Vyākhyāprajñapti

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Vyākhyāprajñapti (Sanskrit: व्याख्याप्रज्ञप्ति "Exposition of Explanations"), commonly known as the Bhagavati Sūtra (भगवतीसूत्र), is the fifth of the 12 Jain Agamas said to be promulgated by Mahāvīra. The Vyākhyāprajñapti is said to have been composed by Sudharmaswami by the Śvētāmbara school of Jainism; it is written in Jain Prakrit. It is the largest text of the canon, said to contain 60,000 questions answered by Mahavira. The subject matter of the answers ranges from doctrine to rules of ascetic behaviour.

Contents[edit]

The Vyākhyāprajñapti is divided into 41 sections known as shatakas. It follows question and answer pattern. The questions are raised by Gautama, Makandiputra, Roha, Agnibhuti and Vayubhuti, Skandaka, Jayanti and others. Briefly, the answers may be categorised under the following categories:

  • related to ascetic conduct
  • related to the six substances
  • related to ontology
  • related to reincarnation
  • related to geography
  • related to cosmology
  • related to mathematics
  • related to obstetrics
  • brief biographies of famous contemporaries of Mahavira
  • miscellaneous subjects

English translations[edit]

Illustrated BHAGAVATI SUTRA Vol. 1, VYAKHYA PRAJNAPTI Prakrit Gatha - Hindi exposition - English exposition; with a glossary Ed. by Pravartaka Amar Muni, Shrichand Surana Saras Eng. tr. by Surendra Bothra