The treatise "Dravya Sangraha” was composed by Acharya Nemichandra Siddhant Chakravati, who lived in Southern India around 1000. AD. He is called Siddhant Chakravarti because like a Chakravarti (Universal Monarch) who has conquered the entire world, Nemichandra had mastered all the areas of the knowledge of sacred scriptures and therefore was called the paramount lord of those versed in siddhants. He was the primary inspiration to minister Chamuda Raya behind the erection and anointment of majestic, monolithic statue of Lord Bahubali; that stands today with grace and grandness in the present state of Karnataka, at holy pilgrimage site of Shravanbelgola. He is also author of other well known works on Jainism which are:
- Gommatasära also known as Pancha Sangraha (The exposition of five entities). These are: Bandha (bondage), Badhyamäna (that which is bound), Bandhasvämi (that which binds), Bandhya-hetu (the cause of bondage) and, Bandha-bhed (the verities of bondage).
- Labdhisära which deals with attainments of those things which lead to perfect conduct. There are five kinds of attainments: Ksäyopasamaika, vishuddhi, deshanä, präyogya and karana. The first four kinds of attainments appear to all the individuals, worthy and unworthy, while the fifth one appears only to the worthy individual who is advanced towards perfect conduct.
- Ksapanasära which deals with means by which the passions are destroyed. And.
- Trilokasära which contains description of the Jaina Universe.
The text of the "Dravya Sangraha” is made up of 58 verses written in Prakrit. It is divided into 3 parts. The first part has 27 verses (1-27). It deals with six substances (cheha dravya). Second part has 11 verses (28-39) dealing with reality, the seven/nine truths (säta tatva). The third part has 17 verses (40-57), dealing with the path of liberation along with the description of characteristics of Jaina Holy Pentad (Pancha Parmesthi).
The path of liberation is described from both conventional and realistic stand point. Right faith, right knowledge and right conduct which are essential to attain liberation along with the importance of meditation (dhyäna) are discussed in the last part.
Nemichandra Muni has followed the tradition of Shree Kund Kundacharya the author of Samaysära, Niyamasära, Panchästikayasära and Pravachansära as well as Uma swami the author of Tatvartha Sutra, the Jaina bible. As Dravya Sangraha gives synopsis of Jaina metaphysics many people call it mini Panchastikäya and or mini Tatvartha Sutra.
I undertook translation of "Dravya Sangraha” in English titled "Synopsis of Jaina Metaphysics” with the hopes that young people living abroad can read and try to understand the Jaina philosophy, and try to follow the Jain way of life to best of their ability. I have included the original verses in Prakrit and Sanskrit with transliteration in English followed by as accurate as possible meanings and as clear as possible commentary of the verses. It will be a good source of advanced knowledge of Jaina religion for those with basic foundation.
It can be used as a text book for senior level in Jaina Pathashala.
I am very thankful to Elizabeth M. Janik who helped to prepare this manuscript for printing.
I am very grateful to my friends for offering many valuable suggestions and comments.
If unknowingly I have misinterpreted the meanings of any verses, I ask for forgiveness from the readers. Micchämi Dukkadam.Rati Dodhia
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