Umā Svāmi (Umā Svāti )
Umā Svāmi is
held in high estimation by the two main sections of the Jainas.
Each section gives a different account of the life of the
author of his great work. Umasvami wrote most sacred
literature on jainism mainly Tattvārthādhigama Sūtra
and Tattvārthā Sūtra. A Sloka found in Tattvārthā
Sūtra at the end confirms that Umasvami was the author of the
to the Digambara tradition his name is Umā Svāmi and he is
the most famous disciple of the revered saint Sri Kundakundācrya.
He is known as Gridhapichchha in consequence of his preceptor being
so designated. This is borne out by a verse found in one of the
manuscripts of Tattvārthādhigama Sūtra He
renounced the world at the age of 19, led the life of an ascetic for
25 years and subsequently became the head of the ascetics and
discharged his duties in that capacity for about 40 years.
According to Śvetāmbaras sect the
name of the name of Umā Svāmi was Umāsvāti.
Umāsvāti was born in the city of Nyagrodhikā.
The name of his father was Svāti, while that of his mother Umā.
From this it appears that his name is a combination of the names of
his parents, a fact inversely reflected in the case of Śri
Bappabhattisuri, the author of Chaturvimsatikā, who was so
named after his fatherís and motherís name Bappa and Bhatti. The
Gotra or the lineage of his father and consequently of the author
was Kaubhishani, while that of his mother, Vātsi.
very little is known even about the exact period of his life, it is
but natural that one cannot precisely say when he entered the order
of the saints by cutting asunder the ties that bound him to world.
It is, however, suggested in the colophon given at the end Bhāshya
that he composed great work dealing with almost every doctrine or
dogma of the Jainas either explicitly expressed or implied in the
city of Kusumapura (modern Patna in Bihar and Orissa), after he had
renounced the world. He was a pupil of
Śri Ghohanandi who was the grand disciple (Praśishya)
of Śivaśrī the Vāchakamukhya.
too, has this appellation of Vāchaka added to his
name. Even Mādhavāchārya the author of Sarvadarś-ana-sangraha,
who calls him Umāsvāti Vāchakāchārya,
has composed 32 Sambandha-Kārikās or the connective verses
as an introduction to the Sūtras he composed. Over and above
this he has elucidated these Sūtras by composing the Bhāshya
or the gloss therein. Furthermore,
he is the author of Praśamarati, Śrāvakaprajnapti
etc., the number of these work known as Prakaranas being 500
stories are told about the composition of Tattvārthādhigama
Sūtra : One of these is given as follows in the introduction to
its commentary composed in Karnātakiya language :-
lived in Kathiawar a pious Jaina layman named Dvaipāyana. As he
was proficient in the Jaina sacred literature, he desired to compile
a great work, but his attempt was not being crowned with success
owing to some worldly troubles. Therefore he took a vow not to take
his meals until he had composed at least one Sūtra. He did not
wait to practice his vow; so on that very day he composed the first
Sūtra, selecting salvation as the subject of his work. In order
that he might not forget it he transcribed it on a side of a pillar
in his house.
day he happened to go out on some business. In his absence a saint
visited his house that was warmly received and entertained by his
wife. By chance his eyes fell upon this Sūtra. He pondered over
it and left the place after adding the word Samyag before it.
Dvaipāyana returned home he saw the aphorism so proverbially
corrected and consequently questioned his wife, who suggested that
the saint must have done this. He ran at once to find out the saint
who had obliged him making such an invaluable and fundamental
correction. On the outskirts of the city he came across an order of
monks in the midst of whom he found the head of the order seated in
the peaceful posture befitting him. He guessed that must be the very
saint he had run after and so he fell at his feet and requested him
to complete the work undertaken by him as it was far above his
ordinary ability. The saint was moved by the compassion and
entreaty, so he finished the work. This saint was no other than our
revered author Umāsvāmi and the book completed Tattvārthādhigama
Sūtra, it being an expansion of the various aspects, details
and developments of the foremost, fundamental and all embracing Sūtra