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The Acaranga Sutra (or Acharanga) is the first of the eleven Angas, part of the agamas (religious texts)which were compiled based on the teachings of Lord Mahavira.

The Acaranga Sutra discusses the conduct of a Jain monk. In antiquity, Acaranga was the first text that was studied by the Jain monks.

The existing text of the Acaranga Sutra which is used by the Svetambara sect of Jainism was recompiled and edited by KshamaShraman Devardhigani, who headed the council held at Valabhi 980 years after Lord Mahavir's Nirvana. The Digambaras do not recognize the existing text, and regard the original text as having been lost in its original form. The Digambara Mulachara text includes the Digambara tradition derived from Acharanga.



The Acaranga Sutra is the oldest agam, from a linguistic point of view, written in Ardhamagadhi Prakrit. The Acaranga Sutra contains two books, or Srutaskandhas. The first book is the older part, to which other treatises were later added. It describes the conduct and behavior of ascetic life: the mode of begging for food, bowl, clothes, conduct while walking and speaking and regulation of possessions by ascetics. It also describes the penance of Mahavira, the Great Hero.

The second book is divided into four sections called Kulas. There were originally five Kûlâs, but the fifth, the Nisîhiyagghana, is now reckoned as a separate work. The first and second parts lay down rules for conduct of ascetics.

Quotations from Akaranga Sutra


On Ahimsa

I so pronounce that all the omniscients of all times, state, speak, propagate, and elaborate that nothing which breathes, which exists, which lives, or which has essence or potential of life, should be destroyed or ruled over, or subjugated, or harmed, or denied of its essence or potential. This truth, propagated by the self-knowing omniscients, after understanding all there is in universe, is pure, undefileable, and eternal. In support of this Truth, I ask you a question - "Is sorrow or pain desirable to you ?" If you say "yes it is", it would be a lie. If you say, "No, It is not" you will be expressing the truth. What I want to add to the truth expressed by you is that, as sorrow or pain is not desirable to you, so it is to all which breath, exist, live or have any essence of life. To you and all, it is undesirable, and painful, and repugnant.

That which you consider worth destroying is (like) yourself.
That which you consider worth disciplining is (like) yourself.
That which you consider worth subjugating is (like) yourself.
That which you consider worth killing is (like) yourself.
The result of actions by you has to be borne by you, so do not destroy anything. [1]


Following are the commentaries on the Acaranga Sutra: [2]

  1. Tîkâ of Silanka, also called Tattvâditya, said to have been finished in the 876 CE, with the help of Vâhari Sâdhu.
  2. Dîpikâ of Jinahamsa Sûri, a teacher of the Brihat Kharatara Gakkha.
  3. Pârsvakandra's Bâlâvabodha, generally closely follows the explanation of the older commentaries, more especially that of the Dîpikâ.

English Translations

Popular English Translations are :

  1. Illustrated SRI ACARANGA SUTRA (2 volumes), Ed. by Pravartaka Amar Muni, Shrichand Surana Saras, Eng. tr. by Surendra Bothra, Prakrit Gatha - Hindi exposition - English exposition and Appendices
  2. Acaranga Sutra, The Jaina Sutras, Jacobi, Hermann (1884)


  1. ^ Surendra Bothra, Ahimsa - the science of peace
  2. ^ Jacobi, Hermann, Acaranga Sutra, The Jaina Sutras, (1884)

External links

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Acaranga Sutra , translated by Hermann Jacobi
Acaranga Sutra is the first and the oldest Agama or the canonical text of the Jains. The agamas were probably composed from 6th century BCE onwards. Jacobi reckons the date of composition of Acaranga Sutra to be falling somewhere about the end of the fourth or the beginning of the third century B.C.E. — Excerpted from Acaranga Sutra on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Acaranga Sutra



  • Lecture 1: Knowledge of the Weapon
  • Lecture 2: Conquest of the World
  • Lecture 3: Hot and Cold
  • Lecture 4: Righteousness
  • Lecture 5: Essence of the World
  • Lecture 6: Cleaning
  • Lecture 7: Liberation
  • Lecture 8: The Pillow of Righteousness



  • Lecture 1: Begging of Food
  • Lecture 2: Begging for a Couch
  • Lecture 3: Walking
  • Lecture 4: Modes of Speech
  • Lecture 5: Begging of Clothes
  • Lecture 6: Begging for a Bowl
  • Lecture 7: Regulation of Possession


  • Lecture 8
  • Lecture 9
  • Lecture 10
  • Lecture 11
  • Lecture 12
  • Lecture 13
  • Lecture 14


  • Lecture 15: The Clauses.


  • Lecture 16: The Liberation.
Flag of India.svg This work is now in the public domain because it originates from India and its term of copyright has expired. According to The Indian Copyright Act, 1957, all documents enter the public domain after sixty years counted from the beginning of the following calendar year (ie. as of 2010, prior to 1 January 1950) after the death of the author.
PD-icon.svg This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1937, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

See also

  • Wikisource:WikiProject Jainism
  • Acaranga Sutra (Wikipedia)
  • Wikisource:Religious texts


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