Jainism has no specific holy book but an amalgamation of scriptures called Agams. Before Mahavira’s time, oral tradition prevailed where the guru passed on his knowledge to his disciple through word of mouth. These scriptures or Agams are based on the discourses of the Tirthankaras. It is said that Indrabhuti Gautam Swami (chief disciple of Lord Mahavira) compiled these scriptures. They consist of 12 parts known as Angas. The twelfth Anga comprises of 14 Purvas. The Digambara sect of Jainism however, believe that the original Agamshave have been lost and the remaining are also corrupted. But Svetambaras accept all the Agams.
The Digambara sect however has a treasure trove of Jain books translated and described by numerous saints and people.
There are many scripture in jainism but we use common name jinvani which is divided into four parts:
- Prathmanuyog (प्रथमानुयोग)
- Karnanuyog (करणानुयोग)
- Charnanuyog (चरणानुयोग)
- Dravyanuyog (द्रव्यानुयोग)
In these four anuyog many scripture included in it.
The shastra consists of the life stories of Ram, Lakshman, Sita, Krishna, Balram, Raavan, Kansh, Pancha Pandavas, Kauravas, Tirthankaras, Chakravarti, Lav-Kush, and numerous stories of Jain saints and God. The stories have one motto and that is attaining the state of Godliness.
The common books are:
- Padmapuran(Jain Ramayana)
- Pandav puran (Jain Mahabharata)
- 24 Tirthankara Puran
- Bharatesh Vaibhav (Of Lord Bharat’s life events and powers)
- Adi Puran
- Mahaveer Puran
- Nemi Puran
- Harivamsa Purana
- Pradhyumna Charitra
- Shripal Charitra
- Parshwanath Puran
The ancient Jain saints wrote these shastras by listening to God’s divine directives or divyadhvani at Samavsaran.
Mathematics and physics like integrations, differential equations, trigonometry, algebra, induction, area, volume, mass, etc, are used to explain the Jain Metaphysics.
The human world, the Dev Loka, Adholoka (hell) as well as the birth, death, properties of animals, birds, insects, plants and even microorganisms are described with great details in the books. The Karma Philosophy is also explained in great details in the holy books.
Some of the shastras are:
- Triloksar (5000 pages)
- Gomatsar (Jiv Kand and Karma Kand both) (over 5000 pages)
- Tattvartha Sutra (2000 pages)
- Samyak Gyan Chandrika
- Dhavalas (over 10000 pages book split in 10 parts)
- Jain Bhugol (basic book of 500 pages)
- Bhadrabahu samhita (also involves the Vastu Shastra that describe in detail planetary movements) ( 10000 pages)
- Labdhi Saar
- Kshapana Saar
- Tiloypannati (in Prakrit language)
- Jambudwip Pannati
The books deal with the food habits, lifestyle and the do’s and don’ts of Jainism. It generally explains why one should be vegetarian, refrain from eating under roots, drink pure water by filtering and storing it the vessel. Eating fresh fruits and food items and avoiding any preserved food. It also lays down the reasons why food should be taken before night (chovihar).
The common granths are:
- Bhagwati Aradhana
- Ratnakarand Shravkachar
- Purusharth Siddhi Upay
- Sanyam Prakash
- Shravak Dharma Prakash
The books in this section describes the path of liberation. Without learning about this, one cannot achieve permanent happiness. This anuyoga directs the readers’ attention on the soul and its characteristics. It tells that the power of becoming God lies within each one. The “Samyak Darshan” (first step towards liberation) explains how to achieve salvation.
The common granths are:
- Samyasar(heart of Jainism)