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That Which is: Tattvartha Sutra (The sacred literature series) Hardcover – 22 Aug 1994

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco (22 Aug 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060689854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060689858
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,488,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Regarded by the Jains as the earliest, most comprehensive summary of their religion, this text brings together classical commentaries from each tradition, and provides a detailed explanation of the universe, the place of humanity within it and the path through the cosmos to liberation. This book is the only extant sacred text recognized by all Jain sects.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is really good book. I am currently 2/3 of the way through. I've read a lot of eastern literature: Rig Veda, Tibetan Book of The Dead, The Mahabharata, The Upanisads, The Ramayana, The Bhagavad Gita, Tao Te Ching, The Dhammapada etc. I'd say I enjoy reading scriptures, it's a hobby of mine, I am fascinated by the philosophy, history, culture and the symbolism. If you too are looking for these things in a scripture, then you might really like this one.

This book has a very accessible layout. It has Prakit language alongside the English translation. Additionally it has explanation in English where ambassadors of different Jain schools of thought provide their own insights into the scriptures. Normally I avoid people's commentary on scriptures because I usually find them dogmatic and stilted, but these comments felt more like a live, evolving debate.

The first couple of chapters are very interesting because they go into analysis of the mind, perception and consciousness, it's almost a rigorous logical deconstructionism approach. It treats things like clairvoyance, telepathy and omnipotence as extensions of the senses and postulates plausible reasoning behind what they really are and how these effects can arise. The scripture tries to confront these issues head on, as logically as possible, conscienciously avoiding assumptions, dogma and controversy.

The next few chapters are useful, but were less interesting to me, they focused on the types of beings and matter and the rivaling perceptions of reality. I did read it all, but i found it less interesting because it reminded me a bit of aspects of tibetan buddhism (enumerating units of time, lifespan etc), so i put less thought into these chapters.
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