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Title: Sutrakritanga  
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Subject: Mahavira, Shramana, Jain Agamas, Vajji, Anekantavada, Karma in Jainism, Jain meditation
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Sutrakritanga Sutra (c. 4th-3rd century BCE)[1] is the second agama of the 12 main angās of the Jain canons. According to the Svetambara tradition it was written by Gandhara Sudharmasvami in Ardhamagadhi Prakrit. It is written using techniques including narration and questions and answers, and the chapters start with Sudharmasvami explaining the various doctrines to his chief disciple Jambusvami and answering his questions.


This agama describes nonviolence, Jain metaphysics, and the refutation of other religious theories such as Kriyavada, Akriyavada, Ajnanavada, and Vinayavada. Sanskrit commentary ihas been done by Silanka lived in the second half of the ninth century A.D. The agama is divided into two parts consisting of 16 lectures and 7 lectures respectively. Following are the diverse topics covered:

  • Jain doctrine – Causes of bondage, description of hells, destruction of karmas etc.
  • Conduct of Monks – Injunctions and prohibitions, difficulties faced, avoiding temptation of women etc.
  • Heretical Doctrines and errors – Materialists, Buddhists, vedics, Fatalists and other wrong beliefs

Quotes from Sutrakritanga Sutra

On destiny

Verse 30 declares a prevalent view on destiny: "Some hold that whatever pain and pleasure individuals beget are not the results of their own acts or volition nor due to others, but are due to destiny." In shloka 31 this belief is dispelled: "Those who brag thus are fools declaring themselves as learned, because they do not know that all pleasures or pains (or whatever happens) are not only due to destiny but they are due to destiny and also due to factors other than destiny."

On monks' conduct with women

Occasionally a woman will tempt him [a monk] to a comfortable couch or bed. But he should know these things to be as many traps under various disguises. He should not look at them, nor should he consent to anything inconsiderate, nor walk together with them; thus he will well guard himself. Inviting a monk and winning his confidence, they offer themselves to him. But he should know, and fly from these temptations in their various forms. 4.3-6
Meekly and politely they approach him with their manifold arts to win his heart; and talking sweetly in confidential conversation they make him do [what they like]. Those who are attached to this sinful [intercourse] must be reckoned among the wicked. Even a monk who practises severe austerities should avoid the company of women. 4.12

English translations

  • Sutrakritanga, The Jaina Sutras, Jacobi, Hermann (1894)


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