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Drstivāda is the last of the 12 Jain āgamas as per Śvetámbara tradition said to be promulgated by Māhavīra himself and composed by Ganadhara Sudharmasvami. Drstivāda translated as “Disputation about views” was said to contain entire knowledge of 14 Purvas or prior knowledge that is now considered to be totally lost. In fact, the tradition holds that Drstivāda is also completely lost. However, its contents have been referred and explained in Nandi and Samavāyānga Sūtra.

Subject Matter of the Agama

Dristivāda was divided into five parts :-

  1. Parikarma
  2. Sūtra
  3. Pūrvanayoga
  4. Purvgata
  5. Chūlikā

Parikarma contained Jaina calculatory science and the Sutra included discussions about creeds and doctrines. Purvagata contained fourteen subdivisions and contained discussions about Jaina doctrines and principles. As the name suggests, Purvas contain the knowledge prior to Mahavira which was preserved only in oral form. Pūrvanayoga contained Puranic narratives, religious biographies as well as illustrative tales.

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