Sanskrit Manuscripts : Kalpasūtra

Sanskrit Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>A manuscript of the <i>Kalpasūtra</i> or <i>Pajjosavaṇakappasutta</i> dated V.S. 1578 (1521 CE), thus belonging to a fairly early phase. Its format, with narrow pages, is reminiscent of the format prevalent in palm-leaf manuscripts. The script of <i>Kalpasūtra</i> manuscripts is often calligraphic, of a squarish shape, like the one found in this copy. The simple colophon indicates that the manuscript was copied in Paḍihāra (unidentified location) by the Jain monk Matimeru for another monk called Vivekameru. The manuscript has marginal annotations which are probably by the hand of a later owner. A sentence in cursive script below the original colophon indicates that the manuscript seems to have changed hands, from a certain Haṃsājī to a Sahasā. The <i>Kalpasūtra</i> is a scripture belonging to the Śvetāmbara canon. It is written in Ardhamāgadhī Prakrit. It is one of the most important works of the Śvetāmbara tradition since, especially in Gujarat, its public reading became associated with the festival of Paryushan, held in August-September, when everybody asks forgiveness for past errors. Mass production of Kalpasūtra paper manuscripts is evidenced from the 14th century onwards. The <i>Kalpasūtra</i> has three main sections, each dealing with a fundamental aspect of the Jain tradition: <div> The <i>Jinacaritra</i> narrates in detail the lives of four of the twenty four Jinas: Mahāvīra, Pārśva, Ariṣṭanemi and R̥ṣabha, giving sketchy information about the remaining twenty. Thus it provides the believer with the frame of the faith and information about the source of the teachings, the Jinas. Here, this section is distributed as follows: Life of Mahāvīra, up to <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(88);return false;'>f. 44r2</a>; of Pārśva <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(88);return false;'>f. 44r2</a> to <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(95);return false;'>f. 47v6</a>; of Nemi <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(95);return false;'>f. 47v6</a> to <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(100);return false;'>f. 50r9</a>; and of R̥ṣabha <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(105);return false;'>f. 52v1</a> to <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(112);return false;'>f. 56r2</a>.<br /> The <i>Sthavirāvalī</i>, where homage is paid to a number of Jain teachers, provides the believer with a tradition as these teachers draw their knowledge from the Jinas' teachings. Here, this section occupies <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(112);return false;'>f. 56r2</a> to <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(129);return false;'>f. 64v3</a>.<br /> The <i>Sāmācārī</i>, here from <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(129);return false;'>f. 64v3</a> to the end, gives rules and regulations for monastic life during the special period of the rainy season. It is this section which explains that the <i>Kalpasūtra</i> is placed within the category of the Chedasūtras, the texts on monastic discipline, as the "eighth chapter of the <i>Daśāśrutaskandha</i>", which is one of them.<br /> </div><br /> </p>


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