Sunday, July 19, 2009

Kalpasutra (Jainism)

Kalpasutra (Jainism)

Kalpasutra (कल्पसूत्र) is a Jain ancient text containing the biographies of the last two Jain Tirthankaras,Parshvanath and Mahavira. It contains detailed life histories with illustrations. Adinath (or RishabhDev) andNeminath are two other Tirthankaras briefly mentioned in the text, with Adinath depicted in some of the illustrations.

The book is considered to be written by Bhadrabahu I, and it is considered written about 150 years after Nirvana of Mahavira..

Importance of the text

The book is read and illustrated in an eight day long festival of Paryushan by Jain monks for general people.

Origin of Illustrations

Harinegamesin Takes the Embryo of Mahavira from Devananda and Brings it to Queen Trisala, Folio from a Kalpasutra (Book of Sacred Precepts) Date circa 1450, from Collection of LACMA.
The Kalpasutra art has its origin acclaimedly in the 5th century. It is claimed that the Kalpasutras, though on a different medium, were part of the same sectarian art tradition as the ancient murals of Ajanta, Bagh and other monasteries. However, the earliest known Kalpasutras do not go beyond the 10th century and the number from the period from the 10th to 13th centuries is very small. The greater bulk of Kalpasutra paintings emerges from 14th to mid-16th centuries. These Kalpasutras are mostly from Western India, Gujarat, Rajasthan and the western region of Malwa. The Mandu (Malwa, now in Madhya Pradesh) Kalpasutras of 1439 and some of their contemporary renderings from Gujarat and western Rajasthan, Mewar and Marwar, are all masterpieces of Indian miniature art.

Tattvartha Sutra

Tattvartha Sutra (also known as Tattvarth-adhigama-sutra or Moksh-Shastra) is a Jaina text written byAcharya Umaswati or Umasvami. It was an attempt to bring together the different elements of the Jain Path,epistemological, metaphysical, cosmological, ethical and practical, otherwise unorganized around the scriptures in an unsystematic format. It is the first Jain text in sutra (aphoristic) form. The term Tattvartha is made of theSanskrit words: Tattva (things or realities) and artha (true nature). Umaswati is accepted by all the sects of Jains and is said to have lived around the 2nd century BC.

The Tattvartha Sutra is regarded as the most authoritative book on Jainism. It has the largest number of commentaries in different Indian languages from the fifth century onward. The first verse, "Samyag darshan jnana charitrani moksha margah" सम्यग दर्शन ज्ञान चरित्रानी मोक्षमार्ग:|| summarizes Jainism by saying that right knowledge, right faith and right conduct collectively only are the path to liberation or moksha. The first chapter deals with the process of cognition and details about different types of knowledge. The next three chapters deal with the Soul. The fifth chapter discusses Non-soul (Ajiva). The next three chapters deal with the karmas and their manifestations and the inflow and the bondage of the karmas. The ninth chapter describes the blocking and shading of the karmas. The final chapter discusses liberation of the soul or the moksha.

Kalpa Sutra

Kalpa Sutra


  1. Nice blog.
    Good work... Keep it up !!

    - Preeti
    mail -

  2. fantastic

    jay jindendra jai mahaveer

    Ankit JAin

  3. खमियव्वम खमाविव्वं
    can i get more details on this ?

  4. In which language did the 'Kalpa Sutra' was written?

    Nitin Jinturkar,mumbai

  6. i studied jainism and i happy to accept it as a good religion which is kind to all creatures. mahavira lived a natural life which is a universal truth.

  7. How many shlokas there in kalpasutra?