Historical Background of Jaina Ethics


          TRADITIONAL          ANTIQUITY OF          JAINISM :          According to tradition, Jainism owes its origin to Rsabha, the first among the twenty-four Tirthamkaras. The rest of the Tirthamkaras are said to have revived and revealed this ancient faith from time to time. The Bhagavata Purana mentions certain facts about Rsabha which agree in a great measure with those mentioned in the Jaina scriptures. Professor RANADE re­marks:' "Rsabhadeva is yet a mystic of a different kind whose utter carelessness of his body is the supreme mark of his God-realization." "It would be interesting to note that the details about Rsabhadeva given in the Bhagavata practically and fundamentally agree with those record­ed by Jaina tradition."' Dr. RADHAKRISHNAN opines:' "There is evidence to show that so far back as the first century B.C. there were people who were worshipping Rsabhadeva, the first Tirthamkara. There is no doubt that Jainism prevailed even before Vardhamana or Parsvanatha. The        Yajurveda mentions the names of three Tirthamkaras : Rsabha, Ajitanatha and Aristanemi. The Bhagavata Purava endorses the view that Rsabha was the founder of Jainism." "The Ahimsa doctrine preached by Rsabha is possibly prior in time to the advent of the Aryans in India and the prevalent culture of the period."'

        Again as the traditional account goes, Rsabha was born in Kosala. His father was Kulakara Nabhii, and his mother was Marudevi. The names of the rest of the Tirthamkaras are: 2) Ajita, 3) Sambhava, 4) Abhinandana, 5) Sumati, 6) Padmaprabha, 7) Suparsva, 8) Candra­prabha, 9) Puspadanta, 10) Sitala, 11) Sreyan, 12) Vasupujya, 13) Vimala, 14) Ananta, 15) Dharma, 16) Santi, 17) Kunthu, 18) Ara, 19} Malli 20) Munisuvrata, 21) Nami, 22) Nemi, 23) Parsva, and 24) Mahavira. "The Jaina tradition makes all these Tirthamkaras as the product of pure Ksatriya race. Another point regarding them is the difference of


1Mysticism in Maharashtra, p.9

2Paramatma Prakasa, Introduction, p. 39

3Indian Philosophy, Vol. I., p. 287.

4Histor of Philosophy Eastern and Western, Vol. I, p. 139.


opinion about the nineteenth Tirthamkara, Malli, who, according to the Svetambaras, was a woman, to which the Digambaras do not agree.'" Besides, the name of `Sumati,' the fifth Tirthamkara, has also been refer­red to in the Bhagavata Purana which tells us that he "will be irreligiously worshipped by some infidels as a divinity."' Another Tirthamkara called Aristanemi (Nemi) is connected with the Krsna legend.'

          HISTORICITY OF PAOVA :          Leaving aside this traditional account, and taking into consideration the standpoint of history, we find that the historicity of the last two Tirthamkaras, namely, Parsva and Mahavira, has now been incontrovertibly .recognised. Some of the arguments adduced for the historicity of Parsva are as follows. First, Dr. JACOBI has infallibly proved that Jainism existed even before the times of Mahavira under the leadership of Parsva, the twenty-third Tirthamkara. It is the Buddhist references which obliged him to adopt this view. To mention one of them, the mistake of the Samanna-phala-sutta of the Daghanika ya that it attributed the fourfold religion, to be dealt with afterwards, preached by Parsva to Nataputta (Mahavira) goes to prove the pre-Mahavira existence of Jainism. In the words of Dr. JACOBI, "The Pali Catuyama' is equivalent to the Prakrta Catujj5ma, a well­ known Jaina term which denotes the four vows of Parsva in contradistinction to the five vows (panca-mahavvaya) of Mahavira. Here, then, the Buddists, I suppose, have made a mistake in ascribing to Nataputta Mahavira a doctrine which properly belonged to his predecessor Parsva. This is a significant mistake, for the Buddhists could not have used the above term as descriptive of the Niggantha creed unless they had heard it from followers of Parsva, and they would not have used it if the re­forms of Mahavira had already been generally adopted by the Nig­ganthas at the time of Buddha.          I, therefore, look on this blunder of the Buddhist as a proof for the correctness of the Jaina tradition that follow­ers of Parsva actually existed at the time of Mahavira.4"          Secondly, the evidence for the historicity of Parsva is also supplied by the Jaina Agamas themselves. The conversation between Kesi and Goyama mentioned in the Uttaradhyayana5 is one of them. About which JACOBI remarks: "The followers of Parsva, especially Kesi who seems to have


1 History of Jaina Monachism, p. 59

2Wilson, Visnu Purāna, p. 164 n. vide H. J. M., p. 59

3H.J.M., p. 59

4S.B., Vl. XLV. p. XXI.        5Uttarā. XXIII.


 been the leader of the sect at the time of Mahavira, are frequently men­tioned in Jaina Sutras in such a matter-of-fact way as to give us no reason for doubting the authenticity of records'." Thirdly, the acceptance of the fivefold Dharma of Mahavira by as many as five hundred followers of Parsva at Tumgiya also endorses the pre-Mahavira existence of Jainism.2

          LIFE AND INFLUENCE OF PARSVA:          Notwithstanding the historicity of Parsva, very few facts about his life are known. His father was Asvasena, who was the king of Varanasi, and his mother was Vama. He spent 30 years of his life as a householder, and afterwards he led a life of a monk. After following a strenuous life of austerities for eighty-three days he attained perfection, and after completing hundred years of his life, he embraced final emancipation on the summit of mount Sammeta in Bihar 250 years before Mahavira attained Nirvana. "Among the chief cities which he is said to have visited were Ahicchatta, Ykmala­kappa, Hatthinapura, Kampillapura, Kosambi, Rayagiha, Sageya, and Savatthi. From this it seems that he wandered in the modern provinces of Bihar and U.P.3"

          RELIGION OF PARVA:          The religion of Parsva was called `Caujjama4 dhamma, the fourfold religion which prescribes abstinence from Himsa, falsehood, stealing and acquisition.          The followers of Parsva were allowed to put on clothes, according to this tradition. Other details may be inferred from the practices observed by the parents of Mahavira, who were the worshippers of Parsva.          They practiced penance's and repented for certain transgressions committed, and on a bed of grass they rejected all food, and their bodies dried up by the last mortification of the flesh, which is to end in death.' The question as to why there was the difference in the number of vows enjoined by Parsva and Mahavira as four and five respectively is replied by saying that the saints under the first Tirthamkara were simple but slow of understanding, those under the last Tirthamkara were prevaricating and slow of understand­ing, those between the two were simple and wise, hence there are two forms of the law.' Again, the first could with difficulty understand the precepts of the law and the last could only with difficulty observe them, but those between them easily understood and observed them.'7


1S.B.E. Vol. XLV. p. XXI.          2Bhagvai, pp. 136 ff. vide H.J.M., pp. 63-64.

3H.J.M., pp. 60-61.       4Uttarā., XXIII. 12.      5Ācārānga., p. 194.

6Uttrā., XXIII. 26.   Trans., vide S.B.E. Vol. XLV; cf. Mulā. 534 535.

7Uttarā., XXIII. 27 Trans., vide S.B.E., Vol. XLV.


          FURTHER ELUCIDATION OF MAHAVZRA :     The first elucidation made by Mahavria was the explicit addition of the fifth vow of celibacy to the four vows of Parsva. In Parsva's religion it was implicit, while the religion of Mahavira made it explicit in view of his disciples who were `prevaricat­ing and slow of understanding' in contradistinction to the followers of Parsva who were "simple and wise". On account of this inclusion of the vow of celibacy JACOBZ remarks:          "As the vow of chastity is not ex­plicitly mentioned among Parsva's four vows but was understood to be implicitly enjoined by them, it follows that only such men as were of an upright disposition and quick understanding would not go astray by observing the four vows literally, i.e., by not abstaining from sexual intercourse, as it was not expressly forbidden. The argumentation in the text presupposes a decay of the morals of the monastic order to have occurred between Parsva and Mahavira and this is possible only on the assumption of a sufficient interval of time having elapsed between the last two Tirthaznkaras. And this perfectly agrees with the common tradition that Vaihavira came 250 years after Parsval" Secondly, in view of the Agamic tradition, Mahavira introduced the practice of nudity. The Kalpasutrai tells us that the venerable Ascetic Mahavira for a year and a month wore clothes, after that time he walked about naked and accepted the alms in the hollow of his hand.'Mahavira's predecessor Parsva allowed an under and upper garment to his followers.' In the Suttapahuda the announcement of Kundakunda that even the Tirthamkara with the use of clothes will remain incapable of achieving enlightenment, is indicative of the fact that none of the Tirthamkaras allowed the use of clothes for the monks.' This view suggests that not only Mahavira, but all others have preached nudity. Thirdly, the observance of the practice-- of Pratikramana (condemnation of a transgression) has been made obligatory by Mahavira irrespective of the fact that transgression has been committed. This may be either due to the recognition of the fickle-mindedness and forgetful nature of the disciples or due to the belief that even the consciousness of what is meant by sin will deter such disciples from committing it. In the times of the first Tirthamkara also the same practice continued. But the disciples of Tirthamkaras (2nd to 23rd) performed the practice of


1. Uttara, p, 122, Foot note No.3              2. Kalpasutra,p. 260

3. Utrara,XXIII, 13                                  4. Sutra Pahuda, 23.


Pratikramana only on the commitment of certain transgressions, since they have been .regarded as subtle and steady.' Fourthly, Pujyapada in the Caritra-Bhakti points out that Mahavira has preached thirteen kinds of conduct, namely, five Semites, three Guptis, and five great vows, which have not been preached by other Tirthamkaras in this elaborate way.' Fifthly, according to the Mulacara,  Rsabha and Mahavira have announced the pursuance of Chedopasthapana conduct, while others, only one vow of Samayika.3 The former may mean either thirteen types of conduct as afore-mentioned or five great vows', and the latter implies the avoidance of all sinful tendencies, summarily comprising all types of conduct'.

          MAHAVIRA AS THE ELUCIDATOR OF THE FAITH ALREADY EXISTING: From all this it follows that Mahavira has improved by clarification upon the religion of his predecessor and has not established an altogether new creed.          Professor GHATE remarks:          "By the very nature of the case, tradition has preserved only those points of Parsva's teachings which differed from the religion of Mahavira, while other common points are ignored. The few differences that are known make Mahavira de­finitely a reformer of an existing faith, and the addition of a vow, the importance of nudity and a more systematic arrangement of its philo­sophical tenets may be credited to his reforming zeal." "Thus, unlike Buddha, Mahavira was more a reformer of an existing religion and possibly of a Church than the founder of a new faith. He (Mahavira) is represented as following a well-established creed most probably that of Parsva. Equally significant is Buddha's insistence that his followers should remember well his first sermon suggestive of its novelty.          Above all the Pali canon shows that it regarded Mahavira not as a founder of a new sect, but merely as a leader of a religious community already in existence. 7"                "Apart from these reforms in ethical teaching it is difficult to ascertain what additions Mahavra made to the ontological and psychological system of his predecessor.          What he did was, in all likelihood, the codification of an unsystematic mass of beliefs into a set of rigid rules of conduct for monks and laymen.          A decided inclination towards enumeration and classification may be attributed to him."'


1 Mula. 624 to 630.                   2 Caritra Bhakti, 7.

3 Mula. 533                               4 Acarasara, V. 6,7: Saarvartha, VII.1.

5 Sarvartha,  VII . 1,                  6 The Age of Imperial Unity. p. 412

7 Ibid.                                      8 The Age of Imperial Unity, p. 420.


          LIFE AND INFLUENCE OF MAHAVTRA: TO deal with the life of Mahavira in brief, "Vardhamana Mahavira was born at Kundapura or Kundagrama. His father's name was Siddhartha who belonged  to the Jnatr Ksatriyas. His mother was Trisala who was the sister* of king Cetaka, the ruler of Vaisali and belonging to the Licchavi Ksatriyas. Thus on the father's as well as on the mother's side he belonged to the royal Ksatriya stock."' "The original name of the prophet was Vardhamana, while his more popular name Mahavira is said to have been bestowed on him by gods. The Canon also gives him a number of suggestive epithets like Naya­puttaa, scion of the Naya clan, Kasava on account of garter, Vesaliya after his place of birth and Videhadinna after his native country. He is most frequently referred to as `the venerable ascetic Mahavira.2" Accord­ing to the Digambara tradition he led a life of celibacy, while according to the Svetambara tradition he married Yasoda and was blessed with a daughter called Priyadarsana. At the age of thirty he relinquished worldly comforts despite his princely career and became a Nirgrantha. After undergoing a strenuous course of discipline for a period of twelve years, he attained perfection and became a Kevalin. "For full thirty years he visited different parts of the country, and it was his Vihara or religious tour as well as that of Buddha that gave Magadhan territory the name of Bihar.3"          "In view of the all-embracing character of Maha­vira's principles, Samantabhadra, as early as 2nd century A.D., called the Tirtha of Mahavira by the name Sarvodaya, which term is so commonly used now-a-days after Gandhiji.          At the age of 72 Mahavira attained Nirvana at Pava in 527 B.c."       After the acquisition of perfect knowledge he is said to have spent the first rainy season in Asthikagrama, three rainy seasons in Campt, twelve in Vaisali and Vaniyagama, fourteen in Rayagiha and the suburb of Nalanda, six in Mithila, two in Bhaddiya and one in Alabhiya, one in Paniyabhumi, one in Savatthi, one in the town of Pava. "From the identification of a few of these places, it appears that the field of influence of Mahavira roughly formed the modern provinces of Bihar and some parts of Bengal and UP."          "They give us a fair idea of the country over which he wandered propagating his faith, but we must bear in mind that the list is neither exhaustive nor


1 History of Iaina Monachism, p. 65            2 The Age of Imperial Unit, p. 413.

3 Mahavira and his philosophy of life, p. 3          4 Ibid

5 Kalpasutra, p. 264                                       6 H. J. M. p. 69.

*Digamabara tradition regards her as the daughter of Cetaka.


 chronological, though covering broadly the 42 years of his itinerary."' According to the Jaina texts number of kings, queens, princes, princesses, ministers and merchants accepted Mahavtra as their teacher. With­out going into the details of historical support for this assumption, we now pass on to the development of various sects in Jainism.

          EMERGENCE OF SCHISMKS: Though Mahavira had a magnetic per­sonality, yet he had to encounter schisms even in his own life-time. Of the eight principal schisms, the first two occurred when Mahavira was propagating his doctrine.          Most of the schisms could not leave any permanent mark on the Jaina community, and could not stand in the way of its unity, but the last schisms in the two sects of the f vetambaras and Digambaras brought about a serious rift in the church. We shall presently dwell upon the schisms.'

          The first schism known as Bahuraya was initiated by Jamali who was Mahavira's son-in-law.          "Fourteen years after the attainment of Kevala Jnana by Mahavira, Jamali started this school at Savatthi.          He main­tained that before a particular act is completed its results begin to take place"'.

          The second schism known as Jivapaesiya was started by Tissagutta at Usabhapura, sixteen years after the attainment of omniscience by Mahavira, and believed that the soul does not pervade all the atoms of the body.

          The third schism recognised as Avvattaga originated with Asadha at Seyaviya fourteen years after the Nirvana of Mahavlra, and propounded that there was no difference between a monk and a god.

          The fourth schism called Samuccheiya had its origin in Mithila and was started by Assamitta two hundred twenty years after the Nirvana of Mahavira, and gave credence to the doctrine that the effects of the good or the bad actions are immaterial, since all life comes to an end sometime.

          The fifth schism known as Dokiriya was started by Galiga at Ullu­gatirai two hundred twenty-eight years after the Nirvana of Mahavira. It held that two opposite feelings like hot and cold could be experienced simultaneously.


1 The Age of Imperial Unity, p. 412

2 The whole account of schisms is based on 'History of Jaina Monachism, pp.78-84,

3 H. J. M., 79.


          The sixth schism called Terasya or Nojiva arose in Antaranjia and was founded by Rohagutta 544 years after Mahavira's Nirvana; and it propounded the existence of a third principle known as Nojiva in addi­tion to Jiva and A Jiva.

          The seventh schism recognised as Abaddhiyai was started by Guttha­mahila at Dasapura 584 years after Mahavira's Nirvana. It held that the Karmic atoms simply touch the soul, but do not bind it.

          DIGAMBARA AND SVETAMBARA AS THE MAJOR DIVISIONS OF THE JAINA CHURCH: As we have already mentioned, these seven schisms could not maintain their separate identity and ultimately agreed with their original source; but the Digambara-Svetambara schism resulted into a sharp division of the church, and each sect claimed greater authen­ticity than the other. The traditional accounts regarding this schism evince wide divergence.

The Digambara account attributed the schism to a terrible famine which lasted for twelve years in the country of Magadha during the time of Chandragupta Maurya in the third century B.c.        This led some of the monks to migrate to the South India under the leadership of Acarya Bhadrabahu, and the rest remained in Magadha with Sthula­bhadra. The latter, pressed by the circumstances, gave up nudity and wore a piece of cloth (Ardhaphalaka) at the time of begging. The conservative element protested against this, and thus these Ardhaphalakas proved to be the forerunners of the Svetambaras. Finally, at the request of Candralekha, the queen of king Lokapala of Valabhipura, the saints known as Ardhaphalakas began to put on white clothes and were called Svetapatas.

          The Svetambaras record a different view of the Schism.          According to them, the emergence of Digambaras is due to a certain Sivabhuti who 609 years after the Nirvana of Mahavira founded a sect called Bodiya in the city of Rathavirapura, and started nudity.          When once he came late at night, his mother refused to open the door. Being frustrated, he happen­ed to enter a monastery, and became a monk. When the king for whom he fought many battles came to know this, he sent him a valuable garment as a gift. The teacher of Sivabhuti tore off that garment. Being excited, he gave up all clothing and became naked. His sister also followed him, but later on she began to wear clothes on account of


1        H.  J.  M. , p, 81.


 the complaints made by several persons. Thus Sivabhuti's disciples were regarded as Digambaras.

          These "traditional accounts of the origin of the split are puerile and the outcome of sectarian hatred.          They however agree in assigning it to the end of the first century A.D. which is quite likely.          The evidence of the literary writings of the Svetambaras and early sculptures go to show that most of the differences between the two sects were of slow growth, and did not arise all at one time."'          The fundamental difference between these two sects finds expression in the attitude of the monks towards the use of clothes.          The Svetambara monks wear white clothes, whereas the Digambara ones go naked. Besides, the Digambaras say that the real Agamas are now extinct, but the Svetambaras recognise the existing Agamas as the original ones. It may be pointed out that the metaphysical, ethical and religious doctrines described in the works of the Digambaras and the Svetambaras do not exhibit remarkable differences.

          SECTS OF THE DIGAMBARAS : With the lapse of time new sects originated in the Digambaras and the Svetambaras. We shall first point out the sects of the Digambaras, and then pass on to the Svetambara ones.  The different sects of the Digambaras are:    1) Dravida Samgha, 2) Kastha Samgha, 3) Mathura Samgha, 4) Yapaniya Samgha, 5) Tera­pantha, 6) Bisapantha, 7) 5amaiyapantha, and 8) Gumanapantha.

          1) The Dravida Samgha, according to the Darsanasara,2 appeared in Vikrama 526 (469 A.D.) in Dravida country near Madras, and was started by Vajranandi, the disciple of Pujyapada. Many great Acaryas like 3inasena (the author of the Harivam.j'apurana), Vadiraja etc. patronized this Samgha, but nothing is known regarding the rules of ascetic discipline prevalent in this Samgha. 2) In Vikrama 753 (696 A.D.) the Kasrha Samgha3 was founded by Kumarasenamuni. His disciples kept a broom consisting of cow's hair. 3) Two hundred years after the origin of Kastha Samgha, i.e., in Vikrama 953 (896 A.D.) the Mathura Samgha4 was started in  Madura in Southern India by Ramasena.          The saints of this Samgha did not keep any broom. Acarya Amitagati belonged to this Samgha. NATHURAMJI PREMI remarks that Devasena, the author of the Darjanasara, unnecessarily and without any adequate reasons called these Samghas pseudo-Jaina.5          4) We encounter the name


1 The Age of Imperial unity, p. 416.             2 Darsansara, pp. 38, 41.

3 Ibid. pp. 39, 41.                   4 Ibid, pp. 39-41.               5 Ibid. p. 45.


 of another Samgha known as Yapaniya Samgha,l which was started by Srikala-)a at Kalyana after 205 years of Vikrama era (148 A.D.) The saints of the Yapaniya school practiced nudity like the Digambaras and believed in the liberation of women in conformity with the f vetambaras. Thus they may be called the reconcilers of the two major sects.          Now­a-days the followers of this Samgha are not visible. According to Dr. UPADXYE, they either dwindled into extinction or merged themselves into the Digambara fold. 5-6) In course of time the saints deviated from the prescribed path of ascetic discipline.          They started such practices as were having no scriptural support. Such saints began to be called Bhatta­rakas.          These Bhattarakas went astray to such an extent as to endanger the purity of the discipline prescribed by the Digambara tradition. Con­sequently, in the seventeenth century A.D., Pandita Banarsidasa of Agra stood in opposition to the degenerating tendencies of the Bhattarakas, and gave rise to a Pantha called Terapantha.2 Those who continued to remain the votaries of the Bhattarakas were called Bisapanthis3. How these names of Terapantha and Bisapantha came into vogue is a puzzling question. The Terapanthis do not regard the Bhattarakas as their Gurus. The rise of this Pantha gave a death blow to the prevalent tendencies of the Bhattarakas.          Both the Terapanthis and the Bisapanthis are idolatrous Digambaras. 7) In the sixteenth century A.D. Tarana­svami4 founded Samaiyapantha.     The followers of this Pantha are non­idolatrous Digambaras, and worship the texts of the canon.          8) In the eighteenth century A.D. Gumanrama, the son of Pt. TODARMAL of Jaipur, founded Gumanapantha5 with a view to emphasising the importance of the purity of conduct.          It may be pointed out here that these sects could not create any sharp social differences, and the adherents of these Panthas live quite harmoniously.       In spite of so many movements in the history of Digambara church, the unity of the church could not much be jeopardized.

          SECTS OF THE SVETAMSARAS :          We now proceed to deal with the sects of the Svetambaras.          Though a large number of Gacchas originated in the idolatrous Svetambaras, they exhibit only gross differences of discip­line and not any fundamental philosophical distinctions. Of the tradi­-


1 Ibid. p. 38-39.                              2 Jaina Sahitya aura Itihasa, p. 493.

3 Ibid.                                      4 H. J. M., p. 448.

5 Ibid.


tional number of eighty four Gacchas, only some are known; and a few of them are alive to this day such as Kharatara-gaccha, Tapa-gaccha, and Ancalika-gaccha. The sect which deeply affected the organisation of the f vetambara church is known as Sthanakavasi. The origin of this sect is as follows. Not finding the practice of idol-worship consis­tent with the Jaina Agamas, Lonkasaha in 1474 A.D. represented it as incongruous; and established a sect called Lonka sect. Afterwards, out of the Lonka sect there arose a further split on the basis of the fact that the saint should strictly observe the rules of monastic life. This was effected by one of the saints of the Lonka sect, namely, the saint Viraji of Surat. He founded a sect called Sthanakavasi or Dhumdiya, and assimilated many of the adherents of the Lorika sect.   The Sthanakavasis decry idol-worship and temples, and do not believe in pilgrimage.          The saints of this sect ahvays tie a piece of cloth to their mouth.          They do not differ much from the idolatrous Svetambaras in details of ascetic life.          Later on, in the eighteenth century A.D., a new sect known as Tera­pantha was started by Bhikhanaji, who was one of the Sadhus of the Sthanakavasi sect.'  This sect is also non-idolatrous.          The Terapanthi saints do not live in the houses built for their staying purposes as the Sthanakavasi saints do, though the former always tie a piece of cloth to their mouth like the latter. This sect is now flourishing under the guidance of Acarya Tulasi.


          ORIGIN OF JAINA ETHICS: We shall now end this chapter after dwelling upon the origin of Jaina monarchism, inasmuch as it is directly related to the origin of Jaina ethics. JACOBI is of opinion that the Jainas have borrowed the rules of ascetic life from the Brahmanas. We may point out here that the unravelment of the problem of the derivation of Jaina monachism from the rules of Brahmanical Samnyasa has to be studied in relation to the antiquity of Samnyasa in Brahmanical fold. "The establishment of the theory of Asramas does not seem to have taken place before the time of the Svetsvatara Upanishad wherein we find the term Atya'sramin.3 "In the oldest Upanisads there is evidence of only the first two or three Asramas, namely that of a student, that of a householder and that of Yati or a Muni.          According to the Chandogya Upanisad a man reaches the Summum Bonum even in the stage of a householder'."          Besides, the idea of Samnyasa does not seem to find


1 H. J. M., p. 440.                                                2 Bhiksu Vicara Darsana, p. 3.

2        History of Brahmainical Asceticism, p. 15.  4 Ibid.


favor with the Satapatha-Brahmana and the Taittiriya Upanisad, inasmuch as the former portrays the life of the householder as ideal by pronouncing that one should offer sacrifice to fire as long as he lives, and the latter instructs not to break the thread of progeny'. Again, the Mahabharata also condemns it. Bhima argues: "Samnyasa has been started by (men who are) devoid of fortune, and paupers and atheists (arid it is represented by them) as the teaching of the Vedas, (while as in reality it is) a falsehood looking like truth 2." "This suggestion is supported by arguments of Arjuna in the next chapter where he relates a story, that in the days of yore some Brahmanas had entered Samnyasa from Brahmacarya.       India denounced the conduct of these Brahmanas and he made time return to the Grhastha stage."'          These chapters of the _Mahabharata go to prove that the ancient Vedic tradition looked upon asceticism with disfavor. HARDUTTA SXARMA speculates that "the Vatarasanas of the Rgveda who, by the time of the uranyakas, took the title of Sramana were the earliest dissenters from the orthodox Vedic religion. They are the same as the Yatis who are killed by Indra".4 Dr. DuTTa comes to the same conclusion. He says: "The Vedic hymns which may be said to constitute the earliest and purest Aryan element in Indian culture do not seem to know of the religious mendicant".'

          In view of these observations we can safely conclude that Jaina monachism does not seem to have originated from the Brahmanical idea of Samnyasa. "The Institution of Shamanism grew up among the imperfectly Aryanised communities of the east; spread, flourished and became highly popular, and with the remarkable elasticity which is characteristic of Brahmanism was later affiliated to the Aryan system of life, becoming the fourth Asrama."" Dr. Upadhye says: "Before the advent of the Aryans in India, we can legitimately imagine that a highly cultivated society existed along the fertile banks of the Ganges and Jamuna and it had its religious teachers. Vedic texts have always looked with some antipathy at the Magadhan country where Jainism and Buddhism flourished, and these religions owe no allegiance to the Vedic authorities. The gap in the philosophical thought at the close of the Brahmana period has necessitated the postulation of an indigenous stream of thought which must have influenced the ilryan thought at the same tiff being influenced by the latter ............... I have called this stream of thought by the


          1 History of B. Asceticism, p. 16  2 Ibid. p. 17  3 Ibid,    4 Ibid.

          5 Early Buddhist Monachism, p. 46  6 Ibid.. p. 56,


name `Magadhan religion'....................  we should no more assess the Samkhya, Jaina, Buddhistic and _,Java tenets as mere perverted continuations of stray thoughts selected at random from the Upanisadic bed of Aryan thought current. The inherent similarities in these systems as against the essential dissimilarities with Aryan (Vedic and Brahmanic) religion and the gaps that a dispassionate study might detect between the Vedic (including the Brahmanas) and Upanisadic thought currents, really point out to the existence of an indigenous stream of thought'." Hence we may conclude that Jaina monarchism and therefore Jaina ethics is Magadhan in origin.