What is the Sacred Book of Jainism?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The Sacred Book of Jainism is Agam Sutra which contains Lord Mahavir’s teachings, compiled by his disciples. The ‘Agamas’ are often referred to as Agam Sutras or Siddhantas. This holy book of Jainism dictates the teachings of Lord Mahavir, preserved and compiled by his disciples.

Sacred Book of Jainism

The Agam Sutras exhibit profound reverence for all species of life as well as stringent prohibitions on violence, asceticism, and support for armed conflict.

  • The Swetambar sects recognize the current Agam Sutras as the genuine teachings of Lord Mahavir, but the Digambar sect rejects them.
  • Two primary books—the Shatkhand Agam and the Kasay Pahud—as well as four Anuyogs, or collections of more than 20 texts, were produced by eminent Acharyas (scholars) between the years 100 and 800 A.D.
  • The holy book of Jainism, which is the ‘Agamas’, contains the teachings of Lord Mahavir.
  • The teachings were penned down by Lord Mahavir’s disciples as it was difficult to memorize the teachings orally.

Book of Jainism – Teachings of Lord Mahavir

The teachings of Lord Mahavir were written down orally by his followers in a variety of texts. Over the course of about a thousand years, acharyas (gurus) orally transmitted this knowledge to their followers. The five great vows of Jainism were strictly observed by monks in earlier times.

Religious knowledge was never recorded because even religious texts were viewed as possessions. Additionally, many knowledgeable acharyas (elder monks) assembled commentaries on various topics related to the Jain religion over time.

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