Samantabhadra (Jain monk)

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Born2nd century CE
Notable work(s)Ratnakaranda śrāvakācāra, Āpta-mīmāṁsā, Jinaśatakam

Samantabhadra was a Digambara acharya (head of the monastic order) who lived about the later part of the second century CE[1][2] He was a proponent of the Jaina doctrine of Anekantavada. The Ratnakaranda śrāvakācāra is the most popular work of Samantabhadra. Samantabhadra lived after Umaswami but before Pujyapada.


Samantabhadra is said to have lived from 150 CE to 250 CE. He was from southern India during the time of Chola dynasty. He was a poet, logician, eulogist and an accomplished linguist.[3] He is credited with spreading Jainism in southern India.[4]

Samantabhadra, in his early stage of asceticism, was attacked with a disease known as bhasmaka (the condition of insatiable hunger).[5] As, digambara monks don't eat more than once in a day, he endured great pain. Ultimately, he sought the permission of his preceptor to undertake the vow of Sallekhana.[6] The preceptor denied the permission and asked him to leave monasticism and get the disease cured.[5] After getting cured he again joined the monastic order and became a great Jain Acharya.[7]


Samantabhadra affirmed Kundakunda's theory of the two nayas - vyavahāranaya (‘mundane') and niścayanaya (ultimate, omniscient). He argued however that the mundane view is not false, but is only a relative form of knowledge mediated by language and concepts, while the ultimate view is an immediate form of direct knowledge.[8] Samantabhadra also developed further the Jain theory of syādvāda.[citation needed]


English translation of the Ratnakaranda śrāvakācāra (1917) by Champat Rai Jain

Jain texts authored by Acharya Samantabhadra are:[9]

  • Ratnakaranda śrāvakācāra[10] (150 verses)- The Ratnakaranda śrāvakācāra discusses the conduct of a Śrāvaka (Jain laity) in detail.[4]
  • Gandhahastimahabhasya, a monumental commentary on the Tattvartha Sutra. The Gandhahaslimahahhasya, with the exception of its Manglacharana (salutation to the deity), is extant now.[11] The Manglacharana is known as the 'Devagama stotra' or Āpta-mīmāṁsā.[4][12]
  • Āpta-mīmāṁsā- A treatise of 114 verses, it discusses the Jaina concept of omniscience and the attributes of the Omniscient.[4][13]
  • Svayambhustotra- An adoration of The Twenty-four Tirthankaras[14] - 143 verses[4]
  • Yuktyanusasana- Sixty-four verses in praise of Tirthankara Vardhamāna Mahāvīra[4]
  • Jinasatakam (Stutividyā)[15](116 verses)- Poetical work written in Sanskrit in praise of twenty-four Jinas.[16]
  • Tattvanusasana[citation needed]
  • Vijayadhavala tika[citation needed]


Jinasena, in his celebrated work, Ādi purāṇa praises the Samantabhadra as[17]


  1. ^ Gokulchandra Jain 2015, p. 82.
  2. ^ Champat Rai Jain 1917, p. iv.
  3. ^ Natubhai Shah 2004, p. 48.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Natubhai Shah 2004, p. 49.
  5. ^ a b Vijay K. Jain 2015, p. xviii.
  6. ^ Long 2009, p. 110.
  7. ^ Vijay K. Jain 2015, p. xx.
  8. ^ Long 2009, p. 130.
  9. ^ Gokulchandra Jain 2015, p. 84.
  10. ^ Samantabhadra, Ācārya (1 July 2006), Ratnakaranda Shravakacara, ISBN 9788188769049
  11. ^ Champat Rai Jain 1917, p. v.
  12. ^ Ghoshal 2002, p. 7.
  13. ^ Vijay K. Jain 2015, p. xvii.
  14. ^ Vijay K. Jain 2015, p. xi.
  15. ^ Samantabhadrasvāmī (1969), Kevalajñānapraśnacūḍāmaṇi
  16. ^ Gokulchandra Jain 2015, p. 92.
  17. ^ Vijay K. Jain 2015, p. xv.