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     TATTVARTHA -SUTRA  by Umasvami (Umasavti)

Thttvartha Sutra is a sacred epitome of Jainism written by Umasvami. It is recited by millions of mouths every day, in temples and in private houses. Indeed, it is held that one recitation of this book brings as much pious merit as a fast of one day. So it is said :

  Umasvami the author of Tattvartha Sutra renounced the world at the early age of 19 years. The remained an ascetic for 25 years. Then he became the head of ascetics (Acharya). The was the most famous disciple of universally worshipped saint Kunda Kunda. The relation ship between Kunda Kunda and Umasvami is established by on scrimption No. 108, written in 1365 Saka and found at Sravana Belgda.  
  According to Sewtambara tradition, Umasvati was a pupil of Sri Ghosanandi Ksamana, who was pupil of vachaka-mukhya Siva Sri.  
   The name of his father was Svati, that of his mother Vatsi or Uma. The was born in the town named Nyagrodhika. The composed his great work in Kusumapur or Pataliputra, Now Patna in Bihar.  
   As to the 4 Division of Jaina Literature : Cosmology, History, Philosophy and Ritual, Tattvartha Sutra has its place in Philosophy (Dravyanuyoga). This book contains only 10 short chapters, but its value is in inverse proportion to its size. It is revered both by Digambara and Svetambara sections of the Jain Community. The whole of Jaina Philosophy is taught in it. There is no Jaina doctrine or dogma, which is not expressed or implied in these aphorisms.  
  The book is an exposition of Seven Principles of Jainism, i.e., the 7 Tattvas.  
  The opening Sŭtra serves the purpose of an Introduction, Justification and Recapitulation of the whole book. It was necessary to indicate the position of the principles (tattva) in the whole range of Jaina knowledge. they are the subject-matter of right belief, and the relation of the two cannot be appreciated fully, unless we consider the position of right belief in the scheme of Jaina Philosophy. This position is indicated by the first Sutra. This brings us to the justification also. The first purpose of everything living is happiness. Happiness to be worth anything must be eternal, faultless and independent. Such happiness is identical with the Jaina conception of liberation. Right belief in and right knowledge of the seven principles, along with a life led in the light of the knowledge, and firmly established on the basis of the belief is the sole threefold path of final and everlasting deliverance. Thus the first Sŭtra is a justification of the book which deals with these basic principles of belief and action. It is also recapitulation, because the whole book can easily be seen to be merely an expansion of the various aspects, details and developments of this mighty and all comprehensive Sŭtra of Jainism.  

The whole book consists of 357 Sŭtras, divided into 10 chapters with 33, 53, 39, 42, 27, 39, 26, 47, and 9 Sŭtras respectively.


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