The Tattva-bodha-prakaraṇa – Treatise on Awakening to Realities – is a Śvetāmbara sectarian work, the main concern of which is to refute practices typical of rival monastic orders. Such works emerged parallel to the rise of numerous gacchas from the 12th century onwards. Their subjects are Jain ethics and its principles. These are openly or covertly discussed with the aim of assessing their truth or validity when viewed as part of the contests between different groups. The differences between these gacchas are mainly of practice. The authors of such works largely draw on textual references to show that the practices they defend are rooted in the tradition, and that those of their rivals are innovations coming out of the blue. They usually proceed in two stages:
The title of the work underlines this twofold process of argumentation. This work, which is written in Sanskrit, refutes the practices of two groups. The practices of the Añcala-gaccha are proved wrong from the beginning of the text up to line 4 of folio 11B, while those of the Pūrṇimāgaccha are disproved in the second part. For instance, the attacks against the Añcala-gaccha focus on their habit of having the lay community use ‘the border of a garment’ – añcala – instead of the mouth-cloth – mukha-vastrikā – while performing necessary duties such as sāmāyika.
Its author is named as Haribhadra-sūri in the final colophon. This is not the famous author of the 8th century, but the Haribhadra who belonged to the Nāgendra-gaccha. In the course of the text the author mentions the name of Amaracandra-sūri as his guru. The name of Śānti-sūri, another monk in the same gaccha, also appears. Amaracandra-sūri was a contemporary of King Siddharāja Jayasiṃha of Gujajrat (1094–1143 CE). Since Haribhadra is his disciple, he must have composed the present work some time during the 12th century – at a time when the Añcala-gaccha and the Pūrṇimā-gaccha had just emerged.
Works of this type are usually known from very few manuscripts. The polemical outlook of the Tattva-bodha-prakaraṇa probably explains the limited number of these works. The British Library manuscript is one of the very rare ones recorded. As far as is known, the text is not available in printed form.