Tattvartha Sutra

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Tattvartha Sutra
Author Umaswati
Language Sanskrit

Tattvartha Sutra (also known as Tattvarth-adhigama-sutra or Moksh-Shastra) is a Jain text written by Acharya Umaswati, in the second century AD.[1][2] It is the first Jain scripture written in the Sanskrit language.[3]

The Tattvartha Sutra is regarded as the most authoritative book on Jainism, and the only text authoritative in both the Svetambara and Digambara sects, and its position is comparable with that of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali in Hinduism.[4] It is the first Jain text in sutra or aphoristic form, and bring almost entire Jain doctrinal system in 350 sutras spread over 10 chapters.[5] The term Tattvartha is composed of the Sanskrit words tattva "things, realities" and artha "true nature".

One of its sutra: Parasparopagraho Jivanam is the motto of Jainism. Its meaning is "(The function) of souls is to help one another".[6]


Chart showing Samyak Darsana as per Tattvarthasutra

The first verse, "सम्यग्दर्शनज्ञानचारित्राणिमोक्षमार्ग:" summarizes the Jaina path to liberation. It means that the Ratnatraya (three jewels: right view, right knowledge and right conduct) collectively constitutes the path to liberation or moksha.[7]

Its ten chapters are:[8]-

  1. Faith and Knowledge
  2. The Category of the Living
  3. The Lower World and the Middle World
  4. The Celestial Beings
  5. The Category of the Non-Living
  6. Influx of Karma
  7. The Five Vows
  8. Bondage of Karma
  9. Stoppage and Shedding of Karma
  10. Liberation

The first chapter deals with the process of cognition and details about different types of knowledge. The next three chapters deal with the soul, lower worlds, naraka, and celestial abodes, deva. The fifth chapter discusses Non-soul (Ajiva). The next three chapters deal with the karmas and their manifestations and the inflow, asrava, good and bad karma, shubha-ashubha karma and the bondage of the karmas. The ninth chapter describes the blocking, samvara and shedding of the karmas, nirjara. The final chapter discusses moksha or the liberation of the soul.[5]


It has the largest number of bhashyas or commentaries in different Indian languages from the fifth century onward. The earliest extant Digambara commentary on the text is Sarvathasiddhi,[9] by the sixth century CE grammarian, Devanandi, commonly known as Pujyapada. It along with Akalanka's c. 780 CE Rajavartika and Vijayananda's 9th century Slokavarttika form the central texts of Digambara monastic students.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tattvārtha Sūtra". encyclopedia.com. 
  2. ^ Dundas, Paul (2003). Jains. Routledge. p. 86. ISBN 9781134501656. 
  3. ^ Jain 2011, p. vi.
  4. ^ Jaini, p. 81
  5. ^ a b c Jaini, p. 82
  6. ^ Jain 2011, p. 72.
  7. ^ Jain 2011, p. 2.
  8. ^ Jain 2011, p. xi.
  9. ^ *Jain, S.A. (1992). Reality (Second ed.). Jwalamalini Trust. Non-Copyright 


Further reading[edit]

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