used for many Śvetāmbara Jain scriptures.
Jaina Devanāgarī
The distinctive version of the Devanāgarī script found in Jain manuscripts.
Festival
A public commemoration of a religious ritual. Often a celebration that involves holding a religious ceremony to mark an important event in a religion's history. 
Folio
A single sheet of paper or parchment with a front and a back side. Manuscripts and books are written or printed on both sides of sheets of paper. A manuscript page is one side of a sheet of paper, parchment or other material. The recto page is the top side of a sheet of paper and the verso is the underside.
Verso
Known as a folio, a single sheet of paper or other material has a front and a back side. The recto page is the top side of a sheet of paper and the verso is the underside.
niggaṃtho vā 2
Found in Jain manuscripts, an abbreviation in Ardhamāgadhī Prākrit indicating that niggaṃthī vā is implied.
pa°
Found in Jain manuscripts, an abbreviation in Ardhamāgadhī Prākrit indicating that pajjosavie is implied.
Gloss
To explain or translate a word or phrase in a text. A glossary is a collection of such explanations. A gloss may be a short note in the margin or between the lines of a text or it may be an extended commentary.

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