Chapter XVII


A brief historical survey of Jainism attempted here gives an idea of the gradual spread of Jainism in different parts of India. The period between the ninth and the twelfth century A.D. is regarded as the golden period in the history of Jainism because Jainism made the striking progress. At this time, it enriched the Indian culture in many spheres. The life of the Jaina monks with lofty ideals was inspiring, and the JainaSr�vakas were highly devoted to their religion. Jainism flourished along with other religions such as Buddhism, Vaishanavism and �aivism. Jainism has certain distinguishing features, and its distinct contributions to the Indian culture are as follows.


Jainism made contributions to Indian culture in different spheres, but they are very significant in ethical sphere. This religion seems to have remained a moral code for the uplift of the masses, because Jaina teachers preached ethics but not the religious dogmas. Mahavira preached the five vows, non-violence Ahims�, truthfulness satya, avoidance of theft asteya and non-possession (Aparigraha) and celibacy (Brahamacarya). After Mah�v�ra, the subsequent Jaina teachers Kundakunda, Samantabhadra, Haribhadra, Akalanka, Jine�varas�ri, Hemachandra and H�ravijayas�ri propagated ethical principles among the people irrespective of caste and creed. Their objective was not to convert these people to Jainism, but to bring about moral uplift in the society.

(A) AHIÏ¿½SÏ¿½ : The substantial contribution of Jainism to Indian culture is the doctrine of Ahi�s� or non-violence. Thought this doctrine has been accepted in most of the Indian religions from time to time in different degrees, it was preached by Jainism in minute form. From the edicts of A�oka, it is known that he prohibited the slaughter of animals. In Jainism, this doctrine was understood in the sense of thought, word and action. Live and let live others. All the creatures want to live but not to die. Kindness to creatures is Kindness to oneself. Before Mah�v�ra, there was too much slaughter of animals and injury to creatures. This practice of violence polluted the whole atmosphere of the society. This principle of non-violence was responsible for reducing the element of violence in Vedic sacrifices and rituals. It is due to the influence of Ahims� that large number of people in India gradually became vegetarian. Some ruling chiefs of India ordered strict observance of non-violence on certain days in their kingdoms. Mah�r�ja �lha�adeva Chauh�na, ruler of N��ol, issued injunctions to his subjects in 1152 A.D. forbidding the slaughter of animals on certain days in his kingdom1. Encouraged by Devendra S�ri, Samarasi�ha, the Guhila ruler of Mewar, issued an ordinance prohibiting the slaughter of animals in his kingdom2. Impressed by the preaching of Devas�ri, Mah�r��� Jagatsi�ha issued an ordinance for the stoppage of catching of fish or other living creatures from certain lakes and destruction of animals on certain days.3 Even the great Mughal emperor Akbar forbade the slaughter of animals at the persuasion of the Jaina saints H�rav�jayas�ri and Jinachandra S�ri.4 The practice of feeding and sustaining the insects, birds and animals followed in ancient times was the result of the doctrine of Ahi�s�. An inscription of 1715 A.D. engraved in the Jaina temple at Deoli5 in the former Pratapgarh State in Rajasthan records that the oilmen of the town agreed to stop working their mills for 44 days in a year at the request of S�raiy� and J�var�ja of the Mah�jana community in the reign of Mah�r�vala P�ithv�si�ha.

Ahi�s� does not mean that Jainism does not sanction fighting on the battle-field for the right cause. In the history of India, there are instances where numerous Jaina warriors such as Ch�mu��ar�i, ��ntin�tha, Ga�ga, Bappa Vastupd Tezpale Kalkacarya did not lag behind the followers of other faiths in battle-fields for the cause of mother-land, self-respect and family honour.

(B) APARIGRAHA : Another great ethical contribution of Jainism to Indian culture is the doctrine of Aparigraha or non-possession. Jaina teachers owned nothing and wanted nothing. They were free from fear and want. It was natural that those who came into contact with them were influenced by their example of renunciation. As a result, several kings, ministers and wealthy merchants led simple lives thinking wealth and power to be used for the welfare of all living beings. Their personal needs became highly limited. They spent for themselves only to the extent of their minimum needs, and the surplus was spent on the welfare activities like learning, food, medicine and shelter. These are the most practical needs which the Jainas adopted to win for themselves allegiance and devotion of masses. As a result, Jainism made a striking progress specially from the ninth to the twelfth century A.D.

(C) BRAHMACHARYA : Jainism considers the vow of celibacy (Brahmacharya) to be the highest austerity, and Jaina teachers in all ages propagated it among the masses.

As a result, Jainas, in spite of being rich merchants and occupying high official posts, did not indulge generally in polygamy. Not only Jainas, but others also like kings, Ministers and ordinary men observed the vow of celibacy in one form or other because of the influence of Jainism. The observance of this doctrine by the people in some form protected them from committing many crimes and evils. It created healthy atmosphere in society, and made the people virtuous.

(D) THEORY OF KARMA : The theory of Karma is also a notable contribution of Jainism. According to it, pleasure and pain, happiness and misery of the individual depend upon karmas. Karmas are produced by mind body and speech. Eternal peace and infinite bliss are to be attained through annihilating the old karmas by the practice of austerities, and by stopping the influx of new karmas by the practice of self-restraint. Right faith, Right knowledge and Right conduct are the three essential points which lead to perfection by the destruction of karma. This theory does not believe in God or Creator, but emphasizes that man is the architect of his own destiny. By propagating such ideas of the theory of Karma, Jaina, monks made the people responsible for their actions.

(E) DOCTRINE OF NAYA : The doctrine of Naya, as propounded by Mah�v�ra, in opposition to the agnosticism of Sa�jaya is an out-standing and important contribution to Indian culture. Nayas were actually the ways of expressing the nature of things from different points of view. It also began to be called Anek�ntav�da, which is true from last scepticism sa�sayav�da and dognatism. It does not mean compromise or doubt or uncertainty, but it means that truth is many-sided and it can also be realized piecemeal, and one must be tolerant enough to understand the viewpoints of others.

There were many religious sects and philosophical views prevalent in ancient India. Mah�v�ra and the subsequent teachers of Jainism were tolerant in religious matters and this doctrine laid stress on the fact that there should be room for the consideration of teachings and views of all religious sects which avoided sqnabbles and quarrels among religious exponents. This attitude in religious matters produced an atmosphere of mutual harmony among the followers of different sects who began to appreciate the views of their opponents as well. This doctrine produced an atmosphere of mutual harmony and made the Jainas broad-minded. Throughout the history whenever the Jaina rulers were in power, there is not a single instance of tyranny on the followers of other religions. Because of the broad-mindedness of the Jainas, there are several instances when rulers became patrons of Jainism by giving liberal grants to them though they did not adopt it

(2) JAINA SAMGHA : Another contribution of the Jainas is that they possessed a unique power of organization. Strict discipline was established in the Jaina Sa�gha (church) by laying certain rules of conduct both for ascetics and ï¿½r�vakas (laymen). There are four orders of the Jaina Sa�gha – monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen. The noble conduct of the monk is regarded as an ideal example to be followed by the people. He is actually the guide, the guardian and the leader of the society.

Jainism made laity as also monks participants in the Jaina Sa�gha by imposing certain rules of conduct. The laymen were householders and as such they could not actually renounce the world but they could, at least, observe the five samall vows called A�uvrata. The similarity of their religious duties differing not in kind but in degree, brought about the close union of laymen and monks. Most of these regulations meant to govern the conduct of laymen were apparently intended to make them participate in a measure and for sometime, in merits and benefits of monastic life, without obliging them to renounce the world altogether. As a consequence, laymen became greatly conscious, disciplined and enlightened. This type of organization gave the Jaina a deep roof in India, and that roof firmly planted among the laity enabled Jainism to withstand the storm that drove Buddhism out of India. Besides, by occupying the influential posts of administration and by becoming leaders of society, these laymen gave proper guidance to the society, from time to time.

  1. POLITICAL SPHERE :The contribution of the Jainas in the political sphere is noteworthy. By playing the part of king-makers, Jaina sages had secured for generations royal patronage. They also acted as political instructors of the kings. The first historical emperor Chandragupta Maurya, who was the disciple of Jaina teacher Bhadrab�hu, established an efficient administration. During the reign of Kh�ravela, Jaina missionaries used to preach the gospels of Jainism in his kingdom. The Ganga kingdom was the creation of Jaina sage Si�hanandi. The Ga�ga ruler Kongunivarma secured his kingdom from the Jaina preceptor Si�hanandi. The great R�sh�rak�ta ruler Amoghavarsha, who became the follower of Jainism under Chief preceptor Jinasena, governed his subjects well. Kum�rapala, who adopted Jainism by the influence of the powerful Saint Hemachandra, made his State a model Jaina State.

Winning over the feudal lords and great commanders, the Jaina teachers assured them of success in various provincial seats over which these officials were placed. The Jaina sages produced not merely devout followers who could perform orthodox duties, but mighty leaders of armies who liberated their country from the enemies. Jaina ministers administered the kingdoms efficiently. The Jainas gave practical expression to the ideal of human brotherhood in the shape of four well known gifts of food, shelter, medicines and learning.

Jainism contributed to the material welfare of the country. In addition to the kingdom, it had founded or helped to stabilize, it had substantially added to the commercial development of the land. As a result of the influence of Jainism, people abstained from taking wine and meat along with other abition (Vyasanes) and followed  rules of justice and religion in their respective Kingdoms.


(A) CASTE SYSTEM : The great contribution of Jainism in social sphere is that it observed no distinction of caste and creed. According to it, religious salvation is birthright of every one, and it is assured if one follows the prescribed rules of conduct. According to it, birth is nothing, caste is nothing but action is everything. The doctrine of Karma made the individual conscious of his responsibility for all actions. One becomes a Br�hma�a or a Kshatriya or a Vai�ya or a ��dra by one’s actions. Though Mah�v�ra was a Kshatriya, he himself was styled ‘Maha�a‘ or Mah�mahana (Great Br�hma�a). His religion was accepted by a large number of men and women belonging to different castes and classes. The contemporary kings, queens, princes and ministers became his followers. Among the kings, �renika, Kunika and Ce�aka are prominent. His chief eleven disciples known as Ga�adharas were Br�hmanas who helped the Master to spread his faith. Besides, he attracted a large number of rich bankers and merchants. He also tried his best for improving the lot of the oppressed of Vajrabh�mi and �vabhrabh�mi by his teaching Harikeshi, born in the family of Cha���las, became a monk possessing some of the highest virtues. Several contemporary clans such as the Lichchhav�s, the Vajjis, the J��trikas, the Mallas, the Ugras and the Bhogas came under the influence of Mah�v�ra.

Even after Mah�v�ra, Jainism observed no distinction of caste and creed based on birth. The Nanda ruler and Chandragupta Maurya, who are said to be the Jainas, were of humble caste. According to traditions, the �aka ruler Nahap�na, after his defeat at the hands of Gautam�putra S�takar�i, abdicated the throne and became a Jaina monks, called Bh�tabali. From the Kush��a inscriptions of Mathura, it is known that Jainism was followed by the people irrespective of castes and creeds. R�magupta is known to have installed Jaina images at Vidisha. Harigupta was the spiritual preceptor of the H�na ruler Toram��a. The early medieval period was the most flourishing time for Jainism in India. Most of the ruling dynasties in one way or other came under the influence of Jainism. A.S. ALTEKAR6 holds the view that probably one-third of the Deccan was the follower of Jainism. The V�ra Banajigas of the south practised Jainism. Even in Northern India, a large number of people accepted Jainism and formed the castes of Osav�las, Kha��elav�las, Agrav�las, Porav�las, etc. Some agricultural sections of the south were also devoted to Jainism.

(B) POSITION OF WOMAN : Another notable contribution of Jainism in social sphere is that it made no distinction of sex by admitting women into the Jaina Sa�gha. They used to lead a life of celibacy with the aim of understanding and following the eternal truths of religion and philosophy. Ajita, Chandan�, Jayant� etc. were the famous nun-disciples of Mah�v�ra. These nuns were permitted to study Jaina scriptures. Some of them were learned scholars. Haribhadras�ri, a notable scholar of Jainism of the eighth century A.D., was deeply inspired by a Jaina nun called Y�kin�.7

From the inscriptions of South India, it is known that Jainism was liberal towards women. A large number of lay-women and nuns have been mentioned as devotees of Jainism. They were drawn from all sections – royalty, nobility, Ministers and generals.8 Jakkiyabbe appointed in husband’s place after his death was skilled in ability for good government. She was faithful to Jinendra ��sana. The ladies of the Kadamba, Ga�ga and Hoysala families and wives of feudatories, commanders and other officials played the distinguished role in the propagation of Jainism. Kanti, orator and poet, along with Abhinava Pampa, was one of the gems that adorned the court of the Hoysala King Ball�la I. There were not only lay women disciples but also preceptors. There were two different categories of women in Jaina monastic organization in the South – Ordinary women who renounced the world, and took the life of asceticism. The ?? were higher in status.9


The Jainas made remarkable contributions in the economic sphere from time to time, and it led to the prosperity of the country. The followers of Jainism were mostly bankers and merchants. Even in the time of Mah�v�ra, the rich householders such as �nanda, K�madeva, Sardalaputra and Up�li became prosperous by trade and industries. Pottery was the favourable profession. The �rama�a S�dalaputta of Pot�sapura had five hundred shops outside the city. The N�y�dhammakah� describes how people became rich by inland and foreign trade. It gives realistic description of sea trade. Merchants used to travel in a caravan. Trade and industries were organized into guilds. There were merchant guilds under the chiefs called Se�h�s. Because of their wealth, they got special status in society. They visited the royal courts as representatives of business community. These merchants contributed to the origin of the coined money which facilitated trade and commerce. The urban centres such as Ca�p�, R�jag�iha, V�r��as�, �r�vast�, Mathura, Vai��l� and Ujjayin�, where merchants settled, became prosperous.

Several Jaina Inscriptions of the Kush��a period found at Mathura point out how people engaged in different industries contributed to the progress of Jainism. The A�gavij�, a Jaina text of the Kush��a period, informs about the development of trade, and mentions different varieties of coins. There was sound money economy. The trade and commerce led to the growth of cities and towns.

The Kuvalayam�l� and the Upamitibhavaprapancakah� give an interesting account of ancient cities and towns. The S�rthav�ha (caravan) took with him a large number of soldiers and weapons in order to ensure safety. From the Tilakama�zjar�, it is known that some of the rich merchants might have gone by ships to the neighbouring countries of Si�haladv�pa and Suvar�abh�mi. The commence of Rajasthan – Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh was controlled by the Jaina traders. They became prosperous by this trade and commerce. People formed several merchant Jaina castes such as the Osav�las, Kha��elav�las, Sagherav�las, Porav�las and Agravalas. In the south, the followers of Jainism were Ba�ajiga merchants. They became prosperous and contributed to the growth of cities. There was a phenomenal increase in inland and overseas trade in Vijayanagara empire during the middle of the 14th century A.D. It led to the consequential increase in the number, importance and affluence of trade guilds.

The Jaina merchants Petha�a ��ha and L����h�ha became prosperous because of trade and commerce. These Jaina traders like Bh�m���ha were great financiers to their monarchs in the time of difficulties. They gained great favours from their masters for Jainism. These Jaina merchants were highly devoted to Jainism, and made the best use of thier wealth. They used to give four gifts learning, food, medicine and shelter. They constructed temples and installed images in them. They got the copies of the manuscripts written and founded Granthabha���ras. They led Sa�ghas to the holy places for pilgrimage.

(5) SPHERES OF ART AND ARCHITECTURE : Though most of the objects of Jaina art and architecture have been destroyed by the levelling hand of time and iconoclastic seal of the foreigners, those surviving ones give an idea of contribution that Jainism made to Indian Culture, Jaina objects of art and architecture of very early period have been found. Further, significant Jaina art objects of different periods, and also of separate regions of India are available. From this, it is evident that Jainism made valuable contribution at every stage in the evolution and growth of Indian culture in the sphere of art and architecture. The period between the ninth and the twelfth century A.D. is considered to be the golden age in the history of Jaina art and architecture because its contributions to Indian culture during this period are remarkable.


(i) STÏ¿½PAS AND MONASTERIES : Jaina architecture is concerned with St�pas, monasteries, caves, temples and M�nastambhas. The ï¿½va�yaka Ch�r�i of Jinad�sa (C. 676 A.D.) mentons the St�pa dedcated to the 20th T�rtha�kara Munisuvrata at Vai��l�, but its remains have not yet been discovered. The St�pa of Mathura dedicated to the seventh T�rtha�kara, Sup�r�van�tha is known to have been built by the gods Devanirmita10. This shows that it was very old, and its origin was forgotten. Some ascribed it to the third century B.D. while others to the sixth century B.C. In two votive tablets, the figure of this St�pa is found engraved. Another Jaina St�pa of Mathura is of Kush��a period. From Jaina traditions, the Mauryan ruler Samprati is known to have constructed several Jaina temples and monasteries. ‘Niga�asa Vih�ra D�pe11 inscribed on one of the pot sherds at Kasrawad in Madhya Pradesh proves the existence of Jaina monastery in the third century B.C. The excavations12 conducted at a site called Va��amanu, named after  Vardham�na in the Krishna Valley, yielded the Jaina remains of the St�pas, ellipsoidal structures and monasteries of the period between the second century B.C. to the second century A.D. The names of Jinonavih�ra and Samprativih�ra are found engraved on the pottery pieces. The name Samprati-Vih�ra proves tha Samprati was a historical figure. At Paharpur in Bengal was found a copper plate inscription of the fifth century A.D. which mentions the name of the �c�rya Guhanandi of Pa�chast�p�nvaya and Jaina Vih�ra(monastery) of Va�a Goh�li. In excavation also, the remains of the monastery were discovered.

(ii) CAVES : There are caves and caverns associated with Jainism in the southern Districts of Madurai and Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. The inscriptions of the third or second century B.C. engraved on them record mostly the dedication of abodes for Jaina monks. The caves on the Udaigiri and the Khandagiri hills near Bhuvaneshwar in Orissa belong to the second or the first century B.C. as known from the inscription of Kh�ravela. The Jaina caves of the second century B.C. have been discovered at Ghuntupalli in the East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh. The Son-Bha���ra cave at R�jg�ha in Bihar is assigned to the first century B.C. At Pale in Poona District of Maharashtra, there is a cave with an inscription of the first century B.C. At Pabhosa, near Allahabad, there are two caves with an inscription of the second century B.C. which records their dedication by Ash�dhasena from Ahichchhatra for the use of Ka�yap�ya Arhats. At Junagarh, (Saurashtra) near Bava Phy�ra Ma�ha are a group of Jaina caves of the second century A.D. The Udayagiri cave No. 25 in Madhya Pradesh belongs to the fifth century A.D. The Bhadrab�hu cave on Chandragiri hill at �rava�a Belagol� is noteworthy in the south. The Sittanav�sala cave in Tamilnadu belongs to the third century A.D. The Badami cave of the seventh century A.D. is also worth mentioning. There are the Jaina caves at Ahihole also. The Jaina caves namely Chot� Kail�sa Indra S�bh� and Jagann�tha Sabh� are the finest from the artistic point of view. The pillars and walls are exquisitely carved. The Jaina caves at Gwalior or the 15th century belong to the Tomara period.

(iii) TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE : The remains of the foundation of the oldest Jaina temple have been discovered at Lohanipura, near Patna. It was a square temple (8′ 10″ C 8′ 10″) of the Mauryan period i.e. third century B.C. The excavations at Kankali Tila Mathura disclosed remains of two Jaina temples of the Kush��a period, i.e. the second century A.D.

From the sixth century A.D. onwards, three main styles of temples known as the N�gara, the Dr�vida, and the V�sara are recognized. The fundamental characteristics of N�gara style are cruciform plan and curvilinear �ikhara and it was prevalent in the region between the Himalayas and the Vindhyas. The outstanding and common characteristic of the temples of Dr�vi�a style is the pyramidal elevation of the tower, and this tyle was confined to the part of the country lying between the river Krishna and Kanyakumari. The Vesara style is the mixed one of the above style, and it was found between the Vindhyas and the river Krishna. The Jaina temples of the above the three styles are noticed.

Jainism prospered greatly in medieval period under the patronage of the ruling dynasties, Jaina temples were built during the reign of the Ga�gas, the Ch�lukyas, the R�sh�rak�tas, the Pallavas, the Cholas and the �antaras in the South. “The Meghuti Jaina temple built in 634 A.D. during the reign of Pulake�in II by Ravik�rti is said to be the oldest temple of Dr�vi�a style in the south. The important temple of this style is in Pa��ak�la. The Jaina temples at Huvancha and Gudau near Tirthahalli, Lakundi in Dharwad District, Jinanathapura, Halebid, Ganigitti, Tirumalalai, Tiruparuli, Kundarama, Tiruppanayura, “Mudabidri, etc. are noteworthy. Jaina temples built in Kerala region13 between ninth and eleventh centuries were of two main types – rock-cut and structural temples. Temples were also built in the Vijayanagara empire. These temples give an idea of the Dr�vi�a style of Jaina architecture of the south.

The Jaina temples of the N�gara style were built in large number in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. The Jaina temples of Devagarh, Gyaraspur, Badoh and B��h� Chanderi  in Madhya Pradesh belong to the Prat�h�ra period. The pillars, gateways and the walls of the temples are finely carved.The M�l�dev� temple of Gy�raspur, which is partly rock-cut and partly structural, consists of a porch, hall, vestibule and sanctum with an ambulatory. The Jaina temple of Badoh with twenty-five cells was built between the ninth and twelfth century A.D. The Jaina temples of Khajuraho belong to the Chandella period. These are lofty edifices without any enclosure and erected on a high platform terrace. Like the exterior, the interior of these temples specially doorways, pillar architraves and ceilings are richly carved with figures and intricate geometrical and floral designs. During the Param�ra period, Bh�mija style became popular. The two Jaina temples of 11-12th century A.D. at Un are of this style. The carvings of these temples are of high order. At Bhojapur, near Bhopal, there are remains of the Jaina temple. The Jaina temples of Sonagiri, Muktagiri, Kundalpur and Mandu were built during the Muslim period.

In Rajasthan, the Jaina temple built in the eighth century A.D. at Osia during the reign of Vatsar�ja is the oldest, and it consists of a sanctum,  a closed hall and an open porch. it is famous for its carvings. The Jaina shrines at Kumbharia are noteworthy as some of them contain beautiful ceiling slabs. The two celebrated Jaina temples of Abu are the best examples not only of Jaina but Indian architecture. One dedicated to �din�tha was built by a minister named Vimala in 1031 A.D. while the other was constructed by Tejap�la in 1230 A.D. These temples are famous for the minutely carved decoration of the ceilings, pillars, doorways and niches. The Dhai din k� Jho�pra seems to be originally a Jaina temple constructed by the Chauh�na ruler. Vigrahar�ja. The Singh�j� K� Mandira at Sanganer belongs to the tenth century A.D. because there is an inscription of 954 A.D. on the bandarav�la of the main shrine in the second hall of the temple. The Jaina temple of ��ntin�tha at Jhalarapatan was built in 1046 A.D. by S�ha P�p�. The shrine and ï¿½ikhara of this temple are old. The Jaina temple of Lodorva near Jaisalmer is of the eleventh century A.D., and it’s tora�adv�ra is elaborately carved and richly decorated. The Jaina temple of R��akapur built in 1440 A.D. is the most complicated and extensive temple. There are twenty domes supported by about 1420 pillars and no two pillars are alike. Besides twelve in the central ï¿½ikhara, there are eighty-six cells of very varied form and size surrounding the interior, and all their facades more or less adorned with sculptures. The great Jaina temples of Chintamani P�r�van�tha, �ishabha, �antin�tha, Sambhavan�tha and Mah�v�ra in Jaisalmer constructed one after another in a period between the twelfth and the fifteenth centuries are excellent. Profuse ornamentations in the shape of foliage, flowers birds and human figures were used in decorating every part of the pillar, arch, lintel or bracket of these temples. There are several old temples at �atrunjaya and Girnar which throw significant light on the gradual development of art.

(iv) MÏ¿½NASTHAMBHAS : The exquisite Jaina M�nastambhas are found at �rava�a Belagol� Mu�ubidre and K�rkala. The M�nastambha of Devagadh is artistic. The Jaina tower known as K�rtistambha of the 15th century ar Chitor is 80 feet in height, and is composed of eight storeys. It is full of decorations.


The earliest evidence for the worship of image is found among the Jainas. The H�thigumph� inscription of the second or first century B.C. mentions that king Kh�ravela brought back the image of Kalinga Jina which was taken away by Nandar�ja. This proves that Jaina image was worshipped in the fourth century B.C. The earliest known Jaina image is from the Jaina temple of Lohanipura, near Patna, from which two torsos of Jina image were found. These belong to Mauryan period as they are of highly polished stone. A very old bronze of P�r�van�tha standing in K�yotsarga in Prince of Wale’s Museum, Bombay, seems to be of the first century B.C. However the spot of discovery is not known. A unique bronze image of standing P�r�van�tha in the Paddhottai Museum, Tamil Nadu, appears to be of the first century A.D. and it was carried from the North to the South.14 A bronze image of �din�tha and a few other Jaina bronze images from Chausa, near Buxar now in Patna Museum, are ascribed to the second or first century B.C.

A large nmber of Jaina images of the Kush��a period have been discovered at Mathura. The images of the Jaina T�rtha�karas are in K�yotsarga (standing) and Padm�sana (cross-legged) postures. They are made without distinctive symbols except in case of �din�tha who has a couple of loose locks falling on shoulder and Sup�r�van�tha marked by a canopy of a serpent hoods. The T�rtha�kara images are distinguished by the �r�vatsa symbol on the centre of the chest and haloes round their head. There is an image of Mah�v�ra seated in Padm�sana, and one of Sarvatobhadrik� (four-fold images). The images of Sarasvat� is the earliest. There was prevalent the worship of the auspicious symbols such a St�pa dharmachakra, ratnatriya, Nandipada, �r�vatsa, Kevalavr�ksha, Svastika and double fish as engraved on pillars, s�chis (cross slabs), Ushni�as (coping slabs and the tora�a (Gate-way) as found in the excavations conducted at Mathura and Va��amanu. These auspicious symbols are without any reference to the T�rtha�karas in the human form.

Some Jaina images of the Gupta period are also known. There is a seated figure of Nemin�tha of the reign of Candragupta II at Rajag�ha. This is the earliest specimen showing the introduction of recognizing symbols of T�rtha�karas. Two images of Pushpadanta and one of Candragupta found at Vidi�� were installed by Mah�r�j�dhir�ja R�magupta. A beautiful standing bronze figure of �ishabha of the Gupta period, and the inscribed bronze image of J�vantasv�m� (550-600 A.D.) were found at Akota. The Vasantagarh hoard contains two joint standing bronze images of Jinas of the seventh century A.D.

In the period between the eighth and the twelfth century A.D., numerous images of Jaina T�rthankaras and deities were made. “Their design and execution is perfect. Numerous exquisite Jaina images of this period were unearthed at Devagadha. Such beautiful Jaina images were aso discovered at Badanawar, Ujjain, Un. Gandharwal, Vidisha etc. in Madhya Pradesh. As Jaina ��ntin�tha, Arahan�tha and Kunthan�tha were the Chakravarti kings among the T�rtha�karas, their images are sometimes found in combination. The image ofB�van-gaz� (Adinatha) at Badwani appears to be or the 13th century A.D, and it is the tallest in India. In Rajasthan, the Jaina images of this period at Abu, Sanganor, Naraina, Paranagar, Maroth, Baghera etc. are also fine. The Sarasvat� of Pallu is an excellent specimen of Indian sculpture. The colossal Jaina sculpture of Gomate�vara carved under the orders of Ch�mu�dar�ya in about 983 A.D. is one of the largest free standing images in the world. A large number of Jaina Yaksh� and Goma�e�vara images of the medieval period are found in the south. There are large variety in style and composition of Jaina bronzes of medieval period from Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The Jaian images installed by J�var�ja P�pa�iv�la in V.S. 1548 are found throughout India. The rock-cut sculptures of the medieval period found at Gwalior are unique in Northern India a well for their number as for their giagantic size. Their number is 1500. The standing image of �din�tha is 17.84 mts. in height and a huge seated image of Sap�rsvan�ma 10.67 mts. in height and 9.27 mt. broad found here is not noticed any where.

(C) JAINA PAINTING : The traces of Jaina paintings have been marked in the caves of Udaigiri and Khandagiri belonging to the first century B.C. The wall and roof paintings of S�ttanav�sala in Tamil Nadu are assigned to the reign of Pallava ruler Mahendravarman I (600-625 A.D). In the Jaina temple of Tirumalai and the Jaina monastery of �rava�a Belagola, Jaina paintings of the eleventh century are found.

The oldest illustrated Jaina palm manuscripts are found in the Jaina Bha���ras of Mudabidri and Patan. At Mudabidri, five illustrated pages of a copy of the Shatkhan��gama were written in 1113 A.D. The illustrated copy of the palm manuscript ofNi��thach�r�i was written during the reign of the Solank� ruler Jayasi�ha (1094-1143 A.D.) The illustrated copy of J��t�dharmas�tra in the Jaina temple of ��ntin�tha is noteworthy. In the Jaina Bha���ras of Jaisalmer, palm leaf illustrated Pa��ikas illustrating the previous lives of Nemin�tha, P�r�van�tha and Mah�v�ra have been found. The ï¿½r�vaka Bratikrama�ach�r�i now in the museum of the Fine Arts, Boston, containing six pictures is dated 1260 A.D.

The use of the paper as painting material started on a considerable scale from about the 14th century A.D. The earliest illustrated Jaina paper manuscript is a copy of the Kalpas�tra written in 1427 A.D. preserved in the India Office Library, London. The illustrated copies  of the Kalpas�traK�lak�ch�rya Kath�Ya�odharacharita, Mah�pur��a, �dipur��a, Bhakt�mara etc. have been discovered in the Jaina Bha���ras of Patan, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Jaipur and Nagaur. Paintings on cloth have been found. The Chintamaniyantra dated V.S. 1411 (1354 A.D.) in the Nahata Kala Bhawan, Bikaner is important. Among the wooden painted covers of thebha���ras of Jaisalmer, two belonging to the 12th century are important. While the one illustrated the mutual discussion between Jinadatta Suri and his ï¿½r�vakas while the other illustrated the defeat of Kumudachandra by Devas�ri in the religious discussion in the royal court of Siddhar�ja  Jayasi�ha in 1124 A.D. The Vij�aptipatras sent from Sirohi, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Mandu in medieval period to the Jaina monks as letters of invitations usually give us a pictoial form the description of the concerned localities. These Vij�aptipatras are important from the artistic point of view.


The contribution of Jainism to the cause of education is also noteworthy. The Jaina religious preachers, who wandered from place to place propagating their doctrines, proved to be potential media of mass education. The permission granted by Jainism for the admission of women into the order provided an impetus to the spread of education and philosophy among the ladies. The salutation to the different classes of sadhus in Namok�ramantra in Jainism indicates that the teacher was held in high reverence.

In ancient times, the Jaina monasteries and temples became the seats of learning. Teachers used to impart education in these institutions to the people irrespective of caste and creed. The Pah�rapur copper plates of 478 A.D. record that there was a Jaina Vih�ra at Va�a Goh�l�, which was presided over by the pupils of the Nirgrantha teacher Guhanandin of the Pa�chast�panik�ya of Banaras. It is worth noting that the founder of the Vih�ra was a monk who migrated from Banaras to the east. The Jaina temple built by the great poet Ravik�rti at Meghuti15 (Ahihole) in 637 A.D. seems to have been a great centre of learning.

From the Dubkund stone inscription16 dated 1188 A.D., it is known that there was Jaina monastery at Dubkunda, 114 km south-west of Gwalior at this time. The Jaina teachers used to reside here. The teachers belonging to the L��av�ga�a Ga�a were known such as Devasana, his disciple was Kulabh�sha�a and his disciple again was Durlabhasenas�ri. From him sprang the Guru ï¿½ï¿½ntishe�a who defeated the disputants in discussion. His disciple was Vijayak�rti. The Jaina temple of Un, Chabutar� Deor�, was used as a school for children.17 This is clear from the inscriptions found on the walls of the temple. One inscription consists of certain rules of sanskrit grammar, while another is inscribed on the folds of the body of a snake and consists of various letters, both vowels and consonants of the Indian alphabet, as well as the affixes used in the conjuction of Sanskrit verbs.

The P�r�van�tha-Jina-Vih�ra at Dh�ra and the Nemichaity�laya of Nalachh� also served as seats of learning. The Chauh�na ruler Vigrahar�ja built the Sarasvat�mandira which is famous by the name of Adhai-din-k�-Jho�pr� at Ajmer. It was probably a Jaina college building meant for higher education and students from the neighbouring places flocked to it for learning.18 In the thirteenth century A.D., there was a Jaina monastery at Ujjain.19 Devadhara, Vidy�nandas�ri and Dharmak�rti Up�dhy�ya (Dharnaghosha) became head of it one after another.

During the medieval period, Jaina Bha���rakas and �r�p�jyas rendered great service to the cause of education. The seats of the Bha���rakas became the centres of learning. The seats of the M�lasa�gha were respectively Bhaddalpura, Ujjain, Baran, Gwalior, Chitor, Baghera, Delhi, Ajmer, Nagaur and Amber. The monasteries  and temples were constructed at these places, and these developed gradually into educational institutions. There were libraries attached to the educational institutions. A large number of people were employed for copying the manuscripts which were required for study and learning. ï¿½ch�ryas and pa��its were appointed by the Bha���r�kas for imparting education to the people irrespective of castes and creeds. The �r�p�jyas established institutions known as Up�sar�s for the cultivation and propagation of religious and secular learning.

The Jaina holy places such as Abu, Ujjain, Un (P�v�giri), Sonagiri and �rava�abelagol� became the seats of learning, because of the frequent visit of the Jaina saints and the �r�vakas. Temples and monasteries were built at these places. These gradually developed into great educational institutions. Manuscripts were presented to these institutions for study.


Jaina literature occupies a prominent place in Indian literature, and considerable contributions have been made by the Jaina scholars to the different branches. Jaina teachers have written literature marked by moral and religious sentiments. because they wanted to bring about the moral uplift of the people. Jaina saints generally wrote their works in simple and popular languages such as Prakrit, Apabhra��a and theDe�abh�sh�s for the masses. Their works in Sanskrit are available. They enriched the Kanna�a literature with classics. The Jaina literature is valuable from the point of view of philology and history as the Jaina scholars have made their contributions at every stage in the growth of Indian literature.

(A) CANONICAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL LITERATURE : Originally, there were two kinds of Jaina sacred books – the fourteen P�rvas and the eleven A�gas. The fourteen P�rvas are said to be coming down from the time of P�r�va. The fourteen P�rvaswere reckoned to make up a twelfth A�ga called the D�is�iv�da. The language of the available canon, however, shows a great influence of Mah�r�sh�r� Prakrit. The ï¿½gama or canonical literature, according to the �vet�mbara Jainas consists of eleven A�gas, twelve Up��gas, ten Pai��as (Prak�r�as) six, Chhedas�trasN�nd� and Anuyogadv�ra and four m�las�tras. Among these different A�gas, only the ï¿½ch�ra�ga, the S�trak�it��ga and the Uttar�dhyayana contain the old part of the canon from linguistic and literary point of view.

On the other hand, according to the Digambara tradition, some portion of D�ish�iv�da is saved. But all the eleven A�gas were lost by degrees in course of time. With the loss of their canonical books, the Digambaras keenly felt the need of some authoritive works taking the place of the canon, and this was not by the composition of independent treatises on Jaina religion and philosophy. Kundakunda  (??) the most celebrated of the Digambara author, who lived in the early centuries of the Christian era, has several books to his credit, among which Pa�ch�stik�ya, Pravacanas�ra, Samayas�ra and ï¿½a�prabh�tas may be mentioned. Other early Digambara Jaina writers, who wrote in Prakrit, are Va��akara ( 2v ?), the author of M�l�ch�ra dealing with the rules of conduct of Jaina monks andSv�mk�rtikey�nupreksh�, (2v A.D.) which treats of the twelve reflections on the glaring shortcomings of the worldly life. Bh�tabali, disciple of Dharasena, completed the Shatakhand�gama in C. 75 A.D. Yati V�ishabha is known to have been the author of important works – the Ch�r�i-s�tras on the Kash�yap�hu�a of Gu�adhara and the Karmas�tras.

There are also early Digambara Jaina scholars who wrote in Sanskrit. Samantabhadra (2.A.D) is one of the greatest masters of Jaina literature. His known and available works, all in chaste Sanskrit are �ptam���s� or Dev�gama Stotra, Yukty�nu��sana, Svayambhustotra, Jinastuti�ataka or Stuti-Vidy� and Ratnakara��a  ï¿½r�vakach�ra. Um�sv�min’s or Um�savati’s 2 A.D.) Tattavarth� s�tra (also called the Moksha��stra) occupies an honourable place in Jainism. The earliest available Digamabara commentary on the Moksha��stra is the S�rv�rthasiddhi of P�jyap�da (C. 450 A.D.). Akala�ka was a great logician, whose famous works are R�jav�rttika  and Ash�asati. M�natu�ga is the author of the celebrated Bhakt�mara or ï¿½din�tha stotra. A tradition associates him with king �r� Harsha (606-647 A.D.) Vidy�nandi was a great logician, commentator and exponent of Akala�ka school. He is the author of a number of important philosophicological works.

‘Siddhasena Div�kara is the author of the famous philosophical treatise called Sanmati-s�tra. Mallav�di, author of Dv�da-��ranaya chakra, a work on Logic and perhaps of a T�k� on Siddhasena’s Sanmati, also belongs to C. 600 A.D. Haribhadras�ri (700-770 A.D.) is the outstanding writer and wrote a large number of books both in Sanskrit and Prakrit. He is the earliest Sanskrit commentator of the canon, and his contributions to Jaina logic area a outstanding. He inaugurated a new era in Yoga literature by writing the Yogabindu andYogadrish�isamuchchaya. In his Shad-dar�ana samuchchaya, he gives a brilliant exposition of the different systems of philosophy-Jinabhadra Ksham��rama�a is, one of the earliest commentators of the �vet�mbara ï¿½gamas�tras and is generally known as the Bh�shyak�ra V�rasena learnt the Sha�akha���gama and the Kash�yapr�bh�ita  from El�ch�rya at Chitor, and after that, he wrote the Dhaval�  and portion of the Jayadhaval� in the south, in the ninth century. Vidy�nanda, M��ikyanandi and Prabh�chandra were famous logicians. They were probably all contemporaries, and lived in about 800 A.D. Amritachandra was a brilliant commentator who expounded Kundakunda’s works and also wrote the Tattv�rthas�raPurush�rthasiddhup�ya, etc. Towards the close of the tenth century A.D., Nemichanda produced a number of philosophic compendiums of considerable importance.

The study of the Jaina Ardha M�gadh� canon was carried a step further by Abhayadeva (1064 A.D.), who wrote commentaries on the nine A�gas, and by ��ntis�ri and Devendraga�i (eleventh century), both of whom wrote exhaustive commentaries on the important and popular canonical work, the Uttar�dhyana. Amitagati of Malwa composed a compendium of Jaina philosophy called Pa�chasa�graha. V�dir�ja, who lived at the court of the Western Ch�lukya king Jayasi�ha, wrote two works on logic Pram��a-Nir�aya and Ny�yavini�chaya vivara�a. Jinadatta S�ri is known to be the author of several books. Hemachandras�ri, Guru of Kum�rap�la, was the celebrated writer who wrote on different branches of learning. He became famous as Kalik�lasarvaj�a. He wrote the Pramanam�m��s� with a commentary of his own. His other philosophical works known to us are Anyayogavyavachchhedik� and Yoga��stra�a��ka. Jinapatisuri composed the Prabodhyav�dasthala and Jine�varas�ri wrote the Dharmavidhi-prakara�a. ��adhara is the author of more than twenty works, the S�gara-Dharm�m�ita and An�g�ra-Dharmam�ita being the most famous and popular.

Even after the thirteenth century A.D., literary activities continued among the Jainas. Numerous works were written but most of them were stereotyped, imitative and artificial. They were not spontaneous and natural as they were in early times. Padmanandi, Sakalak�rti and �ubhachandra, Bha���rakas of the M�lasa�ghas, are known to have written several works, Samayasundra was the profound scholar of Jainism in medieval times and has written several works in Sanskrit. In the 17th century, the poet R�jamalla composed the L��isa�hit�, Adhy�tmakamalam�rta��a and Pa�ch�dhy�y�. Meghavijaya is the author of M�trik�pras�daBrahm�bodhaYuktiprabodhasa��ka and Dharmama�jusha.

From the sixteenth century A.D., Philosophical and canonical works began to be written in Hindi20 when it became the language of the masses. Pa��ita �odarmala was the reputed author of Hindi prose in the eighteenth century. He prepared commentaries on the hard and obstruse works such as the Gomma�as�raJ�vakarmak���aLabdhis�ra, Khapanas�ra and Trilokas�ra. His Moksham�rga prak�sa is an original and independent work which shines like a jewel in Indian literature. Pa��ita ï¿½ivaj� L�l� and Pa��ita D�pachanda ��ha are known to have written several works in Hindi, Khus�la Chanda K�la, Pa��ita Daulatar�ma and P�rasadesa Nigoty� wrote Vachanik�s in Hidni. Jayachandra Chh�bar�, author of the nineteenth century, had good command over both Sanskrit and Prakrit. He made translations of several Sanskrit and Prakrit works in Hindi between 1804 and 1813 A.D.

Canonical and philosophical works were written in Rajasthani language.21 Samayas�ndara, Jinaharsha, Jinasamudras�ri and Jitamala of Ter�panth� sect were well-known authors who wrote several works. The most important is the Bhagavat�s�tra of Jitamala written in sixty thousand ï¿½lokas.

(B) RICH NARRATIVE LITERATURE : Jina literature is full of popular stories, tales and narrative. Jaina scholars were good story-tellers themselves, and therefore, they have left for us numerous Indian tales which otherwise, would have been lost, These tales are found in kath�s kath�ko�a, epics, charitra and the Pur�nas. These are found written in Prakrit, Sanskrit, Apabhra��a, Gujar�t�, R�jasth�n� and Hindi. These include parables and fables, folk tales and moral anecdotes, tales of romance and adventure and of animal life and supernatural beings, satires and allegories, novels and dramas, even political and historical tales.

(i) KATHÏ¿½S, KATHÏ¿½NAKAS AND KATHÏ¿½KOÏ¿½AS : The Jainas began writing story books from about the beginning of the Christian era. The Pai��as (miscellanea part of the canon) and the Bhagavat�-�r�dhan� of �iv�rya (1st century A.D.) are the Bhagavat�-ar�dhan� of �iv�rya (1st century A.D.) are believed to have been the ultimate sources for the bulk of independent stories. Sv�m� Kum�ra is the author of the K�rttikey�nupreksh�, a fine and popular didactic work in Prakrit. There is a large number of independent works of fiction as well, more important are the Dh�rt�khy�na, Samaraichchakath� and Kath�ko�a of Haribhadra (eigth century A.D.) written in Prakrit the Kuvalayam�l� of Uddyotanas�ri (778 A.D.) written in Prakrit. The Upamitibhavaprapa�chakath� of Siddharshi (905 A.D.) Tilakama�jar� of Dhanap�la (970 A.D.), Kath�ko�a of Jine�vara,Dharmapar�ksh�s of Harishe�a (998 A.D.) Amitagati (993 A.D.) and Nayasena (1125 A.D.) respectively.

Sakalakirti, �ubhachandra, Surendrak�rti and Devendrak�rti, Bha���rakas of the M�las��gha and Somak�rti of K�sha��sa�gha wrote the Kath�s. Meghavijaya also wrote the Kath�s.

There is quite a large story literature in Hindi created by Jaina authors. Brahma R�yamala, Jinad�sa, Khu��la Chanda K�l�, Bha���raka Devendrak�rti, Pa��ita Bakhatar�ma and Pa��ita Daulatar�ma wrote the kath�s.

(ii) EPICS, CHARITRAS, PURAÏ¿½AS AND DRAMAS : The earliest is the Prakrit epic Paumchariya by the poet Vimalas�ri. It seems to have been written in the first century A.D. The V�sudevahi��i written in the fourth century A.D. by Sanghad�saga�i is the first available Jaina version of the Mah�bh�rata. King Parame�vara seems to be the most important of early Mah�pur��awriters.22 His V�g�rtha-Sa�graha, probably in Sanskrit prose and poetry mixed, appears to have formed the basis for almost all the later writers of Jaina Pur��as. Jinasena’s Hariva��apur��a is one of the earliest Jaina version of the P���ava tale. Another Jinasena wrote the ï¿½dipur��a which was completed by his disciple Gu�abhadra. Ravishe�a is the author of the Padmacharita, the earliest available Jaina Pur��a in the Sanskrit giving the story of R�m�ya�a. Pushpadanta is the author of the Mah�pur�nawritten in Apabhra��a. Svayambhu, the greatest poet of Apabhra��a, is known to have written the R�m�ya�a.

Narrative literature also consists of charitras and Pur��as, which are the lengthy biographies of the T�rtha�karas, Chakravart�s, and ï¿½ishis of the past. The MunipaticharitraYa�odhara charitra and Nemin�thachariu are the works written in the eighth century by Haribhadras�ri. Other such works are the Mah�v�racharitra of Asaga (853 A.D.), the J�vandhara-champ� of V�disi�ha (C. 1050 A.D.), the Karaka��u-chariu of Kanak�mara (10th century), the Sudar�ana-charita of Nayanandi (1042 A.D.), the Jambucharita of V�ra (1019 A.D.) and of S�garadatta (1020 A.D.) and ï¿½re�ikacharita of Jinadeva and the Bhadrab�hu-charita of Ratnanandi.

�antin�tha charita was written both by Devas�ri and M��ikya Chandra, Nemin�thacharita by Sur�ch�rya as well as Mal�dh�r� Hemachandra, and P�r�van�tha charita by V�dir�ja, Bhavadeva and  M��ikyachandra. Mah�sena wrote the Pradyumana-charita under Sindhur�ja who died in about 1000 A.D. The M�ig�vat�-charitra of Maladh�r� Devaprabha (thirteenth century) contains interesting legends about Udayana, V�savadatt� and Padm�vat�, reminiscent of Bh�sa’s dramas. Devendras�ri wrote the ï¿½ï¿½ntin�thacharita in 1103 A.D. in Prakrit. His disciple the great Hemachandra is the author of theTrishash�hi�al�k�purushacharita which describes the lives of sixty three persons. R�machandra (1110-1173 A.D.), a pupil of Hemachandra in Gujrat, has written no less than eleven dramas, and Hastimalla is the author of four plays of considerable value. Padmanandi, Sakalak�rti and his disciple Brahma Jinad�sa, �ubhachandra, Bha���rakas of M�lasa�gha and Bha���raka Somak�rti of K�sht�sa�gha wrote the charitra works.23

In medieval times, Pur�nas and Charitras of the Prakrit and Sanskrit languages were translated into Hindi language and even some fresh were also written. Brahma Jinad�sa composed the ï¿½dipur��aJamb�sv�m�charitra and Ya�odharacharitra in mixed Gujarati and Rajasthani. Khu��lachanda K�l�, Nathamala Bil�l�, Pa��ita Daulatar�ma and others translated several Pur��as and Charitras into Hindi.24

(C) KÏ¿½VYAS, MAHÏ¿½KÏ¿½VYAS AND OTHER SMALL POEMST: Jaina teachers cultivated the art of poetry not so much for its own sake as to carry the message of the T�rtha�karas to the people in a form they liked the best. They composed a number of stotras in praise of the T�rtha�karas and ï¿½ch�ryas.

Ravik�rti, the celebrated composer and donee of the famous Ahihole inscription dated 634 A.D. of pulake�in II, was a great Jaina poet. Joindu (Yogindu), who wrote in Apabhra��a, was a great mystic poet. His well known works are Parmappapaysa (Param�tma Prak��a) and Jayas�ra. Svayambh� is regarded as the greatest poet of Apabhra��a, language. He is known to have written the R�m�ya�aHariva��aN�gakum�ra charita and Svayambh�-Chhanda (prosody). Pushpadanta is also another great Apabhra��a poet. Mallin�tha S�ri Kol�chala is known to be the celebrated commentator of K�lid�sa’s works. He was one of the Judicial officers of Emperor V�ra Prat�pa Prau�ha Deva R�ya of Vijayanagara (1419-1446 A.D.)25

Dhanapala is the poet of tenth century A.D. and he has written the ï¿½ishabhap��ch��ik� and Mah�v�rastava. Dhane�varas�ri, pupil of Jine�vara Shr�, composed the ï¿½atru�jayam�h�tmya. Another disciple of Jine�varas�ri named Jinachandras�ri is the author of Sa�vegara�ga��l�. Jinavallabhas�ri is the author of the S�ing�ra�atakaSvapn�sh�akavich�raChitrak�vya and several stotras. His Sr�vaka padmananda was also a poet who wrote the Vair�j�a�ataka in Sanskrit. To V�gbha�a is assigned Neminirv�lna dealing with the life of Nemin�tha. The Pra�asti of Bijaulia (Rajasthan) inscription dated 1170 A.D. has been written in the refined Sanskrit language by Gu�abhadra. TheChaityavandanakulaka  and Avasth�kulaka are the poetical works of Jinadattas�ri. Hemachandras�ri was also a notable poet who wrote the Dvay��raya in Sanskrit and Kum�rap�lacharita in Prakrit. ���dhara is also the well known poet who wrote the Bharate�varabhyudaya Mah�k�vya and R�j�mativipralambha and some other works. Hamm�ramah�k�vya written in the fourteenth century A.D. by Nayachandra describes the heroic deeds of Hamm�ra who bravely fought with the Muslims at Ranthambhor.

Padmanandi, �ubhachandra, Jinachandra, Sakalak�rti and J��nabh�sha�a, Bha���rakas of M�lasa�gha, are known to have composed their respective poetical works.26 The name of Samayasundara ranks high among the Jaina poets of the sixteenth century. He utilised his poetic power composing the R�saChaup�� G�ta etc. He has has written the Bh�va�ataka in 1584 A.D. He also wrote the Ash�alaksh�  in which he gave eight lakhs of interpretations of the sentence containing eight letters ‘R�j�o Dadate Sankhya‘. It was presented in the royal court of the emperor Akbar who was surprised to hear. He was also writer of Jinasi�hapadotsava K�vya and Raghuva��av�itti. Though Sahajak�rti wrote in the language of the masses, his poetical works are also available. Meghavijaya of Tap�gachchha is also the notable poet who wrote the Dev�nand�bhyudaya Mah�kavya in 1670 A.D. His other poetical works are also known. Numerous p�j�s are attributed to Bha���raka Devendrak�rti, Bha���raka Surendrak�rti and Bha���raka Vijayak�rti.

In medieval times, Jaina literature to be created in Hindi, Rajasthani and Gujarati languages. In the fifteenth century, Sakalak�rti composed the ï¿½r�dhan�pratibodhas�raNemi�varag�ta and Mukt�val�g�ta, and his younger brother Brahma Jinad�sa wrote several p�jas and g�tas. Ban�rs�dasa, who lived during the 17th century in Agra, was the great scholar and reformer. He has written the Samayas�ra drama, Ban�rs�-vil�sa and Ardhakath�naka Khu��lachanda K�l�, Pandita Daulatar�ma K��aliv�la, Pa��ita Jayachanda Chh�bar� and Pandita Sad�sukha K��aliv�la are known to be the authors of several poetical works. The poet Budhajana is known to have written four poetical works such as BudhajanasatasaiTattv�rthabodha Budhajanavil�sa and Pa�ch�stik�ya.

Samayasundra is the distinguished poet of Rajasthani language. S�t�r�na Chaup�� is the Jaina R�m�ya�a written by him in Rajasthani language. His other poetical works are also available. Jinaharsha composed several stavanas and r�sasNandabatt�s�Chaup�� was also written by him. Jinasamudra composed various r�sas and stavanas containing about fifty or sixty thousand stanzas. Jitamala was a great poet of the Rajasthani language and composed about one lakh ï¿½lokas. Dalapatavijaya is the author of Kum�nar�soGor�b�dala and Padm�vat� �khy�na were written respectively by Hemaratna and Labdhodaya. Other poetical works written in Rajasthani language are also found.27

(D) GAMMAR, POETICS AND LEXICOGRAPHY : Knowledge of grammar, poetics and Lexicograohy is necessary to have mastery over literature. With this object in view, works on grammar were written by Jaina scholars from time to time. P�jyap�da is said to have written the �abd�vat�rany�sa on P��ini. Saktayana Palyak�rti wrote the ï¿½abd�nu��sana in 870 A.D. along with its commentary known as Amoghav�i��i named as such in honour of his patron Amoghavarshat  Budhisagaras�ri wrote a comprehensive Sanskrit and Prakrit grammar, the Pa�chagranth� in 1023 A.D. Hemachandra S�ri was the great grammarian. His grammarSiddhahemavy�kara�a is a well known work on the subject. Pa��ita ���dhara is the author of Kriy�kalpa. In the sixteenth century, a Prakrit grammar known as Chint�ma�i was written by Bha���raka �ubhachandra. �r�v�llabha wrote commentaries on old grammars and his independent works are also available. Sahajak�rti was also a great grammarian who wrote the S�rasvatav�itti in 1624 A.D. and ï¿½abd�r�avavy�kara�a and N�mako�a. The poet R�yamalla wrote the Chhanda��stra and Pi�gala in Hindi. The works on grammar such as Chhandraprabh�Hema�abdachandrik� andHema�abdaprakriy� were composed by Meghavijaya. Chandrak�rti and his disciple also wrote works on grammar. Ku�alal�bha and R�jasoma wrote the Pi�gala�iroma�i and Doh�chandrik� respectively in Rajasthani language. Other works written in this language are also available.28

Closely connected with Grammar is lexicography. Hemachandra is also the author of the lexicographical works which he compiled as supplements to his grammar. Jinabhadras�ri, pupil of Jinavallabhas�ri, composed the Apavargan�mam�l�ko�aAmarako�a��ka was written by Pa��ita ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½dhara, but it is not available. In 1597 A.D., J�a�atilaka made a commentary on the Sabdaprabhako�a and his disciple named �r�vallabha also wrote works on lexcography.

As the Jaina poets wrote numerous works on poetry in high flown  K�vya style, it was natural for them to write theAla�k�ra��stras. Hemachandra wrote the K�vyanu��sana with his own commentary called the Ala�k�ra-Ch���ma�i. Pa��ita ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½dhara wrote a treatise on the K�vyala�k�ra of the famous ï¿½ch�rya Rudrata but it is not available. V�gbha�a wrote the K�vy�nu�asanas�tra with a commentary of his own called K�vyam�l�. V�dir�ja  composed the Kavichandrik� a treatise on the V�gbha��la�k�ra works. On poetics were written also in Rajasthani language.29

(E) JAINA LITERATURE IN TAMIL, TELAGU AND KANNAÏ¿½A LANGUAGES : The Jaina writers also contributed to the Tamil Literature. The history of Tamil literature commences with the Sa�gham Age (500 B.C. – 500 A.D.) of Madura. The influence of Jaina thought and philosophy is traced in Tolk�ppiyam, the earliest work on Tamil grammar. The authors of the earlier compositions such as Kural,�ilppadik�ram, N�ladiyar etc. were Jaina by persuasion. Of the five major epic poems in Tamil literature, ï¿½ilappadik�ramValaiy�pati and Chintamani are attributed to the authorship of Jaina writers. Some minor K�vyas like N�lake��Perukathai (or Brihadkath�), Nagakumara K�vya, Ch�l�ma�i were composed by Jaina poets. The credit of enriching Tamil literature by composing various works on didactics, grammar, prosody and lexicography and commentaries goes to the Jaina authors.30

The Jainas gave the Champu K�vyas (poems) to �ndhradesa and Kar��taka, Nannaya is the author of the famous Telugu Mah�bh�rata. Pampa is the author of the ï¿½dipur��a, and Bharata (941 A.D.) As the author of these two Kanna�a master pieces in the Champu style, Panpa’s services for the cause of Indian culture are noteworthy. Pampa was primarily responsible for Nannaya Bha��a’s great work Bh�rata (1053 A.D.) Nannaya Bha��a, the Telugu scholar, was Br�hmana but expoused the cause of Jainism. Kanti, the Jaina woman, completed the unfinished poems of Abhinava Pampa.31

The Jainas added quite a good to the wealth of the Kannada literature and they also enriched it with classics.32 B�hubali Pa��ita wrote the Dharman�thapur��a in 1352 A.D. Ke�avar�i wrote a Kanna�a v�itti to the Gommatas�ra in 1359 A.D. He likewise wrote a Vritti in Kanna�a to Amitavati�r�vak�ch�ra and a commentary in the same language to S�ratreya. Abhinava �ruta Muni is credited with writing a Kanna�a commentary on Mallisen’s Sajjanachitta vallabha. Madhura (1365 A.D.) was the author of Dharman�thapur�n and a ash�aka praising Gomma�a.

Bh�shkara wrote the J�vandharacharita in 1424 A.D. Kaly��ak�rti is the author of same works. Jinadeva��a wrote the ï¿½re�ikacharite in 1444 A.D. and Vijaya��a wrote Dv�da��nuprekshe. Their contemporary was Vidy�nanda who was the author of a Kanna�a commentary on his own Sanskrit work called Pr�ya�chitta. Teraka��mbi Bommarasa is the author of the Sanatakum�racharita and J�vandhara charita (1485 A.D.) Koti�vara composed the J�vandhara�atpadi. Ya�ahk�rti wrote a commentary of Dharm��arm� bhyudaya and �ubhachandra wrote Narapi�gali. Devappa himself was credited with proficiency in the exposition of the Jaina-Pur��a. Panditamuni’s work  was Chandraprabhacharita.

Ratnakara��� is known by his great work Triloka�ataka comprising 10,000 verses which he finished in 1557 A.D. His other works were – Bharate�vara charite and analogy of poems known as Padaj�ti. Another prominent writer connected with Mu�u bidre was Nema��a who wrote the J��nabh�skaracharite. B�hubali wrote the N�gakum�racharite in 1560 A.D. Do��an�tha wrote the Chandraprabha – �a�padi in 1576 A.D. Padmarasa wrote the �ri�g�rakathe in 1599 A.D. Brahmakavi is remembered only because of his Vajrakum�ra charita. P�ya Muni wrote the Sanatakum�ra charite in about 1606 A.D. The most famous among the writers of the 17th century was Pa�chab��a. In the Bhujabalacharita (1614 A.D.), he tells that the famous head anointing ceremony of Goma�an�tha was performed in 1612 A.D. Devarasa (1650 A.D.) was the author of the Gurudattacharita.

Kannada Jainas have written not only on purely literary works but also on grammar. Towards the middle of the twelfth century A.D. lived N�gavarm� II who wrote the three well-known works on Kanna�a grammar – K�vyavalokanaKarna�akabh�sh�bh�sha�a and Vatuko�a. In about 1260 A.D., appeared Ke�r�ja with his ï¿½abdama�idarpa�a in Kanna�a. A Grammarian and a lexicographer Devottama wrote the N�n�rtharatn�kara assigned to 1600 A.D. Another lexicographer was his contemporary �ri�g�rakavi, the author of the Kar���aka Sa�j�vana. P�r�vavarni’s work is styledSamyaktvakaumud�.

(F) HISTORICAL, POLITICAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL WORKS : There are some ancient historical writings from which we may draw certain conclusions after their critical examination. The Dvy��raya and the Trishash�i�al�k�purusha-charita of Hemachandra are useful for the history of Jainism under the Ch�ulukyas. The Prabh�vakacharita of Prabh�chandra S�ri written in V.S. 1361 and the Pur�tanaprabandhasa�graha of R�ja�ekhara written in V.S. 1405 contain numerous interesting anecdotes about several Jaina monarchs and saints. The T�rtham�l�s such as Vividhat�rthakalpa of Jinaprabhas�ri give a brief history of the holy places. The Pa���val�s of Kharataragachchha, Tap�gachchha and M�lasa�gha are useful for political and religious history. The Va��av�l�s give information about particular persons born in the communities. The Pra�astis are as important as the inscriptions. The N�tiv�ky�m�ita of Somadeva (959 A.D.) is an excellent regular treatise on the science and art of Politics. Several geographical works like Tiloyapa��ati of Yati V�ishabha, Lokavibh�gaJambudv�pa-Praj�apti and Trilokas�ra deal with cosmology from the Jaina point of view.

(G) SCIENTIFIC WORKS : Jaina authors have written not only on literary works but also works on medicines, Mathematics and Astrology.

(i) MEDIECINES : P�jyap�da was well-versed in the Science of Medicines. King �ivam�ra I was the author of the science of elephants. ���dhara wrote a commentary named Ash���gah�idayadyotin� ï¿½ï¿½k� on the famous work of V�gbha�a. but it is not available. The great work of Ma�gar�ja I (C. 1360 A.D.) was called Khajendrama�idarpa�a which deals with poisons. The Vaidy�m�ita (C. 1500 A.D.) was written by �r�dharadeva. B�charasa was the author of A�vavaidya which deals with all details concerning horses and their ailments. S�lva is noted for his work called Vaidyas�ngatya. Padmarasa wrote hayas�rasamuchchaya dealing minutely with the forms, kinds, ailments etc. of horses. Ugr�ditya is the author of Kay��ak�raka, a complete and original a treatise on the science of medicine (770-840 A.D.)33. D�pachanda wrote a work on medicine named Langhanapathyanir�aya in 1735 A.D., and it deals with treatment by fasting. Some works on medicines were written in Rajasthani language.34

(ii) MATHEMATICS : Jainas have written some works on Mathematics also. Mah�v�r�ch�rya is the author of the Ga�itas�rasa�graha, a valuable and complete treatise on Mathematics. He belonged to a later part of the R�sh�rak��aAmoghavarsha’s reign. On Mathematics we have R�j�ditya’s Kshetraga�ita L�lavati Vyavah�raratn Vyavaharaganita ChitrahasugeJainaga�ita S�tra ï¿½ikodarana and other works.35 The Uttarachhat�s�  was written in Sanskrit by Sumatik�rti, pupil of J��nabh�shana. The Arthasand�ish�adhik�ra or Pandita Todarmala is a work of high merit in Mathematics.36 PanditaMannl�la S�ng�k� was well versed in this science. The L�l�vat�kh�s� chaup�� and Ganitachaup�� written in Rajasthani language are credited to him.37

(iii) ASTRONOMY : Astronomical works were written by Jaina authors from time to time. Haribhadra wrote the Lagna�uddhi.38Durgadeva, who flourished in the eleventh century, was an astronomer of note. He wrote the Ardhak���a in Prakrit.39 H�rakala�a composed an important work named Jyotishas�ra in Prakrit. Diksh�pratish�h�di �uddhi was written in in 1628 A.D. by Samayas�ra. Harshak�rti wrote the Jyotishas� rodh�ra. Meghavijaya was well versed in the science of astronomy and wrote several works. �r�dhar�ch�rya of Naigunda composed the first Kanna�a work on astrology called J�takatilaka.40 Several astronomical works were written in Rajasthani.

(8) JAINA Ï¿½Ï¿½STRA BHAÏ¿½Ï¿½Ï¿½RAS : The Jainas made valuable contribution to Indian culture by founding ï¿½ï¿½strabha���ras during the medieval period for preservation of manuscripts. The Jaina monks, who were great scholars, founded them, realizing their great educational value. It is said that Jinabhadras�ri spent the best of his life in establishing the store-houses of knowledge for the posterity at the places such as Jaisalmer, Nagaur and Jalor during the fifteenth century A.D. The great Jaina kings and their ministers encouraged writing of the manuscripts for their spiritual welfare. Kum�rap�la established twentyone ï¿½ï¿½strabha���ras, in every one of which he placed the copy of the Kalpas�tra in golden ink. Among the great ministers of the States, who founded ï¿½ï¿½strabha���ras may be maintained the names of Vastup�la, Petha�a��ha, Ma��ana and others. Actuated by the desire of service to their religion, merchants and bankers got prepared numerous copies of important manuscripts. In 1394 A.D., Sangr�ma Son�, a Jaina house-holder, spent lacs of gold moharas in preparation of Kalpas�tra and K�lak�ch�rya Kath�. Dhara����ha got many copies of palm-leaf manuscripts written for presentation to the ï¿½ï¿½strabha���ras.

In medieval times. Jaina temples were the centres of learning and were also used for imparting education to the students. It was therefore necessary to collect books. The important Jaina ï¿½astrabha���ras are found at Patan, Jaisalmer, Idar, Nagaur, Bikaner, Jaipur, Agra, Delhi, Karanja, Poona, Moodabidri, Hunch V�rangal and K�rkala. In these ï¿½ï¿½strabha���ras, not only Jaina books relating to various faiths but also those of secular subjects such as astronomy, medicine, Mathematics, Grammar and K�vya were kept for study and reference. This indiacates that the Jainas in the middle ages were not narrow minded but understood the important of an all-comprehensive library.

Important works of non-Jaina authors such as K�lid�sa, Bh�rav�, M�gha, Tul�s�d�sa, Bih�r� and Ke�ava are available in these collections. The illustrated manuscripts. Vij�aptipatras and old pictures found in these granthabha���ras are important from the artistic point of view. There collections are also of literary importance. Works of different periods written in various languages such as Sanskrit, Prakrit, Apabhra��a, Rajasthani and Hindi are preserved in them. Works written in Apabhra��a language are especially found in abundance in these Bhand�ras. Sometimes more than one copies of the manuscripts written at different times are noticed in some other Bha���ra. These are useful for the purpose of editing them. Most of these libraties have not been classified and catalogued. It this work is done, it will illumine the dark and unexplored corners of ancient and modern Indian languages and literature.

(9) TANTRA VIDYÏ¿½ AND MANTRA VIDYÏ¿½ : The Jainas also contributed to the Tantravidy� and Mantravidy�. A beginning in this direction was made in the form of Yaksh� cult which developed into ceremonial worship of the deities like Jv�l�m�lin� and Padm�vat� beyond their natural set-up and culminated in their ritualistic invocation under mystical formularies. Besides Padm�vat� and Jv�l�m�lin�, a few more Yakshi��s also seem to have been involved occasionally by Jaina followers of Tantric traditions though such instances are rare. One notable instance is that of Akala�ka who is alleged to have vanquished the Buddhist opponents with the aid of Kushm���ini. K�shm���i or K�shm���in� is the alternative name of Ambik�, the Yaksh�� of Nemin�tha.

Tantravidy� and Mantravidy� became very popular during the Medieval period in Jainism thought it is against principles. Some of the Jaina preceptors, even of higher status took to the study and practice of occult lores connected with Mantravidy� and Tantravidy�. Mastery of occult powers and control over the evil spirits appear to have been considered as important attributes that distinguished the Jaina monks from others and went to establish their supremacy. The preceptors of the Y�pan�ya sect seems to have played a substantial role in the spread of Jv�lin� cult.

The Jaina preceptors and monks appear to have indulged in claiming proficiency in this craft from the times of El�charya or Hel�ch�rya onwards. This cult seems to have been stabilised by the influential teachers like Indranandi, Yogindra and Mallisenas Mallisnenas�ri, who lived in the 11th century, was the outstanding Jaina saint. He belonged to the spiritual lineage of the eminent teacher Ajitasena, the guru of the great Ch�mu��a R�ya. He was also a renowned scholars and author, and the head of a monastery at Malgund in Dharwar District, of the three works in Sanskrit composed by him, relating to the occult lore, one named Bhairava – Padm�vat� Kalpa deals with the spells and mystical formularies calculated to bestow superhuman powers with the aid of the goddess Padm�vat�. His other work Jv�lin�-kalpa is on similar lines centring round the deity Jv�l�n�.

There are inscriptions1 which refer to Jaina Acaryas who took pride in styling themselves Mantrav�dins. No. 66 inscription of �rava�a� Belagol� contains a description of the Acaryas �r�dharadeva who was well-versed in the Mantric lore. The same epigraph speaks of another Acaryas named Padmanandi who was expert in the sceince of spells (Mantrav�di�vara) No. 67 refers to the Acarya Kaly��ak�rti who was unrivalled in the art of exercising the evil spirits like ��kin�. The Jaina Bha���rakas, �r�p�jyas and Yatis of Northern India were also well-versed in Mantravidy� and Tantravidy�. As a result, they exercised great influence on the masses by their miracles. They were given great honour and respect.


  1. EFFICIENT ORGANIZATION OF SAÏ¿½GHA :Perhaps, the most important reason which contributed to the progress of Jainism was that Mah�v�ra possessed the great ability of efficiently organising of theSa�gha. The Sa�gha was divided into four groups, namely S�dhus (Male ascetics), S�dhv�s (Female ascetics) ï¿½r�vakas (Male laity) and ï¿½r�vik�s (Female laity), and these groups have been bound together by very close relations. The same vratas or religions vows are prescribed for ascetics and laity with only difference that the ascetics have to observe them more scrupulously while the laity are allowed to follow them in a less severe manner. The ascetics controlled the religious life of the lay disciples and the lay disciples used to keep a strict watch control over the character of the ascetics. The ascetics were required to keep themselves entirely aloof from worldly matters, and vigorously maintained their high standard of aseetic life. If they fell short of their required standards, they were likely to be removed from their positions. The close union between laymen and monks brought about by the similarity of their religious duties, differing not in kind, but in degreee, had enabled Jainism to avoid fundamental changes within, and to reject dangers from without for more than two thousand years.
  2. CONSERVATISM :Another important reason for the progress of Jainism is its inflexible conservatism in holding fast to its original institutions and doctrines for the last so many centuries. The most important doctrines of the Jaina religions have remained practically unaltered and although a number of the less vital rules concerning the life and practices of monks and laymen may have fallen into disuse or oblivion, there is no reason to doubt that the religious life of the Jaina community is now substantially the same as it was two thousand years ago. This strict adherence to religious prescription is also eivdent from Jaina architecture and especially from Jaina sculpture, for the style of Jaina images has remained the same to such an extent that the Jaina images differing in age by a thousand years are almost indistinguishable in style.
  3. ROYAL PATRONAGE TO JAINISM :The royal patronage which Jainism had received during the ancient and medieval periods in different parts of the country has undoubtedly helped its progress Kar��tak, Gujarat and Rajasthan continued to remain as strongholds of Jainism from ancient times because many rulers, Ministers and Generals of renouned merit were Jainas. Apart from Jaina rulers, many non-Jaina rulers also showed sympathetic attitude towards Jaina religion. From some inscriptions of Rajasthan, it is known that in compliance with the doctrines of Jainism, orders were issued in some towns to stop the slaying of animals throughout the year and to suspend the revolutions of oil-mill and potter’s wheel during the four months of the rainy season every year. Several inscriptions from the South reveal the keen interest taken by non-Jaina rulers in facilitating the Jainas to observe their religion. Among these, the most outstanding is the stone inscription dated 1368 A.D. of the Vijayanagara monarch Bukka R�ya-I When the Jainas of all Districts appealed in a body for protection against their persecution by the Vaish�avas, the king after, summoning the leaders of both sects before him declared that no difference could be made between them and ordained that they should each pursue their own religious practices with equal freedom.
  4. HIGH IDEALS OF JAINA SAINTS :A large number of eminent Jaina saints contributed to the progress of Jainism by their varied activities. They were responsible for the spread of Jainism all over India. The learned Jaina ascetics preached the ethics through the medium of their sacred literature composed in the various vernaculars of the country. The literary and missionary activities of the Jaina saints ultimately helped the Jainas in South India to strengthen their position for a long time. The important Jaina saints and writers from the South were Kundakunda, Um�svat�, Samantabhadra, P�jyap�da, Akala�ka, Vidy�nandin, M��ikyanandin, Prabh�chandra, Jinasena-I, Gu�abhadra, Somadeva, Pampa and Ranna. Of these illustrious persons, �ch�rya Samantabhadra, and ï¿½ch�rya Akala�ka were the foremost in their zeal of spreading Jainism. Samantabhadra in the second century A.D. toured all over India and defeated his opponents in the public discussion at K�nch� in the seventh or eighth century A.D. Even in political matters, the Jaina saints were taking keen interest and guiding the people whenever required. The Ga�gas and the Hoysalas were inspired to establish new kingdoms by the Jaina ï¿½ch�ryas. The Jaina ï¿½ch�ryas tried to excel in their personal accomplishments also. In a work called P�jyap�dacharita, the names of 37 arts and sciences mastered by ï¿½c�rya P�jyap�da are given. In the seventh century A.D., the famous pilgrim Yuanchwang had heard that the Nirgranthas (the Jaina ascetics) of old times were skilled in divination. Naturally, kings and people had a great regard for the Jaina saints in different parts of the country. Even the Muslim emperors of Delhi honoured and showed reverence to the learned Jaina saints of North and South India. In Rajasthan, the kings used to invite the Jaina ï¿½c�ryas and offered them royal reception in their capitals. It is no wonder that the character and activities of such influential Jaina saints created an atmosphere for the progress of Jainism.

GOODWILL OF MASSES : Jainism for its progress always depended on the goodwill of the followers of other religions. The Jainas followed the path of attaining the goodwill of all people by various means like educating the masses and alleviating the pain and misery of people by conducting several types of charitable  institutions. From the beginning, the Jainas made it one of their cardinal principles to give the four gifts of food, protection, medicine and learning to the needy irrespective of caste and creed. According to some, this was by for the most potent factor in the propagation of the Jaina religion. For this, they established alm-houses, rest-houses, dispensaries and schools wherever they were concentrated in good numbers. The credit goes to the Jainas that they took a leading part in the education of the masses. Various relics show that formerly Jaina ascetics took a great share in teaching children in the Southern countries, viz. Andhra, Tamil, Kar�a�aka and Maharashtra, Before the beginning of the alphabet proper to the children in Deccan, it should be followed by the Jaina formula “On Namah Siddham” shows that the Jaina Acaryas of medieval age had so completely controlled the mass education that the Hindus continued to teach their children this Jaina formula for many years is come.

INTIMATE RELATIONS WITH THE FOLLOWERS OF THE BRÏ¿½HMANICAL-RELIGION : Another important factor which led to the progress of Jainism is the cordial and intimate relations maintained by the Jainas with the followers of the Br�hmanical religion. Jainism, Brahmanical religion and Buddhism, the three important ancient religions of India flourished side by side for the last so many centuries, it is natural that they have influenced one another in many respects. In matters like theories of rebirth and salvation, descriptions of heaven, earth and hell, and belief in the fact that the prophets of religion take birth according to prescribed rule, we find similarities in the three religions. Since the disappearance of Buddhism from India, the Jainas and the followers of Brahmanical religion came more close to each other and that is why in social and religious life, the Jainas on the whole did not appear to be much different from the followers of Brahmanical religion. In matters like religious festivals and fasts, occupations and professions, dress and ornaments, Sans�kar�s or sacraments and language and general outlook on life, there are various common things between the Jainas and vegetarian followers of Brahmanical religion. There are certain castes whose members were found as followers in both the religions and to some extent marital relations were maintained between the followers of Jainism and Brahmanical religion.

It was impossible for Jainism to remain unaffected by influences of local customs, beliefs and cults. As a small number of Jainas had to live amidst the non-Jainas, it was but natural for them to adopt Brahmanical practices.

Somadeva in his Ya�astilaka-champ� observes that the religion of Jaina householders is of two varieties, Laukika i.e. this worldly, and Paralaukika namely the other world; the former is based upon popular usage, and the later on the scriptures. The Jainas followed any custom or practice sanctioned by popular usage so long as it does not come into conflict with the fundamental priciples of Jainism. Thus, by following the local customs, the Jainas made wise adjustment which ultimately created cordial and ultimate relations with the followers of Brahmanism. By this adjustment the Jainas could make progress for the last so many centuries. The Jainas maintained good realtions not only with the members of Brahmanical religion but with others also. When the Jainas were in power for a long time, they hardly indulged in mistreating  the non-Jainas. Thus, the Jainas made progress in spite of many difficultes exists for time to time.





  1.       EI., XI, pp. 43-46.
  2.       ARRMA, Yr. 1922-23, Nos. 8 and 9.
  3.       Digvijaya Mah�kavya (Singhi Jaina Series, Vol. XIV (Introduction).
  4.       JAIN, K.C. : Jainism in Rajasthan, p. 210.
  5.       ARRMA, 1934-35, No. 17.
  6.       ALTEKAR, A.S.; R�shtrak�tas and their times, p. 313.
  7.       DESAI, P.B.; Jainism in South India and Some Jaina Epigraphs, p. 76
  8.       SALETORE, B.A.; Medieval Jainism with Special reference to Vijayanagara Kingdom,  pp. 154-171.
  9.       DESAI, P.B., ; Jainism in South India and Some Jaina epigraphs. p. 168.
  10.       VINCENT A. SMITH, : The Jaina St�pa and other antiquities of Mathura, p. 22.
  11.       JHQ, XXV, pp.1 ff.
  12.       Arhat Vaichana, Vol. 5, II, pp. 49-59.
  13.       SHAH, U.P. AND DHAKY, M.A.; Aspects of Jaina art and architecture, pp. 215-221.
  14.       SHAH, U.P. and DHAKY, M.A. ed. Aspects of Jaina Art and Architecture, p. 274.
  15.       EI, XX, p. 61.
  16.       Ibid, II, pp. 232-240.
  17.       ASI, 1918-19, p. 17.
  18.       JAIN, K.C.; Ancient Cities and Towns of Rajasthan, pp. 306-307.
  19.       IA, XI, p. 255.
  20.       JAIN, K.C.; Jainism in Rajasthan, p. 158.
  21.       JAIN, K.C.; Jainism in Rajasthan, p. 160.
  22.       JAIN, J.P.; The Jaina Sources of the History of Ancient India, p. 150.
  23.       JAIN, K.C.; Jainism in Rajasthan, p. 164.
  24.       Ibid, pp. 165-166.
  25.       SALETORE, B.A. ; Medieval Jainism with special reference to the Vijayanagara Empire, p. 377.
  26.       JAIN, K.C.; Jainism in Rajasthan, pp. 167-168.
  27.       JAIN, K.C.; Jainism in Rajasthan, p. 172.
  28.       Ibid, pp. 173-174.
  29.       JAIN, K.C.; Jainism in Rajasthan, p. 172.
  30.       DESAI, P.B.; Jainism in South India and Some Jaina Epigraphs, p. 84.

SALETORE, B.E.; Medieval Jainism with special reference to the Vijayanagara Empire, p. 263.

  1.       SALETORE, B.A.; Medieval Jainism with special reference to the Vijayanagara Empire, p. 263.
  2.       Ibid, pp. 265-267; pp. 375-387.
  3.       SALETORE, B.A.; Medieval Jainism, p. 267.
  4.       JAIN, K.C.; Jainism in Rajasthan, p. 175.
  5.       SALETORE, B.A.; Medieval Jainism, p. 266.
  6.       JAIN, K.C.; Jainism in Rajasthan, p. 175.
  7.       Ibid, p. 175.
  8.       Jaina S�hityano Sa�kshipta Itih�sa, p. 172.
  9.       Singi Jaina Series, XXI (Int.)
  10.       SALETORE, B.A.; Medieval Jainism with special reference to the Vijayanagara Empire, p. 267.
  11.       Ban�ras�vil�sa.