Jainworld
Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions
About This Book (Translator's Prelude)
Peculiarity of Jainism
Introduction
Prologue
Nature of Mundane Existence
  Miseries of Mundane Existence and Bliss of Liberation 
  Exposition of False Belief Knowledge and Conduct
  Analytical study of different religions
  Refutation of False Deity-Preceptor-Religion
  X-ray of Jaina-misbelievers
  Nature of Sermons
  Nature of Liberation Path
  Nature of Noble Peaceful Death
  Rahasyapoorna Chitthi (Spiritual Letter)
  Glossary

Introduction

 

 

It is a matter of great satisfaction, that the English version of Moksha Marg Prakashak is being published by Shri Kund-Kund Kahan Digamher Jain Tirtha Suraksha Trust, Bombay.

 

The real credit for this English Translation belongs to my friend Hemchandji Jain, who on his own initiative worked hard day and night selflessly for more than three years to complete this stupendous task of preparing a workable literal translation of this famous book of Pandit Todarmalji, bearing in mind the great need for maintaining the sense and spirit of the author all throughout. I sincerely thank him for providing me this opportunity of associating myself with the review and editing work. We have together spent scores of hours in giving it the present shape.

 

 The basis of this English version is the Hindi Edition, edited by the renowned Jain scholar and author of several books on Jain philosophy and who has been awarded the title of Jain Ratna by the JAINA of USA in 1984, Ph. D. on Pandit Todarmal - life & work by University of Indore in the year 1973, Dr. Hukamchand Bharilla, (Shastri, Nyayatirtha, Sahitya-Ratna, M.A., Ph.D.), and published by Pandit Todarmal Smarak Trust, Jaipur.

 

 

LIFE AND WORKS

 

In the true tradition of ancient Jain Saints and scholars,  Pandit Todarmalji, too, did not pay any attention towards writing anything about his life history. Therefore, nothing definite can be said on the dates of his birth, death and life span. However, on the basis of the available circumstantial and other evidence Dr. Hukamchand Bharilla in his research treatise " Pandit Todarmal - life and work" established his year of birth to be 1719-20 A.D. and the year of his passing away 1766 A.D. with a life-span of only 47 years. He was borne in Jaipur (India). His father was Shri Jogidasji Khandelwal of Godika Gotra (Jain subcaste) and Rambha Bai his mother. He was married and had two sons, Harishchandra and Gumaniram.  Shri Gumaniram was a great revolutionary genius.

 

He received ordinary education in the spiritual Tera Panthi Style of Jaipur, but his deep scholarship was mainly due to hard work and genius. He was a great intellectual having sharpness of understanding and a studious nature. He was well- versed in Prakrit, Sanskrit, Hindi and Kannad languages.

 

About his scholarship Pandit Raimalji wrote in his letter of invitation for the Indra-dhwaj Vidhana (Ritual), in the year l764, "It is very difficult to find a man of his intellect these days. All the doubts about religious matters are removed after meeting him".

 

About his knowledge and studies, he himself writes in Moksha Marg Prakashah, "I have studied Samayasara Panchastikaya, Prauachanasara, Niyamsara, Gomattasara, Labdhisara, Triloksara, Tattvarthasutra, with commentaries; Kshapanasara, Purushartha Siddhyupaya, Asthapahud, Atmanushasana and many other scriptures describing the conduct of monks and householders, and Puranas containing stories of great personalities according to my own understanding and knowledge".

 

In his short life- span, he wrote, in all, twelve books, big and small which is about a lac verses in measure and about five thousand pages.

 

Some of these are commentaries of popular sacred books while others are independent works of his own. These are found both in prose and poetry. They are as follows:

 

  1. Rahasyapurna Chitthi (Spiritual letter)

 2. Gomattasara Jivakanda-Hindi commentary

 3. Gomattasara Karmakand-Hindi commentary

 4. Arthasandrashthi-Adhikar.

 5. Labdhisara-Hindi commentary

 6. Kshapanasara-Hindi commentary

 7. Gomattasara puja

 8. Triloksara-Hindi commentary

 9. Samosharana Rachna Varnan

 10. Moksha Marg Prakashak (Incomplete)

11. Atmanushasan-Hindi commentary

12. Purusharthasiddhyupaya-Hindi commentary (incomplete).

 

The last book was completed by Pandit Daulatram Kasliwal in 1770. His prose style is pure, fully developed and comprehensible.  The most beautiful form of his style can be seen in his original work Moksha Marg Prakashak. His language originally Brij, has the stiffness of Khari-Boli and also local tinge. It is strong and fine enough, to express forcefully his ideas and feelings. Though books numbers 2 to 6 were written by the author separately, yet looking to their complementary nature the author gave them a collective name Samyagjnana Chandrika".

 

MOKSHA MARG PRAKASHAK

 

Moksha Marg Prakashak is one of the most important original works of Pandit Todarmalji. The basis of this treatise is not anyone Jain spiritual shastra but the whole of the available Jain literature.  This was to be, in reality, a meaningful effort of engrossing all the fundamentals of Jain philosophy and rituals; but it is regretted that this profoundly learned treatise could not be completed due to the untimely passing away of the author. In spite of being incomplete, it is acknowledged all everywhere as a unique contribution to available Jain literature. This is one of the most popular books whose several editions have been published not only in Hindi, but in several other Indian languages like Marathi, Gujarati, Urdu, etc. Till today, in all 150000 copies have been published in various languages. Besides, hundreds of handwritten copies of this book are found in the libraries of Digambar Jain Temples throughout India.  In the whole of Digambar Jain Society this is the most popular Shastra for community collective reading and as a basis of sermons in regular religious congregations. The original handwritten copy in the hand of Pandit Todarmalji is also available in the famous temple at Jaipur- "Shri Deewanji Ka Mandir"- where Pandit Todarmalji used to lecture everyday to a gathering of more than a thousand persons.

 

 This book, written in simple spoken language, is the result of the inner inspiration and pious desire of the author to enlighten those curious fellow-citizens who could not understand and get the real message of Jain philosophy and fundamentals available in intricate works written in Sanskrit and Prakrit by Jain Acharyas. No other worldly ambition has been the inspiring force behind writing this book.

 

In the present available form the book Moksha Marg Prakashak has nine chapters. The first eight chapters are complete but the ninth chapter is incomplete. By the manner the ninth chapter was started, it clearly seems that the subject of Right Belief was to be propounded and clarified in all its details. But alas, much could not be written. Only the nomenclatures of the eight qualities of Right Belief and twenty-five blemishes to be avoided could be listed. Their characteristics could not be described as desired.

 

In the original manuscript, indications are available to show that the author wanted to give a second thought even to the sequence and chapter headings of various chapters. At the end of the incomplete ninth chapter Panditji had a plan to write many more chapters.  At twelve places in the available nine chapters clear indications are found to show his inner desire to throw light on various issues at appropriate places. This means that had this book been completed as per the author's hidden plan, it would have run into about five thousand handwritten pages throwing detailed light on Right- Belief, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct, the basic fundamentals of the path of liberation.

 

This book has been written in the analytical prose- style; through the medium of question-answer the subject matter has been deeply clarified.  The subject matter of this book is highly philosophical, but whatever topic has been chosen for discussion, it has been success-fully clarified fully, keeping in view all the possible supplementaries relating to it. While studying the book whatever question is likely to crop up in the mind of the reader, the same is found raised in the next line along with its explanation, and therefore, the curiosity of the reader is very well maintained throughout.

 

The construction of sentences is brief and the style of clarification logical and analytical. Though unnecessary expansion is avoided, yet no topic is left incomplete due to brevity of style. Whatever topics are touched by the author, no aspect of the same is left unclarified.  The style is so charming and unique that even the totally unknown topic has become easily graspable.

 

For clarifying the subject matter, sufficient use of popular examples is found. The example of the patient and physician has been profusely used in the second, third, fourth and fifth chapters.  To carry home to the reader the message of the topic under discussion and to substantiate his point of view, Panditji has largely drawn quotations and examples from innumerable Jain and non-jain philosophical and religious books.

 

 From the viewpoint of the subject matter, the contribution of the author is no less important.  Although each sentence of the book reflects true Jain religion and philosophy, yet a lot of such new thought is available in the book which is not found in that very lucid form in earlier Jain literature. From this angle chapters seventh and eighth need special mention.  Some such examples are as under:

 

 1. Classification of Nishchyaabhasi, Vyavharaabhasi Ubhayaa- bhasi etc. in the form of Jain misbelievers.

 

2. True traits of Panchparmeshthis

 

3. Misconceptions about seven Tattvas

 

4. Real conventional viewpoint

 

5. The correct method of understanding the true meaning of Jain Shastras

 

6. The purpose of all the four Anuyogas, the constitution of discourses, style of description, imagination about existence of blemishes and their clarifications, etc.