SHRIMAD DEVACANDRA KRTA CAUBISI
Jay JinendraSHRIMAD DEVACANDRA KRTA CAUBISI
Old Gujarati text + Hindi translation + Gujarati explanation
Printed on glossy art paper with full colour illustrations
By Upadhyaya Devacandra along with an auto-commentary
With Hindi and Gujarati gloss by Acarya Vijaykalapurnasuri
Ed. by Premal Kapadia
2005 355 x 250 mm 506 pp, all colour plates
+ 471 colour ill.
+ 159 decorative motifs and emblems
Deluxe hardcover edition
This work is a pleasing marriage of scholarly commentary on a
spiritual text with extraordinarily beautiful coffee table book
aesthetics and picture quality! The high production values and 170 gsm
imported art paper enhance the pleasure of reading and owning this
It is the product of the life-long dedicated spiritual endeavour of a
great scholar and accomplished adhyatma-yogi of high repute – Parama
Pujya Upadhyaya Shrimad Devacandra Vacaka (1689-1755 CE), direct
disciple of Upadhyaya Shri Dipacandra Vacaka, Raj Hamsa Gani of the
The Introduction provides a brief biography of the author along with
quotations and references from important works published (in Gujarati)
on Shrimad Devacandra and his works such as; "Shri Devacandraji
Maharaja Krta Stavana-Covisi" ed. Kanti B. Shah and "Shrimad
Devacandraji: Temanum Jivan ane Gujarati Sahitya" by Manilal M.
Shri Devacandraji's stavanas, in content and calibre are reminiscent
of Anandghanji's Covisi, and perhaps more difficult since they focus
This Covisi (as "Stavana-Covisi") actually has 25 stavanas hymns or
songs of praise. The first 24 stavanas are named after the 24
Tirthankaras and the last stavana is concluding in nature.
These 25 stavanas have a total of 214 verses composed in 18th Century
Gujarati, Old Gujarati.
The work `Covisi' is published along with the author's own commentary
– Svopajña Balavabodha and has Vijaya
Kalapurnasuri's lucid and elaborate Gujarati gloss and its Hindi
rendering by Pt. Basantilal Nalavaya Ratlamwala.
Though this is a Covisi (collection of 24 hymns) of stavanas,
devotional songs, in the praise of the Lord, it also serves a
different purpose. Its target is the cultivation of deep and ultimate
devotion towards the Supreme Enlightened Souls – the Lords. But this
devotion is not merely an outcome of sheer emotional outburst. It is
not the state of either fascination or helplessness. It is, rather, a
means to help oneself to understand, recognize and know his own self
through dedication and service offered to the Tirthankaras who have
attained the highest state of self-realisation.
Thus, this devotional work is not devoid of rational outlook or
logical explanation – of the real state and nature of the self.
Philosophical tenets interwoven in the beautiful texture of heartfelt
emotions of sublimation, dedication, reverence and devotion depict an
altogether unique picture of the path of self-realisation–as tracked
by an experienced and enlightened master – Shrimad Devacandra.
Questions like – how can devotion lead to the knowledge of the self,
what is the secret of the real evolution of the self, how far the
means, as prescribed in the scriptures, such as listening to the noble
virtues and attributes of the great Tirthankaras and their darshana
(vision of this image or idol) can be helpful in the attainment of the
true knowledge regarding one's own self, why does the path of the
self-realisation pass through the province of the devotional worship
of the Lord, how far the knowledge of reasoning, logic and
philosophical complexities become helpful in the attainment of moksha
– the final release – all such questions find appropriate convincing
answered in the journey of the gathas in this Prayer book.
Topics like the importance of meditation in the final realization of
one's own self (sva-rupa), the attainment of one's real state of pure
atman by removing all impurities of karmas, greatness of the tradition
of chanting the holy names of the Lord, role of the knowledge of the
science of logic in acquiring the true perception of the real nature
of the self, the secret of the varied worship of the different
forms of the Lord, the glory of the glorification of the Lord's
supreme non-attachment, the characteristic powers of the self, the
outcome of the company of noble people and finally the overcoming of
delusion and infatuation through the piercing unique purity of the
self – these topics are elaborately explained in live and lucid
The spontaneous flow of the most effective and charming words pregnant
with the aesthetic excellence and philosophical spark arrests the mind
of the readers. The philosophical topics are treated in an off-beat
manner which elucidates the message of the author.
After every stavana, the essence of the stavana is given, which helps
the reader to quickly grasp the central topic under discussion in
particular stavana, and of course it also serves the purpose of brief
The secrets of master-pieces unfold slowly and gradually during their
repeated readings, "parayana".
The present work is embellished with very beautiful and pleasing
illustrations, miniature paintings, decorative items and photographs
(630 in all). This really documents the precious record of the very
rich contribution from the Jain culture and tradition, to the fields
of Painting in particular and arts in general. The picturesque
calligraphic presentation of the text of the Gathas has really
enhanced the beauty and value of this excellent publication.
The beautiful illustrations include rare pattas, old miniatures and
paintings representing some of the finest examples of Jain art
heritage sourced painstakingly from Jain Jñana Bhandaras, museums,
temples and private collections. The illustrations relevant to each
stavana are appropriately exhibited providing exceptional charm to the
whole work, which is unique in concept.
The appendix contains the explanation of the specific philosophical
terms, the list of the captions of the pictures and the
acknowledgments regarding the sources of the illustrations etc.
The editor and the publishers surely deserve our hearty
congratulations for publishing such an important work, which is
perhaps more relevant today, for its scientific treatment of a subject
like devotion for the attainment of Truth..
It is hoped that this work. will be warmly welcomed by the students
and scholars of philosophy as well as devotional, and also the artists
and connoisseurs of the art heritage of India.
Book review by Girish B. Jani