Jinendra VarNi

There is one text that every Jain should have. SamaNa-Suttam (or ShramaNa Sutram) compiled by Chhullaka Jinendra VarNi.

What Dhammapada is to Buddhism, SamaNa-Suttam is to Jainism.

SamaNa-Suttam is an extraordinary achievement. After a gap of about nearly two thousand years following composition of Tatvartha-sutra by Umaswati; this is the first text that is recognized by all Jain sects. At Umaswati's time, although multiple orders existed, there was no clear sectarian division. By the time our century came, Jainism had gradually been divided into several sects. For someone to compile a text at this time, and for it to be approved by all sects, was an exceptional event.

Jinendra Varni, inspired by Vinoba Bhave (a follower of Gandhi who started Sarvodaya movement) compiled a book, drawing from the original prakrit (ardha-magadhi etc) texts. It was critically examined by several monks of different orders including Muni (now Acharya) Vidyanand, Muni (later Acharya) Sushil Kumar, Muni Janakavijaya, Muni Nathamal (now Acharya Mahaprajna), as well as scholars like A.N. Upadhye, Darbari Lal Kothia, Agarachand Nahta etc. Finally in an assembly on 12.12.1974 it was approved by all.

The text includes 44 sutras like mangala-sutra, jina-shashana-sutra, moksha-marga-sutra etc. grouped into four parts:

Source of Illumination
Path of liberation

Sarva Seva Sangha has published SamaNa-Suttam with an English translation. There is a verse translation in Hindi by Acharya Vidyasagar.

Chhullaka Jinendra VarNi

Born in Panipat (Haryana) in 1922, he struggled all his life with health problems. In 1938 he lost one lung due to tuberculosis. Still he studied Electrial and Wireless engineering. He left home in 1957 and during his wanderings he joined well-known Chhullaka Ganesh Varni, who ordained him a chhullaka.

Unable to follow the vratas of a chhullaka due to health problems, he returned to being just a brahmachari. In 1983, approaching death, he entered sallekhana on 12 April 1983 and was ordained again a chhullaka by Acharya Vidyasagar. He died in samadhi on 24th May.

He would perhaps have been immortalized by his work on SamaNa-Suttam. He wrote many other works including a 5-volume encyclopaedia "Jainendra Siddhanta Kosha" and "sarva-dharma-sam-bhava" a text studying the common basis of all faiths.


Selections from Anekanta-Sutra

"SamaN-suttam" is a text that has been approved by scholars of all different sects. The verses are drawn from ancient scriptures.

The following verses are taken from section 37 "Anekanta-Sutra". The original text is in Prakrit.

jeNa viNA logassa vi, vavahAro na nivvaha{i} |
tassa bhuvaNekka-guruNo, Namo aNegantavAyassa ||1||

Without whom even the worldly affairs can not carried out, I bow to Anekanta-vada (non-absolutism), the only preceptor of the world.

davvam pajjavaviuyaM, davvaviuttA ya pajjavA Natthi |
uppaya-TThi{i}-bhangA, handi daviya-lakkhaNaM eyaM ||3||

There is no substance {dravya} without the modes {paryay}, nor are the modes without substance. The characteristics of the substance are origination {utpAd}, permanence {astitva or dhrauvya} and destruction {bhanga or vyaya}.

pADubbhavati ya anno, pajjAo pajjAo vayadi anno |
davvassa taM pi davvaM, Neva paNaTThaM Neva uppannaM ||7||

The mode of the substance which emerges is one and that which vanishes is other from it, while the substance neither emerges not vanishes.

piu-pitta-Nattu-bhavvaya-bhAUNaM egapurisa-sambandho |
Na ya so egassa piya tti sesayANaM piyA hoI ||11||

One and the same person assumes the relationship of father, son, grandson, nephew and brother, but he is the father of one whose he is, and not the rest (so is the case with all the things).


Chhullaka = junior monk in the Digambara order
VarNi = a title of such scholars

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