(Last Updated on : 28-04-2012)
There are different types of Sutras of Jainism
that explain the various agamas. The following are the different sutras:
(Aayarang): This agama explains about the conduct and behaviour of ascetic life and describes about the penance of Lord Mahavira
. This is the oldest agama from a linguistic point of view.
(Suyagdang): This agama explains about ahimsa
and Jain metaphysics. It also describes about the refutation of other religious theories such as Kriyavada, Akriyavada, Ajnanavada, and Vinayavada.
(Thanang): This agama defines and catalogues the main substances of the Jain religious faith. It defines the Jain metaphysics.
: This agama defines and catalogues the main substances of the Jain religious faith from a different perspective than the Sthananga Sutra.
Vhakhya Prajnapti or Bhagavati Sutra
(Viyah Pannati): It is the largest of the eleven Ang-agams. This agama explains about the subtle knowledge of soul, matter, and other related subjects. In this agama 36000 questions and answers are presented in discussion form.
Jnata Dharma Kathanga Sutra
(Nayadhammakahao): This agama explains the Jain tenets with the help of examples and stories. This text proves to be useful in understanding the form of Lord Mahavira's religious preaching.
Upasaka Dashanga Sutra
(Uvasagdasao): This agama describes the code of behaviour of the ten lay devotees (Shravaks) of Lord Mahavira. This agama proves to be useful to understand the code and behaviour of the common people (Shravaka Dharma) in the Jain religious faith.
Antah Kradashanga Sutra
(Anatagaddasao): This agama tells the stories of ten sacred monks who have attained (Moksha) by destroying their karmas.
Anuttaroupa Patika Dashanga Sutra
(Anuttarov Vaiya Dasao): This agama tells about the stories of the additional ten sacred monks who achieved the top-most paradise, known as Anuttara paradise.
Prashna Vyakrana Sutra
(Panha Vagarnai): This agama explains about the five great vows (mahavratas) and the five worst sins that have been defined in the Jain religious faith.
(Vivagsuyam): This agama explains the outcome of good and bad karmas through several stories.
: Upang-agamas are the scriptures which provide further explanation of Ang-agamas.
Aupa Patika Sutra
(Ovavaiya): This agama explains the grand procession of Emperor Konika when he visited Lord Mahavira. It also explains how an individual can achieve paradise in the next life.
Raja Prashniya Sutra
(Raya Pasen Ijja): This agama explains the story of Monk Keshi who was the Ganadhara of Lord Parshvanatha
. He was instrumental in removing the doubts of Emperor Pradeshi regarding the existence and attributes of the soul and made the Emperor a devotee of the Jain religious faith. After his death, the Emperor was born as a Deva in paradise. He appeared from paradise to shower love and devotion to Lord Mahavira. The thirty-two dramas (plays) described in this agama throw light upon the ancient dramatic art of India.
: This agama describes about the cosmos and the subtle explanation of all life forms i.e. souls of the cosmos. It is a source of great information to the scholars of biology and botany.
(Pannavana): This agama explains the form and attributes of souls from a different perspective.
Surya Prajnapti Sutra
(Surya Pannti): This agama explains about the Sun, the planets and the related mathematics regarding their motion.
Chandra Prajnapti Sutra
: This agama explains the Moon, the planets and the associated, mathematics regarding their motion. Both of these upangas, the Chandra Prajnapti and Surya Prajnapati, sutras are very important for understanding the astrology of olden times.
Jambudveepa Prajnapti Sutra
: This agama provides a description of Jambudwipa
which is a place that has been described in Jain geography. It also provides information on ancient kings.
: This agama explains the story of ten princes. All these ten princes fought against Emperor Chetaka of Vaishali
with the help of Emperor Konika. Emperor Chetaka was the son of the 10 princes' stepmother. In the end all the ten princes went to hell after dying in war.
Kalpa Vatansika Sutra
(Kappavadamsiao): This agama tells about the story of Emperor Konika's children who did not fight with Emperor Chetaka in the war. They renounced the world and became monks. After their death, they went to paradise.
(Puspiao): This agama explains the earlier lives of certain devas (angels) who worshiped Lord Mahavira.
Pushpa Chulika Sutra
: This agama describes stories similar to those in the Pushpika.
(Vanhidasao): This agama describes how Lord Neminath
had convinced the ten kings in the Vrashni region to follow the Jain religious faith.
Chhed Sutra Aagams
: The subject matter described in the Chhed-sutras relate to the monks and nuns and not the lay persons. It explains about the conduct and behaviour of monks and nuns. It also explains the ways of repentance for their sins and errors.
(Nisiha): This agama explains the procedure of repentance (Prayashchitta) in the form of punishment for the monks and nuns who have committed sins.
Vrahat Kalpa Sutra
: This agama describes which of the ten kinds of repentance (Prayashchittas) is appropriate for a particular wrong-doing by monks and nuns. It also defines about the acceptable behaviour for monks and nuns.
: This agama describes the system of confession for monks and nuns who fall from proper behaviour. It explains the credentials of the listening monk or nun and with what sort of feeling the confession should be made. It also explains what sort of repentance (Prayashchitta) the monk should carry out.
Dasha Shruta Skandha Sutra
(Achardasha): There are 10 chapters in this Sutra. It contains the following information:
* 20 places of Asamadhi
* 34 powerful faults bringing weakness in behaviour
* 33 Ashatanas of Guru
* 8 Sampadas of Acharyas and their kinds
* 10 places of Chitta Samadhi
* 11 Pratimas of Sravaka
* Bhiksu Pratimas
* Kalpasutra - recited during the Paryushanas
* 30 places of Maha Mohaniya karma bandhana
* 9 Nida nas (Niyane)
Panch Kalpa Sutra
: This sutra explains the daily rites and rituals the monks and nuns need to perform. Only scattered chapters of this agama are presently available.
: This agam describes about the process of confession and repentance (Prayashchitta) for monks and nuns. It explains the level of pain one has to suffer if he or she breaks the fourth vow (chastity). It also gives explanation of the behaviour of good and bad monks.
: Mool-sutras are the Holy Scriptures which is essential for monks and nuns to study in the early stages of their ascetic life.
: Avashyaka are the daily rites or routines which it is necessary to perform during the day and night for the purification of spirit. All the six routines (Avashyakas) explained in this agama are Samayika, Chaturvinshatistava, Vandanaka, Pratikramana, Kayotsarga, and Pratyakhyana.
Dasha Vaikalika Sutra
: This agama briefly describes and explains the behaviour of ascetic life.
: This agama holds a very important place in Jain literature. It preaches about religious tenets and practices, and tells many stories, dialogues, and examples established on such tenets and practices.
Ogha Niryukti or Pinda Niryukti Sutra
: This agama explains the rules and procedures for monks with respect to travelling, staying, accepting food and other necessities from lay persons.
: Chulika-sutras or Sutras are the Holy Scriptures which enhance or decorate the Ang-agamas
: This agama contains an elaborate description of Tirthankars, Ganadharas, and five types of Knowledge (Gyan); Mati, Shrut, Avadhi, Manaparyay, and Kewal-Gyan.
: This agama describes the rights regarding the mode of preaching.
: is the Holy Scriptures which describe independent or miscellaneous subjects of the Jain religion
: This contains prayers to the four benevolent beings:
Bhagwan Arihant - God in the form of human being
Bhagwan Siddha - God in the form of pure consciousness
Sadhu - All monks
Dharma - Religion
(Aayur-Pachakhana): This agama explains about the differences in the death of children, youths, adults, and old people. It also describes about the types of vows a wise person needs to take during different states of illness and how he should beg the pardon of all life forms in the cosmos.
(Bhatta-parinna): This agama explains the process of fasting. It also explains the way one should strive to feel at the time of death.
(Santharag): This agama explains the process of dying by one's own craving (Santhara) and its glory.
: This agama explains the state of pregnancy. It also provides knowledge about the human body.
: This agama explains the method of concentrated meditation (Dhyana) that one should observe through the description of Radhavedha.
: This agama explains the names, positions, and residences of Devas (angels) who reside in paradise. It also describes about the moon, sun, planets, and stars.
: This agama explains palmistry and how it is used to predict the future (Nimitta).
: This agama explains the way to completely give up the worst sins and suggests the ways to repent for these sins.
: This agama is considered lost. However, it appears from literature that this agama contains prayers of Lord Mahavira.